Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Things Change and We Continue to Evolve

Loooong ago when I wrote my last post, we had just returned to VA from a visit to the West Coast. We were in love with the air, the water, the everything that we found in the Great Pacific Northwest.

I could go on and on about the transitions and changes we have been through, but that's all boring and moot now. I am writing this from our apartment in Seattle, WA. Our family relocated here in September and we are starting to settle into our life. Drew had a new job and we are living IN a city for the first time. All the kids are exploring and learning about a different state, city, culture, and geography. We explore the sea life, the geology, and the history that is all new to us.

And I am also going through changes as I incubate our 4th and final child.  We planned to add a final member to our family and learned of his/her existence on a trip out here to apartment hunt at the end of August. Aptly, we now refer to our baby as Pike. We expect his/her arrival in early-mid May since my kids tend to take their sweet time coming Earthside.

I'm hoping to write more. I feel like my "blogging" got off track and I tried to be too structured. I want this space to be about our family - for not only our family, but yours. This space isn't about controversy or getting more page views. For me, its about reaching out and maybe helping a mom sitting somewhere struggling with something in her life or just looking to see that she's not alone.

I'm evolving, too, after all. I don't get it all right all the time. I just do the best that I can for my family.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

There's Something In the Air Out There...

I've been silent for a while. I have a million reasons, really, why there had been radio silence over here. My son isn't a newborn anymore and requires more attention. Our 60 pound puppy fills in the gap where Bubba leaves a little space. And, of course, I have my two gorgeous daughters to fill my days and my heart.

I also did a hard reboot of sorts. With one part adventure and 2 parts curiosity, our  little family of 5 took a trip to the West Coast. Drew has always been drawn to that area of the country and I have always wanted to see the temperate rain forests. So, we decided to just do it - (see what I did there, Oregonians?)

I also decided that I was going to step even further away from my phone. I had already deleted Facebook from it weeks prior so that I had no distractions from my kiddos. But I decided that I wouldn't be on Instagram, wouldn't go to Facebook through the web, wouldn't get on Ravelry. I was going to use my phone for necessary communication and that was it.

We spent one of the best weeks of our lives on the the West Coast. We began our journey in Portland and headed through the rain forests...
 And keep going until we hit the Pacific....

We crossed the Columbia and stood on the beach where Lewis and Clark led their expedition.

We visited Zoos, Islands, Ferries, and a Giant Space Needle.

We also took a day hike into Olympic National Forest. I don't know which of us had the most fun, but it was truly a transforming experience for each of us.

We climbed the "giant Space Needle", visited REI, waterfalls, and trains. And after what seemed like the shortest week on record, we boarded a plane and returned home.

My girls have never liked windows down in a car. They probably get that from me because I generally don't enjoy the sensation. However, every chance we had during our trip we had the windows down. Maybe it was the extra oxygen, maybe it was the newness of the place- I'm not sure. But I DO know that upon our return home, Moo asked us to roll down the windows. As we turned out of the airport and came to speed on the highway she said meekly "Mommy? Can you close the windows? It just doesn't smell the same."

And she was right. The Pacific Northwest seems to have crept into our blood. There's just something in the air out there.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The New Normal* - a.k.a. How to Pee in Public with 3 Kids in Tow

Baby Boy- called Bubba by his sisters- is now over 9 months old. He's crawling everywhere and "talking" a ton. His sisters are in love with him, especially Miss Moo. Weekly the girls have gymnastics on Mondays, Moo had dance on Tuesdays, and the rest of the week is filled with errands.

I'm getting the hang of the rotation and magic involved in outings with three children. The grocery store, Target, and the Library all involve a series of routines as to who gets out of the can first, who hold what door handle, and who gets first dibs on the cart, books, etc.

But the HARDEST of tasks has always been going to the bathroom. It seems simple enough- especially when you have one of more children in a stroller and a Family Restroom. But, suppose you are wearing one who now CRAWLS, have a toddler that still wears diapers buy is too long for a changing table, and you have a 4 year old that is afraid of self-flushing toilets (SFT) in an oversized stall? Ahhhh....yes. Hello, NORMAL.

So, this is what we do:
1. Miss Moo goes potty first while I change Bubba's diaper on the changing table and strap him down to it.
2. Moo runs towards me to get away from the toilet as it flushes and is now tasked with "body blocking" Bubba just in case the strap on the table fails for some reason.
(Why can't I put him down? He crawls. In a public potty? EEEW. )

(And, yes,  I COULD put him back on, but, have you ever tried to pee wearing a 20 pound baby who now smells you and needs a refill? It's a bit, distracting, to say the least.)

3. I go to use the potty and Miss Roo stands in front of me. If she's just wet, I change her diaper standing up. (If she isn't, well, that's gonna be a rodeo for a whole new day!)

4. Roo and I both run from the SFT and she stands beside Moo. I strap Bubba back on and we make our way to the sinks.

5. Moo pretty much can get the water and soap without help. I help set up towels for her before I was  my hands.

6. Wearing Bubba, I lift Roo up to gather soap on both of our hands. She "washes" mine and I wash hers them she towels off while I wash my hands.

7. The girls link up and then the inside girl takes my hand.

8. Off we go.

I am very thankful for the concept of Family Restrooms because that gives us a little more space to work with for our task. But mostly, I'm thankful for the small amount of time we have this rhythm worked out. Our new normal is always in flux.

*I'm fairly certain there will be a lot of posts about the New Normal.