Saturday, April 1, 2017

What I'm Into: March


Time to share what I was into in March!

On the Nightstand:
Nothing new. It's been a long time since I've felt like I could call myself a reader (which makes me super sad and a little embarrassed given how much time I used to devote to it), but the past few months have been particularly dry.

On Their Nightstand: 

We started a new read aloud chapter book! 

Trumpet of the Swan- E.B White
Annie and I are both LOVING this and I think Graves is enjoying it, too, though to a lesser degree. First, I just love E.B. White's writing. He's honestly one of my favorite authors. Secondly, it's sort of nostalgic because Charlotte's Web was the first chapter book I ever read to Annie when she was a tiny thing (three or four years old; I can't remember). Annie loves that it's largely about animals and she thinks that the dramatic, verbose, somewhat absurd cob (daddy swan) is HYSTERICAL. It's so much fun to watch her crack up over him. And I love the parts where Sam Beaver records a question in his diary nightly to think about as he falls asleep. At this point, Annie's not as interested in the books I loved at her age (ones by Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume that are about children) and really prefers an animal story. This one is such a good one and I'm glad we're both enjoying it so much. 

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

At the Theater (or from the couch):

Babies Behind Bars
This was a fascinating documentary about women who are incarcirated while pregnant and are allowed to keep their babies in prison with them in a special "dorm". It was heartbreaking and endearing and fascinating all at once.

On the Small Screen:
Parenthood
We decided to start watching it again (we watched the first season or two and then dropped it for some reason). We started over at the begining, and it was just as good as I remembered. I really don't know why we ever quit it!

In My Ears:
Not really all that much to share here either.


Around the House: 

I've had so much fun getting the house all spring-y and organized. I spent some time in the atticgetting it a LOT more manageable, we got down the baby gates, and I cleared that bottom shelf of the bookcase (which was previously where we kept library books) and made it Sallie's own little space. Very spur of the moment, I went back to the attic and searched for the Spring bedding for the sunroom and stumbled upon a cute sheet set with butterflies and flowers that I had forgotten about and that matches the buffalo check duvet cover perfectly. And I added a few more touches from the Target dollar spot and the stuff I have stored in the buffet to to the little side table. I washed our cushions for the kitchen chairs and did the seasonal change over (I use red polka dot from December to February for Christmas and Valentines and then something more neutral for the rest of the year) and washed and put up the flannel sheets that were on our bed. I still need to put up the Winter china (it's snowmen so we use it past Christmas), but that's it. I really didn't think I'd get all this done before we left for New York and I'm SO glad I did and I won't be spring-ing the house in May when it's practically summer here. 

Still lovin' this little corner so much. And I love that she's spending more time in it, too.

In the Kitchen:

Taco Night = Bath Night (this was just the beginning)

In My Closet (and my vanity): 

Operation Wear Real Clothes on a rainy day. On the agenda: working the booth for the McClean Center at the Junior League placement fair and gushing about it to anyone who walks by. On me: infamous $7 Old Navy jeans, an Anthro top that I bought on clearance online and is so demonstrative of why I need to keep the things I love and chunk the rest (I wear it allll the time), and shiny red wellies I bought on eBay as an early Christmas present to myself (full disclosure: they have a small tear and upon further research this is not uncommon; I have another pair I bought retail but waaaay on sale and this is why I'd probably never pay full price for them). 

It probably seems like this barely fits the qualifier "real", but part of this is finding things that are just as comfortable as a ratty t-shirt, but are not, in fact, a ratty t-shirt. I decided that's one of my goals, in fact. I realized that not only am I "uncomfortable" in most tight things; I'm also literally uncomfortable. Which makes things unsustainable. Of course I'm going to have some things in my closet that aren't comfy but that I like too much to get rid of (read: every pair of jeans I've ever owned, which I shed the second I walk through the door). But overall, I want to minimize that sort of thing. Anyway: thick leggings that are one of my "nicer" pairs, bubblegum colored canvas mary janes, hair that finally fits in a pony, mascara but no eye liner, and this oversized aqua sweater Minnie gave me that is now an absolute favorite feel for this time of year.

I was super excited to pull out this popover. It was one of the happies I got myself right before I had Sallie and I love it just as much as I did then. 

I'm trying all this new make-up Minnie got me because she is stressed about the circles under my eyes and I've realized the biggest determining factor is just not wearing eyeliner at all (top is fresh makeup; bottom is several hours later- ugh, still m not great but better than before.) I'ved tons of stuff including expensive primer and it just doesn't stick and ends up under my eyes. I think the main reason is because I have super oily skin. [Sidebar: As does Peyton. He had to go back to washing his hair with the Prell my beloved grandmother introduced him to. We were discussing how our poor kids are going to have the worst acne when they're teenagers. Maybe it'll keep them from doing some of the dumb stuff I did, though.] So short of a vacation without the children, I think not wearing eyeliner is going to be the best deterrent for my circles. Which is SO HARD, but I'm coming to terms with it.

In Their Closets:


Super excited to pull out the spring clothes! Our sweet friend who works at the library told me she had never seen a little boy with as many patterned pants as Graves. It made me laugh so hard. His momma does love a pattern and he has his whole life to wear khakis and denim (or madras and seersucker).

Sorry y'all, but it's March and if it's a warm day, we gonna wear our bunny bubble...

But...when it's below forty degrees pre-church, I put her in a warm bonnet.


Could she be any dorkier? Her t-shirt was P's and it says "Give a hoot, don't pollute!" and is tucked in and causing the bubble butt so that she can ride her bike with less risk of injury. A lot of the time, I laugh so hard when she dresses herself.

Oh, good grief. I could not be any more excited for Spring.
Grave in his hi-tops without socks and his backwards cap. Love this fella so much!

Most of the stuff that fits and would be comfortable right now is sailboats and crabs and ice cream cones and I just can't go there yet. But fancy hats feel *perfect* for Spring and perfect for Little Sallie Sunshine.

I always love it when I can find Annie something she and I both adore (which is no easy task as we've both gotten more picky) and this bunny dress may be one of my best successes to date. 

{SOB} All three sizes of Baby Huggums strawberry and cream jams about to be put in the box of absolute favorites for Hypothetical Foster Babies and/or Down the Road Baby Reynaud. [Sidenote: I recently told my BFF from when I was Graves's age that if Sallie had a style icon it would be Baby Huggums.] 

They're not the exact same as my favorite strawberry and cream trifecta, but look! Another three months in Huggums inspired loungewear. It's a different story now (the 12 mo. Summer stuff was one of my favorite seasons for both my big kids and I let myself get Sallie a FEW sweet things of her own) but this winter I honestly favored her jams over her play clothes.

I was NOT sad to get rid of these. Sometimes, I do put her in something I hate (very occasionally because I'm doing things differently this time and the goal is to only put her in things I love). But if there's a reason for it, I'll hang on to something. And the reason is that P keeps this house cold in the winter. Remember last year I slept in a sleeping bag? I remember clearly the night we went to The Children's Place and got these for Annie. She was so scrawny that most nights she wore a long sleeve onsie under them. Anyway, Peyton said it was just the pattern and the colors clash and her penguin one is "super cute". The penguins ARE much cuter but in general, with a few notable exceptions, I hate fleece things. They just skeeve me out (HSP). And I like jammies better when they're fitted and those floppy feet drive me nuts. Clearly, I've put a lot of thought into this. And it seems shallow, but it's also really fun because the more I analyze the more selective I am with my purchases and this last year I've been so much happier with the things I've actually dropped money on. 
Penguins, for reference. Peyton et al. think these are the cutest thing ever (present company excluded). And they are cute(r), but they still make me gag. 

In My Mailbox:
I got Graves this madras bow tie for Easter Sunday (at Calvary-St. George's--::squeal::) off Etsy. I bought him a few belts too because he's about to be six and it's time (SOB). He showed me his favorite and said he loves it best "because it's in the style of Papa's"

In My Cart:

Target in the spring is SO dangerous. I found this retro looking casserole dish and cute dish towel. My favorite brand of PJs were super on sale and y'all know I'm trying to phase out my t-shirts for bedtime. Annnnd, Cat and Jack is killing it for little boys. It's rare these days that dressing Graves is as fun as dressing the girls but I can't wait to see him in those turquoise shorts and pink button up. 
Around the Town (and At Home):  

Look, I know there are strong opinions about DST and I hate losing sleep as much as (more than??) the next person, but it's six o'clock, it still looks like it could be noon, and my small people (baby included!) are going on two hours playing in this picture while I folded laundry and watched them out a window.
 
Fresh haircuts and suckers for excellent behavior. Knocking out lots of appointments before our big trip!

And Sissy had her nine month well baby visit. She's got a weepy little eye and is drooling like fool, but other than that she's perfect =)
Happy Women's Day from these two fiesty, STRONG little ladies. In my best and brightest dreams, I couldn't have imagined daughters this incredible. They already exceed my expectations. Ann Peyton and Sarah Lamar, you are so loved and so valuable. Next year, I'm planning to do something special with Annie to celebrate it. 

We went to a fun Trolls party one weekend.

Cookie and Conrad came for a visit. These guys love their "cousin" Louie.

Answer: 36. Such a fun day at the science museum!

Babes had fun, too.

And then Newks outside! SL had her favorite snack- about eight Ritz crackers.

The big kids have really been working on picking up some chores. Annie folded this pretty significant laundry pile. I can't take much credit, but Peyton's really pushing them with chores. Sweeping is one of her chores and she HATES it but we wanted her to know sometimes we all have to do chores we dislike so she's done it for awhile and I think we're about to rotate her indefinitely and let her take charge of a good bit of laundry (Bud collects it and loads/unloads the dishwasher- this chore scheme was largely what convinced P to get one again). Anyway, I'm sure the novelty will wear off but she said she loves seeing all the designs on everyone's clothes. It's one of my favorite chores, but I'm happy to pass a bit of it off.

Sallie's happy place...is not her bed.
We gave the kids their birthday presents early since we're going to be gone in April (and since Sallie's went with Annie's). When Annie got the huge Darth Vader, Peyton went back to the store and got Graves the storm trooper and we put it in the attic until his birthday. We took him up there the other day and surprised him and he's had SO much fun with him! I don't think I've mentioned it, but Midnight got lost awhile back and Annie's handled it so well but it was clear she missed her so badly. So we got her three new owls!!! She LOVES them and named the orange and black one "Midday" (we know Midnight is somewhere at P's parents and that she'll turn up some day). And Sallie got two of her own little Beanie Boos! We were hopefully would be an extra motivating factor for Annie to play with her and it worked!

My best friend since seventh grade had a baby. NBD.


The big kids are both riding without training wheels and they've made lots of good little trips with Peyton (and today we went for a family ride/walk/stroll). This week Peyton rode his bike with them and they made it SIX miles. Whew! They're in way better shape than I am at this point.
At the Schoolhouse:

I think I love Essentials (Logic of English's program for older elementary students) even more than I did Foundations. It's such a perfect fit for me and Annie because we're so analytical and like knowing the "why" of words- both with sounds (spelling) and with meanings (vocabulary). I always recommend Logic of English so strongly, but I do so with a disclaimer. It's time intensive- for the student and the teacher. Case in point: the ten step spelling analysis we do for EVERY spelling word. We've streamlined it a good a bit at this point, but it's still a lot. The point is to help her learn skills for when she needs to spell an unfamiliar word, not to memorize a list of then. And once we do this, she misspells very few of them when we review over the next two days and almost never missed one on the assessment at the end of the week. Annie and I are neither one naturally good spellers, so this is no small thing. It has helped us both tremendously!

The control freak part of me (and also the part that haaaates doing anything in the car but visiting) really struggled the other day. We've discovered that Graves is overwhelmingly more successful with practicing his high frequency words when he is strapped in his car seat and has fewer distractions. Recently, Peyton wasn't there to pass them back and I don't have long enough arms to give them to him individually, so I just handed him the whole wad and he read them and then held them over his head for Annie to check and if he got it he'd throw it behind him for her to try to catch. The baby was screaming and that would have made it a no-go for me and Annie but THAT apparently doesn't distract him and he was working super hard for the Lifesaver I promised him. I was about to stroke out but I really just need to count it as a victory- he's reading SO well (when he's restrained) and I know he's still tiny and maybe it would be a non issue if he was in traditional school but I'm so glad we have the freedom to find ways to make this work and I'm handing him a piece of candy instead of a pill.


Perfect morning for a swamp tour and Tula nap. We went to a place called Cypress Swamp that's on the Natchez Trace for this month's nature journaling with the homeschool group. We saw two baby alligators! 
 
Sleepy Little Sallie sure loves nature and her momma sure loves her.
On the Blog:
Honestly, I've almost exclusively been catching up on my Weekly Happenings posts so there's really not a lot to link to.

On My Heart and Mind:
-I'm SO excited about our trip to NYC but also a little nervous. A month is a long time and I have a LOT to do over the next few days to finish getting ready. It's kind of overwhelming.
- There is also just so much that's unknown. I've done the city with two kids, but not with three and certainly not with an infant. I've seen pictures of the Airbnb where we're staying but that's not a lot to go on.
- Also, and this surprises me, I'm already a little homesick for Mississippi.

In My Prayers:
- I'm praying for the trip- for safety, for patience when things are hard to navigate, and for us to make the most of our time there.
- More than that, though, I'm praying for myself and Peyton and the children to feel God's love in a place where I felt it so strongly before.
- I'm praying for our friends who have recently welcomed a baby and our friends who are longing for that.
 
On the Calendar: 

We're going back to New York for a WHOLE MONTH.

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

1 comment:

Christina said...

Ah, Parenthood. I don't think I managed to get through one episode of that show without tearing up.