June 29, 2012

"I bonked my noggin" - Jax

"Yup Jax, you sure did!"  -Alicia
He was pushed.  By a certain female member of our family.  And I'm not talking about me!  They were in the car playing and she wanted to read him a book and he wanted to get out and see Ben who had just arrived home from work.  Neither Ben or I saw it happen but we sure heard it happen!  There's nothing more awful than that gut wrenching sound of hearing your child's head hit the ground. I took him to the doctor's today and they said it's not fractured *sigh of relief*!  It does look terrible, though.  It really looks worse in person, I think.

So, he's suppose to take it easy for two weeks and do nothing overly active.  That's not easy for a two year old little boy.  It is nice though because I'm always trying to find ways to hold him on my lap and he loves to be held and all the affection.  He's really such a baby still.  I just forget sometimes.

These were taken by Sadie, hence a little blurry.

Speaking of babies....ours is starting to grow up.  He's becoming more independent just in the last two weeks.  I don't hold him nearly as much as I use to and he's content to play on the ground.  It will be exciting to have my arms back.  I feel like I've been holding a child for the last 4 years straight.  I pretty much held Sadie until Jax was born, held Jax until McKay was born, and I've held McKay every waking moment of his entire 10 months on earth.  You wouldn't even believe what I'm able to do one handed - dishes, brush teeth, use the restroom (too much information?), you name it....I've done it.....well, almost.

With his new found independence has also come new found messes. LOTS AND LOTS OF MESSES!  He found the cocoa powder one day and dumped out the whole container.  The next day he dumped the vinegar all over himself and the floor.  I kept thinking, "What is that smell?  It smells like Easter eggs."  And then I turned the corner to walk in the kitchen and he had dumped the entire gallon of white vinegar on the floor and was have a blast playing in it.  I gave him a bath but he smelled weird the rest of the day.  

This is what I swept up from under the kitchen table after one day (usually I sweep three or four times a day).  Contents include a cough drop wraper (this is when I was sick), cheerios, mac and cheese, pretzels, paper from crafts, sand, a hair tie Sadie refused to leave in, and who knows what else.  

We had a playdate here earlier this week.  It was fun to be social again.  I'm still congested after two and a half weeks but I've come out of quarantine. This cold was the worst of my life.  I almost checked myself into a hospital.  They probably wouldn't have let me stay, though. I really wasn't that bad but I had a few moments when I was mentally preparing to meet my Maker.  Actually I said to Ben one day, "Do you think I'm going to die?"  and Sadie overheard it and said, "Mommy, please don't die!"  Oops.  Bad parenting moment.

Anyways, we had a playdate after our two week sabbatical and if was very fun, but we found out later that some of the kids that were there had lice.  So I went a little bonkers this week with sterilizing the house.  Every single item of clothing has been washed in warm water, all the bedding was washed in warm water, I washed all the stuffed animals, cleaned the toys and they're in the garage and we aren't touching them for two weeks, I put down pesticide on the mattresses and carpets, then I steam cleaned the mattresses and carpets, washed our hair with the shampoo, and did a second treatment on our hair to kill any eggs.  I did all that in one day.  Pretty amazing, huh?  Most days I can't even get the dishes done.  How did I manage to do 11 loads of laundry, steam clean carpets, and do lice treatments on me and three children in one day?  Amazing how productive we can be when we have the proper motivation.  Ben's feeling very happy that he's hairless.  For the record I never found anything.  But the kids were laying on the pillows and beds so I'm sure it was only a matter of time.  Plus, it was a nice excuse to do a deep cleaning.

Dirt from the steam cleaner.  I took a picture to show Ben.  Multiply what you see by about 12.  That's how many times I emptied that tank and each time it was that black or worse.  Gross!

On Monday night for FHE we talked about cleanliness (this happened to be before the lice scare), both in our homes and taking care of our bodies.  That night we introduced the Gunny Bag.  Well, you would have thought the kids had seen a ghost.  Jax shrieked and screamed and ran to Ben and cried in his arms in a way I've never before witnessed.

For those that don't know, Gunny Bag is a bag man (we drew a face on him) that comes out at random times and eats toys when they're left out.  Every Saturday morning he throws up his toys and you have to quickly collect them and put them away in their proper place or he'll eat them again.  And if he eats them a second time they are gone for good.  

Anyways, the kids are scared to death by him, but my house is clean as can be.  We keep reassuring them he's not scary - we let them hold the bag and look in the bag and carry the bag....still the fear persists.  It's been very effective thus far.

During the prayer on Monday night FHE.
As a sidenote, my kids think Family Home Evening is the greatest thing ever.  I'm sure it won't be like that in a few years so just let the record show that they currently love it.  They ask us all the time, "Is it FHE tonight?"

Our FHE routine is to bring their chairs in from out back and they sit like this in front of us and we give a little usually impromptu lesson about something they're struggling with (being reverent, sharing, gentleness, who is Jesus?, why do we celebrate certain holidays, saying articles of faith, how to give a prayer, being obedient, stories from the scriptures, etc) and then they each say prayers and then we have a treat.  It doesn't last long; maybe 20 minutes.  They truly love it!

Moving on.....

When Ben arrived home tonight he took the kids to the park so I could do some cleaning and packing (we're headed to Orlando for a little getaway weekend thanks to the parents having an extra hotel room they don't need).  Plus, I promised Jax if he was good at the doctors that Ben would take him to play golf or tennis or baseball.  They ended up doing baseball.  

This is how he is greeted every day.  We sit at the front window and wait for him to arrive on the really hard days and then run out the door to greet him.

McKay kept interrupting their baseball lesson.  
Sadie's been trying to redeem herself as a big sister.  She's been reading to Jax, letting him play with her special toys and showing him videos on the computer (he's not able to work it yet but she can).  We were driving to take a family dinner tonight and Sadie said, "Mommy, I don't want you to hit turtle when we get home.  If you hit turtle you have to go to time out."  I said, "Oh no, I won't hit turtle but what should I do if he hits me?"  Sadie says back, "Just come tell me, Mommy.  But I don't want you to hit him back and no hitting Jax or Joseph or Andrew either.  Those are the rules...we don't hit or push Mommy, ok?"  Yes ma'am!  I think it's sinking in :)

So, that's a little of our life lately...bonked noggin, messes, sickness, lice, cleaning, FHE, gunny bag, outings with daddy, and learning to be gentle and share.

Yeah, the end!

June 20, 2012

Jax Turns TWO

Master Jax turned two.  I know everyone thinks the twos are terrible but it's our most favorite of ages.  We call them the terrific twos.  He had three requests for his birthday: cupcakes, play golf, and play tennis.  

 Nice form Jax!  Now we just need to work on holding the club correctly.

As is typical with the game of golf, he got a little frustrated and ended up picking up the ball and throwing it in the hole.  You should have seen the look of pride as it went in the hole.  He had so much fun, Ben couldn't get him to get into the car when it was time to go.  Maybe we'll have to let him go with his Dad more often.

We were actually at my parents house all day because we had Youth Conference responsibilities and I thought it would be nice to have my parents help while Ben was away because I was still feeling pretty under the weather.  

During Jax's nap Sadie and I made cupcakes.  Actually Sadie did almost all the work while I sat and watched her.  

Then we cuddled and watched a show while they cooked.

After they cooled my parents helped them decorate them.  I think more sprinkles made it in my kids' mouths than onto the cupcakes.  

I think we (my mom and I) went a little overboard on presents this year.  We took the kids to Toys R Us and followed Jax's around the store to see what he was interested in.  Everything he wanted was sports related....baseball bat, tennis racket, footballs, and golf clubs.  We did get him a stroller, Mickey Mouse stuffed animal, and a construction work bench, too.  So far only Sadie and McKay have been playing with those, though.

 Things that make Jax happy.  Holding a baseball bat (or tennis racket or golf club) and being in Mom's arms.

He blew them both out on the first try. 

We didn't end up playing tennis, but he did get a new tennis racket.  I hope it was a fun birthday for him!  It was pretty low key because of my weakened state but I think he had a fun day.  

We think he's the greatest thing ever.  I love that baby boy!!!  

June 14, 2012

My Feelings

I feel like I swallowed razor blades.

I feel like there is an elephant sitting on my chest.

I feel like my head might explode.

I feel like this cold is never going to go away and I'm going to die a slow and miserable death.

I feel guilty because I'm too weak to care for my own children and I keep interrupting others' lives to help me out.

I feel amused when I hear myself attempt to talk because the sounds resemble the squeaks of a mouse.

I feel grateful for antibiotics but feel that they aren't working very quickly.

I feel dread for bed tonight because the last three nights I've just tossed and turned in pain and don't rest soundly.

I feel so happy that only McKay and I picked up this cold and McKay is already over it.

I feel sad that my body isn't producing enough milk for McKay and he seems hungry and unsatisfied.

I feel relief that Ben stayed home to take care of me today, but concerned because he really couldn't afford to be away from work right now.

I feel worried that this silly cold is going to interfere with Jax having a fun birthday and Ben having a good father's day.

That's how I feel.

I hope I feel differently in the morning.

June 12, 2012

Keys Trip

We had a great time in the Keys!  I've been playing around with taking more landscape photography.  Check out some of the pictures I took....

Taken during our helicopter tour of the Dry Tortugas.

Taken while scuba diving at the reef

We went kayaking one day to small islands around Key West.
 Some of the wildlife we saw.....

I'm lying.

Well, I did take these pictures they are in fact pictures of someone else's pictures....

Here's what we actually did....

On Wednesday we drove and drove and drove.  Then we stopped at a park and Ben conferenced called  in for a work meeting.  Then we drove and drove and drove some more.  That night we wanted to go out but the kids thought the hotel room was so cool that we just hung out there.  We did go to IHOP for dinner.  Sadie kept asking, "Can we go back to our room now?"  They thought it was great!

On Thursday the kids were kind enough to sleep in until 9AM.  My parents showed up a little while thereafter and then we went to Bahia Honda State Park.  My parents and Joe and Julie earned their place in heaven by agreeing to watch our kids so we could go snorkeling.  Gracias!


That evening we all (minus Mike's family) went to the Conch Cafe.  Julie's family has a fun rule that when they are traveling they don't eat at national chain restaurants.  So we tried to only eat local cuisine.  I liked that rule.  It made each meal new and interesting.  Ben ordered conch stuffed chicken.  Slimey...yet satisfying.

 That evening we went back to the hotel for ice cream and socializing.....

The kids were playing in the bedroom and I went in to check on them and found Sadie tucked in bed, Joseph was playing with her hair, and singing to her "The sun has gone to bed and so must I."  It was so darling!!!

On Friday the rest of the family went to the Dry Tortugas.  We opted out since it was going to be $500 for our family for the day and we didn't think Jax or McKay would do well.  Hopefully Ben and I will go one day because it looked like loads of fun, but this wasn't the right trip for us to do it.

Instead we did some fun things in Key West.

Waiting for the movie to start.  We were the only ones in the place :)

Jax hasn't stopped talking about the giant and the princess since we left this place.
I think it was his favorite part of the trip.

We found this amazing toy factory and we probably could have spent several hours in there.  It was very hands on and everything was intended to be tried and played with.  My kids were in heaven.  There was a reading nook, building area, magic shop, musical instrument area, painting area, outer space area, and much more.  They also gave the kids balloons and lollipops.  It was pretty great!

We found this sponge man in the shopping area....

Stopping for some canned peaches.
After Key West we went back to our room, and swam in the pool at the hotel.  This was probably Sadie's favorite part of the trip. She didn't really love the beach.  They most enjoyed the pool and the park - both things we can easily do here at home.

That evening we met the family (minus Joe's fam) at Zaza's Italian Pizzeria Restaurant.  Mike was generous enough to pay for everyone.  What a guy!

After dinner we went back to our rooms and ate the rest of the ice cream from the night before and visited.

Saturday morning we I took the kids swimming while Ben packed the room and checked out.  After that we went to Sombrero Beach which had a great little park.  The kids never touched the water.  They stayed at the park for the whole two hours we were there.

Jax was saying, "Help!  Stuck!" as I was taking this picture.

I helped him get up.  It all worked out!

We saw two of these guys while in the keys.  One of them was a good 18+ inches long.
This was the favorite park item.  It's like a rope, pyramid merry-go-round.

Sadie pushed and pushed and pushed Jax around on this thing.

Leftover pizza for lunch.  Why are my kids always raising their hands in pictures?  Don't you love Jax's face?

McKay with his magic wand.

Then we showered and dressed and drove and drove and drove home.  It was a delightful little trip and we were all sad to see it come to an end.

Three more funny things from the trip.

  • Saturday morning at the hotel, Sadie had been playing with McKay.  She paused from her playing and looked up at me and said with the sweetest sincerity, "Oh Mommy.  Moe is so cute.  I just love him.  Is it time for you to grow another baby in your belly?"  Ben and I got a good chuckle out of that.
  • Then throughout the day she kept poofing her belly out and cradling her wannabe belly bump and telling us she had a baby in her belly.  Hmmm.
  • We stopped and got Chili's To Go for dinner that night and she really, really, really needed to use the bathroom.  As we finally pulled up to the restaurant and she jumped out of her seat she said, "Mommy, I really need to go potty RIGHT NOW!  The baby is coming!"