Saturday, April 13, 2013

bullet points of small memories

I have a list of little things that happen with the family that make me happy. No dates- but all happened in the last couple months or so. I'm obviously not in the business of gaining readers and probably more so in the business of losing readers to this blog. So unless you're totally in love with my kids and care deeply about the Clark household, this post won't be all that exciting--but my kids one day will appreciate it.

  • Julia playing in the north shade for some time looked at me and said, "My hands need to play in the sunshine and get warm. My fingers need sunshine." It was adorable.
  • Kenzie finished writing something while riding in the backseat of the car. She looked up and said, "I just wrote something powerful." I was very curious to what could be so I giggled inside with her use of words. "I just wrote about forgiving Clayton for breaking my remote control car. Everything is going to be ok now." Forgiveness is POWERFUL. 
  • Waking up Sunday morning to the smell of breakfast. Chay woke up all the kids and was feeding them breakfast and even had the Mormon Tabernacle Choir playing on the iPod. No, it wasn't a dream. 
  • Chay holding 2 week old Samson in one arm and attempting to fix a motorcycle with the other. 
  • Chay doing everything in his cooing power to make Samson smile. It is priceless. Samson's smile and Chay being Daddy. 
  • Spending 4 hours at the children's museum The Tree House with the kids. We sat in the art garden for the majority of the time making and coloring books. There wasn't any rush to be anywhere and Samson was still in my belly. I could tell the girls were just loving the fact that mom was just as excited  to make a book as they were. I loved that day. 
  • Daddy and Grandpa Tomblin swimming with the kids at the hotel pool. My dad was trying to catch them in the pool and they were giggling so hard despite how cold they were. Their bottom lips were all shivering. Childhood. Love it. 
  • Julia congratulating Kenzie on her drawings, "wow, Kenzie is so good at drawing."
  • Kenzie making a potion outside and being so excited about it. Metal bucket, water, soap, grass clippings, dirt, rocks. Xander helped of course.  
  • Xander's wordless mumble prayers. hmmm mhhh mhmmmm hmmm it's funny  because his voice fluctuates exactly like someone praying with real words...hard to describe in writing. When he doesn't want to go to sleep, Xander's prayers will carry on forever- smarty smart. 
  • I warm up rice bags for the kids at bedtime. Julia especially loves her rice bag. She is a sucker for soft blankies and anything warm and snugly. She keeps stealing Samson's silky blanket and always laughs when I discover her as the thief. 
  • We went to the library one afternoon and ended up staying there forever. We played with all the "in house" games and educational toys for a long time. I don't remember the library being such a fun place when I was kid. They have really improved. Our favorite library is the downtown library which has more games and books- you have to walk through a cloud of cigarette smoke to enter the building and you pass at least 2 homeless people begging for money- but its a great cheap place for kids. I'm still looking to buy those cool magnet things we played with forever.
  • All 3 kids still take a bath together once in awhile. Today was a warm spring day but warm still means 60 degree weather- well they were playing in the front yard with the hose believe it or not. They came in freezing and they all jumped in the hot bathtub. Squeezed tightly but they still fit- They loved all the bubbles and were making "moostaches" with the bubbles. Xander loves to play with his sisters. It's the cutest thing ever when he says "Ju Ju" 
  • Went on a walk down by the river and found a trail that led to a sun dial. Some boy scout must have made it for his Eagle. It looked like an Eagle Project to me- it was really cool and Kenzie was intrigued. It really worked. 
  • We have been park hopping lately. I am amazed at how many parks are in Utah. Everywhere. We decided to try a new one out that is kind of far from our house- close to the canyon. It was a cool place but punks had left graffiti on the toys. I caught Kenzie reading and sounding out the "F" word. She had no clue what that word even was. I calmly said, "You have never heard that word and guess what, it's a bad bad word...I wouldn't say it out loud if I were you." She was confused why someone would write a bad word and now she can't get it out of her head. I told her it would leave her head eventually. It did. The kids were exceptionally playful that day and they giggled and laughed so hard as they played some made up game on the slides. I love Kenzie and Julia's relationship- for the most part. They really were meant to be together on earth in their younger years. I know, I know- the worst has yet to come, but their personalities really mesh well. 
  • Julia and Kenzie like to play a game in the car. One day while driving I heard Julia ask Kenzie if she wanted to play "that" game again. She said sure and then silence. I kept looking back at the girls and they were just staring out their windows saying nothing. "Are you going to play the game?" I asked. "We are mom, I just did a flip" said Kenzie. They pretend they're on a snowboard and they do jumps and tricks on the snowbanks and snow piles on the side of the road we are passing in the car. LOVE THAT!   
  • Old Maid with the girls is hilarious. That game is really funny with dramatic personalities. It is seriously so funny when someone gets stuck with the old maid and even funnier as a mom to see the worst poker faces ever. We played a little Uno too...and lately it's been Memory. I know the box on Memory says its for 3 year olds but man, it's challenging for even me. Kenzie is a poor sport and she will cry when she doesn't find a match. Drama. One minute they are laughing and the next someone is crying. 
  • Ju Ju is a coloring freak. She can color for hours. Really? You still want to color after all this time? 
  • Kenzie is a little chef. She surprised me the other day with a salad- chopped romaine, chopped carrots, tomatoes, celery, crunched up tortilla chips with a little ranch and salsa. It was seriously so good. 
  • Xander loves outside. He is always asking me to come outside and play with him. Sometimes I will just stop doing whatever I think needs to be done and I will push the kids on the tire swing. The iconic tire swing- a childhood embedded memory. Flying high in that thing will be a memory the kids will remember as a symbol of their "decent" childhood. I just know it. Dad can push them so high and it's just a good way to smile. Get on the tire swing and all your troubles go away. 
  • Xander has this cute contagious smile and giggle. He loves Diego and Dora. I would too if I were a 2 year old. Dora can get Xander to talk more than I can. Go Dora. Que Buena! Xander doesn't say much of anything but he is so involved with what is going on around here. I need more one on one with that kid. He loves 2 books. Goldilocks and the Three Bears and this train car book called "I'm Fast". Everything depends on his mood so even the things he loves the most like singing nursery songs or reading books, he will refuse to do when his pride is eating him alive. Other than that he is great. :) He makes friends very easily. I remember being pregnant with Samson and Xander would run his cars up and down my big belly making his car noises. He would then kiss my belly (the baby) goodnight. He loves loves Samson and hasn't taken out any life-changing-frustrations on him. He is always asking to hold Samson.  
  • Went to the Train Expo with the kids. Wow there are some crazy train lovers out there. People really like one thing that much? Julia loved the humongous lego display. It was really cool. Scenes from Lord of the Rings all in Legos. Awesome. Julia just kept staring and staring. She loves to build and create with Trios, Legos, and blocks. Engineer???
  • Chay read the girls a barbie book tonight. Wow was he struggling. He kept saying in Portuguese how annoying the book was. 
  • Kenzie will be baptized this December. We have a family goal to help Kenzie read the entire Book of Mormon before she gets baptized. We printed out a chart for her to mark. So far we aren't looking too hot at meeting our goal. We might have to bring the Book of Mormon with us in the car aaand to the store, the bathroom, swimming lessons. We are behind to say the least.  
  •  Chay took Julia on a hike this morning with the Elders. It's a big hike- Waterfall Canyon. It is still April so Chay packed snow boots for Ju Ju. We will see how much Chay ends up carrying will be an awesome work-out for Chay. I so wish I could have gone this morning. Newborn, coughing  kids and freezing temperatures with a steep incline up a mountain don't really mix. Someday, someday. 
  • I asked Kenzie what she wanted to be when she grows up. She responded "A mother. I just want to hold babies all day." I validated her answer obviously but I threw in the importance of education and said, "what if your husband dies and you need to work for money to feed your kids?" She responded, "I will find a step dad real fast." Funny. 
  • Julia's faith that prayers will always be answered. I catch her praying about everything. Lost crayons, toys, baby Samson, Kenzie at school, Xander's speech. Julia is a deep thinker and even though she appears to not be paying attention to scripture study- she is and she always has the most thought out answers to our questions about spiritual things. She has so much hope in the return of Christ- she gets almost upset that He hasn't come yet. When is Jesus going to get here!!!!? I know how you feel sweetheart. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

answered prayer

My house is almost quiet. 9:14 and the kids are finally winding down.

Besides Xander of course who has turned into the devil seriously. Devil child. :)

Love him dearly but I have never experienced anything quite like this before. He isn't taking all of life's changes very well. Baby brother, bye bye binki, bye bye bedroom- slam slam slam and just like that he is a whole new kid. Mean, malicious, violent, screamer.

His tantrums have escalated to a new scary wow. I am trying to be patient yet consistent with him and doing all I can to not cave in to what he wants despite his screaming and kicking. I sit at the computer to avoid his screams and just pin random stuff to Pinterest trying to ignore his out-of-controlness. Xander won't let me hold him and console him- he will just throw punches or turn away but if I leave the room he screams even louder. So I just let him scream it out with him right next to me...I try to stay calm but my blood is boiling. I know I am stressed because I run my fingers through my bangs and hair on top of my head- that is what I do when I am tired and stressed.

Xander suddenly won't obey, won't stay close at the store. He refuses to do anything I suggest or say- reverse psychology worked really well for about a week until he caught on to what I was doing.

Xander refuses to sleep. His naptime yesterday was just an awful experience. He was so incredibly tired and I knew it. He becomes a 4:00-in-the-afternoon nightmare if he doesn't get a nap in. I understand that napping isn't easy without beloved binky but he needs to nap regardless. I didn't force him to sleep but I did force him to stay in his room. He ended up kicking me in the eye. After a hour and half of screaming stubborness he finally gave up and fell asleep. I was with him most of the time. I was so confused as to what to do. I just cried I felt so helpless and inexperienced. My heart ached for Xander. He is obviously going through some rough times as is his mother.

Neat Story: During one of Xander's outbreaks I broke down. I cried like a toddler, feeling so discouraged and confused that my biggest problem right at the moment was not a needy newborn but my two year old.

I God but to my mom also hoping she could hear somehow-

I said "Mom, I miss you and I need your help. Please if it's possible help me or at least help calm my son somehow. I don't know what to do and I am going crazy."

Later that day I get a message on Facebook from one of my mom's best friends Melody. I haven't spoken with her for almost 2 1/2 years. She wrote, "April, had a lady come in to make a cake order today with her daughter. The mother reminded me of your mother so much I got teary eyed. I miss my friend! I'm sure you miss her terribly. I wanted to come see you today but ran out of time. I thought maybe your mother wanted me to say hello or give you a hug!"

I guess everything is going to be ok- has to be after experiencing that neat tender mercy. WOW. My heart skipped when I read her message. Prayer was heard, prayer was answered. It's all going to be ok somehow.

For the record, Xander was remarkably better today- no meltdowns from him or me. Progress.

Xander with his favorite thing in the world- "the B"...and now no more. I miss it almost as much as he does.