Monday, August 29, 2011

First Day

So many emotions today. Sophie and I spent most of it just looking at each other, wondering what to do next. I felt like half of me was missing. The clock never moved so slowly.

Dramatic phrases, I know, but when two from your household leave for the day, it makes quite a difference; especially when they're the chatter boxes and energy of the family.

It's funny how opinions change. I used to think all-day kindergarten was a good concept, but now when MY children are in it, I'm not a fan at all. Another thing that I will have to get used to is the comparisons of teachers. I almost think it would be better to have them in the same class so I wasn't comparing one against the other (teachers, I mean). I wouldn't know any better. Ignorance is bliss, right?

We're letting them ride the bus for the first week and then I'm planning on taking them. A 45-minute bus ride to and from school, with a bus change in the middle, is too much for 5-year olds.

Kate, our excessive-energy child, even said I should give her a 'no sleeping pill' so that she wouldn't be so tired coming home. Well good grief, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.?!?! Anyone would be tired!!

Okay, enough with the negative vibes:). They had a great time and came home full of stories.

Here's such a sweet picture of Sophie. She was completely crushed that she couldn't get on the bus and go to school with Wes and Kate. She got dressed in the morning with them, put on her backpack, and just figured she'd do what she's always done ... be the triplet in a set of twins.

Bouncy boy

We've got great neighbors; next door, across the way, kitty-corner, down the cul-de-sac ... we couldn't have picked a better place. The neighbors down the way are in the midst of cleaning out their garage so their vans can park inside.

We have been on the receiving end of many of their baby and toddler things.

The latest is this bouncy chair thingy that hangs in the doorway. Coincidentally I was looking at these on over the weekend. Great timing!

Joshua's loving it, and I'm having a heck of a time keeping Sophie from sending him spinning or swinging:).

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Era

And I'm not talking about the church magazine ;)...

Wes and Kate are five and entering Kindergarten. I've been very uncertain about the whole thing for more reasons than one, but here we go!

Despite threatening the delay of opening day by Hurricane Irene, our school called this afternoon and reported it will be open and ready for Day 1, tomorrow. My opinion so far, and we've only gone to open house night, is that Wes' teacher impresses me more. I hope to be pleasantly surprised by both their experiences. You'd better bet we'll keep close tabs on the situation.

Meanwhile, Matt and I have talked a lot in the last few days of how this marks a change for our whole family. I'm so wishy-washy about the whole thing, but am so excited for them. They are ready for the next step. Pictures to follow:).

Monday, August 22, 2011

So big

Time just flies, and I'm amazed that we're already to these milestones in Joshua's life.

So for documentation purposes, he officially turned over from back to belly on Saturday, August 20.

He's such a strong little guy. He's also been very spitty lately and regularly soaks the front of his outfit by 10 a.m. Today I put a full bib on him, the kind you put the baby's head through so it has a front and back. I don't think he was a fan since it kept tangling his rolling over progress. A couple of times it looked more like a superhero cape than a bib.

What a sweet baby too. He's completely captured all of our hearts!

Some other things about J ... he losing hair and has not only the traditional bare spot in back, but a couple of funny looking bald patches on the side behind and above his right ear. And boy, talk about a serious cowlick (is that really how it's spelled), it's the swirl of all swirls. Funnier still is that the hair grows really well there and is poofy. It's pretty endearing:).

Friday, August 19, 2011


The other day Wes turned on PBS and found an English movie playing. He turned to me and said, "I want to watch a kid movie not a human movie!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Treading Water

I've come to the conclusion that I lack certain life skills, and if I'm ever to develop them it's a matter of beginning, rather than thinking about it.

Now for the background:

I think our adjustment to a fourth child has been fairly normal; we've loved him to pieces, cooed over him, juggled life with him, and occasionally forgotten he's there if he's not making a noise. But I think the best way to describe how I personally have felt amidst all the joys and moments of awe, is that the water is slowly entering my ears and I have to tilt my head up so that my nose can still breathe. I'm certainly not complaining about my circumstances, because I'm loving the stages of all our children, but it's more a realization that I have a harder time multitasking than I think I should.

(Note: I am writing this all in good humor and a slightly self-deprecating tone, not to fear. I mean, just look at that face).

My parent's didn't come to visit when Joshua was born, and the main reason was that they were planning on serving another mission at the end of summer and so would delay the visit until right before their departure; and also that my saintly mother-in-law and my purely delightful (it's true, Shannon) sister-in-law would be here to help.

By mid-summer my parents finally slowed down enough to book tickets for the visit. I called my mom soon after and said, "Bring your work clothes because that's what we'll be doing while you're here:)!" And for those who know my mom, you can imagine her somewhat smirk-y response, "Oh REALly?" But my parents are workers, and I knew that if we had four sets of hands going strong during their visit, we could really whip this place into shape, which is exactly what I needed.
The trip was jeopardized soon thereafter when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. That's the marvelous thing about serving missions ... you have to get thoroughly checked out each time, even if you swear off certain tests, like my mom with mammograms, hers always come back problematic. It appears this was caught fairly early, or it was super slow growing and hopefully contained, but as of now the report is that miracles have been at play and her prognosis looks fantastic, even chemo and radiation free. The mission is slightly delayed. But thankfully after a visit with the cancer doctor, the trip to us was not cancelled or postponed. Hooray!

We had 10 wonderful days with them, and I dropped into bed each night, exhausted from what we'd accomplished. There really is something to the Asian, and some other nationalities, way of life where multiple generations live in the same home. Shared work and child care, home maintenance and food preparation; it was so wonderful. Our house was clean the entire time they were here. This is where I need to work on basic life skills, and I can't blame it on children, I wasn't the best homemaker even before they arrived. I'm far from a slob, but I'm great at piling papers and other items at various locations through the house.

As for a tribute to my dad, one night Matt said to me, "your dad just goes and goes". It's true, he never sits down without a purpose. We had a hard time keeping him occupied on days when Matt was at work. And although my parents are comfortably into their 70s, they work just as they did 20+ years ago.
So, here is some of what we accomplished, and yes, we did see some sites along the way.

Bottled spaghetti sauce, organized and filled a newly built (by Matt) pantry, reorganized the food section of our laundry room, cleaned the fridge - including the top of it where we tend to drop off anything we don't want little hands taking away, cleaned out the garage so we could park the van inside:), took boxes up to attic, laundry, assembled adirondack chairs, stained adirondack chairs, stained children's picnic table, witnessed Joshua's first laugh (as a result of my dad's play time with him), took out bushes in front of house, cut down two trees in front yard (many, many more to come), mowed the lawn (twice), more laundry, Joshua's baby blessing, substitute taught Wes and Kate's Primary class, sold our car, Assateague, the beach, Ocean City, Dolle's Salt Water Taffy shop, crab dinner, cleaned the van, Mom's & Dad's 48th anniversary, laundry, Washington D.C. (Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, WWII Memorial, Washington D.C. Temple), made s'mores on the deck, watched W, K, S & J while Matt and I went on a DATE?!!! played, played, played with grandkids, made the best darned granola you ever did taste.

And that's just a sampling ... I'm so glad Matt takes pictures.

We took them to Baltimore for their departure on Saturday. It really didn't hit me until they were walking through the airport doors that we probably won't see them for two years. Good thing for Skype-type communications. Our little Joshua will be walking and talking, Sophie will be in Kindergarten and Wes and Kate will be preparing for baptism!

My parents arrived safely, spent the next day in SL with my sister's family, and my mom went in for surgery on the next. When she called me later that afternoon after the surgery was over, she sounded the same as when she left on Saturday. In a couple of weeks we'll know the complete results.

And now the water is back down to the tops of my shoulders and neck, and I can bob and tread for a little while longer. We love you Mom and Dad. The burden you lifted is deeply appreciated.