Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in 12 Photos

At the end of every year (since I've started blogging) I like to summarize our year in a dozen or so pictures. Typically I spend hours pouring over every photo I've taken in the last 12 months until I find just the right ones to summarize our year. It becomes this whole big thing for one little summary. However this year has been anything but typical AND I'm running short on time and energy, so instead of finding the perfect pictures I will be using the good enough pictures I have on my phone already. I'm sure it will suffice! 

The month started out with lots of sickness (for our entire family) and Braxton hicks contractions (for just me). And ended with this little guy! And oh my goodness...I've been smitten with him ever since we met (just moments before this picture was taken). We all have been! 

We hunkered down and enjoyed the first weeks as a family of six. We stayed home as much as possible and learned who Levi is and how he fits into our family...perfectly! Joe also turned 32 which was celebrated with a lunch and trip to Walmart (without kids!) because we sure know how to party;-)

I'm pretty sure this was the longest, slowest month in history! Time moved so slow it felt like it had practically stopped as we waited for Match Day. The fact that Joe was away for the entire month (back at school) and my parents were in Montana (waiting for my sister-in-law to have her baby) and Levi decided he would rather nurse all night instead of sleep DID NOT HELP. But we all survived and finally we learned we would be moving to Texas!

April brought Joe's very last day of medical school!!! Which means I did a lot reminiscing (see collage above) and pondering what life in residency would be like. Joe made a quick trip down to Texas to buy us a house and cowgirl boots for our girls. We are thankful for both. 

I spent most of May working like a mad woman sorting, purging and packing our belongings. Preparing to move our crew cross country was no easy task (even with 80% of our belongings already boxed up in storage!). The highlight of the month was our Memorial Day weekend trip out to my sister and brother-in-law's ranch in South Dakota. All 14 grandkids (plus their parents and grandparents) were under one roof all weekend! It was so much fun. Minus the small incident in which four kids locked themselves inside an antique trunk that has no key! That part I could have done without. The rest was great:)

This month was HUGE. Absolutely filled to the brim. End of school year for the kids. My birthday. Charlotte's 5th birthday. Isaiah's 8th birthday. Medical school graduation for Joe. All of which were much anticipated and celebrated. After we finished partying we packed the truck and hit the road for our 1400 mile move. If there is anything that will test your sanity it's a cross country move with a 4 month old and a 2 year old while the sale of your future home is falling apart. Trust me. We survived and Joe started residency. Like as a real doctor! Oh and we got the house in the end. 

It was initiation by fire for our family. Joe started residency with a grueling 6 week rotation in the ICU...that turned into 7 weeks:( The kids and I were left on our own to unpack the entire house and to navigate our HOT new town. Everything was new and exciting at this point. 

Besides working on our tans, we celebrated Hannah's third birthday with a "Par-tea" with new friends. At the end of the month the big kids started different schools. Just to keep life complicated. Isaiah started third grade and Charlotte started KINDERGARTEN! They both did great. I however struggled with the decision to start Charlotte in kinder so young. Joe finally got to work in the emergency department!

The little kids and I found our groove at home with the big kids at school all day. MOPS, storytime, tumble time and playing at parks. We hosted a medical student, his wife and three children for two weeks. It was really fun and it made me wish medical families always lived together. It was great built in support and babysitters! Charlotte started dance once again. And Joe was on an orthopedics rotation. 

Joe started a month of nights. And I HATED it. It was a tough month for all of us. Thankfully my parents and cousin and aunt & uncle came for a visit. It was a much needed distraction. Not enough of a distraction for me to wonder if maybe I wouldn't be able to survive three years of residency with four kids though. And just when I thought my proverbial plate was full we added our first pet to our family. Frankie the baby tortoise. Oh and Isaiah finished his second soccer season. He was a scoring machine!

November brought sweet relief in the form of a lighter schedule for Joe and more family time. Oh and slightly cooler weather.  Thank you ultrasound and radiology rotation! The month started with a visit from Papa & Grandma. Then we hosted a "Friendsgiving" dinner in our home for all the residency people. Followed by a three day family camping trip. It was the the first time we needed jeans and jackets since we moved here! The kids and I drove up to Dallas to spend Thanksgiving with my cousin and her family while Joe returned home to put in a bunch of hours in the emergency department. 

It has been a blur of activity. Decorating, shopping, baking. Going from one Christmas activity to the next. I'm not sure quite where this last month has gone?! But I know it's been a good one! Especially having family here for Christmas. And even though it was a work week for Joe he was able to get to the beach with us one day and to the Christmas Eve church service. 

So where does that leave us now? Enjoying Joe's week off as a family. (And by "enjoying" I mean getting projects done around the house...hanging pictures, painting walls, cleaning & organizing the garage, etc. and playing with the kids. We are preparing for the next six weeks. Which are notoriously the worst ones of intern year. Trauma rotation. And by "preparing" I mean getting my parents settled into life with us. But mostly we are excited to see what 2016 has in store for our family! And if I'm being completely honest, just a tad nervous too:) Here's to another year! 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Merry Christmas Y'all

Our first Christmas in Texas has been a huge success...and I can say that without taking ANY of the credit or bragging. Because I have been the epitome of the Scrooge, the Grinch and a bah-hum-bug combined! Seriously. Every time I saw the presents under the tree (half of which I purchased!) I would get stressed and crabby! The thought of fitting MORE STUFF in this house totally overwhelmed me. Speaking of the house I really did try to clean it for Christmas but my children tried just as hard to unclean it.  One child (who shall remain anonymous) smeared poop all over my freshly scrubbed bathroom while the baby squirted ketchup all over himself and my formerly clean kitchen floor. And I'm not even sure how he got his little hands on the ketchup packet in the first place. The tree did get set up and decorated. All thanks to my hardworking non-Scrooge husband. If there was one thing I could brag about it would be the three types of Christmas cookies I baked (on Joe's only day off while he watched the children and ran to the store for silly things for me like sugar and butter). Let's just ignore the fact that none of the sugar cookies got frosted. That's completely irrelevant;-)

The real reason Christmas was such a big hit was the fact that we somehow convinced my parents AND my sister, her husband and four children (ages 4 and under) to make the 1500 mile trip to visit us!!! They must really love us...either that or they were desperate for some sunshine and warmth in their lives. Regardless my kids have been loving spending so much time with their cousins. Everything is better with cousins and grandparents! 

It's even made having a zombie-like or sleeping or absent husband more tolerable for me! (Thanks night shifts)

Now if only we could convince them to come back for Easter too! That would be perfect. Not very likely but perfect. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Residency: the first six months in review

Six months. Half a year of residency. Done. 

That's crazy to me. I'm not even sure how that happened. Actually that's not true. I know exactly how it happened. The synopsis is this: it started out fun but slightly lonely, then it got really hard and more lonely, and now it just feels normal. Sometimes fun. Sometimes hard. A little lonely at times. But mostly just normal. 

In med school I heard all about the horrors of residency...from the spouses' perspective...and the thing is I thought I was prepared. Ready mentally for the long hours and tired husband and lonely nights. I thought because I knew ahead of time just how hard and lonely it was going to be that I somehow wouldn't succumb to it all. That I would be immune to the loneliness and the sadness. I thought because we moved to a fun and exciting place for residency that it would be fun and exciting too. Which I now know is foolishness! Maybe some spouses sail right through this transition to residency unscathed but I did not. I cried. I threw grown up sized tantrums. And I fought it. Hard. I didn't want to accept this life. For a while there I lost myself. I couldn't even remember who I was or what I enjoyed. It was scary. And sad.  

And the hardest part was this: while I felt so incredibly lost and lonely I was watching my husband thrive. Right before my eyes he was becoming this great new version of himself. The confident and happy, albeit tired, new doctor. He was becoming the person he was meant to be while I felt like I was disappearing. And I didn't know what to do about it. I had thought ahead of time that we would be miserable together this first year of residency. I assumed HE would be more miserable and I'd be mostly okay but still able to commiserate with him. But that wasn't even close to reality. He was happy. And I was sad. Very, very sad. 

But I'm not there anymore. Thank goodness because it's a miserable way to live. So what changed? First my husband spoke truth and love to me. He reminded me of who I am. Fun. Energetic. Creative. Loving. Social. He reminded me of all the good things in our life. Our kids. Our house. Food on the table. Beautiful weather. New friends. New experiences. And he gently told me I had to stop wallowing and starting living this life. And that's just what I did. (After one more hour of crying in bed.) I quit fighting it. And started accepting it. All of it. The long hours. The lonely nights. Solo parenting four kids. Being the new person in town. New experiences. The good and the bad. Making new traditions in our new home. Finding our rhythm.

So here I am. Six months later. A little battered and bruised. But still standing. Because even though this life can be hard at times, it's beautiful and so worth fighting for. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Levi's dedication

This morning at church we had Levi dedicated. 

More accurately we stood up on the stage (alter?) and promised that we as parents would DEDICATE OURSELVES to raising Levi in the church. Raising him to know God. And to hopefully someday on his own choose to follow Him as his personal savior. We made these vows to each other and to our pastor and congregation and of course to that happy clapping baby on my hip. And while a small part of my brain is always thinking "I hope we look alright" and "I hope none of my kids misbehave or vomit* on this stage". Mostly these dedication services remind me just what a privilege and an honor and HUGE responsibility it is to raise these little people that have been entrusted to us for a short time here on earth. 

Looking at these pictures it's hard to believe that we would ever fail in our efforts to raise our children exactly how we promised we would. But we do. Often. We aren't always picture prefect. And tonight as I was reading the girls a bedtime story I was reminded just how much room for improvement there is in my parenting. I was reading from the children's Bible and our conversation went a little something like this...

Charlotte (interrupting my reading): The Bible also says we are supposed to obey our mom and dad. 
Me: That's right!
Hannah: Mr. Michael (her favorite Sunday school teacher) says we are supposed to obey our mom and dad too. 
Me: Uh huh. 
Hannah: And I told Mr. Michael that one time you were screaming at us because no one was obeying. But I was obeying!
Me: You did?
Hannah: Yep. I told him you screamed. But it was just Charlotte and Isaiah that weren't obeying because I was. I obeyed. And you screamed at us. 
Me: And what did Mr. Michael say?
Hannah: Nothing. 

Ok then. Wow. I may never be able to show my face in our new church again! 

*Admittedly most of the time it's misbehavior I'm worried about and not vomit. However a mere twenty-four hours before these pictures were taken that adorable brunette three year old child was vomiting all over our already stained and pitiful twelve year old couch. Hence the fear of vomit. FYI - the couch was not salvageable. Our family's sanity was. And on a brighter note we've already found a newer, far less stained replacement couch thanks to CraigsList! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015


I know. I know. I said the blog was dead. Or at least mostly dead. But there is just one teensy tiny little thing I want to record. And it's this:

I'm tired. 

I'm tired all the time. 

Which doesn't seem worthy of writing down. But here's the thing, right now I am perpetually tired. I feel like a zombie most of the time. I'm so sluggish and tired I can't imagine NOT being tired. But I'm hoping this is temporary and I can look back and say "I'm so glad I made it through that terrible tired phase"! So I'm writing it down. Because I think that if I do move past this phase my mind will block it out and I won't even remember to be grateful for my none tired state. (And yes! Logical-not-at-all-irrational IS my middle name.)

Oh and this is NOT a I'm-sad-and-depressed-and-just-want-to-sleep-and-hide-from-my-life-all-the-time kind of tired. I know because in the past three months since residency started I have experienced that kind of tired. Nope that's not what is happening now. Thankfully I've come to accept this life and this town. And I'm okay with both of them. I'm not sad and hiding anymore. I'm just tired. 

Very, very tired.  And I'm beginning to think this is my new normal. Like it or not. I knew residency would deprive my husband (the actual resident) of sleep. And I expected him to be perpetually tired. And he is. I guess I just didn't expect to be so tired myself. 

Hello residency. My name is exhausted wife of resident. It's nice to meet you. I'll just go have my second Pepsi of the day and try not to fall asleep on my couch while my children play. 


Friday, August 28, 2015

How a blog dies.

I love reading. I have ever since the third grade. However over the last few years my reading for fun has dwindled to nearly non-existent. In fact most of my reading consists of reading blogs on my phone. Dozens of blogs. Mostly mom blogs. Funny kid stories. Real life struggles. Just the happenings of a family. Much like this here blog of mine. And over the years I have watched more than a few blogs die. Sometimes it's a slow drug out process other times it's sudden. Without warning. Either way it ends, I'm always left wondering WHY?!? Where did they go? What happened?!? Did something tragic happen?

And now sadly I fear I am that blogger. The one with the blog circling the drain. And here's the thing, there is no good reason. Nothing big or dramatic or life changing has happened. We are still here living life. And I certainly have plenty I WANT to record. For example how Isaiah very seriously asked me what kind of food I thought they served at the "Human Express" as we drove past the "Hunan Express" awhile back. Or how Levi is suddenly mobile and can army crawl across the room like its no big deal! Or how I left the kids + a neighbor boy in the backyard the other day and by the time I threw in one load of laundry Hannah had turned on the hose and had all the kids trapped in/on the playhouse. She was holding all the big kids hostage! (To say she is a handful is a major understatement.) Or how Charlotte had a small potty accident on the third day of kindergarten and it took every ounce of my self restraint to NOT drive over there and scoop her up and bring her home. And when the nurse told me over the phone that Charlotte was crying and dressed in the school's extra clothes and looked like a HOBO, my heart broke for her and I cried too. 

However I can't seem to find the time to record these things or the dozens of other moments I don't want to forget either. Because when I can't find the time to mop my floors once a week...I can't justify using any "extra" time to write. (For the record I scrubbed the kitchen floor this morning. It's hard to tell because it's still sticky and blotchy. But I promise I attempted to clean it before writing this.) 

Maybe this is the end. Maybe not. I sure hope not! But I really don't know. I want to write. In fact I have half a dozen drafts started but none completed. But first I have to figure out how to balance this life I'm living. How to juggle four kids (two of whom are in school...but not the same school!), a husband in residency and maintaining our home and sanity. And right now I'm not doing a very good job at any of those things. I can't seem to complete a load of laundry in under 48 hours meanwhile Joe is working crazy hospital hours + knocking dozens of house projects off his list every chance he gets! His last day off he managed to install three new ceiling fans in our house (without electrocuting himself!). I on the other hand made it to Walmart and purchased 3 of the 6 items I needed that same day. Like I said, I don't quite have it figured out yet. 

So until I do, this is me saying GOODBYE. It's been good. I hope to be back. But I make no promises. 

Time of death 14:32. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Levi: 28 weeks

Likes: his stuffed baby turtle. He could care less about the mama turtle with all her bells and whistles but the plain baby turtle...oh how he loves it! The loaned to us IKEA dangling toy bar thingy. Stealing my cup and chewing on the straw. Perhaps a straw cup of his very own should be purchased. Perhaps.

Dislikes: Diaper changes. He doesn't mind the fresh diaper but the laying still part is like torture! Basically changing his diaper is the equivalent of a mama-baby wrestling match. Most of the time I win. But just barely!

Eating baby food. The first couple bites were GREAT! (Pictured below) But it's been all down hill since then...he acts as though we are trying to poison him. Which would be funny if it weren't so frustrating! 

Quirks and Habits: Crying, fussing, drooling and clinging to me. Day and night. Poor guy has a couple teeth coming in...and it's not going so well. (See week 28 picture above.) He is just MAD at life. 

When he isn't chewing on frozen toys or fussing, he spends quite a bit of time sitting up like the big boy he is! 

Babbling constantly. Lots of bababababa. A little dadadada. And I swear ONLY when he is upset he says mamamama! What a stinker. 

Lounging on the beach at sunset taking adorable pictures...

Ok. That one really isn't much of a habit as it only happened once. But oh my cute is that picture?! Too cute. 

Reasons why I am currently smitten with him...

This crabby teething phase has me thinking. That normally Levi is such a happy baby. He is what you would describe as an "easy baby". He smiles often. Laughs easily. And just rolls with the flow. He goes to other people happily. He stil naps virtually anywhere as long as he has his pacifier and doggy blanket. I'm so thankful for his good natured disposition. He is definitely a good baby to end my baby phase with. My happy little hip riding companion. 

My beach buddy:)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

One of those days

Ever have one of those days when you want to wave the white flag of surrender before lunch time rolls around because your three year old is clearly ruling the roost? But you can't because it's another 8+ hours before your co-parent returns. So instead you take the wild child + siblings out to run errands because you know YOU will be forced to behave civilly regardless of the children's behavior. And then upon your return home you allow the children to have a leftover birthday cake FREE FOR ALL just so you can indulge in a mid-day bowl of ice cream without hiding in the bathroom. And then as a last ditch effort to save this miserable cry and scream filled day you pack a picnic supper and all the swim gear and take the children for an evening swim because it is still 3 hours until your knight in blue scrubs returns? And then once you are already in the pool with all four children you notice that your swimsuit is inside out? And like the icing on the cake you run into one of your husband's colleagues at the EXACT moment the baby tries to pull down your swim suit top and the three year old runs out of the bathroom bottom-less asking to be wiped. Ever have one of those days?


Me neither ;-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I live HERE.

Last week my cousin came down and spent a few days with me. Her kids and my kids played HARD. We spent our days at the beach and the evenings at home. It was exactly what I needed. Someone familiar. Someone who really knows me. Adult interaction. As a bonus my children enjoyed having playmates that weren't their siblings. But then on Friday after the party she left for home. And on Saturday Joe went back to the hospital to start up his eight consecutive day work week. And that sad, sinking feeling started to creep back in. But I felt it coming and I fought it. I refused to let it settle. Because I don't want to be sad anymore. 

Instead of settling into the sad I went to the residency girls night on Friday despite feeling slightly (ok. REALLY) awkward as the new girl. And Saturday I kept the kids and I busy. Putting our house back together after company plus a trip to the library AND a new-to-us playground. A playground that actually has baby swings! Too bad my baby fell asleep in the car on the way there. And then on Sunday the kids and I went to church. Our church. And instead of it feeling sad and lonely it just felt normal. Like the thing we do. Without Joe. After church we checked out a sea life rescue place. I rounded out the day by finally unpacking and putting away the boxes of random stuff that had collected in our bedroom. These boxes were beginning to mock me every time I walked in my bedroom. I was afraid they were going to live in my room like unwanted squatters until the day we decided to move OUT of here. And yesterday I managed to shower in the morning BEFORE we got out the door to get the kids registered for school. At the registration I killed a roach while waiting in line like it was NO BIG DEAL. Which it kind of is these days. (Let's not dwell on the fact that there are roaches the size of Levi's foot in my kids new school because...EEEEWWWWW!)

Yesterday the kids and I were hanging out (in the shade of palm trees along the waterfront!) with a fellow residency wife + her kids when she made a comment that resonated with me. It wasn't particularly profound or deep. But it perfectly expressed how I've been feeling but unable to explain to anyone (my very perplexed husband included) for the past 8+ weeks. She simply said, "I want to feel like I live here." Amen sister. And me too! 

Before we moved here we heard from numerous well wishing friends and family "Oh what an exciting adventure!"  And I whole-heartedly agreed. This move has been quite the adventure. And I do love a good adventure. But that's not what I want anymore. Now I just want to live my life. In my house. In my town. With my family. And my friends. To find my routine and rhythm. And slowly, with great effort I'm finding that life here. I have Isaiah signed up for soccer. Charlotte signed up for dance. And I registered myself and the two littlest ones for MOPS here. I've forced a few residency wives to hang out with me and my kids. Some of whom I bombard with daily (sometimes hourly!) texts. Because these are the ways I know how to do life. And if I want to feel like I live HERE I have to start living. Next up on my "I live HERE" campaign: finding a pediatrician for Levi and Hannah's slightly overdue well child checks. Because nothing says this is home like a doctor appointment, right?! Right. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Par-tea for THREE!

Today we celebrated this girl turning THREE. We had a proper tea party with fascinators and little sandwhiches and of course lots of little girls in fancy dresses drinking out of real tea cups. 

Truth be told it was hardly proper. There were toys strewn about everywhere. Smashed grapes and spilled lemonade covering the floor. Only half the guests participated in the planned activities - fascinator decorating and pin the tea cup on the saucer. Oh and the crying babies and diaper changes really added to the ambiance. And I didn't even serve tea! (Unless you count sweet tea.) But all of that didn't matter. Hannah was absolutely delighted to be celebrated and surrounded by friends. This was her first party with friends and she clearly loved it! 

The fact that she even has friends to invite to her party a mere 8 weeks after moving cross country feels nothing short of a miracle. Which has me thinking. We are some of the lucky ones. 

See. The thing is every year thanks (no thanks?) to The Match thousands of medical-students-soon-to-be-doctors are placed (more like displaced!) in order to start their residency training. Ourselves included this year. Some of these placements are local. Most are not. While moving cross country as a family of six is not ideal we are some of the lucky ones. We moved from the freezing tundra known as Minnesota to semi-tropical Texas. Lucky indeed. (Admittedly I feel rather unlucky on the mornings I am woken to Hannah dangling dead cockroaches in my face. Two inches from my face to be exact. I wish I were making this up. I'm not.) But more importantly we've been placed in an incredibly family friendly and supportive residency. Instant friends! What could be better? And friends that get it. Not much beats that. 

Oh and as a bonus not one of the party guests mentioned the unpacked boxes tucked "away" next to the couches. Even when 8 weeks is clearly long enough to get everything unpacked and settled and yet we aren't. Good people. 

And in a few short hours I'm busting out of here to meet up with the ladies of our residency program. The wives and residents. Girls night? Yes please. Sorry birthday girl. I REALLY love you. I promise I do. But I need some adult interaction too. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Around here.

We are gearing up for Hannah's 3rd birthday. We are throwing her a "par-tea". Get it? It's a tea party. And by "gearing up" I mostly mean pulling out any and all girly party decorations I have in my party supply box + purchasing tea cups from Goodwill + ordering a cake from the grocery store. So yeah pretty elaborate preparations. Regardless the kids are excited. And every day Isaiah announces how many days until the party. (Nine. For the curious.) Tonight he decided he better pick out his party outfit. And try it on. AND lay it in neat pile in his room. Just to be ready. That kid! I sure do love him. 

Speaking of that kid. Last night Joe was working in the garage. I had a question for him but I was shoe-less so I slipped on the closest flip flops I could find. They were Isaiah's and much to my delight-quickly-turned-disbelief-turned-horror they FIT! Ack. When that kid get so big?!?

Today at the pool I was stuck in a lounge chair holding a sleeping Levi. (All around not a terrible place to be stuck!) Meanwhile the kids were 10 feet away from me feasting on all the snacks I had diligently packed. Charlotte sweetly saw me in my place of need and walked the box of crackers to me...and offered me the "crumbles". I guess it's the thought that counts?!?

My mom recently asked about house projects that we are completing. I was quick to tell her all about the entry wall Joe painted and the microwave he installed on his first day off in for-e-ver!    (Ok it was just ten days. But possibly 10 off the longest most emotional days for me. Not him. He's totally fine. Cool as a cucumber like always.)  She then asked what I had done. I laughed...and struggled to list anything other than keeping everyone alive. So um yeah...go me? Not. 

So I totally thought I was going to love, love, LOVE our residency town. And I don't. I just don't. I'm struggling to find my place here. I keep searching and striking out. Usually I love the library and story times. We have libraries and they are ok. Not great. The parks are also usually a favorite for me and my kids. But here they are pitiful. And old. And neglected. It's sad. And they don't have baby swings. Why no baby swings?!? I just don't get it! I thought maybe the YMCA would be "our thing". But then I called and they only have childcare in the evenings for potty trained children. Um. Ok. Not helpful. Joe keeps telling me that "my thing" might be bringing my kids to school. And sadly I am beginning to think he is right! 

That and Sonic. It has 99¢ corn dogs during "happy hour" and a (somewhat) decent playground...

So basically it's a magical place for us:) Corn dogs every day? Don't mind if we do. The half priced slush really helps way it down nicely. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Levi: 24 weeks

Gah. It's been too long since I've done one of these updates. I'm sure there is stuff I'm going to miss but I'll try to summarize the past 8 weeks of this guy's life as succinctly as possible. And don't even get me started on the missing picture from week 19. It was move in day. I had all of the picture taking supplies in the car with me so it could of happened. But it didn't. After 3 days on the road I was too frazzled. It just didn't happen. 


Likes: Hannah. Hannah. And Hannah. And that's it. Or mostly it.  Seriously she is his FAVORITE person in the world. And I think the feeling is mutual. Just this morning I told Hannah "I love you" and she promptly responded with "I love your baby!"  I'm glad they like each other because soon they will be spending a lot of time together (once the school year starts) but sheesh I felt like chopped liver. She makes him smile and laugh like no one else. 

Chewing on his hands and FEET. He discovered those at 17 weeks and it's been toe chewing heaven ever since!

Pacifiers. Any pacifier. He's not picky! I've never seen a less picky baby in regards to pacifiers. Which is handy considering I wanted to wean him from the froggy paci (so wet and stinky from all his drooling + summer heat and humidity) AND I have a dozen used one time only pacifiers from a non-pacifier loving older sister.  

Sleeping on his left side ALL NIGHT LONG! 

Being outside and swimming. As evidenced by his gradual increase of his little tan (& blonde!) head in weeks 21-24. Pool or beach. He'll take either. 

Dislikes: Baby food. He thought it was fun for the first couple bites. But then he decided it was AWFUL and won't let it touch his picky palate since. 

Learning to sit up! It's just so much work. And unfortunately he's not such a fan of his exersaucer these days either. Maybe me overused the circle-o-neglect during the early days of this move? Perhaps. 

Quirks and habits: Levi (bless his little heart!) has finally fallen into a schedule of sorts. Eating at 7a, 10a, 1p, 4p, 7p. With a possible 10p feeding. Most days he takes 3 naps - one of which is usually 2 hours! And I'm finally feeling human again. 

He's also doing big baby things like hanging out on my hip much of his days and he makes the cutest sleepy noises (moans?) as he falls asleep. Where did my little nugget go?!?

Reasons why I am currently smitten with him...umm because he's my only child that doesn't (yet!) talk back AND he naps! What's not to love?  But in all seriousness, he brings so much happiness to our entire family. He's a delight to have around. Our very own silly goose monkey!

Monday, July 20, 2015

my weekend recap

I posted a few pictures on Instagram this weekend. Two to be exact. And they are of course beautiful, fun-filled rosy colored snap shots of our life. They are pictures that capture the highlights of our weekend. Moments I want to remember. I love both of them and the story they tell about us.  

However they got me thinking. First, about how much I really love my kids, my husband, and my life. But second how much the pictures DON'T tell. The rest of the story. 

This was Friday's picture:

What it shows:

Us. Happy. New pretty wallpaper hung. Well rested baby. Ready to head out to spend the late afternoon and evening at the beach grilling out with new friends.

What it doesn't show:

The HOURS it took to hang that wallpaper. And my short temper while hanging the wallpaper with my husband on his one and only day off this past week. The area of the wall that sadly isn't finished. Oh and the two year who kept interrupting our work. And later in the day all the lugging of ALL THE STUFF to the beach and back again with four sand and salt soaked tired children. 

This was Saturday's picture:

What it shows:

Happy baby. Sunshine. Palm trees. Kids playing. A relaxing poolside evening after a long, hot day. And ALL of those things were just as wonderful as they sound. Trust me. But...

What it doesn't show:

Joe at the hospital all day. Me at home with the kids. Cooking. Feeding. Cleaning. Playing. Disciplining. Unpacking boxes. Hanging curtains. Cooking. Feeding. Cleaning. Playing. Disciplining. Over and over again. Not having my husband notice all my progress on the house and feeling defeated at the end of the day. 

This was Sunday's picture...

Oh wait there was no picture. Because it was a repeat of Saturday + church without Joe.  And I'm learning that residency Sundays are hard for me. Emotionally hard. They are just this glaringly painful reminder that I am alone (minus the four small people constantly surrounding me). They make me miss my husband (even more than every other day) and my friends. And a picture of me crying and shoving my face full of nachos with my kids fighting in the background while madly texting my friend who has survived residency as the wife/mother isn't quite the beautiful picture I want to share with the world. But sometimes it's reality...despite the story Instagram tells. 

So after ugly crying over my refried beans I decided to pull myself together and do something...anything productive. So I set to work repairing one of my favorite wall hangings that was busted in the move. (Side note: Why do all the good ones get broken and the ugly old ones make the trek unharmed? Why?!?) After repairing it, I measured and leveled and hung the wall hanging. Stepped back and took a look at my handiwork only to see the picture was off-centered on the wall. And not just a little bit. A LOT off centered. 

It was like the icing on my this-isn't-what-I-expected-residency-life-to-be-like cake. 

And all I could do was laugh. Because I was all out of tears for the day. 

Thankfully it's Monday again. Life is looking up once more. The sun is shining. The pool is refreshing. And the kids and I survived another weekly trip to the grocery store so our fridge is full of delicious, fresh foods. Oh and I hung a few candle sconces in the master bathroom this morning. Perfectly centered. 

Take that Monday morning! 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

House update #1

So today I walked around the house with my camera determined to snap some "after" pictures of projects we have completed. To show off a bit. But it turns out I didn't have much I could photograph. That doesn't mean we haven't already put a ton of work into this place because TRUST ME. WE HAVE! However before and after pictures of dirty/dusty blinds/fans/light fixtures/door frames that are now clean just aren't all that exciting. And bathroom cabinets that were dingy white at move-in time but are now bright white...umm not very picture worthy. Or hall closets that have been arranged and re-arranged and re-rearranged and still look messy are not worth documenting. But I persevered and found a few things to share.

Eat-in Kitchen

This is very obviously the BEFORE picture...

because oh-my-goodness that wallpaper! And that daisy light fixture! They hurt my eyes every single time I walked in the room. Which of course is only 100+ times per day. So just a slight pain.
And now, the much easier on the eyes AFTER version of our kitchen:

So much prettiness in one spot! Including that adorable girl in pink:) A fellow resident's wife offered to watch Levi so Joe and I could go on a date the other day (the big kids were at VBS). We quickly and gladly said YES. And promptly went home and wallpapered. Not the most romantic "date" in the world, but wallpapering just wasn't going to happen otherwise. I am so glad we spent our three free hours working on this "little" project. Joe probably isn't. (Wallpapering is HARD. And stressful. And I'm not very kind in those situations.) But its done and I LOVE it and my husband still loves me. So I'm calling it a success. Even if that one area above the door still needs to be completed...meh. I'll get to that someday.

So pretty. Even with a few light bulbs missing.

The kitchen cabinets were in ROUGH shape when we moved in...

I have spent many, many post-kids bedtime hours working on them. Cleaning, sanding and staining. I have done three tedious layers of stain. Oh and the knobs got a little spray paint make over. And all I have to show for that work is 1/3 of the cabinets completed...

And I could just cry. Not because it is slow, tedious work. But because I don't like the results! They just look like I painted them brown. Poopy brown. And I didn't. I stained them!!! Originally I was going to paint them gray. But then I thought stain would look better. Sadly I thought wrong. Very wrong. Painting them would have been so much easier! I am so frustrated. Joe wisely made me take a break from the cabinets. At least the knobs look a little better. 

Main Bathroom

I had to dig deep through Joe's phone to find some BEFORE pictures of the kids' bathroom because unfortunately I did not think to take pictures before my mom went to work transforming this once dingy little space into this...

We are embracing the green counter for now. Because honestly it was the least of our bathroom concerns when we moved in. Take a gander at how far this bathroom has come already...

Those pictures are from the day Joe toured the house. The day he decided this was THE house for us. I shudder a little bit looking back at these pictures. That faucet was broken. And the cabinet was dirty and gross. The towel bar and toilet paper holder were old. I would bet money that they were the originals to this almost 40 year old house!  My mom was a saint to clean and paint that space. I definitely owe her.

And that ends the before and after section.

Now just a few pictures of the house as it looks today in all it's not-quite-all-the-way-unpacked-messy-lived-in glory. Boxes in the corner and toys strewn about everywhere all the decorating rage, right? Right. 

Living Room

the wall above the couch needs to become a picture collage wall

this guy doesn't seem to mind all the unpacked boxes!

And just around the corner is the dining room playroom. Because who needs a formal dining room anyways? Not I.

lots of playing happens here. and a few sibling squabbles too.

Master Bedroom and Bathroom

Taken from this angle because the rest of the room is a DISASTER zone.

This wallpaper gets to stay a little bit longer because I think it is kind of fun. Plus it really shows off that green counter well:)