Week in the Life: Saturday

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

photos taken: 67

We woke up slowly on Saturday morning with each kid finally making their way to the king size bed where the moms were gathered talking and laughing since 7am.  Once everyone was up and ready to rock and roll, we headed downstairs for a delicious feast of a breakfast while the kids put together some donut spiders (thank pinterest!) 

The kids gobbled down their breakfast and wasted no time in getting to their playing while the Mums hung out in the pajamas for as long as possible sipping coffee, chatting, and playing with the three littlest kids.  We all got in some pumpkin cookie decorating, and visiting with Nana (Kate's mum) before finally getting ready for the day and packing up some picnic lunch for our afternoon activity. 

We made our way toward Weakland farms where we let the three littlest ones finish their nap while the big ones and the Mums snacked on our picnic lunch on the trunks of the cars.  Grey sporting those glasses and messy hair like a bonafied Ferris Bueller look-a-like (!)

After the little ones began to stir from their naps, we spent the better part of a chilly afternoon petting the farm animals, navigating the corn maze, and getting corn kernels into all of our nooks and crannies (hah).  The big kids led the way through the corn maze and then all of them had a blast in the corn kernel pit digging, throwing, and sinking (!) among all the other kids in there.  It was mayhem, but joyful kid mayhem at its best.

We said our goodbyes (until Sunday at least for the kids!) and then went our separate ways for the rest of the evening.  At home, I was able to successfully transfer the two sleeping big kids from the car to the couch without either of them waking up (worn down especially from their sleepover the night before), but the littlest gremlin was not having any more nap.  So I went upstairs to toss her in the bath and jump in the shower myself while she chugged down a bottle.  Then it was dinner prep and waking up the big kids to throw their little corn filled butts into the shower each too.  

I had just got them finished up with dinner while Brandon and his Dad arrived home from hunting that afternoon.  While the kids settled down in front a movie and the baby went down to sleep for the night, I hurriedly finished a blog post and then it was out the door to meet up for dinner with Katie and Karpy! 

I headed out in the rain towards our half-way meeting point; Pour on Center in Ebensburg for dinner and drinks together.  Pizza with argula and fried artichoke hearts:  a real life grown up dinner with food that's delicious and fancy.  We sat at the table and enjoyed some live music and talked about anything that our conversation naturally landed on for topics.  It was such a wonderful evening with my two favorite girls.

After a drawn-out goodbye and plans finalized for Sunday, they headed east while I headed west and stopped off at Giant Eagle to pick up party snacks that I promised to purchase for the upcoming Halloween class party in Greyson's class and milk.  Giant Eagle at 11pm at night is blissful; not kids, only a few other customers, no lines.  Is this my new shopping time?  Haha!  By the time I got home, a little before midnight, everyone but Bullet was snoozing and I headed up to bed myself to read a little before drifting off to sleep.

photo series debrief:  whew!  that was intense, so intense in fact that looking at my life so closely through the lens of the camera really got me cherishing all the beautiful, chaotic, and simple minutiae of my life.  By the end of the week, I was really struggling to grab my camera to take the photo instead of just soaking up all the moments.  Not that I don't normally soak it up, but the extreme focus on capturing it all really brought to life all the beauty in our life that sometimes goes uncelebrated because of everything else that goes on and needs done.  

I feel grateful that I have filled my photo album with a lot of ordinary moments of our life right now too.  They will serve well in our family yearbook next year to preserve what it was like to live our life as it is right now in the moment.  For that, I'm very grateful to have participated in the series. 

I've been struggling with writing a blog post since the series (I miss two days in Blogtober!) and that's because I've really been keeping it close to our family and what we have going on.  I've been limiting social media and really focusing in on our family and our house. It's been kind of chilly and rainy and B is on vacation and nothing else really seems more important than cozying up with our little family and laughing at each other's jokes.  Brandon's response to my sad declaration that I didn't meet my goal on blogging every day for 30 days said, "So you blogged for 27 days in a row instead? that's not so bad, babe."   I'm gonna have to agree with him on that one :) 

Sunday night gratitude

Sunday, October 25, 2015

you guys, so I'm down to twenty minutes before this whole day is over and it's been a long, busy one.  A great one, but long and busy and maybe i'll get to my Saturday week in the life photo series make-up tomorrow, or maybe not.  and we just watched the walking dead (!!!!!) and I'm feeling a tad emotionally drained (hah, but not kidding), and also I'm ready for bed.

So let me just say this, after a great weekend with my two best friends and all of our kids playing, laughing, tattle-telling, arguing, make-believing, giggling, whining, sharing, and loving each other...

I hope with the deepest heart hope, that my kids will grow up and come to know friends like the friends that I have in Katie and Karpy.

I am so grateful for our friendship and for you in my life.
love forevs.
and evs.

Week in the Life: Friday

Saturday, October 24, 2015

photos taken: 33 

We started the morning off right and had a yum breakfast with the sun pouring through the kitchen windows.  Also, TgiFriday.  Also, a weekend with my best friends is on the horizon so all good things!

The girls and I worked around the house on chores in the morning and playing to pass the time.  I had stuff to run up in the attic (seriously, the only organized place in this joint), and bathrooms to clean, and the baby's clothes to fold.  Gemmi was kind enough to brush (and wet with water) Violet's hair to get her 'hairdo' fixed for the day.  

For lunch, I threw together little snack plates for them (cheese, crackers, croutons and ranch for gemmi -her favorite!) while I tossed a takeout style Pad Thai meal in the microwave.  Our little seagulls then of course ate half of my lunch then and Gem had to have some chopsticks of her own.  That little mockingbird, she is just mimicking my every word and move these days!

By the time Violet went down for her nap, I had our weekend bag to pack and a running list of last minute things that needed done like running the dishwasher, throwing on a crockpot dinner for Brandon, and taking care of the pets.  I also took an especially long time to blog since I was alternating blogging and reading my book yesterday (multitasking does not work, tabitha), but I'm really in the groove of the story and I couldn't help myself.  

I got the truck loaded up and the girls tossed into the truck in enough time to run to get gas before Grey got off the bus.  He ran smiling (! Sleepover day!) and if it wasn't for this photo series, I never would have gotten that picture of him and if for nothing else, I think I'm grateful for that photo!

As Grey was getting in the truck for us to leave, I turned around and see Brandon pulling up right in front of us at the bus stop!  He hopped out and said, "I made it in time!" which made me smile like a high schooler.  We got hugs from Dad then and even switched vehicles on account of the truck's power steering issues (ugh forever) and I was relieved to know I'd have an easy ride with the car. Dad for the win, once again!

We switched over all the car seats and supplies, said goodbye, and we were on our way for a weekend of fun with my two very best friends and their kids!  #aktpluskids

From the moment we stepped foot into the Fiore house, it was all on the go and crazy fun.  Loud mayhem and fun.  Just the whole entire night from about 5:30p until I think the big kids finally fell asleep (downstairs in a sleepover - Gemma's first ever) around 11:00pm.  We played, had a Mexican fiesta feast for dinner (thank you Michael!) and brownie and ice cream sundaes for dessert.  Super bonus, I got to spend time with Kate and Karpy; her and Andrew visiting all the way from NC this weekend just for us!

 And now, please excuse all the grammar errors and misspellings.  But I am leaving right this second for a real grown-up girl dinner with those two very best friends.  So, bye!  xxoxo

Week in the Life: Thursday

Friday, October 23, 2015

photos taken: 49

Thursday morning was a bit of a blur, but thankfully Brandon had timed his departure to work with Greyson's school bus, and so I packed up my two boys and kissed them both on the way out the door before beginning our morning with breakfasts and lists (grocery and library book).  Violet slept a little later than usual because of our late birthday dinner the night before, so Gem and I had some time to do a little spooky spider craft to add to our Halloween door collection.

I am not great at decorating, so it is the kids' projects that act as the piece de resistance for the duration of the holiday.  I'll save a few of the really great ones for next year (Gem's spider might get saved, she named her Layla and she's poisonous, but only to monsters and not people), but most will get trashed and we'll make new ones next year.

The girls and made a mad scramble to get everything packed up and all of us dressed and ready to make it out the door in time to get to Library preschool storytime by 10am.

We returned our library books and then booked it upstairs to get to storytime just in time for Gemma's favorite "Hello" song.  The girls loved bubble time (per usual), we listened to a funny book about birds, hugged the bear puppet, and Gem made a crow craft.  The girls spent a little time in the playroom (making me 'lunch and coffee' with the play food) and then I searched the aisles for books from my book list.  I struck out 9 times out of 11!  But I still managed to get a good mix of books.

By the time we made it home, the girls were both snoozing in the back.  Violet went peacefully into her crib and Gem (thankfully) continued to nap after I transferred her to the couch.  I got time to blog, and do some chores like watering my poor thirsty Mums on the front porch (sorry babies).

The girls woke up and I tried to do some quick calculations about time.  I figured I could get the kids clothes folded and the truck packed for an evening at my parents' house before we had to pick up Grey, right?  right?!

turns out, not right.  Got the kids' clothes folded and checked the clock to see it was time to pick up Grey, um right.this.second.  So, we hopped in the truck, dogs barking and biting at the wheels in their herding attempts to pick up the boy.

So it was a few last minute things to finish and pack up at home before we got back in the truck and headed to my parents' house for dinner and playing!

Abba and Chum's house is always an adventure!  We had dinner and then my Dad took the kids in the basement to do pumpkin carving with them (one of my least favorite halloween events, so thank you Dad!!!)  Chum called my mom and I downstairs to see how the kids first drew a practice face on a paper and then how that translated to their drawing on the pumpkin = tiny little faces drawn.  It was the cutest and we were all smiling and laughing.

Grey had homework to finish and guided reading to practice, and Violet took a few steps to Abba (!!), We also got a very sad call from my sister Kayla about one of her dear friends who is not doing well in the ICU (send you good thoughts and prayers if you have extra please).

The pumpkins turned out awesome and then the big kids went on a spooky nighttime walk with Chum down the street.  Grey found a random onion on the walk (no clue, that kid finds the oddest things) and then Abba facilitated a much needed bath time for the Gremlins.

Violet was up to her normal no good with holding her breath while crying (! only one of our babies who has been a breath-holder) and held it for the longest ever on record in her little life.  I was actually praying, "just pass out! pass out and you'll breath again"  She didn't pass out, or maybe she half-did because when I went to lift her, her neck was sort of limp (SCARIEST ever.).  Mum and I were both rattled, a few minutes of fussing and Violet was perfectly fine like there was no problem to begin with.  (help me, Lord Jesus)

Grey ended the evening by chasing each other in a circle basically worshiping the onion singing, "We have a duty" over and over.  It was one of those things that if you had to ask what it all meant, you'd never understand anyway, so Mum, Dad, and I just stood there laughing at the strangeness of it all.

I was hopeful that the kids would be asleep by the time we got home (about 35 minute drive home), and they all were, until it was time to transport them all to the house...of course.  All three woke up but were happy to get some hugs and kisses from Daddy who had only arrived home a few minutes earlier from work.  

The kids went down fairly easily after three books - two of which were two of our new library rentals, and a little reading aloud from my book.  I had the diaper bag to empty and dishes to put away and all that nighttime cleaning and Brandon and I caught a few minutes of Impractical Jokers (so hilarious) before we both fell asleep on the couch with all the lights and the tv still on until after 1am.  classic.

If I'm being honest, I'm looking forward to this week in the life being over!  Such great photos of our everyday life that have been captured, but it's pretty heavy on the intensity.  I'm looking forward to being done in only two more days!  Hooray!

Week in the Life: Wednesday

Thursday, October 22, 2015

photos taken: 52

It's Brandon's birthday!  I came downstairs and started the coffee only to nearly break my neck from slipping on water all over the middle of the floor.  The freezer had some sort of malfunction in the middle of the night that water was running all through it (whhhhhhhy), but seemed to be fine again now with the exception of the water on the floor and giant blocks of now-frozen ice all over the contents of the freezer.  I threw two bath towels over the spills and ignored it until after breakfast, because: coffee first.

The two big kids woke up in time to sing 'happy birthday dear Daddy!' as he blew out a candle on one of our chocolate chip icing sandwich cookies before hustling out the door to the grand opening of the store he's been working on (which hopefully means no more super late nights! hooray for us all!)

Lainey bug arrived for another playday with us and Grey came clean about having a splinter in his hand from the playground at school the day before.  This kid hates splinters, no, not the actual splinter, rather the removal of the splinter.  hates, hates, hates.  So it was a solid forty minutes of crying and fussing about the thought that removing the splinter would be painful.  that's a lot of patience from a mumma at 7am in the morning.

After several half-attempts both by Grey himself and me, we settled on neosporin and a band-aid until the afternoon when we would have more time (and patience!)  Then he dried his crocodile tears, got a few hugs and he was off to school.  whew, I was all like, please tell me it's after 9am at least. um, no.  So the girls and I got breakfast, got ready for the day, and started tackling chores and playtime.  The girls were playing so nicely that I got a chance to sneak in a hot (super quick!) shower and it's amazing what clean hair, fresh lipstick, and a dance party while folding clothes can do for a person's psyche!

By lunch, we were all feeling a little sleepy, so after some pizza and peaches, Miss Violet girl gave Lola a few good (spirited) pets and she was off to sleep before I even closed her bedroom door.  Lainey wasn't too far behind and was happy to cozy up with Gemma on the couch in front of a movie (not Mulan today only because I pleaded with her.  I can not have the song, "A girl worth fighting for stuck in my head one more afternoon"!)  

I got a a minute to chat with the birthday boy on his way in between stores.  Sometimes, a call from him in the middle of the day can really put a pep in my step.  You don't know how lonesome you are until you hear someone voice sometimes, ya know? 

During naptime, I switched the laundry and worked on the blog with a cup of tea (happiness boost!) and then the girls started stirring again - anxious to play and enjoy the sun.  So out we went to run amok in the yard and enjoy the trampoline.

Gemma was happy to discover that Lainey had brought a Doc McStuffin's singing microphone ("a singer") with her and she played that thing on repeat for a solid twenty-five minutes.  She is a lip-syncing maniac and loves moving her mouth in very dramatic ways even if it's not at all close to the words of any song - she just like the theater of it all.  She's also been doing a lot of talking about her 'claws' (fingers in the bent position) which is so weird and cute.

Cara swung by after school to grab Lainey bug and then we only had time enough to read one Halloween book and feed Lola before it was time to pick up Grey from the bus stop!  

On the way to pick up Grey, our afternoon plans took a dive for the unexpected.  A call from Pappy that he was headed to an unplanned dentist visit (all is well now!) meant that Brandon and I had to split up between the kids' practices.  I also realized among the countertops of dirty dishes that I didn't have another cream cheese for Brandon's birthday cheesecake, Greyson's fundraising orders needed picked up from the school before six, and that also, ugh, it was garbage night. 

Brandon was on his way home from work and saved the day by swinging by Dollar General to pick up milk and cream cheese, stopped at the school to grab our fundraising items before coming home to pack up the garbage and take Gemmi to gymnastics at 5:30p.  Defeated I said, "some birthday, babe, I'm sorry," to which he replied, "the roast smells awesome, you're making cheesecake, and I'm home before dark, this is the best birthday ever." 

As he and Gem headed out the door, I whipped around the kitchen like a certified lunatic, washing dishes, loading the dishwasher, and throwing together the cheesecake knowing that I needed to time it exactly so that it could bake while we were at karate practice (gulp, risk-taker over here). I put some snacks for Violet in the diaper bag and threw the cheesecake in the oven right before we walked out the door.  

On the way to karate class, Grey was talking about getting a girlfriend when he gets to college.  I asked him what he thought girlfriends and boyfriends even do together and he said, "I don't know.  Like sit on the couch together?"  then after a few thoughtful seconds, "maybe the boy just has to do whatever the girl says?" I laughed and said, like what kinds of things does the girlfriend say? and he said, "Maybe like, Pause this movie because I have to poop!" to which I laughed until I cried because that's the very last thing a girlfriend would say to her boyfriend and also, boy did I need a good laugh at exactly that moment.

At karate, Gigi met us to hand off Grey's clothes and equipment to us and offered (like a total professional Grandma) to take Violet during class so I could have some peace.  Sweet Lord, thank you for Gigi.  I got to watch Grey all during class without the whines and tugs of a curious and bored one year old.  Hallelujah, for real.

Success! We got home in time to pull the cheese cake out and it was just fine.  Pappy, Gigi, and Violet showed up a few minutes after us, just as I was reaching into the pantry for some instant mashed potatoes to whip up and lo and behold, guess who was out.  This chick.  Yeesh, Momma said there'd be day like this, there'd be days like this, Momma said (sometimes the need to break out into song is too strong to deny).

So, I got to peeling, boiling, and mashing potatoes from scratch, and finishing the rest of dinner:  three- packet slow cooker roast, steamed veggies, mashed potatoes (!the real kind, not by choice), and rolls.  We had cheesecake for dessert (B's favorite) and sung happy birthday while we laughed and talked around the table and the kids played under the table their strange spy kid games of make believe.  Gosh, do I love those kind of dinners that nobody feels like getting up and being done.   I hardly took any pictures at dinner because I was too busy participating and enjoying dinner (!) but I caught a few blurry ones of the big birthday singing.  

By the time we had said goodbye to Gigi and Pappy, cleaned up the kitchen, and got the kids settled into bed, it was after 9:30p!  I read Grey's book he brought home from school and Gem was asleep before I even finished that.  Grey announced promptly afterward, "Mum, please be quiet now, I'm tired." He did ask for me to read aloud a little from my book, so I got myself settled on the floor to read a few pages.

Then I kept nodding off mid-sentence (!) and barely made it downstairs to snuggle up with Brandon on the couch while he watched the Cubs/Mets game.  I fell asleep I think in under two minutes and he woke me up afterwards and helped usher me up to bed where we both basically fell face first and didn't wake up until the morning. #parenthood