How do I complain about anything these days when so many have it harder, when I am so grateful for so much of our situation?
But somehow when the kids are all wound up before bed I still do (complain, that is).
It has been an eventful few weeks in our household. My brother in Utah got married. My kids and I facetimed in, put on our party clothes, and danced around the living room to Caleb’s favorite songs. We also did a lot of crying. It was much harder than I expected not to be there. He was planning on getting married in a temple and after they all closed, the couple got married civilly and we’ll save the temple sealing + wedding reception for later this summer. I’m glad we can still all celebrate together. I know we’ll be there for a meaningful part of it, but he is still my baby brother, and I never anticipated I wouldn’t be with him on the day he said “I do.”
Right after my younger brother got married, my youngest sister flew home from her mission teaching the people of Taiwan about Jesus Christ and His restored church. So many around the world are sad to have their missions cut short, but the feeling around here is that we are just so glad to have her home during this uncertain time. We are glad to have her home anytime, but especially now.
We’ve had a few days of glorious weather and we’ve all loved having lots of outdoor space just to roam. The kids spent 3 hours outside without a single piece of clothing on, playing with the hose, running through the grass, digging for worms, collecting rocks. Childhood should look like those days more often.
Things making the happy list this week:
- New high fitness youtube playlist (my favorite workout pre-pandemic)
- Splendor (we’ve been playing this nightly after the kids are in bed)
- good house slippers (I’ve had these ones for years and they are great because they have more of a sole / keep me warm + give me support …. but these ones look like the same thing on Amazon for $20 and have 1500+ great reviews)
- getting sleep: I’ve been trying to prioritize sleep, scriptures, and exercise as my big 3 self care survival things and all three make a huge difference (and also shoutout to Westley who has been doing much better at sleeping these days)
- being in charge: I have worked hard over these five years of motherhood to distance my emotional wellbeing from the volatile emotions of my kids. When they are having a hard day they need me to be a safe haven, not swallowed up in their storm. It is also just a much more dependable way to live. And it is still rather difficult (it is hardest when the baby won’t nap or the big kids stayed up late so burst into tears over everything). I’m in the house with seven other adults now, too, and it seems to be a new concept for me when applied to adults.
Most used purchases
- Gel sticks (creamy crayons): I bought these on Amazon when our favorite Alex creamy crayons were old out and they work the same. We love these for early coloring (it takes less pressure on the paper to get color to come off than regular crayons so great for younger toddlers). They are also super fun to use with a paintbrush and water after you’ve colored for a watercolor effect. My kids will play with these for over an hour at the table. .
- Running shorts with built in compression: The weather has been warming up and these are my favorite running shorts. They have built in compression and don’t move while running. I have a few other pieces from this Amazon brand and am a huge fan of all of them.
- Sweet and Sour High Chew: We discovered this flavor variation of the Japanese candy and they’re so good! The sour watermelon is my favorite but Lincoln loves the grapefruit and lemon.
I hope you’re having in there, friend!
A few pictures from the last few weeks:
^could he be any more beautiful?
^I paid them each a piece of candy to put on these headphones and take pictures for this post on all our audiobook tips for kids (and their list of favorite books)
^they spend so much time at the kitchen table (coloring, snacking, workbooks, “writing cards”)
^coloring and painting with creamy crayons is always a favorite (I bought these ones on amazon because our favorite brand is out of stock and they work well and are under $10)
^a first and last attempt for us at online zoom preschool classes
^Ben works from home volume. Usually he does this without a baby but I was feeling pretty sick one afternoon that week. I put the big kids in quiet time, got Westley settled for his nap, and told Ben I was going to sleep in the next room and to wake me up if I didn’t hear Westley. I woke up two hours later and found Westley + Ben working together like this. I think it was the most loved I’ve felt in quarantine.
^this is a pretty good summary of the joy Westley brings all the people in this house
^TA office hours – teaching Econ to her students via zoom
^digging for worms, no shoes on, and always a dress for Adelaide