Sunday, March 13, 2016

Old House, New Job, Lost Boy

One of my first thoughts after moving into our house was, "I dread the day we have to move out of this house." As we piled more and more things into the house, I knew we would only accumulate more and more things and more and more children while we were there which I foresaw translating into a lot of extra things to pack up and a lot of extra dings in the walls to patch up.
Yup. We're moving! With my parents going on their mission, the stars kind of aligned for us to live in their house while they're gone. It's still a bit surreal to be preparing to leave a home and neighborhood we've grown to love, but we're making steps towards a big change. 
What we anticipated as being quick touch ups on the walls and baseboards has evolved into a full blown home makeover. I took a paint can in to the store to be matched and the employee said, "Oh. They don't make that sheen anymore. I can match the color, but you'll still be able to see a difference if you're trying to just do touch ups. All you'll have to do is just paint the wall corner to corner."

That's it. Just paint the wall corner to corner. On every wall in our house. 

Every night we've been chipping away at our house projects. I get so overwhelmed thinking of everything we have to do, so we've started just focusing on one room at a time and getting each room completely done before moving on to the next. We have basically repainted every inch of our basement and are now working our way upstairs. It's been a race every night to get the kids in bed, hurry and tape a room, paint, and then remove all evidence of paint and paint supplies so the kids don't start their own painting projects in the morning.

We took a night off our work for Jeff's birthday. We celebrated his birthday the day after the 19th by getting a babysitter and going to dinner and the temple. 

Then we celebrated it again on Sunday at my grandma's birthday dinner. 

To add to the mayhem of making over our house and preparing to move, I went and got a job! I've been trying to step away from the curtain business a little bit. It was becoming a bit overwhelming to have orders always hanging over my head and not having much control over how busy I would be with orders.

I don't always love this quality about me, but I just love to make money! I've started calling it my hobby. I just love to find ways to make a little extra cash, and I get a lot of satisfaction from helping the family at least a little bit financially. I looked into approximately 10,000 different work from home jobs over the past 3 months to see if I could find a new money making idea to try. There were a  few different ideas I dabbled in. One was transcribing. I worked for mere pennies for about a month and found that I really enjoyed transcribing, but needed to find a more worthwhile employer.

By chance, I searched on KSL for a job one afternoon and found a work from home transcription position. With some hesitation, I applied. With even more hesitation, I went in for an interview, and with much surprise, I got the job!

I work every weekday for about 3 hours which hasn't been too hard to fit into the day since I was already used to spending at least that many hours on curtains a day. I've loved the change. I love that I put my time in and then I can be satisfied setting it aside for the day whereas curtains were constantly "hanging" over my head. I love having something productive to do in my free time, and I've really enjoyed transcribing in general. It's been a welcome change!

The only tricky part was the first week. I was still in training, so I had to have my calls in by 3:00. Problem was, I was teaching preschool that week! I had a 4-hour block of time to get my 3 hours of transcribing in. That was a stretch! And here's a good depiction of the trouble the kids got into once they realized they had 3 hours to rummage through whatever they wanted while I tried to squeeze my work in:
I'm done with training now, so I have a lot more flexibility with when I can get my work done -- a.k.a nap time so this little mister isn't tearing the house apart!

The one bummer about the job is I HAVE to do it every day. That's been tough on these beautiful days we've been having when I just want to be outside all day! Luckily I can usually work and be done by the time Eli's home from school so we can all enjoy raking leaves in the Spring together. 
Eli raked up a big pile of leaves, boxed them up, and declared he was going to make "leaf lights" with them. Since our Christmas lights are now down, he thought it would be appropriate to welcome spring by stringing leaves along the house attached to lights. Somehow the box disappeared and was never mentioned again before this plan transpired into more than just an idea.

Eli brought this picture home from school the other day. I think it's my favorite picture of him ever. My brother always says Eli has an "emoji face," and this perfectly depicts that:
Eli's been really into his stuffed animal friends lately. They often join us for dinner. Complete with bibs and silverware.
The boys found my Instagram books one morning. I loved hearing them reminisce about the things we've done. It's interesting to see what they remember and which memories are their favorites. 
Here's Lincoln being a big cheese. He's been a stinker lately and hasn't wanted to nap. I decided to transition him down to one nap a day and it's been rough for both of us! He's been really clingy and whiny trying to grow accustom to his new schedule which means lots of time plopped on my lap, taking selfies for entertainment.
He is consistently sleeping through the night now so that's something to smile about!
A welcome break from fixing up the house and working was when we went down to Leslie's house for an afternoon. My kids were in heaven and only emerged for food the whole time we were there. 
Once we did have everyone in view for a moment, we took the opportunity to snap a *few hundred* quick selfies. In the meantime, unbeknownst to me, Carson disappeared. 
We stopped taking pictures. We looked at the pictures. We laughed at the pictures. I looked around. Noticed Carson was missing. Did a casual stroll 3 houses up and 3 houses down from Leslie's house, sure I would find him. Did another less casual stroll, yelling Carson's name. Told everyone Carson was missing. Looked in the back seat of the car to see if he had gotten in the car because we were about to leave. Ran through Leslie's house looking for him. Ran in the backyard looking for him. Did another 3 houses up, 3 houses down panicked stroll, contemplating if the next step is to call the police in this situation?!?

As I was walking, I saw all the open garages and feared Carson could have wandered into the wrong house, thinking it was Leslie's. I looked in Leslie's garage as Kenz said, "Did you check the car?" "Yes! I already did." I replied. Kenz looked anyway. She opened the back and Carson was sitting in the very back of the car. Just guiltily, quietly sitting there.

I thought he had an accident and that's why he was hiding and making no effort to be found despite our screams for him. He didn't have an accident. He was just there with the most guilty look on his face that I've ever seen from him. It was so strange.

I told this to Jeff and apparently this is common? He told me that sometimes when kids go missing they think they're in trouble so they continue to hide because they hear everyone yelling their name and it sounds a lot like how it sounds when they're in trouble. So they just quietly sit, stay and keep hiding. It was weird to see it happen because it was so not what I expected. I figured if he heard everyone calling for him, he would come out, but he didn't at all. Anyway, here's my PSA to go over with your kids what to do if they're ever lost or hiding and hear people calling their name. And here's my gratitude to Kenz for checking the very back of the car so the police did not have to get involved in our rescue mission.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Kid Creations

I have been so pleasantly surprised recently with the boys' newfound interest in coloring/writing and drawing. I love seeing the things they come up with. One afternoon, the boys found I had just bought some new crayons and markers. They decided to do "teamwork" pictures together where they both worked on the same paper to make a picture. Carson frequently shoved Eli out of the way to get to the markers, but they were on such a buzz from the new writing utensils that no one shrieked a complaint the whole time. 
It's been fun to see Eli learn how to read and write. I loved his spelling of Utah on one of his homework assignments:
Best toy I've ever bought was these pearler beads. The boys are still going strong with them!
One morning Eli was frantically scribbling a letter to his imaginary robot friend Thundercrush. He had Jeff put it in an envelope and then Eli wrote instructions on the envelope so the mailman could find Thundercrush.
100-2 - address
SaDRrash- Thundercrush
"Look for the yellow robot."
"He can be anywhere."
"He is at a battle."
Carson has impressed me with his interest in the alphabet! He sees Eli working on his homework, spelling and reading, so Carson wants to be doing all that stuff too. He knows all his letters, all their sounds, and he's starting to recognize what letters words start with. 

One week he worked really hard at mastering writing his name. I thought it was so funny when I went to see how he was doing and found he had written his whole name right -- but completely backwards. 
I love Carson's artwork. It's a little bit Tim Burton-ish. He has his own style that I find completely endearing. This picture is from a while ago. It's a picture of Christmas morning. The person on the right is surprised to see a present and the person on the left got a big pile of coal. With hot lava underneath them. Obviously.
Eli drew this one. It's Eli, Carson and Lincoln waiting at the top of the stairs on Christmas morning. 
It's so fun to get a glimpse into the boys' minds through their artwork and writing. They crack me up and I love to see the things they come up with!

Snippets of Sundays

I have always hated 1:00 church. By far my least favorite of the three options. Until this year! I have been loving the lazy mornings. I've been loving that it's practically bed time when we get home, and I've been loving that we don't currently have any nap schedules that severely interfere with the afternoon worshipping. It's been heavenly.

Jeff's been enjoying his Sunday morning Lego time. One Sunday I had all three boys in the bath tub. As I was getting Lincoln out, I heard a clatter of Legos across the hall. I looked in to find Jeff sitting all alone in the boys' room meticulously crafting with Legos.
Eli has recently developed a new friendship. With a stuffed animal. He's never been big on stuffed animals, but one Sunday he grew attached to "Nighty" and insisted we bring him to church with us. Eli dressed him up in tie and shoes and lectured Nighty on the importance of being reverent during church the whole way there. 
Eli was pretty good with Nighty at church...initially. Halfway through the meeting, "Nighty" started jumping around and making distracting noises. I leaned over to Eli and said, "Eli. You need to be reverent or I'm going to take Nighty away."

Eli innocently looked over at me and replied, "It's not me! It's Nighty! I think I need to take him out in the hall."

Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky. Nice try, little mister.
The other little mister has also pulled a few antics at church recently. He's in this phase where he loves to BOLT -- suddenly, unexpectedly and with great speed. He's funny because he gains your trust. You are sitting on the edge of the bench as Carson tries to scooch by you and he makes you think, "Yeah. He's old enough to sit on the end of the bench. He won't run away. He knows better than that. He's never run out of the bench and through the aisles of the chapel, straight to the bench where the boys prepare the sacrament to use as a trampoline before. Surely that's not what he's trying to do."

You offer your son a moment of trust. A moment of freedom to experience life on the end of the bench. A moment you would soon regret.

Because he'll plop his little bum on the bench. Look at you. Smile a closed mouth smile with eyes squinted, head cocked, just the thing he knows will reassure you he'll be responsible with the new seating arrangement. He'll wait for you to turn your head. And then he'll BOLT! ZAP! GONE!

Scurrying up to climb onto the bench -- in front of everyone -- where they prepare the sacrament. And you guessed it -- jump on that bench like it's a trampoline for 30 solid seconds. 

The thing about Carson is, if you chase him, he runs. If you ignore him, he returns. He loves a reaction so if you don't react, he will quickly come back to seek the reaction he needs. People turned around to look at me like, "Ummm. What are you going to do about that?" While I sat still, arms folded and head bowed. Partly because I was trying to make a point to Carson that I was not going to react to his antics and partly because I was trying to avoid eye contact with everyone turned around and staring at me. And partly because I was saying a little prayer he would quickly give up his charade and return back to his rightful seat -- barricaded in the middle of the bench.

He returned. Thinking he was completely hilarious. Beaming with pride. Then he shimmied back into our bench. He plopped back in his place, and he acted like everything he just done was completely normal. 
The boys are usually really good at church. Their teachers give them rave reviews. They always volunteer for prayers, scriptures and talks in sharing time. They sit quietly and really seem to take things away from their classes, but every once in a while they surprise us with a bout of mischief on the pews.