Days 2015

Days 2015

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Easter and the Derby

Macy's version of our family tree.  Love it.
 We had a lovely Easter.  The weather was beautiful and we attended the third annual Denison Easter Egg Roll hosted by some dear friends of ours.  We ate lots of candy.  Then we went out to lunch at Chuck-a-Rama.  (It was a bounteous kind of day, all in all.)  Easter Sunday we went to church and also decorated our house with pictures of Jesus's life his week of the Atonement, crucifixion, and Resurrection.
Luke gets ready for his first Easter egg hunt.  He's loving being outside in the thick of things.

He had fun swinging on Mark while the rest of us competed in a sidewalk chalk art competition, waiting for the hunt.



He had no problem figuring out how the whole thing worked.  (I guess we've made him pick things up often enough at home.)


In fact, he was doing so well and working so efficiently, Mark made him stop after 12, to leave some for the other kids.

Macy gets in on the action.  Thanks Denisons for being so generous with the eggs--way better than the city sponsored hunts where the eggs are filled with rock hard bubble gum.

Luke discovers that the eggs have Good Stuff inside of them.

Macy checks out her stash.  Don't know where the boys were at this point--probably still hunting--a lot of those eggs were really well hidden.

Cooper's stash.

Boston's stash.  Mr. Independent insisted on bringing his own basket instead of using a sack like everyone else.

Leslie did get in on the hunt--mostly reaching eggs down from trees for the little ones--although she kept some for herself.  Thirteen ain't so different from five sometimes.

Luke is still reveling in the appearance of spring.  Loved the blossoms on this tree.

This year Macy and I decided it was our turn for the wheelbarrel race.  We rounded the course at full speed, twice in 28 seconds, pretty good, much assisted by Macy's light weight.


See, I'm making her hair blow back.  They call me White Lightening!  Oh wait, that's later on in this post.

Leslie and Macy hunt for treasures and the Golden Ticket.

Last year they had a Panda.  This year it was a kangaroo.  Hey, at least it hops!  Love Luke's suspicious face here.  "Hey, you're not the Easter Bunny!"

Cooper knew exactly what he wanted in the face painting.  "Make me a football player!  You know, black stripes!"

Luke meets chocolate.  "Hey, Mom!  You've been holding back on me!!!"
 We celebrated our 15th anniversary the following week.  Mark sent me a little Nacho Libre love note.  "XXOxooxXo"--Beeg kees, leetle kees.  He also took half day off Friday and we went on staycation downtown SLC.  It was way better going to the Red Iguana for lunch than trying to get in for a Friday night dinner, anyway.  We had planned a trip to Moab or Vegas, but decided there was more excitement here at home, because the next morning.....
Boston's first Derby!
It was pretty funny to see Mark in his role as First-Time Derby Dad, trying to track down the saw, the paint, the weights, the decor, etc, amidst his meetings and busy work schedule.  Boston's car is white because that is the only kind of spray paint we had on hand.  (I guess that's also a reflection of his non-crafty mother).

Cooper was so excited about the whole thing he wasn't sure where to funnel his energy for this shot.  Notice the four-way track.  I only ever remember a two-track, which I kind of like better because then there are more heat-winners, but this was very fast and efficient.  The boys also had several minutes of free-racing.  It was fun to watch Boston try to surpress his grinning excitement as he handed off his car and ran back to the finish line.

Boston's car won the "White Lightening" award.  He liked that.

I'm actually surprised I got this shot, my camera is usually so slow and contrary.  Boston is tied for second here, usually ended up falling behind at the bottom of the incline and coming in about third every time.  All in all, it was a fun morning, there were donuts at the end, and I only saw one kid crying (and it wasn't mine, phew).  Good job Scouts and Leaders!

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.