JB has two U of U basketball tickets again this year, and Max and Ben take turns and they go sit in a group with our friends and their kids. One night, a friend gave JB two of his tickets and he took Andrew and James along with Max.
It started out fine, as evidenced in this picture JB sent me:
But the tiredness set in and the littles started to fade. He wrote, "This is what it's become."
And then he texted me, "Now they're eating someone's leftover pizza crust. I'm pretending I didn't see it because the people around us certainly did."
We have been taking a lot of pictures of Millie under the tree. She was our Christmas present in July! She turned five months old on the 18th.
James and Andrew's last year Christmas jammies were reindeer, and Nona gave these reindeer PJs to Millie a couple weeks ago, so they have all been wearing them together. Except James's are a little tight and he split the bum. I sewed them, and they split again. Drop Drawers.
She also has Christmas jammies from our neighbors, whose baby girl was about the same size at the same time:
Millie-girl doesn't mind tummy time, like our last baby. At five months, she is a lot more mobile. She rolls from her back to her side, and then from there she went to her tummy one time. While on her back she kicks her legs and feet while wiggling her bum, and it makes her move backwards or around in a circle. While on her tummy she is starting to do the inchworm movements. She is getting stronger legs to stand on your lap while holding her. And now it's time to make sure all Legos and Melty/Perler Beads and Rainbow Loom bands are all off the floor.
First sewing lesson!
JB brought the machine upstairs so I could sew after the little boys were in bed. It's in their room, the former spare room, pictured here 5 years ago when then-baby Andrew got his first sewing lesson.
She goes to brothers' basketball games every Saturday, and is sleeping more in the crib across the hall -- when I remember to get up and put her there. She sometimes eyes our food, but it might just be curiosity instead of actually knowing that it is food. Though she got a taste of funeral potatoes at my work Christmas potluck.
I made these leggings for her out of two women's knee high socks.
I took that picture partly to brag about my sewing (but don't look too closely at the seams), but also because this was one of many moments where my heart was just so full of love for her. I am so happy that she came to be in our family.
Andrew is now six, after counting down to his birthday for a long time. And he still has to count down to his first friends party, because we put that off until January something. Invites to come eventually. Procrastination station over here.
He had a very specific vision for his birthday cake. I planned a carrot cake because I had lots of carrots on hand, and we were driving somewhere when we asked him what he wanted it to look like. In the past, I have made him a lion cake, alligator cake, and Yoda.
He leaned forward and said with that excited lisp, "I want it to have Yoda training baby Millie, and it should say, 'Use the Force, Young One!' in Yoda's voice."
He said he wants the same cake for his friends party. Da, da, da da da DAAA da done.
His birthday was on Sunday, and I am pretty sure by the end of 3 hour church, the whole ward knew it was his birthday. He is so gregarious and funny.
We ate cake with cousins that evening.
(side note -- Millie's dress and tights: I die. Also, Ben holding her foot. )
I made Andrew some pajama bottoms from Star Wars fabric, and he got a Star Wars shirt and new Lego minifigures and a double Light Saber I found for $1.00 at the thrift store. But within 30 seconds I realized it was a big mistake to introduce such a large weapon in a home of 4 boys. They all pulled out their current Light Sabers and next thing I knew, our TV and Christmas tree and bookshelves and heads were all in danger of being busted.
I wrote recently about Andrew here. He is such a joy.
Our school focuses a lot on music, and the yearly Christmas music program did not disappoint. Probably because I feel like I am raising some performing artist stars.
I think the direction was for all the 6th graders to do a shoulder shimmy dance thing during the chorus, because I saw a couple of them do it, but our Max did it the whole time. My phone lit up with texts from other parents in the audience. I was smiling/laughing so much my eyeballs hurt.
Ben I didn't get a picture of because my phone died. But he was the right level of spirited along with his classmates.
Andrew had a special part. He was Santa. His teacher says she chose him because she thinks his slight hearing loss makes him speak louder. The class all chanted a poem about Santa's reindeer, counting down from 9 to one, and he had a line each time ("Can 9 little reindeer pull my sled?" all the way down to one, and then he said,"Caaaaalllll Rudolph!").
JB and I were so proud! The music teacher says he stole the show during the performance for the rest of the school, too.
For his birthday, he invited 5 friends over for a late-over. Ben's plans were to watch a movie the whole time. I suggested Pictionary. And it was hilarious to watch and listen to them.
These boys' sweet families all sent them with a gift, which our boy really appreciated. On his birthday itself we had cake:
And he got his family gift - a Lego AT-ST walker.
Ben is funny, sweet, kind to others, curious, loves holding Millie and loves to style his hair (the above picture was bedtime and does not reflect his usual use of hair products), and lately he has been really into organizing and cleaning the main rooms of our house and begging the rest of us to follow suit. He likes spending time at his friends' houses, I think because they have video games and we don't. He uses his spending money to buy gum at the gas station and needs better hiding places for that gum because James chews it all. The life of a second child!
We have busy Decembers. Our two middle boys were born this month, plus JB has tithing settlements and there are parties and neighborhood gifts and hundreds of Christmas Cards to mail and school holiday concerts -- and I don't get much time off because the news never sleeps. JB and I never sleep when our baby has an earache and James and Andrew refuse to wait until the 7 on the clock to come bounding out of bed.
But I digress.
We did get the tree up and I love it. I love it so much. Nativities are next. The tree's lights work better than our baby play mat for Millie to look at, so I sometimes stick her under the tree when I need to use both hands to do something.
Andrew saw her under there and wanted to take a picture with her:
Then he grabbed a Santa hat.
In the spirit of trying to be like my friends' social media posts (and after Andrew came home from kindergarten begging to make one), we/I tried to make a gingerbread house one day from scratch.
That's a big fat nope.
BUT, success story -- on Saturday, all the annual Christmas smoked pulled pork was delivered in record time. JB was up all night, and it took a few hours for us to take turns going out and knocking on doors in the morning. If neighbors weren't home, they didn't get some (sorry!).
This is the picture I posted on Facebook at 8:30 AM, because to be honest, I wanted people to see it and to answer their doors more quickly. It was cold and we had 60+ containers to deliver.
Next up -- Ben turns 9 tomorrow, and Andrew turns 6 on the 18th and he really really wants a Star Wars party and it is his turn but I haven't planned much yet and wonder if we can just push it to a much-less-busy January.
...is how swim lessons are going. See these texts I sent JB last Tuesday:
Yes, I am talking about Jamesy. Andrew is loving swim lessons. I am so proud of how brave he is now to put his whole head in the water, jump in from the side, float on his back, etc.
After last week, the instructor said I could come in a swimsuit and get in with him next time. I laughed...but guess who was in the water the next night, crouched down in 2 feet deep water with a 3 year old boy's arms gripped tightly around her neck? This momma.