Days 2017

Days 2017

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Case of the Top-Heavy, Hiccupping Swinger

Last night (now that American Idol is done for the season) we took the kids to a nearby park. Cooper had never been in a swing before. He liked it but it was pretty funny to watch him. He was in one of those baby swings that have the leg-holes on both sides, so they are kind of deep front to back, and we didn't bring his blanket for padding. So we leaned him against the back and tucked his arms behind the chains. He thought the swinging was great and, of course, got the giggles. Being Cooper, he had a severe case of the hiccups after about the third swing and they didn't go away until we were back in the car. The funny thing was that he leaned his head back--a little too far, resting against the edge of the swing, and then he couldn't pull it back up. So the whole time his little neck was straining against the G-forces. That is, until I stopped laughing and adjusted him in his seat better, arms in front of the chains holding onto the front of the swing. He's a little top heavy!
We had a fun weekend with Mark's family at the Day reunion in their original home, Fillmore, Utah. The kids had a great time playing on the playground and in the hotel pool with all their cousins. One night they even made rockets and shot them off of an air-pressure cannon. Mark and I took the kids on a few excursions ourselves, (propelled by Cooper's need to nap in the car) to the old Capitol building (where there was a quilt show, ladies...) and to Cove Fort. Both places were lovely and interesting. We went to Cove Fort Sunday morning before church and had the missionary tour guide all to ourselves. He was patient with our kids and let them sit up on the high seat of a covered wagon. Mark and I decided that if we had been pioneers, we would have liked the Cove Fort assignment. They were basically innkeepers for people going back and forth to St. George (including a special room for the prophet) and also kept a telegraph office for all the news, so way out in the middle of nowhere they had a peaceful place to live with lots of food and supplies and interesting company. (As long as I had help with all the cooking. Sister Hinckley baked about 40 loaves of bread a week.)
Today is Leslie's last full day of school. I'm dreading not having anything to keep her busy this summer, but I'm starting to remember the bonuses of having her around. Monday she sorted all the laundry in the house and even did a few loads herself. I'm also looking forward to having her around so I don't have to put Cooper in the shower with me anymore. I can't leave him alone with Boston, and we have a walk-in shower, so it was beginning to be a problem--wet clothes and all. So I gave up and just started putting him in with me. Good thing he loves water. He just plays on the floor of the shower and crawls in laughing circles around my ankles like a little puppy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Look at Cooper's sweet little trusting face. Like a sheep for the shearing. I was so sad for him to get his first haircut because I love how soft and feathery his hair is against my face, but Mark kept making mullet comments and insisted that the job get done. Plus Boston needed one really bad, too. So we decided that was a good pre-birthday activity. See the two of them checking out their new crews? I thought Cooper's was way too short, (I requested a missionary haircut, not a buzz, but I guess there isn't a difference, according to my manly husband) but I guess it will grow. We had kind of a laid back birthday since it was Sunday, and we had really wore ourselves out the day before. It was our Stake Preparedness Fair, and I entered some Lion House Picnic Brownies in the Dutch oven cookoff. (If you are wondering, they didn't really judge them or anything, just let everyone taste test. But mine was the only chocolate thing, so that counts for something.) Then Mark had two softball games and his team ended up winning the Stake Championship. It was fun for him but a disappointingly short season because there weren't very many teams. Then came dinner, haircuts, and we let Cooper play in my great big tub all by himself for his birthday adventure. Kind of lame for the rest of us, but not as bad as you might think because Boston had a bubble bath in his tub and the two of them were good for an entire hour. Ah, tranquility.
I let Cooper open his first present the next morning before church. It was (strategically) a new board book of barnyard animals. Leslie and Boston were so sweet and excited for him. They knelt across from him and were pointing out all the different pictures and saying the animal sounds, etc. They were knelt in a little triangle, all three heads together, laughing and smiling. ( I of course, was doing neither of those less mushy emotions.) I am just so grateful that we have been able to have all three children and weren't forced to stop at one. I heard once that the greatest assets you can give your children are brothers and sisters.
We had a little party that night with Grandpa and Grandma Day. I made a last minute menu change from Sunbeam chocolate cake to white chocolate strawberry because we discovered this week that Cooper loves strawberries. He and Boston have been eating them like candy, and they are so cheap right now. I made two batches of strawberry freezer jam this week. Cooper messed up our family tradition by not wanting to blow out his candle with a whistle/bendy straw. But he was all about the cake. He ate almost the entire piece and just kicked his legs against his highchair in delight the entire time.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Restrictions Restrictions...

I learned a great lesson on mothering for Mother's Day. Everyone let me have a nap this afternoon and I had a dream that Leslie and I were out riding bikes. I hit a pothole (typical) with a start and woke myself up. Trying to pull myself out of the post-nap-grog, I suggested to Leslie that we go practice her bike riding. A little background here...poor Leslie got a bike for her 4th birthday. Her birthday is in February when it is too cold to try things out. So we waited until May or so, when I was 5 months pregnant. That was a bad idea, but she had training wheels, so it was still fun for her and I didn't feel too much pressure for her to learn. I'm the one feeling any kind of pressure at all, because Mark and his cousins taught themselves in one afternoon, so he was kind of expecting Leslie to do the same. Maybe our boys will... So then Boston is born, we move to a new neighborhood and we kind of mess around with having her up on one wheel, but it doesn't work very well and Boston doesn't walk or anything, so I have to stay by him and watch her struggle on her own. That was summer, age 5. Then we found out Cooper would be arriving in May, you are following correctly here; summer age 6 was pretty much shot because of a newborn in arms. So now we are almost on summer age 7. We've changed flat tires and adjusted seats. We've removed the training wheels. The weather has been frigid all spring. But today, well, today Mom had a nap, a dream, sunny weather and a sunny disposition to go with it.

Back to the cool mothering lesson I learned. I tried something different with her today. Usually I run behind her on the sidewalk and try to keep her from steering into the grass every two seconds and hopping off, then starting over, etc. Today we ventured into new territory--an entire empty development loop just north of our house. Half a mile of newly paved road in a loop with nary a car or a house , surrounded by pasture and flanked by a pretty red stucco barn. (Yeah, that part's kind of weird, but the sun was shining, so hey.) I started her in the dead middle of the road. The first few attempts were a little rough, but exciting because she finally had room to ride into the S curve and correct her balance on the push off. She SSSd all over the street, sometimes doing circles. BUT SHE STAYED ON. By the time we got to the back side of the loop, she was going in a straight line, and was officially riding her bike, stopping and starting with no problems. All this time 'staying between the lines' was holding her back! She needed enough room to balance out and correct herself for her to learn how to do it. I think sometimes I impose too many restrictions as a mother. My kids need a little room to learn.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The 4 generation pedigree isn't so big after all...

I was thinking last night that it's pretty cool that Leslie gets to know three sets of her Great Grandparents quite well. My Grandpa Happy Jack Haynes and step-Grandma Shirley came and stayed with us last night. It was so fun to see my nearly 81 year old grandpa out playing kickball with Leslie and Boston, drop kicking it out into the yard for them to chase or pitching it to Leslie. He approves of our big yard. It was also funny for me to see him after a long time and, not living close to family anymore, realize how much his gestures and mannerisms match my Dad and even my brothers. While I was cooking dinner he and Leslie sat on the couch and thumbed through a book about Joseph Smith I had on the lamp table. He had her read some of it aloud and sat and explained some of the pictures, talking to her about his trip to Nauvoo when I was just a kid. She was so interested. He talked about meeting a young couple, also tourists, and the wife asked him which branch of the church they belonged to. "Well, uh, the main one." This couple was from the RLDS church and said they were on their way to see the Kirtland temple. The wife pointed out that their church still owned that one. Grandpa wisely asked, "Oh. Well, is it working?" The wife didn't know what he meant and he bore his testimony to her (and to Leslie) about marriages that can last forever. The young wife was in tears by the time he was done, and the husband hurried her away. Grandpa was in tears telling Leslie about it. It was so sweet. Then this morning he just sat and took the time to be her friend in ways that we don't, asking about her typical schedule at school, and her lunches. He sat and went over her calendar of meals for each day and gave her advice for which foods she should pick. "I'd go for the canned pears." Shirley had fun watching the boys play and smiling at Cooper. She's a well-known local artist and this trip she painted us a big oil painting. I was a little nervous to see it because she does a lot of rugged, old barns and wildlife and stuff like that, and my house isn't really fit for that style. But it actually turned out great and will look very nice on our "grand staircase". It's an autumn picture with lots of golden quaking aspen, some fir trees, a stream and a big sky of clouds. It reminds me of going on the Alpine Loop highway. It was nice to have them stay in the basement. 1. You can't hear my babies crying down there and 2. I suppose Grandpa couldn't hear us anyway, so I wasn't nervous about anyone getting woken up. It was a good thing, too, because Boston woke up with a nightmare. I can always tell when he's had a bad dream because instead of just sneaking in to get Mark (there's a great suggestion right there, ladies, have your side of the bed as far away from the door as possible...) he runs in and slams the door behind him so whatever is chasing him can't get in! So cute.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Martha and Me

Cooper is super cute right now. He loves to jabber, and for the last month, his favorite thing to say is "Buggabuggabuggabugga." We aren't sure what that is, but it probably spawned from Boston asking for something to be "bigga bigga". So, we think Cooper is simply commanding himself to grow. He will be one year old the eighteenth and is almost walking. (If so, he'll be my earliest walker. Boston didn't walk until 17 mos, the lazy bum.) Today he was standing and holding onto cabinet handles. I handed him a toy and he stood for several moments holding it without any support. Then he realized what was going on and started to cry because he was stuck and didn't know how to get down.
Boss said something extra cute yesterday, too. We went to our nephew Tate Laker's baptism. Boston loves Tate, who completely dotes on him. While we were waiting for Tate's turn (it was a huge baptism--six kids), Mark asked Boss, "Are you going to get baptized like Tate someday?" Boston looked all aghast. "Noooo." We, of course, were thinking it was because he's a little afraid of water. Mark asked him why he said no. He replied, pointedly looking at the row of children in white, "I not dressed!"
Leslie and I have been fun the last few days practicing to sing with a group of mothers and daughters for Mothers' Day. She is the loudest kid of the bunch, and I just grin and know that she is mine. She also wants to know why there is going to be a Father Son outing and nothing for the mothers and daughters. She told Mark that they should probably have something other than camping so the moms would want to do it.
I got called to be our ward's compassionate service leader last week, so I got released from my two music callings. I'm very much looking forward to getting to help people on a more personal, Christian level and bring in meals or babysit or whatever. I've been feeling pretty good about reclaiming my schedule and being able to accomplish a lot, with scriptures every morning and finally exercising a few times a week. But sometimes I get a little discouraged at the continual to-do list of a mother and sad that sometimes the time I look forward to the most--when the kids are in bed and I can finally put my feet up and eat bonbons (figuratively, well, most of the time) is so selfish and quite meaningless. I was wondering about this last night. Why do I work hard all day to finally be able to relax and watch someone else's life in a movie or read about them in a book. What about MY life? Why am I in such a bad mood? I finally realized that I've been tricked by the worst trickster. Why do I limit my own happiness to waiting for when I have everything done on my list, the house looks beautiful, a gorgeous centerfold meal has been cooked and obediently eaten, my children are playing quietly and not bothering me or each other, and I am lounging in the sun, sipping homemade lemonade and gazing out at my flawless, beautifully landscaped backyard? HELLO! That means NEVER! And I already really do lead such a charmed life, why have I trained myself to be like this? Good grief. I read again about Martha this morning. The Lord didn't tell her, as I've always assumed he meant, "sit down and listen to the scriptures being taught and we'll just eat later". With this reading of it, I've been doing okay myself. (I do this every day.) No. He gently pointed out to her that she was being careful (footnote says worried) and troubled about many things. That's it. Read here, "Martha, Martha, thou art being UNHAPPY." Hmmm. That's me right there, and I don't think He likes me that way at all. So I've decided to not get tricked into unhappiness again. Today has been SO nice. I've practiced just enjoying life with all of my senses, and trying to appreciate single interactions with others. My pretty solitary tulip. The sound of my daughter singing. The warmth and fuzziness of my baby's too-long hair. I've also noticed that it's way easier to be more loving to my children if I'm not worrying about my to-do list or my must-have-someday list. A happy mom is a loving mom. So let's all make this a good Mother's Day week so our kids actually want to smother us with love right back.