Friday, August 30, 2013

Dunk him!

Our annual stake carnival has a dunking booth. Each year the bigger boys like tossing the ball to try and dunk someone. This year, they wore swimsuits and climbed in themselves, bahahahahaha.

Benny bracing himself.  Now you see him....

Now you don't!

Now you see Max in the booth, and Benny winding up....

And splash! Down goes Max.

I think they each tried it half a dozen times or so.  While Bishop Richards visited and chatted, baby James drooled on his arm. He loves daddy's arm on his tummy.  He rode this way all around Sugarhouse Park and back to our house one day because the stroller made him scream.

Andrew chased bubbles around like a madman.

And Benny stood in line for face painting.  "Wook mom, I'm the wone wane-ger!"

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Chubsa wubsa

I feel like Sweet Baby James went through a growth spurt. The 6 month clothing fits fine and he's 12 weeks old tomorrow. 

Here he is after Sunday dinner with Papa and Phin, who also seems bigger every week. I think JB took off baby J's clothes to show off his outie belly button. 

I matched the boys on purpose but me accidentally on Sunday. 

Little James has decided to stop screaming so much at us. He smiles, laughs and coos so much more.  When he does cry, we can usually figure out the reason more easily now. 

And -- you other parents know you talk about this too -- he has pooped three days in a row. Very unusual! He has been pooping about once a week since he was born. Saved us money on diapers. We had that size one box for a long time. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Potty training? Um, no.

Last week Andrew was dry all night, and he suddenly wanted to wear underwear and go on the potty.  Those sound like signs that it's time to potty train, right?


Don't wanna.

Don't feel like it.

Don't make me!  

That's me talking, not the Drewbers.

I do not like potty training. It takes months, it breeds bad feelings, it creates so many battles and it's messy (I'm reminded of this post about Max in 2008).

JB and I don't think we will push it yet. Max and Benny were well past three years old when it finally clicked, and Andrew isn't three until December. Plus I still have a baby that nurses pretty often. I have memories of sitting on the bathtub edge nursing a baby Andrew and begging Benny to "just go in the POTTY!" (Reminds me of this post from January 2011)

Andrew loves wearing Lightening McQueen and feeling the free-bum of no diaper, but doesn't quite get the concept of going to and on the toilet. We have the little potty waiting in the bathroom, and I'm hoping his older brothers can persuade him and help him along in this process. Wouldn't that be great?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Quit growing

Stop it.

Stop getting bigger.

They never obey me.

I joined Instagram two weeks ago (JB was at scout camp and I was bored). I've been using the hashtag #allboys when I post pictures of all four of them together. I may change it to #fourboyswhoownmyheart. Or #imissmychildrenwhentheyareasleepbutwishtheywerentsoloudwhentheywereawake. Too long?

Friday, August 23, 2013

School starts

My big boys started school this week!

Benny is in the morning kindergarten class, and Max is in the new 3rd/4th split class this year.

Benny is still getting to know the others in his class, while Max kind of knows a couple of kids in his class. He's excited to be with the older kids and he likes that he has a male teacher this year.

Andrew and James waited with me for Benny to be done with kindergarten.

Smiling after his first day!

Then we walked back to get Max, and I snapped this as he was running up already talking his head off about his day.

The boys spent pretty much every moment of the summer together and miss each other now that they are separated.

For example, there was an assembly at school.

Max: "Benny, I saw you in the assembly!"  Benny: "Reawy? I wooked for you and I heard them say your teachow's name!" (I'm assured those Ls and Rs will come this year).

Andrew walks around the house looking for the big boys, and when Benny is home from kindergarten he asks several times when it is time to go get Max.  But when they are together they still fight, don't worry. It's not all lovey-dovey around here, it's normal!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

And we're waiting

I do love baseball. The smell of the grass, the crack of the bat, the yell of the umpire. I was ob-sessed with the St Louis Cardinals as a teenager, and I am transported back to those days when I get the opportunity to go to a Bees game.

My boys are still learning to appreciate baseball. Sweet baby James slept through a few innings.

I wuv him so much, he's so cutesy-wootsey chubbsa wubbsa...what was I saying?

Oh yes.  Baseball.

JB and I have explained strikes, balls, innings, etc several times, but Max and Benny kept talking about halftime and quarters. We watch considerably more football and basketball in our house fo sho.

And despite all our efforts to get them into the game and have them watch the action (we had GREAT seats), they kept begging to ride the little train in the outfield.  So Uncle Bart took the cousins out to the line, and JB went to join them.

FIFTY-FIVE MINUTES LATER, it was finally their turn.

When I saw the picture I asked JB, "Who is the girl in the middle? Did Jane and Emily bring a friend?"  Nope -- she was a random girl who was also squeezed into their same car. And she's smiling away for JB's phone camera, too.

Must be a big baseball fan.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Battle of the Bees

Once upon a time, the lord of the manor was doing yard work (for verily it was not a large manor, and the lord liked to care for his shrubbery and grounds).

And behold, the lord of the manor's two eldest sons were working alongside their father, or rather, chattering away to their father as they puttered beside him outside.

When suddenly, out of the shrubbery arose a swarm of upset, befuddled, enraged stinging insects. Call them bees, call them wasps, call them hornets -- verily they were sore angered.

Thus the stinging insects began to sting our lord of the manor.  He immediately raised his voice in alarm, and beckoned to his children to run into their home. And they did so.

The second son made it inside safely. But the demonized devils with stinger-weapons had only just begun to fight. They stung the elder son on the tender flesh of his upper thigh -- twice. And following him inside the kitchen entrance, they attacked again, getting him on his side.

He whooped, he yelled, he hollered. For verily if this 8-year-old lad could swear, he would have done so.

Now enter the lady of the manor on the scene, rushing to the aid of her family. She and the lord of the manor smacked and whacked the bees who had followed their oldest heir into their haven. Then she raced to apply a cold frozen pack (made by her own hand by the aid of Pinterest) to the reddening, swelling wounds.

It seemed all was well; the oldest son reclined on the settee for a brief respite, the second asked after his welfare, the third jumped up and down, and the fourth slept in his infant reclining swing.......

Then, came ROUND TWO.

Another enraged stinging insect had found his way to the heart of the family dwelling place, and buzzed his loud buzz right in the terrified ear of the oldest child. Chaos ensued again! The oldest ran screaming, the third kept jumping up and down, and the second stepped in front of the baby's swing and spread his arms wide to protect the youngest heir (bringing tears to his mother's eyes for his bravery).

The father and mother whacked and smacked again; arms flailing, eyes crazy, hair flying; until that fat striped stinging monster lay crushed on the ground, never to buzz no more.

When the dust settled, the family looked at each other, tense muscles slowly relaxing.

Then the second son broke the silence:

"Wow, mom. That was a battle. The battle of the bees!"

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


We love Papa's passes to Lagoon (Don't ever retire. OK, fine, if you must. Sob.). Max and Benny have been a few times this summer with JB, and recently I went too and we took all four sons.

Max and Benny love the HydraLuge. It's a water slide outside of the water park. I love how brave they are getting on the rides and how excited they are, too.

Andrew melts my heart with his still-baby cheeks and his blue eyes and his crinkle-up smile on the carosel.

The boats. Oh the boats. He loves them. It was worth the long wait (that ride operator really took his time) for this boy to happily sit there in the boat.

James did pretty well I think. I had to sit and nurse a lot but I still was able to ride a few fun rides.

I like when Papa can hold James. He's so cute with babies, and I feel bad when mine is crying and won't cuddle up. Even though I know JB's parents don't mind the noise, I still feel bad.

You are getting sleepy....sleepy...

On the train.

After the train we wanted to get a family picture. But now Andrew was getting sleepy. See his face?

Now watch the hand go up to twirl his hair.

And once we got to the car, the hair twirling continued and he was out! Lagoon can really tucker out a little boy.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Smothered or really loved?

Poor fourth baby. Can't do tummy time without other faces right up in his grill. But my favorite part of this video is Andrew boinging the toy Minions on Max's back. Just adds to the cacophony that sweet baby James is learning to live through.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


JB and his brother Jeff took Max, Benny and Andrew hiking to Donut Falls last week. Andrew loved being treated like a bigger boy, telling me (yelling at me) "I go on hike, too!!!"

This was too funny to see in JB's camera. These three pictures are out of a long sequence where Andrew kept staring at the water and wouldn't look up.

Until Jeff dangled some Swedish Fish out.  Gimme! Says Andrew.

And now he smiles!

Max and Benny went all the way up to the top with Jeff's help.  Look how he's clinging to his uncle like a baby monkey. My 5 1/2 year old became my baby-Benny again in my eyes. It's so darn cute.

And then he couldn't help picking his nose.

And then eating it!

I'm also guessing Jeff is holding those Swedish Fish close, because Andrew is doing a good job looking at the camera again.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

2 months old

At his two month checkup, James weighed 13 pounds 13 ounces! That's the 91st percentile. I love a chubby baby. At this same age, Max was 13'8, Benny 14'12, and Andrew 14'8. Big baby boys.

Sweet Baby James is getting sweeter. He has longer stretches of calm, and more times where he smiles. See below.

But, we are not out of the cranky woods yet. Looking through the pictures that JB took today, I saw a lot of this:

Now that's a mad face for sure!

Monday, August 5, 2013

A baptism and baby blessing

What an incredible weekend we have had in the Richards family. On Saturday our sweet oldest son Max was baptized. He had been looking forward to this day for many months.

When he came out of the water and walked back up the steps, he told JB he wanted to do it again. We are so proud of his eagerness to try and do what is right.

Afterward, we had a huge luncheon with JB's smoked pulled pork and other yummy food, with dozens of family, friends and neighbors in our backyard. No pictures exist -- JB was busy feeding everyone, and I was feeding baby James, then we both wanted to try and visit with everyone. Max also greeted everyone and thanked them for coming (without our prompting him to do so -- he's growing up so fast!).

The next morning, was sweet baby James's blessing. Here I am with him before church after getting us both dressed. Max took this picture.

Baby James is wearing the same outfit our other babies wore on their blessing day -- the same outfit JB wore when he was blessed. I put him in the swing for a second to continue getting ready, and he noticed himself in the mirror above himself.

Here are Max and Grandma before church, who drove out from Missouri for this special weekend. Benny took this picture! We don't see JB before church now because of all his meetings.

Here's the whole crowd of family after church. On the left are Deardeuffs and on the right are Richards. I don't think I was able to thank each person enough for coming to the baptism and blessing -- many drove long distances -- and it was great to be with them for such big events.

Suzanne dressed baby Phin in his blessing outfit again (he was blessed the week before) so we could show off the cousins together. I love this picture.

Nona hugged and walked baby James to sleep during sacrament meeting, and he stayed zonked out!

Our four sons.

I loved seeing Bishop Richards at the podium on Sunday announcing Max's baptism, then coming down for James's blessing. It has been quite the summer for our family, and this weekend continued the spiritual high.