26 January 2014

The Finer Skills in Life

Phillip's new catch phrase of the week is "Piggy Poop." Not sure where or why he picked that to say 30 times per day. It does make me chuckle...but I am torn between laughing and discipline for using potty words. Never a dull moment around here.

I was able to take photos of little Maggie Smuin this week. We picked up Stella from school on Monday because Meagan was running late from a Dr appt in Scottsbluff. Stella's teacher had the kids smash rocks with a hammer to reveal crystals inside the rocks. After school the kids all donned eye protection and smashed rocks. My kids smashed rocks everyday after school since Monday. I think Everett's pink swimming mask is epic. Since the girls were all at my house when she picked Stella up we did the girl's photos. Meagan brought Maggie back the next morning. Maggie won the award for the poopiest newborn I've ever photographed. She pooped on each set up not just once but 2-3 times each! Phillip learned about dinosaurs this week in preschool. He came home with a cool dino mask. The boys played daddy and baby dinos for the rest of the afternoon.

My wings are clipped. Evelyn has stopped napping in her carseat. Evelyn naps from 9-noon if allowed. She wakes up if I put her to sleep in her bed and transfer her to the van, she does not fall asleep if I put her in her carseat before we go, and she wakes up at the noises the boys make when we travel. I am bummed but knew this day was coming. There are not enough places to go during the week to merit naps in strange places. Once she started sleeping in her crib with the noise machine on, naps became hard. She will fall asleep in my arms for a few minutes. Most of the time I choose naps over fun. Happy baby=happy mommy. Looks like basketball and story time are off the calendar for the next year. I might choose one per week and rotate! She already misses one morning nap on Sunday.

My new eating plan is going well. The program is totally doable and based on the basics. It cuts out processed foods and processed sugars. I eat 5 servings of veggies, 5 of fruit, 3 whole grain, 3 milks, 3 Medifast meals (like protein bars), 3 healthy fats, and 2 proteins. Most days I find it is difficult to fit all the food in! So far I dropped 5 pounds, feels like water weight. I feel lighter and have more energy already. I plan on sticking with this method of eating for long-term. My kids love to eat fruit and veggies as well. They snack on whatever I eat! Last night I felt like an Olympian when the kids gobbled down their Brussels sprouts and then asked for more. Gold medal!

Wednesday we worked on making props for the Blue and Gold banquet coming in two weeks. Amelia usually goes with me. She had a blast making an Olympic torch and a personal flag to represent her "country". I am excited for all the activities we have planned for the Blue and Gold, Olympic style.

The Sidney ward hosted a winter wonderland dinner party for the over 18 year old adults. We sat with some of the new folks in our ward. Our ward demographics are steadily getting younger with more kids. We lost 4 amazing families in the last while. We gained 6-7 new families!

Justin had a business meeting down in Denver on Friday. He was gone all day with the travel time and the meeting. He came home to find the basement we cleaned up the night before all cluttered up again. I decided to take Valentine photos of the kids and take Evelyn's 5 month old photos. The basement is the depths of despair in our home. I played a game of scoop ball with Everett, at one point I accidentally clocked him in the face with the ball. He scowled at me and shook his finger, "don't hit my pace mom!" After that he turned away from the ball when it was my turn to throw. The ball rolled into his heel and gently tapped him. He crumpled on the floor and howled for a second. We have an actress and an actor in this family. The kids earned an ice cream date with us at Dairy Queen for behaving during the photo session. Yum.

I was out shopping Friday morning when some lady from Potter robbed the Sidney Federal bank with a weapon. She got out of the bank and made it out of town...a little ways before the police apprehended her. We were just down the street when all the excitement went down. Crazy. I also got an email from the school district about changes in the school grade locations. Right now the schools are organized: K-1 (South), 2-3 (North), PreK-4 (Central). One of these years there will be a new elementary school with 3 wings. Starting next year the schools will be: PreK-K (Central), 1-2 (South), 3-4 (North). Amelia will be in the same school next year! When Phillip starts he will attend the school just a block away. 

Church was a small challenge today. Justin left at 8 am for Bishopric meeting, drove to Cheyenne, spoke in one of the wards, had more meetings, some waiting, more meetings, then a long drive home. He had a LONG day. I just had to wrestle 4 kids in church. We were late (cringe), so sat in the back. The Wood family and Sister Uhl helped me tend the kids. I was sweating before the closing prayer came along. I think some songs and nice talks were given...I think. One of the newest families to move in comes from New Mexico. Her name is Evelyn! Brother Hornbarger works with Justin now in accounting. The best part, they are both photographers. Hooray! I am excited to get to know them. Huge, fat snowflakes covered the ground after church. Amelia and Phillip went outside to investigate the flakes with magnifying glasses. They found some really cool snowflakes. I had them draw their snowflakes once they came back inside.

Everett finally realized he can drag a chair to reach the light switches. Now the house lights are on flicker mode. He dragged said chair into the kitchen and tried to climb on the counter. He had no idea that he could climb up the drawer handles like the other kids. I thank my lucky stars he is not like Phillip. Phillip was climbing up things and dragging chairs around at 18 months. Secondly, Everett started picking his nose. I know, the finer skills in life. Our little boy is growing up.

21 January 2014



Sunday to Monday is laundry day in the Call family. Sunday night we pile all the dirty clothes on the kitchen floor. The kids love dragging the baskets into the kitchen...the bait?! I pour the clothes on their heads. We end up with a wiggling, thrashing pile of laundry and 3 happy kids. They wallow in the clothes until we start sorting the clothes into piles. This week Everett had the pile and clothes pour all to himself! He was one happy camper. Most of the time he acts like the 2 year old he is with attitude over simple acts like getting dressed. Monday I placated him with socks on his ears. He played puppy with me fetching and catching, all with socks on his ears. It was so great.

Tuesday we were at the gym running around like crazies with our friends the Wood family. She asked me what I had going on, I replied nothing, except for Tuesday morning. Wait! Today is Tuesday, morning. My mind forgot to keep Evelyn's immunization appt. The clinic had one opening after lunch. Phew! I hate the way immunizations work here in Sidney, open only twice a month and not given during well-baby check ups. While we waited Everett noticed a guitar on his shirt. He looked down and strummed his belly. He told me he was playing his "shirt-tar." I died laughing along with the two secretaries at the desk. Evelyn did really well with her shots. I iced her legs immediately after, it really seems to help localize the shot. She was a little fussy for two days.

Justin forgot his phone during lunch. Phillip found it on the table. He ran around like a fire truck yelling, "He 'got! He 'got his phone. Daddy need it, oh no!" The boys were so disturbed we made a run up to Cabela's to deliver the phone. Phillip yelled all the way up the hill about how scared he was about going up to the top. At the moment being near I-80 was scary to the little dude. We delivered the phone then stopped off at the park. It was windy but not too cold. Phillip and Everett pretended to be otters on the firetruck structure. After wobbling like otters down the ramp they jumped up and walked off the plank (ie sliding down the fire pole).

We watched Stella and Dani Thursday and Friday while Meagan delivered her newest daughter, Maggie. The boys played so well with Dani added into the mix. They played house for two days using the shopping cart, cash register, and fake food. I went to the Smuin's at 5 am on Thursday. The girls were so excited about the change they woke up at 6:20. Dani crashed around 3 pm and slept for 2 hours. Meagan and Shane welcomed Maggie around 2 pm! She is a cute little one with tons of dark hair. The Smuin's are moving back to Utah in the next couple weeks. Darn it! We will miss them. When I went to pick up the girls from school Stella did not remember I was picking her up and decided that her uncle was supposed to pick her up. She would not go with me, that caused some tension with the teachers and principal! We ironed out the confusion once Meagan's note was referenced. I promise I did not try to kidnap poor Stella. I sewed up three shirts for Valentine's day. I made all the kids shirts with cute robots, using a shirt I made a couple years ago for Phillip. It was a favorite. We picked up Phillip from preschool on Friday. As soon as Phillip saw Dani in the van he ran up to her, "Annie, you miss me? You worried? I here! Phillip is here." He dished out several hugs and a sloppy kiss. He moved on to give Everett a hug and kiss. Everett's face was pure bliss! Phillip is the cutest, most loving little boys. A perfect mix of rough and tumble with joy and love to balance out the naughty streak. Justin told me Phillip roared at the Principal when he opened the truck door to help Amelia out...the Principal roared back much to Phillip's delight!

This week was over the top windy. Saturday was not exception. We wanted to do something, Evelyn hates the wind, so outdoor activities were out of bounds. We checked out Gurley and had lunch at the Hanger. We did find a tumbleweed graveyard! It was insane! The kids loved The Hanger. It is a bar, empty at lunch on Saturday. The decor are hobby planes hung from the ceiling. The kids found a high table and turned it into a train. Then we let the kids run around Cabela's for a while to blow off steam. Sort of lame but hey! At least we did something.

I taught the RS lesson on Sunday. It was fun to teach again. I really enjoy the challenge. Phillip learned about CTR last Sunday. He told me several times throughout the week that his name was not CTR but Phillip. He knows that CTR stands for Choose the Right, just does not think that is his name.  Amelia spent an hour making a Valentine's card for Punkle Jeremy. We can't wait to mail it! Evelyn is making progress rolling onto her tummy. She is so close to rolling! I am starting the Take Shape for Life system on Monday. I am hoping to lose the weight gained since August.

Phillip uses some silly words. My favorites are:
Flippty Flappity
Honky Donkey

19 January 2014

Updated Living Room

Here are some photos of the new wall colors and decorations. I wanted a different feel but it honestly feels the same as the red. I guess my decorating style is stuck in a rut. The punches of turquoise are quite lovely with the red and gold tones.

13 January 2014

Red to Blue, Turquoise to be exact

I had a great week! I love creating change in our home. Makes me happy! Amelia returned to school on Tuesday. The kids and I took down all the Christmas decorations on Monday. Phillip was so sad that Christmas was over. He wanted to put the tree back up and do Christmas again. Since the living room was in disarray I decided it was a great time to paint the accent walls. I've love to report that painting only took a couple hours. Sadly, it took me three days to paint and the living room is still a mess. Seemed like I worked all week but have only walls and a partially decorated mantle shelf to vouch for my hard work. A couple more days and this project will be over. Since I was making messes I also cleaned out the pantry, spice cupboards, and the fish tank.

Monday evening for FHE we made a few family goals for the year 2014. Amelia is very enthusiastic about goal making. She made several goals throughout the week like reading all the Junie B Jones series, reminding us about the FHE treat, and saying personal prayers. These are the goals we made as a family:
*Hold weekly FHE (we slack off and do lame-o activities most of the time)
-Make a responsibility board
-Make a year-long FHE calendar
*Go on a family trip/excursion once per month
*Visit the temple 3 times this year (once while visiting our family in Ft Collins, once in Utah, and once when the YW watch the kids)
*Improve family scripture and prayer reverence
*Share the gospel with an individual or family who will listen to the Missionary Discussions
*Teach the kids simple chores they can earn a small allowance when completed

We feel very excited and fulfilled with the goals. They are all achievable and the kids are excited about most of the goals.

Thursday Phillip went to story time dressed as Bumblebee the Transformer. He wore his HUGE helmet that makes him look like a bobble head. All the mommies and library workers tittered behind hands and smiled...me too! I love that kid. Everett and I played Zingo for 30 min while Phillip was in story time. I need some new books to read! Nothing on the Young Adult shelves remotely interested me. Seems all the new books are about fractured societies (like the Hunger Games). Folks, it is getting old.  

Friday I made it out of the house for some shopping at Salvation Army, the Rummage house, and the French Door. I found some cute items with turquoise to add on my shelves: a globe (love it), a bird cage, a vase, a bird house, 3 birds, and a frame. I am on a mission to find a couple new storage baskets and candles. Wish me luck. We are working on tummy time with Evelyn now that she can lift her huge noggin. She seems to enjoy it for 5 minutes or less. I got out the jumperoo this afternoon. She was so excited about all the new toys! For about a month Evelyn did not talk much. She finally started cooing, giggling, and making silly noises the past couple of days. Justin wondered if she was so busy discovering her hands and toes that using her voice was just too much. We gladly welcome her opinion back into our home. Her cute hedgehog PJs made us seriously consider getting a pygmy hedgehog. A new pet is still on the discussion table. How cute would a hedgehog be? Just kill me now. I made a leap and signed up to try the Medifast weight loss program. I will try it for 2 months and see if I can at least shed the nursing weight and get back to where I was a year ago. I don't want anything drastic that I cannot maintain, mostly just want to feel healthy again. My mentor is Mary Kim, a friend who lives in Utah. I am honestly feeling bummed about changing habits...or scared. It is easy to fall into unhealthy eating and rationalization. Here's to losing 10-15 pounds. Hooray.

Saturday was AWESOME. Justin installed our new screen door. It is pretty nifty with a one-hand screen release and a floor-level hydraulic arm. Justin spent 6 hours and two trips to the hardware store to install the door. While he worked I repainted the fireplace shelves and decorated the mantle. Phillip brought me a rock from the garden saying it was Rock-o. I drew a silly face much to his delight. The kids made a train out of two saw horses then had me draw faces on 8 more rocks. Endless imagination and play! Amelia is quite bossy. This is what I overheard: "Phillip. Say, I am going to marry a prince on my train." Phillip then repeats. If he deviates he has to repeat it correctly. Phillip loves to add in silly noises and nonsense words much to Amelia's annoyance. Everett repeats what Phillip says. This morning I caught Phillip coaching Everett words he needed to say for their game of Hammer and Daddy fork. Nothing gives me more pleasure then my kids using their brains! I got a bushel of tomatoes as part of Bountiful Baskets this week. I might try making sun-dried tomatoes this time around.

Sunday after church Justin, Evelyn and I drove out to Cheyenne for dinner with the Stake President, his wife, and all the High Counselors and wives. I think there were about 22 couples total. The drive out was heavenly. Quiet. I think Justin sensed my need for silence. Pure heaven to just sit and think of nothing as the scenery whizzed by. Wind made the drive a bit sketchy. On the way home we listed places to visit this year and in the future. Our list includes a lot of camping! We might invest in that super cool camper after all. The Jones family watched the older 3 kids. It was like a 6 hour date for us! Awesome.