Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Bird that Never Sleeps

My sister in law let us borrow a tape of children's stories by Odds Bodkin. It is wonderful...full of excitement, great voices, and bits of music! My kids ask for it every time we get in the car. There is one story where 'Wowosim, the guardian bird' is guarding something. Over and over, the bird say, "I am the bird...who NEVER sleeps! I am the bird...who NEVER sleeps!"

Now let's switch gears a bit. Estella has been fighting nap time. It started when she realized that the boys often watch a movie while she is sleeping. I tried to remedy that by having the boys lay down in their beds for a "rest" before I started putting Essie to sleep, but I think she knows it's a bluff. Yesterday, nap time came around and I was desperate for her to sleep. She cried off and on for an hour. Then she started yelling, "MOM...MAMA," followed by, "I am a bird...NEVER sweeps! I am a bird...NEVER sweeps!!!" I couldn't believe my ears. What a hysterical, clever little girl!

Bathing Beauty

Estella still LOVES being in the water! Every morning while I am in the shower I can expect to have her join me before long. She pushes the door open and starts stripping. When I peek out to see if it is her she gives me a huge grin and says, "Naked. In the shower." She doesn't stand with her back to the water spray like both my boys did (still do). She gets in the water and sits down right in the middle of the downpour. I usually plug the tub so she can stay in for a while after I am finished. Here are a few pictures of her in the bath-after-shower. Her hair is hanging down her face because the shower water was falling right on top of her head the whole time.

For any photogs who are curious...I have HORRIBLE light in my bathroom, so I used a flash and bounced it off the wall directly to the left of her (as you are looking at the picture). I have been afraid to use flash, but have been experimenting with it in situations that I don't think I can get acceptable pictures otherwise. I have been surprised with some good results. I love that I was able to get some light in her eyes where without the flash, her eyes would have been completely dark. I also bounced the flash in the pictures of my kids devouring the leftover cookie dough.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Nicholas, the sorter

...sorting by color...

...and by shape!

I found it interesting how he arranged everything...with the same colors or shapes on opposite sides, mirroring each other. When all of the egg holes were filled, there were still some remaining buttons. I kept trying to think of complicated ways to move things around to make them all fit, but still keep the pattern. Nicholas was much smarter than me. He just put the rest of the buttons back in the bag...problem solved.

Cookie Dough Vultures

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ballerina Book Lover

My mom gave Estella these ballerina pajamas for Christmas. She loves them so much that she fights me when I try to take them off in the mornings. Several times, I have just let her wear them all day. I took her to the grocery store wearing them once and had multiple people comment on them.

Estella loves books. If she is ever quiet for a few minutes I get worried because it often means she is making some mischief, but lately I more often find her just sitting with a book in her lap, flipping through the pages. If I ever sit down on the couch, she immediately grabs a book, runs over, and asks, "Read it?"

This past week she has been continually asking me to read a book called "A Drop of Blood." It is a children's science book that explains our blood. I got it because Nicholas has been asking a lot of questions about how our bodies work. I expected the boys to like it, but Estella? She points and says "Platelets. White Cells." It is really cute.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Quarter Machine Disappointment

The boys both had a dollar and change to spend, so after a lot of pleading on their part we headed out to the Dollar Tree. It is so interesting to me how differently they spend their money. Thomas is very careful. He wants to look at ALL of the options, carefully narrowing it down to a few favorites to choose from. He asks a lot of questions about whether or not I think it will break easily, if I think it would be a good choice, etc. He never buys candy or food. He wants a toy that will last a long time. He is often disappointed and regrets his decision. Shopping with Thomas takes a long time. Once he has bought something he is pretty possessive and protective. He wants to be sure to keep his hard earned toy safe.

Nicholas, on the other hand, is super easy to shop with. He walks in the store, looks down the aisle, walks directly to the first toy that catches his attention, and says, "This is what I want." Done. Because he usually shops along with Thomas, he generally ends up changing his mind during the waiting time, but if it were just him it would be fast. He often buys food. He bought a big box of gobstoppers this year and shared them with the entire family for weeks. This time at the dollar store we happened to walk down the snack aisle on the way to check out. He spotted a big bag of animal crackers and was set on them. Even before we were all buckled in the van, he was opening them and generously passing them around.

Next to the exit door of the store there were some quarter machines. Nicholas still had a quarter pinging around in his money jar and those machines were just begging for it. He quickly decided on the runts and was very pleased with his handful of candy. Initially, Thomas said he wasn't going to get anything out of the quarter machines, even though he still had three quarters to spare. While Nicholas was buying his candy, though, Thomas spotted a Bakugon (very popular with his Kindergarten friends right now). Now, the cheapest Bakugon you can buy at Walmart or Target is $4. This machine only took $0.75. I didn't look closely at it, and just said he could do whatever he wanted with his money. He quickly put the money in, turned the crank, and pulled out.....a REALLY lame monkey head. He was shocked, angry, and in tears. He had been decieved by bad advertising. He tearfully asked if he could put it back and get his money back. When no was the answer, he was devastated. I looked closer at the machine and saw a large picture of bakugons covering almost the entire front. There was an opened Bakugon attatched to the picture. Looking closely inside at the little toys, there was ONE Bakugon at the very front where you could see it. Then, there were a lot of cases that were completely black so you couldn't see inside them. Finally, in the middle, heading down the chute were cheap, lame, junky things no one would want. I showed him this and we left. When we got home we talked about advertising and how you need to be careful when spending your money. We discussed how if you think you are going to be able to buy something for much less than you know it is worth, you probably aren't going to get what you think you are. All in all, I think it was a good lesson...a lesson that if remembered will be worth far more than $0.75.

After we took this picture, he threw the silly thing in the trash.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

More Christmas Pictures

I didn't do a very good job at taking pictures while my family was here over Christmas. I think I was too preoccupied with being the hostess. Here are a few that I don't want to get lost in my sea of picture files, never to be seen again.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Nose Plugging Alternative

During the months of November and December, Thomas and Nicholas took evening swimming lessons. About a week before Christmas, they were conversing about their upcoming lesson. Thomas just recently mastered the skill of going underwater without plugging his nose. He loves to dive down and swim as far as he can underwater. Nicholas is still hesitant about going completely under the water with or without plugging his nose. He'll do it, but he doesn't like it.

Thomas was trying to convince Nicholas that it is SO FUN to go under the water. Nicholas replied by saying he didn't want the water to get in his nose. Thomas told him to just not breathe through his nose and kind of plug it up inside. Nicholas thought for a minute before excitedly replying, "Oh, this!"
I didn't know it was physically possible for someone to plug their nose with their upper lip! I sure can't. I thought I had birthed a unique wonder and excitedly showed Jackson as soon as he walked in the door from work. He shattered my excitement by saying, "You can't do that?" and he proceeded to plug his nose with his upper lip with minimal effort. Crazy.

Here are a few more classic Nicholas faces for your enjoyment. He is a delight!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Vomit at Church

Yesterday was an adventure Thomas and I will not forget. Sunday morning everything was completely normal. If anything was different it was that Thomas was extra-energetic. All seemed completely normal through sacrament meeting and when that was over, Thomas and Nicholas dashed off to primary as usual. There were no surprises in Sunday School. And then Relief Society came around...

About midway through the announcements someone taps me on my shoulder and points toward the door. Thomas was standing there with his teacher. I knew instantly that we were in for something. His face was COMPLETELY drained of color and there was an ominous green ring around his mouth. I immediately jumped up and rushed to him. I had just layed my hand on his shoulder when the volcano erupted.

He was holding his sweater in his hand, so as I scooped him up in my arms I tried to position the sweater in front of the flow. We had about a basketball court length of hallway between us and the toilets. It would have been so nice if it were a deserted hallway, but that wasn't the case. There was a class (Nicholas' class) of about 10 4 year olds taking turns getting a drink. I was desperately trying to keep the mess from hitting the floor (or worse, hitting any children). When I realized the sweater had reached it's capacity I began directing Thomas's face toward my body. YUCK. I quickly got the attention of the 4 year old class's teacher by saying "Throw up! Watch out! We have throw up!" She frantically cleared a path and I think we made it through them without any splatters. I thought everything would be fine once we made it into the bathroom, but it somehow still got on the floor and all over the seat of the toilet.

After poor Thomas was finished, I surveyed the damage. Thomas was covered. His sweater was completely saturated, his shirt was soaked down the front, his pants were splattered, his shoes had drips on them, somehow a big chunk of his hair was messy! As for me, I was lucky to be wearing a jacket. One side of my jacket was covered, my skirt was splattered, but the worst was my hair. My hair was draped in front of my shoulder and was full of grossness! I took off Thomas' shirt, wiped off his pants and shoe with a wet paper towel and then had him sit by the wall. I took off my jacket, rinsed my hair, and wiped off my dress. Then I tackled the toilet and surrounding floor with wet paper towels. About three people came in during the cleaning process. As soon as I saw them I would say, "Throw might want to find another bathroom." Not one of them stayed.

Just as I was trying to figure out how to get the hall cleaned up and get home before another eruption, the RS president walked in and asked what I needed. She was a lifesaver. She said someone had already cleaned up the hall. She went and got Jackson, a garbage bag for our dirty clothes, a pail for Thomas, and my bags from RS. Jackson and I grabbed the other two kids out of their classes and we were out of there!

Poor Thomas was sick at least six times through last night, but is doing much better today. Nicholas threw up this morning, but is acting like he feels good now. Thinking back on it, I feel very thankful he was able to wait until I was there to help him. I'm glad it didn't happen in the middle of primary. I feel bad we exposed everyone at church, but we had no idea. I am sure this will be a day we reminisce about in the future.

Here are a few pictures of my family at our house the Sunday after Christmas.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Praying for Darts

Yesterday, while Thomas was at kindergarten, Nicholas was away from my side for a much longer stretch than usual (about two minutes) :) He came running to me from his bedroom with a big grin that showed he was very pleased with himself.
Nicholas- "I just said a prayer Mommy."
Me- "That's wonderful Nicholas."
Nicholas- "We can say prayers anytime we want, right?"
Me- "That's right."
Nicholas- "I really want my darts back, so I asked Heavenly Father to make me some new ones."
Me- "Oh."
Nicholas- "I am just going to wait because he is making them for me now."

We then commenced a discussion about how Heavenly Father wants us to do everything we can for ourselves. Like when something is lost, we need work hard by looking for it the very best we can, then Heavenly Father can whisper to us where we should look.

Nicholas- (Holding very still...waiting quietly) "He needs to whisper a little bit louder. I can't hear him."

I just love the complete and literal faith Nicholas has. It must be strong faith because even though Nicholas wasn't interested in looking for the darts at all, we found one last night when we were putting on his pajamas. They have been missing for a long time and we have been putting on pajamas every night, so faith is the only answer I have to why it showed up last night. Maybe I can convince Nicholas to work a little for the next one.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Cheerful Breakfast

Jackson cracked the eggs and they landed like this. Are these happy eggs or what?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

I am thankful for...Nicholas

Christmas day we had our first real emergency doctor's visit. Nicholas needed stitches...bad. My stomach is doing flips right now just thinking about it. Not because of the blood, but because it could have been so much worse.

My mom, dad, two sisters, brother, and brother in law were here with us for Christmas. Everyone except Mom and Dad decided to go sledding during the afternoon of Christmas day. We didn't want to drive very far, so we went to a hill in a nearby neighborhood. We parked on the south side of the hill (much of the snow had melted off this side) and trekked to the top to sled down the north side that was still covered in snow. A few people went down and we were having a pleasant time. Nicholas was laying on his stomach getting pulled up the hill after a fun ride down. When he reached the top, somehow he had just enough momentum to start down the other side of the hill, back toward the road. No one expected it...we all just stood there and watched him head down. We hadn't even thought about the obstacles on that side of the hill, so we were all chuckling, thinking it would be a fun little ride. There was also so much grass, it didn't seem like he would even go very far. Boy were we wrong.

After the initial slow take-off, he gained speed fast and was heading head-first, straight for a tree. Somehow, the sled turned and he swung wide, well away from the tree. I breathed a sigh of relief, because there seemed to be no other obstacles ahead of him besides the deserted road, but he just kept turning in a slow arc and slammed right into a metal multiple family mailbox.

I don't even want to describe the thoughts and feelings I had. I feared the worst. He was going so fast. But we were blessed, and he was fine. He didn't loose consciousness, he was just bleeding...a lot. Luckily we had taken two cars, so Jackson, my brother, and I jumped into the van with Nicholas and my sisters and brother in law took the other kids home. Our doctor's office has an afterhours care facility called "Docs on call." I REALLY didn't want to go to the emergency room for a varitey of reasons, so we went there hoping they could treat him. They led us directly to a room, with no wait and took great care of Nicholas. I had a very hard time seeing him bleeding and in pain. I had to keep leaving the room to put my head between my knees. He got 10 stitches.

Here are a few pictures that day after we got home.

And this is in the doctor's office just before they removed the stitches. I am amazed how fast such a deep, large gash healed.
So I am thankful...thankful that Nicholas is okay. Thankful for skilled doctors and excellent facilities. Thankful that Nicholas didn't hit the tree. Thankful that he was wearing a thick snow cap. Thankful that my family was with us and I didn't have to take all the kids with me. I am actually also thankful for this experience. I have learned multiple things from it. I discovered a new depth of love for my children. I learned how quickly accidents happen. I better understand that our Heavenly Father is in control. I saw what a brave, kind, forgiving, sweet sweet boy I am blessed to have in my home. I love him so much I could burst.