Tuesday, April 4, 2017

About nighttime

I like to blog on Tuesday nights.  I should say, I would like to blog on Tuesday nights but the computer is right next to the boys' room and the clicking of the keyboard is irresistible to them.  They must come in and out of their room 100 times to tattle, ask for water, or if they have exhausted all other options, give me hugs. I had great plans tonight to blog about what our night times have been like because I really don't want to forget this sweet period in my life, but I think I may have picked the wrong night for it.  It seems it's time for Daddy to give the kids another lecture on being good for Mommy while he's at the church.  But I suppose it's getting quiet now and I've cooled down enough to lay that venting session aside and write down some memories.

I've got a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde thing going on at the kids' bedtime.  More often it's one of my favorite times of day, but there are the occasional nights we say a quick prayer and I go hide out in my locked bedroom for a few minutes to re-energize.  It really is exhausting to get five little ones down, especially considering that it comes strait from piano practice, homework, dinner and dishes, often doing several of those at once, and it's Baby's fussy time. And I'm usually alone. But with all that, I still find that I really love it.  I know I can't take it for granted.  Pretty soon the kids will be older and going every which way in the evening, but for right now they are little and I have them all to myself.  At the beginning of the year we cut most of our outside commitments hoping to make a smoother transition to not having Daddy around as much.  I miss him, he's my best friend, but our nighttime routine has actually become even sweeter since the kids and I only have commitments two evenings out of the week.  I have felt blessed and I've felt a bit more empowered and independent.  I think the older kids have felt the same way.

I like to have the kids down by 7:30 or 8:00 if we have to. So around 7:00 we will hurry into jammies, potty, teeth, and maybe putting away laundry.  Bryce is our reminder of whose day it is to pray.  Then we read and read and read.  First we'll read scriptures (either the illustrated kids version or the Book of Mormon) and then a chapter book. Last year we read from Jean Rio Baker's (an ancestor's) journal whenever the date corresponded with one of her entries.  Since Brynn was about four we have been reading at night, but we've been more consistent about it the last couple of years.  We all go to the boys' room where they each lay in their bunk beds, Millie lays in the little Toy Story couch with a couple of stuffed animals, and Brynn will lay on the sofa in their room.  Clara plays on the floor if I haven't already put her down for the night, and I will either share the couch with Brynn or lay/sit on the floor.  We usually read until Bryce falls asleep (he works hard, he plays hard, he sleeps hard).

Some of the books I can remember that Marty or I have read aloud (although I know this isn't all of them) are:
  • Winnie-the-Pooh
  • The House at Pooh Corner
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  • Runaway Ralph
  • Hatchet
  • A House of Many Rooms
  • Holes
  • Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • The Indian in the Cupboard
  • Charlotte's Web
  • Goosebumps (a mummy one)
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Book of Mormon a few times, the four illustrated books of standard works, 7 volumes of the B of M that Marty's family read when they were kids, the Pearl of Great Price, the four gospels.  Someday we'll make it through the Old Testament and D&C....
Sometimes it feels great knowing that nobody reads this blog so I can put these things on here just for the sake of memories and nothing else!  I think it would be fun to devote a post to whatever we have read at the end of the year.  Anyway, after we read we might or might not sing a few songs.  Recent favorite songs are:
  • I am a Child of God
  • Pretty Bird
  • My Heavenly Father Loves Me
  • Love is Spoken Here
  • A Child's prayer
  • Life's an Hourglass
  • Baby Brynn's lullaby:  Child of Light
  • Baby Bryce's lullaby:  Rockabye Sweet Baby Bryce ("the cowboy song")
  • Baby Gabe's lullaby:  The House at Pooh Corner
  • Baby Camille's lullaby:  Dream
  • Baby Clara's lullaby: Where is Heaven
Sometimes if Marty is in the middle of a book with them and I don't want to lose his place (he gets so into them!) I will just sing a few songs, or lately I have been reading from my Collection of Emily Dickenson poems.  I'll let each kid pick from either Life, Love, Nature, or Time and Eternity.

After they are in bed it's anyone's guess as to whether I can get work/study/reading/Netflix/laundry/bathrooms done in peace, or if my night will consist of solving sibling disputes or individual issues (both of which go a little like this, "Go back to bed!!").  I usually go to bed later than I would like to, but not late by most people's standards.  I'm not in any way a night owl, but Marty is.  

Speaking of books, I'm in a bit of a rut with reading picture books to the kids.  Usually what happens is that when I offer to read, a couple of them want to, Camille whines and screams about it (no idea why, I tell her she doesn't have to), Clara tries to rip the pages, and someone is always complaining that they can't see the pictures.  I really want to figure this out, but I really don't think there are enough hours in the day to get them each some individual reading time, and there certainly isn't enough time during Clara's nap.  

Well, Marty is home now and it's that time of night.  9:30 - I wish I was already in bed, haha!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

January 2017

The day before New Year's Eve we found out that Castles n' Coasters was no longer going to be honoring the POGO pass after the new year.  We were so sad about that.  Ever since we were there in October Camille had been asking when we could go back so she could ride the "America coaster."  We didn't want to miss it so Marty took the day off and we went!  

I knew she was going to do it this time!!

We had another FUN experience!

We rode this one a bunch of times.  I was so proud of her!

It rained on us for a good portion of the evening, but rain never bothered the Johnson family at amusement parks!!  We like a good storm because then people leave and that means fewer lines - even if the lines are COLD!

I love this picture.  Camille is wondering how to eat that huge hot dog, Bryce is being silly, Gabe is sulking about something, and Brynn is spacing out.  Perfect.

Gotta have something to do while you wait for the bigger siblings to ride Desert Storm (can't wait until she can ride it!).

This is one of our favorites.  You get to drive the bumper boats and the course is charming.  Bonding is crashing into your family members.

On New Year's Eve our stake rented out Schnepf Farms.  This is another favorite place for our family.  We usually don't pay to ride the rides or do any of the festivals.  Generally we mill around and pick peaches.  It is peaceful and has the biggest trees anywhere around us.  Seriously, WHERE are all the trees in San Tan Valley?  One of the drawbacks to living in a newer city I guess.

We had tons of fun, but it was kind of hard.  We had Clara with us, and she's a good baby but our arms got pretty tired lugging her around all night (the stroller would have been hard with the rugged terrain and big crowds).  The other problem we had was that we had gotten back late from Castles n' Coasters the night before and we were all still tired (have I mentioned our intensity level at amusement parks?) and sick of waiting in lines.  I was really grateful to the stake for putting it on though, what a great event.

Photo shoot!  I took these when I could see her top two teeth coming in.  I just wanted a few last pictures of that adorable grin.
If you aren't the parent, all of these pictures look the same. But because I'm her mom I know every single expression and I love that!  I never want to forget her smiles.

Marty finally moved into his seminary!!!  He is the principle at ALA seminary and has a pretty sweet office haha!  My mom is the master at arranging bookshelves so I texted her this picture to get some advice.  She ended up going over one day to help.

I can't believe it actually happened!  It's too bad they couldn't move in over Christmas break, they just barely missed it.  Of course it came right as Marty had just been called as bishop and was trying to staff the whole ward, do tithing settlements, and everything else that needs to be done during the holiday season.  I don't know how he pulled it all off.  It was especially impressive that he remained the same funny, energetic, down-to-earth and supportive guy he always was!

(These pictures aren't the finished product, by the way.)

I would say this scooter from G&G was the highlight of her Christmas, but it's probably more like the highlight of her life.  She lives on this thing and is GOOD at it!  I can't believe how she can fly on that thing.

Hm.  Do we love this baby?  I love this picture.  I love it when she falls asleep in my arms in that rocking chair every day.  I love that chair and I love the nursery.  During this time of day it feels like I'm the luckiest lady in the world and that life couldn't get any better.  Don't worry, I come back to real life at some point during the day!

Gabe turned five and started piano lessons!  He is a darling and sweet student who gives me hugs every couple of minutes.  One funny thing is that he gets so attached to the songs he has played and gets kind of upset when we leave those songs behind.  "But what about Hot Cross Buns!?!"

Sad, sick baby.

Some of the contents of a "box of sunshine" that I mailed to someone.  I had to capture the fact I'm capable of doing something pinterest-worthy haha!

Bryce fell off his little friend's trampoline one Friday.  He came in with this serious and scary cry.  His whole body was shaking and I knew he was in shock.  I tried to calm him down but an hour later he was still shaking and still saying he couldn't breath.  That started to scare me enough I figured we'd better get him to urgent care for an x-ray. 

It was "just" bruised ribs.  Apparently I've never had bruised ribs because I had no idea what a painful nuisance they can be. He was in such horrible pain for so long, especially when he woke up, that I finally wound up taking him to the peds a week later just to be sure that everything was ok internally.  It took about a month and a half for him to finally feel better.