Sunday, July 31, 2016

Adventures with Cousins

Jeff's brother and his family came to visit a few weeks ago. We showed them one of our favorite parks that we knew would be fun for the kids. It turned out the dads had just as much fun as all the little boys. We also went to the zoo and we had a campfire. It was so great to get to spend a few days with them!
One of my motherhood low points of the year was when I forgot Lincoln's shoes when we went up into the mountains to have a campfire. I had high hopes we could maybe just keep him strapped in the stroller to avoid the occasional broken beer bottle or sliced aluminum cans littering the campsite, but baby had other ideas. 
The good news is his socks provided a good enough shield from the pokiness of the wild and Lincoln seemed to have just as much fun without shoes as he would have had with shoes. 
Ben proved to be just the guy to bring along for a camp fire. Not only does he know how to start a fire in a flash, he is also certified to determine whether or not your son has a concussion after said son putts a little too much trust in the stability of a camp chair perched on a hill and flies backwards with the back of his head directly hitting a pointy rock. 
Eli was a little shaken up and had a little bit of a goose egg, but other than that he checked out alright. In no time the fire was a blazing. 
We had the perfect little campsite with a  stream nearby for the boys to frolic through. Every time I glanced over at them I would find myself contently smiling at them and thinking, THIS is summer. Cousins, water, outside, fire, family, chips, s'mores, rock throwing, green, laughing, exploring, dirt, all of it! It was my dream summer evening. 

By the end of the excursion everyone was dirty and tired, so you know we had a lot of fun!
We spent one day at Hogle Zoo. It should be noted that we nonchalantly discussed whether to go to Hogle Zoo on Monday or Tuesday. We ultimately picked Monday for no obvious reason other than that seemingly insignificant decision ended up SAVING OUR LIVES. I checked the news Tuesday afternoon and saw that a leopard had escaped from its cage on Tuesday! We were one small decision away from being eaten alive by an uncaged, oversized cat. I have no doubts that cat spent the entire day we were there plotting his intricate escape plan. I also have no doubts that if we were there on Tuesday and the cat didn't get to me first, the claustrophobia would have after being crammed in a gift shop for an hour and a half with 3 little screaming people. Thankfully, we all survived the zoo without an uncaged cat-astrophe. 
If you want to know what it feels like to be a caged leopard desperate to escape, go ahead and visit the bird show. Because once you sit down for the bird show, they don't let you leave. Even if you have a 18-month-old who is D-O-N-E with the show and screaming his head off, they WILL NOT let you go lest the sight of someone standing up sends Alfonzo the bird flying in the wrong direction and the whole show is shot. With each signal of distress expressed by my baby, and with every creep I attempted to make towards the exit, I had a 16-year-old intern whisper to me that I wasn't allowed to stand up no matter what and to just sit tight, paying no mind to the little animal I had in my lap flapping and flailing around with more vigor than the birds holding us captive. So yeah, Leopard. I get the feeling of needing to hop outside the box for a little breather. 
Eli loved showing us around because he had just been to the zoo on a field trip so he was our designated tour guide. 
We made our way back to the house for a popsicle refresher after a hot day. 
I feel the need to mention the gigantic bump on Lincoln's head is a MOSQUITO BITE! What?!? Can one be allergic to mosquitos? He got a bite right below his eye shortly after this and his whole eye swelled up so much he could barely see. 
We played a bit at the house and then it was time to send the cousins on their way. It was so great to have them! 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Start of Summer

I've told you before, but Eli drops his drawers the second he gets home from school every day. No one was more excited than him that summer was just around the corner, so he could wear his comfy cotton shorts 24/7. I was excited at the thought of escaping the random laundry piles Eli left behind after his wardrobe changes that often made me question if Eli had been transfigured.
Eli had kindergarten graduation. You know, I thought I was a non-supporter of making a spectacle of finishing the first year of school, but it was actually just about the cutest thing I ever saw and I can see what all the hype is about. Eli was a total doll. He danced. He sang. He was sooooo nervous before the big performance. It was a good wrap up to a great year. 
And as if the performance alone wasn't the icing on the cake of a fabulous first year of school, Eli handed me this little gem which officially converted me to the shenanigans of a kindergarten graduation. 
Summer started right away with a visit from cousins! Madison loved following me around usually because Lincoln was always close by and she LOVES Baby Lincoln. 
This perfectly depicts her time with us. 
They had the whole trampoline to themselves, but she insisted on positioning herself as squished next to Lincoln as possible. It was hilarious and adorable. 
Unfortunately Lincoln wasn't quite having it because he was breaking in -- I kid you not -- 6 teeth (at least, including all his molars)! As soon as the Golden crew left, he crashed and wouldn't let me do anything but lay with him while we watched our favorite unnamed guilty pleasure reality TV shows for 2 straight hours. 
He had been fine all day, but turned miserable so quickly. I finally took his temperature after he started refusing to leave my chest and it was 104 the first time I took it! Yikes!! I gave him a dose of Tylenol and luckily the fever dropped almost immediately to a more reasonable temperature and never quite made it back up that high, but we almost made a quick trip to the ER. It was so weird because he had no runny nose, no cough, no nothing except for the fever and teeth. But the fever seemed way too high for just teeth coming in. It was a weird day, but he turned it around by the next day and pulled himself out of the high temps with a few more teeth to show for it. 
Eli's birthday was on the first day of summer this year. He was so, so excited to turn 6!
The boys went through a DinoTrux phase (which they're already over, Boo!). Eli got Garby for his birthday. Had I know before purchasing Garby that he is the show's comic relief through bodily functions, I would not have so eagerly bought him, but Eli loved him and of course found him hilarious, so we'll call that a birthday success. 
Eli also got a daddy date where he and Jeff went to pick out a bike. We accidentally backed over Eli's last bike mere hours after he had finally learned how to ride it without training wheels. It was so sad. The good news is it's true what they say about riding a bike. Once you learn, you never forget, Eli still picked it right up even though it had almost been a year since he had given it a try. 
Eli requested a BB8 cake. I think he liked it? Is this the face of a boy who likes his birthday cake? I'm still trying to decide. 
There we go. 
Shout out to my Grandpa for teaching Eli how to use a lighter. I should also shout out that I may or may not have caught my boys with a lighter in their room one evening after hearing suspicious, quiet giggling. From what I've gathered, a lighter had fallen out of where I usually keep them (way up high) in the pantry with all the moving and cleaning I had been up to. The boys snuck the lighter up to their room and were "just trying to start the carpet on fire." No big deal. 

Cue lecture, lecture, lecture, fear tactics, more lecture, and relocation/lock down of all lighters. Until his birthday. And then I gave my blossoming pyro full reign of the flames.
The best birthday surprise of all was that Eli's cousins from Guam came into town just in time for the celebration! More to come on a fun weekend with them!

Wild Mouse and Open House

We had plans to go to Lagoon one weekend, so we decided that would be the perfect weekend to list our house and have an open house while we were gone. 
Lagoon was kind of a bust. It was cold. It was rainy. It was one of the first weekends open, so the employees didn't know what the heck they were doing, and there were an alarming number of people there despite the bad weather. It was just overall kind of disappointing. 
The kids still had fun though!
Especially after we busted out the Cheetos. 
Jeff and I were a little distracted anxiously awaiting updates from our real estate agent throughout the day on how the open house was going. This is about the time we found out we already had 2 offers in on our house and the open house was only half over! 

This is the helicopter ride that never ended. The boys were stuck in these helicopters for at least 10 minutes. One of the parents had to go up to the ride attendant to tell them to get the kids off the ride, they had been on it for so long. The ride attendant was completely oblivious and confused to the fact that the ride was going on and on and on. 
The boys love any chance to get behind a wheel. 

As the open house was finishing up, we were anxious to get back to talk to our agent and hear how it went so we made an early exit from the park. 
We had 2 offers in and 2 more expected to come in, with one person who wanted to come back to see the house later that evening. We packed up again and went down to my parents' house to leave the house open to anyone else who may want to re-tour. 

When we got to my parents' house, Lincoln immediately found his favorite decoration. Over the past few months, every time I get to my parents' house, I throw the kids in the house and then unload a bunch of junk from my car while they play inside. Lincoln started using this picture to comfort himself whenever I was busy unloading things in the garage. 
The boys scored some popcorn from Grandpa during our visit. 
Lincoln did his signature "plop" on my mom. Lincoln loves to plop himself onto people. If you're laying on the floor, Lincoln will plop on your head every time. If you're sitting on the couch, he has to plop straight on your lap. He loves to just sit on top of people. It's not really a cuddle. It's not really him wanting you to hold him. It's just that he wants to sit contently on top of someone. 
More plops to reiterate my favorite quirk of his. 

He just loves to be by people, whether it's perched on their lap or scavenging scraps over their shoulder.

By Sunday morning, we had 5 offers in on our house and had to make a decision! It was crazy how fast everything happened and and so rewarding to get such a positive response for our house! My end goal from all the remodeling and perfecting on our home was to get multiple offers and potentially a bidding war, so it was fun to watch the long-awaited process of selling our house finally play out even more successfully than I had hoped for.

We took what would end up being our final Sunday front porch picture in our Clinton home and headed off to church excited from the success of the open house, but sad to face the fact that our time in the ward and neighborhood was now numbered.