Thursday, August 25, 2016

Happy Birthday Porter

In honor of Porter's birthday, here's the first minute or so from our morning walk today (Porter's side of the conversation) I sure love this three year old boy!

Mommy! Look! ("wook!") There's a tree growing!

Mommy! Look! There's another tree growing!

Look! There's another tree growing. This tree is growing up to the sky! This tree is growing up, up, up to the sky!

Who's house is this?

Yep, it's Sister Matthews house.

What's this called?

What's this sidewalk called?

Yep, just called a sidewalk.

Look at all the flowers!

I spy (fingers up to his eyes like binoculars) lots of flowers!

Yep, those are roses. Let's see if we can find some more roses.

What flowers are those?

(fingers up to eyes) I spy with my little eye... a puddle!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Swim Lessons

We all had fun with two sessions of swim lessons this summer. For the first session early in the summer (before Isaac was born), I swam with Ellie, Owen and Porter outside while just Landon had swim lessons (practicing freestyle and back stroke).

I almost canceled our second session because I couldn't figure out the logistics of how to take care of everyone (Watch Ellie's lessons to help her not feel anxious, hold/feed Isaac,  keep an eye on Porter...) But at the last minute I came up with a possible solution and it turned out really great. Landon and Owen did lessons, I held Isaac, and Ellie took care of Porter in the outside pool (with me watching). Then, Ellie got to have her own personalized swim lesson by Jordan for the last day. It was a happy way to spend these summer mornings!

Happy Birthday Landon

Landon had a great birthday party last month to celebrate turning 10! When he told me he wanted a lego party, I was pretty quickly stumped about what to do for activities. Everything I thought of seemed pretty little kid-ish. But then I asked Jordan for some ideas, and it took him only a second to tell me several great ideas that were just perfect for these 10-year-olds. 

They had a race car building contest -- first for judged for overall awesomeness, then on to the blue track battle crash. That was my favorite part. Two cars were randomly chosen and had to race down the blue track from each side. Whoever best survived the crash got to move on the next round.  Then a lego bridge building contest with judging by how much money in coins they could hold (which quickly turned into how much money + how many cans from our pantry because those bridges were strong!). Last they had a rubberband shooting minifigure war (shooting the legos, not each other) then cake & ice cream and presents. Very fun and hooray for Jordan's good ideas!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Little Olympians

We had an Olympics watching party this evening while Jordan and Landon went to help a neighbor move. We watched about 40 minutes of gymnastics and then the kids decided they were ready to join in on the fun. (This started when Porter watched a floor routine and said, "I can do that!" then started to show off his own tricks across the front room floor). So fun.

Also, this is the first time I've watched any of the Olympics since I was probably in high school. When we started watching the women's gymnastics team with the kids, I was so surprised at how young they were -- just kids! The last time I was watching this, I was looking up to those girls, imagining what it would be like to be like that 'someday'. Now they're as close or closer to my children's ages than mine!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

From Porter this morning

Isaac was crying this morning as I was changing him and getting him dressed.

Watching, Porter said "Mommy, Isaac is sad! I think because he is growing too much!"

Lee's Online (for my Logan friends)

Here is where I become a Lee's online salesperson (because I love Lee's and this is just so great and I want to share :)

There are often times in my life when grocery shopping is fun. With two little shopping buddies by my side, I'm at my best.  We take our time. We look at the signs. Sometimes the boys get their own little carts. I use my best Mom voice.
"Let's get 10 apples, one...two...three...
"Who will get the bread for us?"
 "Should we go grab a cookie?"
"What else do we need?"

With five little children surrounding me, I'm at my worst.
"Don't touch the cart"
"Please don't talk to Mom right now"
"There will be no cookies unless..."
"The next person who..."

I've been trying out the Lee's delivery a bit since Isaac was born and it's awesome.

Top 5 things:
1. They shop for my groceries and bring them to my house!
2. It means I have to plan ahead a bit more than I might otherwise (which is great but also something I need to work on)
3. So super great for stocking up/case lot sale time
4. When I need more random items, I don't have to try to search for them or ask where to find something, I just type it in the search bar. :)
5. When I've used this, my fridge has been much less full because I just buy what we actually need.

You can try it out for free this month with DELIVERAUGUST (Tell me how it goes -- You're welcome!)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sunshine, lollipops & rainbows

And then there are also those moments like yesterday

when I dropped a bottle of shampoo in the shower and woke Isaac up from his magic nap (not too happily). And by the time I hopped out and got dried off, he was pretty inconsolable. And by the time I did get him calmed down a bit, it was time to leave for swim lessons and I still had no clothes + dripping wet hair + an Isaac in my arms just so, and Porter's swimsuit had mysteriously disappeared...

or this morning at swim lessons

when Porter needed to go potty at the end of swim lessons right now at the same time Isaac was getting a bit worn out and I had one arm holding a crying Isaac while I tried with the other arm to get a toddler back into a wet swimsuit  in a small public bathroom as quick as possible since I knew the older kids were finishing lessons and swimming without any supervision outside...  and hearing Isaac's cries and my attempted persuasion for Porter, a lady in the locker room came to knock on our stall "do you need some help?"

or a the quick stop at grocery store on the way home from swim lessons today

where we made it through the store (just barely) but then went to check out and I had a sad Isaac in my arms and 4 children + 2 carts (one for the car seat, one for the bags of groceries) who all ended up between me and the credit card reader, so I asked Landon to sign for me while I rocked little Isaac, and the lady behind laughed to herself and said (in a loving, happy way) "This is what I used to look like!" 

And that keeps making me smile, because I could see she knew about how hard and crazy those moments could be, but I could also see that maybe she missed these sweet, crazy days just a little bit.

Monday, August 8, 2016

On first/last babies

Me and new baby Landon
Jordan snapped a picture of Isaac and me just after Isaac was born, and gave me a quick preview before sending it on to let family know our little one had arrived. And the first thing I noticed was that I'm getting older!  Maybe the wrinkles around my eyes were exaggerated with a bit of exhaustion, but even so, I'm not that same 22-year-old anymore and I don't look quite the same either.

And that is as it should be. I love this picture with Landon - it is taped up on my dresser across from my bed so I see it every day. And I can remember that wonderful feeling captured of "oh! I get to be a mother to this little one!"

And I loved that newest picture with Isaac because I'm feeling now that feeling of "oh, how lucky I am to have been a mother for the last ten years and to get to be the mother to this one more little one."

Knowing that Isaac is likely our last baby,  pregnancy, birth, and these newborn days have been different. The biggest thing has been that the hard things aren't as hard. There is no longer the question of "can I do this again?" So when things are hard, it's not "Is this too hard to go through again?" It just is what it is and things are just as hard as they are. And then they pass. 

Also the sweet moments are of course even sweeter because this is it. I'm cuddling and holding this little Isaac just as much as I can and loving these tender days. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

new baby summer snapshot

In the morning, we wake up about 6:30. I'll nurse Isaac and the kids will start coming in and climbing into bed with me as they wake up about 6:45 (or for Landon, as he finishes scripture study with Jordan - who has already been up and working for a couple of hours by that point.)

Breakfast time, and the kids all make their own breakfast (making breakfast for the kids was a sacrifice I haven't been willing to make in the past. But during Jordan's paternity he helped train them and I've been so grateful for the way it helps our mornings go so much more smoothly right now. Someday they'll have mom-made breakfasts again, but for now they're doing just fine making their own :)

The kids are eager to have their turns holding Isaac during breakfast time so I get to have my hands free for my own bowl of oatmeal. Depending on how Isaac is doing sometimes I'll even do a bit of tidying up.

Then the kids all start morning jobs, I'll wrap up little Isaac, hold him for a minute then set him in his bouncer in my bathroom while I take a shower. And (here comes the magic part) he falls asleep! While I shower! No cries or complaints, just calmly looking around till his eyes get heavy and then he sweetly sleeps while I quickly get ready and sometimes even make my bed/start some laundry/help the kids with morning jobs.

After morning jobs, we head outside to play or to swim lessons or some other thing.

Then some play time, every once in a while 'school time' or friend time, then lunch (and more nursing + holding Isaac in between/during all that.)

Kids quiet time (+ nap time for Porter) and I'll usually hold Isaac while he sleeps and the kids all play together in the basement. (Games or legos or pretend - I love this.)  By the time quiet time is over, Jordan is done working for the day and then we'll work or play for the afternoon.

We've had family dinner making time the last few weeks (which means we start about 3 or 4 to be ready at 5 or 6) And the kids have all done a super job of helping or leading the process.  And so far, with all of Jordan's help and the kids' help and dinners from friends, I've not made dinner once since Isaac was born! I had a bit of guilt when I first realized that -- but then just gratitude that I can still feel like (and be) a good mom even without being in charge of making dinner.

Then just a bit of time before jammies, brushing teeth and helping the kids to reading time and bed. Lights out at 8:00 then Jordan and I (and Isaac) have a short time together (We just started reading Okay for Now) then bedtime for us around 9:00.

Isaac wakes around 12 and 3, then we start the day again! :)