Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Summer slow down

We are halfway through the month of July and I ruined my good streak of blogging every Monday.  After two weekends traveling to and from my parents lake house, a full month of running around town every morning Monday through Friday and the best summer holiday there ever could be, we are exhausted.  I feel like we are sort of in recovery mode.  We still have gymnastics for Grace, but speech through the school system is over until school starts back up in August and our swim instructor through the club is traveling for the next two weeks... so we are slowing it down and rolling it in.  Perfectly timed with the endless summer days where the heat is absolutely exhausting and the last thing a mama wants to do is load all the children up and into the car and then unload and reload them to do just about anything.

Don't get me wrong... we are still fairly busy... but in more of a we-have-3-kids kind of way.  This last weekend we had family night at home on Friday and followed that with a Saturday of lounging, lunch out and a movie night (for us girls - Dad was off meeting up with an old Army friend who was in town).  Sunday was another relaxed day for the most part.  Emily and I snuck out for a couple of hours to meet up with my sister for a quick happy birthday wine slushy at the local winery.  She's 26 now and you probably would have laughed at how long it took for me to do the math on that.  How old am I again?


Then low and behold I was up way too many times Sunday night into Monday.  Not with a nursing baby or anything... with a running nose.  I probably spent too much time outside Sunday in the dry freaking air that is Kansas right now... or I caught a summer cold.  All I know is this week I have been majorly feeling it and my motivation has been null and void.  Luckily short of canceling our one swim lesson this week, I've managed to get everyone everywhere they needed to be and run the laundry list of errands this week has so far called for.

But MAN Y'ALL.  I am slowing it down around here.  Less is best.  These kids have all those toys for a reason, right?  I've never been a fan of summer and the heat... so it is no surprise that we have kept the outside ventures to an absolute minimum since the temperatures crept up to the triple digits.  Ain't nobody got time for that.  Especially with a 3 month old.  We kicked June's butt... and July?  July is meant for inside activities and special ice cream treats to cure the guilt of losing my awesome mom summer jam.

It happens, right?


always,
amanda
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Friday, July 13, 2018

Appearing put together


Since welcoming Emily into our family just a few months ago, I have heard from several mom friends that they don’t know how I do it and appear so put together. I always laugh and say I just have to. But the reality is I put on a really good front. I'm not a super mom.  I'm just trying to raise respectful little people.  My main goal in life.

My kids are healthy, well fed, and happy (I hope!). First and foremost that is always the priority. Getting from day to day with everyone alive and thriving is sometimes a challenge. Usually an hour or two before bedtime my patience is mostly shot and the “why” question from my 4 year old is grating on every last nerve. Some days we don’t even make it to lunch and the overwhelming feeling of being done is already creeping in for the day. I do have 3 kids after all.

My house will be clean if I know you are coming by. Drop in on me and you’ll probably be greeted with breakfast bowls in the kitchen (maybe even on the table still), dirt and food crumbs all over the bathroom sink and door handle, and toys as far as the eye can see. Even if the main floor appears clean, you can bet your butt our bathroom and bedroom is a disaster and don’t even get me started on the laundry room. The mess is quietly hidden behind closed doors, putting on yet another front.

Because I suffer from general anxiety. I can’t go to bed at night with dirty dishes in the sink, the living room a mess and laundry still in the dryer. Doesn’t matter how late my kids keep me up, if it’s not done, I can’t sleep. The toys all have a place and they all go back to it every night, thanks to the bedtime routine that includes a toy round up by their owners.  More or less I am borderline OCD with our routine and if I didn't suffer from the aforementioned anxiety, the day to day may be a wee bit different.

So while I appear put together - you may see me in my 15 minutes of glory for the day.  I am human. I yell, I get flustered and I lose my cool.  I can't pretend my children listen to me all the time, if ever (I'm looking at YOU Brooklyn).  But I am doing my best everyday... and right now that is enough.

Oh and those kind words of reassurance?  They get me through another day or two of this parenting gig.  So you all are the real MVP in my book.


always,
amanda
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Monday, July 9, 2018

The 4th


Last week we celebrated one of the best holidays ever... July 4th. America's birthday. Independence Day.

After a day spent as a family together with Rob grilling and all the cute red, white and blue outfits, we headed outside to set off a few fireworks early in the evening.  Almost immediately a young woman stopped in our driveway and tried to sell me some children's books.  She was a young college student from another country that had to stop and give her pitch to a certain number of people everyday.  She saw us walk outside with our hoard of children and backpedaled to try and convince me.  While I turned down her pitch and what may be a scam, I did answer her questions about July 4th.  She asked me what we do to celebrate.  I said without hesitation "light up fireworks, spend quality time with family and friends and BBQ".  I don't know about you... but that is the very best way to spend this holiday.  Because U. S. A., y'all.

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of this country and while we may have moments of turmoil and unrest, this is America... the land of the free.  I am forever thankful to live here and raise my children in the greatest country, ever.

Just like Memorial Day though, I feel deep in my bones that it is important for me to raise my children always knowing they are lucky to live in this great country and to not ever take it for granted.  I want them to grow up and proudly place their hand on their heart during the national anthem.  I want them to spend the 4th being thankful to be an American.  I want them to know that countless people gave their lives for the freedoms they get.  Sure America isn't perfect and there is always work to do... but at the end of the day this country is their home and I WANT them to be proud of that.


So with two full weekends sandwiched around the greatest summer holiday there ever was... I feel we fully accomplished a great birthday party for this great country.  I mean trips to the lake, fireworks, cute outfits and lots of good food, without a doubt adds up to a great celebration.

Happy birthday, America.  You great country.


always,
amanda
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Friday, July 6, 2018

Emily | Three Month


ANOTHER month has passed in the blink of an eye and nothing has changed... meaning the months are still FLYING by at a record setting pace.  Of course they would be since this is our last baby.  For real, for real, this time.

Emily at three months...

.You are wearing size 3 and 3/6 month clothing.  Definitely 3/6 month sleepers.  You are long just like your sisters it would appear.

.You are in size 2 diapers but it is highly likely that with this next box we will be switching to size 3 already.  It could just be the Luvs diapers someone gifted us, but girlfriend you are not rocking those as you should.

.You are SO smiley and so sweet when someone gives you the attention you love so very much.  Face to face and being talked to are your absolute favorites.

.You love your biggest sister.  She gets the most smiles out of you.

.You have just started laughing recently.  It is the absolute BEST.

.You are not a fan of tummy time.  You just lay your head down and call it a day.

.You put weight on your legs and have pretty good head control.

.You love to be outside.

.You sleep like a champion in 8 hour stretches at night.  It is awesome.  But you don't nap all that well during the day. taking lots of little short ones versus long ones that give mama a chance to get things done.

.You nap best in mama's arms.

.You nurse every 3 hours mostly (except at night) and took your first bottle this month from grandma.

.You still spit up.  A lot.  It's a pain.  But we aren't worried about you because you are still growing like a weed and you don't fuss for more milk right away either.

.You are still undecided on your hair color.  Sometimes it is red.  Sometimes it is brown.

.You have blue eyes and they just keep getting lighter.

You are the SWEETEST thing ever.  On days where your sisters are bringing out every less than desirable mom quality, you calm me down and help me reset with a smile and a coo.  You fit in and complete us all so perfectly. Mommy loves you so Emily girl.

To read about Brooklyn at three months, click here
To read about Grace at three months, click here.



always,
amanda
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Monday, July 2, 2018

June & the bucket list

June is done and we are 1/3rd of the way to the end of Summer.  I'm not celebrating (too much), are you?  Okay. Okay.  I am totally celebrating that we have one month down.  I loathe summer, sweating and running here, there and everywhere.  Not that it is much different than the other 9 months of the year.

Anyway - we are off to a good start with our bucket list! Here is where we stand going into the month of July.

-Go strawberry picking
On the very last day of the season we got out and picked a row of strawberries.  They were tiny but the girls had SO much fun.  Grace and Brooke picked almost every strawberry we took home and Emily?  Well she spent most of the adventure sleeping.

-Go to Deanna Rose Farmstead
One week the weather was unexpectedly cool and we took FULL advantage of it by spending the afternoon at Deanna Rose with Aunt Kara.  We walked and walked, saw all the animals, fed the goats, slid down the slide, played on the playground, ate some ice cream, melted down a time or two... and finally crashed on the way home.  Just the way it should be.

-Complete the summer reading program through the library
-See a movie at Memorial Stadium
Unfortunately we will not get to actually mark this one off this year.  It was almost 100 degrees on the night scheduled for the movie... so because of our littlest girlie... our time was better spent in Kansas City shopping with an aunt that was visiting from out west.

-Swim lessons
Our original plan was for both Grace and Brooke to take swim lessons at the country club this summer.  But after one terrible first lesson and a so - so second lesson.. Brooke will wait until next summer and Grace will continue this summer two times a week.  Grace hates putting her head in the water and for some reason has a really hard time trusting even adults with her buoyancy... so my goal this summer is to get her to float, on her own.

-Gymnastics
We are back with the parks and rec program for another session.  Grace LOVES gymnastics and her coach Ms. Gina! It is a win for all of us.

-Picnic at the lake
We jammed packed those few days of lower temperatures, jumping at the opportunity to picnic at the lake without sweating our butts off, wearing sunscreen or dealing with five billion bugs.  It was a lovely little picnic complete with a blow out from Emily and a skinned knee for Brooke.  We are the traveling circus y'all.

-Go to the fair
-Go to the zoo
-Spend an afternoon at Wonderscope
-Run through the sprinkler
-Build a fort and watch a movie in it
-Take sister pictures of my girls
-Have lunch with Grandma
Bonus points... Aunt Erin happened to be off and we got to enjoy lunch with her too!

-Learn the alphabet
-Teach Grace to write her own name

Our starting point, for reference.

-Practice Grace's speech diligently
-Learn the difference between left and right
-Potty train Brooklyn
-Attend Vacation Bible School
I seriously cannot believe that I have a child old enough to attend Vacation Bible School. Some of my greatest memories growing up a Catholic include the weeks spent at VBS during the summer.  This has been a real hit with Grace and I look forward to hopefully getting her into Religious Education come this fall.  Fingers crossed it doesn't fill up as fast as the Catholic preschool program does.

-Go to the farmers' market

A few other highlights that should have made our list this summer?

-Go to Science City
We last minute jumped at the opportunity to go to Science City with my sister, as part of her job.  We got to ride on a school bus, which probably could have served as an adventure by itself.  Science City is way different than what I remember, but my girls seemed to enjoy themselves, so that is all that matters.  It was a solid afternoon of entertainment.

-Visit the lakehouse!
This was not originally on my list because going to the lake with a baby is not as fun as you would think.  We did it two years ago when Brooke was the same age as Emily... and it was stressful and not at all relaxing.  So this summer we were not planning on going down to my parents lake house.  On Friday, my husband persuaded me to be a little carefree this summer... and so Saturday afternoon we loaded up the van and off we went for a 24 hour adventure to the lake.  It ended up being jam-packed with fireworks, church and playing on the boat before grabbing dinner and heading out of town.  We are all feeling it come this morning, but at the end of the day I really do think it was worth it.

So onto July.  What will you bring us?


always,
amanda
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