So I'm finally sitting down to take the time to put fingers to the keyboard and document all the things.
Let's start with summer break. It's quite possible that I have told a friend or two that summer break is where happiness goes to die. This is because I am not a teacher. I want my kids' teachers to have this summer break so badly! (I mean, afterall, I get that it is not easy to be a teacher of a Terry kid- what with me constantly emailing articles about attachment and trauma to their teachers and the fact that I might have asked in an IEP meeting if one could take speech therapy for "sounding mean" and I might have used the word bullsh!t in front of God and everyone at a school meeting.) So darling, sweet, wonderful teachers, take a break. But oh holy hootch. Summer is hard. We have some kids in this family who struuuuuuuuuuggle with transitioning and summer is really just one big transition. We have some kids who really need massive amounts of structure which directly opposes my need for binge watching Breaking Bad on Netflix.
But summer break is also SO magical for kids. So I'm being the sacrificial lamb on all things Netflix and letting the kids just do summer break in a way that evolves however it evolves. (For the record I've had exactly two breakdowns in the 3.5 weeks of the break so I think I'm hanging in there. I'm averaging one meltdown every 10 days which means I'm due. Watch out.) There is the swimming. Swim team is code for "Mom is trying to wear you out on the daily". Sadie and Noah have done summer swimming for going on three years. They LOVE it. Scarlett wanted to do it SO BADLY. The girl is all arms and legs that flail about in very strange and disjointed ways but she is rocking that tangle of limbs from one side of the pool to the other and having the best time doing it. It's been a major confidence builder for her. And then there is Miles... who would rather have his dreadlocks yanked out one by one than swim. But guess what? Mom made the executive decision that all the kids would be in one same place for at least one hour a day (also see above about the daily wearing out) and so by default, Miles found himself on the swim team. He nearly drowns at least once a day but surprising he likes it and keeps doing it so I'm chalking this one up to victory. He swam in his first race last night. He did so awful and finished in dead last. His swim across the pool was SO painful to watch that at the end the officials took pity on the poor kid and gave him a blue bracelet just because he had the tenacity to actually finish the race. He's convinced that blue bracelet means that he won the race and he now feels like his life is made. This kid tries so hard at everything. We are so proud of that dead last finish because HE DID NOT GIVE UP!
Her diva chromosomes are at least 10 times the legal limit. Also, those teeth. That mouth full of holes in my favorite.
And then we went and did this thing... We got a dog. Yes, we did. Because clearly, we don't have enough to take care of. I told the kids' therapist that we were getting a dog and watched her face gloss over in sheer horror. Never fear- we actually got a therapy dog reject. A place in our area trains and rescues dogs that they think will make good service dogs. Most of them end up being too timid to be actual working service dogs and in those instances, they get adopted out. So we adopted Maggie. Therapy dog flunky. And y'all. The dog is damn near comatose. Which pretty much makes her the very best dog that has ever lived. Once upon a time she lived her whole life in a kennel making babies for a breeder before she was rescued. (And she has the National Geographic nipples to prove it) Now, she just sits on the floor with her little paws crossed all the time and just soaks up love. Except for that one time our sweet neighbor watched her while we were out of town and she pooped all over herself and strategically snuck into each child's room and shredded exactly one pair of each of their undies. Except for that, she's pretty much the most perfect dog ever. I intended for this dog to really help our girls with their terrible anxiety. But since summer break pretty much makes me feel like I need a permanent Xanax drip, the dog is actually working wonders for my anxiety as well.
Maggie- the comatose Aussie-Doodle
For Maggie's first trick, she will make her body disappear. Sadie is MADLY in love.
This is our first summer in our new house. For nearly a year, we have lived here with a solid two acres of mud for a yard. Which is super fun for about a minute and then you just desire to have a place to run that doesn't end up in a floor mopping marathon. Kamron has spent about a billion hours working on our mud pile and trying to turn it into a back yard. When we built our house, there was so much rock in the ground that had to be dug out to pour the foundation. We tried to have someone cart off all the rock and they all wanted nothing short of a fortune to do it. So we put our heads together and decided to use all those rocks to build stuff instead. We have spent the better part of MONTHS building sidewalks and firepits out of all of those rocks. Since neither one of us are handy in any way, shape or form, it was kind of fun to do this together. Early in our marriage we decided that our motto for repairs was going to be "Call your dad or write a check to the repair man." This has saved us many a marital spat. Doing this together was actually cool since we rarely do projects together. My type B and Kamron's type A normally don't mesh. Rock hauling was the great equalizer.
We started with this.
And turned it in to this!
Kamron and Papaw Gary were doing a little Father's Day baseball game. See that rock embankment behind them? We used all of our leftover rocks and pressed them into the hill to help with erosion. I planted creeping phlox intermittently between them all and I can't wait until it spreads and blooms!
But still the very best part of living here is our neighbors. There is always someone to ride a bike or play in the rain with.
In totally unrelated news, I shaved our cat. As you can see, she is super happy about it. There was enough hair to build a second cat. Which I did. Just kidding.
I am a worrier by nature. I get it from my dad. He worries about all things great and small and one would think that since he worries enough about things for the both of us and I wouldn't need to worry. But alas, it's like a generational curse. So as we approach almost a year with Scarlett in our home (seriously- a YEAR. What?!) all of my thoughts amp up. Is she doing okay? Are we meeting her needs? Is there enough therapy in all the world? And I go back and forth between thinking, "OH MY GOSH! I AM THE BEST MOTHER IN THE HISTORY OF EVER. BRING ME ALL THE TRAUMATIZED CHILDREN" and "GOOD LORD! THIS IS PURE INSANITY. THESE CHILDREN WOULD PROBABLY TURN OUT BETTER BEING RAISED BY A PACK OF WILD LIONS!" Sometimes I think those thoughts simultaneously. Such is motherhood, right? So we just keep on keeping on and remind ourselves that there is no magic pill for time in the game. And we wake up and we do it all over the next day and we find the small victories and we chose against the wild lions on the rough days. Life is not easy. Adoption is not easy. But as not easy as it is for me, it is so much less easy FOR OUR KIDS. I try to remember that daily. And I try to remember that when you cross out your name that is embossed in beautiful silver letters on your brand new and very expensive Bible that was gifted to a certain person on her court date and write "BLOOM" all over it in permanent marker because you want your name to be Bloom like a freaking hippy... that this too shall pass. Capture the good. Like learning how to ride a bike for the first time without training wheels while your big sister holds you up. That was a good day.
Or the day you finished first grade reading like a champ. That's a good day.
Or the day you get your hair braided by our favorite braider and she washes your hair in the front yard with the water hose in front of a chicken audience. That's a good day. For mom. Because I find chicken audiences to be freaking HILARIOUS.
I have decided that I can never let my kids go to college. Sadie went to camp for an entire week. She's been to camp before but never more than two nights. A week was just soooooo long. I'll akin taking care of my little three to how Michelle Duggar must feel now that all the older kids are getting married and aren't there to help. I didn't realize how much peace Sadie made in this house until it was gone.
Upon arriving home and talking about everything that had gone on during the last week she let out a big sigh and said, "There's nothing like a week of camp to make you realize how much you need your parents." She's a wise one, that Sadie girl. I give her exactly 6 months of sweetness left before tween hormones kidnap her for the next however many years. I'm trying to soak it in.
She also made a big chop and donated her hair right before school let out.
Miles lost his first tooth! He had to have surgery to get his tonsils taken out and a fourth set of ear tubes put in. Poor kid had lost 50% hearing in one of his ears. We have yet to do the follow up appointment to see if he needs a hearing aid but I think he can hear quite a bit better, so we are keeping our fingers crossed. Healing from the tonsillectomy was brutal and I am so glad that it is behind us!
I'm trying so hard to carve out down time and just have time at home, hanging out with our dog and playing endless games of UNO and sipping wine on the deck while we watch the deer in the backyard. In my mind, that's what summer is all about. Those articles floating around about not catering to your kids all summer really resonate with me. My hope is to spend less time organizing things for them to do and letting them just explore and play and recharge for the next school year. While it's started off unbelievably busy, I'm planning on the second half of summer being calm and full of time to get bored. I would give my right arm to be bored, so that's what I'm striving for. Complete and utter boredom.
Here's to summer. (And a few more random pics so that when I'm old and gray and I've never taken the time to print them off my computer, they will still be somewhere!)