Thursday, October 31, 2013

End of School and Start of School

We had a great school year last year. I especially loved Mia's pre-school because she loved it so much and was happy there. She spent MWF from 9-1 there while I worked or taught yoga. It worked out great for both of us. Here we are celebrating mother's day.

 We did an end of pre-school field trip to bear creek nature center. I had a lot of fun having this one on one time with Mia.
 Field day at TCA is a lot of fun for the kids. I'm not sure what he is supposed to be, but he's happy.
 The kids love the playground at the school. I think they love playing on it after school because they can't do what they want during recess. TCA is really, really ridiculously strict.
 Starting school! Justin is starting 2nd grade with Miss Shike. 
 Ashley started 6th grade with Mr. Walters. Luckily, 6th grade is still in elementary school. Phew.
 Katelyn started 4th grade with Mrs. Rogers, which is who Ashley had.
 The first day of school was a mad rush because we were not used to waking up early and getting out of the door with a new baby is never easy. But we managed. It was weird to send them all off. I think they missed Liam more then they missed me.
Mia started afternoon kindergarten with Mrs. Kistler. She is really the cutest kindergartener. She was so excited to go to school like the bigger kids. I'm happy I still get her in the mornings. She started school already knowing how to read and comfortable with all her phonograms, so she is a teacher's dream. 

It really has been a great school year so far. We missed a lot of school with trips planned in September, but the kids did a great job keeping up with their school work and sticking with their schedules. It's busy for me to have them all come home at 3:30 with different projects and homework to do and lunches to unpack and I enjoy spending time with each one of them on their stuff. It's amazing how quickly they are learning and progressing. We struggle with hating school, which is driving me crazy. I finally had to take homeschooling off the table for Katelyn, but she still asks/screams at me to homeschool her frequently. I wish school were less time away from home. I enjoy the break from the kids, but if they came home around 1:00 I'd be happy. I feel like by the time we have finished school work, snacked, and changed that it's time for dinner and bed. It's just a little too busy, perhaps. I've figured out how to stagger bedtimes so I can get some individual time with each child, but I never feel like I am giving enough and I feel like I'm stretched a little too thin. I love having half days on Fridays with them to get a little more family time in. 

Our school schedule is wake Ashley up at 6:30 to practice the piano. Wake the other kids up at 7. Make and eat breakfast while we read scriptures. Pack lunches, make beds, get dressed, etc. and then leave for school by 7:50. Mia goes to school at 12:00. It's crazy and I hate sending them off to school feeling chaotic, so I actually enjoy the 7 minute drive to school to just sit and be with them. far so good at school.

Liam is 7 months old!!

Best present ever. Love him.

 All the kids are so great with him. They took turns holding him endlessly. They still fight over who gets to hold him. I don't think the novelty of having him will ever wear off.
 His birth announcement picture. He looks so skinny. And new. It makes my heart hurt I love him so much.
 We spent a solid 2 months on my bed together while I healed from the C-section. I'm not going to lie and say I enjoyed every minutes of it, but pretty close. I watched 3 entire seasons of 24 in that time. I read lots of books. I visited with friends. But for the most part it was just the two of us.
 5th babies have to go with the flow. Here he is just resting at the rock wall while the kids climb.
 Still can't get over how skinny he was. I love this little body. 
 He is a very verbal baby. Here he is at about 3 months talking to Hans. He would make eye contact, smile, and then say "a gu." And then I'd beg him to do it again. 
I started running again right at the 6 week mark. He loves coming along.
 Here he is getting pudgier. He likes nothing but breast milk straight from the source. He refuses all types of bottles and food. It stresses me out when I'm at work, which is why I cut down to working only 1 day a week. He just goes on a hunger strike for the time I am gone. He doesn't look malnourished for it.

It's fun to see these pictures of Liam to see how much he has grown over the last 6 months. He really has been such a great baby. We all love holding him and we still fight over who gets to hold him at church. He has been pleasant through 3 different sinus infections and antibiotics, through all our trips, and on the boat a dozen different times. He is just the best. I love him so much. I really think it's the big space after Mia that I can appreciate him as much as I do. I also know it's all the heartache involved in getting him into our family that makes the experience of him so much sweeter. Maybe it's just being older, but regardless I love him. Immensely. He is now 7 months old. He sits, rolls everywhere, screams to be heard, and laughs at everything. I love how he knows his siblings and loves them. Ashley and Katelyn are great babysitters and I've been able to leave him with them while I teach yoga or run errands. It's so fun to watch him growing and learning and exploring. He is a really curious baby. He's also quite shy and if anyone smiles at him that he doesn't know he will smile while burying his head into my shoulder. And I love him.

Catching up

It's hard to believe that 6 months have gone by with no journaling and blogging. It must have something to do with the 5 people I am now responsible for. I'm finally feeling like I have found my new normal and I love Liam so much. He really has brought so much joy into our house. We had our family pictures taken for the first time in two years and I'm so happy with how they turned out.

We have done so so very much since April when I last blogged. We finished up with school, finished the basement, travelled to Utah, Virginia, Oregon, and Lake Powell. We went boating lots, swimming, fishing, day trips, and have just had oh so much fun. The kids started back to school and we have already had our fall break. I'm hoping to get this all updated before holiday season starts again. The kids have all grown so much and look so much older already. It is bittersweet for me to see them growing up. I love having them older, but miss them being younger. Liam has been so fun for all of the older kids to enjoy and the 5 1/2 year space and the wait for him to get here has made the experience of having him that much sweeter.