Intentional Outdoor Hours: + 20 minutes to 509 hours (of 1000)
I got an outdoor jog in this week! I've been feeling pretty bad about my lack of time outside and also my low level of exercise but making a million excuses about both of them because it's so cold and we're so busy (teaching, basketball season, the holidays, um..four kids). And then I remembered that about two years ago when I first started jogging and was too scared to jog anywhere in public (too slow, not much endurance, etc), I used to jog "yard laps" around our house. And so I put Gemma in charge of the little ones (in front of Zootopia on Netflix) and headed outside to get in a little over a mile around the yard (four laps around is a mile). It was cold and almost dark - but the dogs followed me along the perimeter of our invisible fence and I got in some much needed time both moving and breathing real air. Yard laps are making a comeback, ya'll! Especially since my first half marathon is coming up in May. The time to begin is immediately.
Reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (more on that below).
Celebrating our Rusty's half birthday! Unbelievable sometimes how fast these babies grow!? But also, hasn't he always been in our family? I know I say it constantly, but time is so very confusing for this mumma. RustMan had a great well check this week and is up to 16lbs and with a head in the high 90th percentile (Hah!) He is loving real food and just like his brother and sisters before him - is so over baby food and wants the real stuff. He had mashed up meatballs this week and was deliriously happy about it. He tried eggs and chopped spaghetti too and liked them both. Still no teeth, but that kid can gum-mash with the best of them. He's sitting up and rolling all over the place - he's worked out out how to get in the crawl-ready position, but not quite figured out how to move his hands/arms yet. He is so darn lovable and squishy and such a little man it's has us all head over heels about his little face.
Thankful for our sweet Booboo. In the car the other day, Grey told me he was going to tell Santa to please bring a book for his momma. He asked what book I wanted to read next and I told him The Girl on the Train so I could read it before I saw the movie. It wasn't suspicious at all because he's fairly curious and thoughtful in his conversations. So Thursday, after school he tells me he has a surprise for me because I'm "the one that grew him and takes good care of him and makes food and stuff." and he brings down a wrapped gift and no joke it's the book I mentioned a few days ago! He confessed that our babysitter Ms. Christy had helped him make the secret happen and I was so overwhelmed. Both by his kind, giving heart but also by Ms. Christy who already does so much for us (especially as a momma who feels guilty and stressed daily when I leave my family before they all start their days). Lots of kids make passing comments about wanting to do something for someone they love and it's easy to say, "aww, that's sweet," but Ms. Christy heard Grey's idea and instead said, "I can help you do that." and because of that he saw that kind thoughts can turn into kind actions - and he was so proud and excited to actually be able to do this nice thing for his momma. The whole things makes me all choked up. That night, he asked that I read aloud from my new book to put him to sleep, and each time he sees me reading it he gets a huge smile of pride and re-affirmed jolt that kindness is always worth it. (thank you Ms. Christy - we love and appreciate you so much!)
Enjoying Marco's antics. He wrapped the tv, got chef'ed up to celebrate Rusty's 1/2 birthday, hid in the Christmas tree, and helped deliver candy to the kids' shoes to celebrate St. Nicholas day this week. Since our kids are allowed to hold Marco and snuggle him/play with him - we have a rule so that we don't lose him. He has his own box and before we go to bed at night, he has to go back in his box. The kids say it's so he can "get charged up" #kidsraisedinthetechworld and that way we never are stuck in a situation where he's lost. And my pre-planning for him has helped immensely - especially since most days Marco moves early in the morning before I'm walking out the door for work.
Cracking up about our Vially girl and Gemmi Ro. They are just the two best of girlfriends and are hysterical together. They play 'girlfriends' all day (best friend moms with babydoll kids and lots of places they have to go), and I listen to them talking and just giggle. Violet has been asking for Gemma when she feels sad or wants to snuggle. I caught them all snuggled up happily watching a movie the other day. Oh, Gem is also convinced that her and Violet are twins. #besties
Speaking of our Roe...Gemma is all heart - her emotions take control of her entire being and she ping pongs between ecstatically happy, to actual tears sad, to "mad like lava" (her words). It's an emotional roller coaster by the minute with her and I've been trying to get her to focus on self-calming techniques because it is just too much drama for this mama. Despite the diva side, Gemma is incredibly sweet and patient and forgiving. Violet bit her so hard this week that an imprint of her tooth is STILL healing almost a week later. Gem forgave her in the instant that Violet apologized and gave her a hug. And the patience and restraint she shows for Vially when she's trying to steal all her stuff every second of the day? I could use a lesson or two.
Holly jolly'ing right along. We mailed our Santa letters this week, got some ordered packages in the mail to cross off our holiday shopping list, I got started on addressing our Christmas cards, and the three biggest kids went to visit Santa and make crafts with my parents (Abba and Chum). Grey was the only one brave enough to go sit and talk to Santa, but Gem told his 'elf' what she wants while Violet gave everyone her stinkeye-grumpy cat face and ate cookies instead.
Giddy like a teenager over Brandon's beard. He came home from work the other day and I actually got lightheaded at the sight of his handsome bearded face. If we ever have another baby, it can be blamed entirely on his beard. (calm down, Gigi and Abba, I'm just kidding! No more babies - hahhaha!!)
Making Monster cookies with red and green m&ms with the girls, and even Rusty got in on at least watching. We also had Hawaiian meatballs (a bonafide Studer favorite), grilled cheese, turkey bacon, & egg sandwiches for dinner, and slow cooker cream cheese taquitos.