Sunday, May 14, 2017

Spring Happenings

I took Quin to an Easter Egg hunt and carnival at a church on D Street. Michael stayed home with sick Ammon.  It was the maiden voyage of my new cargo bike. Quin was already kind of grumpy before we left. I had a hard time getting him dressed. 
At the carnival Quin got a black sword balloon and he looked at some Pygmy goats and baby chicks. 
He really enjoyed the bounce house and had a hard time coming out when his turn was over. 

He missed the Easter egg hunt for his age group because he was having a tantrum about leaving the bounce house. Then he decided to look at the chicks and goats some more and I wasn't going to fight him. 

He got to ride a pony but he got pretty impatient and consequently disregulated during the 20 minute wait in line. So he just screamed the entire 30 second ride. I made him do it and I held his hand and stayed close to him. He spoke positively about the experience once it was over but I'm not sure if forcing him to ride the pony was the right thing. 

At the end they let kids who missed their age group join in the last egg hunt. I hurriedly brought Quin over there but he just stood at the start line and cried while the other kids hunted for eggs. Some kind adults took pity on him and gave him a handful of eggs when the hunt was over. 

I'm sorry for all the times I disappointed you mom, by having tears and tantrums at events that were supposed to make me happy. I wonder how often we do this sort of thing to Heavenly Father. Dragging our feet, complaining about the wait, and then crying because what he has provided isn't "good enough" as if we even deserved it in the first place. 

Easter morning at our house was a more pleasant experience. I got these "resurrection eggs" that have symbols of parts of the Easter story that kids can look at while you read the bible story. For example, there is a chalice for the part about the sacrament. 
Easter family photo
It has gotten to the point/Quin is old enough where we need to actually decide what family traditions we want for holidays. When I was growing up my siblings and I hid Easter egg clues that lead to a hidden basket. I decided to take it up a notch by having the clue be a scripture that needed to be deciphered. One of the clues was Luke 5:24 "But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house." The egg was hidden on the couch :) It was great showing our kids to look in the scriptures for answers.
 It took Ammon 30 seconds to demolish this creme egg.

 Quin got a toy tool set and Ammon got some duplo construction vehicles to add to our growing collection.

Quin used his new hammer as a prop for a Fix it Felix Jr costume
I love Easter!

On Earth Day the boys and I walked in the "Procession of Species" parade. People dress up as animals and march in a parade downtown. Quin was in the wrong parade with him superman costume on, but I guess Superman is a different species.
Then we split a gyro at a Greek restaurant.
And then shared a cup of gelato at an Italian cafe. Quin was really happy to sit In the loft above the cafe.
Then we walked to the park. We didn't realize that the March for science gathering was happening there. I have never seen so many kids on a playground! On the way we met a giant Lego guy. 

We had a great day! I'm looking forward to these kinds of outings with my parents when they move back.

We had about 4,000 weeks of rain and when the sun finally emerged we had a lot of fun outside. Quin enjoys the push mower.

The library had special a May 4th event. Quin was really impressed by Chewbacca and Dark Nader.

I took the kids to "pet day" at OSU. It was basically a dog fest with some exhibits of reptiles and a petting zoo. I was really excited to take Quin to the petting zoo. He has been asking to go to the zoo for some time. When we first walked in to the reptile exhibit in the vet school he saw this skeleton.

He was so interested in the skeleton he didn't want to look at anything else.
He didn't want to touch any of the reptiles. I made him touch the tortoise because IT'S A TORTOISE you've gotta touch it! I was impressed even though Quin wasn't. He did like the giant bullfrog I guess.
They had a room full of animal skeletons at the vet school. Quin was so intrigued! He kept pointing at them and asking me questions and trying to touch them. There were skeletons of a horse, cow, llama, goat, chicken, duck, cat, beaver.... the list goes on!
Cow skeleton
They also had brains and hearts in jars to look at. He was most impressed by a plastic model of a chicken bisection. He kept asking me what the plastic organs were as he took it apart and I guess I need to brush up on my chicken anatomy, because I was struggling! I did my best drawing from my experience gutting chickens as a kid and my knowledge of the human body. I don't think he's ever been so fascinated by anything in his life than that room of skeletons. At home the next day he even drew bones on himself to make himself a skeleton while I wasn't watching:
He was really proud of himself and exclaimed "I colored the bones!"
Anyway, back at pet day, I talked him into leaving the skeleton room so we could see the live animals at the petting zoo. We had to wait 20 minutes for the petting zoo to re-open. While we waited we got to watch a vet student do "surgery" on a stuffed animal.
Quin giving his stuffed elephant a shot
She used tweezers to pull a jolly rancher out of a hole in the elephant's ear and then sutured it up and put a band aid on it. Then we got to take it home! :)
Quin also tried fake fishing. He was really good at reeling in the fishing line. That was all he wanted to do. He didn't want to bother getting the fish on the magnetic hook first.
We finally got in to the petting zoo! I was so excited! I tried to get him to hold a bunny on his lap but he didn't want anything to do with that. He looked at the miniature ponies from a distance and then ran the opposite direction into a field. So the petting zoo was a bust. You never can tell with kids.

So those are the fun things we've done. Here is the cute stuff I have seen them do:

Likes to bang toys together and on stuff.
Favorite toy is an orange prescription bottle that has popcorn seeds in it.
Favorite song is "Midnight City" by M83. I play it in the car when he is fussy and it works like magic to calm him down. Usually.
He loves the dishwasher. He makes a b-line for it whenever it is open and starts unloading it; whether or not it's clean.
He really likes popsicles in spite of the coldness. He is eating all kinds of solid food. Tonight he had some salmon.
New favorite TV show is PJ masks. A bit obnoxious to me, but there are far worse kids shows out there.
Favorite song is "If I Had You" by Adam Lambert.
Refers to techno music as "exercise music"
Made up a song about "old McDonald had a cookie" with a "yum yum here and a yum yum there"
When there are a lot of something he says that there are 40. I showed him the pellets in the pellet stove and he exclaimed "there's 40 pellets!" There were more than 40.
When I went to pick him up from his friend Wesley's house he apparently had a really good time because when he saw me he said "uuuh... no" with the perfect inflection.
Has been expressing himself through his wardrobe lately and only wants to wear a superhero costume with blue rain boots.
His favorite superman costume was dirty, so he said he was "naked superman."

Quin doesn't take naps very often. The only places he naps are the car seat and this red chair when he's watching TV. He sleeps in really awkward positions.

Recently I read "the little red hen" to Quin for the first time. It was one of my favorite books when I was learning how to read. After reading it he wanted to bake a yellow cake, so we did. He helped a lot! He cut the stick of butter in half, poured in the ingredients I measured, and of course, helped me eat it. This is his happy face:
On our way to the car from Ben and Amanda's house Quin tripped on a scooter and fell down a concrete step. It was a pretty fantastic fall. He screamed until he was buckled in and then calmly asked "what is that?" Pointing to his skinned knee. I told him it was a skinned knee just like the letter d in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. When we got home I put band aids on him and read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. He was delighted to be like patched up "f" and kept saying "I'm patched up Quin!" He really likes his band aids and points them out often. Books are awesome!!!
I got really frustrated and started crying one afternoon when the boys were sick and Ammon wouldn't let me put him down or sleep (turns out he had an ear infection). Quin came and sat by me and said "it's okay momma." and gave me a big hug. While he was hugging me he said "I'll give you a hug if you want." Then he told me to take a calm breath. At that moment I could see why this strategy that I often employ doesn't always work for Quin. I was really frustrated and did not want to take a calm breath. I asked him to show me how because I forgot. He modeled it for me. I copied him and actually did feel a little better, although I still wasn't sure if I would make it to bedtime. I was so impressed by his empathy. He also sometimes gives Ammon hugs when he is crying. If he doesn't give him a hug he'll say something like "the baby is sad." Even today when he saw me crying he said in a concerned voice "are you happy momma?" When I said "no I feel sad" he replied "help momma feel better."
I've really been struggling lately with depression. I've had it since I was a teenager and this is the lowest I've felt in a long time. I think it was triggered by being in a new area and not feeling like I have made strong connections and having to do 11+ hour parenting shifts with Michael's long commute. It's probably my fault that I don't have friends. We've been staying home a lot with the boys being sick, basically since February, with small intervals of being healthy. My parents are in the process of buying a house just East of Lebanon and I'm so excited to have their companionship and support.
On the bright side, we have callings in our ward! Michael is the Second Counselor in the Bishopric and I'm the ward pianist/organist and I accepted the assignment of assistant ward camp director for young womens camp. I'm still learning the ropes on the organ so I've just play the piano in sacrament meeting for now. I  tried to bring the kids with me to practice the organ during the week, but that didn't work. They took turns crying and it was hard to keep Quin from banging on the piano while I was across the room at the organ. Somehow I need to get over to the church more without the kids.

It's been tricky juggling the kids at church since we're both on the stand, but we're lucky that there are a lot of really nice people who step in to watch the kids for us. The first Sunday Jon and Susan came and we were really happy to have them there to take care of the kids. Apparently they had a rough time. Quin colored all over the back of the pew with dry erase marker and Ammon splashed in the sacrament tray. Afterwards Susan said "we're bad at this!" I think they are good at it because they stayed calm and handled the situation well.

This blog post is way too long. I need to stop. Thank you for reading!