Carly May at 22 Months

You guys.  This girl. She just... She just is the best.  She's everyone's favorite, the boys included, and we are all so grateful for her.  I can't tell you how often I thank God that I didn't give up after my miscarriages.  Because our life would be missing a giant ray of sunshine if she hadn't shown up.

She's such a lover, she gives these amazing back hugs when you are doing something (like cleaning the floor or picking up toys) and she will often feel sad and come to one of us saying, "hug" or "snuggle".  When she first wakes up is my favorite because she has her taggies ("all of them") and just wants to rest her head on my shoulder for a while. It is the most precious thing. And perhaps because she's my fourth, I know how fleeting those footy-pajama'd, morning hair, warm cheeked hugs really are.  My first babies are now nine, and half the size of grown men.  We still hug & snuggle, but it's just not the same.  So every morning I close my eyes and try to capture the essence of those snuggles with Carly to store away for the future.

I remember sneaking into the twins' nursery at night to scoop them back out of their cribs and rock them a little more while they slept. Josh thought I was crazy, but I am so grateful for those memories because I often look back and think, "Did I enjoy it? Did I relish it?"
I did.
Thank goodness I did.

Our Carly loves her brothers, especially at play time.  They will push her around in her Little Tykes Car or Stroller.  Or pull her in a laundry basket.  They hate when she's in trouble and will stick up for her mischievousness.  It's hilarious.  They tend to give in to what she wants and hate to see her cry.  At Dollar Tree the other day she wanted this terrible stuffed animal and Logan said he would trade out his Matchbox car so she could get the bear. Their hearts are just so big for her.  It's in those moments I think, "We must be doing something right."

Sister-friend knows what she wants and is very clear in demanding we meet her requests. "Myself!" "Brush!" "Straw!" and "Cereal!" are some things she often yells at us. She hates eating in her high chair and will often cry, "Bable.... BABLE!!!" (table) as we are buckling her in. She can't wait to be big like her brothers.

So far this holiday season, she has destroyed the bottom third of our Christmas tree and broken Wyatt's super special Christmas Snow Globe-- she's just a girl on a mission and doesn't want to be told no about anything. I don't care about the tree- honestly the little ornaments bring her so much joy it's hard to be mad.  But I felt awful when she broke Wyatt's snow globe.  He cried so much. Sometimes having a little sister is just hard.
But he forgave her nearly instantly because she was crying so much as well. When it broke, it scared her and got her socks wet, so she was really upset. He hugged her and told her it was okay.  Then the next time he was on the phone with my mom, he told her what happened and asked for a new one.

Carly loves holding things lately- the cats, my sister's baby, or lots of bubbas (which is what we call stuffed animals/babies).  She will tote them around to the school to pick up brothers, or the store to grocery shop.  She puts them in her pockets if they'll fit or into her stroller if they're bigger.  "All of them" is her constant cry.  She doesn't want any bubbas left behind.

In her twenty-first month she experienced her first snowfall and it was magic.  She loved it.  She loved how it looked, she loved bundling up and playing outside with brothers, and she LOVED going on the sled with Logan. It was so much fun to watch our one baby that was "made in Alaska" be so in love with the cold weather.  She's our best souvenir from our time in the village.

Because of nursing, she is often a mama's girl, but that has been changing as of late.  When Josh gets home, she jumps up and down, signing, "Home! Home!" and runs to hug him.  When we ran a few errands Monday she wanted nothing to do with me, and requested that "Dada" get her out of her car seat.  She will be so sweet to him, hugging him, kissing him, even rubbing his back.

I love how she makes all of us better.  We are a family that has been drawn together by this little pixie God sent, and we're all better for it. The twins are more affectionate and patient.  Wyatt is more boisterous and silly.  Josh is more tender and seems to more relish his role as dad.  I am more conscious in treasuring little moments, and somehow she reminds me that my time with the twins & Wyatt is precious and fleeting as well.  She reminds me that someday I'll look back on these days and wonder if I enjoyed it enough, relished it enough.  And thanks to her, I know my answer will be yes.



Around Here: Week 47

{thanks for your help, Aunt Roxanne!}

{babies + olives= Happy Thanksgiving)


Go Hawks!!!

Finished... reading The Handmaid's Tale and The One.  I did not like the ending of the Handmaid's Tale, as I like my books tied up neat. I want to know if she found her husband and daughter; I want to know if she was pregnant; I want to know all.the.things.  I liked The One, but again, wish it had wrapped things up for me.  I started Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand, which is my holiday tradition.  I will re-read Winter Street, Winter Stroll and Winter Storms, and then I will read Winter Solstice, which is her new release this holiday season, which I ordered from Target.  Ordering from Target meant I got the book with a bonus chapter at the end!!!

Celebrating... my thirty-fifth birthday last Saturday.  It started with baking a cake with Wyatt, my best little helper.  Then I took the twins to see Wonder.  Oh it was so, so good.  We had read the book this summer, and the movie was everything we had hoped for.  The boys loved it, and so did I.  Then the boys had their last basketball game, and after that we got pizza and had family movie night.  It was a really lovely day, where I was spoiled with presents and kind words (the boys made me cards that made my little mama heart swell- Jack's said, "You are the one who makes our life happy.") and fell asleep feeling very, very blessed.

Taking... family pictures with my sister, and feeling so grateful that Josh was willing (family pictures aren't his favorite); that the kids were cooperative (we got so many good pictures!); and that the weather cooperated (even though it was SO cold!).  It was totally worth the effort.

Working... a little more each day with VIPkid.  I was up at 3:30am every day this week except Thursday, and I will not be doing that to myself again.  Ha! I plan on changing my schedule so I only work Monday, Wednesday & Friday, with a little respite in between.  I absolutely love the children (students), and the time when I am working flies by.  The main stresses are: getting enough sleep each night, and worrying when I hear Carly starting to stir and I'm still teaching. Josh is here, but I'm not sure he is who she'd want if she woke up.

Bringing back... date night for Josh and myself. We needed it! We got Baby Driver and Josh made us pizza and we really just laid low on the couches in the living room, enjoying the break and the time together. 

Planning... to use Xtra Math to help Jack cement his addition & subtraction facts.  Logan has the program free through his classroom teacher, and it has helped him already in the last week, making his math skills stronger.  Their multiplication & division facts are strong, but we never got the addition & subtraction memorized. I will also have Wyatt jump on there, so he can learn his efficiently this year. 

Decorating... for Christmas the weekend before Thanksgiving, which normally feels too early, but which felt perfect for some reason this year.  All the twinkle lights and magic is getting me so excited for this lovely season.  I also mapped out plans for Dashy, our Elf on the Shelf, and ordered our Christmas cards.  I am feeling like I'm on my A game, and it feels pretty awesome!

Grateful... for a husband who doesn't mind climbing on the roof and standing precariously on a ladder in the name of a festive holiday and a happy wife. Thanks babe! I love the lights!!!

Enjoying... Peppermint Mocha creamer in my coffee.  I've never had it before but decided to give it a try. I love it!!!

Adoring... Carly in my Aunt Barbara's jacket from 60+ years ago.  I never met my mom (and Aunt Barb's) mom.  She passed before I was born. So I love putting Carly into clothes that my Grandma Beverly bought for her three daughters.  I feel like a get a glimpse of who she was. (Sidenote- I was named for her.  My middle name is Beverly after her.)  Carly has worn little leather booties that Grandma Beverly bought; the one-year dress that all my mom and aunts wore; and this sweet little jacket.

Wrapping up... basketball for the twins.  During the last game, Jack made his first (ever) basket, and the WHOLE team cheered so loud! It was a very precious moment.  Logan's teacher (God bless her) was there, and pointed out to me that Logan honestly seemed more excited about the shot than Jack.  Jack was sort of humbled in his success, which was nice to see.  That game, with Logan's teacher there, was, hands down, his best.  He was so full of energy and focus.  He got the ball many times and tried many shots, but never made it. Thankfully the boys ended the season (their first with basketball) with their heads held high, despite the fact that they lost every single game.  They personally gained so much knowledge about the game, and so many skills they lacked previously.  It was a great experience.

Celebrating... Thanksgiving with my sister and her family, as well as my parents.  Now that my sister is only a little over an hour away, I am really enjoying and feeling blessed to be able to spend so much time with her and her littles.  Mostly her littlest little, who is only one sweet month old! Our Thanksgiving together was really lovely.  Very relaxed with lots of yummy food and happy kids.  It was perfect.

Loving... the glow of the Christmas lights in the early mornings when I'm done teaching and the boys have yet to wake up.  I write in my Five Minute Journal and just soak in the quiet. It's as awesome as it sounds.