Saturday, November 5, 2016

one one

Well look at me! Two days in a row!
Actually it's just convenient that one of my kids has a birthday I need to document. Ha!

His actual birthday was really low key... we made SJ skip play practice and did (jello)cake & presents after school. Then we had dinner at a pizza buffet. Because of course we did. It is Sawyer, after all.

Sawyer scored himself some STEM robotics to work on, a puzzle, some new air ball shooters, a new wallet, a super soft bathrobe he requested and an "air hammock" he'd had his eye on. He was a happy kid.
Turns out his friend party day was super low key as well. He hasn't had a party in a few years now and so I was excited he wanted to throw one together this year. But surprisingly, even *I* kept it low key. I picked up a few storebought decorations and an ice cream cake and called it good. I didn't even theme it up and if y'all know me, you know that's absurd. The one single thing I made myself was an invitation for him to hand out to a few friends.
They went to a local arcade, and came back to our place for pizza and cake and a pinata (I realized what a brilliant idea a pinata is for this birthday timing each year... I had all four of my kids empty their Halloween buckets into the pinata! Easy peasy way to disperse our hoard!).
Super low key, Sawyer had a ton of fun and no stress for us. :)
So he's eleven.
Cue the usual How Did This Happen and Where Has Time Gone lamentations.
Eleven. He's becoming such a Young Man. He's kind to a fault (to anyone but his siblings), he's got a quick sense of humor, he's forever curious, he's easily distracted but when he zeros in on something, that's all there is. He's smart and he's daring and he thinks he's too cool. I kind of think so too.
He still loves all things sports, and now rather than just playing or watching, these days he's all about the sports talk as well... chattering on about teams and players and stats and good calls and bad calls. He still can't turn down a good card or board game, is currently more than a little obsessed with both chess and cribbage. He's in the STEM club at school and that's his jam. He comes home on those days chatting away and excited about what new things they're learning or building.

Sawyer Isaac, you are a crazy incredible kid. And I am thankful beyond thankful we get to be your mom and dad and get a front row seat to all this growing up you do. Getting to discover this fine young man you're becoming.
I think Eleven is going to fit you quite nicely.

Friday, November 4, 2016

taking stock

"In 2007 when I started blogging (yup, it’s been a while) I met women from across the world who had voices to share – some of those women have dusty blogs….that I’m hoping they’ll reset passwords and take stock for themselves."
Thanks for the extra nudge Cass.

It's been two and a half years since I've written here. TWO AND A HALF YEARS.
I don't even know what to say. Except that I'm here.
And I need to write.
I've really been feeling it the last few months... that urge to spill my thoughts on paper screen. I've missed it so. I have always, always, always been a journal-er and there is always something that feels missing when I'm not.
So I'm here.

And I'm just going to jump back in with some easy!
Currently I am...

Making: plans, plans and more plans. Meal plans, trip plans, babysitter plans, party plans and the list goes on and on. Seems I've constantly got something spinning the wheels in my brain these days. It never ends.

Drinking: water. Boring.

Reading: Heart Made Whole by Christa Black Gifford. Still. Slowly. Soaking it in. Having great discussions on it with a group of amazing women walking through it together. Big stuff.

Wanting: to go back to Aruba. Bad.

Looking: at the outdated pictures on my wall. Except for one or two in the dining room, we have no pictures of our youngest two children displayed in our home. All the pictures framed on our walls and such are at least six years old. I'm horrible.

Deciding: between making or buying the ice cream cake Sawyer requested for his little birthday party this weekend. I think laziness will win in the end.

Enjoying: the new TV shows we've been watching this year. This Is Us, Designated Survivor, and Poldark are at the top of that list.

Liking: backyard lunchtime picnics with the littles in this gorgeous weather. Even if they don't really eat anything because they're too busy having fun. That's what it's all about. We've been doing this almost whenever we have chance and it's awesome.

Loving: said gorgeous weather. It FINALLY cooled off and now it's all sunshine and 70 degrees and I will take all of that I can get. It's Fall y'all.

Listening: to Coen chattering over the monitor while he's upstairs for rest time. He never naps anymore, but he needs the down time. WE need the downtime.

Buying: too many little girl clothes. Way too many. I can't stop. I feel like I'm catching up from spending basically the past ten years buying for baby boys and now I'm making up for lost time. There's a package that was just delivered on our front step as we speak.

Hoping: we get some snow this year.

Wearing: Yoga pants and tee. It's Friday.

Disliking: The election and how what was designed to create a strong union has deteriorated to show the weakness in our one republic and insulted much of what we were created to stand for.

Opening: aforementioned package. It wasn't the package I thought it was after all... it's Ryan's new toy: the Google Home smart speaker.

Embracing: this season. Right now. Where we all are. And getting back to documenting that like it's my job. Because it is. To capture the memories in writing and in photos... I want to get back to that and have that to look back on. I need that. My kids need that. I love it. I'm on it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

wacky wednesday

When Sawyer was sick last week, what he was most upset about -more than throwing up 9 times in 8 hours, more than not sleeping all night and feeling craptastic with a fever, and more than the idea of putting a dent in his perfect attendance this school year...
was the realization he would miss the highly anticipated Wacky Wednesday at school.
[I've learned over the years there are some do or die days at school these days... my kids will FALL APART if attending these school days are threatened: D.E.A.R days (read-ins), pajama days, or Wacky Wednesdays.]
Turns out some icy patches on the roads in the northernmost corners of our county saved the day for Sawyer.  School was unexpectedly called off. Again. And when school was called for so many days and that coincided with our school's planned Literacy/Read Across America Week with five days of special events planned, the school decided to reschedule them. So the kids got to go ahead with their "A Good Book Will Knock Your Socks Off" (crazy sock) day and their "Hats Off To A Good Book" day (wearing a favorite hat) that they missed... and the ever anticipated Wacky Wednesday.
There was much rejoicing in our house. By a certain eight-year-old at least.

And so I present to you,
Wacky Wednesday!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

sunny weekend

perfect weather for some baseball...

perfect weather for a walk in the park...

perfect weather for some spring cleaning in the yard...
Love it!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

thank. God. it's. friday.

This has been the type of week you call A Wash.

It's finally Friday.
It happens to also finally the first day of the week that we are back to "normal".
The first day the big kids are both at school this week and the first day Ryan is at work.
Here's how the week unfolded...

Monday: snow day (freezing rain day), kids home, Ryan home, appointment at Vanderbilt rescheduled due to weather, started out the day relaxing together enjoying a rare whole family snow day off. But by the time we had lunch, I wasn't feeling too hot. And by the time Ryan returned from a late afternoon run to the grocery store, I headed upstairs to bed. With a bowl. And proceeded to be sick all night. Ryan took the baby and slept in the guest room.

Tuesday: snow day #2 (but no snow or ice to be seen anywhere around us), kids home, Ryan stayed home to take care of sick ol' me and all the kids, plus take the baby to his rescheduled specialist appointment. I was feeling better by dinnertime. Took a nice shower and got into a freshly washed bed for bedtime... Ryan didn't trust it yet though so he and the baby still slept in the guest room.
i slept blissfully for all of two hours... and then Sawyer came in to me at about midnight with the dreaded news; he had thrown up. And continued to do so every hour after that until after sunrise. He and I (again) didn't get much sleep that night. And so much for my fresh, sick free bed.

Wednesday: snow day #3 (with not a trace of wintery issues to be found)(and was in fact supposed to be 50 degrees that day). Sawyer was happy to not have to ruin his perfect attendance. Ryan got up for work, but ended up in bed with Sawyer unsure of his stomach as well... and ended up in the bathroom before midday.We played musical beds and I took over the guest room that night while the two sickies camped out in my room. I feel like was only half asleep all night expecting SJ to join the stomach bug club at any moment.

Thursday: finally school is back on! Savannah was eager to get out of the sick house. Unfortunately Sawyer had spiked a fever with his bug until late the night before so he was out of the running for the school day. He was disappointed because he really felt pretty fine in the morning with his fever gone. Both boys stayed home to recooperate.  And watch a Star Wars marathon.

Friday: thank God. School is on, Savannah (and the babies) seems to have made it thru our sick days unscathed, Sawyer was eager to get back to class, Ryan headed to work for a one day work week and I'm finally here with a semi-quiet, thoroughly lysol-ed, freshly laundered house.

So the sun is out and it's supposed to be a beautiful (warm!) weekend so I'm happy.
I'm thankful for the smallest of breaks today and for everyone getting back to their normal. And I'm thankful it is Friday and we can have a great weekend... and just pretend this longest week ever just didn't even exist! ;)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

and there was much rejoicing!

Our littlest buddy, the itty bitty babe we have with us, at three and a half months old,
slept thru the night last night!!!!!!!
Now, he's actually been "sleeping thru the night" in infant terms (ie, 7-8 hrs straight) for quite a few weeks.  Problem is, he very much likes the early to bed mantra.  He wants that "last" bottle at about 7 o'clock -8 if we're lucky- and then he'll sleep a good seven hours.  Problem is, 7 hours from then is 3 or 4 in the morning.  Oh we've tried waking him up before we go to bed and feeding him again.  We've tried the dream feed. He just will not wake up and if he does, he will. not. eat. He just wants to sleep. So we've been stuck at this 7pm to 3/4am schedule.
Until this morning.
Ryan's alarm goes off at 6:30am.
"Did Sonny wake up last night?"
"I didn't get up with him, did you??"

Maybe he was happy to be back in his own bed??
(he'd been in the pack 'n play in our room while Coen was visiting us for the past five days)
Maybe he's just relieved to finally have his surgery scheduled.
(large inguinal hernia... to be repaired Feb 5th)

Whatever it was, I'll take it!!
When you have [newborn]baby after [newborn] baby like we randomly have, a sleeping thru the night milestone is a big one!!!

Hard to believe this bitty has been with us for three months already...
He's smiling more and finally seems happier and I think we're moving past the "rough start" he's had.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

a new year

I'm not even sure what to say.
I knew it had been awhile, but jeez...

When I finally logged in and dusted off the old blog and saw the date I actually last posted... ouch.

I mean, I've had little lapses before, but four months??!?
Never in the eight years I've been babbling here blogging has that happened.
I don't even know what to say. Not even sure I know how to jump back in. It must be kinda like riding a bike, eh?

What a crazy four months it has been.
But I'm just going to jump into January and pretend like that little leave of absence never happened and back fill things in as I go.

And so, New Years!
Our only out of town-ers to ring in the New Year with us were the Laughlins.  They came and stayed a couple of nights before and we had a great time hanging with them. We all ate lots and played lots and laughed lots and our two kids made it to midnight (which 3/4 of the adults did not!) on New Years Eve.

And then of course our New Years Day Dinner.  Eighth Annual, fyi. :)
[Here are 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007 if you like trips down memory lane like me!]

It was a bit of a smaller affair this year; The Harkins again, The Laughlins, one half of the Wrights again and us, which made 7 adults and 8 kids. We had a full afternoon with a colorful table, a symbolic menu, fun fortune cookies, kid decorated toasting cups, breaking and sharing the peppermint pig and wonderful friends...

 L-R grown-ups: Mike, Ryan, Me, Mindy, Kevin, Kelly and Kasey
L-R kids: Evan (4.5), Wesley (2.5), Baby C, Kyle (8.5), Sawyer (8), Savannah (10.5), Alex (2.5) and Micah (4.5)

Always the best way to start off the New Year!

Monday, September 9, 2013

weekend end

Monday is here too quickly. As usual.
Let's see... what made up our weekend?
Neighbors over Friday night for a couple of drinks and pool table action,
a Saturday morning soccer game (first of the season!),
one sick kiddo with the throw ups for a bit, meaning cancelled plans for a music festival I was looking forward to, which also meant a no-go on plan B; the State Fair, but also meant a loungeful Saturday afternoon of movies and slushes and snacks,
a Sunday morning at church with an extra kiddo hanging out (watching a friend's daughter for the day),
a Sonic lunch,
a spend a good few hours at the pool 'cuz it's the last day of the season kind of afternoon (complete with a faceplant on the bottom of the pool by a certain 7-year-old boy)(yes Sawyer, there's a reason we say no diving in a depth of five feet!),
followed by some more take-it-easy movie time that evening winding down the weekend.
It was a full, relaxing weekend.

Soccer was super fun to watch.  Sawyer was crazy excited to play... he must have asked me a half dozen times before 10am (game time) "are you so excited to get this game going mom?!"
First loss of the season as well, but they all had a blast and Sawyer is even more excited for the next practices and games.  I think this is when sports get so fun... when they actually mature enough to look forward to practices and games as the actual learning and experience and you know, practice, for what they are... that they get it and embrace it.  And become better players.  Love it!

And it was the last weekend our pool was open.  Boo.  We spent a good few hours down there though with friends on Sunday, so all is well.  Minus Sawyer's faceplant on the pool floor.  Last week Ryan had been doing tricks with the kids, having them jump and dive through our big tubes... he'd hold them up angled or perpendicular to the water and the kids would attempt to dive through from the edge.  Or they'd make a stack of tubes and jump in pencil dive style and try not to disturb the pile.  Well, Sawyer was attempting these on his own while we were absentmindedly talking with our friends... which was fine, they always make up all sorts of crazy jumps on their own.  But we didn't notice that apparently he had forgotten the fact that the only time he was supposed to be diving -head first- into the tubes was when someone was holding it upright.  Not when it was floating flat on the water.  So apparently he tried that.  And succeeded.  And met the bottom of the pool with his nose.  Ouch.
Saddest thing is, we never even noticed it happened.  We did notice that he had gotten his towel and was just lounging on a chair in the sun next to an older buddy who was taking a break and reading.  And then we noticed he initiated a game of pool baseball... outside the pool, with a squoosh ball and pool noodle.  And then he moved to another chair and was just laying down relaxing again.  Ignoring our numerous encouragements to get back in the water. He finally came over to our spot for a drink and that's when we noticed his nose was scraped up and slightly bruised.  And he was definitely not his usual rambunctious pool self.  Sawyer takes a lot of licks and keeps on ticking, so you know it's a big deal when he decides for himself to take it easy. Poor guy.  I felt really bad. :(

It was a perfect day at the pool though. And Coen at least, as usual, was all smiles. :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

the see was sawed

Savannah somehow, some time ago, got a hankering for some teeter-tottering in her head and has not stopped mentioning it almost daily for weeks. Months?  Seriously... "can we go to a park with see-saws?","do you know where a park is with see-saws?","is there a park near the soccer field with see-saws?","can we get a see-saw for our backyard?", with every mention (or not) of anything outdoors.

After admitting (for the hundredth time) that I don't know of any see-saw/teeter-totters around --my kids call them see-saws while I call them teeter-totters... potayto, potahto anyone??-- but I showed her this plan and told her to start bugging her dad about it...
She and Sawyer agreed to pay for the supplies and help with the project.
This was last Friday. Of what happened to have coincidentally been "Labor" day weekend. By Sunday it was on.

It was a family affair in the garage.  Mostly the baby just watched, and SJ helped him out with a little ear protection when the saw was on, but the rest of us all got our hands in it at some point.

A (few) trip(s) to Lowe's, about $30 and just a few hours later and ta-da...

They're already discussing plans to break the world record a la Bobby and Cindy Brady.

Friday, August 30, 2013


School lunches.
I hate 'em.
Don't get me wrong, the school's are definitely trying to make school lunch more healthy for children, but the problem is, I know that my kids won't eat much of what they serve for those lunches. 
Turnip greens? Black bean salad? Baked (soggy, I'm sure) tilapia on a whole grain bun? Orange Chicken w/ whole grain vegetable rice? I'll give them credit, but this is stuff my kids would hardly touch at home with prompting (and bribing) from me.  Left to their own accord... looking at that food that's been sitting in a school cafeteria kitchen all day and surrounded by friends who are enough of a distraction from eating even an appealing lunch, and I'm not sure much of that food gets eaten. What good is a cafeteria full of healthy(ish) options if no one actually consumes anything but the lowfat chocolate milk? Let's stick with kid friendlier food and make it real, good tasting food, okay?

Needless to say, my kids, hands down, day after day, choose to bring their lunch to school.
(Except Mondays... sometimes Sawyer chooses to buy Mondays because it's of course Cheesy Flatbread Pizza)
In fact they resist school lunches so much (seriously, sometimes I just want a break from lunches! can't you just eat cafeteria food for one day?!), it has become their "punishment" for not emptying their lunchbox from the day before.  If they leave their day's lunch in their backpacks and I don't have an empty lunchbox on my kitchen counter when I'm ready to pack a new one, I dole out the money.  And they hate that. ;)

But packing a lunch to send to school every day gets really old for me — figuring out things my kids will eat that will fill them up and give them the good energy they need... things that will survive the trek to school and sitting in a lunch box... and then take peanut butter options out of the equation as well... it's what I hate most about the school year. :(  I feel like I'm constantly trying to come up with things that are healthy, appetizing to a 2nd and 5th grader, good hot, cold or room temp, and are easy to make and eat??? Lunch -even at home- has never been my forte.

So these have kind of been my go-to's so far this year:
whole grain waffles w/peanut butter or nutella, hard boiled egg, fruit and yogurt
whole grain mini bagels w/ cream cheese and turkey, sugar snap peas and carrots, fresh fruit
spinach salad w/ ham bits, mandarin oranges and raspberries, carrots, cheezits
pizza quesadillas, cucumber slices, applesauce, pirates booty
pepperoni stick, cheese stick, fig newtons, yogurt, carrots
muffins (usually carrot/zucchini/berry/bran varieties), deli meat, cottage cheese, fruit

That's it. Pretty much the same old things rotating all year long.
Sawyer won't eat sandwiches.  Or pretty much any vegetable besides carrots. (he'll eat spinach if he has a canned mandarin orange segment to eat with every bite of spinach. weirdo.)  And he doesn't like berries, fresh oranges, peaches or bananas.
Savannah isn't so picky, but you never know what she's "in the mood for". (i.e. what comes back home uneaten that day)

Savannah leaves for school a bit later than Sawyer does this year, so I've decided to see how it goes giving her her own lunch responsibility.  (this may or may not have to do with the fact that she cannot seem to remember to not leave her lunch box in her backpack every. single. night. -and weekend!)(and the tears and stomping that ensue when I try to enforce my "I don't have a lunch-box so I can't pack a lunch, here's your lunch money" rule)(every morning)(seriously.)

So she's started making her own lunch. Supposedly following my "protein + vegetable + fruit + grain" requirement. Which meant today she basically packed the same thing that I packed for Sawyer.
But she did it herself. Because I refused to, when at 7:45am I still hadn't seen her lunchbox return from the day before.  She slathered a couple of mini bagels w/ cream cheese, cut up a nectarine, threw in some snap peas and grabbed a frozen yogurt tube and called it good.

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel of my dreaded lunch-packing days... ;)

Any other great packable lunch ideas for me?? Well, for me and my non-sandwich eating, dip hating, most fruit and veggie boycotting seven year old??

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