Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What I'm Into: February

 

It's that time again. Here's what I was into in February!

On the Nightstand:
Honestly, I didn't really read much this month at all.

On Their Nightstand: 

 
Peyton got Annie a book of narrative style poetry at that library recently but it was a little above her understanding. He tried again last week and found another one that was more developmentally appropriate. There are a lot of difficult themes- poverty, loneliness, incarceration- but it's not done with a heavy hand. This light touch, along with beautiful writing and wonderful illustrations, made it a current favorite at our house.

On the Shelf:
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis- J.D. Vance
Still on the shelf. Ha!

At the Theater (or from the couch):
Stand By Me
I haven't watched it in about twenty years- "a long time ago, but only if you measure in terms of years"- but it was just as good as it was then. There's no genre I love more than "coming of age stories" and ones that do it well are incredibly nostalgic and heartfelt without any purple sentimentality. Extra points for voice over narration and crude thirteen year old boy humor that still makes me laugh in my thirties with three kids.

Paris Is Burning
I heard about this documentary several times before and thought it sounded interesting. It's about the "ball culture" (a gay subculture that involves fashion shows, often in drag) in New York. Anyway, I was interested because I'm fascinated by sociological stuff and different cultures. I wasn't impressed. And it wasn't that it bothered my sensibilities- I just didn't really learn much.

On the Small Screen:

American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson
It's dramatic and interesting and I was too little to remember all the details but old enough to have been fascinated by it even then, so it's interesting to fill in the details. Peyton won't watch it because he thinks O.J. himself will eventually sue and get money from it.  I also REALLY want to see the ESPN docu about it now. 

In My Ears:

Smartest Person in the Room with Laura Tremaine
I used to LOVE reading the Hollywood Housewife, I love following Laura on IG, and I love her on the Sorta Awesome podcast. So I wanted to check out her new podcast. I listened to this episode with Mike McHargue (one of the co-hosts on The Liturgists and someone who grew up as a Christian, became a ardent atheist, and then came to believe in God again and understand Him in a new way) was really interesting to me for obvious reasons. A couple of my favorite quotes:
"...[o]ur brains have trouble coping with anything that causes us to question our basic identity. And the presence of an atheist forces believers to more closely examine their own identity and most people are not psychotically equipped to do so."
"We stop treating God, and even life, like a jigsaw puzzle where we've got to make all the pieces fit and instead just enjoy the beauty."


Around the House: 

I loved the February side table-- I flipped the calendar and changed out my kitchen quote. I decided to do a couple of new things and that we'd hop on the Pinterest Door Affirmations train so the bowl was full of blank hearts for me and Peyton to write the sweet sentiments about the big kids on. I also put up a wedding picture of me and P and of Mickey and Minnie and talked a little bit to the kids what I think is important in a spouse. Annie always likes to read the quotes I pick and we discuss their meaning, so we did that, too

I know it's the novelty and the marketing (kinda like how you feel so cool drinking out of a jar your jelly came in) but I much prefer these candles in little tins from the $3 bin at Target to pretty, fancy ones. They're actually so much cuter to me and just match my style perfectly.I loved my Fall and Winter ones and I can't wait to try the bottom two that I selected for Spring and Summer.

Valentine's mantle! P told me he loved the lemon bowl and candles but thought the Valentine's banner looked childish. Well, I personally like it but it also feels like there are a hell of a lot of children running around these quarters so....(Minnie took Annie to see Madagascar at New Stage. They both had the best time. Annie told me the Zebra (who was their favorite) asked during the play if he was black with white stripes or white with black stripes and at the after party she told him what she thought based on her reading. She came home and read the program cover to cover and brought it to me because she read that one of the actors had been in Our Town and she remembered Minnie and I seeing it. I know the best part was special grandmother time, though.)

I mentioned it in a recent post, but I love that I figured out such a perfect nook for the travel swing...right before Sal outgrew it! Ha! 

I had just changed the sheets and hadn't put the pillows back on, but I LOVE Annie's bedding so much still. It's perfect for her and I think it's just so cute. I do hate that it's made for a full bed and she's in a toddler bed still. But that's what I bought like seven years ago when she was a baby and I found it for such a steal! 


We made a few tweaks in their room recently...I moved the Fruit of the Spirit window pane that, while a far cry from perfect, has probably been my most successful crafting experience to date because the big 1Canoe2 calendar is in the kitchen where it was. I also made the top of the dresser Sarah Lamar's area. Besides some toys that stay in the den with her play mat and some books; she has her personal baby doll, the striped bin with her elements blocks in it, and the white basket of "Baby Things" that has favorite toys and even has her baby brush in it. I have ONE tub in the attic of toys for her as she grows (I probably need to go make a trip to investigate it again soon) but she's a very minimalist baby. I keep meaning to do a blog post about things I've done differently with her in that area.

In the Kitchen:
Another area I've been failing in pretty badly. But this week I've really gotten back into it!

In My Closet: 

I had a league meeting on Valentine's Day evening so I thought it would be festive to wear a pink blouse and my pink granny glasses from Brooklyn.

Some days Operation Wear Real Clothes is a big old fail. This cold that all three kids were finally, after weeks, on the tail end of  hit me. No fever but I had a bad cough that was keeping me up at night and I even had an earache. Aside from cleaning and schooling, the only thing on the agenda that day was a cousin playdate at our house. My sister in law is the last person to be concerned with what I have on, but that's kinda the point- to do this for myself when I don't have an external motivator. To be fair, though, I had group at the grief center Monday, a meeting Tuesday, and P and I were planning on going to the gala for the center the next night. Three out of four nights of real clothes (including one that is a cocktail dress) is actually a really good run at this stage in the game. But here: leggings, SmartWool socks that are actually c/o my sister in law, and this oversized Brooklyn sweatshirt my dad got Peyton one Christmas (one of Mickey's semi-retired hobbies is stalking the clearance racks at Old Navy for himself and those he loves). (Also pictured: about half of my extensive, well curated collection of bathrobes and the gallery wall of granny samplers I have going on in the guest bath).

In Their Closets:

Only one picture of Graves, none of Annie, and most of the ones of Sallie are pjs! I think it's sort of fitting since this was such a sick month for us and that's really what we stayed in a lot!

As I mentioned, the Mini Boden supplier is selling stuff on Amazon for next to nothing. I got Bud these bright red star pants and a few other things for Summer and several things for the girls, too.
Annie is predictably charmed when Sallie wears this little seafoam bird outfit that I adored when she was a baby and am slightly less smitten with now.  Awhile back I overheard Annie, frustrated by pretend play with Graves, in that he wasn't choosing to be an animal in the habitat she had picked, say "you don't even live where we live. You live in the Amazon while we live in the woodlands of North America". This prompted me to tell her that the name of the pattern on the travel swing I bought for her seven years ago (I have no idea how it's still going strong?!?) was named "Woodland Creatures". It's so funny (and weirdly special) to me when I look at the whimsical stuff I was naturally drawn to (lots of "love birds" and "woodland creatures" and ladybug/caterpillar/bumble bee themed things) and realize how those things represent fabric of her days and dreams now seven years later. I'm not sure she cares a whole lot, but it's fun sharing these things with her. When we read her first letter I wrote her, we also remembered Mickey calling her "Baby Bird". We thought it was so significant and Peyton (who never theorizes like this) said he thought it may have even contributed to her fascination. (All my pictures of Sallie are so blurry now that she's so busy.)   

This has been the weirdest Winter. Last Sunday she was on this towel, in this spot, in nothing but a diaper. This week we needed footies and the bear hoodie. Just grateful for the sunshine. And of course, Little Sallie Sunshine.
 
This time around I've found that I really prefer florals and stripes and rosebuds and things rather than footies with bigger, busier pictures and animals (which Graves had TONS of and I think if I did boy clothes again I'd do mostly pastels and lots of stripes and tiny polka dots). If it does have animals I like them small, very patterned instead of scattered, and traditional (like ducks). But these were some of my absolute favorites with Annie and I still love them so- the color, the hearts in lieu of spots on the cows and bows on their ears, and the momma cow holding her baby. It's a lot going on. But I adore them.
 

Storybook Jams: Round 2*
They actually say "down on the farm" but I describe anything that has a nursery rhyme feel or has muted tones and sweet motifs and looks like it could have originated during my childhood or before as"storybook" (I mean, they're honestly kinda horrible in a way- they have a weird 80s/90s vibe; I love the weirdest things.) I got them for Graves at a consignment store or sale and I don't think I loved them near as much them as I do now.
*Round 1 were actually preemie pjs but they seemed to fit like NB or even 0-3 mo. They were originally Graves's, too. Well, they were also actually originally some other child's- love me some kids' consignment. They were some of my absolute favorites. Just the sweetest thing ever.)

Sarah Lamar wore her jams to the cousin playdate, too (incidentally, these were Annie's first ever Christmas morning pjs- we did a woodsy/bear theme- not idea how on point that was for our future nature girl).

I am so not truly girly in a lot of ways and I'm definitely not what I call "prissy", but I also love feminine things and I told P I wouldn't hate it if Sallie was a little more girly than Annie (who, for the record, does cross her legs in the cutest way). I love the person my big girl is and I wouldn't change her for the WORLD, and this little firecracker may be the toughest of all three of them, but I sure do love how sweet Sissy is right now.
As an aside, these aren't my favorites and I dug them out of a giveaway pile for the picture 😂 I do think they're cute, but as I've said, I'm trying to only hold onto my favorites, which actually makes dressing her even more fun when everything's a favorite!

 
And sometimes, Sallie gets dressed in...not much at all. Those sweet lips- my goodness! And she's definitely the squishiest baby I've ever had!

In My Mailbox:

  Hmm, I did get a nice check from the consignment store where I sold some of the big kids' old clothes!
 
In My Cart:

I realized that when we're in New York for all of April is may still be pretty wet and cold. I wasn't going to buy snow boots for one month but both big kids had outgrown their rainboats, so they picked out these with me. I really love their choices! And I get myself a pair because I sort of haven an obsession and these were cheap.


Around the Town (and At Home):  

We just experienced lots of sickness, unfortuantly. Nothing major, but it was most of the month! 

Bless her heart, she had 101 temp one night and just felt horrible. She slept all morning and I treated her  to some screen time (Clifford's Puppy Days). 

 
Ritz crackers and Duplos and my tiniest yellow mixing bowl that's basically hers now and Little Sallie Sunshine. I'm glad the weather has been so mild; being outside did make the sickness more bearable!

We have been trying to make it down to "the farm" (the way my father in law has rebranded Granny's house) every couple of weeks for camping and general country living style fun. The big kids love it and are even more creative and ingenuitive than they are in our backyard. And they love sleeping outside with P in the tent (and Sallie and I LOVE our quiet time in the house). It kind of taxes me mentally with all it takes to get down here just for twenty four hours- I try to keep up Annie's school routine and I'm more comfortable knowing I have whatever I might need for Sallie), but it does a lot of good for my soul and it helps me be still so I think it's worth it.

Cookie and Conrad visited. Gosh, Sallie's aunt and uncle are pretty smitten with her. Conrad even held her a ton this trip, which Cookie understandably loves (I told Minnie my heart probably would've skipped a beat seeing P with somebody else's baby in his arms our first couple of years of marriage but we were too busy trying to navigate becoming parents ourselves at the .8 year mark

I was so disappointed to miss church a couple of weeks ago. We hadn't been in probably a month- I don't think our family has ever had a stretch of sickness this long. I had REALLY thought we'd make it that week. But Bud and I both had some upset tummy issues the day before and I really didn't want to risk getting anyone else sick. So we stayed home. Sweet Minnie came over and boosted everyone's spirits!

 
These sweet little friends had fun hanging out during their big sisters' piano lesson last week!  

 
"I was glad when they said 'Let us go to the house of the Lord'" (I am, shamefully, not always glad.) I was so, so thankful to be back with our church family today, after a solid month of sickness. I put these folks in what I had planned for them to wear the Sunday before Valentine's and it was such a perfect sunny morning. We sang hymns, heard the Word of God read, and listened to the Gospel preached. On this Transfiguration Sunday, we were reminded that most of life is not about meeting Him on the mountain tops but about Him coming to Earth and meeting us in the lowest valleys.
At the Schoolhouse:

We're pretty committed to Singapore at the Schoolhouse in the Suburbs. I doubt I'll ever sing its praises like I do Logic of English, but it's working and math isn't a strong suit for a lot of us. It's a much better fit for Annie than RightStart was- it's still developmentally appropriate enough and rigorous enough for me and isn't just rote memorization and worksheets but it's also not the burden that RightStart was (on the student or the teacher). I had thought RS would be a great for for Graves because it has such a strong kinesthetic component but it was NOT CLICKING. And the good thing with homeschooling is you can push hard but when it just doesn't work, you can change direction. In Februray. Heck, you can give your baby a bonus year in kindergarten math and zoom roughy to first grade in English if that's what he needs. And guys? rainbow school books are my favorite.

Dropped the big kids with Mickey (Minnie workin' hard for the money) and brought the tag along baby to Broadstreet for our yearly curriculum consult. I'm very geeky because it always gets me so excited! 

On the Blog:
I've mostly been catching up on Weekly Happenings posts and the kids' letters and writing other short posts in between. So I feel like I've been being consistent, but there's not a lot to drop here. I did love sharing this one:
This Land Was Made for You and Me: 2016 Herrington Family Roadtrip Adventure
It was fun to look back over our camping trip and I realized that the memories had become very special to me already.

On My Heart and Mind:
-I didn't really prepare much for Lent as far as choosing something to give up and I decided this year I'm just going to focus on being more present and mindful during the day and really try to focus my mind on Christ and his cross more often than what is typical. 
- I'm so, so looking forward to New York in April, but I'm a little anxious, too. I know it will be amazing but I'm also assuming exhausting.

In My Prayers:
- I'm praying for the trip specifically. Just that I will feel God's presence as strongly as I did when we lived there. It's such a special place to me and I miss it so much.
- I'm praying for health. I'm hopeful that we will all five stay well this month and through the Spring.
 
On the Calendar: 

It's a pretty low key month and I'm grateful, especially with our big trip coming up in April!

As usual, I'm linking up with Leigh!
What I'm Into

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