Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Things to remember

1. Autumn time
Every day the boys and I walk about half a mile up the road to get Jacob from school. The street, like the streets in this part of Maryland, winds through jungly forests on both sides. We come home most days with a stroller basket full of natural treasures and at least two larger sticks. When I remember autumn here, I will remember these boys, with smiles like this, poking around in nature:

2. Precious Michael
When I remember this sweet boy as a two-year-old, I will think of his excitement at his second birthday party, which was actually the first time that he's been the center of attention for such a length of time and for so many people (bless those third children!). I hope that I don't forget his "tactile stage," when he has slyly managed to paint most of his body in 1) softened butter, 2) peanut butter, 3) applesauce, 4) caramel dip, 5) pancake syrup, and 6) red paint, all in two weeks' time.

And of course I hope that I can always recall his cheery confidence when he has exclaimed, "I'm strong!":
video

3. Family fun
When my sister came up for a week, we went to see Fort McHenry, Arlington, and D.C.
My favorite picture of her visit, though, is from a soccer game. After I saw what she was wearing, I knew exactly what I would put on! I laugh every time I remember her surprise. What fun we had!

4. Growing lads
I won't soon forget the adorable line-up of five-year-olds who play tee ball with Jacob. I hope that I can remember him blossoming with all these new skills.We even decided that he was old enough to go on a Daddy date to New York City, which I hope that they both remember well.
Zachary's growing up too, serving as the "boy of the house" while Jacob is at school. Today we went to the B & O Railroad Museum, a young boy's paradise! His and Michael's enthusiasm made my day.
This darling is developing so quickly that I almost feel like I've missed his infancy. He's a baby now, smiling and "talking" with us.

It helps me to reflect on what we've done and to think about our happy sons. It makes me feel less overwhelmed and more adequate, which is also a good thing to remember.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Toothpaste in my hair and men's cologne on my neck

It seems, my dears, that the exhaustion is adding up. Yesterday, while rushing out the door to take one child to school and three to the pediatrician's, I managed to smear kids' Aquafresh in my newly flat-ironed hair. Classy! And since we were running justexactlyontime, most of the paste stayed in my hair throughout the office visit (read: until the next morning when I showered).

Later on while I was stumbling out to take out the recycling, I noticed a Macy's catalog. Macy's! And there was a fragrance sample inside--doubly wonderful! So I smeared the sample all over myself only to realize that the woman on the advertisement wasn't actually a woman who would wear the fragrance; she was the girl that a fellow could attract if he were wearing the cologne.

It gets even better, folks. I also neglected to add my young son to our insurance policy in the 30-day grace period, which apparently was also not enough time for me to pay our electric bill:
Seriously?

The other day as I was pushing the crew through the grocery store, Incredulous Store Worker informed me that my oldest and brightest had secured a plastic bag over his head. She looked at me with an expression that I've come to expect: it's the one that says, "Lady, are you out of your mind?"

And for the first time, I wondered, "Maybe she's right?"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Bridges

Earlier this summer we built a balsa wood bridge, but we never got around to testing it. With a beautiful September day ahead of us and a household of restless boys, we decided that today was the day. After setting up an initial twenty pounds or so, we started adding more
and more! It finally collapsed at 103.5 pounds. Jacob was impressed at the lightweight bridge's strength.
Jacob: "It can hold even more than an ant! This is certainly a world record!"
Amy: "Do you think they'll put us on the news?"
Jacob: "Oh, yes! We need to call the mailman...and the cameraman!"

We also constructed some fun gumdrop and toothpick bridges to test.Dad's design could hold 16 marbles,
and so could Jacob's.
Zachary's webbish bridge could hold 20 marbles and a backhoe.
video
And Adam could hold at least eight marbles (Michael tested him).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day weekend with the fam

Last week I asked what we should do for Labor Day. "You know, something to really commemorate the holiday," I said. "Honestly, what do people do to celebrate Labor Day? Write thank-you notes to coal miners or something?"
No one really seemed interested in that idea, so this is what we did instead:

Saturday: Eric brought his parents and youngest brother for a glance around Baltimore. Nana had been in town to help us out for a week (hooray!). Then Grandpa and Uncle Sam flew in for the weekend (double hooray!). Here Sam and the big boys check out the Inner Harbor:
Later on we enjoyed dinner at my parents' house, topped off by an adrenaline-pumping BYU game in which the Cougs upset Oklahoma! With the Utes' 2008 season and this big win for BYU, good things are happening for the Mountain West Conference. How could you top a summer BBQ and BYU football? Great night!
Sunday: We had Eric's and my family over and then attended Adam's baby blessing at church together. Here the man of the hour gets spruced up for the day:
Unfortunately, I did not digitally capture his adorableness in his blessing outfit--oops! At least we remembered to get a shot of the relatives, who looked lovely despite an unfortunate lighting situation:
What joy to have both sets of grandparents and plenty of uncles and aunts attend! You're so loved, little Adam!

Monday: first we played some softball and enjoyed a neighborhood park.
Later we felled this pine tree, which I guess was about as close as we got to fittingly celebrating the holiday.
Going,
going,
(goofing),
gone!
video
I'm convinced that all postpartum recovery plans should include some type of lumberjack regimen. It felt incredible to work outside! My sister Michelle was happy to tend Adam for most of the afternoon:
The other boys helped move branches:
After a little post-shower relaxation, we headed home again. So I guess this means that summer's closing up? So long! It's been fun.