Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Ordinary life

No trips to re-live. No events to relay. Nothing out of the ordinary these past two weeks. It's been glorious! I used to just love my regular days together with Paul and Ada, and then with baby Jack. And now I'm learning to relish my regular time with Ada and Jack by day and the reunited trio come afternoon.

We've celebrated a couple of things, though, including Jack's first Baptism anniversary, Michaelmas, and today, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a house-favorite around here. 
Here are a few snaps of some of the regular we've gotten up to lately.

He's finally liking books for more than throwing.
 Between school pick-up and dinner everyday
I've been reading evenings since Dylan's been putting Crazy Baby to sleep.
 Jack's Baptism dinner + double-fisting his most favorite dessert: popsicles! He gets so excited when I open the freezer ... he squeals, flaps his hands, points, and then claps when I say yes.
 I attended a shower that stretched into naptime, so upon friends' advice, I got a coffee, let the kids rest in the car, and sat in the pick-up line early. Genius. And then Paul was shocked why we were "so fast!", as we're usually almost last.
 1. stacks the 4th 2. Yes! 3. Must. stack. higher.
Note: Don't drink La Croix at our house unless it's straight outta the fridge for fear of explosion.
 Meatless Michaelmas Friday celebration of devilled eggs, carrots, and angel food cake with blackberries.
(Carrots for Michaelmas has been a favorite blog since shortly after Paul was born, and the gal there (fellow BU grad, sic 'em!) has great tips for Michaelmas, of course.)
We kept Paul home Monday from school for a lingering cough that had worsened beyond vapor rub, propping up, cough syrup, and a humidifier ... and this was at the doc, so very sick. 

And there ya have it! A few weeks go by like - that - doing only the ordinary. Now we're gearing up for nicer weather (when there's, ya know, not a hurricane on its way into the Gulf 😳) and an otherwise uneventful-but-we-find-ways-to-fill-it October. 

I'll leave with a few one-liners from the kids because 5 & 3 are really amazing.
Paul, in one breath, "I love school. I like it more than home. You hair looks really good, Mama."
Ada, when asked what she'd like Santa to bring her this year after talking about last year's gift, "I love what he brings." Yeah, but what could he bring you this year that you'd like? "What he brings, I love." <thinks more> "I like whatever he chooses to gift me."
Jack, "Bapa" asking after Dylan once he left the room!

Friday, September 22, 2017

September, gone before I know it

The past month has been full. Full of fun, full of trips, and most noticeably, full of new. Dylan's new job, Paul's new routine, Ada's new place as the "big kid" during the day, Jack's new-found independence, and my new day-gig with the 2 littlest.

Actually, that basically and accurately sums it up! Four or five weeks go by quickly when they're spent trying to make feel normal what is decidedly not-yet normal, whether it's trying to manage a family breakfast an hour earlier than the kids are used to or still being surprised that the man of the house gets home early enough that we don't have to run to the dinner table before there are kid meltdowns. In fact, Dylan's even gotten home in time to go for a run, cool off, and then have dinner at a time that's still earlier than we were having it! Besides the schedule, though, he's enjoying his new job nicely, still learning the ropes and getting to know the people, all the while liking being back downtown. Paul is doing nicely in school, loving his teacher, enjoying seeing that he can color inside the lines, making friends, and overall liking that he's "big enough" to be able to go to school and do things Ada can't... Ada, however, has had a bit of a rough time adjusting to being without her leader everyday. (This, in particular, has made me feel awful and encouraged that nagging homeschool question in the back of my mind.) She was acting, well, just off, during the day, cried lots at little things or nothing at all and just wandered around. The past week has shown marked improvement, and she's starting to turn to Jack as a valid playmate, with her bossing him around for a change ... and I gladly allow it - for now. That brings me to Jack. Oh, stinkerest of all stinkers, little-big JJ. He's huge, he's silly, he's cheeky as all get-out, and he's on the move. Constantly. He has also hit that 15-month cuteness stage, and I. love. it. Y'all, he sits down in his chair and puts his hands together in prayer all in one motion, bouncing with excitement for food. He is also starting to actually read books with us - finally! - and he's interested in having Ada show him how to play with her; it's so sweet. It's also really bizarre to think that Ada is to him what Paul was (is?) to Ada ... to separate that Paul&Ada entity to allow for real bonds between a mix of siblings. Like a 3-circled Venn diagram of kids, if you will ;). I'm liking it.

So that's the update on how we're all doing, leaving the photos to speak for the what.
First up, August 21st's solar eclipse + my 33rd.

Next, a lovely dinner out in the swamp at Des Familles to celebrate our 9th anniversary + Dylan's first day at his new law firm downtown and then some weekend backyard, front porch, rope-swing-on-the-batture fun.
Breakfast in honor of the TX coast after Hurricane Harvey
 Jack helps by getting his own diaper to change ... and then follows my "lie down" command
 Paul's very first choice from the "treasure chest" after the week's positive behavior
Then, Labor Day weekend brought us back to Orange Beach, AL. There was lots of talk about last year's accident, but we made it there and back unscathed this time. We did, however, see a few accidents on the way back in thick traffic, making us wonder if it's worth the few days away ... it was a lovely time, though! The kids love that hotel, for some reason, the sand is soft, the water's nice; they also love the breakfast, ha, and that we watch a movie together one of the nights. But Paul got stung by a jellyfish! A man came with an ice cube right away, and no sooner could he get the words out that "what we needed was meat tenderizer" did a young guy come along with, you guessed it, meat tenderizer, shook it on, and left before I could thank him. 
 Her blanket is her Princess Anna hair. See the two braids? It takes her ages, and it must be just. so.
 Like the previous, a proud pose with her Anna hair ... in her Anna outfit.
Our life everyday from 3:15-4ish
 Now we're up to the weekend of the 9th and the St. Andrew Superfest, Paul's school fair. Nana & Pappy came in for it, and we had a ball. We played games, participated in (ahem, ate) the hot dog cook-off, got a face painted, ate & drank, listened to music and had a ball. Except for the 3 minutes Paul's class sang its little performance song ... can you make him out in the back row with a serious pout? HA! Jack even met a girl at the rock concert.
That brings us to CancĂșn. Yep, CancĂșn! Dylan had a conference on a Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so we arrived on Sunday and left on Thursday. And the conference was at the Ritz-Carlton. In CancĂșn. It was a tough call whether or not I should join him... So Nana & Pappy stayed in NOLA after the Superfest so Jack, Dylan, and I could fly down to Mexico - for our first time! - and enjoy ourselves. And boy did we! While we fully understand that staying in a "zona hoteleria" isn't exactly going to give you the most authentic of experiences, we also appreciated that staying at such a nice place was an experience in itself ... so we Ritz'd it up. There was a fancy welcome banquet put on by the conference group, a gorgeous breakfast buffet I took part in twice, a cute little place across the street I also took advantage of twice, and a phenomenal pool, balcony with a view, and, of course, the beach. Jack was a champ and ate up his one-on-one time, and I practiced my very limited Spanish phrases and gained quite a few more. But, man, we sure missed those other two!
Baby sea turtle release!
tan - & chill - baby...
Back to real life and our older two! We had sea turtle cookies, and Paul drew the Titanic. He's gotten quite intent in his drawing and coloring since starting school, which is lovely to see, and Ada and Jack are cozying up to each other more and more as Mama's daytime buddies.
A Costco trip and subsequent play in the boxes.
Lastly, my first bigger outing/field trip without Paul: ferry over for beignets and a St. Louis Cathedral visit.

Now all we've got ahead of us are school/work days and free(ish) weekends to get to some more house, yard, and rain garden projects! For a few weeks, anyway...