02 February 2014

Evelyn at 5 Months Old

I cry. I cry that this little lady is growing way too fast. About once a week I catch myself with tears in my eyes thinking that this stage is so fleeting. I love kissing her little neck, trying to illicit a giggle with gentle raspberries under her chin. Her little legs are so soft and squishy. She is so serious most of the time. She smiles. She laughs. She laughs at Phillip and Amelia. Sometimes, she will chuckle for me. She gives some awesome smiles. Most of the time she is so intent on sucking her fists. Lately, she entered the squealing and shrieking stage. I just found a video of Mia at the same age. She was experimenting with her voice in the ladies bathroom. Evelyn is doing the same thing now. We hear random barks of sound coming from her mouth. She sucked on her toes for the first time yesterday.

Don't let that sweet face kid you. She is a real baby Houdini. Last week she started freeing her arms from my swaddle. By 3 am she was waking up every 10-15 minutes. I ended up pinning the PJ arms to the PJ body. What did she do? Little octopus pulled her arms out of her PJs and up through the neck of her jammies. I was impressed! She is not ready for sleeping unswaddled. I am not ready for the sleepless nights while she adjusts. Maybe next month.

She can almost roll onto her tummy. She gets close but then flips back. I think she realizes that once on her tummy she cannot get on her back without help. Her favorite toys are shiny objects that make soft squeaky noises. She coos at her little crab toy. Evelyn also loves her baby doll from Grandma Debbie. She takes to squealing at it while globbering her hair. Like Amelia, Evelyn responds to music. Her ears perk up when someone is singing and often chimes in with a couple well-timed squeaks or coos.

Errand of an Angel

I discovered a large seam separation in our new bouncy house. I found it AFTER I blew it up to "clean" up balls the kids left inside. Course I HAD to blow it up to retrieve the balls. It was fun until I heard the telltale whistle of escaping air. Little Tykes is sending us a new bouncy house. Hooray. The fans cheer. Can't wait to clean up balls again out of our new new bouncy house.

Tuesday an angel came to my house...no seriously! She came in the form of Gina Hill, my Visiting Teacher. She shooed me out of the house from 9:30 until noon. I went to Walmart (alone). Salvation Army (alone). Antique store (alone). It was awesome. I scored the lovely turquoise candelabra now on my mantle. Not only did she watch the kids, she dared to clean my kitchen and straighten up the house. I feel so, so grateful. Every mom needs moments like that. Gina, you are an example to us all. Because of her I had time to play puzzles, Power Rangers, and read books with my boys after lunch.

Wednesday I earned a mother of the year award. Just wait till you hear what I did. I picked up Phillip from preschool. The other kids were at Meagan's home. I ran over to her house to snap a couple photos of baby Maggie on their awesome fireplace mantle. She looked so darn tiny! I had to scurry to get Phillip. As usual he hopped into the van with his customary gusto and exuberance. Like any good mom I asked him four times to buckle up. Instead he decided to stand up and walk towards the front just as I expertly maneuvered a brake check. Poor kid slammed his chin into the cup holder. He broke skin in two places under his chin and bit/bruised his tongue in two places. I felt terrible. He sobbed for a while as I apologized for teaching him a lesson. Darn it. Since I was feeling so bad about it all we licked our wounds at McDonald's over Happy Meals and a salad for me. Amelia lost another tooth! She lost the right front bottom tooth. Her top right tooth is being very stubborn, the adult tooth is already broken through and is growing in wonky. We try to pull it out every other day or so with floss. She was excited to lose a small tooth. Toothetina left her two quarters, some cherry chocolate chips, and an AAA battery. I think Amelia found a loose battery in her bed and associated it with her tooth fairy visit. She told me that the tooth fairy is reminding her to change the batteries in her dream light. I love kids!

Our ward now has six...SIX...missionaries. We are getting a couple in Kimball and have 4 Elders here. The work is moving forward. So very exciting. We fed the 4 Elders Thursday evening. In my search to eat healthier I wanted to fix something healthy. I made re-fried beans, cilantro rice, and fish or shrimp tacos. I used Tilapia fillets and shrimp brined in lime, salt, garlic, cilantro, and agave nectar. It was divine. The Elders seem to enjoy the meals I make. I really try to make meals that are not ordinary just for variety sake. They left us with a challenge to bear our testimonies. I served the meal on paper plates and used paper cups. After they left Phillip took some empty paper cups and made a trumpet. He poked holes in the cup. He decided the trumpet needed keys to push, so he stuck in crayons to act as keys. As Justin says: "Somewhere, somebody has some ugly and boring children...and it is NOT us!" Like most biased parent I agree! Our kids are so cute and very creative. Everett can turn anything into a sword or gun. Phillip is just plain awesome. Amelia has a gift for art and reading. Can't wait to watch our Evelyn grow and join the party.

I totally hit the thrift store jack pot on Friday. The Rummage House had a 1/2 off sale on everything. I found some amazing vintage clothing, a vintage ladies hat, Evelyn clothes, a UNO game, photo frames, and candles. It was an impressive haul. The boys impressed the old biddies at the thrift store with their fine manners. They are friendly little boys who behave well in public. I would rather keep their antics at home! Lucky me. The boys were all dressed in snow clothes by the time Amelia came home. They played outside for a good 2 hours! Everett was so worn out he fell asleep on the carpet clutching a banana. I told him to wait a moment before peeling the banana while I put Evelyn down for a nap. In the 3 minutes I was gone he passed out on the carpet. Bless his little soul. Amelia reported she and Phillip played snow dogs and made snow angels plus all the other fun stuff kids do in the snow. Hot cocoa and flavored-snow were ready for them after their time outside. I sewed up a couple shirts for Evelyn and started working on a pile of Baprons I have cut out and basted. Justin and I watched the newest Percy Jackson movie. I crocheted a basketball hat for a little baby a couple days older than Evelyn. His head is the same size as Everett's! Courtesy of So I Married an Axe Murderer: "I'm not kidding, that boy's head is like Sputnik; spherical but quite pointy at parts! Now that was offside, wasn't it? He'll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow."

Saturday we enjoyed sledding down the hills near the public park. It was awesome, simple fun. We cannot wait for February's fun activity. The kids enjoyed making Valentine posters with poster paints. Everett and Phillip mostly smeared the paper, their chest's, and each other with paint. Amelia painted two awesome masterpieces. I finished watching season 3 of Downton Abbey. Gaw!!!! The season ending was terrible, completely terrible. Darn English soap opera is more like it.

At church I met another photographer! Welcome to another awesome family! Goodness, all these new families are quite exciting. I think this coming school year we will be able to host joy school again. Everett's nursery class is quite large. I took a nice nap after church. I slept so well I jerked awake panicking that Amelia was late for school because I over slept. Took me a long moment to realize it was still Sunday...and Sunday afternoon. 

I am teaching a 5 week photography class starting the 20th of February. I do not profess to be a master of photography in any way shape or form. The chances for education are slim here in Sidney. Tons of folks asked me to show them basic camera skills in the past couple months. I am very excited to create this series and teach it. I love getting out into the community. Well, that is that.

Sledding the Hill

I love a good deal, especially a good deal that merits an outing. We scored a blue sledding saucer at the Rummage House this week. A good 4 inches of snow FELL (this time it did not blow away) Thursday and Friday. The stars aligned. Our January activity was a smashing hit. We hit the slopes for an hour of fun. Happy shrieks split the air as our children raced down the embankment near the park. Justin played referee shuttling Everett up the hill and pushing Amelia and Phillip down the hill. I happily snapped photos with my huge mondo 70-200mm lens. Julie and her girls were there for a sledding party. She volunteered to hold Evelyn and keep her warm. It was a whopping 16 degrees outside. In my mind, I saw family memories being made. Seeing the smiles on everyone's face filled a deep well in my heart with joy.