Thursday, June 1, 2017

What I'm Into: May

On the Nightstand:
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and a Culture in Crisis- J.D. Vance

Still finishing this up. We're meeting in a couple of weeks to discuss it. I LOVE memoirs and I've found this one particularly fascinating. It's beautiful and endearing in a lot of places and heartbreaking in just as many. I saw a documentary years ago, when Annie was a baby, about the rural poor in Appalachia and it was very interesting to me then and even more so now.

On Their Nightstand: 

Trumpet of the Swan- E.B White

Two more chapters to go!

On the Shelf:
I'm thinking I may try to read something informational about homeschooling. I have two different books that go with some of the curriculum I'm using and I want to look into them more.

At the Theater (or from the couch):
No movies again.

On the Small Screen:
As I mentioned last month, I watched far too much TV in New York and this month, I did watch more than usual, but I was much more disciplined about it.

The West Wing
I got back on a kick and until this recent busy week hit, I was watching it about every other night. It's SO good! 

Master of None
There's a new season and P and I are super into it. I think it has a different vibe than the first- maybe a little more serious (though still hysterical)? I'm not sure. We love it, though!

In My Ears:
Not much. I really want to start enjoying music again more this summer.

Around the House:

I've felt SO behind ever since we got back from NYC, but I'm finally starting to feel caught up again. Before the kids' birthday party, I refreshed the big 1Canoe2 calendar to May, got my May quote of the month jotted down, and exchanged the bunnies for some more general Spring/Summer decor. I put out the foamy frames the kids decorated at church for me on Mother's Day and some books abut mommas that Minnie gave me. I also repositioned the new sofa pillows and added back in the neutral ones that match the couch. The new ones are oversized and I'm obsessed with them but they looked HUGE and kind of disproportional. I think this looks a little more understated. I put up the Winter china finally, along with the serveware from the party and organized the drawers in the side table so it wasn't full of stuff we need to get to on a regular basis since it isn't as accessible as other places. I got Sallie her on little baby stuff basket of bibs and cups and this one bottle I'm holding on to and put it int he laundry room. And we did a bit of a purge in the kids' room. I still have a long ways to go and it drives me nuts that I literally can't see an inch of their baseboards because every bit of floor space next to the wall has a toy or a piece of furniture in front of it. It's just too busy....but three kids share this room and we don't have a playroom. So it kind of is what it is. At least until I can find the time to get creative and figure out a new strategy for it. I heard Peyton say from the couch, the night after we got back from New York, "I love this house". And really, I do too.

 The big kids had their last P.E. class and Peyton took Sallie so I could work on their closet change-over. Sallie didn't nap in the car, so between her nap and that alone time, I got all their hanging stuff and the big kids' dresser done and did some purging. Spoiler: we're still not minimalists (but it's a far cry from when Graves was Sallie's age and he and Annie had a small closet and two armoires; I now have that small closet (without the armoires) and they and Sallie share the master).

In the Kitchen:
I'm such a fan of when Peyton fixes lunch =)

Sis tried squash, zucchini, and broccoli and loved it all. Actually, I'm not sure this piggie has met a food she doesn't love!

In My Closet:

So, MidgePerks: my Mother's Day dress was courtesy of a big Mini Boden sale back in the fall.

In Their Closets:

 Possible favorites are these suits. A little Herrington ProTip for those interested: when Janie and Jack mark down stuff at the end of the season and have a variety of sizes and are selling $50 bathing suits at below Target prices, Annie gets dressed, Buddie gets dressed, and Sallie Gets dressed in coordinating nautical trunks and suits the following Summer. [Even though, frankly, Graves was pretty much set and Sal needed another 12 mo. suit like she needed a hole in her head. I am really glad I got this one for Annie. I didn't even realize it when I ordered them, but I'm so smitten with the boy cut style of these. Her little body has changed a lot in the past year and I love the style and feel like it's perfect for her in that regard and in regards to her personality. And I love it because it looks classic and traditional instead of trendy and cheap (which is always how my boy shorts suits ended up looking.]

There's not much I love more than a diaper set. This one is so pretty with her eyes and it's reversible! What a winner. 

 Ladybugs, Converse, the three decade old Broadmeadow tee (and a pretty epic cowlick)

 This marked the second time either of my girls wore a bubble to church (the first was Fancy Hats back in March) and honestly, it was much more casual than what Graves wore when he was a baby. I had all these rigid rules- no bright colors or playful motifs and only dresses for Annie. Not all smocking is created equal and I broke another one of my rules and bought stuff that just wasn't even cute (to me) just because it fit what I was trying to do. I talked to Carrie awhile back to troubleshoot it and she was like "yeah, putting her in those dresses doesn't really fit your model of 'Sallie only wears what SD loves' *and* she would fit better with the big kids' vibe in more casual stuff. Whew. Praise God for friends who analyze meaningless stuff with me. So...I'm getting rid of all that and just putting Sis in what I want to. She probably won't be wearing footies to church, but there's now a huge continuum with tatted dresses on one end and seersucker bubbles on the other (okay, that *feels* like a huge spectrum to me). As a related aside, I've started wearing way more casual things to church myself. Lots of my favorite dresses are not what I used to consider church dresses (I literally felt like if it wasn't wedding/funeral appropriate it wasn't church appropriate), but the days of wearing pumps and dry clean only stuff are gone and I wear sweater dresses, rainboots, my own Saltwater sandals, and sundresses. All that to say, on Momma's birthday, Sallie gets dressed in Seersucker Sorbet for church.

I love Graves's bright shorts and Annie's balloon dress (we actually have three dresses with hot air balloons on them- apparently it's a motif that I (and Jelly the Pug/Eleanor Rose) love).

We like stripes (and bonnets, obs) just a little bit. Sallie gets dressed and SD gets dressed in TJ Maxx from eight years ago, Etsy, and Target kids.

One more of the rosebud/seersucker bonnet. I kinda hesititated to buy it because clearly it's not going to coordinate with just a ton, but I couldn't help it.

I'm really not into black and white on a baby anymore, but I still love this watermelon number. 

I'm obsessed with these MiniBoden shorts (via eBay). I love his summer wardrobe so much. 

I just love her in this new banded tee and cuffed shorts from last year and messy pigtails she fixed herself. The chin injury also seems appropriate for my tough as nails girl.
I still adore Annie's little raincoat she's had for like three years.

The girls and I all three happened to be wearing my favorite color (and I had it on my toes) the other night. Annie gets dressed, SD gets dressed, and Sallie gets dressed in Cat and Jack alligators, a random SUPER cheap shift off Zulily that think will be a favorite this summer, and a Bailey Boys ice cream cart bubble, respectively. (Sorry if this is not your thing; I have such a strong affinity for summer clothes.) Summer is green everything 

I was so excited about the red check and eyelet and that it's finally officially time to break out the solid white bubbles.

In My Mailbox:

I ordered all these pillows from Target (two I found in the store and when I went back they were gone!). I really love how they turned out.

In My Cart:
Super organizational nerd moment. I decided that I'm going to give myself a "planning period" each day and that I'm going to involve Annie in the first ten minutes of it. My Day Designer for Blue Sky from Target that I've been obsessed with for the last two years was almost finished and I just had an urge to scan Amazon for a planner. Super inexpensive and I think these resources will be an even better for than the DD.

Around the Town (and At Home): 
Our last day in NYC was the second, which is P's birthday. We spent the day enjoying the beautiful weather and falling cherry blossoms and eating at our favorite places. It was warm but windy and the streets were covered in petals. I enjoyed it so much myself! 
Another two hour delay on the way back. We finally made it, but yikes. Y'all know I kinda acted it was like a Corvette or something when Peyton bought me a minivan and I didn't think I could love the thing more, but if I never ride in an airplane again, it will be too soon.

 Three little ducklings all in a row...and all eating beans and rice at my parents' house. Can't think of many views I love more. It was so good to be back.

 Found Annie in the sunroom one morning when I woke up, in her bathrobe, doing a junior park ranger activity book. It was rainy and dreary- a perfect morning for this, actually. This one of her favorite places and I think it's becoming her favorite time of day. She's like me and is so not a morning person but she's also like me and loves the quiet (and I think is needing it more than ever). After lots of tears and battles in New York, we somehow got her going to bed at a reasonable time in a reasonable way and it seemed silly to mess that up. She reminded me so much of my dad when I saw her like this.

Peyton does this every year. He totally acted like he forgot my birthday (one year he did forget and we both ALWAYS forget our anniversary). But he snuck in and made a box of brownies while I was reading to the big kids. He got me the spoon as a random happy (which we do instead of presents). It's my fave. The other day all the other spoons we're dirty and I let Annie use it and she said "thank you momma, for letting me use your special spoon". I love them so much it hurts.

 I promise they had lots of fun at their joint bday party, they just weren't real into indulging Momma with a pic.

Such sweet buddies playing after the rain cleared. We were missing quite a few friends tonight and we did get a big shower. But we had so much fun with our friends who could make it and the kids had a blast playing after the rain (and let's be honest, during it).

Guys? Something crazy happened recently. We've been transitioning her into the room with the big kids and getting her to sleep in the crib hasn't been super easy (partly because I'm so short- I have no idea how I did it with the other two). Peyton's been doing it a lot after I nurse her the last time and that's been tough for me.So one night, I used some of his tips (standing up and holding her while swaying, patting her once we lay her down- in some ways she's super low maintenance; in some ways she's rotten). I did that for awhile and after a bit, after I thought she was totally asleep, she stood fully up. Y'ALL. I gave her a hug and told her I loved her and walked out and she didn't cry once. I'm astounded. And she's also adjusting well and we can turn on a lamp, whisper, or snap a picture of her just like the other two Herrington babies. Those things are key, FYI, if you're bunking three to a room.

The highlight of the month may well have been Briarwood opening. We were SO excited to kick off the season in such a special place. 

Enjoying some Cheerios in her exersaucer at the pool. Sis is livin' the good life.

Whatcha mean you don't sit Indian style in your umbrella stroller and alternate eating your pretzel sticks and taking hits off your paci?

I'm glad we've been prioritizing the pool because it's been awfully dreary and rainy. I wouldn't say midnight storms really scare Sarah Lamar. In fact, she seems to think it'd be a good time to party.

At the Schoolhouse:

We didn't get it all in, but we did better than we often do. And I feel so much better with a plan. Don't know why I ever do anything different! (Annie and I are started our daily planning shortly after this and I decided to keep using the whiteboard for daily goaling for Graves).

Graves was working on math at the pool with Peyton awhile back!

This is our second year with a true writing curriculum (we use something different for grammar, spelling, and phonics). Last year we used Writing with Ease and Annie loved it and it was SUPER efficient and easy to execute and probably just what we needed at that stage but I wanted something with a bit more meat to it for third grade. This semester we're giving Writing and Rhetoric a try and so far it's been a blast. It's probably both mine and Annie's favorite part of the the school day. This whole book is based on fables and thus, literally every week is a new animal story. Extrapolating "morals" in this kind of tale is something my little literalist really needs work on, as is the actual physical process of constructing sentences. The animals have been great motivation. And I love that it focuses *why* narratives are important, incorporates pop culture, and seems to really effectively combine a classical and creative approach​. I'm so glad I get to do this with my days. There's nowhere I'd rather be on earth right now than the Schoolhouse in the Suburbs.

 I know this is completely illegible to anyone else (lots of backward letters), but I was so proud of Graves tonight. We had played some games in the yard one evening and he wanted to make a list of games he wanted to play at his birthday party. He wanted to write himself and his motivation didn't even dip during the laborious process. So he wrote "red light green light" (a lot of writing for him). I didn't just tell him the letters, either. We sounded out each word together and he even did boxes around the multi-letter phonograms, something that's very similar to how Annie marks words (which she actually insisted this week she didn't need to do anymore and then realized that adding the words to her spelling journal- a favorite pastime- is much easier if she does that in the front end). A tiny part of me hesitated to share this. I was just talking to a friend about how I have such a hard time when I feel like my kids aren't doing as well as their peers in traditional school in certain areas because it reflects badly on us. But that's totally my pride and I'm so excited over this accomplishment and even more the desire to do something that doesn't come easy to him.
On the Blog:
More Than Enough- I wrote about how I don't read to Sallie near as much as I did to the other two when they were babies and how I just don't have the mental energy in some ways.
Belles and Beaux Back in Brooklyn: Reflections on the Second Half of the Month- I wrote my last reflection post about our month back in BK.

On My Heart and Mind:
-We are constantly evaluating our days and procedures and operations here. Last week, P decided to hand off Graves's math and now, after lots of discussions, I'm going to try doing his English, too. In a lot of ways it just makes sense for now. I think P's a little disappointed- the things I'm "better" at (and I'm not sure I really am, but I think this will work better when he's still so little) are few and far between. They had a GREAT kindergarten year, but I'm super excited about this new one. And Peyton's been in the kitchen all morning
- I've been thinking more and more about Sallie turning one and also about this time last year. I keep thinking about doing this same thing last summer and these last few weeks with her on the inside. I've been reminiscing alot about it lately. I'm really thankful, deep down, that it's something I'll never do again, but a tiny part of me misses it. That said, I sure am enjoying her more than I was this time last year.
- Sallie started sleeping (at night) in the room with the big kids. Sobbbb. I mean, it's a good thing. It really is. It was time. But I was having to inhale deeply. Truly, it's been nice to have our room back and I've enjoyed it probably as least as much as Peyton (who was pretty insistent it was time). But a part of me misses her most nights.

In My Prayers:
- I've just been praying about what the future will look like for our family and that God will help me be content in the present moment.
- I'm praying that God will prompt me to remind the children of His unconditional love.
- I've been praying for my sister. I've been missing her a lot and wishing she was closer.
On the Calendar: 

June is pretty full with swim team and Peyton's got a work trip. Summer is my favorite and it's getting off to a good start!

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