Around Here: Week 52 {2018}

Wyatt made a dolphin out his banana!


We are ending 2018 feeling really grateful for a lot of things. 

Knowing... we have figured out (at least for the time being) Wyatt's asthma, and we have kept him off oral steroids through three colds now.  I cannot even begin to express to you the freedom this gives me.  He was coughing today, and I realized that it was not giving me instant panic.  I didn't even realize that it used to do that until suddenly today, a year later, it doesn't. What a blessed relief.

Going... almost two weeks seizure free for Logan.  This new medication seems to be doing the trick, and even if it's not, and he has another seizure tomorrow, we have sure enjoyed the respite.  He had his blood drawn today to check his levels and I am feeling really optimistic about this one.

Finishing... 68 books in 2018, surpassing my goal of 60 (and I may even squeeze in one more book this weekend!).  I wrapped up both Winter Garden and One Day in December this week, both of which I LOVED!  Winter Garden was very reminiscent of The Nightingale, also by Kristin Hannah, and One Day in December was like Love Actually in book form. I literally didn't put it down until I finished it today.  (#sorrykids)

Starting... a new book tonight from Book of the Month (which I am so grateful for this year!).  As Bright as Heaven pulled me in from the first page, and I have a feeling that it will be a quick read just like One Day in December was.

Playing... Headbanz which Dashy (our Elf on the Shelf) brought us during one of his last nights here before heading back to the North Pole.  It was a really easy, fun game to play and I think it will be a big hit here for a long time!

Remodeling... our main bathroom!!!  Josh and his brother jumped in to the remodel full tilt this week and it is so exciting!  They tore everything out, and have already fixed the wall that needed replacing, fixed the ceiling that needed patching (from when our roof was leaking), put in electrical, textured the walls, primer'd the walls, painted the ceiling, put in two can lights above the tub, and put in the new tub & surround.
Up next is paint, flooring and bringing in the vanity. They are truly amazing, I tell you!!!

Decorating... cookies with friends last Saturday and enjoying every minute despite being really sick.  The kids had so much fun and it was so good for us to get out of the house.  Carly ate more frosting and m&m's than any two year old should consume, but #yolo, right?!? Hahaha!  I am seriously so blessed by my friends here in our new hometown and I am constantly pinching myself that these people chose me as their friend.

Resting... not enough in the days leading up to Christmas, as life with four kids leading up to the big day rarely allows for much resting.  I was so sick, sneezing and coughing and wanting to do nothing but sleep... it was miserable!  But I didn't want to give up any of our traditions, so I carried on, knowing that once we made it to Christmas, I could rest.

Laughing... at Carly's new favorite game, which consists of simply running as fast as she can all over the house.  Logan captured a few pictures of her doing it in her diaper (which she is always in because she takes off her pajamas at bedtime so she can feel the "cozy blanket". Hah! I have given up trying to keep clothes on her and am just thankful she leaves her diaper alone.) I love the photos he got of her running.  You can really sense her energetic spirit in them.

Making... cinnamon rolls, fudge, Special K bars, no bake cookies and seven layer salad for Christmas day.  I considered cutting something out, but I wanted to make treats for our friends & neighbors, and just felt it wouldn't be Christmas if we didn't have our traditional cinnamon rolls (we call them cinnamon rolls, but I've heard they are more accurately called caramel rolls) whose recipe comes from my mom's mom who passed away before I was born.  Josh really wanted a seven layer salad, as did I, and Special K bars remind me of my Grandma Pansy, who I was really missing this holiday season (she lives at the coast), so I persevered and made all.the.things. despite how I felt.
It was totally worth it on Christmas day when we stuffed ourselves silly with all the delicious things!

Opening... books and stuffed animals with the kids on Christmas Eve, as is our tradition.  We enjoyed snuggling up and reading new books, especially the twins who got fluffy gray bedrest pillows after loving Wyatt's so much all year.  This is one of my favorite family traditions and one I hope we continue forever!
For Christmas I got Being Mortal, Reading People, Calling Me Home, and It's Not Supposed To Be This Way.  I am so excited to read them next year!  They have all come highly recommended.

Watching... the boys open keys from Santa that were to four wheelers he had parked in the backyard for them.  Their expressions were priceless, especially since they had checked the garage, and seeing no four wheelers, assumed they weren't getting them this year.  Later on Christmas Day Josh and Uncle Samuel took all three boys out to Grandma & Papa's land to ride.  Josh said they all did really well, taking to driving on their own like naturals.  They had so much fun!
Meanwhile, Carly and I cleaned house (which was much needed between the Christmas morning mess and the bathroom remodel) and then took a much needed nap. 
From Santa Carly got a Team UmiZoomi car with Millie, Geo & Bot and she has not stopped playing with it since.  On Christmas day when I got out of the shower, she had set up her favorite stuffed animals with little snacks alongside her new toys.  So sweet!

Cleaning... Carly up after a little snooze on the couch.  I fell asleep and woke up to Josh saying, "Oh, oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no. Go see your mom!"  She had opened her chocolate orange (which had been in her stocking) and taken it into her room to eat on her pink bedspread.  There was chocolate ev.er.y.where! Her hands, her face, her hair, her bed, her doorknob... What a mess!  But I got an hour long nap on the couch, and all I had to do was wash her comforter and use half a container of wipes on her and her bedroom door, --so I'm calling it a win. Ha!

Giving... my grandpa a book that I saw on bookstagram and finding out he loves it. (Atlas Obscura) Isn't that just the best feeling ever, when you give a gift and it turns out they love it?!? I think that of all the wonderful things Christmas was this year, that was my highlight.  My grandma texted me this picture of Grandpa reading it in his easy chair, and it nearly brought tears to my eyes. I missed them so much this year, seeing this picture on Christmas day made me really happy.

Enduring... all the bottle flipping, all the time.  The boys are OBSESSED.  They watch videos on YouTube and are constantly trying to flip all.the.things.  So I had to make a rule of no bottle flipping in the house.  (After Jack tried flipping a ketchup bottle and Logan flipped the apple juice jug. sigh)  But if I can't find a kid, you can guarantee they are out back or in the garage, flipping bottles to their little hearts content.

Reorganizing... the bookshelf in my room so that all the books are in RAINBOW order!  I have seen other readers do this with their shelves, but have never tried it myself. First, I thought it would be much more difficult to do than it was, and then I wasn't sure how I would feel about it, because I normally organize them based on genre or author... but in the end, I am really happy with how it turned out. It was super easy to do, and I absolutely LOVE how it looks!
Up next are my shelves of "to reads" in the living room!

Watching... snow fall on Wednesday and again Friday.  Friday there was finally some accumulation and my kids were SO happy!!!  They went sledding and had a snowball fight.  Wyatt even tried to build a little snowman for Carly with a celery nose.

Loving... these lazy days after Christmas where there is nothing we have to do, and we just get to enjoy being home together.  Josh is working his tail off in the bathroom with his brother Samuel, but the kids are I are able to just lounge about, worrying about little more than some laundry & dishes.
Next week I will have to start thinking about un-decorating, New Year's Resolutions and all the cleaning that needs to be done, but for now, I am just enjoying the couch and some good books!



Around Here: Week 51 {2018}

Making... gingerbread houses with the kids.  We had the greatest time, listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack, all of us singing along. (My favorite is Rewrite the Stars; Jack's is Never Enough; Logan's is The Other Side; Wyatt's is This Is Me)  Carly mostly ate the decorations while I obsessively decorated her house in tiny detailed perfection.
The boys' houses turned out adorably, and we all really enjoyed ourselves.  It was lovely.

And making... snowman pizzas for movie night Saturday.  Carly loved her snowman pizza.  I appreciate that she is still impressed with my (meager) creative abilities. Ha!

And making... snickerdoodles for dessert on movie night, per Logan's request.  The boys LOVED helping roll them in cinnamon & sugar and putting them on the tray, and we really enjoyed the change up- we usually have chocolate chip cookies.  Snickerdoodles are just so yummy!!!

And making... snowman pancakes Sunday morning, using bacon for arms, chocolate chips for its eyes, nose & buttons, and powdered sugar for snow.  Even the boys were impressed with the snowman pancakes, so I felt pretty proud of myself. ;)

Having... cousins over Sunday for a few hours to play, which ended up being really fun.  The kids watched Moana, played Legos and sand and cars and just generally enjoyed each other.  Meanwhile my sister and I got to visit, which was really nice, and I was so glad they were able to make it!
Jack wanted to spend time with Grandma & Papa out at their land instead so we dropped him off out there and he helped with some unloading there was to be done.

Attending... the boys' school concert on Monday with Carly in tow, which was equal parts fun (I love seeing all the families and kids dressed up) and exhausting (that girl never stops talking or moving, I swear!).  Honest mom moment: What did people do before cell phones?!? That is the only way we kept her quiet and sitting with us on the bleachers!

Dealing... with constant shenanigans from Carly May.  She was really into scotch tape and scissors this week, cutting paper and cardboard, and taping her pups and all kinds of things up.  At one point, she wasted an entire roll of tape, just rolling it up on itself.  That girl makes me take more deep breaths, I'm telling you!  And lately she is saying the word "butt" all.the.time.  I am trying to crack down, but with three brothers (who giggle every time she says it) I have my work cut out for me!!!  (Lucky for her, she's my fourth, so my parenting sense of humor is pretty well developed at this point.)

Keeping... Logan home most of the week as he had a terrible cold, runny nose, cough & sore throat.  I even took him in on Thursday because I was worried he had an ear infection and/or an issue with his lungs because his cough was so bad and his ear was hurting.  He is okay, he just has an upper respiratory infection that should heal in time.  In the mean time, it's lots of water, sleep & a humidifier in his room.  Poor kid!

Getting... the paperwork for Wyatt's surgery.  It is scheduled for January 18th.  They will remove his tonsils & adenoids in the hopes that it will improve his sleep apnea and sleep quality.  (And my hope is that that will then improve his immunity which will mean less colds which will mean less asthma & respiratory issues.  #momdreams)

Wrapping... all the Christmas gifts.  It felt so good to get done by Wednesday this week.  I am especially glad I got done early since Carly and I caught Logan's nasty cold and spent Thursday & Friday feeling pretty crummy.

Grateful... Logan only had one tiny (15 second) seizure this week, despite his sickness.  Maybe this new medication is going to be "the one"!!!

I had no idea what an empath really was...
Or the fact that I absolute am one...
Then I read this.
Holy spot on!!