Thursday, July 21, 2016

Lego Zone

Yesterday it began, today it continued. After a month and a half of summer boredom, their creativity finally kicked in! They've been in the Lego Zone for a solid 24 hours, playing and playing and playing legos downstairs. Listening to Imagine Dragons and the Killers, it's great. Even Owen is getting in on the fun.
He does pretty good... If he has his binky in, the legos stay out. Sometimes he gets unplugged, but we're keeping an eye on him. It's been super cute, he does what he sees them doing, which appears to be using your hands to mix up legos in the bin and on the floor. Seems simple enough, plus it makes a fun sound!
I think I might have helped with their creativity success, by once again using my amazing lego sorting abilities to find tons of good pieces. I spent a good 4 hours yesterday playing with them and found all the pink and purple and other girl colored "friend" lego pieces. With that, Mel built Lily a really cute pet shop.
The other kids have been working on their own houses and minifigure families and have been playing house. It does throw me off everytime their minifigures are calling "Mom! Mom!" and I say "What?" and they say "not you!" Funny. So here is some of Hyrum's house. Everyone is over there enjoying a Brazilian rodizio in their open air bbq area. 
Totally reminded me of the Martin's bbq patio, nice! Pretty cool tree house too!
Here is their first floor - a pool there in the back left, all the minifigures are enjoying some family time on the grass.
I looked at the kid's bedroom... Four bunk beds, wow ~ "They've got a lot of kids!"
Hyrum replied "Yeah..." He paused for a moment then said "...and the Mom's expecting..." That made me laugh out loud. "Does she have a tummy?" I was interested in seeing how they swung a pregnant minifigure. "Is she showing? Can I see the mom?" Here she is. She does not look pregnant to me, but they said there is a little bit of a line there for her tummy (kinda hard to see with the teeth marks... "Don't bite the legos!") but I think that line is trying to define part of her female chest, not her womb. But I'll let you pretend your lego mom is expecting, they make me laugh
They've been playing nicely for hours, even Natalie isn't "bugging" them or "messing up" their game.
Owen, what do you think? Do you like legos?
Here is another bunk bed in Wesley's house. Another house with lots of kids! That's the boys room.
And Wes' family has a killer tree house and play area in the back yard, even a tunnel slide. I think the tree house was worthy of being featured on the minifigure Treehouse Masters tv show.
Have you ever seen that show? The kids and I dream of having a treehouse like that in the back yard! We might not be able to make it happen until we've got grandkids, but it's on my list: we're gonna have an awesome tree house back there someday!

So, we're all having a good summer day - not doing a lot of housework this week (I haven't been following through with the chore board) but lots of playing. And that's okay.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Little Pets

The kids are having fun watching the caterpillars. We had a few leaves with eggs that were contenders, and once any of them did hatch, we put them in their own plate on their own leaf so we can try to keep track of them. When they got a bit bigger, we put them on a bigger plant. We've got a magnifying that we keep by them so we can see them better.
Four of our caterpillars died already, so I've been doing a bit of butterfly research. I don't think we've had that many die before, but according to this website, they still have a better chance with us than they do in the wild, where only 2 to 5 out of 100 eggs will make it to butterflies. Appears it's a dangerous world out there for a bug - here's a list of 7 common killers. I have seen spiders on the milkweed, and I brush them off, but have been keeping an eye on them cause I do want to bring the eggs in before the spiders get them. I've seen some eggs that don't hatch but haven't seen any wasps emerge, #5 on that list of killers (how in the world does a wasp find a caterpillar egg anyway?) So I want to bring them in as soon as I find them, but then I'm also worried that the leaves will get too dry and maybe they will be dehydrated (killer #6). So over the weekend I was dreaming about that poor doe that got hit, and now I'm dreaming about caterpillars dying.

Ethan was also telling Corey and I on Monday night that he's ready for a pet dog. I said no, but never got around to giving my reasons, cause he just started giving his reasons of why it will be okay - "I'll take care of it! I'll buy it's food!" Yeah, been there, done that. We were lucky to be able to get out of having a dog once, we don't want to do that to a dog. We would not be good dog owners. We can keep the guinea pigs cause they're low maintenance, but no dogs, cause I don't trust you little ones to take care of it, and I don't want to have to take care of it until I'm done raising little children. And since we got another one of those coming in less than two months, I'm assuming any possibility of a dog is atleast 8 years away. Sorry buddy.

Abi was really sad about Chloe a few days ago. She was crying she was so sad, begging us to go take her back. NO. We would not do that to our friends, or to Chloe. The Nelsons are much better dog people than we could ever be. Kinda weird that Abi was talking about Chloe before Ethan brought it up getting a dog... perhaps desires for a pet come with summer boredom? So we did a skype call with her and after that Abi seemed to be okay. Phew.
Just looked at the date of the photo - This was on July 5th. But still doesn't matter how much they cry or want a dog, it's not going to happen. We were lucky to get out of my first impulse puppy purchase, I'm on solid ground now and will not make that mistake again, our family can't do dogs right now or for a long time. Talk to me in 10 years, kids. And you also have my blessing to have one when you have your own home and life.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Flowers and Deer

The deer have been eating our roses again this year. One morning I went on a walk, the roses were there when I left and all gone when I got back an hour later. Good news is that I saw a poor dead baby dear early on this summer, and I thought how sad I would be to lose my baby, the least I can do for the grieving mother is let her eat my flowers now and then. So I've got a little bit of a softer heart this time around. Two years ago I was pretty ticked, last summer we were gone in Brazil during the big first blooming and then I was inside with a newborn, so I didn't notice their floral destruction last year. And this year, it's okay. I say hello and "you are beautiful" to any little rose bud that happens to survive their breakfast meal, and then we all go on with our day. Look! We got one!
Hello lovely rose! 
I give it a touch and smell it with a sigh, and then go on my walk. When I came home.... there they were, heading down to our house. Hello, deer... I see you!
It is pretty fun having deer neighbors. Although, sad story, on Friday night (July 15th) when Corey and I were driving home from our date, as we came up Wasatch there was a doe that had just been hit but wasn't killed - it looked like it was sitting in the street. But then it tried to stand up but couldn't, it's legs just flapped around below it like ninja nunchucks when it tried unsuccessfully to move- it's back legs were totally busted. A guy swerved and just missed it but then a girl driving behind him hit it. They were all pulled over and watching the doe. We pulled over, just feeling like we had to do something to help the deer, so sad! Cars were still coming by, it was dark, it almost got hit again. We put on our hazard lights, cars started to slow down, I kinda directed traffic around the deer as we tried to think of how to help it get off the road. I was thinking Corey and the guy who almost hit it could maybe help it together, but when they got close it freaked out and tried to cross the road, pulling it with it's front legs. It was painful to watch, but not as painful as I'm sure it was for the deer. It almost got hit a few times but it kept trying and eventually got itself off the road and over to where we were parked, where it pulled itself into the brush. It was so sad!!! The guy left, traffic resumed normal speed, and we stayed there with the girls for 20 or so minutes until the police came. "So you were in the car that hit the deer?" He asked the girls. "And your are the parents?" he said to us. No, just passer-bys trying to help a little. (Did we look old enough to be parents of 18 year olds? I guess Joseph is almost there, so maybe. Or maybe we look older in the dark, ha.) So I was thinking about the poor deer the rest of the night and most of the next morning, told the kids about it. They would have been bawling, I almost started to cry, but was able to keep the tears back by just saying "poor deer!" over and over again and praying for it to not suffer long. Animals suffer alot, yet there was no complaining or screaming, it was just quiet and endured the pain of getting hit. I'm not sure what happened after that, but they don't just let it stay there hurt do they? I'm assuming they kill the deer, right? Probably shoot it to put it out of it's misery? Cause I'm positive they don't take it to the vet or anything. Sad, but what do you do. So, drive slowly, watch out for deer. And I do not plan on trying to grow a vegetable or flower garden anytime soon, our yard doesn't get enough sun with the pine trees anyway. So deer, you are welcome to our plants.
Atleast until all the kids are grown and we're empty nesters... by that time, I might try again to take up gardening as a hobby, so we'll have to figure out an arrangement that will make everyone happy when that time comes, but until then, bon appetite to our roses and raspberry bush and whatever else you find. My life is pretty good compared to yours, so I should share.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Growing Up

Owen is doing some early training to help him be ready to be a teenager. He likes to throw a baby fit until Ethan hands over his phone and then Owen intently holds it, just like he sees them doing.
Yep Owen, that's how you do it. Put you little thumbs on the screen and touch it as your eyes glaze over and you go into a trance, oblivious to any conversations going on or other people in the room. That's step 1 to being a proper 21st century teen.
Seeing those little hands holding the all important smart phone, the eyes gazing down with great focus, funny little man... we all thought it was pretty darn cute. But as I've said before, anything Owen does is cute.
He's also been walking up a storm. He's pretty much on the loose now, it's fun.

Another note, from that video there, you'll notice a little girl dressed up as tinkerbell. That is Natalie. When Owen progressed to toddling a few weeks ago, Natalie decided to digressed and for a good part of the day will act like an infant that doesn't speak English. I guess she's trying to capture her last few moments of infanthood before she gets bumped even more out of the baby of the family position.
She's getting bumped from youngest toddler position too, poor thing! Before she knows it she'll be toilet training. I guess it's time to grow up little girl! She makes a cute little tinkerbell. Abi dressed her up (Abi is the family fashionista and stylist). This was like the first time ever that she's let us do anything to her hair. I was looking through our family pictures recently, and I realized I was quite fortunate she let me curl it for those photos. We're lucky she's got some natural curls.

Friday, July 15, 2016

On a Jet Plane

Well, today Joseph headed off for the British Isles. He's got a tour with his band, The Inevitables, and will be gone for over two weeks. He gets back on the 31st, which is when we head up for a week in Park City with Corey's family. And after Park City, it's just a week and a half until school starts!! Is the summer already over? I'm not ready for another school year, it's all going to quickly. (Life with these children, that is, not the pregnancy.) No need to worry Tiff, we'll cross that bridge when we get there. Ok, so, yeah, Joseph's left on tour. He's flying high in the air right now. Corey dropped him off a the airport at 8:30, hit flight left at 11.  
He said he'll text us some pics now and then. I told him he should see, during his free time one day (although he won't really have much free time), if he can go around Stockport and look for some Hibbert ancestor sites. I still gotta ask my dad and find any that Joseph could try to visit. Fun though, I've never been to England. I think Joseph is the most well traveled kid in our family, and if you throw Corey and I in the mix, he's right behind Corey. Kinda fun, have a great time Joseph!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Caterpillar Eggs

The first time we had caterpillars was our first summer here in 2011. We had them again in 2012 and 2013, and we've had a break since then, until now. I know how to spot milkweed but haven't stopped to pick any. 4 years ago we scattered a bunch of seeds around our yard and this year they are finally producing plants for Monarchs. We've been careful not to pull them when we're doing yard work, Melodie even put a little circle of rocks around them to identify them and keep them safe. Yesterday during dinner, Melodie noticed a monarch flying around one of our little patches of milkweed. We gathered at the window to watch, and it looked like it might have laid an egg on it. This evening I went out to see if I could see any eggs. I picked off the leaves that I thought were possible contenders, and we've got 7 leaves in the window in the kitchen sink that we're gonna keep an eye on.
Four of them I'm positive are eggs. The other three I'm not so sure. So we'll see what happens!

~ Update 7:am Friday - 
Well I got atleast one right - we've got a baby caterpillar! This little guy hatched on the last leaf on the right. Happy Birthday, Caterpillar! 
It should be fun to watch them again as this summer begins to come to an end (we've only got a month left!! So sad.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tags

Owen likes tags. He is my first baby that has been in love with them. When I put him down for a nap or when we're rocking him and want to help him relax, we get one of his aden and anais blankets and are sure to give him the corner that has the tags.
He might be my first baby obsessed with tags. This is probably because this is the first time I've had a blanket with good tags on a corner to give my baby. Have muslin blankets been around forever? Cause I didn't know about them until baby 10. I first noticed two mothers at church that had their babies wrapped up in these large but thin blankets that just looked so awesome. I asked what brand they were, but the name didn't register, I didn't know how to spell it and couldn't picture it, thus it went in one ear and out the other and I felt stupid asking her twice. Then I saw them again with another friend when she came to visit at our house (baby to the left of me) <-- a="" aden="" again="" anais="" and="" are="" at="" awesome="" baby="" blanket="" brand="" but="" cause="" christmas.="" comfort="" d="" days="" did="" didn="" doesn="" early="" eyes="" find="" fine="" for="" found="" from="" get="" gifts="" google="" got="" great="" have="" having="" he="" heard="" hunt="" i="" in="" just="" know="" kohls="" later="" letting="" like="" little="" m="" me="" more="" muslin="" my="" needed="" never="" newborns="" next="" nice="" nock="" now="" of="" off="" on.="" on="" one="" ones="" online="" only="" ordered="" owen="" peek="" plus="" re="" ready="" royals="" see="" snuck="" so="" some="" summer="" sweet="" t="" tag.="" tags="" target="" that="" the="" them.="" them="" then="" they="" thin="" those="" thus="" time="" to="" use="" ve="" walmart="" warm="" was="" we="" what="" why="" with="" wondering="" wrap="">loves
the tags on them and we think it is really cute. (well of course we do, cause everything he does is cute!)
And YOU are cute, Owen. And so is Mel, and little Sophi with her eye patch. I almost forgot to make her wear it one day, but that was it and I've almost got it down to a habit, I have the patches in the kitchen and we put it on first thing in the morning for two hours (usually longer cause she'll be playing and time passes and I don't see her again until lunch and I'm like "ah! sorry Sophi! you can take that off now!" and she is just a sweetheart and hasn't complained once, such a humble and obedient little girl. I love my kids, being a mom is the best, I just wish I didn't have to be pregnant to have kids. Pregnancy is not my favorite, but it will be worth it. We're excited to meet this next baby in another two months~ almost there! (Right? two months, that is a short time, isn't it? Please tell me I'm almost there! I'm trying to convince myself... hang in there self - just 10 more weeks!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Little Mermaids

Yesterday we went swimming at a neighbor's house. I didn't feel like getting in the pool, so I really appreciated how sweet the older kids were at taking care of their younger siblings.
After about an hour of swimming, our neighbor's daughter Jane asked for her mermaid tail.  "Mermaid tail?" Those with ears to hear were very excited to see a mermaid tail at work in the pool. Jane swam around like a little fish. They had a larger tail too that Abi tried on. WOW ~ it was everything she'd dreamed of!
Her brother's looked on with envy... 
"We want to try!!" After a swim about the pool, Abi let them have a turn. I didn't get a picture of Hyrum, but he said it was really hard to swim in it. And here is Wesley in all his merman glory!
Looking good Wes. I do think the mer-tails are more for looks than for anything else. Jane swam around for a while and then let the little kids try on her tail. Lily was first in line. 
Feeling like a mermaid. Then Natalie got a turn. She just sat there, feeling pretty amazing. 
Abi helped her get in the pool.
Soon Natalie was gracefully gliding about in the water, it was pretty cute! She was in mermaid heaven.
It was about time to go, but Sophi still needed a turn, and she had been so patient. So we endured Natalie's weeping and wailing while Sophi swam around. I think she makes a super cute little fish!
Natalie was pretty sad, which was cute too. I can understand how important and special being a mermaid must be to a two year old. So we broke protocol and after Sophi was done with her 10 minutes, peace returned to the pool as Natalie got a second turn. Wesley pulled her around.
Sophi and Natalie both made pretty cute little mermaids. And mermaid tails are now on the list of "wants" for a few of these kids. And that is okay, kids, your inexhaustible, unstoppable, repetitive, and nagging demands don't overwhelm me. And for fun, let's just go over that fun quote from the movie Hook ~

Captain Hook: You, the cute little urchin in the front row, won't you share your thoughts with the whole class? 
Maggie: Yes!I said mommy reads to us every night, because she LOVES us very much! 
Captain Hook: Loves you? Isn't that the, uh, the... 
Smee: The 'L' word, Captain. 
Captain Hook: Ooh, yes! [grimaces] No, child, Your mother wants to read to you every night in order to stupefy to sleep, so that she and daddy could sit down for three measly minutes without you. And your mindless, inexhaustible, unstoppable, repetitive, and nagging demands: He took my toy! She hit my bear! I want a potty! I want a cookie! I want to stay up! I want, I want, I want, me, me, me, me, mine, mine, mine, mine, now, now, now, now! Can't you understand, child? They tell you stories to shut you up. 
Smee: -And conk you out. 
Maggie: That's not true, Jack! [to Hook] You're a liar! 
Captain Hook: [laughs] Lie? Me? Never. The TRUTH is far too much fun.

Whenever they come with a new request for a new thing, I just tell them to write it down on their list - you can have it all! You just have to have it one at a time. :)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Cute Hat

So on Saturday I went shopping for presents for Natalie's birthday. In one store, as I walked toward the toy isle, I saw a little hat in the baby section that I just had to get it. By looking at it, and knowing what a big boy my Owen is, I didn't think it would fit him long, but we should be able to make good use of it through the summer. And then we'll save it for his little brother for next year. So check out this cuteness!
As soon as we put it on him we all squealed with delight at what a cute little man we have! So far he hasn't liked wearing hats, so we were all very happy when he kept it on. He eventually got a little tired of it and took it off at each kid attempt to put in on. Yesterday before church, the kids really wanted him to wear it, so we were lucky to start fresh with a new day. We put it on right before we walked out the door... and... no little hands reaching up to pull it off! Hurry Mom! Get a picture!!
Then he wore it into the car - Owen you're so CUTE!! Let me take another picture!
He got tired of it after a while, but wore it again when church was over, thanks to Wesley's "keep Owen's hands distracted" strategy of carrying Owen on his back. 
Back in the car. He was looking a little sleepy... or maybe it's the heat?
Back at home, Wes kept holding his favorite little brother. I liked Owen's crossed ankles.
Owen, trying to hold on and not give into slumber... He lasted for about 5 minutes...
Next time I walked by, they were both out. I love pictures like this, you guys are too cute!
 I love my boys!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Natalie is Three!

May I take this opportunity to wish happy birthday to the cutest three year old around.
I took this photo after church. I wanted to capture her in her favorite dress that will always remind me of her and is almost going to start being too small for her. Natalie has two modes of fashion: she's a princess in a dress, but occasionally runs around as a jungle child naked in a loin cloth (diaper). The latter is how she was dressed for bed last night. Thus how she was also dressed this morning as she came downstairs to the kitchen (a little too early I thought) and tole me "I want cake." My mom had brought over a birthday cake and presents last night.
"Don't you want to wait for candles and for everyone else? We need to sing happy birthday!" She didn't care, so I gave her a slice and then went to wake up the rest of the crew to see if they wanted some healthy cake for breakfast. They were a little slow to come. We sang a song but forgot the candle, and the new three year old was very happy.
And we're teaching her to say she is three and how to hold up three fingers - that's it, you got it!
You're not "a two" anymore, you're "a three"! So Natalie ate all the sprinkles off her slice and then pushed the plate toward me and asked for more. "You have cake..."  But it's her party, so I scraped off a little from the sides and gave her more "cake" which she accepted. She ate the whipped cream and sprinkles and then left to follow Abi and Lily, who had presents for her and were eager to teach here what a birthday is really all about. They played for a while, complained when I made them bathe and get ready for church... Natalie cried when I stopped her game to rinse her off in the tub. You'll survive. I broke a sweat blowing their hair dry - so hot!! I'd like to run around like a jungle princess myself sometimes ~ these hot summer days!

When we got home from church, Abi helped Natalie get dressed in the dress up clothes she got for her - a crown, wand, and fairy wings. Then she helped put on her high heels and fancy Natalie was ready to go.
Luckily I was able to change her out of her favorite dress before it got dirty - thanks to a new Elsa outfit from my mom. Soon Corey's parents came over with more gifts. The older kids, as always, were eager to help unwrap the gifts.
Natalie and Sophi both got a cute dress up set. Wes was checking out his good looks in the mirror as he combed his hair...
Then he and Abi really got into some funny character roles: Wes seems to be doing a Mr. Bean impression, Abi is just a fashionista.
I couldn't decide which was the best of these three photos, so here ya go with all three.
You kids crack me up. 
Wes and Abi were enjoying making fun of the dress ups, but for Sophi, this was legit. She really is a fashion queen, and it's about time she has an outfit that does her beauty justice.
And it's amazing to me that these little ones know how to pose their hips, hands and feet. Where do they learn that? Are they born with it? You look great Soph, but just so you know, you were beautiful before you had on those diamond earrings. But I understand how it's fun to really feel the part. Hollywood, here she comes!
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