Saturday, February 25, 2017

Barbershop quintet

I got some cute/funny/same-old-same-old questions and comments I always get when we go in public together. Three of the boys needed haircuts, so I took everyone to the barbershop we frequent.

(Ben was the only one who knew I was taking a picture)

"Look at all those blonde boys!"

"Oh, a girl finally!"

"They all look like you."

"Are you done having kids?"

"One more boy instead of a girl and you could have had a basketball team."


I don't mind it mostly; I know people mean well.  

The key to a good haircut with James is give him gum and make it quick, otherwise he starts proclaiming "I'm done!" with still half of his head to go. 

The key to a good haircut with Ben is to point out beforehand his double crown in the back, and how he would like a little length left in the front to still style. Max likes a bit more in front, too. However, they both would really like to have Gordon Hayward's haircut from the Utah Jazz.

Andrew had a fresh cut last month so he went from chair to chair where his brothers were sitting to give a running commentary on hair cuts and hair length and the slowly shrinking size of his lollipop.

Millie licked the sugar out of the bag of gummy worms I brought to give the boys if the wait was long. No donuts afterward this time, though. This was right after Valentine's Day and we were kind of full of sugar cookies and heart-shaped donuts.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Seven Months

Consider this the Millie update, continuing on the recent theme.  Look who is mastering sitting up finally!

Here is a refresher of her first 6 months:

That went so fast!

At seven months old, Millie is just such a joy. She is mobile in every direction but forward. I am constantly scanning the ground for Legos and small items she will put in her mouth. She rocks on her hands and knees and gets up on her toes like a plank (it's so funny). She is eating one meal of solid food a day, at dinner, and mostly sticks with oatmeal cereal and mashed veggies or fruits but has tried yogurt and even had some bites of mushed up Sloppy Joes on Sunday and mashed up pizza last night and liked it.

Her nicknames now include Dolly, Tootie (solid food equals more gas, let's be honest), and "Meal-ticket" (because with a Utah accent, meal sounds like mill so Millie becomes Mill-ticket). 

Here are some other pictures JB took at her photo shoot.  My mom crocheted this blanket 12 years ago when I was first pregnant. I remember thinking it would be perfect for a girl, because I had grown up with yellow as my favorite color. 

She's looking at me, here. James's Lightening McQueen (passed down from Ben) is parked in the background.

JB continues to send me pictures after she is dressed in the morning.

This is our dolly in a doll bed at Nona and Papa's house one Sunday.

I do like to take pictures with her so much.

She grabbed the plant on our table.

Using the fingers to fall asleep.

I say bow, she says eye mask.

I did not realize how often I would have to pull bows back up off her eyes and back onto her head!  I made most of them, but I do like to use a bunch that my sister-in-law's sister gave me that are more elasticky and stay put.

Backed herself into the corner again.

Facing forward in the stroller! "Cheese!" says James.

Monday, February 20, 2017

JB and Mary update

I am on a roll, now, with these updates. JB remains busy. And he got sick recently.  But he is a trooper.  The big boys can get breakfast for the little boys, but JB can't sleep in when baby wakes up early and momma works super early.

Mirror selfies and phone turn-around-selfies are just fun.  We didn't have iphones when our first was a baby, or I think we also would have done the same with him.

JB longs for warm weather and a vacation where he can just have even a tiny break from all the stress and responsibility he carries.  We had a stretch of storms where he was shoveling and snowblowing half the block, with the big boys out there helping, too.  Hopefully February and March are kind to our snowpack but also our backs.

JB had the BEST Valentine's Day surprise for me, and really for the whole family. It took him weeks of sorting through pictures when he had time, but he updated our collage in the hall to include all of our babies' pictures. It was just Max and Ben through their toddler years. Now all five of our children are on the wall and I smile every time I walk past. Which is often. It's a small house.  AND, he made another collage for downstairs! It's the best.

He helps the boys' basketball team and gets some playing time on Tuesday nights, and works out with his brother Scott twice a week.

I have a pedometer but forget to work on getting more steps. Nicer weather should bring back our daily walks.

I also have a thing about eyebrows.  Still.   (That post was almost 9 years ago! I got 11 comments on that post. So many quiet or lost readers now.)  Recently, I got them dyed. I wish I had done it like my friends/family said to 9 years ago in those comments in the post!

That is my picture right afterward that I sent to my little sister Rachel, the brow queen. They have faded in the two weeks since and aren't as thick, but the remaining color should last for hopefully a few months, like when you dye your hair. I very happy about them.

I took my newly dyed brows to the Stake Big Band night. Max was sick, and JB and Ben were at basketball. So the rest of us represented. It was two days later and I wore the same shirt. And I looked down and I am wearing it now (it is from Rachel).

I think that picture turned out real nice!

Friday, February 17, 2017

James update

Ask this 3-year-old his name, and chances are he will say "I'm Jamsey J-dog."

I've said it before, he is loud, stubborn, etc etc. But he is learning to use words better, and he plays well I think, and he has an imagination, and craves hugs.

He also wore that batman shirt everyday for a week, then a Spiderman shirt everyday for a week, and wears the same jammies every night. 

He caught a couple naps in a row, which was cute and sweet and picture worthy. Then when he woke up, we paid for it. Ben and Andrew did the same thing at 3, 3 1/2 -- unexpected naps came with such huge tears afterward.

He has lately been carrying around his favorite books and toys in a ziplock bag. It's too funny. And he always wants to take a favorite little toy with him if we are going somewhere. I've seen it before with his older brothers at this age, but unfortunately it has meant sometimes forgetting the item places.

Here he is getting a ride from JB after a school music program. When those stubborn or tired legs won't keep walking, we make it a game.

At night in his little prayers, he STILL mentions swimming lessons: "Thankful for this day and I don't go to swimming lessons anymore, right mom?" He also says "Thankful I go to primary, right mom?"

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Andrew update

Andrew is just the funniest fella. For kindergarten this month, they celebrated reaching 100 days of school with all things 100...including dressing as a 100-year-old man.

I made the mustache the day before, and JB dressed him morning of and sent me the picture and I just smiled and smiled. He'll count to 100 at any time you want. I'll send him over to your house so you can hear it for a change, haha.

Also in his class recently they studied the solar system, and all made models. Andrew of course made his Sun from Legos!

I have volunteered a couple times in his class, and his teacher is so great. She uses the microphone so he can hear, but often  doesn't need to because she has such control of the class. They can be so quiet at times! In our SEP conference, she praised his high reading scores (we read every night together), and she was impressed with his math skills. His handwriting has come a long way since the start of the school year. And she showed me his journal entries, including one where he wrote, "My baby sistr ped on me."  I don't remember that happening, but he sure giggled when I read it out loud.

Andrew adores our friend Roger. This picture is from our Superbowl party.

He sits by Roger and Katie and JoLynn, or by the Thorntons, every Sunday in church. It helps me so I can help Millie and James. But Andrew talks a lot.  I look over and see the Peters or Thorntons motioning shush! to him, but they are also quietly laughing at his chatter.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ben update

Ben is feeling growing pains in his legs lately. He is getting long and lanky!

Last week for the Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet, the scouts each decorated a cake. Ben chose a hamburger cake, and he did most of it himself. I only jumped in when my perfectionist crafty ego couldn't stand to the side.

A week ago Saturday, his Jr Jazz team had their last game.

James wanted a picture there with his cars lined up in the bleachers, so I obliged.

And Millie was so cute playing beside him.

But back to Ben. He is also on a superleague team with Max, and that continues. He is confident and fearless with the ball. Wants to nail outside shots like Steph Curry.

Lately he is obsessed with Nerf/dart guns. He researches all the types and is saving his money for a new one, even though we have plenty around the house. On cold/snowy days a couple of times we have gone to the church gym with friends and their Nerf guns. He and Max are constantly talking about them.

His SEP conference this week was pride-inducing for me. I honestly think if they skipped grades any more they would skip him. His scores are so high. Upon recommendation he is testing for the Extended Learning Program, to see if he should enter the program in fourth grade next year. His teacher said he is always looking for a new challenge. He races through his work, from schoolwork to chores, though on some things I wouldn't mind if he slowed down and enjoyed the ride.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Max update

This amazing boy is all registered for middle school! Here we are at the event with the school counselors last week. He knows where to look with the reverse camera function on the phone. I, alas, still do not.

Max tried out for and made Orchestra II next year.  He was very proud of that. He has been playing viola since fifth grade and decided to keep it up.

Max is responsible and kind. I enjoyed hearing his 6th grade teacher explain the things she enjoys about him when we met for SEP conference on Wednesday. He asks how he can help, and keeps her on track, she said. And his reading and math scores are great. I have started laying off him about homework so he can learn to take more responsibility for deadlines and consequences, before it gets really serious in middle and high school. 

He also watches his brothers so JB and I can grab a quick early dinner date with the baby on occasion. They mostly just watch a show.  For now, all four boys fit on the couch together. It can get elbowy.

Max is improving so much on his superleague basketball team. Some games are late and I miss them. Another fun note about Max -- he likes to listen to adult conversations and we don't realize until he is commenting along about an issue or a person. Whoops!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Jump jump jump, baby!

We got out the Johnny Jump Up again to try out and see if Millie liked it any better.

The problem is, she never really has any peace. Brothers wanted to swing her and push her and she got sad.

They are all the same ages of our first three kids in this picture below (from this post)

Then it was Max 6, Ben 3, Andrew 6 months. Now it is Andrew 6, James 3, Millie 6 months. Same doorway, too, just a different angle. 

Then, Ben loved any shirt with a number on it. Now, James loves any shirt with Batman or Spiderman on it. It's time to wash one and he is mad.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Highs and lows

High - the Super Bowl

My brother Joe invited us down to his house, but I was worried about bed times and having to turn around and go home by half-time. So, we invited JB's bishopbric families and our friends the Peters to our house to watch the game. Overtime meant late bed time anyway but it was really fun, with delicious leftovers. Peanut. Butter. Bars.  James ran around so much that he fell asleep in the middle of his nightly prayer on his bed.

Low - My boys wanted the Falcons to win

High -  the temperatures

It was upper 40s on Saturday, and we (mostly JB) had deep cleaned the house house for our Super Bowl guests, so I took five children over to the park.

Low - the remaining snow

I think I thought some magical taxpayer-funded gnomes removed snow off of public playgrounds. But these boys soon had a timer going of how fast they could go through the obstacles.

And Millie slept all snug in her seat in the stroller with blankets.

High - stake conference on Sunday

It was the best its ever been with 5 children. Millie slept in her seat for more than half of it, and Andrew sat by the Peters (they are soooo patient), the big boys can draw/listen, and that left James with my full attention, and JB could take notes. I came away uplifted and inspired, and normally I just leave those two hours with a frazzled and spent attitude.

Lowest of the lows -  friends are moving.

I can keep in touch with Becky and Brooke via Facebook and Instagram and texting, but our boys will lose the daily contact they have with their great friends. That's the part that made me cry over this, seeing my boys sad.

I think back to how my family growing up had to move every couple of years, and how it did make my siblings all closer together, but losing friends is the pits.  Still, growth is good, and moving causes growth for those who leave and for those who are left behind. (sob)