2.17.2017

Around Here: Week 7







Cherishing... Josh's handiness.  This week (on a No School Day due to icy conditions) he replaced all the thermostats in the house and put new blinds in every single window in the house. On another day he fixed the toilet we had that was acting up.  It's exciting to me that we're doing little things here and there to improve our home.

Loving... fresh flowers all over the house. Josh bought me roses and I bought myself some carnations that I put in our bedroom.  That little bit of spring is helping me get through these last bits of winter. It's been cold and icy here (still) and I am pining for green grass and some outside time.

Reading... Believing God, 1000 Gifts, The Lies We Believe, Auschwitz and Wonder with the twins.  I am so close to finishing Believing God, I can't wait! I feel like I've been working on that one for ages.  Auschwitz is really intense (obviously) and I am looking forward to reading something a little lighter when it's done.

Watching... The Accountant for date night last week and watching The Wheel on Discovery.
The Accountant was the best movie I've seen since I saw Deepwater Horizon at the theater. I loved it.  The Wheel is really entertaining and I can't wait for a new episode.

Spending time... at the boys' school running Wyatt's Valentine's Day party and attending the twins' award assembly.  Jack won two awards, one for perfect attendance and one for Mighty Math.  He's been working so hard (with Josh's help) to memorize his multiplication facts and I'm really proud of how far he's come. On his last test he got 99/100 problems correct.
The flip side of that is that Logan didn't get any awards.  As a twin parent, this is my struggle.  I want to fully celebrate Jack's accomplishments, but at the same time, I don't want Logan to feel bad that he wasn't singled out for an award. It's an awkward dance and one I don't pull off well.

Giving... haircuts to all the men in this house. So handsome they all look!

Enjoying... Carly doing her cake smash last weekend. She's such a cutie.  See her cake smash here. And Wyatt's here. And Logan and Jack's here.

Cheering... for the Tucker family as my brother-in-law got one step closer to becoming a Game Warden. I'm so proud of their family.  Their sacrifices and their hard work to get him through school has been awe inspiring!

Breaking... my own goals in the name of self care.  On Valentine's Day, I couldn't want to cook or workout, so I didn't.  We went out to eat, which was such a luxury.  And when the kids were in bed, I just relaxed and read my book.  I will make up my missed work out by working this weekend.  And as for eating out, well, it was worth breaking my goal to not have to do the dishes. Ha!


Goals:
Start reading Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes for my new local book club
Wash the kitchen cupboards
KonMari the kitchen
Write a Motherhood Poem
Teach the twins how to clean the bathroom

***


2.13.2017

100 Small Things -- Winter Update

My friends Ashley & Tabitha have long been doing :100 small things" lists for each school year.  I finally decided to join them this year. I wrote my list at the beginning of August.

Here is my halfway check in.
I started the list six months ago, 
I am quite pleased with how many I've crossed off the list!
(New accomplishments are crossed off in red)


1. Plant a succulent
2. Make a dirt pit for the kids
3. Clean the windows inside & out
4. Read Brave New World
5. Read Lord of the Flies
6. Blog Weekly Update
7. Register to vote
8. Get WA state license
9. Make pumpkin muffins
10. Make a cobbler
11. Get a vanity for me (I changed my mind!)
12. Buy a desk for the boys (I changed my mind!)
13. Blog twins: separate classrooms
14. Finish reading One and the Same
15. Jamberry my nails
16. Meal plan weekly
17. Buy wool balls for dryer
18. Choose one "grooming" day/week
19. Haircuts every 6 weeks all year 3/4
20. Small group get together
21. Order Home Field. Read it
22. Read When Breath Becomes Air
23. Read What Was Mine
24. Read Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids
25.. Read Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings
26. Read Bird by Bird
27. Read Boys Should be Boys

28. Read The Rocks
29. Read Flight Behavior
30. Read The Shack
31. Read Brain Rules
32. Read Tuesdays with Morrie
33. Read Snow Falling on Cedars
34. Find a doctor
35. Find a pediatrician
36. Find a pediatric dentist
37. Find a chiropractor
38. Follow up with an OB
39. Learn to coupon
40. Meditate everyday for a week
41. Wash kitchen cabinets
42. Read Believing God
43. Read Mindsight
44. Read Don't Let Me Go
45. Read Deception Point
46. Read Iron & Silk
47. Purchase & read Winter Storms
48. Find a dentist for us
49. Read Dave Ramsey's book
50. Find an eye doctor
51. Choose a pharmacy
52. Find a way to display my rock collection
53. Paint the whole house interior 3/5

54. 3 playdates with new friends 2/3
55. Find a Hanford documentary
56. Go over insurance with new insurance lady
57. Workout everyday for a month (working on this one!)
58. Walk the boys to/from school
59. Have Paul & Lynn over for dinner
60. Plant a lilac bush
61. Find a used BBQ
62. Sort Holiday decor into totes
63. Don't eat out for 1 month (working on this one!)
64. Arrange "Tucker Family" sleepover
65. Establish family move night
66. Establish date night
67. Read Kon Mari. Clean house accordingly. (So close!!!)
68. Read aloud chapter books  (on #4 already!)
69. Make 3 pinterest dinners
70. Plant pansies
71. Make carrot cake from scratch
72. Decorate for Christmas
73. Make a book for Pansy/Jerry's birthdays
74. Write a poem about motherhood
75. Write a poem about twins
76. Write a poem about Logan
77. Write a poem about Jack
78. Write a poem about Wyatt
79. Write a poem about Carly
80. Take a pajama walk after dinner

81. Meal plan monthly
82. Collect Box Tops for school
83. Save toilet paper rolls/paper towel rolls
84. Attend MOPS group
85. Try 3 new parks with the boys 1/3
86. Read old journals
87. Share bits of old journals on social media
88. Decorate master bedroom
89. Deep clean master suite
90. Put contact paper in laundry room
91. Spider bomb the house
92. Establish Quiet Time activities
93. Organize kids craft supplies
94. Make blog calendar (monthly) 6/12
95. Have a trampoline sleepover with boys
96. Volunteer in boys' classrooms
97. Buy outdoor chairs
98. Read old writing (from jr. high/high school)
99. Make m&m cookies
100. Make a cake from scratch

Since my last check in, I have:
Decorated for Christmas (so much fun!)
Made carrot cake (& frosting) from scratch (so yum!)
Read three chapter books to the twins at bedtime
Given haircuts to all my men, every six weeks
Read What Was Mine and The Shack (plus countless other books)
Found a dentist for us, one for the kids, and found an eye doctor in town
Meal planned for the entire month of Febuary
Established some quiet time activities for the kids in the dining room

*

I am currently working on:
Not eating out for a month

Working out everyday for a month
Doing KonMari throughout the house

I only have 47 left to go! 

***

2.12.2017

Carly's Cake Smash












 Today Carly finally got to do her cake smash. She never did it at her birthday party or on her actual birthday. It just never worked out. So today, I made (from scratch!) a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (also from scratch) and for afternoon snack she got to have a go at it. 

As I was preparing it, she kept signing "more", and then when I put the whole thing on her plate, she just kept pointing at it (a new milestone that I find completely adorable) and looking and her dad and me. 

Funny enough, she wasn't all that interested in digging in, and didn't like the frosting getting all over her fingers, so mostly Josh and I had to feed her bites. haha! She can finally make all the mess she wants, and she's not interested.  Go figure!

The boys were joking that Carly's birthday lasted three months because her party was in December, her actual birthday was in January, and her cake was in February.  Now they're dreaming up what they would do if their birthdays lasted three months. Ha!

We sure love you, Carly May!

***


2.11.2017

10 Journal Prompts

Answering these questions sounded fun:

1) 10 Rules I have broken:
I am such a rule follower, I can't think of any rules I've broken.
I guess I've sped in the car before.
And I've definitely gone in the 20 Items or Less Line with more than 20 items.
Seriously, that's all I can think of. Haha! I'm a square.

2) I love the sound of:
Josh making the boys laugh.

3) This morning, when I got out of bed I...
started taking care of my children. It was 4am, and Carly was the one who currently needed me. Then it was the twins, having breakfast. And I made Josh's lunch, and finally I poured Wyatt's cereal. Everyday begins with taking care of others.

4) What scares me the most...
is dying before my children are raised.

5) What is the best advice you have ever been given:
Hold them as much as you can in the first four months.
--This advice, given me by Susan, who had five daughters, gave me permission to stop whatever I was doing, or forget my to do list, and hold.that.baby.  I am so grateful to have had it throughout my parenting journey.

6) Things on my bucket list:

  • Write a novel.
  • Raise happy, successful, kind people.
  • Read all.the.books.


7) My favorite memory from when I was a child is...
the day my little brother Dallas was born.  I checked for the suitcase in the dining room by the china hutch and it was gone. I was equal parts excited for a new baby and that I (finally!!!) got to wear the jean skirt mom bought and was making me save. I put it on hastily and ran door to door telling the neighbors our baby was born.

8) Write a letter to the teenage you:
Dear Shelly,
Trust yourself. You work so hard to make everyone around you happy, but remember to make yourself happy too.  And know that adults don't always know what they're doing either. It's okay to make mistakes or be unsure. You don't have to be perfect. You're enough as you are.
Love, Yourself

9) What do you wish for?
I wish for more time. Always more time. Time to read and to write. But also more time to enjoy my children being children. I know that someday I will really miss this crazy time in my life.

10) If you could be a character from a book, who would you be?
I would be Cinderella after the story ends. She has her prince, and is about to start her life in the castle. I'd fill it with children and be merry.


2.10.2017

Around Here: Week 6











Adulting... with things like paying bills, doing our taxes and sorting through the boys clothes to see what still fits & what doesn't.  I always hate doing stuff like that in the beginning, but by the end I feel exhilarated by the change and the feeling of accomplishment.

Feeling... nostalgic for both when the boys were all younger, and for when Carly was a baby. All the "this time last year" posts on Facebook are killing me softly.

Reading... 1000 Gifts, Believing God and just started The Lies We Believe.  Gosh, I just love reading.  It never ceases to excite me.  Especially Self Help. I'm basically a big, giant dork. ;)

Finishing... Chasers of the Light & The Memory of Light.  The Memory of Light is the best book I've read in a long time.  I could not put it down.  I also finished The Other Side of the Mountain with the twins and we started Wonder last night. I am excited to read Wonder with them, as well as the other books by Francisco Stork, who wrote The Memory of Light.

Enjoying... Bookbub. It sends you emails with great deals on Kindle downloads. (For instance, books that are normally in the $10-$15 range for .99 to $3.99.)  I recently got one that was written by one of the doctors at Auschwitz.  Haunting.

Taking pictures... of Carly in my mom's first birthday dress.  My mom and each of her sisters wore it, as well as their daughters and me and my sister.  It feels surreal to have my own daughter to put in it.

Playing... musical beds for two nights this week as a sick Josh slept on the couch, a sicker Wyatt slept in my bed, and somehow I ended up in Wyatt's bed with Carly, trying to nurse her back to sleep after an early morning wake up. I am ready for everyone to be well, and for my sleep schedule to return to normal.

Thinking... about babies.

Grateful... that my anxiety has not reared its ugly head in weeks.  The absence of it is glorious.

Being spoiled... by my sister. She sent me a box of chocolates and bath bombs, along with a note that said she sees all that I do. It made me cry. Please, girls, tell your friends you see them. Send them encouragements (and maybe chocolate)... they probably need it. I did.  Her bit of thoughtfulness reminded me that I matter, and because of that, I painted my toenails, and I bought myself a new shirt. Who knows what much needed self care a little gift could inspire!

Blending... Shakes and smoothies with my new blender, purchased in part with money from the Walmart app.  You simply download the app, scan new receipts (within 7 days of the shopping date) into Savings Catcher and Walmart searches to see if you could have gotten a better deal somewhere else. If you could have, they pay you the difference on your account, which is the same as Walmart gift card. So super easy & cool!

Looking forward... to date night, here at home. Josh, homemade pizza and The Accountant are waiting for me after bedtime tonight. Can't wait!

Goals:
I had big goals for February.  I am succeeding with not swearing (!) and I have worked out everyday for two weeks. It feels amazing. Josh is doing it with me, and I think it's nice that we have each other.  I am definitely sleeping harder and feel like I have more energy.

Last week I automated all our bills. Hooray!  And we haven't eaten out so far, although (to be honest) I think Josh and I are going to get something for Valentine's day. :)

This week I would like to work on my Motherhood poem, KonMari the kitchen + wash my cupboards down.

I'm still blogging, going to bed on time and reading a ton, per my 2017 goals.

So many good things happening & getting accomplished. It makes me proud of myself.

2.07.2017

Enjoy Your Days Before School



Dear Mama's of Younger Littles,
Enjoy the days where the days are yours.

By that I mean, enjoy the days when waking up to little feet in footy pajamas are not dictated by school drop off or pick up, or after school activities. Enjoy the slow mornings with cartoons on and cups of coffee being held with both hands. Enjoy the freedom of having days that are all yours, to do with as you please, with your children by your side.

I enjoyed those days for many, many years, but now that the three boys are in public school (instead of homeschooled) the days are anything but mine. We wake up and it's:
-get dressed
-eat breakfast
-make the bed
-brush the teeth
-do the hair
-unload the dishwasher
-do the cat box
-pack the lunch
-load the backpack
-coats on
-gloves on
-hats on
-boots on
-out the door
-in the car
-off to school.

Whew!

I wouldn't trade it for anything, because my boys love school (oh thank goodness they love school) and I am enjoying the time I get one on one with Carly once we're home from drop off, but I do miss the coziness of mornings spent together, on the couch or in the playroom in Alaska with nothing on the agenda but play dough and trains.

Not everyday can be enjoyed, of course, some days are too challenging to really embrace, but try.  Try to hug today because tomorrow, things will look different.  Your kids, your routine, your life, will change. And before you know it, you'll be looking back wistfully on today, hoping you really enjoyed it.

Love,
A Mama Who Is Just One Step Ahead of You, Looking Back Longingly


*

2.06.2017

The Thing About Alaska






Since moving to central Washington (and having a record amount of snow compared to recent years) everyone says  I must be used to it because we lived in Alaska. But here's the truth.

In Alaska I didn't have to function in the snow.  I didn't have to get the children geared up every morning, loading them in the car as it defrosted, scraping the windows and driving them to school.  I didn't have to grocery shop in the snow. I didn't have to get the mail in the snow. Anything I did in the snow in Alaska was because I wanted to. If I wanted to go out and play in it, we would gear up and go out. Otherwise, I had nothing to do with the snow. 

Here, I have to function. I have to get them to school, I have to run errands, I have to run our household. Snow or no snow, life goes on. Honestly, it's very different.

So while I'm grateful my face doesn't hurt when I go outside, 
functioning in the snow is a pain all it's own!

***

2.03.2017

Around Here: Week 5













Cloth Diapering... the baby.  We've been cloth diapering since we moved here in August, so for about six months, and it's still going really well.  I had the diapers left over from when Wyatt was a baby, so we've really gotten our moneys worth now! I do a load of diapers every other day, so it seems like I always have a laundry basket full of little snaps & inserts to be put together.

Enjoying... Carly's snuggles.  She snuggles her daddy. She snuggles her mama. She snuggles her baby doll... It's just so darn precious.

Loving... Carly's little spout (pony tail) on the top of her her head. She's so precious.

Grateful... for our new vision clinic that helped me swap Jack's lenses for Logan's when Logan broke his fourth pair of glasses since summer. #angryeyes

Setting... Logan's EEG and neurology appointment.  I am grateful to have it on the calendar. This time we won't just have the test, we will also meet with a neurologist and be able to have our questions answered. I can't wait. I am so exhausted with the constant worry over how physical he should be, how much screen time he should have, how safe is he at home, at school, in the yard, in the tub... I am so over worrying!

Meditating... on the print my sister gave me for my birthday. (Pictured above) I love our small home, even if sometimes it's a bit crowded. I know it's exactly where we are supposed to be, and I love that on cleaning day I can get the whole thing spotless in one fell swoop!

Burning... candles everyday.  My mom gifted me a bunch of candles for Christmas, and I am so thankful.  These cold, snowy, grey days make burning candles feel extra cozy and I love that I'm being good to myself and taking the time to replace them and light them each day when I get home from drop off.

Changing... everyone's bedding. I don't know why but I love a freshly made bed with clean sheets. Nothing feels better than climbing into new sheets at bedtime. I love that my passion for clean sheets has rubbed off on the boys. You should hear them "ooh" and "ahh" when they climb in at bedtime. Priceless.

Listening... to that new song Lost Boy by Ruth B. I downloaded it this weekend while Josh was out of town as a treat to myself, and the boys and I must have listened to it 100 times. I think it's so beautiful, and the boys love it too. Wyatt is perplexed though because he says, "It's a girl singing... but she is telling the story of a lost boy..." He cracks me up.

Reading... 1000 Gifts again, as well as Chasing Light. Still working through Believing God (it's a lot to digest, so I'm taking my time there) and reading The Other Side of the Mountain with the twins at bedtime.  I just started What Was Mine and I'm already half way through. I can't put it down!

Writing... down all the little blessings & ways I see God in my days as I wrap up my 1000 Gifts list.  I am currently on #899. So close!!!  Also writing in my 100th journal!

Living out... the groundhog's prediction with more & more snow!

***