Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 Survey

I love a good writing prompt/survey. So, here is my 2016 in review. Apparently this survey came from THIS blog. I found it by way of Jolie.

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
  I had a third kid. I focused on living my life unapologetically.  Sent a child off to Kindergarten.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
   I'm actually not much for New Year resolutions. I make goals for myself throughout the year. I don't feel like a new year marks much for me.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
   Well, I did. For the THIRD time! To a 9 pound baby. I'm at that age where everyone is constantly having kids, so there were a lot of people that did.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
  Yes, my sweet grandmother. This was a really hard loss for me. A lot of people are like, "Were you expecting it? She was old. She had dementia." The truth is I wasn't expecting it.  I thought there would be some sort of warning. She didn't have a sudden decline that gave us all the opportunity to say our goodbyes. She just passed away one day. I really miss her, more than I ever imagined.

5. What countries did you visit?
  None. I haven't been out of the country in 6 years. The last time I left the country was for our honeymoon in Mexico.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
  More confidence in my decisions. This is a life long goal. As I said above, I tried to be unapologetically myself this year. I lost a few friends because of that. I would like to feel better about those losses and know that I am really forming a strong group of people around me.
More energy.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 20th because Fox was born.

September 7th because it was the day we lost my Grandma.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Mothering 3 children. I was really scared of how that transition was going to go. So many people told me that the transition to 3 was the hardest. That made me nervous because the transition to 2 was very easy for me and I worried that this would be a huge adjustment. While transitioning to 3 was harder than 2 was, I still think having Mia was the hardest. She was by far my hardest baby and I had to learn how to be a mother for the first time. 

9. What was your biggest failure?
 Losing my temper. I want so badly to be more levelheaded. I don't like the voice I use with my children and husband when I get upset.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
  Nothing too extreme, my pelvis separates more than it is supposed to when I am pregnant. That was very painful for the first 4 and a half months of 2016. Then postpartum I had some horrible tailbone pain. I am really glad that went away. 

11. What was the best thing you bought?
  My minivan (praise hands emoji). I LOVE my van. It is the best. We drove in Jake's x-terra the other day and I felt like it was so small. Which is funny because that used to be our big car. I honestly don't know that I will be able to drive anything else. I love that van.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
   This is a hard one. I feel like a lot of people had hight points this year. Mia has grown into such an amazing girl. She is a miniature adult. Watching her grow and maneuver childhood is fascinating. For the first few months after Jack turned 2 he was biting people. He grew out of that and I feel like that is something to celebrate. Jacob always amazes me. I can be pretty mean when I get mad, he continues to impress me with his reactions. He never stoops to my level.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Oh boy, I try not be political on my blog, but Donald Trump wins hands down. I can't even begin to go into this. 
14. Where did most of your money go?
Boring grown up things. Medical bills, mortgage, new van.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Having Fox. He was 8 days late, so each day the anticipation grew. (see above photo of me 5 days overdue)

16. What songs will always remind you of 2016?
  Formation by Beyonce, Can't Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake, old song but I listened to it a lot: Piece by Piece by Kelly Clarkson

17. Did you make any new friendships?
  I did! I made some really strong friendships this year. I feel like I established a legit Mama Tribe.  I am so thankful for those connections for me and my children.

18. Did you go on vacation?
 We went on a few little trips. We went to Mount Shasta at the beginning of the year. That was so much fun. We had a nice time hanging out in the snow.

 We went to Redding for Mia's fifth birthday.

 My mom took us to Ashland, OR

We really didn't do anything huge, but had a few short trips that were a lot of fun.

19. What do you wish you had done (more and less) of?
 We made big plans to camp and then...never went. I didn't exercise enough, which is pretty obvious by my body and energy level.

20. How did you spend the holidays?
 At home with our little family. Jake had to work Christmas and Christmas Eve.

21.  What new food did you discover?
Hmmm, nothing stands out. I have really been enjoying sundried tomato garlic butter on a fresh baguette. That isn't a new discovery, but I definitely ate it a lot this year. I also discovered my love of soft boiled eggs.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I really enjoyed Shameless for a while and still really like You're The Worst

23.  What was one of your favorite experiences of the year?
  Holding my new baby. I am kind of addicted to new babies.

24. What was the best book you read?
Kind of embarrassing, but What Alice Forgot was my fave of the year. It isn't going to win any literary awards, but I really liked it. I read it in about 24 hours. It was one of those books that I just had to know what happened next. I basically ignored my kids for a day so I could read it (like let them play in the backyard ALL DAY while I sat on the back steps and read).

25. What was your greatest musical or artist discovery?
Sia. I really enjoy Cheap Thrills. Also, Lin Manuel Miranda. I know he's not new, but his growing popularity put him on my radar.

26. What did you want and get?
 Back to Fox. A healthy third baby. I had a scare early on in my pregnancy with him, so I was so glad that he came out healthy and came out at all.

27. What did you want and not get?
Patience. I would really like that.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
 What movies came out this year? I don't know that I even saw any movies that weren't kids movies. I will update this later if I think of one.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
 I turned 30. We went out to breakfast, then spent the day in the sun at the river. My mom made me dinner. Jake treated me to a shopping spree. That was fun. I don't remember the last time I went shopping just for me and spent that much money on clothes just for ME.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I had gotten out more with my kids. I keep things pretty small with them. I want to work on going on bike rides, to the swimming pool more, and things of that nature.  Again, more exercise.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Well, I was pregnant for the first 4.5 months, so that involved a lot of leggings and maternity jeans. I wear a lot of leggings with tunics/long shirts. Jeans and a sweater or t-shirt. So, comfy-classic?

32. What kept you sane?
Friends and my husband. Having more mom friends in the same phase of motherhood this year helped me to have people to vent to. I also spend a lot of time talking to Jacob. That is always a great way to end the day.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Glennon Melton really impacted me in 2016. I knew who she was for a long time, but the election really brought out a lot of her best stuff, for me.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Haha. So, the election/Donald Trump. 

35. Who did you miss?
My friends that live far away.  My sister. She lives far away. Thank God for Skype. I really need to work on Skypeing/Facetiming more of my long distance friends. It makes the distance smaller.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I'm not sure I met anyone new that made an impact on me. I developed stronger relationships with people I had known for a while.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
I can't please everyone. I am a people pleaser and I tried hard to let go of that in 2016. I saw that being honest with people and being my true self made me happier, but didn't make everyone else happier and that is okay.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Oh goodness, if this was 15 years ago I would have something come right to mind. 
Maybe this.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Manic Monday

Original title?

Let me start at the very beginning which began on Thursday night/ Friday morning. At about midnight Mia woke up crying. She had thrown up in bed. Jake cleaned it up while I gave her a bath. During this both Jack and Fox woke up. They were both very excited that everyone was up during the middle of the night. I set up a bed for Mia on the floor of my room, get Fox back to sleep, and Jake and Jack head to the couch to sleep together because Jack wouldn't go back to sleep (pushover parents...). Mia continues to throw up every hour for the rest of the night. She finally stops at about 7:30 a.m. We don't send her to school and she spends the day sleeping, but by the evening seems all better.

We have a nice weekend that included going to a gift making workshop where the kids got to make presents.

Then on Sunday night Fox was up many times to nurse, Jack woke up crying and needed comforting, then ended up in our bed along with Fox. Then as I was laying between Jack and Fox staring at the ceiling after Jake had left for work I heard Mia call out. She had thrown up. I climbed out of bed and went to check on her. It was dried on (TMI?), so I think she did it in her sleep. I got her cleaned up, the boys woke up, the laundry was going. I made some breakfast and made myself a cup of tea. I finally sat down to drink my tea and look at some text messages. I then dropped my phone right into my cup of tea... I immediately turned it off, wrapped it in a paper towel, and sealed it in a bag of rice. My phone is working now except for the speaker sounds a little bit funny.

So, that was last Monday. This Monday Jake is off work and Mia is out of school. So, I am hopeful that life will be just a little bit more calm.

And an unrelated photo from a few months ago that I find funny/adorable.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Seven Quick Takes

--- 1 ---

Saint Nicholas Day! So fun for the kids. Jack is ridiculously excited about Christmas. You can see his response to the coins in his shoes here. He had the unfortunate discovery that it is only one day and that you can't put your shoes out every night and receive candy coins. The morning after the Feast of Saint Nicholas we were rushing to get dressed to take Mia to school. I was helping Jack get dressed and once we got to his shoes I asked him where the ones he set out the night before were. He decided to wear rain boots instead. Then Mia couldn't find her shoes either, so she opened the door to the living room, and lined up in front of the fire place were both of their shoes. Jack had put them both out. I just thought it was the sweetest thing that he thought to put hers out too.

--- 2 ---

Advent is upon us. We are loving lighting the candles and spending that time together.

--- 3 ---

I have been laughing at myself when I iron my kids clothes. I do it mostly to the boys shirts, but it seems ridiculous to iron the shirt of a 7 month old. I'm probably not going to stop, but I will tease myself in my head while I do it.

--- 4 ---

I know people often think after 2 kids you are out of hands to hold your kids, but the Morris babies prove that they can all fit on Mom's lap. I spend a lot of time with all 3 draped on me while we read. That is until Fox looses interest and crawls away.

--- 5 ---

We did family pictures for our Christmas card and ended it with a little ice cream date to fulfill our bribe and pay the kind photographer (my brother). We finally wised up and got Jack his ice cream in a bowl rather than a cone. Because 9 times out of 10 he knocks the ice cream scoop right out of his cone onto the ground. You can file that away under parenting hacks if you please.

--- 6 ---

This deserves its own take. I sprayed down Fox's hair to comb it for the pictures. He was so surprised by the spray, not upset, but obviously caught off guard. I had to take a picture of what looks like a bad comb over.

--- 7 ---

Seems fitting to finish this off with a picture of our decorated tree. I love Christmas and it is so amazing to experience it with little kids. They are such fun ages. Decorating a tree with them is not super relaxing and fun, but they loved doing it and I have even left the 15 ornaments crowded on certain branches. I am hoping that this earns me a place in heaven.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Christmas Miracle

If you follow me on Instagram you already saw this picture.

We went to my moms work Christmas party with her last Friday night. It was really fun. They had Santa there and he gave each kid a gift. There was a pretty decent dinner. Terrible cookies for dessert, but you can't have everything.

The miracle? My kids were all really well behaved for the entire event and we got a picture with Santa with no one crying, everyone sitting with him, everyone looking at the camera, and 2/3 kind of smiling! If that's not a miracle I don't know what is.

If you are in the market for a grainy photo of a photo photographer, feel free to call me.

I also made the awesome mistake of saying that I knew the Santa. "Mom, how do you KNOW Santa???" We never planned on doing Santa. We planned on teaching our children about St.Nicholas and just opening presents. I was never going to tell them anything more, because I didn't want them to tell other children anything. Without me ever doing or saying anything they believe in Santa and take him very seriously. So, here we are. We do Santa. Kind of. They get socks in their stockings along with some chocolate coins and that is it. They are thrilled. I have never said it was from Santa, but Mia decided it was and I never corrected her.  Santa it is.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Halloween and Thanksgiving

Oh my!

I am going to just do a quick post about both of these since they were so long ago now. This is really more for myself, so I can look back on them.

Halloween. We were pretty low key this year. Usually we go to a friend's party and trick or treat in her neighborhood, but this year we stayed home. We trick or treated a couple of blocks over from our house and came home to have pizza. It was perfect. The neighborhood we usually go to is so busy and over run with kids that it is really more of a business like event than leisure. This year people were so excited to see the kids because they don't get as many trick or treaters.
Mia was a witch, Jack was "Super Batman", Fox and I were mice.

Thanksgiving. Again low-key. My mom was in Boston with my sister, my dad moved away this year, my Grandma was in Virginia. So, we had my brother over and that was it. I made the meal with a little help from Mia. I really didn't take any pictures except for one of Mia slicing the yams. She was thrilled with such a high risk job. It was so nice to not have a bunch of people over. I didn't have to worry about how clean my house was or if I was wearing a cute outfit. It was perfectly laid back.

Can of Pledge by the cutting board because we fancy.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Life Lately


1) Mia is in school.
She loves it. I am so impressed with how much her reading has improved since school started. I couldn't read at 5 and I am blown away by her ability less than half way through the school year. She just finished up her first soccer season, which she did not love. She also recently closed out a season of musical theater. Musical Theater is one of her passions. Mia lives to perform. Singing and dancing? Yes! It is always a treat to watch her. This season was the first one I felt like she really GOT it. She knew all of the words, she sang loudly, and knew all of the dance moves. Now we are on a little extra-curriculars hiatus until January.

2)Jack is 2.5. Is there really much more to say. He has some great little phrases that he says all the time, My favorite probably being :
     Mia:I don't like it when you do that JACK!
     Jack: Sure you do!
 "Sure you do!" is his go to these days. Funny every time, even when it is directed at me. He is more angry than Mia was at 2, but he is also more snuggly. He loves to share his food, but not his toys. Since Mia is learning to read he likes to ask me questions like "What says 'cckkkk'?" The answer is E, if you were wondering. He also has a special connection to Saint Francis. I don't know what it is, but he draws pictures of "Francis" all the time and loves to see statues of him. Fortunately we have one in our backyard. I know that I may be alone in this, but I love two year olds.

3)Fox! I only introduced him in my last post. He is 7 months old (although I recently told someone he was 8 months #ThirdKidProblems). He is our smiliest baby yet. He is pretty good natured most of the time, but he definitely has fussy times too. He can crawl, stand up and cruise around on the furniture, he has his 2 bottom teeth and his two top teeth are trying to cut. He shows little interest in food. I try to give him different foods and he barely eats them. Jack was the same way. He is so loved by his big brother and sister. I love watching them all together.

4) Are we done having kids? I'm not sure. Someone recently asked me as I was getting into line at Costco "Are you done?" I thought she meant with shopping, which I was, so I responded, "I hope so!" Later I realized that was not what she was asking. I honestly don't know. I've wanted 4 kids for a long time, but pregnancy is REALLY hard on me. This last one was especially rough. I would love to have one more, but I'm not sure I can do another pregnancy.  Foster care and adoption are not my calling, so that is not an option. Only time will tell.

5)Life with 3 kids. My hardest transition was to 1 child. Two kids was a breeze. I felt great after I had Jack. Somehow adding a second was easier than having one baby. Three is hard, but still not as hard for me as just having Mia. Having 3 kids has its own set of challenges. This was also our shortest spacing. Fortunately Jack is potty trained and we were on our way to him being potty trained when we had Fox. So, we didn't have 2 in diapers for long. I thought that would be really hard and it really wasn't. It is actually harder when I am nursing Fox and Jack needs a wipe...

6) Mr.Morris has been working like crazy. He works at least 4 twelves a week at his regular job and has also taken on a second job one day a week that is his dream job. If you know him in real life you know that bow hunting and bows are his passion. He is working one day a week building bows with a local bowyer. He loves it. He says it doesn't even feel like work. He got a buck this year during hunting season.

7)Me? Well, I am running the home as usual. I spend a lot of time driving people where they need to be, nursing, cleaning, reading books to my kids, not getting enough sleep, cooking 3 meals a day, and breaking up fights. We are entering into Christmas and I have immersed myself in decorating and upholding our family traditions. My sister is coming for Christmas, so I am very excited about that. She is in Boston, so we don't get to see her much.

8) I feel like I can't really post without including that my Grandma passed away in September. I tried to write a blog post right after it happened. I wrote quite a bit, but I couldn't see through my tears to finish it. Maybe eventually I will have the strength to write it and be able to post it.  I miss her.

That seems like plenty for now. Enjoy your Monday. Sing us awayBangles.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Back At It...

So, it has been a year since I posted last here. I am going to try to ease back into this.

First thing is first:


We had our third baby. I am going to call him Fox here on the blog, although I call him Monkey most of the time in person. Life is good and changing constantly. Mia started kindergarten this week, Jack is 2, and we have big changes coming in the next year or so.

I am going to leave it as this for today, but I am really going to try and post more. (fingers crossed)