Monday, April 29, 2013

IMPORTANT "firsts"

Ethan got his first tooth! Immediately followed by his second. He started sitting up solo for long periods of time! He started crawling on Sunday! But the most important "first" of all was his first OREO. 
 Messy and delicious. It's possible the mess makes it even tastier, since all good treats are sticky/gooey/crumbly and such.

Patrick tried to show me how wide his mouth can get. He looks serious because he takes this challenge very seriously.
 
Eli got in on the challenge too (don't tell Patrick, but he wins every time. He opens his mouth so wide his head shakes). I mostly love his upside-down mustache - how does that happen?
 
 
  A goofy picture of Ethan, I just love goofy pictures that make me laugh! I imagine he was singing a Winnie-the-Pooh type hum, only about Oreos instead of "hunny."

Friday, April 26, 2013

That's what you get...

Reading books keep me up 'til all hours of the night. Every dang day I SWEAR I will go to bed at a decent time and NOT stay up in bed reading for 3 hours but you know what? "One more chapter" turns into "I lose, reading wins." Touch√©, reading, touch√©.

EXCEPT reading kids books, those things kill me! I adore reading to my kids one at a time, or possible two at a time - I LOATHE reading to all three at once, Caroline insists on sitting on my lap and her hair gets stuck in my mouth while I read and the kids fight that they can't seeeee even though they can see perfectly well because I'm holding the books aloft because I'm holding my chin aloft so Caroline's hair doesn't get stuck in my mouth... it's awful. But that's not what kills me. What kills me is how tired they make me! Especially if I have stayed up disgustingly late the night before reading my own grown-up books, there is absolutely not hope for the kids getting more than 4 books out of me.  Here's the progression: I read book #1 upright on the couch, then sink down and read book #2 upright on the floor, then lay on my tummy on the floor and read book #3, then making them choose a book I know by heart so I can "read" book #4 with my eyes closed while I hope they give up and go away. Works great! So the other day the 3 big kids were tormenting me with this reading fiasco and I was so exhausted I was sleep-talking rather than actually reading (drat you, "Garden of Beasts" and midnight bedtimes and Ethan teething!), so I called a spade a spade, laid down and demanded a blanket, and gave in to a power nap, drooling into the carpet.

I should note to naysayers and my own worried mother that I don't sleep sleep. I was in the middle of the room my kids were playing in, often they were playing ON me, and I was aware of what they were doing without being 100% conscious - they'll attest to being chastised for jumping on the couch (I can feel the vibrations), turning on the sink (I can hear water running), or hitting each other (the tell-tale thump and subsequent scream are unmistakable), all while I am "napping." Sometimes I wake up and regret that I closed my eyes for one second, as the kids are soaking wet or have dug a hole in the yard or ripped the pages out of a book (all things they can do [and have done] while I am perfectly awake, just in another room). Sometimes I wake up and get the BEST SURPRISE EVER: my kid's first book!

Patrick got busy and put together an informational book, for anyone interested on the subject. See if you can guess by the picture or by sounding out the letters!
No? Don't worry, I'll translate. It's "All About Snakes." This one's a hooded cobra, hence the funny-shaped lump behind its head.

 This is an "Extra Page." He wasn't happy with how the frill turned out, so it's not actually part of the book.

 "Some snakes spit. Some Snakes (represented by letter S) don't" That's a circle of spit, I guess the snake drooled on the book.

 "Snakes have fangs but some snakes don't have poison." That's a fang dripping poison, for dramatic effect.

 "Snakes can have frills. Some snakes do not" I guess that's a frill without a snake attached.

"Snakes always have fangs."
 
So there you have it. I should DEFINITELY take naps so Patrick will write more books.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Let's play "Awesome, Not Awesome"

Awesome: Conversation with Patrick
P: Why do cowboys have guns?
Me: To keep them safe, I guess
P: Like to shoot tornadoes?

Awesome: Eli calls tornadoes, "tomatoes." So cute, I shush anyone who tries to correct him.

Not Awesome: Trip to the mountains
I took the kids to Beulah, up in the mountains, last Sunday when we couldn't go to church due to Patrick's contagious diseases (not the Amazon kind). I thought it would be nice to feel the spirit through nature since we were missing our spiritual dose of Primary; the kids felt otherwise. They explored for about 45 minutes, which was great, and then complained for 45 minutes, which negated the good feelings of the previous 45. First Patrick complained he wanted to go hiking, though LAST time we went to Beulah and hiked he complained the entire time (literally, from 10 steps up the path until we got back to the car) that his legs hurt, his feet hurt, he hated hiking, could we carry him, he was hot, he was thirsty... it was AWUL. So I said "no," this time and he was mad. Then, even not hiking, Patrick was "too hot in the sun," so he thought the car was the perfect place to get some shade even though we were in the middle of a forest of trees. His climbing in the car led Eli to climb in, too, and they horsed around and honked the horn, locked the doors, then tried to open the locked doors and set off the car alarm, so I ordered them OUT, back into NATURE which we had driven 20 minutes to hang out in. You can hang out in the car in the garage.  They were very upset. Patrick wanted "alone time," meaning he wanted to go off and mutter curses against mom where I couldn't hear him and swear he would never snuggle with me again (or other such nonsense), and of course Eli followed him into alone time and they muttered and cursed together.  Meanwhile, Caroline needed to go potty, which wasn't such a big deal because they had dug-out latrines to use, but they were across the road, which I had declared that the kids were NOT to go on or across. So of course as soon as the malcontent boys see us crossing the forbidden road they hightail it our way, so I've got three kids at the dug-out latrines and there is a black widow's web fully across the potty chute. Hmmm... not a good sign. I get a stick and destroy the web, and when I pull the stick out the freaking black widow spider is clinging to it! BAAAAHH!  I squish the spider and head to another web-less latrine, lecture about 30 times not to touch the potty (why is that so difficult?) and shooed various heads out of the way while someone was peeing - they would not stop trying to see down the hole! The whole time I was very impatient because Ethan was still chillin' in the big picnic blanket back at our spot and I'm sure any minute he'll be eaten by a mountain lion, so I wasn't in the mood to be investigating webs or spiders or holes in the ground filled with poop. When it was all said and done, it was filed under, "trying to be an awesome mom will bite you in the butt every time" file.

Awesome: New potty at our house!
The old one used about 16 gallons of water to flush, was SO loud, and was a really terrible flusher - we had to plunge it at least once a week and it's overflow record is through the roof. Actually, through the floor, onto the ceiling of the downstairs bathroom, which Joe then punched. So YAY for a new potty! (bonus points: no black widow spiders on it).

Not Awesome: Ethan is a terrible teether - fussiness, fewer naps, small fevers, the works.

Awesome: Ethan got his first tooth! All that teething finally paid off. Only an entire set left to go :(

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's a DISEASE, I say

Joe and I have gone a little crazy on Amazon lately - it's a disease. And not the kind you pick up at the gym that gives you awful spots all over your face, this kind is FUN. A FUN disease because it drops off packages at your door, delivering beauty (new range hood)


and organization (new bike rack)

and fun! (old-school board games)

Ok, the first picture might not be "beauty" by your standards, but we ordered a new range hood for our stove, white instead of almond, and this one spans the length of the cabinets, reducing under-cabinet ugliness by 100%. Also, it matches the stove. Also, only $60, with free shipping! We couldn't resist the pull of Amazon. Trying to install it, the brick veneer was too tall, so one project led to another (as always) and we took out the bricks and put up new drywall in preparation from the new subway tile. Good thing we got the new hood, that tile could have sat in our garage all summer.

The second is not the actual bike rack we ordered, you can see that one's made from PVC pipe, and ours is metal, but I couldn't take a worthy picture of ours since there are no bikes in it today since we're all covered in snow. BUT. We have LOADS of bikes/scooters that litter our garage floor and that drive Joe insane (and that one day I will surely run over, since I couldn't even manage to miss Joe's CAR as I backed out of the driveway last week), so we got a bike rack for our back patio. We, and the garage floor, are VERY excited. As Joe wasin the midst of assembling the rack Eli said, "Dad, I am proud of you! But that looks terrible."  He was less-than-impressed at an incomplete project.

The third picture is one of my favorite childhood games, "Headache," which we ordered in an attempt to give variety to Patrick's single-minded pursuit of pleasure, known as "Trouble," another Pop-O-Matic game. Fun game, but I don't want to play it 35 times in one day. So we've been having fun with Headache, thanks to Amazon because it's impossible to find in any of our local stores.

All said and done, I'll take the Amazon disease any day over The Clap, even if these guys are pretty excited about it.




Thursday, April 11, 2013

Upgrades... and not so much

We've been working REALLY hard on the kitchen, it's one of the few big projects we have left. Many moons ago I posted about our new appliances, which have sat looking awesome surrounded by a sea of... not awesome. Very dark cabinets, still stamped with their "Proud Product of _____ Cabinets, 1979." A little dated, say I. We wanted white, aaaaallllll white, so we started with those new white appliances and then started painting last month.  Lots and lots and LOTS of painting to take those very dark cabinets to very white, kicking ourselves and our color choice after our 4th coat on everything, but in the end we upgraded THIS:  
 To THIS:

 We're not done, we bought new countertops and a new sink and faucet, and you can spy (with your little eye) white subway tile laying on the counter in the top upgrade pic to replace the brick veneer, so then it'll be REALLY sparkly & new. I may even be forced to stage before I take finished photos.

Ethan upgraded from "beached whale" to "sitter extraordinaire." Yay! A new level in "the rotation" (my hip, Bumbo, excersaucer, tummy time, now the floor")

 Patrick, unfortunately, downgraded to ... THIS
We're not sure what it is. On Tuesday morning he had one bump on his jaw, which itched; we figured it was a bug bite. By the end of the day he had 5 or 6 itchy spots on his face, we upgraded "bug" to "mosquito stuck in the bedroom." The next morning he came into my room at 6:00, crying, "I itch!" and had itchy red spots all over his arms, neck, and face. ESPECIALLY face. I had a sinking feeling as my deep-seated fear (Joe says paranoia, he's probably right) that we were being invaded by bugs seemed to be blooming before my very eyes. We have absolutely no evidence of ANY bug infestation, but Joe & the boys enjoy watching freaky nature shows on Netflix, including "Infested" which has an episode on bedbugs. The day after I unfortunately watched that episode (stupid! stupid!) I learned that Pueblo is ranked #14 of Worst Bedbug Cities in the entire U.S. PUEBLO?! This very large nation has plenty of cities to choose from, so it's not a good thing that small-town Pueblo hit the top 50... even the top 20!  Denver, for anyone thinking, "dang, Pueblo is ghetto!" was ranked #6. So I've had bugs on the brain ever since that show (stupid! stupid!) and I wanted the Doc to rule out bug bites. We took him in to see what was going on and they first definitely ruled out bug bites (SIIIIIIGH of relief) but then they got stuck. Our pediatrician called in her partner, who called in his 2 med students, and all 4 doctors were fairly stumped. They leaned away from chicken pox since the bumps aren't quite right and they're confined to his face/neck/arms, so they suggested a few other possibilities that I can't pronounce, but that aren't dangerous, just ugly. Basically, it's a viral infection, much like chicken pox, but it isn't chicken pox. No fever, no achiness, but also no friends until he's clear in 1-3 weeks. Fingers crossed for 1.  Kari said "now you'll NEVER be able to convince me to join a gym," and I'm beginning to think she's got a point since I believe the gym daycare is where my kids also picked up the stomach flu; for two workouts I've basically lost a month of my life. No treadmill is worth that.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

All THREE boys at 6 months: a comparison

I was looking for another old post a while ago and came across a comparison post about Eli and Patrick at 6 months old! So fun to read. So I thought I'd add on! All three boys now.

Ethan isn't crawling but is sososososososososo CLOSE! Just over Easter weekend he went from permanently beached on his tummy, to up on his knees, to up on his knees with his diapered bum in the air rocking... I have a feeling crawling will happen very soon! In the meantime he does a sunny-side-up version of Eli's face-scoot; he arches his back so his heels and the crown of his head are touching the ground, then pushes off and makes headway. He was sunny-side up when he was born, perhaps this is an extension of that :)

Yeah, that's a wet spot on his front. I like to let him have some "fresh air" time and he invariably un-freshens his location.
 
Here's Patrick about the same age and skill level - rocking but not quite crawling yet (notice the frustrated face). Early 6-months.

Ethan is teething terribly, it's really killed his sleep, and, by extension, MY sleep. Mommy no likey. So we've been trying infant Tylenol and infant Advil and Orajel, but what REALLY works is me shutting our door and turning the fan on high so I can't hear him. After I've done all I could do and he's still waking up every 45 minutes, I figure at least ONE of us should be getting sleep!  I'd be much more patient and loving and everything if I weren't getting up every 45 minutes, so around 2 a.m. I give up. It eventually works anyway and his crying tires him out enough to sleep from 2 a.m. to 7 or 8 a.m.  SAD to be thrilled about that after reading that Eli slept through the night from 6 weeks on. Also SAD to remember what a struggle it was to sleep-train Patrick at 12 months old because he was old enough to see through our tricks, so I think 6 months is a pretty decent time - not too early, not too late. That fan might be turned on for a few days or weeks to come.

He's had trouble with constipation since he was only 2 months old, but at 4 months the pediatrician said I could give him juice to help. Now he gets 4-6 ounces of watered-down apple juice each day and it's helped a bunch. Now just about every morning I look forward to changing a blow-out diaper! Considering the alternative, I'm THRILLED to change such a messy poop. Poor guy doesn't need un-impacted teeth AND anal fissures.

Overall he's a very happy, still very spitty, recently very drooly, little boy. He's very much the star of the show with the kids, who all want (they think need) to be touching him. Or wrestling him.

 
Here's Eli at 6 months, still not crawling, but looking pretty similar to Ethan!

1st Haircut

Carolee-aro-line got her first real haircut! I've trimmer some bangs at home for a while now, just as she seems to be annoyed by hair in her eyes, but she has a double cowlick in the back which makes ALL her hair go toward the front, so where do I stop? I could go crazy and give her a bowl-cut! So it's difficult for my thoroughly non-professional self to know where to start the bangs, and completely helpless to know how to deal with the rest of it. It's VERY cute when we put it up in a ponytail, but she hates having it brushed (weird, I know that's a trait totally unique to her, right?) and cries when we take the time to pull that pony together; then she does an excellent job of messing it all up or taking it out completely within the hour. So cute ponytail only got done about once a week. And that was by Kari during Sacrament meeting on Sunday. Caroline has been asking for a while to have it cut, so we thought it benefitted all parties involved! She had a date with dad to Supercuts and they came back very happy.

I wasn't personally thrilled with the outcome. I was happy they had a date and I didn't have to take her and all that, and hair grows so it's whatever, but I feel like even my thoroughly non-professional self could have done THAT at home. The bangs are a bit too short, and I don't like how it comes up in the front - it accentuates her chubby cheeks. Just when she was starting to look older, now the baby chub is front and center. Joe said he requested it that way since she's always brushing the hair out of her face. Functional, yes; cute... questionable. What it REALLY reminded me of was the daughter on Cinderella Man. Tell me you agree.  

Now I think it's a cute haircut straight from the 1930's. In the meantime, hooray for not fighting the Battle of the Brush every time she gets out of her bed or carseat!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter, To Go


We were fortunate enough to have a wild moment of insight a few days before the Easter holiday that Joe wasn't working over the weekend and we have family in Denver. We were so thrilled to think of it! It's one of those forehead-slap moments we typically get the day after. So we called Joe's grandma, "horsey grandma" since she has neighbors with horses that the kids just HAVE to feed every time we visit, and she was so excited to have company!

We brought egg dye kits, Easter baskets, and candy and spent Saturday getting ready for the less-religious (and more chocolate-y) part of Easter.  

Drawing on the hard-boiled eggs before we dyed them.


Joe was very nervous that the kids would make a mess on grandma's table with the dye so he insisted we do it outdoors. It wasn't the warmest of days but the kids didn't mind being on the deck. Come to think of it, the kids rarely mind being outside, even if the weather is less than perfect...


We posed for a little shot. I've been trying to take more pictures of us since I've noticed a serious shortage of pictures of myself as I scrapbook - like, I'm in one picture per year. Also, we're not getting any younger or cuter, so we should take advantage of the time!


The boys accidentally dropped some finished eggs so they had hard-boiled eggs or a snack right then and there.

A few days prior to the trip Patrick asked when we were going and I replied "Saturday and Sunday." He was perplexed and said, "maybe we should just go on Saturday because on Sunday we need to go to church." Ahhhh, too true! And holy crap, we should have named him Peter instead of Patrick (as in, Peter Priesthood...) Luckily, I had another "a-ha!" moment - grandma lives close to our old Thornton home, so we would be close enough to visit our old Thornton ward! Oh MAN, THEN I got excited about this trip - horses, grandmas, getting out of the house, yeah yeah yeah, but MY FRIENDS?! This is EXCITING! So I made sure everyone was dressed their best and made sure we got to church early (that never happens) and we saw lots of people we know and love and miss dearly. And Peter... I mean, Patrick... got his Sunday worship in as well.

So there you have it, a seriously AWESOME weekend trip instead of a seriously AWFUL forehead slap. We've decided we definitely need to do it more often!