Jul 20, 2018

Summer Snippets

I feel like one of the themes for the summer (or even further back than that) could be "between a rock and a parenting place". Parenting has been hard (although, when is it not?), Tim was out of town again last week, and trying to do summer with all four girls has been logistically challenging for me- mostly trying to go places where I won't be chasing Cora down nearly every second! 
But there have been some nice times that I need to focus on, and today was a bright spot with a library visit sans screaming or chase scene (plus two for me books off long holds!!).

We made it through blueberry picking on a super hot day; hopefully blackberries will be ready soon!


Evie has been asking for a desk space and I was so happy to find this school desk and chair for $5 each last Saturday! I could hardly believe that it was purple to boot. I spent a day hitting up as many thrift stores as I could find in a place about an hour away- the thrill of the hunt. :)


We've had a lot of beautiful sunshine


 and some fun park time,


and some much needed girls' nights out for conversation and drinks. 

Swim lessons start next week for the older two and we still have a good chunk of summer break left! 
I'm trying to shield my eyes from every "Back to School" advertisement invading my space- let us summer in peace, store people. 

Jun 27, 2018

Life Lately {June}

Cora turned two! 


This girl is an explosion of cuddly + endearing, and curiosity + mischief. She does not like to stay put when we go places- her theme song must be "The Wanderer". I can imagine her humming "I roam around, around, around..." every time she bolts off in the opposite direction of any adult supervision. She can be super prickly when most people other than mom and dad (and usually grandparents and aunts) try to hug or kiss her. Like so:
 Her birthday was the day before Father's Day, so we just celebrated with a large cookie and singing.
She also does a good grumpy old man face
 On Father's Day we had my family over for dinner. My dad grilled steaks and everyone else graciously brought the other food. It really made hosting such a breeze to only have to do the house prep! 
The morning turned out a little crazy because after mass Tim took Evie to the Urgent Care for her breathing. Overnight she had started wheezing, coughing a lot, vomiting, and had really labored breaths that weren't improving with home measures. Well, once at the Urgent Care the doctor sent for an ambulance to take her to the hospital! Thankfully no sirens were needed and she was discharged after being treated at the ER, and given an inhaler. Lots of health things are scary with kids but poor breathing was pretty up there for me! One thing I really appreciate is that our doctor's office, Urgent Care, and hospital are all in the same system, that helps things be a bit more streamlined.
 For dessert my mom made a raspberry pie and I made a peach & blueberry crumble (which didn't really turn out texture-wise since I made it in a pan instead of separate ramekins- lesson learned!). Cora became shy once the singing started and turned away- it is so funny to see kids' personalities come out!
We bought her a balance bike and this prayer book.

Some things for me to remember:
She loves her puppy and plug at sleep times
When she wants to be held she says "hold you"
If she finds glasses she puts them on upside down and says "see you!"
She drops the "h" in most words- "(h)at" "(h)ello" "(h)ead
She loves to wear shoes of any size and often click-clacks around in those plastic dress up shoes
Brother Francis videos are her very favorite thing to watch- she asks for "Sansis"
She enjoys books a lot and sometimes if she's really quiet for an extended period I spy her sitting in a corner looking at them (and other times I know I'll be cleaning something up!) 
Sometimes she calls me just plain "mom" and it feels like she's a little teenager

I bought these clogs on a whim at the thrift store thinking they would fit one of the older girls but they only fit Cora and she LOVES them. They're kind of the most ridiculous, impractical piece of footwear for a toddler but clogs around in them- even on the wrong feet- she does. 
........
Two days after Father's Day was Evie's last day of school (at long last!). She was still recovering at home on Monday but made it for the half day on Tuesday. 
with the candy cane on the porch representing the almost-half-way point to Christmas, I suppose
We welcomed official summer with simple popsicles and chalk and I have yet to fill the tiny pool or water tables with water- I'm letting myself ease very slowly in to summer-effort-exertion, and so far there has been no rebellion! 
Evie and Audrey are attending Vacation Bible School this week and Tim's been out of town for several days (cue survival mode); it'll be nice to get into a summer routine next week!
Hoping your summer is off to a sunny start!
 

Jun 15, 2018

Scissor Happy Bangs and Other Things {7QT}

Linking up with Kelly!

1.
June 1st was Audrey's last day of pre-K. On to Kindergarten in the fall! She had strong feelings and tears about how much she'll miss her teachers and pre-K- poor girl is destined to take after me in the emotions department but at least she had a great year and enjoyed her teachers! She was given "Most Dependable" on the last day; she definitely is our dependable girl at home!

2.
I'm on the waiting list at the library for the new Little Women mini-series. Have you seen it? I really liked the 1994 version and the 1949 version as well (except. June Allyson's bangs. Why so unflatteringly short? Also, Judy Garland's in Meet Me in St. Louis. Y?), and am hoping the mini-series will be promising!

3.
A couple of months ago Evie read two different abridged versions (you know, the kind with lots of pictures and bigger type) of Little Women and contentedly informed me that Beth got sick but then she got better and it was a good story. And apparently that's how abridged versions deal with the sad parts. 
I think we'll wait several years before introducing the movies or full version!

4.
I recently finished Shoe Dog, a memoir by the creator of Nike. I enjoyed it- it was an interesting if long read but a line on the second to last page gave me a jolt:

Say what? There was nothing remotely religious in the whole book, not that there needed to be or that I was expecting it, but I kinda couldn't believe that little part slipped in there at the end. I hope the best for him and his wife!
5.
Lately I've been having lots of thoughts about style and my wardrobe, so I've decided to start a separate blog- because, why not? :) There was just a fair amount I wanted to "jot" down about that sort of thing and felt it was easier to have a dedicated space for it. So if you're interested you can visit Hashing Out My Mom Style

6.
I was listening to this podcast of Jennifer Fulwiler's show and in it she mentioned a story wherein Anthony Bourdain not only stood up for a food writer (he didn't know), whose positive review of a new Olive Garden in her area went viral (in a negative way), but also wrote a forward for her book that was being published. As soon as I heard that story St Mother Teresa's quote, "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." started blaring in my head. He did not know that lady from Adam, yet he took it upon himself to stand up for her- such an embodiment of MT's quote! May he rest in peace.

7.
The other evening we left our garage open and our neighbor's dog (one of a few that roam freely around our neighborhood) got into our trash, ripping apart two bags and strewing the garbage all around. This is the second time it has happened!
via
I will simply say that were I to run for Miss America in another life my platform would be for people to contain their dogs in their own yards.
THE END.

Have a good weekend!

Jun 13, 2018

Topsail 2018: The One Where Cora Continuously Climbs Out of Her Pack n' Play & We Take Heidi to the ER

Last week we had our extended family beach trip to NC. The day before we left was Audrey's last day of pre-K celebration, which was a fun little break in the week. Cora decided to add some mayhem to the busy day when she climbed out of her crib and came all the way downstairs during naptime (we've never had a crib escapee before)! Tim was downstairs and thought I had gotten her out and sent her down; I was packing in our room and thought Tim had come up and taken her, when I heard kiddo footsteps downstairs. She did have a dirty diaper, so after a while I put her back in her crib, hoping tiredness would win out, but nope! She climbed out again, went into Heidi's room and woke her up, then promptly made a beeline for our room and began getting into all the things on my dresser.
THIS AGE!
Anyway, the next morning we left bright and early and had a fairly low-key drive (with only two stops!) and made it to Topsail in good time. We had lunch at a deli close to the rental house and killed time before check-in at an adorable used bookstore/ coffee shop (the upstairs is very The Shop Around the Corner).

My sister Marsha grows plumeria trees and usually brings blossoms when she and her husband come visit. This year Heidi enjoyed putting them all in water. They are so fragrant and I love all the colors!
One of my favorite things at the beach is watching sunrises and sunsets. I hardly ever see them back home because of our trees, so it's pretty amazing to have them right there. Also, Cora got into the habit of waking up at 5:30-5:45 every single day of the trip, so at least the sun was up around then too!
Coffee was paramount.
This year one of Tim's sisters and her family flew in from the West Coast to join us. It was so great to have them here and the girls especially enjoyed time with cousins!
Cora didn't quite take to the sand at first- it reminded me so much of Audrey's less than enthusiastic reaction at this age.
There was no shortage of margaritas
The family was also surprised with a gender reveal cake for one of the new grandbabies arriving this year. I've never been to a gender reveal, so it was all very exciting. :)
Cora's escape from Alcatraz routine unfortunately carried over to the Pack n' Play that she was sleeping in- the bedroom floors were tile, so I am SO thankful she never fell on her face or something! One of the bedrooms down the hall had four bunkbeds- the kind with actual stairs to get up- so heading there after freeing herself (once with my engagement ring in hand!!) was almost always her end-game. (It wasn't the most relaxing vacation...)
There was a house next door that was being built by the same owner and was scheduled to be rented out the Saturday we were leaving. Well, it made for an interesting week watching the crews put in long days to get it ready- it was really down to the wire and felt a bit like a live HGTV show or something.
 We had beautiful weather the whole week- God is good! I loved every second of the sun and heat. :)
By mid-week a handful of family had to leave, and then my brother-in-law and his brother's family came for the last half of the week. The kids loved having additional playmates and doting on the baby who arrived!

On Thursday night Tim and I were watching a movie on the bottom floor when someone came and told us they heard crying from the girls' room. It turned out that Heidi had fallen out of her bed and cut her chin open on the tile floor- right in the same spot she cut open on Good Friday. :( We actually had two nurse practitioners staying with us, but Heidi needed stitches so Tim and I took her to the ER. I was thinking we'd have to drive an hour or so, but thankfully there was a new hospital close by and we were seen within minutes of arriving. Also a blessing was the fact that the doctor was able to use medical glue on the area, so no traumatic stitches! Poor Heidi is earning her "medical emergencies while on vacation" badge.
Evie's shell she found right in the surf!
Birthday celebration
 Sunset
This rental was right smack in town and we took advantage of walking to places when we could, which was wonderful! It was so much easier to walk right out the door and down the road with kids, than to load everyone into a boiling van and deal with searing buckles. One afternoon a bunch of us went out to explore the fishing pier.
Stormy clouds over the sound
One of our last afternoons there we walked to the 50s diner, that's been there ever since I can remember, for some lunch + ice cream and the girls spent the rest of their "treat" money on the little coin rides. It was a nice little family outing and I'm glad Tim got these snaps on his phone. :)


This girl is such a goober
Very proud of the 'Ds' she wrote
We're grateful for another memorable Topsail trip in the books!
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