Saturday, April 22, 2017

Over April Showers, Ready for May Flowers!

Good morning!

It's a beautiful gray and rainy April day here and even though it's a bit gloomy, I'm so excited for spring! I know most of the country is already blooming with flowers and cutting grass and enjoying warm weather, but here it is barely 50 degrees and we ALMOST have leaves on our trees. Spring may take its sweet time here but I'll take it over tornadoes, hurricanes, poisonous snakes, etc.

I am just grateful the daffodils are in bloom and my perennials are starting to peak out their heads. My poor husband is so sick of me talking about how much I love spring. There is just something about it... everything is new, everything is starting to turn green, it's a fresh start! I think that another reason I love spring is that most of my biggest and best life events have been in the summer. Spring time has always meant that it's almost time for the BIG EVENT! I graduated high school/college, got married, and will have had all four kids in the summer time. Not to mention the obvious excitement over summer. Our winters can be brutal so summer is always welcome!

Anyway, I get carried away talking about spring but that's not really the focus of this post. In fact, I sat down with a few different ideas about what to blog about today. Do I write a review on the reasonably-priced maternity clothes I've found recently (seriously, $7 shirts are my cup of tea coffee)? Do I ramble about my plans for my garden and hopes of a having a veggie garden this year? Do I talk about how I read two other blogs this morning and felt a bit of jealousy as they dress their kids and houses in the fanciest of items? Or I could just do what I always do, talk about my kids.

Let's start there.

I've been wanting to sit down and just write out all the little things that I want to remember about each of their stages. They get grouped together and never seem to get a whole lot of one-on-one time with me, so I worry that I won't stop to appreciate their individual personalities, quirks, and likes. I probably won't be able to type out all the things about them that make me smile, but if I can just get down a few, I will be so grateful to look back on this.

We'll start with Easton. Despite the rare moments of a new-found attitude popping through, this boy is the sweetest thing ever. He tells me all the time now, "Mommy, you know my love you?" (we're working on the difference between my and but its cute for now). And this week he said, "Mommy, I love you with my heart." We've been talking more and more with him about Jesus and it's so fulfilling to see him start to grasp that. Now when he gets hurt, he will ask me to pray for it rather than kiss it. Last week, he told me that Jesus talked to him (in the moon, he said...) and I got all excited waiting to hear his great revelation from above. But, apparently Jesus just told him that he could do whatever he wanted. Hmmm... It was adorable anyway. He really loves trains, cranes, and nerf guns right now. He almost always has an unloaded nerf gun in his hands (unloaded mainly because his brothers always chew and ruin his darts). He bonds with Maverick more than Tucker and they can cause a lot of trouble, those two. They also fight the worst. Mav picks fights and then Easton gets in trouble for reciprocating. It's tough to learn at 3. Even right now, they are arguing and Easton is telling me he's "sick of Mavy!" He's funny about the twins. He loves to have buddies but gets so excited when it's time for them to take a nap. Easton is still a picky eater. He took about 10 minutes to choke down a tiny grape yesterday. He lives off of bananas, yogurt, cheerios, and pb&j. Doritos and fruit snacks are his favorites. He thinks that eating a vitamin has instant affects. Yesterday, he couldn't cock his nerf gun so he asked for a vitamin so he could be stronger. It's adorable. He loves play dough still, and likes to color or paint. Every night at bed time, he will give Dad a kiss or hug then ask him to leave and ask me to lay down with him. We pray, use our hands to make shadows in the dark, and then he gives me one of his "buddies" to sleep with (currently he sleeps with a stuffed Marshall, Rubble, Zuma, Rocky and Mickey Mouse). After a minute of "sleeping," I tell him I have to go and he always asks for me to stay for one more minute. It's the sweetest time with him and I always close his door feeling grateful that I get to be his mommy. I love my sweet Easton Matthew!

On to Maverick. I probably could say the most about this little guy. I will start with saying this: he was definitely correctly named. I remember when we thought baby A and baby B had switched positions and for a minute we contemplated naming the first baby out Tucker. I'm so glad we didn't. Maverick is definitely a Maverick. That boy has more spunk and sass and spice than the other two and myself combined. He is always fired up. He's the first one up in the morning and the loudest one by far.  God gave him the sweetest little face and most beautiful blue eyes knowing he would be the difficult one! He gives us a run for our money every day. But man, we love that kid. So much personality, so much fun. Lately, his favorite things are stealing my phone and watching youtube, playing with monster trucks, and rawr-ing when he sees a dinosaur. He loves dinosaurs. We went to the mall last week and were looking at the Disney stuffed animals. Tuck found a Sully from Monsters Inc. and we gave Mavy his sidekick Mike and he threw it. Then we tried nemo, bullseye, and a bunch others, all of which he chucked out of the stroller. Then we found Rex from Toy Story and he eagerly grabbed it and said "RAWR!" We haven't mastered all of the animal sounds yet, but he can pick out an owl from anywhere and start whoooo-ing so sweetly. He loves books! Usually in the morning, I wake up pretty slowly so I lay on the couch for a bit before starting coffee and breakfast. I don't know how many times I've started to drift back to sleep only to be awakened by Mavy smacking me in the head with a book. Read it, Mom!  He will bring me book after book and always stays so focused on them. He's a binky thief. He also loves to sip my coffee and pretty much any other beverage he can get his hands on. He's probably my least pickiest eater and I can't seem to keep his belly full lately. He can hear my fingers in an M&M bowl from the other side of the house, it's impressive. He also throws his food when he's done then flashes the cheesiest grin. We're working on that. He seems to understand so much of what we are saying. When my hubby works nights, I usually wake him up the next morning so I will tell Easton quietly "can you go wake up Daddy?" Mav always hears that and starts running to my bedroom ready to jump on poor Dad. He makes it up with the sweetest little kisses ever! I could go on, but I will call that good enough for now. I love my fiesty little Mavy J!

Tucker is last only because he is technically the youngest by a minute. He is definitely not the smallest though! He is built so differently and bigger than Mav. We still call him Meatball and I'm convinced he's going to be a linebacker some day. He's built like a tank, all muscle. He still walks kind of bowlegged but I call him Tarzan because he just wants to be up high or climbing something all day long. He runs sort of awkwardly (in the cutest way!) but I swear could climb a mountain with ease.  I also have been calling him my gentle giant. He may be tough and muscular, but he's quiet, and gentle, and loves his Momma. He's definitely my biggest momma's boy and is always willing to sit and cuddle. He wraps his little arm around my neck and squeezes and it makes me melt. He plays more quietly, too. I will often find Mav and Easton running around together while Tuck is playing nicely in the other room. He doesn't seem to favor any certain type of toys, he just kind of plays with whatever is there. Honestly, he really would rather be figuring out adult stuff instead of toys. He has already figured out how to cancel my dishwasher cycle (I have started running it only at night because he's so persistent with this) and will press any other button he can reach. He loves light switches, flashlights, electrical outlets, all that kind of technical stuff. Thank God Jer installed safety plugs throughout the house because he is constantly finding something to unplug and plug back in. He also likes to help me push around the vacuum or push the chairs around the kitchen. A few weeks ago I had every kitchen chair in the living room because he would just push them around and get where he wanted. Mom, there are buttons on the coffee pot, oven, and microwave!! It was very scary when he got up to the oven, thank God nothing was on. He has since moved on, so for now the kitchen chairs are back in the kitchen. He doesn't say as much as Mav, at least not as clearly. He is like Easton was when he tries to repeat a word.. as long as you match the number of syllables it doesn't matter what sounds you use. So "peek-a-boo" is just three random sounds thrown together. He is starting to differentiate between Mom/mine/more a little better instead of just an mmmm sound.  Easton really didn't speak well until 3 and then he talked like a champ; I assume the twins will be similar. I'm sure at their next appointment they will be telling me they need speech therapy but I'm not going to worry too much. The way Easton talks now is really advanced so I'm okay with it taking a little longer to develop in the boys too. Oh, I can't forget Tucker's favorite thing! Blaze! He loves that show. We don't have cable so we have three DVD's with like 3 episodes each. I think we've watched them a billion times but he's still interested. He sleeps like a champ and while he's skeptical of new foods, he still eats like the big boy he is. He's my snuggle buddy, my momma's boy, my Tuck Tuck. I love my Tucker Curtis!

I know, that's a lot. But I'm sure you all have lots of things about your kids that you want to remember. They change so quickly! I could write a blog post about them every month and it would probably be different every time. And when they are teenagers and not making it home by curfew, I will remember the simpler times when they loved trains and dinosaurs and monster trucks. These are the golden years!

Easter 2017

I will end with a list of things that they ALL love.

Playing outside. Rocks, sticks, dirt.
Timbits (donut holes from Tim Hortons)
M&M's. Peanut, plain, peanut butter, doesn't matter.
Jumping on the couch cushions. Jumping off of anything.
Bath time (Mommy doesn't like this though...)
Going to visit their grandparents!
Making messes.
Roughhousing with Daddy.
Drinking from Mommy's cup.
YouTube videos.
Their Mommy 💜

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Beauty of a Garbage Disposal and Other Ramblings.

Good morning from New York, where the trees are budding, the daffodils are about to open, it's supposed to hit 70 this weekend, and we have 4 inches of snow on the ground...wait, what? Rightttt, we don't have to deal with hurricanes or tornadoes so we just get this depressing late snowfall.

Anyway, I can't complain at all. I'm sitting here in my warm house with my coffee and my kids are quietly watching Team UmiZoomi and leaving me alone. It's a wonderful moment that will be over shortly, I'm sure. But for now, I will enjoy it and take the time to blog a little.

*stops to meet the demands of her tiny filled sippy cup for Mr. Mav and a banana for Sir Easton while moving Tucker away from the laptop/coffee cup disaster-waiting-to-be*

Where was I? What was I going to even write about today? These preggo symptoms have me struggling to remember my thoughts. The only thing I remember lately is the crazy/violent/terrible dreams I've been having! I'm not a fan.

*stops to remove the fictional "brown spot" on Easton's banana*

I've also been having some annoying leg cramps/restless legs. Doc told me I need more magnesium. Other than that, I'm surviving the pregnancy quite nicely! Baby girl is very active lately and it feels like she's already irritated with her tight spaces. I would think there would be plenty of space in there since the last tenants stretched it out quite a bit. I love feeling her move, though. I'm trying to soak it all up since this may be my last. Maybe. It will be tough to let this part of my life be over with. I so enjoy the process of pregnancy and meeting a new baby. I have a bunch of friends on Facebook who have just had babies these past few weeks and it's just so wonderful! I want all the babies. I can barely deal with the 3 I have now but who cares! (This is the problem when my kids finally start sleeping really well... I think I have superpowers and need all the babies, and then I have the babies and don't have the sleep and I regret my over-zealousness.)

Life is good, though, and I think this baby girl will complete the family.

*Tucker climbs up behind me and starts "rubbing"  and hugging my back... maybe I do need more! Think of all the back rubs they could give! And the dishes! No, Hannah, stop that.* 

I'm anxious to start washing some of her clothes and get things ready for her but I still have 15 weeks to go, and before we do any nursery set up we have to move the 3 boys into a shared room. I haven't quite figured out how that will work, despite my excessive browsing of triple-bunk bed pins on Pinterest. So I've been filling my time with the normal stuff... cleaning up toys I picked up an hour ago, procrastinating laundry, and wiping little noses/butts/faces or whatever happens to be dirty.

One thing I have been enjoying is dishes. Yeah, you read that right. After 4 years of living in this house with a single-basin  kitchen sink and a clunky portable dishwasher that had to be rolled around the kitchen before I could use it, we upgraded! We didn't go crazy (bargain sink and Formica counter tops for the win) but I'm so, so happy. We got rid of the white counter tops and the shallow sink, bought a built in dishwasher, a faucet that doesn't leak, and a garbage disposal!!!

Seriously, people, I had no idea what I was missing with the garbage disposal. I used to loathe cleaning off the kids highchair trays after each meal. Now I just put them in my deep sink, hose them off, and watch all the food scraps go down that wonderful hole and get chopped up. It's beautiful. It's quick. It's painless. I'm in love.

Then I take my dishes and put them in the dishwasher that is RIGHT NEXT TO THE SINK! I know, crazy. There are no soaking wet floors from walking 6 feet with dripping dishes, there is no pushing a giant dishwasher on wheels and hooking it up to my leaky faucet. It's magical.

I will eventually put a before and after picture when we get it all finished. We're still waiting on the island counter top and to put up another cabinet. It's funny because these cabinets came with the house and we painted them and put new hardware on when we bought it. We decided to move the fridge down 18 inches and were joking about how it would be great if we could find a matching cabinet to put above the counter where the fridge was. It just so happens that my parents had the exact same cabinets when I was growing up and happened to save a bunch of them when they remodeled. So, I have a perfectly matching cabinet (once we add some paint of course). I actually made out with more counter space and more cabinet space when I thought I would be losing it with the dishwasher install.

And I have to give honor where honor is due. We didn't spend much on this, I mean like less than two grand for counters, dishwasher, sink, faucet, disposal, and whatever was needed for parts. So of course, we didn't pay for someone to come install it all. My husband and father-in-law busted their butts last weekend working on this. Having a handy husband is AWESOME. And having parents who are smart and willing to give up their Saturday is awesome too.

So anyway, that's my bragging for the day. I figure I won't be leaving the house for like ever after baby girl is born (four kids in four carseats... eww.) so I need to have a kitchen that will be accommodating to the amount of dishes and cleaning I have to do with 4 kids. I'm so happy with our little budget "remodel". Like I said before, I will post a before and after picture eventually. I mean, blue cabinets, white counters, yellow linoleum... 🙈

Happy Friday, everyone!