Friday, December 31, 2010

Mikey Lately

He's the first one up in the morning - 7 a.m. on the dot, every day. His screaming at Dylan wakes me up. Who needs an alarm clock when Micah is around??

He likes to steal Sadie's thunder. She often roams around the house, singing songs to herself. He will follow her, singing a made-up song of his own. This drives Sadie crazy and fills Micah with much glee. His current favorite song is "Jingle Bells." He wanders around, singing, "Dingo boss, dingo boss, dingo boss, dingo boss..." He doesn't ever sing the other parts - jingle all the way, oh what fun, etc. Just Dingo Boss, over and over again.

(Yes, he is bald in these pictures. Post about that soon to come.)

He is very tender and kind to his little brother. But not to any of his other siblings. He's a brute. Slapping, pushing, punching, throwing toys at them ... these are part of a normal day with him.

He refuses to potty train. I think I'm just going to have to go cold turkey with him. When I get up the mental strength...

He loves to help with the laundry. His favorite thing is to put wet clothes in the dryer, put in a dryer sheet, and SLAM that dryer door shut as loudly as he can.

His hair reminds me of a baby chick's hair. Yellowish-white and very fluffy.

Every woman is "mama." When we leave a restaurant or a store, he will pick out some random woman and yell, "Tank you, Mama!"

He loves to take baths. He asks for a bath like four times a day. He gets really mad when I limit his baths to one. He screams and yells at me about it.

He really hates his occupational therapist. He yelled at her today: "Top it! I hay you!!" However, he adores his developmental therapist. With him, you catch him with honey better than vinegar. That's for sure. His OT hasn't figured that out yet. Sigh.

He wishes I would paint his fingernails and toenails. I won't do it. So he hides in his room and colors his nails with crayons.

My food is always better than his food. Even if it's the exact same thing. He wants to sit on my lap and take bites of my food.

He loves to give hugs and kisses. When I leave to go to work every night, he says, "Tiss??" and leans in to be kissed right smack dab on the lips. Dylan likes to be kissed on the cheeks. Micah is a lip-kisser. Also when I leave, he says, "I yuh you!!!" [I love you.]

He hates naptime. A lot. We have to lock him in his room for naptime and bedtime, and he finds small toys to use as makeshift keys to jimmy the lock from inside and escape. He's our own little Houdini.

He loves it when I pretend to eat his toes. He also loves being tickled. He also loves it when I rock him in my arms and sing a really rough, violent rendition of "Rockabye Baby," complete with near-drops and fast swinging and shaking. It's a very wild wind rocking the baby in the treetops. The likes of winds we see in Idaho.

He loves flip-flops. He puts his, Sadie's, and Dylan's on several times per day.

He stopped wearing shirts as wigs for awhile, but now he has resumed the practice. I wonder if it's some kind of security thing. Like, he was feeling secure, so he stopped wearing his hair, but then he started feeling insecure again? It started happening again the week of Christmas break. Who knows.

I love this kid so much. He is quite a challenge, but also really adorable and so much fun.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Very Zen Holiday Season

The holidays usually really stress me out, but this year I took a different approach, and it helped so much - I just let it go. Christmas is about celebrating Christ's birth - NOT about making 70,000 loaves of poppy-seed bread for neighbors and friends. NOT about making beautiful, homemade Christmas cards. NOT about having perfect decorations on the house. I worked really hard to push all of the extra crap out of my mind and to just focus on Christ. And it improved the holiday season for me tenfold. If I had time to make poppyseed bread, cool. If not, oh well. If I had time to send out Christmas cards, cool. If not, oh well.

The kids were in a hellfire hurry to get the Christmas tree up and decorated right after Thanksgiving, so we showed them the supplies and told them to have fun. It was awesome. Dylan assembled the tree all by himself:

Ben put the lights on the tree for them, but they did the rest:

I should have taken a picture of their finished product. It was really, really funny-looking. Dylan decided that the best way to make sure an ornament doesn't fall off a branch is to bend it up at a ninety-degree angle. Which works when you have a fake tree. So picture a capital L. The horizontal part is the little branch sticking out. The vertical part is where Dylan bent the branch to ensure that the ornaments stayed on. Soooo funny.

I inherited a buttload of ornaments from my mom, ornaments of many, many different colors. Wayyy too many for one tree. But the kids put every single cotton-pickin' ornament up. Every single fake branch was taken over by an ornament.

I decided that, if I had time, I would re-decorate the tree, after the kids were in bed. But if I never had time, oh well.

Luckily, I did have time. I saw a show on HGTV about decorating your house for Christmas, and I was inspired. So I decided to focus on just a few colors this year. I chose white, gold, and silver. All ornaments that didn't have those main colors were put back into the box for another year. So here is my re-decorated tree:

So pretty. And fun. Next year, the sky is the limit. Maybe red and silver! Or green and gold! Who knows? Some close-ups:

This is one of my favorite ornaments - Big Ben:

And St. Paul's Cathedral:

I picked those up just before I came home from Study Abroad, exactly 13 years ago.

You know, I've always wondered if I should collect something. I've never really collected anything. Perhaps I should collect ornaments. Like, if I ever go on a trip, pick up a cool ornament for my Christmas tree. Good idea, Kar.

By the way, I never got around to making poppyseed bread for anyone but my fam and Nat's fam. I ordered cheap, easy, fast Christmas cards from Walgreens. And the outside of my house was only half-decorated through the month of December. But it still was an amazing Christmas season.

Mind if I wax cheesy? I'm in charge of my ward's bulletin every Sunday, and I was looking for something neat to put on the cover the Sunday before Christmas. I ran into this poem that really touched me. I read the poem on Christmas Eve for our family's little celebration. It brings tears to my eyes:

The Boy and the King
by Virginia Maughan Kammeyer
Oh, see! In the sky! A star! A star!
It shines like radiant bloom - a gem,
Near, and yet afar, afar,
With shining petals and silvery stem.
It seems to grow from the hillside there
Where the oxen and the donkeys share
A cavern stall. And now, behold!
The cave itself seems turned to gold!
And the ass and the ox are looking down
In the stable room that is bright as day.
And in the straw is a baby fair
With an angel face and silken hair.
The beasts are making a joyful sound,
They sing to the child in a lowing tone
As they kneel, they kneel on the trodden ground;
And the doves aloft on their rafter throne
Join in the song with rustling wings.
And a shepherd comes in the singing night
To bring a lamb, all softly white.
And now to the house come riding kings!
Purpled, and jeweled, and bearing gifts.
They open ivory casques, and drifts
Of myrrh and incense fill the air.
Then they bring forth gold, and they pour, they pour
A kingly ransom upon the floor. And I have nothing, nothing at all
For the little one an offering,
For I am the slave who cleans the stall,
And runs to serve at my master's call.
But I fetch a drink from the hillside spring
For the mother of the tiny child.
Her smile is very sweet and mild.
But the babe! The babe! When I look on him
It's as though a sword had pierced my side,
And I wish I could cry it far and wide:
This is the King! The King! The King!
The One we have waited for so long!
Foretold in prophecy and song!
But in the inn my master sleeps
All unknowingly through the night.
He will not wake for this wonderous sight.
And when I tell him he won't believe.
So I will be still and only grieve
That I cannot follow the Holy One.
But someday, surely, when I am free,
My ransom bought, my slavery done,
Oh, then, in prayer to bend the knee
And with a joy that is piercing sweet
Embrace my Lord and kiss his feet.
With tears my eyes shall overflow.
Oh, to see His face! And know! And know!
- Dec. 1973 Ensign

I could go on and on about the beautiful words that the writer chooses to describe Christ's birth, and how they correlate with scenes from his later life, but you aren't my students, and I'm no longer an English teacher. :) Oh, how I love poetry. When I read it to my family on Christmas Eve, I'm pretty sure nobody heard a word. Micah was being a jerk and squealing and running around. And rest of the kids were too little to really understand it. Oh well. Letting it go...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Wanna see some pics from Thanksgiving? Okay!

Ben snapped this pic of me and Gage:

It's one of my all-time favorite pictures. It's so weird; when I first downloaded it from the camera to our computer and took a look at it, I was so confused. I thought it was an old picture of Brianna holding Micah. I was like, "How did this picture get into this folder?" And then I realized that it was me and Gage. Gage is Micah's twin. And apparently, I am Brianna's twin.

Ben likes to take pictures of me:

I curled my hair that day. I'm thinking I won't be doing that anymore. I looked like I was back in, like, 1991. I think I'd better just stick to straight hair.

We played Apples to Apples, one of our fave games. Nat and Ivy:

Ivy is sooooo cute. And she has been potty training really, really well. Much better than Mikey. I get jealous. I wish there was some way to potty train without dealing with messes. :)

The kids (and a few adults) watched that Shrek Christmas movie thingey:

Mom had the best idea - she got these little 3D puzzles that the kids could build - just something to pass the time. Dylan and Ben were in hog heaven:

Pretty soon, most of the kids got tired of the puzzles and went downstairs to run around. Mom decided that she was going to put a puzzle together for someone:

From what I understand, those suckers were hard.

Dylan's finished puzzle kept falling apart, so Ben used Mom's wood glue and glued it all together:

It's a dragon, in case you can't tell. My mom just got Dylan another 3D puzzle a couple of days ago. He assembled it in about three seconds (the kid is sooooo smart), and Mom took it to her house to glue it together with her wood glue. She's such a good gramma.

Dad offered to get all of us girls winter coats. I really needed a ski parka, and I picked out an adorable green plaid one. They had the same print in a day-to-day coat, and Lex was so in love with the print that she chose that one. So we're twinners:

Cute, no? I cannot wait to wear that sucker skiing. Though I've been wearing it day-to-day, too. I'm in love with it. Thanks again, Dad.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Part of the Job

Dylan is starting to learn the facts of life about being the eldest sibling. I have taught him all about it. One of these facts is that the oldest sibling is the jungle gym:

He's a good sport.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sadie Lately

She calls a nutcracker, a "muckracker."

When she sings ABC's, she concludes by singing, "Now I know YOUR ABC's..."

She loves to count to 100 by 3's (with my help). So we actually count to 102.

She likes to figure out which letter words start with - "Mommy, 'bear' starts with b, huh? Buh, buh, bear."

She loves getting tickled. She sidles up to me and exposes her tummy for some tickling. (I, on the other hand, HATE getting tickled. My least favorite thing.)

When she hits Micah and is sent to her room, she sits on her bed, howling, "Daddyyyyyyyyyy!!! DADDY!!!" plaintively. Even when he's at work, and she knows it. She's trying to get under my skin. Even when he's home, he doesn't come to her rescue; he is actually much stricter than I am. So I don't know where she's getting this "Daddy" thing from...

She loves toilet humor. She likes to make jokes about farting, songs about pooping, etc. Very unladylike.

In that same vein, she has taught herself how to burp by swallowing air. She's very proud of this talent.

She calls a "pattern," a "patterent." Which is a lot harder than saying "pattern." She loves discovering patterns in things, and when she colors, she likes to make the object she's coloring, say, a scarf, striped, with alternating colors.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

He also helper.

Dylan was really into shoveling the walks after the first big snowfall:

However, the novelty of shoveling has worn off for him by now. And for me. And for Ben. Sigh. We have a couple of inches in our sidewalk from last night's storm, but I ain't going out there. It's fa-reezing.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Stippling Sisters

Nat and I are big fans of colorful walls. No blah white walls for us; no siree. Our husbands are NOT big fans of painting, so we have had to be each others' painting partners on numerous occasions. Wow. "Occasions" is hard to spell. And I don't usually struggle with spelling. I hope it's right. I honestly don't know how to use spell check. I've never had to.


Nat has been desperately wanting to paint her basement, so we finally did the dang thing. It looks sooooo good.

Off-white. Booooor-ing...

Nat, Her Royal Cuteness:

Just love this girl.

It took Nat like fifteen minutes to get the dang lid off the bucket:

Ugh, I hate buckets like that!!! A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to open my food storage flour bucket, and I had the red bucket opener and everything that I was using, and the dang thing wouldn't OPEN!! I was so frustrated that I started screaming and pounding the top of the lid with the red thingey. I was like a chimpanzee throwing a fit. Then I threw the red thingey across the kitchen. Dylan was concerned about me. I finally got the stupid lid off, but my fingers were totally sore the next day. I kid you not.

While I was waiting for Nat to undo the lid, I saw some funny signs up on Jake and Troy's door:

I think it says at the top, "Spy Club Rules." I think the boys made a spy club together - is that right, Nat? The rules: 1) Don't be silly during exercises. 2) Don't be bad, or ____ gets ripped. (I can't make it out.) 3) We can use our spy thinking for math, science, addition, and homework.

And then they have some pretend key pad entry thingeys to get into their bedroom:

I love Nat's kids. Such cuties.

Let's get it started, yee-haw! Let's get it started IN HERE:

A beautiful baby blue color. I love this color, especially since the couches in that room are a dark brown leather. I adore light blue and dark brown together. One of my favorite combinations. To demonstrate, can I show you some pics of my friend, Camille's, basement? (I hope you don't mind this, Camel.):

Could you just die??? I love those colors!!! She is so creative and amazing. Someday, you are decorating my house, Camel. Yesiree.

Pete took the kiddos to dinner and a movie to keep them out of our hair, but when they returned, Pete was our D.J.:

We should call him D.J. Jazzy Pete.

The finished product (with tape still up, and furniture still in the middle of the room):


Pulling off the tape:

I'm so proud of us. Nat and I have decided that we need to also help each other hang lights on our houses each Christmas, because our husbands aren't fans of doing that, either. :)
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