Monday, June 20, 2016

weekend report

The Parade of Homes finished up this weekend. Because we had a house right across the street from us in the parade, we knew there would be lots of visitors. Nicholas and Ellie (but mostly just Nick--Ellie still lacks in dedication/patience/desire for this sort of thing) sold drinks and chips.
They made $45 in about 6 hours of selling. Seriously good money for a 6 year old!

Nick was the most adorable little salesman. He'd ask people if they wanted their drink "really cold or just normal?" and when he got the waterbottle from the cooler he'd say things like "oh this is a really drippy one!" and "now make sure this doesn't drip in your car!" and then "have a nice day!" At one point he told me he had been giving the chips away as a "buy a drink get chips free" sale. I also overheard him complimenting people on their "nice new car!" 

It was "blazing hot" out there, according to Ellie, but Nick was impressively dedicated. It made all the set up and arguing discussing beforehand worth it. (The day before, Nick was adamant that he sell his drinks for Two Dollars and Three Cents. It required Kent and I working together, all day, to convince him that the three cents part was a particularly difficult to execute idea.)

Quirks, revisited:

I've noticed a few more since my post about my kids wacky habits.
Christian. He is at just the right height to reach Ellie's underwear basket in her closet. He takes out one pair at a time of her clean underwear and places it somewhere else around the house. I am constantly picking Ellie's underwear up out of the bookshelf, the toy basket, the kitchen drawers, the stairway, etc.
This pair made it into the shopping cart with a pony. 

Ellie is completely convinced that eating tortilla chips gives her the ability to taste any other food without actually tasting it.
For example,
"Ellie, I need you to at least try one bite of your meatball."
"But I don't have to, because I ate a tortilla chip so I already have the taste of meatball in my mouth!"

She thinks they're magic. We cannot convince her otherwise.

We're chicken-sitting for some neighbors, so we get to pretend like their backyard belongs to us too for a few days. If you're looking for us this week, you can find us sprawling on the grass in the shade.

Nick gave me a coloring book for my birthday last month, and I think it's one of the most thoughtful, great gifts I've ever received. I didn't know it before, but I love coloring. And the kids like to color with me, so it's a perfect "we're-spending-time-together-but-everyone-is-silent" afternoon activity. I make a copy of a page from my book for them, then we sit in the living room and color together while Christian naps.

Kent finished up the drywall in the basement (wahoo!) and we passed inspection, so next step is to find an (affordable) taping/mudding/texturing/painter. We're only finishing two rooms right now, the playroom and the entertainment room, but gosh it's going to be awesome when they're done.

In the meantime, while Kent was working on the drywall on Saturday, I took a few hours and cleared out one of our empty unfinished bedrooms and converted it into a makeshift temporary playroom. 

Their bedroom upstairs was getting CROWDED and it was time to give the toys their own home. It took some work to clean up the wood shavings, nails, splinters, and dust left over from construction, but I think it's ready now for them to play down there without my having to worry about them. At least until Christian starts climbing those totes and falling through the unfinished wall.

Not that he would do that.
Yeah, just kidding. He's going to be climbing those probably by next week.

Speaking of climbing, this is the current arrangement of our dining table and chairs.

A few days ago, I was cooking and Christian was just hanging out in the kitchen with me, walking around and pulling things out of drawers. I turned to the stove for a moment, and then when I turned back, he was in his high chair.

I did not put him there. Kent wasn't home. The kids aren't even close to strong enough to lift him that high plus they were in the other room the whole time.
The only thing I can assume is that he climbed onto the dining chair, walked across the table (which he has a habit of doing,) and then scooted across his tray(!) and down into his seat.

Now the kitchen chairs are pushed far away from the table when not in use. I tried laying them down on the floor for a few days, but I got really tired of stubbing my toes on chair backs.
I'm sure that in a few more days Christian will realize that chairs are mobile and start pushing them back over to the table so he can resume table-walking, but for now, this works.
Motherhood is all about going with the flow and changing your methods, sometimes by the minute.

Now that I'm in the Primary presidency, Kent's flying solo with the busy busy 15-month old during the second and third hour of church. And it's naptime. Of course.
Yesterday I tried to help their time together go more smoothly by taking Christian out during sacrament meeting, finding an empty classroom, turning on a white-noise app, and humming him to sleep. He slept, sweaty and sighing, in my arms for twenty or thirty minutes, and I loved every minute of it. 
That belly! That drool-stained tie! Those dimples where his knuckles should be! Don't grow up, baby of mine. Please don't grow up. At least not yet.

Our Father's Day was super low-key. Kent requests we don't make a fuss about holidays/birthdays that are about him. It is hard for me, because I want to celebrate this man, so we compromise by doing just a little. I gave him a package of bacon from a local butcher shop (we'll never go back to grocery store-bought bacon, guys!), and the kids made cards for him. Ellie made two cards, actually. On one card, Kent is a prince and Ellie is the princess. On the other card, Ellie has a pig nose, and Kent is "a potato with lady lips."
Sometimes I think I want to get inside my children's brains, even if for just a moment, to figure out what in the world they are thinking.
But maybe it's funnier when we don't know.

Monday, June 13, 2016

a few weeks in

With how early Nick got out of school this year (kindergarten is awesome,)
we're a few weeks into summer by now, and we've got a good chunk of these bucket list items crossed off so far,
with lots more fun to come.

And we've had our fair share of working through the "kinks" of having both the big kids home together all day every day (I'll never understand why, with over 3000 square feet of space in this home, my kids want to spend their time fighting over whose foot gets to be in one square inch of carpet...)

but overall, it's been awesome.

 We visited my parents while Kent went to California over Memorial Day weekend.
The weather---to die for. So green and perfect outside. I think we officially spent more time outside playing on their lawn than in, 
which was perfect for us since our backyard is still a pile of rocks and dirt and our front grass still looks like this:
But 0ur city's main water supply well broke last week,
and they've asked us to stop watering for the next five weeks.
We tried to figure out a way to keep this brand-new grass seed alive, and now they're letting us water once every five days,
but it's probably not going to survive this summer heat. Such a bummer in timing--if only we'd waited until fall to plant our grass!  

Last weekend Kent's dad and uncle came to help us get the drywall put up in our basement. 

What a gift of service! Their help was invaluable, and now we have walls in our playroom and movie room! 
We were also so happy to have Grammer and Papa here to stay with us for a few days while the guys were working. 
 (Christian does not like to be held in one place....he's a crazy man and always on the go.)

 We're seriously dying for a real yard. 

The house across the street from us is in the Utah Valley Parade of Homes this year, and as a sort of sorry-about-the-craziness gift, our builder gave us a couple of tickets,
so we traded babysitting with our darling neighbors, and 
Kent and I got to go see some houses.

Most of them are ridiculous (awesome, but ridiculous,)
like this one with a full-size bowling alley:
 But I found the house of my dreams, guys.
 This is the laundry room. I think I would spend my whole day in there.  

 Also, speaking of dreams, I found the desk of my dreams. 
I love it. Just not the $1300 price tag (eek!)

Kent and I have been pretty busy,
he's got a big deadline at work and has been staying long days,
and our ward was split four weeks ago so we have a brand new ward and
brand new callings--Kent is the Assistant Ward Membership 
Clerk, and I'm now the Primary Secretary.
And our dishwasher broke. And is still broken.  
To all of you who live without a dishwasher, I applaud you. This is not an easy thing.
But in between I was able to find a little time to switch out some things to freshen up the house for summer.
 I love looking at these beach prints (St. John on the left and San Diego on the right) and remembering the sand and the sun.

And speaking of being busy,
our littlest one lately has been 
a handful.
Or maybe an armful. Maybe. 
He's our first climber in the family and
holy exhausting!

And yes, those chairs are on the floor because otherwise he'd be on top of the table.

It's gotten to the point where, when I see him up on top of something that isn't exactly a place you typically find babies,
I have to evaluate the surroundings and determine, 
if he falls from there, will he get really hurt? Or just a little bumped? 
And if the answer is just a little bumped? I let him be. 
I tried following him around at first and getting him off of everything, but who has that kind of time?
So for now, we'll keep things soft and padded and always always remember to lay all the chairs down.

If you need us you can find us slurping popsicles, finding places with real grass to play on, climbing, and reading lots and lots of books.

Happy summer!