Wednesday, May 27, 2015

the boot

It's no secret that our little Nathan has had some trouble in the sleeping department. I've known that part of the problem was that his crib is in our room. Like clockwork he wakes up at 10pm - right around the time we come in to brush our teeth and hit the sack. After that he wakes up often until I finally give in and bring him into bed with us. I know, gasp. I swore I'd never do that, but with two other kids to worry about, I just couldn't survive on so little sleep. Not that having him in bed with us was good sleep. Quite the contrary in fact. After nine months, Adam and I finally hit rock bottom. Out of sheer desperation, we gave Nathan the boot.

Three bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs poses a problem. Declan is certainly not old enough to move downstairs, but we needed an empty room for Nathan to do some sleep training. So one morning on the way to school I talked to the kids about it. I explained that we needed to teach Nathan how to sleep and that he would probably cry a lot, so we needed either Declan to sleep in Lexi's room or vice versa. Lexi immediately stated that "Declan's room is not pretty enough for her to sleep in, so he should sleep in hers." Declan absent mindedly agreed. That little conversation is a perfect illustration of each of their personalities to a T. It makes me chuckle just writing about it. Anyway, about little over a week ago we moved Declan into Lexi's room (so glad they both have bunk beds) and Nathan's crib into Declan's room. Which, coincidentally works out nicely, since eventually the boys will be sharing a room and Declan's room is the bigger of the two. The room switch has been great in that Declan has recently been going through a scared phase - waking up at least once a night frightened and having the hardest time falling asleep at night. Bunking with Lexi has stopped the middle of the night wake ups, although falling asleep is till a bit of a challenge - not because he is afraid of monsters but because the two of them play for awhile. Whatever. I'll take it. We let them whisper and giggle for about thirty minutes before we bring down the hammer. In all honesty its kind of cute. And, as long as we are being honest - some nights it isn't. Like tonight. Go to sleep already little ones!

Onto Nathan's progress. I thought the fact that he was in our room was part of his sleeping problem. It was the whole problem. The first night sleeping in Declan's room was a little rough for him, but not as bad as I thought. The second night he woke up once. Within a week he was sleeping through the night. And when I say through the night, I mean 7pm-8am. Boo-ya. 13 hours of uninterrupted sleep. We should have booted him a long time ago. He's even napping better. No waking baby. No waking 6 year old. Between a good night's rest and my new clothes, I feel like a whole other person from a few weeks ago. ☺

I do feel a little bad for Declan who is kind of displaced right now. A few times he has asked to go back to his room, but he is too scared to sleep with the door closed. Eventually we'll work it all out and he'll be back in his room, but for now I'm not chancing the great thing we have going here - sleep. Sleep. SLEEP. Such a beautiful thing.

Here's our baby, sleeping like a baby


Here he is in his new digs - aka the boys room. Post nap, and not to happy that I'm snapping away instead of picking him up.

I thought the crib would overwhelm the room, but surprisingly there is plenty of floor space to play and build train tracks, legos, or whatever the chosen toy is of the day.

And these two. One night I went up to hush them and demand they go to bed, when I found a "star party" going on. Just one of many night time shenanigans. I choose my battles. I'll take a star party over a crying baby any day of the week, Heck, I'll even join the star party.

Kaizen.

Monday, May 25, 2015

May Days

This has been a crazy month. I've had quite a few photo jobs, which is awesome. Truly, I LOVE it! But sometimes finding the balance of taking care of the kids with the work is hard. I'm not sure why, but the photography work always comes in waves, never spread out which can make it all kind of tricky. Not to mention I stupidly volunteered to make 24 alphabet posters as props for the upcoming Kindergarten Circus. Glutton for punishment I guess. Who knows? Not me. Anyway, the first part of May was heavy with late nights for me. It all worked out though and I made it through the sleep deprived fog. The kids paid the price with a short tempered Mommy. You'd never know it as you scroll through these pictures though. The illusion of the blog.  ☺ The funny thing is, I buy into it too. As I sat here pulling pictures from the last twenty days or so, it made me so happy to see all the fun things and look at their smiling faces. And then I think, they really do have it pretty good. But then again, so do I! Onto our May Days.

I had to snap a picture of this exhilarating evening. I was actually on a shoot at Wind N Sea, one of my favorite spots. The waves were huge and as I walked from my car to the top of the stairs ("the penalty box") several whale spouts were clearly noticeable. As was a large crowd, oooing and aaahhing. The entire evening I could see the whale spouts and even saw a head pop up. I was told they were blue whales inside the kelp bed swimming with their babies. I've never seen anything like it and probably never will again. I didn't have my zoom lens, so I couldn't get a decent picture of the spouts, but snapped one of the gorgeous night. I felt lucky to be there. 
We kicked off May with some awesome weather and hit up the beach with the Abbotts and the Davis boys. The weather was perfect, the company was great. I kept thinking that we should probably go, but I couldn't pull myself away. The kids were having so much fun, as were the moms - so we stayed! 

  Love these two. So glad Declan has made some good friends at school.
 Attempting to teach the boys hang ten.
 OPA kinders
 Love that Lexi jumps in with the boys.
 We hurried home. Cleaned up and headed back to the beach for dinner with the Abbotts and Goads. It was a beachy kind of day. 
Nathan digging the watermelon.
 Eating pizza and watching dolphins.


 Tired girl snuggling up in Daddy's arms. ♥

Lexi and I had a "girl day" when we went to one of her preschool friend's birthday parties. It has been so fun getting to know Hazel and celebrating her birthday with her!
 We were so excited to run into Riley there!

The month that Nathan got into everything! Love this kiddo and his kicky personality. Love feeling his little hands as he pulls up on my legs. 
He's discovered the stairs. Ugh. We are having the hardest time finding a baby gate to fit the spindals. 
We celebrated Emma's First Communion, gorgeous girl!
 And her fan club!
The annual Dana Point BBQ, which always happens sometime in May landed on Mother's Day this year. It was a wonderful way to spend the day. It was great hanging out and seeing everyone.
 Char was so excited to give Nathan the bear she bought for him, "Hildago" - and he was equally excited to receive it!
 Declan loves all fo the games he gets to play at this BBQ - trying out bat mitten for the first time with Grandpa.
 hanging with uncle Jeff
 Annual group pic ☺
 More play time with Uncle Jeff

 Practicing her soccer skills for the upcoming season.
Ella hung out with us for the afternoon while her Mommy volunteered in Lily's class. I decided to take the girls and Nathan to the aquarium - somewhere we hadn't visited in a long time. Accompanied by frozen yogurt of course!

 A smile is never far from his face!
 She is getting too big too fast! I remember taking her here when she was barely walking!
 Little man, fascinated by the fish.


 Miss Ella with her head in a bubble



 Crawling through the shark tank


 Nathan, totally unaware of all the animals swimming behind him...


 Group pic of the little loves

Declan has been asking since Christmas to visit Goat Hill Trains. Baseball season, the fact that it is kind of a long drive, and also because it is only open to the public one weekend per month made this request kind of tricky, but we finally made it up there. Both he and Lexi were so excited. I think even more so because the Abbott girls came with us. Daddy was going to a baseball game with a friend, so we made it a Mommy day and headed up to Orange County. It was awesome - definitely the least crowded I've ever seen it and there just happened to be some kind of reptile guy there with a tent. 

 Waiting in line
 Ready to ride!

Nathan isn't old enough to go on the trains yet, so Aunt Kristin took the kids a couple of times and then watched Nathan for me while I took a turn.




 It was such a great day - obviously because the kids were having so much fun, but also because of this little guy. He LOVED the trains. As he and I walked through the fields, trying to time it in various spots so that we saw the train, he would get so excited as it neared. Making lots of noise, waving both hands in the air - practically jumping out of my arms. It was hilarious. When we would get close enough to wave to the kids he would wave vigorously and then begin clapping. I'm sure I say this all of the time, but I love this stage of babyhood. 

 Next year he'll get to ride. ☺
 After our fun day, the girls came back to our house for dinner. We ordered in food and drank wine while the kids played. All in all a fantastic day! As evidenced by these shiny hineys.
Aunt Amanda, Quinn, and Ryan joined us for our Wednesday play date with Riley. Riley, Lexi, and Quinn all used to play together on the playground at school until they recently changed the playground times for the different classes.  Evvy, another little girl who used to be in Lexi and Riley's class came too. These four girls had a great time playing together. I just love watching Lexi make friends of her own. 


The Carnival! It finally arrived. I can't tell you how much this was amped up by the school Carnival Day. It was awesome. The school raised over $7,000 and the kids had so much fun! After working int he Oregon Beaver tent for awhile, we ended up hanging out near the Oregon Duck tent for most of the afternoon. Aunt Krissy did an amazing job with it! 
 Watching Declan hang out with his friends and help his grandparents work the Duck tent by handing out prizes and taking tickets I couldn't help but remember how fun school events were back in the day. It is crazy to be on the parent end of this ride. Even as a parent it was such a fun day. Hanging out with and talking with moms that I have become friends with over the past year - I feel so lucky we landed at this school. 

 Cousin kisses. They both had rainbows painted on their face.

 The Carnival was followed by a magic show. We left at half time, as we had already been at the school for five hours and Nathan needed to get to bed. As hard as it was to pull the kids away, it's a good thing we left when we did - it started raining as we drove away.
Pizza and a magic show - it doesn't get better than this for a four and six year old!
 It's been on my list to take the kiddos to SeaWorld before June hit and school got out. I wanted one more leisurely day before the crowds. Even though it was drizzling Friday morning, we decided to take our chances and head down. I'm glad we did. We only stayed for a couple of hours, but it was just perfect. I just love these days with the kids. 
Declan 's favorite exhibit at SeaWorld is the "kissing fish". He wanted so badly to show Nathan...


 We even held the little guys hand in the water and a fish kissed it. I don't think he loved it as much as his older brother!
 Waiting for Shamu..




 They really wanted some play ground time, so we spent awhile running around.






 Look at those piggies fly!

 Nathan and I watched turtles swim while Declan and Lexi played the turtle video game. 


 We ended our day with the sharks and then hurried home, barely beating Memorial Day weekend traffic. 

Lazy days. Love them! Nathan kept playing peek a boo with Adam and I. He kept hiding and then jumping up and waving a clapping. It was so cute! I just love this kids interaction. 


 Never too old for trains!
 Or WWII video games
 Or naps on the couch. I wish we could have a lazy day once a week. 
Overcast mornings are perfect for a hike! We dragged the little ones out for some sight seeing and fresh air! We brought our scavenger hunt papers, which the kids absolutely loved. We found 18 out of the 24 items. 

 Absolutely fascinated by the ant hole - "I've never seen one before Mom". It's so cool watching your kid take in the world. 

 So happy to take a family picture - I was anyway. Ha, ha!












 After our hike we headed to the beach for a picnic lunch.

And that wraps up a way too long blog post. That's what happens when I don't keep up with our online journal! I pay the price. Ha, ha! It was a good month though. And now, we are officially on the countdown to Summer! 
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