Friday, February 27, 2015

just a morning

6:15 am, Nicholas bursts into our room to tell us that his stomach hurts. (He says this almost every morning.) 
I tell him to go get a granola bar. He doesn't want to.
Kent tells him to get back in bed.
He leaves.  A few minutes later, he comes running back in, uses our bathroom, and shouts from behind the closed door:
"I went potty and now I feel much better!"
He goes back to bed.

7:20 am, time to get up. The kids wake up as we are getting dressed and showered.
Ellie's really hungry. As usual.

I heft myself off the bed to hobble down to make pancakes. (In the mornings, I remind myself of a turtle stuck on it's back, trying to get out of bed.)
Nicholas: "I want THREE pancakes this morning. I'm so starving!"
Ellie: "I want TWO pancakes, because I'm little.....actually, I want three because I'm three!"

In the blessing on our breakfast, Nicholas adds, 
"And please bless Mommy that the baby will come out soon so she can run and play again."
Just a few more weeks, bud. And then I'm going to feel SO much better!
 During breakfast, Ellie sees a dog. Nick gets mad because he can't see it.
While he pouts in his chair, the dog comes back. They both see it. 
Nicholas asks me if the dog likes sandboxes. And toys. And if the dog will take his sandbox toys.

 Halfway through my pancake, I have to stop. 
My stomach is pretty tiny right now. 
I eat all day long, but only a little at a time.

Unlike Nicholas, who eats all day long, but scarfs down everything in sight. This morning, for breakfast, he has a bowl of applesauce while I'm cooking the pancakes, all three of his pancakes, two pieces of toast, a huge glass of milk, and a bowl of yogurt. He's still hungry. I tell him we'll make peanut butter balls after he gets back from school.
 In between bites, Ellie manages to remove the couch pillows for the first time today. 
It won't be the last.  
The next couch we buy? Won't have removable pillows.  
 Bright eyes, milk mustache, and bedhead.
My kids are the cutest in the mornings.

During breakfast, Nicholas is humming. He's always humming. 
Trouble is, he gets caught up on a single line from a single song, and he'll hum those same three measures over and over, all day long. This morning it was the first line from "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."
So I try to help him branch out. I suggest he sing lots of different songs.
He insists he doesn't know any other songs. I'm sure he's wrong, because yesterday he spent three and a half hours singing the first measure from the theme song from Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat cartoon.
He tells me, "Humming's my favorite! It just makes me so peaceful."

Time to get ready for preschool. Brush teeth, socks and shoes, find jacket.
As I watch him, I can't believe how lanky and tall this boy is getting.
He's not gained a single pound since his well check in August, but I'm pretty sure he's grown at least three inches. 
We say prayers with Daddy, then pile into the car. 
Ellie asks if she has to be buckled. 
Yes, Ellie. As always.

On the drive to school, Nicholas spends the entire twelve minutes listing all the reasons he loves summer. 
I don't listen to all of them, but here's a few that I heard:

Summer is best because the grass is green and the trees are green. We cut the grass. We mow the lawn. We can see the grass better. We can see the weeds better. The houses are painted better. We can sit in the shade and have picnics. We go to the parks. We go to the castle park. We can go swimming. We go to swimming lessons. We can get shaved ice with little umbrellas in it. Kids have so much fun in the summer. We go to the beach and Bear Lake. The rocks are shinier. WE can eat candy. We can cut the grass. (He said this one several times....)
He ends his list with "Summer is my favorite day of the whole week!"

Gosh I love these kids. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Nicholas and Ellie speak

"Look, this is my 'Captain America: Dinosaur Hunter' outfit!"

While wiping the table clean one afternoon (one of his daily chores): 
"Someone should build a robot that does all this work so that I don't have to."

He called me into his room in the middle of the night. I stumbled in there and he said, "I thought of something that rhymes! Pink, Purple, and Pig. And pigs are pink!"  
Thanks for letting me know, Bud, and we'll work on rhyming when it's not 4 am.

Nicholas was sitting on Kent's lap. He kept looking up at him.  "Um,, I shouldn't say it."
Kent: "What is it?"
Nick: "How do you even smell with all those hairs in your nose?"

I've been trying to teach Nick that he doesn't need to take off all of his clothes every time he uses the bathroom. One afternoon I was reminding him again, probably a little less than patiently.  "Nicholas, Please don't take off all your clothes!" His response? 
"But this is Earth, isn't it?!"

While coloring: "Some girls have yellow hair. Like chips are yellow. This girl has chip hair."

He pressed his nose to mine and put his hands on my cheeks. "Mom. Which cheek is your favorite?"

Playing some sort of battle game with my brother Jonah:
Jonah: "Well, I'm eternal and I can't die."
Nicholas: "That's okay! I brought stuff that kills turtles that can't die!"

After eating a banana.  "Mom! I just figured out what 'wasting food' means!" He then explained what it meant to waste food--throwing it out without eating it.  
He laughed, "I've been wasting bananas for years!" 

Inside her castle fort, talking to my sister, Sarah: "This is mine horse! I found him in the woods.   ....his name is Princess Dave."

We drove past a dump truck.
Ellie: "Look! That truck has a great big rock in it!"
Me: "It does. What do you think they're going to do with a rock that big?"
Ellie: "Turn it into babies."
Me: ......
Me: "Rocks don't turn into babies."
Ellie: "Yes they do! I saw it on a show!"

Riding in Grandma's car on the way to Church: "I'm just so surprised I'm in here!"

Comes running into our room one morning: "Mom! Dad! I'm the BEST! Nicholas said so."

Again playing with Sarah, playing with my old Polly Pockets.  Ellie's person invited Sarah over to her house. When Sarah's person got there and asked what they should do, Ellie answered:
"Well, I just drank all the hot chocolate, so you should probably just leave now."

I walked past the playroom and saw Ellie sitting in the doll high chair, lashing herself to it with the string from my bathrobe. 
Ellie: "This is the jail for the bad guys."
Me: "Oh, are you a bad guy?"
Ellie: big sigh.... "No...I'm a good guy who did a bad thing."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

valentine's photo shoot

 The Valentine's cards the kids sent out this year:

It seems like each year our valentine's photo shoot gets just a little bit harder.
Last year the kids were grumpy and we had to try a few different days until we got a good one, but when they were happy they smiled and sat still and it was great. 

Also, last year I could lay on my stomach to get down on their level, crawl around to change the angle, be up and down and around, etc.
This year? Not a chance. I'm pretty much stuck in whatever place and position I plop myself down into. So I spent a lot of time asking the kids, "Move just a little over that way, no, no that far...a little more...STOP!"

And this year, the kids had opinions. They had ideas. They knew exactly what they wanted to pose with and how.

So now I present, the outtakes:

Nicholas and "Bao Bao" the panda.  This panda....Nick is super attached to him.  And for a stuffed animal, he's crazy high maintenance.

I think I spend more time "taking care" of Bao Bao each day than I do taking care of myself.  Bao Bao wants a snack. And a drink. Bao Bao needs a blanket to take a nap. Bao Bao needs a kiss good night. Bao Bao wants me to sing him a song. Bao Bao wants me to sew him some clothes...
and so on.
I find myself wanting to just say no to the stuffed animal every single time
but the way Nicholas smiles when I help him "take care" of Bao Bao?
I guess I'm just a sucker for that smile from my boy.

 Nicholas posed himself for this one too. I think he wanted me to write something about how he's good at shooting arrows, so Happy Valentine's Day.  
Or maybe he was pretending it was a guitar?
I honestly can't remember. My brain is shrinking, you know. (It's a fact, despite Kent's disbelief.)

 And for this one, he suggested I write, "You're a dinosaur, Valentine."

Next it was Ellie's turn.
This was her first pose, and because I was plopped on the floor and getting up requires more energy than I usually have, I just zoomed in on the dark corner where she was standing on the back of the arm chair:

We got some pretty cute ones of her, too, though.

We hope you're all having a very happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 9, 2015

five things

1. Holidays: Valentine's Day--this is about the extent of my decorating this year. A banner I made while I was at my parents' house last month. My mom found a book she didn't need anymore, and I traced the hearts with a cookie cutter.  
Last Monday was Groundhog's Day, and while we usually have a party, a fun dinner, and ice cream (sometimes even homemade!) 
this year, we pretty much just did ice cream. 
I'm nearly 9 months pregnant. We're in the "just do what you can and call it good" stage.

2. Staying entertained: We've been avoiding going out lately because it seems like everyone around us is sick. And I don't want to be. But, this has made for some long days at home.  Last night, I pulled out the art treasure box and we made musical instruments. I wish I could say I was doing fun stuff like this with them every day, 
but I haven't been. I just really am looking forward to having this baby and being able to actually move around again. I know some people say they like baby inside because it's easier to take care of them that way, 
but I disagree. Being able to walk around, roll over in bed, get up off the couch, and stand long enough to make dinner for my family is kinda important.

3. Nicholas has been awesome. He's always a good kid, but this week he's been especially sweet and kind and helpful. I'm loving it. He dressed up as Captain America a few days ago and then spent the day asking me what he could do to help me. 
He and Ellie mopped the floor, vacuumed, cleaned up all the toys, and were so kind to each other. 

4. My brother and his wife had me take some pictures for them on Saturday. My little boy is going to have a cousin!  We're so excited!

5. The kids are really very excited about the new baby. Nicholas often wakes up and tells us that he had another dream about the baby being here, that "he was so cute!" And Ellie beams whenever anyone asks her about the new baby coming soon,
but I think she's also feeling a little insecure about it. She gets upset about things that never used to bother her, she's had a few screaming fits and troubles we've never seen in her,
but I'm really hoping that maybe she'll just get it all out of her system before the baby arrives?? I can hope, right?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Ellie eats

Or rather, Ellie doesn't eat. At least, not when she's supposed to be eating. 
This girl has decided that mealtimes are much better spent slumped over in her chair, waiting for us to all finish so she can go play again.

All so that, fifteen minutes later she can come bouncing up to me, 
"Mommy? Um, so, I'm hungry."

And even when she hasn't been avoiding mealtimes, this girl is ALWAYS hungry lately.
There's definitely a growth spurt happening here. Suddenly, all of her pants are too short and all of her shirts show her cute little bellybutton.

A few days ago, after I'd just finished cleaning up her snack,
"Mommy? Um, so, I'm hungry. Still."

So I gave her the carton of cottage cheese. 
And she found what she felt was the best place to eat it.

I've got to figure out way to keep this girl sufficiently fed before baby brother arrives.
Either that, or hire a private chef just for my three-year-old....

Saturday, February 7, 2015

blue streamers party

 Last week, the kids wanted to have a party.
And everyone knows, parties need decorations.

The party that day also included: 
a game where I had to guess what each bite of their apples tasted like,
reading lots of books,
couch-pillow tossing contest,
coloring together at the table in the quiet afternoon,
checking out a charter school we're hoping to get Nicholas into next year,
muffins and smoothies for dinner,
and discovering that Ellie can actually jump over Kent as he lays on the floor.

It was quite a party-ful day, 
and the kids actually even worked together happily to clean up all those streamers before bed.

Friday, February 6, 2015

dentist visit

Today Nicholas got a cavity filled. 
It was the third time we'd taken him to attempt to fix this same cavity.

When we took him for his first cleaning last year, he was a champ. So calm, so cooperative, and happy to be there. I was proud of my brave little guy.

Somehow that changed when we came back to get his cavity fixed, and he freaked. Screaming, crying, absolutely positively unwilling to lay in that chair so they could fix his tooth. 
As he says, he was "Neverly peverly dever" going to sit calmly. 

So we waited a couple of months, then tried again.
Not happening. Not quite the same level of freak out as before, but still way too anxious for them to get anything even started.

Our only option at this point was to come back and do it with oral sedation.  This morning, early, Kent and Nicholas headed in.

And finally, (so thankfully!) Nick cooperated. He drank the medicine, got a little sleepy/loopy, and was calm enough to allow them to fix his tooth.

Unfortunately, by this point, the cavity had grown so much that the tooth had to be capped. He's now our resident pirate, with a silver tooth and everything.
Kent deserves all the credit for the success of today's visit. 
When Nicholas is scared about something, I seem to only make it worse. I'm not sure what I do wrong,
maybe it's because he and I are too much alike and I have little patience with my own anxieties and even littler with his? 
Maybe it's because I'm the mother and Nicholas sees me as a source of comfort, so he does not feel any need to show bravery to me? 

Either way, when Nicholas needs to be brave, he needs Daddy. 
For this dentist visit, Kent bribed him with a cake. 

 After the dentist, Nicholas got to go to the bakery and pick out whichever cake he wanted. 
Kent is a genius.
Nicholas came home pretty dazed, still kinda loopy from the sedatives.
He'd stand in one place and stare at nothing, without blinking, for several minutes. It was a bit freaky.
But soon the loopy, dazed Nick turned into the "medicated monster Nicholas." 

Aiy. He was nuts.
And I felt so sorry for him. And the rest of us.
He spent a good 45 minutes yelling at me that "No, Mommy, I'm in charge!"
Then he was furious that I wasn't letting him into the bathroom so he could make sure Ellie was washing her hands.
Then he was screeching at me because I didn't print out the right Valentine's picture for him, I didn't give him the correct color of cup for his water, etc. 
I just kept my voice low and soft and we tried to stay out of his way as much as possible. Poor kid.

We planned to meet some friends at the park right about the time that Medicated Monster Nicholas morphed into Sleepy Nicholas. 
He fell asleep on the floor as I put his shoes on.

Then we got to the park and he spent the first fifteen minutes doing this

followed by him asking me if he could go wait in the car while we finished playing.
He watched from the windows, opening the door every so often to ask us if we were almost done.  

When we got back home he was so odd, bouncing between angry and sleepy and happy every few seconds. 
I made a craft for the kids, little dragon "masks" made out of toilet paper tubes, because Nicholas was asking me to. 

(I was ready for a nap at this point, and I kept offering to let him just sit and watch a movie, but he we crafted.)

When the dragons were finished, he was bitterly disappointed.
"But Mom, this dragon is dumb! It doesn't even do anything! I wanted it to breathe fire!"
After he finished yelling at me/crying about it, he asked me if we could do a different craft.
Not a chance, kid. 
I was doing my very best to be patient, but I was done.
So I turned on a show for Ellie, and lay down on the couch to try to take a nap. Nicholas wandered the house for the first twenty minutes or so, then he asked me if he could lay by me.
He didn't wake up again until Kent was already home from work,
and like I said, 
Daddy makes everything better. 

He has to go back next month for one more cavity.
At least this time I'll know what to expect for the rest of the day.
It will certainly include a mandatory nap for everyone involved.