Friday, January 13, 2017

Singing in the Rain

It's the middle of the afternoon and I'm sitting on my bed, cuddled next to a sleeping Quinn, enjoying the sound of the Classical music that lulled her to sleep and the rain beating against the rooftop. None of this feels normal--the nap nor the rain--but both bring so much peace and calm. I'm such a summer fan but also such a sucker for a heavy winter rainstorm. I'm also goo-goo for thunder and lightning, but today it's just heavy sheets of much-needed rain.

It's chilly as far as Los Angeles is concerned, we're hovering in the mid-50's, and we've had more rainy days in the past week than we've had the whole last year combined. Winter is such a novel thing when it's usually non-existent, and the kids have loved jumping through puddles, using umbrellas and generally just getting wet. I've had the heater on high, a daily pot of soup on the stove and today when Quinn was raging with exhaustion I knew the only answer was cuddles in Mama's warm comforter. She fought it for a second, but with Beethoven and Bach blaring in the background her eyelids grew heavy and she melted into her Daddy's pillow. Goodness she's feisty but watching her sleep I realize how little she is, and how much I love her.  I'm due to pick up the boys and four of their friends from school in 30 minutes, so with this post I will sign off in exchange for peacefully listening to the pitter patter and enjoying the calm before the storm.

Chalk Art

I am absolutely obsessed with my backyard. It's so fun to have space for lots and lots of friends to come and get their wiggles out. A few days ago there were boys playing basketball, boys playing football, littles riding scooters and girls playing restaurant all at the same time. When those activities started to fizzle I got out my big bucket of chalk and I traced the kids and let them either color their own person or tell me what type of person they wanted to be and I used my amazing art skills (cough cough) to create magic. It's always so amazing to see their creativity at work! We had superheroes and ninjas and mermaids and Star Wars people and I was SO glad that I took these pictures to capture them because that same night it rained and bam, goodbye chalk art! Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sweet and Seven Months

A lover of words and images and little moments and still, I can't adequately paint the joy that sweet Coco brings to my life. To think, I cried for a solid month after I found out I was pregnant with her for fear that I wouldn't be able to handle the task of four little ones, especially the two girls back to back. Had I been able to see Cora Nicole at seven months old, surely those tears would be of joyful anticipation. I want to savor her goodness and remember how beautiful babyhood can be. She is the light of my days lately and I thank God for giving me this last drop of sunshine.

I'm in the mothering trenches right now. The boys are mostly easy, aside from a little back-to-school attitude and some surprising fits of rage, but that two-year-old sister of theirs is giving me gray hairs, a muffin top and so very many reasons to book a one-way tickets to Anywhere. Her attitude is sky high and she has no respect for my existence in her life. A few days ago I asked her to do something and she said, "Just stop Mom, It's not yo pwobwem." and she's also been known to say, "Don't tell me dat, OK? I my own body." I'm serious. If anyone is feeling anxiety about how Quinn and I will fare cohabiting during her teenagehood, join the club.

My biggest source of stress these days is sleep. We're on day six of no naps and it's killing me, straight up killing me. When my boys were this age and tried to stop napping I fought their battles and pretty easily won, but this stubborn little thing seems to get joy out of sneaking out of bed and stuffing her face with my nice Christmas chocolates, or dumping out a whole bottle of hand sanitizer, or unwinding multiple containers of floss, or just nonchalantly walking into the room and saying, "I done wif nap. I wake. You so happy?" And that's on a good day. Most nap times find her screaming at the top of her lungs for two or more hours as I walk her back to her bed and then she follows me back out the door yelling, "No! You not charge! I not nap!" Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

By the time two hours has passed it is often time to pick up the boys from school and then it's too late for a nap (although I tried today for a late one, to no avail) and of course she's exhausted for the rest of the day and spends much of it destroying T's legos, Evie's homework and my sanity. She screams and hits and loses total control over her body and brain and then when it's time for bedtime and I pray that she'll pass out from exhaustion, we go through the whole hours-long process again. I'm tired just thinking about it--but she's not. Unfortunately she's not.

I'm not going to lie, it's been tough. I've never dealt with such a head-strong child before and I keep telling myself it's a stage but she's got me a little freaked out that it's not. That this is our new normal. That I am never going to sleep again and that this is only the first of so many battles to come. Irrational? I hope so! But until I know so, the constant toddler-tude is making me feel a little on edge.

But then there's Cora, perfect and sweet seven-month-old Cora. Aren't seven month olds the dreamiest? She's rolling around the living room now and she reaches for me when I walk by. She's babbling and singing and has the best belly laugh when her siblings say silly words super loud and in crazy accents. She loves to be carried and holds on to my shirt like a little koala, but my favorite is when she gets happy and shy and can't stop kicking her legs and burying her face in my arm.

This afternoon I was talking to an elderly member of our ward who I don't know very well and she said, "I was thinking of Cora today and told my husband that seeing her every Sunday growing and smiling is one of the highlights of my life." My baby is one of her life's highlights! I feel like Cora belongs to all of us and I am so happy to share her shnuggles and love with everyone, especially my sweet sisters at church.

Someday Cora will be two and might even give me a run for my money like her big sis, but for now I'm going to will those days to never come and enjoy her chunky legs, dimpled smile and sweet disposition. I love you, Cor!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Face

It was noon on December 31st and Ever said, "I'm so excited to pway Pie Face tonight. It's my favowite famiwy twadition!" We got this game last year and sure enough played it on NYE, but who knew it was memorable enough to bump it to tradition status?! As a lover of parties and traditions and my little people, I happily obliged and we had a great time getting whip cream shoved in our faces! We had a low-key holiday with an ordered pizza and orange soda, cranberry pie with whip cream for dessert, a few rounds of Battleship and then a Netflix countdown at 9ish. We finally got the girls to sleep at 10:30 and I'm afraid it wasn't long after that before I was in bed. This was the first NYE since my mission that I haven't stayed up to celebrate, but guys, I'm so tired lately! Here's to a fabulous 2017--and maybe a little more sleep?!

What do you get when you put together New Year and Pie Face??? A happy NEW Face! Goodbye mountain man beard, we're starting out 2017 so fresh and so clean, clean!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Very Barfy Christmas (And a Coughy New Year)

How was our Christmas, you ask? It's too soon to go there, I'm afraid! The short story of what felt like a lloooonnnggg Christmas break was that we were all miserably sick for basically the whole time. There was a terrible stomach flu that took out each member of our immediate and extended family one unfortunate soul at a time and then there was the horrible cold that rushed both girls, Uncle Chase and Mema to Urgent Care with fevers, bronchitis and ear infections. There was so much barf. There was so much coughing. There was absolutely no sleeping and very little peace on earth. There were lots of antibiotics and pain relievers administered, boxes of saltines and tissues used and hundreds of hours of movies watched. We have no pictures of us in our Christmas best because basically for a week straight we didn't leave our jammies. I'm always tired but I'm extra tired when I think back on those ten days (and worse yet, nights!) They didn't see any of us Wigs at our best, that's for sure.

That being said, my little boys keep commenting on how this Christmas was the greatest one ever and Quinn keeps begging to go back to Mema's house. They were just as sick as the rest of us, but isn't it amazing how kids have the ability to be so positive, so forgiving and so optimistic. Talmage is in love with his new bike, and the Po Dameron X-Wing lego set he's always wanted was wrapped under the tree. Everett can't stop looking at his pokemon cards and gifted Cora his scooter when his new bright blue beauty was delivered by Santa. Quinn is excited about her pink bike and Coco can't stop chewing on her new Sophie giraffe. More than that, though, they keep talking about how their cousins are their best friends, their grandparents the greatest, their aunts and uncles the funny and funnest and how hanging out with them for almost two whole weeks was the best part of their year.

Their glass-half-full example makes me remember the best moments of this holiday season, like an impromptu daddy daughter date with Ash and my Pops to the bookstore where we promised him Dollar Store money if he wore Quinn's headband through the store (which he did, and we paid up!) They help me remember Quinn's sweet, sick voice whispering to me in the dark, "Mom, don't weave. Stay wif me." and the magical feelings in my heart knowing that this Christmas my gift to her was laying by her side and helping her feel safe. They remind me that Santa visited on the mountain bringing with him toys and renewed Christmas spirit, that we visited Great Papa in Memory Care and sang him songs while he stroked Quinn's back, that Avers and Quinners got pedicures from Mema on the kitchen table before helping make juice for the masses. This Christmas we met Brendan and saw how his eyes sparkle for our Kate--young love for our youngest sister, so beautiful, so nice. I always want to remember how wonderful it was to give meaningful gifts to our family this year, and how spoiled we felt by so many meaningful gifts meant just for us. And oh my, I will never forget reading the book that Talmage wrote for me all about our family and bawling because he is so wise, so eloquent, so full of love and gratitude and so many of my dreams are coming true through him. It doesn't take much effort to realize that this Christmas was one of the loveliest.

Of course we hope that the Christmas of 2017 and all those that follow are full of health and happiness, but were they to er on the side of sickness, I pray that I can always remember the incredible examples shown this Christmas by Mr. T, Ever Knight, Quinny-Girl and Coco-Ru and see the good. There is always good to be seen. Always.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Winter with the Wigs

It was all fun and games until the sickness going around the Little Wigs spread to the Big Wigs and Co. My level of bummed out was super high, especially when the cutest Papa and Gigi outing had to be cancelled because everyone was sick (and unfortunately, stayed sick for the duration of our stay). I'm hoping for a raincheck sometime when we're together again! 

Coco was the only baby on board when we took Kate and Brendan downtown to see their wedding venue. She is just the sweetest dolly and was soaking up the attention that comes with being an only child for the afternoon.

Getting ready will be a pleasure when we can look in these pretty mirrors, right Kate? I'm so excited for May 19th!

Cora Sue and Uncle B!

We caught Santa unloading a few gifts under the tree. It was all the feels and absolutely made our Christmas Eve on the mountain. I can't imagine what kind of strings had to be pulled so that Santa could leave his busy workshop and come be with us, but gosh am I grateful for every effort.

The look of magic and excitement on T's face here is priceless. T finally got the Battle-boxing Robots he has told Santa about the past two Christmases and it made his year! Just in case you're wondering, his reaction made mine!

That jolly old St. Nick sure made for a magical night on the mountain.

Grampa and T were playing Battle Boxing Robots together for a long time, and having a blast!

Christmas jammies with the wonderful Wigs.

On our way out of town we went to visit Great Papa in Memory Care. I can't adequately describe how much I adore him and how much his warmth and love have meant to me since joining the Wigginton family nearly a decade ago. It breaks my heart that we can no longer really communicate, and I just hope and pray that he is comfortable and at peace inside his mind. We spent most of the visit holding his hand and reminding him how much we love him through old stories, memories, songs and conversation. He said three words during our whole visit. Pointing to baby Cora he said, "What's. Her. Name." We told him that her name was Cora and we call her Coco. He didn't give any response or reaction, but I'll forever tell Cora that her Great Papa loved her so much that in his silent state he somehow found a few words just for her.

One of the most tender moments of our visit was when Quinn decided to go give Great Papa a hug and he in turn started rubbing her back. She laid her head on his lap and was perfectly still as he tickled her back and head. The boys were singing "What a Wonderful World," Cora was cooing in James' arms, my eyes were wet with tears and the moment was just too perfect. The boys have years of happy memories of time spent with Great Papa and I'm glad these girls will have a handful of happy memories as well.

We love you Great Papa. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas at MePa's

'Twas the year of the flu this Christmas, but we were able to squeeze in a few fun things when everyone was feeling (mostly) ok. I can't think about it too long because I'm so bummed that so many of our fun plans never happened, but at the same time I am glad for the things we did do and the memories we made. 

The carousel and a visit to Santa at the Galleria.

Mema's little helpers--they took their daily juice-making very seriously!

Daddy-daughters date!!!

Dovewood Court to see the Christmas lights (^^^Always my favorite house^^^)

The Jelly Belly Factory (let's try not to remember screaming babies and puking toddlers!)


Sister Trip for Manis (my first time with gel, two thumbs up!)

Sunsplash for golf and games (minus the golf because the wait was two hours! Games ftw!)

This (a few days before) NYE appetizers meal was just what we needed. It was so delicious and festive and helped us all feel a little more jolly about the holiday season.

 When I look back on this Christmas I hope I always remember how much these cousins love each other and how much joy they find in each other's company. We are richly blessed to find best friends in our family and it was never as apparent as it was this Christmas.