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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Things I'm currently loving...

Homeschooling - For real. This isn't me pretending my life is dreamy or easy. It isn't. We knew homeschooling would be a more difficult route for me. But we have now completed week two and my big boys run to the kitchen table once I put Abe down for his morning nap. They love it. I hope it continues. The routine of our day has been a blessing to these little boys. Honestly, I wish I would have started a month or more ago when we were bored out of our minds this summer.
Mother's Day Out - See, I'm normal. I need a little space. I'm happy to be in this new routine, but Thursdays will definitely be a perk around here. I don't know what I'll do each week. But I get a little me time on Thursdays...well, me and Abe time. And I'm glad it's back in our weekly schedule.
Tabata - Making the time for exercise has been a little more challenging since coming home with Abe. I've been a little more tired and just haven't prioritized it as frequently as I should. But Tabata is so wonderful. They are hard core, intense 4 minute workouts. You do 3-4 rounds somewhere in your day and you're done. You can do it all at once (with a small break between rounds) or you can spread them through out the day. 12-16 minutes total and I can mark exercise off of my to do list. Yes, it usually gets put on my to do list. So does showering. Not joking. I think I just like to mark things off a list and have a sense of accomplishment. You can read in detail about Tabata here. And she has plenty of Tabata workouts to try out that will make you sweat. Check out any of these: One, Two, Three, Four...

Our new fridge calendar - So we had a little 5 year old that was asking us to play the Wii or the Xoom constantly. And we said yes to this request about once a week. And we said no to this request about 721 times per week. And so he threw a little fit about 718 times a week. Jeremy made the comment to me that we had no rhyme or reason of when we said yes or no. So Holden was always asking in this cautious, inquisitive way...probably completely assuming a no, but hoping for a yes. So we came up with a plan to allow the big boys to play the Wii or Xoom twice a week for an hour each time. We set it up so they can play on Mondays and Thursdays. It's written on the calendar so they never even have to ask us anymore. Any other day, the answer would be no. But on Mondays and Thursdays, after school work has been completed, they can use that 1 hour whenever they would like. We just started this on Monday and they haven't asked to play at all. It's a miracle. The calendar will also be good as we talk about days of the week and dates and learning about our calendar system. This was pretty much Jeremy's brilliant idea and I love it.
Netflix - About a month ago we decided that we could probably drop our Dish (which we haven't yet done but fully intend to!) and do a free trial of Netflix and Hulu. And now Jeremy and I have become huge nerds that watch 2-3 documentaries per week, where the subject is normally about food. Jeremy has actually watched several other types of documentaries that make me snooze. But the food ones draw me in. We aren't big television watchers. We can easily go days without turning it on. But Netflix has rocked our world.
Pinterest - Between homeschooling and finding new recipes for my family, I'm really not sure how I would survive without this little tool. It's been a huge help to me in many ways.
Is there anything you're especially loving these days?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Back to school (MDO)

The big boys headed back to school today. That sounds a little funny since we are doing school at home this year. Technically, Holden and Pax are enrolled in Mother's Day Out again this year. They don't go here necessarily to learn or for socialization. Both of these things are good and will come naturally at this school/Mother's Day Out (whichever you want to call it). But honestly, they just go so that I can have a little sanity. A day for grocery shopping in peace, if Abe allows that. A day for errands. Or maybe cleaning the house during Abe's morning nap. Or sitting and reading a book. Or a lunch date with Jeremy or a friend! So many options! All of the things I don't do when I have three little boys to keep up with. So back to school we go!
They loved their first day! They walked right into their classroom and began playing with the toys. That's what I like to see. :) Abe and I headed home so I could work on a little cleaning while he took a long nap. I can't promise that I'll spend another Thursday cleaning though. Not my idea of "me time". :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Less than an hour ago, me and my three were piled on the couch reading library books. It's a normal pre-nap activity over here. Sometimes we just let Abe sit and play on the floor while we read because at this stage he likes to bat at the book in my hand instead of soaking in the pictures or story. But today Holden held him in his lap as I sat between the big boys and read. Holden was very interested in the story and was unbothered by the fact that Abe was dive bombing into his face and planting slobbers all over his right cheek. I could barely contain myself as Abe was smiling and loving on his biggest brother. Kissing him over and over again. I finally got up to grab the camera but then it just wasn't happening anymore. But then Pax said, "Give me kisses, bubba." And he sure did. These three brothers melt my heart daily. So so happy and honored to be their mommy.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Abe is 9 months.

Today Abe is 9 months old and he is doing so incredibly well. Any worries that I began with have all washed away. He is attached and loving his family in the most healthy of ways.
He has made a lot of progress in the area of sleep this past month. We have finally established a sleeping routine and that has been good for all of us. I was not really comfortable pushing him into my routine. So we just took baby steps and he pretty much did it himself. So proud of this baby boy! We now lay him down at night around 7:30pm. He tends to wake around 11pm, which is normally right before Jeremy and I head to bed. So we give him one last bottle at that time and then he sleeps anywhere between 7-8am. He probably doesn't NEED the late night feeding since he is somewhere around 25lbs now, but he has made so much progression I just haven't pushed to give it up. But it's a wonderful thing for me to be back on a normal sleep schedule, with Abe sleeping in his own bed. He actually doesn't even need us to rock him to sleep anymore. I normally sit with him in the rocking chair, we cuddle as I sing a quick little song and then I lay him down in his bed awake. He is a tummy sleeper and he quickly and quietly drifts off to sleep. He takes a morning and an afternoon nap that typically last 2 hours each. But he's also really great at being flexible and taking a cat nap in the car or skipping a nap all together, if we venture out and he is not home for his regular naptime.
On August 26th, Pax's birthday, Abe decided he might finally try crawling on his knees. He still army crawls around on his belly about half the time. And the other half of the time he is up on his hands and knees. He is also into pulling up and standing now. He actually walked his little self all the way around our coffee table tonight holding on to it with both hands. Today was also the first day that he decided to try and conquer the stairs. He probably would have made it to the top, had I allowed it. He was laughing most of the way up. I think this little boy is going to be full of adventure in an attempt to keep up with his big brothers.
He sure does adore those big brothers. He laughs at them at meal time and any time they sit to play with him. He tries to crawl on top of them when they are on the floor playing. Baby Abe has two big brothers that really love him. I love to sit back and watch their relationships develop!
Abe is nuts for bath time. He has no fear of the water and is constantly sticking his entire face in. His new thing is that when I try to stand him up to clean his bottom half that is under the water, his legs go all noodle-y on me. I think he is afraid that I am standing him up to pull him out because bath is over. So maybe if he doesn't participate in the standing part then I won't get him out. I don't know. That's just what it seems like. But he sure loves his bath time.
He now consistently takes five 5oz bottles per day. He eats all of his veggies and fruits like a champ. He is also eating tiny bites such as small carrots, green peas, blueberries and grapes that have been chopped into small pieces. He seems to get more in the highchair than in his mouth with the self-feeding. And speaking of tiny bites he sprouted his second tooth today. His first tooth came in right after turning 8 months. So now he has cut his two center bottom teeth. It seems like he is an extremely slow teether as they still have not completely pushed their way out. The big boy is now mainly wearing 12-18month clothes. I think he is our biggest boy to date.
Abe has been doing great in the church nursery on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. I think our church has become a familiar place to him already and I love that. We have yet to leave him with a sitter. Jeremy and I have only had one date night since Abe joined our family 4 months ago (Yikes!). And Abe attended that date with us. We will leave him with some very familiar friends for a little afternoon date next weekend. I think he'll be just fine in his familiar territory with all regular faces that he sees weekly.
Abe has a really sweet demeanor. He is often very quiet and observant of everything around him. But then there are times, like this morning, where he just screams for fun. Just to hear himself. He is really affectionate and typically enjoys being held. He is a happy baby boy and he has brought so much joy and so many smiles to our family.