12.31.2016

Carly's First Birthday Party












We celebrated Carly's first birthday a month early on Wednesday.  Josh's sister Julie was kind enough to host it.  We invited my parents and Josh's parents, as well as my sister and her family.  We ate pizza and watched Carly open her gifts.  She got some adorable outfits (I still can't believe I got a girl!) and some fun girly play toys.  She got a purse with a little bracelet that she can actually put on herself (how cute/smart is she?!?) and she got a little pot & pan with meatballs that she loves. 

As soon as I got her ready for the party, I started snapping pictures of her in the window of my mom's sewing/guest room. Sometimes, like in those moments I was taking her picture, I just can't believe she's here.  She has filled the holes that the miscarriages left, and then some.  She has brought joy & light to all the dark corners. 


She's my happiness.

***

12.30.2016

Around Here: Week 52


















Opening... presents on Christmas Eve, Christmas day and on Wednesday at my parents & at aunt Julie's house. Holy spoiled children!  (wink wink) They were so excited and grateful for everything.  It's fun to get them exactly what I know they'd love.  Logan got Star Wars toys & Monopoly, Jack got walkie talkies and a Seahawks football, and Wyatt got the Paw Patroller and some new books.  They all got games (Jenga, Sorry, Yahtzee and Checkers) plus slinkies.

Keeping... our family traditions, despite the fact that I broke down in tears on Christmas Eve because the kids had been fighting so bad all day.  I felt better after crying and we managed to make homemade pizza and watch Polar Express like we always do. It was exactly what I needed to end what was an exhaustive parenting day.

Moving... Wyatt to and from his bed, depending on how long it takes Carly to cry it out at night. Sometimes by bedtime I have just had enough and if she is uncooperative, I leave her to her own devices at bedtime. I hate doing it, but my sanity requires that I have some time to myself with all four kids in bed.  Luckily Wyatt doesn't mind sleeping in mom & dad's bed.

Continuing... to sort and KonMari the house.  I have done my clothes, my books and our linens.  I can't wait to dive in again after the new year!

Traveling... to Vancouver Wednesday to spend some of our Christmas break with family.  We have spent time with everyone except my grandparents who are sick.  I am so bummed we didn't get to go visit with them while we were here.  I do miss them.

Watching... Logan do Carly's hair in the bath tub.  He loves to get it wet, then comb it all different directions or give her baby mohawks. He's such a good brother.

Celebrating... Carly's first birthday a month early.  We decided to have a party while we are here in town because having everyone travel to us is hard to accomplish.  Her party was precious-- all her loved ones were there; she was so cute opening her presents and playing with her toys; and her little dress was like a dream come true.

Leaving... Carly for the first time yesterday.  We left her for a few hours with my parents to see a movie with just the twins and Wyatt.  It was so lovely to spend some time with our boys.  We saw Sing and they really enjoyed it.  Carly spent half the time asleep in my dad's lap, which just melted my heart.  And in the afternoon we dropped her off with Josh's mom (while my mom had our boys) and went on our first real date since Carly was born in January.  We did a little shopping at the mall (which felt so luxurious sans children!) and then had dinner at Red Lobster.  Dinner was quiet and delicious.  It was wonderful.  Although my favorite part may have been when we went back to pick Carly up. She squealed upon seeing me and crawled with impressive speed to where I kneeled on the rug.  (Spoken like a true mom, right? I finally get a break from the kids, and all I wanted was to be reunited with the kids. Go figure!)

Accepting... that snow is a real part of my life now.  It snowed three more inches over Christmas Eve and even more is expected this weekend.  My biggest complaint is just the kids' gear. So much ever living gear to keep track of. We've lost more gloves since November than I'd have imagined possible! After weeks of yelling at the boys about it, I have resigned myself to buying more pairs and letting it go. I'm tired of nagging.

Witnessing... Wyatt bloom.  He is really just coming into his own.  School has taught him more than I ever thought possible in four short months.  He is writing and reading with increasing accuracy, and his coloring and cutting have improved tenfold.  A few days ago Josh caught him with one of the twins' chapter books sounding out words.  We're just so proud of him.

Anticipating... the new year and all it will hold.

Looking... for my word of the year for 2017.
and
Contemplating... goals for the new year.


***

12.27.2016

End of the Year :: 100 Small Things

I've crossed many things off my small things list in the last three months. It's exciting!

In October:
Jamberry my nails (thanks to my new friend JoAnne!)
Review insurance with my new insurance lady (hooray for discounts!)
Volunteer in the boys' classrooms (Wyatt's Halloween party. So much fun!)

In November:
Complete a monthly blog calendar (even though I did this, it wasn't entirely effective for me)
Read Flight Behavior (good, but slow)
Decorated for Christmas (first one in our new house!!!)
Read My Side of the Mountain aloud to the twins (I loved this one so much!)

In December:
Finished Bird by Bird (Such good inspiration if you are a writer)
Meditated everyday for a week (so much peace and introspection. it was lovely)
Got my Washington State license (And there wasn't even a line. Yay!)
Established quiet time activities for the boys (Christmas break was killing me at first!)
KonMari'd the house (still working on this, but I've made so.much.progress)
Read BFG aloud to Logan & Jack (not as good as My Side of the Mountain, but the kids love it)
Purchase and read Winter Storms (so good! sooooo good! gosh I love Elin Hildebrand)


***


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 2/4
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
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
64. Arrange "Tucker Family" sleepover
65. Establish family move night
66. Establish date night
67. Read Kon Mari. Clean house accordingly
68. Read aloud chapter books
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 
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

I have 55 left to go on the list, and seven months in which to accomplish them. A lot of it is reading which I hope to increase this year.  But that's a whole other post!

***

12.26.2016

Our Carly Girl

At ten months Carly:

Loves food
Claps on command
Loves (!!!) her daddy
Laughs when we laugh
Cries when we yell at the cats
Pulls all the alphabet magnets off the fridge
Loves books (and pulling them off the shelf)
Crawls from one end of the house to the other

At eleven months Carly:

Enjoys playing with the cats
Loves cheese & has tried peanut butter (no allergy! Yay!)
Crawls over to me and pulls up on my jeans when she wants me to hold her
Has started to pull my shirt down and lay on her side when she wants to nurse
Walks along the furniture in every room
Stands unassisted for small periods of time

As my fourth, I am sorry to admit that my memory keeping for Carly has not been what it was with the twins and Wyatt.  But I am trying to keep track of her development here on the blog.  I also must admit that I am (still) having so much fun with a daughter.  She may not have as many pages filled out in her baby book, but I sure adore dressing her and imagining her playing dolls and barbies in the future. I was sorting through her blankets and couldn't bring myself to get rid of her receiving blankets because when I was little I loved using receiving blankets as blankets for my dolls.  Sigh. She is just all my dreams come true.

 I haven't been sleeping much lately as Carly has her second big cold and has been pretty miserable.  Even when she's healthy her main source of comfort is ME and nursing.  After nearly a year, it's getting old.  I'm ready for more sleep.

Because of this, I am contemplating being done nursing when she turns one next month. (Her birthday is on the 24th)  With Wyatt I nursed until he was almost 18 months. I quit slowly, dropping one feeding per week for four weeks. I am still in the thinking phase of this plan, so I'm not sure if I will end up stopping.  But it's nice to feel like I have a choice.  And it's nice to imagine sleeping more than two or three hours in a row. 

Thinking about quitting has me all nostalgic for nursing, and my sister sent me the link on how to make these beautiful Tree of Life photos.  You use an app called PicsArt.  It has a free Tree of Life add on and the tree of life, once you click "use", becomes a sticker you can put on (and adjust) on your pic. There are a few different tree/root options. Then you use the "Magic" option and use Midnight. Voila! Picture created.


 Tonight as sweet Jack lay on the couch sleeping off a terrible ear infection (and what I suspect is a ruptured ear drum), Carly was completely perplexed by his lack of involvement. She made her way over to him and began to poke him repeatedly in the face.  It was hilarious. Well... it was hilarious to us. Probably not to Jack.  She just couldn't figure out why he wouldn't wake up and play with her!

 I heard over the last two days of one friends' miscarriage and another friends' rainbow pregnancy following a miscarriage.  It has me remembering the dark times after my miscarriages.  Times where I was hopeless and heartbroken.  But more than that it has me feeling immense gratitude for this little girl.  For the rainbow she truly was after the storm.   


As I washed Carly in her bath tonight I listened to "I am Not Alone" by Kari Jobe. My friend Kristina introduced me to this song and I clung to it, tightly, during that long, dark winter after my miscarriages.  It's true. Every word of it. 


"In the midst of deep sorrow, I see your light is breaking through.

The dark of night will not overtake me. I am pressing into you.
Lord you fight my every battle. And I will not fear."

He never left my side, and he kept his promise.
Carly is proof of that.

{Me at 14 months}
I'm getting wistful as the year wraps up and we head towards her first birthday.  Her entire existence has felt like a miracle.  From the positive pregnancy test, to her first heartbeat, to the day she was born... She's been a gift. And I'm thinking maybe (maybe!) I'm finally going to get my own mini-me. 

*** 

12.24.2016

Around Here: Week 51












{"Before" of my closet} 






Cleaning... the house before we left last weekend to visit my parents.  I so love when it's clean!  Luckily I've learned to just enjoy it while it lasts and not stress over how quickly it meets its demise.

Enjoying... a quick trip to Vancouver.  It was my mom's birthday party weekend and I am so glad we were able to make it. I've missed her birthday for years since we were in Alaska.  It felt great to make a reappearance. Even if we did stay up until 2 in the morning talking.  Totally worth the tiredness the next day to have had some one on one time with my mom.

Thanking... my lucky stars that Carly slept most of the drive there and back.

Making... all the treats for the boys' school parties.  Rice Christmas krispie treats & cinnamon rolls, yum!

Staying... home on Tuesday since school was canceled for freezing rain.  Unfortunately for Logan & Wyatt, their class parties were supposed to be Tuesday, so instead of sharing with their classmates, they got to share their class treats with their brothers.

Wrapping... gifts like mad yesterday during Carly's nap time.  I hadn't wrapped a single gift before then, so I had my work cut out for me!

Reading... Bird by Bird and hoping to finish today.  I'd like to read Chasers of Light and finish Believing God before the new year.

Finishing... Winter Stroll and Winter Storms by Elin Hildebrand.  Gah, they were SO good!!!

Starting... a Christmas puzzle two days ago. Doing puzzles makes me ridiculously happy.

Feeling grateful... that Dashy our Christmas Elf goes home tonight. I'm exhausted from all the forced creativity. Buh-bye Dash. Have a safe trip North!

Sorting... through all my clothes and books via the KonMari method. I read the book in three days (found it on my library's ebook page!)) and then got started.  I got rid of so.many.clothes. Probably 2/3 of my clothes.  I am selling some stuff, but donated a lot at Goodwill.  I also sorted through my  jewelry which felt great (it's so good to have only what I love in my jewelry box) and I went through all my books.  I had 126 books, 6 magazines, 2 bibles and 19 misc/empty journals. ...and that's just my collection of books.  The boys collection probably has double that!  I made good headway though, getting rid of 42 of them!

Watching... my Christmas-card-covered-door fill up.  All the love from my people makes me happy!

Painting... my toenails the happiest shade of red. I finally got around to getting them done and I'm so glad I did!

Loving... my new drying rack for all the snow clothes that I got at Ikea last weekend.  My mom and sister swore by theirs, so I purchased one for myself and it is awesome!

Cursing... my children's need for glasses.  Yesterday Logan & Jack were fighting and the new glasses just got Logan (at Halloween) got broke.  They were $75. And they only lasted two months! Grrr!



Goals for this week:
Today I will be making Cinnamon Rolls & Special K bars
After Christmas I want to hit the post-Christmas sales to find a fake tree & a new star topper
Other than that, it's family time and relaxing!