Lots of pictures to share and random things to blab about.
Summer officially sort of kicked off for my first born when Brynn (daycare lady's helper) took all the preschool graduates out for dairy queen during nap time at the beginning of June.
Two of Gus and Louie's little daycare buddies also had their goodbye parties a
few weeks ago, Jacob's mom is a teacher so he won't be at daycare this
summer and Eleanor has older brothers and sisters and thus her parents
have made other plans for her last summer before Kindergarten. Their
other daycare buddy moved to Utah this spring, so already we are seeing
the big changes happening in Gus's life. Kindergarten is
just around the corner and it's very bittersweet. I so much just want
to be able to give him the best summer ever, which might seem like a lot
of pressure, but it's not that difficult with this kid. Lots of time
outside, lots of time with friends, lots of ice cream. Best summer ever
is already in full force.
There are so many emotions
around him starting "real" school next year, it is a new era for his
childhood and for our family, and while it's exciting and there
are so many wonderful things in store for him, it also feels like the
end of something really really good and safe and carefree.
I've started to allow the children to play in the alley.
It makes me nervous, and I stand out there lurking and warning and reminding them to watch for cars, but I'm kind of taking the lead from all the other neighbor kids. The last few weekend mornings our alley has been kid central, kids we never even realized lived on our street are stopping in our drive-way to say "hey" and I've been trying to encourage some real neighborhood kid summertime friend making. The kind that does not involve "play dates" and moms sitting on lawn chairs watching their kids' every moves and jumping in at each sign of conflict. I want my kids to have at least a taste of the kind of childhood I had, when all their "fun" wasn't so planned and curated.
So there is an 8 year old girl and her 5 year old brother way down at the end of the alley, and their mom is really chill and their dad a volunteer fire fighter with the city and they just had a little baby girl as well, a week or two after I had Olive. Then we have a new hipster-esque family that moved in next door a few months ago, with two little girls, ages 6 and 2.
I don't obviously trust the boys to be out there when I'm not, especially Louie, who thinks he can and should be able to do everything his brother does and roll with the big kids, (HELLO child... you're 3!) But I also can allow them to bike down to the end of the alley and back where I can still see them without being a fingertip away. And I can let them be awkward and nervous around other kids and not be there to facilitate the art of making friends. When the other kids are not within earshot I whisper little hints to them about how all this works, "Just tell them your name, ask what they're playing, join them, tell them they can come to your back yard anytime they want to play!"
A few weeks ago they spent an hour Saturday morning while Dan mowed the lawn running from backyard to backyard, biking back and forth, drawing pictures of butts with chalk, making a fort out of a big appliance box next door. I lurked around, watching them from behind my fence, wearing Olive in a carrier, in all their potty-talk and silly giggling glory. It was great.
And then the mom next door came over and we talked about how great it is to see them make friends, and both agreed that anytime our kids are out, come on over, and vice versa.. and then she said, "I feel like I should tell you something... Mary came home from school a few days ago with lice... and it is disgusting and is running my life right now and I'm so sorry and if you want to take your kids home right now I understand."
Insert big eye emoji.
Maybe being anti-social and never leaving our yard wasn't such a bad idea after all.
I ordered this baby girl's first swimsuit the other night, while
laying in bed at 11:15 thinking about how early 5:00 am would come. The overwhelming need to buy her one came on in an instant. Of course I needed to find one right then. Because a four month
old baby HAS TO HAVE a swimsuit and she needs it NOW! Amazon Prime is both a
beautiful and entirely dangerous thing. Most things are more expensive
via Amazon but 2 days! Free shipping! All the choices in the universe
at my fingertips! One click! Sweet sweet shopping relief.
swimsuit for a four month old that should not be spending time in the sun seems slightly
unnecessary, and it probably is, but we will be
at the pool and the lake quite a bit this summer, and it would be nice to have
something to put her in that can get wet. I did get one with a swim
shirt because... yeah. The dangerous dangerous sun and all that. And she's such a little
itty baby with such precious milky white skin.
Of course the suit has ruffles on the butt. Because. Of course.
I love that Louie is wearing his soccer cleats here, no socks, laces untied, and his too small shorts are twisted all crazy because he has no time for pulling his pants up correctly after going potty. This is definitely real life Louie. Fiercely independent but still so dependent on his mama. Never wants to miss a thing, this kid.
Gus is still obsessed with holding Olive and I still am obsessed with taking his picture while doing so. And Olive is a little obsessed with Gus as well. So I guess we're all even-Steven.
She's still sleeping in the rock-n-play and I'm thinking at some point very soon I will have to change that because when she goes to daycare in September she will of course have to sleep in a pack-n-play. She's growing out of this thing and I'm already definitely getting the pressure from her daddy to start this transition. Why do I hate change so much? Ughhhhhhhhhh. This particular day (above) was me dipping my toes into the water of change, I carried the rock-n-play from our room up to the nursery for her morning nap.
Ha. I am absurd, that is not even close to making a real change.
She's not even sleeping as well anymore in the rock-n-play. She takes some solid naps and still sleeps good chunks of time in there at night, but she's no longer sleeping through the night. In fact she's been waking at least once, sometimes twice every night for the last 3 weeks or so. Not surprising, with me going back to work, and not as bad as it could be, so I'm still not going to complain. But in Dan's defense it probably would be a good time to attempt a new sleeping arrangement.
See, like I said, she's totally obsessed with him.
With both of them actually.
We've been meeting up with Louie's ECFE buddies on Monday mornings, and on a whim one day I looked up the puppet wagon schedule for the cities nearby and we all made plans to have a picnic lunch at a park where the puppet wagon was making an appearance. I have very fond memories of the puppet wagon from when I was a kid so this hilariously dumb and kitschy little summertime thing gave me lots of nostalgia-induced FEELINGS.
Louie was bizarrely afraid of the puppet wagon at first, but once he realized it was mostly just a bunch of Sesame Street-looking puppets lip-synching to Disney songs (one week they did a song from Mulan, SO RANDOM) he settled in for the show.
Heidi, Abby, and Elyse joined us at the park for the puppet wagon and somehow Gus got a hold of my phone and the kids ran off taking pictures and videos of each other while I was trapped under a nursing baby. Abby is quite the little photographer, and got some good ones of the boys. These pictures are like a little peek into their secret kid lives and I love them.
Oh and speaking of Louie being bizarrely afraid...
Do people remember Joe Scruggs and that song Goo Goo Ga Ga? No? I didn't at first either, but then Dan played it and I was all "OH MY GOD I REMEMBER THIS I CAN'T BELIEVE I FORGOT ABOUT THIS!" just like I am with so much from my 80's/early 90's childhood (like that Nickelodeon cartoon with the little gnomes, and the one with the koala from Koalawalla land that comes to life when you nuzzle noses, I am not imagining those weird shows am I?)
So as you can see from the video, Louie did NOT like it. Didn't appreciate the witch and then flat out tried to leave the house via the front door when the troll came on. It was so so so funny, but then he started to sob and cry real crocodile tears so I had to try to stop laughing. Oh, just to have a peek into a child's brain, could be so enlightening! Gus was sleeping when Dan showed Louie that video and then the next day he was obsessed with bringing it up to Gus, so then we wanted to show it to him and Louie started sobbing and screaming again. We suggested Louie leave the room so Gus could watch it, or vice versa, but essentially NO ONE was to watch that video. Not in our house. Not when Louie was sleeping. Never. It could never be watched again. Kids are so weird.
Do other people's kids go to the park and then get bored immediately when you refuse to push them for an hour on the swings and promptly start rolling around on the blanket you set down for the baby and annoying the crap out of you? Just mine? Kidding. I love these boys but the whole point of the park is so they can RUN and PLAY and BE LOUD. It's a total crap shoot. They either do all those things and we have a totally fun time at the park, or they hang on me and whine and ask for snacks constantly.
Three graduation parties this month. THREE.
Not the most coordinated or thought-out effort for our first photo of the three of these little ladies. Olive is 3.5 months here, Liela 4.5 months, and Elyse almost 6 weeks.
Terrible picture but I had this realization as I sat there with them eating hot dogs in buns like normal people do that we are hitting a sweet spot with feeding these boys. Last summer we were cutting hot dogs into little bites that they would dip in ketchup. Now this! I know, it's not a huge revelation, but it feels like a little milestone. In no time they'll be making their own plates at these events. One more step towards not being NEEDED by so many people for basic things ALL THE TIME! It's kind of a crazy thought.
Liela got Baptized a week and a half ago and the pastor invited all the little children in the congregation up to watch and put their hands on her to pray for her, and yes, Maria had to stop Louie from flinking out and messing around with that big huge lit candle right next to him because he almost knocked it over.
This is the second Baptism celebration in one week during which Olive passed out being held by someone she had basically never met. (Seen here with her great-grandma Becky. The week before at Carter's baptism it was with Lisa's aunt.) Thank goodness for this little good-natured sweetheart.
After Liela's Baptism we went to my parents' house for dinner, since Michelle's parents were heading back to Milwaukee in a few days. My dad set up the pool, which is just a lifesaver on crazy busy days like this when the kids are going a little nuts by 4:00 with no nap.
My parents' five grandchildren!
Harris is a HUGE newborn (born 9 lb 13 oz) and Olive was big for a while there, but seems to definitely be slimming down a little. I don't think she's destined to be a huge fat baby like Louie was.
Olive was exhausted at the end of that day. She fell asleep in the car seat on the way home from my parents and then when I went to wake her up to get her read for bed she had a reeeeally hard time waking up. Half sleeping/half stretching babies are just the most delicious little things.
Gus fell off the monkey bars last week at daycare and it was QUITE the incident. Bit his bottom lip, scraped up his chin, and scraped up the inside of his mouth and actually cut that little piece of skin between his gums above his front two teeth and his upper lip. I'm told there was a lot of blood and I am admittedly a little bit glad I wasn't there when this all went down. While of course I would have wanted to be able to comfort him, I am just NOT good with these kinds of accidents, I freeze up and panic a little.
Anyway, he had a pretty jacked up looking mouth for a few days there, but the swelling went down quickly. Good old mouth injuries. Always lots of blood, but they heal relatively quickly on their own.
She's rolling over, has found her feet, and is putting everything she can get her hands on into her mouth... I forgot how much I LOOOOOVE 3/4 month old babies. She is so darn cute and happy and pleasant. And I'm sure I will keep saying that every month as she grows and changes.
"What do I have to do to get your attention humans? Will this do it? Should I just sit on this blanket here next to the baby that you all obsess over? How about minutes of eye contact? Does that help?"
These girls were a little more ready for their photo op at grad party number 2. Though they were all cranky and tired and up too late here, soooo, heh.
Dan went out for drinks with some guys last Saturday night and I went to my friend Mandy's house for a bonfire. This meant I got home REALLY late with the kids, like after 10:00, and had to get them all to bed quickly by myself. It helped that before he left to go out Dan picked up the whole house and went around laying out pajamas for the boys and books to read on their beds. Olive's blanket was laid out and ready for her. It was really sweet, there were signs of his thoughtfulness all over the house.
And then as I started to climb into bed to nurse Olive I found THIS in my spot, under my covers.
Hahahahaha. Still the same guy I married. DORK.
Soccer is still going okay for the boys, but my enthusiasm for bringing them every week (Gus on Monday nights, Louie Tuesdays) is definitely waning. I started out the summer SO EXCITED for them to do this and be joiners and to have a chance to get them out in the fresh air in the evenings. But I'm finding that I am not really one of those moms that loves a lot of extra-curriculars. I hate feeling tied down to things like this during our "free-time". I hate all the extra stress and transitioning and planning it adds to our life. Frankly, I'd rather we be able to walk to the park as a family on Monday nights, instead of quickly feeding the children and splitting up and deciding who's going with who, or if we should all go. I like keeping busy, but soccer feels more like "obligation busy" than "fun busy".
While Gus is playing real "games" (3v3, no keeping score, no goalie) in his league, which is new this year, Louie's soccer is still just lots of fun drills and silly activities with a soccer ball. And he likes it okay, depending on the day. I think he has one week left and he's finally sort of regularly participating. This is according to Dan because after the first couple weeks when we all went to watch him, even my parents came by, we realized we were part of the problem. He was super distracted by all of us and just wanted to sit on the blanket with us and eat snacks. (Of course he did, what did I think would happen?)
So that gets us sort of caught up I think! Too many pictures all at once, I know, but it's the only way I seem to be able to make sense of the last few weeks. It all jumbles together, and I knew this would happen, but as soon as I went back to work the weeks just keep flying by. Oh and Olive did finally start drinking milk while I was away from her, but still won't take a bottle. Instead miss thang has put a ban on any sort of artificial nipple (pacifiers included) and has gone straight to a sippy cup. She's a stubborn one that girl, but I will continue to look on the bright side, as we will never have to transition her away from a bottle or take away a pacifier... and we all know how much I hate making those kinds of changes. ;)