26 July 2016

Cheyenne Co Fair and A Day at the Lake

What can I say about the county fair? Well, just like the plethora of country songs about the county fair, it is filled with amusing characters, hot weather, 4-H, carnival, and shows. The town seems to gain an air of anticipation for the one huge party of the year...well, besides the beer party known as Oktoberfest. The kids light up when I mentioned the fair! Everett asked when we would ride the carnival rides, he wanted a date. It was torture for the little guy to wait 5 entire days before we went. Usually I take the kids during the day to check out the animals. It was so hot this year I ran out of initiative.

Evelyn is catching on to our tradition of throwing "Glory" after our FHE lessons. After Monday's lesson (on Nephi and Lehi in Alma) she jumped up on the coffee table and yelled "Glory...Salad!" Of course she was naked. All those cute clothes and shoes she has are wasted on her. The kids love Glory. They each request a type of Glory which changes sound effects and how Glory is thrown. Everett loves car glory, Phillip's usually have fart sounds, Amelia is keen on animal glory, Evelyn just growls Salad. Those kids are pretty darn silly.

I got a hair trim Tuesday morning. The gal who cut my hair offered to let the older kids stay to play with her kids. I took advantage of the chance to cull through toys and get rid of a huge load to consign, donate, and sell. Each time I donate a load I feel lighter! The kids whined a bit when I donated toys but they did not get a good look at the items I got rid of. Tuesday after swimming all afternoon Justin texted me about going to the Rodeo. Outside was seriously hot and humid. We ate fair food for dinner, BBQ meat for the adults and nachos for the kids. Then we ran into the Anderson family while we went to the rodeo. We all sat together for the evening. The kids wandered down to the arena fence to watch the action close up. We baked in the setting sun and generally got more and more cranky. Evelyn discovered she could wander around if she dropped her binky or shoes down through the bleachers. After that game wore thin she resorted to requesting 20 potty breaks. The kids were ecstatic to see guys setting up the carnival rides. We left once the water bottles ran dry and all the kids wilted.

The next day I ditched housework in favor of a relaxing day at Bridgeport Lake. I joked that an army of angels went with us to keep the kids from drowning. I really think that was true considering Everett trying to swim in the deeper parts and Evelyn constantly ditching her floaties. I met my friend Sheena and her two girls there. We stopped to fetch Ella on the way to the lake. We swam from 1:30 until after 6 pm. I mostly followed Evelyn around except the two times I nursed Josie. During those moments she ditched her swimsuit and ran around naked. She was quite exultant about stripping down. I put her in a two piece thinking she could easily go potty when needed. Instead she shed the suit with practiced ease. Soon the little stinker was swimming around in the buff. She learned how to put her face under the water and kick her legs. She is well on her way to swimming without assistance. A tame goose wandered the beach looking for handouts. Evelyn was taken with the idea of feeding the goose chips and cookies. We also saw three huge catfish swimming in the beach area, a snake zoom across the shallow water, and a couple frogs. Phillip caught a frog with a shovel. He was too scared to hold it with his bare hands. Amelia showed off her handstand and underwater swimming skills. Justin was off to spend the day with the YW at Girl's Camp so we had dinner in Bridgeport. Three police officers were dining at the same time we were. Phillip kept saying how impressed he was that the officers were not mean but really nice. The younger officer helped Phillip put his toy together. We pulled in to our home after 8 pm.

We were so pooped the next day we did not accomplish much. I am slowly working on cleaning, organizing, and decorating the new bedroom arrangements. Evelyn has not slept well since she moved into a real bed. She goes to sleep like normal but then wakes up bawling 2-3 times per night and runs to our bed. Once she falls back to sleep I try to move her back but she wakes up 5-10 minutes later and wakes up Phillip. Justin and I are losing bed space to a wiggly toddler. Josie is sleeping better but still nurses 2 times per night. I feel like a Mombie again: Cranky, tired, and overwhelmed.  I don't get enough sleep to begin with so waking up 3-5 times each night is not going well. I usually don't feel awake until after 3 pm. Evelyn gets so tired she started falling asleep in random places before I can find her. Her naps are so late (like around 5 pm) that she has troubles falling asleep for the night. She refuses to nap with me in the afternoon. I am feeling at odds, not knowing what to do with my head strong toddler. Wednesday she fell asleep at 7:30 on the drive home from Bridgeport. That was by far the worst night ever. I ended up giving her a dose of NyQuil so she would sleep for at least 4 hours. I organized the linen/medicine closet on Saturday.

Amelia loves to watch DIY videos on YouTube Kids. She insisted on making a doughnut hat using a straw hat we thrifted. She found the paint, brushes, cardboard, etc and commandeered the project all by herself. She even cleaned up a bit. She is pretty proud of her cute creation! We get a kick out of all her inspiration. She spent a good amount of time last week designing fashions that Brother Anderson could make into real fashions. She has 5-6 designs for him!

Friday we spent time again at the pool to cool off from the 100+, add in humidity, weather. We took the kids to the carnival after dinner. A storm rolled through and plummeted the temperatures down to the low 70's. Josie had dust in her eyes, hair, ear canals, and nose! The wind kicked up the loose dirt kicked up by the 4H animals and made a dust devil or two. Evelyn covered her ears for the entire time we were at the carnival because the tractor pull contest was quite loud. She did uncover her ears long enough to pet the horses, lambs, and rabbits. Amelia looked so sweet with the horses. She is quite the horse lover. Justin and I split up the kids and rode a couple rides each. Evelyn and Everett rode the train, and airplane rides, and Everett got to ride the spinner ride with me. It started to rain mid-way, we stuck it out since so many tickets were still left to burn. Justin took refuge under a semi's overhang with the babies to keep dry. The rain stung our skin while we rode the pirate ship and spinner rides. The kids got cotton candy, a candy apple, and funnel cake for treat. We watched the some tractor pulling while we ate our sweet treats. So much fun! Everett has a plan to save all his money the next year so he can ride all the rides and play some games. Evelyn was so traumatized by the loud noises she is afraid to go play outside into the yard. Instead of playing she whines and spends her time crying or trying to get back inside. She really, really hates loud noises now. Even the train whistles are now traumatic.

I revolted and stopped picking up over the weekend. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around the kids were tripping over stuff and getting hurt from all the clutter. Even Justin tripped over the mail basket Evelyn kindly put on the floor (then used scissors to cut up mail). I felt better knowing that even the small amount I can accomplish helps keep the house from imploding. Justin and Phillip mowed the lawn together. Phillip was excited to strap on his shoes and help push the mower. I was excited he was excited. Justin took the older 4 kids swimming after 3 pm. He took a nap despite of the cluttered house and the help I needed and expected. It is quite hard to clean stuff near the floor with a baby strapped around my waist. I was not so pleased about that, but then made myself remember how hard he works to support us. The house will always be around. I cleaned out the linen closet and made a long list of medical supplies to restock our closet. It always feels great to get that closet organized. Now we are set for over-the-counter medications and supplies for the next year.

Josie was quite alert during church this week. She loves to catch people's gaze and then fake laugh at the person. It is over the top adorable. She laughs at a person once, maybe twice...then wanders her attention to the next person. She is doing much better with tummy time. I heard belly laughs from her when I put a furry monkey that dances in front of her. My mommy heart felt full.

I am still struggling with a decision about my business. While I am editing or in a session my thoughts center on: "What the heck are you doing? You can't even keep up with the kids or the dishes." When I don't have any business I miss taking professional photos, I miss the chance it gives me to interact with those in our community. Some small part of me wonders if I will just meld into the wood works of our home into nothingness. Never leaving because the kids are driving me batty, or I can never catch up with the housework. With the addition the past week of Evelyn not sleeping well in her new bed I can barely function. I wonder if I will still be amazing without the amazing photos I take. Somehow my photos are now part of who I am. Will taking photos of my kids be enough to fill that need my mind thinks I have? I can limit my business to 2-3 sessions per month but it seems like an exception or two always creep in. Part of me just wants to move so I can have a fresh start without the demands of my acquaintances needing just a couple photos. That would be easy, alas, the road is not easy so the decision is not easy.