Friday, July 11, 2014

No deja vu

   For those who aren't familiar with Molly's birth story, here's the reader's digest version. Three and a half weeks before her due date we went up to the mountains for Christmas, with the plan to come home the day after Christmas. I hadn't progressed at all before we left Monday, but she decided to come on Thursday, which was Christmas Eve. I was at the "hospital" for 10 minutes before she made her debut. It was a great Christmas vacation, and if you are going to be born Christmas Eve you better have a good story to go with it.
  We decided to go back up to the mountains again for the July 4th weekend, despite my being 34-35 weeks along. My in-laws have a place in a little town that puts on a killer fireworks display and it's a tradition, usually, to go up there. So we woke up at 445am July 4th to make the 4 hour drive and not hit major traffic. With kids we average 4 1/2 to 5 hours to make the trip, but going so early we got up in less than 4 hours. Woohoo. We didn't have to stop, there was no crying, barely any talking at all actually (that would be because the two older girls went up with the grandparents a few days earlier), and such a great trip. Those with kids can appreciate the miraculous road trip that will forever be the platinum standard (though probably never to be repeated).
  I was nervous about the altitude and the feeling of being winded all the time like I was while pregnant with Molly. But oh what a blessing not to feel any of that, at all. I didn't push myself much but still it was so nice to have oxygen. My dad also came up with us, so despite the fact that vacation is still living and still a lot of work, it was nice to be able to say, "Hey Sean, go to Grandpa" or "Dad can you carry Sean?" There were more adults than kids for the first time in so long and what a great blessing that was that I really used.
 I wasn't prepared for the AWFUL sleep we got throughout the entire vacation. The first night was the worst and I ended up, after battling Julia and Sean from 1-3am, sleeping on a thin futon mat on the laundry room floor with Julia, while Joe tried to get Sean back to sleep in the bedroom. Who knew that a nightlight could be so vital/detrimental to everyone in the room. The other nights weren't quite as bad but still not fun. Night two was a little better, Sean woke at 4 am and was up until nap time. AGHHHH, at least I was successful in keeping Molly asleep until 6, miraculous.  Again, blessings each day kept us awake and energized to play.
  We spent time at one of the lakes nearby, in the creek behind the cabin, swinging in the hammock (not so easy to exit being so pregnant), going on hikes to gorgeous waterfalls, eating, playing, laughing, and enjoying family. Oh and I learned why it's not a good idea to throw rocks around other people. I was sitting on a rock near the creek and decided to skip a rock. I chose one, kinda too big to skip but... I thought that it might be a bad angle even though the creek was clear in front of me and threw it. Well my fingers held on a little too long, and whoosh through the air. It flew right towards my mother-in-law and hit her, right on the cheek bone. Yup, less than an inch from her eye. She's a professional artist, her eyes are everything. She was black and blue instantly. It's still a HUGE nasty yellow bruise. That wasn't what I wanted to do. So be careful when you throw rocks.
 Back to the beginning, we did not come home with Lotz #5.
 Here's so photos.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Say cheese

     I love photographs, but it seems as the kids have gotten older (and more numerous) I have taken fewer and fewer photos. I just forget to get out the camera most days and even on some kind of special days. But when there is so much going on, something has to give right? I am going to try to take more photos, I just have to figure out where to put the camera so that it is convenient for me to get and remember and not so easy for little fingers to get. They are great at taking random shots of whatever but it has already cost me one camera and I don't need to add that to the list of things to buy/replace. Here are some fun ones of our adventures recently.
Boat captain Julia, just lounging around.

Our three "cutest show" actresses. Molly was there early and got one of the two mermaid costumes. The others were super jealous. Cassidy had a hard time being convinced that there weren't more mermaid costumes and settled on waving a wand and being a pink mermaid. I love the nemo on Julia's head.

We recently went to the fair with the parents and before we started off I made sure to take a photo of the girls, just in case. I remember going to the zoo and coming across a mom looking for her child. I asked her what the child was wearing and she had a hard time remembering, that stuck with me, to try and avoid the inevitable fog when panicking over a missing child. So now we do photos as we embark. I made the girls wear their matching shirts and with the parents also in pastel they looked so cute. We had a blast and almost bought some chickens on the spot. :) Coming soon.

Finally a photo of Julia's hair cut. The bangs have finally evened out and the bob is so cute, and easy. She is still such a sweet heart except when she gets her attitude going. I love her hugs and she's still little so I can hold her pretty easily still and she's just like a koala. She is the first of the kids to get freckles. Just a handful across her checks and nose. I love it.

Here's Sean's recent haircut. I think it makes him look so much older. He is such a fun little guy. Recently he has been kicking around the soccer ball a bunch. It is so fun to watch him always set up behind the ball, facing the direction he's going to kick it to, and then watch him throw himself into the kick. It's way to young to say he is gifted in soccer but he sure does like it and is pretty consistent in his motion for a 22 month old. Wow, 22 months, crazy. It's been such a treat to be able to see this age 18-22 months without the presence of an infant. I can't do all that I'd like to being 34 weeks pregnant right now but it's more time than I had with any of the girls. He is into giving kisses lately and will make an "uh uh" noise when he feels so inclined as to bestow a kiss or if he needs a kiss on a hurt. He is so much FUN!!!!
So this mom baboon is protecting her month old baby from the other under one year olds who like to come and try and rip it off the mom. They tried it in front of us. I felt the mom's annoyance and knew her response, "Get off the baby!!"           While all that was going on, the dominant male in the group decided he had enough audience around to have a live demonstration of mating in the zoo 101. Thankfully the girls were oblivious to it so we didn't have to have the monkeys and birds and bees conversation just yet.

The kids waiting to see the elephants get fed. It wasn't much of a show. But the docent taught the kids that the baby elephants eat poop to help them stay healthy (I forget the full reason). Thanks.
We drove out to Pro Bass Shops a few weekends ago to do their free indoor catch-and-release fishing thing. There was about a 45 minute wait just to get up to the pond, then another 20 minutes of trying to coax those not-so-dumb catfish to bite a worm on a hook for the 15th time. After a 'guide' caught one we had all the girls take a photo instead of waiting for the other two to catch something. Julia freaked a little and in the end it was fun. The girls did remarkable considering the wait in line and the drive out and then all. So we rewarded them with half a can of soda on the ride home.
While the girls and Joe waited in line I took Sean around the store and found the recliners. Ooh, and this lovely camouflage one has various message settings. We hunkered down for about 20 minutes. It was nice to just relax while the others waited. Oh yeah, this is definitely pre-haircut. He looks a lot like his cousin in this photo. I just noticed that.

So right before we moved our bees, sniff sniff, we harvested much of the honey. It was an awesome harvest considering it was the first week of May. The honey was lighter in color and flavor then last year's harvest. It is DELICIOUS. We are enjoying it. We have missed our bees but it has been so much easier working in the confines of our garden without them. But it has been so much harder to make the trek to the property where they are with four kids and work them out there. But the bees are surviving, though not thriving quite like they did here, but they are alive. I fear that with so many of our neighbors employing pest companies (and seeing how much chemicals those companies spray everywhere) it was only a matter of time before all the chemicals started to affect our girls. Those sprays can wipe out a colony in no time. Super sad. So maybe disaster was averted by moving them.

The girls love story time. I only wish it didn't put me to sleep. I have to remember, instead of counting sheep I just need to read out loud and I am out in no time.

Molly in her last day of swim class. She didn't learn how to swim strokes but she is now able to stay afloat without her vest. We make her practice a little bit almost every time we go in the parents' pool. The kids love having that pool around. Just large enough to play but small enough to feel like you are only an arms length away.
Dads can be such funny guys. Smart phones make them even more interesting.
We took the kids out to Mormon Helping Hand again this year. It was great. We got to play in the dirt at a local library and the kids made a good friend with one of the young women in our ward. I love that they are learning service as a family and ward. Aren't those the cutest little helpers??