04 March 2018

Seven Teeth

This week was pretty bland. A nice break from all the crazy we usually have. Or maybe it was bland because I finally succumbed to the cold all the kids are passing around. Quite honestly I am surprised it did not come sooner with the number of times Evelyn sprays me when coughing. Gross. Justin caught something as well this weekend so hooray. Mostly, we convalesces as much as possible.

The kids celebrated National Reading Week at school. They had fun activities at school to celebrate reading and Dr Seuss. Amelia and Everett dressed up on Wacky Wednesday with shirts on backwards, different shoes, silly hair, etc. Everett looked like normal. Maybe his crazy should've been how a person normally dresses. Phillip refused to dress silly, it was too crazy for him to decide. During breakfast he declared, "Mom, I am turning into a man! You know how I know? I have hair on my toes! So...I'm too grown up to Wacky Wednesday!"

Phillip spent a couple hours that evening cutting a box apart with a box cutter making a house for his pet. He was so intent on his project and figuring it out. When he came to me with questions I reflected the problem back to him. I enjoyed watching him figure it all out. I did show him how to make slots to fit the cardboard together (just to save the last roll of tape). I love how Phillip is often the sibling willing to play Barbies with Evelyn. He has her laughing and playing until they both get tired.

Amelia is totally into the Rick Riordian series Percy Jackson and now the Jason Grace series. We borrowed a thick book (over 500 pages) Monday night, she finished the book by Wednesday afternoon. Keep in mind she cannot read at school! Geeze, it's like mini-Jenni all over again. Sometimes I feel deja vu watching her grow up. Now she is gobbling up the next book. Her friend Abby from school came over Tuesday to work on their Greek Myth Genius Hour project. This time the girls are presenting with posters and a diorama. She already has the next friend and theme planned out (Brooklyn and Mythical Animals). The girls giggled and cut up lots of paper. They spent a good 20 minutes searching for a green marker. Next day I helped hot glue some scenery down to make sure it is all secure. I can't wait to watch her presentation on Monday.

Josie is so cute. I love having alone time with her after dropping Evelyn off at school. Evelyn's personality is so strong and bright Josie often gets eclipsed. We spend 30-40 minutes blowing bubbles, playing kitchen, barbies, etc. I get to interact and wonder at this cute little person we brought to Earth.

Everett loves to give me cheek kisses. He is a dry kisser. Phillip is a slobbery kisser, he puckers up like a pig and lands huge wet kisses on my cheeks. Everett lands dry, ticklish pecks! Oh gosh! He is turning into quite the reader. Once he starts reading a Geronimo Stilton book he is gone into the book! His greatest homework joy is to beat his previous reading speed. Nothing makes him happier than to get the timer and speed read. Makes me laugh.

Amelia corralled the kids into making snowflakes and mustaches. We had flakes of paper flying all over as the kids tried to cut thick folded paper. They soon had crazy mustaches glued to Popsicle sticks and new personalities to boot. I am loving the electronics ban we have during the week. It makes the kids think and use those beautiful brains.

Friday afternoon I picked up the kids from school and headed straight to the dentist. We were there a total of 2.5 hours. Amelia had an appointment to get 4 lower molars removed and her left incisor. How is it that pulling teeth costs so much money? Evelyn's dental accident used up all the dental insurance so we had to pay $150 per tooth pulled. Geeze, had me the pliers and I pry those babies out! Ok, I am glad she had her gums numbed for the procedure. The dentist really had to use some muscle power to pry those bottom molars out. After checking out her extracted teeth it was easy to see why they had to come out manually. The roots were deep and massive. Wednesday night we noticed that adult teeth were coming in over her top molars on the right side. He went ahead and pulled two molars from the upper side! A total of 7 teeth! Nearly half her teeth are gone, pretty much all of her masticating teeth! How will she eat? Pray that her new teeth come in straight! She is in a bit of pain now with some facial swelling. At church today I noticed how pale she looked.

Saturday I left Justin at home with all the kids to attend the RS Stake Conference. It was amazing. I was hesitant to attend with Justin sick at home. The music was out of this world. One lady sang a story along to a pictorial slide show of Jesus meeting the Nephites. Lunch was a catered affair courtesy of our Stake President. After lunch our group was allowed to tour 4 rooms set up with a particular theme (Christ in the Home, Scriptures in the Home, Prophets in the Home, and the Tree of Life. A temple clothed couple met everyone at the Tree of Life room and gave the sisters a pear fruit with a scripture attached. It was all very amazing. I need to step up my spiritual life. For so long I've felt so overwhelmed and unable to keep up energy wise, that important things get set aside. Feels like survival mode! The conference was a perfect kick in the bum to get myself in gear. After the conference Justin took a nap. I took the older kids to Goodwill in search of winter clothes. We are headed to Utah for a week and my kids have zero cold weather clothing. The boys especially got some long-sleeved shirts. Evelyn had her heart set on a Barbie Dream Camper to go along with her new collection. Why not? The family room is already overwhelmed with Barbie.

Outdoor Festival

This week was full of a sick, cranky baby. Poor Josie continued her nasty cold this week. Her poor nose just streamed snot all week. She slept poorly, napped poorly, and was simply miserable. I took her into the clinic Tuesday morning after a sleepless night with Josie whimpering in her restless sleep. Along with her cold she contracted double ear infections. I hoped the medication would help her get better faster, nope. The medication did reduce her ear pain but she is still coughing and her nose running 8 days later. I am so grateful for my ergo baby carrier. She spent many, many hours in the carrier on my back. My shirts were masterpieces in snotty art before the evening was over. The nice part of having a sick baby/child is the wonderful snuggles. It makes up for the cranky disposition for the rest of the time. She is starting to feel better, Evelyn and Josie finally went to Primary after missing it for 3 weeks.

Our President's holiday was so nice, more time to sleep and relax. The kids organized a rousing game of Pet Shop played with all their stuffed animals. Once I kicked them off devices at 8:30 they played until 11 am! We had a lovely time with Justin for lunch. The older kids finally got to visit Justin's office for the first time. Visiting him at work is so different from the environment at Cabela's; we were practically celebrities in Sidney. At UTI everyone is tucked in working silently at their cubicles, no one bothering to check out the noise coming from Justin's office. Everett found a calculator, he looked quite at home sitting in a leather chair with a calculator...we just need to work on his wardrobe. Phillip, Amelia, and Josie enjoyed filling Justin's whiteboard with graffiti. Phillip drew a caricature of Justin as a pig! Amelia drew several piles of emoji poo. Evelyn was cute wandering from here to there. In Evelyn's words, "Dad, you wanna go Jimmy John's and me?" It's hard to resist her crooked smile and funny lisp. We indeed went to Jimmy Johns for sandwiches and one unwich. The rest of our day we cleaned up a bit then had some downtime. The Elders came over for dinner at 6 pm. We dined on waffles, fresh strawberry jam, sausage, and bacon. Deliciousness. The Elders helped Justin move our old, broken couch and love seat and move in a new sectional. The sectional is quite large. Even measuring thoroughly did not prepare me for the size and presentation of our new-to-us couch. It fits but now takes up most of the living room. It's comfy and will fit us all at one time. Amelia claimed the rounded center cushion as her own reading spot.

I caught the sewing bug this week. Evelyn enjoyed picking out fabric for an Easter dress plus coordinating fabric for her sisters. If you can believe it this was my first visit to Hobby Lobby since moving to Arizona. Long time overdue if you ask me. Since Tuesday I've stolen a moment here and there to patch patterns together and cut out fabric. I am still unsure where to set up a sewing niche since all my niches are taken in this house. I might be banished to the garage.

Tuesday was the Blue and Gold banquet. I love how excited Phillip gets about cub scouts. He got his uniform on, patches and belt loops updated, with no urging from me. This is huge! He offered the opening prayer for the banquet. If you can believe it this week was quite chilly with highs in the 60s. I busted out long-sleeved shirts for the second time this winter. I am quite sure boys are especially darling in their uniforms. Something about those boyish cheeks shining with excitement and those shuffling feet that never stop. Phillip earned 8 slivers in his hands by pulling pieces of plywood from one pile to another. He did not complain when it came to extracting the slivers.

Wednesday night the youth had a cultural night for mutual. I was asked to give a presentation on Egypt and make a little treat from that country. I really wanted to make Koshary but it was too much for me with a sick baby. We have a sister (and her 3 kids) from Baghdad investigating the church right now. She and her husband fled Iraq 12 years ago after his family was brutally murdered in front of them. They took refuge in Amman, Jordan for 5 years before gaining refugee status in America. Sura is one of those amazing ladies you wait a lifetime to meet. We bonded instantly over Koshary and hummus. She was at the event presenting on Babylon at the same table I was at! Amelia came along to help me. I used some of my Egyptian collectibles and borrowed a few from our neighbor who collects souvenir items. Other tables included: Estonia, Philippines, Japan, Korea, and Germany (?). The youth divided into smaller groups of 4 and rotated around the different displays. Afterwards we all got to sample delicious foods from all these countries. I think Amelia learned a few new things about her ole Mom as well.

Evelyn is on a new kick this week. She insists on playing Slamwich, then Sleeping Queens, then Feed the Woozle, and last of all Teniego (aka Diego). After the card/board games we play a rousing game of Barbie Dream House or rice tea party. I am tickled she is refusing screen time in preference of imaginative play. Good girl. She also changed her mind about turning 5, after Miranda's birthday she decided turning 5 would be lovely. Now she is planning a party with a bounce house, Anna cake, and going to Kindergarten.

Saturday we went to a free city event at the Riparian Preserve, the goat yoga was enticement enough. The event was an Outdoor Expo, featuring several businesses around our area focused on outdoor adventuring. The observatory was open allowing folks to view the sun, it had a nice sun flare we could see. Everett kept both eyes open while looking through the view finder. Just that peek through the lens was enough to bring back memories of all my lovely astronomy classes in college. We got to watch guys tying fish lures and take a hand at fly fishing. All the kids fell in love with the tiny baby goats. Everett got a goat on his back when he went into plank position. I guess goat Yoga is really a popular item, you get a massage while working out. The highlight of our time was the petting zoo and riding ponies. Josie was practically beside herself being in the same space as quack-quacks, moo-moos, and oinks. She was busy chattering away to the animals saying who knows what! She quite enjoyed the challenge of climbing the fencing to pet the pony. Evelyn started gagging when one of the ponies took a poo near her. Do you have kids who gag, even after smelling their own poo? Evelyn does. I have to yell at her several times a week to stop gagging, she will literally throw up while taking a dump. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Amelia was thrilled to finally ride a pony, she is really wanting horse riding lessons. While in line for the pony rides Phillip noticed two real dinosaurs, "Mom! Those are real Velociraptors!" He was so scared and excited all at the same time. When it came his turn to pet the raptor he was shaking and refusing to stand near the dinosaurs. He did finally reach out brave finger and touch one. The further away we got the more excited he became! Evelyn was crying in a panic because the raptor was going to eat her. Even showing Phillip where the actors legs were visible did little to reduce his fear. Amelia and Everett climbed up a rock wall while Phillip was experiencing the dinos. What a fun little activity to enjoy on a Saturday. Justin took Everett to play a game of putt golf while the rest of us headed to the van. Everett was complaining about visiting the golf right away. I asked him to be quiet, if he said another word we would skip it. Well, he did not say another word until we headed to the van. He surprised me so Justin took him as a reward. The kids played at a little park while we waited. Amelia and Evelyn really had to use the bathroom. The park was surrounded with offices that were closed. One office looked open, it was a pediatrician clinic, I tried the door and it was open. I called over the girls then opened the door wider to find the front desk. Immediately a siren started to wail. Scared us all to death! I felt a bit foolish causing the alarm to wail. It went on for 5 minutes until it suddenly stopped. Who leaves their doors unlocked after business hours? Guess if the police show up at my door I'll know they found the perp who opened a business door after business hours.

Once back at home Justin went off to enjoy some motorcycle time. After Jojo woke up from her nap the girls all went to find a salon for haircuts. The first place was way too busy, a 45 min wait. The next place got us in immediately. Mia just got a 1/2 trim and I chopped my hair back a few inches. Ahhh! That felt so much better. We ate a hurried dinner before heading off to the church. Our ward activity for the evening was a super awesome talent show. The Young Women had a large bake sale to raise funds for Girl's Camp as the dessert for the function. Bishop promised to match dollar for dollar what the members paid for desserts! I hope the girls earned enough. Josie opened enough cupcake containers to earn quite a few dollars. That girl is sneaky. Josie spent most of the evening hanging out near the water dispensers with a cup and thumb out trying to get herself water. She earned enough to keep hanging out back there, add in the occasional snitched cupcake for a very happy girl. The first act was by far the most talented: our very own ward Bluegrass Band with two vocalists (also playing violin and guitar), banjo, and bass players. They sounded amazing. I recruited several Primary girls to help model dresses I made over the last couple years. The girls were quite excited to be part of a fashion show! Amelia sang a Lindsey Sterling song, Shatter Me. She was so, so nervous, but got up on stage and sang her heart out. Phillip and Everett had a routine planned, they would not share their plans with me. All I knew beforehand was it would include a ninja, monster, the "Shiny" song from Moana, and some jokes. What happened on stage was a disaster...pretty much the boys just got up there and rough-housed around almost falling off the stage 2-3 times. Everett was yanking Phillip's monster cape around and kicking him. I cut the "routine" short by several minutes. I'm glad it was dark because this mom was totally blushing. After some questioning Everett confessed that he forgot the routine and just did his best moves. On the bright side, I was proud that Phillip even got up on stage and in front of a large crowd, he is my shyest child so far.

Evelyn is growing up. She decided all on her own to put aside her Ellie binky. At her most recent dental appointment the dentist told her she needed to get rid of her binky. If she didn't get rid of it the dentist said she would have to come in to see him more often. Well, she was not a fan of that idea. Whenever she thought about putting her binky in her mouth I would hear her mutter, "I hate dentists! Just one suck!" Justin reminded her at night that the dentist would see her if she used Ellie. Several weeks later I can honestly say I have not idea where Ellie is and that Evelyn is finally sleeping without it. Well, sort of. She is quite restless at night and gets up way too often. Hooray. Now her adult teeth can come in all nice and straight. Hip Hip Hooray for Evelyn Justine!   

21 February 2018

Valentine's Week

Grandpa Lane was treated to an art show courtesy of Amelia and Phillip. Both kids had a microphone and 3 amazing works of art to show off. I spotted Evelyn turning into a bag lady. She had 6 grocery bags stuffed full of play food and dolls. I, too, am a bag lady. Girl! I understand! All the kids showed off their scripture reading skills! Dinner was a little sketchy, my lettuce was frozen solid so the bulgogi was confined to baby lettuce style. Dad even seemed to like my cauliflower rice substitute. We asked him for a lecture but the spotlight was too much. Ha ha. Evelyn started coughing and running a fever Saturday night. She stayed home from church and school (through Tuesday). Toddler coughs are the worst because they don't properly cover their mouths, now a week later all the kids are hacking and coughing. Dad chose to sleep on a mattress in the living room. He reported a nice, full night of sleep! Yay.

Dad finished loading the trailer with his buddy's belongings shortly after 9:30 am. He decided to head home shortly before noon instead of staying another night. We had an hour or so to talk without most of the noise. Evelyn was decidedly quiet as she fell asleep after a gnarley night's "sleep." Dad stopped halfway in St George that evening. We enjoyed a FHE outing at Barnes and Noble. Lisa McMann was at the store a mile or so away signing books. She wrote the "Unwanted" Series, a series I faithfully read. Amelia got to hear her talk about her newest series earlier in the morning. Barnes and Noble has the finances all figured out, first you have to buy a book to have signed, then you have to wait for your turn surrounded by toys/books/activities, your senses are also bombarded by freshly baked cinnamon roll smells in the cafe. Evelyn wore a fancy crown because of course she is a princess. There were several crafts set out for the kids to work on as well. Josie was so cute running from toy to toy with cute "oohs and aahs!" at every shelf. Amelia was quite star struck to be so near a real author! We are quite intent now on reading the entire series.

Seems like most of my week was spent holding sick kids. Evelyn was unwell through Tuesday, Josie was sick from Thursday until current. Evelyn had a Dr appointment Monday afternoon where the Dr determined she does NOT have influenza, rather a viral cough. We saved ourselves $500 cost for family tamiflu, but now everyone is coughing. Josie was well until her well-child were she got two rounds of immunizations. She ran a fever from Thursday night until Sunday evening. Now she is just a whining, clingy mess. I am glad she fits in the baby carriers, I've worn her on my back for hours each day, my back a boogery mess. Wednesday I met with the new clinic I am looking at. After consensus we decided to run a hormone panel as well. My thyroid levels were abysmal as expected (T4 1.34, T3 2.8. and TSH 3.9) showing I am hypothyroid. Seems I am making the chemical but not absorbing it at all as shown by the TSH (normal is 2). Progress is good. I'll meet again next week to make a plan based on my hormone panel and thyroid. I am feeling a smidge more energetic since I stopped taking birth control.

Wednesday was one exciting day. Evelyn was dressed and ready for her party before 8 am. Amelia and Evelyn had cute heart hairstyles. Amelia finished making her emoji box just moments before leaving for the bus. I finished writing Valentine's for Evelyn in the van before dropping her off. Cutting the wire! Josie helped me set out Valentine's for the kids, a stuffed toy and candy. Justin totally spoiled me with flowers and a new iPhone. Why not get a new phone the day before? I was due for a new phone last February, so awesome! We stuck to our Valentine's tradition of dinner at a buffet style restaurant. We had dinner at Souper Salad. Amelia saw the restaurant name and giggled, "Mom! It's like a pun! Soup or Salad...he he get it souper salad!" Justin met us there. Josie shrieked only once, much to the dismay of the gentleman sitting behind us. I think next year we will have to find a new tradition. All the kids were quite sugared up and excited after their fun day at school. Justin got Amelia and Evelyn some roses for Valentines. Spoiled rotten.

Evelyn and Josie got hair trims this past week. Josie wakes up each morning with a nest-worthy head of tangled hair. Grandma Debbie suggested if her hair was trimmed the mess might not be so bad. It is pretty easy to brush out, not much effort with some detangler and a soft brush. Evelyn was so excited to get a trim. Josie was not so excited to get a trim. Evelyn got a cute hairstyle with a bow, glitter, and cupcake smelling spray in her hair. Josie tolerated her haircut fine, sat still while blubbering and giving me puppy dog eyes. Since her trim the hair nests have decreased in size and severity.

The boys worked diligently this week to increase their muscle mass by lifting weights in the garage. Everett was especially diligent to lift weights for 30 minutes (aka 5 minutes). Every few minutes I'd gauge his arm muscle mass with a squeeze test. His goal is to be stronger than Justin in a couple weeks. I think he worked out so much he also popped out a tooth. Kidding, but he did lose his first side incisor. All week he worked pushing that tooth around with his tongue. I finally managed to yank it out much to his relief. The tooth fairy delivered a dollar that very night. She is known to be a bit flaky around these parts, sometimes not showing up for a good 2-5 days later.

Phillip and Evelyn organized a music show for Justin and I. Phillip lined up chairs and labeled each chair with the appropriate occupant. The reason for his show was that I finally got around to making him his own playlist on Amazon Music. We watched a very funky version of "Faster" with Evelyn gracefully bopping around and Phillip bouncing off the furniture and ground. The amount of dabbing was incredible.

Friday night Justin and I got to go out on the town. We had some wings for dinner then watched The Black Panther. Ahhh, so nice to be alone. Amelia had the girls asleep before we got home. She earned just as much as the babysitter.

Saturday our cleaning session was not as painful. Evelyn went to her friend's birthday party, maybe that was part of our success. She can be a pain in the bum sometimes, mostly just a pest undoing what we work hard to accomplish. Evelyn is now excited to turn 5, a huge change over last week when she wanted to stay 4 forever. After naptime we took the kids to hike Mt Silly not too far from our home. Josie was still running a fever that went even higher during our hike. I took the little girls back down the trail halfway through the hike. My back was covered with snot and burning up from poor Josie's fever. Poor kid had red, swollen eyes, nasty running nose, and a cough. Evelyn and I played Shimmer and Shine on our way down, Josie got to be a magic carpet since she was hitching a ride on my back. The way Evelyn says girl makes me smile, sounds like guirrel, a female squirrel.

Josie continued to lag about the rest of the day, I stripped off her clothes and gave her a popsicle in an effort to reduce her fever, a walk around the neighborhood helped as well. Justin stayed home with her from church. He reported she slept most of the time we were gone. She slept the afternoon and evening away as well. Poor little baby. Monday and Tuesday she was overly ornery. I took her to the clinic sure she had an ear infection to boot. She does have a double ear infection.

I included a photo of our walking wardrobe malfunction, the Sunday edition: shirt inside out and buttoned up correctly (how?), shorts on backwards, socks inside out, and two different shoes.

18 February 2018

Josie is Two-Stats

Josie Mae is about the snuggliest little person we've had. She loves to climb in our laps and just sit content as can be. She loves her big sister Amelia so much. Her little face lights up when Amelia comes home. She adores her daddy, same thing, little face lights up when he comes home. She has an impish streak like our older children. There is a brain working and growing in that little head. Josie has about 100 words in her vocabulary right now. My favorite is, milk, because it sounds like Mm-ilch. If I am cleaning she will pick up a rag and spray bottle and wipe off any surface. Her favorite foods are corn dogs, ketchup (more ketchup than corn dogs), ranch, cheese, apple sauce, and cookies. She is proving to be a picky two old eater so far. Josie is learning how to sing which is quite darling.
Course the tendency for two-year olds to control their environment is blossoming right on schedule. She loves to get involved in what the kids are doing then scream her head off. Josie is starting to loosen her attachments to me a bit. She is quite the social butterfly at Walmart, waving and yelling hi! Her favorite things are singing songs (rain is falling all around is a huge hit), reading books, playing with Evelyn's Barbies, toting around her stuffed Shimmer and Shine characters, bathing, and swinging outside. Her newest love is drawing with chalk outside and blowing bubbles.

She got two immunizations this year, even thought I was sure she was current. She got the MMR and Hep-A, Nebraska must have a different schedule. The clinic put the shots in her arms which was different, all the others got shots in their legs. Her arms were so, very sore for many days. Her medical stats reflect her body perfectly: weight 25.6 lbs (33.5%), height 34 inches (62.7%), head circumference 19.5 inches (95%). Big head, skinny and normal height. Her forehead is so tall! I actually went to get her hair cut, maybe some bangs cut but her cowlicks are pretty crazy. So far no interest in toilet training. I will get out the potty chair in a couple months and gauge her interest.