{this moment}

It was birthday week!  We started off last weekend with our annual boys birthday hike.  After a minor inconvenience of the park we originally planned on being closed for renovations…. we were able to spend a beautifully sunny morning with good friends.  Friends who still like you after you take them the wrong way and never actually get to meet up with the rest of the group (sorry guys).

Next was Bapa’s birthday.  We celebrated this guy with good food and his favorite cake.

We said good-bye to Mamie who was visiting.  Not ten seconds after she left the boys sighed and said, “it was like she was only here for ten seconds.”

And then the next day, we celebrated our newly minted ten year old (more on that later, 10 years!  What the?).

Our school week went smoothly, we gave each other valentines and when Wilderness School has a break we meet up with Wilderness School friends for a playdate and walk.  It was a good (and very exhausting) week.  One very cute one year old has been not enjoying sleeping for long stretches at night (apparently he misses us???).

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Eight is Great!

Bennett McGinley,

My sweet, caring, silly, kind hearted, button pushing, perfectionist, artistic boy- you are now eight.  You were very excited about your birthday- in particular the cuisine you picked out for your multi day celebration (it was pizza, French toast, cereal, and sloppy joes).  On our day of Bennett we went to the zoo and picked up a Fran’s chocolate before heading back home for a viewing of Star Wars.  This year has been a big one- you graduated from swim lessons, you started Wilderness School, you started classes at co-op WITHOUT your brother, you broke your hand and poked yourself in the eye, you became more comfortable in your reading and have brought us joy every day.

You are an amazing artist.  You beat yourself up all the time when you don’t get things just the way you imagined them, we are working on going with the flow.  At Henry’s swim meet a few weeks ago you just decided to draw up a swimmer breathing to the side and it was phenomenal.  Seriously, you are very talented.  You take an art class at co-op, but don’t really love it.  You don’t like having a time restraint or not being able to create perfection in under an hour.  I do enjoy finding your drawings around the house.  Keep it up kiddo- you have a gift- and please a try to give yourself a break once and awhile.

You are the sweetest big brother to Thacker.  You play with him all the time and want him happy.  You play hide and seek with him when he gets fussy, want him to be safe and will always lift your shirt so he can find your belly button when he is sad.  Ridiculously cute and sweet.  With your other little brother though… you two really know how to push each others buttons.  One second you can be playing nicely and the next moment fists are flying and tears are flowing and voices are raised.  Ugh.  We are working on understanding that not everyone does things the exact same way and it is a good thing.

Henry is your best friend.  I adore watching you two- you share secrets, have inside jokes and just really enjoy each others company.  I hope this continues.  It makes my Mama heart happy.  We are transitioning you two to separate bedrooms and this makes me sad.  I hope you guys realize how close you are and that you might miss the conversations and the closeness.  But really, having your own room is nice too, so we will see where this takes us.

You are still my water baby.  I am so glad that the rogue wave of five and a half years ago has not deterred you in your love of water and sand.  You were very happy in Hawaii.  You have finished all the levels of swim lessons but are not interested in continuing.  I think you would be great, but will follow your lead.  You will be ready if you want to be, this I know.

You are kind of a picky eater but are getting more adventurous.  I think you have resigned to the fact that nearly everything I make will have kale in it and that you will be expected to eat green things daily.  If it was up to you, you would eat bread for every meal.  Carbs are your favorite.

Bennett, you have the most infectious, throw your head back in joy laugh that is so fun to be around.  Even if what you are laughing at makes no sense to the grown ups in the room, seeing you with that much joy is enough.  I love that you still come into bed for snuggles in the morning.  I love that you throw yourself at me for a hug.  I love that you will still give me a kiss.  I love that you get so excited about reading with me (I realize it is less about me and more about Mr. Potter, but still, it makes me happy).  I love that you are you.  You are a tough one to crack- you keep a lot inside and I am trying to figure out how to get you to open up.  You want everyone else happy and will always ask Henry or me what we want before you answer with what you want.  Such a middle child…

Bennett, I can not wait to see what this year has in store for us.  I just hope it involves fewer medical bills, okay?  Happy Eight Birthday Benny Boo.  We love you.

 

{this moment}

First off- Happy Birthday to our Bennett!!! Eight years old today!

We arrived back to some of the most gloomy weather imaginable.  It really made transitioning from vacation mode to reality mode all the more difficult.  That being said, the boys missed their friends and their books.  Rory declared when we returned home that he just loved the smell of our house.  So, we are back- back to co-op, Wilderness School and school work.

Our first stop, besides work, was Henry’s first YMCA state meet.  Bright and early Saturday morning we made it down to our old stomping ground to cheer him on.  It is weird being a spectator here- both Chris and I felt like we should be doing something other than wrangling babies and dishing out snacks…  Henry did a great job and was even given an award.  His teammates voted and he was awarded the Y Value Award for Responsibility!

And the rest of the week- waiting on brothers, trail mix buds and spice drawer love.

{this moment}

What a week!?!  I sound like a broken record I realize, but man…

From last weekend, I was mending slippers and this guy wanted to sew tissues.  So he sewed, drew, and cut up tissues all over my bed.  He was extremely good and entertaining company.

Ferry trip to visit our cousins.

Bennett McGinley, you need to be in a bubble.  He poked himself in the eye with a paper telescope (a.k.a., rolled up piece of paper) and was distraught enough for us to be worried.  We went to our local urgent care where they took one look at his eye and sent us to Seattle Children’s.  So… what they thought was something much worse (and would have required surgery) turned out to be a corneal abrasion (another one! Remember December 2015?) and he has since recovered.  He goes in today for a follow up since we are leaving the state, but we are thinking he is fine.  Vision is still a little blurry and still a little sensitive to light, but all in all, a quick recovery.  Thank you Bennett for keeping things interesting.  And please don’t still be mad at me when I made you stop running with a very pokey stick yesterday.

And, lastly, no rainy day is complete without puddle jumping.

eighteen months, christmasing & new years

What a whirlwind of a few weeks.  Sick babes, unexpected news, Christmas and New Years!  Yikes.  Honestly, the month of December was not great- looking forward to starting fresh and our vacation in a few weeks.

Mr. Thacker, you are a year and a half now.  You have been miserable for most of this month.  You got hit the hardest, I think, with all the viruses.  First a cold that lingered and lingered, then a stomach bug and your first ever vomiting experience (you were very confused), and then hand, foot and mouth virus which is just the pits.  We spent most of December together, touching, all the time.  We did not spending much time sleeping, that is for sure, but we were together nonetheless.  I am happy to report that my happy baby is back.  Yeah!  Happy Baby.  And when you are happy, boy are you fun.  You love being chased by your brothers, to empty out every cupboard in the kitchen, and to eat.  Seriously, we are making up for lost time last month.  Man oh man can you eat, we can barely keep up with your appetite.

You love being outside but are not fond of mittens, which makes being outside right now a little difficult (especially in the Christmas snow).

You throw everything.  Please stop this.

You understand everything and have a very definite head nod and shake.  You do not like to use words, you have yet to say much, but you can communicate what you want.  You have even made up a sign for lotion, which you like to have so you can rub in your hair.

Your favorite foods are scrambled eggs, yogurt and granola, toast, avocado, apples, and dried cranberries.  You just started liking apples (no skin) and pieces of oranges.  Really, this last week you will pretty much eat anything.  We celebrated New Years Eve with a family adventure and you had an entire piece of your brothers pizza.

You were unimpressed with Christmas.  You liked the lights and unwrapping things was sort of fun, but really, you were oblivious.  Which was totally fine with your parents, by the way.

Oh Christmas.  We were not all 100%, but we were together, it snowed and the boys, were, yet again, spoiled beyond belief.  It wasn’t our best Christmas, but it was enjoyable.  I have such a hard time with actual Christmas day, I realized this year I like the season, the preparations, the crafts and baking and making- but the day?  Well, it is just a day to open presents and then it feels like the magic is over.  I hope to work on this and make it so that it can continue for much longer.    This year our minds were else where, which made it hard to be in the moment, but we made up for that this last weekend.

 

We decided after weeks (WEEKS!!!) of being cooped up at home for various illnesses that we were going to have a New Years Eve adventure.  We took the troops up to Whidbey Island and did a hike we did almost 9 years ago with a young Henry.  Ebey’s Landing is beautiful and just what we needed.  I was feeling all the feels of being there 9 years ago with a sleeping Henry on my back to fast forward to this year with a sleeping Thacker and following a tall, wonderfully sweet and smart almost ten year old.  Ugh, emotions…

The boys did great- four miles with only a few stops for snacks (trail mix, because we were on the trail) and a few times of Rory being carried by Dada (strategically planned for the uphill parts it seems).  We ended our day at our go-to North Sound restaurant for pizza and burgers and made it home in time for baths and bed.  It was such a great day and just what we needed.  We decided that this year, once a month we would do an adventure like this.  I can’t wait to see where we end up.

And this guy, we hung back, taking our time with our light saber and pistol and to pee on some driftwood (him, not me).  He flung dirt, pretended he had a dog, dug up rocks and was so much fun.  I love being around them when they are in the their element.  Turns out it is my element too…

And the super moon on our way to dinner.  It was HUGE!