Monday, May 29, 2017

Preparing for Company

I'm going to have to write these "small glimpse into our life" posts more often because it allows me to share quick, short, mini-stories from our day to day life that I want to remember but don't always, in and of themselves, warrant a full-blown lengthy blog post.

On that note... more glimpses from our life as I prepared for company yesterday.

We are hosting a Memorial Day Cookout today with just a few families, all of whom have young children the same age of our kids.

So, I figured I would throw together an easy but delicious fruit salad... well, note to self.  The easy fruit salad takes about four times as long once you remember that you're cooking for families with toddlers, and toddlers need apple and pineapple pieces cut to a much smaller "bite size" than adults do.

Whenever I cook or bake something while the kids are awake, I've always sort of adopted the philosophy, "I am trying to be productive in the kitchen... so I surrender the rest of the main floor to the forces of my children."  It's not a perfect science, but it usually results in my cooking or baking a relatively successful dish that is not burnt beyond edibility.  Well, after spending about an hour (on and off) in the kitchen creating toddler-bite-sized fruit salad I surveyed the rest of the main floor... my kitchen philosophy does not work so well when we're having company the next day.  The fruit salad might be ready for company, but the rest of the floor looked like a tornado swept through.  I need a new system when I'm cooking for company.

Lastly, in an effort to recover some damage to the family room, I said to the kids,
"If we can get this room picked up a little, we can have some time in the bounce house before bath time."  
(Because the rule is that the bounce house cannot be inflated until all toys are put away and the floor is picked up.)
Tracey did not miss a beat and replied, "I'll sit right here and watch you guys."
Ummmm... excuse me?

Those were funny parts of our yesterday.

Happy happy Memorial Day to you, and please take some time today to remember those who have sacrificed so much to keep our country free for so many generations.

Just as I type that, I am so humbled to look back up on this post and realize how much freedom was wrapped into our yesterday.  I cannot even list every freedom we enjoyed yesterday from the activities we chose to do, to what we wore, to the fact we attended church, to the fact we live in our own home that we chose to buy, to the fact that my children played while I prepared for friends to come over tomorrow, to the fact that we're expecting our fourth child, to the fact that my husband was working all day in a job that he chose to take that he enjoys doing, to the fact that I make the rules in my house with my children, to that fact that my three year old was free to jump in with her opinion about cleaning... and I was free to correct her on who all was going to help clean the living room.

Trying to understand and quantify freedom to an American-born citizen is like trying to describe water to a fish.
 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Beep Beep

Yes... our twins are one boy and one girl... can you see their personalities emerging from these pictures?








Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Small Glimpse

Today's blog is brought to you by a small glimpse into our world:

Hubby:  What happened to Caroline's leg?

Me:  What do you mean?

Hubby:  That spot looks really bad.  Did she get bitten?  That has to be a bite... look at it.

Me:  Are you sure its not a big blueberry stain?

Hubby:  Oh... maybe.

Me:  If the spot comes off in the tub tonight, it was blueberries... if it doesn't, I'll figure out what happened to her leg and get back with you.

** Editor's note:  The spot came off in the tub.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Situations Like This

When your Daddy is the Athletic Director of a Middle School, you find yourself in situations like this...






Thursday, May 25, 2017

Unicorn

When people hear that Hubby and I are expecting our fourth child (and fourth in less than four years at that), we get a myriad of reactions.

Some people are shocked.
 Some people are happy for us... and even happier its not happening to them.
Some people think we're crazy.
Some people think we're stupid.
Some people are genuinely excited for us because they think we're good parents and we're the type of family that should have a lot of children.
Some people think we're superheros.
Some people think we must have a secret oil field somewhere to finance these kids.
Some people ask us if we "know how this happens..." a comment that seriously creeps me out because they are inquiring about our sex life.
Some people stop socializing with us because we've become "weird kid people."
Some people become closer friends with us because they too are "weird kid people" with big families.

It has actually been comical to witness different reactions.

All that to say, yesterday a friend of mine from college, who has one little girl about two-years old posted this picture on my way along with the below comment and I really took it as a huge compliment.  Not that I need to be seen any certain way to my peers, but I felt like this was viewing our decision to have a large family as something very unique and special as opposed to judging us in a negative light.


And my friend wrote on my wall:
 "If anyone is a magical unicorn, it's you. "
 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Lost and Found

Last weekend Caroline came with me to Michigan for a family wedding and Howard and Tracey stayed in Colorado with Hubby.  It was the first time we have split up the twins for any length of time, and it did not go as smoothly as I expected.

Howard moves a mile a minute and always wants to keep up with Tracey, while Caroline does a lot of observing and then chooses her own activity.  Sometimes she'll play with her siblings while other times she's simply curl up in my lap or be content to do her own thing -- reading a book, playing in her little kitchen, or trying to find Lexie.

The difference between Caroline and Howard are why Hubby and I thought Caroline would do better on this trip with me because she is less rambunctious than Howard and often is content to cuddle in our laps.

What we did not factor into the genius travel plans is how lost Caroline would be without Howard or Tracey.

Granted, the trip to Michigan was a grueling trip -- two flights Friday, 6 hours in the car to a wedding Saturday, two flights Sunday -- it would have been hard on any child, but I felt like Caroline -- my Caroline, my daughter who I thought I was bringing with me, was missing the whole weekend.  She was incredibly clingy to me and would scream if I was out of her sight.  She didn't eat very much the entire weekend and just wasn't her usual happy self.

It wasn't until we arrived home -- and specifically she greeted Tracey and Howard that I saw my Caroline return.

She was completely lost without her brother and sister.  This is a concept of which I have no understanding because I've functioned as an only child my entire life.  Caroline, on the other hand, never even had the womb to herself, and then was born into a family of three children.  Add to that, she adores Tracey and Howard -- sure they take her toys sometimes and knock her over occasionally, but she is happiest when she is playing with one or both of her siblings.

Hubby and I still need to keep creating activities where one child goes with one parent so the children gain confidence a part from his or her siblings... but maybe not an entire weekend a part for awhile.
 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Childbirth on TV

Last night I started teaching a new session of Natural Childbirth for Couples, which is something I love to do.  I so enjoy teaching couples about childbirth and helping them connect and work as a team as they head into a huge event like childbirth and parenting.

All that to say, there is a video I love to show in the first class to help couples laugh... but also realize how many of their assumptions about childbirth might be a little off.

Enjoy: