But life keeps on happening so in no particular order here is the latest and greatest...
I grew up in Minnesota. Therefore I grew up with "Minnesota Nice". Which lead me to believe that Minnesotans are the nicest people. Wrong. Texans take nice to a whole new level. And SO polite too! I've never been called ma'am so much in my life. (Although admittedly I'm undecided on how I feel about being in the ma'am category...) Last week I took all four kids to the grocery store. I didn't want to. But my desire to eat outweighed my desire to avoid public embarrassment. So with much dread and a little trepidation I entered the grocery store with Levi strapped to me, Hannah in the cart and the big ones trailing behind me. Yes. I am that mom. But much to my surprise and delight in addition to a few obligatory "you've got your hands full" comments, I had half a dozen shoppers stop me to tell me how well I was doing/how well behaved my children are/keep up the good work/your kids are adorable. It was shocking. In a good way. I left feeling like a rockstar. A sweaty, hot weighed down by a million pounds of food and children rockstar. It made going to the grocery store with the kids this week a lot less scary.
Oh and the girl at the take n bake pizza place on our first day here that insisted on carrying my pizza to my car for me...totally brought tears to my eyes with her kindness. That's the kind of Texan nice I'm talking about.
Speaking of Texans, for as much as they don't seem to mind all the cockroaches many of them have told me how much they dislike the lizards that are everywhere here! Meanwhile the kids and I love them. We love watching them, chasing them and even photographing them. They are so stinkin' cute!
I've been staining our kitchen cabinets at night (more on that later). It's somewhat boring, tedious work. But every night there are a couple lizards that visit me. They crawl on the outside of the kitchen window and I watch their adorable little bodies wiggle around as my stain dries. I like my nightly visitors.
Speaking of nights...
How cute are these two sharing a bed? Arms and legs and baby dolls everywhere! This transition to sharing a bed has gone pretty smooth. Better than I expected actually. Besides a few nights of lively conversations and not being able to settle down without a stern word (or two...or a dozen) from mom and dad we haven't had any real issues.
After I finish staining every night I love to peak in at the girls and see what sort of pile they have settled into.
The other evening we met some neighbors. Said neighbors have a seven year old boy. Isaiah and Charlotte said their obligatory hellos and then quickly retreated into the house to play Legos. The neighbor boy then started scootering up and down our sidewalk. I saw a perfect opportunity for a potential friendship so I went inside and asked the kids if they would like to scoot too. They immediately declined. I re-structured my offer...scooter time orbedtime. They wisely chose to scooter. And lo and behold within ten minutes of being outside with the neighbor they were sitting on the lawn under the shade of a tree trading Pokemon cards! Instant friendship.
Sometimes mom knows best.
And sometimes a little Texan twang escapes the lips of my Midwest born children! While playing cards last week Isaiah asked if "ya'll get another turn?" Later he was quick to explain it was AN ACCIDENT. But I think it was adorable. Accident or not. And it's a very useful word. So short, sweet and all encompassing. I'm just not ready to use it...yet!
Levi just keeps on growing and changing and I'm long overdue for a proper baby update. But until that happens this will have to do. He's started sitting on my hip like a real big baby. And even more shocking is that he put himself to sleep the other night while I was reading the girls' bedtime stories. It was adorable. And convenient! But it totally made me sad. I like rocking my baby to sleep. I hope it was a fluke! Although the (finally!) sleeping through the night thing can stick around forever. I'm liking sleeping at night again. It does the body and mind good!
Since we've arrived here almost a month ago we've tried a few different churches. Our first Sunday here we didn't make it to church. We had been in the state less than 48 hours, our truck wasn't even fully unpacked and we didn't know where our church clothes were. Excuses. Excuses. I know. But it just didn't happen. The second week my parents and mother-in-law were with us so we visited a church my dad wanted to see. The third week Joe was at the hospital so I was tempted to skip the whole church alone with four kids ordeal but I put on my big girl pants (aka these-are-my-kids-and-this-is-my-life-so-I-better-own-it pants) and went to a nice nearby Baptist church. It was good. And I'm glad I went. The church felt like a good fit for our family. Very warm and welcoming with good preaching and children's programs. Then last week, our fourth Sunday here the kids and I tried a different church. And while this church was also warm and welcoming, it just didn't feel right. I felt out of place and very much like a visitor. I felt lonely and sad sitting in the pew alone (with my baby). I was on the verge of tears for most of the service and I'm not even sure why.
And THAT is pretty much how this whole settling into our new life has gone for me. One day/hour/minute it's great! I love it/I'm super excited/feels like home. And then the very next day/hour/minute I'm in tears because it's the worst! And everything is wrong/different/overwhelming. It has reminded me A LOT of being post-partum with all these quickly fluctuating mood swings.