Monday, May 19, 2014

A Series of Unrelated Pictures

My lack of blogging can be blamed on the fact that I've been slaving for the last month over turning our blog into a book. I do this about every two years, and the process is grueling, but always worth it when the book shows up on my doorstep. I was motivated to continue on in the mindless formatting of years of pictures when Eli spent an hour one morning thumbing through all 200+ pages of the last blog book I made. He loved it, and it gave me visions of the many times to come that he would hopefully enjoy flipping through the books.
Below is a picture depicting the annoyance of feeding my children. They have completely opposite tastes. Eli likes cereal and hates pancakes. Carson can deal with cereal, but LOVES pancakes. Eli loves popsicles, Carson prefers ice cream. Eli likes cheddar cheese, Carson is a string cheese kinda guy. They agree on very few of the same food preferences. I can't help but chuckle on days I go to clean up after lunch to see Carson has eaten all of his cottage cheese, but didn't touch one grape, and Eli didn't touch his cottage cheese but downed all his grapes. One day they'll learn the art of free trade.
 Carson is a rule follower *typically*. Though I wouldn't not call him a rule bender. Here he is bending the rule to stay in his room for quiet time. Little weasel.
And here we have him bending the rule "Don't Get on the Counter."
This post is riddled with instagrepeats. Ever so sorry. But as I said there, one afternoon while doing a workout video, I turned around to see Carson had snuck out of his room to join me. That's his interpretation of a plank. I didn't have the heart to shoo him back into his room until he started wandering down the stairs a good half hour into our workout.
Eli has started feeling the need to give evidence to the fact that he is full. Which means he must lift up his shirt to show us how big his belly is from eating all the food. This pose is how he ends every meal.
Have you ever heard of a $5 family pass to the most fun amusement park in town? It's called the City Dump. The boys could have spent the entire day watching "the scooper" push all the trash over the ledge into the landfill. Then I had the pleasure of hearing about it in great detail from both boys for the next two weeks, with begs to be taken to the dump every time we got in the car. Seriously.
You might be like me in thinking, "You have to pay $5 to go drop off some trash?!?" But what they don't tell you is that $5 admission covers the cost of sneaking a peek at the "GIVE AND TAKE" which is a little designated area for trashed couches, mismatched chairs and one enticing children's slide that made its way into our trailer after Jeff and I briefly had an inner wrestle with whether or not we really wanted to be the kind of people who took other people's trash from the dump. Well...even our pride couldn't get in the way of the fairly unweathered slide that soon graced our backyard. And Jeff proclaimed it the most white trash thing we have ever done.
I could make a 20 bulleted list of all the ways Eli and Carson are different, but they do have at least one thing in common besides their love of cars -- their shoe size.
And I suppose they do both love bugs, but Carson isn't quite as eager to hold the little buggers as Eli is.
We unwisely planted our garden the weekend before Mother's Day. As I bragged to people in the ward that our garden was already existent, I got looks of shock and horror as they gasped violently with their hands over their mouths. "What?" I would innocently state, trying to find the source of their reaction. "The rule is you can't plant until Mother's Day!"

Oh crap. I mean, yeah. Jeff DOES have a reputation of murdering his garden about halfway through every growing season. But we were still gung-ho and filled with anticipation at the prospect of having fresh tomatoes, strawberries, cilantro and green peppers bursting forth in our own backyard. Had we created a produce graveyard right from the start? Complete with little headstones to forever remember what should have been growing but was now rooted deep underground, unable to even stand a fighting chance because we had neglected to wait until the all-clear of Mother's Day weekend?!?

I told Eli plants like to be sung to while we were planting, and he took that to heart as he timidly sang, as close as he could, to each plant that went into the morgue.
As all the wise gardeners expected, the week right before Mother's Day was a chilly one. With rain/hail/minor snow. It was just the kind of weather that leaves tomato plants shivering to their death, leaving only the shriveled, black skeleton of a once hopeful future.
By some miracle -- I'm chalking it up to Eli's sweetly sung renditions of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" -- our garden survived our first attempt at murder! Surely there will be more chances for them to die off, but until then, we have greenery gracing our garden.
We went down to my sister's house for her baby's blessing, and upon realizing we were all picture perfectly coordinated, I had to seize the opportunity for a family photo shoot. Credit to my dad for his ability to make my boys smile through his paper airplane skills.
 Carson being adorable post bath.
Eli being adorable post roly-poly infatuation.
Eli has started this new thing where his bike "gets a broken engine" so he has to carry it to the garage where he "fixes it" with all Jeff's tools. He has also started this thing where he -- completely on his own -- decided purple and pink are girl colors and he refuses to ingest any food or water that is or ever has touched the dreaded colors of pink or purple. In case you were wondering, this is what a stereotypical little boy looks like, and I love him for it:
Here's the day Carson was so mad because he kept hearing "monster trucks" but he couldn't ever see them. It was thunder.

The lighting was really close to our house, I told Eli to keep the door closed because it was dangerous outside. Eli then said after a minute, "Mom, does Superman have a house?" It seemed like a completely random question until I realized he was worried about Superman's safety in the storm.
Carson has officially taken his first floor nap. My latest attempt to sleep train Carson is to "kill him with kindness" so to say. My rule is if he gets out of bed his door gets closed, so he always gets out of bed, and then I nicely close his door. As soon as he opens it, I walk straight into his room and say in the most cheery voice I can muster, "OH! Are you ready to go back to bed?!? Let's go!" Like it's the most fun thing in the world. Turns out he gets annoyed with me after 2-3 times of this happening, and prefers to have the door shut, and then before long he takes this pose:
Behold the moment my Dad gave the boys their very first G&K cars. As Jeff said, my Dad is already priming the boys for their inevitable fate of G&K careers. And it's working because Eli's little mouth frequently utters those two letters throughout the day as he's playing with his new favorite car.
We moved the ladder that goes to the trampoline to paint our kitchen, so Eli made his own ladder.
I went to pick Eli up from preschool one day, and his teacher was looking for his craft when I arrived, then she said, "Oh yeah! Eli has his on." I looked into her backyard to see Eli was the only kid who still had his "V" craft -- visor -- on. He proudly rocked that visor all day.
This tradition has carried on. The giggling that comes from the resulted thumping of tiny hands is nonsensical and endearing.
Our favorite place to be, the park!

Eli has developed a sensitive side that became prevalent after his cousin Madison was born. He gets this sweet, adoring smile on his face around babies...and roly-polies.
Eli quote unrelated to either picture above or below:
Eli: "Mom, what is that white smokey stuff that comes out of cars?"
Me: "I think that's called the exhaust."
Eli: "No. I think you're wrong. It's called car ghost-es"
Channeling my inner Katniss.

These boys make my heart melt. They are the sweetest. Children. Remember that I loved you when you later come to realize those bright red cheeks and sweat beading down your face are directly passed down from me. Perhaps another reason I will likely have all boys. It's a blessing because sweaty boys aren't as gross as sweaty girls. As a sweaty girl, I can validate that statement.
Congratulations! You made it to the end. You have proven your allegiance to Lucky Number 8. You are free to go now.


Eric and Justine said...

So I know that I ask this about a lot of stuff you do but do you use a particular website to create your blog book? Tips? My personal blog maybe hopeless but I'd at least like to make Eric's blog into a book someday.

ps. Your boys are so handsome!

sarah said...

I use It's the only one I've found where I can customize the book page by page to make it look the way I want it. But it takes FOR-EVER!

Rebecca said...

I loved all these pictures! I can't believe the slide that you got at the dump. My kids already think your house is the funnest of the fun because of your trampoline so seeing the slide addition may just blow their little minds. The picture of the boys sitting on the rock is so adorable.

Kim said...

This was a great post! I laughed out loud all the way through it.

Your little boys are so cute and such characters and your story-telling is so awesome it captures all of it perfectly!

Random, unrelated pictures all add up to a very fun glimpse into the life and minds of not only the little Excells, but the Mama Excell as well.

Well done!!

LC said...

I loved this!!!! so hilaious and cute!

Kenzman said...

Is it sad I too have had my time with the give and take at the dump, and unlike you, I never thought twice about it. That means I'm really white trash. Cuz at least you took a second thought...

P.S. I love you guys!