On the Wall

This was a really hard topic for me. Do the kids drive me up the wall by bouncing off the walls? Sure. But on the wall? My walls are covered in fingerprints. The only other thing I could think of was being a fly on the wall. I love watching my boys play. I love when they play together, I love when they play alone, I love when they play with me. I love peeking into a room and seeing them reading books, building a train track, driving cars, or coloring. I would also like to be a fly on the wall to see how they manage to make a gigantic mess in the five seconds I am out of the room. They have serious skills.




When Alex first started eating solid foods, he couldn't handle anything big. We would break Cheerios into four pieces so he wouldn't choke on them. When he got a little older, he would have an apple as a snack after his afternoon nap each day. We would slice and peel it for him.

Edison didn't really get babied. He went straight to eating handfuls of food. He has had maybe three jars of baby food in his life. Alex still eats an apple every day but we no longer cut it. He prefers to eat it whole. And since Edison thinks he is the same as Alex, he also gets a big apple. He does a great job with it though. As long as I take the first bite, he will eat most of the apple. Both boys seem so grown up and I sometimes forget they are still just little kids who need me to be very patient with them.




Our experience with the Sonata started out really great then turned very sour. I went through a time when I would look at the car and feel so much anger. How can a car with 500 miles on it have internal engine failure?! I hated that car. But then Hyundai agreed to let us get a different Sonata and I was able to come around to liking it again.

I like it even more now because it is ours. That's right. Last month I wrote the final check for our car payment. Not only is the car paid off, but that makes us debt free! I am so excited about this.

The streets in Williston are filthy but we got it washed it Utah and I feel like it is so beautiful now. I love that Alex calls it a racecar. This car has seen a lot of miles already. It isn't even a year old yet and we've already driven it 25,000. We need to slow down or our warranty isn't going to last very long!




We are not getting a Christmas tree this year because we are leaving so early in December. I still have Christmas activities planned with the boys and I hope we will be able to make it a memorable Christmas season for the boys (or Alex at least). Our pretend tree will be this amazing advent calendar my mom made for me. It looks so similar to the one I grew up with and I love it. Also, I am the boss so I don't have to take turns with seven other kids. I could hang up the ornament every single day if I wanted. Or I could put them all up today. I can do whatever I want. Being the boss is awesome.



In the Cupboard

I remember when we used to have little kids over and we had to give them paper plates and cups because we didn't have any plastic dishes. We don't have that problem anymore. The collection of cups on the top shelf is because Sam buys a souvenir cup at every professional baseball and basketball game we go to. I used to fight it, but he actually uses them so I guess I am okay with it. Listen up, young people: Marriage is about letting your spouse buy pointless collections of things just because! I know, because I am clearly a marriage expert.




We drove for 14 hours today and we just got home and finished unpacking. I drove 10 of those 14 hours. Through some miracle, the roads were clear the entire drive so we made good time. Alex whispered during the last hour of the drive summarizing every movie he's ever seen in great detail. We spent most of the day looking at the Montana sky. It is good to be home. Except for the part where the Weather Channel tells me it is "1°, feels like -10°." Welcome to North Dakota. Brrrr.



A Sound I Heard

I heard a lot of happy squealing and laughing today. We were able to meet my sister in Salt Lake City while we were getting the oil in our car changed. We spent a few hours at a park and the boys loved it. Keaton and Alex picked up like they had never been apart. They are bestest buds.




We didn't go out in the wee hours of the day, but we did go wander the mall just before lunch. And since we were already out and the rest of the family was at a movie, we had no reason not to go to Del Taco. Because there is always a reason to go to Del Taco. It is hard to come up with reasons not to go. So we had a delicious lunch that both boys ate and it was a splendid Black Friday indeed.




I am grateful for my ridiculously good-looking kids. We ate Thanksgiving dinner during their naptime today and it was so peaceful. Almost awkwardly so. I missed them. They add life to any party. I love my little buddies.



What I Wore

Alex wore his doughnut at the hotel this morning.


I wore this necklace from my Papa. It is my favorite necklace and I wear it all the time. When my Grandma Neil was really sick and was in the hospital, Papa would spend late nights with her. One day I went to their house while I was in Arizona and he had a collection of jewelry for each of his granddaughters to choose from. It turns out Papa was passing the time in the hospital by watching a really cool show he found on TV that was selling lots of stuff. QVC had found a victim. I love the necklace and I love my quirky Papa. One of my favorite (and strangely the most traumatizing) memories of Papa is when we went on our early morning walks in Scotland to pick up morning rolls and he told me that my dad was "Made in Scotland." He is an awesome Papa.




We are in Bozeman, Montana and the internet connection is spotty in our hotel room. The lights are already off but the boys are climbing around in the dark and Edison just licked the computer screen. But I am not about to break my blogging streak!


Sam was able to leave work after lunch today. I had everything packed so we got on the road. We brought the DVD player this time and Alex has already watched three movies. Tomorrow the boys are each going to get a new toy car so hopefully that will help break up the second half of the drive. We ate dinner in Billings and discovered that Edison has a fever. Edison was so sad during the two hour drive to Bozeman. I feel bad that we are going to show up to Sam's parents house with a sick baby again. Last time we were there, we ended up in the ER with him. I hope he feels better soon because I am so excited to play for the next few days! One really nice thing about being out of school is that we don't have any homework. We are free!



Something Awesome

I was texting my sister-in-law Laura earlier tonight and was trying to come up with something awesome to blog about today. But I didn't really have an awesome day. Both boys are sick and took short naps. Edison was shaking his sippy cup of milk upside down on the futon. Alex spent two hours in his high chair and couldn't finish his dinner before bedtime so we didn't get to have Family Home Evening.

With the type of day I had, I guess the highlight was using the nasal aspirator on Edison. He hated it at first but after a few times, he was bringing it over to me and sitting on my lap. I hope the boys start feeling better soon. We leave to Utah tomorrow.



Happened This Weekend

We went to a really awesome pie party this weekend at our friends' house. I took zero pictures. What?! Yeah. We also read a lot of books to the boys. It seems like it is an endless stream of books that they bring us, especially Edison. I think his ideal day would include reading books, emptying bookshelves, and dumping out cups of water. All while naked.

P.S. What is wrong with this kid's toes. He has a serious foot malformation and it is freaking me out.



The Last Thing I Bought

When we moved to Williston, our big suitcase was broken on our flight. We haven't needed it since then but I am flying to Arizona with the boys for Christmas (Sam will come a few days later) so I knew I would need a wheeled suitcase since I can't carry everything. Although the boys think I can.

I bought this suitcase yesterday and I hope it holds up through the trip (and beyond) because I already have so much to bring. Two carseats, two kids, a 40 pound weight limit per bag, and a four week vacation ahead of us. Whew. It's going to be fun.

The boys had just gotten out of the bath when I took this picture. Sometimes they wear clothes. If Edison had his way they would never wear clothes so I think half dressed means I'm doing really well that day.



The View From Our Window

The boys love looking out at the cars driving by. Edison spends a lot of time leaving little handprints on this door.


It isn't very noticeable in the above picture, but Alex had an accident last night. Some friends came over for dinner and the boys were hyper beyond reason. Alex fell back and hit his head on the corner of the wall. I saw it happen and knew it had hurt, but I didn't think his head would split open. But it did. Sam was dabbing at the blood and it didn't seem too bad. Not much earlier, we were joking about how amazing it was that we had never been to the ER for an injury because the boys were jumping off of the couches and going insane.


It couldn't have happened at a better time though. Carissa is a physician's assistant in the ER here. She and Tanner went home and got what is basically super glue and then she glued his head back together. It wasn't bleeding very much and Alex is recovering. He has been acting like his usual self all day. It is sensitive but I think it will heal well enough and his hair will cover any scar.


I am a bad mom. I tried to stick a big bandaid on it. I didn't even consider taking him to the doctor. I was like, "Meh. It'll heal. Now stop moving so I can take a picture."



In My Bag

I was putting away the bags of things I purchased at the stores in Minot yesterday. I almost threw away a bag and then noticed there was still something in the bottom. My nail polish! I had picked it up off of an endcap at Target and I was so excited to try it out. Usually I paint my toenails maroon or gray, but blue seemed so fun. So there I was, painting my toenails and minding my own business. Edison walked in and started holding up his feet to me. Edison loves getting his nails cut. If he finds fingernail clippers he will follow me around with them insisting I cut his nails, even if I had just cut them the day before.

I put Edison in his high chair and proceeded to paint his toenails. Alex ran over wondering what we were eating and I said that we weren't eating anything, we were painting our nails! So Alex wanted in on it, too. Alex climbed into his highchair and I painted his nails. I knew Sam wouldn't be happy about it but I enjoy pestering him so I did it anyway.

Sam had to pick up something from a coworker in our complex so he ran home to surprise us and say hi for a minute during lunch. Alex excitedly told him all about his painted toenails. Sam was not amused. I felt really bad for Alex. He was so excited about his good painting job and Sam told him that only girls paint their nails. Poor Alex. Sam is still bitter from the time I painted his fingernails hot pink while he was asleep and he had to go to work the next day with them painted because he didn't know there was a way to get it off.

I told Alex I will paint his nails anytime. Both boys are walking around so carefully, even hours after their nails have dried. Maybe I should paint their toenails more often and our house wouldn't end up ransacked every day.




We spent the whole day in Minot. Sam had to go for work so we tagged along and did our own thing while he was working. We got to go to lunch together though and it was fun to meet some of his coworkers.

After wandering around for the whole morning and afternoon, the boys were tired. We went into the mall to walk around and I offered to get them a treat. It was three hours past naptime and Alex didn't really seem interested in ice cream. We sat down with a sundae and lemonade, which I ate both almost entirely myself. Then Edison ran off and he discovered a little play area. It is brilliant. It wasn't very fancy like some malls have but it was exactly what we needed. I love the things people think of to make our lives easier. I don't know how I would have made it through the last hour before picking up Sam without it. I am almost positive this was woman-made.




Where They Slept

I guess I should say, "Where they were supposed to sleep." My bottom retainer was starting to crack and I wanted to get a new one before it broke completely and my teeth started to move. I had an appointment with the orthodontist today but it was right during naptime. Alyssa agreed to have the boys over for their naps. I took them over there, warned her that Alex might not fall asleep but Edison should go to sleep immediately, tucked the boys into bed, and then went to my appointment.



When I got back to pick up the boys an hour and 20 minutes later, I saw this:


Busted! Alyssa said that she could hear the boys giggling from one room and her girls giggling from the other. There was no sleeping happening. I asked Alex what happened and he said, "I couldn't go to sleep because Edison was going crazy!" I don't know if I believe that. Once I got the boys home, they both took two hour naps. I totally ruined the girls' naps by having the boys over there though. My kids are punks.



My brain has detached from reality. I checked the weather this afternoon and my crazy brain thought, "Ooh, it's warm outside." It was 18 degrees. Insane, I tell you. I guess it is all relative and it was warmer than the four degrees it had been while we were walking to our friend's house this morning.

We had to go to the airport tonight to pick up a rental car for Sam's trip to Minot tomorrow. (We don't want him to put so many miles on our car.) Sam said, "Is this going to turn into an ice cream run?" I left it up to Alex. He yelled his excitement for ice cream. We had to go get it after that.




We fought formal bedtime routines for a long time. I didn't want our kids to be dependent on a certain bedtime routine and if it didn't happen then they wouldn't go to sleep. I wanted them to be able to have babysitters put them to bed and I also wanted bedtime to be quick. But then Alex got teeth so we had to add brushing teeth to the routine. Then we decided to start reading scriptures with him and having family prayers. So for a year and a half now, we have been a bedtime routine family.

I am proud that the boys are not dependent on the routine. If we are on vacation, I can stick them in bed and be done with it. But at home, our normal nighttime routine involves cleaning up toys, getting diapers and pajamas, reading scriptures, saying family prayers, brushing teeth, and filling up sippy cups.

Alex has really attached to the scriptures. He loves looking at the pictures and can tell us so many things about what they are depicting. For example, I told him once that Moroni buried the gold plates so that Joseph Smith could find them and translate them in The Book of Mormon. He now tells me that every single night. He is very animated about scripture time. Edison like to get in on it, too. I am glad to see them excited about doing this as a family.



Can't {Won't} Live Without

This is an interesting topic. I have been surprised with myself and how far I am willing to stretch when I am put in a situation where I need to be flexible. I used to think I would never live somewhere that I couldn't wear flip flops every day. Utah was a rude awakening. I used to never worry about what I wore each day. It was just life to put on whatever I wanted. Now the weather changes everything and layering is so important.

There are a lot of things I physically cannot live without (oxygen, skin). There are more things I would rather not ever live without because it would break my heart (family, the gospel). But then there are those luxuries that just make my life easier. So many of those things are kitchen tools. I love cooking. I spend so much time cooking that every time saver helps. Kitchen tools I won't live without: kitchen scale, vegetable chopper, garlic press, sieves, and measuring cups/spoons. Edison threw my vegetable chopper across the kitchen the other day and broke the plastic latch so I may have to learn to live without it soon though.


Tonight's dinner was delectable. Edison had three servings. Making dinner was so much easier thanks to a very modern kitchen. The only thing I would change would be to make it a gas stove. And maybe have the entire kitchen be self-cleaning. Now that I wouldn't want to live without.




Edison didn't really go through the classic baby oral stage. He never stuck small things in his mouth and I didn't have to worry about making sure the floor was spotless. He has currently found the oral stage in the form of one item: mechanical pencil erasers. Alex and I are always finding mechanical pencils or lead that are missing the erasers. Immediately after a pencil had been found once, I said, "Where is the eraser?!" Edison reached into his mouth and pulled out a gnawed and misshapen eraser. Like it was no big deal. We have even tried putting the pencils in the pencil cup upside down. He still finds them and eats them. He is unstoppable. Although maybe they're really tasty and I am missing out on something. Naaaaah.



Something I Do Every Day

Today was a really hard day. I was on the phone trying to set up a dentist appointment and Alex yelled that Edison was on the counter. He had pushed a chair over to the counter, climbed up, and smeared butter everywhere. Then as I was cleaning up the noodles that were covering the kitchen floor after lunch, Alex asked me why there were books in the toilet. There were four board books in there that had completely absorbed all of the water. At least I hope it was just water. Edison is really a menace.

There are a lot of things I do every day. I get out of bed, I want to get back into bed, I build train tracks, I read lots of books. Another thing that has recently become a habit is to check the weather every day. I was not happy with what I saw today. There is a big storm coming. We went to the grocery store after dinner and it was packed with people and not packed with food. It was really strange to see so many empty shelves. I got two phone calls and a text from people in our ward today warning me to be ready for the storm because we are expecting 16 inches of snow before Sunday and the power will probably go out.


Another thing I do every day is make dinner. I made cheese chowder tonight. I thought it was delicious. Edison did not feel the same. He dumped out his bowl of soup four times and I scooped it back up for him. Until the last time he dumped it on his pants and I decided I was done. Too many messes for me today.




It started getting too cold for Sam to continue running outside so he got a gym membership. It means he is gone longer at night, but he is also happy that he can lift weights along with his running again. I made him take this picture for me. Taking pictures of himself at the gym isn't really Sam's thing, although it should be because he is smokin' hot!



A Favorite Thing

I did vote today. I stood in line for an hour and a half as the boys ran circles around the whole place. I had to leave the line multiple times to track them down but luckily there were some nice people who let me come back to my place. I really enjoy voting, this election has not been a favorite thing though. I am so tired of it. I feel like everyone makes sweeping generalizations and I hate the name calling. It doesn't help that I don't like either of the big party candidates for President. Just let it be done.

There are things I really like though! It is no secret that one of my most favorite things is sleeping. Sam thinks I love to sleep more than I love him. I don't love just myself sleeping though. I also love sleeping kids. They look so peaceful and sweet. I want to cuddle their cute bodies! Not enough to risk waking them though. But look! So cute!



5 O'Clock

The alarm went off on my phone to remind me that it was five minutes until 5pm. We were checking out at the grocery store: not exciting! But then I walked outside.

It was so windy. After buckling the boys into their carseats, I climbed into the driver's seat and saw a shopping cart flying across the parking lot. I considered jumping out but knew I wouldn't be able to catch it. It was going faster than I can run. I saw it heading toward another truck and I could tell it would leave a huge dent. Suddenly, a man jumped out of his truck and sprinted over to stop the cart. He stood between a stranger's truck and the cart and let the cart smash into him. I was really impressed. He was cracking up the whole time. That's a good person.

Thirty MPH winds are scary with kids! When we walked out of the post office, both boys got knocked on their faces. One good thing is that the wind makes my hair look great. I think it qualifies as a good hair day!




The boys aren't feeling well today so Sam stayed home from church with them. While watching a movie, Edison fell asleep. Three hours before naptime. I can see his brain leaking out of his mouth while he watches TV. I was standing right in front of him to take this picture and he was looking through me. A little creepy, a little cute. Plus a little more creepy.




If Alex doesn't finish his dinner before bedtime, we put the plate in the refrigerator and he can't eat anything else until he finishes it. For breakfast today he is enjoying his spicy peanut chicken from last night.

He has been in his high chair working on it for two hours this morning. I just heard him say from the other room, "Mommy, I stuck all of my food in my mouth." Oh goody.




When I ask Alex his favorite color, amongst his list of silver and red and orange, he always says, "White." This morning, Alex looked out the window and said, "What is the snow doing here?!" I am trying really hard to not "poison the well" and so I just explained that it snows in the winter. He asked where the summer is and I said, "Texas."

I can't believe I am about to say this... I am a little glad it snowed. The days have seemed so dark. The snow makes it seem brighter. Both boys were fascinated when we walked outside this morning. Edison faceplanted in it and seemed less impressed after that.

I took this picture before the sun came up this morning. The snow helped cover up the industrial town. But the snow is more like brown slush when you get close to it and it reminds me that yes, this is Williston.



Something Beginning With 'C'

I have decided to participate in NaBloPoMo again. If I succeed, this will be my third year of posting each day in November. The easiest way to do this is to do a photo challenge so I will be using Fat Mum Slim's list. This is my attempt to record the small events and not just the big ones. Our lives are full of the small things, and I want to appreciate them more!

So here is my cute, cuddly child who currently has a cold. He has been doing a lot of crying today.


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