construction on the compound

It has been awhile since I posted an update on construction progress.  It has been moving forward, with numerous bumps along the way (but I am told that is what happens during building).  Fun and exciting things happen weekly- last week we had a crane truck in the front yard, delivering our roof trusses.  There were a few excited boys that day.

Here is a peek at what it looks like now:

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And in order: Looking at the grandparent tranquility bedroom, looking at the existing house and future library/mini-kitchen, and the view from upstairs.


sweet sixteen

DSC_0194 DSC_0234Rory,

Today, on the first day of fall, you turned sixteen months old.  You are so very busy.  You are into everything.  You are constantly moving.  You are exhausting.

This month you managed to pop through a new tooth, you gained massive speed in the walk/running department, you know that ducks quack and cows moo, you have made great strides in proving your ability on stairs and you have been giving your throwing arm a lot of practice.  Your body sometimes gets ahead of your feet when you are in a hurry or being chased.  You have learned new words, “cow” and “broom” being the current favorites.  I have a feeling that you say more things but that maybe we don’t quite understand or are not able to hear you due to the volume that is usually pretty loud in our house.  Dada really really wants you to say “Dada,” which I have heard you say, but never to him.

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Thanks to Eric Carle you know how to shrug your shoulders like a buffalo (which, as a side note, may possibly be the most adorable thing on the planet, seriously, so cute), clap like seal, thump your chest like a gorilla, and bend your neck like a giraffe.  You have a few favorites in the book department, the before mentioned “From Head to Toe,” “Good Night Gorilla,” and “All About Me.”  You are constantly looking at books and you are constantly throwing books (along with anything else you can get your hands on… why did I buy those mini-pumpkin/launching rocks???).

You want to be outside ALL THE TIME.  I wish that we could be outside every second you want to be.  But sometimes, sometimes Mama needs to get some things done and your brothers need to do some school work.  We have to keep the doors dead bolted because you know how to open them and are constantly making a run for it.  Seriously, at least eight to ten times a day.  Your brothers get mad when they get locked out…  I realized that our old house had a nice, safe fenced in back yard where I could send your brothers out and start dinner with them so close by.  Unfortunately (but not really, this phase will be over soon and our yard is SOOOO much better), we live on a bigger piece of property that is not all the way fenced in and there are things like construction and ponds that make Mama nervous.  Some days though, dinner gets made late or I have to do laundry after you go to bed so that I can follow you on your exploration of the outdoors.  You love throwing rocks, balls and wood chips.  You love Flanders even though he knocks you over all the time and you like eating green tomatoes (until you take a bite and then you dislike it very much).

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You want to be a part of everything your brothers are doing- they are doing school work, you must be up at the table too.  We play this fun game where you start coloring, then you hide crayons in your seat and then you take them out one by one and try to take a nibble.  I say, “we don’t eat those” and take them away, then you try it on the next color, laugh, and then the next color, laugh and repeat.  Oh you are funny.

You love bath time.  You are a crazy slippery happy baby in the bath.  You are very silly.

Sometimes when you are finished eating you politely hand me your plate, other times you just throw everything across the table.  The first options is very much preferred.

You want to do everything yourself, especially when it comes to eating really messy things like yogurt.

You understand so much of what we say.  You know where your shoes are when we say it is time to get going, where the garbage is to throw things away and to go upstairs to get a clean diaper (which you hate by the way, sixteen months in and you still throw a fit nearly every single diaper change, please stop).  You know if the gate gets left open you can turn on Grandma and Bapa’s TV with the touch of one button.

You love your brothers room almost as much as outside.  A beeline is made for that wonderful room of treasures whenever you get a chance.  So. Many. Small. Legos.

You can play the harmonica.  Pretty talented baby.

You point to every single airplane you hear, even when you are falling asleep or nursing.

You wave and say “Hai” to every car that drives by.

You blow kisses when we say it is time to say good-night.

You try to clean off the lint trap of the dryer by running your hand over the top and then brushing it off.  Very cute.

Rory, my dear sweet boy.  I have never been so exhausted in all my life- but also never filled with such joy.  I am so incredibly blessed to be your Mama, to watch you, my wonderfully curious and healthy baby wander around, learning things around every corner.  You are so incredibly cute that things that frustrate me are usually forgiven instantly  because you turn around and do something cute… grrr…  Your Dada and I, every night we collapse in exhaustion, after we have found all the pumpkins and re-shelved all the books.  We laugh at the funny things you and your brothers did that day and just realize things are so so good.  We will never ever take for granted what we have and the life we have made for ourselves.  We definitely didn’t pick the easy route, but I can easily say it is the route with the most fun (even if that fun is very tiring…).

Rory, we love you so much.  Happy sweet sixteen months baby boy.  Keep being curious.

getting into our routine

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Last week welcomed our first official week of new things- the start of our homeschool co-op, soccer for two boys, swim lessons for those same two boys, piano and school.  Last week was smoother than the week before even with the addition of activities.  We had fun, we wore ourselves out, we had a few meltdowns and we did some great things.  Rory moved from a two a day napper to just one- it was a must for our new schedule.  Bennett tackled soccer and a co-op class, with a few tears but he promises the next time there won’t be.  Even with tears, I am so proud of him- he has really changed, really overcome his fears and enjoyed new things.   And Henry, well, he has blown me away with his reading ability this week.  It has not come easy to him, which has been a challenge.  But this week, we hit a stride that I hope to ride for awhile.

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Construction has been moving forward on the addition here at the Knoll and that has been great as well as a distraction.  Nail guns and sledgehammers, forklifts and lumber will most always trump wanting to do school work when you are six and four.  Yup- construction wins.  It will be something we will be dealing with for a few months here, but I do think we can find a compromise.

I do feel overwhelmed and exhausted with everything, but I do enjoy our lessons everyday.  I stress that we won’t be able to fit everything in, that we won’t get everything done.  But somehow, I know things will work out.  The joy of our choice has been flexibility.  So this week, even though we did not finish our entire science lesson, we did finish Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Bennett’s first chapter book.  There is no better place to spend a crisp morning than with boys snuggles, them begging for just one more chapter and laughing out loud when Augustus Gloop falls into the chocolate river.  Henry and I have enjoyed many books together and it is a pleasure to have Bennett join us as well.  So, we will squeeze our nature journaling in this week and we will most definitely find another book to enjoy together- hopefully it can be as entertaining as the last…

**Construction update photos ahead**

From Wednesday:

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And Today:

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