My Week(340) in iPhone Photos

May 9th, 2017

Not only am I going out of town away from my children tomorrow for the first time in 3 years, I got ALL the self-care stuff done this week. I got my hair cut and colored, I got a facial and spent some time at the spa relaxing, and I got a gel manicure and a pedicure. So for the next four days I am totally prepared to look like a fully functional, stylish adult who doesn’t go a year between haircuts and wears pajamas to the bus stop. Let’s just hope I meet all new people and not anyone who reads here regularly and already knows I’m a mess.

Sunday:

Honestly I have this on my Timehop from EVERY year

One of these kids isn’t mine

Very fancy dessert

Monday:

EYELASHES

SO MANY NAPS

I am such an amazing fashion blogger

Tuesday:

He thinks it’s hilarious that he’s outside with no shirt

Linc, did you eat all Finn’s dried strawberries? “No”

Dinner assistant

Wednesday:

Mini-me

Tree full of vultures

Hey, Snuggles

Thursday:

May the 4th Be With You

I took these guys bra shopping. They were remarkably patient.

Yoga time

Friday:

Friday vibes

Linc hated the shower until this exact moment, now he likes it

Saturday:

I love this corner

Linc loves chips and salsa

Finn HATES hospital bracelets

The hospital trip was because Finn was super grumpy and warm and when I took his temp it was 104.9, higher than I am comfortable ignoring, which is what I usually do with fevers. So I called the after-hours number and the doctor on call told me she’d feel better if I took him to the ER to make sure there wasn’t anything seriously wrong. They couldn’t find anything. He seemed fine, except that it was midnight so he was really tired. But the diagnosis was basically “you have a super cute baby, take him home and get some sleep”. So we did. And he’s been mostly ok since, except that he’s still got a low grade fever and hates sleeping.

Send up lots of good thoughts and prayers that he cheers up and doesn’t have a fever at all this week while E is solo-parenting!

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My Week(339) in iPhone Photos

May 8th, 2017

I should he packing but I also figured I should get my blog up to date because I’m going to a blogger conference. So I’ll probably forget my underwear but at least anyone who looks will know what we did two weeks ago.

Sunday:

“Mommy take my picture on this rock like a magestic unicorn”

New England baby doesn’t care the water is freezing

Hikers

Monday:

Muffin helper

Chopping down a tree

INSISTS on walking on walls, even when blocked by bushes

Tuesday:

Peek a boo

Naps

More naps

Wednesday:

He loves feet

Puddle jumper

ALL THE NOPES FROM ME

Thursday:

Naps

More naps

SO EXCITED FOR THIS ROLL OF FILM

Friday:

Messsssssssss

Running in the daffodils

I love this view

Saturday:

Fresh eggs are the best eggs

Photographed a wedding at a castle!

Making mud pie on the back steps. In his pajamas.

I am watching Animaniacs with my children and trying to decide how many jokes to explain to them. Is “Boo-ryshikov” the chicken still funny if you don’t know there’s a person named Baryshnikov?

Considering how hard they are laughing, I think the answer is yes.

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Fresh Air and Sunshine

May 3rd, 2017

Our Disney Training Plan continues! We’ve walked these kids all over town, practiced wearing Linc and Finn in different carriers, worked to break in new shoes, discovered Evan’s new sandals give him blisters, tried different combinations of kids in the stroller, and caught a ton of Pokemon. Because it turns out PokemonGo is a really great incentive to get a reluctant 8-year-old out of the house. Our town has lots of pokestops and plenty of gyms, so if we’re willing to put in a couple miles it’s pretty much guaranteed something exciting will happen in the app. I am fine with this plan. My new sneakers have proven themselves to be both light-weight and comfortable, my portable phone charger works great, and my legs are showing some definite muscle definition. WHO KNEW walking was good for you? WHAT A TOTAL SURPRISE.

As a photographer, it kills me a little when we’re in an amazing location and my kids are in…not the best outfits for pictures. I want them to be comfortable and be allowed to express their own preferences. I also want to take pictures I can hang on my walls. But as far as real life goes, this is accurate.  No children wear spotless neutrals ALL the time.

The next time we went walking, I brought my film camera. I’m super excited to see how this exact same photo looks on Kodak 400. It’s hilarious that after all the money and time I’ve spent on digital photography I am most into my $26 film camera right now.

p.s. She doesn’t have a scrape on her forehead. It’s barbecue sauce. I didn’t ask any further questions.

I will never stop being amazed by how much happier I am when I’m getting a daily dose of fresh air and sunshine. I mean, I’m not ready to throw out my Zoloft quite yet, but my stress level being down means the whole house is calmer. I few more weeks and we’ll all like each other so much our Disney trip will be extra magical.

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Next Steps

May 2nd, 2017

This guy. None of my other children make me want to rip my hair our more than Lincoln. And I don’t think it’s just because he’s the current 2-year-old and 2-year-olds are sort of terrorists.

Linc still struggles with his expressive language skills. He’s had a speech therapist for months now, and has made a lot of progress when it comes to trying to say new words. But for some reason he can’t. Like, he physically struggles to make ANY hard consonant sounds or string words together. “Cereal” is “bee-yo”, even though he can make a “ssssssss” sound separately. “I love you, Mommy” is “Ya. Boo. Mama”, with full sentence breaks between each sound. It makes him completely unintelligible to most people and even I struggle when there aren’t a ton of context clues to help me guess. We had a fight the other day because he yelled “bosh” at me for 20 minutes before I realized he wanted to go play on the “porch”. Did he point at the porch? No. Did he stand in the middle of the room and shout “bosh” louder and louder while I begged him to try a different word? Yes. It can be pretty exhausting.

Right now he is lying across the couch, headbutting me in the ribs because he wants to sit closer to me that is physically possible, hanging off my arm while I type with one hand. I asked him what he was doing and he said “nah-sa”. “Nothing”.

At the end of May, we have a meeting with the transition team at the preschool, to see if they have space for him in their special needs program when he ages out of the state Birth to 3 program. I both really hope he gets in and am super nervous about it. He has gotten a lot out of having a therapist to work with him one-on-one, especially during these past months when a lot of my time has been taken up with a new baby. I am sure his improvements have come from Miss Jill and he’d be even further behind now if it weren’t for her help. But he has so much trouble with his language, I worry about him being away from me. He can’t give me a report of his day, or relay what he’s nervous about, or tell me if someone is mean to him. He won’t be surrounded by people who “speak  Lincoln” and know what he’s trying to say with the nonsense words he uses consistently for other words. Is a teacher going to have time to learn those things? Is he just going to end up more frustrated and having more meltdowns and basically hating everything about school starting at 3 years old? That is not a good start.

Of course, there is also a chance at our meeting the team says: “Sorry, a severe expressive language delay isn’t enough of a problem” and he isn’t accepted into the school at all. Then we’re looking at a whole different set of questions.

I am sure that one day, whether it’s one year or five years from now, Lincoln will talk like everyone else. We are being as proactive as possible to make sure this doesn’t hold him back long term and it seems unlikely a speech delay is a permanent problem. I am looking forward to the day when I can read this post (like SO MANY posts from 5, 6, 8 years ago) and think “Oh man, I totally forgot that was such a huge deal”. Reaching out towards that future helps during the screaming fits and tears and frustration. This too shall pass and one day Lincoln will tell me “I love you, Mom” and sound like a big kid instead of my baby. And I’ll have mixed feelings about that too.

 

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Finnegan: 8 Months

May 1st, 2017

{Lincoln 8 months, Caroline 8 months, Evan 8 months}

Finnegan had a rough day today. There was a lot of crying. Like, a lot. Way too much. He’s started crawling and pulling up on furniture, which is exhausting when you’re a super chunk. Then his sleep schedule got thrown off and it was too late for his nap but too early for bed, so it was time for lots and lots of crying. I’m hoping he might actually be tired enough tonight to sleep for more than 3 hours in a row. I would really, really love to sleep for more than 3 hours in a row.

USUALLY, Finn is a super cheerful baby. He loves people, he isn’t afraid of strangers and is happy to be carried around by anyone. He likes the stroller, he likes shopping carts, he likes when I wear him. He’s the fourth baby, he basically has no choice but to go with the flow. Except for now, when he’s working so hard to become a person that he forgets how to be chill.

The only thing he never forgets is eating. Finnegan eats so much he’s actually almost taking a bottle. That’s a huge accomplishment for one of my babies. He also eats: crackers, fruit, veggie sticks, rice, cheese, you know what, basically anything he can get into his face he will eat. Even if it’s not technically food. Paper is pretty high on his list of favorites. But all the solids haven’t slowed down the nursing at all, which is one of the reasons he’s up so many times a night and also why his thighs are so ridiculous. He wears 12-18 month clothes at minimum, and I’ve started taking stuff straight out of Linc’s drawers and put them on the baby.

Likes include food, nursing, standing up, crawling, knocking things over, the dog, the cat, his blankey, rolling, music, water, his feet, my feet, looking at new things, smiling, snuggles, dada, mama, his siblings, scratching me, pulling hair, laughing well you tell him not to bite.

Dislikes include being tired, falling on his face, getting stuck under the furniture, waking up alone, not being allowed to eat things he found under the couch.

How do you get an 8-month-old to stay in a chair for pictures? Physically push him down every 3 seconds. These are not all in focus because he is strong and fast.

Look at his filthy baby feet from walking around out on the porch. My inside floors are clean, but the porch is FILTHY.

 

8 Month Milestones

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Says “mama” or “dada” to parents (isn’t specific) – Is this really a skill most kids have at 8 months? He can say “mama” and “dada” but they don’t mean anything yet.
Passes objects from hand to hand – Yes

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Stands while holding onto something – All the time now, and he can almost always sit back down again
Crawls – He can crawl. He mostly does a one legged monkey scoot, like his brothers before him. But he isn’t as fast or as adventurous as previous kids.
Points at objects – No pointing.
Searches for hidden objects – Sometimes

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Pulls self to standing, cruises – Yes, mostly successfully
Picks things up with thumb-finger pincer grasp – Does it fit in his mouth? Then he will pick it up.
Indicates wants with gestures – No, he mostly just cries

 

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