Around Here Twenty-Nine: 07/15-07/21

Friday, July 22, 2016

A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this minute.

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  318 hours (of 1000)
Up 21 hours this week (bleh, still short).  We got time outside with time visiting family and friends at their houses, kickball on Sunday night (boo, we had to forfeit this week and Booboo got a chance to pinch kick for Pappy!), family & pup walks back behind the house where we saw the blackberry bushes all bedded down from our resident black bear (!), a swim day with cousin Caleb, and Grey's all-star baseball game last night where he played second base for the first time.  Booboo's team won and Grey caught a flyball which meant ice cream....Violet and Gemma each made a huge mess of their cones; Violet all over herself and Gemma all over Sheila. 

Reading The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain which I'm finding to be such a fun and easy summer read that I can pick up and put down a million times a day without being too crabby about stopping and yet also interesting enough to pick it up when I get five minutes.  Started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to Booboo at night.  He is majorly loving the one-on-one time with me and I am so excited about all the great new vocabulary in it - he keeps stopping and asking clarifying questions like, "wait, what's a cloak?" and we stop to talk about things too like how Dudley was such a brat for complaining about 36 presents, "That's a lot of presents, that kid is crazy and rude!"  (Number 41 on my 100 small things list). 

Missing Brandon last weekend as he and his friends headed down to Austin, Texas for Raul and Maria's wedding.  He had a blast with many of his college teammates and they got in some good eating and laughs.  

Grateful for family and friends who pulled together while Brandon was away to help me and this brood stay sane.  Gigi and Pappy took all three biggest kids to Idlewild for the day on Friday AND THEN had them all sleep over.  Let me tell you what a gift it was to only have one tiny baby at home for a day and a night.  So many to do list items checked off and I definitely went to bed at 9:30p.  It was like a miracle.  On Saturday, after a graduation party stop, the kids and I headed out to Kate's house where she and Michael had set up an outdoor movie viewing on their back porch complete with a pizza and smore party for all the kids.  It was a perfect summer night and I was so grateful to drive home with a Sheila full of snoozing babies! 

Trying out chore charts this week with Grey and Gem.  So far, so great!  It has been nice to have their help around the house and also to see them feel proud to check things off their list and tell Brandon about how they helped when he came home.  They have to finish their daily chores before they get any screen time! And one of Grey's items is to read a book to me (Usborne Very First Reading series) and Gemma's is to practice writing (Usborne wipe-clean Get Ready for School

Astonished how the kids have made progress with swimming this summer.  Grey is a full blown swimmer now even diving from the diving board and swimming all the way to the shallow end - or diving to the bottom of the deep end and pushing off the bottom to come up.  All this from starting the summer hesitant to jump off the diving board with a floatie!?  Gemma this week got the guts to jump of the dive (with her floatie) and she's been swimming underwater with no floaties in the shallow end.  While Violet has zero amounts of fear at all and leaps off the side of the pool and goes right underwater and comes back up smiling.  She even took a leap off the steps this week with no floaties and we all scrambled to grab her back up (she still didn't cry even though she was underwater for a few seconds?!)  We had a long swim day at Gigi and Pappy's with our cousin Caleb - the kids swam for 3 hours straight with varying jumps, dives, and flips - getting braver and braver each time.  Oh, the power of positive peer pressure!

Crossing our fingers about something that could be big.  I'll share soon, hopefully!

Zumba'd for the first time ever with Uch!  It was so fun and we can hardly wait to go again next week already!  Number 14 on my 100 small things list

Wearing Rusty so much in the front carrier this week that my right collarbone started aching last night! He honestly seems to be making (hopefully!) a breaththrough this week and on wednesday gave us a full waketime (about 25 minutes) of contented alertness!  The kids and I were over the moon talking to him and laughing at his sweet expressions.  Eye contact has been so few in these past seven weeks that each time he gives us his attention, we all fall madly in love. 

Enduring a rough week with our Miss Violet Mary.  She has been out of her mind this week with whining, yelling "NO!" directly into my face, and refusing naps until passing out at 6:30p only to wake up 8p and be ready to party until well into the night (not kidding, she didn't fall asleep until 11:45p one night while Brandon and I slept on the couches and she acted a fool in the living room). Her only saving grace is that she's so cute, and still so squishy, and also she randomly shouts to us, "Shake Yo Booty" which makes us all crack up. 

Making this three packet roast in the crockpot which was so, so good and made me incredibly grateful that I had two portions of protein to eat for dinner for my 21 day fix challenge - still going strong! (I bumped up to the Plan C category though after my breastmilk supply started to lessen, all back to normal now though!).  And this Waldorf chicken salad has been making my lunches delightful the past few days.  Brandon grilled up some honey garlic pork chops that were meant to be just for him and I because the kids had already eaten...alas, Grey and Violet got their sneaky little paws on our plates and stole some :)  Greyson became our official Egg Chef!  And for 'What's cookin' Wednesday' the kids made these brownie cookies which they all say are awesome.  I made a smart move and had them make them while I was drinking my chocolate ShakeO and so I didn't have the urge to steal some dough or take any bites!  miracle of miracles! 


  1. All your commentary on Violet...OH MY GOSH is that Thomas too! What in the world is up with this craziness? He was cracking us up/driving us crazy on vacation because he would BOLT to the water only to absolutely freak when we actually put him in. Shrieking, holding on for dear life, begging to get out...only to start the process all over again. Praying year 2 gives me some relief, hah!

  2. Tab, Your family-- gah! They're just all so beautiful! I loved every single picture. Mostly, I want to steal Violet. She's just SO adorable! That hair! Those eyes!
    I am so glad your family rallied while Brandon was gone and you got through it.
    Also, I will now be on pins and needles waiting to hear what you're crossing your fingers for!!!
    Hugs for days,