Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lincoln is Five Months!

This little cutie is one month older -- hitting the 5-month mark!
He has started occasionally rolling belly to back. He does this with great frequency when he's propped up on pillows giggling at his mother who is trying to keep him still to document his 5-month mark.
He is constantly devouring discovering his hands.
He has slept 8:00 PM - 5:00 AM a few times. Boo. Yeah. Bay-Bee.
He's in size 2 diapers. Can still squeeze into newborn size clothes, but comfortably fits in 3-month outfits. We're on the verge of needing to pull out the 6-month clothes.
He is the most smiley boy, but he makes us work hard for any sign of a giggle. I've only heard him fully laugh maybe once and it was only for about 2 seconds.
But that smile he'll flaunt to anyone willing to send him a glance.
Here are some other tidbits about Mr. Itty Bitty:

  • Nicknames: Lincolnator, Linky Lou, Linky Link, Skinamarinky Dinky Link, and my favorite new one -- Tee Tee. Eli has repeatedly called him Tee Tee over the last week. Not sure where he got it, but he's trying his hardest to make it stick.
  • We started putting him in a little walker. He can't touch the ground, but he loves sitting up in it and looking around. 
  • He isn't on a real schedule other than he gets tired an hour and a half after he wakes up and then sleeps for about an hour.
  • He eats about every 2 1/2 - 3 hours during the day.
  • He has a pretty impressive bald spot on the back of his head.
  • He survived his first (and perhaps only?) Girls' Camp with me this month!
  • He communicates by gargling and gleefully screeching but hasn't started making any word related sounds quite yet.
  • He became uber hand obsessed this month. He is constantly chomping on his hands, looking at his hands and clasping his hands. In the last few weeks it also seems like he's started trying to swat at things.
  • He loves to kick those little legs. More and more I've noticed he's able to scooch himself into different positions than how I left him if I leave him lying on the floor for a few minutes.
  • He's getting picky about being swaddled. Sometimes he loves it, but mostly in the evenings when the house is hotter he resists the swaddle and sometimes falls asleep without it.
  • He loves having blankets or burp rags or stuffed animals on his chest to grab and rub against his face.
  • He's getting more attached to his binky but still not his favorite thing.
  • He is entranced by the TV. He's already been introduced to an episode or two of Rescue Bots. 
We love our Lincoln boy!

Outdoor Adventures

Jeff came home early from work one Friday and suggested we go somewhere in the mountains to have a little campfire for the evening. The boys hopped right on board and we were out the door with a bag of marshmallows and a pack of hot dogs in no time.

A quick Google search of local campgrounds encouraged us to travel to Layton for our outing. To Layton we obediently and unquestioningly went.

Upon arriving to the fire pitted area, we spotted a sign saying we weren't allowed to start a fire there and slumped in discouragement as we took to Google again. Google then sent us to a park in Ogden. To Ogden we obediently but slightly more hesitantly went. 

Upon arriving to the Ogden park, we found trillions of cars and a slew of pop-up tents. Jeff tried to whiz past the tent that said "TICKETS" right by the entrance of the park, but all the park-goers immediately glared at him with shocked faces while a man approached the car with his hand up, ordering us to stop. We rolled down our window to learn there was some convention going on at the park and it would be closed all weekend.

At this point I was ready to give up the idea, but Jeff remained committed to his promise to build a fire for the boys, so we continued on. We figured we would surely run into some campfire opportunities if we made our way up Ogden Canyon. To Ogden Canyon we did go with quickly fading optimism.

We did not find a single open campsite available in 45 minutes of driving so we finally decided to swallow our pride and journey back to our house.

On the way home, we agreed that we had promised the boys a fire, so a fire they would get! We decided to create a makeshift fire pit in our back yard and had just as much fun as we would have at any of the three campsites that turned us down earlier in the evening. 
The next morning, we had tickets at Rocky Mountain Raceways. My sister had been there a few weeks before and raved about it, so we thought it would be a fun thing to try.
I was anticipating big crowds and loud race cars but only found half of what I expected. We basically had the place to ourselves!

It was super fun to see the cars speed past. We particularly loved the snowmobile races. Everybody loved it as much as I hoped they would...
for a total of 10 minutes and then Eli was D-O-N-E. For a boy who claims his dream is to be a race car driver when he grows up, he sure had a short attention span for the sport. I don't know if it was the heat, the loud noises, or reality hitting him that he had picked an unrealistic profession, but something was urging Eli to get the heck outta there. We forced him to stay a half hour past his meltdown point so that Jeff and I felt like we had gotten at least half of our money's worth out of the experience, and then we bid the raceways adieu.
Since it was only 10:00 in the morning and we had planned to be gone most of the day, we rerouted to Temple Square to prolong our adventure.
I remember walking around Temple Square last Christmas with two crazy boys running around and Lincoln on the way. I had a panic attack wondering how I would ever manage with THREE kids in such a crowded place. I felt like I had come a long way from my holiday panic attack once I was there, keeping it cool, with all three kids. We had a good time and didn't lose a single kid a single time! Victory!
A few days later we ventured down to Big Cottonwood Canyon to try out a new hike.
It was here that Lincoln full-on puked all over me. We were about 10 minutes into our hike and stopped to check out the map. While we were stopped, Lincoln's belly started to rumble and then he was suddenly spewing his entire last feeding plus a few extras straight on me. I was holding him in the baby carrier, facing me, so we were both completely covered in it. It was the weirdest thing.
Lincoln appeared to be fine, so we forged ahead, hoping it was just a little motion sickness that had gotten to him. Or maybe it was the heat? The heat sure got to these two. Every other step we had to take a break to pass the water bottle around.

Everything was lush and green. This is about where Jeff told me, "I saw a bunch of signs that said, 'Watch Out For Moose' while I was walking around the information building." Suuuuuuuuper. Can't I just enjoy nature without encountering any creatures? Especially big ones. That will charge me or my wandering children. Every step I took after Jeff informed me of a potential run-in was backed with fear and caution as I spastically scanned the trees and attempted to discern through the shadows for beasts of the mountains.
Just after my animal radar was heightened, a small group of elderly couples from Florida came rushing towards us yelling something. My first thought was, there must be a bear chasing them. As they got closer, I realized one of the ladies was yelling at me, "If you love your children, you will stop right now and turn around."

I deducted from her lack of immediately mentioning the presence of a bear that my initial suspicions of a looming animal attack were unfounded. More shouting began as she grew closer, "It is SO steep. I had to stop every 20 feet. And it's rocky. It's hard to climb. And the ELEVATION! I don't think your kids could even breathe up there! I hope you brought lots of water. It's a beautiful view but after you get past this corner it's straight uphill."

This was an animal attack I didn't foresee. The attack left me frozen, wondering if I should continue uphill, blatantly ignoring the advice of a complete stranger, and further proving to her that I'm an unloving mother for giving my kids exercise and fresh air, or should I heed her shouts and head back down the mountain to prematurely finish our her company.

We slowly sidestepped the hostile creature and safely continued our journey up the mountain.
Okay, truth be told, it was pretty steep and hot and rocky and a bit more strenuous than we had predicted it would be. But fear not, my elderly hiker, we brought water AND snacks AND allowed for plenty of pit stops along the way.
And when a certain little mister was still tired, he got a lift free of charge to refuel.
Just as we approached the top, we had our second animal encounter. Someone on the trail told us to veer slightly off course to see a mama moose and her baby. I get jumpy at the thought of mixing my children with wild beasts whose behavior I can't predict. I don't trust that my boys will stay a safe distance from potentially dangerous animals and I don't trust that a mama moose with her moosling will be understanding of our stares and company. I also get anxious to envision mama moose charging at us and me having to run away with Eli, Carson and a baby slung around my waist. We cautiously peered over the hill just long enough to spot the moose, and then panic set in as all my paranoia flashed through my head which caused me to quickly escort us far away from their territory.
I'm happy to report my children had no problem breathing at this elevation. Unless Lincoln's puking was elevation sickness. Then that dear lady hiker may have been right -- on all counts of caution. But her delivery was terrible.
The lake at the top was a beaut!
 The boys had a blast throwing rocks into the lake for a solid hour.
With evening drawing near, we marched back down the mountain with Lincoln completely OUT.
The way down was a breeze. Until Lincoln puked all over me again right after this picture. A small part of me wonders if Lincoln is one of those pukey kids because he didn't otherwise act sick. Neither of the older boys have been big pukers, and I fear Lincoln is going to be my one who loses his lunch if you tickle him too hard, jostle him around a little too much or look at him the wrong way. Fingers crossed this was an unexplained, isolated event.
It was fun to hike in a new area we hadn't seen before. I'm happy to say we all survived, and I feel the need to confirm that I DO love my children even though I sent them off to scale the mountain after being advised against it.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Shenanigans

Our "school year" obligations consisted of one measly preschool class that was two hours long three times a week. But man. It's amazing how much that one little obligation occupied us. Now that preschool is behind us and an open schedule is ahead of us, I'm finding us with a lot of down time and two little boys that need some entertainment lest they physically and emotionally bite each other's heads off.

Enter Play-Doh.
Enter t-ball camp.
T-ball camp sounded like just the thing to fill our open schedule. In theory. Baseball is Jeff's favorite sport, so he's eager for Eli to find the joy in his passion. I was eager for Eli to have a fun little activity to call his own over the summer break. Carson was excited to get some undivided attention from me in the shade of the trees while Eli had class just a few yards away. Lincoln was on board to angelically sleep through every lesson. In theory.
The first lesson went just so. Eli loved the game. Carson loved the mommy time. I loved the shade. Lincoln loved his Zzzzs. Peace. Bliss. Exactly what I wanted. 
After the first class, the high school girls running the program came up to the parents and said, "Hey, could you guys help us out?" I openly stared at her in confusion, trying to figure out if they had waters they wanted help handing out or sizing t-shirts for the kids for the season or what exactly it was they needed help with.

Unable to determine an immediate need for help, I said with a now fussy baby in a carseat in one arm, my purse plus Carson slung over another arm, and Eli now freely roaming a parking lot, "Help with...what?"

"Well if the parents could would be a lot easier for us."
"You mean help with the camp?" 
"Yeah. Like, I don't know if you saw, but the kids were really crazy today and it's just hard to keep all of their attention, so if the parents could just be there with their kids it would really help."
"Okay." I said. Surely a few eager baseball enthusiast dads would show up to help the girls run the next practice and I'd be set with my hands full of two other children on the sidelines. In theory.
Next practice began with the coaches asking each child where their parent was so their parents could throw the ball with them. After realizing there was no getting out of what I have renamed "Mommy and Me T-ball Camp," I put on a smile while lugging Lincoln to the middle of a baseball battleground, hoping he wouldn't become the unsuspecting target of a preschooler's pitch. I convinced Carson to join in on the fun and had him happy and participating only to turn around and find Eli had turned sour. 

He would not. Do. Anything. He completely shut himself down and stood slouched over with arms limply dangling and a frown to fully get the point across that he was not going to make this easy for me. One of the coaches came over to me and said, "Oh that's so funny! He was just fine a minute ago!"

How weird that he's started acting up now that his mom has invaded this little activity that we all thought would be his source of independence for the summer. I glared at Eli as I concocted a bribe strong enough to snap him out of his sassiness. 

"Eli. We're going to go get a treat after this and you only get one if you're a nice boy." I said in a sing-song voice in an attempt to make the bribe more enticing. Then I tossed the ball at him. 

He stood there and stared at me blankly and let the ball hit him in the thigh. The ball rolled away from him, but the blank stare remained as he appeared unfazed. I tossed another ball at him reminding him one last time of the chance to cash in on a desperate mommy situation with a treat. 

I hit him in the stomach with him making no effort to catch the ball. Finally he picked the ball up, so I got excited thinking he had decided to shape up for the rest of the practice. Before I knew it there was a ball flying at my face and Mr. Sass was mischievously giggling to himself.

And that's the moment we quit t-ball camp. I'll play catch with Eli in the comfort of my own backyard minus the sass attacks, thank you very much.
On days when t-ball gets the best of me, I get the chance to unwind with a less violent bunch -- the young women!
We went on a hike about a week ago and had a blast! Except for the part where I stared a snake in the eyeballs.
With t-ball off the docket, that leaves extra time to make visits to Granny's house!
One morning Eli got it in his head that we were going to Grandma's house. He and Carson spent a couple hours packing up their "Grandma Backpacks" in the morning and then proceeded to carry them around the house ALL DAY! I kept saying, "Eli, I don't think we're going to Grandma's house today, bud." And Eli would reply, "I know. I'm wearing this backpack just in case."
Two days later when Eli finally accepted that we weren't going to Grandma's any time soon, he presented the contents of his backpack one by one to the ever patient Lincoln. The next day we DID end up going to my Mom's house really last minute and the first thing Eli said when I told him we were going was, "Oh no! I emptied my backpack!" You could say he was caught without any oil in his lamp when it proved to be his reckoning day, poor guy. 
Here are some other contents that were emptied much to my disliking! I have a strict legos-must-stay-on-a-blanket-at-all-times-and-never-be-dumped-out-all-over-the-floor rule. Unfortunately Carson is not inclined to take an interest in rule enforcement.
Lincoln has made my life a little easier by learning how to hold his own binky in. He still doesn't love binkies, but he has become a major hand chomper. Lincoln sleeps down the hall a little bit from us. I woke up last night to a strange noise and wandered out in the hall to investigate. As I woke up a little more, I realized it was Lincoln ferociously sucking on his hands! I went into his room expecting him to be awake and ready to eat, but he was sound asleep chomping away at his fingers so loud that it WOKE ME UP!
He has also started temperamentally rolling over. By temperamentally, I mean he only does it for Jeff when no one else is looking.
Thankfully the library does fun story times in the summer! We went to one where the aquarium brought in some animals and the boys got to touch a snake.
And our favorite way to kill time in the summer is to chill in our backyard in the evenings.
Sometimes we impersonate Mario.
And other times we impersonate Sonic the Hedgehog.
Or we make up our own characters inspired by our crazy hair like The TrampoLincoln.
Easy going Lincoln does not even care when he scooches himself off his blanket and ends up with his head straight on the grass with his brother attacking him.

Eli "swaddled" Lincoln one night. Lincoln is so happy to let Eli do whatever the heck Eli wants to do with him. One day at church Eli was squishing Lincoln's face in every which direction during the entire hour of Sacrament meeting. Lincoln was smiling and giggling all the while. Moments later, one of my friends lightly touched Lincoln's face and he scowled at her like she had wronged him in an unforgivable way. It cracked me up to see the stark contrast between the touch of his doting brother and the touch of a stranger.
We hit up a splash pad yesterday where Carson swaddled himself.
And today we celebrated D. Jeffery. Without getting too cliche mushy gushy, we think Jeff's the best. He is so sweet with our boys. He's everything I ever wanted in a dad for my kids. He's definitely the favorite parent around here until the kids start appreciating my cooking and I can win them over with food and treats. Happy Father's Day!