Sunday, September 15, 2013

Summer's End

The windows are all open, I'm snuggling my hoodie-clad daughter, warm in my comfy sweatpants but with toes numb in the chilly breeze.  (It's too early for slippers and I'm too clumsy to run around bare wooden floors in only my socks, especially while carrying a baby!)  The pumpkin spice candle burning on the table has overtaken the entire house.  And I can't help but notice my rustic orange shirt blends in perfectly with the yards and yards of leaf garland that twirl around the mantle, the mantle over the fireplace that there has been talk of utilizing this very evening!

The "Magic Seat."

Oh, hello there favorite time of the year!

In case you haven't herd, her recent nickname is Gassy Jassi.
I welcome fall.  And along with it I welcome routines and schedules, a family rhythm that we're still attempting to sort out with the now-six of us.  Trying to figure out what we're capable of and what needs to go on the back burner for another time.  As it turns out, Joci is capable of 7, 8, even 9 hours of sleep at night!  She is not capable of taking a nap without my assistance during the day though.  I've had lots and lots of time (baby-juggling, room-pacing, mama-shushing time) to determine why this is the case and I've come up completely and utterly blank.  The mystery as to how my daughter can sleep hour and hours on her very own after 9pm, but can't bear to be out of my arms the entire day leading up to that, remains just that - a mystery.

If I lay her down after she's fallen asleep, she's usually good for about 10 to 20 more minutes of sleep.
As for me, I'm capable of getting four little ones up, fed, dressed, teeth-brushed and out the door by 8:15 in the morning for preschool.  Now the next step is to get myself in that same state.  What I'm not capable of just yet is making my family a full dinner.  Meals from our MOPS and church friends officially ended two weeks ago.  Since then we've been living off the bounty I froze the night before Joci was born.  When that's gone ... well, I suppose we'll all just fast.

The one thing I accomplished while the boys were at preschool - all the diapers boiled and hung out to bleach in the sun ... where I left them for four days.  So don't worry, she's laying on the cleanest of clean cloth diapers!
Lia is capable of telling us when she has to go potty ... after the fact.  I'm sure she could be trained at any time now.  Unfortunately, time is just not something I have enough of right now, well at least, time I'm not holding a baby.  So at the moment, we endure her running around with her pants off and yelling "potty!"

Girlfriend loves her bike helmet.
Jude is capable of going to preschool.  We weren't so sure after the first day.  The first day in which he was all smiles until we got to the door and he refused to go in.  And then ran out into the hall.  And then was dragged back in.  And then threw himself on the floor and crawled back out.

I eventually left him in the hands of the very capable Ms. Bonnie, whom he said he was going to kick if she came near him.  According to her report, he spent the first part of school in the corner making raspberry noises.  Eventually it got old and he decided to join circle time and ever since then he's been a lover of all things school and Ms. Bonnie.

Jack's first day!  (Jude refused to get a picture.)

Both boys walking in to school.  Can you believe half my kids are in preschool?
Jack's an old pro at school.  He's in a smaller class this year with all older kids.  I heard that one of the boys blew in his face and smiled with gratitude that Jack would have his equal in friends this year.  Nope, Jack's new thing is soccer.  He's capable of playing on a team and scoring goals.  He's already doubled his personal record and scored two goals this past weekend!  Jon and I are just as eager for Saturday mornings as he is, there's nothing quite so entertaining as a bunch of 5 year olds attempting to kick a ball around.  Half the time there was no ball to be found!

Pointing out what direction they should kick the ball.

This picture sums it up!
Jack's a natural athlete and born leader, but we'll have to work on those soccer skills just a little bit more.  For now, he seems to spend more time falling on the ground than actually making contact with the soccer ball.

Finally, I discovered one more thing I'm capable of in this thing called motherhood.  I can pack up and drive 4 kids under 5 for a few days of camping at the beach.  I always think it's funny when people respond to certain aspects of my life with "I don't know how you do it."  Usually, the answer is "How can I not do it?"  Most of the time, I don't have a choice.  Jon was in Hawaii all last week so in this instance, I did have a choice - spend 5 days alone at home with 4 kids or attempt a road trip with 4 kids.  Neither sounded very appealing but only one ended in the prospect of a 1.3 kids to 1 adult ratio.  And so that's just what we did.

But alas, we'll save that story for another time. The grunting, sighing, fist-sucking sound going on next to me indicates that my free time is up for now!

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