28 October 2012


Here are some funny things Phillip says of late:

Giant and Tiny. Example. Mommy is giant, Everett is tiny. Most kids say big and little. He has to have his socks pushed all the way down to his shoes, tiny small. I convinced him to wear tights for Halloween by saying the tights were GIANT socks.

Schloober. The mysterious clear liquid that is constantly coming out of his mouth. He was cleaning the dinner table with his tongue this evening and proudly announced, "Schloober!" I say Lysol.

Wittle buddy. Found Phillip and Everett in our room this week. Phillip had a personal beard shaver, turned on. He said, "Here wittle buddy, sit down, no move!" Everett almost got a reverse mohawk.

Apple treats: refers to small tomatoes, red apples, and his sippy cups that have two apple decorations

My green: he is very attached to this poor playtex nurser with a green rim, it is cracked and bitten all over. About 6 times a day he asks for "strawberry in my green"

Prayers: Day, day, day, day, day, day, amen
              Day, day, day, park, day amen
              I must say day alot! Like please bless us to have a good day, day at school, day at work, etc

Found Phillip flipping through a Far Side book laughing his head off. He thought the drawings were so silly.

I lub it my bison, my daddy monkey, my mommy monkey, my lion, my baby monkey duck

He whistles when he says noooooo, it ends in a whistle.

Most of his imaginary play revolves around Justin coming and going to work in his gigantic truck


17 Months Old


Oh little Everett. You are one amazing little boy. So opinionated, so relaxed, so uptight, so full of hugs and snuggles. This week he busted out some new words. He dropped his binky and then yelled, "binty, where are you?!" So adorable. He also learned to shake his head "no" last week. I ask him for a kiss and he responds with an "uh-uhhh" or "no-no".  He LOVES his binty. It is his precious. I should take it away but love the sight of him clinging to his monkey binky with those long dimpled fingers. Next month he will be officially nursery age. By then he will be a champ. Good thing because Justin is moving into the primary to teach a class and I get to help with the Webelos as of today. Everett loves to use a domino as a phone. He is obsessed with my phone. Whenever it is in sight he cries like a diva. His favorite game is a sound game for toddlers. Everett loves books, bathing ALONE, and milk. He HATES getting pants on, diaper changes, and wrestling when Phillip tackles him. He is practically running after only two weeks of walking. 

Everett photo bombed the set of Evelyn's cake smash. The cake was too tempting!

Trick or Treat Street


Friday was a school holiday! I loved having Mia home all day. We really miss her. She keeps the boys entertained! Our day started early with the twins coming over for the day. A little while later I had a newborn photo session. Talyah (the twins sister) came over to help herd the kids while I photographed the 4 siblings and then just the baby. She kept the boys and Cydah in my sewing room playing house for 40 minutes while my 6 foot wide paper was pulled down. Little Aspen was an angel. She slept like an angel for the entire session. I needed to get out of the house so we went to MCD with all 6 kids for lunch.
Around 3 we left the house all decked out for a visit to Daddy's work house. Phillip's Woody hat caught the wind and went rolling down the parking lot. Phillip was almost crying as he ran after it. I caught the hat, he hugged my leg saying, "thank you mommy, you a winner!"  As usual Cabela's pulled out the stops for their annual trick or treat street. This year we had to wait in a long line. The rooms were even more amazing this year: Alice in Wonderland, Nemo, Pirates, Disney Princess, Woodland, Toy Story, and Spiderman. The line took so long because the photo studio was part of the line. Phillip was really scared/impressed with the spiderman room. We got a can of silly string to shoot at the bad guys. It was pretty intense for the little buddy.
Saturday Everett, Mia, and I all got hair cuts thanks to Deb! Amelia was in raptures while Deb shampooed her hair. She had us all in giggles while she preened after her cut. She only got a trim and a blow dry. Crack me up. Justin and I really wanted to get out of dodge for a few hours. We left for a short trip to Scottsbluff (90 min drive). About 70 minutes into the drive Phillip woke up out of a dead sleep and threw up all over himself and his carseat. As we cleaned up Phillip Amelia threw up down the side of her chair, into her cup holders, the "treasure chest" compartment, and down on the carpet and trunk carpet. We turned around and went home. So much for a day out. I dismantled the seats and Justin cleaned the carpets instead. Guess our kids inherited the Call family car sickness gene. Gross. At least I got a longish nap and we listened to some General Conference.  
I took Amelia and Phillip with me to walmart. Phillip found a dog toy left near the diapers. It was a pig that made a squealing sound when squeezed. He squeezed that pig until *Amelia* exploded saying, "Phillip! You better stop honking that pig! I mean it!" He honked that pig until she turned purple. I bought the honking pig! Now the kids are honking the pig by landing on it with their cute little bum cheeks.    

Frosty the Snowman

Thursday the kids enjoyed making a snowman after school. Amelia insisted on a smiling face, carrot nose, rock eyes, and stick arms. He was decorated with brown leaves inside his snow body. Phillip pushed over the poor guy 10 minutes after we created him. Surprised? Me neither. Thursday I spent playing catch up with house work, photo editing, and playing with the kids. Towards the end of the day a lady from the Nebraska Tax Commission called me. Apparently, some jealous local photographer in town reported me to the commission. Mostly, I am embarrassed that the whole thing happened. I don't earn that much after all the expenses, probably only $500-$1000 per annum. Felt a bit upset that whomever called the commission could not come have a chat with my face to face. That is one thing the electronic age has created: folks with no balls to confront another person. 

Trunk or Treat



**I love how Phillip will pet Everett's head and call him little buddy.
This week was ever so busy! I had five photoshoots, which is a lot for this mommy and the kids. Monday I sewed a skirt for an 8 year old girl. The skirt was a bear to sew in the first place. I had the child come over and try it on...it was too small. Even with all her measurements the skirt did not fit right. Now I have to resew the skirt before this Friday! Stinkin' bummer. Phillip had fun poking several pillows with three containers of straight pins! He is starting to group colors together. All the kids came with me on the photoshoot. I took photos of little Addi and her family. She is turning two! Amelia and Phillip took turns photo bombing some of their pictures. Good thing they are good friends in our ward. We had a fun lesson by Justin on prayer for FHE. Phillip's current prayer goes like this: day, day, day, day, AMEN. We are trying to help him insert more words between the many days. Silly kid. We had butterscotch rice crispies for treat. Yum.
Tuesday morning little Evelyn came over for her first birthday photo session. She is quite the diva. Mom and I were really concerned none of the photos turned out. I got one good smile out of 300 snaps. Bummer. I worked hard getting her cake smash set up. I used my silhouette to cut out 5 3-d chandeliers in various shades of purple. The boys and I went to the park after lunch for a couple hours. Everett loves toddling around the park even more then he loved scooting. The boys spend about 30 minutes in the swings demanding front-er-wear-dogs and under-wear-dogs. I brought some stale bread to feed the resident ducks. The pond ducks are ever so shameful when it comes to begging for food. The ducks waddled right up to us and snapped bread from our fingers. I had Everett hold the hunk of bread while the ducks picked off chunks. Everett was howling with laughter. He muttered, wack-wack num-num for a good while after the bread ran out. Phillip tried to swim with the ducks but decided the water was a bit chilly. My dependable babysitter, Miss Taylor, came over for a while during my afternoon session. Took some outdoor and studio photos. Taylor stayed through most of the session helping herd my kids out of the photos.
Wednesday was also crazy busy. Amelia came home early for first quarter end Wednesday and Thursday. I had piano right after school. Then Talyah came over to watch the kids while I took senior photos for Kelby Christian, a YM in our ward. We had a good time dorking around town finding cool places to take photos. Right after that Justin and I had a parent-teacher conference with Mrs Hamling. Amelia earned several outstandings! She excels at blending phonemes, and 9 out of 11 social and work skills. We were very surprised to hear that Amelia is soft-spoken and whispers most of the time. The only area we need to work with her on is transitioning from 29 to 30, 39 to 40, etc when counting to 100. She scored 58 on her DIBELS score, 25 is the mean score. Go Amelia!!! I am not very impressed with the amount of worksheets the teacher has then kids complete. Most are colored and finished in such a hurry that the worksheets just become busy work. It is only kindergarten.
We rushed home to get Amelia to ballet in time. We ate a simple dinner then got the boys in their costumes for the church Trunk or Treat. Amelia got dressed once ballet was over. The weather ushered in a snow storm right in the middle of the party. The YM/YW manned several stations: doughnut bobbing, cake walk, pumpkin decorating, and coloring. Pretty much it was a mass of excited hyper kids having the time of their lives. Everett was stoked about his turtle costume. He would flop over on his puffy shell and take a break. Phillip was very excited about having a mustache. His Woody costume came only two hours before the party. Phew. That was close. I love it when Everett yells "Cheese!" when I whip out my camera. He scrunches his nose and eyes. So cute. The trunk or treat turned into the hall or treat due to the 3 inches of snow that fell in about an hour.  

19 October 2012

Reign of the Rhinos


Our week started out pretty normal. I had a little photo session with a 3 year old girl. She was one serious cookie, I like the serious look. Phillip was really interested in playing with Avery since they often play together at the store Avery's mom owns. I helped out Kelly Tuesday morning with a newborn session. Justin was home for a consultation over Skype. We enjoyed the mild weather with a lot of time outside. The kids enjoyed collecting leaves and making the leaves fall from our tree with brooms. Tuesday evening Phillip woke up around midnight with a terrible whooping/snorting/snuffing cough. I was convinced he caught whooping cough. We spent a fun night together trying to sleep through the coughing and shortage of breath. Poor kid could hardly draw a proper breath. He fell into an exhausted sleep around 5 am. Just as I dropped off to sleep Amelia woke up barfing all over her rug, thank goodness she did not throw up on her bed. By the time she got cleaned up and settled it was 6 am! Phillip slept until I woke him for a trip to the Dr office. Amelia decided her tummy felt fine so she ate a banana. Right before we walked out of the door she barfed into the garbage can. Phillip watched her with the most intense stare. Soon he was spitting on the floor while she tossed her cookies. Shoot! That made my long night and day filled with a little humor. The Dr said Phillip could not possibly have Whooping Cough. He sounded clear as a bell and looked amazing. Grrrrrr. I spent a frustrating day with two cranky kids and a whiny baby.

Everett caught the cough Tuesday night. I spent the night taking Phillip and Everett out into the freezing cold 30-40 mph wind to shrink their lung tissues so they could breathe. We shivered in the cold about 6 times. I was so cold! We made it through the night. Everett is now constantly choking and coughing to breathe. He will turn red, try to cry, then cough, then sob because it all hurts so badly. Makes me so sad to see my kids suffering. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday the boys and I just snuggled and recuperated. I hope they get better soon. I feel like we are surrounded with a herd of snorting rhinos.

14 October 2012



Thursday Deb texted me at 8:30 asking if I could watch the twins while she took care of personal stuff. She is going through a tough time right now. I watched Romain and Cydahlee from 9 to 5:30. Phillip and Cyd are the best of friends. Poor Ro got the shaft most of the day. He snuggled with me most of the time. I am secretly very glad that we don't have triplets. Four kids aged 3 and 1 is a lot of work. Kelly came over at 10 so I could help her sew up a cat costume for her daughter. I was a bit worried about sewing fur from scratch to make a jumpsuit. It was surprisingly easy but a huge mess. Kelly learned quite a bit about pattern prep, cutting out pattern pieces, reading the directions, and sewing a thick fabric. By 12:30 we had a fun costume for her daughter. Justin took pity on me and went to volunteer at Amelia's class since I had the twins as well. I love that he will volunteer!

Phillip's new trick is to make himself barf by sticking his fingers down his throat. He is constantly gagging and near barfing. He barfed in his carseat the other day. His molars are coming in. Today for lunch Amelia asked if she could have "the fruit that looks like a rock with fuzz all over, but when you cut it, it looks like a kiwi." She is now writing letters to folks by sounding out the words. I am surprised at how close she comes to spelling words correctly. Amelia can read about 8 books now! They are learning about sight words for the time being.

Monday we tried to go bowling for FHE but it was closed for leagues. We went to the next best place: Cabela's. Justin got me two new jackets and a fleece pullover. He belongs to another website 3point5, a service that allows vendors to get product at huge discounts. We ordered snow gear for the kids and more fleece shirts for me. It is an awesome service we can get through Cabela's. Friday I crocheted a hat for a friend while snuggling with Phillip. That was nice! We went bowling on Saturday between naps. Everett was keen on holding up the bowling ramp. Phillip wanted to crawl into the ball shute and tried about 12 times to run down the ramp. I scored an amazing 46 points. Everett won the game with his amazing bowling skills with the ramp. I picked up our Bountiful Basket afterwards. We got some interesting mini pears this time around. I dehydrated bananas, pineapple, and plums this week. The pineapple tastes amazing. Justin and I went on a date last night. We saw Taken 2 and had some pizza for dinner. It was lovely to have a break.  

Hazel's Pumpkin Patch

The biggest news of the week is that Everett finally decided to walk more than scoot/crawl. Thursday he just up and started walking around the living room with a huge grin on his face and extra claps for himself. He lurches around with the funniest gait. Ironically, he walks sideways faster than he can walking forwards.
The weather is going nuts lately. Welcome to fall in Nebraska. One day it is snowing, the next it is 70, the next it is blowing 35 mph outside. I cleared out most of my garden. The snow and freezing temps killed everything except the chard and carrots. The boys and I had a great time playing around in the dirt!
Wednesday I had a photo shoot with a local family. The mom is so organized! She kept me updated on their outfits (and changes), what she wanted (Pinterest), and involved me in most of the preparation. I love clients like that! It makes for amazing sessions. She really wanted a "couch outside" set up. I found an antique sofa at the French Door for $300...he he...the owner rented it to us for an hour for $10. I LOVE the results of the photos. 
Right after the photo shoot we packed up the kids and went out to Hazel's Pumpkin Patch, the closest thing we have to Gardner Village. Cabela's had their annual new employee bash. Supervisors who have new hires are also invited, thus we got to go. Amelia was over the top excited. We grabbed a wagon and trotted through the corn maze. At the center we found a witch offering gold coins to unsuspecting children. The theme this year is Hansel and Gretel! The kiddos redeemed their coins for a treat at Hazel's cottage. The maze directed us to the pumpkin patches. Each kid chose one cool pumpkin. Everett tried to eat a pumpkin. We rode the hay wagon around the farm. Goodness, the sunset decided to dazzle us! Cabela's had a fun spread of chili, hot dogs, chips, and gourmet sodas. It was the best evening of our month! I love traditions.