Days 2015

Days 2015

Sunday, January 22, 2012

the Great Energy Drain

The kids finally went back to school. 
Last week after a particularly frustrating referee episode (you know what I mean--where the Mom has to put on the stripes) I picked up my well-worn copy of Love and Logic for Toddlers and was reminded of a few tricks that I had yet to try.  I resolved to do better.
So, Mark was gone every night this week for work, scouts, basketball game with Boston, tickets from friend Aaron to a comedy show, etc., and the days have been dragging along for me as temporary single parent.  Friday night I was trying to give Leslie her piano lesson and Boston was whining about something or other.  Something in me snapped.  The light came on, and I knew now was the time to pull out my new Mama weapon, The Energy DrainFor those of you who are not familiar with the Love and Logic tactics, keep reading, you are about to be amused.  (I also threw in a healthy dose of melodrama--probably not necessary, but way more fun.)
I stop the music, stand up, and put my hand to my forehead.  In a sad, sad voice I say, "Oh Boston.  When you whine, it just drains ALL the ENERGY right out of me.  You are gonna need to fill me back up.  How do you think you could put some more energy back in Mom?" 
Boston:  I dunno.
Me:  I think you can pick up those DVDs that Macy scattered all over.
Boston wails.
Me:  Oh no, there goes some MORE energy.  Now you can pick up the DVDs AND those three balls.
Boston thinks for a second.  Wails some more.
Me:  Oh no, I'm getting lower and lower.  You are really going to have to fill me up good.  How 'bout the DVDs, those 3 balls, and your dinosaurs.
Boston thinks this is funny and fake wails to see what will happen.
Me:  Yep, still more energy is draining.  Now you need to pick up the DVDs, the balls, the dinosaurs, and the Little People mess (which was quite large).
Leslie is catching on quick and tries to coach Boston to keep his mouth shut. 
Boston is in denial, thinking that Mom would never make him do all those jobs just for a little whining, and starts to wail again.  I decide to cut off this little game of chicken quickly.
Me:  How about we'll have prayers, then I will I go upstairs and get Macy ready for bed so you can have a chance to fill my energy back up?  By the way, right now, I don't think I'm going to have enough energy to be able to read you a bed time story tonight.  That will be really sad.
Then we have family prayers and I take Macy upstairs to bed.  Boston sobs through the prayer and I ignore him.
I was almost done reading Macy her bedtime story when we were rudely interrupted by two excited little boys, who barged into her bedroom, talking at the same time. 
Boys:  Mom, Mom!  Come see!  We have a surprise for you!
Me:  Ooh.  That sounds good.  Have you two brushed your teeth yet?
Boys shake their heads no.
Me:  Hmm.  I already told you guys to do that.  Telling kids to do things more than once drains my energy. 
Boys:  (Looking at each other in shock, laughing, and pulling each other out of the room, slamming the door, racing down the hall)  AAAHHHHGGGHH!
I finish Macy's story with a smile.  Pretty soon Cooper ventures back in.
Me:  Have you brushed your teeth yet?
Cooper smiles and exhales minty freshness for me.  I tell him I'm almost done and that he can wait for me in the hall.  A few minutes later he propels me down the stairs and tells me to close my eyes.  Boston is waiting there, and proudly shows me the spotless basement.  Not only did he (with a little help from his kindly brother Cooper) clean up all the suggested messes, they cleaned up everything else, too. 
I stretch up big and tall and flex my newly restored muscles.
Me:  Wow!  That filled me up to the tip top with energy!  I bet I even have enough energy for TWO bedtime stories!
Cooper and Boston look at each other like it's Christmas morning and race for the shelf.

I told Mark all about it that night, and I happen to know that his energy drained out a little bit while I was at the temple the next morning, but Boston was quick to fill him back up.

I wonder if the Energy Drain works on almost-eleven year olds?  I thought about it when I reminded her to practice the next day.  She cut me off quick.  "Mom...uh....we never finished my lesson!"
Oh.

Macy made us laugh last night.  She generally wants to be done eating before she has eaten "enough", so our family trick to get her to take more bites is to quiz her about stories and cartoons and princesses...things like that.  If she takes a bite she gets a question.  Someone asked her about a show she likes, "Jake and the Neverland Pirates."  She treated us to an impromptu concert of the Theme Song to that show, made extra cute by her little singing hands that dance all over the air like butterflies.  We were mimicking her a little bit and Leslie challenged her to try singing it again without using her hands (Mark and I are silently protesting...we love the hands...don't mess with a beautiful thing!!)  Anyway, Macy sat on her hands and sang it again.  Mark told her he liked it better with the hands.

After a few minutes more of eating, Macy got a bright idea to please her Dad.  "I know Dad, I can sing it with my eyes closed!"  And she did.  SO talented!!

This morning when I was getting her dressed for church, she was asking if I was going to let her wear her bloomers today.  I said no, she didn't need them.  She informed me, "I'm going to call them "blackmers".  Cause they're BLACK, not BLUE!"

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Montana New Year

Cowgirl Macy in motion.

Boston kept thinking he was a grownup, getting to help Grandpa with all that grownup stuff.  It was pretty funny watching him try to stop the flow of Honey bunches of Oats that occurred while he was attempting to help himself.

Leslie was pretty pleased to get to drive the 4-wheeler by herself.  And move cows.

Leslie, probably revving the engine.

Cooper, Boston, and Mark moving cows.  We tried to keep Cooper covered up, but he still ended up with an ear infection that ruptured before we could get home.  Our good doctor actually told us to bring him into her office as soon as we got home--she came in just for him after hours.  Almost as good as a house call!
Mark, Boston, and Cooper

My brother Jake with his boys Jax and Bridger, Leslie (riding Red-red-wet-the-bed) and my boys on "Green Machine".

Cooper, Jax, Boston and Leslie

Macy and Bridger.  Bridger looks like he'd rather be out with Papa.

My sis-in-law Rach with these crazy cousins.  I think they are hyped up on Jake's pink lemonade.

Sisters in furs.
My Dad with Macy, on the floating tractor, apparently.

   Addy and Macy. For whatever reason, my camera is starting to play tricks on me, choosing a few pictures that will not show right side up.  I try to save it the other way on the computer, but when I post it goes back to this.  Any pointers?
 After Christmas we took a trip north to see the folks and the cousins while the kids were out of school.  It was dry and windy but the kids had lots of fun on the 4-wheelers, etc.  Those of us who didn't brave the wind still had lots of fun cooking, eating, dancing in the kitchen, and playing cowgirl.  Wait, I guess the cowgirl thing happened outside, too.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas letter

Dear friends,                                                                                                                  December 2011

“JOY means, My heart is happy and bright, and mmmm, don’t you just love the way the house smells?”  I read this tonight to my children (from Christmas Cookies:  Bite-size Holiday Lessons) after they did a fantastic job of cleaning up the legos, and the puzzles, and the “Don’t Break the Ice” game that Cooper has been pounding on all day.  Our house is happy and bright (hooray to Mark for changing my kitchen lightbulb to 100 watts) and it even smells like homemade pizza.  Maybe tomorrow we will make it smell like Spritz cookies with Grandma Haynes’ cookie-shooter.  (I’ll be sure to send a few Granny cusses flying at it when I can’t get the cap to screw on right.)

We’ve had a good year.  Mark is excited to be spending more time on the marketing/relationship side of the mortgage business for Bank of Utah.  I’ve settled in nicely with new friends and activities (Book Club, volleyball, missionary work, writing family history) here in Bluffdale.  Enough about us, we know the Grandmas just want to hear about the real stars of our family…the kids.  They are growing like crazy and my heart is filled with gratitude each day that I get to be their mom.

Leslie passed the five foot mark early this year and is now only two shoe sizes away from raiding my closet.  Not that it would be that exciting to raid, but you get the point.  She likes the variety of new learned things fifth grade (genetics, US presidents, chemistry, student book club)  She has also really enjoyed singing in the church choir with Mark and me (we take turns rehearsing) and also in the school choir.  She recently found out that she will be playing the part of the feather duster/French maid in the school’s production of Beauty and the Beast.  Ooolala.

Boston FINALLY started school this year.  The second week he had to make a poster about himself listing three of his favorite things.  One of his answers was…school!  I hope it stays that way.  We weren’t sure what to expect of this rough and tumble boy of ours, especially after our smarty-pants Leslie, but he is doing well and his teacher says that he is a wonderful leader and makes friends easily.  We are not a bit surprised.

Cooper is my gentle, obedient soul and I made him laugh tonight while dancing to the Grinch song in the kitchen.  We love his dimples, and Mark is constantly making them show by teasing him about pretty girls.  He started preschool this year and startled us a little by being a very quick learner and conscientious student.  (I think he already writes as well as Boston).  He also began the grueling orthodontia that he will probably be subjected to, off and on, until he is a teenager.  We’ve kind of taken a break from cleft palate “stuff” for a few years, but now he is gearing up for his last major surgery sometime around his 6th birthday.  He is a trooper and doesn’t seem to mind sleeping in headgear one bit.  (It probably helps that both Boston and Macy have verbally wished for a face mask of their own.)

Macy is our princess in Pull-ups.  She pretty much runs the house and makes everyone bow to her every whim.  She particularly loves kicking the boys off of my lap at storytime and reminding them, “I’m the baby!”  She is amigo number three of my tightly knit trio of little ones, playing Princess Leia and Spidergirl in the boys’ games, but also loving it when Leslie dresses up the dolls for her.  Mark and I are just glad that she doesn’t want to grow up too fast, and I can’t help but rub noses with her when she sits happily in the basket of my shopping cart.

We hope that you have had tidings of comfort and joy in your homes this Christmas season and testify that we have felt these things because of the good gifts that only He can give.  We know that Our Redeemer lives.
                                                                                                With love,
                                                                                                Mark & Jackie Day & Family