And We Have An Eight Year Old!

little girl harry potter shark books instagram

Ruby was a little worried that I was going to be in labor on her birthday and ruin it, but we made it through just fine.

She was very, very confident that she would get a Harry Potter costume, and well, she did.  Also, some books for her little, shark-loving heart. 

From grandparents she got the How to Train Your Dragon set, a new set of scriptures, and a million pounds of M&Ms.

little boy graham cracker gingerbread house instagram

We saved the gingerbread/graham cracker house decorating as a birthday activity.

And ended the day burning the sparklers we weren't allowed to burn on the 4th of July (fire danger).

sparklers in snow instagram

Linus (every time one of his would burn out): Mine run out of batteries, Mom!

little boy sparkler instagram

Although, I think Herbie said it first.

kids sparklers in snow instagram

Woo was so excited to decorate the gingerbread man kit that our Secret-12-days-of-Christmas-Santa left, that he did most of it himself.

dad and kids decorating gingerbread man kit instagram

But, by the time we did our own little houses, he was super grinchy about it. I guess he felt we'd all had enough treats by then. 

I'm starting to feel that way too, but I'll manage to soldier on.

little boy graham cracker gingerbread house grinchy dad instagram

"No candy until you eat your corn, Penelope."

baby girl crying eating dinner instagram

And no, Moses still hasn't learned his lesson about sticking his bum in small containers.

little boy stuck in bucket instagram

I hope you all had a great Christmas!


Past Blast: A Week, A Time Change Week


Well, I feel pretty good.

Pretty great most of the time, actually.

I've started exercising again and working my way through my "stuff-to-do-on-the-house" list besides all the other stuff I do.

Maybe the secret for me is not just getting enough sleep at night, but also consistently getting 4 kid-free hours every evening.

The kids acted pretty typical for a time change week, but they've been acting like this on and off for about 2 months now, so it didn't seem horrible.

I did make one change which made our lives much easier. I finally got around to printing off a list of 10 things Ruby and Herbie need to do in the morning before school (many of them seemingly obvious like "get dressed" and "eat").

I was tired of being a stressed-out nag for an hour straight to get everything done and them out the door.

Now, I just have to occasionally ask where they are on their list. Most mornings they're done with enough time for us to read some Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle before they go, and it's a much better start to everyone's day.

Woo has been super excited because it dawned on him that he can set up a projector (which he's always wanted) and a screen in his office, AND he can set up all his speakers and wires where ever he wants (without my aesthetics objections) for surround sound because it's HIS office.

He's kept himself busy tinkering around in there, AND he ordered a projector after only a couple of hours of scouring the internet for the best deal! The really amazing part is that he realized he could get it for $50 cheaper if he waited three weeks for Visa (or someone) to send him a coupon just before he bought it, but HE BOUGHT IT ANYWAY!!!! (I'm sure he's regretting that move as he reads this, but that's how excited he was).

baby girl

I moved Penelope to a 4-hour routine this week. She stays awake for 2 hour stints now, and spends most of it on her back staring at her hand or trying to roll over (hasn't done it yet). She whines sometimes which means she needs to burp, so I tip her up, she burps, and then is happy to stare at her fist again.

When we all go shopping, I like to have Woo take Linus because if I'm anywhere within his line of vision, he yells my name, and I know exactly where they are. It's kind of fun to be weaving up and down aisles at Costco and hear Linus yell, "Mom!!" from hundreds of feet away, every time he catches a glimpse of me.

little boy church suit tie hat overcoat instagram cowboy boots

Linus loves to be my Penelope helper. He'll fetch diapers, pajamas, throw diapers away and dump clothes in the dirty laundry bin like it's the most exciting thing in the world.

He's also started to say "Nah!" for yes. It makes communicating with him a lot easier.

Moses: I'm so excited it's church tomorrow!
Me and Woo: ????
Moses: I get to play with my cars!
Woo: Uh, Moses, that's actually not why we go to church ...

Moses is going to be leaving nursery in just two months and going to class. I hope it's not going to be too rough on him to leave all those toys and sit for so long.

brothers pretending to fly airplane instagram

An older neighbor kid borrowed all the little kids in town for about 1/2 hour for a science project.
Herbie (randomly, later): Brittany (a neighbor girl his age) and I laughed at the same time.
Me: You did?
Herbie: She drew a flower and smiled.
I laughed, and then she laughed.
We laughed together.
Woo: Did you look into each others' eyes?
Did time move in slow-motion?
Did you touch hands under the table? 
Herbie just looked at me with a gigantic smile.

Ruby seems to be doing really well in school. We were kind of wondering because she's been kind of moody at home, and her teacher did mention at PT conference (weeks ago) that she was sometimes overly sensitive as if she were tired.  I assume that being good all day in school can be exhausting??


Sick As a Dog

baby girl hair blowing in wind heater instagram
(Penelope enjoying the heater in her hair)

The kids have a new favorite Christmas song that is nothing but dogs barking to the tune of jingle bells.   They all laugh and dance, but Woo mostly plays it for Penelope, because it's the only song that will make her break out in a laugh and occasionally bark at the speakers. 

Which is funny because all my kids are terrified of dogs.

little boy and mom instagram

One afternoon Ruby, Herbie, Moses and Linus were out traipsing around in the snow. All at once, I heard bloodcurdling screams in the front yard. They congregated on the front porch, and something began to claw at the front door.

I took a peak out the window, and sure enough, there was a small black dog in the front yard.

Moses and Herbie had climbed on top of the table on the porch and were halfway up the pole. Linus was between the screen door and the front door, desperately trying to get inside.

And Ruby put her hand out to the dogs nose and held his collar (just like her Dad had taught her to do). "Run around to the back, guys! I've got him!"

little blond girl black shirt instagram

Penelope and I got the flu this week. 

I think that Wednesday afternoon-through-night was one of the worst days of my life. 

In my humble opinion, I think that having the flu while pregnant is worse than labor. (Although Woo described similar things while he was sick, maybe it had nothing to do with being pregnant -- just the flu!)

I was totally out of commission, and shivered in bed, left to my dark, dark fears about the sun never shining again, that I'd never be able to take care of six little kids, and worst of all --- that I was going to go into labor right that second!

Woo gave me a blessing, and almost immediately my mood lightened and my temperature started to go down. (Also, I did not go into labor.)

The world is right again now that we're all feeling better.

baby girl and mom instagram

Linus seems to have given up stuffing mints and Gu down his jammies in favor of keeping a baby doll in there all day long.  

He almost looks like me.

little boy in pajamas baby in pajamas

Not to be outdone by Moses' "I love you, Mom!" before naps, Linus has started to say, "I love you, Mom, AND I like you!" before he falls asleep.

To which Moses counters with, "AND I love everyone in the whole entire world!"

Here's a couple more pictures, and that's all for the week.

little boy making jam sandwich instagram
(Moses, more than happy to make himself a giant glob of jam sandwich while Mom lays on the couch)

little boy taking picture with toy camera blocks instagram
(Linus and his homemade camera)

Hope you all had a good one!


Past Blast: Woo and His Children


We did get a blizzard last Tuesday night. There were about two hours of no visibility and impossible travel conditions, and Woo and Herbie were out driving in 1/2 hr of it.

We knew it was supposed to start snowing at 5pm, but didn't know the blizzard would immediately kick in.

Herbie and Woo were at the store and stopped to get gas before heading home. That's when the wind started, and almost immediately Woo couldn't see anything.

He couldn't see the road the entire way around the lake, but somehow made it around. He slid into a snowbank turning the corner by the library, and thought they were stuck for good, but was eventually able to get the car out.

A 5-10 minute ride took over 1/2 an hour. We were very glad to get them back.

little boy mountain biking instagram
(Blissfully unaware of the blizzard to come ... )

Let's face it. Ruby's a bit of a klepto. She comes home from school with some little pencil, eraser, pen, barrette, some other kid's school work, etc. almost every day.

We've made her return the bigger items (a hat, a cell phone case...).

Actually, it's not so much that she's stealing, it's that she's very, very attentive to what's lying on the floor and ALL of it's treasure.

Woo and I were discussing it, when he realized (possibly for the first time?) that he'd been exactly the same way. He'd had two pencil boxes just crammed full of precious pencils and pens in his desk in first grade.
Me: I can't believe this!
Why didn't you tell me this before we got married?!
Woo: Sorry.
You should've known.
You've seen my mission scrapbook.
(Yes, it's full of "meaningful" trash he found on the street).    
That also explains why picking up litter is his (and Ruby's) favorite family home evening activity.

I know that everyone thinks that Herbie (and sometimes Linus) looks exactly like Woo, but I still think Moses is the one who looks the most like him.

children brothers hiking instagram

Moses has his body, and his walk, and a lot of his facial features. Usually when Moses is sitting on his lap, I see it the most.

Today Moses sat on Woo's lap in Sacrament meeting. They both wore three piece suits, they had hair the same length and tossled in almost the exact same way, the same head shape, etc.

And Moses will never be considered because his hair is a different color than Woo's ... maybe he'll be grateful for that someday?

Linus is still the kid who loves Woo the most, or at least he's the one who gets the most excited when he sees him. Once, while Linus was sitting on the floor, Woo lay down in front of him to do some work on the iPad. Linus broke into a huge, huge grin, and it didn't falter or change for like half an hour.
Woo: How can you smile so long, Linus?!
I don't even have the muscles in my face for that kind of work! 
No matter what Linus is doing, as soon as Woo enters the room, and he hears his voice, he has to turn and grin.

It's really annoying when he's nursing, but really cute otherwise.


A House Full of Sickies

Monday night Ruby got up and ran to the kitchen, saying she was hungry. Instead she threw up 5 times on the kitchen floor. 

At the end of the last episode, on her hands and knees, she started to pray, 
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help me to not throw up anymore.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
She stood up and said, "I'm all better, Mom. I'm not going to throw up anymore. I said a prayer."

And she didn't.

But, the rest of us weren't so lucky. Three more of us caught the bug in the next couple hours.

little girl zit instagram
(Plus, Ruby's first zit!?!)

Luckily, it blew through fast. But, Herbie and Moses had low fevers and aches by the end of the week.

It was nice having Herbie home. He read stories to his little brothers, and helped Moses sound out the words in his little books.

little boys reading story instagram

We should've been able to tell that Herbie was coming down with something because he sure was a stinker leading up to it.

brothers reading story instagram

I was pretty wiped out by the first bug, so I didn't get anything up for Christmas, except for the  advent calendar just in the nick of time. The kids love it.

advent calendar christmas wreath instagram

I think that Linus is the only kid who escaped any illness. 
Me: Linus, do you think my big belly is funny?
Linus (laughing): Yes! And yours bum!
Linus is the king of the class in nursery, and he was super excited to introduce everyone to his little sister "Nel-Pee" when we started taking her too last week.

little boy sitting in toy grocery cart instagram

We're told that Penelope does great in there, as long as the teachers don't try to pick her up. (Yes, it's early, but I can only take so much of her climbing all over my belly, and bending over to pick up anything she drops while sitting in church.)

smiling baby girl instagram

Woo only got mildly sick, but his week was still painful. Someone went through our mail the day the car registration and stickers came, and some neighbors found it torn up on the street. Woo was consumed by the mystery of who it could have been for quite awhile. He thought he had it solved, but the accused said it wasn't him. Hmmmm.

And then he made the mistake of calculating how much money we'd have now if we'd bought Apple stock instead of assorted big purchases in the past. Not fun for him, but you just can't predict these things. 

So we've bought stock in the names of all the kids instead of presents this year for Christmas. 

Just kidding.

Anyway, hope you all had a great week!


Past Blast: Whew! (Part 2)


Before nap time one day, Moses asked me to tell a story of when I was a kid and went to the library. My story of wanting to learn French and checking out a book on French clearly was not entertaining enough because he sat up and growled,
little boy christmas pajamas excited running instagram

Tyson and his girlfriend came to dinner last night. He had Herbie and Moses convinced that he liked to drink toilet water. Both of them mentioned it in their prayers before bed, asking that Tyson would stop drinking toilet water.

In the morning they discussed it seriously.
Herbie: I hope Tyson isn't drinking toilet water right now.  
Moses: That's nasty! 
Linus really needs a bedroom to nap in. He's currently sleeping in the laundry room, which is right off the kitchen, which you have to walk through to go to the bathroom.

When he's supposed to be napping, his ears are tuned-in to the sound of anyone walking through there, and it prevents him from sleeping.

I think he only has a good morning nap, when the other kids and I leave the house for an hour or so.

The drywall in their bedrooms is done, and I can start priming tomorrow. Maybe he'll be sleeping up there by Christmas?

man ghetto home office instagram

Woo's had a horrible, no good, very bad week. It all started with a letter from "the Germans." Then a day or two later, he figured out why sales have been slipping. Basically, it's Google's fault.

Very frustrating.

After digging around for a solution for an hour or so, he gave up and went to bed.
I'm quitting!  
I'm never going to write another email!  
I'm never going to add another update! 
I'm just going to pay the Germans! 
I'm done!
After some silence,
I don't think you know how serious I am!
I'll admit I found the just-pay-the-Germans bit a little hard to swallow.

The next day I asked him,
So, did you write any emails today? 
Woo: Maybe. 
Me: Did you add any stations? 
Woo: Maybe.

(smiling) Are you calling me a liar ? 
It's hard to really give up on something you've worked so hard on for so long even when things get frustrating.


Quick Weekly Recap

Herbie's grade had their annual program. 

little boy thanksgiving school program loose tooth instagram

He lost another tooth during the first song.

little boy lost tooth instagram

And performed to the obvious admiration of both his little brothers.

little boy and brother thanksgiving school program instagram

toddler boy instagram
Linus (following me around the kitchen, slapping my bum with every syllable): 
I's going to spank yours bum, bum, bum, yours little bum.  
I have a big one.
I'm flattered Linus, but maybe you're trying to say the opposite?

little boy goggles instagram
Linus: Mom, there's nothing in my jammies. 
Me: What was that? 
Linus: There's nothing in my jammies. 
Me: Hmmmm. 
Let me check.
Yep, he had a container of mints from Woo's office stuffed in there.

Minutes later Woo comes in from getting the mail, and starts to eat some ice cream
Linus: I have some ice cream? 
Woo: I don't really want to give you any ice cream when you keep sneaking stuff out of my office, Linus.
Linus scrambles off his chair and back into the office where he pulls the Gu out of the foot of his jammies and sets it on the desk.
Linus: I have some ice cream, Dad?
little boy mud ball instagram
(Moses discovers mudballs)
Me: What are you the most excited for in kindergarten, Moses? 
Moses: Recess! 
Me: Oh, the kindergarten playground is in the front of the school. Do you remember it? 
Moses: Yes, and I don't like it! 
Me: Why not? 
Moses: Because I won't get to watch a tractor!

boys watching tractor over fence instagram

Penelope was not a fan of the attractions at Kangaroo Zoo

sad baby girl bounce house kangaroo zoo instagram

sad baby girl bounce house kangaroo zoo instagram

Unless the wide open floor counts as an attraction.

baby girl crawling instagram

Do you remember sticking straws onto your front teeth? I do. 

Yes, it's been done before. Sorry, Ruby.

little girl straw on tooth instagram

Well, that's all folks! Hope you had a great week!