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.