Great Grandma Pansy

"When you love what you have,
you have everything you need."



Around Here: Week 34

Meditating... on this gem from Eckhart Tolle:
"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have."

Visiting... the doctor.  Wyatt had an appointment this week, the twins have an appointment next week.  I think it's smart to have an established relationship with their new doctor before I send them off to the germ pool school. ;)

Organizing... all my new bookshelves. Oh the joy that a stack of books can bring!!! (For me, and for the kids!)

Experimenting... with cloth diapering again as a means to save money. So far, so good!  (I had 24 bumGenius diapers left from my cloth diapering days with Wyatt.)

Reading... Home Field by Hannah Gersen. It took me a while to get into it, but I'm enjoying it now.  Only one more book club book left (What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross) and I will have worked my way through the whole summer list!

Exploring... our new neighborhood.  The boys hop on bikes or scooters and Carly rides in either her stroller or my Ergo, and we meander, taking in all the sights.  I'm loving it.

Road tripping... to Wenatchee (to the nearest Target) to pick up shelving for linens and other necessary items that we couldn't find at the Walmart in town. Wenatchee's only about an hour away and a lovely drive.

Looking forward... to fall, thanks to a sweet gift from my friend Ashley that arrived in the mail this week.  A beautiful dish cloth & set of autumn chapstick. Yum!

Enjoying... the dirt pit.  It entertains the boys for hours on end and feels like such a wholesome activity for three little boys!

Watching... the boys collect these strange seed/flower bombs from the neighbors tree.  They took off with a step stool, a grabber, and a plastic bag to collect the ones that dangle over the fence.  Now we have piles of them in our garage.  They look like slightly pokey tennis balls.

Feeling... Carly's new (razor sharp) tooth that finally poked through.  Thankfully she's only bit me a handful of times so far.  Yipes.

Working... on our front yard. Josh mowed the grass and we redid the front flower bed.  It's a small start, but it's a start!  Next up, trimming the roses that are blocking our front window!

Excited... for tonight when my sister & her fam arrive! We have a JAM-PACKED day planned tomorrow full of fun for our collective five boys & two baby girls.  I can't wait!



The Time We Grew Some Butterflies

Back in the spring, the boys and I ordered some caterpillars and learned all about the butterfly life cycle.  The caterpillars grew SO fast (!!!) and before we knew, it they were dangling on the lid of their little food box, ready to go into the butterfly enclosure. 

So we carefully relocated them, adding some baby oranges and sugar water for them to eat, and waited.  A few days later, they started emerging.  (Some of the red drops you see is from their emerging process.)

And a few days after that, we set them free.

The whole process was really simple and very exciting.


Thoughts on my Rainbow Baby

This picture was taken in our living room in Alaska exactly two years ago.  I was pregnant.  Secretly.  Excitedly.  Anxiously.

But the good kind of anxious. The kind that, every time you think of it, makes your stomach do flips inside you.  I couldn't believe I had been so lucky to get pregnant on the first try, and to have all my dreams coming true. 

Alas, they weren't.  

But for ten weeks I had day dreamed and envisioned this sweet fourth baby of ours.  I imagined him a boy, Reid Joseph, after Josh's best friend Joe, and was tickled thinking of a rounded belly, swollen with life in just a few short months.  Instead, as you all know, that pregnancy ended with a broken heart. Mine, obviously, and also our baby's. 

A few months later, we tried again.  And got pregnant again.  We day dreamed and imagined again.  This time imagining a girl, Bailey Kate.  By six weeks that dream had also turned to dust.  Not meant to be.

Five long months later, after declaring we were done, I had a sudden change of heart.  This wasn't how the story was going to end for our family.  Once again, we got pregnant.  But this time. It stuck.

Nine long months later Carly May, our rainbow baby, was born.  I had heard people say the cliche thing people say: "It was all worth it."  But I had no idea it could be so true.  

Carly was worth every tear, every bit of lost sleep & lost hope... She was worth all of it.


PS- Happy Seven Months to our sweet rainbow girl.  
You are the light of our lives.


The Separation of Twins

Not only have I decided this year to send my big boys, the twins, to public school, but I have also decided to put them in separate classrooms.  It's a hard decision.  One that I don't take lightly.  But it's also one that I made easily.

They will be going into third grade.  And it's time they had some separate experiences.

When I asked them what they thought were the good things about being apart, they said:
1) They will get to make their own friends.
2) Their teacher will know who they are.
3) They won't fight with each other in class.

When I asked about the challenges, Jack said, "Logan won't know where I am."

Which about sums up their concern.  Neither of them is worried how Jack will do.  They're both worried how Logan will do.  He is a classic firstborn.  A worrier.  A controller.  He is constantly doing head counts, making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be, and when something is new or changes, he's the one who struggles the most to adjust.

But it's because of his personality that I think separating needs to happen.  I want him to see that Jack can take care of himself.  I want him to be able to only worry about himself for once.  Also, I think it's time they be recognized for who they are individually, not who they are as a pair.

My decision is backed by something I read in One And The Same by Abigail Pogrebin, my twin guide book, as it were.  The author interviewed twin expert Joan Friedman (who is an identical twin herself) and she said:

"Twins are completely crippled by the fact that they had this other person with them all the time.  So they were always fine socially, comfortable in school; they always got a lot of attention.  But they didn't have to work for anything.  Without doing much, they were always 'so cute, so special.' 

 Resilience for children comes out of master of a challenge, or facing a fear.  And twins, with their ridiculous star power, lose out on mastering some of life's challenges... Twins need to get the message early that 'You aren't the same.  And that the two of you will end up in very different circumstances, just like you would if you were plain siblings.' It's never fair with siblings. It's never equal."

This is not to say separating twins is the right thing for everyone.  I trust that other parents know what's best for their twins just like I know my twins and what's best for them.

I am excited for Logan & Jack.  I am excited for what the future holds for them, in the classroom and elsewhere, and I'm anxious to see how being treated as individuals impacts them & their confidence.



All The Feels

With the move, I expected some misbehavior from the kids.  I expected tears and anger and some big time adjustment issues.  Instead I have only had occasional bedtime emotions.  And only from Wyatt.  I guess the twins are so used to this "on-the-go", constant-change lifestyle that it doesn't bother them in the least.  All those years leaving for Alaska in the fall have paid off.  

With Wyatt what usually happens is this:
I tuck Wyatt in, we say prayers and I sit in the rocking chair to feed Carly.  Then Wyatt rolls around a bit, talks about something random (like earth spinning really fast, "but we can't feel it") or asks me questions (like "Can water sunburn?") then he stops and says to me, "I feel sad." 

So I lay Carly down and scoop Wyatt up.  "Why are you sad?" I ask.
"I miss everybody," he tells me.

Even though it makes me sad that his little heart hurts, I am so, so proud of him for talking about his feelings and I'm so happy that just a hug from mom helps him feel better.  My hope is that with time he will see that we aren't as cut off from our people here as we were in Alaska.  Poor little buddy!



Our Farewell

Before we left town, my parents & sister threw us a little farewell so we could see everyone one last time.  Everyone brought items for our pantry (or their favorite cleaning products) which was just the greatest when we got here and had things we needed (like Magic Erasers and Italian Seasoning).  

It was a fun, laid back afternoon of visiting and watching the kids run around crazy!

Rainbow baby!!!
Nephew Ferris
Haha! My dad
Nephew Milo
Ferris & Jack
Wyatt, Milo & Jack
I am so relieved to be living within driving distance of my people.  After years of being so so far away, we can now plan weekend gatherings, birthday parties and other fun stuff all throughout the year!  I can't wait!



Home Sweet Home- The First Week

From the very first night, we all slept like we were meant to be here.  No one woke up crying, no one had nightmares and not even once during the day did Wyatt call out "Mom?" or "Dad?" in a scared, frantic voice. From day one, it has truly felt like home.

So happy to be reunited with some of my favorite Alaska things!
The backyard has also been awesome from day one.  The kids have loved playing football, soccer & squirt guns back there.  And once the trampoline arrived from Aunt Julie, not a day has passed that they haven't jumped with the sprinkler under it.

Also from day one we've enjoyed having meals together in our dining room, chatting about the best parts of our day and slowly settling into a routine.

I wasn't the only one happy to be reunited with my things-- the boys, too, were overjoyed to be reunited with old favorites like their train set from Alaska.

Since these pictures were taken, some changes have been made, but these show our progress, so I'm going to share them this morning.

Here is Wyatt & Carly's room:

Here is Logan & Jack's room:

Here is the garage:

Here is my kitchen:

I just love my kitchen! If I could hug it, I would! ;)

The weather has been amazing since we moved.  In the high 90's everyday, with blue skies, it's been welcome after a mediocre summer weather-wise in Vancouver.

Here is our room:

I'm hoping to get a few more projects done this week while Josh is at work, and post another round of pictures before my sister visits next weekend so you can see my progress here in Week Three.  Thankfully the work doesn't overwhelm me, and I am really enjoying taking my time in making the space my own and unpacking/decorating at my own pace.

So happy to finally be here!