25 September 2016

Ditch the Crutch

The girls went on a girl trip down to Denver. The boys had to stay home and go to work and school. Ha ha ha. We left shortly after 1 pm to drive down to the Yoder's home. My cousin Alyson had her baby girl late August, she was born about 6 weeks early. Alyson named her Rachel after her sister who is one amazing lady raising a gaggle of boys. Amelia had yet another follow-up appointment with Dr G so we left Sunday to visit with Alyson and her family. My Great-Aunt Elizabeth was also there helping Alyson out with her older 4 kids. We had a grand time visiting! I took some photos of baby Rachel since I promised her I would when she watched my 4 during Amelia's hospital stay back in May. I think that was a pretty even trade! The ladies made a hamburger dinner with corn, beans, and fruit salad. Yum. Evelyn was positive I would leave her again, she was practically glued to my leg the entire visit. Alyson's deck and basement were mid repairs or replacement. We snagged a spot of carpet to sleep on that night. Evelyn and Amelia loved holding the baby when they were given a chance. Evelyn decided the baby's name was Alyson and not Rachel. She asked today when we could visit the temple and see baby Alyson. The next morning Evelyn belted out a blood curdling scream when she looked out the door to find the van gone. Alyson moved the van because the road was getting a new slurry seal. She thought we were stuck there for days with the van back at the car hospital. Every few minutes she'd scurry to the door in case the van magically appeared. I saw her shoulders sag in relief when we walked down the street to leave...the van was parked around the corner. Alyson inspired me to nix all electronics on school days, it is a very good thing. Not that the kids really got much screen time at home after school but the new rule eliminated the whining for devices. Now they can focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic...and free play.

Monday we arrived to the hospital a bit early. We visited the hospital radio station! The girls drew pictures on a huge white board wall. The tech showed the girls how to work the studio cameras and request music. We had to leave before Amelia could DJ a song or two. Her X-ray this visit showed significant remodeling between the gap in her femur from the osteotomy. Dr G said Amelia can ditch her crutch! We mused over ideas like running over her crutch with the van or setting it on fire. Too bad reason won the game in case she needs it again. She is supposed to keep up with PT since her left leg muscles are still quite atrophied. Still no running and jumping. She can resume ballet IF she refrains from jumps and running around. The muscle stretching and moves will help her leg recover. Dr G said her hip joint looks great considering the damage the disease created. It looks like her joint is remodeling and healing. After her appointment we ran down to the gift shop. Amelia chose a new unicorn to add to her collection as a ditch the crutch reward. Evelyn was quite please with a piece of gum and a small pony. We drove an hour north to visit the Ft Collins Temple. Evelyn asks about it all the time. We drove the extra hour since we were "nearby." The grounds and temple are closed as the area is prepared for dedication next month. We walked to the gates and admired the temple as best we could. Evelyn was quite pleased. I wanted to check out a Ft Collins consignment store I hear good things about. We scored lots of thrifted clothes for the fall season. Yasss! The drive home was quite boring and long.

It is the time of year the marching band practices for the Oktoberfest parade. Tuesday morning we followed the band during our morning walk. The band sounds the best I've ever heard! I caught Josie bobbing her head in time to the music! Evelyn talks about the band whenever she hears a musical sound outside.

Evelyn started pre-ballet on Wednesday. She was happy to don a ballet bathing suit. Not so happy to get her hair fixed up. Not happy I dropped her off at the studio instead of the swimming pool. Mrs Margaret said she did well until a couple younger kids started crying near the end of the lesson. She is a sympathetic crier, so was crying when I arrived. She perked right up when class ended with a visit to the treat box. I felt giddy over her chubby thighs and baby belly encased in her ballet attire. Be still my heart! So begins the taming of the Shrew!

Each day I set Evelyn on an activity or two that is semi-educational. This week we worked on painting skills and cutting with scissors. I know, you cringe. I cringe. I have already accepted this child will end up with chopped hair. It is practically inevitable. While I worked on laundry I set her up washing her Barbie dolls she decorated with markers. Heaven! Her eyes sparkled something fierce as she scrubbed those dolls clean. After the sink scrub she decided the dolls needed a tub washing. So I helped her fill the tub for a nice mid-morning polar bear plunge. She insisted on cold water. Even Ellie binky got a nice bath. After the bath she carefully wrapped Ellie up in a towel and stomped out the excess water. I about died laughing on Friday when she pranced out of the house with red pants on, Cinderella shoes, and an iPhone shoved in her back pants pocket. Laws, I am in trouble. As I got dinner ready one evening she ripped off her clothes (a common occurrence). The uncommon occurrence was when she put a spoon between her cheeks. I did not notice until she had a bowl of soup in front of her. She whips the spoon out from it's holding space and eats with it. At least the dirty end was not the part in her cheeks. Gag me.

Josie amuses her little self with constant blowing of raspberries. I die each time I catch her with her lips pursed and spit flying from her efforts. She had a huge diaper blowout this week. It was gross, it was sweet potatoes 2.0. She got an impromptu bath after that mess. Everyone says she looks exactly like Everett now. I guess there is a strong resemblance.

Phillip lost another tooth. The tooth got misplaced last night so he was quite disappointed the tooth fairy did not come. Maybe she will try again?! He is doing much better with spelling homework. I think he came to realize that if he just does it he can be done and then play. His reading skills are also improving again. He is my "why" child. Goodness, he can ask questions. I found him and Everett in the van this week working the captain's chairs recline feature. The leather squeaks as it moves position. They were highly engaged in a rousing game of fart blaster chair when I happened upon them.

Since we are finally dialing back the electronics after our hard year of set backs the creative juices are once again running strong. I pulled out board games each night and played with the kids. It is nice to spend time like that teaching them how to play games together. This weekend I noticed the kids did not really devote much time to electronics instead choosing to play outside or with toys. Phillip was the only whiner, he loves his iPad turn a little too much. As a family we worked on the yard for a bit. Justin mowed, the kids played, and I cleared yard rubbish. Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day, perfect for working outside. Amelia had a quite a tantrum Saturday morning. She was not keen on helping with house chores so lashed out at the boys and acted like a sea witch. I made her sit outside until she could act like a human again.

I am freaking out. Amelia is starting to fill out...at age 9 1/2. No way puberty starts this early?! She need deodorant every day, needs hair washed all the time, and is needing to wear undershirts. I see a bra in her near future. Good gracious soon our little girl will blossom into a young lady. I am so ready to watch her transformation. She will continue to be a wonderful girl. I love her testimony. I love her when she treats her siblings with love. She is so smart it hurts. Gorgeous to boot.

Power of the Priesthood

I did not have a chance to write last week since the girls and I all went down to Denver right after 2nd hour for yet another Dr appointment. In other words, the following account is from memory two weeks ago, with my mom brain, ya know! Yeowch

The kids all started some sort of after school activity right after Labor Day. Amelia has Piano with Mrs Raymond on Monday at 5 and ballet at 6, Evelyn has ballet on Wednesday at 4, Thursday is PT for Mia and gymnastics for the boys. The busy afternoons make it challenging for me to get dinner ready. I need to use the crock pot more instead of my normal last minute scurry. I am trying to rearrange the schedule a bit so Mia has piano on Thursday and PT on Wednesday. That way she does not have something every day since her homework takes an hour or so. We did homework at the park, the memorial garden, and the hospital that week. The little kids enjoyed our afternoon jaunts. On PT day we hunkered down in the van while a hail storm battered the vehicle. Evelyn was quite traumatized by all the loud pings. Shortly after the hail a gorgeous triple rainbow showed up in the sky. Evelyn danced in the puddles singing a song about pretty rainbows. She adores rainbows. I was sad only one rainbow showed up in the panorama I took. The sky that night was unbelievably cool with red tinted clouds clear to the horizon and 3/4s across the sky dome.

Josie is now sleeping unswaddled. She went from quite restless to sleeping the entire night. With several baby food meals, nursing, and sleeping with her arms free she is now sleeping all night. She learned how to find her binky in the dark! I love, love, love waking her up in the morning to find her arms cradled around her binky and another binky on her face. Silly girl! She is sitting up quite well now. So far she is eating baby food at noon and for dinner.

After school on Thursday I picked up Everett's backpack to find it was leaking something sticky. I quickly found his lunchbox was the source of the problem. He saved his chocolate milk from lunch to finish drinking at home. Too bad he already opened it. He was also quite upset his teacher would not let him count past 9 when he could totally count to 100. Earlier this week his homework was to count as high as possible. He got distracted after 111 because Phillip kept making fart sounds.

Evelyn's newest trend is to dump anything she can. I spend all day cleaning up small piles she's dumped (aka helping Evelyn clean up her messes). Last week the piles she made were more than small. One day she got extra angry so stormed to her room for timeout. I checked on her a couple moments later, she was pulling books from her bookcase. She noticed me and started pulling off books from the shelves even faster. I told her she had to clean up the mess to get out of time out. Great goodness, she ran to the door with her teeth and claws extended. She went on a rampage through the house pushing Josie over, hitting Phillip with a broom, pulling Everett's hair, and unplugging the piano Amelia was practicing on. I finally sequestered her in her room by attaching a bungee cord around her door handle and secured the other end to my door handle. It was intense. Since then when she gets angry she gets violent and destructive. My solution was to drag in an extra car seat and strap her in until she gets control of herself. It is very effective! Once she stops crying and apologizes she gets a nice hug, snuggle, and then helps me clean up. What a live wire.

Have you ever seen the famous "Soccer Flop"? By definition flopping is : In association football, flopping is an attempt by a player to gain an unfair advantage by falling to the ground and possibly feigning an injury, to appear as if a foul has been committed. Flops are often used to exaggerate the amount of contact present in a challenge. Well we have a family flopper. Evelyn is a total flopper. If she lags behind instead of running to catch up she will very slowly pretend to trip then sit on the ground. She cries until I either walk farther away or come back to help her up. She carefully trips over her feet then laughs at herself for tripping. She softly touches something sharp then waits to cry until someone notices. It is about the silliest thing I've seen in a kid. This week she pretended she was stuck because her shoes were not on, then instead of getting them on she "tripped" over them and muttered silly shoes!

Friday night the boys attended the Father and Son's camp out. Phillip and Everett were beside themselves when they got home and realized it was finally camping day. Everett whipped out a backpack and stuffed 6 pairs of undies, a pair of swim trunks, and some socks. I helped him add a couple other necessary items. I heard they had a great time waving around smoking sticks, cooking dinner over a campfire, and play "fart worms" in their sleeping bags. Poor Phillip did not sleep well, he was too hot, had to pee several times, and woke up when the trains rumbled by.

The girls kicked off our boy vacation with a walk to Oya Grill for dinner. Amelia is especially fond of that restaurant and it is only a few blocks away. We spent a good hour pampering our feet with pedicures. Evelyn was very excited to discover my extra makeup drawer. I let the girls apply make up while I worked on the nail polish. Evelyn ended up with black raccoon eyes. Amelia painted my toes last of all. She did a good job! We popped some corn and watched Barbie Starlight Adventure together. Evelyn soon crashed on the couch. After the movie Amelia slept in my bed. We had a silly time playing with the face masks on Snapchat. Our favorites were the panda and deer masks. Next morning we took some donuts to the park for a morning treat and excursion. By the time the boys got home Amelia was leaving for a long play date with Katelyn. I spent most of the afternoon cleaning the van, the carpets, the interior, and giving it a close clean up. The kids went with me to the car wash. I power washed the bugs off the front and used the high-powered spray to clean the removable carpets. I think the van looks at least 10 shades lighter now.

Sunday the kids performed in the Primary Program at church. I could hear Amelia sing at times! Evelyn was in heaven since Justin got to sit with us for the first time in forever. The kids sounded so amazing with each song. They practiced hard and long, the result was very pleasant. We all got a laugh when Everett delivered his memorized line, "God can help us through the power of the priesthood." He sounded like Sylvester the Cat, spit and all. I think the microphone was wet after his Power of the Priesthood. Amelia slicked his hair to the side before church with water and hairspray. He looked the part of a cute gentleman. Amelia read her favorite scriptures Mosiah 18:8-11 about Alma baptizing at the Waters of Mormon. She was so distraught the night before because we could not find her baptism notebook where she had written the scriptures down. She was so relieved when we found the notebook.