12 June 2016

Gold Rush Days
























































Our sweet baby turned 4 months old Monday! I celebrated by taking cute studio photos of her grabbing her toes and sticking out her tongue. She busted out a couple laughs this week in response to chin tickles and mimicking my laughter. She loves to make spit bubbles, often she bursts out with a roll of her lips, a loud sound, and a spray of infant spit. We love it. During her bath last night she showed off some pretty serious ninja kick clusters. Be afraid bad guys! Josie finally has some eyelashes. Ahhhhhh! She lost her beautiful head of hair and grew eyelashes instead. I find the few long newborn hairs still stuck to her head quite endearing. Yesterday I noticed she was grasping for her binky and pulling said object to her mouth. Score! Let the object slathered in slobber stage begin. At her 4 mth well-baby Dr Shaw wanted to see how Zantac would help with her excessive spit up. She was concerned since Josie landed herself in the 5th percentile weight wise. Let's see if the nasty-tasting syrup helps her keep down all that delicious milk I work so hard to make.

Phillip is doing a pretty good job reading books to me so far. He reads to me while I nurse Josie once or twice per day. Our goal is to read 100 books before summer ends. Phillip and Everett are totally enamored with a series of books written about dinosaurs participating in various sports (like Dino Basketball). I read those books a couple times a day as well. Amelia and I are almost finished with LHOTP: On the Shores of Silver Lake. Only two more books to go until we finish reading the series out loud. I took the kids (minus Amelia) with me to Josie's well-child visit. I did not noticed the 7 transformers Phillip stuffed into his shirt and shorts until AFTER we were in the hospital. Grrrrrr. The boys fought and dropped transformers for the next 45 minutes. I was proud my face was still calm and collected when the toys made it back to the van. The toys earned a royal time-out for escaping the van. Phillip made sure the toys laid on the kitchen floor for a good 6 hours until punishment was met.

Evelyn actually took herself to the potty twice this week! She finally, finally peed in the potty on Friday. Saturday I screamed out loud when I noticed the tiny, precious turd sitting in her potty. You go girl. Here's to hoping she just potty trains herself. One can dream, right?! Seriously, if I could convince her to wear undies we might make more progress. She detests clothes, diapers, undies, and shoes. She loves swimming suits, dresses (going commando underneath), and pretty necklaces. At least she knows how to put on the clothes herself half the time. I am all for toddlers learning independence. I draw the line at stickers and markers on surfaces other than paper. If you send me stickers I might hate you forever.

I purchased a family pass for our new, fancy swimming pool in Sidney. I ran a bunch of errands Tuesday morning since I actually got out of the house with all the kids. We ran to the bank, the Public Utility office for a swim pass, the library, dropped off something borrowed, and ordered new glass lenses for me. Pretty successful. We went swimming Tuesday and everyday after that. Tuesday-Thursday Amelia did not get her leg wet. I wrapped it in saran wrap and an ACE bandage to keep the incision site dry as possible. The first afternoon we went swimming Amelia complained about being bored the entire hour we swam. She removed the steri strips Friday morning all by little self. The incision site looked pretty amazing considering. We all went swimming Friday after dinner for some family fun. It was super hot so the water felt amazing. I told Amelia she could get her entire leg wet. That kid spent over an hour hopping around the lazy river with a silly grin on her face. That hour was the best mood therapy we've had since her surgery. We all went swimming again Saturday afternoon. I enjoyed having Justin around to help police the kids. Evelyn decided to jump into the pool herself on Thursday. I about died thinking of the potential consequences. She can get her floatie off by herself. She LOVES to jump into the water, climb up the stairs, toddle over to the edge, jump, repeat, repeat, and repeat. Evelyn shows very little fear of the water. She will walk off the edge and sink to the bottom with a grin on her face...until I fish her out of the water. I am grateful for the lovely friends who offered to snuggle Josie this week while I chased Evelyn and kept her from drowning. Amelia, Phillip, and Everett are all quite water savvy and on their way to becoming strong swimmers. Everett absolutely adores the female lifeguards. Justin caught him saying to one especially gorgeous girl: "Hey, I like your whistle!" That kid has smooth manners! Phillip tried saying the the same thing but looked like a neanderthal.

Saturday we volunteered for an hour at Gold Rush Days. Our ward hosts 3-4 activities each year. This year we had butter churning, yarn spinning, handcart rides, and candle dipping. We ran the candle dipping booth for an hour as a family. More like Justin ran the booth while I held the baby and made sure the boys did not get into trouble. Amelia was a huge help! She stayed next to Justin showing kids her age how to get the candle started and made. After our hour the kids ate hot dogs for lunch. Justin took the kids around to all the attractions, I nursed Josie in the shade. It was 94 degrees in the shade, the light breeze made the heat bearable. Amelia found a paracord necklace she bought with her own money to go with the bracelet she got last year. It was very hot and muggy outside. We did not last more than 2 hours this year. I was amazed that Brother Jones lasted all day in the heat with his blacksmith operation. Blazing HOT! Everett was excited to get a ride in the church trailers, aka the hand carts, from the Haley boys.

I enjoyed a dose of vitamin L over FaceTime with my Dad in Saudi Arabia. He called me while driving to work! I got to stare at his ugly mug (kidding Dad) and experience some traffic in Riyadh. We had a good talk about my photography predicament and the challenges of raising kids with excessive access to technology. I felt like I was coming apart at the seams this week while doing some outdoor sessions and a newborn session. I came to the appointments feeling like I was not all there, like a wreck, trailing pieces of myself in the wake. It's time to revise, take stock, and come up with a new plan. The answer might just be no professional photography during the summer, could be limiting sessions to 3-4 month, just newborns, or closing it all down for the foreseeable future. I do not like feeling the seams of myself fraying and coming apart. It is not comfortable. At the same time I realize this is how Heavenly Father works to induce change. So, I welcome change. Together myself, Heavenly Father, and my family we will come up with a new plan of action. It will involve lots of summer activities, scripture reading, exercise, and boredom. Boredom breeds brilliance if given the right setting. I can provide an amazing stage for my 5 blossoming genius children.

We enjoyed playing with the iPhone fish eye lens Justin got me for Mother's Day. We enjoyed distorting our features!