Carly at two years + four months

Carly at two years & four months is a ball of energy.  She wakes up in the morning so happy to see us.  For breakfast she requests either cereal in her straw bowl or toast with an orange sippy cup of milk. (It's very important that the cup be orange.) Then she plays toys or follows me around while the boys and I get ready for the day.

She loves feeding the cats treats, but if you ask her if she likes Ramona, she will tell you, "No. 'Mona bites me.  But I like George."  Whenever she sees them sleeping anywhere, though, she always says, "Oh, they are so cute!"

Her favorite things are her paw patrol pups and her taggies.  She's always saying, "I need my feather taggie!" She says, "I love it.  It's so fluffy & nice!"  They are her comfort items, and I'm glad she has them.

She wants Mommy at bedtime, but she loooves dada the rest of the time.  When she sees him or the boys after not seeing them for a while, she says, "I found you!"  Wyatt is probably her favorite brother, but she has fun with all three of them.  I think her preference for Wyatt is simply because he has the most patience for her. When one of the boys is sad, she snuggles them or tries to cheer them up.  When Wyatt asks her if she can help him with something, she says, "I sure can!"

While I'm glad she loves her brothers, sometimes it's hard because she mimics them incessantly and that often sucks.  ("Shut up!" "Butthead!" "Oh my god!") It can be frustrating!

At the store, she prefers to sit in the back of the cart if she can.  She's the best grocery shopping buddy, loves to share a snack with me while we shop, and is always so cheerful.  I'm so glad.  

She's a little mama.  Cleaning, sweeping, wiping up messes... Caring for Wyatt when he was throwing up last time he was sick.  Saying, "Good job Wyatt," when he was done throwing up.  Anything she has seen me do, she does herself.  Including carrying a purse, and wanting her nails painted. The other day she put my keys in her purse.  Thankfully I saw her do it!

I can't even tell you how much I love that she wants her nails done.  I have dreamed for years of having a daughter and now that I have one, I absolutely adore that she is so girly.  She loves to wear necklaces and hair pretties and have pink nails.  (She always chooses pink.)  It's my favorite, and it has yet to get old.

Every day when I dress her I get a thrill.  I'm not even kidding.  I enjoy choosing her clothes every single day.  It's so fun to put together an outfit, to do her hair and choose a coordinating hair thing.  She's so cute and I just love dressing her up.

When she gets owies she says, "You kiss it?" and requests a bandaid.  We have Paw Patrol bandaids and she loves choosing which one she wants.  She's very picky.

She talks up a storm and people often think she's three.  Instead of "stop" she says "sopt".  She says "yellow" as "yeyow" and "tomorrow" as "tomoyow", and I'll be sad when she says them all right.  She never mixes up the twins, which everyone finds amazing, and if you ask her if she's a boy or a girl she says, "I'm just Carly!"

Indeed you are, little girl.
Indeed you are!



Around Here: Week 21 {2018}

Raising... kids, and all that entails.  Currently for me, it means Carly waking up earlier than usual, which isn't great because I teach three times a week in the early hours of the morning.  It means being grateful that Wyatt is well, which hasn't been the norm for the last two months, and searching for an allergy doctor who can get him in sooner than the end of August (which feels like a lifetime away!) because we think seasonal allergies are currently playing a role in his asthma exacerbation and some testing would show us how to best help him. It means taking care of Jack 24/7 the last few days as he was down Sunday through Wednesday this week with a nasty fever and sinus infection that would not let up.  He was truly miserable, poor guy.  And lastly, it means walking Logan through two seizures this week (one at home and one at school); calling the neurologists office to check in because of the increase in seizure activity; and figuring out his new prescription increase with the pharmacy & insurance.  Luckily he has an aura headache before the seizures start, so he was able (on Sunday) to ride home before it struck, and in class (on Monday) he was able to sit down in his seat before it started.  They are also very short seizures, so that's great, but they tend to leave him with a headache as well, so that's a bummer.  But the good news is that we are up to 75mg now and 100mg is the current goal, so we're getting closer to his dose.  Slowly but surely.

Living... that baseball LIFE!  The boys had games Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week.  It was crazy!  The hardest part is what to make for dinner.  This week we had nachos, grilled cheese, chicken wraps & hot dogs.  Not the healthiest, but at least we didn't eat out! With Jack sick, I stayed home Monday & Tuesday, but the whole family packed up and went out Wednesday & Thursday cheering on the brothers.  The twins game was canceled for thunder mid-way through on Wednesday, but Wyatt's game finished in the hot, hot sun Thursday night.  I am just so proud of how far those three little boys have come since their first seasons in Vancouver back in 2015!

Learning... flexibility.  I've been thinking a lot about what I'm gaining from having two kids with serious medical/health issues and one of the main things I think God is teaching me is flexibility. There was a time when I would buck (very hard!) against plans changing or things not going as I had envisioned them, and while I sometimes still struggle, I am definitely more able to change ideas in my head and go with the flow than I used to be. For instance, I had pictured our week with all of us at all the baseball games, but with Jack sick, instead I was home with him and Carly half the week.  I was proud of myself because I was able to embrace that extra time at home instead of being grumpy about what I couldn't control.  I gave Carly an extra long bath, got ahead on laundry and enjoyed a little quiet time with them.  It wasn't what I had planned, but that didn't mean I couldn't enjoy it. Progress, my friends!

Loving... the new windows Josh installed last weekend.  He has now installed new windows in the entire house with only one window remaining (in the garage) that he plans to do this weekend. They look amazing and you can really tell a difference in how hot and cold the house stays in the different seasons. The new ones are in the boys' room and the office.  They look fantastic!!!

Being... that mom who drives to school after letting Wyatt & Logan ride their bikes to school to see if they made it safely. Ha! I drove them Monday & Tuesday, but by Wednesday they had wore me down and I said yes, they could ride without Jack, who was still home sick.  So about ten minutes later I went and checked the bike rack to make sure their bikes & helmets were there. #noshame
I hate to admit that I rely on Jack as much as I do, but the fact is, he's the healthy one.  He doesn't have seizures or asthma, and he's super responsible.  So when the three of them ride together, I don't worry.

Enjoying... book club with my girls.  Man do I love that time out each month, talking mom life with them.  They make me feel sane and I always get a good laugh.  It's so good for my soul.

Attending... the last MOPS meeting of the year.  My MOPS group has been so amazing and supportive and I am so grateful for the friendships I have made there.  It's been a really hard year for me with Logan's seizures changing and Wyatt's hospitalization and asthma diagnosis, and those ladies have been there for me, praying for me, and lifting me up when I need them most.  I am sad the year is over, but I know that our friendships will last a lifetime.

Working... in the yard!  It feels amazing to actually work in the yard with a two year old! But now that the fence is done, Carly is stuck in the yard with me (no escaping into the street!) and I can get so much done! I weeded the front flower beds, moved some old pavers we no longer wanted (uncovering some super cool ant tunnels) and planted some pretty sage bushes our neighbor gave us.  I felt so accomplished when I was done!  I love thinking of how much I am going to be able to accomplish this summer now that I have the gate to help me keep Carly safe while I work!

Sharing... with my counselor about my road to acceptance.  He said on the very first day we met that the most important thing I could do for my anxiety (and my life) was accept things as they are.  Namely, he was speaking to Wyatt's asthma and Logan's epilepsy.  If I can accept that these things exist in my life, then I can start to manage them in my life, and stop trying to control them.
There's a big difference, he says, between managing and controlling.  I can manage my anxiety, I can manage Wyatt's asthma, I can manage Logan's epilepsy.  I cannot control my anxiety or Wyatt's asthma or Logan's epilepsy.  It's a fine line, the difference between the two, but it's an important one. And the first step between the two is acceptance.
Acceptance came for me in a sudden decision to order the boys ID bracelets. Josh and I got new phone numbers a while back and the boys needed new ID bracelets because of that.  With the ID bracelets came the decision to put Logan & Wyatt's diagnosis on them.  ASTHMA. EPILEPSY.  There it was.  In black & white. No denying it now.
They came in the mail this week.  And I'm not going to lie. Opening them was hard.  Seeing those bands and handing them to our sweet boys was hard.  But also good.  It was the last step I needed in accepting that this is our life. 
The other thing I talked to my counselor about is how in the last two weeks I've really noticed gratitude cropping up in my thoughts.  When something is going wrong, I find that I am thinking, "at least..." For instance, on Monday when the car battery was dead I found myself thinking I was grateful this was the first time this had ever happened and "at least I know our neighbor Doug will come help me!" cause he's the best!  Finding things to be grateful for amidst less than stellar circumstances helps me keep perspective.

Trying... to keep steady myself regardless of what's going on around me.  Another thing that is helping me keep my head on straight is deciding that I'm going to be the eye of the storm.  No matter how crazy things are getting in our household, I am trying really hard to maintain my self care (sleep, journaling, self care time) and stay on an even keel.  So this week when Jack was running a mysterious fever and Logan had two seizures, I did what needed to be done (phone calls, doctor appointments, what have you), and felt my feelings as they came, but tried not to jump on the roller coaster myself.  It was effective and I ended the week far less exhausted than I would have been in the past.

Grateful... for my village.  My mother-in-law came to the rescue Tuesday when she happened to be in town for the day and was able to watch Jack & Carly so I could go see my counselor (which I desperately needed) as well as take Jack to the doctor without Carly, which was a double bonus.  Josh's Aunt Lynne & Uncle Paul surprised us with dinner this week, which was such an unexpected blessing.  I received a lot of encouragement this week from Facebook & Instagram as well, and I can't tell you how much those positive, encouraging words mean to me on the hard days.  My friend Tania's words in particular meant so much to me, saying I was exactly the type of person Logan needs to be able to deal with his seizures.  Tania's words reminded me that God chose me for this.  That is something I've carried with me in my heart all week.  These recent trials with Logan & Wyatt's health are not tests from God, but are merely part of the path He knew I was strong enough for.  What a blessing to have friends who are there to remind us when we forget our own strength and purpose.

Reading... and finishing Brain on Fire and One Thousand Gifts.  Brain on Fire was a quick, fascinating read.  Think a medical episode of 20/20 turned into a book.  It was fascinating.  This was my second time through One Thousand Gifts, and I swear at this point, there is something underlined on nearly every page.  My favorite quote I discovered this time is this: "This is the trust I lack: to know that if disaster strikes, He carries me even there." Gah, Voskamp's writing is like poetry, and I just love it.  I started The Queen of Hearts, which is on Modern Mrs. Darcy's Summer Reading List, and so far I am loving it! It's like ER or Grey's Anatomy in a book, and the cover is gorgeous!  It's so lovely to be reading again after a month of not reading. I feel like I'm slipping back into my soul after a long break.

Obsessing... over Modern Mrs. Darcy's Summer Reading List.  I purchased some of them on Amazon, and put a few on hold via Overdrive so I can listen to them on audio.  I also added some to my "To be Read" list on Pinterest- the ones that looked good, but not un-put-down-able.  I keep going back to it, as I've read so many of her picks over the years and have rarely been disappointed!  One of the ones on her list I already read (The Great Alone) and I agree with her that it is such a good read! So if you're only going to choose one this summer, I highly recommend that one!

Compiling... a Summer Reading list of my own.  I have the few I chose from Modern Mrs. Darcy's list, as well as some I've been hanging onto for summer, and a few I've picked up at Safeway (they always have the best books tempting me as I line up to pay!) I'll be sharing my picks soon!

Pushing... away sad feelings that school lets out in two weeks! I don't know what I am going to do with the kids home all summer! Ahhhh!!!! #prayforme #threeboysistoomany #somuchfighting

Working on.... a post about Carly at 26 months and an April and May reading post, as well as a Summer Reading Post. Super excited about all the bookish posts coming up! I'm such a book nerd!

Volunteering... in Logan's class Friday to help them make pioneer rag dolls.  I forgot I had volunteered and was grateful Logan reminded me it was that day.  When I got there, the school's clocks were all off and he said he was so glad I was there, he had worried I wasn't coming cause he didn't know what time it was. He hugged me and was so glad to see Carly. He was so sweet.  I was really glad I made the effort to go and volunteer even though it wasn't necessarily what I wanted to be doing with the little bit of time I had the morning of an early release day.  His smile and sweet gratitude made me happy I had done it.



Around Here: Week 20 {2018}

{from Jack}

Enjoying... a much needed break for Mother's Day weekend.  Josh took the three boys to Vancouver and I had the weekend to myself (with Carly) and it was absolutely divine.  We watched movies and painted our toenails.  I took a luxurious bath one evening, worked out and meditated, and spent Sunday morning deep cleaning the entire house and changing everyone's sheets.  By they time they got home Sunday evening, I felt completely rejuvenated and like my old self. Plus the house looked like its old self!
Wyatt did really well while they were gone, and Josh took amazing care of him.  He didn't need any night treatments, and his peak flow numbers continued improving, which was fantastic!  Logan, unfortunately, had a series of small seizures while at the park Saturday, but Jack knew what to do and sent his cousin to get Grandma, who was just a few steps away with Wyatt.  Logan was fine, not even tired afterward, and fully recovered with no effects.  As I said with his seizures last weekend, we are in the middle of titration schedule with a new medication (slowly weaning him on) so it's just a waiting game to get him to a full dose.  Once he is fully on that medication (which will control the big and small seizures) we will slowly take him off the other medication that only controls the big seizures (and can actually trigger more of the small seizures).
My time with Carly was much-needed as I was able to really just enjoy her and remind myself what a gift she is, both because of her age (two is so much fun!) and because she is my daughter (having a girl is so much fun!).
I am proud of myself for taking time out for me, and thankful for Josh for recognizing what I needed and giving it to me. Thanks, babe!

Feeling... much more like my old self.  I'm not sure if it's because of the weekend to myself or if it's because I adjusted my meds (I'm on Prozac) down from 40mg (which made me feel shaky all the time) to 30 mg, but it's awesome to feel like ME again.  I am optimistic about the future, feel like I can face anything, and am looking forward to things again. (Like reading and blogging.) Also not ev-er-y-thing stresses me out.  (For a while, running errands felt like going into outer space and it took days to recover.)
I still have hard days, and many mornings start out challenging (anxiety tends to peak for me in the mornings) and my health concerns still crop up occasionally, especially fears about cancer, but I'm in a better place to mentally combat those thoughts, which is nice.

Reading... again! finally! and it feels so good! I am reading Brain on Fire, which I cannot put down.  I have a huge stack of books on my nightstand that I also can't wait to dig into. Also, Modern Mrs. Darcy put out her Summer Reading list, and it's got me all kinds of excited for summer reading.

Hosting... my parents for a visit at the end of Mother's Day weekend and into the next week so they could see the twins play baseball and we could spend time together.  It was such a lovely, relaxed visit.  The best part was that they were able to sneak Jack & Logan away Tuesday morning for some much needed special time.  They took out their kayaks on the lake, then rented paddle boards (which the twins were naturals on!) and even went to the sand dunes and swam around for a while.  The twins really needed that bit of special attention after the past month of Wyatt getting all the extra attention around here. I'm so grateful that they could fill their buckets like that.  Best grandparents ever!

Loving... our new front gate so much! It keeps Carly safe, and she loves being the one to open it on the way to the car.  I also love how cute it is!

Giving... Wyatt breathing treatments with the nebulizer at school once a day this week as needed.  Thankfully he only needed them twice.  Wednesday when I went, his peak flow was high enough to not need any albuterol, and Thursday his peak flow was 250 in the morning (that's his normal number!) so I didn't have to go check on him at all! Hallelujah!  Thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers throughout this scary & stressful time. I am so grateful he's improving and am enjoying everyday, but I'll be honest, I am still kind of holding my breath because he hasn't tapered off the steroids just yet, and last time it wasn't until he'd been off the steroids four days that we saw him decline again. So only time will tell!
Tuesday when we stopped by, he had been testing, so we were there later than usual and bumped into his lunch time, so we stayed and had lunch with him. He was tickled!  Since I have two fourth graders, I know to cherish this precious time where he still loves having me around. ;)  He's such a sweet boy.

Testing... Wyatt's hearing at the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor Thursday morning.  Luckily his hearing has not been impacted by his three months of back to back ear infections.  The ENT doctor said he wants to see us back in a month and if the fluid has resolved itself, we will leave Wyatt's ears alone.  If, however, the fluid is still in there, then we will know that Wyatt's ears are not doing their job, and we need to help them by putting tubes in. So we'll go back again near the end of June.  I am glad not to rush into anything.

Solving... the mystery of the Amazon gift from last week. It was none other than Josh's amazing sister, and one of my besties, Julie. She said she can't do much from far away, but she figured she could put a smile on my face by sending me that t-shirt and those cool pens. And boy was she right!  What a total sweetheart!



Wyatt at six and a half

Wyatt at six and a half is fun and funny.  
He is insightful and sweet.  
He is thoughtful and empathetic.  
Yesterday I got a belated Mother's Day gift from Jack and when I said I thought it was going to make me cry he said, "Please don't cry. It will make me cry."  And when Jack was getting yelled at the other day Jack was heartbroken for him and just wanted it to end.  He can't stand when other people in our family are upset.

I am so grateful for Wyatt.  When he wakes me up, he apologizes for waking me up.  
He tells me I am the best mom in the whole world. 
I don't know how I lived 29 years without his sweetness.  He is the best thing that ever happened to me.  He is so kind & vocal about his feelings for me.

He also says a lot of funny & sometimes wise things.  Two weeks ago he said boys get engaged to girls by singing to them.  That's how they do it.

He loves to make things with cardboard.  He loves glitter and paint and projects.
A while ago when I was writing letters to all my friends, he sat down and did the same right beside me.  He just joins in.  He's my sidekick.  He is so thoughtful, always wanting to think of what the other person would like.  Like when he was choosing stickers to put on his Grandma's letter, he chose ones he thought SHE would like, not ones HE would like.

He loves to cheer people up.  Especially Carly.  And he's his most generous self when his brothers are upset.  He will share his toys, his bike, his ideas.  

He loves making up jokes.  Especially ones that use plays on words.  I need to record them.

My two favorites are:
"What did Yeti say to Big Foot when they were playing hide & seek?"
"Yeti or Not, here I come!"


"What do you call a cold penguin?"
"A birrrrrrd"


He wants to know how old dinosaurs live to be.  And how old the oldest rock is.  He is fascinated by earth and volcanos and rocks. And he asks Siri everything.  (Even what my pass code is for my phone. Nice try! Ha!)
He loves tape and school supplies. 

He is brilliant at school, only struggling with perfection, working slow and reading comprehension at times.  He doesn't just have school smarts though, he also has really big emotional intelligence.  The steroids he's been on tend to make him extra emotional, and when we were talking about his asthma and his frustration with it, he said, "You just have a good cry, then you feel better." He's such a smart little guy.

When I was tucking him in a few weeks ago he told me, 
"You're a great mom.
I always wanted a mom like you."

How in the world did I get so lucky?!?
I'm so glad you're mine,
Wyatt Nathanial.
So, so glad.