Sunday, May 24, 2015

May

When we have not been playing with Grandparents, we have been keeping ourselves busy.  During one rainy day we painted birdhouses.  
Eloise painstakingly covered every inch of her birdhouse with pinkish-red paint.  Jared glopped some blue paint on his birdhouse as fast as possible and stretched out on the living room floor with a book.  B put most of his painting energy into combining colors on his plate, and occasionally remembered to put some on his birdhouse.  I love watching these kids create.  Their personalities are reflected so perfectly in their art.

Jared and Eloise play together all of the time.  We couldn't find the bag for this sleeping bag after the stake campout that Todd took Jared and Eloise on at the beginning of the month, so Jared and Eloise decided to see if they could fit in the sleeping bag together.  Jared dived down to the bottom of the bag on an exploring expedition, and, lo and behold, the sleeping bag sack was hiding in the bottom of the sleeping bag.
B wants to do everything Sammy does.  He has renamed himself B-Sam anytime he wants to be like Sammy.  When he wants to be picked up, he says, "Hold B-Sam, Mommy!"  After they had a bath together, Sammy got his blue jammies on, so B-Sam needed to have his blue jammies and a hat on, too.  Here they are together.
Our neighbors who have horses also keep pigeons.  We have been making friends with them as we make our regular visits to the horses.  Susan offered to let the children touch a pigeon on one visit.
Story times for the school year ended in May.  We won't have any more story times until July.  We have loved Miss Jennifer's story times this year.  B, Eloise, and Lilly like to sit close so that they can see the books well.  Jared usually spends story time lying under a chair reading a Magic Treehouse book, which he can read from start to finish in the hour of story time, but for the last story time of the year, he decided to participate.
The children had their semiannual dental exams. It went better than I could have expected.  Sammy was a little bit fussy, but B was not one bit clingy, so I was free to give Sammy all of my attention. B even let the dental assistant pick him up, and he lay on the table without complaint for his exam.  He didn't get the complete cleaning since he doesn't have a complete set of baby teeth, yet, but he did have fluoride painted on his teeth.
B loved the sunglasses and the Cars movie on the ceiling.  He also loved picking a prize at the end.  I can't convince Jared and Eloise that summer isn't completely here. With weather that fluctuates between lovely 80 degrees and misty, damp 50 degrees, they have declared all weather sandals weather. I imagine I should just be glad that I don't have as many socks to wash.
Jared got to do the climbing wall for two weeks with his homezone class at the YMCA.  Unfortunately, after the second week of sharing helmets, the instructors discovered that one of the children in the program had had head lice.  My head itched for two days with pure sympathy/anxiety after reading that email, but the Knight household remains lice free.
Here is a dapper B, who turned two and a half this week, posing on his tricycle.  He calls it his "balance bike," since that is what Eloise rode until recently, when she gained confidence on her pedal bike.
Don't be deceived by the pout here.  This is pure theatrics. He smoldered for the camera just so he could see the effect.  B wished that it was his birthday, since Eloise got a birthday party, and I had a birthday soon after.  He asked if he could share my birthday, and I didn't mind.  We celebrated with hamburgers, fries, root beer, lemon bars, and family home evening in the park.
Eloise contracted pink eye right after her birthday party, and spent the week with green goo oozing out of her eyes, which took turns getting puffy and discolored.  Then she, Jared, and Todd picked up a cough, which they are still fighting.  We had a very healthy winter, so I can't complain about a little spring cold.  I'm sure we will be at 100% health again before we know it.  Happy lovely, sunny May!

A birthday party, finally!

On May 16, Eloise scored a goal in her soccer game.  It might have been by accident, but when the ball came near her, she kicked it the right direction and it went straight into the net!  If you have ever watched three and four year olds play soccer, you know how rarely the planets align to make the soccer ball go into the net.  

In bigger news, as far as she was concerned (soccer happens every Saturday, after all) Eloise finally got to have her animal costume birthday party.  She considered a handful of animal costume ideas, but settled on a cat costume when she saw my hair ears and cat makeup.  
B wanted to be a bird, but he also wanted to have cat whiskers and a cat nose.  Jared was a dog, when he felt like sporting a dog mask.  
Sammy slept through most of the party in his yellow Big Bird suit.

Rebecca also decided to be a cat.  It was a little bit harder to get her very long hair tamed into cat ears, but we did it.
We ended up with two dolphins (one with bear ears), a couple of monkeys, a jaguar, a mouse, a cougar (Price in his BYU shirt), some cats, a bird/cat, a dog, some foxes, and Todd as a sloth. His idea was that he wouldn't have to move off of the couch if he was an animal so slow that it grows algae on its fur, so he parted his hair down the middle and fashioned himself some long claws.  His claws (cut out of paper plates) were appropriated by a lot of sloth impersonators before I got a chance to take a picture of the epic Todd sloth.

The excitement of costume wearing might have been enough without any activities, but we had a small craft, assembling a foam lion, and Todd played every animal related song he could think of for dancing.  I thought it was great that all of our friends got into the spirit of animal costumes by making their own costumes.  That is a huge part of the fun for us.
This year for Eloise's strawberry cake, we made a heart shaped chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, and put strawberries between the layers and on top.  It was a hit.
Eloise was so excited about her party that she told everyone she met about it for two days before and after.  This means that she overcame her shyness around adults who are not her parents to speak up and share her exciting news.  It was quite the happening party.  Happy birthday, big girl/cat/leopard/turtle/bird/elephant/koala/kangaroo/gila monster/dog!

One month old Sammy faces


Sammy was given a name and a blessing at church while Grandma and Grandpa were here.  In true fourth child style, we got no pictures of Sammy in his suit or our family together for the big day, but lack of photographs indicates a shortage of available hands and excess of demands on our parental attention, not a shortage of love for this fourth born child.  
 The consensus is that Sammy looks like Jared all over again, only with slightly darker eyes, but, as time goes by, he looks more and more like himself.  Jared had a rounder face, anyway.
 While B certainly misses being the youngest, he adores Sammy.  He loves to rub Sammy's head gently while baby talking to him in a high pitched voice.  B runs into my room every morning asking for Sammy.
 Sammy has gotten very close to actually smiling, but never for long enough to be caught on camera.  This picture was a near miss of a smile. His eyes are still showing the smile, though.
 Sammy is growing bigger and stronger each day.  He is taking a greater and greater interest in the faces that surround him.  He whines when he is left alone in a room for a minute.
He is a restful little guy.  Most nights he sleeps for at least four hours at a time, and he is content to nap around the house, in the stroller, or in the car all day, as long as he is fed every two hours or so.  He is developing a healthy fear of being left alone with his brothers, who are not always thoughtful about where they step, or where they throw their toys, and they occasionally forget that they are not supposed to pick Sammy up and move him unassisted. Ten pounds of floppy baby is a lot for a 45 pound brother to safely transport any distance.  I often think that Sammy's health and heartiness is a blessing that God knew he would need to hold his own as the fourth child in our active and energetic family.
 We all love our sweet little Sammy.

Grandma and Grandpa's Visit

We were SOOOO excited to have Grandma and Grandpa Knight come for a visit.  We thought we had some really nice weather while they were here.  
You will notice that the Washington Knights are wearing shorts and t-shirts, while the Arizona Knights are bundled in layers of jackets.  This was Grandpa's first time exploring what Rebecca calls "the magical woods."
This is a landmark in the Big Finn Hill woods that we call the hug tree.  It is a huge tree with branches so dense that nothing grows on the ground beneath it.  It takes our whole family to reach around it.
We can never have enough Grandma and Grandpa time.  Grandma tirelessly reads stories, pushes swings, and plays card games.  Grandpa is a bottomless source of gum, candy, soda, and videos, although he is very conscientious about not overloading the kids with any of these things.

B wanted to go to the zoo (as usual), so we took the GPs.  Of course we picked the coldest day of their visit to spend our morning outside.
Eloise and Grandma had to snuggle for warmth.

Aren't hippos just the funniest looking animals?  They have those hilariously short, stubby legs on their fat bodies, and when they breathe it sounds like a boat engine.  I totally understand why this is B's favorite part of the zoo.
B has a special bond with Grandpa.  It is appropriate that these two share a middle name.
Isn't Sammy tiny in his Big Bird suit?
We decided to get out of the wind in the zoomazium, where B proceeded to collect every available stuffed animal in a pile. . .
. . . so that he could snuggle in for a cozy rest.
B has gotten a lot of comfort from stuffed animals and fuzzy blankets lately.
We left the zoo just as rain was starting to fall, and arrived home to a driving deluge of rain.  A rest in front of our screens and out of the weather suited us just fine.
Grandma and Grandpa's visit included the first Thursday of the month, which is free museum day in Seattle.  We took Grandma to the Museum of History and Industry.  Grandma got to explore the exhibits at her leisure while Jared, Eloise, and B created fabulous inventions.
Jared produced two prototypes of what he called the "super 2-wheeler."
Eloise was very pleased with her tricorn hat, like the ones worn by the early European explorers in the Pacific Northwest.  Jared decorated his with a skull and crossbones.
Somehow we did not end up with any pictures with Grandma at the museum, but I promise she was there.

We were so very happy to have Grandma and Grandpa here for a visit.  They were probably relieved to get home to peace and quiet, but we wish that they could have stayed longer.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dad of the year

I know that yesterday was mothers' day, not fathers' day, but it seems like such a long time to wait to pay tribute to Todd.  My kids definitely have the coolest dad ever.  He took three weeks off of work when Sammy was born to run our household while I recuperated and was glued to the couch with a hungry newborn.  He was awesome!  I think the pictures speak for themselves.  

B was annoyed that he was not allowed to just eat eggs.





 This is a game that is played almost daily.  It's called "Make Daddy 2-D."  When I was a kid, our objective was to steal Daddy's wallet out of his pocket when we tackled him.
 I think the Knight version of wrestle fights may be a little bit more violent than the Humiston version.
 You are the coolest, Todd.  I'm so glad my children have you as a father.
Seriously.

Dee-addle (Seattle) Aquarium

It doesn't matter what we are going to Seattle for, B expects an exciting adventure.  He dances around yelling "Dee-addle!"
Jared had been asking to go to the aquarium, and Rebecca happened upon aquarium coupons that expired at the end of April, so we went for it.  It was nice to have Rebecca there to wrangle all of the mobile children while I tended to a needy newborn, whenever he was not asleep.  We can't all fit in one car anymore, but that isn't going to stop us from having a great time.
 We all got to touch a sea cucumber, which was surprisingly squishy.  The real tidepools are easier for these kids to reach.
 We look like a preschool when we go places together.  There are so many children between us that it sometimes seems like I spend our entire outing counting blonde heads to make sure we haven't lost anyone.  1-2-3-4-5-6-7
 This was Sammy's first field trip.  He ate and slept a lot.
 B+jelly fish= Belly fish
Eloise is very jellyfish savvy.  "You never want to touch a jellyfish," she tells me. "Even if it's on the beach, you don't touch it."
 It is okay to touch the glass with jellyfish behind it.
 We had a picnic outside the aquarium, on the pier.  It was a lovely, warm day.
B and Price.  I took this picture because it was so unusual to have to two smallest ambulatory members of our party in the stroller at the same time.  They both prefer to walk.  

 Jared peppered the aquarium employees with questions while we watched divers feeding fish in this dome.
 Eloise's favorite exhibits were the ones with sea mammals: seals and otters.  Seattle lived up to its reputation as a place of fun, excitement, and adventure for B. Of course he loves everything that involves Rebecca.
 It was the first week after Eloise started soccer, so she wore her jersey every single day.
Outings with a new baby turned out to be doable, especially with the help of a friend.  We only got slightly lost on our way out of Seattle.  We stopped at the park on the way home so that crabby, sleepy kids would be occupied on the playground while Sammy got fed.  When Jared was a baby, I would never have guessed that being out of the house with a newborn could ever be easier than being at home.