Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What I Learned in August


Well, I think I learned a couple of things here this past month. Let's see....
1. The happiness that a new Papermate Flair can bring is absurd. 
A friend mentioned this when I shared my OVER THE TOP EXCITEMENT about a new planner and these amazing Summer edition tropical colored pens I happened to find at Kroger. Love me some Papermate Flairs.

2. I can TEAR UP a planner page.  
I used to really want to be one of those washi tape ladies but that's so not my life and I've made my peace with it. Making peace with a lot these days.

3. I also can grow big babies.  
This is a shock given how petite my first two were/are. Turns out our Tiny Girl, as Graves calls her, isn't so tiny. I figured as much since she's moved into a lot of 3-6 mo. things and still nurses ALL the time during the day but the numbers still BLEW MY MIND. She's in the 46th percentile for weight and 87th for height on the WHO charts. I am so thrilled.  

4. I'm the type person who is better functioning in the present when I have a plan for a potential future. I came up with a plan that would allow us to stay in this house without major renovation if we decide to foster/adopt down the road. It's a dream I'm holding loosely, but it helps to dream about a possible future rather than only grieving an impossible one.

5. Homeschooling is going to be very different this year. 
Second grade is different and two school age students is different and having a baby in the mix is different. Even with Peyton's help, it's a little overwhelming! I've GOT to be disciplined with it.

6. My highest priorities still don't need to be academic goals. Watching their momma tend her own mental space is every bit as important as learning to read. And prioritizing relationships is a significant reason we're homeschooling. If Graves doesn't count to ten until he's six, but had a true relationship with his great grandmother in her twilight years, I will claim that a success. And if they know and remember me as being healthy during their childhood, I will claim that success too.

7. Cooking with the big kids isn't nearly as hard nor as frustrating as I had expected.
This is our second week for me to make supper one night with the big kids and it's been suprisingly fun (especially considering that cooking is not my favorite thing in general). We've got some work to do on our lattice, but they've done GREAT.

8. One of the ways my anxiety is manifesting is that sentimental and beautiful things just tear me to pieces. They are such a heavy weight. If you know me well, you know I'm probably one of the most sentimental and nostalgic of all your friends and also that I've basically devoted my life to searching for beauty and documenting it is some way. This was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back as far as getting on medicine. One of the main reasons I wanted to avoid medicating again is because I didn't really experience acute happiness or sadness. But the peeks haven't even all been easy. The really happy things sometimes seem...bittersweet? And if I'm not even experiencing the peaks in healthy ways, that sort of eliminates that reason.

9. Annie is so much like me and routines, and structure, and consistency and LISTS really help her flourish.
I'm so not inherently crafty but I guess back to school has got me feeling the need to pull out my old teacher hat. This has been working smashingly with Annie who is a perfectionist and gets totally overwhelmed by the night party carnage (and who was really protesting the most); Bud still gets distracted and just wants to play until you tell him that media time is starting in five minutes and he'll miss Star Wars and then be does the whole thing like the Road Runner 

10. My kids are so slowwwww. I've been thinking about this a lot later, in respect to homeschooling. In one sense, it's concerning because the world is not going to slow down for them and the end goal (or one of them) is for them to be able to function in it. But in another sense, I really have no desire for them to adopt the pace most of our society functions at, that many in our culture claim is necessary. Like everything, I'm sure there's a balance to be found somewhere. 

11. I love Age Seven.  
I love her heart shorts. I love her Nike's. I love her brown legs. I love how big she is. I love that she's holding a skunk. I just love her so much.

12. I adore that soft, still morning hour where my baby and my middle child both still feel like babies to me.
 Graves often makes his way to our bed in the early morning hours before dawn has broken. And Sarah Lamar likes to cuddle after she eats breakfast around seven or eight. That spot between them is all mine. 

13. We're finally finding our homeschool flow. I feel like this week we've really gotten into a good routine and even been able to start back really being consistent with cooking and cleaning and such.

14.  I feel MUCH better if I have a very bare bones lesson plan sketched out the night before.
Like I mentioned, I thrive when I have a list and when I don't make myself do it, I nearly always regret it.

August was a great month and I'm grateful for all it taught me!


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Weekly Happenings Post #375 ((June 6-12)-- The Arrival of a Sister Baby

Well, this was a fun one to look back on and finish up for sure! A LOT happened this week- we had our first swim meet, had company one night, Cookie and Conrad came into town for her best friend's wedding and WE HAD A BABY!

I woke up feeling not very great on Monday. The kids and Peyton headed to swim practice and I laid back down. I couldn't go back to sleep so I went ahead and took my bath, straightened a little, got on the computer, and made our bed. I just felt terrible. Peyton and the kids got home and they had their media time. I honestly rested most of the morning. We talked some and I texted with a friend and then Peyton played with the kids and I took a nap and had lunch.

 I washed and set up this great playmat thing I loved when Annie and Graves were babies- save all the missing toys and one of the two bars- we found other toys that would work and I was hoping that the the laid back disposition (hahaha) that God used Graves to help develop in me would continue to grow to grow as our family does. Graves put Bathtime Baby (his Ava) in it and also crawled in and demonstrated how he thought she'd laugh and bat the toys. Annie had told me that she couldn't wait to read to the baby a bunch and she was already trying to decide what would be her first books Graves quickly followed by saying he couldn'tto tickle her a bunch but he promised not to touch her booty

Peyton went to swim laps and I straightened around the house and folded and put up a load of laundry. I also hung up a bunch of the kids' clothes that had been building up in our room. I swept the kitchen and consolidated dishes and while I was doing that Graves made a huge mess with baby powder. I was so frustrated. I cleaned it up and read a few blogs and Peyton got home. I had a snack and worked on a post and then we all got ready for the swim meet that evening. Peyton packed a cooler and we got the kids ready and headed to the meet. We had SO much fun.

 So proud of my very own little Briarwood Dolphins. They did great in their first ever swim meet! 

I really did love it but there's no crazy like swim meet crazy, I'm pretty sure. Think this picture embodies it well! 

Annie was on a relay and some of the other little girls could make it across the pool by themselves but she couldn't. At the last minute I heard "Coach Brady" say "someone needs to be in the pool with her!" He was on the other end of the pool and I watched him run toward her end, throw down the crutch he's using for some injury I've yet to figure out, discard the removable brace thing on his leg that he takes off to coach in the pool, and jump in to catch her and help her make it the length of the pool. They were both pretty out of breath by the end of the lap! It was a truly precious moment made infinitely more so because of what a full circle moment it was. Back when I thought Peyton was super old (I mean I was fifteen and he was in college!) and a total nerd, Brady was three and his older brother Charlie (who is the Dolphin's head coach now!) was five and they were literally the cutest little boys I'd ever seen in my life. Because I'm no good at keeping things to myself, I'll even admit that they made me want my own little boy one day and I even toyed with the idea of naming him Charlie. Now they are wonderfully kind college aged grown men who still say "yes ma'am" to me and who are jumping in the pool in a heartbeat to take care of my babies. I'm married to that huge nerd who I always saw enjoying playing with the tiny people at the pool and suspected would be an amazing father and I have my own little Dolphins who (in my biased opinion) rival the King boys in cuteness. I'm (still, ha!) SO hormonal but there are no words to articulate what a special place Briarwood is. I hope Annie and Graves (and Sister Baby) love it as much as we did!

 Additionally, there's a "Coach Annie" who "little Annie" is understandably very fond of. And this guy is quite smitten with Coach Josaline, who he refers to as "Coach Vasaline". Also, he full on sobbed the length of the pool and then told me it was "very fun" and that he was disappointed he only got to swim in one event. The Herringtons feel things very deeply.

A few more of my favorite shots:

We stopped at Bops afterward and got ice cream for a treat and then came home and got the kids settled. We unloaded the car and then I bathed Graves and brushed his teeth (I was planning to help Annie do all that later but she fell asleep a lot faster than usual) and unpacked our bags, cleaned out the cooler, and took out the kitchen trash. I did a ton of dishes and then got on the computer and finished a post. I took a bath and ate something and then read blogs for a bit and went to bed.

Peyton took the kids to swim practice again and I slept in a bit on Tuesday. I got up around nine and texted Peyton's mom (she had texted to check on us for a baby update). I sent a friend a FB message and read some blogs and messaged another friend. I talked to Minnie on the phone, had breakfast, and started some laundry. Peyton and the kids stopped by to get some pencils and paper they had forgotten and then headed to nature journal with the homeschool group. I made my list for the day, took my bath, and made up our bed. I straightened our room and put batteries in a sound machine.

Peyton and the kids got home and we talked and they had lunch. I ate something and read a few blogs and worked on a post and then I got ready to go to my OB appointment. It actually went pretty quickly. I stopped at Walgreens on the way home to pick up some make up and a few things Peyton needed to make muffins. I visited with the pharmacist and another friend I ran into and headed home. I just got so emotional when I got home- the house seemed crazy and Peyton was having the kids clean up but not the way I like and had moved some of my stuff around and then Annie said something that was actually very sweet and I just lost it. They had made muffins and Peyton found a little bear mold he suggested they use and she said I could have the bear muffin "since I didn't get my treat after the OB". I just lost it I thought it was so sweet. I got myself settled down and sort of redid my list for the rest of the day. Peyton and I discussed it and Annie and Graves did a craft.

 The receptionist at the OB asked if there was "just one in there". The receptionist! At the OBSTETRICS CLINIC. Surely she's seen more outlandish things. Good grief. She then refereed to Sister Baby as a linebacker. Grrr...

Peyton cooked supper and I texted with a friend and made some notes on my phone and then I worked on putting the kids' sheets back on their beds (they had made "tents" earlier in the week) and straightening up a few other things. We all ate outside and then I came in and cleaned the kids' bathroom, dusted, organized some books, swept under their beds, and vacuumed. I put up library books and got some clothes put up in their dresser. Peyton bathed the kids and got them ready for bed and I got on the computer and started some laundry.

Peyton tucked Graves in and he and Annie went to the grocery store. I finished cleaning up the kitchen. Peyton had cleaned up most of it but I got the trash and recycling together, swept and cleaned of the table from the craft project the kids did earlier, and did some dishes. I folded and mostly put up a load of laundry and then read a few blogs. Peyton and Annie got home and I had a snack with them. I had some contractions but they fizzled out. I read blogs a bit more and then put up some of the groceries Peyton had left out and folded some clean towels. I dusted in the study, den, and our bedroom and emptied the study and guest bathroom trash. I had a snack and went to bed.

We skipped swim team on Wednesday so we could all get a bit of extra sleep.

still the baby at that point
We were meeting friends at the pool and then having company that night. I actually got up first and finished a blog post and went through my email and reader. I sent a friend a FB message and then had breakfast and took my bath. I dusted the fan in our room and made the bed and Peyton put some stuff in the attic and vacuumed in the den and study, our bedroom, and the guest bathroom while the kids had breakfast. I cleaned the guest bathroom and we got our stuff together and headed to the pool around eleven. We met Carrie and her big kids there (Francie was at school) and stayed for about an hour and a half. Peyton swam some laps and I visited with Carrie and another friend, Megan. We ran by the grocery store to pick up a few last minute things on the way home.

I started some laundry and sat down for a minute and made a fresh list and got to work. Peyton ran an errand and I put up the groceries, scrubbed the kitchen  counters, cleaned off and wiped down the table, cleaned up the mess I made when I broke a clay magnet off the fridge, and did dishes and scrubbed the bathroom floor. I vacuumed and mopped the kitchen and sunroom floor. The kids had a snack and I got to work making a desert. Peyton got home and I changed over the laundry and scrubbed a chair cushion Graves had gotten strawberries all over. Peyton added an extra layer to the dessert and I washed the dishes we had used and then took a quick bath. Minnie dropped by unexpectedly and I visited with her a bit. I made the lime dressing for the tacos we were having that night and and started making some slaw and guacamole. Peyton cut up a watermelon and the kids played outside. I got dressed and ready and finished up the guacamole while Peyton helped me chop up some cabbage to finish making the slaw.

 These two having a "feast".

Owen arrived and I cooked the fish and we ate outside.

 Have I mentioned I love Summer food? I made our new favorite fish tacos; plus some guacamole; and fresh watermelon, peaches, and avocado. Peyton cooked corn on the cob on the grill and we sprinkled powdered Parmesan on it. And I made that insanely easy store bought cake/instant pudding/strawberry/cool whip dessert. So good, so easy! Also, my BFF (who is actually so good at cooking/entertaining/homemaker stuff, unlike myself) told me I was either crazy or super woman for having guests over the day before my due date.

It was really nice and we got to visit a good bit. We ate dessert and then came in and visited some more. Owen left around ten and we got the kids to bed. Peyton fell asleep and I read some blogs and did a bunch of dishes. I got my clothes together for the next day and went to bed really late.

Thursday was fun but I was so tired. We got up and all hustled to get ready and head to swim team. I brought some stuff and during the practice Peyton and I discussed what our upcoming homeschool routine would look like. After swim team, we all had breakfast at Broadstreet and then went by Buffalo Peak to look for a backpack for Annie. We came back to the pool and let the kids play on the playground until it officially opened at eleven and then we meet Carrie and her big kids again to swim for a couple of hours. We got home around one thirty and the kids had lunch and some media time. I got on the computer and went through my email and reader and sent a Facebook message and started a post. Around three something, I made a list and took a bath.

I had such a bad headache and I thought the bath would help. I still felt terrible. I dried my hair, ate something, and rested for a good bit.  I finally got up and started laundry and straightened some. I fixed the kids supper and had a snack and did some dishes. We all went for a late walk to the park and came back and put the kids right to bed. Peyton made us a salad and we watched an SVU and I fell back asleep.

 I told Peyton we probably should just live in a studio apartment since Graves winds up between us half the time, Annie's taken to sleeping in my grandmother's old "love chair", and Sister Baby will be in the PnP. Also, Annie sleeps in her swimsuit most nights because she's NOT a morning person and she likes to take care of as much as possible the night before. Also fun: when a friend who lives in your neighborhood messages you to say they saw your husband and seven year old taking a walk at ten pm.

I got up at five in the morning on Friday and ate a snack and did a few things and went back to bed until seven thirty. We got up and got ready for swim team and fixed our hair crazy for crazy hair day and even took our family picture. During swim team, Peyton and I had another "meeting". This time we both made to-do lists for each other.

 Crazy Hair Day at swim team and y'all, Graves decided the best kind of crazy hair would be BODY HAIR. Also, the kids swam with a friend who is much more proficient and the peer pressure was SO good for them. Annie swam in the twelve foot deep end- two weeks ago she wouldn't let P take his hands off her in the four foot area. And sweet Graves was the Dolphin of the Week.

We stopped by the bank on the way home to cash a check and then the kids had media time and Peyton relaxed and I ran to Target for something. I was having some contractions in the store so I came on home and ate something.

 I went to Target in stubby pigtails and Peyton's Snoopy shirt. Winning.
The kids played in the kiddie pool outside and I got on the computer. I went through my reader, checked email, responded to some FB messages, and uploaded pictures from my phone and backed them up. I started laundry and fixed the kids and myself grilled cheeses and then did a bunch of dishes and folded some towels. I changed over the laundry and talked to Peyton and then he vacuumed out the car and bathed the kids while I responded to some more sweet texts and Facebook messages.

We got ready and ran by the bank again to deposit a check we had forgotten on the first trip and then we picked up a couple of things from Peyton's parents' house. We headed over to my parents' house. We saw Cookie and Conrad for a few minutes while they were getting ready for the rehearsal and then we just visited and ate supper. We left pretty early and ran by Academy Sports and Walmart to look for swimsuits for the kids and  then came home and got them to bed. I texted my sister in law, read some blogs, and wrote a post. I had a snack and went to bed.

Peyton was off on Saturday due to a miscommunication. He had asked his boss to have some back up lined up for the weekend and they just went ahead and covered the shift. Anyway, it ended up being a nice fun day all together. We got up and I was all sorts of edgy but I took my bath and got on the computer for a bit and Peyton fixed some muffins and tea and I felt better.

 They werelready spinning the party light.  And who knew sinus pressure sucks harder than 4 cm, +1 station baby pressure??

As I mentioned, there was a miscommunication when Peyton asked his boss to have some backup lined up for this weekend and the scheduler just got him off for that day (it was a "great mistake" according to Annie). Voluntary Simplicity made it possible for him to only have to work SEVEN days that month. It was so amazing having him here with us so much. Even on the hard days, I do really love this life that we've carved out for ourselves and that God has generously given us.

I made a list for the day. The kids played a good bit by themselves and we just talked a bunch. I collected laundry, put up and washed a few dishes, and made ours and the kids beds. I swept some in the laundry room and cleaned up a sticky spot in the kitchen and around noon we headed to the pool.

It was sprinkling when we got there and we probably got twenty minutes in and it thundered. Peyton got to swim some laps but he was dissapointed he had to stop because he was doing so well. And the kids were actually not TOO upset to leave (maybe because we had been living at the pool). We ran a couple of errands- to Old Navy for that bathing suit and to the farmer's market near our house. We went and got sno cones and then headed home. The kids played and Peyton worked outside and I got on the computer for a bit. I read some blogs and then I rested on the couch a little. I got up and Peyton went to do some recycling and pick up something from the grocery store. The kids rode their bikes and I cooked a good bit.

Some days, I are for laying on the couch and gestating. Some days are for making peach cobbler, guacamole, and pomegranate pops.

Peyton fixed the kids supper and I did a ton of dishes and swept the kitchen. We got them settled and then I got on the computer again. I did English with Annie and read blogs and started a post and then ate something. While I was eating, I started having some pretty hard contractions. I timed them and realized this was probably it! I had hoped and prayed SO HARD that I'd have the baby while Cookie was in town. It was past midnight at that point and I was glad Peyton had gotten a couple of hours of sleep. I woke him up and he sort of freaked out. He called his dad to come over and watch the kids. I was glad they were already asleep. His dad got to our house and we had been getting stuff together so we left immediately.

Here's where it gets SO crazy. We drove to the hospital and my contractions tappered off a bit and then picked up. When we were almost at the hospital, the car totally messed up. The clutch stopped working at a light. He called his dad and tried to figure out what to do. Finally he was able to jam it into first gear and then second and somehow we coasted to the hospital, not even stopping at red lights. We made it and got checked in and I was having BAD contractions. They took awhile to check me but when they finally did I was at a six. We texted Cookie and Carrie. Carrie decided not to come since it was so late and Cookie was here. Cookie and Minnie headed over. I was in this admitting/observational room and after that they quickly sent me upstairs. I was really glad to get in a real room and get settled. The contractions picked up and were super hard. Cookie arrived and I was so happy to see her. I've written out all the details of the labor, but I worked on getting sweet Sarah Lamar here from about one thirty to four. That seems SO short now but it was a HARD three hours, counting that anxiety inducing ride and the frustrating check in.  At one point Peyton left to get the car towed.

I nursed Sallie and she did so wonderfully and stayed on for maybe half an hour. The wonderful thing, as I've said, about natural birth is the way your body goes right back to normal. After they sewed up my tear, I went to the bathroom and got dressed and headed to a recovery room quickly. It was REALLY nice to get settled there. I felt great and they took the baby to the nursery to get the rest of her antibiotics and we rested some. That was probably around five.

We got up around seven on Sunday and talked and I nursed the baby and then we went back to sleep until maybe nine. We finally named her and took a picture with the iPhone and put it on Facebook.


 Peyton ran to get some snacks for both of us and they brought my breakfast up. I ate and we just hung out and watched TV. I took a bath around eleven and Mickey came by for a visit. I nursed Sallie again and Peyton and I talked and then his mom picked him up and took him to their house so he could get the kids and borrow a car for a couple of days. I enjoyed my afternoon alone with our New Girl. I took a lot of pictures and texted some friends and Cookie and Minnie. I made a bunch of notes on my phone for the birth story post. I got on Facebook some and she ate several times.

58th percentile and she was nursing like a CHAMP and was super low key and loved to snuggle.

Around six, Peyton brought the big kids to meet their sister. They had a great little visit and headed home for the night.

 Introductions. Annie was intrigued. Graves was smitten. Babykins was blowing bubbles. Also, maybe I shouldn't have been so offended by the receptionist who said Sister Baby was going to be a linebacker.

 Graves told Peyton in the parking lot as they were leaving that he "missed da baby". Then when Peyton offered them unlimited screen time because he was so tired and really hadn't had a chance to recover from from the night before Graves said "well, you know what's funnner than lots of TV? That baby!". Annie told us that she read in a book that newborns can only see about twelve inches in front of them so we should probably get close to her when we talk to her. She also said "My name is Ann Peyton but I like it when people call me Annie. But you probably won't be able to call me anything for awhile. And she told me that Sallie's hair feels like a kitty cat's fur.

I fed the baby again and watched some TV. I called Minnie and we talked for awhile and then we got settled.


 Settling in for the night. Or the next two hours. Whichever. I've had a little bit of strong pain tonight for the first time since the delivery (again, what I LOVE about natural birth is that I was talking and laughing as they were stitching my tear and up and walking- and back in my gym shorts- within ten minutes) but once the pregnancy and birth were behind us, there wasn't a single part of this I didn't love. I was soaking it all in!

I slept some and she did great through the night mostly. She did have a hard stretch around midnight. I looked over my email and read a few blogs, typed up my happenings for the past day, and wrote a short post at around two in the morning.

I feel a little more caught up (even though I'm still ten weeks behind now!) now that we're not in pre-Sallie land anymore! 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Weekly Happenings Post #374 (May 3- June 5) -- Swim Team Starts!!!

 (Funny Hair Day at swim team!!!)

This was the last full week before Sister came! 

Monday was Memorial Day. The kids and I got up and Peyton had been up for awhile.

What a nice surprise! Peyton was finally done with all his extra shifts and he made my favorite blueberry muffins and fixed a backyard picnic!

 Do you know the muffin man?

We all ate and enjoyed it so much. I brought everything in and Peyton did dishes and the kids played outside. I came in and took my bath. I collected laundry and striped our bed and started a load and then I made up the kids' beds and straightened some and got some things together to take to my parents' that afternoon. Peyton left to go swim laps and the kids had some media time. I got on the computer and when Peyton got back we played pretend a bit and I put up dishes and folded laundry. We got ready and headed over to my parents' house.

We got there around two and left about seven. My dad grilled and I took a nice nap. We fed the kids supper and bathed Graves before we left. Annie took her bath when we got home.

 Amazingly, Peyton got all the seats to fit in the Mazda!

 Graves told us that when the baby gets here we better not let her play in the gravel pile at Minnie's because there are some tiny rocks in there and she could swallow them and it could "break her windpipe". Of course, then tonight he took the top of his flashlight and put it in a bath tub full of water.

I was feeling pretty rough and just laid on the couch and watched TV for a while. I finally got up and did math with Annie and did a few other things. I straightened some and scrubbed the tub (it needed it!) and went to bed.

We all got up early on Tuesday and got ready for swim team. I actually felt pretty put together. We had such a fun first day and I had a great time visiting with some other mommas. We came home and the kids got a little "first day" happy and then they had some media time. I rested and then worked on a post, went through my reader, and had lunch while Peyton watched a movie. 

  It's hysterical to me that Peyton found this because he's notorious for unintentionally offending people online.

I put the sheets on our bed (Peyton had slept in his sleeping bag and I'd slept on the sofa the night before) and then got ready and headed to my OB appointment. It wasn't as long as the time before, but I felt pretty rough. I finished up and ran by Sonic for a drink. When I got home, Peyton and I talked and then we headed over to his parents' house to visit. We got home and Peyton fed the kids supper and made something for me. I fell asleep super early and then woke back up and did math with Annie. Peyton and I talked and then I got on the computer for a bit and looked at blog backgrounds for June.

We all got up early again on Wednesday and headed to the pool. I got up early enough to have time to go through my reader and make ours and the kids' beds.

 June!!! I was so excited for it to be baby month!

Peyton cooked more muffins and we hit the road. The kids had a great practice and we came home and played some.

 These two had their second day of "swimming team" as Graves says and they loved it! 

 It's rare she's the one initiating the hugs!
They watched their shows and I had a snack and Peyton and I started working on a labor playlist. I folded some laundry and started a load. Peyton fed the kids lunch and then took them to the grocery store. I scrubbed the counters and swept and then ate my lunch. I started having some strong but irregular contractions. I laid down on the couch and the kids and Peyton got home. We talked and I took a little nap. I took a bath and Peyton had supper ready so we ate around five thirty.

 As I told a friend, he's rude and dense (re:offending people online), but he makes damn good muffins so I think I'll keep him! He also grilled this great spread and had been SO sweet about telling me to take it easy and not worry about getting anything done (which if you know him, is really out of character- he likes us ALL to work hard)

Peyton was going to swim laps at the Y and the kids wanted to go too but then we decided it would be easier (because of weird family swim hours) to just go to Briarwood. We got ready and headed there and had SO much fun. They were playing music and we ran into some friends and visited the whole time.

We got home and the kids played a bit and Peyton cooked kale and cleaned up the kitchen. I wrote a letter and put it in the mailbox, wrapped a little happy for Peyton, emailed him some pictures off my phone, and then worked on my header. I finished it just as Peyton finished up and we got our stuff together and headed to Minnie's to camp out. When we got there, Peyton got the tent set up and he and Graves got settled. Annie stayed in the house with me a bit and did math. We finished the LAST lesson!
 This might have been the biggest undertaking I wanted to accomplish before the baby got here. It was a bit of a labor of love lately. We've switched curriculums and it's a much better fit. This was a grit your teeth thing for both of us. And her favorite time to do it was late at night after Graves fell asleep. Which, I really don't blame her. And it IS easier. But I had gotten to where I  was either ready to go straight to sleep or just so touched out and in need of a break. BUT, we did it! She told Minnie how she had finished this curriculum and helped us pick (from among predetermined choices) the one for the coming year. Peyton asked me at the beginning of the pregnancy when I was having a really hard time what I'd do if I had a full time job outside the home. It really hurt my feelings but it also made me think. And now I have my answer. I'd show up in exactly the same way I showed up for her at ten and eleven at night, sometimes pushing ourselves to fit in two lessons, not putting it off except on the very hardest days. And I'd try to have the same patience with my students that I've struggled to find for her this year in this area. Praise God another year of math is in the books! 

Cookie and Conrad were staying over night (part of the reason for our visit) on the way to Baton Rouge for a wedding and they got there as we were finishing up. I let Annie visit with them a bit and then Mickey took her down to the tent with the boys. Cookie and I stayed up late talking and I had some more contractions.

We got up pretty early (6:30!) on Thursday because Graves woke up with the sunshine. I laid around for awhile and then got ready for the day. We visited a little more and I took a bath and we headed to swim team at eight. They timed the kids and Graves had a hard time because he was freezing cold and Annie had a hard time because she got scared of the deep water. But they did great! We came home and they played Legos and had media time. Peyton mowed the yard and I went through my reader and read some blogs and started two posts. I messaged with a friend on Facebook and then folded some laundry, straightened a bit, and got ready for lunch.

Peyton's parents got here to keep the kids and we headed to Walker's for lunch. SO, so amazing. We stopped in our friend Patrick's store on the way back. When we got home, we visited some with Peyton's parents and then they left and the kids played. I rested and worked on my labor playlist. Our neighbor came over and Peyton visited with him awhile. Annie got out stuff to fix their own super and I helped her heat up what she needed. After that, Peyton ran to the library and I straightened some around the house. Peyton got home and played with the kids and read to them and got them to bed. I had a snack and got on the computer. I worked on two posts and finished both of them and started some laundry.

I finished making the birth playlist, completed the sections I wanted to in the Bradley book, and in forty eight hours we'd been to Briarwood four times (would've been five but there were thunderstorms last night!). I also designed my June header and churned out two blog posts- including that month's goals- that I really wanted to get finished. We were MORE than ready for that baby!

Peyton and Annie went for a walk and I finished up on the computer. They got home and I read a bunch and straightened some and went to bed.

 My rings took a lot longer to stop fitting this time (shocking because I gained the weight a ton faster). Anyway, I absolutely LOVED wearing this simple gold band that belonged to some relative of Minnie's (maybe to my great grandmother Vada, whose name is back on the list!) and that she gave me when I was pregnant with Graves. Also: Captain America and Spider-Man.

We got up super late for swim team on Friday and I decided not to go. Peyton hustled and got the kids ready and they left. I went back to sleep and that was a nice treat. I got up before they got home and had a muffin and got on the computer. They got home and I straightened a bit, collected laundry, and took a bath. The kids had media time and Peyton and I chatted. I started a load of wash and backed up some pictures from the big camera to the hard drive. I folded and put up a good bit of laundry and Peyton did dishes while the kids played outside. I was having a ROUGH time just walking around so I laid down and took a nap for an hour. I got back on the computer and Pocketed some things to read later and uploaded and backed up some pictures from my phone. We got ready to go to my parents' house early so Peyton could give my dad and grandmother a TDAP vaccination. We picked it up at a Walgreens on the way and headed over. Annie fell asleep in the car. We made it there and Peyton gave Mickey and Grandee the shots and Minnie and I talked a bunch. We all ate and I rested some more and then I bathed Graves and we came home. The kids played some and I unloaded the car and unpacked some stuff. I got on the computer and then I went through some boxes in the study. One had a bunch of baby clothes in it and I sorted what I wanted to keep for this Winter, sell, or send to my parents' storage unit for later. The other had some stuff Minnie had sent home with us and I went through it and consolidated it into a pile and took a basket I had put some baby toys/lovies in to the kids' room. I made a list for the next day and went to bed.

 Sister Baby wasn't ready to join the night parties!

I got up feeling relatively normal on Saturday. I was a little disappointed, but mostly glad. I just didn't want to be in pain and miserable when I had the kids all day for twelve hours by myself.  We all got up pretty late and Graves and I had breakfast and then Annie got up and she and Graves had media time. I got on the computer and went through my email and reader and started a post and then I made up our bed and straightened some in our room, the bathrooms, and in the study. I texted with Cookie and Carrie a bit and then hopped in the tub. Annie finally had breakfast around lunch time and I fed the cats and started some laundry. I put up a few dishes (Peyton had been really helpful with keeping up with washing them) and scrubbed down the counters and cleaned off the kitchen table. I also needed to put up some stuff my mom had given me in our "party cabinet" (where we keep sprinkles, candles, paper products, balloons and such) and so I did that and actually organized it a bit.

The kids had a snack and then had rest time and I read a few blogs and had my lunch. Then I got to work organizing our homeschool stuff for the upcoming year.

 Sister Baby ws still wanting to hang out on the inside a bit longer but I finally felt much better after a challenging week and a really difficult day the day before. Soooo....I'm got to work getting another thing checked off! I got the kindergarten and second grade curriculum that had been being delivered over the last few weeks organized and put up in our school area and boxed up the stuff we don't need from last year to send to the attic.

When rest time was over Annie read to me and Graves some from a magazine and then they wanted an early supper since we had ended up having brunch and a big snack. I fixed their supper and folded some bath towels and beach towels. I washed a bunch of dishes and then scrubbed the counters that weren't clear earlier. I folded more laundry and then swept the kitchen and took out the recycling. The kids played and I folded some dish towels. I got them ready for bed and they played in their room and I got on the computer for a bit. Peyton called and told me our friend Rob was stopping by. Peyton got home and we visited a bit and the kids talked to him and then Rob got here. We had a great visit and he left around ten thirty. Peyton and I talked a bit and then he went to bed. Annie wanted to do English and I did a tiny bit with her and then read some more blogs. I worked on finishing organizing the school stuff and went to bed way too late.

 Finished! 2016-2017 homeschool organization!

Peyton got up and headed to work and Graves got up around nine (we had decided not to go to church this close to my due date because I didn't want Peyton stuck in Clinton without the car). I was going to turn on his movie and go back to sleep but Annie woke up too and tripped on a clothes hanger and got hurt. I got her a cold pack and she got in bed with me for a few minutes. She and Graves had their media time and Graves took a break for breakfast. I got on the computer and made the bed and then took my bath. Annie had her breakfast and then the kids played Legos. I collected laundry and started a load and then laid down for a bit while they played. When I got up, I ate my lunch and worked on setting up this playmat thing from the attic and realized I didn't have all the parts. I ended up going up to the attic and looking for the little toy attachments, which I couldn't find anywhere. I got down a couple of other toys, though, and decided maybe we'd keep another playmat I'd been meaning to sell and sort of got everything organized. I also realized that the playmat needed washing so I did that. The kids had lunch and I cut up a cantaloupe and visited with them a bit and changed over my laundry. I did dishes and then they played some more and I searched for a bathing suit of Annie's that was missing, talked to Peyton on the phone, and texted with a neighbor. I got the last thing in the kids' room I wanted to sort through- a frog hanger that we throw tons of random toys in- organized and then played with them a bit.

The kids had rest time and I got on the computer a bit but mostly rested myself. I felt pretty rough. After that, I put together the playmat thing and put the aquarium soother on the crib and we cleaned up their room a bit. I had a snack and fixed their supper and then we finished cleaning up their room. I got them settled and then Peyton got home with Newks. We watched a show and I fell asleep. I woke back up and got on the computer and did a few things and had a snack. I went to bed late again but I had taken about three naps.