Having... my sister over last Friday and loving every minute of our time together. We talked (uninterrupted) for hours, and laughed, and cried. It was awesome. Carly loved having all the attention from both of us (she left her kiddos with her husband who was off work) and ate up every bit of it!
Welcoming... all my guys home after a week away. Carly and I were overjoyed to see and hug them all after having the house to ourselves last week. Carly exclaimed, "I love you!" and "I missed you!" and RAN to see each of her brothers when they came home Saturday at lunch time. She was thrilled they were back. For the first three days they were gone, she thought they were at Walmart. Hah!!!
They brought with them Grandma Carol, Papa Carl, Uncle Samuel and Cousin Ethan who were delivering things to Grandma & Papa's storage unit here in town (Grandma & Papa bought land here and will be moving here soon!) so we had a big BBQ Saturday night, which was so much fun. Carly was equally overjoyed to see her grandparents and Uncle Samuel. She loves them all so very much. We're all going to be thrilled when they're living here near us!
Suffering... through more dental work this week. It's such a necessary evil. I try to focus on the positives- I have insurance (yay!) and I don't have any pain along with my cavities. The other thing I was happy about on the day of my dental work was that I had a migraine, which sounds like bad news, but it was my first migraine in 27 days!!! Back in December, I had more than 9 in one month. Monday I simply took a pill, and a nap, and two hours later, the migraine was gone. I'm so thankful for those pills that work so well, and for Josh who let me sleep.
Walking... almost every day this week. My walk is probably a little over a mile each way, and it makes me so happy. We have the best blue skies here in central Washington, and there are so many beautiful flowers on our route. The boys are starting to get the hang of our walk, knowing the way and my expectations of their behavior. I think it's good for us to wake up and immediately get outside, and I am very open with them about my mental health- so they know that a mama who walks is a happier, calmer, less anxiety-ridden mama. So they are trying their best to have good attitudes about it.
Working... in the yard on Father's day, turning what was our "dirt pit/sand box" into a pumpkin garden. Wyatt loved growing pumpkins last year so he was excited to get them in the ground this year. I can't wait to see what they do with even more space this year. The boys also made the sweetest cards for Josh when he ran to Home Depot for new sprinkler equipment for the garden.
Celebrating... Wyatt's seventh birthday with a party for him. We had a bunch of friends (and two cousins!) over and they jumped on the trampoline, played Legos, colored some coloring sheets and then watched Monsters University while eating pizza Josh made from scratch. Wyatt was totally spoiled with presents and had a great time. I was so happy for him that it was such a good turn out and we were really happy to celebrate our boy.
Cheering... as Wyatt joined the chore rotation upon turning seven. He now unloads the dishwasher and does the catbox, rotating with Logan & Jack. He's had a great attitude about it and I'm so glad. He's known this day was coming, and the twins were so excited because his joining the "chore ranks" means they get a day off every third day.
Seeing... my counselor this week and talking about self care. I have found with the boys' having epilepsy and asthma diagnoses and their need for constant monitoring that my need for self care is higher than it's ever been before. I require sleep, exercise and quiet time like I never have. I am coming to terms with this and figuring out a way to make those needs fit in my life as a wife and mom of four. It's not always easy, but it's worth it. Cause it's true what they say, if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!
Swimming... at the pool three times this week. Logan had a seizure at the pool that first day, which was a bummer, but something we expected, and Josh (as well as Jack) were close by. One of us is always on "Logan duty", as will be the case until his seizures are controlled again. (We've recently upped his dose once more, and are hopeful this will be the magic number!) Carly loves the "water park" and asks to go as soon as she wakes up in the morning. It is definitely our family's happy place and somewhere we plan to go every afternoon. I am so grateful for both the pool and the fact that Josh is a teacher so we can both go and "divide & conquer" with the kids there, since both Logan & Carly require close monitoring at this point.
Wednesday the twins were being really disrespectful & rule breaking Wednesday, Jack with his mouth and Logan with his body, and they lost the ability to come to the water park, and boy (!) were they bummed! Josh was working on our irrigation system and the twins simply stayed behind with him while I took the younger two to play. The message to the twins: no hitting or name calling will be tolerated. And when mom says something- you best listen! I, of course, felt horrible, but I also know that sometimes you have to send a strong message, and lately they've gotten a little big for their britches. And you best believe they were much better behaved Thursday! ;) (Parenting is HARD!!!)
Reading... and finishing I'll Be Your Blue Sky and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I am about half way through The Stranger in the Woods and Four Seasons in Rome. I just started Tell Me More on audio and The Magicians Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia #1) with the boys at bedtime. I am loving all the reading I'm doing and the boys are begging for more than one chapter at bedtime. It's so sweet.
Crying... happy tears when Josh told me about his raise which means I can quit teaching VIPkid. I have been so grateful for the opportunity to make money from my own living room while my kids sleep, but the hours are brutal. In winter, I had to wake up at 3:30am to teach, and now I am up at 4:00am to teach (thanks to daylight savings time) and it makes bedtime with the kids stressful (cause I have to get them in bed, so I can get in bed) and steals what little quiet time I could have at night.
I've been teaching 3x a week every week for eight months now and the idea that I can go back to just being a mom is like the biggest Christmas present ever. I keep remembering and feeling overwhelming joy at the thought. I am so excited to stay up a little later with my hubby, to spend more time tucking the boys in (and reading chapter books to them like I used to) and to not have to wake up at the crack of dawn every Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
I also found myself crying (not happy tears) when the repairman told us it could be up to six weeks before our washing machine is fixed. Wahhhhhh!!! It'll be three weeks before he gets the mechanical part he ordered that is for sure broken. Then when he replaces that, if the drum is also broken (leaking) it could be another three weeks for that to be ordered and come in. In the mean time, Josh will be making weekly trips to the laundromat, bless his soul, and we'll be using paper towels and wearing our clothes 4x each. ;) Sigh.
I found myself crying one more time when Logan handed Josh and I a taped-up note with all of his birthday money inside (nearly $50) that he said was for us to use to pay for the washing machine. Bless his big, beautiful heart. I cried and cried, and hugged him, and gave him his money back, assuring him it wasn't a financial issue (we have a home warrantee that covers appliances) but more an annoyance issue. He was relieved, but said we could really have the money if we needed it. Oh, how I love that big-hearted boy.
Loving... the way Carly has started saying, "Ezactly!" in response to my getting something correct. For instance, she will say, "Bees like flowers." And I will respond, "Bees do like flowers." And she will say, "Ezactly!" Gosh it's so cute! I also love the way she says "fudgesicle", which sounds more like "fudge-fickle" and is so darn adorable!!! As soon as her brothers got home, she wanted to share her box of fudgefickles with them. She's such a sweetheart.
Feeling... grateful for our house. Everyday it feels more like home, and is such a haven for the six of us. I love the fence Josh put up so much, and have enjoyed working more on the yard. We have so many dreams for this house, for what it could be, and it's been exciting to see some of those dreams come true over the last two years. Next on the list is siding (with a new paint color!!!) and flooring as well as a new kitchen. I am scared, but getting excited (thanks to my Pinterest-looking-sister!) about making changes and I know that this home will feel the love as we turn her into what we know she can be!
Taking... Wyatt to the allergy doctor Thursday to see if allergies are contributing to his asthma in any way. They tested him for 28 common allergens (trees, pets, etc.) and he was negative for EVERYTHING! I am so, so relieved. Mostly that we can keep our cats (whom the kids adore!) but also that there is nothing making his asthma worse. He simply has Reactive Airway Disease which means his lungs don't like colds & viruses. So we will carry on with his preventive asthma meds and keep a close eye on him when he gets sick or his peak flow numbers drop.
When the doctor said he had no allergies, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. I didn't realize how much I had been holding my breath, waiting & wondering if anything in our environment was making him worse (like mold or grass or our pets) and how I could finally let those worries go.
After his appointment, which was an hour away and in my sister's town, we stopped by her house, which was so nice. I am so happy she lives so close. I got to love on my niece who is like a tiny little fairy, crawling all around & smiling at me. Gosh I love her so!!!