Days 2013

Days 2013

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Singing Commandos

We had a great weekend with my Mom and Dad down here for my cousin Katy's wedding in the Mt. Timpanogos temple.  So glad we got to be there.
Dad had fun hanging out in the backyard with the boys, waiting for us chicas to get ready.

Mom and the girls played cards in the house.

Dad beat the boys at PIG.  Although Cooper may have beat him once...

I was a little nervous for spring break to begin.  Having five kids suddenly at home all week with no routine to fall back on is not my favorite thing in the world.  However, the weather has been gorgeous and they have been well-behaved and happy to play together.  Yesterday was a particularly fun day for the boys.  The farmer who owns the alfalfa field behind our house decided to take advantage of the wind-free weather and burn some stubble on the perimeter of his field.  Ah, stubble smoke.  The most exciting smell of the year for a farm kid, other than branding day.  The boys were fascinated, of course, monitoring the slow progress of the flame-thrower as it came nearer to our property, and the clouds of smoke.  At some point I looked out the window and saw these three little commandos stealthily waiting for the farmer to drive by, armed with their trusty squirt guns!  (Cooper, Boston, and our sweet little neighbor boy, Adam).  

He's getting closer!!!
Too bad for us, the farmer decided not to burn the weeds adjoining our neighborhood fence line.  Dangit.  If I would have been outside I would have requested that he do so, but the smoke was awful and I was expecting company.  In fact, I had to lock the door to the backyard at one point to remind the boys to go through the garage and quit letting smoke in the house.  (They kept running in and out to refill their guns and announce the farmer's progress.)  The boys didn't seem too disappointed that they didn't get a close up fire-extinguishing experience--until I had to holler at Boston who was halfway over the fence, ready to bring Mohammed to the Mountain once he realized the fire wasn't going to be where his gun could reach.

I suppose I should have made them come in out of the smoke, but come on.  Where's the fun in that?  It was a big time, they had some nice baths later, and I even had to shampoo Cooper in the sink a second time after his scalp failed to pass the stubble smoke sniff test.

They played together all day, also swinging on our makeshift hammock that Leslie had strung up in the trees the day before.  That night after lights out I realized the fun wasn't over.  I had been downstairs putting Luke to sleep.  Mark was at a meeting.  The boys had still been making noise in their room after lights out, but I was ignoring them, hoping they would stop.  After I brought Luke up and tucked him away in his crib, it registered that my toughguy commando boys were in their room, in the pitch dark, singing.  This does not usually happen.  And what were they singing with such unified gusto?  Selected numbers from Frozen, currently Queen Elsa's anthem "Let it Go". 

I could not wipe the smile off my face as my two little fellas launched from "let it go!  let it GO!" into "HERE I stand...and HERE I stay!" which is the very very top of Boston's range, so he really has to belt it.  Hilarious.  To be topped only by, possibly, cousin Jaxon's rendering of "Sweet Caroline" last summer.  And then, as they melted into just the right amount of sass and attitude for, "cold never bothered me anyway!"  I opened the door and told them that although I was glad they liked to sing, they needed to be quiet and go to sleep. 

Parental note:  Although I love the music from Frozen (which we have seen all of two times), that line in "Let it Go" with the subtle disdain for being "the good girl" raises my hackles.  Yes, I know that technically it is a villain's theme song (maybe the best villain's theme song since Phantom taught us about the "Music of the Night"), and yes, I get that really it's about letting your talents shine, coloring outside the lines, being true to yourself, etc., and that the Queen figures out how to find true joy at the end of the show, but that one line reminds me too much of Olivia Newton-John's transformation from sweet girl to leather wearing, seductive gang member in Grease.  (What kind of garbage message is that?)  Sons, you will be Real Men if you keep on trying to be "the good girl", er, guy.  You both make me proud.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Bam Bam

Luke turned 18 months last week. 
At his heart checkup he was 100% oxygen and going strong on his own unique little 3 and a quarter ventricle system.  No future surgeries planned or expected.  His scar is now the same color as his skin and I don't expect the stares and pointing children at the water park that we got last year.  He has as much energy, etc., as my other children and "you'd never know".
He is 33 inches tall (72%), 24 lbs (48%) and has a great big noggin (97%).  Height wise on our family growth chart he is the same size as Boston at his age (Cooper and the girls are quite a bit taller).
He says uh oh, Dada, mama, all done, bah (bottle), bye bye, whee, and some animal sounds. (Also car sounds and gun sounds.  Must be a little brother.) Definitely my slowest talker, but he compensates with some hilarious faces and voice inflections. 
He finally walks (all my boys were slow walkers), hops, and dances.
He has entered the extreme picky stage where he eats almost the same things every day because he won't try anything new, and I have to resort to a list of "Foods Luke MIGHT Eat" on my fridge to remind me of what is actually on his repertoire, and to give me cause to celebrate if I can actually add something to the list.  Right now the list has bananas (with or without peanut butter), milk, scrambled eggs, grapes, popcorn-crumbs, goldfish, fruit cocktail, peaches, chicken, and (I'm embarrassed to admit that I tried this, but hey, it's softer than a hot dog) SPAM, spaghetti, LIFE cereal, pancakes, fish, jojo potatoes, spinach pie, whole wheat pretzel rods, yoghurt, squeezy baby food, strawberries, baby cereal bars, apples in his bitey (he chews it up and spits it out if it's not contained) and his favorite, pizza.  (Notice, vegetables did not make the list although he has braved broccoli a time or two.  Sigh.  Tried some gummy vites and he spit them right out.)  He is also just as likely to pitch any of these foods on the floor--except maybe not the pizza or the scrambled eggs, which he really, really loves.  He's my first baby that does not like cheese or lunchmeat or chicken nuggets.  Not particularly fond of bread unless he's really hungry.  Recently started using a fork and loves it, so I'm hoping this will help him try a few new foods since he won't let me feed him.  Although he does love to drink out of my glass for some reason.
He goes to bed easily and sleeps until about 7-8, usually the last hour or so in bed with us.  Likes to go to sleep holding someone's hand--so cute.  Still waking occasionally, erupting molars might have something to do with that. Naps are also a fabulous 2-3 hours, although it has to be on my bed or on the couch or in my arms but NOT in his crib.  This even counts for church, which is a seriously huge blessing with having Mark in the bishopric and unable to help entertain Luke during sacrament meeting.  We may not even need nursery for a few more months because he's always out!
He loves being outside--lucky for me he has some siblings that are happy to play with him in the backyard when the weather is nice.
He loves getting his hair washed, handing me the dumper and the shampoo himself.  I know, weird.
He loves playing ball, and recently, racetracks down the stairs.
He loves to carry around club-like or sword-like objects, and of course, whack things with them.  Seriously,

I think the boy stuff is just programmed into their brains from day one.  His favorite recently is a large black plastic baseball bat.  I've been calling him Bam Bam.  Macy was trying to do a large Barbie puzzle on the floor the other day and he was just bent on destruction via club.  I thought it was hilarious how he seemed to know just what little brothers are supposed to do.
He drools ALL THE TIME... and has for as long as I can remember.  Has nothing to do with teething.  His shirts are always saturated because he refuses to wear a bib, so, we change clothes a few times a day.
He loves being read to.
He loves to play with his brothers and sisters.  Weekends are his favorite because they are home.
He loves to thwart my evil designs of cleaning or cooking or reading or typing instead of holding him.   For example:
---when I'm folding clothes he likes to purposely grab folded things and toss them away
---when I'm working in the kitchen he cries and hangs on my legs.  One of the nightly chores the kids rotate every week along with setting the table and emptying the dishwasher is "play with Luke while Mom cooks or eats or does the dishes".  It is the hardest job.  He does like to empty the dishwasher himself.  Goes straight for the knives.
---I don't usually iron when he's awake, but I tried today and had to stop because he was rocking the ironing board.
---tries to climb on my lap when I'm at the table.  This wouldn't be so bad if I could ever get him to eat a few choice bits from my plate, but no.
---when I'm on the computer he grabs the hand that is holding the mouse or pushes the off button or climbs on my lap for a ride in the swivel chair
---when I'm playing the piano and he is on my lap, he grabs my wrists to his chest, lightening fast, and thinks it is SO funny that I have to stop playing.
---when I'm reading on the floor he slaps my book away.  Good thing I don't have a smart phone.
---when I sweep he thinks it's hilarious to re-scatter the pile with his hands.  Not just walk on it by accident, but purposely re-scatter it.
---when I exercise he climbs on, around, or under me.  Macy helps with this one.  Not cool, guys.
---if I'm washing my hands in the bathroom he runs straight for the toilet and pretends like he's going to touch it so that I will come (hands usually still sudsy and dripping) and grab him away.  So excited to have a separate toilet soon.
---he likes to sit on the dirty piles of laundry when I sort clothes.  Oh well.
---still likes to pull books off the shelf in the entryway, although this is becoming less frequent
He loves it when I vacuum. 
He does pretty good at stores, although the library is boring.
Sometimes I get a babysitter on bathroom cleaning day, or more likely, just make the kids clean the bathrooms.  Ha!
Yesterday he was kind of cranky with a cold and only half a nap, so when I tried doing multiple things on my to-do-list and was stopped at every single item, we gave up and sat on the couch together and watched half of Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, and told the kids to do their homework and put their shoes away.  He liked that just fine.  Now you know why my house is always a mess.  Totally not my fault!

Leslie and the kids were making a human pyramid.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Letters Not Sent

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about being a tongue-biter...someone who struggles with being too judgmental...even if I occasionally manage to keep my mouth shut.  In the writing process I managed to get all nice and worked up about some things that really push my buttons, and at the time it felt kind of good to just say whatever I wanted, in print.  I've had an occasional writing tantrum over the past few years, but I think, I hope, that may have been my last one.  It just so happens that I've had some clarity in that department and I thought it was worth celebrating on this blog (which eventually gets printed and frequently read by my children, who love seeing their names and pictures in print.)

A few days after I got on my soap box, writing that blog post, our family learned about Self-Control for Family Home Evening.  By the time we were done I felt about this big.  The main idea for the lesson came from this scripture.  "Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love." (Alma 38:12) We looked at some bridles with the kids and talked about how they help the horses be useful to their masters, etc.  Mostly the lesson was focused on not losing our tempers, but the more I thought about it, I realized that the scriptures says "all" your passions.  As in, even those self-righteous, soap box, fire-and-brimstone ones.  Why would that be?  How can that be right?  The answer is also given..."that ye may be filled with love".

This actually makes a lot of sense.  When I'm feeling preachy and finger-pointy, charity generally flies out the window.  (And we all know that charity is the greatest of these).

When I was a kid we had a framed scripture...don't remember if it hung on the wall or what, but I do remember pointing to it and asking my mom what the word "wrath" meant.  As in , "A soft answer turneth away wrath".  In light of my new thoughts on bridling our passions, I'm realizing that maybe the most effective wrath that can be turned away is MY OWN... So, next time I'll be formulating a peacemaking response to my own opinions instead of a rabble-rousing one. 

But, does that mean I'm suddenly non-effective in the ways that I want to change the world?  Don't you have to be worked up sometimes, especially for a good cause?  Remember that word bridle. The horse is not the boss, here. 

Case in point.

Recently finished reading Team of Rivals:  The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.  Yes, all zillion
pages of it, and loved the whole thing.  Lincoln did something regularly that I thought was an awesome lesson for our day and age of instant communication.  Whenever someone did something that he disagreed with, was angry about, offended him, etc., that required a response, he would carefully draft a letter.  And not send it right away.  Usually he would end up writing a toned-down final draft, to his credit, although many of his unsent, more heated, letters survive. He was a master peacemaker--one of the main reasons he was first elected as president (there were several other candidates who probably should have received the nomination) was because he was the only one who didn't have any personal enemies, making him everyone's favorite second choice, therefore, someone everyone could agree on. 

And he changed the world--for GOOD. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Just our Luck

Sometimes I feel like a bad mom for not dreaming up all these creative, hands on things to play with my kids.  Whenever I start to feel like that, though, I think, nah, let's just clean the bathroom together. (So there, Pinterest.) Work builds self-esteem, and a clean house sure makes me feel a lot better!  Anyway, last week Macy and I were having a grand old time scrubbing away in the bathroom while Luke was asleep and the kids were at school.  Sleeves rolled up, applying some serious elbow grease to the toothpaste on the bathroom counter, with both fists gripping her rag, Macy puffed and huffed a little (I'm sure she would have wiped the back of her hand across her brow if she knew that's what heroines do when they are about to deliver a great line) and declared, "Boy, the Day family sure is lucky to have me around!"

She was so right!  She's our sunshine girl with some serious thunder and lightning if you cross her.  Her personality is so fun and so perfectly placed in our family.  She loves purple and PetShops and all things girly, but the influence of two rowdy big brothers definitely makes an occasional appearance.  Like in her artwork.  Lately...lots of mermaids.  With fangs.  Because they are Vampire Mermaids.  It also feels like she just kind of woke up one day this month and knew how to read.  Everything.  I'm talking, hard words.  Stuff like, "should".  This was even before she turned five.  I haven't hardly even worked with her other than a couple times through Hop on Pop, maybe last year.  Their preschool hasn't even made it through the whole alphabet yet, so I don't think that's it either.  Sometimes I have the boys teach her their sight words for their homework practice, but that's seriously about it.  It's crazy.  I've even caught her reading MY books over my shoulder out loud to herself this week (I had to quickly scan it for any swears, etc., but we were fine.)

Before Macy's birthday, we went in to the pediatrician to get Leslie a strep test (positive) and Macy her kindygarten checkup.  She passed with flying colors and her height remains in the Auntie Brooke stratosphere at 97th percentile.  The shots didn't go so well in that she tried to escape and got a big needle scratch on her thigh that swelled up nicely.  Oh well.  No more shots forever until she's twelve I said.

For her birthday she told me that she wanted to go swimming during the day (we did) and then eat dinner at The Pizza Factory.  We had only been there one time, for my birthday when I was pregnant with Luke?  A while ago, but she remembered the Giant Round Table and the Awesome twirly wand Breadsticks.  When we got there, the host tried to seat us at an ordinary long table and I was an obnoxious mama and pushed for the Giant Round Table instead.  (You would have been obnoxious too if you had seen the befuddled look on Macy's face...are we in the Right Place?)  Lucky for us, the big round booth was open and we did manage to easily fit our entire family plus Grandpa and Grandma Day.

As you can see, the twirly cinnamon breadsticks do not disappoint.

I guess if they find out it's your birthday at The Pizza Factory, you get a free personal pizza.  The waitress didn't mention it would be in the shape of a lucky is that?

Macy's version of a finished breadstick.  Lucky for me I had half a tub of cream cheese dip just laying around....lonely...

Then it was back to the house for gifts.

Macy opened G&G Day's present first...traditionally a book.  She knew that, and that's what she wanted first--it was TWO books.  Then, as the kids kept pressing her to pick another gift, she was totally distracted and kept telling them about each page and didn't want to open anything else until she was done reading the first one.  Too funny; she seriously couldn't tear herself away.  We just sat on the couch and laughed.  I think G&G were pretty pleased.

Since she's been reading so well we decided it was time she had her own Book of Mormon.

She was also very excited that I agreed to let her decorate her own cake and preschool cupcakes.  I just kind of turned her loose, and when she was done she flounced upstairs and told Mark and I that her cake was all done, and you could still see a liiiiitttle purple.

She had fun the next day trying out her presents.  When I suggested she make a clown face with her new playdough (thanks for the idea, Mom) she thought I meant to actually draw it and color it in with playdough (like a mosaic).  Pretty cool, Macy.

Every clown needs a pet butterfly.
Just thought I'd add a little video of Luke being cute.  Doesn't talk much still, but those motor skills are coming right along.  I only caught the tail end of his game, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Sweet Life

Mark had a birthday, shout hooray!  The night before, Boston came into my bedroom crying and upset.  I finally got him to enunciate enough that I could understand what the problem was.  "I don't wanna spend Dad's birthday with Leslie [babysitting for our birthday date].  I just...wanna...spend time....with my...Dad!"   I reassured him that it was a Saturday and they'd have all kinds of time, and sent him back to bed. Poor baby.  Mark's schedule has been pretty full and for good reason, but I told him about Boston's concern.  Mark really rose to the occasion.  Literally.  He got up early to fetch Luke from his crib, but instead of climbing back in bed with us, he went downstairs to do some birthday puttering I supposed.

I was right.  (At one point he called up the stairs to see if we had any bacon.  We did.  Three slices.)  He had fixed himself bacon and eggs (the bacon was the treat, something we have rarely--we have enough meat and fat in our diet as it is) and also written a love note to everyone in the family.  While the kids were happily opening their notes over their cereal, Boston declared, a bit pointedly, "When it's MY birthday I'm going to have bacon.  For the WHOLE family!"

Mark loves back-scratches and I think he's creating his own little army here.
Mark told the kids that for his birthday he wanted to spend some one on one time with each of them.  Cooper was up first.  It was pretty early still, but Mark told him if he got dressed quick they could either go for a walk or play basketball.  That's a no-brainer for Cooper.  He was back downstairs in about a minute flat with his ball and a big dimply grin on his face.  (He has been SUCH a basketball fanatic lately).  They played for a good while, and Mark told me that Cooper said that "PIG" and "HORSE" were getting boring, couldn't they play "ZEBRA" and 'LION"?  Coop won ZEBRA, Mark won at LION.  I told them it was probably not admirable for anyone to win at "LION", haha.

Macy was next.  They played some sort of matching game while I was in the shower.  Not sure who won.  Then we had some surprise visitors (Leslie was rather mortified because she hadn't showered yet, etc.) stopping by with a candy basket for Mark.  It was our Bishop (Mark is his 1st counselor) and his lovely family coming back from a bball game.  Since it was also Liz's birthday, and the kids were having such a blast together, we made plans to get back together for lunch.  (After Leslie's shower of course.)  Then Mark headed off to conduct at a baptism.

Lunch was lovely, then Mark (back out of his suit) and Boston had their time doing man stuff in garage like moving bikes, stacking empty-waiting-for-us moving boxes, and replacing the taillight on the van while I took a lil nap with Luke.  Ah, Saturdays.

Truly living the sweet life making pie crust with my 4 year old and her tutu/apron combo.
Next on the agenda was a little lovin' from the kitchen.  Mark had requested a peach pie (sure would be handy if his birthday was during peach season, but whatever, he didn't complain at the canned peaches).  Macy loves cooking anything and we had a great time whipping that crust into shape.  Side note, after fifteen years of living off my own cooking and baking hundreds of pies, I've finally figured out what I was doing to mess up mom's fabulous pie crust recipe.  You don't add the cold water until after the shortening is already blended.  Voila, no rocky, tooth-breaking lumps.

Pie finished and cooling (we ended up having it the next day), I got ready for my hot date.  Mark and his good friend Aaron got tickets to the Brian Regan show months ago when they found out it would be on Mark's birthday.  We also tried going out to dinner but the first two restaurants of our choice had a huge long wait (that's what you get for having a weekend birthday I guess) so we ended up having dinner at the Lion House pantry enjoying some famous rolls, honeybutter, and cheesecake, (not too bad of a consolation prize). 
The show was awesome and our faces hurt from laughing by the time it was done.

The McIntires and the Days out on the town.
Happy birthday babe!  Thanks for being everyone's hero.