Sunday, March 19, 2017

Weekly Happenings #403 (December 19-25)-- Christmas Is Here

We had a great Christmas this year. Peyton was off on Christmas Day (he has to work every few years) and of course Cookie and Conrad were in town for it. I had planned to do a whole picture post of Christmas day, but I decided to just including it all here! So there's your warning: major picture overload!

Peyton left early to work in Wayneboro on Monday but the kids and I slept until about nine and I stayed in bed until ten. The big kids had breakfast and media time and I got my bath and then put Sallie down for her nap. I dried my hair, messaged my sister in law, called Peyton, got some Christmas cards in the mail, and made a list. I messaged some people about addresses and went through my reader and ordered the big kids some rain boots. We had lunch and picked up their room.

Signs for the closet/reading nook:
1. "Annie wants alone time" (pictured: Annie reading and Graves on the outside with a frowny face)
2. "Annie is not in" (pictured: again, Graves looks a bit unhappy as he knocks and there is just a pile of books an her chair on the inside)
3. "Come on in" (pictured: everyone is all smiles)
I told someone awhile back that, while I truly feel like making then share a room from very early on (like Graves was an infant) is one of the best decisions, parenting or otherwise, I've ever made and I really think a lot of their closeness is based in sheer proximity, it's not always all sunshine and rainbows. Honestly, though, one of the most rewarding things about it has been watching them be forced to be creative with their space. And if you know me, you know that I believe that to be a huge life skill. 

I straightened some around the house and consolidated some piles in the study. I folded up the rest of the Christmas letters and Annie did a math review and then I checked it and helped her with the ones she had trouble with. I changed over laundry and Sallie got up and I hung up some stuff in the kids' room and then the big kids wanted to do some crafting. They painted and I called the grief center to let them know I wouldn't be there since Sallie was sick and Peyton was out of town. Sarah Lamar took another nap and the big kids played outside.

When you are married to a health care professional and you know sickness doesn't come from not bundling up. It comes from being holed up inside with a bunch of sick people and their know, like at a pharmacy. Love it when he gets dressed in Annie's old polka dot rainboots with bows on them and 3T pajama shorts he mostly wears in lieu of underwear and calls his "boxers". Wear whatever you want. Just go outside.

They found an "injured animal" (who is not real but had been abandoned outside for weeks).

They came in and we worked some more on their crafts and then they had supper and we assembled everything.

I was talking to a friend awhile back (my BFF who analyzes everything with me) and we were talking about how I've gotten more relaxed with each successive kid (which is good because I was/am sooo tightly wound and always want to be in control). Anyway, she said she'd never really thought I was truly "Type A", which is so accurate- I'm always late; I have ridiculous piles everywhere; I'm not anywhere near organized the way I want to be; and, though I be terrified, there are currently small people painting in my kitchen. More than anything I'm just really, really compulsive, sometimes in embarrassing ways. I've had to let go of a lot of these compulsions these last six months- I would have had to let go of my sanity otherwise- but every so often, it appears again. While I was a little tired of being stuck inside with a sick little person and my sick self, after lots of rainy days, part of me loved getting caught up on laundry, and finishing Christmas cards, and doing the last of my closet change over...and scrubbing all these LeapFrog letters. (Where is D? There was a time I would have become undone over D. Praise God I'm not that girl anymore.)

A little art from our day. Annie did her math with zero complaints and she asked me if she could do a craft. She got the big craft book and picked out this shoe box aquarium. It seemed a bit ambitious to me, but she gathered her supplies, followed the directions, and worked on different steps- painting the box, cutting and coloring the fish- throughout the day and we assembled it and added the plastic wrap after supper. After this she thought to add pink pipe cleaner for an oxygen pump! She's like me and enjoys a good project but the finished product doesn't always turn out well so I was skeptical. I think it ended up so cute, though!

The shoe box originally came with a pair of puppy dog shoes in it and it was designed to transform into a pet carrier. Midnight used it for quite some time and Annie made notes about her (she eats meat, doesn't chew, naps during the day, and is friends with Pig and Cat). But it was tearing up so I'm glad we could turn it into an aquarium. I almost think the $14 I payed for the shoes was worth it for the box!

And Graves used all Annie's scraps to make a tent. His instructions came from his own mind. Love this stage with them so much!
They went to their room and Sallie got up. We started reading and Peyton surprised us by arriving home early. He had decided not to spend the night. Andrew's wife had the flu and it was really too cold to camp and would be really cold in Granny's house. The kids wanted to play some so Peyton and I visited and then I read several Bible stories to them (we were behind for Advent) and Harry Potter. Peyton and I traded off and he finished the chapter with Annie (Graves had fallen asleep) and did her ethics lesson. I got Sallie to bed and worked on Christmas cards. She woke back up in the middle of it and stayed up about an hour. I finally finished and ate something and went to bed.

Per usual, this happened at the eleventh hour.

And now with "help". Sarah Denley and Sarah Lamar: burning the midnight oil together since June 2016. I can't be mad, though. (Y'all, this is her sick face.)

I got up at eight on Tuesday and fed Sallie (I hadn't sleep well at all) and then went back to sleep until nine while Peyton took care of everyone. I actually did a quick math lesson with Annie and then took my bath and dried my hair and then got Sallie down for a nap. I started some laundry, ate breakfast, and texted a couple of friends. I checked my email and went through my reader and Annie did her independent work and had media time. We had lunch and I washed a few dishes and then did some grammar and writing with Annie. I worked on a monthly letter to Annie and then Sallie got up. Peyton and the big kids headed to the Children's Museum and I finished my letter and fed Sallie.

Christmas time and Annie gets dressed in Bailey Boys top that, despite being from last year's collections, still fits like a dress and creature boots that she wore when she was FOUR in New York, are each missing an eye, and have long been relegated to the dress up bin. And love it when Bud gets dressed in a too big top passed down from a cousin, 5T jeans that have the waistband elastic cinched to the very last holes and a stuffed caterpillar in the pocket, and Star Wars light up shoes sans socks. Cuties though they're are (and I love that they wear their clothes FOREVER) Momma's really enjoying Sal having no opinions yet.

I sent several FB messages about addresses and straightened in the study and our room. I made our bed and consolidated some piles. I folded some laundry and worked a bit on Graves's letter. Peyton and the big kids got home and we talked some and Peyton fixed supper. We ate and I folded more laundry and then the big kids watched Star Wars and Sallie took a nap. I finished Graves's letter, read a few blogs, and started another post. Peyton got the big kids settled and Sallie woke up. We worked on last year's finances and then watched TV and went to bed.

I got up around nine on Wednesday and made the bed and got my bath. Peyton and the kids were already up. I dried my hair, talked to a friend, and spent about an hour getting Sallie down for a nap. She finally fell asleep and I finished up some more Christmas cards I had gotten addresses for, went through my reader and email, and started school with Annie. We got a lot of math in and Peyton and Graves ran some errands.

Math has become (mostly) a joy with Annie which was nothing short of a Christmas miracle. I gave her this challenge problem and prepped her by saying it might be a little tough. She immediately told me the right answer without writing anything down. I asked her how she did it so quickly mentally and she told me that "an abacus just popped up in her head" and she figured it would be forty if she used ten eggs and then halved it. It felt VERY rewarding that I had gone with what I felt was best and used curriculums that encourage higher order thinking rather than worksheet based approaches that I know she would have preferred and would have been a much lighter burden on me. After that I taught her the word "metacognition"- thinking about thinking- one of my favorite things I learned about in the School of Ed. It took me literally an hour to get Sallie to nap (she's at least become consistent with her morning naps but it's hard to get her settled some days). Most days I don't mind it but I was losing my patience and feeling like I needed a nap myself. A wonderful morning of school made me feel so much better, though!

When they got home we all talked and had a low key afternoon. I spent a lot of the late afternoon and evening folding a ton of clothes, taking care of Sallie, finishing my closet change-over, and watching SVU.
"Hey guys. If somebody gets me in position, I can sit up by myself. My momma's been predicting I would enjoy this, but I LOVVVVE this new trick. So much so I'm takin' my crazy lady smile to the next level."

In addition to sitting up, Happy Little Sallie startedmaking that motorboat sound with her mouth and is very interested in the bunnies on her pjs. (Not sure why her head looks so disproportionately large.) 
Peyton cleaned up the kitchen and took care of the big kids and I bathed Sallie and did a few other things. I went to bed pretty late.

Thursday was Peyton's last day off before Christmas. He got up with the kids and I slept really late (like ten-ish). Peyton had fixed French toast and I ate and then made the bed and straightened a bit. He and Graves got baths and headed out to run some errands. I got Annie doing some independent work and got Sallie down for a nap and then uploaded some videos to YouTube, started a post, and went through my reader. I took my bath and dried my hair and talked to a friend and Peyton and Graves got home. We all ate lunch and Sallie woke up. We played with her and worked on some more of Annie's school and then we all went for a walk.

You momma might have a slight Etsy obsession and your grandmother may spend a lot of time at antique malls if you're wearing chenille Christmas trees with chenille booties while sitting on a chenille blanket. 

Sorry for the pictures overload. I wanted to take some pictures of Sallie and I ended up getting a lot of sweet ones (and some of Graves and Annie). That little drop of drool kills me!

When we got home, Sallie took another nap and I uploaded some pictures to the blog and sent a message to a friend about curriculum and then I went to Chick Fil A to get a peppermint milkshake and read for an hour. It was SO nice. I got home and Peyton was feeling really bad. I read to the big kids (and to Sallie) for a good while and fell asleep soon after that. Sallie was super fussy and had a tough night.

The big kids got up pretty early and Sallie and I got up around 8:45 on Friday. I straightened and made the bed and did a few other things and she was so fussy still so I gave her some Tylenol and got her down for a nap. I ate breakfast, worked on a post, and took my bath. I dried my hair and went through my reader and she woke up. I changed her diaper and got her (and my clothes) in the wash where it had leaked and then bathed her and took out the bathroom and study trash. I picked up a bit and hung up some clothes. Annie did some independent work and I worked on a review with Graves. Sallie wanted to be held a bunch and the review took a good bit of time- we did it on and off. I uploaded some pictures from my phone on to the computer and Peyton got home. We all ate something and I finished Graves's review. Sallie took another nap and I checked Annie's math work. We all went for a walk and then came home and had supper and got the big kids settled. Peyton and I watched took a bunch of boxes to the attic, I finished a post, and then we went through our toys box to decide on some presents for the kids and cousins. We watched a show and Sallie had another tough night.

I was SO tired on Saturday morning and I had a bunch I wanted to get done around the house. The big kids had media time and Graves had his breakfast and they got one of their Christmas presents from us.
If your momma got the equivalent of a minor so she could teach social studies through twelfth grade and you're a pretty big geek yourself, the majority of your Christmas from your parents may be states-themed. Love when I can buy resources for homeschooling and count them as presents.

I got up and made the bed and straightened in the study and our room and then helped the big kids pick up their toys. Annie got SO upset with me for washing her blanket and both big kids just really acted up. It was awful. We finally finished their room and I got a load of laundry going and dusted in the bedrooms and study. I really wanted to vacuum the bedrooms and study before Sallie took her nap but Annie got upset abut that too and I decided to hold off.

sweet little baby doll on Christmas Eve

I got Sallie down for her nap, consolidated some piles in the study and kitchen, hung a bunch of ornaments that had fallen off the tree back up, and started scrubbing kitchen counters. I fixed something for Annie and myself to eat and made a list for the day.

I ate, changed over the laundry, dusted in the den, and picked up a bit more. I finally got my bath and talked to Peyton on the phone and visited with a friend a little. I dried my hair, cleared my reader, and finished a post! Sallie took SUCH a great nap and I cleaned both bathrooms, hung up some of the kids' clothes, cleaned out and vacuumed the van, did a TON of dishes, vacuumed in the den, and vacuumed and mopped the kitchen. I folded a few towels and Sallie finally woke up and we headed over to my parents' house.

Wine in the diaper bag. This seemed like as good a metaphor as any for the day. Annie absolutely lost it because I insisted on washing her bedding after her "nature collection" spilled all over it. Then when I told her she was about to lose her media time, Graves became very protective and told me to "stop threatening his sister" or he'd "call 911 and get the fire department over here". Annie asked me not to vacuum because she doesn't like the sound or the smell and I told her is wait until tonight. She went outside and was just sitting in the van for an hour and I realized I had some extra time after I finished the dishes so I started vacuuming the den and kitchen. She came in and accused me of lying to her. Gratefully, Sallie has slept as much as a normal six month old (or more?!?), which was super nice.

We had such a fun visit with Cookie and Conrad and had beans for supper.

Annie and Graves each got one of their presents early. Annie got this states book and Cookie had fun asking us trivia questions.

Peyton got there at eight and visited a little and then we came home and bathed all three kids and then all got settled.

I wrapped a few presents and got everything ready for the next day and went to bed.

Sunday was Christmas and it was a great day. We decided to spend the day after Christmas with Peyton's family, so we headed back to my parents' house around eight. We opened presents and had breakfast and visited

The theme for this Christmas was The Force (and birds). The Perrys and the Reynauds nailed it!

Baby's first Christmas
On Christmas Day, Annie gets dressed in new reindeer sock slippers.

Peyton bought the big kids each some candy at Walgreens for their stockings and made these tickets to put in them (for the grocery trip they each get $50 to spend in whatever they want- I can't wait to see the results!).

Peyton, Sallie, and I went to church. It was nice, although bittersweet, to have Peyton there. It was a special service- a Moravian Love Feast- where we sung our favorite carols and had sweet coffee and sticky buns. It was so sweet. And it was fun for Peyton to get to visit with people I see weekly. We left the big kids at home and I sort of hated it because they made a special point of saying they wanted the kids to feel comfortable and our little friend Eleanor wandered around the church visiting with everyone. We came home and visited with my family and snacked all day and played with presents and had an early supper around five. My mom cooked meat and potatoes and rolls and a Waldorf salad and had stuffed eggs. It was wonderful.

Mick snuck a picture of me taking a Christmas afternoon nap with Sleepy Little Sallie.

We got home early (around seven thirty) and Graves had fallen asleep in the car. We put up a few things and all went to bed early ourselves.

Sallie's only present from us was this set of periodic table blocks Peyton bought ages ago because he thought they were so neat. We ended up not giving them to either of the big kids and we found them in the present box we keep in the attic this week. I'd say they've been a hit so far!
Finally got Sissy (Cookies new name for Sarah Lamar, which I love) to sleep. For those of you that ask if she ever stops smiling: she was screaming at the top of her lungs, having epic bridge club levels of over stimulation (that reference comes from the fact that Minnie used to go to bridge one night a month and come home so wound up she'd have to play three hours of solitaire and watch two hours of crime dramas before she could go to sleep). One of my kids very clearly gets people hangovers like I do and has now gotten to the point where she (mostly graciously) just removes herself from the situation. That happened on Christmas. One of my kids acts like he's got a literal hangover. That happened this day, too. Second holiday that he's gotten a headache. Could be the junk food but I think it's also the energy output he's sustaining. My third little cub- I think she gets withdrawals when she has to detox from being around people who love her. Okay, I'm done with the alcohol/drug analogies. 

Next up, finishing up December (and 2016, for that matter)!

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