2018 chapter 27 & 28: July 11

We had the missionaries over for dinner tonight. During their lesson they asked Wade what he loves, Wade responded, "Trash." Such a weird kid. Then they asked him if he likes to talk to people about trash, obviously he does, he had been talking to them the whole time about it. Then they made the analogy of wanting to share what we love with people, so we should share the gospel - hilarious when  they said the words of "so, the gospel is like trash." After we found this origami shirt left for us, Wade asked if he could take it upstairs to add it to his, "smelly garbage pile."

I missed last week since it was a holiday! This was the first year we took our kids to the fireworks. Wade asking things like, "Can we go home so I can get in my bed?" and "Did you bring my pillow? Where am I supposed to sleep?!" And Blake kept swatting at the bugs and then telling me about it and showing me how she was swinging her arms. Jac was fine, nothing to report. Overall, they were very underwhelmed about the fireworks.  These are the best pictures I got. Put ear muffs on to keep the ear plugs in. 

During the day on the fourth I went to the thrift store with my kids and my girls found some awesome princess dresses that I had to take the tags out of to buy, cause they were not taking them off. Then we went swimming and turns out Blake is our water baby. All three of them have puddle jumper life jackets and I realized that I can do the pool with them by myself, so we've hit the pool a few more times since and it's been a blast. Wade and Blake can both wiggle (not calling it swimming, ha) wherever they want. Jac could, just doesn't, she whines and acts all distressed the whole time. 

The weekend before the fourth my cousin came for a long layover with her family. It was so. much. fun. Her son came in and found a GeoTrax part and immediately inquired about where the rest were, and that's where the boys were the rest of the time. And, where Wade has been ever since. 

We joke that Jac is our Zella - their energy level is far above regular children (my brother also has a "Zella" child. His name is Drew). Within three minutes of everyone being in my house I found Jac laying on Zella. They've never met. How did she know? How did she know that this girl should be her person? And then Blake found her Nancy. Sort of. Blake doesn't care enough about people, so poor Nancy really wanted to be her person, but they still had fun. It was crazy how Zella and Jac physically looked cut from the same cloth, and then Blake and Nancy looked like they were. Even their body movements were similar. 

We're going out to Utah in a few weeks and I'm so excited to stay with these people for a few days. Oh, speaking of looking similar, people at church kept saying how much Kris and looked a like, and I just had to laugh. We're both Caucasian. And girls. And have teeth. 

Okay, I'm not going chronological, but that's what happens when you have two busy weeks to cover. I did the all-nighter at girls camp. It was fun. And stupid. I was soooo tired the next day! Nana came into town and took the kids to the farm over night and what did I do with my gracious given kidless time? I slept off an all nighter. Does that count as magnifying my calling and I'll get blessings? 

Nana took them all on her brothers boat and everyone went on the the inter tube with Bryan's cousin. They had so much fun. Of course they did. 

We got to have Nana and Papa in town for almost two weeks. We went to the pool, the lake, the library. We went to a new library, it was great. My girls wore their fourth of July thrift dresses and there were other girls there that were all kinds of jealous of them. 

We're still getting water in our basement (which I'm secretly okay with because the flooring being torn up isn't because we're lazy, but cause there is still a problem) so we torn up part of our garage floor and then had to shove a ton of sand into the space between our garage floor and driveway. We shoved 1/2 cubic yard down there. No wonder we're still getting water. The girls were so helpful. Don't you love when projects like this come up when it's 100 out with high humidity? 

Wade fell asleep that night at 6 and just stayed asleep. But we kept the girls up to get their handprints in the cement and then we woke up Wade for it. He was so mad that we woke him up. And we thought we had the drying time right, but it had gotten too hard. Stupid. 

Yesterday was "cow appreciation day" at Chick Fil A, you get free food if you dress up like a cow. We did three free meals. I should be embarrassed. We did our regular Tuesday morning free breakfast. Then went there for lunch. Then when daddy got home we went again. Blake kept calling herself a bunny. Jac tore off her cow ears and put on a headband she found. 

Oh, oh - Blake is potty trained!!! Her last accident was on Sunday and it was right in front of the potty, I think it was just cause she was wearing a princess dress - she needed me to be like a maid of honor and hold the dress up while she peed. 

We've been making some new friends and met up with them today at the pool!

I had planned to paint my room and bathroom on my kid-free day, but, as stated before, I slept that day, so I started painting on a random day. My kids were up late and judging by their tantrums (Jac had a tantrum in Costco that people were talking to me about it when I ran into them later into the store), I thought for sure that I'd get a good nap out of my girls. Nope. I was so wrong. But they all sat in my room, watching me. The threat of having to leave made them behave! 

Turned out pretty good. 

Having lots of paint open with lots of children gets one thinking. I am so capable! I've done amusements parks, water parks, lakes, pools, parks, built a sand pit, used power tools and done so many other things by myself with three kids in tow. Not to mention the countless shopping trips, hours in the car, cleaning, ect. Oh, and I'm driving out to Utah in a few weeks solo. Not solo, with my kids. I love help, I love the company of others, but I am so capable to live life with my kids. When everyone was little (littler) I would try to do EVERYTHING when they were sleeping. That's hard. And I was always waiting for them to sleep. This year I've been doing more and more with them with me and it's great. Some days I have to remind myself that they are my joys. Some days I have to remind myself that we do not have a time schedule and if it takes us 20 minutes to walk to our car, that's okay. But my kids get see me do stuff that makes me happy. My kids get to get out and have so much fun. Sometimes I feel like being a mom to a bunch of littles is my super power. 


2018 chapter 26: June 27

I've had this idea in my head for family pictures. A two part portrait where I captured my kids as themselves at this very moment. It was so fun. This image is my favorite - it's not the one I printed to hang, but I love it. I love it because I look stupid, but I had to post it because Jacqueline is holding her dress out perfectly like a perfect little princess and Blake is getting some "air" (you see that 1/2"?!). And that is motherhood in a nutshell to me, watching these littles be themselves. Letting them be themselves. Having a entourage of princesses is pretty fun too - that's what I imaged motherhood to be. 

Another moment form this week that defines motherhood for me: stopping mid-poop because my potty training toddler crouched in poop position; nabbed her and got her on the potty before any turds escaped. Then had to paint her nails immediately for positive reinforcement and told her we would when she pooped in the potty (not that this should really count, cause it wasn't of her accord. But try explaining that to a two year old). Whole ordeal earned myself a stomach ache. 

Anywho, these are the pictured I printed. I still need to frame them. Engineer prints for the win! I should've taken a closer picture, but I wanted to give perspective - but now you can't see how cute we are very well. 

In the most exciting news: finished our sand pit! It was sweaty and muggy as I brought down each wheelbarrow full of heavy sand. But the kids love it. And then I got a bunch old cedar wood for free from a guy who was taking apart his deck and made a cool path around - which is functional to get to the raspberries and cut down on weeds, but it's also the best because little kids can walk on it. 

Shoes keep being brought out as sand toys. 

It's amazing how 1/2 cubit yard of sand can cover my entire house. A nice thin layer over everything. Especially coming in the dryer vent - the little pile that comes out of every road is always surprising to me.

 Put a board across, which is also a very important part of the sand pit experience. At this point I'm just making comments to justify all the fun pictures from the pit. My girls love looking out my window and telling me about how the pit is down there.

Picked up a hose roller from the side of the road. This weekend we tired to hook up our last one and it didn't work. Felt like perfect timing! Then I tried to hook this one up and the connectors are all bent. Can I put it back on their driveway? Probably not. At least not during the daytime hours. Now I have two broken hose rollers. Maybe this could be my newest collection. At least the girls think they're fun to roll around. As if they don't have enough yard toys. 

Girls escaped to the sand pit and Wade stuck around to help daddy. He helped him pick up some stuff in the garage and then asked him, "Daddy, do you need me to help you with anything else?" So daddy let him help mow the lawn and Wade was thrilled! 

Progress shot of my front yard: 

Went to Valley Fair last Friday night and spent most the time in the water park. In the wave pool all my kiddos need to wear a life jacket and Blake discovered this week that they make her float and she loved laying on her back - which was a complete surprise to me. And she shrieked laughing as she ran into waves. We went with friends and Blake decided to be pals with one of the dads, all his kids were older (6 and up) and he was okay with an additional little pipsqueak. Then we went on a few rides and left when I started getting cold - cause I brought a change of clothes for kiddos, but not for me. 

Husband got back in town on Friday. We picked him up at midnight and my kids were so mesmerized by the lights - they're never out at night, I never thought of that! The airport lights were extremely exciting! 

Stella has gotten gutsy. She's been getting up on dining chairs and eating off the table! I haven't seen her do it. I don't know how long she's been doing it. But Blake came to my crying and told me that Stella got on the chair and ate her waffle! Then the next day we all went out to watch a garbage truck and came back to all the peanut butter and jelly sandwich crusts being gone. So guess we'll be pushing our chairs in - can't complain about that! 

With long days and summer fun, we've been really off on sleep. Girls have been going to be between 9:30 and 10:00. It's cause it's still light out and Jacqueline is a hyper tired kid and then she bugs Blake and riles her up. So much lack of sleep. One afternoon Bryan asked how things were going, I sent him this picture: 

But then there's been moments like this, where they just drop, which NEVER happens. This was after Aunt Jeanette (Bryan's aunt) came to play with them all morning while I was at Girls Camp. She brought science experiments (which Wade has been trying to replicate) and I could tell that they had a blast. 

Perhaps falling asleep isn't the only reason they're so tired...wait, not tired, grouchy. They're grouchy from lack of sleep. 

This morning Jac came into my room at a completely respectable hour of 7:30. Then she snuggled next to me and fell back asleep for another hour. Right next to me. She's growing out of being a toddler and into a little kid, and then I got to stare at her cubby arm and cuddle her. Also, a great excuse to stay in bed. Blake also slept in and when she woke up she came to ask me where her Jac-in was. 

Wade did not wake up at a reasonable hour. Bryan woke up at 5:30 (to do a morning round of golf) and Wade was already up. No clue what time he got up. He was downstairs coloring and cutting up an entire notebook. He passed out at 10:15 in the car. Snapped this picture, then Blake told me, "Wade sleeping," and then she tilted her head back, opened her mouth and closed her eyes to mimic him. She also made fake snoring sounds, an addition to Wade's performance. 

Yesterday Wade came down from quiet time and said: 
"Mommy, today I'm going to make a water." 
"You're going to make a water? "
"No, a water."
"A water tower?"
"No mommy. Just say what I'm saying. A water." 
Still have no idea what he was talking about and what he wanted to make. 

This week was/is Girls Camp. It's only 20 minutes away, so I've been able to go up every day and not have to commit to the whole week - cause I wouldn't have been able to commit to the whole week. I was in charge of decor (obviously picked that job!) and craft (umm....picked that job too). The theme was superheroes, so I made the lodge look like headquarters with disguises hung and an arsenal of plastic weapons. And for crafts I was having a hard time because it was just during free time, so we didn't have a start and end time - so I just brought up a bunch of random supplies, including bags of Husband's old t-shirts. We ended up making up capes and puffy painting them and it was a HUGE hit! 

The first day I had to bring my kids, and they were in heaven with all these big kids to play with. 

And them I've been able to go up and let me weird come out. The girls have no idea. 

I got sour cream in my mustache. But I was committed. And then it escalated. 

Got the pink wig for camp as a "disguise." Well, it's Jac's FAVORITE!!! She fell asleep with it on in her car seat - add that to the list of pictured I wish I had. But, this one isn't too shabby: 

I farted in the car today. It was silent and impressive. About 15 seconds later my kids starts saying, "Ewww! Gross!" "Stinty!!" "Stella poop?!" And other accompanying grossed out sounds. Laughed so hard I could barely see to drive and then farted again. 

Bryan cleaned up and reset our computer. It is running so much faster! And then he set op my new phone - something that just overwhelmed me. Do you see love in those actions? I do. I have some friends that are married and they're best friends. I want that. Husband and I talked about it and we agreed that we're not unhappy, we're actually quite happy, but often living parallel lives. So we're working on being best friends. The wife of these friends told me that she tries to be the wife she wants to be, instead of the one she feels justified to be. For some reason that just made so much sense to me. In all aspects of life. I should be the mom and wife that I want to be, not the one I feel justified to be. It's so easy for a spouse/kid to do something annoying so then I feel validated in my subpar behavior - that makes me sound so bad, but I think everyone does it. So we're both working on that. And on helping each other with what they need help with - he didn't see setting up my phone as something I needed help with, but I felt like I did need help, so he helped me. This is a change - cause we've had this phone for me for a year. Lots of thoughts, while nothing really specific to say, except that I've been enjoying this paradigm shift. Also, last week I wrote that I wanted to remember to be a fun mom and to remember to have fun being a mom - wise words from myself that have been resonating with me this week as I'm annoyed or tired or exhausted. Which, I have three strong willed kids, a large house, a large yard, a side job - I'm always exhausted. But when I remember that fun in the sand pit is more important than a non-sanding house - that's a good things to realize.