Let's see... where to start... Two weeks of stuff happening. This probably won't go in any sort of order. Hang with me.
Well, Abby randomly became obsessed with horses. One day she just looked at me and said, "Ride horses, k?" I just kind of laughed and suggested she go ride her rocking horse. But no, she was not deterred. Over and over again she would ask. Finally I asked her where we were going to go ride horses. Taking that as a yes, she lit up, ran to the door to the garage and said, "Ok! Go to Mama Papa's house! Ride horses!" Uhhh... apparently she's made that connection, then. So last Sunday when we went up for Resa's birthday, we talked to Papa and scheduled a horse riding trip for next week.
Of course that didn't satisfy Abby. So the next day we had some spare time and I was in a good mood, so we went to Farm Country at Thanksgiving Point to ride ponies. One nice thing about having an annual pass is that I don't feel like we need to rush through and do everything. So we went to the ponies and took turns riding them. BJ was working so he couldn't come. But when Abby rides the pony, I have walk next to her. But what do I do with Peter? When I presented this problem to Kessa she came up with the solution. "Abby can ride first and I'll watch Peter. Then when she's done, I'll get to ride the ponies!" Nice solution! So Abby rode then Kessa did. Then Abby took another turn, then Kessa took another turn. It wasn't very busy, so they didn't have to wait in line, which was nice. Of course, when Kessa watched Peter, she mostly just took off her sunglasses and put them on his face, then came back to the fence and watched Abby ride the pony. Hah! Then we went and rode on the wagon, then went home (much to the girls' dismay. But it was nap time for Abby and lunchtime for Peter. So I didn't budge.)
For months now we've talked about having Heather (Jenson) and Adam Thompson over for a game night. They just live in Pleasant Grove, so they're pretty close. Plus they got 7 Wonders for ... Christmas, maybe? and didn't know how to play, so we were supposed to teach them, but then they figured it out themselves. Anyway, at the wedding I talked to them and said, "Ok, let's just plan a date." So we did! And Tuesday they came over. We taught them Kingdom Builder, which you haven't played yet, but will. It was fun. And then we played Pandemic because they've been wanting to play it, but never have, and we have it. And we won. It felt a little too easy. I guess that's what happens when you go back to the beginning game. It was nice, because they know strategy games well enough to pick up on both quickly.
Yesterday we had a family reunion for my dad's siblings down in Lindon. It was a pretty small turnout this year, but was still fun. And the girls had a blast with cousins. (Errrr... second cousins. BJ doesn't like when I use "cousins" as a catch-all term. Silly boy. :D) We ate dinner and the kids played water games. (BJ wanted me to play water balloon toss with him, but I was wearing a white shirt, so I declined.)
Damian came back down this week. But his wife, Kim, is the expert painter, so this time she came with, and thus all the kids. He got the tile on the bathroom floor done and the trim around all the windows and doors and baseboards. Kim primed all the walls and ceilings and got the office and bathroom painted. And then at the very end Damian put together the siding for the playhouse! The girls were super excited about that. It'll be fun to see it painted. And my mom is going to paint on the wall around it. Maybe trees and clouds and something? We'll see! That'll probably be further out, though, because she's spent the last 3+ weeks up with Jalin and will stay at least a week after the baby is born. And really, the baby isn't actually due for 2 more weeks, so who knows how long she'll be there. After that long of being away from home, it's going to be awhile before I can talk them into making another long trip down to my place, I'm pretty sure.
Meanwhile, I had the kids upstairs. The first day Lexi and Parker come running down the stairs holding a chore reward chart I had made for Kessa. Basically the idea was, 1 chore = 1 point. Here are the things you can spend your points on. And largely the rewards were outings. Mostly things we have passes to. "Aunt Nana! Can we do 20 chores and earn swimming?!" Umm... yes? The great part is, they're 11 and 9, so they can actually do chores without me holding their hand the whole time. So I wrote a bunch of chores, easy and hard, on post-it notes and put them on the wall. When they did a chore, they wrote their name on it and put it in a bowl. (An idea very similar to one I had just seen on Pinterest. Hah!) In 2-3 hours I had all of my baseboards cleaned, house dusted and mostly vacuumed, windows washed, cupboards and appliances wiped down, toys picked up, front porch and deck swept, light switches and handrails cleaned of fingerprints, etc. It was pretty great. Honestly, I was probably more exhausted by the end of it than any of them were. They ended up doing 35 chores! Which meant they not only earned swimming, but also ice cream and a trip to the Museum of Natural Curiosity. (Aka the Children's Museum.)
So Thursday BJ took work off a little early and helped me take seven kids to the swimming pool. One being a 2-month old baby who can't even hold his own head up yet. Thank goodness for life jackets for the 2-6 year olds. But we had a lot of fun and it wasn't nearly as overwhelming as I feared it would be. On the way home we stopped and got ice cream at Arctic Circle. (Yes, right before dinner, why do you ask?)
Friday I was a little smarter and put the two 2-year olds and Peter down for naps and left them with BJ (who was working) and took the 4 oldest to the Children's Museum. Much more manageable. Honestly, having the two older kids here makes me very excited for when my kids are older. Except that I'm not yet ready to wish their childhood away. So mostly I'm just glad to know that I'll enjoy that age as well as this one.
Have I told you about potty training Abby? I know I told you that we started, but I was pretty half-hearted about it and it wasn't working really well. Well, I finally gave up, but Abby still wanted panties and I was pretty much too exhausted to fight her on it. It was just easier to clean up her accidents and say, "No sweetie. Pee pee doesn't go in your panties, it goes in the potty." And next thing you know, she started peeing on the potty on her own! It probably helped that I gave her a jelly bean every time she went. And turns out, she loves jelly beans. (Thank goodness we have a Costco-sized container of Jelly Bellies in our pantry!) During waking hours, she's pretty darn good about going, even all by herself, then running out to tell me "I went big pee pee in the potty! Jenno-bean?!" Best potty training ever. Well, except sleeping is still only 50/50. But she's perfectly capable of taking off her diaper and peeing on the bed or floor, so doing a diaper when she sleeps doesn't really help. And she's not good (at all) with poop yet either, so... we still have plenty of work to do. But overall, it's been a major blessing to my super tired mind.
Speaking of major blessings... Peter. Seriously. Who is this boy? He is BJ incarnate, I think. Did I tell you about the deal I made with God when I found out Peter was a boy? Abby was going through an overly-energetic phase and I had been spending a lot of time with my high-energy nephew and neighbor twin boys, so I was a little panicked about being able to deal with a boy. Ok, maybe a lot panicked. So I told God, "Here's the deal. If you want me to have more than 3 kids, this boy had better be BJ and not Nick or Damian. Because if you give me one of those, I'm done at 3." Pretty sure that if I can judge by 2 months, we'll have more kid(s). He is the easiest baby ever. He's sleeping from about 8-6 every night. 10 hours! (I'm really nervous about putting this in print. Will this jinx us? :S [knock on wood]) This has been going on for a couple of weeks now with only one night where he woke up before 6 ish. And during the day, he mostly just sleeps all day long, too. And when he is awake, he's just happy to lay there, eyes open, and just stare at things. Happy and content. He only cries when he's hungry or getting tired or needs a diaper change, and I haven't figured it out fast enough. And then once I start to take care of it, he's totally cool again. Best third baby ever. I needed this.
We found a really awesome website the other day. http://roots-fb.cs.byu.edu/ Basically you sign in through Family Search (same as your lds.org login) and it looks at your family tree and tells you how closely related you are to prophets, apostles, pioneers, US presidents, famous authors, famous scientists, signers of the Declaration of Independence, etc. It's pretty awesome. (Did you know that Nana and Harold B. Lee are 2nd cousins?! Who knew?) You can also create groups and people can join them so you can see how you're all related. A neighbor made one for our ward (which is how I found out about it) and we discovered that BJ and I (and thus you and I, too), are 5th cousins once removed! So far we're the most closely-related couple in our ward. Hah! In good news, we're still two generations further than legal for marriage, so we're all good.
Our garden is growing pretty nicely. Minus the yellow squash that totally died. Everything else, though, is good. I even discovered one peach on our peach tree today! I thought for sure there were none. Hooray!
The grass, however, is another story. We've been fighting that for two years. But we think we finally figured out why we have dry spots! They're right where you'd expect them to be if the sprinklers weren't spraying far enough, but every time we tested them, they covered those spots quite nicely. But we discovered that at certain times of day we have almost no pressure. Like some heads can't even fully pop up. So that's why our grass was dying! We changed the time to morning when we can actually watch it and make sure they're working, which seems to have mostly solved it. It's been so nice watching our dead spots slowly regrowing.
BUT our actual sprinkler box is possessed. It hates our lawn, and I think is actively trying to kill it. I don't even know how many times it has decided to lose power or something and change the date or time and suddenly our sprinklers are on in the middle of the day on a Thursday (we're under water restrictions, so we can only water on MWF, and then only between evening and morning). Which means we missed the times we could actually water the day before, and now we're risking a fine by watering at the wrong time. It's been very frustrating. And then the other morning I noticed they hadn't run that morning and so I went out to check and discovered that it was running on very minimal power. We could run the system manually, one station at a time, but it couldn't even light up the screen. What the heck? But then after we manually ran all the stations, the screen lit up and has been working perfectly ever since. I don't get it. It hates me, I'm sure of it. So if you think of it, pray for my grass, will ya?
I've been on a mission to simplify my house lately. I was sick of puzzle pieces and board game pieces everywhere, especially as their boxes are now broken beyond repair, so we spent several days putting together all the puzzles, turning them over and writing a letter on each piece (so when we find random pieces, we know which puzzle they belong to), then putting all the pieces in a ziplock bag along with the picture of the puzzle cut out from the box. I was impressed that only one puzzle was actually missing a piece. And we found it this week! We also put the board game pieces in ziplocks, then just stacked the actual boards together. Our game closet looks a lot nicer. (Note: we only did this to the kids' games. Our games miraculously get left alone. It had better stay that way.) I also gathered all the toys with the intention to box half of them up and put them in storage, but it didn't get done before niblings (that's an actual word for nieces and nephews! What?!??) came, so they're strewn around the house again, so I'll need to gather that all up and finish that project this week. And then I tackled the craft supplies in the guest room closet. I bought a bunch of small bins and sorted all my stuff. So I have one for crochet/knitting, one for sewing, one for adhesive/fastening things, one for crafting tools, etc. Maybe now I'll be able to find things! Though, I need to label the boxes...
Grandma Goddard's birthday party was tonight. Kessa made her a yarn bracelet. It was lavendar. "That's an old color, right?" she asked while wearing a dress the exact same color. Hah! Also, when I told her we were going up for Grandma's birthday she said, "So that means she's going to die soon, right?" I asked why she thought that, "Because Grandpa Goddard had a birthday party, then he died, like, the next day, right?" I reminded her that he had had lots of birthday parties before that one and that he had lived much more than one day after the party. "Oh yeah, cuz like, I had lots and lots of birthdays before I turned 5, huh!" Yes, dear. 4 is lots and lots. Hah!
Oh, no big deal. Just driving home listening to BJ asking Kessa big math questions like, "If it was 100° when we went up to Grandma's and 93° now, how many degrees did it drop while we were there?" And "If there are 6 shoes, how many kids are there?" And she's getting it right. And hasn't even started kindergarten yet.
This girl got her daddy's love of math, that's for sure.
I knew I needed something from Costco that didn't get put on my list, but I couldn't remember what it was. So I bought a whole bunch of extra items not on my list, just to be safe.
I remember what I wanted from Costco. I didn't buy it yesterday. #facepalm
- Kessa talking on her pretend phone. Part of the conversation included, “My password is, 81773812345678910.” Including appropriate pauses between numbers.
- Kessa has a baby doll she's pretending is her baby. She's been calling me Grandma all morning. Just now she was talking to her baby about Peter. “That's baby Peter! He's your cousin!” Well… she figured out what a grandma is, but I guess we still have some work to do for uncles vs cousins.
- Abby: I two! And Kessa five!
She tells us this all the time. Sometimes she'll say one of us is 5. We've tried to teach her our age, but more often than not she says we're 50.
- BJ told Kessa the story of the 3 little pigs
BJ: What does this story teach us?
Kessa: To not get eaten by wolves!
BJ: What else does it teach us?
Kessa: To not build a straw house!
Girls with Peter
We found Kolter and Abby dancing atop the goldfish they had poured out. I made them sit and watch me clean it up, so Taegen and Kessa came to be my enforcers. "I'll make sure my baby brother doesn't get up and you make sure your baby sister doesn't either." You can tell how Abby felt about that idea.
I told Lexi to make the alphabet out of pretzels. So she did!
Kessa playing with Shawn's phone at 4th Sunday dinner.
They were playing Star Wars and Kessa was Leia, so Lexi put buns in Kessa's hair. Hah!
My awesome babysitter with her favorite charge.
Seriously. I can't leave Kessa alone with Peter. The first is from Farm Country when she was supposed to be watching Peter. The second (sorry it's dark) was how I found him after I left them alone to go do laundry or something upstairs. Good thing the gym was there to hold up all the cushions and pillows!