How are you? What has been keeping you busy and feeling so happy and grateful? What's been wearing on your mind? I've been thinking of you.
In case you've been thinking of us too -
Here's the skinny on what we've been up to.
First, YAY! It's the holidays! And yet, we are not even close to being ready!! hahha, but I'm still laughing about it so that's good, I guess. Our Christmas cards just arrived yesterday and I got them all addressed and then looked at the stack yesterday and knew I wanted to get them in the mail asap but between bathing the baby, making the kids dinner, and getting to B's basketball game - they were definitely NOT going to get stamped, sealed, and return label'ed.
And so I called in my elves who were overjoyed to help "do some hard work." Which is why for those of you who receive our christmas cards - you'll see that they've been closed up by two little darlings...which would explain why most of them have double-stamped return addresses, kid stickers on the back closing them up, and the stamp is sort-of in the right place.
Besides Marco and decorations - we haven't done too many holiday traditions, except celebrating St. Nick's day on the sixth. But lots of our traditions begin this upcoming week with our annual Polar Express party with the Fiores, Santa and pizza with the Stahls, and Christmas with my parents and sisters in a week a day (gulp. must start shopping).
It is also basketball season and I am so happy we are back into the swing of the season. I love Coach Daddy. He is passionate, time efficient, and a major hottie...hah, but seriously.
Our kids LOVE basketball season. Grey has attended a ton of practices with the team and both kids ride the bus home with B and the players from away games - which have meant Mum&Violet home alone for a little while after away games - which has been wonderful. They use the game time to practice sitting and watching (keyword being Practice; we are pretty antsy-pantsy in our seats) and then can hardly wait for halftime and the end of the game to get out on the court and run around like wild animals.
The kids' bathroom is now almost done (needs painted) and looks beautiful. Our bathroom still needs the floor and side-tube tiled, grouted, painted, and put back together. Full update to come when everything is done. In the meantime, our bedroom looks like this -
Grey has been attending "Ninja School" (also known as Karate) with Pappy for the past few weeks and loves it. He is really doing well in the class and comes home so proud to show us his new moves and how he is learning to count in Korean. Such a big kid these days! He is really very sweet and patient with his sisters 95% of the time and wants to be helpful to us. It's baffling to me that he was ever a baby at all; he has always seemed like such a boy trapped in a too little body and now he's really hitting his stride being 'big enough' to do all the things he wants to. He makes us very proud.
He and Violet are absolutely obsessed with each other. He is madly in love with her and regularly says "She's so cuuuuute! Sometimes I feel like biting her! But I won't Mum, because I love her, but she's just so cuuute!" If he comes near her she start smiling and talking like a little maniac and it's so sweet I could faint.
Gem has been her regular, ridiculous self. The girl does not stop talking which is both hysterical and exhausting. She has been trying to use "Actually" and "Also" this week. I had to go through the heartbreaking talk with her this week that people only grow bigger not smaller - as she wants to be older than Grey someday. (it's heartbreaking to me, not to them). She seamlessly plays wrestling with Grey while holding a purse and wearing princess dress-up clothes. Have I told you all yet that she no longer calls Grey "Booboo" (which she used exclusively for the first 2 years of her life), and now she only calls him "Greyson." Sometimes Grey will say, "Call me Booboo, Gem." And she flatly says no. She takes nothing from nobody and it makes us feel both proud and terrified. She's a force to be reckoned with, our Miss Ro.
On Wednesday before Ninja school, Gemma dived into a 30 minute diatribe on how there should be a girl ninja school and she doesn't care if she's not old enough yet, it's not fair that she doesn't get to go too. So, I figured, if she can eloquently argue the situation, it's time for her to attend a class and so the girls and I headed to her first class of gymnastics. She was shy at first and then got comfortable and took to it like a fish in water. She's in with the 3-5 year old girls and since she is fearless and already wild, it's really a perfect fit. Also, her little butt in that leotard; I could die.
Grey and Gem together are like a little tornado blasting every corner of our house with destruction and roughness. I'm so grateful they have each other to play with though, especially with all the cold weather. Having a new baby in the house has been infinitely easier since they have a playmate. Not that they don't fight (THEY DO), but they mostly get along which allows me to run through the house getting small cleaning/cooking/bill-paying/organizing/phone call/newborn tending tasks completed without having to entertain the two of them too.
For part of the day they get 'gated' in their room with the understanding that they can do whatever they want, but they'll need to clean up the mess after. The other day, I was folding clothes when they both came sneaking in my room. I asked how they got out of the gate and they showed me...they used the bunk bed ladder to escape. Also, that huge pile of pillows/blankies are for a landing spot when they cannonball off of their dresser. Welcome to the Studer Zoo Crew, folks.
And then, we have this girl. She just slays us all.
It already feels like she is growing too fast and getting a little bigger after each naptime. I can not overstate this next bit - she is the best baby on the whole planet in the history of babies. Seriously.
The only thing she really doesn't like and screams about is getting boogies sucked out - but I mean, come on - who doesn't hate that? Other than the boogies, she is an angel. An absolute angel and I think a hundred thousand times a day what in my life have I done good that lets me get to be the mumma of this baby. I know it sounds over the top, but this girl is honestly heavenly. Sleeps so good, hardly cries, sits for long periods of time and occupies herself, sleeps right through the two loud, crazy ones, and gives her smiles away generously.
Gah, I am in serious love with this child.
Brandon and I have done only a few of our adult advent calendar items, but we've mostly been fondly calling them "the tasks we probably won't do tonight." HAHAHAHHAH. We have on multiple occasions both passed out at night to wake up in a panic to lock the doors, turn off the lights, set up Marco, and barely make it to bed before falling back asleep. Between the kids, basketball, work, and the holidays - we are running low on energy.
But that doesn't mean we aren't squeezing in quality time together and giggling over things that are so dumb but we both think are hilarious. (Most recently laughing and using the young person fad of commenting with the use of "dem" and "doe" in place of "them" and "though". #weareoldlosers
Overall, it is a daily whirlwind over here, but one that feels steady and comfortable somehow. So far, having three under five has definitely been exhausting but also so full of love and hilarious personalities that I am truly loving our little family of five.
Last night at the game, someone with three grown kids asked me if I had gotten 'to the point of giving up the idea of perfection yet?' and it was such an accurate description of what it feels like that I heartily laughed and exclaimed, Yes! That is what it feels like with three; like somehow I have let go of this pressure I've been putting on myself for things to be perfect like I did with only one or two kids. And now, our days are so full of movement and loudness and giggles and things that need done - perfection has been removed from an item on a goal list.
It is finally like I've realized perfection is not something we are striving towards, but rather perfection is the sum of all of us all together.
In short, inside my bones, I feel like this Story People One of Us from Brian Andreas*, (of which had me in tears the other day) explains exactly how I feel.
Happy holidays to you! I hope you are remembering to feel the joy of the season right along with the hustling and bustling. xxox
*If you are not familiar with the work of Brian Andreas, I would strongly suggest discovering him. His words make my heart float. We have a print of his (No Words) in our bedroom. He is magnificent.