With Rod gone months in a row I find that after I tuck that last little in bed I want only to crawl into bed & read or watch some made for TV Christmas movie on netflix. But tonight I am totally stressed that I am not documenting my kids as well as I have in past months & years. I use my iPhone & post instagram & that's great, but I want to remember all of it. Like Today I felt so incredibly busy. I do not like the word "busy" nor do I want to call myself "busy." But today I was busy because little things kept coming up & keeping me from stopping. We did the Y thing this morning & Presley & Cooper were pleased to see their friends John & Fiona & Andrew were there too. They made turkeys & necklaces & played. We got home & I jumped into the shower for a quick wash with my fingers crossed the entire time that Cooper would not open the front door & take a stroll around the neighborhood without me. He is sneaky. I pulled my hair back in a pony, grabbed Presley's school bag & took the sweet thing to school. She is very competitive lately. She always wants to be the first of her classmates to arrive at school. She yells "I win." She's my nut. Cooper & I ran a few errands, got home, kicked off our shoes & warmed some lunch & milk. I laid him down & then then H.O. Clinic came across my phone. Super. I knew it meant one of the boys was in the nurses office. It was Britt. It required me to actually go to the school, but I had just put the baby down so I dialed a neighbor & I really cannot say enough about sweet Ronda. She is forever there for me & mine! She sat in my house while Cooper slept & I ran to pick up Britton. I love him. He is the most tender & brilliant boy. But he comes with the mind of a daydreamer & a fear of all things. He had a scare at school & just needed to recuperate at home. Maybe I am babying him, but I can say with confidence that I will never regret giving Britton a few extra moments one on one when he so clearly needs me. We had some quiet together while cooper slept & the other children finished their school day. We met Presley & Maddox at the bus & we snacked & everyone told me about their day at the same time while showing me pretty pieces of artwork & papers with smiley faces. We then had to get over to the school to pick up T after his student Council meeting. I love that T is so driven to be a part of everything! Choir, Student Council, 4th grade book club, scouts, football, lacrosses, math team, gifted & talented program, fitness presentations...all of it! If its asked of him or offered to him...he wants to do it! Student council is great because it gives him opportunities to work & serve. Today they sorted food donations that were collected for our sister school (in a less affluent area of the city.) T is going to be something amazing when he is grown. We picked up T, & drove over to speech. Maddox spent his time working on "doggie teeth & doggie lips" to say his Rs with our beloved Ms. Felinda. She may not know this, but she is very much my family here. I feel love & security when my children are with her, & when we get to speak after sessions. She is very important to us. Today while Maddox was in his session Cooper needed me to raise him up & down on my leg, leaving Presley to need someone to snuggle with her. She took T's arm & wrapped it around her. He gladly drew her in & let her rest her head in the nook of his shoulder while he read & she played palace pets on the iPad. Christine, whom we also love very much took note of the two snuggling siblings & remarked how sweet T is. Yes. He really is just the most helpful son. I felt so much pride in my little troop in that moment. & Then things got crazy & I had to hold onto that warm fuzzy pride so not to have a meltdown in the waiting room. Getting stickers after sessions is always a frenzy! It was 5:30 by the time we were all buckled in & heading home. I had put rice in the pot before leaving, but the toppings were untouched in the fridge. It turned into a drive thru night complete with plastic toys. Everyone is in bed. The house is still. I am finally sitting down to feel & to think about the day & its pace. It was a good day. Busy. But Good.
During the arctic blast the kids wanted to play in the yard. It was cold & their fingers turned blue, but they had such a great time playing together. We had cocoa & dug out our Christmas books while we warmed up....
I had a meltdown in the middle of my neighborhood. literally the middle. & although not literally a meltdown it sure felt like I was becoming a puddle of anxiety & crazy. I am the Grinch of Halloween. Its a lot of preparation, and decor I don't love, & excess sweets that somehow find their way to my hips. Its keeping track of 5 small people in the dark with lots of other people & cars, & spooky decorations. including heads on a platter. Okay...the head on the platter thing was pretty neat Erin. We had pizza as usual & things seemed to be on track for meeting up with neighbors at 6. The kids got dressed, I drew on mustaches & tied bows. We had our bags, we put out our galvanized bucket of goodies & a "please take one" note. I grabbed my camera & started heading out when it happened...someone got mad about something & started to fight with someone else & someone started to cry, another someones mustache started to rub off, & someone tripped on a shoe lace & fell. all with in 1 minute of being out our door. we hadn't even left the front porch! My crazy kicked in. I forgot to take pictures of the 5 as I do every year. We walked down the hill & I joked that if I were ever to start drinking... everyone laughed because they know all I really need is a diet coke to find serenity. From there Maddox called a football player fat because of his padding. He meant large, but said fat. He made the boy cry & I was mortified. Then the best part of the night came when Maddox saw an "Enderman" don't ask. you don't want to know. & touched the 10 yr olds costume. Well, I have tried & tried & tried to explain to Maddox that you don't touch people you don't know, you don't talk to strangers. His response? every time its "Heavenly Father wants us all to be friends. Heavenly father loves everyone. I love everyone." Well, yes darling, but... It makes me think of that crazy Saturday night skit "School Visit." thats Maddox. He would be "all about vans." WATCH THIS. its hilarious. anyway, I digress. The father of said Enderman blew a gasket! I ended up calling this guy dressed as a knight a bully & then walked over to a friends house to drop Tre off to be with his big kid friends. & that is when it happened. My friend Susie said Hi, & I proceeded to cry in the drive way like a nut case. I got lots of hugs from my visiting teaching companion & the ladies of the ward, & then walked home embarrassed & ready to throw in the towel. But...then my sweet friend Julia's little Elsa ran by our house & seeing Presley & Jordan together cheered me up a bit & we decided to go ahead & keep the night going with a party at Kim's house. The children took pictures of themselves against a green screen & watched a movie on the outside theatre. We went home & they all were very ready to sleep. I love my children so much. I love that they enjoy these fun holidays so much. It certainly makes it worth it. I am happy to say that they did not once catch on that I was having a hard time. They are pretty sure I love Halloween as much as they do. I finished the night off with a good cry on the phone with Rod. He tells me I did the right thing standing up for Madds, but I still feel pretty darn silly for being a total disaster of a mother on the 31st. Its okay now though. Its November!
& then.... I packed my things & headed to Houston to see my dear Taralyn. We have not seen each other in 3 1/2 years. I have missed her & really wished she was around during some hard times...say like...the 31st of every October of my life. I arrived at the hotel early & you know what I did? I put on my pajamas, shut the curtains & went to sleep with a smile on my face knowing that no little ones would be waking me. It was amazing. I set my alarm to wake when Tar would be showing up. We met up in the hall & we couldn't let go of each other. We spent the day together. It was only one day, but It was a good day. We picked up right where we left off. I am so blessed to have that with my med school girls. Tar is such a genuine friend. She loves me & my quirks & she makes my back feel better even though she is not at work, & its her day off from being Dr. Sowby. Her parents were bragging on her at a wedding reception & I couldn't help but join in. She is an amazing Mother, Friend & doctor. She balances things so well that she has me convinced that she has more hours in the day than the rest of us. I left the hotel bright & early Saturday morning so Rod could head back to Dallas & so I could get home to my babies & also I missed my primary kiddos & wanted to see all of them since it was stake conference the previous weekend. I am so grateful to my parents for setting up the hotel & details, Grateful to my husband for somehow finding a way to switch weekends so he could be home Saturday night, grateful to Tar's family for the nice lunch & for letting me tag along all day, & mostly grateful to Tar for being such a wonderful friend to me.
October came fast & ended even faster. Every week seemed to be jam packed with Halloween events & practices, classes, projects. I am not complaining, but at the same time I am relieved that it is over. The weekend before the big sugar rush we attend the trunk or treat for our ward. The kids loved their costumes & playing games with friends for prizes. Tre is big time now & goes off with his 3 best buddies from church. The 4 of them are really just the sweetest thing you'll ever see. They really enjoy each other. Their football team calls them the 4 horsemen. They arrive at practices walking in a straight line like tough guys. I love that Tre has these guys. Cooper got a kick out of his costume. He loved the hat & his face was priceless as he went around saying trick or treat. The confusion & the thrill of candy being put into his brown sac. The children are reaching fun ages where they are all pretty independent & good at expressing their needs...it made this particular evening a lot of fun on my end. No babies in our nest right now has it pros I guess. I could really take in the joy that kids had written on their faces. I'm glad they enjoy Halloween...heaven knows it does nothing for me.
Having Brad & Kalen & Norah (& the new baby bump!) just a short drive away is really great. It is great for the children. They get to spend time with family more frequently. I really believe that having extended family around gives children confidence & comfort. There is something about knowing where you are from & that you are loved unconditionally that helps children be happy & well adjusted. I loved having cousins that were like brothers, & aunts & uncles that were like parents. I want that so badly for the 5. & also for Norah & Destiny & Talan. I wish I was able to spend more time with Destiny & Talan. I sure hope they know my heart is with them. Having them close is great for me. I feel I sense for support knowing if I needed Brad I could call on him. With Rod's upcoming months away Its nice to know I have family so close by. The children had a 3 1/2 days weekend & We headed to Brad & Kalen's city for a weekend in cooler temperatures & family time. We watched the 90s version Pipi Long Stockins & Brad & I wowed Kalen & Rod with our recall of all the song lyrics to the movie. The weather was chilly & stormy at night. It felt like fall for the first time. We took the children to the park to play & blow bubbles. I love watching Brad with Norah. He loves his family so much. I love watching Rod with our children. He made sure to give each one of them some time while they played. We have plans to be together for Thanksgiving & that makes my heart want to burst. Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday. Its family & food & that warm fuzzy feeling without all the presents. It will be wonderful to share the day with them. Now if we can convince mom & dad to come sooner rather than later for the holidays! Tre was so sweet with Norah, as he is with hi sown baby sister. He went right up to Norah & told her she was so pretty & that he loved her. He really is such a sweet boy. The kids are back in school for the week & I am chasing my own tail. I made it to the gas station with less than 1 mile left in the tank & just barely got Presley off to carpool for school. Tre has scouts & we have homework projects to do. We have to pack Rod up & I am clueless as to what to make for the family for dinner tonight. The speed of the week is such a contrast to the nice relaxing weekend we had at Brad & Kalens. It filled my canteen so I can happily move through this busy week.