Around Here Week One: 1/1-1/8

Friday, January 8, 2016

a weekly review of what it's like to live in our home right this second.

Intentional Hours outside to date:  1.5 hours (of 1000)
Between the cold temps this week and flat out decisions about doing something else instead during naptime, I didn't do so great for my outdoor hours.  Being open and sharing the truth though motivates me for next week (gulp!) I'm resolving to at least 'beat' my hours in the new week!

Reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert with our Inspired Readers book club and listening to Tell the Wolves I'm Home on audible while walking,  I'm really looking forward to choosing a book for bedtime reading, but I'm weirdly hesitant about it.  I just finished reading two WWII books back to back and I'm in need of something to read that's really light and fresh and maybe even a little cheesy after so much raw seriousness.  suggestions?

Smiling about my bump, it has officially 'popped' this week and is a constant reminder that I am actually pregnant with another bean.  With the three current kids and their needs, wants, and dramatics - half the time I don't even remember I'm pregnant (which certainly makes me feel like the worst mum ever) no 'outside' kicks yet (18 weeks) and so I'm feeling really guilty about missing all the 'internal' flutters unless I'm laying totally still and focusing.  (sorry baby).  The kids love hugging and talking to my bump too which makes me swoon eternally.  It feels like studerbaby4 is now a 'real' person in our family and I'm not the only one that's aware of his/her existence anymore.

Giggling about Brandon and Gemma.  those two.  He seriously looks at her with stars in his eyes and she is firmly in the 'my Dad is the very best in the whole world and I'm marrying him' stage.  They've been dancing together and I could just die.  She's convinced that when she marries Daddy then she gets to be the Mom and I said, 'well then what about me?!' and she said, as though it was the most obvious thing in the world, 'then you'll be the kid, Mom!  And if you're bad, I'll put YOU in timeout!"  While we were out to eat this week, an older man near us said, "that middle one is a Daddy's girl, huh?  She's sure going to break some hearts when she grows up!" to which Brandon responded, "Yeah, and I'll be the first!" I laughed but also almost cried.

Singing both the actual song and everything else I feel the need to say to the tune of the little school bus/alphabet magnet on our fridge that was a Christmas gift for Violet.  That melody is the soundtrack to my current life.

Sensing the onset of the 17 month mark for Violet.  At 17 months of age for both Greyson and Gemma it was a noticeable marker of the 'wild thing' stage, which lasts approximately from 17 months to about 3 and a half years old.  (hahahaha, at least for my first two, Gemma is just coming out of it now!) and I can sense it's coming with our 15 month old Violet Mary.  I'm half afraid she's going to be 'advanced' and get into wild thing stage early.  Her flair for the dramatic through fake pouting (head lowered with hands to her face!) and incredibly obvious 'stink eye' to anyone she is suspicious of (basically everyone) is already spiraling out of control.  She sure keeps the two big kids in hysterics about her silly little ways and they're starting to understand that she's turning into a real big kid like them and she's not just a little helpless/thoughtless baby anymore.

Procrastinating on a lot of random things that I know would make me feel better but we really just haven't gotten around to getting them down yet.  Like, January grocery shopping (!), meal planning for the month, or buying a new planner for myself for 2016.  I've been scraping the pantry and freezer for meals this week (but that's also kind of a blessing) and using the last little bit of my 2015 planner before going today (seriously! today!) to get a new one.  My parents have invited the kids over for a sleepover (thank you!) so I'm using up a pedicure gift certificate I've had for a year and then buying a new planner and grocery shopping today! I must resist the temptation to take a nap instead, hahha.

Grateful for my fourth pregnancy and the realization it brings me because I'm finally ( after three kids!) coming to terms with the fact that I can't control everything, nor juggle everything before it crashes to the ground.  You guys, seriously.  This has been a long motherhood journey in which I have been rearing up against life's chaos of parenting and berating myself for not being able to keep it all together perfectly.  And now, pregnant with number four and chasing three kids around, I'm finally getting it.  In this juggling routine, you really only have to catch the precious stuff (our kids, our marriage) and if you can throw a few extras (clean house, full meals, special events) into the juggle rotation occasionally then you're doing pretty freaking good.  Perfect example, this morning Grey and I both slept in later than we should and since he still had a homework page to finish before school, I was beginning to run around in a panic to try to not miss the bus and get him to get dressed and finish the homework and oh crap, where's that book he needs to return?!...and then my heart settled and said, 'yea, not worth the stress,' and so he finished the homework calmly and we had breakfast together and laughed together about boogies (gosh, boys) while we missed the bus.  Then I just drove him to school and that was it.  it wasn't a perfect morning, but then again, it kind of was.

Officially finishing the holiday season this week.  We keep decorations up all the way until Orthodox Christmas (January 7) as American mutts, we benefit from two sides of our extended families that celebrate the Orthodox calendar.  It makes the holiday good and long and by today (1/8) I am beyond ready to take down these decorations and tree, but in a grateful way that lasts all the way until December 1.  I like that we stretch the season so that there's no rush to jump into it later in the year and we can properly celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving before going into Christmas mania.

Waiting, still, until the entire bus is out of view at the bus stop each morning.  I've been reflecting about this so far all school year that I just can't bring myself to drive away until the last bit of the bus has disappeared every morning.  It's a only a difference of a few seconds to wait while it pulls up the road after Grey hops aboard each morning, but it's enough of a wait that I recognize that I am, in fact, waiting.  He doesn't even turn to look out the window anymore to wave to me, but I can see his little head bounce-walking to his seat and saying hello to his friends.  And still I wait and watch, just in case.  I had a momma moment of solidarity today while dropping him off at actual school (since we missed the bus, see above) and the mom's car in front of me didn't pull away until her daughter was fully inside of the school's front door.  Grey was just getting to the front door as she pulled away and my car sat still until he too was fully inside the door, never once turning back.  It kind of feels like those teenage phone conversations that I used to say, "No, you hang up first."  Now as a momma - in more ways than allowing the bus to pull away first - I'm always silently whispering to these babes of mine, 'no, you hang up first, I'll wait in case at the last minute you need to know I'm still here.'


  1. For light reading - I love anything by Jen Lancaster. Although all of her memoir books a fantastic, "Bigger is the New Black" is my favorite. I got "The Tao of Martha" for Christmas and will start that this week. She is as far from serious as they come with some hysterical sarcastic comments in the footnotes, but does offer some unqiue perspective on life. I will caution you though- you'll read one and then be sad because you will then have to read.all.the.books.ever :)

  2. My favorite "light" book is Undomestic Goddess by Sophia Kinsella. I'm not a fan of her Shopahollic series, but I love all of her other books. Twenties Girl is another good one!

  3. I work at a university and I remember one time a mom dropping off her college aged son and waiting until he got into the building before she left. He turned around and made a motion to "shoo" her away, but she waited for him to walk in to make sure he was safe. Us mommas never stop waiting or watching whether they want us to or not!

  4. Loved reading this! And so excited I'll get to read it each week, all year long!

    Some book suggestions-- my favorite author is Anita Shreve, and one of her lighter books was Body Surfing; I also love Elin Hilderbrand and her two Christmas novels (Winter Street & Winter Stroll) were both entertaining, while not being too heavy; and lastly I loved reading Left Neglected by Lisa Genova. It wasn't necessarily "light" reading, but I loved the story line & science behind Left Neglect disorder so much!

    I totally feel you on not noticing the baby/pregnancy with #4. Sometimes at the end of the day I'm like, "Hi baby! How are you?" and can't remember a moment all day where I stopped and paid attention to her moving or rolling around in there. The other three keep me SO busy!

    And amen to discovering you can't control it all. I KNOW this... but I still behave as if I CAN control it all. It's ugly. Hoping 2016 holds a bit more "letting go" for me... ;)

  5. 33 weeks pregnant and literally bawling after your last paragraph. just stop. xo Haley