Around Here: Week Four {2018}

Reading The Quiet Book
"I'm two"

Taking... two trips to Vancouver, back to back. Last weekend I went solo, leaving Josh and the kids back home, and this weekend we went as a family.  When I went by myself I had no idea how stressful it would be to drive in the dark through the gorge in the rain (!) and it made me so grateful that Josh was the one driving this weekend!  It can take 4-5 hours each way, depending on stops, and both trips were made in good time.

Walking... with my dad on the waterfront along the Columbia River when I was there last weekend by myself.  I used to love walking there when I lived there, so it was nice to go back. 

Feeling... grateful and happy that Josh is such an awesome dad.  He handled the four kids on his own like a champ.  Grocery shopped, had them clean house, took them to the park and even made them stuffed crust pizza for family movie night.  (Thanks, babe. You're the best!) Knowing they were in such good hands allowed me to really be there for my mom and enjoy my time away.

Attending... my Grandpa's memorial gathering with many of my cousins and aunts.  Seeing all the children, grandchildren & great grandchildren that he left behind was inspiring as we said goodbye to him and my step-grandmother, who passed within months of each other.  As they say, life goes on.

Finishing... Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand and crying like a baby. It was so good.  My very favorite of the four Winter Street books.  I also finished Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (about a set of siblings wrenched from their home and put up for adoption against their will) and The Best of Us by Joyce Maynard (about she and her husband Jim as they navigated his pancreatic cancer & subsequent treatment).

Reading... Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve by Lenora Chu as a way of better understanding the students I teach with VIPkid and the kind of learning environment they exist in daily.  I am also reading Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin, which is really good so far. 
And finally, for The Inspired Readers Book Club, I am reading Happier at Home in preparation for February.  I am loving it both for the content (making my life happier? yes please!) and for how simple it is to read.  Please click the link above and join us.  We'd love to have you!

Watching... and getting all caught up on This is Us.  I can hardly wait for the next episode!  Also watching lots of Team Umizoomi, which is Carly's favorite (favorite!) thing in the world! She's so obsessed.  She will sing the songs, count things, sort out patterns and shapes... it's so precious.

Grateful... for a TV set we received from Josh's brother.  This new TV meant we could put our old TV in our bedroom and it's been so lovely to snuggle with the kids or Josh in our bed while watching a show together. (Thanks Samuel!)

Surviving... a busy week full of doctor appointments, chiropractic appointments & migraines.  I am on my second week of slowly building up Topomax (a daily migraine medicine).  By week four I should be up to the full dose and then I should see a drop in the number of migraines I am facing.  At this point I am really praying it's effective because my migraines are out of control.  I am having so many every month and I really don't know what to do.
I am going to bed on time; I have (slowly, carefully) completely eliminated caffeine from my diet; cut back on sugar; am going to the chiropractor; and am working out more regularly... I just don't know what else I can try.  I'm at a loss and it's really frustrating.

Enduring... the "Wake-up screams" from Carly this week.  I'm not sure why, but when she wakes up from her naps now, she does this scream/cry thing for about an hour and it is killing me!  I am hoping it's just a phase and that it passes quickly cause it is so obnoxious and nothing seems to be working to make it stop.

Celebrating... Carly's second birthday on Wednesday this week.  I made rainbow sprinkle cupcakes, per her request, and we sang her Happy Birthday.  She was able to blow out one candle on her own, but not two.  Wyatt and Logan helped her blow out the second candle.  She loved opening presents and reacted so adorably to every little thing.  She got a rainbow shirt, a little rabbit stuffed animal, a baby she can take in the bath tub, a fold-up stroller, a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom board book, some small kitty toys and a magna doodle.  It was fun to shop for her with the money her grandma's sent and watching her unwrap everything was precious.  She's just our little sunshine.

Marveling... at how fast time goes.  Those three pictures up there from when Carly was a newborn can bring a tear to my eye.

Laughing... as the girl working at Subway told Josh, "Your sons look just like you, but your daughter, she looks just like your wife!"  I thought to myself, "It's about time that one of them looks like me!"

Enjoying... our mini trip to Rockaway Beach to see my grandparents on Friday.  We found out around the new year that my grandpa's bladder cancer is back, and we aren't sure what's going to be done about it.  The news has me rattled, so it was really good to go see him and Grandma.  The kids were super good during our lunch at the Cow Belle (our favorite place in Rockaway) and they really enjoyed a special treat of Tillamook ice cream cones.  I got chocolate chip mint, and after trying it, Wyatt made a face and said, "It kind of tastes like your toothpaste." Ha! I love kids.



You Are Loved

As you turn two today, Carly, and I look back on the day you were born and the months that followed, one thing is abundantly clear: You are loved.  I hope that no matter where you go or what you do with this one amazing life you've been given, you will always remember that we are here, cheering you on and loving you, no matter what. 


Around Here: Week Three {2018}

Surviving... two kid parties + Josh out of town last weekend.  We stuck with healthy eating except for our Saturday Splurge of homemade pizza & dessert.  I was the "best mom ever" and let the twins stay extra late at their friends' party, and they were so grateful.  Wyatt's friends' party was his first ever, and he LOVED it!

Losing... nine pounds total after dropping soda, coffee + creamer, and most sugar & carbs at the start of the new year.

Suffering... with migraines.  Often ten or more a month.  This week my doctor wrote me a prescription for a preventative med.  I will start it once I quit nursing Carly.  I am nervous to try it, but really hopeful that it will be effective.

Celebrating... Wyatt getting his boot off finally!  He is now footloose and fancy free, and it makes me so happy!

Riding... to school & hoping to get back on track with my 100 small things "Workout 3x/Week" goal.

Reading... Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand & Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate.  Up next is Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin, Little Soldiers by Lenora Chu, and The Blue Castle by Lucy Montgomery.  I am trying to have three books going at all times- a novel, a self help, & an audio book.  I am also reading Black Beauty aloud to the kids.  If Happier at Home is a book you've thought about reading, please join The Inspired Readers Book Club on Facebook.  Happier at Home is our February book!
I also read the next section (ages 8-10) of my "It's a Boy" book.  It was insightful and let me know what stages of development the boys (twins) are going through and what behaviors are typical at this age. I also really want to read his book Raising Cain, which I heard was good.

Loving... that I'm not the only one reading.  Everywhere I looked this week, I saw kids with their noses stuck in a book.  Jack has a new (huge!) chapter book he is tackling; Logan is working his way through a new series, and Wyatt nearly always reads on his own at some point throughout the day without being told.  Even Carly will get books off the shelf and pretend to read to herself. I love it!

Organizing... every nook & cranny of our house after reading the first few chapters of Happier at Home in preparation for book club next month.  The boys' closet is so lovely now, and the kitchen drawers are far more functional!

Quitting... nursing Carly.  Today was our last day.  I cried a lot Wednesday & Thursday but not today.  Today I felt peace, which is nice.  I just can't believe she is our last baby.  After spending my entire childhood & early adulthood dreaming of babies & pregnancy, it's hard to believe in ten short years, that part of my life is over.

Looking forward... to a weekend away with no children by myself.  I am going to Vancouver this weekend to visit my parents and I am leaving Josh to fend for himself with the kids.  He assures me he will be fine, and I am very much looking forward to the long (quiet) drive, some time with family, and a little time to myself.  I've never left all four kids with him, but he's been so supportive.  He assures me that all will be well, and I should enjoy myself.  So I am pretty pumped.

Happy weekend, friends!