Around Here: Week 25

Throwing... a successful birthday bash for our three June boys last weekend.  They each invited five friends, plus three of their cousins, so we had a house full of happy kids!  We kept it simple with three stations- a drawing/art station; an outside (mostly trampoline jumping!) station; and a Lego building station.  They all enjoyed the party and I loved seeing them celebrate with their friends from school.  It also made me happy to be hosting their first birthday party at our first home.

Enjoying... long, slow mornings in our pajamas.  Hooray for summer!  We roll out of bed, eat some breakfast, I drink some coffee and the kids do their daily journals + school work.  It's just the best!

Working... on a little schoolwork (less than an hour per day) to keep the kids' skills up over summer.  The twins typically do a 4th grade prep page; a math page; a reading page and a daily journal entry (picture + sentences).  In the evenings while I'm laying Carly and Wyatt down, they go over multiplication and division with Josh; and throughout the day all three boys are expected to get in (at least) 20 minutes of silent reading and read aloud one book to a parent or sibling.  Wyatt does a reading & math page, plus reads me sight word flashcards.  All in all, their attitudes about this have been pretty good and I've been impressed with what I'm seeing! I joke that it's too bad their dad's a teacher, because he's seen the amount of academic progress that can be lost over summer, so they'll be doing "summer school" all their lives!

Hosting... "brother sleepovers" as we let the kids sleep in the laundry room and each other's beds this first week of summer.  Wyatt was thrilled to sleep in his brothers' room because it meant he got to finally sleep with the kitties.

Scaling back... my reading now that the kids are home for summer.  I am still slowly working through The Identicals by Elin Hildebrand (and loving it!), and I finished Everything, Everything.  I love reading so many books, but it's also kind of nice taking my time.  They're both currently on sale**!

(**links take you to my amazon site, and I receive a small kickback for any purchases made. thanks for supporting my blog in this way!) 

Getting... lots checked off our to do list this week so we can really settle into being present for the summer as it unfolds.  We grocery shopped, saw the orthodontist, picked up Rx's, and ran to the bank.  Next week there's nothing on the calendar until the weekend.  Wahoo!

Eating... burgers & french fries outside!  The boys and I get so excited to eat outside, and Carly enjoys the bumpy arrival from the dining room to the picnic table in her high chair.

Gardening... with a dragonfly.  It's hard to see in the picture I posted here, but there was a dragonfly working with me as I weeded our little raised garden this week.  I got the bed looking really good and I can't wait until it starts producing!  We have watermelon, pumpkin, peas, green beans, zucchini, corn, and tomatoes!

Spending... a lot of time at the water park this week.  We got season passes and I'm so grateful.  All four kids enjoy their time there, and I find parenting there is way easier than at home because they're so happy in the water!  (Plus they fall asleep at bedtime SO EASILY! Win-win!)

Loving... Carly's little tiny swimsuits.  I think she has five (!!!) and they're all so adorable!  (I bought one, my mom bought two, and I had two others given as hand-me-downs.)

Learning... to love my body in a swimsuit.  Something about having a daughter has me suddenly looking at my body in a totally different light.  Whereas before I was really harsh about the extra pounds, the lumps or bumps, now I find that I want to love my body.  It has given me four beautiful children.  It runs on little sleep and even less nutrition.  It keeps up with those crazy kids, and does anything I ask of it.  I am hoping this journey of self acceptance leads to treating my body better (eating more nutritionally & exercising), and that it will set the example I want for Carly as she grows into a woman.


"We must love the people
we have become.
Because no matter where
we look, or how hard we
try to see, 
we will never find the
people, that we once 
used to be."


Twin Stuff

This week the twins went to the orthodontist for the first time ever. Their top teeth have a little crowding and I wanted to make sure there wasn't anything that needed to be done right now.
Logan & Jack: Smiles
Logan & Jack: Profile

Logan (Top)
Jack (Bottom)
I took Jack to the first appointment, and Logan to his appointment the next day.  It was fascinating, as it always is, to see how they react to similar situations.  Both boys wanted to sit away from the TV's and any other people in the waiting room.  They both wanted me to lead the way to the room, following the nurse.  They both opted to sit in the grown up chair next to me instead of the examination chair, and when asked to point out what, if anything, bothered them about their teeth, they chose opposite (or mirror) teeth.  Jack pointed to his left upper crooked tooth and Logan pointed to his right upper crooked tooth.  

(Teeth pictures gross Josh out, so I'm sorry to any of you who are sensitive to teeth photos, but I thought it was absolutely fascinating how identical the twins' teeth are.)
Top- Jack
Bottom- Logan
They both have twelve more teeth to lose, they both have overbites, they both will need spacers and they both have their front two teeth tipping back, and their two upper side teeth coming forward. 

The plan is to look at getting braces around 12, 13, 14ish years old.  

I am riveted by similarities we find in them (still) and am curious to see what about these two remains the same as they age, and what (if anything) will start to differ. 



Baseball Season

The twins' baseball season came to an end a few weeks ago, and what a great season it was!  We loved having Josh home for baseball to be assistant coach, and the twins improved in every aspect of the game. I was such a proud mama!

(Wyatt made best friends with the coach's daughter.
How adorable are these little friends?!?)



Around Here: Week 24

{Wyatt's embarrassed/proud face} 

Watching... Wyatt's class performance on Octopus at school.  He did so great, sang so loud and smiled so big.  Josh surprised both of us and took a half day so he could attend.  It meant so much to both me & Wyatt.  Wyatt told me it took him "100 hours" to cut out his octopus.  Hah!

Finishing... Confessions of a Domestic Failure and Dreamland Burning.  This puts me at 34 books for this year!  I loved both books and recommend them highly.  Dreamland Burning had me turning pages faster than I have in a long time, and Confessions of a Domestic Failure was both hilarious and validating talking about how hard it is to be a stay-at-home-mom.

Reading... Everything, Everything and when I'm done with that (probably this afternoon) I will be starting The Identicals by Elin Hildebrand and The Color Purple, which are all on my summer reading list from The Inspired Reading Book Club. (If you love reading, click over to our Facebook page and ask to be added.  One of us will approve you and you'll be on your way to a summer of reading awesomeness!  We'd love to have you.)

Swirling... in the chaos of what was our last week of school.  There has been activity after activity, and full backpacks coming home everyday this week.  Last night, around 11:30 I realized I hadn't posted anything about Wyatt's birthday on social media.  Josh accidentally drove to work with both sets of keys in his pockets, so I had to walk to school to take Wyatt's class his birthday cupcakes.  Which wouldn't have been a problem, except it was raining. Ha! Go figure!
We made it to the school, just a touch damp, and got to celebrate our little guy.  Then it was laundry and dinner, opening presents and doing dishes, showers, baths and and bedtime, and before I knew it, the day was nearly over.  I am happy to be taking a big breath today, knowing we will have a nice long break from our routine.

Celebrating... Wyatt's sixth birthday yesterday with homemade cake and a yummy meal-- drumsticks on the BBQ as well as corn on the cob.  He was so happy to open presents and share some cake with his brothers.  I was happy to celebrate our sweet little boy.

Crying... as I reminisced and wrote a birthday post about Wyatt this morning.  (Sometimes thinking back on hard times in my life, especially the miscarriages, can really get me!)

Embracing... the good and the bad of motherhood.  This week felt like one big dichotomy.  It was equal parts yelling & hugging; forgiving & laughing.  The boys are stretching their independence, which is mostly good, but can also mean trying things out (like sass-mouthing, or not doing their jobs) and that makes my job exhausting. I also think we were all a bit tense knowing this was the last week of school.  As much as I know we will enjoy summer, we also like knowing what's happening everyday, and we can all struggle a bit with change, so there was definitely some tension among us.  But there were also many, many tender moments sprinkled in, that allowed me to carry on despite the challenges.  Like overhearing Logan tell his classmate that his mom made "the best spice cake ever" for his birthday; or Wyatt telling me I was the best mom ever; or Carly giving me kisses and hugs out of nowhere as she plays.
Nearly a decade into my parenting gig, and I'm so grateful for the perspective I've earned.  I know that "this too shall pass" applies not only to the hard parts, but to the good parts as well, and it reminds me not to take any of this journey lightly or for granted.

Closing out... the 2016-2017 school year.  Today was the last day of school!!!  For summer we're looking forward to lots of reading, swimming and family time, as Josh has summer off as well.

Grateful... for the amazing year my boys had in public school.  We have been so, so blessed by the teachers and staff at our school, and I am so pleased with the decision we made to send them.

Prepping for... a huge birthday party tomorrow.  All three boys got to invite five friends to the party, and we'll have a house FULL to the brim of little boys.  They can't wait!!!