Around Here Week 25: 06/14-20

Monday, June 29, 2020

A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this moment (green phase and week 14 of Covid-19 pandemic). 

photo cred: Jenn V

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 169+ hours (of 1000)
Up 24 hours this week with plenty of summery shine encouraging us all to get outside. We had fun dinner swim with our Garrettson cousins this week with pizza and snacks poolside. B had all the kids helping to put stone around the chicken coop to make it more rain water puddle proof. I snagged some reading and kid snuggle sessions in the hammock too. The meatballs (Vi & Rust) have been bike riding maniacs and Violet even taught herself to pop a willy! Rust is a speed demon on his Strider bike (it has no peddles and is supposed to help learn balance) while Violet is full fledge no-training wheels. A few more blooms of my peonies opened up and we have a lot of color blooming on our bee and butterfly plants/bushes. Ah! The yard is abuzz with life and the sunrises and sunsets have been beautiful up here on the mountain. 

Reading The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. I was gifted this beautiful book of words and drawings by my bestie, Kate who knows my heart song. I also started reading Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo while I'm upstairs and reading Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson while I'm downstairs in the house. We also bought two baguettes at Aldi on our grocery trip this week and read Nanette's Baguette by Mo Willems (one of our favs!) over breakfast and it blew the kids' minds. 

Listening & Learning about the Original 33 and more about the Reconstruction era including these videos from: CSpan, ATTN, CBS, and Crash Course with John Green. I also purchased a book for each family member written by a Black author: my book is I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown, Greyson got Crossover by Kwame Alexander, Gemma's book was One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, Violet got Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o, I ordered You Matter by Christian Robinson for Rusty (it's on back order), I pre-ordered the brand new Anti-racist Baby from Ibram X Kendi for Red, and I got the audible copy The Unkind Hours by Dwayne Alexander Smith for Brandon who would rather listen to a book than read every day of the week.

Switching out clothes bins. Ugh. one kid of five done this week - I tackled Rusty's clothes switching out size 3 to size 4; organizing the size 4 summer vs. winter clothes; and sifting through shoes that are the correct size. Only four more kids to go - LOL.  

Playing in the stone piles! Rust and Violet were thrilled that we got a huge load of pea gravel delivered (and a load of regular stone) to fix up the chicken coop and the driveway. They have been playing in the pea gravel pile everyday and rubbing their bodies down with the gray dust. Their scalps are caked in pea gravel dust and their little limbs look ghostly. At least they play for actual hours, so whatevs. 

Grateful for the return of grandparent special days. Now that we are green phase for the pandemic, the kids have been getting some much needed one-on-one or small group time with their grandparents. The girls spend time with Gigi and Pappy on Monday (thank you!!). Grey went kayaking/fishing with Chum on Wednesday and then to get new sneakers (thank you!!) In a big family, these small pockets of time that the kids get to receive such dedicated attention and care is so important. 

Throwing in the nursing towel. I have been feeling some postpartum blues building over the last few weeks. I just do not feel like myself and after all these weeks of isolation and having a newborn with four other kids and virtual teaching and finishing my college class while recovering from a c-section has just completely swallowed me whole. On Thursday, I finally just blurted out to Brandon, "If I have to nurse this baby again today I am going to sob."In his standard Brandon-is-my-life-vest fashion, he just smiled shrugged and said, "Babe, then give him some formula. You're okay. You're more than okay." So since then, I've been supplementing with formula and pumping too. Even after five babies, even after all I preach to other mommas about surviving the day, even after nursing for 2 and a half months exclusively - I still carry that momma guilt of breast is best so heavily, but I also know deep in my soul that being overwhelmed and disconnected isn't the best care of Red or my other babies either. So, we move forward as best we can and keep on trying, right? It's all we got, mommas.

Celebrating Juneteenth with sparklers and red velvet cupcakes on Friday. The whole family watched this clip from The Roots about Juneteenth and also watched this reading of Juneteenth by the author of the book (!) Vaunda Micheaux Nelson on Conscious Kid facebook page. And can I just shout out real quick for my talented friend Zina (we met in college) who is a voice actor and did this video with NextGen America which is an incredibly clear description of what Juneteenth is all about #proudfriend 

Hiking to Yoder Falls with Chum, Abba, Uch, and Kevin to make Father's Day a special event. Everyone came to our house in the morning to have breakfast before we headed out to the trail. We had hiked it in late April, but to see it now in full blown green was beautiful! Everyone had a good time and the kids wore swimsuits with full intention of getting into the waterfall pool at the top. Grey, Gem, and Violet all went the whole way in to get doused by the waterfall! After the hike, we had ice cream at Silver Bell (B ate a whole upside down banana split! If you are familiar with Silver Bell, that equals about a quart of ice cream! hahha!) It was a great day and we were so grateful to get to spend it with our Chummie. How lucky we are to have you Chum!

Ringing in summer solstice with a pool party at the McKool's. The kids were all happy to spend time with their friends and Red, Gemma, Rusty, and I hung out for awhile until Gemma's fever returned (3rd time in a month!) and we ended up coming home with a call into telehealth for antibiotics. Grey, Violet, and B stayed until after dark playing cornhole and to watch the fireworks. Thanks for having us McKool's! 

Summer sporting with two volleyball matches (just I went because B had a school board meeting) and my parents hung out with the whole crew at the park while I played (thank you!!) Grey had his first baseball game for the year and is playing shortstop and pitcher. He is happy to be playing again and even though it's up in the bigger league - he gets to play alongside some of his best friends (who got pulled up too) so at least for that. Grey was so proud to officially introduce Red to the team after the game, and it was clear that another Studer little sibling got adopted by Grey's teammates. They are all such a great 'big brothers' to my babies. 

Making Sheet pan Ranch chicken and potatoes, sloppy joes, baked ham & cheese sliders on hawaiian rolls, and leftovers. On Saturday we had egg sausage casseroles before heading out to our Father's day Hike and the kids and I made breakfast pizza with a shredded hashbrown crust for breakfast once this ewek 

1 comment:

  1. I hate switching the kids clothes out. There should be some magical fairy that comes around and does it for us!!
    I am so with you- the kids being able to spend time with their grandparents saves my life, and SO enriches theirs! This whole "it takes a village" thing was really tested during quarantine!!
    I'm sorry you're feeling bad about quitting nursing. Please don't! You are SUCH an incredible mama and you have to have enough in your bucket to pour into everyone else's buckets. If taking nursing off the list makes your bucket fuller, then it's the absolute right thing to do.
    I always joke that I raised the twins one way (working mom, formula fed with bottles & used disposable diapers) and Wyatt another (SAHM, exclusively breastfed for 18 months & used cloth diapers)... and in the end, they all fight over the same damn Legos. Haha!! He is going to be amazing, because YOU are amazing. ((hugs))