Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ms Gail + JP

JP and Ms. Gail have always been quite the pair. He just adores her and she adores him just as much. They are often caught playing *so nicely* together.  It melts my heart. While their spots at the dinner table keep changing, I secretly think JP likes when his sister sits next to him because more often than not he'll get a nice back rub or back scratch by the end of dinner. 
Just the other day the two were coloring and Ms. Gail decided she wanted to give her picture to JP. When she handed it to him, he looked at it and responded, "OH wow! This is great coloring! I like it!" (He's also a suck up when he knows I'm watching. The look on his face was saying something different...) She was obsessed with him for the rest of the evening.
Yesterday she made a comment about how she wanted to marry JP because he likes her coloring. That evening I caught a special moment between the two of them in the bathroom. I had been working in the kitchen for a while and called out to Ms. Gail asking where she was. When she said she was doing nothing in the bathroom, I told her I was going to check (you know with all those hair cutting incidents, you can never be to sure with her...) and she started panicking. Just as I opened the door, JP and Ms. Gail hopped into the tub to hide. It was soon discovered that he had been combing out her hair in an attempt to put it in a pony tail. He was helping her get ready for their wedding after dinner. She changed her dress again after dinner and JP had me put her hair up so it looked like Belle's hair. 
My kids are obsessed with their bums. Can you tell?

Several weeks ago we had some friends over and my three kids occupied themselves in the basement with music, when JP came upstairs later handing out tickets to their concert. Upon our arrival to the basement, they had chairs set up for up, and JP had used his circuits to make a strobe light. HD was in charge of the lights and the music as JP and Ms. Gail slow danced around in circles. My friend and I whispered a few times back and forth about how cute they were and Charlotte was quick to shout out "NO TALKING!" and then would go back to slow dancing. I left my phone upstairs and missed it all, but it was so so sweet that I had to catch their wedding dance on film. It did not disappoint!

Monday, April 24, 2017

More Football, Less Teeth, and No Covers

It's been a busy few weeks here now that football is taking over our lives. I didn't expect so much practice time when we signed the kids up earlier this winter. Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday I'm scrambling to figure out an easy meal that's quick to prepare and still relatively healthy. We're about a month in, and I have several go-to meals but I can imagine they're going to get old pretty fast...

We had a week off of games in lieu of Easter and had pictures yesterday before the games. HD's team was the first team up on the docket so they had to be to the field by 7:15, though their game wasn't until 9:00a. Luckily Perry ended up taking him and leaving me with the other two so they could sleep an extra hour. I also realized the night before that this was HD's snack week, so I needed time to pick something up from the store before leaving. We were running late, like usual, because JP forgot his mouth guard at home, along with his water bottle...We made it just in time for the beginning of HD's game, but I had to hang with JP to make sure he'd push up his glasses for pictures.
I thought it might have just been a fluke last game when he was matched up against the biggest kid on the opposite team, but it happened this week too. I was able to catch the second half of his game and really enjoyed watching him play. He still has a lot to work on skill wise, but he's improved a bunch already. I mean, he was actively trying to grab flag instead of just watching the action.
This week HD had a second game at the same time as JP. We lucked out having them play at fields next to each other. Let me just take a minute to tell you about the weather though. It was warmer than the previous game, but oh the rain! Perry and HD were there from 7 until about 11;15. Everyone was soaking. The ground was soaking. When you walked on the grass water would spray up and all the ground in about a 6 inch radius around your foot would move. It cleared up a bit by the time JP played but still.
This week was JP's turn to be a team captain. He co-captained with his new friend (#2) and was thrilled about it.
Sometimes it's really hard to watch JP play. He's been play on the line and doesn't really understand what he's doing. See video below. Several times I had to roll up his sleeves to get him at least looking ready to play.
Having the boys play next to each other was a blessing and a curse. Despite having MPRs, they didn't seem to play much. They were both on the bench at the same time, and when they were in, the plays move so quickly that it was hard to really watch them. For the first half of JP's game, he was playing on the line. After the half, the coach realized something wasn't working with his players so he made a quick adjustment and pulled JP back for the huddle. Of the 5 plays they ran, the first four were either handed off to someone else, or just ran. On the 5th play, I was over watching HD and was walking toward JP's field when he was handed the ball and made a dash for it. He had a flag pulled immediately, but was excited to get to touch the football. I was so excited I couldn't get my camera on and focused. I was at the wrong angle for it anyways, but still. Exciting none the less. We hope more of that happens with JP as the season continues. 

We've had other exciting news in the house too! We're losing more teeth!
 HD lost his first top tooth the day after Easter. He spent the entire evening trying to get it out. We tried pulling it and twisting it, but nothing. Then after school on Monday, he casually just pulled it out.
JP lost his first top tooth on Saturday after bugging me about wiggling it for him for the past several months. Both of his top teeth were loose though. He tried pulling it out with his Terra Climber race car, but no luck, so he also casually just pulled his out. He doesn't want to give it to the tooth fairy though... It was placed in his little treasure box under his pillow and then removed before she arrived. Instead of a coin, he was given a note saying she be back to look for it tomorrow... he hid it again. 

In other news - I think I've mentioned before that I'm having a really hard time sleeping through the night. I think it's been since maybe July since I've slept through the night without waking. I have no problem falling back to sleep, but I just tend to toss and turn all night. I've even bought a cooling pillow at who-know-what-thirty at night. It's okay. It stays cool to my face but it smells a little funky. Probably the aloe that's in it. 

But for the last several nights, Perry and I have been fighting. It's unnerving how confident he is in that he is not stealing all the covers. He refused to believe that he could ever be a cover hog. So the other morning when I woke up freezing, curled up in a little ball, I got proof.
I suck out of bed, leaving my side intact. I had a corner. I had even pulled up the quilt from the end of the bed in the middle of the night, and look where it ended up... The best part about this all was knowing I won. When I left the room, he heard the door tap the frame and he woke up, rolled over to look for me, realized he was being a hog, and tried to fix the bed to make his cover-hogging ways less obvious, as I giggled at him through the crack. The things I put up with...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Flag Football + A Bike Town

Our Sundays have now been taken over by flag football. (We're going to have to start going to the Wednesday night church service or something!) I'm so thankful this weekend we did *nothing* but spend time together as a family. And watch Moana for the bajillionth time. *proceeds to sing SO SHINE-NAY!!*  Sorry for getting that little tune stuck in your head now! 
It warms my heart every time I see my kids snuggling with their dad. It gets me right in the feels every time. I am the resident snuggler of the house. Snuggling is the best. JP has developed a love for snuggling as well and often asks if we can just lay down and snuggle together. Doesn't matter that his siblings are running around screaming about who has what and who had it first. Just give JP some snuggles and he's good.

Ms. Gail has been faithfully toting around Baby Bootie and/or Mama Booties. We had a little fiasco earlier this year with them though... Her loving brothers thought it would be fun to hide her kitties. Not just one or two of them, but all of them. Over the course of a couple weeks, I had found all of them except her two favorites. Every time she went to play with her kitties, she'd ask where Mama Booties and Baby Booties could be found. I had no idea. I searched the house completely and couldn't find them and the boys conveniently couldn't remember. I lost sleep over these darn cats! In an attempt to put my mind at ease, I ordered her new ones. Mama Booties came knocking at the door a few weeks ago, and it was so so so cute to see her answer the door and have Mama sitting there waiting. A few short days later, Baby Booties came crying at the living room door for her. I told her they must have went to the spa while they were on vacation. She believed me. In a sudden turn of events this evening, Perry found the original Baby Booties the other. Yay!! I promptly switched them out, and when she picked up Baby Booties the next time, she had a puzzled look about her, and then questioned me, "I don't think this is the real one..."
After football on Sunday, we were all starving, so we opted to splurge and try out a diner near home called Fatty Patty's. It was okay. Pig decor everywhere. Though it was a full house, food seemed to take longer than expected. Luckily I told the kids they were having coloring contest. I don't know if they really were, but my kids remained *very* focused on the task of coloring the perfect picture. JP is an excellent color-er.
Later that afternoon, HD came rushing into the house demanding I make them flags for their jersey's so they could practice with dad. I had some stick on Velcro - I knew it wouldn't sew on very well, but I tried anyways. It gummed up the needle as predicted, so I made them temporary flags out of baseball fabric with the stick-on Velcro and off they went. I was roped into playing defense.
They were the cutest little bunch making plans to try to fool me. They need to work on whispering and being discreet because it was easy to tell just what they were going to be tricking me with.
I convinced Ms. Gail to practice riding her big girl bike while the guys were playing football. My sister sent me a picture of the chalk road they built at their house, so we did the same thing here. I've never seen her so excited about biking!
Everytime she rode past Perry or me, she would call out "Hi Friend!" or request a high five. Eventually HD put on roller skates to skate through the new town. Perry decided if he was going to skate on the driveway, he better sweep up the rocks, so we had a temporary construction zone. Ms. Gail thought that was great - there was construction in her town!
Our little town was made complete with a service station for Ms. Gail's bike. After the "gas station worker" filled up her bike, she biked out to me, scrunched up her nose and said, "Wow, he was such a nice guy!" Hahaha! She had to call AAA a few times to get towed into the shop. HD made a jail in the middle of our town and I was required to stand on the jail and take people to jail. Both him and JP had my police car chase them down and drag them to jail for speeding and evading police. Huge bummer that it *always* rains here - their outside roads were quickly washed away that night. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Let's Go Warrior Eagles!

Today marked the official start of flag football for us. Technically practice began two weeks ago, but we had our first games this morning, and our boys are *still* on a losing streak. While I don't care so much they have *never* won a game (regardless of if they were keeping score or not) my boys have never been on the team that dominates, or is used to scoring. We've been through one baseball season, and five seasons of soccer and have yet to win.

We were hoping to change that streak today. We didn't. But we had fun anyways. That's what it's about right?
 These boys were troopers too! JP's game was scheduled to begin at 9;00a but we had to be there early enough to get his jersey and do warm-ups. Everyone slunk out of bed around 6:30, which really blew coming off of spring break, and we left the house around 7:15a. Scored a killer parking spot being one of the first ones there. Then we froze for the next several hours...
 JP can easily be picked out in numerous ways. A) We missed the gold socks memo. Everywhere I have read it clearly says, "Socks must be black" so imagine my surprise when the rest of the team shows up in gold socks... B) He wore his Lions sweatshirt under his jersey and insisted his hood be up. C) Never could you see his hands. How can you grab a flag when your hands aren't out?
This is typically what JP looks like when he sees mom taking a picture of him. He asks like the camera is going to steal his soul or something...
I wasn't sure how long the games would last, but they plan for them to last an hour. I think JP's lasted half an hour. It was over before they really got into the groove of it. There was also some confusion before the game as to who we were supposed to play. Apparently one of the fields was deemed unplayable so they had moved teams around to make up for the "missing" field and for some unknown reason, had our opponent playing at a later time. We scrambled to find another team ready to play...
I think it goes without say though, JP was mostly just excited for the snacks at the end of the game. 

With JP's game starting late and ending quickly, we had plenty of time to get HD over to his warm-up area and to then go find him after the game. Halfway through JP's game, HD and his team mom came over to find me because the league wasn't going to let him play because his physical hadn't been turned in. I'm thinking I came off pretty snarky when I told her I turned it in - to her- on the first day of practice. Luckily I had taken a picture of it, just in case, but then my phone wouldn't let me send it... She ended up taking of picture of my picture of the physical. Thankfully they let that pass as they continued to look for it. I was going to be *pissed* if they weren't going to let him play!
HD is on the "gold" offense and defense. He takes his position quite literally and lines up in the same exact position every time. It's cute! He's really good about using his body to block instead of his hands.
 Both Perry and I found it quite amusing HD, who might be the second smallest on the team, was having to block their biggest player. I mean they are the same height when the kid is hunched down!
 HD expressed how frustrated he was at the end of the game about how this kid was blocking wrong. (I didn't know the blocking rules until I googled them this afternoon.) You can't grab any part of the opponent, at all, or block with extended arms and here, this big guy is completely holding HD's shoulders. I see now why he was so frustrated! But he did a great job none-the-less!
They lost 7-12 but they all played great! Quite a few of his teammates were also first time football players too! I'm eager to see how both JP and HD progress this season!

Next game I'm wearing some rain boot because the wet grass we trudged through numerous times, were cold and wet by the end. And I'm probably bringing a backpack instead of a bag to carry stuff in. Definitely more blankets too! Though there was no rain, it's still pretty chilly at 8:00am! The slightest breeze turned me into a big baby, quick. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I Let the Boys "Borrow" a Camera...

At the end of February, when my parents came to visit, the seven of us piled into my vehicle and headed to the zoo. My mom had given us a membership to the zoo for Christmas and this was the first semi-sunny, semi-warm day we had really had since we've moved, so it seemed to work out to be a great day to get out of the house.

While we were there, I did my "mom-blogger" duty by snapping pictures here and there of everyone to later use on the blog (but it didn't ever happen). After about an hour, HD asked if he could use my (Canon Rebel) camera to take pictures. To explain to an 8-year old how the zoom works + the hold to focus then push all the way to take the picture, all on top of not dropping it or banging it around is simply exhausting. The day before I had found a book titled, "Who's Butt?" at the library and assumed HD would like it simply because it had the word "butt" in it. In short it was a book about a photographer who, more times than not, captured pictures of the behinds of animals instead of their faces. (Anything to get him to read!) HD thought this was a great book, and wanted to make one of his own. That's what he set out to do with my camera in tow. I can't tell you how many times I heard, "Look! Look! I got a picture of its butt!" You know what though? I didn't care because if you know HD, he's usually bouncing around or not paying attention. This trip to the zoo was so relaxing. This kid was F.O.C.U.S.E.D.
Fast forward to spring break this week. I spontaneously decided we needed to get out of the house after JP broke the mirror that hung over my mantel. He apparently dropped kicked a football, right after I agreed he could have a friend come over. I cleaned it up, picked up his friend, made sandwiches and packed lunches for everyone, and then found batteries for an old camera of mine. I've been meaning to pick up an SD card for it, but haven't remembered yet, so I popped my Canon card into it and away we went. HD again enjoyed his time photographing animals and it seemed to make the zoo trip a little less chaotic. What was I thinking taking 4 kids to the zoo by myself?

That night at bedtime, we allowed the kids to sleep in the fort they had built in JP's room. HD grabbed the camera again and gave a very nice tour of it. Perry thought it was great! It wasn't quite up to the funny standards as the sledding video they made in December but hey. I love how HD points out every little detail.

In some of our down time yesterday, JP remembered the camera was working and took a very animated video of himself dancing on the ceiling. I don't know what I love best about it. Is it the music he makes himself? His dance moves? The way he tricks us into thinking he's actually dancing on the ceiling? It could very possibly be how out of breath his is at the end...
I didn't realize how much youtube they must have watched on my mom's iPad, but I also enjoy how they introduce themselves at the beginning!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Now My House Smells Like a Campfire

I have always wanted a home with fireplace, and to be honest, I'm still thrilled our new home has not one, but two fireplaces. For the first month we lived here, we had a fire burning in it nearly every night. With the weather slightly warming up, we've cut it back to one or two nights a week. (And because our wood pile is dwindling.)

We planned accordingly and saved enough wood to have a fire going while Grandma was here visiting. There is just something so calming about sitting in front of a fire... After we arrived home from our outing last Saturday, a fire was made upstairs. As soon as it was going, we all decided to go downstairs to work on a puzzle. I thought it was silly to have made a fire upstairs when everyone was downstairs, not able to enjoy it. So the hubs and I agreed to let it burn itself out and we'd just start another one in the basement.

I didn't immediately go help with the puzzle (I really don't like flipping all the pieces over...) so I continued to enjoy the fire as it continued to burn. I can't tell you how many times HD started messing with the doors and the vents, even after my numerous explanations as to why it was fine the way it was.

In an attempt to get him to leave it alone, I had him help me in the kitchen by cutting up some fruit to take downstairs to everyone. He's a sucker for fruit trays and anything that involves cutting. I felt like I was winning my "distract him" plan. As I gathered up the last couple things to take downstairs, I heard him shut the doors to the fireplace, again, which is fine since we were going downstairs. I should have checked.

As I neared the bottom of the stairs, it started smelling a little smokey, but it always smells a little smokey when we have a fire going in the basement. I thought nothing of it and carried on about delivering our snacks. The hubs and I, and Grandma worked on the puzzle for about 10-15 minutes before he was stated, "It just smells really smokey, doesn't it?" Off he went to check it out. Not seconds later though, he was shouting.

Apparently the kiddo, not only closed the doors to the fireplace, but also CLOSED THE FLUE. I don't even know how to do that. But he did it and because the smoke wasn't able to go up and out the chimney, it went out the little vents and filled up the living room, dining room, kitchen, and entryway.

The next several minutes were filled with running around opening windows and setting up fans throughout the upstairs. Despite how smokey it was in here, it didn't take too long to air out - having two large sliding doors really helped with that. Unfortunately though, even though the smoke was gone, the smell was not. I took a shower to rinse the smell off, but Perry did not, so the next morning at church, all we smelled was campfire. Such a great smell... After walking back into the house afterwards, confirmed that we had a lot of scrubbing and clean up to do if it we wanted to rid our house of that dreaded smell.

But hey, we all survived and HD learned a very important lesson about the fireplace. That's a pretty big win right there if you ask me.