Sunday, July 8, 2018

Family Time

The other day we had spent almost all day looking at screens, I finally decided enough was enough. I told everyone to put it away and we were going to play charades. We were laughing so much and having so much fun. Nathan cuddled up on my lap and said, "I wish I could write about this in my journal so I always remember it." 

He has been on wanting a journal kick. He randomly says he wants a pet snake. I told him if he still wants one when it's his birthday we'll talk more about it. "I wish I had a journal." He said. "Why?"  "Because then I could write, December 17th - remember I want a snake!"

Nora has been utterly exhausting lately. It seems the last 10 years of my life have been, one kid growing out of the absolutely exhausting stage, just to have another one fill their place. I'm looking forward to the future and not having toddlers anymore. As I write this, she is emptying every toy bin into the living room. It's easier to clean it up when she's in bed than try to stop her now. The other day she emptied all the tupperware - no big deal. But then she got her squeezy applesauce and made sure to get some all over every single piece. Today in sacrament meeting she would not sit still to save her life. She just loooves to go up to every single person and say "Hi!" and wave to them. Fortunately most people are happy to say hi back, and she goes on her merry way. But I still feel like I should be able to control her better. Any attempt to keep her in my lap resulted in her hitting and biting me. She also requests fruit snacks about 100 times a day.  She's also still sleeping really crappy and so she's easily trigged by everything. In fact, she's now moved from destroying the toys to emptying the pantry so I better go.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Eliza's aspirations

At a recent check up to the doctor (I usually do well checks all at once if I can) the doctor asked the kids what they wanted to be when the grow up.

"A doctor!" Olivia replied.
"A vet." Abigail piped in.
"A police officer." Nathan quietly muttered.
"A PIKACHU!" Eliza bellowed. The doctor laughed and I joined in. And there was no convincing her that this was impossible.

A few weeks go by and I decide to ask again. However now she's changed her mind to be a ditto pokemon because apparently they can make themselves into any other kind of pokemon.

"Well, Eliza as genius as that plan sounds, you are going to be a human for the rest of your life. That is just how it works. You were born a human, and you will be a human forever." I broke the rough news.

"I know." She sighed, and then quickly added, "Because YOU never let me go anywhere dangerous."

Right, her mean old mom keeping her out of haunted woods or other places she thinks she might meet a witch or something that would trade her humanness for the ability to be a cartoon animal that can only say its name.

So we have joked about this for months now, that Eliza is stuck on becoming something other than a human when she grows up. Then at dinner the other day the kids were asking me about fire eaters. I showed them a video of a fire eater and Eliza exclaimed, "THAT! That is the human I want to be when I grow up."

Friday, June 22, 2018

Snapshot of Nora at 2 years old.

This morning Eliza asked me what she was like when she was two years old. Ya know, an entire two years ago. My mind drew a complete blank. Why couldn't I remember a single moment of her third year of life? Oh wait, I was pregnant and had a newborn, and then had two newborns, and then we bought a house and moved and struggled to purge ourselves of head lice. That's right, sorry kid your 2 year old self lived through some crazy. But then Aaron looked on my blog and found some stories for her, and went back to when all the kids were 2 and had cute stories for everyone that had us all laughing.

So I have a renewed desire (once again) to start updating regularly because once again I have two very little kids, plus 4 not so little kids, and as much as I think these are moments I'll never forget, experience has taught me that absolutely everything happening will leave my mind in 2 years or less.

So Nora as a 2 year old... She can do a somersault. I think she'll probably be an olympic gymnast by the time she's 12. Alright probably not, but none of my other kids possessed this skill on their own. I don't know where she learned it, but she will say, "Flip!" and proceed to flip herself over.  She's learning new words every day and it's absolutely adorable to hear new words come out of her mouth. One of her favorite things is for me to hold her, and hug Aaron, so she's sandwiched between us. She'll put one arm around his neck and one arm around mind and smush all together. It's every bit as cheesy and adorable as it sounds.

She's also still obsessed with letters. She can name almost all of them now and her all time favorite thing is to play on Starfall. Again, I'm certain not only will she be winning gold medals for gymnastics, she'll also be the smartest child ever and win some prestigious award. (I hope anyone who reads this knows I'm joking. I'm not really this obnoxious about my kids... am I?)

She has started to be nice to Matthew again. She cries when he leaves for his visits and is absolutely delighted when he gets back. "Machu! Machu!"

We moved her and Eliza to bunk beds and the transition is going okay. Last night apparently they both made their way to the big girls room and Nora climbed up into Abigail's bed and Eliza slept on the floor next to Olivia. But most of the time they stay in their bed pretty well.

I wish I had a funny story to end on but apparently it takes less than 2 years to wipe my memory, probably closer to 2 minutes. This really was easier to update when I only had 2 kids.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

But then it's all worth it.

Bottom of the 4th (only 4 innings in 8u softball) and Lady Leopards are trailing 0 to 2. Bases are loaded. Abigail, whose batting average is currently 0 is up to bat. She watches 3 balls pass her, with cheers of "Good eye!" rallying her on. But then she misses two coach pitches. She steps out of the batter box and takes a few deep breaths. Steps back in and taps home plate with her bat. The coach lobs her a nice easy one and Abigail knocks it out of the park! Okay more like a grounder to the outfield but it rolled really far and it was a home run! Grand slam! 

And that makes it all worth it. She will remember that moment the rest of her life. I ended up bawling my eyes out as the crowd all cheered like crazy. It was awesome.

Monday, April 23, 2018

I am a homebody. My favorite place in the world is my bed. When plans are canceled and I can just stay home my entire body sighs with relief. This is my happiest place. So I really limit things we do. But softball is a mandatory childhood experience, according to my husband. So this time of year is just the worst. Okay maybe not the worst, but good golly I spend a lot of time at the ball field. Which is fine, it's fine. Actually the games can be pretty fun and I love cheering for my kids and it turns out Nathan is actually pretty good, so that makes it even more fun. Lugging 6 kids to a ball game that doesn't start until past bedtime, to watch your kid sit on the bench is kind of infuriating, but I digress. And the girls aren't bad, they're just older and haven't been playing as long as some of the other girls on their teams so they kind of get thrown in center field or stuck on the bench. We're also getting to the end of the school year which means different ceremonies coming up. Preschool graduation, kindergarten graduation, piano recitals, and Olivia was selected to read a poem she wrote a school art show.  All good things, but so busy. So today while Aaron has a day off, and took the little girls out to lunch and the baby is sleeping, I'm sitting here writing and relaxing.

They filmed a food truck show for food network in Yuma this weekend. We happened to be in Sams Club while the contestants were zooming around the checkout line followed by a camera man. Abigail wanted to be on TV so we chased after them, but I do not think this will be her big break. However the guys were super friendly and took a picture with her.

 Eliza is the biggest worry wart. All of my kids went through this phase around this age, so I should be used to it, but it is exhausting. In this picture Eliza is stressing about some red lights she can glowing in the sky (airplanes) and if Daddy and Nathan are OK, and what if I can't find the way home. This is a big one for her. She constantly worries in the car that we are going to get lost, or transport to another world. I don't even know where she comes up with that one. We have never gotten lost and certainly haven't transported to any other worlds.
Her relationship with Nora is my favorite though. They are so cute together and I'm really grateful for most of my time with them. Dressing them up matchy-matchy also adds to my fun. Called Nora a copycat the other day because she was mimicking Eliza, and she replied with "Meow Meow!" So she's understanding a lot more lately and adding new words to her vocabulary every day. "Go! Car! Shoes!" have probably replaced "mama" as the most commonly used words. She loves to be out and on the go. Which kind of sucks for her, if you read my first paragraph. Good thing she has a daddy who loves her and will literally load her up in the car for a drive around the block, just because she asked. (over and over and over but still)

Monday, April 16, 2018

So my first class of the day canceled, so I have 30 minutes to myself this morning. I could be productive and go make kids lunches or clean something, but I've been trying to write here more often and this seemed like the perfect time. 

We go back to court for Matthew soon. His dad is doing really well. It makes you feel like a crummy person to find yourself wishing he would mess up. We just love this little guy so much and he feels so much like part of our family, it will be hard for everyone when he's not with us anymore. Eliza got him out of his pack n play and carried him to her bed, where her and Nora proceeded to cover him in kisses, making him giggle his little head off. It was adorable.  

Life with these kids is simultaneously overwhelmingly wonderful and at times just overwhelming. Moments when I'm carrying Nora on my hip, and Matthew in the infant carrier, or times when they both of their bowels decide today's the day to act like they're preparing for their first colonoscopy. (I think my maximum was 7 poopie diapers in one day.) These are times I wonder how the heck I'm doing this. Like what even is my life? But then moments like above just make it all worth it. "Picture the Thanksgiving table in 20 years" has become a bit of my mantra when times get hard. 

And now I have to give a whole little section to this hilarious face. This girl. My Eliza Jane. She is so funny. 99% of my daily laughter comes from her. I wish I could think of some examples off the top of my head, but about everything that comes out of her mouth is some level of ridiculous. She knows and loves it too. Like her mama, she absolutely loves making people laugh. She's as smart as they come, but my favorite thing about Eliza is her blunt honesty. She is a kid so she might try to do something sneaky here and there, but she always tells on herself. She's always quick to apologize and take full responsibility for it. It's not uncommon to hear her say, "I'm sorry I did that. It's my fault! I'll clean it up (or insert whatever action to make it right)." I am not sure where she gets this from, as none of my other kids seem to have this ability, but I sure hope she keeps it forever.
Aaron and I are taking the church's self reliance class together. I am pretty sure I wrote about when I took alone almost a year ago. I am so excited to be taking it with Aaron, even if it means a few late nights for the kids. It was really life changing the first time around, so I'm super excited to see where we end up 12 weeks from now.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Sunday Thoughts

My kids are loud.

My back hurts.

Aaron is working a lot this week.

And all I want is a moment of peace to reflect on the meaning of easter and my relationship with Jesus Christ.

So I'm locked in my room while the littlest two are napping, and the other 4 are playing a game (very loudly of course).

My testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ waxes and wanes like the moon. Some moments I swear I know He lived, and He lives as sure I know anything else. These are my full moon moments. I am just full of spine tingling reassurance that this is REAL. He is real. The Atonement happened for me. I can use the Atonement in my life to help me deal with everything from grief to keeping my patience when my kids are being their loud selves. Sometimes I remember that, and know that. Other times, my testimony is like that little sliver of a moon hanging in the sky. I try teach my kids about the importance of Jesus Christ but my words feel hollow. I try to pray but my mind wanders. How could someone who lived over 2,000 years ago really know me? How does it even work? And as these thoughts spiral to darkness about everything in life, I cling to that little sliver of my testimony. I remind myself of times where I knew. And I wait because I know as long as I keep doing the right things my testimony will grow again. Sometimes I feel guilty that this is how I am. That I am always questioning everything. The one part of my testimony that never goes away, that is always there is my knowledge that Heavenly Father loves me. In fact sometimes I even think he loves me the most. It is easy for me to never question this because I have evidence of it everywhere I look.
       This moon analogy has been playing around in my brain for years. But this is the first time I'm putting words on paper (so to speak) about it. And as I write I realize something deeper. The moon never changes in its size. A full moon only appears so because of our position when we're looking at it. Perhaps the times my testimony feels like sliver is because of my position of where I'm looking at it. A position of annoyance and anger at my children, or a slothful scripture study habit, or not doing all the other things I know are important to the Heavenly Father of whose love I am so certain.
        This weekend is also general conference. It is so hard to listen between the shushing of children and trying so hard to listen and feel but oh my heck can't they just be quiet for ONE talk?! Aaron is working all weekend so I'm watching alone. Some of the thoughts I had while watching this morning was that I want to be like President Eyering's wife. He shared how she was always acting on the promptings she received to serve others. And that skill was developed in her along with charity, the pure love of Christ. As one attribute grows, so does the other. I am okay in this area, but there is a lot of room for improvement.
           I am going to try to remember my position as I ponder my testimony. I desire to be a pillar of spiritual strength for my children. I want my life to be lived as a testimony that Christ lived. I want to feel his grace for my children. I want them to know He loves them, because of the way I love them. I want them to know as certain as I do that Heavenly Father loves them so much.
       I also want my kids to be quiet for like an hour. Maybe two. And for my back to stop hurting. But one thing at a time.