14 March 2016

Report Card Week

The kids has a short week of school, with Spring Fever in full blast it was a welcome change. Monday-Wednesday the kids were out at 1:30 then off Thursday and Friday. We spent many lovely hours outside playing. I usually nurse Josie while the kids play in the yard, Both Amelia and Phillip had Parent-Teacher conferences Tuesday evening. Phillip is progressing very well. He earned mostly Satisfactory scores and a couple Outstandings. His teacher said he is quite the ladies man, coming to any girl's rescue who is in distress. A couple weeks ago the Principal heard Phillip playing "I Spy" with some friends. He said, "I spy someone OLD (Mr Jeffers)" Phillip may not move on to First Grade if Mr Jeffers has any say. Ha ha ha. The boys chose several scholastic books at the book fair before we ran home to get Amelia. We waited in the hall for quite a while since Mrs Plant's schedule changed. Everyone stopped to admire Josie. The PE teacher chatted with us a while about Amelia's hip and PE, we decided on a modified system for her at school. Do the best she can, if she uses her hip and such she needs to modify her movement. Amelia is now reading back at 220 WPM with a crazy high level of comprehension. Most kids who read fast don't retain what they read...not Amelia! We are so proud of her. She did not do "as well" this term with all the stress we've been under. Still she was Waaaaaaaaay above average. We celebrated with a dinner at Oya (mostly because I dropped the dinner ball again). Justin and I are so blessed with really smart kids destined for greatness.

Evelyn and I attempted some potty training this week. Little stinker is too smart for her own good. When she had to potty she would grab a diaper and pee on it. After a week of mornings she still had not scored a pee in the potty. She was rebelling a bit so she is back on diapers/pull ups. I think it is a good idea to at least introduce underwear and chase her around with a potty while we are at home. Then when she finally decides to train we will be ready. She is one funny goose! This week I was bathing her and stepped out to get a towel. I came back to find all the bathroom linens in the tub with her, the rugs, hand towels, towels, even a step stool. She carried around a basket of noodles to snack on one afternoon. She is loving all the time outside. That kid gravitates towards dirt and water. Saturday she quickly ripped off her clothes and took a bath in Dog Vader's water bin. She was happy as a lark as she splashed and shivered. We got a vintage spring horse that she loves to ride on. She gets going on that horse like a wild woman. Less attractive is how she teases poor Everett. She likes to grab parts of his game and runs off cackling. Soon she comes tearing back and whacks Everett on the head or pulls his hair. Patience. Right?! Today she dressed herself...in only a fluffy pink tutu. She wore that outfit with her bare bum hanging out all morning. We love our crazy girl. I took Evelyn and Josie to Walmart Friday evening while Justin took the other kids to see Zootopia. Evelyn was dressed in PJs with pink sunglasses on, a purse, Amelia's Cinderella jewelry box in her hand and snow boots on her feet. She sat in the cart kicking her feet, loudly singing "kwinkle, kwinkle, wittle star" over and over. Several amused patrons stared at her. She had no idea of all the attention due to her focus on singing. It was pretty cute.

If you ever want to find Everett just follow the sound of blasters, bombs, shooting bullets, and general warfare OR the voice of a kid counting. Last week he found my bottle grabber for canning and used it as a blaster for a game of Power Rangers. Later on the next day he used Phillip's discarded training wheels on top of the slide as part of a space ship. The wheels were some kind of transforming device that can also steer the ship. He is doing much better about not whining and is not so violent when it comes to playing with his siblings. If his way is not the best way he often resorts to hitting. A couple days with no electronics quickly solved that issue. He insisted on calling Marcia today to tell her how much he missed her and loved the way she cleaned our house up. Dude, me too!

Justin took Phillip to the field across from our home to practice riding his bike with no training wheels. He is now zipping up and down the sidewalks tearing up the pavement like a mad man. Justin took the boys to get new bike helmets on Saturday. Justin knew exactly which helmet Phillip would pick...true to prediction Phillip picked out the red mohawk helmet. He can go super fast now much to the chagrin of Everett and Amelia.

Thursday we spent the morning running errands and going to the library. Amelia had piano lessons and a fun play date with Avery afterwards. The rest of the kids and I spent a lovely hour or so at story time and picking out books to read. I am slowly working on the man cave organizing stuff so I can merge my craft room into it. It feels great to consolidate and pare down the collections of the 6 years we've been in this house. I am waiting for rainy, cold days to really get down there and work. The weather is too nice to waste in the dungeon. The RS had a waffle bar and Easter themed lesson that night. We shared ideas about ways to celebrate and teach about Easter. Josie got lots of attention!

Friday morning Amelia and I totally had a screaming match. Can you imagine? It was so middle school that I am pretty embarrassed by our behavior. I asked the kids to clean up their room so we could go play at the parks in Sterling, CO. The boys quickly went about "cleaning" aka playing. Amelia kept hitting Phillip in the face with a baseball cap. Soon he was pretty annoyed, then frustrated because she would not stop, finally he started crying. I grabbed the hat and did the same thing to her until she cried. By then I was yelling at her and she at me. Her anger issues are getting worse. I feel ill equipped to deal with her angst. I can handle anger but taking it out on her siblings and parents is not an option. Thankfully, my spiritual ears were listening when the prompting came to grab her and hold on to that girl until she felt loved again. I complied and held her on my lap like a baby for 30 minutes. Afterwards she went about cleaning and acting like nothing ever happened. Guess I need to spend more time hugging and kissing my kids (and husband). I have a major fault that is now affecting my family: I don't enjoy physical contact very often. Hugs? Nah, every once in a while will suffice. My cup gets filled lately with Josie snuggles. I forget that kids and husbands need hugs and affection. The spiritual reminder was quite jarring to me at the time. I hope I will remember that in the doldrums of everyday living.

We indeed drove to Sterling and played in the sunshine for 2-3 hours. The Park on the south side of town has a new structure that the kids adored. Evelyn especially loved the farm animals and barn theme. I was struck at how much I felt like a momma pig, laying on my side nursing an infant at night. Josie reminds me of a little pig with the way she snorts, sucks, and gulps down milk. Nursing in bed is not going so well. I often end up drenched and sticky after she nurses from her spit up and strange inability to latch on well. Josie hung out wrapped tightly to my chest in a Moby wrap. Several kids gave me strange looks wondering why my shirt was so lumpy. I finally showed the kids the baby snuggled inside. They laughed and went on playing. Amelia has a hard time playing now since her crutches limit what she can do. She was bored after a short while. I handed her a pretend spy walkie talkie, soon she had all the kids playing an intricate spy game. The bouncy tractor was a definite highlight. One lady commented on how well behaved my kids were! I agree!

Spring is coming! Check out the buds on my cinque-foil bush. I hope the weather stays fair and does not deep freeze again. Last year the late freezes ruined most of our tree foliage around town. Amelia and I went to a Mommy/Daughter craft activity Jen hosted at her shop. Amelia painted a cute bunny on some weathered wood. I made the tail and added some details that Amelia wanted besides the bunny. We enjoyed an ice cream cone after to extend one-on-one time.

It seemed Josie woke up on Sunday. She suddenly started to fixate on our faces, stare, and try to smile. Her lips would wiggle then go still as she made eye contact. It was pretty amazing. She even let loose with a coo while Justin was holding her talking with her. I love how Justin talks to our babies. He discusses politics and such as if the infant were an adult. Cracks me up. I was most impressed with the lesson in RS on prayer by Howard W Hunter. It was a lesson I really needed, that along with President Eyring's talk on keeping the companionship of the HG from Oct 2015 conference made my heart realize how much I need to improve my prayers.