Friday, September 29, 2017

Monthly Mental Health Check In: September 2017


I think realistic expectations are always good self care and in particularly hard periods, I think low expectations are fine. Honestly, I'm getting to where in a lot of areas, I'm perfectly okay with mediocrity. P and I have talked about this in regards to the kids some recently. I want them to things they love, that make them feel alive but I don't have any desire to push them to invest a ton of time in any one thing. My parents were SUPER about balance when I was growing up and I'm really grateful for it.
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I just adore laughing. I don't think I valued it as much but lately I've realized it is SO important. 
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I've been thinking about how much I use social media to process and reflect and how very not private I am. The majority of the reason is just that I'm compulsive about documenting things and I basically just C&P stuff from there onto here (because it's a neater package) but I like it here because I like the interaction that is no longer really a part of (many) blogs.
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But, there's a part of me that is coming to terms with the fact that some stuff in our lives is not meant for public consumption. That there are different things I can share with different friends or with just Peyton. And that feels weird and fake and inauthentic. I know it's really not any of those things- that it's actually really healthy- but it feels not true to myself. I think partly because back in my early days of blogging I subconsciously convinced myself that if I didn't share something it was because I was AFRAID. Afraid of disagreement or afraid of being misunderstood or mostly afraid of judgement. But sometimes it's not fear. It's just me making a wise decision for people I love or for myself.
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One thing I've realized that I appreciate in friendships is people who allow me to process something multiple times and "beat a dead horse" and just allow the space to reflect on something and then come back to a conversation when I have a more clear understanding of my own feelings and can better articulate them. I know this is annoying to some people and I'm really fortunate to have a handful of friends (and Peyton) who don't mind it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sunday Hymns and Herrington Babies: Stayed Upon Christ Jesus

 

Stayed upon Christ Jesus,
Hearts are fully blest;
Finding, as He promised,
Perfect peace and rest.

Everyone was in such a delightful mood this week and we had NO drama getting ready. We were running a bit late now that choir has started and Annie comforted me and said "if we did this like six or seven times, that'd be bad but this is just the second Sunday- we're all still getting used to it". I let the big kids cross the parking lot by themselves while I got Sallie out and they both did so well as I watched them. Sallie didn't even cry at the nursery. What she did do is nuzzle in my neck and when I put her down she laid on the floor and PRETENDED TO THROW A FIT. She didn't shed one actual tear and Tequila said the *minute* I left she started playing with toys. Hysterical. I popped in to Annie's class to tell "John" (that's going to take some getting used to because he's still Dr. Meaders, professor of one of my favorite classes at MC and a huge encourager when I took the "liberal" position on capital punishment for a paper-- although, as is the case with any great teacher, I would have never guessed at that time he went to a more progressive Baptist church and was married to a woman minister) that Annie had told me the night before she couldn't go to sleep because *she* was so excited about his class. It was such a full circle moment and he was grinning as big as I was.

Everyone did wonderfully in church and told me all about their Sunday school lessons. Graves told the story of Moses and how he "communicated" with God and parted the Red Sea so expressively and Annie told me she asked a bit about heaven in her Sunday school class- not because she was worried but out of concern for Graves but didn't given many details because he's gotten "more private" (something *I* need to consider more and something I've been thinking a LOT about). Annie and Graves were both so sweet and held Sallie's hand as she walked up the steps out of the children's building for the very first time. I kinda wanted to (happy) cry.

So grateful for three precious children, a precious body of believers, and the precious blood of our Savior.

Weekly Happenings Post #426 (May 29-June 4)-- (More) Fun in the Sun


 family picture craziness

Monday was a really good day. Peyton got up with the kids and I got up a bit later. He made french toast and I ate, made the bed, and got my bath. After that, I nursed Sallie and did some school with Graves. We did a good bit of English and Annie did her independent work and then I did writing and a picture narration with her. Peyton cooked lunch and we all ate and then got ready to go to a birthday party. We had a great time and dropped off a table at my parents' house on the way home. When we got home, P and I worked on cleaning up the study and organizing. I hung up a bunch of the kids' clothes and some of mine and then finished up some more school with Graves. Peyton took him outside to work on something and the girls and I went for a walk. We ran into a neighbor and walked together for a bit. After that, we came home and the big kids had supper and I got Sallie to sleep. P read to the big kids and I cleaned up the kitchen and the den. I worked on a blog post and got some school stuff ready for the next day and went to bed.

 I wouldn't say storms really scare Sarah Lamar. In fact, she seems to think it'd be a good time to party.

We all got up early and hustled to get ready for swim team on Tuesday. I took a quick bath but didn't dry my hair and got all our stuff together. We all went and had a good time. Graves finally had a pretty good day and I got to visit with Carrie some. We loaded up and came home and Peyton took the big kids down the street to feed the neighbor's fish. Sallie had a snack and I ate my breakfast and started some laundry, loaded dishes, and unpacked and consolidated our bags from the pool. I made the bed and got Sallie down for a nap and Peyton and the big kids got home. I texted with a friend, went through my reader and email, and sent another friend a message.

 trying to work on some good habits- easier to do when it's pretty!

I did some reading and spelling and then math with Graves while Peyton swept the whole house. I dusted in the den and bedrooms and scrubbed the bathroom sinks, tubs, toilets, and floors and then took a bath and did writing and grammar with Annie. Our friends got here for piano and Morgan and Carrie and I visited awhile. The big girls had their piano lesson and P baked some muffins with the little kids. After piano, we headed to the pool. We took Mary Milton with us and the Howies met us there. We ate supper and the kids had a blast.

Girlfriend hit the pool twice that day. I keep thinking about doing this same thing last summer and those last few weeks with her on the inside. I'd beenreminiscing 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 was missing it. That said, I sure am enjoying her more than I was at this point last year.

She said "I don't want to keep pushing this off all the time like I did last year". And then she did it. She became such a strong, confident swimmer this summer!

I feel like she spends like eighty percent of her waking hours eating or nursing. I also feel like she's gotten SO BIG. I tell Peyton every morning that she looks bigger than when I put her to bed. I also feel like she just keeps getting cuter and more charming, also by the day.

We dropped MM off and headed home and got the kids to bed. I got on the computer and talked to Peyton and went to bed myself.

Going over the stack in JTown and acting like they're on a rollercoaster- it's what redneck Sumner's are made of! I told P I think it'd be really fun to be a six year old, or a seven year old, or an eight year old. I also think being around a six year old, and a seven year old, and an eight year old is really fun.

Wednesday was a really busy day. We got up in plenty of time and all got ready for swim team. I took my bath, made the bed, and ate breakfast and then got dressed and got our stuff together. The kids both had good practices and I got in a tiny bit of school with Graves. We ran by the Board of Pharmacy and stopped at Goodwill and bought a bike for Graves. Sallie fell asleep in the car and Annie did her math while P and Graves ran into Kroger. We came home and I put fresh sheets on Annie's bed that we had extended and picked up the kids' room a bit. I straightened in the study, made a phone call about some curriculum I needed to exchange, talked to Peyton, and ate lunch. Elizabeth and her kids came by and we had a nice visit for about an hour. Peyton cooked some more muffins and cut up a watermelon. They left and I picked up the house some and made dinner. Peyton had cut up a cabbage and I cut up cilantro and a red onion and made some dressing and slaw. I put on my make up and Sallie woke up and I passed her off to Peyton who was outside cleaning up and talking to his brother on the phone. I finished up and our friends got here.

We had a great time with the Harkins and loved getting to visit. They helped pick up the kids' room before they left and we got the kids settled right after that. I put SL to bed and then read to the big kids while Peyton made another phone call. He put up the extra food and did a few things around the house and sent an email. I went to bed early.

Peyton was working an extra shift on Thursday and I got up around seven, too. I made the bed and got Sallie some breakfast and then made a list for the day and did a few quick things on the computer. I helped everyone get their breakfast and get dressed and I cleaned off Sallie and dressed her. We got everything together for swim practice and got on the way.

Graves had a REALLY hard time initially but did SO WELL once he got in. Annie had a great practice but it got rained out a bit early. We dried off and came home and I transferred Sallie since she had fallen asleep in the car. The big kids had media time and I unloaded the van and started some laundry. I ate a snack and worked a lot on a blog post. I messaged some friends, texted my dad, and talked to my mom on the phone. I also read some. I tried to call the consignment store and Sallie woke up. I nursed and changed Sallie and then she played while I fixed the big kids lunch. I swept in the kitchen, unloaded a load of laundry and got another started, and unloaded all the dishes. I rinsed more dishes and loaded them, handwashed what needed hand washing, and scrubbed the counters. I took out the trash and got Sallie her lunch.

I bathed Sallie and cleaned off the high chair which was quite the process (obs) and then did some reading with Graves. She got fussy and took another nap. She went down super easily, which shocked me. After that, I did writing and grammar with Annie and then folded some laundry and unloaded dishes.



We got ready and when Sallie woke up, we headed to my parents' house. We had a great visit and the kids did so well but towards the end, there were a few meltdowns. We came home and Peyton was there. I got Sallie to sleep and he visited with the big kids and then they went to sleep. We talked some and I worked on a post and went to bed.

Friday was a fun day. I got up and hustled around and got my bath and fixed breakfast for myself and the big kids. Sallie was still asleep and I was running a little behind so I didn't dry my hair. She woke up and I nursed her and finished getting ready and then we headed to swim team. Graves had another rough start and swam well but was so sassy at Annie's practice. We came home and I unloaded the van. We ran into some neighbors and visited with them and Minnie stopped by really quickly to pick something up. Sallie took a nap and Annie had media time and Graves played. I worked on a blog post, sent a FB message, ate lunch, and took a short nap myself. Peyton got home early and we talked a bit and Sallie woke up. We all got ready and I did some dishes and packed everything up and we headed back to the pool. We had a great swim and ran into a lot of friends.

Babes and I both wore our swim dresses/skirts today! 

Peek-a-Boo!!!


 She's such a fish (ignore her momma's witch laugh). 

When we got home, Sallie took another good nap and I picked up a bit and relaxed some. I started some laundry and the big kids ate supper. Peyton took them on a long bike ride and I folded a bunch of laundry and watched The West Wing. Sallie woke up during that and P and the big kids got home. I put up the laundry and they had supper and baths. I got Sallie to sleep and Peyton and I talked and then I fell asleep without meaning to.

Sallie woke up early and I nursed her but she wouldn't go back to sleep in our bed and I had a good cry over it. Peyton and I chatted after I put her back in the crib and everyone but him (he had to work) slept past eight on Saturday. We got up and I nursed and changed Sallie and then she had some solids. I rinsed dishes from the night before and loaded the dishwasher and then wrote a note to go with a birthday present and did a few things on the computer and sent a message to a friend. I changed Sallie, ate my breakfast, consolidated laundry, and helped the kids pick up their room. I cleared my reader, wrapped a birthday present, and cleaned up the highchair and area around it. We all got dressed and got ready and headed to the party.
Graves played for awhile and then kept asking me to let Sallie play on this riding toy. She was totally content in her stroller, but I finally relented. She got her foot stuck under it and cried a bit and before the party she got a busted lip at the hands of an overly excited brother who was jumping in her crib with her in it. She's tough as nails, though, and cried less than a minute both times. And at the pool the day before he Annie hard. Totally inexcusable but when I asked him why I found out he was upset because she had pushed the stroller "near the pool". We were all probably thirty feet from the water's edge but he said "Sallie's my baby sister and I do not want her to die". One of my greatest comforts in Sarah Lamar growing up (something that had been particularly hard for me as she got close to a year) is that she and Graves seem love each other more by the day. Their precious relationship is one of the purest loves I've ever seen.  
The party was really fun and I had a great time talking to friends while the kids played.

When we got home, Sallie took a nap and the big kids had media time. My head was hurting and I took a long nap myself. We got up and I had a snack and then did some school- Annie did her writing and I did a math page with Graves. The big kids played and Sallie ate and had a bath. I changed over laundry and unloaded and reloaded dishes and got out the kids' church clothes. Annie and Graves had supper and I did some grammar with them and read to them while they ate and Sallie played. I folded some towels and cleaned up the table and high chair and swept and took out the trash. The big kids brushed their teeth and took baths.

Everyone went to their rooms for a bit and Peyton got home. I got Sallie to sleep and he read to the big kids and then we talked and watched TV. I messaged a friend and picked up in the den and then went to bed.

I got up a little late on Sunday and it threw me off. Also, Annie didn't want to wear what I had picked out for her. We came to an agreement and I nursed Sallie and got my bath. Peyton left for work and the kids all had breakfast. I ate something quickly and dried my hair and we got all our stuff together. In Sunday school, we discussed the vision of the church and the search for the new pastor and in the service we commissioned the search committee. We met Mal and Brennan at McDonalds for lunch afterwards and to play and visit. We had a great time. Sallie fussed a ton on the way there but was so happy.

She took a great nap when we got home and I had to wake her up at five. The big kids had media time and played and I worked on several blog posts and planned the week.

When Sallie woke up, she nursed and I changed her and then she played a bit. I did laundry and dishes and the big kids played outside. Sallie ate some solids and then the big kids had dinner. I got everything cleaned up and Sallie bathed and read to the big kids some. I got Sallie settled and Peyton got home and we go the big kids to bed. We talked some and I got on the computer and he watched a show.

 
Christ is alive! No longer bound
to distant years in Palestine,
he comes to claim the here and now,
and conquer every place and time.
Not throned above, remotely high,
untouched, unmoved by human pains
but daily, in the midst of life,
our Saviour, with the Father reigns.
In every insult, rift and war,
where color, scorn or wealth divide,
he suffers still, yet loves the more,
and lives, though ever crucified.
Probably not any of our brightest moments plopping Sal right next to a concrete step. We were running late and I strapped Sallie in before getting the picture at home and Graves was insistent we take it once we got there. 

We talked in Sunday school about what we love and what we struggle with and what we yearn for at Northside and it was an incredibly beautiful, though incredibly challenging, conversation. I'm glad you be a part of a community that isn't afraid of holding tension and I'm grateful to be able to raise them among people who hold have all sorts of differing, strong convictions. 
 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Weekly Happenings #425 (May 22-28)-- Pool Days

This was the first week of swim team and somehow we managed to be at the pool every day that week except Sunday. I even took the kids by myself and met Carrie on Saturday. We were all super excited about it!

Monday was a good day. Sallie slept really well her first night in the room with the big kids. Peyton only had to go in there and pat her once and then she woke up around six something. We slept until eight-ish and got up and I did a reader with Graves and got Annie going on her critical thinking and math. I made her a history quiz and she did that while I cut Peyton's hair. I got Sallie down for a nap and got my bath and the big kids played. I dried my hair and went through my reader, texted Minnie, and sent a couple of FB messages. I made a list for the day and then got to work on more school with Annie. We did writing and then did an English assessment. Graves kind of bounced between participating in the writing lesson and playing outside. Peyton got home and Sallie was still asleep. I did a story narration with Annie and Sallie woke up. She had lunch and I read a good bit.

Annie had media time and I played on my phone. Sallie played some and I worked on organizing a bunch of baby stuff (like cups and bibs and bottles and such) from the side table and laundry room. I also organized our tupperware cabinet and put up the serving stuff from the party. Graves had a small bike accident and he took a bath. Peyton made a phone call and then did science with the kids and I cleaned up the carport. Peyton had another phone call and then the big kids ate supper. We got Sallie to bed and took turns reading with the big kids. I put fresh sheets on our bed and then started a blog post and finished another one. I read a few blogs and my devotion and then messaged a friend. I watched The West Wing and ate something and went to bed.

We all got up late on Tuesday (close to nine) and it was a bit frazzled trying to get going. Sallie had taken awhile to go back to sleep at six and I had been up late. I made the bed, cleaned up some stuff in the kitchen, and discussed the day with Peyton. Sallie ate her breakfast and I messaged a couple of friends about getting together and took my bath. I dried my hair and went through my reader. Peyton sent an email and then got Sallie ready and to take on some errands. We heard the garbage truck and rushed everything to the street along with some Cokes because the guys yelled that they'd come back by when they saw me running with the trash can right after they passed. Peyton and Sal left for Target and Kroger and I got the big kids going on school work. Annie did some independent math and I did a worksheet with Graves. They fed the cat and I started some laundry. I did TWO math lessons with Annie and then she did some more critical thinking. The kids got dressed and Graves loaded dishes. Peyton got home and we quickly put up the cold stuff and headed to meet my friend Ashby for lunch. We had such a great time catching up.
 Baby's first catfish- no surprise, she was a big fan!

When we got home, I did grammar, phonics, and writing with Annie. I straightened in the study and put up some more groceries and then we got ready and headed to Briarwood for swim team. Poor Graves had a tough first day.

Throw you hands in the air, Sissy! She thinks she's on like Splash Mountain or something.

We came home and I fixed fish and veggies for supper. I put up the rest of the groceries and we all ate supper together. We got the kids to bed and Peyton and I talked some. I finished a blog post and did a few things and went to bed.

Wednesday was a good day. I got up and got going around eight thirty, a bit after the kids. I had my breakfast, made the bed, took a bath, and did a few other things. Then I got to work with school. I did some math with Graves while Annie did some critical thinking. Then I did critical thinking with him and read him a story and asked him some questions. After I was done with that, Annie and I did writing and grammar and then some spelling. We had lunch during that and then took a break. Sallie took a nap and I got on the computer for a bit. I also did some organizing in the study and hung up some of the kids' laundry. We all got ready to go to the pool early to practice. I even swam some laps and it was SO cold- I told Peyton I think this time last year I was less anxious about childbirth than I was about that pool! Anyway, we hung out a bit and swim team started. We saw some new friends and came home and ate some supper.


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


I got Sallie to bed and Peyton got the big kids settled down. I got on the computer and worked on a post, sent a couple of Facebook messages, and read a couple of blogs. I organized some stuff and went to sleep.

Guys? Something crazy happened. We'd been transitioning SL into the room with the big kids and getting her to sleep in the crib hadn't been super easy (partly because I'm so short- I have no idea how I did it with the other two). Peyton had been doing it a lot after I nursed her the last time and that was tough for me. SO I tried using 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 was astounded. And she was already adjusting well and we could 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.

We all got up pretty early on Thursday. I woke up before eight. I made the bed, straightened in the den and picked up a bit in the kids' room. I changed Sallie, got my bath, went through my reader, and dried my hair. I did some English with Graves and we did mostly phonics. Peyton mopped the kitchen and made me breakfast. Peyton's parents came over and we all visited and then Sallie took a quick nap and I did spelling with Graves. When she woke up, P took Sallie and Graves down to our neighbor's house to learn how to take care of their fish while they are in China. I did writing with Annie and made her some noodles. We ate lunch and Peyton, Graves, and Sallie got home. They left again to do some errands and I did spelling and grammar with Annie and then got her started on her math. I did a few things around the house and Elizabeth and her kids got here. We had a nice visit and when they left, we got ready and headed to the pool. The kids played a bit before swim team started and Annie had a great practice. Graves had a hard time again.











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

Love her grabby little wave, and those two teethies, and her legs dainitly crossed at the ankle, and how darling she looks in a bonnet, and pretty much everything about her.

canon ball

that toe

 We went to my parents' for supper and to visit. We didn't stay too long and got the kids to bed right when we got home. I was super tired but I straightened a good bit and did some dishes and unpacked our stuff. I started some laundry and did a few things on the computer.

The kids slept a little later than usual on Friday which was great because Sallie had had a hard time. When she woke up around six, she wanted to play. I put her back in her crib and she went to sleep, though! So nice. Anyway, Peyton was long gone and off at work and we all woke up around eight thirty. I straightened some in our room and the sunroom, made the bed, and tidied up the kids' beds and Sallie had breakfast. I got a quick bath and dried my hair. I cleared my reader, sent a FB message, and made a phone call, and then had my breakfast.

Annie straightened her bed and Graves collected laundry and then we all went outside to pick blueberries. Sallie ate a few and then I came in and got her down for a nap. The big kids played outside and I started a load of laundry, made up the sunroom bed, and RSVPed to a birthday party. A friend called about a checklist I had for Annie and my computer totally turned off. It was something with the powerstrip so I got it rebooted and then did a few things.

The kids came in for lunch around noon and it went downhill from there for awhile. They took forever to eat lunch after they fixed it, which also took forever. I folded and put up some laundry. Then Annie had meltdown on top of meltdown about me and Graves arguing, her friends not having the same swimteam practice as her, and what school work we were doing. Graves was driving me crazy, too. Sallie finished her lunch and I got her to take a nap. Graves and I had been working on a math sheet and we finally finished it and Annie did her math and some dictation. I did writing with her and she took a bath. Peyton got home earlier than we expected and Annie had some media time and Graves read and unloaded dishes. I got ready and took the big kids to swim team and Sallie went outside with Peyton so he could mow.


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!

Well....swim team was cancelled. Ugh. We came home and I had a snack and then did took a lap around the block on a bike Peyton had fixed the tires on. I fixed Sallie supper and read while P took the big kids on a short bike ride. They came home and Annie did some more school work and I bathed Sallie and got her settled. Graves had media time and the big kids had supper. P read to them and then I read to them. We talked some and I ate my supper and Peyton fixed my computer. We went to bed really early.

Sallie was up a bunch that night and was up early Saturday morning. I got up before Peyton left and changed Sallie and got her breakfast. I snuggled with Graves on the couch while Annie finished some science stuff P had left her. I made the bed and did a few other things and then the big kids had breakfast. I put Sallie in her crib and took my bath. I didn't dry my hair but I went through my reader and sent two FB messages. Sallie played in the den and I ate breakfast and made lists for the big kids. I texted Carrie to see if they were going to the pool and Annie and Graves picked up their room. Graves helped me load dishes and I swept and cleaned up the high chair. Sallie took a nap and woke up after about fifteen minutes. I got her back to sleep and rested a bit myself. Annie did some independent work and I worked on a blog post and uploaded some videos to YouTube. Then I did a math lesson with Annie and some reading with Graves. Graves did some writing and more reading and Annie did an English assessment while I folded laundry. The big kids ate lunch and Sallie woke up. I put up laundry and got everything together to head to the pool. I changed and nursed Sallie and did some dishes and we left.

We met up with Carrie and Alaina at the pool. We had a nice time and the kids had so much fun. We came home around five thirty and all had corndogs. Well, except for Sallie. I fed her supper and got all our wet stuff put up and most everything unpacked and then I gave Sallie a bath. Graves and Sallie played and Annie did her dictation. I started laundry and dishes, swept, and cleaned up the high chair. Annie and Graves had media time while I tried to get Sarah Lamar to sleep. Peyton got home and Sallie finally went to sleep. I talked to Peyton and ate supper and we watched a show and went to bed.

I was pretty tired on Sunday. I got up around seven with Peyton and Sallie and the big kids got up right after that. Peyton left and Annie and Graves were both giving me fits. I got my bath and got ready and helped them eat breakfast and get ready and we got on the way, albeit a little late. We got there and I dropped everyone off and headed to Sunday school.

When we got home, I transferred Sallie. She took a great nap and the big kids had extended media time. I looked up a few things on the computer, played on IG, sent a Facebook message, and finished a blog post. Then I rested a bit. Sallie got up and I nursed her and then she ate a ton of solids. The big kids got something to eat and got in a huge fight. I unpacked our church bags and consolidated some piles and unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher. I collected laundry and started a load and folded a load from the dryer. The big kids went outside to play.

I fixed the big kids supper and brought it outside to them and fixed Sallie's. She ate and I did some more around the house and the big kids came in. I read to them, bathed Sallie, and tried to get her to sleep. I ended up letting Graves play in her crib while I planned the next day with Annie. I got Sallie settled and cleaned up the kitchen and Peyton got home. We got Annie and Graves to bed and watched a show, ate supper, and talked. I straightened in the den, changed over laundry, and did a few things in the kitchen. I got on the computer a bit and went to sleep. 


O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be
Let that grace now, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above 

Blurry babies and despite the grins, we had quite a few pull-your-hair-out moments this morning previous to the picture. I was exhausted and a bit of a train wreck myself. I really didn't want to go to church at all.
But I'm so glad we did. We had some sweet conversations on the ride there and back, Annie and Graves's Sunday school teacher offered for them both to leave church early (something Annie is really too old for and Graves won't do without her) since she'd be downstairs helping out and I heard some things I really needed to hear- the reminder that God is often redeeming our suffering rather than rescuing us from our pain and that when we are feeling despair and demand answers, refusing to live with mystery and uncertainty, we are adding to our own heartache.

Some days, by God's grace, I think I embrace that mystery and uncertainty well and some days I do a horrible job of it. It was a good reminder that the days when I do embrace it are the days I feel lighter. I'm grateful for those days.

I'm also grateful for red check and eyelet and that it's officially time to break out the solid white bubbles. Those things make my heart a little lighter, too.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Weekly Happenings Post #424 (May 15-21)-- A Big Cats and Bird Joint Birthday Party


 More authentic "real life" moments. Annie was literally doing her math work.

This week was the big kids' joint birthday party, which was really fun. It was also our first trip to the pool. It hadn't opened for summer but Peyton was working really hard on it and we all tagged along one day and spent a whole afternoon there! I put the kids in their matching swimsuits so I could take some pictures and I ended up loving how they turned out.

Monday was a good day! Sallie had woken up once at three in the morning to eat and then slept until eight thirty (and she had gone to bed around eight!). I got up around the time she did and did a bunch of straightening before I took my bath. I unpacked our church bags and the stuff from my parents', made the bed, and picked up stuff around the house. I ate breakfast and then took a bath while Sallie had her breakfast. I dried my hair. Peyton did school with Graves and Annie did some science stuff. Peyton got ready to meet a friend for lunch and I nursed Sallie and got her to sleep. I read the introduction to Annie's new writing curriculum and texted a friend and Minnie while the big kids played outside and had a snack. Graves started his media time and Annie did some grammar and worked on a friendly letter. I looked over some more of her school for the day. Annie practiced piano and folded some laundry and then I fixed all three kids some lunch. Peyton got home and I helped him hurry and get Graves and Sallie ready to go to the pool to do some work. Annie finished her lunch and I got on the computer a bit.

Then we got to work. We did some grammar, writing, math, and critical thinking and then I vacuumed, changed over laundry, and rinsed a bunch of dishes. I swept and cleaned off Sallie's high chair and then finished my closet change over while Annie had media time. Peyton and Sallie and Graves got home and P and I talked while the big kids played. We got ready and headed to the library. It was a nice walk and I enjoyed it. When we got home, I fixed the kids some supper and straightened some. I bathed Sallie and nursed her and got her to bed and then texted Minnie and Elizabeth. I did my nightly reading and such with the big kids and got them settled and then ate some supper myself. I messaged a couple of friends and worked on a post. I read a few blogs, took a shower, and went to bed.

Sallie had another great night and didn't wake up until six and then nursed and went to sleep until eight thirty on Tuesday. Since I had taken a shower the night before after our walk and we were going to nature club, I just got dressed and made the bed, started laundry, and got Annie folding some. I ate breakfast and went through my reader and then did writing with her. Sallie had breakfast and Peyton did school with Graves. We headed to nature club. We had a fun time and when we got back, the big kids both had baths and P and I ate lunch and relaxed a bit. Peyton did more school with Graves and Sallie ate her lunch and I folded some laundry and picked up the kids room a bit since Elizabeth and her kids were coming over. Peyton finished up with Graves and Graves worked on unloading and loading dishes and I bathed Sallie and took a super quick shower. Elizabeth got here and we ended up spending the whole time visiting outside and watching the kids play. Peyton worked on some chores outside and did yard work. After they left, I got Sallie down for a nap and did a good bit of school work with Annie. We worked on grammar, vocabulary, and a bit more writing. After that, she had media time and I went outside and ate a snack. Sallie woke up and I took her outside and visited with Peyton. After a while, I came in and folded some more laundry and fed Sallie supper. The big kids came in and ate and I bathed Sallie again and nursed her and got her to bed.

She had a hard time and I went to the sunroom to relax. I ended up falling asleep in there and taking a short nap. I got up and cleaned up Sallie's high chair, swept, rinsed the dishes, and scrubbed the counter. Peyton and I talked some and I messaged a couple of friends and regretted to a baby shower. I edited some pictures, read a few blogs, and then ate my supper and watched TV. I actually stayed up too late.

I slept late on Wednesday and then got up and ate breakfast and started some laundry and did a few things. I took a quick bath and went through my reader and got to work on schoolwork with Annie. Sallie fought her nap and Peyton helped me. I did grammar and writing with her and then she did some independent work. Sallie took her nap and I did a few things around the house. Annie did some more grammar and critical thinking and math. Sallie woke up and we all had lunch and Annie finished up her work while I uploaded and edited some pictures. After we finished, we all got ready and headed to the pool for a long afternoon. We were there for about three hours and the big kids swam and Peyton cleaned the pool. Sallie played and I cleaned in the concession stand.

Y'all. There was a fridge in that concession stand that was INTENSE. I could seriously be a cleaning lady, I think. This is the third time I've cleaned other people's filthiness (round one and two were Peyton and his two grown man room mates who lived here before we got married and Wednesday Webb, our landlady in Brooklyn; respectively). Also, I think I've shared this before, but I started this thing in New York where I pretend I live in a time without air conditioner. I know it seems like Peyton's a total hardass but I *AM* kind of high maintenance because I literally have a span of like three degrees now where I'm comfortable (I used to be so cold-natured and that came back after Sallie was born but now I get overheated so easily, too?) Anyway, I've never considered myself "hardy", but now I feel like I could totally be Katie Nolan, the strong working poor momma of Francie- the main character in my favorite ever book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Okay, not really. But I can clean up really gross messes not made by myself or my children and I can roast in my own house.

Summer is for...one of my absolute favorite places on earth with three of my absolute favorite people on earth.


TRULY even more handsome than he was fifteen years ago when I watched him do this on the regular. We're back at it with cleaning the pool and scrubbing the concession stand, only this time we're taking breaks to nurse bonneted babies and teach simultaneously terrified and fearless six year olds to swim instead of to splash around flirtatiously and make out in the water. Love you so much, P. More every day, really.


He has so many gifts. His infectious (occasionally obnoxious) laughter is most certainly one.
 Future guards


 a great start of a great summer

We came home and the big kids had media time and Sallie had supper. I ate something myself and then bathed her and got her to bed while P fed the big kids and cleaned up the kitchen. I uploaded pictures from the big camera and edited and organized them. I snuggled with Graves some and did a few other things on the computer. I finalized what food (in addition to pizza!) I wanted to serve at the kids' party and then watched The West Wing and went to bed.

Thursday ended up being a tough day emotionally, for some reason. Peyton took Annie and Sallie to do some errands super early and I slept in a bit. When Graves woke up, he got breakfast and I made the bed, straightened in our bedroom and the kitchen, and collected laundry. Peyton and the girls got home and Sallie nursed and then had some solids and Annie did some school work and cleaned up her room. P did school with Graves and I straightened in the den and changed out the seasonal stuff on the mantle and side table. Peyton took the big kids and headed back to the pool and I cleaned up the high chair and started a load of laundry. I messaged with a friend on FB and got Sallie down for a nap. I cleared my reader and got out my serveware for the party. Then I went outside and started paining a sign. Sallie woke up while I was still working on it, but I nursed her and plopped her in her stroller and she did great. We came in and I fed her lunch and washed my paint brushes. I rinsed off some dishes and worked on making some labels for the food and a few other things. I fixed myself a grilled cheese and ate it with her and cleaned up my mess from crafting. I gave Sallie a bath and picked up some in the kids' room after that. I cleaned off the highchair and swept and cleaned the skillet where I had made my sandwich. I folded some laundry and changed over a load and then Peyton and the big kids got home.

I was going to do some school with Annie, but they were later than I had anticipated, so I just put up a bunch of laundry and picked up around the house. I helped P get some bins to the attic and organized a TINY bit and then took my shower. We went over to my parents' house for supper. It was a quick trip because we had a lot to do and Peyton was working early the next morning. We got the kids to bed when we got home and I straightened up school stuff in the study and he fixed a broken potty. I watched The West Wing and got in a Facebook argument defending a woman who left her child in the car with it running and he was kidnapped and killed.

Peyton left for work early on Friday. The kids and I got up before eight, but I just laid around on the couch while they ate breakfast. My in laws came over to drop some blueberries off and we visited and then I cleaned Sallie off and changed her. She played some and Graves and Annie and I started chores. Annie folded laundry, Graves unloaded the dishwasher, and I scrubbed down the counters, cabinets, and baseboards in the kitchen. I changed over laundry and then scrubbed the kitchen table and side table, dusted the blinds, and cleaned the window sills. Peyton got home and I ran to Target to pick up some extra party favors and to Kroger to buy the food. When I got home, I got to work doing the food. I made bird nest rice krispe treats and died some coconut flake "grass". I made the tiger butter and chilled it and then worked on making a bird out of veggies. Sallie had lunch most of that time. I put pretzels and candy and such in bowls and Peyton took Sallie over to my parents' house to grab a card table. I dusted and then vacuumed while they were gone. I got most of it done and finished the kids' room after they got back. I straightened some more and mopped the floor and scrubbed the bathrooms. Sallie took a nap and I blew up some balloons and decorated outside. Peyton left to go get the pizza and beer and ice and I got my shower and finished up a few things. Our friends got here and we had such a fun time!


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


 Bubbles are still legitimately one of Baby Graves's favorite things.


 Sissy loves Uncle Conrad (and Minnie's cookies).


Two thirds of the girl cousins and two thirds of the boy cousins. Our biggest and littlest were off being party animals somewhere. I'm so, so glad my three are growing up close to their sweet cousins


Such sweet buddies playing after the rain cleared. We were missing quite a few friendsand 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).


Curly hair and swirly hair. I still can't get over how fun it is to have a Cousin Baby and a Sister Baby three weeks apart. They are a mess and are both perfect tag along, easy natured, third babies who are already trying to keep up with the big kids. Sallie and Evan kept patting each other and playing together and being silly. I've been missing my sister like crazy and it makes me really grateful to have a sister in law who is such a close friend and a niece and nephews that I get to love and play with and watch grow up.

We got the kids all to bed and I straightened in the den and then unloaded and loaded dishes. I got on my phone some, ate pizza, and watched The West Wing.

Saturday morning, I got up when Peyton left and had such a headache. I put Sallie in her crib in the room with the big kids and she played for awhile and I got a bit more rest. I put her in her highchair while they had breakfast and gave her some foods I'm not worried about at all with her and took my bath. I just listened for her. I made the bed and dried my hair and got on the computer for a bit and then I changed Sallie's diaper and worked on getting her to take a nap. The big kids went outside and played and Sallie really fought it. I finally got her to go to sleep and I had some pizza and just laid around a bit. She woke up quickly and I helped the big kids clean up their room and try on clothes while she played in her crib again (she's so happy in it if someone is in the room with her). I ordered something off Amazon and helped Graves with unloading dishes and then Annie busted her chin on the brick floor in the kitchen. They use the piano bench to jump over the gate from the den to the kitchen. Anyway, she was so upset and wouldn't let me see it. I called Peyton and got her calmed down and finally got Sallie out of her crib. She had a dirty diaper so I changed her and got her lunch while Graves ate a sandwich he had made himself. The big kids both had some media time and I got ready quickly to go to my parents' house so Cookie could look at Annie's chin. I bathed Sallie and packed up a few things and we headed over.

Cookie assessed the injury when we got there and got Annie fixed up and then we just had a really nice, lovely afternoon. We got sushi for dinner and Peyton got there and looked at Annie's chin and I bathed both the big kids. We came home and I got everyone settled for bed and nursed Sallie. Peyton was in his car so he stayed and visited a bit. I messaged a friend and did a few things on the computer and went to bed.

 I got up with Sallie around six something and went back to sleep for a bit after she nursed and then woke up for the day around seven on Sunday. Sallie played in her crib and I got my bath and helped the kids get ready. Peyton had put some things out for breakfast and I got Sallie some cereal and dried my hair. We all finished getting ready and loaded up and left for church.

Sunday morning outtake: squinty eyes, crazy eyes, and sister-love eyes. (Heart eyes for momma because I'm so punny).

Sunday school was interesting and Graves was so sweet and sang some of the hymns in church. We came home and I transferred Sallie from the car and then texted with a friend and played on my phone. I took a short nap.

When Sallie woke up, I did some stuff around the house. I collected and sorted laundry and got a load going, rinsed some dishes and loaded the dishwasher, unpacked our church bags and stuff from my parents' the day before and got most of it put up, and made a quick trip to the attic. She ate lunch and the big kids had something to eat and then they all played for awhile. I rotated laundry and did a few other things and then it was supper time. I cooked some veggies and everyone ate and I read the Bible and a devotion to them.
Sis tried squash, zucchini, and broccoli for the first time and loved it all. Actually, I'm not sure this piggie has met a food she doesn't love!

We discussed the day and did our ethical lesson and and then the big kids brushed their teeth and I bathed Sallie. I started cleaning up the kitchen and then read Trumpet of the Swan and some history to the big kids. I worked on getting Sallie to sleep and P got home and helped me with the big kids. Then he took a turn with Sallie.

 They finally all went to sleep and we ate supper, watched TV, chatted and went to bed. Sallie had a really good first night in her room!


Sobbbb. I mean, it's a good thing. It really is. It was time. But....whew. MY BABY.




My Shepherd will supply my need:
Jehovah is His Name;
In pastures fresh He makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back
When I forsake His ways,
And leads me, for His mercy’s sake,
In paths of truth and grace. 

I told them it might rain that day and they took me real seriously. Also, Annie was so tickled by Sallie "in a big girl chair". I think Sallie herself was tickled by it, too. Bud was tickled when there was the LOUDEST screech over the sound system at church. He was roaring with laughter and said "I want another heart attack!" after he heard me whisper to a friend that I nearly had one. Never a dull moment!

Weekly Happenings Post #423 (May 8-14)-- Readjusting to Life Back in the Sip



This was our first full week back after a month in New York. It was pretty uneventful and I was thankful for that. It was also Mother's Day and my birthday that weekend. They were pretty uneventful as well, and again, that was totally fine and even appreciated.

I was still trying to get back into our normal routine on Monday. Sallie woke up super early and P and the big kids got up and then I got up about half an hour later. I did some stuff I had meant to do the night before- tidied in the kitchen and picked up in the den and folded up some Winter clothes to go to the attic. I started some laundry and got breakfast for Sallie and myself and Peyton did school with Graves. I took a bath and Peyton's parents came over so he and his dad could run to the bank. I visited with his mom and texted a friend and when Peyton got back, Sallie and I went to Belk and Target really quickly.


Seemed like a good day for a Target run for trip supplies for the upcoming low key big kid joint bird/large cat themed birthday party.

We got home and I tried to get her down for another nap (her morning one was pretty short) and started school with Annie. She never fell asleep and I got her a sweet potato to eat and then got back to work with Annie. We did grammar and math. After that, I got ready to head to the McClean Center. I picked up Sonic on the way and it was kind of gross. Ugh. It was a really special night- the last one for the semester and I was so glad I was back for it. I came home and folded some laundry while Peyton got the big kids settled. Sallie woke up and I snuggled with her and nursed her and we actually both fell asleep. Annie was having a hard time and I fell asleep listening to him deal with that.

I woke up for a couple of hours around midnight and had a snack and worked on a post. I slept a bit late on Tuesday morning and made the bed, straightened some, and got my bath. Peyton and Graves worked on dishes and Annie played outside. The guys ran to the grocery store and then got ready to go work at the pool doing some cleaning and such. I got Sallie down for a nap and looked for some new shoes for Annie and then did grammar and math with her. Sallie woke up way to quickly and I ended up letting her fuss, trying to get her back to sleep, and letting her cry more. It was horrible. Finally, I just got her up. I did get some laundry going and put up some groceries.

I made Annie a grilled cheese and ate some soup myself while Sallie played. I tidied and organized some more and then I fixed Sallie lunch and emptied all the trash around the house, took it out, got the trashcan from the street, and collected laundry. Annie practiced piano, tried on some clothes, and went outside for a bit.

Darth Vader ready for Mockingbird and the beach.

Then she came in and did a bit of her media time.I dusted in the den, study, and bedrooms and then vacuumed the bedrooms, study, and bathrooms. I had forgotten the vacuum scares Sallie, so lunch was over at that point. I got her out and cleaned her up and was changing my clothes, which had gotten food all over them, and Elizabeth and her kids got here. There was laundry everywhere and I cleaned up the high chair and swept while they were here. Annie and Simeon played in the yard for awhile and Michel played with Sallie while Evan napped in the car. Then Michel went outside with the big kids. We had such a fun visit. Evan woke up right before they had to leave. After they left, I got Sallie down for another nap and Annie had the rest of her media time. I got on the computer myself and cleared my reader and then we did a little school. Sallie woke up and we worked on phonics and Annie did her math. I cooked supper and Annie did some critical thinking. The boys got home and we all ate and then I took Annie to Target to shop for shoes. Peyton bathed Sallie and cleaned up her high chair. Annie took a bath when we got home and we got her and Graves settled and I got Sallie to sleep. I cleaned up the kitchen and sent a friend a FB message and went to bed pretty early.

I woke up with an awful headache on Wednesday. I took some medicine and went back to bed and got up awhile after Peyton and the kids. It wasn't too late and I made the bed and straightened some and helped the kids get ready for P.E.


A magic horse ride

Peyton did his exercises and helped me get some boxes from the attic and then took a bath and I got the kids loaded up. He took all three so that I could work on changing over their closets. I got a few more things from the attic, texted a friend and then went to through my reader and email. Then I got to work on the change over! I got Graves's and most of Annie's done and then Peyton and the kids got home. I got Sallie down for a nap and Annie helped me with some of her changeover and then we did grammar and math. Sallie woke up kind of in the middle of it and I nursed her and then she played some in the den. I popped her in her crib and she played some and watched us and I got most of hers done, too! Peyton tried to do school with Graves but they didn't make much progress. He sent an email and got Graves unloading dishes. Then he left for a meeting. I did the last bit of Sallie's change-over in their room and organized some stuff she had outgrown and then helped Graves with dishes. Sallie had her lunch and I rinsed dishes and loaded them and started some laundry. I collected the rest of the laundry and then Sallie played with Graves some. Peyton got home and the big kids had a snack and Sallie took another nap. Peyton and Graves attempted more school and I took a bath and got ready to go to dinner with Carrie. She picked me up and we headed to a new Mexican place in the area. After that we got frozen yogurt. We stayed out late and had the best time. We finally headed back here and she came in to use the bathroom and visited a while longer with Peyton. She left and Peyton and I chatted. Sallie woke up and I fed her and got her back to sleep and then got on the computer. I went to sleep super late.

Thursday was a nice day. I had gotten up with Sallie several times and was super tired so I slept a bit late and then got up and made the bed and got my bath. Peyton and the big kids headed to Briarwood to clean some more and Sallie played in her crib while I dried my hair. I went through my reader, ordered some stuff, and sent an email and Facebook message. I got Sallie out and read to her a bit and then changed her and nursed her and got her down for a nap. I worked on a blog post and did a couple of other things and Sallie woke up. She settled back down, though, and I took a short nap myself. When she got up, I straightened some and started laundry.

Peyton and the big kids got home and we had lunch and then I did some English and math with Annie. Peyton did school with Graves and Sallie ate her lunch and then took another nap. Annie and I did more English and when Sallie woke up, I organized some things and we got ready to go to my parents'. We had a great visit and I talked to my dad a good bit and just sat on the pier at dusk, which was really nice. We came home and got everyone settled and I got some more stuff down from the attic and went through some stuff up there. I finished a blog post and Peyton and I talked some and then went to bed.

Sallie had SUCH a great night. She had gone to sleep at ten and woke up at six and nursed and then went back to sleep until eight thirty on Friday morning. I got up then and found Annie in the sunroom.

I found Annie like this 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 Mickey here!

I woke Graves up and he and Sallie played while I read a bit with Annie, made the bed and straightened and took my bath. Sallie had breakfast and I dried my hair and ate mine and went through my reader and email. I sent a couple of friends messages to get their email address and then Sallie played awhile and I got to work on my closet changeover. I got a good bit done before she got cranky and I put her down for a nap. After the big kids had breakfast, they did their chores. Annie folded laundry and practiced piano and Graves did the dishes. It took forever to get Graves to do them and he got in trouble a good bit and poor Sallie fought her nap so hard.

I heard some noise and went in to check and Annie was pulling out the extra leaf so she'd have more room for laundry. Nice for it to get some use ;)

While she was asleep I finished up the big kids' e-invitation for their birthday party and sent it and did a couple of other quick things. Sallie didn't sleep very long at all and when she got up I worked on my closet some more. I had done my skirts and started on dresses that morning. I got my dresses mostly changed over but ran out of hangers (I have more Summer stuff but it takes up less room so it works out) and then worked on changing over my tops. I rearranged some things and except for a few things finished up everything but shoes and my dresser (I keep my jeans and shorts under my bed all year so I don't have to switch them). After that, I collected laundry and ate my lunch and got some Legos out for Bud to play with.

Sallie ate lunch and played for a bit and I did a few things and then the big kids went outside and I got Sallie down for her afternoon nap. I worked on my May blog design and got frustrated because the sound on my computer wouldn't work. I fooled with it for a bit and then just got back to what I was doing. The big kids kept getting in fights. Finally, Peyton got home. We talked some and Sallie woke up. I folded a bunch of laundry and then we went outside. He mowed the front yard and I played with the big kids and Sallie hung out in her saucer. I traded with P and mowed a little, too. We came in and fixed supper for the big kids and they took quick baths. I worked on changing over my dresser. I changed up a couple of drawers and purged some stuff and got most of it done while all three kids were eating. Peyton ran to the grocery store quickly and Graves wanted to make a list so I helped him with that.

Peyton got home and we got everyone settled. P went to sleep super early and I got Sallie down and then finished my header. I read to the big kids and then laid down on the couch because I had a bad headache. I ended up falling asleep. Peyton actually got up a bunch with Sallie because we decided to try to night wean her. We were going to wait to start until his weekend was over and he wasn't working for a few days but since he went to bed early and was in there anyway, he did it. I got up around four and rinsed the dishes I had meant to do before I fell asleep and cleaned up the highchair and then went back to sleep.

Peyton left for work and we all slept late on Saturday. The big kids got up the same time as me and Sallie around nine. I made the bed and ran my bath water and somehow ended up overflowing the tub. UGH. I cleaned that up and took my bath and the big kids played and entertained Sallie in her crib. I changed Sallie's diaper and then dried my hair and ate some cereal while she had her breakfast. After that, the big kids cleaned up their room. I gave them some direction and then started cleaning off Sallie's high chair. Minnie came over for a surprise visit. I finished cleaning the high chair and sweeping and talked to her a good bit and she played with the kids. When she left the big kids finished cleaning their room and poor Graves fell on something and got a bloody nose. We got that taken care of and then they headed outside. Sallie took a nap and I started some laundry, cleared my reader, and started a post. I made some collages on my phone and relaxed some and Sallie woke up. I took her monthly pictures and it was quite a feat without Peyton. Graves helped some, though. He strolled her around in the driveway a bit and then he came in and unloaded dishes and Annie did her math. I cut up a cantaloupe and made a grilled cheese for Annie. Sallie had lunch and so did the big kids. I got Annie's critical thinking sheets set up and changed over the laundry and treated a blood spot on the sofa. After lunch, Annie and I did some reading and she did her critical thinking sheets and Graves loaded dishes. I got Sallie down for her nap and the big kids had media time. I took a nap myself and had a snack. Sallie woke up and I got up and the big kids went outside to play. I did some stuff around the house and Sallie ate supper. I fixed the big kids their supper and they ate. Peyton got home and I gave Sallie a quick bath and got her to bed. I helped the big kids get settled and then did some computer stuff and went to bed.

Sallie slept from about ten to six thirty on Sunday and then woke up and nursed. I got up and got my bath and she and the big kids had breakfast. Peyton left for work and we got ready and headed to church. Sunday school was nice and church was really good. We came home and I transferred Sallie. The big kids had media time and I worked on a blog post and did a few other things and had lunch. Sallie took a great nap and when she got up, we headed to my parents' (because it was my birthday!). We spent all afternoon there and ate supper and got home a little after eight.


 progression of a hug

Sallie fell asleep again and I nursed her and got her back to sleep. I read to the big kids and Peyton got home and made me a treat while I was reading to them.

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.

We visited and watched TV and then went to bed.


 Let us love our God supremely,
Let us love each other, too;
Let us love and pray for sinners,
Till our God makes all things new. 

Such a beautiful day for a birthday/mother's day. Grateful for these kind, curious, hilarious souls who made me a momma; year thirty two; the sinners who I love and pray for and those who love and pray for me- a sinner; a God who renews and redeems.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Weekly Happenings Post #422 (May 1-7)-- Last Few Days in Brooklyn and a Somewhat Bumpy Return

Legitimate family picture that wasn't staged at all (w were in a big rush and by that point I had nursed this child all over New York City, so it seemed pointless not to do it for the (long longer actually weekly) family picture. I love how much life gets inadvertently documented in these things and I love it more and more as each year goes by.

So this is insane. I realized that not only am I now over four months behind, but the last time I even published a WH post was at the end of JUNE. I know literally anyone else would probably just let this go but I enjoy having them so much and I just can't. 

Anyway, this was the very last couple of days in New York and then our flight home and starting to get back readjusted.

Peyton wrote on Facebook after we got back: "I'm at home with all my doors unlocked, my kids are playing in the muddy yard and riding their bikes as I periodically check in on them, and I'm not wishing I was back in Brooklyn. I absolutely loved seeing friends and refamiliarizing myself with a special place but upon returning to MS I'll be doing the same. Honestly, it's much more clear how easy and just plain enjoyable life in suburbia can be. We'll be looking forward to seeing Brooklyn again next year sans the family Delta flights that will NEVER be happening again (long delays and multiple return trips to the airport will do that to you). But in the meantime, we'll be celebrating the amazing life we've lucked into down here."....
I really echo all those sentiments, with the caveat that I'm deeply uncomfortable attributing it all to luck ;) It was so, SO good to be back.

That said, it was NOT an easy week. I had a really hard time with all three kids. I was really hard on Graves on the plane ride home and I was so upset myself by it (more about that in a minute).

Then the weekend was exhausting and both nights it took me about an hour and a half to get Sallie to sleep. I just had to take breaks. Partly to help the big kids with stuff and partly for my own sanity. She was so fussy all day on Saturday and Sunday. I didn't know if she was sick or if it was just readjusting to being back home. Or I thought maybe P was already her fave and she missed him. SOB.
I reminded myself of something that I tried to make a practice really early on with her. I love systems and strategies and some of my favorite blogs are full of them, but for me, it's been really freeing to let go of some of (a lot of) that. So, I told myself I just needed to comfort her as much as I could, take a break when I needed to, and remind myself that this wouldn't last forever. But my anxious side really wants to be in control and get ahead of it in situations like this. On Sunday, she ate a HUGE lunch of bananas and sweet potatoes and applesauce and two different people had told me I looked like I had lost weight and I thought "maybe shes' starving?!?" I remembered Annie and Graves's baby days where I was, not enough and barely enough, respectively and I felt this tremendous guilt and then she was back to fussing again fifteen minutes later and I knew it wasn't that. And then there was the possibility she was just rotten. P wore her a ton in New York and so she was basically Attachment Parented for a month (joke, guys: your babies aren't rotten if you APed them).

I was so worn out just from all that and then I made a joke about how if the cat got dehydrated it was on her and Annie started crying (it was the second time I made a joke that upset her- the first was about Peyton being the favorite- I'd started talking to her in a much more grown up way and forgotten that her sense of humor isn't that of an adult's). She was just holding Darth's little water bowl in her hands, kneeling on the floor, waiting for Darth to come near and tears were running down her face. I loved her more than I ever had, maybe. And I felt so, so awful again.

The good news is that most of all that was just being tired and out of sorts and it took us a bit, but we got readjusted and things returned to normal. 
Monday was a fun day. I was helping a friend and two of her friends who are planning to homeschool kind of plan that morning. I got up and got my bath and got ready and P got his. The big kids did such a great job of getting themselves ready and we headed over to her house after I got Sallie dressed and fed. They headed to a nearby playground and I visited and just helped them figure things out for about an hour and a half. Peyton and the kids got back and we headed home. We all had lunch and I took a quick nap and then Peyton got ready to go meet Jake, the rector at Calvary. Annie had media time (Graves had lost his) and then played and I hung up a bunch of clothes and straightened and Sallie played. She took a GREAT nap and I FB messaged with a friend and texted another friend. I prepped a blog post and did a few other things and went to bed.

Sallie slept so well!

This messy headed, incredibly mischievous looking girl took an hour morning nap and a two hour afternoon nap the day before and then slept from ten until six in the morning, nursed, and went right back to sleep until eight. Basically, what I think a normal baby age does. It was SO nice. She's not a great sleeper in general but this trip was all time low. This says alot about tired I look on the reg, but I think my face even looks more rested.

Tuesday was our last day and it was such a great one. It was also Peyton's birthday. We had a slow morning and then headed to Cousin John's for a late brunch.

 Peyton's birthday is today so he's having HIS special day our last day here. Non tangible, Voluntary Simplicity gifts include more walking/less transit than usual and me going out in public sans makeup.

I'm glad one of Peyton's requests was walking more because it was just the perfect day for it. It was warm but windy and the streets were covered in petals. Annie took this picture of me, the birthday boy, and this gal who is basically an appendage at this point. SO attached to both of us now, but I wouldn't have it any other way.


Only nature's own confetti for Envirosweetie's birthday! 


Brunch at Cousin John's. Peyton, Annie , and I shared the blintzes and challah french toast (both are like in my top ten favorite foods), Graves and Sallie split a croissant and cookie, and we got some treats to go.

After that, we headed back to the Pier 6 Playgrounds.

 When it's in the seventies,Sallie gets dressed in ruffle panties without tights...or shoes. Mississippi girls know the ruffle panties are more important anyway.


Hungry Little Sallie having a snack while her brother and sister have fun at the playground.

We stayed a good long time and then went to Cafe Habana for an early dinner. It was DELICIOUS.

 
 Also on my favorite food list: street corn at Habana Outpost.

We got home and Sallie was asleep. We all relaxed and I took a short nap. After that, the big kids took baths and ate supper and I started packing.


Last round before we had to chunk this thing. When we have some down time in the apartment, Graves liked to get in the bottom and manually turn the wheels like a wheelchair and drive Sallie around. Besides the cracked handle, it also it had started to malfunction any time it bumps something and folds up on itself. Predictably, this has happened quite a few times while they're doing this. Our absurd party girl just laughed. I know it's a nature/nurture thing a d partly we've conditioned her to be this way, but God could not have created a more perfect baby sister for Graves. I do see some T-R-O-U-B-L-E in my future. 

 I started packing at about seven and finished up around ten. I went to bed pretty soon after that.

We got up pretty early on Wednesday to finish last minute things. I took my bath, dried my hair, and went through my reader. I sent a FB message and had breakfast and finished packing.

The guy got there to check us out of the Airbnb and then our car got there. We had a really pleasant ride to the airport and got checked in easily and then waited for our flight. We got there before ten and our flight was at two. Haha!

 Well, we checked out of the Airbnb, made it to the airport, did the thing where we redistributed nine pounds of crap because we didn't have a scale this time (the guy was SO kind and patient), got checked in, and took a golf cart like half a mile inside the airport to our gate. We got our wait station set up by a window, complete with a toothbrush, and we have about three hours until take off. (I say this every time, but the list of similarities between my daddy and my husband is short but near the top is their compulsion about airport punctualality. You will NOT, due to your own negligence, miss your flight if you're flying with Mick or P.)

 She doesn't mind either (actually she's a big fan of both) but this girl was super happy to not be in a carseat or the Tula and stretch her little chubby legs before our flight. Also, the carseat situation this time seemed much safer and less frantic, but I still think we'll be bringing the minivan next time.

 You win some, you lose some. I think we're losing on the minimalist front. We checked five items and are carrying on four backpacks (including Sallie's) and my purse.i was actually really glad it was an even ten to keep up with. [Just on the outside of her backpack, Annie has attached a regular sized Beanie Boo, a solar powered charger, a untensil set, a boxing glove keychain, a stuffed tooth from Coney Island, a braided bracelet, an Easter basket, and a purse. That's not even including things like the orange juice bottle full of peanuts and toothbrush in the outer mesh pockets. We are absurd.]

Guys...we ended up having  a two hour delay.

 Here we are again. Two hour delay. And once we got to Atlanta, I had no idea if we could even get home because there were supposed to be terrible storms in Jackson. 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 I decided at that moment that if I never flew in an airplane again, it would be too soon.

 Streeeeeetch.

We finally got on the plane and headed to Atlanta. It was a good flight overall.

Our layover in Atlanta was supposed to be three hours but even though it was slightly delayed, it was much shorter since we were held up so long in NYC. We boarded and it was a much shorter flight but felt much longer.

 Whew. We finally made it home. Thirteen hours from when we got to JFK that morning. I thought about it and with the time it took us to fly (both ways), we literally could have driven there and back. Not to mention that it was way better overall this time but Atlanta to Jackson was ROUGH. I literally feel so much worse ten minutes after getting off a plane than ten minutes after giving birth. The kids did REALLY well. I was way too hard on Graves, though. I was so patient with him when he cried twice about a hot dog and then his hands being sticky before we ever left New York but he threw Sallie's top to her sippy cup on the plane and I raised my voice. I felt terrible and told Peyton I might as well be these verbally abusive parents we saw on a video the other day. I was so flustered because I was taking him and Annie to the potty and he took forever and the light came on to get back to your seats and then the top and I just got overwhelmed. But overall, he was such a sport. Sallie didn't fuss at all until the last bit of the second flight (which was amazing because she didn't nap on either). But she was LOUD and spunky. That little bird can't stop chirping. All day, every day. She's a Herrington, alright. And Annie was SO sweet and wiped Sallie's "drooly" hands off herself with a wipey so she could play with her penguin. It was right when Sallie needed some help, too, at the end of the second flight. Also, she lost her top two teeth eating corn on the cob the day before. They've been loose forever and you can see her grown up teeth coming in already. It sorta grosses me out.

I tried to let Peyton enjoy the flights since it's something I detest anyway. He watched a movie and I had all three kids on the row across from him and he visited a TON with his neighbors on both flights (so Peyton). This guy from some country I can't pronounce that's holding Friendly Little Sallie spoke several different languages but said he wished he lived somewhere like here where you only needed to learn one. He also had one two year old child but gave P a ton of parenting advice in a sort of paternalistic way but Peyton didn't mind at all (again so Peyton). I think some cultures just find this more acceptable. I don't want to generalize, but it reminds me of of super blunt Asian neighbor who ain't shy about telling me when I look like hell or the elderly black women at the co-op who were convinced I was dressing my children inappropriately for the weather and I was like "nah, I think the ankle length down coat you wearing when it's fifty degrees is what's inappropriate". It's actually refreshing, in one sense, for people to be so blunt and I really respect my friends here that are that way. The South is too often full of "sweet" people (especially women) who aren't actually kind.

We had discovered also that we couldn't find the key to the van. UGH. Peyton's brother met us in Jackson with a key. We loaded up all our stuff (my parents had dropped it off at the airport) and headed home by way of Newks and the grocery store. We all ate and got the kids to bed (Sallie fell asleep in the car on the way home). Peyton and I chatted and went on to bed, too.

We had a super relaxed morning on Thursday. I got up and had breakfast and took my bath and did some computer stuff. The big kids played outside and Sallie played and had breakfast and then I nursed her and she took a nap.

I got all the big kids clean clothes from the trip put up and then got the toiletries and homeschool stuff organized and put up. I scrubbed the toilet, sink, and floors in the guest bathroom and really worked on the tub. Then P and I went through a bunch of piles on top of the washing machine and dryer and I swept in the laundry room and scrubbed out some cleaning supply bins. I cleaned a dust pan and took out the bathroom trash. I tried on some new clothes that came in the mail and tried to get Sallie to take another nap but she wasn't interested. We ended up just getting ready and heading over to my parents' house. We had a great time visiting and eating supper.

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.



We came home and got everyone settled and P and I talked some and then I straightened and worked on a post. Sallie woke up and I ended up just laying down with her and going to bed myself.

Sallie and Graves slept until eight thirty on Friday. Peyton left for work at seven and Annie got up sometime between those.

 First day back at work for P after a month and I was all...

I got up and straightened in our room. I changed and fed Sallie and then she played in her crib while I made the bed. I also set up a lamp and did a few other things. I took a bath and then I had breakfast and fed Sallie some crackers.

Minnie always sends a leftover tuna croquette and I couldn't even wait until ten o'clock to eat it. I used to have compulsions about eating the "right" food for each meal, but I really can't afford to care at this point. It was so good to be back.

 I vacuumed the rug, collected laundry, and cleaned the kids' bathroom which was kinda gross. The tub was dirty and the potty was messy. I got dressed and did my makeup and our friends got here for piano. We had a great visit and the girls had a good lesson.

After everyone left, I got Sallie down for her nap and the big kids had media time. I finished a couple of quick blog posts and read some blogs. I talked to Peyton on the phone and ended up reading him a whole grocery list while he was at Walmart. I did a few quick things around the house and he got home. We put up groceries and then I organized some stuff. I went to Target and Belk to pick up a few things and when I got home everyone was eating supper. I ate something and went to bed EARLY after I got Sallie to sleep.

Annie got up when P left for work and Sallie, Graves, and I got up around eight thirty again on Saturday. Sallie played in her crib while I made the bed and took my bath. I put her in her high chair and dried my hair and then ate my breakfast. I went through my reader and email and then started some laundry. Peyton had cooked the night before and he had mostly cleaned up but the sink was full of dishes he hadn't loaded in the dishwasher and I needed to scrub the counters. I did all that and then read to Sallie, nursed, and rocked her. She seemed fussy but not ready to nap. I called the consignment place, messaged my sister in law, and then helped the big kids pick up their room. I cleaned up the breakfast dishes and Sallie's high chair and swept and Annie folded some laundry and then the big kids went outside to play. I unpacked a good bit and Sallie took a nap and I ate my lunch, finished a blog post, and rested a bit. The big kids came in for lunch and I did some grammar with Annie and counting with Graves.

Sallie woke up and she played some but was kind of grumpy. She ate a banana and some cereal and Annie and Graves went outside again. I folded some laundry and worked some more on putting up stuff from the trip. Annie did her math and Graves read a reader to me. We took Sallie outside and she was SO happy. I cooked some pasta for supper and our neighbor came by. I bathed Sallie really quickly and she took forever to get to sleep. The big kids each had baths and then played for awhile. I fell asleep on the couch and then talked to a friend. P got home and we visited and I unloaded the dishwasher, changed over laundry, and finished cleaning the kitchen. We went to bed. 

Sallie woke up around seven on Sunday and I got up and took my bath and talked to P and the big kids got up and had breakfast. Peyton left and Sallie and I ate something and I got dressed and dressed Sallie. I nursed her and got her in the car and then did my make up and grabbed a few things. It was so nice to be back. Sunday school was really good and the big kids did really well in church. I enjoyed the sermon and Sallie did great in the nursery, apparently. We did take a long time to get ourselves together and leave. I nursed Sallie in the parking lot and she transferred well when we got home. I ate lunch, texted with a friend, and worked on a blog post. Sallie woke up and played some and I went through some piles in our room, unpacked the very last of the stuff from the trip, and folded some laundry. I fed her a big lunch and the big kids had a snack and played outside. They ate supper outside and Sallie had a snack and her bath and then the big kids came in and took baths, too. I worked on getting Sallie to sleep and it took FOREVER again. Peyton finally got home and I upset Annie and Sallie woke back up. P got her back to sleep and we talked some and went to bed.

Whew, what a week! It seems like a liftetime ago and also kind of like I lived a liftetime in that one week! Anyway, I'm hoping to get a bit more caught up on these soon =)