Wednesday, May 04, 2016

This and/or that

Benjamin spent a happy few minutes pushing Zoë around the yard on this little toy tractor. Unfortunately, when I ran to get the camera (quick—they're getting along!) he decided that instead of pushing her he'd instead sit on the tractor with her. She was not impressed.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

That Benja-boy

This morning we were sitting in church, quietly listening to the ward announcements being read over the pulpit. We'll be having a ward campout in the next couple of weeks, so that's super exciting. 

"Breakfast will be provided..." we were told. 

"BREAKFAST!" Benjamin squealed loudly. 

Sometimes he seems irreverent but is very attentive. Other times he's rather inattentive but seems reverent. I'm not sure which is better (since it's very rare that he's both attentive and reverent at church (and, let's be honest, quite frequently he's both inattentive and irreverent)) so I suppose we'll just be thankful for any moment he's quiet and calm as well as being thankful for the moments when he's paying attention to what's going on.

Recently he's become quite interested in writing and drawing (as I think I've mentioned) and I'm pretty excited about it because it means that maybe he'll be ready for kindergarten after all!

We got a package in the mail a few days ago and as soon as I emptied the box, Benjamin wanted it.

"Can I have this box?" he asked.

"Sure," I said.

"Can I use the markers?" he asked.

"Sure," I said. 

A few minutes later he excitedly shouted, "THIS IS EVEN BETTER THAN PAPER!"

Here he is with a recent, boring, ol' on-paper drawing:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Miriam has been excited about being in a musical at school since Rachel's first musical, back when Rachel was in grade one. She loyally attended Rachel's second grade musical last year, and enjoyed watching Rachel's musical twice this year (once during school and once for the evening performance) and just a few days later it would be Rachel's turn to watch her.

But then the musical was postponed, as I've mentioned, which was an enormous disappointment for Miriam. Her excitement, which had been mounting daily, suddenly came to a grinding, screeching, anticlimactic halt. She'd have to wait to get her chance to perform?! And not only that, but she'd have to wait until an undetermined date—TBD!

Her excitement plateaued for a while, but soon began climbing once again.

After so many weeks of waiting, I was beginning to wonder if her little body could contain any more emotion. She made it all the way to seven weeks after the originally scheduled event all in one piece and was, needless to say, thrilled to perform for us tonight.

Andrew had taken Benjamin out (to use the bathroom, maybe?) and caught a picture of Miriam in the hallway. She opted to ignore him...

All that glitters is not gold. This carrot also glitters.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rachel's Wax Museum

Last night Miriam said family prayer and was sure to pray a lot about the first grade musical—that it would go well and everyone would remember their lines and songs and so forth. When she finished her prayer Rachel caustically (and nervously) remarked, "Thanks for mentioning the wax museum, Miriam!"

Sarcasm runs deep in these waters. Miriam, you see, had made no petition in her prayer about the wax museum.

I assured Rachel that her wax museum would be fine and that she could pray for it to go well in her personal prayers and that I would pray for her, too. (And we talked with Miriam about how we should try to remember to think about others in our prayers, especially when we're saying family prayer).

The wax museum went on without a hitch.

We had a little bit of trouble leaving the house this morning and arrived at the school around 11:25 instead of 11:00 (the wax museum was from 10 to 11:30), but we were able to find Rachel and listen to her give her little speech a few times as well as visit a few of her friends. It was a fun little outing for Benjamin and Zoë, though by the time we got there the kids were getting a little tired of repeating their speeches since the entire school had come by to visit their museum already!

Each of the kids had a little "button" in front of them that you had to press to activate their speech. It was very cute and Rachel did very well.

Here's Rachel dressed up as Amelia Earhart:

The most beautiful carrot on the block

The days of walking into the store and exiting with a giant piece of florescent poster board are, apparently, over. Either that or I don't know where to find it! We looked in the school supplies section of our friendly neighbourhood grocery store. They had plain white poster board, and a few other colours but not what we needed. For this project we needed orange (and I wasn't about to try to colour a project that size orange).

"Staples," Andrew said as we gave up hunting through the rack.

So yesterday after I took the children to the dentist (no cavities—yippee!) and after we stopped at the museum to play for a bit (because why not; running them back to school (at 3:00) seemed pointless and I had them all with me) we ran to Staples to look for orange poster board.

For an office supplies store they were sorely lacking in the poster board department.

Power Point must've usurped poster board's throne at some point in time...

We finally found their rack of poster board. Everything seemed to come in packs though. And I didn't want a pack of poster board. I wanted one poster board. And I wanted it to be orange.

I could buy a pack of white poster board.

I could buy a pack of poster board that was neon yellow on one side and neon pink on the other.

I could buy a pack of poster board that was red on one side and green on the other.

Oh, look!

A single piece of poster board for sale...with balloons around the edges.

No thanks.

A single piece of poster board for sale...with a rapidly dandruffing glitter boarder.

Not for my worst enemy.

I sighed with defeat.

But then! A glimmering sparkle of something orange caught my eye...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Last night we had a post-activity-justification family night. We hadn't darkened the library's door for far too long and we had to exchange our books for new ones. Andrew didn't get home until nearly seven, which made for a rather late dinner and an even later trip to the library, but it was fun to be together (the library is one place I don't usually visit by myself with all the kids because 4 children + 3 bags of books = not enough me to go around) and pick out new books to read. When we got home it was definitely bedtime so as we pulled into the driveway Andrew said that we'd go in, have scriptures and prayer, go over our family calendar, and that would be it for family night. No lesson, because bedtime.

So I paraphrased D&C 88:118, "Seek ye wisdom out of the best books of learning and all that."

Boom. Lessoned.

You'd think, after how many years of being at BYU that I'd have that scripture nailed down. That particular scripture is on the wall of the landing of the staircase between the third and fourth floor of the Harold B. Lee Library. My mom has worked on the fourth floor for the past fifteen years or so. I trudged up those stairs to her office every day when I was a student (both to visit her and because I worked on the sixth floor so...) and continued to visit her nearly every day after I had graduated and was working on campus as an actual employee (we'd often go for lunch break walks or I'd just stop to visit for a few minutes while waiting for Andrew to finish up on campus (because we've only ever had one car)). Anyway, I have read that scripture a billion times; I should be able to quote it verbatim, but I've never sat down and formally committed it to memory so I can't.

I just finished reading Still Alice by Lisa Genova. And I think I failed like half the memory tests she put in there—the "remember this address" test and the "remember this list of random words from the dictionary" test. Seriously. When she got to the part where Alice was trying to recall this information I was always like, "Aw, man! I can't remember either!"

But I'm pretty sure I don't have Alzheimers. I think I'm just overtired.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Zoë at 11 months

This year has flown by! Already I'm worried that I didn't savour Zoë's babyhood well enough. With three other kids to look after it's difficult to know if I'm giving any them the attention they need. While I'm happy to know the difficult moments are passing just as quickly, it's hard to know that childhood is fleeting. These babies are growing up right before my eyes.

Zoë turned eleven months old yesterday. I'm not sure I've ever quite caught her turning a month older on the actual day she turns a month older. I'll never be one of those moms who takes a picture of their baby with a sticker on their onesie declaring how many months they are. Obviously. But here's Zoë at around eleven months "with" her cousin Maren (who is around a year old). They're both learning how to balance:

Friday, April 22, 2016

Benjamin's first family portrait

Benjamin was born a fighter. Once he decided he was coming there was, literally, no stopping him (believe me, we tried). As a little preemie in the NICU he refused bottles and pacifiers alike (even with coaching from an occupational therapist). He could roll over before he'd even reached his due date and I think the only reason it took him so long to crawl or walk was because his head was too big for him to hold up. He hardly babbled until he was 18 months old; I was sure he was suffering from a speech delay, but he finally started talking (and hasn't stopped since).

Potty training him has been the worst.

Getting him to do anything that wasn't originally his idea is...difficult.

He's a bouncing-off-the-walls, pooping-in-the-corner, talking-much-too-loud, always-getting-into-mischief kind of boy.

Would it surprise you to learn he's resisted learning how to draw/write/colour? It's been quite the uphill battle. For the longest time all he'd do was scribble—and I was excited about those scribbles!

Now, scissors? Those he learned to use early on.

A good "project" for Benjamin involves cutting up paper and then taping, gluing or stapling those little pieces back together in haphazard fashion. And then cutting it up all over again.

Occasionally he scribbles on the paper before cutting it, but very rarely.

During sacrament meeting while his sisters create colourful, full-page masterpieces, Benjamin can be found twisting the ward bulletin into a "lightsaber."

To sum up: Benjamin is not interested in writing.

This morning when he brought me a piece of paper and asked if he could draw on it I, of course, said yes. I always (usually) encourage him to write/draw/colour when it's his idea because it so rarely is his idea. I was even more excited when he brought me his picture for praise and it was actually a picture!

He'd drawn our family! From left to right is Daddy, Benjamin, Zoë, Rachel giving Miriam a piggyback ride, and Mommy.

After the musical

We been slowly readjusting to life post-musical. On Saturday Zoë and Daddy were suffering from burnout (and rightly so since we'd been out late for the musical the night before and were destined for another late night that night as well) and had a bit of a sleep-in together:

How someone so small can take up so much room in the bed I will never quite understand!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Knock on wood

Last week Benjamin stayed dry three nights in a row. Three nights, people!

"Maybe he's finally finished potty training," Andrew remarked casually.

"Noooooooo!" I howled dramatically. "You said The Words! Now you've jinxed everything and he's going to wet the bed and then not stay dry for another month all because you said The Words!"

So, of course, he's back to regularly wetting the bed because he was on a three-day fluke, not a three-day streak. 

But speaking of flukes, I had the most fantastic fluke last night: Zoë slept in her bed, alone, from around 11:30 pm to around 1:00 am. 

First of all, this is the first time she's gone to bed before 2:00 am in weeks, and the first time she's gone to bed before midnight in months. 

Second of all, she let me put her down in her own bed. Her own bed, people! She hasn't slept in her own bed in...ever. She even woke up and looked around and then decided going back to sleep was a fine thing to do. Of course, I ended up sitting beside her with my arm draped over her for about twenty minutes because every time I tried to leave she'd wake up to shoot me a killer look, but eventually I was able to leave her side and she stayed sleeping.