Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Home Between The Hustle

I was sharing with a group recently what my days looked like. First and foremost is the school hustle and everything that goes with it-alarm clocks, busy mornings, lunches to pack, drop off, pickup, and occasional volunteer work. Second, I have joined the YMCA in order to take some yoga classes twice a week. Stretching at home was getting harder to the point that it wasn't happening, because nothing shuts it down like having small people jump on my back while I'm reaching for my toes! Am I right?! I'm also running 3-4 days a week and sometimes it's behind the double stroller. All that exercise makes me sound very fit and that's inaccurate. Running and yoga make me feel great, but I'm still such a rookie at both. Here we are, two more things that I'm under-skilled and over-confident, my go to approach to most of life's situations.

After the school hustle and my exercise, my favorite thing to do is be with these two baby boys. My biggest gift to them and myself is empty time for them to play. I remember it's how I filled most of my time when Burl and Fern were these ages. We would find something to do, then go do it plus have time to have empty play at home. Now, I have a small window to decide what to do with. Most of the time, I chose home. I love the time to linger as they explain something to me, or I love to jump in and play just enough to get their wheels turning on their own. I'm definitely more hands off than I was with Burl and Fern, but I'm eyes and heart ALL IN. I'm watching, loving, and melting over these two.

One day last week after yoga, we came back home and they asked for play doh, the messiest activity in our house. The mess didn't bother me because I was so relaxed and energized from yoga. Suuuuuuuuure, let's do play doh.

My view was right over their shoulders. I love their rounded shoulders and straight backs. They heavy-breathed through manufacturing and I sat in wonder. I had an extra cup of coffee, my Bible study from church, and the sweetest scene to fill my mama heart. 

It's hard for me to be raising these two in a more hustled environment than Burl and Fern. It makes the days seem shorter and quicker. That's not good at a time when I'm holding on tight to the last of my baby days. That's why this time with me at home means so much to me. What a treat these two are! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Girls' Camping Trip 2

Any mom knows that having one kid to yourself is such a treasure! For me, I love the break in mothering four kids to devote my attention to the one that's in front of me. Obviously the child loves it too because they get Mama all to themselves. A couple of weeks ago, I got to have Fern to myself on our girls' camping trip and we had a great time!

We went after school on Friday and stayed until Sunday afternoon. She worked so hard getting everything setup. This is where being one-on-one with Fern really changes things. When we go as a family, she takes care of her stuff, then goes off to play. Being with me, she wanted to do everything with me. I try to teach her as much as I can. She jumped right into tent assembly and did so well for a six year old. She unpacked our stuff, set up our sleeping pads, sleeping bags, and "got it all organized." Fern is my forever nester. 

The reaction I get from people when they find out that the two of us are going camping is always priceless. The questions are hilarious!

Aren't you scared? 
No, I'm a smart, hardy woman.
Do you know how to setup a tent? 
Yes, I taught John. 
Can you even build a fire? Yes, but I'm not great at it. Yet.

Saturday was a full day! We ate good food, hiked, went to the fancy campground pool, explored good views, got ice cream, and met a funny boy who camped across from us. He was always saying funny things and he cracked Fern up! My favorite thing he said was that he only swims in swimming holes and not pools because he's "country as crap."

Saturday we did all the things. Before I got the fire built after dinner, Fern was asking for bed. That girl was worn out! I wasn't tired at all. Doing all the things with one child doesn't compare to doing a few things with four children! I had to read myself to sleep. 

Sunday we went to the creek. It's a cute spot below the beautiful cascades and above another waterfall. At first, Fern was afraid to cross the bridge to get there. It is the same bridge that she's crossed since she was a baby! With the right amount of you don't have to cross if you don't want to with a little you've done it before and I know you can do it again and a little I'm going with or without you-you coming? she finally crossed. Then, she realized that it wasn't hard and she walked with confidence. 

We headed back to the campsite to pack everything up before checkout. Then we stopped to check out one more swimming hole before grabbing some lunch for the ride home. 

I love this girl and my time with her! Out of all the things that we have done, the girls' camping trips have taken up a lot of space in her memory bank. To the people who asked, "if it's just girls, why don't you go to a hotel for the weekend?" That's just not how we have fun in this family. I asked her and she's not interested. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Ridge The Sweetheart

He really is the sweetest child. He doesn't even know how to get mad and yell. He doesn't throw fits. I get comments about him all the time from family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers, because he is precious by nature. Tonight he asked me to wrestle him and we giggled and laughed and wrestled together. He is always a good time and amazingly compliant. Sometimes he likes to point his bottom to the camera, but this time he gave me his sweet personality. We treasure him. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Six Chairs Full

Lark has broken all the baby rules. His birthweight was a foreshadow for his life. Breaking the average 10 pound family average, he blew us all away at 12 pounds. He will not be little, no way! It has continued on since then.

His new thing is eating in a chair. He started this thing where he cried SO HARD at dinner. Being the baby, I had no problem pulling him out of the high chair and eating dinner with him in my lap. Something that I NEVER did with the older three. That's called 4th child perk. Anyways, we finally realized that he was crying because he didn't want to be in the highchair. 

The highchair is no more! His first meal in a chair caused quit the excitement. I remember it was one of our favorite meals of greens, pintos, and pickled okra. He sat there with his chin at table level and inhaled his food. 

The first few days of this were very rowdy. He thought he was big stuff and free as a bird. We thought he was hilarious and precious. Things have calmed down and this has become our new norm. 

Here we are! Finally filling all the chairs around the table. It's another normal thing that I want to celebrate and remember. We're a full family of six, filling the chairs, and filling the table. Dinnertime is such a rowdy good time!
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