Thursday, March 31, 2016

OBX: Chilling at the Beach House

Back at the beach house I took the little ones out on the porch to swing. Zoë was in an interesting mood where she was enjoying everything so immensely that she'd throw a little fit when any given activity was over.

She had so much fun swinging with Benjamin:

OBX: Hattaras Lighthouse and Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum

On Tuesday we headed to Cape Hattaras to visit the iconic lighthouse, the tallest brick structure in the United States (at 210 feet tall). The current tower was built in 1870 but due to shifting coastlines was moved (in 1999) about 3000 feet to keep it safe from the ocean for a few more years (hopefully about 100). The exhibit room showing the process was fascinating (and kind of reminded me of how the Provo Tabernacle was redone after the fire gutted it--by putting it up on stilts, only the lighthouse was put up on stilts, had a platform built under it, and then was pushed on a track until it was sitting on its new home). Crazy feats of engineering!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

OBX: Beach-bummin'

After our long day (Roanoke, Kill Devil Hills, and Jockey's Ridge) we relaxed by spending some time on the beach. Most of my time was spent making sure ‎Zoë didn't eat anything she wasn't supposed to, so most pictures are of her doing what she does best: exploring her surroundings.

OBX: Jockey's Ridge

My friend Jill also supervised Rachel's field trip a couple of weeks ago and when we were talking about spring break I mentioned that we'd be heading to the Outer Banks so she said we just had to visit Jockey's Ridge State Park. I told her we'd try and then mentioned it to Karen while she was making her list of things to do out here.

Incidentally, Jill is the friend who gave me the hand-me-down toys that I gave to the kids for Easter. Incidentally, Jill is Jewish, but I know she totally won't mind I used her things for Easter gifts. Incidentally, Jill's brother is a film editor out in California and back when he was freelancing he worked on God's Army and Brigham City, two very Mormon films. Incidentally, I haven't seen either movie. Jill figured I probably would have...but nope. So we talked more about the Outer Banks than movies.

Anyway, I'm so glad Jill told me about Jockey's Ridge because it was a ton of fun. Basically it's just a sand dune--but it's ginormous! And frankly, the weather's perfect for it right now because it's not scorching hot.

Monday, March 28, 2016

OBX: Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills

I had to look this up because I was super confused about it. We left Fort Raleigh (the lost colony) and put "Kitty Hawk" into our GPS because that's where the Wright Brothers made their first flight, right? So we're driving down the road and the GPS is telling us we still have several more miles to go when we see a sign for the Wright Brothers monument, so we ditched the GPS and turned down Wright Memorial street. We weren't even in Kitty Hawk yet! We were still in Kill Devil Hills.

As it turns out, Kill Devil Hills didn't exist when the Wright Brothers took to the sky. They were just out in the middle of nowhere and had to walk four miles into Kitty Hawk to send the telegram telling their family that they'd done it. Kill Devil Hills didn't spring up until the 1950s.

Kill Devil Hills claims to be "the birthplace of aviation," while Kitty Hawk says it is "first in flight." I suppose they're both right. And wherever we were (Kill Devil Hills, it turns out), we had a fun time at the Wright Brothers Memorial.

It was so windy (it's always windy--so windy that in October 25, 1911 (exactly 98 years before Miriam was born) Orville Wright managed to float in a glider for over ten minutes (he took off into the air and then just hovered there because the wind is that full of lift (and his glider design probably helped a bit, too))) and we couldn't find a picnic table around so we decided to picnic in our van. We put the backseat down and the kids sat there and ate before going to check out the museum (which I missed because I stayed behind to nurse Zoë).

Here's a picture of the monument and in the lower righ-thand corner is Grandpa with the three older kids:

Breaking News: First step!

Even with six other people around to entertain her, Zoë had her heart set on being held by me this evening. She kept crawling over to the stool I was sitting on, pulling herself to standing, and begging to be picked up. So after I finished choosing pictures (for that Roanoke post) I got down from my stool so that I could spend some time with her. I sat on the floor and said, "Come here, Baby. I'll hold you."

She wasn't too happy about being told to "come here" (you should see how she throws herself on the ground sometimes when I tell her that, like, "Mom! I can't move one more inch. You come to me!") but she decided she could make an effort.

She moved around the stool so she was closer to me, but she still wasn't close enough so she let go of the stool, and there she stood. And then she picked up her foot and took one little step toward me, caught her balance again, and then lunged onto my lap.

I don't know if she'll take another step ever again because, as you can see from the picture above, she's not always happy about walking, but this evening she took her first solo step without any prodding at all.

How is she this old already?! I'm still telling people I "just" had a baby.

I should probably stop saying that...

OBX: The Lost Colony

We tried to go to the aquarium this morning but it's closed for renovations, apparently. Andrew looked up the hours online but didn't visit the actual website where it quite clearly says that it's closed. No one was too broken up about that. Instead we headed straight for the next item on our itinerary: Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, which is the site of the lost colony of Roanoke.

The rest of Easter

The rest of our Easter Sunday was beautiful--we all went down for a nice, long rest time, and it was divine. Here we are before rest time:

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Egg Smackdown 2016

We dyed Easter eggs on Saturday afternoon, a task my children took very seriously so don't mind their lack of smiles!

OBX: Bodie Island

It was ridiculously cold and windy on Saturday, but everyone headed to the beach nonetheless (well, everyone aside from the women and babies). No one stayed very long or got very wet. Here's Daddy and Benjamin walking back from the beach:

OBX: The Outer Banks, day 1

Our goal was to leave the house by 11:00 on Friday morning. We left at 11:07, so not bad in our book, but we had to pull off at a gas station half an hour into our drive. Half the kids--Miriam and Benjamin--rode with Grandma and Grandpa in the rental car. Andrew and I took Rachel and Zoë so that the oldest could help take care of the youngest in the backseat. This was mostly accomplished by looking up from her kindle every now and again to throw a toy or some food in her direction, but ultimately proved most useful when Rachel yelled, "Oh, no!!!"

"What?" I asked, whipping around in my seat as Andrew reflexively stepped on the breaks.

"Just,"Rachel said, a bit calmer now, "Zoë has yellow stuff all over her legs for some reason. She's smearing it all around. I'm not sure how it got there but..."

"Lovely," I sighed, craning my neck to investigate. "That's poop."

Clean up was fun and soon we were on the road again (and without further mishap, though we did have to stop again to nurse a screaming baby). For the most part I ignored the quickly passing scenery, engrossed in the book Into Thin Air. I had to get down from Everest before I could focus on anything else, though I did look up when Andrew slowed the car down for a long line of other cars rubber-necking at an alligator on the side of the road (it was humongous) and to shudder a time or two while driving over miles and miles of bridge spanning the open ocean (or sound or whatever (so many miles of bridge)).

The kids were all too happy to pile out of the vehicles when we arrived at the beach house and while Daddy and Grandma went to the store to purchase provisions, Grandpa and I took the kids to the beach. It was a beautiful day, though a little chilly and terribly, terribly windy. But I suppose that's to be expected around these parts--because that's the reason the Wright Brothers chose this area to try out their flight machine for the first time. The wind never lets up.

Lethbridge ain't got nothing on the Outer Banks!

The wind whipped the sand painfully against our bare legs, and the ocean is still icy cold from the winter currents, but we endured a happy hour or so at the beach, skipping in the waves and playing in the sand. We did not attempt boogie boarding because the minute we stepped over the dune our boogie boards lifted in the air like kites. Rachel accidentally let go of her strap and had to chase her board down the beach quite a ways before she caught up with it (so Grandpa walked them back to the house for us).

And not that this has anything to do with our first day at the beach, but overnight one of Benjamin's brand-new crocs blew away. We eventually found it (far, far away from where it was left) but it took quite a long time with several of us looking.

Anyway, here's a picture of Zoë enjoying the beach:

Friday, March 25, 2016

It's always fun when Grandpa comes

Zoë took about a week to warm up to Grandma. I left the kids with Grandma on Wednesday last week because I had dance practice, which means two solid hours of dancing. I've been getting away with holding Zoë on stage through most of these rehearsals but I simply can't dance for two hours while holding her. So even though she'd just met Grandma, I left her anyway, all alone (Andrew was out of town). 

She screamed and screamed and screamed. 

So I took her to rehearsal with me on Thursday. 

Slowly, though Zo came around to Grandma. She learned that Grandma's arms kept her out of Benjamin's reach. She learned that Grandma will give her Cheerios and Veggie Straws. She learned that Grandma is phenomenally great at the game peek-a-boo. And she decided that Grandma was pretty okay.

"She's just gotten used to me and now we're going to introduce her to another new person," Grandma said. 

And then we wondered how Zoë would react when she (re)met her grandpa. Would she be shy of him for the whole week? Or would his baby-whispering ways win her heart outright?

We found out today when Grandpa texted Grandma around 10:30 this morning. 

"Eduardo," he wrote.

"What?" Grandma asked.

"RDU," Grandpa wrote back.

Museum with Grandma

Grandma and I took the kids to the museum yesterday afternoon. I'd promised the girls that we could go during spring break (they're always so disappointed whenever Benjamin tells them that I took him to the museum while they were at school) and our spring break is disappearing at an alarming rate!

It didn't help that the first three days of spring break were designated snow make-up days. Nor does it help that our entire life seems to revolve around rehearsals for the musical. I've spent eleven hours either rehearsing or driving to/from rehearsal just in the past three days.

That's like 1/6 of my time!

Maybe that doesn't sound like very much time to be away from the house doing other things but, I assure you, to my nursing baby it feels like basically an eternity. And then, because I've been starving her (ha! this child is so far from starving) she wants to eat and eat and eat when I get home. And then wants to eat and eat and eat all night long, which means that I'm sleepy.

But I powered through the afternoon at the museum anyway (and I think, if I'm not mistaken, that Grandma actually dropped Zoë and I off at home to nap while she took the kids to get pizza for dinner (I'm so tired I can't even remember what I've done certain days)). The kids had a fun time showing Grandma their favourite parts of the museum.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The messiest game of peek-a-boo

Zoë had refried beans and avocado for dinner, which made quite the mess! When she was finished eating she decided she wanted to play peek-a-boo with everyone who was still eating (who can resist a captive audience?), which only made things messier.

Where's Zoë? I have no idea because she's such a good hider!

Neighbourhood Easter Egg Hunt

We went to our neighbourhood Easter egg hunt this morning. In years past it's seemed like the entire neighbourhood has shown up and the eggs disappear within seconds of releasing the kids on the hunt, so this year the event planners sent out multiple emails warning everyone to arrive on time (or be left out).

But this morning it was, relatively speaking, rather chilly, and that must have frightened all our neighbours away because by the time we walked to the park (we got there with four minutes to spare) there weren't very many people there. We'd only brought little brown paper bag baskets that we'd made during breakfast but the guy in charge had brought along a bunch of grocery bags (just in case) so Rachel and Miriam grabbed one of those to fill up, too, because apparently they hid 1200 eggs for the kids to find—and there weren't that many kids to find them!

The toddler zone cleared out pretty quickly:

Friday, March 18, 2016

Pullen Park: Another perspective

We've been meaning to visit Pullen Park for the past three years or so but somehow we haven't managed to make it down there. Miriam loved the carousel at Disney World (we went in the summer of 2013) so we figured we'd take her for her fourth birthday that year. But Grandma Sharon unexpectedly passed away and Andrew ended up spending Miriam's birthday in Utah, which meant that the rest of us just stayed home (since Mommy doesn't drive to Raleigh). And then we kept meaning to make it...and kept not doing it...until today when Grandma suggested we just go do it.

So we did.

Pullen Park

Hi! I have not written a post on here before goes nothing!  So, today we wanted to go somewhere, and grandma asked me if we had been to Pullen Park yet. I said "nope". And Grandma said "seriously! You haven't been to Pullen Park yet?!" I said "nope". I asked Mom,who was writing a blog post, if we could go to Pullen Park. Mom said "maybe". So I went to go play with Miriam. After a while Miriam told me to go to Moms chair. Mom told me to look up Pullen Park.I did,and this is what I found:
  • 408 Ashe Ave,Raleigh,NC
  • 72 acres in area
  • open 10 AM- 6 PM
  • opened March 22 1887
  • Rides:Carousel,Kiddie and pedal boats,Train
So we packed up,got in the car, and drove away.
   When we got to Pullen Park,we got tickets and rode on the Carousel.I chose a horse that was chestnut brown and  went up and down. (Miriam and grandma accidentally chose ones that didn't) so after we got off, grandma said we would go again because of that. After, we went to the playground and played for a while. Then we went to the train.Benji really liked it,and so did Zoe.(I did to)
We got off  the train and rode the Kiddie boats.They were boring.Then we rode the Carousel again.We went to the park to play. Miriam and I were playing,and I was speed walking down a play hill they have when BAM I tripped and fell!On my face (well chin) and hands and knees!One lady asked if I was okay and I said yes and ran away to Mom. Then we left and went to Chick-fil-A.

Andrew in action

One of Andrew's friends is also attending the ISA conference in Atlanta and snapped this photo of Andrew presenting one of his papers (he's doing another one later today):

Grandma's here!

Miriam wrote this story about clocks at school on Tuesday and was so proud when her teacher read it aloud during math time (I guess they're learning about time right now):

Clocks help us tell time. Time is when something is going to happen. Like today my grandma is coming. In the morning it was only 8 hours until 4:30. That is when...

Bad dog

My list of things to do a couple of weeks ago was killing me. I had to...
  • make a dog costume for the stake musical
  • find other costume things for the stake musical
  • make a fruit/vegetable costume for the 1st grade musical
  • chaperone a field trip
  • get my house ready for my mother-in-law to visit
But then we ended up with a nasty stomach virus and I gave up trying to get the house ready for my mother-in-law. Miriam's school musical was postponed until the end of April—after even the stake musical is over—so I have plenty of time to figure out a costume for that. The field trip came and went and I chaperoned it just fine. And I managed to finish that dog mask Rachel and I had been working on.

These are the guidelines we were given:
We are asking parents to supply a dog costume for their child. They can be any variety/breed of dog. They can be homemade or store bought; an older and loved dress up or Halloween costume or brand new from the store or online. Please do have a puppy costume that you can be proud to have worn on stage and not a “thrown together at the last minute for Cow Appreciation day” style costume. If you want any clarifications about your costume ideas please email me. If you cannot supply your puppy costume due to financial reasons please also contact XXX personally, and she can supply you with something. 
First of all, the Chick-fil-A love is a little strong in these parts. That cow shows up everywhere—school breakfasts, grad parent Christmas parties, just everywhere—and I've never heard of so many people eating at that establishment.

The girls got gift certificates to Chick-fil-A for Christmas, though, so I guess we'll have to figure out where the place is. We've never eaten there (though we did have their ice cream at that one grad parent event).

Anyway, Chick-fil-A hosts a cow appreciation day every once in a while and I guess the deal is that if you dress up as a cow and go to the restaurant you get something free. People dress up in white and tape black paper splotches to their clothes in order to get...whatever is free...I guess. They're rarely very good costumes, usually thrown together at the last minute when you remember it's cow appreciation day.

I, uh, don't celebrate cow appreciation day.

But I did make an adorable dog mask that I figured was nice enough to not to be categorized on a cow appreciation level. Here it is on not-the-right child (since Rachel's a puppy, not Miriam):

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A three-hour tour, a three-hour tour!

Rachel's class had an outdoor field trip scheduled for September 21st. They got rained out and the trip was rescheduled for October 28th, but then had to be postponed because of Boosterthon something-or-other (a pep rally, it seems). Finally, it was (once again) rescheduled for today, but on Saturday the teachers went to check out the trail and found that the big storm we had a couple of weeks ago downed so many trees on the path that it made for rather treacherous hiking.

We got an email saying the trip was cancelled again, but a few minutes later got another saying they'd found a way past the bulk of the damage and the trip would proceed as planned.

The kids were so excited!

Rachel really wanted me to be a chaperone, so I said that I would because I missed her zoo trip last year. She really wanted me to go on that but I was far too pregnant to consider herding a bunch of seven-year-olds through a zoo on a hot day.

Helping herd fifty eight-year-olds on a six-mile hike with a nine-month-old baby strapped to my chest somehow seemed like a fine idea, though. Of course, when I signed up for the job I didn't realize it was going to be a six-mile hike. Not that there's anything wrong with taking a six-mile hike, even with a baby strapped to your chest. I simply wish there had been a post-script of sorts revealing this little truth to me. Something like, "Beeteedubs, when we say 'walk with the kids from the school to the park' we really mean 'a six-mile hike, roundtrip.'" Because then I could have brought, like, the hiking backpack/baby carrier rather than the mei-tai/diaper bag combo I had going on today.

No sane person hikes six miles hauling a diaper bag!

But we all survived.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Award assemblies

Both Rachel and Miriam were presented with certificates during their award assemblies this Friday, which meant we got to go to the K–2 assembly and then the 3–5 assembly. It was a bit long for Benjamin to have to sit through two whole assemblies ("I don't want another assemble! I want to go to recess with Mimi's class!") but it was lovely to see our girls walk across the stage.

Miriam got the "Effort Award" for showing good effort during the past quarter. It's quite an honour since only one student in each class gets chosen each quarter, even though lots of students are putting forth all the effort they can muster.

Friday, March 11, 2016

A better day

No one threw up on me in the middle of the night.

Both girls went to school and each had a happy day.

I ignored the laundry and dishes and took Benjamin and Zoë on an outing just for fun.

Andrew finished one of his papers and submitted it, which means I found time to finish editing it.

He came home and made dinner, which was not peanut butter and jelly.

Benjamin didn't drive me quite so crazy.

Zoë still didn't nap well...and it's 1:30 and she's still awake.

But I'm feeling a lot better about life today than I was yesterday.

Andrew and I even joked about that one time we flew from Utah to Egypt and Rachel fell asleep as we were coming in to Cairo. It was not a direct flight and took well over 24 hours. Oh, and there was that one time we flew from Egypt to Spain and she didn't fall asleep until we'd made it to the train station in Madrid. And also the time she stayed awake from Cairo to Athens. I don't remember when she fell asleep, but I think it was as I was carrying her through the airport (some kind man let me cut ahead of him in the passport line; Andrew wasn't with me and I was pregnant with Miriam and the man probably watched me wrestle with Rachel the entire overnight flight and felt sorry for me).

We've done monster-baby before, but somehow it's more tiring now that we're old and grey.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

In which I complain

I cleared the table from Monday's dishes last night after I finally ate 1:00 am.

Zoë threw up on me at 3:30 am, about a half hour after Andrew came to bed. So we made a repeat of the night before and he slept on the couch.

Miriam barely made it to school on time.

Rachel stayed home from school sick.

Benjamin was nothing but a bother all day. He is going absolutely stir crazy.

Zoë napped for a grand total of fifteen minutes at lunch and another half hour at dinner (which was PB&J for the second night in a row for Benjamin and Miriam (Rachel and I had leftover chicken soup, which I made on Monday)).

I got zero naps. I pulled an all-dayer.

Most of my day was spent with Zoë literally tied to my back while doing a ridiculous amount of laundry once again because we're still puking over here.

I had a two-hour rehearsal again this evening and we dragged the whole family to the stake center (don't worry—the sickies were quarantined away from the general populace) because it's not in my driving bubble and I wasn't able to get a ride with anyone else.

When I went to get her out of her car seat I put my hand into a lovely poop-splosion.

Zoë is still awake with no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Andrew is still working on his papers. I'm supposed to edit them.

So here we are, it's midnight-thirty and bedtime is no where in sight.

And I just wanted to whine a bit. But, really, it's okay.

My friend Marian has some stomach thing at her house as well. She took her littlest guy into the ER for stitches on Sunday night and her biggest guy into the ER for dehydration (technically, I suppose, for rehydration) today.

As tired as I am of this week...I'm glad I had my week and not hers!

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Dancing (until you see stars)

I don't audition well.

I know this because my ballroom coach once told me so. She still put me on the team because she'd been my teacher the year before and knew I'd polish up well. And because, she once pulled me aside to say after I'd suffered a disappointment, she also doesn't audition well.

And that's fine, because, frankly, I'm okay with not ever being the star of the show. And I'm fine with not being a professional ballroom dancer today (though maybe that looked like fun to me once). Sometimes, though, it would be nice to show what I can actually do at an audition rather than looking like an idiot.

I lectured the girls about this before we tried out for the musical. I told them that they were to give it their all. They were to sing with gusto, and if the casting director told them to jump, they'd say, "how high?"

And then we all three went up on stage and looked like idiots.


Because apparently looking like an idiot is genetic.

The casting director was like, "Can you bark for me?"

Miriam said, "No," and was not cast as a puppy.

Rachel said, "Arf?" and surprisingly was cast as a puppy (because she seriously just said, "Arf?" it didn't sound like a dog at all; she just forced those phonemes out in a row and smacked a question mark on the end. "Arf?" I suppose they thought they could work with that).

I was put in the easiest dance sequence, which was a little depressing because I can dance.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Costume happenings

I'm not finished with Rachel's dog mask yet—and won't for a while now because I don't want her to try it on until after she's better—but I'm quite happy with how it's coming together. We saw the idea on Etsy, didn't want to spend $15 (+S/H) for a few pieces of felt and decided to attempt it ourselves. We worked out the pattern on paper and then transferred it to felt (scraps that I got from a friend) and, so far, it seems to be coming together just fine.

And another one gone, and another one gone...Another one bites the dust

Poor Andrew stayed up until around three o'clock this morning working on a couple of papers that he has to submit tomorrow. I went to bed with Zoë around one o'clock (after admittedly staying up too late working on a dog costume). At 5:30 in the morning I was shocked awake when Zoë turned into a fire hydrant of vomit (one of the dangers of co-sleeping, I suppose).

"Andrew," I hissed, "Zoë's got The Sickness!"

I don't know why I was whispering, precisely. The darkness or the hour or the fact that we'd all been blissfully asleep seconds before seemed to call for it.

"I have to take a shower," I whispered. "Can you fix the bed?"

What I wanted was fresh sheets. What I got was a towel over the vomit and Andrew's side of the bed (he left to sleep on the couch...again (he slept out in the living room with Benjamin and with Miriam while they were sick and last night was his first night two hours back in his own bed)). As it turned out fresh sheets would have been a real waste since Zoë would go on to throw up about ten times.

I grabbed a stack of towels from the cabinet and put one underneath her. When she'd throw up, I'd switch it out for a new one. She and I stayed in bed until around noon, sleeping, and vomiting, and just lying there miserable while a pile of dirty towels mounted behind us. Benjamin did a great job fending for himself after I put a show on for him.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Peek-a-boo and throw up

We had a fool-proof plan for rehearsal on Saturday. I've mostly been taking Zoë with me, which is fine when we're just singing but not-so-fine when I'm supposed to be dancing. She's clingy so I end up dancing with her because she's entered that lovely stranger-danger age and no one but Mommy (and sometimes Daddy or Rachel or my friend Laura (for whatever reason Zoë adores Laura)) will do. That makes dancing hard.

So we decided that I will take Benjamin to rehearsal because he'll happily play in the nursery, and Zoë would be Daddy's shopping buddy. See? Fool-proof.

But then Benjamin started throwing up on Friday night so Andrew stayed home with him and I took Zoë to rehearsal again.

Andrew stayed home with Benjamin yesterday and I took the girls to church. We even stayed for choir, but on the way home Miriam announced that she wasn't feeling well. She made it home and managed to slip into her pyjamas before she started throwing up.

While we were skyping with my mom Miriam put on quite the show, proving to Naanii that she was sick, sick, sick. I'm sure Naanii appreciated watching her throw up and throw up and throw up right there on camera (Andrew's parents sure missed out).

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Motherhood and toilet seats

As of today, Zoë has a grand total of seven teeth. She's also sporting a brand new goose egg because gravity is really tricky to figure out.

Benjamin still wets the bed every night but is finally starting to figure out how letters work. He is full of energy all the time. Even when he's sick.

Miriam has memorized her part for the musical frontwards and backwards. She listens to the soundtrack on repeat all night long. (And sometimes she listens to one song on repeat all night long and wakes up in the morning wondering why it's stuck in her head. But I know why...because it's usually stuck in my head as well and for the very same reason.)

Rachel's entering that tricky stage of life where her friends are always feuding and math has gone from addition and basic geometry (name that shape!) to multiplication and fractions. In short, life is starting to seem a whole lot more complicated than it once was.

And I'm right in the middle of it all.

I wanted to be here.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

All the feels

Miriam busied herself with some writing notes this evening. First she made a get-well card for Benjamin, who is still sick. He got to leave the house today but only to pick me up at Home Depot (summary: I got a ride to play rehearsal with Marian but she had to go shopping on the way home so Andrew met us there to pick me up (and had to drag all the kids with him)), but he won't be going anywhere tomorrow.

He was so sad when we told him he would be missing church tomorrow. He was even sadder when we wouldn't let him have any strawberries. We saved some for him for when he gets better but we weren't about to give him strawberries just so he could throw them up again! What a waste!

Ever-empathetic Miriam felt bad that he felt bad and made him this card to cheer him up:

Project Linus

I never wrote a post about how we did with our goals from last year (even though Andrew made me a nice pretty graph showing how we did not meet our walking goal) and I never formally declared my resolutions for this year either.

Part of me thinks that's because "keeping a baby alive" is a lofty enough goal but another part of me knows that it's kind of laziness. I've been thinking about goals. I just haven't formalized them.

One of the goals I was thinking of attempting this year was to do a service project every month. I had January and February covered with milk donations and I've been looking for other easy (ie. able to accomplish with limited funds and four children) service projects. I have a few up my sleeve for later in the year (ie. after the musical is over) and I'm totally going to count Trading Tables in April, but I didn't having anything planned for March.

Enter Relief Society.

At enrichment meeting last night we talked about scattering sunshine and tied fleece blankets for Project Linus. We didn't finish all the blankets, though, so I volunteered to take one home for the girls to help me with (not being sexist but ageist—I will welcome Benjamin's help tying fleece blankets in the future when he's older and less infuriating three). I cut the fringe last night after the kids got to bed (because of course they were all still awake when I got home) and Rachel and Miriam helped me tied the knots when they came home from school.

Q: How does one wake up with vomit in their hair?

A: They throw up in their sleep.

I swear this child understands zero bodily function cues.

Like, no wonder he still wets the bed like crazy! I just watched him throw up in his sleep!

How does he even...?

My tummy says...

Dinner didn't manage to satiate Benjamin's little tummy today. Although he ate plenty he was begging for more food before we'd even cleared the table.

"Dessert! Dessert!" he chanted. "I want dessert!"

"We're not having dessert tonight," I said.

"But I promise I want dessert," he said.

And I totally don't doubt that, but it didn't change the fact that there was nothing for dessert.

Miriam finished reading Harry Potter 5 this week and was super excited to get to watch the movie. She and Rachel were going to stay up together and watch it after Benjamin went down for bed (because obviously that movie is too scary for a three-year-old, right?), but after stories he didn't really want to get into bed.

"I'm so, so hungry!" he told me, rolling around on the floor. "My tummy is saying it wants more and more food!"

"I think your tummy is saying it's ready for bed," I said, walking him back to his bed. I started singing  a lullaby to him, patting his tummy to the beat of the song since he doesn't like bedtime tickles like the girls do (they both want back rubs every night; Benjamin loathes back rubs).

"Don't do that, Mommy," he said, pushing my hands away. "My tummy says to stop that."

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

A spring-like day

We went outside this afternoon to do some work in the garden (mixing in some compost to the soil and such). Benjamin collected a entire "museum" of snails in a jar (he probably found a dozen or so) while I weeded and tilled. Zoë watched everything with interest from her rocking horse.

When we'd finished what we'd set out to do I let Zoë get down from her high horse and we played around. Benjamin practiced pumping his legs on the swing and both kids had a few turns sliding before Zoë decided what she wanted to do most was explore on her own and Benjamin decided he wanted to try to ride his bike.

Here's Zoë doing some exploring:

Cute kids

Benjamin picked out his own outfit on Sunday: red pants, blue striped shirt, suspenders, and, for a little pop, a bright yellow bow tie. He looked dapper (and managed to mangle one of his suspender clips (because everything this boy touches breaks (RIP suspenders))):

He sure does love those red pants!