Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In Other News...

Katelyn always has very interesting stories to tell Brother. And she's smart enough to let him hold her hand, because hands are his very favorite thing in the whole universe. 
Benson is finally starting to roll to get places. Slowly but surely he is discovering that rolling to his belly is not just something Mommy invented to torture him. He is the dang cutest. I'm watching him right now, rolling and kicking and talking in his Kermit-green jammies, giving me little froggy smiles. I love this wild man of mine. Today I was giving him kisses and he leaned back, looked at me and full on went in for the kill. He loves to give kisses, too, but this was the biggest, juiciest, most passionate kiss I've ever had. The Double B was sitting next to us and it just cracked us both up. Warmed my heart. He kept going back for more -- so cute, and so endearing, and slightly frightening because they really were the most slobbery kisses ever invented. 
He is getting a little closer to sitting up, but not too close, really. He can balance for a few seconds, but that's it. Plus, it kind of makes him spit up. He is a super-spitter. Slowing down, but it's still a trademark of his. We stamp our children by making them big and spitty. We're proud.
Look! The scariest photo-bomb ever!
She cracks me up.
KJ is at Scouts tonight. He has such great leaders and I'm so thankful for that. This weekend he will be going on his first Klondike Derby, to go camp and freeze in the snow. I have no idea why this is a good idea, but apparently they're doing it anyway. And he's all for it, so hey. I'm trying to let him do his thing here. One of his leaders, Rick, plays in an indoor soccer league with the Double B. He was telling BB on the way to the game the other night that a few Saturdays ago, when they were working on these wooden plaques for the Court of Honor, he looked over and there was KJ, dancing ballet in the corner. That busted both of us up when we heard that! BB told Rick, "Well, that's KJ." Totally. Rick told him that they explained to the other boys that many professional athletes dance ballet because it helps with flexibility and strength, etc. They seemed to accept that. What they don't know is that KJ would find the idea of playing sports as odd as they find his corner pirouetting, ha ha! What a kid. You know what? He beats to his own drummer. He always has, and I am so supremely glad that he does and that he is good with that. He thinks HE'S okay, he thinks YOU'RE okay. What a gift. 
He is funny, though. This eleven-year-old thing is funny stuff.
The other day Bensy finished eating and snuggled right up to me to fall asleep -- he couldn't stay awake one more minute! It was so sweet. I stole a moment before taking him to his crib, he was so soft and cuddly and it was so tender. I could have just held him there forever! As his little chest rose and fell and I felt his breath on my neck I thought to myself "This job isn't so bad at all." Lucky Marie to live that moment.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentines Tradition

Valentines Day is a family day at our house! We have a tradition that on the night of February 1st I start putting little hearts on their wall after they've gone to sleep with little love notes on them. The kids are so excited to wake up in the morning and read them! 
This year I added a little scavenger hunt, since it was a Saturday. They'd read the clue, find the bag with a little surprise, and read the next clue. They thought it was great fun.  
We baked cookies in the afternoon and decorated the table, then they requested Chinese for our fancy dinner. 
It's fun to take the pressure off of finding a babysitter and instead enjoying making it special for everyone! They love their valentine treats on their plate and this year daddy  brought flowers home for the girls! They were very impressed with that. 
I love this family tradition. Something tells me they love it, too:


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Prank Calling

Tonight after skyping with grandma B and hearing her funny stories, Olivia decided it would be the funniest thing in the whole world to prank call her uncles. She started with Uncle Nick:

Nick: Hello?
Olivia: Is your refrigerator running?
Nick: Is my refrigerator running? No.
Olivia: Well, then you'd better go catch it!!!

She frantically hangs up and hilarity ensues.
So she called Uncle Jonnie, but he said his refrigerator WAS running, so even better! So she called Uncle Matt, but he didn't answer. So she called Grandpa. Her opening line? "Hi, grandpa, it's me! Is your refrigerator running?"

She did get to talk to Uncle Matt when he called back and whatever they talked about, it was hilarious. She also got another chat in with Uncle Jonnie, both conversations ending abruptly the minute she decided she was done: "okay, bye!" Click. We finally settled down and got back to reading 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'.
But it sure was fun to listen to her absolute delight, thinking she was pulling off some serious high jinx. KJ and Katelyn likewise thought they were kids geniuses.
It was magical.

I'm so glad I got to be there to hear it!

Friday, February 6, 2015

9:58

Brothers from the same Mother.
It's fun to see a baby grow and develop. Benson is becoming more and more of a happy guy as he takes in the world around him. He loves to play! Anyone that will play with him, he loves loves loves that. He also feels very serious about dinner time and loves hands -- his and everyone elses. He's a gem.
Olivia is still Miss Helper of the Universe. I'd asked her to keep an eye on Bens for me, and when I came back, she'd arranged him nice and snug so they could enjoy a show together. Ha ha! Two birds, one stone. 
Speaking of Olivia, she wasn't feeling well yesterday and spent the whole day snuggled in on Mom's side of the bed, watching Johnny Test. Poor little dear. Katelyn made sure to give her "get well" snuggles, as Olivia is pretty much the most important person in her life (why yes, that is a collection of caffeine-free Diet Coke and a half painted wall behind her. Thank you for noticing!)
We had the sister missionaries over for dinner last night and had a great time. Sister Oleson and Sister Merrit. They are both adorable girls, 19 years old and rockin' the prophets call to serve. Honestly, being great big and pregnant and then having a new baby last year, I didn't feed the missionaries like I'd like. So that is actually my resolution this year -- to feed them often and get back involved. We're trading off elders and sisters about once a week, so it's working out great. This Tuesday is our new elders birthday, and he specifically requested we feed him that night, ha ha. So we'll have cupcakes and ice cream and it will be fun. It makes us happy to contribute to the work in this small way, plus, it is an enormous blessing to have the enthusiasm of faithful missionaries in our home! After the sisters left, BB and KJ and Liv actually helped me clean up (which was awesome!) and when I looked down the stairs, I saw this scene of Kate and Benson playing. It was so cute. It's blurry because I'm just terrible with my phones camera, but you can still see that happy smile of a beloved little brother:
Today the Double B was off and we went on an adventure down to the Kansas side of the metro to get him a couple of new Sunday suits at a great sale. Katelyn and Andrew were having pretty funny conversations in the backseat, but at one point I heard Katelyn say "Guess what, Wandrew. My Grandma is a Mom! And my Grandpa is a Dad! But they don't have any kids!" I laughed and told her "Actually, Katee, they do have kids, but their kids are just grown ups now." Her eyes got big and she goes "Ooooohhhhh..." It was really cute. That girl talks, talks, talks, talks, talks. And asks question after question after question! Her mind is constantly going.
She took this picture at KJ's Scout awards night, and when I saw it after everyone had gone to bed, my heart just melted:
I'm such a lucky Mom.
We went to some friends house tonight for dinner and games. It was a lot of fun. It was so interesting, because KJ did not go off and play with the kids. He was perfectly delighted to sit on the couch and visit with the grown-ups, to laugh loudly at the grown-ups jokes, then play games with the grown-ups! It was so strange to me. I have this child that is beginning to transition in his life, and it's just absolute craziness to me. Too weird.
We did have a nice time, with such kind and good people. The Mom, Jessie, is just a marvelous gal. I could spend all day with her! We have similar warped senses of humor, and it entertains us both. But as we were pulling away to drive home, I was filled with the heaviest loneliness. And that kind of made me angry. I am just so SICK of that feeling. It just seems to have been with me for so long and I am so over it! I can truly say that I have worked so hard to put down roots here, that we have a wonderful life here, that I choose happiness every single day, that I look at the cup as more then half full, that I live in the present, that I count my many blessings. But the feeling remains. It's not always there, but when it shows up, it's powerful. The thought "I want to go HOME" seems to just get louder and louder in my head. The short-term me that wants immediate results and can't see long-term sometimes feels really quite annoyed about it, to be honest. That's right, folks. I'll be petty here! The other half of me realizes how very much we've learned and grown, the progress we've made, the blessings we've received, and knows that the Lord is mindful of us and always has our long-term best to offer us if we are obedient. But you know what? Sometimes it just sucks. Sometimes I just want to go home. And... scene.
My brother Matt informed me tonight that the lost brain cells I have post baby have an actual medical term: "Brain fog." THAT. MAKES. SO. MUCH. SENSE. That's exactly what it feels like, too! Sorry about the fog, everybody. I'll turn on my fog lights and we should make it through just fine!
Can't wait for a long Saturday with my kiddos tomorrow. Yay for Saturdays! Enter to learn, Go forth to Serve, and all that good stuff. The End!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Date

On Saturday night the Double B and I finally went for our long awaited night out -- just the two of us. No big kids. No little kids. No baby. Just us! Just him and me. He and I. Both of us TOGEEEETHER! It. Was. Marvelous. I was so excited. It was like Christmas rolled into a bag of awesome and chocolate drizzled on top. This was it. The first time we'd gone out without Benson. First time just us in six months. It was so nice! Bev and Matt so graciously gave us movie tickets for Christmas and watched the kids for us. Friends are so nice to have. Especially friends that are your family, because your family lives a thousand miles away and their family actually lives an ocean away (they win).
So we decided to really go wild and go to Red Lobster (I know. We live dangerously). That's pretty fancy for us! So we went and had shrimp and crab and salmon -- all delicious. And most excellent conversation. The rain had turned to sleet had turned to snow, and I had my honey and a movie coming up I'd been dying to see (that doesn't happen very often, really). Pretty great.
As we left the restaurant and the light changed I realized I had a full on headache. Not just the obnoxious little thing I'd been ignoring, but the dangerous kind that was going to try to ruin my night. Well, TOO BAD, HEADACHE!!!!!!! I was baby free and living it up. We got to the theater and the Double B got me a truly gigantic Diet Coke with lime. I was trusting that baby to help me out, which I think it did -- I got through the whole war movie, praying it off, adjusting positions and finding a little relief, feeling a little nauseous but thinking I could fend that nausea off. I am good friends with headaches like many members of my family, but have been fortunate to not have more then a couple of handfuls of migraines, but I always know when one is coming because of the terrible nausea -- like a freight train that you know is coming to get you, it's just a matter of when. So anyhow, I'm holding strong. The hero comes home from war and finally finds some relief in helping others. Things are going to work out, except I already know they're not. Because suddenly, there it is -- the undeniable knowledge that I am going to lose my dinner. I stood right up, rushed down from the second to top row of the huge theater, debated if those trash cans by the door were too high, yes, they were, rushed through the huge lobby with watery eyes, mouth pinched shut, praying that I could just make it, rushed into a stall, and...

I felt so bad for the lady innocently using the restroom. That must have been unpleasant to listen to. But at least I knew she felt worse for me! I think I met my shoes. I think I am now clear of everything I have ever eaten before that point, ever. So sad. I want my $30 dinner back. Actually, I don't. I think sea food, my beloved sea food, may now be a thing from my past. So sad. I wouldn't mind the $6 Diet Coke back, though.

When I finally made it out, the Double B was waiting in the lobby. He told me how the movie ended and gave me lots of sympathy, and listened to the last of the purge and the moaning and groaning on the way home, driving through epic snow. He took me right home, then went and picked up the kids. What a champion. Not much of an ending to the epic date night, but such it is! Hilarious. I honestly think this story is hilarious. And noteworthy. And memorable.

Last night at Scouts the Bishop came up to me with a big smile and asked "How are you feeling?" I said "Great! How are you?" And he goes "Are you really? Because I hear you missed the last few minutes of a really good movie the other night." I started laughing and assured him that I missed them in a very epic manner. When I told the Double B what the Bishop said, he informed me he never told the Bishop! He just told his friend Dave. So a good Sister B barf story is worth the retelling, I guess. Made me laugh.

Last night was KJ's first Scout Court of Honor. He earned his Scout badge and headed up the color guard. It was really cute to see him up there, doing his darndest. He was really nervous he was going to drop the flag, but he did great -- got all of his lines in just right, too. I'm a Scout Mom now. Dude.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Adventures In B-Land

We played the game SORRY for Family Home Evening on Monday. It was our first attempt. And there were only five episodes of crying! So that worked out well! It really did crack me up (can't say the same for the Double B). Frustration over being sent back to home base was the main culprit. Katelyn made a dramatic exit to her room, but meandered back when she realized she was welcome to do that, but we were all having fun without her. All in all, it was a lot of fun, actually. I was proud of us! It's a relief to know that family time doesn't have to be perfect time. But the kids loved it so much. And since SORRY has always been one of my favorites, and I totally won (just thought I should throw that in for the record), we can call the night a success.
Olivia gave us a lesson about how to defend ourselves against the temptations of Satan. I was pretty impressed. She built a wall of blocks called the "Faith Brick Blocker" that we had to knock over with other blocks. Inventive. I remember being in the second grade and working so hard during my extra time at school on a game I invented to be played during an official Family Home Evening. It involved rolling a dice I created out of paper and a game board that led to heaven. My brothers didn't like it. So that didn't work out. Olivia's brothers liked her game, though. So she is not scarred for life the way I am.
Speaking of Olivia, she and Benson had check-ups this week. I just wanted to get a few moles checked on my little freckle face that have concerned me in my post-partum state (remember when late nights and google were not Marie's friends?). Happily, all is well and she is a healthy, precious little human that charmed everyone with her sweet manners and fancy high heels! I'm so thankful for that. She's only in the 44th percentile for height. That is pretty much shrimp-ism in our family. I'm 5'9" and come from a long line of tall women. I'm not sure she'll even get to 5'7". What is the world like if you don't have to slump your way shorter then the boys in middle school? Well. I guess I could be finding out one day.
Benson is 23 pounds and in the 90th percentile, averaging out. The doctor still chuckles at his cute head -- he really does have a big noggin. It's so cute. He's our big guy and charmed every person in the place willing to make eye contact with him. He LOVES attention and was laughing, cooing, smiling, drooling. It was a good show. And he also received many compliments on his chicken hair. He loved, loved, loved the paper on the exam table and really didn't want to show her how he can roll off his tummy (which he is usually frantic to do, he hates tummy time) because he loved it's crinkle noises so much! We got the go ahead to try fruits and veggies and he tried his first green beans mixed with cereal last night. He made a face for a minute, but then basically didn't care if it was a little different, because -- FOOD! He feels serious about dinner time. I love my kids and feel enormously blessed after every good checkup. Driving home Benson fell asleep. When I asked Liv if he was sleeping she said "Yep! Just like Grandpa, with his mouth hanging open!" Gave me a chuckle. 
Here's one of my favorite pictures... Benny B giving big sister slobbery kisses:
He LOVES to be mugged on, and will often try to attack your face with goobery lovin' when you give him kisses (which is impossible not to do). Katelyn really, honestly dislikes to be mugged on and always has (I have to really work to be allowed to kiss the top of her head at bedtime), so Benson should feel honored that she likes and encourages his kisses. It's a testament to his cuteness!
A few nights ago I made dinner for my friend and primary counselor, Laurie, as she was down and out with the flu. I tried to think of foods that are simple and palatable when nothing sounds good, so I put together sandwiches and things that go with it. I made a corn and frito salad, and while our family was eating dinner Katelyn exclaims "This stuff is HORRIBLE!" Ha ha ha! It made me laugh so much! Such is the plight of the mother. (It really wasn't horrible, for the record.) It all evens out though, because night before last she asked for something at the table and when I handed it to her, she leaned her head against my arm and whispered emphatically "Thank you. You're AWESOME!" Quite the girl. 

Love you all.

Monday, January 26, 2015

8 Is Great!

Olivia was baptized!
Her big day was on January 17th. My parents so graciously flew out from Utah, and Burdette and Holly came from Nebraska, so we were so lucky to have family  It was the MOST SPECIAL day! Honestly. The feelings of my heart were just so full and grateful.
Olivia is the most special girl. There is truly something radiant about her. In many ways it was a profound experience for me, because she was SO prepared. She knew and understood exactly what she was doing and deeply wanted to make that covenant with Heavenly Father. It was truly HER decision, but more then that, it was her yearning desire. That was so beautiful for me to observe!
She was so full of anticipation and jitters. She shared her day with a boy named Carter, who's family is from Missouri, so it was a full house. Watching her step into that little font with her Daddy and her big eyes observing all the people was so sweet. Grandpa and Brother Matt were her witnesses. She asked Grandma to give a prayer and Sister Bev to give the talk on baptism. We had a little luncheon afterwards and everyone had a great time.
I am so thankful for this beautiful little girl and how she fills my heart! I am so thankful to be able to teach her faith in Jesus Christ. It is one of the great honors of my life!
She is lucky to have such a wonderful Grandma and Grandpa. We had such a fun few days with them! They were so proud of her and she felt so special. She sobbed the whole way home from the airport the night they flew home!
What a great day. I am so thankful to be a Mom! I am so thankful for a personal witness that God loves His children.