photos taken: 62 (!)
We awoke to a frosty Monday morning and all got our days started. Brandon was off to work with a coloring page from Gemma in hand for 'being such a good worker, Dad!" and the kids and I had some extra warm snuggles followed by secret-handshake practices, which are Greyson's favorite thing in the world (he has a secret handshake with each family member, including Violet (!), except me. go figure). Luckily, we went out to head down to the bus stop a little early because the windshield needed scraped (!) and I made just enough cleared to see out the driver's side window (hah). The big one was off to school and the girls and I could get our day started at home.
We have it down pretty well now, the five of us still at home during the day (me, the girls, the two dogs, and Lulu our cat). Breakfast and dogs out. Clean -up, dogs up for their 'naptime,' Lola up to hang out with us, playing all morning. We have a no tv until after lunch policy, so the girls find other things to play with and occupy themselves in the morning. Many times they just follow me around the house while I take care of chores. Then it's lunchtime, and Violet heads up stairs for her afternoon (and only) nap.
While Violet naps, Gemmi and I get our 'free time.' She gets to pick a movie on Netflix while I work on the blog or do computer work on projects or groups I'm involved in. I got a chance to take a walk outside (just around our yard a few laps = 2.4 miles) listening to Orphan Train on audible. I finished it the end of the book on this walk and actually spent the last quarter mile sob-walking. I really loved that book!
While I cleared off the dining room table of our 'yard sale' items (the dining room was my most recent victim in the get.rid.of.all.the.things efforts) Gem worked on a Jack-o-latern craft (thanks pinterest) to add to our Halloween craft wall. Violet wakes up from her nap then, happy as a clam and we spend the rest of the afternoon before Grey gets home almost exclusively practicing cartwheels in the living room. Gem is obsessed. and Violet like trying to get in her way every single time - it's on purpose and Violet thinks she's hilarious.
With a mere six minutes before Grey's bus is to arrive home, the girls and I jump in the truck only to discover the battery is dead. So, friends, I have to choose the lesser of two dangers here, and I toss the girls in the playroom, tell Gemma she needs to take care of her baby sister, and I sprint the half mile down the street to try to get Grey in time. Let me tell ya, with something serious like my child waiting and abandon all alone, I can run a half mile in three minutes, you guys. for real.
Of course, he gets off the bus and is totally bummed that we have to walk back home (all uphill) and proclaims that his belly hurts and so it's piggy back all of the way until the driveway because, no. the driveway is just too much. So we walk hand and hand by then until Grey collapses (literally) through the front door belly-aching about needing a snack right.this.second.or.he'll.starve.
At this point, we're all kind of in a funk. Harnessing my guilt about this Week in the Life photo series, and knowing that really the only thing that will make us all feel better is to go outside - I suggest we rake some leaves and happiness returns to casa de Studer. We all head outside, and spend a nice long hour and half collecting, raking, and jumping in leaves while Violet crawls all around creation with wild-eyed freedom.
Then it was inside to wind down while I got some dinner for the kids ready. A quick call to Brandon confirmed that he wouldn't be home from work until after 8:30pm which totally deflated my sails, but gotta do what ya gotta do. So the big ones were occupied by a puzzle at the table while I got their dinner ready and Violet was contented by snacks; lots of snacks.
Dinner, jammies, homework, hygiene needs (nail cutting, teeth, face washing, etc) and some stories. Violet was uninterested in sleeping, but by 7:30pm I was running thin on momma patience. Ashley had me laughing yesterday with her comment about why can't our husbands and kids just respect that the camera on timer means to act like there's no camera at all - HAHAHAH. no kidding! Greyson! Violet!
Finally, Violet laid down and the kids were just being rotten. flat out goofy, rotten and pushed and pushed my patience. It was not pretty for a little while there. They got yelled at, I felt momentarily better to get them back under control only to have that mom guilt wash over that it was the end of the night and we were ending it on such a loud, angry note. So, after we had a chat about it and how we can all be kinder to each other - I invited them to our bed to lay while I got in some reading (special treat!)
It took the kids a matter of fifteen minutes to both be totally zonked out and then I headed back downstairs to start our special anniversary fancy dinner for Brandon and I. Bacon-wrapped salmon with spicy maple glaze, butternut risotto, and steamed broccoli. YUM town. Bud got home at nearly 9pm and we enjoyed (big time enjoyed - SO YUM) while watching the Voice and Blindspot (our other favorite shows!) Happy anniversary to us!