Sunday, July 10, 2016

Growing up

Last summer marked a very significant even in the journey of our parenting: our oldest child lost her first baby tooth.

I was really taken aback by how much this event impacted me.  I teared up as a texted my own mother to tell her that the tooth was loose.  Maybe it was just pregnancy hormones, but it really hit home to me that, "WOW.  This kid is growing up.  She won't be a kid forever.  It's already begun."

It was loose for a few weeks until one day I was reading to her before bed and she realized it was gone!  Luckily, it had fallen out while she had brushed her teeth a few minutes beforehand and it hadn't even gone down the drain so we were able to recover it.

I'm pretty big on not wanting to stand in for any beings visiting our house to bring things for the kids (I'm very supportive of anyone who does, I just have my own reasons for not wanting to do it myself), but Kendra had asked if one of us could play Tooth Fairy for her tooth.  Well, that I could handle, if she knows it's one of us *playing* Tooth Fairy, so we arranged for Daddy to take on the role.  There was further request for wanting him to dress in costume for the occasion.  Unfortunately Daddy was out of town to defend his dissertation (successfully, YAY!) so she had to wait a couple of days for that experience, but it was well worth the wait for her.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Summer fun

I bought a little fold up pool for the kids at the beginning of the season to pull out for them in the summer--though it was such a shock to our system we largely avoided the outdoors most of the time the first couple of months we were here.  But we did finally set it up in August once things were just dully HOT instead of feeling your face peel off.

It was a very satisfyingly huge hit.

Except with Bridget.  I couldn't get her near it, but she was pretty happy to splash in it while standing outside it and play in the grass while her siblings were in the pool...

I got them a pool like this because my grandma had one and it was so, so, SO much stinking fun.  Also, it was only $12.  A very modest price to give my kids some of my own happiest memories from my childhood.

Playing around

Have I ever mentioned how much super fun our kids are?  Because they are a super, duper fun group of people to hang out with.

They are also quite the fan of selfie pics.  One day I had Bridget in my lap to take such a selfie and Elliot approached.  But she noticed that he'd taken off his patch and decided to help him out.
She was pretty persistent about it.

There's no story attached to this picture, just an accurate portrait of our sweet, sweet third child.  He can often be found like this, with his blanket that's so special to him.
I think I'll always remember him this way.  Grow up, with a family of his own...deep down he'll still be my little boy with his monkey blanket that he takes with him ev-er-y-where.

And Bridget.  A beautiful, bald, ball of fun where ever she goes.

Another aspect about our children that continually awes me is how well they play and get along together.  Don't get me wrong, I break up plenty of fights and I mediate plenty of interactions.  But those interactions are the exceptions, not the rule, and are determined by the age/developmental level of the youngest one involved.  They play and play and PLAY so dang well.

They do pretty well on their own, too.

I love how goofy they are!  Both individually and together, they're just an awesome group.  Watching them grow up is a delight.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Getting settled in

When I looked at our archives to see where I needed to pick up, I was a little surprised to see how behind I am....but only a little.  It has been one heckuva year...which is putting it mildly.  I get the feeling I'm going to look back on this past year and wonder how I accomplished anything at all, much less that I *only* got a year behind on blogging while doing it.

After the finally-chronicled road trip to Texas, we spent the entire rest of the summer unpacking.  I drove into the garage with the kids on Saturday evening and we woke up Sunday morning and started opening boxes.  We actually decided to stay home from church that week partly because we lost track of time, and partly because we had no idea where we could find clean clothes at all, much less church clothes.

I had all sorts of grand plans to leave our apartment so clean and tidy for the movers...but when push came to shove I was actually more concerned about enjoying the rest of our time in Pennsylvania and left the place a wreck.  This translated into our things getting put into boxes where they lay.  Not to mention we had to be creative with storage so even though boxes were labeled by where they were packed, we really had no idea what we were going to find until we opened it.  So in order to really put things away we kind of had to open....EVERYTHING.  Luckily it was a small apartment and we moved into a very, very large house.

We tried to manage the chaos by keeping the packing materials in piles.  The kids thought this was pretty neat.

With everything all strung out every which way, Bridget particularly was left to her own devices to find things to play with in lieu of actual toys.  She never seemed disappointed with her alternate treasures.

And, sweet girl that she is, she even eventually realized what we were doing, picking stuff up and putting it away.  So she was always being so helpful by bringing me things I obviously needed.  While using the bathroom.

The kids, as per usual, handled the time of upheaval extremely well.  These people seriously blow my mind because any time I need them to, they more than rise to the occasion.  I have no doubt that all of our children are all going to thrive as adults because they roll with the punches so much better than I am able to, even  now.

There was lots of exploring the new house and climate--it only took three days for Elliot to not need to ask where the bathroom was every time he needed to go and one day when I was sweeping a gecko leapt out from underneath the kitchen rug!

There was lots of reading.

LOTS of coloring.

Though not always on paper.

Lots of playing, especially with our new-to-us recliner from Heber.

Lots of breaks for snacks, for feeding the body.

Lots of breaks for snuggles, for feeding the soul.

Lots of little, and sometimes less little, home projects.

And lots of errands to help us set everything up.

Lots of new STUFF.

And, in the spirit of being honest that we don't lead ENTIRELY charmed lives, a few more challenging moment as well.

But somehow...we did it!  We got all unpacked and settled in before Grant had to report to work in the middle of August.  And it was such a huge relief to knock that one down, there is truly no rest for the weary as we had to immediately gear up for the school year, and then dive head first into baby preparations.

It's kind of a miracle that I'm only a year behind on blogging...