Wednesday, November 22, 2017

We gather together...

"You can have Thanksgiving dinner at our house!" Benjamin called out, ever enthusiastic, to every person we ran into on our way home from school. "It's only two sleeps away!"

Most people ignored him.

His teacher said she would but she wasn't quite sure where his house is (then he reminded her of our address (because he had to memorize that last month) and gave her verbal directions ("You just turn at the stop sign and go straight down the road until...")).

His friend Lucy's dad mumbled an apology: "Oh, uh, well...thanks for the invitation but we've already got plans."

I have no idea how many people will show up for Thanksgiving dinner, but at least I know that my little boy is very friendly.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Would-be kidnapper

We headed to BYU for family night last night. We had to go to the library because—confession time—we hadn't gone since before Alexander was born. He's five weeks old now; it's fine.

The kids ran around like we'd released them in a candy shop, grabbing far too many books (we checked them all out), and then we decided we'd stop by the creamery on our way home since I hadn't yet been able to go and the kids felt sorry for me.

Herding a family of seven into The Creamery on Ninth on a Monday, of all days (hey, everybody–it's family night!), proved to be a little chaotic. Let's just say we weren't the only family with a handful of children to think of swinging by the creamery. There were also several FHE groups there. It was, in a word, pandemonium.

As we were heading into the creamery, with Benjamin and Zoë wildly skipping about in front of us (literally screaming for ice cream), we ran into a family on their way out, with their little ones bouncing around in a post-ice-cream frenzy, and soon found ourselves aswirl in a frenetic current of towheaded munchkins.

Parents began frantically grabbing at children, trying to stop their offspring from crashing into store displays, pulling over rope barriers, or running into innocent bystanders; trying to keep the children that should be in the store in the store while also shooing out the ones who were supposed to be leaving.

As I was reaching out to constrain a little boy, about Benjamin's age and about Benjamin's height—I swear he could have been his doppelgänger, I locked eyes with the other mother, who was also reaching out to constrain the aforementioned little boy.

I looked at her in surprise, but she just laughed, nodded her head toward Andrew and said, "He's got yours."

She was super nice about it, considering I was about to kidnap her child.

I guess she knew that with my arms all full of Alexander I wouldn't have been able to keep hold on her little boy, anyway. Plus, she probably counted up my children and figured I wouldn't purposely bring another one home! Who knows? Maybe she also made a mad grab for Benjamin?

It's been over five weeks since we've really tried going anywhere as a family; it's fine. But now that I think about it, maybe it was a little too soon for us all to take on the world...

And that's how I almost kidnapped a child yesterday.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Idaho and back again

The kids spent Friday night up in Idaho with Andrew's parents. They went swimming at the hotel and watched a movie on Friday night and spent Saturday playing with their cousins (at the Artitorium). The main event—Arwyn's baby blessing—was Saturday afternoon, shortly before they left to come home, so they didn't end up arriving home until it was bedtime.

"You might want to make them some dinner," Reid told me. "We didn't stop for dinner so all they've had is candy."

So I started scrambling some eggs.

"It's time for dinner," Andrew told Benjamin.

"We already had dinner," Benjamin objected, "And it was awesome!"

After eggs and toast and bath time we got the kids all tucked into bed—rather late. Still, we were surprised when we woke up this morning and all of our kids (five out of five) were still asleep. Granted, Alexander had just fallen back to sleep after being up, but having all five children asleep while we were awake felt like a grand (albeit eerie) accomplishment.

Zoë and Rachel were sleeping on the couch, so obviously they'd been up a bit earlier. Rachel said Zoë climbed into her bed around 7:00 and she had managed to convince her to cuddle.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

First and Second Zoë haircuts (and other stories)

Since Alexander was born, Andrew's made an effort to stick around—at least for a few minutes—in the mornings to help get the kids up and ready for school. Quite often he's gone before they leave for school, but he'll usually have them all up and dressed and at the breakfast table by the time I get up, which really only gives me an extra fifteen minutes of sleep or so (but believe me, that fifteen minutes is so precious).

This morning, however, Andrew was in Michigan. That meant I was left to get all the kids moving on my own. And, because I'm a genius, I scheduled visiting teaching appointments this morning as well, which meant that in addition to getting the kids off to school on my own I also had to get Zoë, Alexander, and myself ready to leave the house. Smart, right?

So instead of getting an extra fifteen minutes of sleep, I woke up fifteen minutes before the kids got up so that I would (hopefully) have time to get everything done. And I did. I got all the kids out the door, I pumped, I fed the baby and changed his diaper (twice (for both the feeding and the diaper changing), I wrangled the wee ones into clothes, and I got out the door. And I was only, like, five minutes late to my first appointment. So...boom!

Here's Zoë saying good morning to Alexander:

One Month: belly stickers and park pictures

Enfamil sent me some "belly stickers" for Alexander (because they love me, obviously (and they also want me to buy their products (which, I'm a milch cow, so...yup))) and he turned a month old on the 14th and they're sitting on my desk, untouched. 

I should probably give them to some other mother who can keep on top of that kind of thing. One who actually remembers to stick a sticker on her baby's belly on the same day, every month, for an entire year...and snap a picture of it.

I'm not that kind of mother. 

I'm not saying a mother who remembers to stick stickers on her baby's belly is a better mother than I am. Nor am I saying that I am above sticking stickers on my baby's belly. I'm not a Sneetch.

I'm just saying I'm not that kind of mother.

But, here is a picture of Alexander that I happened to snap on the 14th (his one month...birthday):

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sunday and Monday

As promised, I put Miriam's hair in rags Saturday evening. I didn't manage to get a picture of how lovely her hair looked on Sunday morning, but it did indeed look lovely and she was very satisfied with its sproinginess.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

1950s Daddy/Daughter Night

Last time the girls had a Daddy/Daughter Dance at the school I kind of bombed it and sent my girls to the dance wearing casual clothes when I should have had them gussied up. In my defence, I was newly pregnant and exhausted and had the worst morning sickness of all five pregnancies. So the fact that I got them out the door at all is to be commended. Still, I felt bad that they were so...plain...while all their friends were so fancy.

Thank goodness I got a do-over last night! 

This year their (new) school chose a 50s theme for the Daddy/Daughter Date Night (which involved more than just dancing—there were hoola hoops and other fun "stations"), so while we were waiting for Daddy to get home from work, the girls and I put costumes together. And we crushed it.

Miriam's costume was pretty easy because I'd made a poodle skirt for her school musical last year. Rachel's was a little more difficult because I didn't have (wasn't about to make) another poodle skirt. After looking through some "google images" results for "1950s fashion" we rolled her jeans, threw on a plaid shirt (of mine), and put her hair up in a handkerchief. 

After looking up hairstyles, the girls let me experiment with some pin curls. 

Friday, November 10, 2017


A week and a half past Halloween is a great time to write about carving pumpkins, right? Because they're still nice and fresh and sitting on our front porch and everything. 

Andrew went grocery shopping with the kids a few weeks ago (several weeks ago, if we're being honest, because it was before Alexander was born) and came home with an entire family of pumpkins: a daddy pumpkin, a mommy pumpkin, four little pumpkins, and a wee baby pumpkin.

Then a couple of days before Halloween, Jaker's Jack-O-Lanterns (by Harward Farms) came to the school and gave every single child in the school a pumpkin—and not just a piddly pumpkin, either; these were hard-to-carry-home size (but the kids did it)—so by Halloween we were basically drowning in pumpkins. 

Before we get to pumpkin carving, I'll show off Miriam's character pumpkin for school (which, if you're keeping track, means that she (1) carried her pumpkin home from school, (2) carried her decorated pumpkin back to school, (3) carried her decorated pumpkin back home so she could carve it—talk about a work out):

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Zoë talks

Recently Zoë has become rather interested in saying prayers, which interestingly enough coincided with a rapid increase in vocabulary and complex sentence structure. Her language skills made a huge jump around the time Alexander was born (coincidence or necessity?). So now instead of ending her prayers with "Jss. MORE!" she ends them with "name Jesus Chist. The end."

I'm pretty sure she doesn't think "amen" is a legitimate word.

On Sunday she was being a bit of a pill during sacrament meeting and kept telling me, "Gook me—nope!" (translation: "Look at me—nope!") because if I didn't look at her I couldn't catch her being naughty, right?

She also kept telling Andrew, "Call me—nope!" meaning that he shouldn't say, "Zoë," in a disproving tone, obviously.

Today Benjamin and Zoë were playing LEGO in Benjamin's bedroom when I went in to tell them that I was going to take a nap with the baby. Often (probably even usually) the kids jump to use this as an opportunity to ask for screen time and often (probably even usually) I will consent to turn on a show for them because...sleep.

Zoë surprised me, however, by quickly saying, "Me 'atch show—nope!"

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

First snowfall

We had the first flurry of the season today and we all survived it (though we may have been comically overdressed compared to the...locals).

Here, for example, is Alexander on the first snowy day of his life: