31 August 2014

Evelyn at One Year

Evelyn Justine Call. She is just perfect in practically every way. She is pretty darn cute, has nice manners, sleeps well, eats well, and is very happy and content. I seriously want another baby because of her. At the same time I also know each baby is different and we would be playing the lottery. What can I say about our Evelyn?

She weighed in at 17 lbs 8 oz, which really surprised me considering the amount of food she seems to eat. Her weight lands her in the 3rd percentile. She measured 27.5 inches, placing her in the 6th percentile. I would never have guessed she was that small. The Dr seemed a little worried about it so had her blood platelets tested, came out normal. Dr Shaw wants her to gain more weight in the next 3 months, I get to feed her whole milk...fatten her up. She did just learn how to crawl and moves a lot more than she did last month.

Developmentally, she meets all the major milestone markers. Socially she cries when I leave, is shy with strangers, loves reading books, helps me get her dressed (like straightens her arms in a sleeve), loves to play peek-a-boo. She recently learned how to blow kisses. It is about the cutest thing ever.

Evelyn can say the following words: uh-oh, hot, night-night, bye, hi, that, owie, etc. Mostly, she is duplicating the fluctuations in my voice. She loves to sing along during church.

Physically, she can get into a sitting position. She can crawl with better coordination. Seems she only crawls a couple paces, then puts her right knees down and drags her legs til she arrives at her destination. She is trying very hard to pull herself up to a stand. Her newest move was modeled by Aunt Jana, albeit clothed most of the time around here. She does the bownerina, aka downward dog, aka sticks her bum in the air and plants head on the ground. Out of all my babies Evelyn still feels the most squishy. I think her muscle tone is softer than the older kiddos. I am not worried, she practices with her muscles and is making excellent progress.

She also meets all her cognitive markers! Hooray. My favorite is the finger pointing. She loves to point at an item, grunt, poke it, pick it up, taste it, and make a decision. She found a comb on the floor the other day, picked it up and combed her hair! She also tries to copy her silly siblings. I love it when she tries to dance. Her favorite song so far is "What Does the Fox Say?" It does have a rocking beat! Her favorite toy is a little piano. I love waking her up, she rolls all over her crib now, loves snuggling with her grandma blanket, and hugs all the wubb-a-nubb binkies she can find in her arms.

Recently, she made the transition to eating table food. Today she ate a bowl of spaghetti and sauce. Yum! I am also giving her meat, eggs, and cheese. She tried out her first strawberry last week, make that 4 strawberries. She loves fresh berries, oranges, peaches, eggs, veggies to gnaw on, and any contraband food her brothers give her. Phillip gave her some chocolate milk today, I took it away much to her chagrin. She threw a baby tantrum. Too bad her tantrums are so cute. She is nursing 4-5 times per day at this time. Her nap schedule is about the same: naps 9:30-noon, 3-4:30, bed at 9pm-8am. She is waking up at 11:30 to midnight the last few weeks, I just nurse her since she needs the calories. Justin and I practically fight over who gets to put her to bed. She is so easy! The winner feeds her a snack then sings her some Primary songs while she gives the best snuggles. 

Phillip is FIVE

Well, he made it to the ripe old age of five. I still remember him at 12 months climbing up on the counters licking brownie mix from a bowl. I found out Phillip was on his way to our family weeks before we moved to Nebraska. I told Justin on Christmas Day. The first weeks of our move to Nebraska were quite unpleasant, plagued with morning sickness. He finally came a month before we moved into our current home. His birth was traumatic with forceps and a spinal headache to boot. He spent most of his time in utero with the name of Voldemort. Justin followed his heart and named our little boy Phillip Anson Call. He is so, so, so a Phillip now. After the years passed his name is a huge part of our boy. He takes after his great-grandpa Phillip if all the stories are true. I will still deny loving the name of Phillip but Justin was right and our boy was named according to revelation given Justin before he and I met.

At his appointment he measured 43 inches tall and weighed in at 42 lbs. That is almost on pound per inch! He places 50th percentile for height and 59th percentile for weight. Practically perfect. Developmentally he is meeting milestones for emotional and social markers like making friends, wanting to please others, tries to follow rules (he interprets rules as well), is very aware of gender, and is highly independent. His language skills are improving, still has issues pronouncing consonants. He meets all physical markers plus a hundred extra. He can write his name, count to ten, identify the alphabet, draw basic shapes, and knows the use of household objects.

This boy has a very bright countenance. He is silly, happy, and very amusing. He can tell jokes and laughs at jokes other people tell. I think this is very advanced for his age! His favorite toys are Cager the monkey, his Hot Wheels collection, Octonauts, loves to read books about Dinosaurs, riding his brand-new McQueen bike, and playing Power Rangers with Everett. Phillip's favorite food is triceratops meat.  His favorite treat is a burger. Phillip loves to drink warm strawberry milk, it has to be microwaved for 45 seconds. Phillip's favorite primary song is I Love to See the Temple. Our boy has a vivid imagination that keeps us all entertained.

Two Birthday Celebrations

Monday arrived at last to one very excited little boy. He FINALLY turned five years old. We celebrated all day long! He told me that his tummy was grumbly for Old McDonalds Farm around lunch. We took the little fella to McD for burgers. Grandma Debbie called with a birthday song. I spent all morning making cupcakes. Everett thought the cupcakes looked so delicious that he ate the tops of 2 dozen cupcakes. Dang! After lunch we went to Walmart for more cake mixes and to get Phillip a couple gifts to open. His new bike did not come in the mail until Wednesday. I picked up Mia from school so we could all visit his preschool for cupcakes. Phillip looked so grown up passing out cupcakes to his friends. He opened gifts before dinner. We went outside in the dark to blow out candles and sing him the birthday song.

Tuesday was another crazy day getting everything organized for Phillip’s birthday party. All year he planned on a Superman party, until the day before…when he decided on a Hot Wheels party instead. Sorry dude! Our new friend Nola came over while her parents signed papers for their new house. Everett was very excited to have a friend over to play. I spent the afternoon making more cupcakes and icing Phillip’s cake. I was quite disappointed with my icing skills. Oh well, the kids don’t care. We had Phillip’s party at the park around 6:30. We arrived a couple moments early to decorate a picnic table. Mostly the kids just played and ran around. I had several super hero stations the kids could try out. The kids could smash cones with their super muscles, blow bubbles, punch each other with balloons, escape from crepe paper bonds, and squirt scary monsters with silly string. The silly string was by far the most fun. Next time I will get each kid two cans of silly string and let them loose. Robbie Wood and Craig Markum were our monsters, they performed perfectly! Phillip’s favorite gifts included a set of punching gloves and a Ninja Turtle. He was so excited his best friends Noah Dean and Logan came to his party. Evelyn also celebrated her birthday with a little cupcake this time. She looked uber cute with a crown and tutu.

Evelyn woke up with a fever, gummy eyes, and snot galore. I felt so bad she was teething on her birthday. Wednesday morning I took Phillip and Evelyn to visit Dr Shaw for their well child visits. We brought a large plate of cupcakes to share since it was Evelyn’s special day. Evelyn also got a special phone call from Grandma Debbie, she ended up hanging up the phone punching all my phone buttons. The kids requested doughnuts before we went home. Wednesday was very low key, thank goodness. I taught my first class activity for the Beehives that evening. I chose a lesson on five-minute hairstyles the girls can quickly do in the morning. All the kids went with me because Justin went up to Scottsbluff to help with an audit. Phillip and Everett tried to help clean the building; instead they emptied the vacuum bags into the carpet. We went to Sonic to treat Evelyn with her own ice cream cone. She clutched the cone so tightly that her fingers turned white. She ate the entire cone! I cannot believe an entire year flew by already.

Friday morning I cleaned up the side yard. I set up the bounce house for the boys to play in. Instead they smashed a pack of crackers and sprinkled sticky juice inside the bounce house. Little stinkers. I feel a little frustrated cleaning up all the messes they are making lately. Everett is doing well with going pee in the potty. He is not making progress going poop in the potty. He was getting frustrated and peeing in his pants again earlier in the week. I backed off the cold showers when he pooped. The pee got better but he is still pooping in his undies. I seem to remember that Phillip pooped in his pants for a good deal longer after he consistently peed in the potty.

We spent the afternoon up at the Peter’s ranch yesterday. They manage Rex Ranch, a church-owned cattle ranch. Brother Peters saddled up a horse (Smitty) and walked the kids around the yard several times. They were in heaven. Sister Peters up and killed 3 snakes with a shovel as we toured the yard. I am sure it took a lot of elbow grease to magically grow the grass, flowers, and trees in the middle of the prairie. Justin enjoyed lying on the cool grass with the breeze tinkling the wind chimes. He said it felt like a slice of heaven. The best part was when Brother Peters brought out his tractor and gave the kids rides. Sister Peters made a delicious dinner of smoke chicken breast, mushroom pilaf, salad, and veggies. We were all quite hungry so the food tasted extra good! I took year photos of their son’s daughter, Amelia. Amelia and Evelyn are only two days apart in age. They are quite similar in many ways! We drove home with a van full of tired, sleeping kids. The horses gave our Amelia a run for her money in terms of her allergies. She woke up with swollen eyes and classic cold symptoms. Poor kid!    

24 August 2014

Icing on the Cake

Evelyn's hair is getting long! I finally noticed it was long enough for a little topside pony. She did not enjoy getting her hair brushed up, it did look pretty cute! Sunday is a hard day since she misses her morning nap. I started to take photos for Evelyn's 12 mth celebration around sunset. I dressed her in the knot dress I sewed up last week. It looked adorable. She was so excited about standing up next to a cute chair. She tries so hard to pull herself up on the furniture now.  I remember it was super duper humid. Evelyn folds her little arms for family prayer, she is by far the most reverent of the kids. I noticed by Thursday that her second bottom tooth is almost through. No wonder she refused to nap most of Friday. Sunday at church I was released as the Webelos leader. I finally jumped through all the hoops, getting certified, trained, and investing in a shirt and all the necessary patches. Darn it! I was getting into the groove and sending those little guys through the program. My new calling is 2nd counselor in the YW program. I am over the Beehives, looks like there are 4 beehives, one is less active.

Monday morning was a swirl of excitement as school started for Amelia and Phillip. Phillip slept in until 9:30, an unheard of feat. He likes afternoon preschool much better than 8 am school. Several of Amelia's teachers told her she looked like Matilda. She chose a cold lunch for her first day. She loves to check out the calendar and pick out hot lunch days. She had outfits chosen for the first 4 days of school! Her bus seems to take much longer this year. Last year she got home around 3:20, this year she is getting home around 3:45. I might just pick her up, except I have to get Phillip at 3:30. Evelyn usually goes down for her nap right at 3 so logistics are a bit difficult to juggle. Justin will take Phillip to school most days on his way back from lunch. Our house was quiet with just me and my two E's (Everett and Evelyn). Monday I spent most of the time putting away clean laundry. Everett wanted to play Power Rangers with me for the duration. The game consisted of him getting all the cool weapons and masks. I was an evil Nylok, and had to spend my time repeating his commands and basking in the Zanzu river. He was happy to get his Phillip back, he is a much better copy cat than I am. I got party invites handed out for Phillip's super cape party next Tuesday.

Punkle Jared drove all the way to our home from SLC, UT for a sleepover. At least that is what Phillip thought. Jared stopped over for the night on his way to Southern Virginia University. The kids attacked the poor guy and kept him busy until they went to bed. He flopped on our couch and asked if they are always like that! He understands why I always feel so tired. Jared left early the next morning after more morning wrestling with my kids. I am excited for his new journey in life. My Dad left for Saudi Arabia for a year on Tuesday morning. For the first time my mom is alone with no kids at home, first time in 38 years. Strange thought. Amelia went with me to the community flower garden Tuesday night. I wanted to take some photos of Evelyn in the same places I did last year to compare how much she's grown. Amelia loved exploring the little paths and collecting flowers. We discovered she is highly allergic to wild flowers. Her eyes were red and swollen by the time we got home. Evelyn was being so cute. I think she liked being naked outside. A large lightening storm rolled over as I finished up. I got some amazing shots of the storm. Reminded me of the time we lived in Tuscon, AZ.

Phillip head butted me right on the cheek bone while helping him into his shorts. I am so lucky he did not get my eye. My cheek bone is ever so sore and his hard head caused a 4 day migraine. I am ashamed to say that I slapped his head a couple times while howling in pain. That was not my best mommy moment. We cried for a while then started laughing over some silly that Everett did.  We fed the Elders dinner twice this week.

Thursday I had a photo shoot with a family I've taken care of for 2 years now.  They brought along a cool old church pew for the occasion. I took Phillip and Evelyn along with me for more birthday photos. Phillip got to wear the birthday shirt I made him and an outfit I liked. I got 5 cactus needles stuck on my foot during the time. I also finished sewing up two onesies for new babies that needed some cuteness.

Friday morning I had another photo session. I planned on doing outdoor sessions since it is so much easier. The weather rebelled so I was forced to do studio photos. It rained all day. After school I wanted to get the kids outside to play. They donned rain gear and went out puddle jumping. Not 10 minutes later Justin shouts down to grab my camera and come see what the kids had done. Mud. They were covered with mud and half naked. Naughty little monkeys. I wanted to get Evelyn's cake smash photos done so just set up the stage for inside instead of out. Her cake looked so darn cute. Only took me 3 cans of frosting! Michelle Rognon came over to help me spot Evelyn and manage her while I worked the camera. Oh my! I am so excited about the results. Can't wait until next week. Amelia wanted to finish smashing the cake since Evelyn did not do much more than eat frosting. I told her no about 4 times. Michelle took the cake upstairs while I cleaned up the baby. Next thing we hear a really good time happening in the dining room. Amelia and Phillip totally smashed the cake. I mean totally. There was greasy frosting and cake on the ceiling, walls, table, chairs, benches, cabinets, not to mention the floor. The culprits sat in the kitchen pounding on my pans making a band. We cleaned until bedtime. Numerous towels, bowls of soapy water, and dustpans of crumbs. Oh the whining! Hey, if you play you PAY. Saturday morning I worked on the floor. It has not been that clean since it was installed. I washed it 7 times with hot water and vinegar until the grease was cleaned up. Phillip had to hand wash a huge pile of dishes as punishment the next day. He had 1 hour to finish his punishment or else his birthday party would be cancelled. He finished with seconds to spare. Amelia had to clean their bedroom by herself, including dusting and vacuuming. She spent 45 minutes of her time crying.

I expected some naughtiness with the new school year starting, the reality was a bit more than I expected. Amelia had a hard time adjusting. She had quite the attitude after school this week. She refused to work on her homework, practice piano, and do her chores. I took her to piano on Thursday. She was so embarrassed to arrive without her written theory done and her pieces practiced. I hope she will get into a groove soon. I forget how much love and patience kids need the first couple weeks of school. It is just as emotionally draining on parents as it is on the kids.

Phillip got to bring home Clark the Shark for the weekend. Clark witnessed the mud incident and the cake incident. I hope we are not setting the standard too high! The other kids must have boring homes.

I was out picking green beans on Friday. Phillip came out to help me with his shirt stuffed with Justin's tools. He had tools stuck in his shirt and tools in his pockets, tools in his shoes. Then he climbed up on the shed roof. He got stuck up there. I left him to stew for a while. He went back up after dinner and got stuck again.