Easter Weekend Wrap-Up

Monday, March 28, 2016

And by "wrap-up" I mostly mean "photo-dump because I'm still pretty tired from staying up so late on Saturday night being the Easter Bunny and prepping everything for Easter lunch so it would just need heating up after church the next day, and I haven't had any coffee yet, making paragraphs and such seem a little too daunting, but I think I can do captions" so, pictures it is!

The Easter Bunny came! And he brought new spring shoes because in all his Easter Bunny wisdom he knew we didn't have any shoes that fit to go with our Easter dresses. 

There was a lovely (but kind of chilly!) Easter egg hunt at church. I only have pictures of the two older girls hunting eggs because Aaron had to take Phoebe to a different area for her age group. And I am given to understand that he employed some devious strategies to keep her from getting mowed down, and to ensure that she filled her bucket. And thank goodness, because those eggs are what kept her reasonably quiet for the whole service and I'm not ashamed to admit it!

My beauties with their spoils! 

Tristan didn't love the waiting around while the girls hunted, but by the time they finished he was resigned to his fate and amenable to being photographed.

We came home and had a big family lunch, followed by Apples to Apples for the grown-ups and Running Around Like Crazy June Bugs Because We're Experiencing Major Sugar Rushes for the kids.

Which was then followed by a quiet evening and an early bedtime. I had my own crazy June bug moment (which sadly was not fueled by Easter candy) getting everything cleaned up and ready for the coming week, but it didn't take too long and I was in bed nearly as early as the kids!

And that's it! I'll just leave it with one last shot of Tristan in his Easter finery because I can't resist. Watch out, ladies!

Wait no, ONE more! 


Quick Takes

Friday, March 25, 2016

1. Well, we did it! Our first week back at school, and it was awesome! My sub, who is the best sub ever in the history of time had my classes all perfectly wrapped up with their reading of Julius Caesar, so I was able to kind of ease Tristan into a school routine while my classes watched the movie. The first day we had Real Class I was surprised by how very, very funny all the kids were. I guess most things are funnier when you aren't nine months pregnant, but seriously, they are collectively hilarious. 

2. Tristan thought so too!

(He really did beautifully all week, with just a few tiny fussy moments. I was even able to get through a massive stack of papers while he napped in the wonderful, wonderful Baby K'Tan.)

3. We had our class Easter parties yesterday, and I let my homeroom dye eggs, which is nerve-wracking even when you don't have an infant strapped to your chest. We made it through without any disasters...mostly. Sort of. You know what, never mind! 

4. The girls' class parties looked totally adorable. I wasn't able to drop in for them (because, dye, 8th grade boys, constant vigilance, etc.) but based on Facebook pictures and glowing tales told all the way home, I would say they definitely had a wonderful time!

5. Aaron took some of the boys bowling today, and then they all pitched in to do some moving. I rallied the troops at home and we spent the morning simultaneously doing chores and having a dance party. I love my little partners in crime! Their reward was to watch The Book of Life (our new favorite movie, HOW did we not know it even existed??) after lunch...and to dance for all of the credits. 

6. Phoebe wasn't so much for doing chores with the rest of us, but she was fantastic at keeping her baby brother entertained! 

7. Actually, the girls all seem to be competing for the title of Most Obsessed With Baby. He can't even sneeze without an immediate chorus of "Awwwww!"
I'm a little afraid that he's going to grow up convinced that every little thing he does is completely adorable, but...I mean it's kind of true!

Quick Takes

Saturday, March 19, 2016

1. Tristan and I had our Official Last Visit to the birth center yesterday (no more racing to downtown Dallas every time we turn around! Yay!) and now his footprints are on the wall next to his sisters'.

2. I love the footprint walls! Every room in the birth center is bordered with the footprints of all the babies that have been born there. It's such a happy tradition.

3. Another happy tradition - our usual St. Patrick's Day fun. I can't help myself, I love it! I wasn't very original, we did almost the same exact things as we have the past few years, with the addition of a wee little leprechaun man  - a cauldron of treats, green milk, corned beef and cabbage, soda bread, and Lucky Charms parfaits. Silly little things, but so much fun.

4. And it's already past time to start getting ready for Easter! The two are crazy close together this year. GiGi got dresses for the girls, but that's all that's prepared so far. I'm hunting the perfect outfit for Tristan. His St. Patrick's outfit I just made up quickly while he was napping the day before...but for Easter I want to do the whole dapper little suit and tie thing. I can't pass up opportunities like that!

5. Aaron just called to tell me the outcome of the All-Star game...we had three boys make the team and he was coaching it. They won 97-62! I wish I could have been there, but I could only justify leaving the girls once, and I HAD to see the coaches game last night. It's the only time I ever get to see my honey play!

6. Tristan came with me and was so good for the whole game, sitting up and watching the court like a little person. I really do think he recognized the noise of basketball from all the games I went to before he was born. 

7. This is it, just this one last weekend and then I'm back at Flint, with baby in tow! Yikes! 

Little Highlights

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A few of my favorite things right now...

Hours spent entranced with Hot wheels tracks set up by an awesome big brother...

A new bedtime routine that includes everyone...

More and more baby smiles...

My sleepy guys...

Finally getting to soak up some sun...

A freezer full of healthy dinners all ready to go...

...not to mention a genuine actual date night! And naps and books and conversations and snuggles and coffee and making plans and open windows and new flowers and sitting on the patio swing... I am loving this spring break! 

Weekend Wrap-Up

Monday, March 14, 2016

Tristan is six weeks old now! He's seriously the best. I mean, hello!

Napping. Without me holding him. He's been taking a morning nap while I wear him in the baby k'tan thingy, then a nice afternoon nap in his swing. He does best with that one if there are diy shows playing in the background, I've discovered. The soothing sounds of power tools and demolition, I guess? It drowns out the sound of our demon beagle periodically losing her mind, anyway. 
He's been a little fussy (and nighttime sleeping has been hit and miss) thanks to that milk intolerance and what I am ninety percent certain is some acid reflux. But still. Delicious. 

The weekend was nice, that combination of relaxed and productive that we usually can only achieve during a school break. I've been picking small-ish projects around the house for myself, trying to avoid getting overwhelmed or overtired. Organizing all the children's books, cleaning the pantry, stuff like that. On Sunday after church I took some baby stuff up to the school and worked on getting my classroom ready for Tristan - I even managed to whip up some slipcovers for rocking chair cushions before running out of steam! Then Aaron and I took the kids out for dinner and totally wrecked their bedtimes, but oh well. 
It's funny to go places with all four and see people's reactions. When I go somewhere with just Tristan I invariably hear, "Aww, your first?" And then "Oh. Wow." When I say he's my fourth. But apparently seeing everyone all together is even more startling to the general public. We are kind of a spectacle, I guess. 

Aaron and Scotty are currently being my heroes and spending their day cleaning out and organizing the garage. Can I just say how much I love the off-season?  Stuff gets done! AND Aaron is home earlier in the evenings because there's no practice, just off-season workouts. That easily makes up for the giant bin of jerseys in the laundry room! 

Quick Takes

Friday, March 11, 2016

1. Spring break is here! We have some fun plans for today, mostly to console the girls. They've been dreading spring break all week and are none too pleased with its arrival. They don't want a week off of school! A whole week? Really? Why can't we have school? 
Really, it does my heart good. We will TRY to have a TINY fraction of the fun that they would have had in school all week, but let's be realistic. Yesterday they got to pet a boa constrictor that was seven feet long. Zootopia pales in comparison.

2. Aaron took Avalon to Toys R Us to spend her birthday money...and she bought a Kindle Fire. I am so totally opposed to the kids having a tablet or anything, but we did say she could spend her money however she wanted. Rather than go back on what we said, I'm gritting my teeth and letting it go. Only NO internet access! And I have to approve every app! And you can only play it for a VERY SMALL amount of time every day and you have to have a good attitude whenever I say time's up! 
Teacher's kids: the struggle is real.

3. I'm going back to work after spring break, with the usual mixed emotions. I love and miss being at school every day, and I miss the kids like crazy, and we have some awesome work to dig into for the last chunk of the school year...but, you know... baby
And I won't lie, when everyone goes off to school for the day and it's just Tristan and Mama at home, it's pretty delightful. Like, for real. But I know I'll be happy to be back as soon as I get settled into it again. 

4. I'll have to go up to the school one day this next week and get my classroom ready for Tristan to be with me all day, and I'm gradually implementing a kind of schedule for him that will work with classes and passing periods and stuff. Also we've been practicing the vital skill of him being content while I hold him in the rocking chair and read aloud. We got through most of Julius Caesar yesterday, albeit a strange take on the story where all the characters slip in and out of baby talk and silly voices. Probably I won't do that when I'm reading to Tristan AND my class. 

5. This. All the time.

6. All three of the girls are obsessed with Tristan, but Lainey takes it to a whole other level. Any chance she gets, she's kissing him or cooing over him or rhapsodizing over his adorable face and ears and toes and smile and oh look, Mama, he's smiling at me! I think he loves me! 
For sure he does, as do we all. That Lainey is just about as lovable as they come!

7. I'm having fun getting gradually back into this blog. Stepping back from it a little because of crazy schedule stuff and third trimester exhaustion followed by newborn-haze has given me time to get a little perspective on it. I have struggled with feeling too self-conscious to post consistently, and with doubting everything I want to write. Am I writing too much about my own personal children? Too much about the school? Not enough? Do we still even have boys staying with us? (Just one currently, and he's a graduate, not a student) What's okay to share about students and what isn't? Since I'm, you know, the WRITING TEACHER shouldn't I use perfect grammar and never sacrifice rules (like all-caps-ing things! and being weird with commas! and using slangy phrases!) for the sake of expression? And shouldn't I be totally positive and upbeat all. the. time? So the end result usually feels awfully stilted and flat to me, and I compensate with a ton of pictures and hit Publish with a dissatisfied look on my face and a prayer that I haven't inadvertently displeased anyone. Which is no fun. SO I'm giving myself permission to be a teensy bit grittier, and to write about whatever is foremost in my head even if it's the third post in a row about Great Books and you're starting to wonder if I've forgotten I have children of my own - or vice versa, and to go a little crazy with usage and stuff. It'll be way more entertaining, at least for me! And y'all just bear in mind that 
a.) I'm still trying desperately hard not to upset anyone with anything I write so if I do it's totally an accident and I will apologize and bake you some cookies, and 
b.) I do know how to write properly, honest I do, and I teach your children correctly. I also teach them that once you know the rules you get to break them at your discretion, Go crazy! WHEEEEE! But you still have to use the Oxford comma no matter what because whoa, let's not get TOO carried away now. We aren't anarchists, okay?

Twice the Baby! Twice the Fun!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

My big guy is currently working through some fussiness related to his newly- diagnosed milk intolerance (or milk allergy? Sensitivity? I can't remember the exact word the nurse used, which complicates my obsessive googling because these are all different things!) so we're just spending today doing a whole lot of this:

And not much else. I've read the first fifty pages of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe aloud to him, because I've read that to each of my babies during all of my maternity leaves and I'm about to run out of time to carry on that tradition.

Other than that? I've mostly sat here and contemplated how much I wish my bestie Jill lived next door to me. I always wish that, but having just had a wonderful visit from her (and her new baby boy!) that ended yesterday, I'm more aware of how amazing that would be. 

We were assigned as roommates by chance when we were upperclassmen at Berry and we've been inseparable ever since. I mean, except how we have been technically separated ever since I graduated and moved to Texas to marry Aaron. Details! 

(He's worth it, and that's saying something!)

Now we have sweet little boys who are only ten days apart in age and destined to be each other's wingmen, just like our older girls will be besties once they actually meet each other!

This was seriously perfect timing (although I guarantee I would say that regardless of when she visited!) after the crazy play-week we just had. We sat around for hours, holding our babies, drinking tea, and catching up. Heaven! We also managed to get off the couch a few times for lunch and a movie. 

It was exactly perfect, and as far as we can figure the only reason that life keeps us in separate states is because no one location can handle this much sass for an extended period of time.

Flint Academy Presents The Little Mermaid

Friday, March 4, 2016

I wish I could remember exactly word-for-word what our amazing director said to introduce the grammar school play last night, but in a nutshell it was something like: sixteen total hours of rehearsal (instead of the 200 that would typically be put into such a production) plus a full-inclusion cast of ALL the grammar school students- typical, special needs, and advanced- ranging in age from 18 months to thirteen years, plus a faculty and staff who are up for anything and love fostering the arts? Equals this fabulous production of The Little Mermaid that is about to blow your minds!


I might be lounging around all morning, snuggling my baby, drinking tea, and periodically informing anyone who will listen that "The play is over! Hahaha!" But that in no way means it wasn't the best thing ever. It just means that, like everyone else involved in this, I am both totally worn out and totally blissed out from the whole process. 

Regardless of the various behavioral and academic challenges the students were dealing with, the drama team had them memorizing lines, cues, and choreography, and led them into the spotlight where they proceeded to ROCK OUR FACES OFF with their awesomeness. 

Seriously, these babies were amazing! Just look!

(At what I know perfectly well is WAY too many pictures for one blog post, but whatever, I do what I want!)

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