A Good Day

It is easy to get caught up in the bad news. Bad world news, bad domestic news, bad days at work, bad days at the gym or with kids. It’s normal. A few small insignificant things in a row can make it feel like the whole day was terrible. It’s the same reason my kids say ‘I hate everything’ or ‘I NEVER get what I want’ after being offered a single vegetable or being told that it is bedtime… well after bedtime. But today.. today I’m going to talk about the good.
Today was A GOOD DAY.
It wasn’t a great day. Nothing spectacular happened. But it was a good day. One that I’d mark in the success column. Yes, we had tears. Yes, my kids ate dinner in front of the screen.

Picnic Dinner
The kids eating dinner while watching AGDQ.

 

Yes, the sink is still full of dishes and there’s still a load of laundry in the washer that needs switched. But there was so much good, that I don’t want to focus on those parts of the day.
Today we had a hot cooked breakfast, well balanced and enjoyed.
We completed a full day of homeschool in one stretch, pregnancy fatigue has required most lessons to be split. We added a new math concept and started a new science unit. Today our nephew showed his steer at the PA Farm Show, and we played barn to help our discussions about that and show support.

Dillon Playing Farm
Dillon playing with his barn and farm animals.

 

Today the tiny daughter played farm with us, putting all the cows in the horse pasture-not appreciated by her brother. Today we painted- all 3 (!) painted at the same time.

Ainsley Finger Painting
Ainsley finger painting.
Rayleigh and Dillon painting.
Rayleigh and Dillon painting.
The girls cleaning up
Rayleigh helping clean Ainsley’s hand after painting.

 

Today we made two batches of cookies. Today we made homemade applesauce. Today we made homemade Pad Thai and all 3 ate it unaltered (miracles come in all forms).

Homemade Pad Thai was a hit with everyone.
Homemade Pad Thai was a hit with everyone.

 

Today we kept the playroom (yes, we have a whole room for the toys and crafts-criticize away) clean and picked up. Today we had a dance party and sang along to songs. Today we had our horse and Barbies watch AGDQ (Awesome Games Done Quick).

Barbies in a row
Barbies ready for watching the show with us.

 

Today we read more books than I can count and all met our 15 minutes read a-loud challenge #RAR31Days before bedtime. [https://amongstlovelythings.com/2017-31-days/] Today I drank a cup of tea before it got cold. Today I snuggled individually with all 3 kids throughout the day. Today I cooked homemade meals.

Roasted Squash
Roasted Squash.. some may have been eaten before it made it off the pan.

 

Today I did laundry. Today I made sure my kids knew they were important. Today, today was a good day.

Like I said, there was nothing spectacular about today. In many ways it was very similar to yesterday and I hope that tomorrow is nearly a repeat of today. The more days that pass, the more I realize that good days and bad days are often filled with the same triumphs and failures and it’s which set of events you chose to remember and focus on that determines which column the day goes into when you crawl into bed. Hope your day was good too… even if you also still have dirty dishes in the sink.

Yule Tree Procured

Today we went on the annual tree adventure. This pregnancy has really been kicking my butt, so my energy levels for long treks for the perfect tree seemed more like a torture trip than a joyous tradition.
So after some internet research on local cut-your-own locations I chose a family owned tree farm not too far away. I dressed the kids in coordinating festive attire hoping to sneak in a few photographs with a background of evergreens (lined with long johns to make the experience enjoyable). As we pulled into the tree farm is started to snow! The perfect day for photos… er.. I mean to pick a tree. We all unloaded; hats, scarves, gloves, and boots. I snapped a few pics of the kids running around as the tree farmer explained the field layouts to us. As we start walking through a fir field (I’m a sucker for the smell and the fact that they hold needles well is a bonus) I go to take a photo on my phone…but I’m out of storage space, I grab the digital HDR… 3 photos later….out of battery, I borrow Kevin’s phone snap 5 photos… it turns off… too cold to function. Alas, there were no adorable posed photos of the cute (I’m allowed to be bias) trio of kids in lined bib overalls and red striped pants, no attempts at a holiday card photo, just a few candids… mostly blurrry. But we DID find the perfect tree. The big kids agreed on a short stout fir tree. They helped cut the trunk, helped carry it out of the field and warmed their hands with hot cocoa as the farmer and Kevin tied the tree to van roof.
It wasn’t quite the tree expedition I had envisioned as I dressed the kids this morning, but it was exactly the trip we needed.
The tree is in the house, in the stand and watered…. but the lights will need to wait until tomorrow.

bibbed-kids-2016 big-kids-tree-shopping-2016

 

January 2016

It’s January! A new year full of awesome potential.

First… the 1 minute recaps on everyone.

Kevin’s been a writing machine, his dissertation is written! Not edited but those will come in the next few weeks. His regular 9-5 is keeping him busy the rest of the time.

Kevin with a Bonsai Tree in Montreal.
Kevin with a Bonsai Tree in Montreal.

Rayleigh started Kindergarten in the fall and then 9 weeks later started again… homeschooling. The transition has been wonderful for all of us. She’s precocious, sassy and full of spunk and smiles. Favorites include: the color yellow, Daddy’s special breakfasts, skiing, swimming and gymnastics, barbies and school work.

Rayleigh loved the Christmas Confectionary Exhibit at the Montreal Botanical Garden in December.
Rayleigh loved the Christmas Confectionary Exhibit at the Montreal Botanical Garden in December.

Dillon attends a local pre-school 3 mornings a week where he loves snack and project (art) time. He is currently enjoying all things musical – singings, dancing, etcetera. Favorites include: the color pink, Darth Vader, crafts, and all things food.. especially black olives and dessert.

Dillon's new haircut, post donation of 9".
Dillon’s new haircut, post donation of 9″.

Ainsley is just over 6 months and still being super smiley adorable sweet pea. We truly aren’t sure that she looks like any of us but are confident that she looks just like herself, Ainsley. Her first 2 teeth came in yesterday(!) and she is crawling… albeit only backwards, but forwards is not far behind. She’s a great sleeper and gets lots of love and snuggles from her big siblings.

Ainsley joined Mom & Dad at the movie theater for Star Wars VII.
Ainsley joined Mom & Dad at the movie theater for Star Wars VII.

And me, well I’m enjoying a year of being a momma and wife first. Teaching and exploring the world with three kids. We spend lots of time outdoors, I’m hoping to run another Ragnar this spring and maybe even another half marathon in the coming months. The 4 paragraphs above are my favorite things, additionally I enjoy my book club, my friends, and nightly crossword challenges.

Kelsey, Ainsley, Rayleigh and Dillon doing some holiday shopping.
Kelsey, Ainsley, Rayleigh and Dillon doing some holiday shopping.

 

I’ll try to keep up with the blog and photos but if I disappear take solace in knowing that I’m trying to relish in the moments of mommy-hood and might take that over incessant documentation.

Come on 2016!

Our Family is Growing!

We are extremely excited to announce that Rayleigh gets to be a big sister (again) and Dillon is being promoted to big brother to our latest arrival, due July 4th.

Kevin, Kelsey, Rayleigh, Dillon, and a spot for baby three!

National Zoo For The Day

We went to the Zoo. We went to the Zoo for one day. We went to the Zoo for one day with friends. We went to the Zoo for one day with friends, six kids two adults.

The second week of March the kids and I packed up and headed to Pennsylvania. We had planned a trip for a warm weather day for a National Zoo trip with friends. The plan was for Autumn and kids to pick us up at 5 am, then drive to D.C. have a picnic lunch, tour the zoo and head home. Easy right? Well the oldest child had just turned 4, two weeks before and the youngest, was a whopping 4 weeks old!

Lincoln Awake
The Baby Lincoln!

After a few logistical challenges – ever try to fit 6 carseats in a minivan? And few pitstops – half the kids were potty trained. We arrived at the National Zoo, picnicked in parking lot and with 2 double strollers and 2 baby wearing devices took 6 kids through the zoo.

Six kids ready for the zoo
Six kids ready for the zoo

Here are some of the highlights from the trip.

Gaia and Dillon's first date
Gaia and Dillon’s first date
Playful tigers
Playful tigers
Hugging orangutans
Hugging orangutans
Panda eating bamboo
Panda eating bamboo
Rayleigh and Ailey trying their balance on a railing while we changed some diapers
Rayleigh and Ailey trying their balance on a railing while we changed some diapers

All in all we had a great day at the National Zoo- great weather, great friends, great memories.

P.S. I’m working on updating the past year’s photos and blog postings. ┬áStay tuned.