Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Snow Day

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

We’ve had a lot of snow days this year. It’s not terrible. I like getting out of our responsibilities for a day. The worst part is that I have to do the shoveling but I just tell myself it’s a really good workout. Another thing that’s a really good workout is sledding. The third workout I got was getting everyone in and out of their winter gear. I’m exhausted.

My Family, Documented

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

The list of things that have gone wrong in the first two weeks of January is laughably long. I broke a filling, the kids shatter my laptop, my power charger fried my battery, we had several snow days/delays, I forgot to take the kids to swim (and karate and cheer), and Linc finally potty trained but not without peeing on every pair of underpants he owned. We now own more underpants AND as of this morning he’s officially done with diapers. I also got my computer fixed, ordered a new battery, made it to all our activities, and scheduled a dentist appointment.

I’m feeling very accomplished despite the setbacks, especially since on top of regular momming and housekeeping and cooking I’m also taking a photography class online. I’ve taken a few classes from Clickin Moms before and they’re always great, so when an ad for the class called The Documentary Approach crossed my Facebook feed, I saved the post. I kept going back to it and finally decided it would be a great way to keep me inspired during January.

So far we’ve focused on light (which is terrible in January) and this week is composition (which is something I thought I was good at but now I’m not so sure). It hasn’t been good for my confidence, but it has been good for my creativity. I am really, really looking forward to warmer weather so we can go outside and I can take pictures somewhere besides my house though. As much as I love documenting our life, I really like taking aesthetically beautiful photos in between so much reality.

 

 

 

Velvet Mill Winter Farmer’s Market

Monday, January 8th, 2018

We had to get out of the house on Saturday so we went to the Velvet Mill, where Stonington has their farmer’s market in the winter. I had to wear the baby on my back to keep him from a) running away and b) freezing to death between the car and the door (also the mill is huge and drafty and most people didn’t even take off their hats and scarves inside). When I have a baby on my back my photography really suffers – he’s wiggly and throws himself back if he can’t see what I’m looking at, it’s hard to carry my camera strap on my shoulder when the carrier strap is in the way, and crouching down/bending over is hard when your balance is being thrown off by 28 lbs. But I still managed to take a few pictures at the mill (plus a few after).

All that delicious farmer’s market food and my kids begged for cheeseburgers for lunch.

Snow Day (The First Of Many, I Suspect)

Friday, January 5th, 2018

The kids went to school for 2 whole days this week, which was the first week back after vacation. We had Thursday off because it was snowing all day. We have Friday off because the wind is terrible and all the shoveling I did today was useless. Then it’s the weekend again. Hopefully by Sunday we can go back to our regularly scheduled activities because this house is starting to feel REALLY small. I might have ordered 12 different kinds of organizing storage container today because if I have to be trapped inside all the time at least it’s going to be in a clean house.

Here is some of what we did today.

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This Christmas I Am Spoiling My Kids Rotten

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Hello Internet.

Thank you for all the wonderfully written, thoughtful posts about how kids these days are too focused on things and not on the true meaning of Christmas. It’s so important to remember that giving is far superior to receiving, just as God gave his love to all of us. I also read your advice on how experiences make better gifts than giant hunks of plastic. It’s true! You made some excellent points. Then there were the 4 Things devotees: Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. It rhymes! So adorable and minimalist and a great way to cut down on junk! And finally, there are the hardcore anti-stuff people who object to basically all of it and make their opinions loudly known. Thank you for your input, I appreciate the time you took to explain it.

This year, I am flat out ignoring ALL OF YOU.

wrapping presents

 

 

 

And I’m doing it 100% on purpose. I haven’t accidentally bought too much. I am not pretending to purchase only hand-crafted, heirloom quality, Waldolf-inspired toys. I am not claiming to be a minimalist while buying piles of presents. This is intentional, planned, thoughtful spoiling.

Our December has been full of both experiences and things. This year, we are seeing Santa no less than 5 separate times. We have five sets of matching Christmas pajamas, including two sets for me and one for the dog. Caroline has a special dress for The Nutcracker, a different special dress for our photo session with Santa, and another special dress for Christmas Eve. Oh and one more to wear on Christmas day after taking off her matching Christmas pajamas. We are opening seven advent calendars every morning. There are custom printed Santa bags for each child and fancy gourmet chocolates for their stockings. They are getting everything they asked for and then some. There is a giant Batman robot, thousands of Legos, and a stupid Baby Alive that pees. There are sleds and ride on toys and loud beeping things. ALL FOUR KIDS get their own Fingerling monkey, even the baby, who definitely does not need a Fingerling monkey. When they come down the stairs on Christmas morning, they’re going to freak out and scream their little heads off with joy.

Do you know what won’t be around our tree on Christmas morning? Their father.

I realize things don’t make up for your dad being deployed during Christmas. There is no present in the world I can give them that will stop them from saying “I wish Daddy was here”. My heart breaks a little more every time they say it – which is often. This isn’t their fault. They didn’t ask to be born into a military family. And until this year we’ve been able to shield them quite a bit from true Navy life – no moving, no long separations, no new schools. I grew up with that lifestyle and although I enjoyed it for the most part, not having “a” home or long-term friendships or a sense of being FROM somewhere can be hard sometimes. We’ve been very lucky that we can do this a little differently than most military families. But our luck ran out now that E is very fancy and important; his skills and expertise are needed on actual working submarines, and actual working submarines deploy.

It’s hard. Being the only parent means I am responsible for all the Christmas, for everyone. I don’t mind, really, because I love Christmas. But trying to buy stocking candy when I am never without at least one child is hard. Wrapping gifts at midnight is hard. Trying to decide if it’s time to tell the big kids about Santa is hard. I’m still part of a partnership as far as parenting goes but my partner is unavailable (most of the time he is 100% unavailable, not reachable by any means).

My choice to go completely overboard and ignore what other people are doing is in no way meant to be a reflection on others. This doesn’t just apply to our specific situation regarding Christmas presents or even just the holidays. As I am very fond of telling my children, different families make different choices. Some do small Christmases, some do big Christmases, some go to great lengths to be with as much family as possible, some want to stay home. Some people step away from Facebook and social media to stay focused on family, but I couldn’t imagine doing that when I spend so much time as the only adult in the room. Some find that taking photos helps keep them connected and in the moment (me, 100%), others find that putting away the camera makes them happier. It is a difficult time of year for so many people for so many reasons, finding joy however you want should be allowed. And this year, my joy is in distracting my kids from things that make them sad with things that make them happy.

Come January 2nd when everyone goes back to school, I am going to be cursing all this STUFF that will have taken over my house. There’s nothing more #firstworldproblem than buying too many toys and then being annoyed by too many toys. I’ll remind myself of that as many times as is necessary during the long, cold, dark months between the end of the holidays and the end of deployment. But right now, I am SO EXCITED about Christmas magic and that is just what our family needs.

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