Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tired Mama

I have been meaning to update my blog for several nights now, but can't seem to find the time to get on the computer to post anything. Well, to be more precise, I don't seem to have enough energy left at the end of the day to do anything much more than stare blankly at the tv in a semi-comatose state induced by a combination of exhaustion and sensory overload. Take Sunday for example...all things considered, they day really couldn't have been any better...I managed to get the kids ready for church in the morning without any fighting and we even arrived five minutes early. My strategy to wake up Rocky early so that he was ready to nap by 9am was successful and I was able to listen to the better part of the speakers during sacrament meeting. I thoroughly enjoyed subbing for Hank's primary class and felt energized after singing time in the nursery class. After church I enjoyed a lovely--and very rare--nap. The sun was shining brightly and I spent some precious one-on-one time walking around the neighborhood with Hank. I made an outstanding dinner and capped off the night with a pleasant family board game. The day really couldn't have been much better....and yet, at the end of the day, I was COMPLETELY drained. Because you know what? Under the best of circumstances, taking care of five very dependent people is a lot of work. At the end of the day, there just isn't much left in the tank, and what is leftover probably isn't suitable material for our family journal. And so, to make a long story short, my much loved blog has been neglected because, well, I'm just tired. Given my present energy level, I could just be setting myself up for failure, but I resolve to try a little harder to capture the everyday moments of our everyday life. Albeit a mundane blur of diaper changes, fight refereeing, taxi shuttling, and never ending house cleaning, my day is filled with fleeting bits of heart-melting joy, gospel-affirming life lessons and simple answers to prayers, and sentimental family happenings that are too precious to forget because I lack the physical energy to log onto my computer. And so, I begin anew the blog project to delve into the ordinary to examine the extraordinary.

The Collector

I am posting this picture not because it's something extraordinary, but because it is extremely ordinary. Typical Ben. It would be unusual to find Ben WITHOUT a collection of some kind or another, busily sorting objects of various shapes and colors into different containers and baggies. On Valentine's Day, his conversation hearts didn't get eaten, they got sorted into piles by color. Breakfast is a drawn out process of eating his Fruit Loops one color at a time. I even opened my bathroom drawer to find that my makeup had been grouped by type. If only I could figure out how to apply Ben's penchant for order to my disorganized pantry or toy room.

Jr. Jazz

It's really hard not to be prideful when your kids really ARE amazing. Hank did score a rather impressive amount of points, but what gave me the most enjoyment was just watching him do something that he loves to do! Every game, Hank was the kid begging the coach to stay in for one more quarter, the first kid racing back down the court after the play and jumping up to touch to net in celebration, and the kid waving his arms frantically and yelling, "I'm open! I'm open!" And I was the mom in the stands loving every minute.

In Heaven

Aaron and I are confident that our family of seven is complete, but I think if they would just stay four months old forever I would keep on having more babies. This little four-month old is pure heaven! He gives me the biggest open-mouth smiles, has the softest, pudgiest baby rolls just perfect for pinching and kissing, and will occupy himself for quite some time with nothing but his own feet for entertainment. Rocky is an absolute doll baby and I can't get enough of him.

Time Out

There is a special place in my heart for my sweet, precocious Joey, so the expression "this will hurt you more than it hurts me" was very true when I sentenced Joey to his first Time Out the other day. If I remember correctly, his offense had something to do with dismantling the contents of my pantry while I was immobilized feeding and putting Rocky down for a nap. Sometimes I describe Joey as being my "rascally" child because he has a tendency get into things he shouldn't (typical almost two-year-old) and he will playfully laugh anytime I attempt to reprimand him, but Joey really is just a little gem. One of our favorite things to do together is read books. I try to make a little bit of time each afternoon, after I've dropped off preschoolers and put Rocky down for a nap, to spend with Joey rocking in the glider and reading books together. Joey loves to play outside with his brothers--he has his own mini basketball and likes to shoot hoops with Hank and Max. Out of all of our boys so far, Joey seems to be the most verbal for his age. Even when he is calling his brothers "poopy-face" I still love to hear Joey's little baby voice and listen to his observations and expressions. With the terrible twos quickly approaching, I'm sure this won't be the last time Joey gets sent to the dreaded Time Out corner, but I'm so glad this little boy spices up our family.

Monster Truck Jam

Since I hung back with the napping little ones, I asked Aaron to tell me what I should say on the blog about his afternoon with Hank and Max at the Monster Truck Jam. Aaron said that he actually has little to no interest in the monster trucks themselves, but loves the chance to share something with the boys, see their excitement as they watch the trucks, and spend special father/son time together. Well said. A good parent knows that it isn't about the activity itself, it's about spending quality time together. Gold star to Aaron for putting on his ear muffs and spending his Saturday afternoon watching big trucks race around a dirt track...and making Hank and Max feel pretty special.

Good Try

The other day I was busy getting Benny cleaned up and ready for preschool, when Rocky started to get fussy sitting in his bouncer. Needing an extra minute, I asked Joey if he could help make baby happy. Here is what he came up with:

Love Day

Instead of a romantic date with ONE valentine, I had a special family date with SIX handsome valentines. Lucky me! On the night before Valentine's Day, as we were tediously cutting and gluing the finishing touches on the boys' valentines (rant to follow), Hank and Max began asking me questions like, "Are you going to make us pink pancakes like you did last year?" and "Are you going to decorate our table like you did last Valentine's Day?" Since I love all things tradition, it makes me so happy that my boys are beginning to remember things from year to year and look forward to our special Valentine's breakfast.

Valentine's Day Rant: Oh. Em. Gee. Can we all just call a truce and agree to take one giant step back?! When Hank's teacher tasked the students with making their own Valentine's Day boxes at home, I had no idea that we were entering a highly competitive art/design contest. Back in the day, a "valentine box" was a shoe box decorated with pink and purple hearts and white paper doilies. These days, a "valentine box" isn't even a box--it's a goggle-clad minion, a functional basketball hoop, or a dump truck delivering a load. I really thought that Hank and I had knocked it out of the park with his Minecraft themed cereal box...until we arrived at school and saw the Pinterest parade of valentine boxes. I'm sorry, Hank. There are certain battles that I will fight to the death to win, but I'm afraid I may just throw in the towel and concede the battle of the valentine box to the other mothers who clearly need to find more worthy outlets for their time and money. The end.

I think the closest I came to a romantic Valentine's Day was a few extra slobbery kisses from this cute boyfriend:

Sometimes I complain about the commercialism of the holiday and the obligatory exchange of the token valentines, but I do really, really enjoy the chance to spoil and indulge my six valentine's with a little extra love and affection.
I just want the record to show that at the time of this post, Valentine's Day was almost two weeks ago and I still have a few chocolates left from that 2lb box of Sees chocolates. Is that self-restraint or what?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Life of a 3 Month Old

This pretty much sums it up:

This little sweet face smiling back at me from the bottom of the laundry basket makes the task of folding a mountain of laundry a little more bearable.  

Bathing can sometimes seem like a chore with the older boys, but bath time with Rocky is one of the highlights of my whole day.

The other day Rocky got his first taste of rice cereal. He didn't seem wild about it, but he was a good sport and slogged it down. 

Looking like such a big kid!

Rocky helped Dad cheer on the Seahawks in the Super Bowl game on Sunday.

That exersaucer is as good as gold!

Oh that face! Such sweetness.