Sunday, May 26, 2013

29 on down.

This big man caught up with me and turned 29 last week! His dinner of choice was fried rice.
And he was actually home in time for dinner with the family! Poor Rick, we don't really do birthday gifts much in our family, I guess. Don't be fooled by the big box behind the table; it's a bench I ordered that he had to put together to go outside. All he got to unwrap were a bunch of granola bars that the kids decided to grab from the pantry and wrap up in construction paper.
We had a family over for cake, which was fun.

Faye must blow the candle out. (And I have always had manly arms, I know.)
Mmmm, check it out! We already decided to duplicate this cake for Father's Day. Oreo crust, then homemade hot fudge, then a vanilla ice cream layer, then I poured the rest of the crushed oreos and hot fudge, and the kids wanted to add their favorite things on top. The peppermint was a good addition!
Ha, this was back during dinner. The boys were both really tired for some reason; I can't remember why. Rick asked Faye to say the prayer for dinner, and BOTH boys simultaneously burst into tears.
For like five straight minutes, they wailed on and on, saying things like, "...and Faye ALWAYS says the prayer... and you NEVER call on me... "
We just sat there, sort of trying not to laugh and wondering how long this could go on. My kids are awesome. They are smart, fun to be with, cute, etc. etc. But I will be honest, they cry sort of a lot. Suggestions on how to fix this are welcome.
So, that was about the extent of the 29-year-old's big day! We love you, Rick! See you next time you have a day off. 
On to the five-year-old. (Already closer to turning six than five!) Many mornings he gets ready for school quickly so he can have time to read his latest book while waiting for a friend to pick him up. Can't believe he will be done with Pre-K in a couple of weeks! I am so so glad that I stuck with my decision to only buy a house that went to Scobee Elementary. It has been perfect.
After the recent tornados in Oklahoma, and then during some intense rain and flooding here, Carson read up on some natural disaster books. He wanted to make his own seismometer, so he gathered the supplies and got to work. He and Everett had fun creating earthquakes in their toy firehouse. (This was after I had to stop Everett from throwing all the furniture around our house to "play earthquake." Everett also attempted to bring the hose in from outside to re-enact a tsunami.)
Enjoying the downpour.
There's that four-year-old. He's always asking me to take pictures of things like this. Lately, Everett wears no less than three to four outfits each day. You never know when he's going to come down wearing his swim suit, or his Christmas sleeper that he dug out of the winter clothes bin. 
He still loves to bake bread and other yummy things with me.
On a quiet morning, I got to read a little book while Ev and Faye played outside.
And then we have the two-year-old. This girl knows how to make her brothers mad! I do love that she's so verbal, but man she can argue and fight with words like a teenager! Carson gets so fired up sometimes because, "Faye LIED!!"

Faye is motivated to learn all her letters when there is a little nerd candy on each one! She does love her treats. (Wonder where she gets that...)
The furrowed brow on the way home from church today.
And last, but certainly not least, we have the eight-month-old. She gobbled her name right up!
Rick and I will turn 30 next year! So strange, I think I usually feel like I'm about 22. Except that I have a new hobby of picking out gray hairs while waiting at stop lights... I guess we are old!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

8 months.

Isla is eight months old!

A friend and I have been doing babysitting swaps a couple of times a week while each of us works from home. I usually drop off two or three kids, and Isla stays with me. I have these sweet visual memories of Isla's first few months of life, measured by her activities while I work.

First, I would wrap her up, extra tight burrito style, and she would sleep on the rug behind me. When she got a little older, she would lay on her back right next to my chair, and I would dangle a toy down over her face so she could bat at it and then grab it. Before long she could sit and play, and then scoot or crawl around the room. And this week the sweet little thing decided she should just stand up and hang out with me on the chair.

Today Isla even let go of the couch for a second and stood by herself. Why are my girls crazy about crawling and walking so quickly, when my boys were nice and slow about it?!

I love having a few minutes alone with my baby girl. (Then she goes down for a nap, and I actually work some!) It's amazing how when the house is quiet, she finally gets a chance to use her voice! She pretty much yells, "DA DA DA DA!" over and over again. Isla really is just the sweetest thing. She doesn't cry much, doesn't laugh a ton, she's just calm, content, and as lovable as can be.

When Carson is getting really angry at someone, I tell him to sit somewhere until he can calm down and have a soft heart. He claims that Isla is the only person or thing that can help his heart get soft. I agree, this girl helps everyone around her feel a little softer and a little happier.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I'm a lucky woman.

“What do ships, railways, mines, cars, and government exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes?...[the Homemaker's] job is one for which all others exist." -C.S. Lewis

My first few months of motherhood were rough. I refused to let my baby cry, which led to lots of frustration and sleep deprivation. Looking back, I really had no idea what I was doing. I felt extremely bored just taking care of one baby who doesn't do much, but at the same time I felt overwhelmed with my new responsibilities.

It is so satisfying to look back and see that I really am improving in my ability to do this! There are still those frustrating days when I can't keep up. But overall I am getting better, more patient, more creative in how I deal with these toddlers, more compassionate when they get frustrated and angry, more able to keep things tidy and clean. When I mess up and the days are long, with everyone crying at once, I try to step back and remember that not only is this job the most important one in the world, but that I really am getting better at doing this.

I feel so grateful to have these four. Yes they cry and hit each other and make messes ALL over the house. But at the same time, they are so good! And just like I am getting better, they too are improving and growing and learning from their mistakes.
I had a few requests for Mother's Day, and they were (almost) all met. We went on a walk and enjoyed the lovely weather. The kids were good at church. I didn't cook dinner. (ok, so I sort of did, but it was an easy one.) I am enjoying a lovely back scratch right now. And I ignored everyone for a couple of hours while I figured out how to make picture collages and make a new blog header. (Silly, I know, but that's one of those little things I would never take the time to do, so I decided that on Mother's Day I would not feel guilty for wasting time on the computer!) I really love when Rick puts together a video of the kids for me for Mother's Day, and he did record a bunch of footage, but his eyes are not good enough to look at the screen to make it, darn it! (Rick had eye surgery last week, and the recovery is brutal!) So hopefully I will get my movie sometime soon.
Aaand here is an example of NOT-so-great mothering. I must have dropped a sewing needle on the ground somewhere. Isla must have crawled right into it. In the picture, my finger is touching the sharp end of the needle through the skin. Weird, right!! When I put her down for her nap that day, I felt something poke me but thought it was the snaps on her outfit. When she woke up three hours later and I picked her up, I looked down and saw this needle sticking out of her knee! She was acting totally normal, but I freaked out a little. I waited for Dr. Rick to come home, and he really had to yank that thing out. Poor girl!
And here is my little momma, Faye girl, trying to give a bottle to a little girl we babysit sometimes. Ha! Faye really does think she's a mom sometimes, I think. You should hear her yell out the back door for the boys to come inside, and when she tries to discipline them!
I took the boys to the library for craft time yesterday. So proud of Everett for sounding out words so well!
Funny that they both addressed their Mother's Day cards to "Page" instead of mom.
I am so grateful to have this job of a homemaker! And especially for those four funny little people sleeping upstairs. I sure am lucky to have them.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

She's off.

This mobility phase is so bittersweet. It's so cute to see this little thing crawling around, getting stuck under tables, so determined to get to wherever she's headed, to hear those hands slap on the tile floor, to see her delight in climbing over her brothers or onto a stack of pillows. But it's so sad that already I'm having to say "no no, don't go there, don't touch that," etc. I wish I could mother without having to discipline all the time!!

The pulling to a stand has also begun. 
Brother thinks it's pretty funny that she's trying to get in the bin of toys.
There she goes.
I can't just sit her outside anymore; now she heads straight for the rocks to eat them up.
Digging in my purse already.
Tonight's bath.
There goes Isla, about to try to stand up in the tub. So sad.
Occasionally I've heard someone comment in a store or something when I walk by, "oh, twins!" I never know who they're talking about, but now I'm guessing it's Everett and Faye?
And just for anyone who reads blogs and is envious of everyone else's seemingly perfect kids/life (I know I have those feelings all the time), let it be known that this happy bath time lasted all of five minutes. Bath time at our house usually ends with two to three kids crying, one is usually injured, and one to two others get pulled out for some offense. And then I mop up the wet floor. So, I guess Isla's mobility means she's getting thrown into the mix now as well. Go Isla!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Who knew this little Brett Favre jersey would see so much action in 2013. Everett's almost daily uniform is the Packer's jersey, "sport's shorts," Halloween socks, and his Elmo tennis shoes. He believes this combo helps him run the fastest, and he wants to always be ready for "the big game" in case dad comes home in time.

At his four-year-old check up. This is the appointment where they get the mother load of shots to be ready for school. Everett was actually looking forward to the shots, band aids, and stickers. He really was SO tough and watched the needles go into his legs without making a peep. All until the very last poke that must have really burned because he finally burst into tears. But he recovered quickly, of course. (We did Faye's two-year-old check up that same week, and she was totally ticked that she didn't get shots too. She yelled and screamed about it a bit until the nurse gave her a band aid.)   
Everett weighed 33 pounds, so in the 25th percentile like he usually is. The doctor referred him to a dermatologist to check out his cute birthmark on his leg; I'm hoping they can leave it alone.

The morning of his birthday, he came downstairs and announced that he had woken up, stood up in his bed, and felt like he was four. Everett says such cute things like that all the time, with these big, sincere eyes, and it is just so cute.

Our church held a talent show for all the kids a couple of weeks ago. Carson played the piano, Faye cried when she got home and realized she hadn't done a talent, and Everett was, I think, the star of the show. He had listed three things on the sign-up sheet. "Running super fast, riding my bike super fast, ear trick." At the last minute he decided to add showing his muscles. (Everett regularly flexes his muscles to people or things he might be scared of and is convinced that this wards them away. Like he'll run in from playing outside and announce that he just saw a bee, but not to worry, he showed his muscles and the bee flew right away.) So, when it was his turn to perform his talent, he got up on stage and darted across as fast as he could, then hopped on his bike and rode back across, then calmly walked out to the middle of the stage and turned his ears inside out. After putting his ears back, he paused for a while, then suddenly flexed those biceps, really showing the strain in his face. The crowd went wild. Man, he is proud of those muscles.

Everett was lucky to have the Greer cousins in town for his birthday. My parents sent him a kit to hang a tire swing, and Uncle Greg and Sam assembled it for him. Everett has always been a play-outside kind of kid, so the swing is just perfect for him.

In other news, I can't even believe this girl today. This morning I would have told you she can scoot around and crawl a little bit, but by the time she went to bed she was full on speed crawling all over the house. I need to buy a baby gate for the stairs.
Oh, and on his actual birthday he couldn't decide between the Packer jersey and the Curious George shirt, so he did the obvious and wore both. Here we are doing our weekly "Family Fun night," where everyone's name goes in a bowl; when your name is picked you choose a game that everyone plays.
Family Fun was cut short, because when Everett's name was picked he yelled, "For my game I choose THE DESSERT," and since it was his birthday we went with it.
So glad he went with strawberry pie instead of a cake, and he insisted we do root beer floats, too. (He calls it root beard.)

More fun with the tire swing...

The Greers gave Everett a fun kit to help catch and keep bugs. Although my boys are definitely NOT brave about touching moving creatures, this cage has seen caterpillars, lizards, a couple of tiny snakes, and plenty of roly-poly bugs.

I have no idea how Carson got the guts to hold this lizard. He had just seen his friend Kennan catch one, and really really wanted to get one to put in the cage. After lots of encouraging, he finally grabbed its tail. He hasn't been brave enough to do it again since!

Everett had a wonderful fourth birthday. He is such a sweet boy, definitely a little stinker sometimes, but at the end of the day he's the one I am most likely to crawl into bed with and snuggle. We sure love that kid.