Monday, September 30, 2013

Anything But Routine

I notice a lot of blogs I follow like to do a reoccurring post about their daily schedule. I read these and I laugh, out loud.
See, I've got some active boys who have zero concept of time and think in "activities" not minutes. So the words "daily schedule" is a fluid concept in living life with these three.
Let me just give you a run down of a typical day. We wake up, ok, the boys wake us up, then we hit the ground running with a coffee pot in one hand and poptarts in the other.
There's school, laundry, dishes, dinner prep, clothes, diapers, messes, stains, lunch, ninja fights, arguments, broken toys, broken lamps, jokes, lost Lego's, exercise, laughing, shoe tying, scraped knees, tv shows, sword fights, walks, mail, sippy cups, naps (not for me), books, bills, bath, bed. That doesn't include things like grocery shopping, grass mowing, dusting, bathroom cleaning, vacuuming, weeding, ironing, and hair cuts.
My idea of a schedule is to get done what needs to happen in way where I didn't miss spending the little moments with my boys. The essentials of full bellies, good sleep, and lots of play and memories are enough to keep the days moving.
In my opinion they move fast enough already. I don't want to "plan" them away with a time schedule. So today, the cleaning got done, food got eaten, and laundry was folded. Boys have been sword fought, snakes have been caught, and only one knee was scraped. Who knows what tomorrow holds, but today's schedule was just perfect for me and my three little men.

Friday, September 27, 2013

If You Give A Harrison Your Attention...

...you're going to need to get a chair, because you aren't going anywhere for awhile. At least that's what a tourist, a Secret Service Agent, and a Senator all learned at the White House yesterday.
The Tourist: During the prayer vigil for Pastor Saeed the boys started getting a little too rowdy to keep them close to the guest speakers and cameras so I moved them away towards the White House where a very nice lady offered to take our picture. I guess she assumed we were tourists, but I told her sure!
It's didn't take but a second to notice that this nice tourist only had one arm and was using her chin to cradle my camera. As you can tell by Harrison's face in this picture she snapped, his mind was reeling with questions that only took 0.2 seconds to stream out vocally. "You only have one arm! How is that!?" "Shh," she said, "It will be our secret." To which Harrison responded, "I bet a shark ate it!"
Then there was the Secret Service Unit stationed around the perimeter of the prayer vigil. Side note, kinda neat they were there protecting our rights to be praying in front of the nation's White House. But of course Harrison needed to go say hi and befriend more of DC's finest. A long conversation ensued about where he lived, grew up, and the gun in his holster.
 
 And then he asked Harrison the golden question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And always ready with an answer Harrison began, "Well, I want to be a police man and catch bad guys. But I've been praying about it because I need to do what God wants me to do. And I'm thinking God wants me to be a ninja."
And then we met Senator Cruz, an incredible man who took time from his busy schedule to stop and crouch down to talk to the boys one on one. Completely ignoring staffers and cameras he asked their names and ages. Both boys politely answered his questions, except Harrison decided to change the facts. "When do you turn five?" The Senator asked. "In September!" "Why that's now! So it's your birthday soon?!" Harrison shook his head excitedly and I wondered if he thought he was going to be thrown and impromtu party by the Senate right there in front of the White House. I stepped in with the correct information to which Harrison reluctantly agreed before moving on to questions about Senator Cruz's kids and their ages. 
Who knows, maybe Harrison will be a Senator on one knee talking to other kids one day, but for right now, I'm pretty sure he could go toe to toe with Senator Cruz's 21 hour speech marathon. If you give him your attention, he just may!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Friends in the City

This week we've been exploring the city, but we've been doing it in a whole new way...with five kids under the age of five.
Call us crazy, call us insane, call us adventurous. Or maybe it's just been what we do best, as parents, as tourists, as friends.
This week has been full of late nights, loud little boys sword fighting, red box rentals, girl talk, sight seeing, and laughing.
It's been reconnecting, remembering, reliving, and living some more. It's be creating new memories, planning for more and enjoying the present.
We've walked infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, strollers, slings, snacks, five plus miles a day over Capitol Hill.
We've seen DC through the eyes of five little guys as we've raced across intersections, up hills, through monuments and museums.
It's been a week of wonderful and we are so blessed to have friends who drove countless hours to explore the City with us. We love you guys and can't wait for next time!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gogs and Yo-Ho

For the longest time Jeff was content to let big brother communicate for him. Harrison filled in as translator, idea giver, and director of speech more often than not and that seemed to work for Jeff.
But here lately our second little man has decided to enter the vocal world and let himself be heard. It turns out Jefferson has his own thoughts, ideas, and opinions that differ greatly from Harrison's and he's ready to let us know that.
So while we are having to train the brothers on respectful and kind communication when expressing differing opinion and desires, it's been a lot of fun to get to know our J-Man better.
This strong little bundle of energy and giggles loves singing, the color blue, and now his latest obsession, all things pirate, or as he says, yo-ho. His latest yo-ho item is his Jake goggles from his auntie. He rocks his "gogs" proudly.
His verbal skills are exploding as he tries out new words. So while yo-ho seems to dominate most of the conversation he's definitely becoming his own little man and we are smitten with this kid. Now if I can convince him to unlearn his other new favorite word, "No."

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

5 Months Wils

My Sweet Happy Wils, you are already five months! That's been five incredible months of seeing your handsome face, holding your little hands, and cuddling you close.
It's been five blessing-filled months of watching you grow, seeing your sunshine smiles, and getting caught up in your infectious giggling, and these days you are all about the giggling! For some reason popping noises are your comedy preference.

You are in nine month clothing though there have been a few 12 month items to make an appearance. You've also recently been sporting your Daddy's beloved Redskin shoes that each of your older brothers have worn. This past week at the beach you also manned it up in a baseball hat and swim shorts and you were one studly little dude.
Mr. Wils, you've got me pretty nervous about future grocery shopping. I'm fairly confident in saying you eat about the same amount as your brothers. You can put away some food! You nurse every 3-4 hours during the day, but that was not enough for your fast growing. Now you've added 2 extra meals of big boy foods.
Your favorites so far are sweet potatoes, apples, carrots, peaches, oatmeal, and bananas. You can't stand green beans and will only eat peas if I hide them inside a bite of something else. I'm getting pretty good at being deceptive with a spoon. Also, you chose this past week of rest and relaxation at the beach to get your first 2 bottom teeth, but they are two very cute little teeth so we'll pardon the sleepless nights.
You are working hard on sitting up and have become a pro at rolling. I leave you in one place with a few toys and come back a few minutes later to find you on the other side of the room raiding your brothers' big boy toys. I'm pretty sure you will be like Jeff and ditch the rattles and chew toys for army men and match box cars by the time you are crawling.
My sweet Wils, you are laid back with the coming and going and flexible with schedules that may or may not exist and any given day. You are a content people watcher and perfectly fine being cuddled. Letting us know when you are frustrated has not been a problem for you, but that's few and far between your happy faces and cheerful babbling. I know you are itching to dive into the dog pile of your brothers and that will happen before I know it. But in the meantime I sure am loving all the sweet moments I have with you my precious little man. I pray God's blessings on you my sweet Wils. Love, Mommy

Monday, September 16, 2013

East Coast Dreams

We've been home roughly 24 hours and I'm already going through withdrawal.
I'm trying to remember the feel of sun warmed sand under my bare feet...
...the crashing lull of waves up on the beach and the call of seagulls in the wind.
My mind keeps wandering back to the sound of my boys' happy shrieks as the water rushed in and buried their feet in the wet sand.
And I'm not alone in my wistfulness. All of my men have been expressing longings for the beach again even though we last glimpsed it 24 hours ago.
And maybe one day our life long dream of living oceanfront or owning our own beach house will come true, but for now, one of our greatest dreams has come true.
Last year after our week by the ocean we gave tearful goodbyes and drove broken-hearted back into the mountains of Tennessee longing for the day to be home on the East Coast again.
And this year our sadness over saying goodbye to the waves and sun was only a momentary pause as we all realized our return to the sea is just a few hours away anytime.
The tears we cried over partings and goodbyes a year ago were left behind with joy-filled hugs of "see you soon!" since family is just a few hours away anytime.
So longings of warm sand and salty spray will exist as the crisp fall envelopes us, but leaving the beach behind this year to head to our Virginia home made this parting the sweetest yet.
Thank you to Mimi and Papa for another wonderful memory and blessing filled week!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pirate's Life For Me

While Harrison is convinced the notorious "Captain P." raided our beach house overnight and left an ancient treasure map behind, it was the mastermind of the boys' creative Aunt Nina and Uncle Jon.
Their creativity was limitless in the treasure hunt adventure they planned and set up overnight for the boys.
In the morning the boys stumbled across a letter from Captain P. instructing them to follow clues which would lead to a treasure he left just for them.
Harrison was quickly sucked into the pirate world and eagerly followed the clues and map's instructions over walkways, stairwells, and beach.
One clue lead to a cache of shovels and digging tools. Another had them walking circles on the shore line. And another lead them right to the "X" marked by sticks on a sand dune.

Harrison's excitement bubbled over as he dug in with his shovel all the while keeping an eye out on the horizen for the pirate ship Captain P. must be sailing.


Jefferson knew something was up by all the excitement and happy shouting from his big brother but was content to clutch his "map" and watch the action from his uncle's shoulders.
With the help of Daddy, Papa, and Uncle Jon the treasure chests were unearthed and soon spilling over with sugary treasures and priceless toy gems.
Captain P.'s treasure hunt was a highlight of the week. The initial treasure chests have been cherished, the sugary loot has been devoured and Harrison is convinced the pirate, Captain P., will return again soon.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Baby's Got Beach

Since I live and breath all things oceanfront, I've been all too eager to get each of my boys acquainted with the sea as soon as possible.
I am that mom dipping my infant's toes into the waves and touching their fingers to the sand long before they can talk and walk.
And so I'm not sure if my beach enthusiasm is contagious or I've hit the jackpot with my own beach lovin' babes, but it's safe to say Wils has joined the ranks of sea lovers.
While he's not a fan of sweating in the sun he has no issues with napping to the lull of waves and wind.
He's been swimming, sunning, shell seeking, and hammock swinging and I couldn't be a happier momma than to see my three boys loving every minute of ocean life.
And while this vacation has been slightly different with broken cars, delayed arrivals, newborn feeding schedules and three different little guy nap times to work around, it's also been one of the best in a whole new way.
It's seeing the surf and sand through the eyes of three of the best little guys on Earth. It's laughing in the waves with Harrison. It's building sand castles with Jefferson, and swinging in the hammock with Wils. It's the best of the beach x3 and it couldn't be better.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Rest, Relaxation, and Repairs.

I know God has a reason for everything and I know God is in everything. So it's with this mantra that we will continue to vacation.
That's right, vacation. We loaded up and headed East for a week of beach, and that's when our car wouldn't move once the light turned green.
But even after leaking engine fluids, transmissions blowing, and spending 2 hours entertaining three boys on the floor of a welcome center, we still are on vacation.
This vacation just has an element of adventure we were in no way prepared for and wouldn't have chosen, but God knows all and is in all.
And in the grand scheme of things, while this is a huge time, resource, and financial blow, it really isn't worth wasting an oceanfront week over.
We are all happy, healthy, and already salt sprayed. We are surrounded by family willing to bend over backwards to shuttle bags, buckets, and boys for hours back and forth.
While we never saw our week of surf and sand including tow trucks and transmission, God did. And if it gets us to be even more reliant on our Father and grows our trust, then this truly is the beginning of a wonderful week of resting and relaxing in Him.