Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A few last Marchy Ever Randoms

This last week Ever and I went on a donut date "just me and you Mom, just me and you!" Sometimes it's good for this middle child to feel like he's my one and only!

Everett wears T's spiderman hat all the time lately and when he's wearing it, don't you dare call him Ev. "No, I spidoman Mom! Call me onwy spidoman!" And sometimes on our walk down the street he stops randomly to shoot webs and I'm lucky enough to get it on camera. He's so huge all of a sudden. 

Every once in a while my littles are up in the middle of the night needing an extra cuddle or two. This week both boys and our little lady were all up at the same time. I took the boys, James took the girl, and everyone got some lovies before being tucked back in bed. I definitely wouldn't love this everyday, but every once in a while a middle of the night cuddle feels like heaven.

And this one! Everett begs anyone and everyone to carry him--including T who is so nice and usually does for at least a block!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Ever Knight's First Talk

A couple of weeks ago Everett gave his first talk in primary. And when I say "he gave his first talk" what I really mean is that he gave really dirty looks to his peers from the pulpit while refusing to utter a single word. So I guess what I'm really, really trying to say is that I, in fact, gave Everett's first talk in primary a couple of weeks ago, complete with the "what Everett wants you to know" statements I swore I would never say. Turns out I'm that Mom now. 

The good news is that it was a really good talk on following the words of the prophet to stay spiritually safe. He, I mean I (maybe we?) related it to following signs in the city on subways, taxis and scooters to stay physically safe. We kind of wrote it together, which is to say that he told me "I'm probably not going to give that talk, blah blah blah amen!" and I encouraged him by printing off awesome pictures of city vehicles and practicing it with him until we all knew that thing by heart. All this to say I wasn't totally surprised when he froze like a statue at the podium--why do you think I actually did my hair that day ;)

When my pink cheeks left the primary room after tucking a pink-cheeked Ever Knight by his Sunbeam friends at the front of the room I was reminded again that my job is to love my kids wildly as glorious individuals and children of God. In the past I've caught myself wanting everything to be perfect and everyone to act perfect and every experience to fit in a perfect little mold--a picture perfect mold even. Ha! Laughable, right? Because the truth is that not one of my children are perfect (they take after their Mother) and as I grow up in my mothering process I realize more and more that these people, these situations, these memories don't need to be fixed in a perfect way to be beautiful, what makes them great is when they are appreciated and loved in the moment. My job is to teach and my job is to love, and love hard at that--even when I'm forced to give a silly talk to a bunch of silly kids while Ever is doing nothing but making silly faces. In fact, I think in that moment it was especially important for me to show that little boy the love his Heavenly Father and earthly mother have for him so that when he remembers the first talk he ever gave in primary he doesn't remember the stage fright but instead remembers feeling loved--so, so loved.  And boy is he loved.

The day after his Primary talk debut he had a playdate with a little friend and told her all about how he gave "a weawy, weawy good talk in Pwimawy about pwofets and staying safe" and when I heard about that later my heart nearly pitter-pattered right out of my chest. It may not have looked perfect in the moment but shoot, I think I'm chalking this whole thing up as a first talk win!

The first part of the talk was spent with a grumpy face, in the middle he mostly turned his back on the crowd and then for the grand finale he nuzzled his head into my neck and had a death grip on my body. Photo cred goes to James who was in the back of the room cracking up at the Wiggy circus being performed up front!

And PS, he just came and sat by me on the couch and when he saw his picture on the screen he said, "I love my Mom! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." 
Amen, baby boy! Amen!

Monday, March 23, 2015

This Ain't No TBT--The 1st Day of "Spring"

Do you want to be super entertained? Google "NYC snowfall first day of Spring." You don't know angry like New Yorkers who look out their window on March 20th only to see fresh powder on the trees and rooftops and just so. much. more. snow. all. day. long. Did that sentence take forever to read? Because that's basically how long this winter has taken--for-e-ver! They say it'll be the last storm of the season, but they also say that the below average temps will continue until May. New York--I'm trying to love you again but you're making it so difficult!

In other important news, here is Everett dressing up in his dragon mask and trying to scare Mema through a text message. Oooooh, scawy!

And how could I not include just a few selfies with my Baldi-locks babe? That kissing one of the left make me melt into a puddle. Sure do love that Quinner.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

My 3 Little Leprechauns

We keep St. Patty's day simple in the Wiggy abode. I'm all about green meals and green clothes and maybe even a green clover drawn on some chunky cheeks, but the only leprechauns in our home on March 17th were these three--because all I need is another little person coming around making messes! The kiddies had a great day, mostly because who doesn't love a mid-week holiday--especially one that includes eating bowl after bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast! The best part for me was eating Irish stew over mashed potatoes for dinner and trying to convince the laughing little boys that my Irish accent was totally legit because I'm a McKee. (Shall I quote my Dad, "Heather, that is THE WORST Irish accent I have ever heard!" Hahah!) Second favorite moment of the day was after dinner when we cranked up some tunes and Talmage taught us the Irish jig he has been learning at school. That little boy wouldn't even tap his toe before going to school and now all of a sudden he's teaching us Irish jigs!!!

Like I said, Lucky Charms for the win. The boys also really loved their green lunches--grapes, cucumbers, dehydrated peas, applesauce and pb&h shaped like a clover. I'm pretty sure I through a few skittles in there too, wouldn't want to get too healthy on a holiday!

These two partied hard at our preschool Patty party. I am friends with some of the most talented women I know so Everett had a ridiculous amount of fun, learned a lot and was sent home with a green hat and green popcorn, an accordion leprechaun with his sweet mug glued on the head and little gold coins that he fished out of rainbow-dyed rice. I mean, how could this holiday get any better? 

When we got home from picking up T-Man later that afternoon I decided that Quinn probably needed a picture documenting her first St. Patrick's Day--so here you go Quinn, for the baby book!

And then Talmage asked if he could take a Mommy-Daughter picture of us and before I knew it he had put his finger firmly on the trigger and I had about 50 pictures that look more or less just like this! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Life Lessons Learned at Naptime

It was just a month ago that I was bragging to Quinny's baby book that she was rocking the sleeping situation. Her night routine was set in gorgeous stone and consisted of going to bed with her brothers at 7 pm, a dream feed at 11 pm, and then sleeping until the 6 or even 7 o'clock hour. Yes, I know, I had it real, real good for at least three weeks. And then returned the midnight hours of wakefulness, the early, early mornings and the nonexistent nap time (like, 15 minutes all day long! Unacceptable Quinner, unacceptable!)

It all started when she wanted to play Houdini in her swaddle, pulling her hands out of the strait jacket and promptly punching herself in the face. Turns out Quinn is not one for bar fights and oh. the. tears. If it was just the sleep sack situation we could have conquered--James and I have waged a war with a Houdini named T before--but to add insult to injury Quinn is a mover and a shaker and finds her arms, legs and even her squishy cheeks wedged through the bars of her mini crib due to awkward bedtime gymnastics.  She may not be crawling yet, but she flips and turns and worms her way around until she's either gotten what she wants or she's stuck in a corner with her feet in the air--really happened. Crib mattress lowered immediately.

Yesterday Quinn was desperate for a mid-morning nap, but per normal she just couldn't fall asleep. Her tummy was full, the burps were out, she was swaddled and her lamby noise machine was singing the sounds of a peaceful waterfall in her ear--but all she did was cry, and scream, and punch herself in the face. A friend of mine told me that I needed to let her cry it out and she would eventually fall asleep, but I guess my friend has never met a match like my little miss because she screamed for longer than I want to admit. If I saw her arms or legs outside of the crib I would go in and help her, but otherwise I just waited, hoping that she would tire of the screaming and go to sleep. Go to sleep, baby! Go to sleep!

My mom's always said my girl is an overachiever, and she's proven it in the crying department. In fact, she cried herself straight to her next feeding time, and at that point both of us were in desperate tears. You know how people talk about how nice it is that babies sleep so much because you can get so much done? Well I've never experienced this and I need it. NEED! Gosh a little time to read my scriptures, start my March Madness bracket and write the words itching inside my heart would do me so, so good. Or I could take a nap myself, keepin' it real. Those are things that nap time usually offer people, but when there is no nap time... sigh.

Lately my soul has been yearning and yet ever so silent. The time has come to make another leap of faith (and possible leap of location) and yet the answers are not coming and the peace we seek in decision-making has not been found. Where are the answers? Where is the assurance? What do we want and what does He want and are we just not seeing something that is perfectly visible to someone else? {Because seriously, if you are reading this right now and you're seeing something that I'm not let me know. LET ME KNOW!} And then there's the whole thing about opportunities being dropped in your lap--does that mean that they're "meant to be"? Or does that just mean, well, I don't know--what does that mean exactly? And what if the meant-to-be option is not one you want? Or what if it is the one you want but the draw-backs outweigh the good? And what if the safe option is one you can't stand? And what if you talk about the next step so much that you worry you're wasting away the end of this heaven-sent step? And what if you're just so. darn. confused. Because that's me. My name is Heather, and turns out I'm still trying to figure out how to be a grown up.

So yesterday I went into Quinn's room mid scream-fest to remove both of her legs from between crib bars, talented gymnast that Quinner. I re-wrapped her, I wiped her tears, I put her binky in her mouth and I patted her tummy for just a second. I told her that I loved her so, so much and that she could do this! "You can do it Quinny! You've done it before my girl. You know how to sleep! Just remember sister, remember. You can learn how to sleep once more." And then I turned around and left my sniffling babe in the crib.

As the door closed my mind opened to the real possibility that I was that baby in a crib, struggling mightily and not finding relief. God could make everything right and easy with the snap of a finger--I really do believe He could in the same way that I believe I could have rocked Quinn to sleep and solved the problem of the moment. But maybe He's not doing that for the same reason that I'm not--because what about tomorrow's problem of the moment, and next week's dilemma. Can I rock my baby to sleep for the rest of her life, or even the rest of the month? And can He make all of my decisions for me forever? Maybe He knows that I'm getting bigger and I can choose without being coddled, because I've done it before. I know that He loves me, more than I can even comprehend. "You can do it Heather!" I can almost hear Him whispering. "You've done it before my girl. You know how to make decisions! Just remember sister, remember. You can learn to choose once more."

So here I am, left sniffling in my crib, but just as Quinny's Mommy is always close I know my Heavenly Father is as well and we'll all get through this victoriously. Of this I am sure. But, if Quinny's progress is a mirror of my own then success might not come quickly, it may be a little painful, it will be extremely exhausting and at times it might be a little awkward (like face down on your play mat in leprechaun tights kind of awkward!) But look at these pictures of sweet Quinn sleeping... She did it, and so will I.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pondering Reasons to Have Multiple Children

Because today is Mother's Day in the UK and because my children were incredibly naughty at church this morning leaving James and I shaking our head wondering why the heck we decided to outnumber ourselves and because I just checked on them asleep in their beds after returning home from a late meeting and they look so peaceful and delicious and I want 100 more just like them and because I just kind of think my Noni is one of the most talented women in the world I share with you a poem she wrote and sent to me this week entitled, "Pondering Reasons to Have Multiple Children." Barbara LaRue, you are amazing! Thank you for thoughtful pieces of writing like this.

Disregarding a quiver full or other such notions
even putting aside all such Bible devotions
there are so many reasons I barely can list
I'm sure you will think of a million I've missed.

But here are a few that at once came to mind.
As I said I'm aware there are others you'll find,
first the leg hugs and thigh hugs you have to adore
as you walk they hang on, tiny knees sweep the floor.

There's the glow that is felt when they sleepy-eyed say,
"Mommy I love you. Where we goin' today?"
With eyes full of question and wonder and trust.
There's no question you'll answer, you're mommy, you must!

Each child adds a spice to your life, every one,
so wonderfully different and filled with new fun.
Ready to challenge so uniquely their way,
keeping you active and ready to play.

When at last you collapse on the couch or a chair
they seem like small magnets and follow you there
and mold their soft bodies to yours tired and worn
and you become one, like before they were born.

Then you trundle them all to their beds for a rest
surprised that you've mastered your mother's day test.
They've not given you time to worry or think
in fact there is barely enough time to blink.

Perhaps that's the best that more children provide
(beside that there's always one close by your side)
they fill up your life with such wonder and love
many fears must be left with our Father above.

And that's as it should be.

Friday, March 13, 2015

My Girl in a Q Hat

It probably is true that most 3rd children have less pictures than their older siblings, but with Quinny-girl that's just not the case. Less one-one-one time, yes. Less tummy time, for sure. Less of almost everything else, probably. But being born at Winter's sunrise definitely has its perks and for Quinny that will mean a very full baby book full of sweet pics. She's not moving yet so it's still so easy to get a cute one--once the crawling starts all bets are off!
When she was born I honestly thought the only name we'd call her was Quinn--maybe Miss Quinn every once in a while since that's what my parents called me. But boy, is it easy to think of about a trillion nicknames for a delicious baby. The picture above was when I was singing, "Quinny Quinny Coco Puff" in that annoying baby voice moms everywhere are guilty of making and she was laughing and kicking her legs. At some point I should write all of her names down but for now, here is the picture proof that she doesn't mind her nicknames...or my voice!

Clearly I need to be better about cleaning my house (hello diaper wipes and art projects!) but this picture is a good reminder of what's really important...being on the floor making my baby smile. Plus, that is my baby sweater she is wearing and she's almost outgrown it (tear, tear) and I definitely needed a picture of that sweet baby girl wearing it.

She has no plans of sitting up anytime soon and she will only tolerate the Bumbo for about 3 minutes (not an exaggeration) but every time I set her little body inside of that thing I giggle because it's so cute. And that Q hat was made by a good friend around here and I put it on Quinn all the time so it too needed to be documented. How much do I love her initial? So much!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

T's 6-year-old Birthday Interview

If you ask Talmage, this was the best birthday in the history of birthdays. For most people that's just an expression, but that kid has the most impressive memory of anyone I know (and can remember details from his second birthday like it's nothing) so I'm tempted to believe him. It doesn't take much to make him feel loved and special which makes me want to spoil him all the more. We had a great day of breakfast pancakes, donuts at school, a Times Square dinner and Toys R Us shenanigans. I have a hard time believing my baby is six...but I guess it's true. He's six! Last night when he was giving me a hug before bed he said, "Mom, are you going to miss me?" I was super confused and then he said, "This is the last time you'll ever hug a five-year-old Talmage. Tomorrow, you'll be hugging a six-year-old T." That certainly made me tear up a little, but luckily six-year-old Talmage's are awfully fun to hug and cuddle!

And now, to the birthday interview--by far my favorite part of every birthday! We read all of T's past interviews and our eyes were filled with hysterical, laughing tears over all his cute answers. That kid is awesome! I must admit, my favorite part of this year's interview was when he called me the prettiest girl in the world. It sure beats last year when he said he didn't know any pretty girls!!!

What is your favorite...
Color: Yellow
Food: Macaroni and Cheese
Game: Fruit Ninja
Book: The Book With No Pictures
Toy: I don't really know. I don't really play with any toys. Well, wait. I do play with toys. Legos! Lego, le-go of my legos!
Treat: Chocolate
Song: Gummy Bear
Thing to learn about: Sharks
Animal: Uh, cheetah
TV show:  Wild Kratts
Thing to wear: Subway shirts
Holiday: Uh, can I choose two? My birthday and Christmas.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Mmm, tricky, hmm, what do i want to be when i grow up? A construction worker!
If someone was being mean to your brother, what would you do? Ask them to stop!

Who is your best friend? Adam, he used to tell me animal stories...the monkey story was the funniest!
What is something you want to learn to do this year? Uh...hand stand. Wait, and do monkey bars better.

What is something that you are really good at? Hmmm...flips. 
If you had a million dollars, what would you buy? The hot wheels fire track thing. It's just a race track where you have to free a trapped car and if one of your cars gets trapped you have to pull a lever. I saw it in the toy store. 

If you were an animal, what would you be? A cheetah, because I want to go really fast and get lots of food. Even though I'd get tired.
What do you want someone to invent? What do I want to invent? Paper airplanes that can fly from New York to Alabama...or even further. Or nuts that can fly! (Cue hysterical laughter from T and Ev)

If you could have a magic power, what would it be? To be the silliest person in the world.
How many kids do you want to have when you grow up and get married? Uh, 12.

What kind of house would you like to live in: an igloo, a tree house, a castle, a cave, or our house? Our house, because it's so nice!
Who is the prettiest girl in the whole world? Mom! My Mommy. 

Where do you want to go on your mission? Florida! My dream planet.
What's your favorite scripture story? Nephi building the ship

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

T's 6th "This is not a birthday party" Party

Talmage somehow talked me into throwing him a birthday party. No, a "get together with friends." His words, I kid you not. You see, our kids have the option of having a party or an experience for their birthday and this year (just like last year) T has chosen an experience, namely Aladdin on Broadway. But then one particularly cold, grey, NY-ugly-winter-day he said, "Hey Mom...Since I'm turning six how about I have six friends over for a little pizza get together. You know, not a party, just a get together with friends for my birthday." I knew I was getting hosed as soon as he opened his mouth, but you better believe I fell for it in point two seconds. Embarrassingly fast, really. Mostly I think I needed a project to get my mind off of how small our apartment is in February and this seemed like the perfect creative outlet. So...a lego get together it was!

We really did keep it super low-key, but the boys all loved it just the same.  We had pizza and juice boxes (covered in paper to look like lego bricks). Strawberries and blueberries and T's requested cookies and cream cake. As far as activities are concerned, I bought everyone a little lego set (on sale on Amazon!) that doubled as a party activity and party favor. The kids were so excited to take those home--as well as a yellow balloon with a lego man face drawn on it! We also guessed how many legos were in a jar, drew our own lego figurines, played lego-spoon races and had a dance party to "Everything is Awesome"! 

Our birthday boy in his new 6 shirt was so excited about every little detail and so grateful. He has such a fabulous group of friends and they all had a blast running circles around our tiny space. He and we feel so blessed with our people!

Here are some pictures of some little party details:

Birthdays are just so magical, aren't they? It's so fun to have a day spent celebrating one special person so they know how loved they are. And my Mr. T, boy is he loved! I guess it's worth noting that 5-year-old little boys don't sing "Happy Birthday to you!" instead they sing things like "Happy Slurp Day, Burp Burp!" or "Happy Fart Day, Toot Toot!" I'm usually the "bathroom word" Nazi but I decided to let it go and let the boys laugh hysterically over their silly sayings, and let me tell you all 8 of them were in tears!  

Happy Birthday my oldest little love.  He told me this morning, "Mom, it's so weird that today is my very last day ever being 5!" So weird baby boy. Tomorrow you'll be six for real!!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Mommy & Quinny Selfie

This girl better get used to taking a trillion pictures with her Mama, because that's what us Wiggy ladies do! Especially when an afternoon is spent walking around Central Park in beautiful, balmy 40 degree weather (what! what!) and an evening is spent falling asleep in my arms after a warm bottle. I know she's still such a little person, but I just don't know how we ever survived without Quinny in our home. Gosh I love that baby girl!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Life Lately in the Arctic Tundra

I'm playing catch-up because we're entering birthday season (hooray for something to get us out of the winter pits) and you just can't be behind during birthday season because then things get out of control. So...here is a little photo-dump with all the random pictures on my phone for what, like the last month? Can I just be annoying and say one more time that winter is the worst. Every year I think it's going to be better and then bam! it's still cold in March and I'm over it. But yay for birthday season and maybe even getting out of our house one of these days. T and I are itchy to go on all-day adventures again, sans parkas. It'll happen soon, right? In the meantime...

The best little boy FHE lesson on being a master builder and having Jesus Christ as your foundation, idea courtesy of my awesome Mom. Scripture reference: 1 Corinthians 3:10. If you live with lego lovers then this is a lesson your kiddies will love!

For awhile Quinny thought baths were water torture, but now she's all grown up and gets that they're luxurious. It's about time sister!

 This = a really darn cute moment that happened so spontaneously. It's so interesting to see Ev play the true big brother role when T is at school.

 Turns out T is doing pretty well with the ladies at school! A few parents of girls in his class told me that their daughters swoon over him, and I guess this just confirmed it! This was just one of the love letters he brought home from girls in his class on a random day last week. "The girls were writing me letters and drawing me pictures during art because they love me. So many girls want to marry me mom, it's going to be hard to decide." Life is really hard sometimes, T! 

 T is for Tiger at preschool. 

Baby girl fell asleep randomly in the middle of the living room while T was playing airplanes and both boys were sharing a picnic lunch. Things were loud and crazy and there she was, peaceful and content. That Quinn is just the sweetest thing and doesn't lack love in our home, that's for sure.

Ev and I made bright blue play dough and stayed in our pajamas until we had to pick up T from school, the usual around here! 

 Another brutal winter storm that we had to trek around in. Ever's face says it all. Blah!