Friday, September 4, 2015

35/52: At the Park Again

We had another park date the other day.  They don't last very long as it's still pretty hot, and we go basically in the middle of the day, ha!  But, the kids still enjoy it.  There are many potty breaks, many "look at me!" moments, and now Sophie is requiring quite a bit of supervision as she's not afraid of much.  It get's the kinds (and us!) out of the house for a bit, we grab lunch, and then we head home.  No big deal!

Carter // 5
Peter // 3
John Paul // 2
Sophie // 1

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Curls...and other Things

These curls.  I never want to forget these curls.  I don't know that she'll have them forever (my hair doesn't have a wave in it), but for now, she does.  And, I love them.

I love the way Carter talks with his slobbery "s" and I know it will be corrected soon, but I don't want to forget the way he says "yesh" for "yes" or "schnakes" for "snakes."

Peter and his "Let me tell you someping" or "Can I tell you someping?" before he gets out what he really wants to say.

His grin.  John Paul's crooked little grin and squinty eyes that scream ornery...the way he does that before he is about to do something he knows he shouldn't and how he responds with, "I wasn't doing anyfing."

This week, Sophie is clinging to me unlike she ever has before.  While I've tried and tried to get things done, being sometimes mentally absent with the present and concerned about way too many things going on in my head, her embrace around my leg and cry of "mom mom" brings me back into the reality of this precious moment that will not last.

I don't want to forget how intuitive Carter is and how he just knows things (special things) that make me realize these little ones aren't too far from Heaven.

While the crying can grate on my nerves more often than I should let it, I want to remember the tenderness of my Peter's heart and how deeply he keeps things.

I want to remember the toddle of John Paul...how his little legs carry him so cutely and quickly from one place to another...especially when he's running to give me a hug.

I want to remember how Carter loves to make up jokes and how quickly his brothers repeat those jokes as their own, changing a word (and the entire meaning) yet being so proud of their humor.

His thick little body, and how I worry that I'm feeding Peter the wrong thing...yet how quickly I remember that he is a carbon copy of me and my own stout little physique at that age.  I want to remember how precious he is and how much I'll miss that baby-ness when it's gone.

I want to remember Sophie's surprised face...how she does it when I get her out of bed, when she sees her Daddy fixing her breakfast and when all of her brothers race to give her a morning hug.

Their "I love yous" and how quick they are to say it even at the end of a hard day, as if they don't even remember the correction they received just minutes before.

Carter's determined spirit.  Peter's gentleness.  John Paul's wanting to be the life of the party.  Sophie's spunkiness.

It's days like the last few that I need to remember all of this.  It's in the moments when I feel like all I'm doing is disciplining them (in ways at times that feel like I'm accomplishing nothing).  It's when they all need me (and scream it!) at once.  It's when I question decisions we're making or paths we're taking.  It's in the moments when the weight of the world can seem so heavy that I need to remember their faces...their goodness...their little souls.

Because, in them, there is pure joy.  In those little cries for help, there is a reminder that I'm their momma, and that's all they need for now.  

And, they (plus their Daddy) are all I really need, too.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sunny CA - What a Vacation

A little over a week ago, we spent a week on the west coast.  In particular, Del Mar, California!  My parents are reaching a milestone birthday, and my sister's and my family decided it was time to do something for them...so off to CA we went!

Del Mar has a special place in our hearts, as my grandparents have race horses there, so there wasn't much of a decision as to where to go.  And, since Carter and Peter did so well on our quick trip to Chicago in May, we decided we could handle the flight with four (plus, my parents could help).

We rented a home which we had never done, and it happened to be such an amazing way to vacation with little kids.  

We spent almost every breakfast together as a big group, and it was so much fun.  The kids enjoyed the newness of it all, and we had the best food.  I think that may be what Jeremy and I plan trips around, sadly.

 We got to spend the week with our precious nephew, Kolbe, and it was such a treat!
Sophie maybe loved him most...until I held him.  Ha!  She only has a few more months to get better about that.
It was so fun seeing the boys with him, too.  They always wanted to help or give him kisses.  They just adore little ones so much, and that does my heart good!


 We spent a ton of time just out the door at the backyard pool, and the boys gained quite a bit of confidence in a week!
Fresh fish we something we couldn't get enough of, and Jeremy made dinner for the crew one evening.
John Paul never let this guy get too far from sight.  In fact, all of the kids are pretty infatuated with him.  Don't know if he was really able to call the week a vacation, ha!
The days began with morning coffee by the pool, in such a relaxed state...and it was heavenly!

We got to spend an afternoon at a nearby beach with one of my best college friends and her family - one of those ladies you just wish was your neighbor!  Playing with other little ones was a highlight for the boys (except for John Paul who didn't want to get near the water).

I can't decide if this was something he saw at the zoo or just came up with, but this is his "balancing act" and he does it constantly.
Seven of the eight.

There was always a pool tournament going!
And, we even spent an evening or two out together.





The Zoo.  Well, it was a brilliant idea of the parents and a maybe-not-so-fun event for the kids.  Why, oh why, do I always do that?  I think, "Man, the kids would have a blast here!!"  Then thirty minutes in, they are done, and we've barely made it to two animals.  So, we push on...for the kids, you know. They weren't extremely impressed.   Along those lines, I really could use some lessons in letting go. I might be the most uptight parent on the planet.  I always want the kiddos in sight, behaving and happy.  And, I get super stressed.  Sheesh.

So, when Jeremy suggested Sea World the next day, I wasn't the happiest.  But, we went.  And, it was so much better!  The kids really enjoyed the variety there, and it seemed more manageable.   However, I didn't take my camera.

All in all, I think they would have stayed in the pool 24/7 had we let them.  Peter was showing me his "relaxed" pose.
 And, John Paul spent the majority of his time taunting Uncle Sean.
We ended the trip with a favorite desert - Hula Pie (ice cream pie on an oreo crust, with macadamia nuts and hot fudge).  Happy birthday to amazing parents!
Del Mar, we'll be back!