Sunday, August 27, 2017

When the Sun Mooned Us

Can I get a "What! What!" for the solar eclipse?!?
About 3 weeks before the eclipse, Jeff got a notification on his phone that I had just purchased some eclipse glasses off Amazon. He immediately texted me in a somewhat mockingly way saying he thought it was "cute" how excited I was for the eclipse. I thought it was "cute" how he thought he wouldn't care about the eclipse. I knew he'd be grateful for my efforts to prepare come the day of the show.
Sure enough, the morning of the eclipse Jeff was suddenly eager to find out when the maximum coverage would be so he could race home from work to meet us and share in the experience with us because it turned out to be even cooler than anyone was fully expecting. Oh Jeff. You're so cute. :)
We went to the church parking lot so the boys could ride bikes with intermittent breaks for popcorn/eclipse viewing.

I am officially an eclipse chaser. It was like, the coolest thing I've ever seen. And thankfully I could see it. Because I bought the glasses. Jeff.

I am forever regretful I didn't make more of a push to trek up to Idaho. We did still experience some darkening, cooled temperatures, and an overall eerie feeling which was everything I was hoping for, so I guess I'll be satisfied in the viewing efforts we did make, but it made me all the more interested to have experienced totality!
It made for a fun educational experience to ease us back into the school scene that would soon follow. 

Crossing off the Bucket List

With summer drawing to a close, we had just a few more things left to do to complete our bucket list. One of those things was to "dig a deep hole" -- one of the boys' contributions to our list of summer activities. They got the job done in a less ideal place than I had anticipated, but who I am to interfere with an afternoon of entertainment involving a whole lotta dirt and a snow shovel?
Eli crossed something off his lifelong bucket list and finally lost his first tooth!
We had to go up to our favorite summer evening hangout one last time before hitting the books.
We went up the mountain to have a campfire where Lincoln just wanted to spend some quality time with Carson and Carson just wanted Lincoln to get the heck away from him due to the fact that Lincoln kept intentionally blocking his view of the fire. So it is with brothers.
Our friends joined us to make the evening a full blown party.

I will never get over the similarities between us. We both lived in the same married ward in Cedar City but at slightly different times, Jeff and Burke are both accountants and were both completing their Master's degrees for a couple of months at the same time at SUU. All of our kids are born within 2-4 months of each other, Jeff and Burke currently have the same calling, and if that wasn't enough, Jeff (kind of coincidentally) just got a new job where Burke works! I feel like every time Teresa and I talk we discover some new, funny, unlikely thing we have in common. And as I told my sister shortly after I met Teresa, "You can't NOT be friends with someone you have so much in common with!" The one difference we have is she has the ability to produce the hair-bow-wearing type.
It was here we discovered Lincoln becomes noticeably possessed at the sight of marshmallows.
Jonah and Brightly are only 2 months apart. It was fun to be pregnant together and continues to be fun to have another set of kids so close.
You've known us long enough to know our favorite way to say goodbye to summer is to do one final summer shebang at Bear Lake with friends from our old ward.

With shakes as the cherry on top of a perfect day.

This makes 4 consecutive years we've gone up to Bear Lake in August so I'm calling this a firm tradition that's quickly become our most highly anticipated summer event. It was so much fun!
We were right in the perfect eclipse-viewing position mere days before the big show and yet I wasn't able to convince my family that totality was going to be cool enough to camp out for. We instead decided to hurry home in an effort to avoid the traffic and gasoline/power outages news reporters were dramatically predicting would most certainly occur. I have since heard everyone who experienced totality say it was even more awesome than what it was hyped up to be, which has left me forever ticked we skipped town and missed the midday darkness. We'll just hafta catch ya in SLC in 2045, totality. Until next time.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Embarrassing Mom-ents

You know, I could crop this picture and you wouldn't see the weirdness that is the blanket Eli decided I needed on my legs before he would agree to take the picture. But what fun is that? Here are some of my favorite stories as of late that are as un-cropped as this picture.
The other day the boys were repeatedly calling Lincoln up to their room in a very kind, enticing, and inviting way, and then as soon as he got up there, they slammed the door on him and then shoved their bodies against the door to ensure his exclusion while giggling ferociously.

I caught the scene on the Lincoln side of things and saw him excitedly run upstairs to finally be included with the big boys only to be reminded of his baby status as a swift door-in-the-face reminded him of his rank.

I demanded the older boys let me in and I explained to them how it felt for Lincoln to be stuck on the wrong side of the door. How sad that makes him. How unfair it is. How it's important to include people. How Lincoln just loves them and wants to be with them. How they need to be better brothers. How they know better than that. It went on and on until they finally agreed to let Lincoln in their room.

To which I walked down the hall. Went in my room. Closed the door. And locked it.
Lincoln and Carson were arguing for the however-many-days-it's-been-of-summer-tienth time about the color of the plates I would be distributing for lunch.
Lincoln: "IIIIIII want blue one!"
Carson: "YOU don't get the BLUE ONE!!!! I GET THE BLUE ONE!"
You get it. This goes on for every second of the 5 minutes I am getting them lunch. Along with Carson changing what color plate he wants and making rotating plate assignments of grand confusion.

I encourage them to stop in tones much harsher than they probably needed to be, but I was so D-O-N-E with this 3-times-a-day argument. The screaming continued at even higher decibels.

As the arguing got to a point I could no longer Lamaze through, I finally broke and said, "I will give you NO LUNCH and you can GO HUNGRY the rest of the day!"

To which I immediately heard an unfamiliar grown voice say, "Is your mom here?"

While the middle boys were screaming at each other, Eli had unbeknownst to me opened the door to a 50-something-year-old real estate agent trying to get me to sell my parents' house and he had undoubtedly heard my empty threat to starve my kids (though he had no reason to believe it was an empty threat). Hashtag mom goals.
On a related "note." Here's another favorite:

We had just gotten a CD about trucks and tractors from the library that the kids LOVED. I went to put Lincoln down for a nap one day and as I was leaving he requested I sing "Dizzy Lizzy" a broadway-esque song about a snow plow.

I must admit, I had grown to love the CD as well, and I was feeling quite energetic at the thought of nap time within reach, so I decided to ham up his special request.

"Diiiiiiiiizzzzzyyyyy Liiiiiiiiizzzzzzyyyyyy, Dizzy LIZ! The GREATest LADY IN show BIZ!"

The trick with Lincoln is to walk out of his room while you're singing his goodnight song, so I start inching towards the door only to hear unfamiliar voices.

I immediately halted what had turned into a song and dance and cautiously peeked over the banister to the front door. There stood a mom I had just met who immediately spotted me and gave me a friendly wave. I told her to hold on just a minute while I got Lincoln fully settled in bed.

I took a few seconds to accept she had most definitely heard at least a portion of my performance and then I sheepishly reemerged as we both knowingly looked at each other.

She then asked if her boy could play for an hour because she needed to teach a class that afternoon. What was the class she was teaching, you ask?

Voice lessons.

Jonah at Four Months

Jonah has hit the four-month mark! Yay! Here's his resume:

  • He coos, giggles, laughs, is in a constant state of adorableness. 
  • Stopped sleeping through the night. Tears. 
  • Newest Nickname: Joney Balogne. 
  • Doesn't love being held. Prefers to be on the ground just a-kickin' away. 
  • LOVES baths. I lay him in the bath tub in an inch of water and he goes crazy.
  • Making efforts to roll onto his belly. He can get on his side.
  • He is finding mobility. I'm starting to notice that I'll find him in a little bit of a different place than where I put him down. 
  • Not a fan of being worn in a baby carrier which is sad because I loved throwing Lincoln in that thing all the time. Jonah prefers being in his car seat to being worn. 
  • His cry is more of a quiet scream. He sleeps fairly close to us but I have to sleep with a baby monitor so I can hear him at night because he's not very loud, but he is very...screamy...It's a unique thing he's got going on and people always comment on how quiet yet screamy Jonah's cry is. It's less of a waaah waaaah and more of a super high pitched eeeee eeeeee. There you go. Because I'm sure you read blogs to dissect baby screams. 
  • He loves his brothers. Smiles so big whenever they take notice of him and happily endures all of their antics. 
  • Still the sweetest little guy and a pretty chill dude to have around. 

A Glimpse Into the Future

If you want to melt all the hearts in the Provo MTC, all you have to do is take 4 tiny, related prospective missionaries in matching ties and you'll have the whole place swooning your every move. 
That's right. We toured the MTC. To which people said, "...why?..." And to which we said, "We have FOUR BOYS! You can't NOT tour the MTC when given the chance when you have 4 little dudes whose futures surely include some sort of stint in that building."
So we toured the MTC which largely consisted of me trying to create photo ops for my boys to recreate when they get their name tag, and them doing everything in their power to sabotage my vision.
Little do they know they've made the future pictures all the more funny to recreate. I got you this time, young saboteurs. 
We went with our friends which added to the vision of cuteness that could happen should any of our boys happen to be at the MTC at the same time. I mean, just picture the adorable recreation! Well...My boys had other ideas. 
Proud daughter moment when I found my parents' picture on the wall of Mission Presidents. 
More uncooperativeness. 
And now my boys have caused Hinckley to turn on me as well. 

It was fun to introduce my boys to the life of a missionary. They've heard Jeff talk about the MTC and they really liked seeing it for themselves (even if the pictures don't necessarily align with that narrative).

A Diamond for my Anniversary

The pregnancy and birth of #4 caused us to strike out on another year of attempting to sign Eli up for t-ball. 
Jeff took matters into his own mitt and took the boys out for their first baseball lesson.
They all had a ball.
The evening was a home run.

Jeff and I celebrated 9 years of wedded bliss this month.
My sister took (ALL!) the kids while Jeff and I snuck away on a hike + a nice, quiet meal at Texas Roadhouse. 
Eli has been suffering for a whole month from a loose tooth. I say suffering because he's been very embarrassed, nervous, and paranoid about the whole losing-a-tooth process. Jeff was able to help Eli come to terms with the fact that losing teeth is a natural phenomenon by showing Eli videos of other kids yanking their teeth out in creative ways. Eli went from one end of the paranoid spectrum to the other in 10 minutes' time. Before we knew it he was running upstairs to grab a pack of floss and a nurf gun to creatively part ways with his dangling chomper.
Sadly, the tooth remained stubborn and withstood our attempts to shoot it out with a styrofoam bullet. It did manage to finally fall out a couple weeks later, the day just after Eli, in the throes of an hour-long (unrelated to teeth in any way) rage ended it by slamming his bedroom door, then opening the door and shouting, "And I KNOW YOU'RE the TOOTH FAIRY!"

Way to stick it to me, Eli.

This is the first tooth being lost in our house and the magic of the tooth fairy is already under intense scrutiny. I will say when that dollar appeared under his pillow, he did seem to question his tooth fairy related doubts.

We've had such a busy summer. We had activities every week from the second school got out until the beginning of August. Then nothin'. Nothin' but a lot of time to get the boys nice and feisty with each other.

On a particularly feisty day, Carson was in a downward spiral of brotherly destruction that was causing him to spend the majority of the morning up in his room to cool down. Over the summer we started a new rule that if you hit someone you have to do a service for them along with your apology and Carson CANNOT for the freedom of his soul from time-out ever decide what to choose for his service.

His time-out sessions involve a lot of me suggesting service ideas and him telling me they're all dumb and then me telling him he wouldn't have to bother with service if he didn't hit and him rolling his eyes at me while trying to negotiate his way out of the service part. Scream, hit, repeat.

I was diligently trying to follow through on Carson's consequences in a loving, caring, and understanding way which was taking a lot of time. The blessing of my efforts is that poor little fourth child put himself down for his nap right on the kitchen floor.
I get my work done in the afternoon while both Jonah and Lincoln nap, so it makes for a much more efficient day if I can get them both sleeping at the same time. I ran up to put Lincoln to sleep after I found Jonah mid-nap, and then I ran back downstairs and turned off all the lights and brought Jonah's sound machine to try to increase the longevity of his kitchen floor nap. Moments later while I was sneaking a quick lunch, I saw two little eyeballs had excitedly found me and my nap plans for the day had been foiled. We gave it a good try though.
Our afternoon shaped up and the boys finally decided to start getting along.
I sent them out back for a craft while I enjoyed a few moments of silence on the other side of the window.
Every morning Carson's first words are, "Give me breakfast." His life is at a complete standstill until he has his morning metabolic spike. He will not even go to the bathroom in the mornings until he has had a bite of breakfast.

I had to laugh one morning when he demanded his breakfast, took his first bites, and then I looked over at his plate while he ran to the bathroom. He knows where the good stuff's at:
I keep thinking, "Oh it will be so nice when school starts! The kids will have something to do! We will be productive again! We will have a routine, order, happiness, and peace."

And then I remember the source of the majority of my current chaos isn't goin' anywhere. :)
Two babies. TWO BABIES! I am such a baby with two babies. Two in diapers. Two that love to be held. Two that need constant attention. It's hard! It's exhausting! We are kind of in survival mode as is evident by the number of diapers you can find lying around the house at any given time. (Answer: always at least 5.)
We had a couple of rocky weeks but we've been enjoying the last week of summer. These boys are super sweet when they're sweet which is a lot of the time.
Eli can't wait for school to start and I think Carson is understandably a little nervous. We'll see what the school year brings!