Saturday, January 23, 2016

Weekly Happenings Post #351 (December 14-20)-- Bike Rides and a Bit of Grown Up Time

This was a fun week that was a good mix of busy, productive, and chill. I was still getting sick alot, but looking back I feel like I managed to do alright!

Monday was a busy, fun day. I got up around nine and had a little breakfast and got ready for an MDO ornament swap. I was all dressed and then I threw up. Ugh. So gross. I was so tired of it. I pulled it together and left a little late but I enjoyed the fun party. I stopped at Hobby Lobby and Kroger on the way home and when I got home, I visited with Peyton and the kids and relaxed a little. I did math with Annie and Peyton hung the outside lights and I folded some laundry. 

Peyton and I got ready and we dropped the kids off at my parents and went to the MPhA Christmas party. 

I was sure looking forward to the next week being mainly focused on being with our families, but this week provided a couple of opportunities for me and Peyton to spend some grown up time together and I'm really grateful for that, too. [Also, I still occasionally wear things that are not "loungewear".]

That said, these two are pretty fabulous.

We had a really fun time and picked up the kids around nine thirty. We got home and got them to bed and I fell asleep really soon after that.

Tuesday was another full day. I got up and took my bath and then worked really hard organizing and going through stuff in the sunroom. I also got most of the Christmas boxes consolidated and ready to go back to the attic. We got stuff together and ran by the bank and dropped the kids off at Peyton's parents and headed up to Pontotoc to get a swing/bed I found on Craigslist. We stopped at Newks and ate lunch. We had a lot fun just getting to visit in the car but it was a pretty long trip (about three hours). I think we only stopped once. We met the guy at Walmart and picked up the swing and got back on the road. We stopped a couple of times for the bathroom and dropped the truck off at our house and took Peyton's brother's car that we'd been using back to Peyton's parents. We picked up the kids and Graves fell asleep on the way home. Annie and Peyton followed shortly after him and I wasn't too far behind.

Peyton worked on Wednesday and he went in early. Graves got up around eight thirty and told me he was cold, hungry, and his head hurt. I could relate on every count. We snuggled, he ate breakfast, and we snuggled some more. He got Annie up around nine something and they watched their shows and she had breakfast while I did some computer stuff and had my breakfast and made up the bed and took a bath. We all got ready and I took them for a bike ride.
 Grandpa Randy had taken them on a walk the day before and they were insistent we go on one and then that quickly turned into a bike ride. It was actually drizzling part of the time, but it was so good for all of us!

When we got home, they ate lunch and I collected and started laundry. They had rest time and for some reason, it was ROUGH. I ate my lunch, read blogs, changed over laundry, started a post, texted a friend and FB messaged another friend. Peyton got home and we ALL worked really hard on sort of reorganizing the kids' toys. We put up some to go to the attic, some in the closet, and some to go back to Minnie's where they came from. It was really good to get that done but it took AWHILE. I read the kids their Advent reading and brushed and flossed them and then Peyton played with them some. I got on the computer and read some more blogs and finished up a post.

Recently, the kids were cleaning their room and I was redirecting and reminding Graves of a specific task for the third time. "Annie distracted me" he said and sighed. And then Annie goes "Gosh momma, it must be SO hard to be Graves and get distracted all the time". Yep. And also so hard to be his momma. And yours, too.  [Photo credit for this one goes to Annie.]     

Thursday was kind of a rough day, to be honest. It started off fine. Peyton got up with the kids and I slept a little late. He cooked breakfast and his parents came over so his dad could help him unload the swing off the truck. I got up and they stayed and visited a bit. I took my bath and got on the computer and then made a phone call and texted with a friend. I had lunch, washed a bunch of dishes, and then did math with AP.
"Hey look I made that space thing we read about last night". We've slowed down a bit these last couple of months, but amazing things are happening at the Schoolhouse in the Suburbs (especially in science, which is the one area that is exclusively Peyton's domain!).

Peyton fixed the kids lunch and I took a pretty long nap. I got up and we talked and then he got ready to go to the new Star Wars movie. I read to the kids for almost an hour and did their Advent readings. I fixed them supper and they ate and I vacuumed the pine needles off the rug in the den and out from under the couch cushions. I changed over the laundry and then played with the kids. They took a bath and I did dishes and then read some blogs and wrote a post.

Graves and bath time baby (who is currently dried out and functioning as a regular baby doll). That day sort of kicked my butt, physically and emotionally. But then I kicked its back. I think I've done a pretty good job griping about how sick I've been, but I can't even articulate the place this pregnancy has put me in emotionally- at one point that week, I walked into my parents' house and I teared up and told my mom "Y'all's food smells so good. I wish I had never had to leave". Um, what??? I took a two hour nap that afternoon and got my priorities in line: feed, bathe, and Advent them while Peyton was at Awakening the Force or whatever. As an unexpected bonus I also got the pine needles vacuumed off the den floor and out of the couch. Setting the bar reasonable helps. Anyway, if I'm super honest sometimes I struggle if this was the right decision- we're so far away from the baby stage and this has been so hard (which is crazy talk because I wanted this baby so desperately). But I know when I hold this sweet Babykins #3 in my arms for the first time, I won't question it at all. In the meantime, I need little reminders and God usually uses this guy to send them to me. He's been a wonderful little brother but it would be a cryin' shame for him not to get to be a big brother at least once.

I slept pretty late on Friday. The kids woke up around nine something and Graves wanted me to help him find a toy and then fix another one that had popped apart. I did that and he played for a good bit and then I got up and fixed the kids breakfast and and got on the computer and did a few things. I ate my breakfast and took a bath and then the kids and I worked on this bouncy door thing for the baby. I wanted to take the fabric part off but it turned out I needed a screwdriver and Peyton's toolbox was in the attic. I got it and finished that "project" and then took the kids on a little bike ride.
A much prettier day for a bike ride. Also, Annie loves to pattern mix- polka dots and stripes on her dress, hearts on her socks, and more polka dots on her leggings.

They had lunch and I started some laundry and put up dishes and then it was rest time.

We needed to go to the grocery store, but Annie was excited.

I ate my lunch, read some blogs, and worked on a post. After rest time, I did math with AP. 
Annie is starting to develop strategies herself that help her get through math and I told her how proud I was of her for calming down (she was in tears) and figuring out ways to help herself be successful. She gets so overwhelmed. Which is so, so me. I gave her this worksheet and it WAS a lot of problems, but when we were practicing it she was doing them super fast. In fact, she had basically moved herself ahead to the next day's lesson and was doing them in her head after just the first couple. I was super proud because the book had them like putting the first addend on the abacus and mentally doing the second and she was just doing the entire thing in her head. Anyway, then we got to the worksheet and she was like "THIS IS TOO LONG". We finally got through it but it took some discussing. [Sidenote: for those of you who compliment me on my patience and thoughtful parenting, I was telling a friend recently that usually being really gentle and hand holding works best with Annie. And I did okay, but I was super close to LOOSING IT. This is different with Graves, especially now that he's really at the point where we can reason with him and I feel like he understands a lot more that his actions have consequences. Although he loves and REALLY benefits from lots of praise and physical affection and that's a big part of parenting him, I'm also really trying to buckle down with him and be KIND but FIRM. Honestly, if I don't, I end up loosing my temper and just being downright mean to him. Which is unfair to him. With Annie, I certainly think she needs boundaries, but I think a more gentle approach works better for her and sometimes what works with Graves really just exacerbates the situation with her.] Back to math-- after discussing and discussing she finally did the first four in less than two minutes. The very next thing she did was divide the rest of the problems into (manageable) sets of fours. I love seeing her and Graves grow and mature, figuring out what works for each of them, and watching them figure things out themselves.

Peyton got home and played with Graves while Annie finished and I did dishes.

We got ready and left and went over to my parents' house for supper. We ate and the kids played a bit and then we came home. Peyton went right to bed and the kids played some and then fell asleep. I finished reading some blogs and writing my post and I emailed a friend.
Sweet Annie Girl. I haven't mentioned it (I don't think) but she's been struggling with some insomnia. Hard for a six year old. She's always taken a LONG time to fall asleep, but lately it's started to bother her. I know the problem is that she's just like me and has trouble "turning off her mind". Minnie used to sit in my room for HOURS talking to me and trying to get me to relax. (I'm so, so thankful it's less anxiety for her and more just trying to slow her little brain down.) Graves and Peyton are the exact opposite. He falls asleep with a toy in his hand mid play, most of the time. And Peyton has literally been known to fall asleep during conversations with friends and at CEASARS PALACE in Las Vegas. That night, she played and read a ton of library books and the I resorted to getting puzzles out and then busted out Where's Waldo. ["Get in the bed and close your eyes and count sheep, think happy thoughts, ect." results in more stress. We've tried it. Trust.] I love how she's perched on her little stool hunting him.

 Minnie had a special present for Annie. This beautiful little bird was damaged at Batte and she brought it home and repaired it and gave it to AP. At first, Annie decided we'd put it in the shadow box in their room with their other breakable treasures (there are two LARGE shadow boxes in our house, one in the den and one in the master; I've always just ignored them but awhile back we decided to use the one in the kids' room for soccer trophies and such- basically important things that Graves might break). But then she decided last night she needed her bird closer. I tried to find a safer spot but she insisted her bathroom drawer (which to be fair, is one of a few areas Graves is not supposed to bother) was the perfect spot. This morning however she has her out and they are both carrying her around. I'm pretty sure she and I have both given Graves clear instructions on being careful but I also told Annie I would not punish him if the bird accidentally got broken. She gushes to me every few days about what "a good papa" he is to Midnight the Owl and honestly we are going to HAVE to start teaching our wild boy some more restraint in just a few months anyway. Hopefully, this will just be the beginning of loving things (and you know, people) GENTLY for him.

Saturday was a pretty good day, but it started off rough. Both the kids slept super late but when we woke up I felt TERRIBLE. I had a lot of sinus drainage and threw up as soon as I could get to the bathroom. I fixed the kids breakfast and laid back down. They watched their shows and I got on the computer and took a bath and ate my breakfast. I still felt so sick and so I took the second half of my nausea pill (they make me so tired so I try to take only half when I can). Well, it made me SO sleepy. I collected laundry and started a new load and the kids played with some instruments. Graves decided to play this little game where I'd tell him a bug and he'd use his fingers to be the bug crawling on me. We did ladybugs and ants and bubble bees and then it became more all encompassing and we were doing animals with hoofs and claws. Ha. Annie read some and they played and then I fixed them lunch. I changed over the laundry and brought a load to our room. I sorted it and got things laid flat so it wouldn't wrinkle and then put up dishes in the kitchen. The kids had rest time and I ate my lunch, read some blogs, and rested too. I fixed them a snack and while they ate I folded a bunch of their clothes. They cleaned up their room and I put up the clothes and hung up some others. We did their Advent reading and I read to them about Florida Panthers and then we played. They ate supper and I did dishes and then I let them watch the Christmas Charlie Brown while I addressed Christmas cards. It took the whole movie but I finished about the time it was over. They went to bed and Peyton got home. We ate supper and talked and I folded a bit more and got on the computer.

This was discouraging. I'm ALWAYS behind but usually not by this much. I had our cards (mostly) addressed but I still had make copies of the letter at Office Depot. Which wouldn't be terrible but I found two typos. Which also wouldn't be terrible but we have no functional printer right now so I had to print it at my parents' house. I was thinking I might just correct it with a sharpie before I make the copies.

We all got up and got ready and dropped Peyton off at work on Sunday. We ate breakfast and Graves needed to use the potty so we ran into Walgreens. We visited some with Peyton and the night pharmacist and got things taken care of and finished our cereal in the car. The kids had such fun in Sunday School and church was really nice. We got home and they watched their shows. I put up our clothes and made a grilled cheese. They had lunch and I worked on a post. During rest time I read some blogs and took a nap. After rest time, I unpacked our church stuff and straightened some and then we did our Advent reading and played pretend. I fixed them supper and did dishes and folded some towels. We picked up Peyton and I had run over something on The Trace. He aired up the tire and we ran my my parents' to copy our Christmas letter a second time. We got home and I put up some groceries Peyton had bought and ate supper. I worked on my finances and planned the next day a bit. Graves had fallen asleep in the car and AP had too but she woke up. Peyton read to her some. I sent an email, caught up on more blogs, and started another post. I folded some more laundry and went to bed.

Next up, Christmas!

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