Welcoming March, with pictures from February and ramblings.

February felt long. Probably because I was sick most of the month. But here's March and here's me hoping its a month of health and wellness. My Mom's Doctor told her to take a medicine called Mucinex {expectorant only} and she said it was helping her, so I ran out and bought some last night and only 12 hours later I am noticing a HUGE difference!
So yes. I have high hopes for you, March. You better be good to us.

basketball has been so much fun for Ethan! 
He's playing through Upward Sports which is through a church near us. 
He has a few games in March and then season wraps up. 

My good friend Jess had her baby today! And my Father-in-law retires this month, so its already off to an amazing start.
I can't believe it will only be a couple months and the daily school schedule is over, welcoming in amazing days of summer fun! I feel like I should say lazy days of summer, but in our house, we're much more active and adventurous in the summer than winter months.
spent the day with my sister a couple weeks back and wrapped up our 
time together with ice cream and a walk down the docks by her house. 

Today we lazed around the house, which was awesome. We read library books from our library adventure earlier in the week, we watched Adventures of Tin Tin because 2 out of the 4 kids are sick, we ate food off and on, with no real actual meal time, and 2 kids bathed at 1pm, just because we could.
Its in these moments when I laugh, thinking about how crazy my days would look to someone peeking in. A bath at 1pm? Yes.
And lets face it, if they're in the bath it means they're contained and not destroying the house. Yes, you guessed which two kids, I'm sure.

I often have ladies ask "how do you do it?" or I get told "you have your hands full!" and I have to say, the latter is easier for me to answer. Mostly because I DO have my hands full and sometimes its kind of nice to have people acknowledge it. If everyone saw me out and about with 4 kids and acted like it was a cinch, I think I'd go home and drown my sorrows in my pillow each night. Its not easy and it is a handful - albeit a pretty great handful.
The 'how do you do it' question always gets me. I don't know. I just do. You see why I hate the question?
 I'm so afraid to answer it because motherhood and daily challenges and strengths and weaknesses are gonna look very different women-to-woman and family-to-family. I feel like its a way more delicate question than people give it credit.
I'm not married to your husband, I don't have your life circumstances {whatever they may be} and I'm not raising your children. And, I'm not you! So yeah... that one is a hard on to answer.
I usually just say "I just do it and we learn as we go!" and I do sometimes see that frustrated look of confusion go across their face. I think they're waiting for "Oh, I take this amazing energy drink that gives me mad energy, so I only need 2 hours of sleep each night!" kind of like people always look for tips on losing weight without really trying.

Got the chance to take my big 8 year old boy on a date. 
He brought Calvin and Hobbes
I brought my Kindle 
We read, sipped our drinks and enjoyed cupcakes. 
And then we talked a lot too, which was fun. 

mine was lavender. yummy. 

And of course I remind people that without God's help, I couldn't do it at all. That one worked well until a lady at the store the other day said, "yeah, but God isn't doing your laundry and cooking dinner and cleaning poo diapers every day." I had to lol when she said that because its true. And sometimes the automatic "God" answer drives me nuts too. So I told her by 'help' I mean the daily strength He gives and the grace He generously imparts to me. I could not do this job even remotely well without God's help in those ways.

And you know what? Its a learn-as-you-go job for all of us moms. None of us have it mastered. I always feel like, as soon as I'm in a good rhythm, setting good goals and meeting them, something throws it off. One of the kids hits a growth spurt and eats 5 meals a day instead of 3. Someone doesn't feel well and is up all night, thus Mommy gets NO sleep and the following day is all out of whack.
This child over here is suddenly struggling with obedience, or all the other five thousand + things kids struggle with.
For me personally, I've had to really let go of a lot of "guilty pleasures" as I like to call them.
I cannot watch tv during the day {not a huge loss}
I cannot be on websites like Facebook
I cannot chat on the phone and if I do decide to talk with someone, I have to start off by letting them know they will get interrupted often and it will be loud in the background.
We can't make it to every fun play date our fun outing/party with our friends.
I cannot craft.
I cannot look at crafting websites or any websites that take easy, every day things and over complicate them all in the name of making it look homemade or cuter or something not out of the ordinary.
Not because there's anything wrong with any of those things. There isn't. Its just not the right time for me. Its all distracting and can bring on {very quickly} a resentful, entitled attitude from me.

walking after a rain storm, chasing the sun. 
{Miles was in the Ergo}

A friend and I were recently talking about this phase of life we'r in {hi Shanna!} and I felt so encouraged with the things she was saying. Because it reminded me that we're in this phase together. She lives in California, I live in Washington and yet here we were, texting each other about ways we've learned to help our days go smoother and things to cut out and things to add and it was just super encouraging.
There's gonna be a day when I can do all of those fun little things. I'll be able to call people and chit-chat just because, I'll be able to browse the Internet and check out fun little websites and maybe even pick up a new hobby or two. And that will be a new phase of life and I'll do my best to embrace it.
These little up-to-my-eyeballs-in-baby-toddler-early-development-child years are so short lived. They often don't feel like it, but they are so short lived.
I love the quote "the days are long but the years go by fast." because its so true. The days do feel long, but before we know it, they're grown up.

and then Rachel lost another tooth! 

I still pinch myself when I finish folding 5+ loads of laundry and then 3 little people come running to put it all away. What?! Amazing.
Kids who can brush their teeth and floss alone at night = blissful.
Clearing your dinner plate and wiping down the table after everyone is done = yes please!
Showering all by yourself, followed by picking out your own clothes and getting dressed = amazing!
Buckling yourself in the car and getting out of the car all by yourself = woot! woot!

growing out her hair. 

Those are just a few things I thought I'd have to wait years and years to see and yet here we are.
Here's the key though parents... we have to teach them. They will not just learn it and start doing it on their own. Dads play a big role here as well. Its awesome for kids to see Dad's example of thanking Mom for a meal well prepared and then getting the kids together to work as a team and clean up. Its not just my job to raise up and teach the kids. We're a team and we're raising up these kids together, in every area.
We can't do it all. None of us can. Even people without kids can't "do it all". What does that even mean?
I'm in my pajamas as I type this. And its 5pm. And no, I didn't get ready for bed early. I never got out of pj's. So while my house is tidy and we had a lovely day and dinner is about to be eaten, I guess I didn't "do it all" because I never got out of my pajamas, let alone showered.

    We're already coveting and stealing pacis from our girlfriends {sigh}

Oh Issaquah... why? 

So here we are. A new month. Sickness is slowly going away. I get to start working out again {I'm so shamefully out of shape right now} and Spring is in the air!
Trader Joe's in Issaquah does NOT know how to ring in a new month very well. Poo. I knew those lame bag rules would find us eventually. Thankfully I can go to less affluent cities where "paper or plastic?" is still a choice and both are free. For now. 

A friend of mine told me about Chia seeds. Have you heard of them? There's always something new to hear about, right? These are great. Protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. I'm a fan.
So far we've enjoyed them in our quinoa cereal, yogurt and in our smoothies. I don't blend them into the smoothies though. Otherwise I can't tell if each child gets the right amount.

So I do this. 
Make the smoothie first. 
Then I add their chia seeds and probiotics. 
Then we stir it in. 
Its fun and healthy. 

sip sip sip! 

Happy March everyone. 

6 {comments}:

Emily said...

I love this post. Just sayin'!

Stef said...

Thanks Em!

Charlotte said...

This was such a good post!

It brought back memories for me...the days that seemed to fly, dirty diapers, helping with baths, whining and crying...now they can all bathe, dress, clean up and function on their own, but we are dealing with puberty, boy-girl relationships, respect, boundaries....just a different set of challenges.

Neither place is easier, but just a different stage. Savor this! It all goes too fast. (I am sure I'll be saying that about this teen/tween/older child stage I am in.) :-)

Nicola said...

Loved the post. I also love Chia seeds. I've been using them for a year and a half. they're also good in muffins!

Stef said...

Charlotte, I totally agree. I feel like as we pass up the baby stage, we enter toddlerhood, and then pre-K, followed by grade school, followed by teens, etc... it goes from one phase to another.
Such a good reminder to remain faithful and consistent in our parenting!

Thanks Cola! I'll try ours in muffins next. Good idea.

Gideon said...

Ummm, yeah. I am one of your friends who asks you, "how do you do it?". Haha! LOVE, LOVE, Love this post. Thank you for your honesty, transparency, and everything else. I admire you so much and you are an inspiration to me. =)


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