Sunday, August 29, 2010

It's All Worth It

If a normal picture is worth a thousand words, then this picture is worth at least 10, 000! Before bedtime last night Abe was playing hide and seek with Faith and Cannon. As he would get close to finding them they would scream in anticipation of being found with sheer delight. They were so fun and I loved watching Abe play with them. Dads play with children in such a different way from moms. Faith got "found" in the pantry!Ooh, that was a tricky hiding spot! Kind of a scary face there, Faith.

On a side note-- I did go to church today and it was wonderful to be with ward friends and enjoy the good spirit there.

Nerf Wars

Clark woke up early on Saturday morning. He cleaned up the WHOLE house-- including the scary dungeon basement. He called up a bunch of friends and asked them to bring their nerf guns and come over to film a nerf war movie. He planned out all the scenes and Abe got out some CDs to pick out the soundtrack for the movie. Bethany and Elinor were tough guards. I love it when they scrounge up matching outfits. They can be very resourceful!

Here's the movie they made. There really was a story line and it was all very carefully planned and choreographed.The boys played a little touch football after a long afternoon of filming. It was a great day of play with great neighborhood friends.

Book Club Buddies

The little book club buddies are growing up. They've been playing together at least once a month for 6 years. Elinor was 1 year old when we started meeting together. And now are you ready for the sad news? This gorgeous lady is Christine. She and her family are moving to San Diego next week. She has added so much to our book club and my life. She introduced me to yoga, taught me to embroider a bit, to crochet a bit. She is classy and stylish, not because she wants to be better than anyone else, but just because she recognizes and loves beautiful things. She will be sorely missed, but I'm okay to go visit her in SD!Clark enjoyed his friend's new telescope. The summer months of book club are fun because we hold it at local neighborhood parks. The summer evenings are cool and delightful.

Backyard Campout 2010

Last weekend we did our annual backyard camp out. If you think you don't like camping, this might be the way for you to go. I must confess I am not a huge fan of camping at this point in my life. I'm pretty sure it has to do with bears and moose and the safety of my children. I hope it's not that I am a boring, unadventurous person, but I'm not ruling that out. Let me once again present the virtues of backyard camping:
1. clean bathrooms (compared to a latrine) in close proximity
2. warm running water
3. very little dirt
4. the refrigerator
5. no chance of children wandering off and getting lost
6. no bodies of water for children to risk drowning (kiddie pool doesn't count)
7. I can enjoy the campfire and ambiance-- and then retreat to my boudoir with George for a good night's sleep.

Will my more adventurous side ever resurface? Did I ever have an adventurous side? I don't know. For right now, the backyard camp out suits my needs quite nicely.
See! See what I mean about Cannon? Would you want to mess with him?
Faith also had a fun thing on the same evening. She's been invited to a Friday night movie club with the other little girls in the neighborhood. Most of the girls are a year older than Faith, but since there aren't any girls her age, we are grateful they include her.As I said earlier, the backyard camp out fills my need for the great outdoors, but perhaps this young lad would enjoy a bit more adventure. That's what Boy Scouts is for, right?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Don't Worry, Be Happy

George was four weeks old yesterday. He's doing fantastic. But I'll be honest with you, there has definitely been some crying at our house over the past month. It's mostly coming from these two little sweeties, but I'll admit I've done my fair share and the other kids have contributed a bit as well. It takes some time to adjust to a new member of the family. Thankfully Abe has been beyond patient and helpful.
Moms are in the business of care giving. It's what we do-- we take care of our people. We try to make sure everyone's needs are met. As my Aunt Carolyn says, we are constantly taking our kids' emotional temperatures. Watching for signs that that one may need an encouraging word and a hug, reminding another to speak kindly, knowing that one needs a nap, trying to remember the last time that one ate. It's our job to help everyone be happy by caring and nurturing them.
It is very hard for me to watch my people feeling unhappy and not be able to meet their needs, because only time and working through the adjustment period will fix what's "wrong" right now. Not that I think we should always fix things for them, but it's sad to see them sad. Not that every moment has been horrendous--it hasn't, but a few more horrendous moments than usual. And now I am officially rambling and can't catch my train of thoughts. Sorry-- it's late.
I have more fun pictures to put up, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.
Oh, I just caught the thought train I was on at first-- my point was that TODAY was a great day! My people were all very happy all day today. Everyone's emotional temperature was healthy and it was WONDERFUL and I was so happy!!!! I felt capable of dealing with life today-- HOORAY! We shall see what tomorrow brings as I am planning to take George to church for the first time. Wish us luck!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Different Kind of Back to School Night

Tonight was back to school night at our house. It was our first day of "doing school".
But since there is no new teacher to meet, we celebrated back to school with a Chipmunk movie and ice cream. I know, I know-- our commitment to academic excellence is impressive. As you might imagine, without the excitement of a new classroom, new clothes, and a new teacher-- "back to school" is not what the kids were looking forward to. I felt we needed to do something fun. That being said, at least two of the three oldest admitted to me that they liked doing their school work. I secretly believe the other one does too, but I get in trouble if I voice that.

George is doing great. He is a very calm baby who sleeps for long stretches at night. Need I say more? I am enjoying him so much. If only I could just sit and hold him and ignore all my other responsibilities. Oh wait, that is pretty much what I've been doing for the last three weeks. It's been glorious. Well, the holding the baby part has been glorious. How dare the other children continue to have needs??? We're all adjusting. When I was pregnant with Clark my doctor gave me great advice, "Expect chaos for six weeks". He assured me that things would feel normal again after six weeks. I've found this to be true for each baby. So the way I figure it, we're half way to normal again! (George is 3 weeks!)

Cannon continues to keep things exciting around here. He keeps someone laughing or crying at all times. Except when we don't know where he is and then we all stop what we're doing to find him--usually destroying Clark's lego creations or hiding away with one of George's pacifiers. Good thing he is so charming that we can't resist him. Perhaps that's part of the problem?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Proud Former ScoutMaster

I (Abe here) served for over 2 1/2 years as a ScoutMaster and then as a Varsity Coach to a great group of young men while we lived in Bluffdale. Here I am with my former right-hand-man (Assistant ScoutMaster) and friend, Breagan Webb (on the far right), and four of our former scouts between us. The guy in uniform to my immediate right received his Eagle Scout award tonight (he is 18 years old.....kind of pushing it age-wise aren't we Cameron) and the other three have all previously attained Eagle as well (2 while I was directly over them). I have proudly been there for each one of them.

Working with those guys was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Day Out and About

At the Cannon family reunion today they had a couple of games for the kiddos. I'm so proud to say that Bethany and Elinor SMEARED the competition in the 3-legged race. They won last year at Abe's summer work party as well. They are the same size and both very coordinated, so they are seriously speedy-- and just a little competitive!
But Clark gets the good sportsmanship award. What a nice brother!
The kids had fun playing volleyball with their 3rd cousins.
Clark found his name on the family tree chart.
Elinor is at that super cute phase when tons of teeth fall out within a couple of months. She's keeping the tooth fairy on her toes. Here's to hoping they all come in straight!
Bethany and Elinor with Great Aunt Mary. She is the cutest, sweetest lady. She is one of my grandpa, Glen Cannon's, sisters. She is also the mother of the new general primary president, Rosemary Wixom.
We went to a wedding reception this evening for a family friend. We snapped this family picture and I have to say, it is shocking to me to see how many people are in this picture! I realize it is my life and I live it everyday, but to see us all together in a picture, it just looks like a lot of people. Abe grew up in a much larger family than I did, so perhaps it is not so shocking to him. That being said, he is having a lot of trouble calling children by their correct names.
The wedding was for the oldest sister of some good friends of Clark's. He had a really fun time hanging out with his friends there.

This was our first family day out and about with little George. It was good, but I'm quite worn out from all the excitement. I'll enjoy my day of rest tomorrow.

Cannon Appreciation Day

I've decided to make this post a Cannon appreciation post. It's hard for a two-year old to get a new little brother. Here's to remind myself what a magnificent little guy Cannon is.
Clark was a good sport to let Cannon maul him. I liked it when Cannon sat on Clark's back and used Clark's ears to "fly the airplane".
The boy of many hairstyles. A little bit of product and hairspray can go a long way.
We went to a very extended Cannon family reunion today. Here is Cannon playing at the park.
He climbed to the top of a big grassy hill. The triumph! And a little bit scary.
Cannon LOVES, LOVES, LOVES George. There is so much love that George needs protection from all the love that Cannon has for him. When I nurse George, Cannon comes over and lays his floppy blond curls on George's head and says, "uv oo"- which translates to "love you".

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Confiscation Requests

Hello Friends,
I am begging someone--anyone-- to come to my house and confiscate the following items. They are reaking havoc on an already fragile home-life.

1. The chocolate. Take it away. All of it. The dark chocolate out of the freezer. The bags of chocolate chips in the basement. The freaking cocoa powder! The hot chocolate mix. Take it away. I cannot be trusted with it and I obviously have a complete lack of judgment.

2. All of the artsy/crafty supplies. Most especially the construction paper and perler beads (count yourself lucky if you don't know what those are). The girls are BIG TIME into creative (messy) projects right now. Jeez, why can't they just veg out in front of the TV? Oh, that's right--I won't let them.

3. The spiders. Clark keeps telling me about the "humongous spiders" he's finding in his dungeon/cave/bedroom in the basement. I have a pretty serious spider phobia, which I am proud/sad to say I'm passing on to my children. Even Cannon holds up both hands, wiggles his fingers and says, "Ider"!
I'm feeling anxiety about going down to the basement to get a can of soup.

4. The vegetable oil. Yes, please come take our vegetable oil away. Since I'm occupied with nursing a new baby for several hours of the day, the older kids are having their way in the kitchen. Truth be told, I did beg Bethany to make me some brownies today. I told you, I'm a desperate woman. Clark has made us french toast. But here's the problem, they've seen me put a bit of vegetable oil in the pan when I cook. What they didn't understand was it was just a light coating. They are pouring massive amounts of oil into their pans, rendering the food they've prepared somewhat inedible. But thank you for trying.

5. The gummi bear vitamins. I use to let the kids help themselves to 2 gummi vitamins a day. Strangely, they were disappearing way faster than they should have. Imagine that. So I instituted a new rule that you could only have your gummi vitamins when I personally handed them to you. You are not to touch that bottle at all. Like I said, I'm a little busy with the baby and they all keep asking numerous times a day if they can have their vitamin. But I've forbidden anyone to touch the bottle, and I can't usually get up and get it when they ask, so instead I am fielding the question about 15 times a day-- "Can I have my gummi?"
CURSE THE GUMMI VITAMINS! And when did my children become so health conscience all of a sudden? Go eat your oil soaked brownie!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Out of the Frying Pan

Out of the frying pan and into the fire!
Just as soon as my body starts to feel a bit more normal, my emotions go HAYWIRE!
The good news? This seems to be par for the course for me postpartum. The first week is a bit of "la la land", enjoying the miracle of the new baby--seeing what they look like, getting high on the smell of a new born baby, getting spoiled at the hospital and having all the time you want to just sit and hold the baby. The next week things get a bit hairier.
Then the emotions go wild. Laughing one minute, raging ticked off the next, resentful of past grievances the next, cooing over the baby the next, crying the next. I am exhausted today of my own emotions and I know my family is avoiding me--with good reason. I am unpredictable. I am scary.
I am putting this out there for the world to see in the hopes that I can steady myself by thinking it through enough to write about it. Like I said, this is pretty normal for me. I haven't suffered much in the way of long term "baby blues" with any of my babies. But the short term--- YIKES--- be afraid, be very afraid.
Besides little neighborhood walk-abouts, I haven't left the house all week. It was time.
Abe and I wanted to test out our new car set-up. No, there is no new car, but we did get another 3-person bench to replace our captains' chairs. So here are all my people in the 8 seater mini-van. I am now starting to fantasize about a HUGE 15 passenger van. I don't want to birth enough people to fill it-- although it appears we are well on our way! I just would like to be able to transport all of my people and a few friends along the way.
I won't name names, but I'm not the only grouchy one in the family these days. This person, who shall remain nameless, but whom you all know anyway, described the first family outing in the suped up swagger wagon as "boring and squishy". Whatever. I suppose it is a little squishy for them, but it's not that often that we all go somewhere together so we'll make it do.
One more thing to note for the day. Elinor got a "new" bike yesterday. New, as in, new to her. She's been riding the same bike since she got it when she was FOUR! Now she is a ginormous seven year old and she looked rather comical pedaling like a mad woman to make the little bike go fast enough to keep up with the other kids. All the kids have functioning bicycles right now and they've discovered the joy and independence of the neighborhood bike ride. Hooray for me--- uh, I mean them.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Left to Their Own Devices

Tomorrow George will be one week old. I am ready to take back the reins of this blog and my facebook account. Abe did such a good job of handling the "public relations" concerning George's birth. He has been a serious super dad taking care of the kids and the house and me. Yesterday afternoon he retreated upstairs to the bedroom to lay down saying, "I just need to be by myself for a while. The kids are always around!"
Nice for us moms to hear that! We decided that it would be best for everyone for him to return to work today. I called him a bit ago and he sounds very relaxed!
So I'm flying solo today. So far so good. This George seems to be a very calm baby.
In the absence of a very involved mother this week, the other children have occupied themselves quite well.
This little cutie is behaving pretty much as you would expect a two year old to react to the addition of a new baby in the house. There is more crying, screaming, growling and violence (on his part) than usual. But the kids are trying to be extra nice to him and he's as funny as ever.
The ladies of the house are planning their Halloween costumes and creating beautiful fairy costumes. Let's see if I can get this right: Bethany is a Water fairy, Elinor is a Sun fairy and Faith is a Winter fairy. In their spare moments they want to hold George every chance they get.
It's been about a month since we've had any significant rainfall, but we've had some downpours the last couple of days. I loved doing this when I was a kid.
The kids set up a "school" in the garage. Their school believes in corporal punishment. I don't know quite what to make of that. A lot of the neighborhood children have gone back to school on a year-round track. Are my children trying to tell me they are ready for more structure again?
Sorry guys, I need a few more weeks.
Clark needed a break from the girls and the house yesterday, so he headed off on his bike for a solo trip to the library. This is VERY good for him. He came home with reptile books--surprise, surprise.
A couple days back Abe went on a ride to the library with the kids--minus Faith and Cannon. I cracked up at the selection of materials Abe and Clark brought home. VERY DIFFERENT from what I would have picked. This isn't bad at all, it was just funny to me. Three DVDs of "The Twilight Zone"? Good thing they have a mom and a dad.
And of course, the headliner for the week-- George Russell is doing very well. I don't want to jinx myself, but he slept phenomenally well last night-- thus my brain is clear enough to write semi-coherent sentences. I am feeling VERY grateful for the delicious dinners my neighbors have brought for my people to eat. We are easing back into functionality, but of course, one never wants to rush such things.

Monday, August 2, 2010

George comes Home!!

We came home yesterday and had a wonderful first evening together. THANK YOU Grandma and Grandpa Cannon for watching the kids while we were gone.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

One more George-hit before we leave....

Bets and I will be heading home from the hospital soon.....and it has been wonderful. Hopefully, all went well with Grandpa and Grandma Cannon and the kids getting to 9 a.m. church this morning. Here is one more set of pictures of George-ee: