Around Here: Week Eleven {2018}

I love when I catch them doing twin things like this.

Photo Credit: Logan Cunningham

The twins swapped glasses with my Grandpa

They thought it was pretty funny!

Surviving... a weekend without Josh as he was out of town helping his parents lay new flooring in their house as they prepare to sell it.  Come spring they are headed this way and we can't wait to have them here.  The boys are so excited for Grandma & Papa to be near, and so am I!

Staying... busy while Josh was gone with a trip to the library, the grocery store, and letting the twins have a friend over for movie night.  It felt good to get out of the house, get the grocery shopping done, and to let their sweet neighbor-friend join us for movie night.  They chose Home Alone for movie night, which is a total Cunningham family favorite.  I will never tire of listening to Jack laugh at that movie's shenanigans.  Just hearing him laugh at it makes me laugh.

Sneaking... away for a visit to my sister and her kids on Sunday.  We lucked out with gorgeous weather and were able to have a picnic for lunch and let the kids play at the park.  Then we took a walk and were able to let the kids throw rocks in the water.  They loved it, perhaps Carly most of all.

Enjoying...  a surprise visit from my grandparents this week that came up toward the end of last week.  I was so happy to see them and share time with them and my kids.  We played games, enjoyed Carly, walked the boys to school and even got to go out to lunch just us adults (plus Carly) while the boys were at school one day since Josh had an appointment that day.  I love my grandparents- they have always been really involved in my life- and spending time with them and my kids is my absolute favorite.  Hearing the twins laugh with my grandpa, watching my grandma delight in my girl and do puzzles with Wyatt, just warms my heart.

Running... behind all week thanks to my super fun weekend, missing husband and our beginning of the week out-of-town guests.  Obviously, I wouldn't change a thing, but man alive, if the laundry could just fold itself that would sure be helpful, amiright?!? ;)

Teaching... more hours with VIPkid in hopes of saving up some money to help pay for the new roof we need.  With Chinese New Year over, my bookings are up and I'm teaching three classes most days, which is really good news.  (I teach Monday/Wednesday/Friday mornings 4-6:30am & Saturday evenings 8-10pm) It's nice, now that I'm about five months in, that I'm much less nervous each day.  I really enjoy the students and find myself smiling through each lesson. I am hopeful that my bookings will continue to increase and that soon I will have classes during every open open time slot!  (If teaching VIPkid sounds like something you would like you to do, you only need a bachelors degree- it doesn't have to be in education- and I'd love to walk you through the interview process.  Here's the link for applying: VIPkid Please let me know if you have any questions!)

Reading... The Nightingale and finishing it. Boy, was it a good book.  Like, take a deep breath and don't cry cause it's over, good.  I also finished Option B (on audio) and I am waiting for the library to check out The Untethered Soul (also on audio) to me again. I am up to five books this month already!
Today I've started Station Eleven on audio (so engrossing!) and The Immortalists (also so engrossing!) for book club.  It's exciting to be reading so many good books in a row!  I'm loving it!

Breaking... my no-yelling streak twice this month as Logan has broken both of his two pair of glasses and so many rules.  I'm not sure what's going on there, but it's been a rough couple weeks.  I told him we both have some things to work on (him: listening and me: not yelling) but that we're lucky because each day is a new chance.  So far, I've been able to keep my cool since losing it the second time, but he is still struggling.  I am hopeful the change in weather and more time outside is what he needs to turn it around.  In the meantime, he is blind as we await his glasses being repaired.  Thankfully they should be back to us in less than a week.
I was also starting to notice an "it's not my fault" response with Logan in an effort to get himself out of trouble and I was freaking out about it, worrying I was going to raise a human who couldn't take responsibility for his own actions.  My sister sent me some articles from Aha parenting about teaching kids to take responsibility- and they were full of so much brilliant advice. My main takeaways:

  • Hold him accountable but don't bother trying to convince him.  
  • Let the consequences teach responsibility for me.
  • Keep my cool so that he can focus on his reaction instead of mine.
  • Warn once, then give consequence to show choices have consequences.
Overall, I am going to just watch closely over the next few weeks to make sure he isn't claiming things aren't his fault, and if he does, I'm going to make sure to hold him responsible for those things that were his doing.  I am also going to show him things I have done that had consequences, so he can learn from my example.  (For instance, apologizing when I make a mistake; doing something I had forgotten to do; admitting when I do something wrong.)  

Loving... how much Carly loves her trike & bath time.  She says all the time, "I ride my bicycle?"  I don't know where she got the word "bicycle", but that's what she calls it and it's just adorable.  She also loves bath time.  Any time she hears water running in the house, she says,
"Umm, can I have a bath?" She likes bubbles and playing Paw Patrol in the tub. She hates having her hair washed and getting water in her eyes.  

Taking... all the Carly snuggles I can get.  She's been super sweet lately, telling me when she's sad that she needs snuggles on the couch.  So we get her very favorite bubba Chase and her very favorite taggie (feather taggie) and snuggle up together.  She also gives snuggles out freely to everyone else in the house.  Josh often gets morning snuggles before he leaves for work, and in an effort to put off bedtime she gives each brother at least two snuggles apiece.  (Smart girl!)



Cousin Day

He said, "I'm Yertle the Turtle. King of all that I see!"

Last weekend when Josh was out of town, I took the kids and headed to my sister's house.  We took our gaggle of kids and had a big picnic at the park, let the play and then threw rocks in the water.  They had so much fun!
And I just love seeing my sister.  She's my favorite. 
And seeing our kids together, loving each other, that's the best.



Around Here: Week Ten {2018}

Reading... 600 minutes over the last two months to earn Silverwood tickets from the school with my kids.  The boys each had sheets to fill out & turn in and when we get those tickets we are off to that magical theme park where we had so much fun last summer!  It's one of our best memories!
I personally am reading The Nightingale (which I cannot put down! as in, I read about 300 pages in two days) after finishing The Great Alone and slipping into a post-good-book depression. (That feeling you have where life has no joy because you finished your book and there's nothing to live for. Does that happen to anyone else? No? Just me? Ha!)  Thankfully The Nightingale is just as good (in fact, even better!) and I am reading every chance I get!

Freaking out... while listening to (and finishing) The Case Against Sugar.  Wow.  So much food for thought (little joke there) about diabetes, what we are feeding ourselves (and our children) and how we can do better.  It's a long (and somewhat boring read) but the last two sections (I listened to the audio version) make it worth every hour.  It has lit a new fire under me to keep as much sugar out of our diets as possible and to keep our diet as close to "real food" as possible.

So grateful... for my local book club girls.  That night out once a month means so much to me.  To talk and laugh and listen and be heard.  Girls, you fill my cup!

Loving... date night in my jammies & sweatshirt Friday after a long couple weeks of sick kids.  It was some much needed down time, just watching a movie with my guy.

Attending... a friends' little girls birthday party at the bowling alley and feeling so proud of all our kids.  They were so sweet and well behaved.  It's so weird to have older kids.  After years of dreading parties because it meant hours of hot, sweaty, child-chasing, now I go and it's honestly pretty relaxing.  The older three help chase Carly, (who was actually really good at this one) and are well mannered.  I just had a really lovely feeling as we left the party.

Laughing... as the kids tried Pop Rocks from their Party Favor Bags from the birthday party.  It's like a childhood rite of passage.

Making... March goals & getting stuff done around here this week.

Teaching... the twins to make breakfast so I don't have to because they want to learn.  It's a total win/win!  They make our eggs and sausage every morning and call us when it's ready.  It's seriously the best!

Playing hooky... with the kids Monday while my parents were here.  It was the most fun 24 hours and we enjoyed every moment.  A little shopping, some time at the arcade, some relaxed screen time, and some bedtime stories.  It was lovely and over all too soon!

Whining... about the "raining inside" that's happening cause of our "thirty year roof" that's 34 & needs replacing.  I'm amping up my hours on VIPkid, selling stuff we don't need on Facebook Market and praying we don't need to rip it all off.  #homeownership + #adulthood = #sadShelly

Cleaning... out the garage with Josh in an amazing one-day overhaul that was like they show on TLC.  I was so proud of us.  He's hoping to put some workout equipment in there, and I'm just glad to be rid of stuff that's been there since before we moved in.  It feels so good!  (see before/after photos above)

Crying... Thursday when Josh brought home "just because" flowers for me.  Man, I love doing life with that guy.  I am so blessed by him.

Cracking up... at my sister emailing me her vision of Josh and I parenting together:
Me, getting too close, helping too much, the epitome of helicopter parenting, hovering...
Josh, stepping in, pulling me away, or "shooting me down" (like when he told me he thought Logan (who has EPILEPSY!) could ride to school alone!) from my prime hovering position and my sister shouting from a distance,
God I love that girl.
She just gets me.

(I joke, but Josh and I talk seriously all the time about how this is why kids need two parents.  Because his tendency is to SHOVE THEM OUT OF THE NEST, and mine is to HOLD THEM THROUGH EVERYTHING, while what they actually need is some tightrope walk in between the two.  Navigating that is a lot of work for a marriage and often feels it requires much compromise and many small miracles.)

Enjoying... the way Carly brings out the soft side of Logan.  This week he enjoyed holding her during bedtime stories, and wearing matching jean jackets with her.  He is just extra tender with her, and I love watching their relationship.  He has a super sweet voice he uses with her, and he can't stand when she's in trouble or sad.  It's so sweet.  She's very blessed to be so loved by him.

Finally... sleeping after weeks of waking to sick kids & then 10 days of round-the-clock 6 hour penicillin doses for Logan.  When Jack had the option, we chose the shot instead of the pills for his ear infection because I could not face another week and a half of middle-of-the-night-alarm-clock-waking & pill giving.  (I haven't had coffee since the new year, and the last three weeks, these mornings without coffee have been extra rough!)
It's amazing how much energy I have now that I'm sleeping again.

Lastly... please join The Inspired Readers Book Club in reading The Immortalists starting next week! We'd love to have you!