Saturday, March 31, 2012

Johnny: 5 Months

Johnny is 5 months old now.

5 solid months of goodness and weeping.

This boy has my heart.

100%

When we were pregnant with Tommy I wondered if I would ever love someone as much as I loved him. He was the answer to so many prayers and he healed such heartache that I worried about loving any other kids enough. I wondered if I'd ever feel that kind of excitement with someone else.

But Johnny. Oh that Johnny. I love him in a way I can't adequately describe. And I suspect he loves me too. Because if you don't love someone, you don't smile to the point of blur every time you see their face.

And you certainly don't forgive them for making you wait "10 more minutes" before getting you out of bed every morning. Because that just might be unforgivable.

Although the child demands to be held for as many hours as possible during the day, he doesn't mind if I put him down while he eats. And sometimes he just curls up in the sunlight under a pillow for a short nap.



Tommy loves Johnny more and more every day. He is especially excited that Johnny is old enough to hold a toy, a book, an animal anything. So he is constantly handing him stuff. "Here go Johnny." 
But only a few things are sweeter than hearing Tommy adding Johnny to his prayers. "Thankful for Daddy. And Mommy. AND JOHNNY!!! be a family." 
They just can't get enough of each other. And I can't get enough of them loving each other.


My mom swears I never take good pictures of her. I think she's lying. She loves Johnny too.


Sometimes Johnny & Tommy are lucky enough to hang out with the ladies. Just often enough to feel comfortable on a pretty-princess chair. 


We've been working on solids over the last month. He really wasn't a big fan of rice cereal, but as soon as we broke out the real food he went nuts. We started with squash, peas, and green beans. Then I let him try peaches and I don't think he ever wants to eat anything else again. I'm making his food because I think it makes the transition to real food easier. And I hate having to buy stuff just for babies at the grocery store. I can't get out of the "baby stuff" section of the store fast enough.



And just in case you were starting to think he doesn't look like his brother anymore....


He's a bit fussy, he likes to be held, he barfs a gallon a day, and often he cries. But one giggle-fest or smile from this handsome little one and all is forgiven.

Because miraculously I love him every bit as much as I have ever loved his brother.

Friday, March 30, 2012

St. George: Swimming

The first day we got to St. George it was a bit cool for outdoor swimming with an infant. So we dressed up the boys, dragged them across the rainy parking log (barefooted) and threw them in the pool.

Then I remembered that this is John's first time swimming and got out to take some pictures of my adorable swimming boys.


John loved it - sat around in the floaty thing all day long.

Meanwhile, Tommy went "swimmeeen! swimeeen! in the swimeen pool!"

For real.

We got this new floaty/life jacket thing and once Josh pried Tommy off his shoulder, Tommy was kicking and kicking like a maniac. All over the pool, back and forth more times than I can count. It was AWESOME.

And now I'm fairly confident that I can take both boys to the pool all by myself this summer.

Because really, Josh isn't doing anything in this picture. So you know, 1 second, an hour at the pool. That's the same.


And obviously Johnny doesn't mind the swim gear.


Plus it was only better when we were outside. (Minus the part where John screamed and wouldn't stop because (I think) the chemical in the pool was so strong.)





It's gonna be a great summer.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

St. George: The Food

I have an idea for you.

Tell Facebook that you're somewhere cool (or at home) for a limited time and ask people what you should eat and do. Then try to do it all in 3 days.

You'll die. I promise.

But that won't stop you from eating so many good (new!) things that you'll never want to go home.

Because lookit.

Cupcakes from 25 Main (1 bite of 6 cupcakes is  more than 1 bite...)

Is there something better than eating Cafe Rio in bed? I think not.

Tommy ate at least 1.5 boiled eggs every morning for breakfast. This kid is gonna go NUTSO at Easter.

Mongolian - hideous picture of me, but the handsomest dude I know is sitting on my lap anyway. So.....

Oh the fortune cookies.

Sometimes I drink wicked things while looking out of the corner of my eye to see if I'm  gonna get grounded.

We were there for 4 days. I ate at least 4 sandwiches.

Um sweet potato fries with marshmallow dipping sauce? Wow.

And even in St. George, Subway makes the best sandwich.

I didn't know it, but Yogi Berry (our little yogurt shop here) sucks. This place was AMAZING.

Miraculously I didn't gain any weight on this trip. (I'll wait while you applaud.)

Because oh. my gosh. we ate good food and I did (almost) zero dishes the entire week. I could go the rest of my life not doing dishes. (But I could not go the rest of my life eating fast food...so....)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why We Don't Live in Mongolia

Someone recommended we eat at the Mongolian Barbecue place in St. George.

We were happy to try something new, and excited for food because we were starving.

Josh went to get his food and I had both kids, which was't a big deal since John was sleeping in his car seat anyway.

Then Old Lady Mongolia (OLM) came over, and offered a chair for me to put Tommy on.

But Tommy was terrified of OLM. So he clung to my neck instead and I told OLM that we were just fine. thankyouverymuch.

But OLM wasn't about to stop there. She didn't speak, but muttered and motioned offering a chair for me to put John (in his carseat) in.

I (again) politely declined. The surface of the chair was smaller than the base of the car seat and I needed both hands to deal with The Clinger (er...Tommy) and didn't have a spare to balance a car seat full of sleeping baby precariously on top of the chair.

She offered the chair again.
I "no thank you'd" again.
And again
and again.
Repeat for like 5 minutes while trying to convince that OLM wasn't going to eat him for lunch.

Finally OLM left, but kept giving me the stink eye from across the restaurant.

When Josh returned he asked what was up and I told him that OLM wanted me to put our baby up on the chair. He made a nervous face and told me that I had likely offended her since it's like some major sin in their culture to put your kid on the floor.

Oops.

But the food was delicious!



And the rest of the staff really liked us - giving Tommy chopsticks, and paper folded flowers and Tommy's first (and next 300) fortune cookies.



When we go back there I swear I won't put John on the floor. Do you think Old Lady Mongolia will appreciate it?

St. George: The Driving

We left for St. George on Sunday. We had gone to church, and the boys were tired before we ever set foot in the car. 

So, with both boys asleep our vacation was off to a good start. 



Sleeping babies make us happy.

We were looking forward to the sunshine, and the snow Sunday morning just made it that much more fun to drive. There's something awesome about looking forward to those blue skies ahead.

When Tommy woke up, he was excited to see this ispy jar because it was new. It kept him entertained for almost an hour. "look mom! look! a STAR!!!" 


And the entertainment and skies just got better and better from there.



Monday, March 26, 2012

Best Kind of Dinner Date

On our first day in St. George we went shopping.

And I discovered that they have a Brick Oven there.

"Josh, we HAVE to eat there sometime this week. OK? I love Brick Oven and haven't been in like forever."
Josh shrugged. This early in the vacation we had ALL KINDS of time and no agenda. So he agreed to pretty much everything.

Then we got a whole bunch of recommendations for other places to eat, and spent much more time at the other end of town and wound up doing stupid things like grabbing sandwiches in a hurry because we were dirty and didn't feel like chasing our dirty kids around a sit down restaurant.

So the day before we were leaving, we still hadn't eaten at Brick Oven.

We hiked,


and picked up rocks,


and played in the splash pad.

So we were all fairly filthy. And a tiny bit sunburned. So we went back to the hotel for a swim. Which was (for the big boys) awesome. (For the mom and babe, it sucked. We left after being in the pool for no more than 4 minutes.)

I sortof demanded that since "you promised!" we eat at Brick Oven that night. But it wasn't a hard sell.

So we quickly showered off and got dressed and got in the car.

Sunglasses, wet hair, fresh sunburn, shower and the smell of chlorine still lingering. My very favorite way to dress up for a hot date.

There's just something about a wet-hair dinner I love. I can hardly wait for summer.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Torn

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon and after a surprise change in the people I serve with at church (new presidency! not new secretary.) I have no meeting today.

But I have plenty of other church work to follow up and catch up on.

Plus about a thousand pictures from our week in St. George to look at, delete, rotate, tag and file.

Plus a dishwasher full of clean dishes and a sink full of dirty dishes.

Plus a two-year-old who will likely die if nobody wrestles with him soon.

And beds to make, dinner to cook and tables to clear off.

Not to mention work. (Which I refuse to do today- so I suppose that's not really a choice.)

But don't forget that today is Sunday and my brain thinks that we (Tommy & I) must make (and eat) something delicious (and sweet) today.

And it wouldn't hurt me to finish reading that book that expires at midnight that I'm nowhere near finishing. *darn you digital library and your no renewal policy!*

Today is Josh's last day of Spring Break - meaning that starting tomorrow there will be zero days off until graduation. No days off work. No days off school. Not even weekends. So a (very large!) part of me thinks we need to do something awesome and exciting and fun. But he just wants to nap. (I blame the fasting...lousy fasting.)

So you see, I'm torn. What to do? Who to do it with? When to begin?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Travel Blog part 2

Tidbits which may or may not become full stories later.

Tommy is convinced that this place is heaven. For a few good reasons. (a) Daddy is ALWAYS home. (b) rocks. So. many. ROCKS!!!! (c) ice cream for dinner. nuggets for lunch.

Tommy is equally convinced this place is hell. For a few good reasons. (a) no Blue's Clues. (b) no calling grandma (c) no macaroni for lunch. He has said more than once that he just wants to "go home. 'oni lunch. buh-loo's cuh-looo's. high chair. pwease?" My child loves our regular routine.

We eat breakfast every morning with an audience. Who knew my kid was so loud?

We swam outside today. There may have been more chlorine (or was it bleach?) than water in that pool. John screamed his guts out and now has a nasty rash. Please don't tell the DCFS guy in our neighborhood (Hi Luke!)  that our baby was thrown in a pool of chemicals - because it wasn't on purpose OK? Also don't tell him about how we jaywalked with our infant and toddler across a very busy road. I told Tommy to "never never never do this no matter what!" while we did it - that negates the stupidity. Right? Also Josh pointed out that we did NOT get caught....so there's that.

Jimmy John's thing is "freaky fast delivery". We voted that it should be "freaky fast delivery: because it's not worth waiting." We have all kinds of theories about sandwich shops that I'd like to share....but maybe this isn't your obsession. Is it?

Hiking with two babies and zero backpacks = two tired parents.

Splash pad & rock pool in March? Yes please.

I think the Mormon Missionaries judged us for making our kids go to so many of their tours when they clearly wanted to throw rocks instead. Listen mormon missionaries. You can only count how many rocks we've thrown up to 10,000 and then you have to go somewhere else and talk to an adult!

Josh and I signed papers and finished up our refinance the day before leaving town. Then we did it again the day after leaving town. And the next day. And the next day. And the next. Our insurance agent, loan officer and title company are all on speed dial and they answer the phone "hi Amy". We know where the closest notary, printer, and overnight-shippers are (something the hotel staff does not know) and the people at the temporary fed-ex office would likely run the other way if they saw us walking down the street. There are people all over this city who have likely heard an earful about "why the heck is that even ON the settlement statement?" because I've been shouting about it for nearly 48 hours. Please bless that our last signing really was our last.

And finally, if we ate everything in St. George that was recommended to us, we'd likely have to roll ourselves home. But I'll(or is it all?)-be-darned if we didn't try anyway.

Strangers I Love

There are a lot of people I know and love in this world and only a few I know and don't love.

But lately I've been noticing the people I don't know and do love.

Like "Lady" and "Guy". These are the crossing guards at the elementary school by our house and Tommy always knows we're "almost home" when we see "Lady? Hi Lady!" And he's always concerned when Lady isn't there. "Where'd she go Lady?" "Lady go home?" He always wants to know. The good news is that Lady is probably the most friendly human on the planet, and she waves at us EVERY time we drive past. Without fail. I love Lady. And Guy.

Then of course there are all of the people who see me struggling to carry all I'm carrying and do things for me. Like open doors, and lift the front of the limo stroller over the Everest sized curb. These people are most likely people I'll never see again, but they are incredibly kind to hook a sister up. This is funny to me because I distinctly remember the first time someone offered to help me to the car with my groceries. The kid was a pimple faced 14 year old boy who wore his pants around his knees. And he called me ma'am. And I swore I'd never shop there again because I was totally offended. But these days, I love Helper People.

There's also a whole category for people who feed me on a regular basis. Like the 12 year old who works at Subway and probably knows my order by heart but asks me every time anyway. Or the dude at Wendy's who simply can't understand why I want a salad and french fries so he always forgets my fries. I love Food People. Even when they get it wrong.

The Librarians might be my favorite of all. They still think it's cute when Tommy says goodbye to EVERY book as he puts it in the return slot. "Bye bye Bear. bye bye dragon. bye bye letters." and they stand there patiently waiting the entire time. Plus they let him help "beep beep" the books after story time. I love these ladies. And I assume they are this nice to everyone and have no idea that we're the same people every week - but maybe just maybe they love us too. No matter. I love Librarians.

This week there is a whole group of Hotel People who I love. Primarily the Housekeeping Staff  (is that the proper title for these angels in white uniforms?) Because in my world people who come to empty your trash cans, make your beds, and wipe off your counter tops are simply the greatest people on earth. That's to say nothing of the woman who singlhandedly feeds 28 people at once for 4 hours straight. All of whom want waffles. That lady should be twinkled. Like today. I love Hotel People.

What about you, who do you love? (did you just sing it? cuz I did. Thanks Bo Diddly. I love you too.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Travel Blog

Travelling makes for some incredibly awesome blog stories.

I could tell you about the drive down when I looked in the rearview mirror to see Tommy picking his nose in his sleep with both fingers.

Or the part of the drive when Tommy had a meltdown because his "fingers! dirty!!! ooooh no!!!!! sticky! help mommy! help!"

Or the part when we checked in at the hotel and Tommy immediately jumped on the beds until he realized he was the only one doing it, then started looking for Stella.

Or when we went to the Mongolian restaurant and the nice old lady scared the bejeebees out of my kid. Then cursed me in a foreign language because no matter how many times she told me to, I refused to balance my infant (in his carrier) precariously on the chair. Josh informed me (after nearly 5 minutes of her trying to explain to me that I needed to move him up there and me saying "no thank you") that part of mongolian culture is not putting babies on the floor. I was being incredibly disrespectful. Oops. Sorry nice old lady.

Or the part where we went swimming (Johnny's first time).

Or the many many battles we've had over whether or not it's time to stop throwing rocks at trees. Tommy votes no. Everybody else votes yes.

Or the sweet potato fries dipped in marshmallow sauce.

Or the hotel waffles for breakfast. (When I'm rich and famous I will definitely own one of those machines.)

Or the mortifying tantrums my child throws in public. And the people who think I should be significantly more embarrassed than I was.

Instead I'll just say, we're only 2 days into this vacation and it will only get better from here.

One thing I love about sharing a room with the kids

We're currently living in a hotel*.

Because we're on vacation.

A real vacation.

One where Josh took time off work.

For the first time since we went to Alaska....4 years ago. (Not counting "my wife just had a baby" vacation time.)

Anyway, one thing I love about sharing a room with ALL of my boys (even the little ones) is watching them sleep. And more importantly watching Josh snuggle them to sleep.

Also going to sleep ridiculously early because what else are you gonna do silently in a dark room filled with kids? (Blog. But it took me 2 days to figure that out.)

ANYWAY, Tommy will not be snuggled to sleep by me. Ever. He just gets crazier and crazier the closer I get to him. So we've never been sleeping buddies. It's strictly a father/son thing and I almost never get to see it happen.

But last night Josh snuggled up on the bed next to Tommy and Tommy curled in next to his dad the two facing each other. Josh fell asleep in roughly 0.3 seconds and Tommy quietly in his very best whisper voice started talking to himself while playing with daddy's face. "silly daddy. sleepy daddy. one eye? two eyes! nose. touch a-nose. (this is what we do to horses - touch a-nose) I loooooovvve you." He whispered. Then he closed his eyes and fell asleep.

Tonight Daddy's gigantic body is curled around Tommy's tiny body which is curled around Scout's tinier body. The three of them are forming the most adorable line of spooning I've ever seen.

All of that is adorable, but barely holds a candle to Johnny's beautiful sleeping-baby faces. Which I simply can't describe.

Is it creepy that I love watching babies sleep? Whatever, I gave birth to them...

*Unless you're a robber. Then we're currently living in our house just like always. Please don't steal our stuff - ok? Our neighbors will hear you and turn you in. I promise.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Stop Crying Johnny!

Tommy is starting to become quite the conversationalist.

He is honing his speaking skills and using more full sentences and having conversations more than one response long.

And my favorite of his current "go to" responses is "oooohhhhh cool".

Tommy: "dis at?" (while pointing to the thing he wants to know about "what is that?")
Me: "A giraffe."
Tommy: "A giraffe? oh!"
Me: "A giraffe."
Tommy: "oohhhhh coo!"

Me: "Whatcha doin'?"
Tommy: "watchee show! A bear! A show! Look mom, a-look!"
Me: "cool show."
Tommy: "ooohhhhh coo."

I can see his brain working and putting things together and it's so much fun to watch.

Another favorite is when he talks to or about Johnny.

Tommy: "I kiss a-head mommy! I kiss a-Johnny head!"
Me: "great job - did he like it?"
Tommy: "Johnny happy mom! Johnny so sad, Tommy kiss a-head. Johnny happy!"
John: "waaaahhhhh!!!"
Tommy: "uh-oh. Johnny sad. More kissing!"

But this morning took the cake. I set John down on the floor and put Tommy in his high chair for breakfast.

John (naturally) started crying.

Tommy put on his very most patient voice and loudly (without shouting) said "Stop cwying Johnny. Stop cuh-wying!"
Johnny: "waahhhh!"
Exasperated Tommy: "Uh. Johnny. Don't cwy. Stop cwying Johnny. Oh Johnny. It's OK. I luv-a you."
Johnny: Ridiculous giggles. The kind he only gets by tickle torture before bathtime.

Tommy really has become quite the helper and protector for his little brother. He insists on things happening in the right order by the right person.
First Johnny needs a bath, then and only then Tommy can have a bath.
Mom and Dad are the only ones allowed to hold John. Or look at John. Or talk to John. Or talk about John. Tommy panics when other people get too close. You know - like on the same planet.
When we wake up John in the morning, Tommy has to go in first and try to climb in the crib saying "Good MORneeen John" before I'm allowed in the room. It works out well since John is already smiling before I come in.

These brothers are adorable with each other, and I'm infinitely glad that they have each other.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Snuggling

When Tommy was a baby, he and Josh would take naps on the love sac together on a regular basis.

When I told Josh we were pregnant again, he was over the moon. And his first question was "do you think the new baby will nap with me on the love sac like Tommy used to?

I was confident NBE would nap with him, but as it turns out Josh has had very little time to nap and it's only happened a couple of times.

But tonight Josh got his old napping buddy back after Tommy woke up in the middle of the night needing Daddy. The two of them put each other back to sleep before anybody even knew what happened.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

One thing I love about my rocking chair

When we were buying stuff because we were going to have a baby, I sortof demanded a rocking chair.

I pictured myself sitting up with the baby at night rocking back and forth back and forth back and forth and singing about how I'd love him forever and like him for always.

I was fairly certain that the rocking chair would be magic, and my son would love it as much as I did. And when he turned 35 he'd come home and beg me to let him sit on my lap while I rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

I spent roughly 10 million hours in that chair, in the early morning, in the middle of the night, during the long and lazy afternoons. I rocked him to sleep and I woke him up in that chair.

And I loved it. And I've never regretted buying that chair.

But when John was on the way, there was no more room in the boys' room for a chair, so it became a living room chair. And Tommy (and I) fell in love with it all over again.

video

Spring

I swear I'm not one of those people who thinks that the first sunny day in 6 months means that spring is here.

I'm confident that it will snow again.

And I know they don't open the pool for 2 more months.

But still

It looks like spring...
A beautiful afternoon at temple square playing in the water (shhh! don't tell!) and soaking in the sunshine.


It smells like spring...
Fresh grilled pineapple. Try not to drool on the keyboard.

And my washing machine is inexplicably fully of sand...
OK, maybe it's explicable. :)

So...I'm calling it Spring even if it does snow next week.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Slave Labor


Listen, I'm not sayin' that we make enormous messes and then make our 2-year-old do all of the dishes.

But I'm also not sayin' we don't.

Don't worry, we also let him play with boxes.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

John Eats

Now that John's all old and junk, we thought we'd try to feed him. 

And he tried to hug it, like this.

And then he showed us how much he liked it. THISSSSS much!

OK that's not true. He sortof gagged on it. 
Then barfed. 
Then somebody overreacted and it startled him. And that's why he looks like he's trying to take off. 

This is a much more accurate representation.

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