Sunday, September 30, 2012

Boy Crazy

If I were to be completely, totally, brutally honest with you, I would tell you that I was a little sad to find out Eli wasn't a girl. Then I was probably doubly sad to find out Carson wasn't a girl. You know, because of the Excell DNA. They had proven to only be capable of producing boys, which left me understandably concerned I'd never get that treasured mother/daughter relationship.

I accepted my fate as the boys came. Along with all the parts of having a boy that I thought I hated -- the dirt. The potty jokes (yes, already). The cars. The innate ability to turn everything into a gun. The noise. The sports.

I got it all with Eli. Our stereotypical little boy. Parts of me longed for the cutesy outfits, the pigtails and the Barbies that I saw the moms of girls enjoying. But then I'd remember the conversation I had with my mom the first week of Eli's life when she said, "Look. Aren't you glad you have a precious little boy?"

I remember thinking, "Yes! How could I have wanted anything else?!? He is perfect and adorable and I know he is supposed to be a member of our family."

I had the same feeling as soon as Carson was born. I knew he was the perfect fit for our family.

Today I sat in church and unloaded car after car for Eli to play with in Sacrament Meeting. When we got home I may or may not have made a potty joke. Later we went outside and got filthy in chalk dust, laughing all the while. We came in and wrestled followed by Eli's favorite game of driving cars all over me. It was perfect.

Then I realized all the things I thought I'd hate about having boys are actually all the things I completely love about Eli. I love his sense of adventure -- the dirt. I love his intrigue in how everything works -- the cars.  I love his friendliness -- the noise. I love his creativity -- turning everything into a weapon. I love his cleverness - the potty jokes. I love his ability to turn anything into a game -- the sports.

Boys are pretty great.

But what I love the absolute most are the moments people rarely talk about with boys. The moments when they cradle a baby doll and gently wrap it again and again in different blankets to tuck it into bed at night then softly whisper "Goodnight" and kiss it on the head. The moments they wander over to you and say, "My love you, Mom" with a grateful smile. The moments they cuddle up next to you without saying a word.

You expect those moments with a girl. Or at least, as a girl-less parent, I assume you would. Which is what makes it all the more sweet when your wild, rambunctious, jumping-off-the-walls boy shows moments of sweetness, tenderness, compassion and love.

Then you realize being the mother of a boy is about the greatest thing ever. Because when you see that you can teach your boy gentleness and love, you know you're doing something right.

Today I'm especially grateful for my boys. I'm embarrassed I ever thought I wanted it a different way. It's true, I'll probably continue to make jokes about being cursed to a life without glitter, flowers, dresses and hair bows, but you should know that I'm up for the challenge of raising a few kind-hearted males. No matter how many potty jokes I have to make to get there.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

First Official Family Vacation

We took advantage of Jeff's free week off from busy season being over to make a trip down to St. George for our first official family vacay! Everyone was giddy with excitement.
Eli was hilarious basically the whole trip. Luckily, I had a little notepad and documented a few of the funny things he said. Two particularly funny conversations happened on the way down:

(About halfway through our drive)
Eli: Oww! Oww! Oww!
Me: Eli, what's wrong?
Eli: Wanna kiss grandpa.

Another time, the sun was in Carson's face so we were trying to hang Eli's blanket up against the window. After a few failed attempts, we ended up rolling it up in the window to get it to stay in place. Eli looked at it concerned and then said, "Whoopsies. Mommy stuck my blankie outside."

We finally arrived to St. George, happy to be out of the car. We stayed at a home Jeff's parents have down there. Eli remembered just where all their toy cars are and played with them immediately.
On Tuesday we went to Sand Hollow and wished we would have brought a boat because NO ONE was on the water. It was perfect weather, perfect scenery and perfect company.

Let me back up for a minute because I just remembered this is where we had another funny Eli quote. We went to D.I. before going to the lake to get some sand toys for Eli. As we pulled up, this happened:
Jeff: "Eli! We're going to D.I.! This is a RICH D.I."
Eli: does an exaggerated sniff. "My can smell it!"
*This isn't some game we do or something we commonly say. He came up with that all on his own.*

Anyway...back at to the lake...
We risked giving Carson swimmer's itch to let him have his first dip in a lake.
This is our only family picture of the whole trip. Ha.
We went back to the house to get cleaned up and have the kids take naps. Then Eli and Jeff wandered outside to look for the lizard that hangs around out back.
Tuesday evening we made a trip to the temple. Eli loves having his window down in the car, and he "ate the wind" the whole way there.
Walking to the temple grounds. Eli loves pushing Carson.
I asked him to sing "The Temple Song" on the way in and this was his production:

After the temple we went to Nielson's to get ice-cream. In the parking lot we remembered we didn't have our wallets. We drove back to the house to get our money. (It was already about 8:30 by the way. A.k.a. bedtime.) Twenty minutes later, we arrived to Nielson's again and went up to order. We ordered wrong. Then we ordered right and handed them a credit card. Only to find out they don't accept credit cards. Then we realize the only cash we had we used at the lake a few hours earlier.

We left a little embarrassed and settled for a frozen yogurt place where you choose your own toppings. As we were eating our froyo, Jeff said, "I actually saw this on the way over and wanted to go here more." I laughed and told him I thought the same thing. I guess outside forces were helping us go where we really wanted to go. Here are the pictures from our 9:00 ice-cream adventures:
Jeff read the boys a few stories when we got back. I love when Jeff reads to them.
On Wednesday we went to Cedar City. We weren't going to give Eli a nap, but after our late night the day before, he had plans of his own.
He found a watering can decoration right before dinner and insisted on going outside to water the garden before he would eat.
After dinner, we went out back to play a horseshoe type game that Ben and Tana had set up.
Had to pose by the sunflowers.
Austen and Carson.
Thursday morning we went to the splash pad.

Carson got a foot bath again. He enjoyed it more than it looks like he did in this picture.
I'll interject another Eli story here. I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but this is what was said:
Eli: "My did it!"
Me: "Say I did it."
Eli looking confused: "My did it, too!"
Me: "No. You say, 'I did it!'"
Eli: "Eli did it."

Thursday night Jeff's parents came down to watch the kids for us so we could go on a date. Eli got a ride in "Grandpa's Truck" to go out to dinner.

We snuck away to see a play at Tuacahn. I had never been, so I was excited to see what all the fuss was about.
Sometimes if you take pictures of each other on opposite sides of a picture, you can kind of mash it together to almost make it look like you were both in the same picture. The play was awesome. We loved it. They had real camels that I couldn't get over. It was so nice of David and Mary to watch the kids so we could escape for a bit.
Here's my last Eli quote. It happened while we were driving somewhere. Carson was sleeping. Everyone was being quiet.
Eli: "Don't wake up Carson, Jeff!"
Jeff: "Call me Dad."
Eli: "Only Mommy call you Jeff?"
Jeff: "Yup."

We decided to leave a day early so I could get some laundry (and blogging) done today. We had a relatively uneventful ride home. Although...I did get an opportunity to prove to Jeff that peanut butter gets gum out of hair after Eli decided to put "sweet gum" in his hair along the way. That kid.
Such a fun vacation. It was nice to get away and finally spend some good, quality time together after surviving another busy season.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Five Months Baby!

Little Carson Boy is five months old today and cute as ever!
This is what he's up to:
  • Already growing his bottom two teeth!
  • Said "mama" a couple times over the weekend, although obviously unaware of its meaning.
  • Eats 4 oz every 2 hours. Still. 
  • So happy and content 99% of the time.
  • He got sick after two days of "sleep training," so I started feeding him again at night. He gets up 2-3 times a night. Who needs sleep?
  • Fits in a few 12 month shirts. He's a giant.
  • Can put his binky in his mouth. Usually after several failed attempts, but he can do it eventually.
  • Is interested in toys.
  • Rolls onto his belly every chance he gets.
  • Can scooch around in a circle.
  • Cries every time I put him down or go out of view.
  • Does this weird chomping thing with his mouth all the time. I think it's him feeling his new teeth. It's simultaneously hilarious and adorable.
  • Also does this weird low growl/gurgle/cooing noise that cracks me up.
  • Started smiling and responding to being read to this month which has been fun.
  • I wanted to document his nicknames. One day Eli kept calling Carson "Baby Baby" and I could not figure out where he got that. Then I realized I called Carson Baby Baby all the time without really realizing I was doing it. So Carson's main nickname around here is Baby Baby. His predictable nickname is Cars. And finally, I'm ashamed to post this, but I want to have it down for memory's sake, every once in a while we may call Carson Carcinogen. I'll add here that Eli is occasionally referred to as E-Coli, I've been called SARS disease and Jeff sometimes gets called Heifer...And I thought Griffindork was bad.

Everyone always comments on those blue eyes! Love them.
 His chompers.
 On the verge of being a sitter.
 He's such a cheese ball. I love him!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cookie Therapy

On days the boys wake up at 5:00 in the morning and then refuse to take naps, I indulge on cookies to keep me sane.

Let's just say we're getting pretty good at making cookies.

Even with the super early mornings, nobody can be crabby when cookies are in the oven.

While 5:00 mornings allow for extra time during the day to make cookies, it also allows for extra time for little children to be naughty. Eli was being a major trouble maker yesterday. A sassy boy mixed with a tired mom brought out several temper tantrums from both of us. Here's a taste of our day:

Eli still has his binky addiction. So much so that each day he finds something new to show me and proudly exclaim, "Just like a binky!" Yesterday he sucked on Mr. Potato Head's eyes all day.
He loves to get in Carson's bed when I get Carson up from his naps. Yesterday he ripped all the pictures off the wall above the crib and even managed to pop a letter off "Dinoland." He doesn't like me to talk on the phone anymore. So the moment I get on the phone he starts doing stunts like this.
We only have one car right now so our only form of transportation is our trusty double stroller...and yesterday I found it had a flat tire after I had the boys loaded, diaper changed, bladder emptied, snacks and binkies to last us through a nice afternoon walk. Tears were shed.

You can understand we're getting a little stir crazy over here. Hence the mischief.

I'm enjoying the small amount of time I have with innocent Carson before he starts following in his brother's sassy footsteps.
To prevent Eli from causing mischief, I have to provide nonstop activities for him. Yesterday we colored with markers for the first time. He sat and colored for about an hour. And made up for his lack of sleeping by being a super adorable little artist.
(Eli is such a boy. He went straight for the black marker. Followed by brown. Then dark green and blue. Cracked me up.)

Finally, here's a picture of Carson in his rarest form -- sleeping! He fell asleep on his tummy for the first time yesterday. Man do I love a sleeping baby.