Saturday, May 25, 2013

I love to see the temple

I had an errand to run near the temple on Friday, so I allotted all afternoon to that errand so that we could make a stop at the temple.  I wanted to take some pictures of the Knight children to print out for them so that I can present them with their own framed picture of themselves with the temple at a future family home evening.  My expectations were low, since cooperation for pictures has never happened before with these three, or even one of them at a time. I was surprised at how well the kids did this time.   
 Of course we started with our usual circus; Benjamin was hungry, so Jared had to go to the bathroom twice while B was trying to eat.  Eloise REALLY needed to look at fountains, and did not want to go to the bathroom with us.  Benjamin wanted to eat, not escort Jared to the potty.  Eventually we got all of the logistics squared away, the whining stopped, and the sun came out.
 Eloise didn't exactly look at the camera or smile very much, but any picture of her not trying to get her hands on the camera or crying to look at pictures is success.
 Benjamin usually complains a lot about the sun being in his eyes.  This time he just closed them, and then he buried his face in the blanket.
 Later, when we tried for a sitting up picture, he didn't look.
Jared can't conjure up a normal looking smile for a picture, but he was excited.

I really enjoyed this activity with the kids.  They had a great time, too.  I foresee temple picture updates in six months or a year.  

 I love to see the temple.
I'm going there someday
To feel the Holy Spirit,
To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God,
A place of love and beauty.
I'll prepare myself while I am young;
This is my sacred duty.

 I love to see the temple.
I'll go inside someday.
I'll cov'nant with my Father;
I'll promise to obey.
For the temple is a holy place
Where we are sealed together.
As a child of God, I've learned this truth:
A fam'ly is forever.

Friday, May 24, 2013

This Guy

This guy turned six months old on Sunday!  He is round and cuddly and growing too quickly.  As our third baby, he gets overlooked a lot, but he certainly came with the personality to handle two older attention hogging siblings.  
 Our long-suffering Benjamin gets tripped over daily.  He is put down to play by himself while I tend to someone else multiple times a day.  He relishes the bits of attention he gets, but he is pretty happy the rest of the time, too.
 B's head sits on his shoulders with no neck in between.  At his six month checkup, the nurse was trying to measure his length, and she kept thinking that his head wasn't straight up because she couldn't see his neck.  The neck is in there (covered in a rash because it never sees air), but I literally have to push his chin fat up into his cheeks to see it.  
Ben drools continuously from dawn until dusk, but he has no teeth, yet.
He can now stay awake for about two hours at a time, unless there are a lot of faces to look at. Then he can last an extra half hour.
Benjamin talks constantly any time he believes he might have an audience.  This includes while he is breastfeeding.  He squeals, screeches, coos, babbles, and hollers with great expression.  The closest he has come to using a real word was once when I was changing his diaper and he didn't want a diaper change, so he yelled, "Nah! Nah! Nah!"
B loves to play.  He is very ticklish, and he loves to have Jared and Eloise close by.  He fusses if he is left alone in a room.  The only time he does not love to have Jared and Eloise around is when he is eating.  Meals are interrupted too often by someone attempting to sit on his head.  Oddly enough, Jared is the only person besides Mom who is allowed to feed Benjamin, according to Benjamin.  
They are sweet brothers.
 At Benjamin's six month checkup, he weighed 16 lbs. 11 oz. (40th percentile) and was 26.75 inches tall (75th percentile).  He had a huge height jump, so the nurse measured him twice.  People often comment on his size.  He still seems like he is on the small side to me, possibly because, at six months, Jared was two pounds heavier, or because Jared is currently 21 pounds heavier, and I still pick him up every once in a while.
B is pretty lazy.  I know he looks active in the pictures, but he will lie on his tummy for relatively long stretches without bothering to pick up his head or reach for a toy.  He has rolled over from his tummy to his back a couple of times, by accident, but he doesn't seem very anxious to be mobile.
Benjamin is a gentle, unflappable little soul.  It is a joy, an honor, and a delight to have him in our family.

It not too wittle!

Eloise needed a bathrobe after her bath yesterday.  She looked at the selection of robes (one for each child), and selected Benjamin's robe for herself.  I tried to talk her out of it, but she insisted, "It not too wittle!"
She managed to get it on, in spite of the "0-9 months" tag.
 It might have been a little too cute, as my mom would say, but our girl sure was pleased with herself.
"It fits you!" 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Foul Weather

Of course we can't be outside all of the time.  Even with a sunny spell, this is still Washington.  Here are some things we have been doing inside, and when the weather is not so nice.
One rainy day, I put Jared and Eloise to work painting a shelf that I recently acquired for Jared's room.  After Eloise finally decided to stop crying about having to put on a painting shirt, it was a lot of fun.
 I recommend toddlers for slapping twenty coats of one color of paint onto wood.  I just followed their dabs and splotches with some smooth strokes of my own. . .
 . . . and we have an adorable train shelf that matches the primary color scheme of Jared's room.
Now we just have to get around to hanging the shelf. It's going to be really cute with Jared's little toy train on it.  Don't hold your breath for a picture of the completed project.  I'm not that organized.

About a week after Eloise turned two, it occurred to me that she was probably capable of potty training.  I don't really buy waiting until kids are three or asking to be potty trained before moving them out of diapers, but my philosophies of potty training are evolving.  Mostly I was just tired of dealing with rashes, which get more frequent as kids get older and have more varied diets, and I didn't want to be diapering two kids anymore.  On Saturday, April 27, in the morning, Eloise woke up, and we informed her that she had outgrown her diapers in the night.  The following three days were a disaster.  By Monday evening it was easier to find a damp spot than a dry spot on the carpet.  On Tuesday I started setting a timer for Eloise to use the potty every twenty minutes, and she really came through.
Now she is pretty good about telling me when she needs to use the potty, except for her twice a day #2 trip.  She is figuring it all out, though, and fast.  She still has a diaper at night (she still hasn't figured out that she can get out of bed without help), and sometimes she naps with a diaper, and sometimes she doesn't.  Jared has been very supportive.  He loves to sit with her while she is on her potty, and, for the first couple of weeks, every time she had results in the potty, he would jump up and squeal, "I'm so PROUD!"  He even carried around a bead necklace that he called his "proud necklace," and would put on for a few minutes every time Eloise had potty success.  He even insisted on taking the proud necklace with us when we went out of the house, tucked in its own special pocket in the diaper bag.
Todd has found potty training with a girl very educational.  At church yesterday he learned that a girl can pee forward over the toilet seat if she is not situated properly.

In other news, my brother, Seth, just joined the Army National Guard.  He left for basic training on May 14.  I don't think I could be prouder of my baby brother, all grown up.

Eloise LOVES looking at pictures on my phone, the computer, or the tablet.  She usually doesn't get to, since she ALWAYS cries when we are done.  Usually we hide our devices from her so that she doesn't start having a fit about looking at pictures.  This makes it hard for me to take pictures.  Any time she sees a camera come out, she starts begging/crying/screaming to be allowed to look at pictures.  Every once in a while I give in.  Here is a self portrait Eloise took while she was browsing pictures of herself a week ago.
Eloise and Jared crack me up.  They think of the craziest games.  Eloise spent one entire afternoon going from one person's shoes to another.  She wore Jared's shoes, then my shoes, then she put on her own shoes on the wrong feet.  While we were reading scriptures she pulled out a pair of Daddy's shoes, and tramped around in them until she fell down.
I don't know what it is with these kids and cribs, but they love to be confined in small spaces, I guess.  We put away the cradle because Benjamin was getting enormous, and because Eloise kept trying to climb in and almost tipping it over on herself.  We haven't decided where Benjamin is going to sleep when he leaves our room, so we are using playpens for him to sleep in now.  So why not lie in a playpen in their underwear to brush their teeth? Why on earth not?
For mothers' day this year, my family got me the greatest gift ever.  They hired one of the young women from our church group to come over two mornings a week to help me out.  She is helping me tackle some of the things that haven't been cleaned since before B was born.  As Jared told me yesterday afternoon, "When Jolene comes over, we work." It is amazing to have two extra hands a couple of times a week.  Best. Present. Ever.  So far we have cleaned out the refrigerator and the microwave, disinfected floors, and done a major grocery shopping trip in under an hour.  It is miraculous.  
Happy rainy day!  Ours always are.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Good Weather

We have had such unseasonably amazing weather over the last few weeks that I have been too busy enjoying every waking moment outside to document it on the blog.  So here are some highlights of our good weather activities.
One day, while Jared was at preschool, I took Eloise and Benjamin to Saint Edward State Park to play.
 Saint Edward isn't the closest playground to home, but it is the closest playground with swings.  Benjamin always loves to swing, if he is awake at the park.
 Eloise begs to "wing."  She would spend all of her time at the park swinging, if she didn't love digging in the sand so much.
 Jared heard about our outing without him, and demanded that we do a repeat with him the following day.
 That afternoon, after naps, we planted a little garden.
 The next day, Todd was feeling left out of all of the park fun, so we picked him up after library story time for a lunch picnic at Waverly Beach Park.
 The kids were exhausted by the time we left the park, but here in Washington, we get a little bit desperate for these warm, sunny days.  It is almost a crime to not be outside if the sun is shining.
On April 30, we stopped at Juanita Beach park to throw some stale buns to the ducks.  On the way there we stopped to visit a friend, who told us that there were ducklings at the park.  We were surprised to find ducklings and goslings on the beach!  I only have a picture of the ducklings, though, because the geese were very protective of their young.  I guess they didn't want their images exploited.  
 This was a sunny day, but not such a warm one.
 On May 3, we went back to Kelsey Creek Farm to see the promised piglets.  I was a little disappointed to discover that the "piglets" were basically fully grown pigs.  Jared and Eloise didn't mind.  They love the farm.
Benjamin slept most of the time we were at the farm.  When he finally woke up, I discovered that I had forgotten to bring his hat.  Fortunately I had this newborn sized cap, which I managed to squeeze onto his sleepy little head so that the sun would stay out of his eyes.  
 Warm weather inevitably means lots of exploration of the woods. . .

 . . . and bike riding in the driveway.
 The minute the weather hit 70 degrees, Todd decided it was pool weather.  He is a little homesick for Arizona, I think.  Seventy degrees is not exactly pool weather, especially when there is a strong spring breeze.
 Eloise and Jared humored him.  They captured a little more heat on the black top driveway.  We definitely had to cheat and bring hot water out from the tap to warm the pool, though.
 We had a picnic in the yard when the kids were thoroughly frozen from the pool.

 A few days later, it was only 68 degrees out, but Jared and Eloise demanded water and popsicles.  I think they might be a little tiny bit spoiled.
 We had to hit the splash pad at Grass Lawn Park with some friends who live a few blocks from there.  Jared and Eloise spent the whole time at the park refusing to consider entering the water.  They decided they were ready to get in just as I was deciding that it was time to go.  They got about five minutes of good water time.
 The warm weather has been a great excuse to spend as much time as possible with the toddlers and preschoolers who live on our block.  Every chance we get, we walk around the block to see if Casey or Owen is outside, or we send a text to see if they want to come over and play.

Todd and Jared went on a campout on Friday night (May 17).  It was a fathers and sons campout put on by our stake.  They were both really excited.  Jared was so excited that he stayed up until 10:30 in the tent, and then woke up at the crack of 5:30 to enjoy camping even more.  We had a similarly poor night's sleep at home, since Benjamin was awake every hour with congestion.  The boys had a great time camping, though.  Even though they came home exhausted, I don't think Jared will forget the experience anytime soon.

  I took Eloise and Benjamin for a run on Saturday morning.  Eloise asks for a stroller ride every single day. We go on "color walks," where we identify colors of things that we see.  Sometimes we play, "I want to see."  This is a game where you say something that you want to see, and then everyone has to watch for it and call out when they see it.  On Saturday's run, we ended up at Big Finn Hill Park.
 Eloise called out, "Look, Mom! I'm going up!" And to herself she added, "And up, and up, and over the top of the milky way in the night kitchen."  There is a strong influence of Maurice Sendak in her young life.
 Eloise is currently obsessed with spray bottles.  She will keep spraying for an hour at a time, or until she runs out of water.  I designated last Wednesday a "Yes day" to combat some stress and negativity, and hopefully whatever was causing Jared to have potty accidents more often than Eloise.  Yes day means that I have to say yes to anything the kids ask for, except for later bedtimes or no naps.  They spent the morning asking to ride bikes in the driveway.  After naps they wanted candy, and then they wanted to go to Google and pick up Daddy, then have pizza and a movie for dinner.  When we went to pick up Todd, Eloise wanted to bring her spray bottle so that she could "spray Google!"
 Jared takes good care of our garden.  Our peas have sprung up.  They were as excited to see the sun as we were.  In Western Washington, you plant your garden as the weather is warm and dry enough for the different plants.  We planted our peas at the end of April, a second batch of peas a week and a half later, and cucumbers and spinach went into the ground last week.  The first week in June we can plant our pumpkins and zucchini.  The tomatoes will move outside whenever they are big enough, and my neighbor tells me that I need a stretch of sunny days or else transplanting tomatoes will end in disaster.  We shall see.  I have never had a garden before, so watching seeds turn into plants has been really exciting.
Since the beginning of May has been so warm and sunny, I am sure we can expect a dark and gloomy June, but here in the rainforest we enjoy the sun when we can.