Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thoughts for Thursday

Random thoughts today...

Why is bedtime so miserable? I think I start dreading the whole night time process right about the time I start dinner. The toddler and the ten year old are easy peasy - just tell them it's bedtime and they're out. But 8 and 4 seem to be in the same "make everyone miserable" camp. I pretty sure I'm losing my mind each night, and occasionally losing my cool. Currently, we put the baby in her crib and she's out. We ask N to read to KC in our room, which is super nice and sweet. Then we direct all our attention to T because he's the hardest at bedtime. I wish I could list everything we've tried at bedtime with T and how nothing has changed. It's always a huge rant about how we hate him (because he has to go to bed) and it goes on and on. N hangs with KC until one of us can come snuggle with her because she can't fall asleep withouth someone (and sometimes N falls asleep with her... thank goodness for him). I keep thinking we will get past this phase but honestly bedtime has been hard for about 6 years now... so still waiting.

My two easy sleepers, N getting Katherine up from nap over spring break.

Moving on...I'm pretty excited the "like to know it - instagram relationship" is going away. When I first joined instagram it was people taking snaps from their day. Then slowly it turned into so many staged pictures one right after the other with everything linked. It got harder to keep up with friends. I really like that now you can just swipe through stories of people linking ten million items (and I love you can mute stories of certain people!). I hope instagram goes back to cute daily snaps! 

I ordered these cute suits for the girls from Target. 

T refused to take his lunch to school today because he said N always packs stuff he doesn't like. But I packed his lunch and it's exactly what he ate for dinner (noodles and watermelon). I wrote his teacher to let her know I'm perfectly fine with him sitting without a lunch. I don't play the lunch game.

I remember when I used to blog about how cute and sweet my kids were... haha. We handle our stress with ice cream. It makes everything better. 

Linking up with Natalie and Annie for Thoughts for Thursday. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Back-Burner Blog

If I could go back and rename my blog, I'd take this! It was so nice to a week off for spring break. We really enjoyed a break in the schedule and activities. That said we also had to be out of the house because we were having a mold issue remediated. Here's a lesson to learn from us - don't cram so much under your sink that you can't tell if you have a drip. I realized in November the water on our kitchen floor was not from the kids getting water and spilling it. Thousands of dollars later our house, especially the air ducts, are mold and spore free (well not totally free because most homes have mold spores since they occur in nature, but toxic black mold free). Good times. We also learned a lot about asbestos. Seriously, fun times. Can't wait to add that cost into our renovation in a few years. All that said, we still love our neighborhood and home, we just had a quick learning curve to follow on old houses.

A few more random life happenings these past few months:

Our sweet last baby is officially a screaming toddler. She is very vocal with "yes" and "no" which is honestly helpful, but it was even better when she just went along with everything. She eats more than any other kid in our house and everyone comments on it. She starts dinner when I start cooking and is usually still eating her dinner while the bigger kids have dessert. With all that food she's still in the 25% for weight - as of her 15 month check up. She's also learned to conquer the stairs. I remember our ped telling us with our first that we should teach him to go down the stairs backwards. I tried with every single kid to teach them and they never got it. Never even tried to teach Katherine, she just started doing it around 15 months. So she has full reign of the house, which is probably not competely safe but it is nice not trying to figure out how to gate three different stairways.

Basketball season always takes over the winter season in our house. The boys played in a new league this year that we loved and N fell more in love with Caroline basketball. When they announced the Heels were coming to Charlotte, Chris scooped up tickets for the three of us within thirty minutes. I surprised N by picking him up from school early that Friday to head to the game. The Friday game was so much fun (a little nerve-wracking in the first half, but we've grown to expect that from Carolina basketball). Returning on Sunday was definitely not as much fun when they lost in a blowout, but we stayed and cheered on the Retrievers who had knocked UVA out that same weekend.

Over spring break we headed to Lake Tillery with our friends (the same ones we went to Disney with, who also have 4 kids). It worked out well since we had to be out of the house. Neither of us had ever been to the lake but we thought it sounded like a fun adventure. We picked up our little ones from preschool (the older kids were already out of school) and caravanned northeast. N made sure to pack all the essentials - his robotic BB8, his NFL standings board and helmets, every stuffed animal he could find, his pillow, alarm clock, and the blanket from the couch. I edited his bag before it made to the van.

The lake trip did not disappoint. The kids were in love with kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing. We planned a hike and a visit to Indian mounds, but eventually scrapped the Indian mound visit to allow them more time on the water. Even after all the cars were packed up on the day we left T had to go out "one last time."

While we were there only 3 of our 12 fell into the lake, and those 3 all share my last name (insert face palm).

T had a birthday coming up over the following week and our friends surprised him with a cake and gift. He had been asking for months for a "dook" cake and of course we refused but our friends made his dream come true. And presented him with a "dook" shirt he has proceeded to wear every other day. Thus ending said friendship.

From the lake we headed to my parents for Easter. My group Easter shot leaves a lot to be desired but it was a fun day of candy, hunts and coordinating outfits.

We celebrated T's birthday (8!) while at my parents and he had a few requests. His first was to visit the Children's Museum. It has the coolest climbing structure outside that he loves. And all my other kids love the inside too. It is definitely my favorite Children's Museum to visit.

We spent the rest of spring break at home, with soccer practice and games resuming. It was a nice way to ease back into our schedule. And with the weather warming up the kids have spent as many minutes as possible outside and it's put us all in a good mood.

That's pretty much the highlights (and lowlights - mold - yuck) of the past couple months. We're definitely looking forward to school getting out, KC's birthday, and days at the pool.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Five on Friday!

TGIF~ I hope this week has been a good one for you. Everyone is on the mend here, thank goodness (although the full movie day Wednesday was a nice change of pace, if only it didn't come with sickness).  Chris brought back lattes this morning so it's off to a good start. I'm linking up with the Five on Friday ladies and sharing five things making my life easier right now, and maybe they will make yours easier too (and throwing in a couple pictures from our 1 year old photo shoot because they make me smile).

1. If you have a toddler, this is the best mat ever! I bought it thinking it wouldn't really work, but it works. It's so easy to serve, clean (yay dishwasher), and I even take it to restaurants (all my babies ate off restaurant tables, but I can't help thinking it's gross and this solves my dilemma)! It's called the ez-pz happy mat (we have the mini version). It even comes in a reusable bag for easy travel.

2. Have you used Amazon Prime Now? It's a separate app from Amazon Prime and it's such a lifesaver. This week with the kids sick, I ordered clorox wipes and beer and they arrived within 4 hours. If you spend over $35 delivery is free (unless you need it within 2 hours) - I threw a $20 amazon gift card in my order to reach the $35 (and totally felt like I beat the system). When we traveled to Disney, I used this to get a few staples like milk, diapers, and snacks. The order does include a tip for the driver.

3. Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve has been my new go-to in this cold dry weather. I think it's too late to "preserve" any youth, but it feels so good and really helps my dry skin. I love that it's light enough for  morning wear too.

4. My kids are not great eaters (except Katherine, she'll eat just about anything) and Chris is a vegetarian. This means our meals lack some important nutrients. I've started cooking eggs more often, but I've also added Bob's Red Mill Vegi Soup Mix. For some reason my kids eat it up. It has veggies and lentils and alphabet pasta. I always throw in whatever veggies we have for some extra vitamins and freshness. The lentils add lots of protein and the pasta makes it fun. They will yell out whatever they've found (doesn't really help with manners). I always add vegetable broth instead of water (or a mix of the two).

5. A sales associate at Pottery Barn mentioned this wrinkle release spray and it has lived up to the hype. We one of the kids puked allll over our bed, bed skirt and rug, I washed the bed skirt, pulled it out of the dryer and thought, it will never look the same again. But a few sprays and a couple tugs and it looks perfect! So much easier than steaming or ironing!
I hope everyone has a great weekend. My kids are so excited their cousins are coming, I just hope the bad weather doesn't affect their trip! We have a full Saturday of basketball games, a birthday party, and the kids are going to the Hornets game.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thoughts on Thursday

I should be cleaning currently. We have family coming into town this weekend, we had two very sick kids two nights ago, and because of that I had to cancel our cleaners and reschedule for next week. Which means I need to get things done. Buuuuut, I'll do it later.

Tuesday it finally warmed up! After days of below freezing temperatures it hit the 60s! It was beautiful. After preschool the girlies stayed on the playground for almost 2 hours. We came home in time for the boys to get off the bus and shortly after that KC puked everywhere. Ugh it was so so sad.
A friend asked to take N to a Hornets meet and greet and I wrote her thinking I should cancel but she said she'd take him anyway. N had a blast, and poor KC spent the night with a bucket. We had to take the T to piano and basketball so KC didn't even get the benefit of sitting on the couch watching tv.

That night, N fell victim to the tummy bug. It was a rough night. We had some puppy pads left over from Dali and I dug those out and put them beside each boy just in case. They worked great! Highly recommend using them if you don't have kids with good aim.

We said good bye to our tree this week as well. I love having Christmas linger. The kids wanted one more picture with the tree before we took it down. I always hate seeing it by the curb. I know it doesn't take the memories with it, but it's just such a big reminder that it's over and next year the kids will be older and it will be different.

I received our pictures from Katherine's 1 year old shoot. They turned out so well. I'll share more later but look how sweet!

This little one doesn't often say "MAMA" anymore she straight up yells "MA" like she's a teenager (and she's currently doing that from her crib, guess she's done napping).

Linking up with two of my favorites today, Annie and Natalie!!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy New Year // Five on Friday

Happy 2018! We started off the year finding out we had black mold under the sink and MRSA on our youngest. Hopefully things will only get better from here! I haven't uploaded pictures from our Christmas, totally forgot to take real camera pictures of our New Year's celebration and now the kids are back in school and life is back to it's regular schedule. Our tree is still up (well one of them, the other never took water and came down the day after Christmas to avoid being a fire hazard). Tomorrow is officially the 12th day of Christmas!

I thought I'd start this year out with a post about my five resolutions. I love setting monthly goals and yearly goals. These will be yearly goals, hopefully more like habits that will form.

1. Everyone in our family drops all the items they walk into the house with on the floor in the kitchen.  Currently there is a bookbag, my diaper bag, a bag of groceries that needs to go into the pantry, a bag of leftover party supplies from Katherine's birthday, a light fixture we changed out, and a box to be carried outside to recycling. Our kitchen isn't super functional the way it's set up and our mud room is even less functional but it looks even worse when everything is on the floor. So goal #1 - get everything off the floor of the kitchen.

2. Read!! Since Katherine was born I tried to start books but I was always too tired to keep up with characters and story lines. Now that she is waking up just once a night I feel like I can jump back into reading. My cousin gave me Book of the Month for my birthday and I'm loving it! It's such great movitation to read. Currently reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and loving it.

3. Somehow find a way to exercise a little. This has been so hard with our schedule and with Katherine's unpredictable sleeping patterns. I'm really hopeful as sleep returns to a schedule that I can carve some time to do something. A gym is out of the question, but seriously anything at this point will help. I just want to feel better about myself, even if I look the same.

4. Schedule better. I want to make sure I have everything entered into our calendars (all of them) so that we aren't constantly wondering what comes next. So far I'm failing on this one. The boys have games tomorrow and I have no clue when they are. Our January calendar isn't up and I've got nothing on my phone. Today will be the day I get January together. (and I love these calendars, they are HUGE and I put it in the kitchen so everyone knows what's up).

5. My overall goal is to be happier. Possibly find happiness in being content. I tend to worry and be anxious about everything. I have trouble having fun when things are stressful (even the smallest amount of stress). Having 4 kids is stressful. For us it's very stressful. I want to find a way to enjoy it more. Obviously I love them all dearly, but the daily arguments, whining, laundry, food prep, and even the scheduled activities are weighing me down, and I need to nip this now because it's just going to continue as Katherine and KC grow.

I hope 2018 brings the promise of a wonderful year to you! Those in the snow stay warm! Here's to a great 2018!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thoughts on Thursday

Yesterday I asked the boys to hand me their Thursday folders when they arrived home after school. They laughed and told me it was Wednesday. We are on a day by day bases at this point in the season and sometimes it's hour by hour (and obviously I've even struggling with that).

Last Thursday Katherine turned 1. I cried most of the day. My last baby is now 1. I am so grateful to have had the baby days 4 times over but I am so so sad to never have them again. I love nursing babies to sleep, snuggling with them in a wrap, kissing their chubby cheeks. Once I wondered why I don't kiss KC's cheeks like I used to, so I did it. I got multiple hands to the face shoving me away and then remembered why I stopped. Katherine doesn't nurse to sleep anymore, doesn't fit in the wrap (the Ergo still works though), but she lets me kiss all over her. For over a decade I've either been pregnant, nursing, or trying to get pregnant (minus about a year in there after we had the boys). It feels like the end. It absolutely drives me nuts when moms refer to this time as a "season." I want to scream, seasons are cyclical, this time is never coming back! And I've never felt it more than last Thursday.

Other than my birthday blues, the holiday season has marched on. We've done craft night at church, seen Santa (again at church, so glad he's a member at ours), made gingerbread houses uptown, visited the gingerbread houses on the outside of town, attended a holiday party (first time in years), picked our trees, decorated said trees (the boys did most of it this year), and I've been wrapping presents nightly. I still have too many people to shop for and not enough present ideas!  (where's the older kid gift guide?! toddlers are a breeze! my husband, totally know what he wants, have my mom and dad figure out too... but I have a few preteens and teens I'm shopping for and man that is tough.. we did tons of gift cards last year).

We've had basketball, piano (recital this weekend!), and birthday parties (with the most awesome train ever). And all I can think is, when can I take a breath. And then I follow that up with "you brought this on yourself." I think winter break will be a nice time to slow down (remind of me of that when I complain about the boys going stir crazy and fighting).

We had a leak under our kitchen sink the week before Thanksgiving and now I'm freaked out about mold.

I had a DSL camera I loved and I dropped it at the beach years ago. I bought a new one (an upgraded model) and my pictures are blurry! I thought the point of a DSL was not to have blurry pictures. Any clue what's going on? Do I need to leave it in sports setting?

 And I'll stop my rambling and leave this post with a goofy pic of my last babe after bath (ignore the two tone wall in the background please, slowly removing the lighthouse and boat border to paint, although the island double sink will have to stay so I guess it's more lipstick on a pig).