June 21, 2016

So I Don't Forget

Summer, oh summer.  It's in full swing.  It's been so long since I've posted, I was worried I'd forget the spring entirely.  So here's a giant smattering of all the things that probably only the grandparents care about.  YOU'RE WELCOME GRANDPARENTS!

Miles went through this phase where every time he looked at the ground he would find a four leaf clover.  He deemed himself the luckiest and threw an L up on his forehead for LUCKY- definitely not LOSER.  He swears that he sees people do this and it surely means there are many lucky people in the world. 

 Easter.  Bless it. You know when getting one photo of your kids actually showered and dressed is important to you?  And one kid's mind goes, "Listen.  I know this photo is important to mom.  So I will close my eyes for every single picture on purpose so that mom will lose her chit on Jesus' special day."  Yep, that totally happened. #fixitjesus

 We let our boys play hookie from school one day and surprised them with a trip to the zoo.  They were like, "What is happening?  We do not understand this level of awesome!"  Once you have more than two kids, taking any combination of kids that is not all the kids is like having a whole different family.  I love how the dynamics change when you get some time with the kids in a smaller group. 

 The people redeemed themselves with the photos for my step brother's wedding.  Noah in a bow tie.  I died from cuteness with the ties on the boys.

 We danced all night long.  I can't even tell you how much I love weddings.  LOVE them.  Everyone we know got married a long time ago and so we rarely ever go to weddings.  I could go to a wedding every weekend and dance and drink wine and live a happy existence. 

Plus, truly, there's never been a more beautiful couple.  I mean really, it almost borders on ridiculous how gorgeous and fun and in love they are. 

In our latest installment of "Scarlett Sleeps" here are just a few places she crashes.  We take a blanket most everywhere we go because when she's ready to check out, she just goes to bed.  Sometimes 6 or 8 times a day.  It is a phenomenon that borders right in the middle of bizarre and glorious.  Her ability to sleep is her spiritual gift. 

We've spent a lot of time at home- just chilling with our dog and having friends over for late night chats around the fire pit.  

We have had two very perfect days this summer.  They need to be documented for the sheer fact that all the children got along on these two particular days.  Pure MIRACLE.  We decided that this year we were going to plant a garden.  I know my limitations.  I can barely keep all the children alive, and so a 12 foot by 12 foot garden was all I felt capable of doing.  We also planted a few grape and blackberry bushes.  The kids thought this was the most awesome thing that has ever happened to our family.  The girls, especially, go out and check the garden multiple times a day and marvel at it's progress.  Miles is our least outdoorsy kid, but even he enjoyed planting and building our garden.  Poor Scarlett's allergies nearly did her in and she spent most of the spring in a mask or her little eyes would swell shut and her nose would pretty much stop working.  We currently have ONE tomato in the garden and we stare at that thing like it is the second coming. 

My dad used to pull us around the yard on our lawn mower.  It is one of my favorite childhood memories.  When it would snow, the sled would get hooked up to the lawn mower.  When my brother was in second or third grade he wrote a story called "When my sister, Megan, goes to college".  In the story he said that when I came home from college all he wanted us to do together was ride around on the lawn mower.  It was a big deal to us as kids so I get all warm and fuzzy about my kids doing the same.  

A friend brought back soccer uniforms from the Congo.  Our boys thought it was the coolest. 

 Our beloved, little guinea pig, Phil, passed away.  It hit us all very hard.  We loved that little guy.  He often went by many nicknames.  This children decorated his casket with all of his nicknames- including Philly Cheesesteak, Philly Willy, Philbert, and Philsberry Crescent Roll.  He was such an amazing pet.  We sure do miss him.

The last few months have been filled with much ball.  Sadie is playing softball and Noah is playing baseball.  It's been especially fun that they have so many grandparent fans who come out to support them so we've gotten to spend a lot of time with our parents at the park.  I get so nervous when my kids get up to bat or the ball comes anywhere near them.  Lord help me if my kids ever play high school or college sports. I will be a basket case. 

 Cousin fun up in the trees.

 Sadie and her lifelong friend ran a 5k together.  So proud of these girls!

 Miles class at school went on a field trip to an early settlement village.  He got to pull on the giant bellows that fed the fire in the blacksmith's shop.  On the way home we had this conversation:

Miles:  Mom, you know how I've always wanted to be a dentist my whole life?
Me:  Yes!  
Miles:  Well... I think I've changed my mind.
Me:  What do you think you'd like to be now?

For weeks now he's talked about his career as a blacksmith.  He is downright giddy about this decision and tells most people he meets about his blacksmithing goals. 

 The field across from our house was a balloon launch pad a few weeks ago. 

Then one night there was a rainbow in our front yard.  Things like balloons and rainbows only seem to happen when our kids are in the shower.  And so we start screaming at them to hurry up and get out of the shower to come see these things and so they are in various states of toweldom and undress. This is especially strange because it is summer and the children never bathe because pool = bath here.  This just goes to show if you clean your children, the universe will reward you. 

Bathing.  Yup. 

The second perfect day of the summer was the day we went to the strawberry patch and picked strawberries.  The kids all LOVED it.  They picked and picked and found just the perfect berry every 1.3 seconds.  Miles was in heaven.  Fruit is his love language and he would pick a spot to sit in and eat.  He maybe put 10 berries in his bucket and ate 100.  It was very Blueberries For Sal (which happens to be one of his favorite books)

By the time we finished picking, the children took their buckets up to be weighed.  They picked 15 POUNDS of strawberries.  It cost me approximately one million dollars.  They were so happy about their haul that it was totally worth it. I had no idea how we would ever eat 15 pounds of berries before they went bad so I got the genius idea that we would make strawberry jam and can it for the winter.  Because I did this as a very young child with my grandmother I am an expert.  Which means I called my granny at least 459 times because I had no idea what we were doing.  It was so fun to make, though, and it was nice that the kids all did it together.

It worked!  We canned a dozen jars of jam and I felt like Ma Ingalls and went to bed so happy that night. 

 Miles is in the "action figure" phase of life and he spends hours making up scenarios with his marvel superheroes and his Star Wars figures.  Kamron says he played exactly like this when he was little and when Kamron watches him play he gets this little grin on his face and he looks totally at peace.  It's one of my favorite looks. 

Miles also went to his first sleepover with his BFF Davis.  I am doing the whole "my babies are growing up" sob a lot these days.

They say that money can't buy happiness.  But money can buy summer camp and that's basically the same thing.  I struggle with what to write about raising a kid with severe reactive attachment disorder and how this affects our family- especially our other children.  I never want to be disparaging but I also want to be honest about the difficulty that is older child adoption and mental illness.  Suffice it to say that we were in desperate need of some respite and decided that sleepaway summer camp for six different weeks was going to be a win/win for all the people. Scarlett was so excited about spending summer away from all of us- she needs a lot of structure and time away from us so summer is really hard for her.  And the other kids needed some time in their own home where it was calm and chill.  We got a letter from camp claiming that is was the best time of her life and that snacks were free so could she please stay forever?  So I'd say we all came out winners here.   

 I asked the boys to take out the recycling...

 We had a little weekend business trip to Indianapolis, where I ended up in the hospital with a kidney stone.  It is so strange because about a month ago my neighbor bestie pulled up all crazy in my driveway and when I heard the car I went outside and was convinced she was going to give birth to a calf or a small goat right there in my garage.  I drove her to the ER and she ended up having a kidney stone.  If this is not proof of how much I love my friends, I now get sympathy kidney stones. 

And perhaps the biggest things going on in my world... I'm finally writing that book I've always wanted to write.  It's raw and vulnerable and may never see the light of day and no one may ever want to read it.  But it feels SO good to get the words out that have been swimming in my heart for years.  So far I've written about depression and my one and only experience with a bikini wax.  So there's that.  

Kamron pulled off the road a few miles from our house and took this picture.  I LOVE it.  Reminds me that summer is the perfect time to pull off, slow down and enjoy things.  

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