Celebrating... Josh's 35th birthday (he's finally the same age at me, at least for the next four months!) with cake and ice cream this week since he was out of town on his actual birthday. Carly was thrilled to pick out a box cake & frosting for me to make, plus monster candles for daddy and to have ice cream after dinner. We sang and she was so proud of him for blowing out his candles. Her enthusiasm for life is my favorite and I try to let it be contagious.
Watching... our flowers out front bloom and our garden in the backyard grow. We have a bright pink dinner-plate hibiscus that is our yard's pride & joy. It's absolutely stunning while in bloom, and the very first flower opened today. We are so happy to see it thriving another year. Meanwhile, our garden is bursting with life! We've got two corn husks on each stalk of corn; pumpkin plants coming in nicely; cucumber being harvested on the daily; peppers being harvested weekly; and the cutest tiny watermelons trying to grow that you ever did see! The next thing we are watching for is tomatoes. We're hoping that harvest will start soon! I never imagined I'd be a gardener, but Wyatt has such a keen interest, and Josh's parents are avid gardeners, so I'm learning right alongside him. It's been really fun!
Suffering... through my last dental appointment, finally. I broke a tooth a while back, eating an orange (of all things!) and now that it's fixed, I am done with the dentist (at least for a while). Hallelujah!
Visiting... my sister and her kids while Josh had the three boys out of town for Grandma's camp. I was the "fun aunt" and brought a box of Transformers and my sprinkler so they could have some fun even though I didn't bring my usual van full of playmates. While I was there I did about five loads of laundry since my washing machine has been out for almost four weeks. It was awesome to get all the laundry done while the boys were gone (and Josh did the laundry they traveled with at his mom's house, so for a while we had all clean laundry when they got home!)
My sister's baby girl is nine months old and is crawling like crazy and pulling up on everything. She's crazy mobile and so adorable. Carly isn't quite sure what to make of her, since she's never around anyone younger than her. She's always like, 'Eww! Why's she putting that in her mouth?!?" We have to explain that's what babies do. Haha!
Reading... and finishing Disappeared and Four Seasons in Rome. Disappeared was so good to listen to (I have loved all of Francisco Stork's books that I've read!) and Four Seasons in Rome was okay. There were some gems of quotes in it, and I very much identified with his parenting newborn twins, but other parts felt very slow, and I'm not in a "slow read" part of my life. I want a PAGE TURNER!
When I finished Four Seasons in Rome started This Is How It Always Is and finished it in two days. Two days! It was so, so good. Absolutely the top book I've read so far this year. Right up there with The Nightingale. They are currently #1 & #2. When I finished that, I started Ghosted, which came this week, from Book of the Month. I am seriously loving my Book of the Month books! It's so fun to choose which one I want, and you can get additional books for only $9.99!
Cleaning... the van and making it "mine" even though it's not the coolest "mom car". I am working on "owning it". This is the phase of life I am in. I have four kids and that necessitates a "mom van". So I stuck my absolute gem of a sticker that Ashley sent me on there ("Book Babe"- see above) and hung a sparkly diamond from my rear view mirror. Both make me smile when I load my clan into the van each day to go to the pool, and that alone makes it worth the effort it took to clean her up and make her mine. What I love most is that each of my boys individually came to me and told me they loved my "Book Babe" sticker and that they thought it fit me perfectly. So sweet! (And thanks Ashley, that one tiny sticker makes me oh-so-happy!)
Swimming... with the kids at the water park three times this week. Even with Josh there, I felt spread thin trying to keep an eye on all of them, and it was hard to come down in the evening after feeling like I had spent two or three hours on high alert, counting to four repeatedly. (one, two, three, four. one, two, three, four.)
It was so hot on Tuesday, 102 degrees I think, but by Thursday it had cooled to only 87 and boy can you tell the difference! Especially if there is even a slight breeze when you're getting out of the pool!
For the most part, we all six hang out in the regular pool together, jumping in, diving after diving toys and horsing around. But we also hang out in the lazy river, let the boys go on the big slide and the diving boards, and sometimes follow Carly over to the little kid slides.
Anticipating... Logan's seizure the entire time we were at the pool Tuesday. I just had a feeling, starting before we even left the house, that he would have a seizure that day while we were there. Sure enough, I saw him on the pool deck with Jack, and I could tell by his body language that he was having a seizure, so I swam over and took him to our spot to sit down for a bit. Other than a headache, he recovered super quick and was fine the rest of the day, but that was the first time I've ever had a premonition that he was going to have a seizure. I'm glad I listened to it and stuck extra close.
I had to remind myself after that day that while I am always trying my best with the kids, I am not, in fact, Super Mom. I am only human. And I can only do so much.
Talking... to my counselor on Friday about how to be more confident and feel more capable as an adult. And do you want to know his advice? Know my limits.
Okay, universe. Or God. Or whatever.
Message received: Shelly is not invincible. Shelly is not all powerful. Shelly cannot DO ALL and BE ALL. I am a finite being who is not, in fact, responsible for protecting my offspring from all of life's experiences and/or harm, despite my insane desire to do so.
As my anxiety has revved up this week, my thoughts have been swirling around inside me. Mom guilt mixed with anxiety for next school year mixed with worry for the future mixed with some sadness about the past... And as I continue to work through those emotions (by journaling) I am going to see where his advice ("knowing my limits") can apply to help me feel more capable and confident in my life.
Grateful... for the washing machine being fixed (finally!) after four weeks without it. I'm so happy to be doing laundry at home, as opposed to the laundromat or my neighbors or my sister's house. It's just so much more convenient here! I've never been so happy to stand in front of the couch at 10:00pm folding laundry in my life!
Giggling... at nap and bedtime with Carly. Remembering to "Linger Longer" with her. Read more books, have more snuggles. Also just enjoying her. Dressing her, doing her hair, talking to her. When we snuggle, she often rubs my back, and it's just the sweetest. She also tells me she's "So proud of me!" when I do things like wipe her off or put things away. It's adorable. I am also loving how she talks. She says "swim soup" for swim suit and "fanks" for thanks. My sister and I tried out a new hair-do she found on Pinterest (that I am loving!) and Josh is working with her on her ABC's. (He's such a teacher at heart!) Thanks to Team UmiZoomi she already knows most of her numbers. She has warmed up to Josh putting her to bed at night, which is a huge relief to me (phew!) and would love if we would read her ten books at bedtime. She loves books just like her mama!
Being... visited by the tooth fairy twice this week as both Logan & Wyatt lost teeth. For Logan, he lost the same tooth Jack lost two weeks ago, one of his last baby teeth. But for Wyatt, it was his very first lost tooth, and I have to admit, I cried. I am so sad to see his sweet, perfect smile go. He, however, is ecstatic that he is finally losing teeth after seven years (many kids he knows have been losing teeth since before kindergarten, and he's about to start second grade!) so luckily his enthusiasm made it easier to bear this bit of "growing up before my eyes".
Seeing... the doctor to get the stitch removed from the back of Wyatt's head that was put in there a week ago in the ER after a "pillow fight gone wrong" accident with the twins. He fell during said pillow fight and hit his head on the rocking chair, splitting the back of his head open, requiring one little stitch to hold the skin together. It healed beautifully and Wyatt was very brave getting the stitch out.
Walking... everyday, even when I don't feel like it, because I know it's good for my mental health, and my anxiety has been a bit high as I have been adding meeting dates and school start dates to my August calendar for Josh (he's a teacher). Suddenly I'm aware that summer is going to end someday and school is approaching and I am feeling unprepared when it comes to planning the school year for both Wyatt and Logan medically.
"This is how it always is. You have to make these huge decisions on behalf of your kid, this tiny human whose fate and future is entirely in your hands, who trusts you to know what's good and right and then to be able to make that happen.
You never have enough in formation. You don't get to see the future. And if you screw up, if with your incomplete, contradictory in formation you make the wrong call, well, nothing less than your child's entire future and happiness is at stake. It's impossible. It's heartbreaking. It's maddening. But there's no alternative."
by Laurie Frankel