Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sunday Funday

Say it with me, "Hallelujah!" James now goes to primary (knock on wood). Last week he earned his prize by staying the whole time, and this week he went without needing JB to stay. And he liked it!

I have been reading The Child Whisperer about this Type 3 boy, and I hope we are finding ways to help him feel less stymied and angry/frustrated. He can be such a funny boy and a sweetheart.

He fought a major virus or some kind of sick bug this week, and spent a lot of time cuddled up napping or watching Paw Patrol and Daniel Tiger.

Coke chest made its first appearance here,  I Spy quilt given to then 2-year-old Benjamin here, and Maxwell helped Nona make the pillow case. Oh, and it's a Utah fleece blanket under the quilt. JB was concerned James would throw up on it, but it was more of a fever and coughing kind of sickness. Millie had it for a few days, too, but the rest of us have been fine.

JB held her a lot in the mornings while I was at work when she was feeling under the weather. Fingers in mouth. No teeth yet (the pediatrician filling in for mine tried to tell me that he sees no evidence babies feel pain while teething. I don't think he has kids of his own).

Speaking of Millie, she and I were able to sit by the Bishop on Sunday during the third hour combined meeting.

I couldn't help but sneak a picture. She loves her daddy and sleeps well on him.

I am glad we were all well to be able to go to church.  I need it every week. It is refreshing during these times of trouble to be able to reset, and to sing and worship and pray together. God is in charge -- I love our scripture theme this year: "Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not."  

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Andrew's party

A month later, we had Andrew's sixth birthday party.  The invitation said, "It's a little late, but come celebrate!"  And Yoda was saying, "6 Andrew is."

I invited cousins, and 12 kids and thought I had everyone in his primary class, and the kids he talks to the most in kindergarten, but just now realized I forgot to invite at least 3 more kids. I wonder if I need to apologize to their moms in case Andrew blabbed to them about his party and they went home sad? Though at 6, maybe it's not a big deal?

Yoda and Leia cupcakes

"Chewie" granola bars in the take home bags.

Thanks to cousin Spencer's party last September, I had plenty of ideas to steal, like pool noodle light sabers. Look at this crew!

JB battled them as Darth Vader. They also spent time shooting nerf darts at the Storm Trooper balloon from New Year's Eve, and finally helped him go to his eternal rest (in the church dumpster).

I made a "tape the red light to R2D2" game, but maybe half the kids wanted to play. Most of the time they just ran around with the balloons and that was just fine.

Cousin Danny reaching out to investigate Millie.

This cute family is moving to Japan, by the way, to help Mindy's dad and grandparents. Waaaahhhh. Peter promises me they will be back. Cool opportunity for them, but, I love having a sibling close by. So who else is going to move here from Missouri to be his place holder?

Andrew had a great time, and he deserved it. He was enthralled with his presents (mostly Star Wars themed), and we have had a good time doing science experiments and puzzles and cuddling in his new sleeping bag with Chewbacca, etc. Andrew is a chatty joy who makes friends easily and we are glad for those who came to celebrate!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Six months

I longed for a daughter for so long -- and I cannot believe she has been with us for six months already!

I shared this quotation when she was born, but it is worth it again:  "She is a miracle. All our babies were sweet, Gilbert, but she is the sweetest." -Anne of Ingleside, LM Montgomery

At her 6 month checkup this week, she weighed 16 pounds 6 ounces. She doubled her birth weight exactly.  Her four older brothers were all 18-20 pounds at 6 months. She is 27 inches long (they were 28ish). No teeth yet, can't quite sit up yet, started solid food this week and thinks it's delicious.

She was pretty sad the day after her shots but then got back to her chipper self.  It wasn't our usual pediatrician (who is on maternity leave) and he was telling me we can let her cry it out at night and there's no reason for her to wake up. Yeah...nope. Breastfed babies wake up at night, and I am a working mom who nurses on demand.

My brother and two neighbors gave us more darling clothes and I put the 6 month things in her drawers, though many 3-6 month size fit fine, which makes me glad that they are getting plenty of use before we are all done with them.  I need my younger brother or JB's younger brother to have a baby girl so I can pass these clothes on to them!

This month has come with so much more mobility for Millie-girl. It started right after her 5 month mark. Rolling all over, turning around and scooting (but only backwards, not forwards yet). She often ends up backed under the couch.

That mobility has caused a problem for sleeping. She was getting good at putting herself to sleep  -- but now when we lay her down awake, she flips over to her tummy and feels stuck there and cries, or she scoots around in the crib and gets her legs stuck through the slats, or bonks her head on the side and cries.  So she sleeps a lot beside me still.

I got the Exersaucer down out of the attic.

And a sweet neighbor gave us their old girlie baby toys. They are pink and soft and two are baby dolls! Her first dolls :)

She still sucks those two fingers.

Once she turned over to her tummy at naptime beside me, but kept her fingers in her mouth.

JB and I love to take selfie pictures with her.  We did this a fair amount with our boys, too, but iphones are getting so much better at picture quality, and it's just convenient. 

This one below is from a wedding reception last week. She is such a good baby, so chill and content almost all of the time.

She loves her older brothers and saves her biggest smiles and laughs for their antics. James calls her "Miwee" which sounds like how he says Mary (those ls and rs are hard).

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Primary Problem

Jesus wants James for a Sunbeam, but the feeling isn't mutual.

James, age 3 1/2, was supposed to go into Sunbeams class on Sunday, New Year's Day. But he has downright refused to the point of many tears (his and mine). He says he is scared, he says he wants to stay with me, he begs to go home.

We just had our third Sunday of this trauma, and it is like swimming lessons all over again. I talk about it with him positively and encouragingly -- we practice, we role play, we pray. He just won't stay in primary himself.  I tried the slowly inching him off my lap into his own chair, then slowly backing up my chair to the exit (a 45 minute long process). That led to screams I could hear down the hall. We tried the drop-off and run. Big screams. He ends up coming with me or going to JB.

James is such a strong personality -- Hulk smash, fast Batman, big talk, mean fists, quick feet, loud laughter, intense fury, huge tears...many days are full of time-outs and talks and compromises and bargaining. I think he feels like it wouldn't be bedtime without me chasing him back into his room for books, or holding him down to brush his teeth, or reminding him to stop shouting "JESUS CHRIST AMEN! JESUS CHRIST AMEN!" during his poor brother Andrew's turn for prayers.  

He sucker-punches his brothers. He spits at me. He is soooo stubborn. He is often angry. And he could have been hit by a car and died -- and I cannot believe how much I need to learn about how to be more patient and loving with this fourth boy. 

Maybe this Sunbeam struggle is for me.  To make me slow down and stop controlling him, but to hug and cherish him a little longer. To make me look him in the eyes and tell him he is important to me, therefore I can and will help him with his fear of primary.

We go to church on Sundays because it is the right thing to do -- the gospel is true, and he needs my help right now to help him feel that.

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Years Eve and the long break

The boys were out of school for two full weeks for the Christmas-New Years-Winter break. And it snowed and snowed. So we watched a lot of movies, built Legos, etc.  I used every drop of vacation during maternity leave, but had accrued enough time since being back at work to have Friday December 30th off.  I slept in (til 7!) and JB took Max snowboarding.

New Year's Eve we spent with our great friends the Peters again. Funny thing -- I'll say we are going to Peter's house (my brother who now lives in Murray) and the boys think I mean Roger and Katie and JoLynn Peters. They are so kind to us, and always bring out tons of food and treats and party favors whenever we are there.

This was around 9 pm. Late enough for us!  And that Stormtrooper balloon was awesome. It is still floating tiredly downstairs in our house -- and scares me in the dark. James and Andrew have finally stopped dragging it around and fighting over it. 

We did poppers outside.

The Peters gave the boys all Utah sweatshirts, JB a new shirt, and Millie new Utah jammies.  

Napping Richards cousins at Sunday dinner before Carver went back to Arizona after the holidays.

Then she woke up.

Happy New Year!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Christmas 2016

We told the boys not to come upstairs on Christmas morning until they saw a 7 on the clock -- and the big boys obeyed, right on the dot. But the little boys were sleeping in after our late night of Christmas Eve at the grandparents. I told Max and Ben that we couldn't go into the living room until the little boys were awake...and I have my suspicions that Ben went down and dragged the little boys out of bed. But they quickly realized what day it was and perked right up.

The Star Wars theme was strong again this year.

Those are socks. Socks are life right now for these boys. Well,  Legos are life, Socks are pretty close.

Yoda towel for Andrew-the-obsessed.

Semi-truck to hold all his cars for James-the-obsessed.


Tights were the biggest surprise of the day, I think. Max and Ben love to wear shorts, even in the winter, and beg for athletic tights to wear under them. It is all the ragin' style in their circle of boys friends.  So we caved and they were THRILLED.

Ben is trying to point to the tights in the picture below.

Also, notice on the wall above Ben's shoulder is my present from JB - a canvas print of our children. On the other wall is another canvas print of our most recent family picture. The Lagoon family pictures that we still love so much are now in our bedroom.

James also got Magformers.

And let us not forget Millie's first Christmas! She helped me open her present, a new baby squeaky toy.

We were done opening by 8:20 AM I think. And that was even with me trying to stretch it out.
After presents and lunch, we went to church. It was a beautiful sacrament meeting, with church hymns, and a great speaker (JB the Bishop).

Look at Millie in her Christmas dress, learning to sit up. Notice all the presents and wrapping paper was all cleaned up behind her (thanks, Ben). 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Christmas prep

One year ago on Christmas Eve, we told family we were expecting baby #5. Twelve years ago on the same night (and I was wearing the same sweater), we told family we were expecting baby #1. Our July babies. Those memories came back as we had pizza and opened new pajamas on Christmas Eve. And, memories of my two December newborns were with me all month.

Here are all the Richards cousins except two in Idaho.

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And here's who was on the other side of the room:

These four blonde boys are often found in a loud gaggle together. By the way Andrew didn't take the jammies off all week. Maybe once when we went somewhere. Twice when I insisted they be washed.

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The newest Richards baby came from Arizona. Carver is two months younger than Millie, but they are about the same weight and height.

I'll get to the Christmas Day pictures off the big camera eventually, but I must leave you with what gave me a chuckle for days.  My brother and sister-in-law in Seattle sent me a box of girl clothes their baby grew out of, and I wanted to show them how she was wearing one for her Christmas dress. I had a couple numbers for Bethany in my phone and I thought I picked the right one:

First thought: Mortified. 
Second thought: Still got it.