Around Here: Week Twelve {2018}

Reading... The Immortalists and finishing Station ElevenStation Eleven was so good.  It was intriguing and I could not stop listening.  I had my head phones on constantly, just to listen for ten more minutes here, ten more minutes there.  The way the story was woven together, all the characters eventually linking to each other, was like magic.  The Immortalists is also really intriguing, although, I will warn you that I was surprised by the colorful descriptions of one of the characters sexual exploits in part one. Despite the very graphic nature of some parts of those chapters, the book is just so well written.  I am constantly highlighting beautiful lines that make me stop and take a deep breath.  I can't wait to keep reading and see what comes of these four siblings.

Feeling... really tense.  As I keep eating healthier, I am turning to food less as a means of dealing with my emotions.  But the negative side of that is that I am finding myself more tense in my body since my old way of dealing with stress is no longer working. (Goodbye cookies & ice cream.  Farewell stacks of Ritz crackers.)  I am making goals for April and they include working out each day, which I am hoping will help tackle the tension that is building in my body each day as I parent and deal with life's stresses.

Managing... four sick kids who were home on rotation, and one day all together (what the actual heck!?!) this week.  Runny noses and coughs, even a little vomiting from Wyatt who ended up with (another) ear infection.  He was a wreck!  Every time he sneezes, he just bursts into tears. It hurts so bad. I am praying the antibiotics start working quick so he can have some relief, poor buddy.  Even Carly got sick with a little runny nose, and she is just the cutest ever wiping her own nose with a kleenex.

Back to...  no yelling, with only two days this month where I've lost my temper. It feels good to be back on track.

Enjoying... Josh's parentings visiting this weekend.  They hung out Friday night and then took the three boys all day Saturday out to their land.  Josh and I enjoyed the break, Josh working in the garage and me in the house with Carly toddling around and me reading to my heart's content.  It was a blissful break and one I didn't realize I desperately needed.  (Thank you, Carol!)

Eating... all the crab I wanted at the crab feed Saturday night.  My girlfriends from book club (along with their significant others) went to a crab feed fundraiser here in town (one of them bought our tickets in kindness!) and oh my goodness did we have a good time!  So much laughter and good food.  Thanks for the laughs, as always, ladies.  I'm so glad you're in my life!

Grateful... my sister was willing to drive an hour and a half both ways to watch the kids so Josh and I could enjoy that date with my book club friends.  We don't get out often, so it was super special to go on a real date.  And it was a double bonus that he got to meet my friends!

Coaching... a few of my new friends as they navigate the interview the process with VIPkid.  It's a lengthy process (an application, followed by an interview followed by a Mock Class) with lots of questions, but I'm more than happy to help you along if you're struggling.  Click here if you'd like to apply, and please reach out if you have any questions about teaching with VIPkid. (Before, after or during the process!)

Helping... Wyatt process some emotions as he played "ambulance" with Carly's Paw Patrol firetruck, pretending the bunny on the "stretcher" couldn't breathe and needed to be taken to Spokane to a different hospital.  I just happened to be at the picnic table as he played, listening to the scenario play out.  Later we talked about how he felt when he was in the ER and then transferred to the PICU at the children's hospital an hour and a half away.  Funny enough, he says he had no fear. He felt excited to go in an ambulance and calm because he really liked the EMT's (so did I) and he thought it was a longer drive than I said it was because he slept so good.  It was nice to talk it through with him and hear that although the ordeal was, honestly, traumatizing for me, he was far less concerned.

Ordering... a new summer swimsuit while dreaming of days spent poolside with my kiddos!

Gearing up... for baseball season for our three boys.  Josh is helping coach the twins, while Carly and I will shuttle Wyatt back and forth to his practices and games.  Here's hoping it all goes smooth and that somehow we can still get family dinners on the table!

Eye appointments... for four of us this week (the three boys and me) and hearing good news for all three boys! The twins eyes in particular have improved from this time last year, but even Wyatt's are better than they were. (His prescription is the smallest, barely necessary.)  It was nice to hear that!  It was also nice to choose all new glasses, and to be able to find glasses that fit their growing faces.  We also opted to get transition lenses for the twins because they often take off their prescription lenses to wear sunglasses, and that's really not safe (especially for Logan, whose prescription is over 5.0) Plus they spend so much time outdoors!

Feeling... not quite like myself after an exhausting week worrying about my kids.  I thought maybe I was starting to get depressed, or that anxiety was digging her claws into me, but a good talk with my mom and a look back at the week I had and I realized I am just wiped out.  I think a relaxing weekend with some down time (I took Saturday night off from teaching) and some extra sleep will help get me back to feeling like myself.



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.