Sunday, May 31, 2015

sibling love

Last weekend at my sister's house our little family of six shared a bedroom. Which for the kids isn't much different than their normal sleeping arrangement here at my parents' house. Except Joe, Levi and I were in the room with them. Oh and instead of beds they were sleeping on camping mats and mattresses on the floor. 

One night an hour after we had put the big kids to bed I asked Joe to go check on them. To see if any of them had fallen asleep. (Wishful thinking!) Levi and I were too busy snuggling to actually make the trek downstairs. Joe the ever dutiful husband trudged downstairs and back again to report that they were all still awake. (Exactly what he had told me/predicted before going down to look.) 

Also unsurprisingly Hannah was not in her bed. Instead she was crouched over a very tired and crying, whimpering Charlotte. When Joe asked her why she was crying she pitifully reported that Hannah was hitting her and "wouldn't stop!"  Hannah did not deny the alleged crime. And when asked Isaiah (with his face buried in his Pokemon book)  shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't know. I'm reading." A mere foot away from the crime scene. And completely oblivious. 

While I felt bad for Charlotte - getting beat up (by your little sister!) when you want to be sleeping sounds miserable - I couldn't help but laugh. Like really laugh. Because that small interaction pretty much embodied our children's interactions/relationships these days. A glimpse into their funny little world.

(Pictures completely unrelated. Just cute current pictures. Lastly, how is it possible that my baby is riding like a big boy in a stroller?!?!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Levi : 16 weeks

(Almost a week late. Oops.)

Likes: His hands! More specifically gnawing on his hands. Preferably both of them at the same time, but he'll settle for one fist if thats all he can jam in there. His daddy. He loves his daddy probably more than he loves his hands. Seriously. I was sick for a week and half and barely got out of bed so they spent A LOT of quality time together. They are now bonded. And I love it. He also loves hanging with his cousins. Which leads me right to...

Dislikes: Long and boring car rides. Four hours of drive time is his limit. Then he cries screams his cute little fuzzy head nearly off. So um...driving 1400 miles next month for the big move should be interesting.

Quirks and habits: He is not in the habit of sleeping long stretches at night. In fact he has regressed in his sleep habits since his last update. I'm getting tired. Very, very tired. Again should make for a fun move! Or not. However he makes up for his lack of sleep by doing all sorts of adorable big baby things these days. Like grabbing for and "playing" with toys...or anything I am holding. He also giggles for his daddy. Its not yet a full belly laugh. But it is cute. And since his mommy forgets (neglects??) to do tummy time for the boy he has decided to roll over from back to tummy and make his own tummy time! Such a smart little nugget. And when he isn't rolling over he is kicking. He kick, kick, KICKS like he is ready to take off. But thankfully he (mostly) stays put.

Reasons why I am currently smitten with him: Because he is small and squishy. And smiley and he LAUGHS. I know I said it last time too. But he really is at a great stage! Laughing and smiling and filling my days (and nights!) with cuddles and cuteness. Its all too much. My heart feels like it is going to burst with joy just looking at him.

And now I will end with a quote from Isaiah after an early morning cuddle in my bed with his brother, "Oh Levi, you smell so good. You smell half like baby and half like mama!"

South Dakota

Almost two months ago we were supposed to go to South Dakota to visit my sister and her family on their ranch one last time before we move. BUT her babies got sick. RSV. And then my kid got sick. Croup. Oh and one of her kids had bronchiolitis too.  So we decided it was best to keep our germs segregated to minimize the illnesses amongst our (combined) eight children! It was the responsible thing to do. NOT the easy thing to do. Because we didn't know if we would be able to reschedule our visit or not. But alas it happened. Last weekend. We went to South Dakota sans illness. AND get this, because we waited (nearly) two months my brother and his family were able to join us as well!!! It had been nearly 18 months since we had all been together. It felt downright miraculous that all TWENTY TWO of us were able to spend an entire weekend together. That's eight adults, ten kids, and four babies in one house for three and half days. Yes, it was just as crazy as it sounds. But mostly it was wonderful. And totally worth all the craziness. Because honestly (though I hate to admit it) I don't know when we will see these people....again. It could be 6 months. It could be 3 years. But enough about that. Lets get to the good stuff.

Our trip to South Dakota in pictures (and a few words).


It was cousins playing. And babies sleeping. 
It was mommas making meals. And Grandma cleaning up afterwards.
It was adults chatting. And kids running wild.
It was babies crying. And Grandpa holding them.
Checking cows and tagging calves.
Muddy pick up truck rides and rope swinging in the barn.
Climbing and jumping from hale bales. 
Watching a live performance by the "big kids".  
It was too many kids in a bath tub. And never enough time together.
Family pictures. Professional and just the regular kind.
It was late nights and early mornings.
It was skinned knees and splinters. 
It was wonderful. And messy. It was good.
Because it was us. All of us together.
It was memories in the making.

Oh and it was our 12th wedding anniversary too. 
But honestly, that hardly felt like a tiny blip on the radar. 
Somehow it was secondary to all this fun family time.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I'm a hoarder.

Hello my name is Bethany. And I'm a clothes hoarder. Specifically baby and kids clothes. Ok. Clothes for me too. I get a little attached to them. But I'm working on it. Yesterday Joe and I dumped out ALL of my boy clothes (sizes 6 months to 5 years). There were a lot of clothes there. (And a lot of memories too!) It was a MOUNTAIN of clothes. I then spent the rest of my afternoon/evening/late night sorting and purging clothes. Too many of the same type? Into the "going away" bin they went! Too wintery for south Texas? Gone! Too ugly that I didn't like putting it on Isaiah when he was little and therefore very likely will never use with Levi? Gone. Gone. Gone! Just don't want it? Gone too. 

While it was somewhat painful at times to sort all these clothes, it felt good. Freeing in an odd sort of way. And I am very proud of myself for the THREE empty bins I had at the end of this process.

I think I've earned the right to say I am a recovering clothes hoarder! 

P.S. Joe has always disliked storing and moving these clothes...but he's never volunteered to buy me new kid clothes so I've kept them. And overall I am very happy we have kept all these boy clothes through the years. Levi has a nearly complete wardrobe ready and waiting for him for the next 5+ years. It might be slightly dated. But good usable clothes nonetheless. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

(my) sick days

It's amazing what a person can accomplish during a few sick-in-bed days. Like sleeping until noon (with a sick child!). I haven't done that in YEARS. Ok so maybe that isn't really an accomplishment but it sure felt good! Had it not been for the body aches, chills, hacking cough and nose-turned-faucet it probably would have felt downright heavenly! Besides blowing through box after box of kleenex, I've managed to finally delete the 2,000+ pictures off of my camera. No more pesky "CARD FULL" flashing up on my screen every other day. This task naturally lead to backing up my pictures from the computer to an external hard drive (x2). Years and years of pictures are now safe. Not a single moment of my childrens' childhood will be lost! Also I've pretty much read through every single post/picture/article that has popped up in my facebook feed for the past 72 hours. And I'm completely caught up with all 36 blogs I follow. I've diligently watched Joe feed and bathe and care for our children. I've also watched him wash and fold and sort half a dozen loads of laundry. (I managed to fold a few pieces of clothing because I'm generous like that!)

Just a sampling of the pictures I saved for prosperity...
May 2012
February 2013
January 2015
January 2015
February 2015

I have also had WAY TOO MUCH time to think and worry about all the big changes in our near future. Because ready or not Joe starts residency in 34 days! Yikes. And right now I feel like we fall more on the NOT side of that equation. We have a truck rented and a moving date set. And we have home owners (and wind/storm/rain) insurance. We even have a tentative closing date on the house. But what we don't have is the final approval for a mortgage. Or the current homeowners signature on the updated contract! So basically we don't have the house...yet. Details. Shmetails. Poor Joe. He's working so hard to get all those things sorted out. Want to know what isn't helping? His sick wife pestering him every 2.5 minutes "to see if anything has changed". Spoiler Alert: It hasn't! And he will let me know as soon as it does.

I've done my fair share of complaining about medical school these past four years so I need to take a moment and acknowledge that right now I LOVE medical school. Thank you fourth year for allowing me to have my husband home with me right now. Taking care of our children (and me!). For doing everything for our family while I rotate between time in bed and time on the couch. It's been nice. Well as nice as being sick can be. Having a spouse in medical school isn't all bad! 

Lastly my sick days have allowed me plenty of time to imagine what our life will be like once residency starts. And while I'd like to live in the land of denial. One in which it will be no big deal. And Joe will still be around and involved in our day-to-day lives.  I know I am in for a rude awakening! Because...well...I've been spoiled these past nine months with having a set of grandparents at my disposal! I'm not sure I'm actually capable of parenting my four children...let alone keeping them fed, hydrated and alive! My parenting muscles are slightly atrophied these days. I'm more of a spectator than an athlete. So yes. I'm afraid. Very afraid. I have the fear of residency in me. Meaning when I'm not requesting a minute-by-minute house update from Joe I'm asking him what he thinks residency will be like for our family! Being the non-talker that he is he just loves this! Or not.