Monday, March 24, 2014

Brother Hen

My heart swells when I see my boys do kind things for each other.

 (Andrew sharing his animals with baby James)

Don't get me wrong, they are often pounding or poking or bossing each other around, but sometimes they just are so sweet.

1) One night 6-year-old Benny forgot that I had given him his kiss goodnight, and the next morning I found out he had cried about it, until 8 1/2-year-old Max climbed down from the top bunk and gave him kisses on both cheeks.

2) Three-year-old Andrew sometimes has a nightmare or night terror and cries out in his sleep. But before I can get there, Max has climbed down from the top bunk, turned on his flashlight, and has covered Andrew back up or talked to him to help him out. I caught him doing so at 4 AM on my way to work and praised him for his kindness. He sleepily said, "It's ok mom, but could Andrew sleep with you guys?"

3) JB and I both had overlapping church meetings one evening and got a babysitter. When I left, the three older boys were all tucked into bed downstairs (and thoroughly kissed goodnight), and 9-month-old baby James had not quite fallen asleep yet so Macy had charge of him. She texted about 40 minutes later that the baby was crying and all the boys were out of bed.  I rushed back to find that Max and Benny had been getting out all sorts of toys for the baby, and were singing to him, and even tried to feed him. They told me, "Macy sure needed help." I loved their willingness to help, though I'm pretty sure they only unsettled the baby more!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Of surprises

I'm not blogging as often because 1) baby James 2) Benny likes to watch Rainbow Loom tutorials on my laptop and 3) spring has sprung and we must be outside.

We struggle sometimes with how much to tell the boys about our plans. If we tell them we are going to do something, but plans change, they have a tendency to huff and puff or weep and wail, depending on how big the plans were. I'm talking about things like promising, "When we get home from our walk we can have a girl scout cookie" and then I find out we are down to one left, and this gets greeted with extreme sadness.  Or "We will be going to such-and-such place" and the plans get canceled for weather or sickness and this is another big deal. "YOU PROMISED!"

And, if we tell them something in advance, we get "Is it time yet? Is it time yet?" 

So we go back and forth, with the above examples giving us pause before committing to anything, versus sharing plans so the boys know what to expect when their routine is broken. Their routine being "stay-at-home-poke-around-homework-basketball-baths-books-bed."

Andrew is pretty relaxed, but the older two can get intense. So we waited until the last minute to tell them about the invitation (given more than a week ago) to go to our friends' house and eat pizza and watch March Madness on Friday night.

Note: These two older boys love pizza and basketball, and love going to the Peters' house.


You'd think we had just told them we were going to Disneyland pronto.

We went, we had a great time, and we got tucked into bed late but it was worth it.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fun with babies

We have never had a baby Bumbo, just a kitchen sink.

This is baby James a few months ago, pre-haircut and pre-teeth.  Below is baby James last weekend, while I was baking a cake. Max was tasked to talk to him if I got out of arm's reach.

It's been a perfect place to put the baby while bustling about in the kitchen, as he has remained immobile. But now he's reaching and twisting and wiggling a lot more, so alas, this must end.

He acts fast. I turned my back, and he had scattered my yarn all over like a big kitten.

Here's a little piggy-back horsey ride. He liked it -- until he didn't.

I never remember Max and Benny carrying a baby Andrew around -- perhaps because they were ages 5 and 3. But now they are 8 1/2 and 6, and they always want to hold James and carry him.

He likes it -- until he doesn't. 

One of them asked me if they could hold the baby in church, so I handed him down the pew and put Andrew on my lap -- then the ear-splitting shrieks caused me to quickly take back the archy-backed baby and flee the room.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

James the 9-monther

Whosa biggee boy? You are! You are!

I've been thinking this week that baby James has lived as long outside as he was inside. In other words, I had my pregnancy-fountain-of-spit for as long as my baby has been alive. So. Much. Spit. He drools a fair amount, but that's acceptable.

Sweet Baby James weighed 22 pounds 11 ounces at his 9 month checkup on Friday, and he's 29 3/4 inches long.

He giggles and babbles and looks for me in the room if I'm not holding him. He does the same thing for JB in the mornings when I'm at KSL. He likes to be tucked in daddy's arm on the couch playing with something while JB types with the other hand.

He has two teeth on the bottom and one on top that's quickly shooting out and making him look like Nanny McPhee. But there are three other red swollen buds with a bit of white you can just see hovering there. He hasn't been very happy about it.

He's eating much better -- though not the "three solid meals and two snacks" that the pediatrician said he could be doing by now. He just prefers to nurse and I allow it, day and night. I can't help myself, he's my bay-bee.

He likes the puffs he can pick up and eat, and Saturday afternoon when he came on a date with JB and me, he LOVED the creamy warm lobster bisque at Zupas (he was grumpy teething, I felt bad leaving him with the 12-year-old babysitter who had to handle 3 other rambunctious boys).  

He squeaked and babbled in the movie until he fell asleep. He didn't appreciate the finer points of "The Book Thief." But it was a matinee at the dollar theater so I don't feel too bad about bringing him along.

Saturday morning he played with cousin Kate, visiting from Idaho. She's 6 months old and can sit alongside him like a champ.

Buuuuut....she can crawl. Very well. And our baby is like a beached whale on his tummy. I wasn't too worried about it, until I heard his other baby girl cousin Kaylee is also crawling....and the pediatrician mentioned something about "early intervention physical therapy" if he doesn't start to push up better on his hands and knees, or pull up to standing in the next month.

Look at those older brothers trying their hardest to encourage James to "Come on! "COME ON!"

Then they asked me, "But cousin Phin doesn't crawl yet, right? So that's good. And we are winning the teeth war against the other babies." They are very competitive with this baby brother.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

About a boy named Andrew

Observe my silly 3-year-old Andrew. Imagine him saying his signature "Eh!" as he scrunches his face.

This could be like one of those blogs where the gal is dressed in an outfit and tells you where everything came from.

Doggy-eared baby hat -- a gift, belonged first to a baby Max, should now be for baby James.
Dinosaur jammies -- Costco? Carters? belonged first to a toddler Benny
Fireman Boots - Costco, belonged first to a toddler Benny (see here)
Bib on the floor -- a gift, given to a baby Andrew

In these pictures, he shows how he likes to snuggle baby James.

He wants to be buddies with him, like Max and Benny are buddies.

Andrew also still wears diapers -- size 4. Incidentally, baby James also wears size 4 diapers.  And, yes, that's underwear Andrew is wearing OVER his diaper.  No, potty-training isn't going well, why do you ask?

Now to my favorite picture in recent memory:

Isn't that pink tongue to die for?  JB emailed it to me this at work, with the message, "Which do you think he likes more, the waffles or the syrup?"  I was on the phone lining up an interview for a story when the email came in. I clicked to open the picture, and burst out laughing. The person on the phone was not amused.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Some mornings -- like no-school holidays when I still have to be on the radio reallllyyyy early, or Sundays when JB has Bishopbric meetings really early and we don't have church til the afternoon -- our four sons hang out in their jammies with the other parent for a while.

The hope is they will stay nice and chill and relaxed and calm and just mosey through the morning.  Maybe even sleep in a little.


Sigh, that was funny.

I think the big boys slept in til 8 once. A couple of times I have set their clock behind as much as a half-hour to keep them inside their room a little longer after a late night. Max, Ben and Andrew are all in the same room downstairs, and they know not to come out til they see a 7 on the clock.

Benny and Max are allowed to watch a TV show in the morning.  Benny loves sports so so much, as soon as he saw a 7 on his clock last Sunday, he shot out of that room and left the other two sleeping. He turned on the channel he knows to be Root Sports.....but it was a vacuum infomercial. He told me later that he kept waiting and waiting for the "really long vacuum commercial" to end and for sports to come on. I think he sat through the whole half-hour.

He also told me our vacuum doesn't work very well and we could do much better.