Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer's Over (sort of!)

So the blog has missed ALL of summer break! The biggest change since then is: the kids are swimming!!! It was a loooooong road and a lot of work but they are really doing it! They had 16 lessons (3xs a week for over a month!) and Ms. Jessica really worked hard with them! Audrey was just starting to gain confidence and was kicking her legs but not really using her arms much. Madison was making very little effort, honestly. Barely a little kick here and there. She mostly just glided to the wall. By the end of lessons they were at least (mostly) not crying. The first lesson.....oh my geeee! Screamfest. Elana was our little star! By the end of lessons she was jumping in and returning to the wall all on her own, swimming short distances and back floating!

We have continued working with them 1-2 times a week and I am happy to report the progress they have made since ending swim lessons. I guess it finally just clicked and now I have 3 little fishes! Audrey is now using her arms AND legs to swim and as long as she keeps her head down in the water, she's really moving!!! She is also doing very well jumping in and returning to the wall on her own. I loooooove her little sideways jump she does! Madison finally realized she can swim when she kicks her legs (imagine that!) After that day, it was all over. She is LOVING swimming and will ask to swim to you from the steps over and over again. She has also mastered jumping in and returning to the wall. Recently she swam nearly the width of the whole pool at Jemmie's house. Elana continues to do well also. She's a little more interested in playing with the toys than practicing her swimming but I think maybe that's just age related. She does this fun "chair jump" that they taught us in swim lessons. I think she likes it best when daddy does it because he adds some air to her jumps!! Going to the pool is now fun for everyone and they are crying when we have to leave instead of when we get there. Success in my book :)

We spent the majority of the summer in swim lessons, then had a break without any real plans besides the usual crazy. This week was the first week of school. All 3 kids are now attending their little school and they did surprisingly well! I was sure Elana was going to have a fit when I dropped her off but she did really well and didn't cry at all! Her teachers were just in love with her and begged us to sign her up for another day! Audrey and Madison did well at drop off also (yay!) I think they found comfort in their little buddy Charlotte who was also in their class last year. The teacher also said they had a great first day! Hooray! Mommy and Daddy enjoyed a peaceful lunch and Lowes run.

I'm keeping super busy working 1-2 days a week, keeping up with the kids and the house and driving Rusty crazy with all my little projects. I've been trying to eliminate unnecessary chemicals in our lives and have been making a lot of my own products....and saving money too!!!! So far I've made a sugar scrub, facial scrub, lotion, deodorant, laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent. Next on the list is hand sanitizer and bug spray made from my *new* essential oils. When I'm not doing all that, I'm reorganizing the closets and planning the remodel for our laundry area, mudroom area in the garage as well as the re-do of our master bath. Phew. I'm tired just thinking about all that at once!

The new Harry Potter has opened up at Universal and the summer has been busy for Rusty at work (and crazy hot!) He still gets up with us every morning and goes on outings or helps me get the crazies ready for an outing. He loves me and I am so very lucky and thankful for that. I know it may come as a shock, but all the projects I do that make me happy, also make me crazy and not always fun to be around. I am an ongoing work in progress....sigh.

So, what's new?

Audrey: This kid comes up with the craziest things! It is almost ALWAYS a fight to get her to eat her meal. So I'll portion out a little on her plate and tell her what she needs to eat so that she can be done. One night I said, frustrated, "Just eat this food I put in the square right here." Not missing a beat she says "It's not a square mom. It's a rectangle." WTH! Seriously?! How can you be mad and almost laughing at the same time? She continues to be out of her room the second her clock turns green at nap time. She will entertain herself, usually painting with water colors. That's a most favorite activity lately. I'll be getting dinner fixed in the kitchen and sometimes she will come out and help. The latest meal she helped with was breading chicken fingers. She gets the biggest smile on her face and you can really tell she is proud of the fact that she helped mommy fix dinner! Things seem to be getting better between she and Elana as well. I'll catch her being a little mommy to her or bossing her around in a sweet, big sister kind of way. The relationship between A&M seems to be hit or miss, and probably always will be. They are ripping each other apart and screaming one minute and giggling and playing together like best buds the next.

Madison: She's in a transition stage with her naps and usually gets up a grump! After a few minutes she warms up and will paint water colors with Audrey or put a puzzle together. Sometimes she wants to help with dinner also which inevitably creates a sister brawl! In the mornings, Madison has been getting up as the clock strikes 7:45am and her ready-to-wake clock turns green. I will usually wake up to A&M playing quietly in the living room. They have figured out how to get into the closet with all their crafts so they are painting (making a mess) with watercolors, crayons, markers, legos, puzzles, etc. etc. BUT, I do usually get to keep my tired head on the pillow until 8:00 or even 8:15 because little E will sleep until 8:30 or so (bless her). I still keep as much locked up like Ft. Knox as I can but Madison does like to dress herself in the morning. If I forget to set out clothes for her, I will usually find her in the most favorite outfit she can find in the dirty clothes basket....hahaha. The funniest thing she's done lately is play with the water spear in the back yard. Daddy was trying to wind down the outside time and was collecting all the toys. He asked Madison to bring the water spear to him and she walked slowly toward him and said "ok daddy, here you go...." and took aim and fired a direct hit of water! She learns from the best ;) Lately we have been dealing with some major listening problems but she has a kind heart and is a fantastic helper. She is my go to for "special jobs" and is always first to volunteer to set the table for dinner.

Elana is still my little sweetheart! I admit I have a soft spot for her...probably because she's not in the "terrible 3's" stage (yet!)...hahaha. She is really talking a lot now and can carry on a conversation with other people. It's so weird to watch your BABY carry a conversation. Of course, she doesn't think she's a baby! It's fun to watch her frolic around with the other two...she goes along with whatever crazy game they are playing and is only one step behind everything the older two are doing. One of their favorite things to do right now is to pretend there is a bear (RAWRRR!) and they will run and scream. Sometimes they involve Layla and get her going too. Poor Layla. Elana has hit, kicked, jumped on, tried to ride, pulled the tail of that poor dog and she just takes it. Last night I explained to her that she needs to be nice and not hit doggie and that she needed to apologize to Layla for being mean. She walks over to Layla, gives her a big hug around the neck, lays her head on her and says "I sorry Layla, I wuv you" in the sweetest little voice. Another fun game for her right now is playing with Daddy in the pool. Daddy will swim underwater, poke his head up and say RAWRRR! She'll laugh and squeal and tell him "Say RAWR to me daddy!" And of course he does <3 nbsp="" p="">

This life is so crazy and hectic right now but full of sweet moments. It's hard to soak them all in when you're in the thick of it, so it's really nice to reflect like this and reset. I think one of the hard things about motherhood is focusing on the good. Everyone says "enjoy every moment, before you know it they are going to be grown." Which is said with all good intention and really is true. But to be in it, day after day, cooking, cleaning, breaking up fights, disciplining, questioning everything, wondering if you are making the right parenting choices, wondering if you are ever going to feel rested again, if your husband is still going to love you when the dust settles, wondering if you are screwing up at this parenthood thing, it's really tough to enjoy EVERY moment. I just hope and pray that what I'm doing is enough. When the kids look back to their childhood, I hope they remember a happy days with a mom and dad that love each other and them than anything.