Friday, December 23, 2016

Weekly Happenings Post #384 (August 8-14)-- Another Trip to Granny's (This Time with Aunts and Uncles) and Counting Gifts While Being Honest

This was mostly just a normal week. We did take another trip down to Granny's. We decided to make this a regular (weekly) thing for just as long as we had left with Granny. It was too easy of a trip to make in a day, our kids are too good at traveling, and it meant too much to her (and to us!) not to. It really made me appreciate homeschooling even more and how we can structure school around our life instead of our lives around a (traditional) school day. As a bonus that week, we got to see Peyton's Aunt Beth who was in town and his brother who lives near Granny. Andrew got to meet Sarah Lamar for the first time and he told me no less than five times how beautiful she was, just doted on her like crazy, and was absolutely precious in the way he took care of his grandmother. He's so much like his little nephew, Graves- just the sweetest guy who cares so much for others. When we all worked at the pool a million years ago, I wasn't always so kind to him and I still regret it. He's one of the good ones.

Monday turned out to be a great day. The kids and Peyton got up around eight (P had woken up at three something and fell back asleep at six something) and I got up at nine. I texted Minnie and ate a bowl of cereal and then helped the kids really work on their room- it was a disaster from the weekend. Peyton did a CE and the baby fussed a good bit so we traded her back and forth. P collected laundry and consolidated some dishes in the kitchen and I straightened everywhere else. He left to have lunch with a friend and I made our bed and took a shower. Sallie got fussy again and when I finally got her settled, I had a snack and stared math with Annie and had Graves cleaned up toys. Peyton got home and AP finished worked on her math.

 Signs your daughter is not a diva: she uses her Talinti pint for toad catching.

Graves had lunch and I fixed myself and Annie grilled cheeses and then Peyton watched me do English with Graves so he could learn how while Annie finished math. Peyton did math with Graves and I talked to Minnie on the phone. The big kids had media time and I did a few things on the computer and then we went for a walk. We went to the pond in our neighborhood and fed the ducks and came back home.

The kids helped me make a chicken pot pie and we got it cooking and then I did English and critical thinking with Annie (and nursed the baby) and Peyton did critical thinking with Graves while it was cooking.

 The big kids made their first chicken pot pie with refrigerated pie crust and canned vegetables, frozen chicken, and condensed soup. You know, fancy. But they did pretty much everything but opening the cans and getting it in and out of the oven. We need to practice our lattice making skills, but I was pretty proud of them!

They ate and I got Sallie settled and then read to the big kids, did a Bible story, and helped them brush and floss. I cleaned up in the kitchen- it was a ton of dishes- and ate my supper.

 Seven and a half(ish) and she finally lost her first tooth. She was brushing with baking soda and she told me she said to herself "Oh my gosh! Is that a clump of baking soda in the sink or is that my loose tooth?!?"

Her Aunt Cookie was so upset with me because we aren't fairy people. P asked her if she'd like to leave her tooth and see if a tooth fairy came for it and she said "Eh, I don't think that's real". We then asked her if she wanted us to just get her a little happy and she said "Nope, I don't really need anything". Somebody has caught on to Voluntary Simplicity (and hates having more junk to clean up).What she did get was a special solo date with Minnie. There aren't toys or dollar bills that will make my grinny little girl as happy as that.
I got on the computer and read a few blogs, talked to Minnie again, finished my header for the month, and finished a post. I took a shower and went to bed pretty late.

Tuesday ended up differently than we had expected. We had planned to go to Granny's but it ended up not being a good day. Peyton got up around eight and the kids and I all got up around ten. We hustled and all got ready and had breakfast and headed to the park for a meet up of a homeschool group we're in. Peyton dropped me and the three kids off and he ran by the library, the farmer's market, and the grocery store. The kids had a blast and I enjoyed visiting with some other mommas, despite arriving really stressed by our changed plans. Peyton met us back at the park and he and Sallie strolled home and I drove the car with the big kids in it home. The kids cleaned up their room and then Peyton did math with Graves and I did math with Annie. They had lunch and Peyton and Graves left to run some errands. They got an oil change, went to J. Crew and the Converse outlet and. I ate my lunch and read some blogs and worked on a post. Annie had iPad time and set up a birthday party for "Luke" (Graves loves to pretend to be Luke Skywalker more than anything these days). Sallie was a bit cranky so I nursed and held her a good bit. Annie and I did some of her history read aloud and finished spelling. Peyton and Graves got home and we visited. Peyton fed the kids and I wrote a few thank you notes and we talked some and got the big kids settled. P and I watched a good bit of TV and ate supper, folded laundry, and went through some stuff that needed sorting. I got on the computer and went to bed late.

Wednesday was busy but wonderful. I got up with a terrible headache and took my bath and made the bed. I got ready and met Darlene at Newks for lunch. We visited for a couple of hours and then I came home and we loaded up and headed to Granny's house. That two hour lunch with one of my dearest friends- my truest mentor- was so wonderful. The trip and the lunch were inexplicably good for my soul. Both were so restorative. 

I really struggled later that night and a part of me was upset we did such a minimal amount of school that day. I was starting to realize that even with Peyton's help this year was going to be very different- second grade is different and two school age students is different and I knew I HAD to be disciplined with it. BUT I also realized that 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.
Another week, another Granny visit!

 This was the part of the trip where the car would not get cool and we drove through a skunk's territory or something and Peyton told me to stick my nose in the gum jar so I wouldn't vom.

Aunt Beth was so sweet and played with the big kids a bunch while everyone was focused on Sallie. And then she told me that, when I was pregnant, without even knowing it was on the table, she and Peyton's uncle talked about how she thought Sally would be the perfect name for Sister Baby?!? And she told us about HER grandfather, Peyton Graves, and how he was her hero and taught her to garden and brought flowers to different widows in town each week.I don't for one second take for granted how much I love, and am loved by, the family I married into.And look at Sallie's neck support- I already felt like she was getting so grown, which is, of course, funny now. She was such a bobble head and would head butt you and bust your lip in a hot minute.

We loaded back up around five and headed back home. We fed the kids supper and got them settled and then watched a show and ate supper ourselves. I read some to Peyton and worked on a post and went to bed.
This is Graves. I mean, it's not, but it could be. That nose. Also, I bought this bubble in a moment of sheer absurdity seven years ago. It was too small for Annie but it was about $5 at a consignment store so I bought it in the hope of having another girl one day. I still love it and as much as I love the comparisons, it's special Sarah Lamar has SOMETHING Annie didn't wear.

On Thursday, we had a couple of things going on too. Peyton got up at eight and cooked some and I got up around nine thirty. The big kids had breakfast and had their media time. I managed to get my bath, dry my hair, make two beds, glance at my reader, iron a shirt, and feed and dress Sallie in less than an hour. When Annie was a baby that would have taken me three hours. We all loaded up and headed out for haircuts for the four oldest of us. Graves was a little upset about it at first, but he did really well once Mandy promised him a sucker. After that, we had lunch with our friend Owen at CFA. Two people came up and encouraged me. One lady thanked me for "letting my baby cry" (I guess because we didn't make a mad rush to take her outside or flip out about it or anything). She literally had tears in her eyes and she said she had grown children and she missed that sound. And another lady thanked me for nursing her in public (something I make a point to do every time I see a momma nursing her baby). Both interactions meant so much to me and made me realize that I should take time to encourage a stranger more often.

All of the people in this family with a substantial amount of hair got haircuts today and I felt so accomplished.
(Ignore the fact that P looks one hundred percent like a creeper from a Lifetime movie who is about to shove you in his trunk. And that I have a chin zit the size of Mars. We are awkward and acned, but we make cute small people. And there is way to much crap in our trunk to fit a body.)
 Speaking of hair- Annie had a very pronounced widow's peek, Graves had chicken hair, and this one has male pattern baldness. Graves saied her hair is as soft as a lamb and her nicknames could be Scooter and "Feels Like a Lamb".

We ran by the library on the way home and then regrouped. I texted with a friend and then did school with Annie while Peyton did school with Graves. Annie and I did English and then her math. She whizzed through English and part of math and then had a hard time. I straightened and organized in the study and kitchen and started some laundry. [monthly picture outtake]

When AP finally finished her math, Peyton took the big kids back to the library and to do the recycling. I got on the computer for a bit and tried on some clothes I had ordered. They got home and I did some dishes. Peyton fixed the big kids supper and got them to bed. We actually just visited and ate and watched TV and I went to bed earlier than usual.

Peyton worked on Friday and the kids and I slept late. I ended up getting up about ten something, after the big kids. They played and I straightened in our room and the den and study. I sent three Facebook messages, collected laundry, and made our bed. I finally got Graves's monthly picture. Sallie was super fussy off and on and after the big kids had breakfast and I had lunch, I finally got her settled. I got on the computer and took my shower while they had media time. I did math with Annie and we did a few other things and then Peyton got home. Peyton helped me with Sallie, who was super fussy again.

 Crooked tie and she couldn't even keep her paci in she was wailing so bad. Loooong day for both of them. This was about six o'clock and Sallie was taking her second real nap of the day. She took her third in Mick's arms.

I straightened a bit and took Sallie and Graves's pictures.
[monthly picture outtakes]

 I did a bunch of dishes and then we headed over to my parents' house. We had a great visit and came home and got everyone settled.

 While they're surely each other's biggest fans, Mick and Bud are polar opposites in a lot of ways. One commonality they do have is a near obsession with Babes. Mickey texted me this Sallie Selfie after we had left. He whisks her away and gets her to sleep nearly every time we're there. A few weeks ago we took her away from him and he heard her fuss after a bit and he swooped in and questioned us "What are y'all doing to my girl??". I just love watching him love my babies. (And Minnie was climbing a huge gravel pile with the big kids; she just doesn't take selfies. 

I made a clean up checklist for Annie and Graves and then Peyton and I chatted. I got on the computer and read some blogs and uploaded pictures and then I addressed some thank you notes. I went to bed pretty late.

Peyton worked on Saturday but the kids and I slept late. I got up and Annie and Graves played while I fed the baby, changed, and dressed her. I also remembered to give her her vitamins. I collected laundry and straightened some in our room, the study, and the bathroom. I fixed the big kids breakfast and put up some toiletries and medicine Peyton had picked up that week and some craft supplies from the night before (I had cleaned up everything and swept but I hadn't put it all up). I made the bed and got on the computer for a bit and Sallie had a diaper issue that required another change of clothes. I did that and then fed her again and helped the kids clean up their room. Graves had made a huge mess cutting soap in the sink with scissors. OMG. We finished and I ate my lunch and took a bath.

After that we did morning school and had a good run.

 It had been months since we've really had a good go at Saturday School. Since Peyton's had the schedule he has now I've tried to make it one of the most school intensive days of the week. It just makes sense since we were at home with no car. But I had to figure out my roll with three kids solo. Anyway, we finally got back in our routine! 

We read some history, did a few finger plays, did Graves's critical thinking, and talked about our Bible story of the week. The kids did a "sink or float" experiment to go with it and Annie did her critical thinking. They played a bit and then had lunch. After I fixed their lunch, I put up a ton of dry dishes and scrubbed the counters. Then I scrubbed the baseboards.  They finished and had media time and I read some blogs and worked on a post. I did a bit of prep for the rest of school and then I did some math with Graves and Annie did a math sheet independently. I fixed them some noodles for supper and they ate and then we played an English game and I read to them. SL got super fussy and we finished up and I put them in the bath after brushing and flossing. Peyton got home and he helped me with the baby and I finished with the big kids, got on the computer for a bit, and then packed breakfast and our actitiviy bag and got everything laid out and ironed for church. I went to bed around one.

Sunday was a good day. The big kids actually seemed somewhat rested when they got up. And I experienced a day without a headache! This is no small thing. They are SO much better than when I was pregnant but these last few weeks of constant rain have been a special kind of torment.


 We dropped Peyton off and Sallie had a bit of a hard time in the parking lot.

 So, that was a fail. Thinking about starting back up, I had totally planned to just haul Sallie around with me at church and nurse her whenever. The previous week was so nice, though, leaving her in the nursery. So I packed a bottle I had pumped and wore something decidedly not nursing friendly- that I could finally fit into! Forgot about that hour in the car and that I have a baby who loves to comfort nurse when she's fussy. If you happened to be at the Clinton Walgreens that morning and saw a girl in a tiny car with two wild hooligans in the back and her dress over her head, well...

Church was a relative success, if an emotional endeavor, and I am so grateful for the way people love at Northside. I actually cried during Sunday school just because I was so thankful for all the kindness I've experienced. And the big kids both left when the kids were dismissed during church. Annie's really too old but their Sunday school teacher was doing it that week and specifically asked Annie if she'd like to join. Anyway, it was a nice break =)

 Sunday morning got us snoozing (followed unsurprisingly by sobbing). 

After church, we came home and I got changed, changed and fed Sallie, got some of our stuff unpacked and had lunch. I got on the computer and fixed the big kids lunch and then I took a nap. When I got up, I nursed Sarah Lamar again and then changed an awful diaper and bathed her. I straightened some around the house and got the big kids started cleaning their room. I started some laundry and sorted what was in the dryer and cooked some veggies for the kids' supper. I fed Sallie again and put up the leftovers from supper and rinsed dishes. We left to get Peyton and picked up Newks on the way home. Graves fell asleep and Sallie did too but she woke up when we got home. Peyton and I ate, watched a show, and talked some and then we all went to bed early.

 Three fourths of my heart

I was having some good days and that felt really good. I came up with a plan that would allow us to stay in this house without major renovation if we decided to foster/adopt down the road. It's a dream I'm holding loosely, but I'm the type person who is better functioning in the present when I have a plan for a potential future. And it helps to dream about a possible future rather than only grieving an impossible one.
I realized while typing this up that I managed to get my bath, dry my hair, make two beds, glance at my reader, iron a shirt, and feed and dress Sallie in less than an hour one morning. When Annie was a baby that would have taken me three hours. That week three people thanked me for not being ashamed of my crying baby, nursing her in public, and putting her in Feltman Brothers. THANKED me. I need to make an effort to verbally appreciate people when I recognize something meaningful in my life in theirs.

This all started to look strangely like counting gifts, or making grateful lists, or noticing wonder. It's not a bad practice. Nor is being honest with the hard, even seemingly unbearable, stuff. 

More of August soon! 


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