Days 2015

Days 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Real World Saturday

We're the genuine type.  What you see is what you get.  Unfortunately that usually means "boring", so that is why I feel like I haven't been posting as often as my grandkid-hungry parents would like me to.  In other words, if I don't have anything to say, I just don't post.

Well, when I got dressed this morning, after breakfast, I decided that it would be just as valuable to posterity for me to chronicle a typical Saturday morning at the Days.  Be forewarned, there will be dishes, fighting, uncombed hair, and some pretty cute kids.

I came downstairs hearing screaming from the two year old.  Upon investigation, I found that he had holed up in the office under the desk with Cooper's favorite football and refused to give it back. Cooper, the first one dressed, was getting more and more frustrated.
Cooper was in luck--right about then our neighbor Steve knocked on the door to return our volleyball that Mark had left at the church gym that morning.  Mark plays volleyball every Saturday morning at 7:30 with the fellas in the neighborhood--including the two men he serves in the bishopric with.  They have decided that it is a great stress reliever and also like it because there are less injuries and no fighting than the dreaded church basketball.  Mark is the shortest of the three (Bishop Peterson is 6 ft 6) but he loves it and is really pretty good.  He played in 9th grade and would have loved to play if his high school had had a team.  In other words, it's his dream come true even if it means he misses Saturday morning pancakes. 
Luke emerges from his hiding place and decides he'd trade for the volleyball.  I tell him it's almost bath time.  He tells me no.
I ventured into the kitchen, where the music was cranked up loud.  Leslie (groaned when I told her I was going to take her picture so I said it was okay if she wanted to hide her face.  Teenager!) was in there emptying the dishwasher and cleaning the pizza pan from the night before.  Mark and I had been on a date to the temple and she babysat.  Usually she is really good about cleaning up after dinner when she babysits, but she was pretty tired, having been up at 5 AM that morning to go to the temple herself with some friends.  So anyway, the kitchen was a disaster because there was nowhere to put breakfast dishes.  I'm excited to have two dishwashers again when we move.  (No extra cost.  Bam!)  So, I left her to it.
"Work in the morning...play in the afternoon" was a sing-songy, hard and fast rule in our house growing up.  I came up the stairs to remind these two that they needed to get dressed and get going.  All the kids were supposed to get their rooms cleaned by lunch.  Boston is mostly playing with Legos because he knows about how long the cleaning job will take and he likes to bring it right down to the wire.  Macy is bugged because Boston claims he is cleaning and won't let her play with the thing she just "built".  (She stuck a propeller onto something Boston had already built.)

"It's not fair.  I never get to play with Legos!"  She didn't like the idea that she could just play with them as soon as Boston and Cooper went to school, every day.  And the tears continued.  As soon as she heard Boston tell Luke that as soon as his room was clean he was going to build a fort, she was hopping mad.  "Why does he always get all the good pillows when he builds a fort?  I never get to build a fort!"  I reminded her that A. she could build a fort whenever she wanted, especially when the boys were at school, and B. that nobody was building a fort until their room was clean, but that didn't stop her from hoarding a bunch of pillows in her room just in case Boston got to them first.  Which caused a war, of course.  Sigh.  PS. By dinnertime they were playing forts together, happily. 
Mark came home about then.  He had already been to play volleyball, came home, showered, suited up, and conducted at a baptism that morning.  (I had made pancakes, showered, issued orders and broken up fights.)  He announced that after changing he was going to go help some new neighbors unload some lumber that they are planning to finish their basement with.  Cooper's ears perked up and he volunteered to come help.  (Earlier this week Boston got to help Mark help some clients move impromptu, and in the process earned a Happy Meal, causing much weeping and wailing from Son #2.  Today was a chance to even the score.)
Well, Son #3 heard Dad say the magic word--"Go", and Cooper ask the magic question, "Can I come?" with an affirmative answer, so Luke (finally bathed and dressed) dropped whatever he was doing and scrambled for his shoes.  "I ahna come TOO!  I ahna come TOO!"  We've recently decided that "too!" is the most powerful word in his vocabulary because it opens the possibility for him to do whatever he sees anyone else doing or getting, even if he doesn't know what it is or how to pronounce it.
I tell Cooper he isn't allowed to go anywhere or do anything until his room is clean.  It was already pretty close, but he went in to polish it off.  Before I came in with the camera, Cooper accused Boston of tossing toys onto his "side".  I offered to take a picture to prevent any such deviousness.  In this shot, Boston and Cooper are showing the line of demarcation.
Back downstairs, Luke was enraged to find out that he was not, in fact, going to be allowed to come "too", so I turned on some cartoons to distract him.  It calmed him down, but then he just wanted to play with cars and I guess, listen to the music of the cartoons in the background because he wouldn't let me turn it off even though he totally was not watching it.  I guess this is much preferable to him watching and not playing at all, right?

I finally tackle the rest of the dishes now that no one is fighting and Leslie's portion of cleanup is finished.  She retreated to the showers and then to her room for homework (she always claims it's homework, but I think she is mostly hiding from the hooligans) until lunch.
Cooper is all ready to go help Mark, so he runs outside to play an imaginary game of football while he waits for departure.  His favorite place is the backyard, with some sort of ball.  It's been a football for several months now.  He's convinced that he wants to be a pro football player when he grows up.  We've tried to warn him that it might be a painful career, but then he retorts that he's had lots of surgeries already, what does he care?
Now that I've started on lunch, Macy and Boston creep downstairs to investigate.  (I think Boston wanted to know if it was worth cleaning his room for since he knows darn well "you don't work, you don't eat".)  In this picture Boston is not encouraged by what he sees, even though I thought it was absolutely gorgeous in my new giant mixing bowl that Mark got me for Christmas.  He says that the chicken looks alright but, "do I have to eat the cucumbers??"  Macy informs me that it will be pretty much impossible to get her room all the way clean by lunchtime.  I tell her to go make her bed, clean up 45 items and take a quick break.  (With her, I can't just tell her to go fast or else--she freaks out.  She does much better with a foreseeable goal and small chunks.) 

 Boston decided he was hungry and realized that besides lunch, he wasn't going to get any screen time until his job was done.  He got finished up and came downstairs and asked me to come inspect.  I told him I was too busy cooking.  He said, "Can't I just take a picture and prove it?"  I laughed and said, fine.  Well, he took more than a picture.  This is Boston's room inspection video.  (I did make him go back and fix a few things.)  I thought it was pretty hilarious, even though there are some large gaps in the middle when he set down the IPod and a lot of jerking and shaking.  I also think it's funny that the "clean room" still shot of the video is focused on his super messy bookcase.  It's all relative, I guess.
That Mom.  Just when you think all your work is done, she always remembers that you haven't practiced yet.  Huff.
Lunch is ready.  It's called, "Talk of the Town Pasta", from the 13th Ward Cookbook.  I haven't made it for a long time.  Maybe I'll share the recipe later.
Boston finally got done with all his work--and it was time for him to set the table.  He negotiated with Macy to trade jobs because she likes to set the table, and her chore for the week was to play with Luke while I am cooking and doing dishes, and he was about to play with Luke, anyway.  I should mention here that Macy's room did not get all the way clean.  It's always pretty bad.  Lots of snips of paper, backs of stickers, broken crayons, books, clothes, etc.
Boston is wanting to play Disney Infinity on the Wii, and Luke wants to play "too".  (He's too little.) Boston is supposed to be playing with Luke for his chore, so here he is trying to decide what to do.  This is not a posed picture.  The conundrum is solved by the return home of Mark and Cooper, so it is time to eat, anyway.
Mark and Cooper show off their work gloves, after a job well done.  Cooper didn't get a happy meal but Mark did manage to swing a candy bar for him.
Once everyone was up to the table nicely, this one started screaming and demanding his milk and a nap.  I didn't want him to go down for another hour at least.  He wouldn't even stop screaming to get to pick who was going to say the prayer.  We compromised by letting him eat his lunch on the big chair instead of at the table.  He was not going to touch the pasta salad with a ten foot pole, but I knew that going in and was prepared with a couple of taquitos.  (He'd already finished an apple, eating it from the bottom up.  He always gets upset when the pulp at the bottom is sticking out and there is no more apple to bite but by the stem at the top.  Pretty entertaining.)
Well, I hope everyone is sitting comfortably in their Saturday morning superiority, but that's how it rolls at our house.  All in all I think it went pretty well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Heck-lers

Luke's favorite new phrases are, "Awesome!" and as of last night, "What 'da heck??"

We played at the park today after Macy's PT conference (the weather was too super nice to go home yet); he threw a "What 'da heck??" at the garbage truck and an "Awesome!" at the skylight in the school.  Super cute.

He got to try out these phrases during Leslie's birthday festivities.  One necklace from Grandpa and Grandma day was "Awesome!", and when Leslie was crumpling up the cellophane to clean up the mess his head shot up with, "What 'da heck??"

AWESOME
Every other year I give the kids the option to have a "friend" party.  It was Leslie's turn, and she first tentatively brought up the idea of a mixed party "I don't want anyone to feel left out" (saw right through that one), which was promptly shot down.  Instead she decided on a small group of girls.  The next problem was, what to do? because she said she didn't just want to sit around and watch a movie together.  Me, being cheap, remembered my nephew Blake going on group dates to IKEA and playing team hide and seek.  Leslie thought this was an awesome idea, especially coupled with a trip to the new nearby Leatherby's (a traditional ice cream parlor with enormous Sundays.)


WHAT 'DA HECK!
Mark, however, ended up being the chauffeur, chaperone and wallet.  I was a little nervous to be driving a van full of girls around in the traffic in the dark and then trying to find all of their houses to return them, so I offered him first dibs.  Fresh off a diet (he lost 14 lbs), he heard the word "Leatherby's" and kind of blocked out the rest. 

I'm still laughing at his report of the evening.  More on that in a second.

AWESOME
I've been trying to give Leslie more intiative-type responsibilities.  Example, her flute broke and I made her shop around for repair places and call them for estimates, hours, etc.  With this upcoming party I directed her attention to hostess responsibilites:  creating her own invitations, preparing the van for non-family passengers (removing car seats and garbage), making sure the house passed inspection before everyone arrived, etc.  She took her responsibilities very seriously, including a very teenage big sister warning to her little brothers that went something like this:

WHAT 'DA HECK!
"Cooper, you need to go upstairs and stay there.  I don't want you down here when my friends get here!"
"Why not?  I want to come to the party."
"You're sick.  I don't want you to give my friends your germs."
I interject, "He's not sick anymore.  That was yesterday.  The house is clean.  And besides, he just got out of the shower.  He's not going to touch anyone or sneeze on anyone.  Cooper, you need to kind of stay away from the girls just in case, but if you want to watch Leslie open her presents that's just fine."
Leslie, a little appalled at this verdict, "Okay, but don't pretend like you're going to throw up, or talk about throwing up, or tell my friends that you threw up yesterday.  And DON'T talk about diarrhea!!!"
"I won't!"
"You ALWAYS do!  Mo-oom!  He ALWAYS does!  'I have to go diarrhea.  Mom, don't make me eat that or I'll have diarrhea.  I just had diarrhea.'" Gags.  "I'm never bringing any boys home!"

At this point I was laughing so hard her argument lost a little steam.  And Cooper behaved himself and hopefully no one caught any germs in the 10 minutes they came inside for gifts. 

WHAT 'DA HECK!
So, Mark and six giddy girls piled into the Dodge Yak.  He realized the enormity of his mistake before they even passed the Jr. High (about 4 blocks away).  As he retells it, the incredulity on his face really underscores the experience. 

"How can there be six girls, and at least FIVE of them at a time are talking, yelling, or singing at the TOP of their VOICE?!"

Leslie interjects, "Yeah, but he fought back pretty well.  When Cassidy suggested that we all sing something, Dad turned on the radio full blast.  In Spanish.  When the girls complained that now they couldn't even sing along, Dad goes, 'That's the idea!'"  (I murmured to him, 'we don't even have a Spanish station on our settings!  He shot back, "I had to find one.")  Leslie:  "And when he surprised them by rolling down the windows on the freeway, they all screamed and one said, 'I feel like I'm going to fall out!' that didn't work very well to quiet them down.  Poor Dad.  He only actually yelled at them a couple of times."

Mark looks a little sheepish now.  "Yeah, Abigail looked a little shocked, 'I've never heard Brother Day yell before!'  But I couldn't even hear the dang directions for how to get to the one girl's house!  I'd say, "Quiet!" and they'd only quiet down long enough for her to get the first part of the sentence out!"

AWESOME
I guess the hide and seek went really well.  Mark wandered around the store keeping an eye on things, hearing bouts of shrieking and laughter and praying that a manager wouldn't come kick them all out.  Leslie particularly enjoyed hiding behind a shower curtain with her friend, listening to the comments of the other shoppers, trying desperately not to laugh, and wondering what they would say if someone actually pulled back the curtain.

The ice cream was excellent I'm sure, but Mark confessed that his traditional order of a "Black and Tan" was WAAAY too big for him to finish (I usually help him eat it).  I asked him if at least the payout of getting to go to Leatherby's was worth the trip, since Mark loves ice cream above all else.

He didn't even think twice. 

"No."

As we were getting ready for bed that night the bishop sent Mark a short text, asking if he needed an aspirin:)

AWESOME
Here's a little something I meant to mention in my last post.  Boston has a new talent. 
For Christmas he asked for a "real" tie, no more clip-ons.  We should have bought him more than one because he has been wearing this every week since.  Mark only showed him how to do it twice, and the first time Mark didn't come home between meetings to help him tie it, he just tied it himself, no problem.  He is nine, and I wasn't expecting this until about 12.  Where do I get more youth sized ties?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ice, Ice, baby.

I wanted a picture with this cute boy.  He's at such a fun stage where he says, "I hug you!  I kiss!  A BIG one!" and then he lays it on ya.
This week, for your viewing enjoyment, I have a clip of Cooper at his basketball game.  Next time I will film Boston. 

Cooper has white #5 jersey and dark sleeves.  I think he's pretty smooth.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IccVjEda7r0

Usually I consider January to be a pretty boring month, but it has proved to be pretty fun.  It started off with Cooper's 7th surgery  (I think.  Lost count.)  It was a pretty easy one, with a new set of more permanent ear tubes and a partial adenoidectomy.  We weren't really planning on the adenoids, but the ENT wanted to scope him see if they were pressing on his ear tubes and causing all the problems, and sure enough, they were.  She said they were beyond enormous.  However, a kid with a cleft palate actually quite needs his adenoids to help make back-of-the-throat sounds, so the doctor only shaved off the parts that were problematic and tried to leave the bulk.  Even then, she was a little worried about it.  As soon as Cooper woke up, she came in and asked him to say, "Kitty-Cat".  He could talk just fine, so we are glad and hoping this means he won't have to repeatedly get new tubes as he grows.
This gown was hilarious.  He was too big for the child gowns, so this is an adult size.  The "short" sleeves go almost to his wrists, and he is so skinny (almost 20 lbs lighter than Boston) that I wrapped the short ties clear around and tied them in front.  He also was awarded a stuffed animal, which he mostly pretended was a football while we were waiting.
Cooper did great and only cried some the first hour waking up (mostly from the "bad smell", which the doctor guessed was the cauterization.  He hasn't been around on branding day I guess), and downed about 4 popsicles, getting red drips all over the sheets.  After that first dose of Tylenol at the hospital he didn't even want any painkiller and was busy running around and asking to play football as soon as we got home.  He didn't even take a nap or go to bed early, silly kid.

Well, as soon as we got home I was on the phone scheduling a check-up with Luke's ENT (now that I knew Cooper had huge adenoids).  Luke has snored horribly and choked/gasped with sleep apnea off and on pretty regularly since he was born.  The first several months I thought it was a low-oxygen sleep apnea thing because of his heart condition, or possibly an aspirin allergy bothering his airway.  Then when it continued after his heart surgery, and my brothers' kids were having the same problems but got their tonsils out, I was sure it was tonsils.  Well, it turns out that Lukey also has huge adenoids, and great big tonsils, and fluid in his ears, and an ear infection.  Great.

The doctor was like, "I see he has a bit of a drooling problem (understatement of the century). That will probably go away once he can breathe.  How's his speech?"  I responded that he probably is my worst talker of five.  "Well, he probably can't hear very well with all that fluid sloshing around in his ears all the time."  Great.  So, he's on the surgery calendar for March.  They have to do it at Primary Children's because "nobody will want to touch him with that heart."  Ah, come on.  He's not that scary.  It's just that they want to use the special heart-trained anesthesiologist to monitor him.  The surgery should be totally safe and just like any other kid's.  It will probably also take a bit of a load of his whole system when he can breathe and sleep properly, too.  In the meantime they put him on antibiotics for his ear infection (I had no idea) and that has shrunken down some of the obstruction.
Although I've seen lots and lots of Luke's chest x-rays, this is the first head shot.  The part to look at is that dark airway coming up his throat, and then there is this white staple-remover shaped thing in the way and the airway kind of disappears.  The doctor pointed at this and was like, "he's pretty much breathing through a slit."
And now, we are all healthy and enjoying our month.  I even was able to host a bunch of kids over for a music mom and tots playdate without worrying about infecting anyone.  Oh, incidentally, I guess I also had surgery this month, removing an absess/cyst under one of my molars that has been bothering me for like, two years now.  They finally just went in through the side of my mouth and removed it instead of trying to drill down and get it.  Pretty invasive and I had to ice it constantly for a few days, but now I feel fabulous.  Bring on the popcorn!  Who knew chewing could be so easy?

Besides our weekly basketball "date" (Leslie stays home with Luke and Macy while we go watch the boys) Mark has done a good job of getting me out of the house.  One week we went to a BYU Men's Volleyball game...super fun and impressive to watch.  We've also been to the temple, had dinner or parties with friends at our home or theirs, and last night for the first time, at age 36, I learned how to...
Ice Skate!  This isn't actually me.  I don't have the legs for this kind of shot anyway.
Rocky Mountain Mortgage (Mark's company) was hosting a client-appreciation night at the Peaks Arena, (the hockey venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics) so Mark took me to help greet clients and then we got to skate, too.  The skating was harder than I expected but much to my relief, I didn't fall down once.  I'm sure I looked pretty ridiculous out there, but at least I could get from point A to point B.
Good thing this is a still frame.  I think I was actually wildly swinging my arms and trying to catch my balance.
Other people brought their kids.  Ha.  Propping each other up was tricky enough.