Monday, August 29, 2016

6 and Kinder Ready!

Grrrr... I wrote this post LAST Sunday (8/21) night and published it... But it never published! Anyway, I'm not changing anything to preserve the post.. I was sitting in bed next to Jay as I wrote it... you'll see where all those feels are coming from!

It is so fitting to me that Jay turns 6 today and tomorrow we send him off to kindergarten. Can't a momma get one milestone at a time instead of lumping them together?!

So, 6. He's growing into a big boy now with big boy interests. Yes, he's still a baby to me (and the world), but being 6 is the start of real boyhood. 

Jay is so into sports right now. All of them. He gobbles up every bit of sports info given and when he has the choice what to watch, it's sports or sports center. He's loved the Olympics because not only does he get to see his beloved sports, he also gets to learn about all the countries competing. 

Which brings me to his next interest- geography.  Countries, their locations/sizes/populations, history... All of it. 

He is obsessed with hats right now. His hat collection has increased exponentially in the last 6 months. I think he had one and now has 13 or 14. We've got to get a new set of shelves for all his hats!  

He is still as social as ever- and goes to friends' houses as much as possible (or has them over here!). He is so nice and kind and funny to his friends- I love watching how much he loves them, but I also love watching how much they love him. 

He continues to be the most amazing big brother to his sisters! And you can tell how he is because they all just adore him! 

I would still classify him as bright, gentle, kind, inquisitive, caring, and a million other wonderful qualities. He truly is a one in a million kind of boy! 

And about that whole kindergarten thing. Oy. 

I am ready. I am going to be ok. Because he is so ready. I mean, so so ready.

But this is the beginning of a new chapter. Real school. All day every day in someone else's care for the next thirteen years. 

I have prepared him as much as I possibly could, but now as I am sitting next to him in bed as he falls asleep, I am thinking about all the other million things I meant to teach him before this day. 

And we went to meet the teacher last week. And he said two words to his teacher- "yes" and "ok." (Insert eye roll) 

I wanted to grab her and say, "Let me tell you all of the wonderful things about Jay! He is the best because...." and just go on and on and gush all about him. Because, well, she needs to know. And then I want to remind her to ask him if he needs to go to the bathroom or if he's too hot or if his clothes are comfortable or of his shoes are tied too tight. I want her to check and see if he's hungry or happy or whatever... I just want her to check on him! 

And of course, she will, because she's a kindergarten teacher. And she knows what to do. Not just anybody teaches kindergarten, you know. It's someone special who teaches these babies. These people have earned a special place in heaven for taking our kids and loving them and keeping the mommas happy all at the same time. 

And you know what, I DO realize that even if she doesn't check on him, he will survive. And not only will he survive, but he will grow from it. He will learn to speak up when he needs something. And he will learn to fight for what he wants. He will learn so much from being away. 

I know all of these things of course. I know it will be an absolutely wonderful year. I just do. But as I sit here watching him sleep, I just want to hang on to that last thread of baby-hood a teeny bit longer. 

Because tomorrow he will go to kindergarten. And that is one step closer to junior high, one step closer to high school, and one step closer to him flying right out of this nest into college. 

And I can tell you, I WILL be a mess for that one.

So on your sixth birthday, Jay, I am begging time to slow down just a tad bit more. I have a few more things to do with you before you take off for flight. 

I love you, buddy. My JayBird. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Rest of Us

I posted how Kelsey was doing at 2 months, but one might be wondering how the other five family members have been... And to be honest, this is the first time I feel like I can sit and write it all down. So, here's the recap of how we've been over the past two months!

Ok, I won't lie, he has been more helpful this time around than with all the other three kids combined. Not that he wasn't helpful with the others, buuuuut he works long hours and momma had it under control (ish) so his role was the bread winner and the fun guy at night. But not this go 'round. We actually really needed him. Four kids is a lot. And four kids who are 5 1/2 and younger need a lot. There was just no way we weren't going to be utilizing him. Between holding the baby while dinner gets cleaned up (joys of having a needy baby!), or picking up toys, or feeding the animals (pretty sure we forgot that one a few times- thank the Lord the kids give them scraps!), or answering Jay's 1,000,000 questions, or hugging momma after a long day.... to answering the girls' needs in the middle of the night (he has been on night duty for the first time ever!), or taking Jay to swim meets, and taking off work early to be at the baseball games, and driving to birthday parties... I mean, the list could go on and on. Anthony has been a super husband the past few months. All while maintaining a very demanding job! Molly has totally morphed into a Daddy's girl and is smitten beyond measure, and the big kids' relationships have gotten even stronger than they already were. He has really started to figure Kelsey out and is able to help with her more than before.

And we've really strengthened as a team. Has it been perfect? Heck no! Has it been easy? Yeah right! Have we fought and bickered and nagged and gone to bed mad? Yes! But truly, if you look at the big picture, we have come together and united more than before. Most days we just look at each other at the end of the day and laugh and say "we made it!" Some days we just don't know how. Some days we fall asleep at 9:00 without talking much at all. But we're still a team. And we're stronger than ever.

So yeah, I'd say that worked out pretty well. :)

This child. Seriously. I thought at the beginning of the summer when Kelsey first came that we might not survive his questions. And talking. And talking some more. I have never heard a child talk so much in my life. Or ask so many questions. His mind just never ever stops. He wants to know everything about everything. He needed much more than I could give him at the beginning of the summer. He needed activity and mental and physical stimulation. Thank goodness for swim team, but he needed even more than that. Thank you LORD for Grandeb and then for camps, sports, friends, and cousins/aunts. It at least got him over the hump a little bit.

But this boy is truly the sweetest to his baby sisters. He is so good to Kelsey and she just adores him. He and CK are best buds and play together so well every day (and they also fight and bicker just like you'd expect). And Molly thinks he is the hero of all (next to her daddy). Jay has done a great job this summer- and has matured more than I'd like to admit.

Charley Kate...
My little momma. She has been so helpful with all things baby. "Hey Char, I need to go teetee, will you hold Kelsey for me so I can go?" And she is more than happy to oblige. She grabs diapers, makes sure all the other kids have what they need, and is seriously like a second mom. All by her choice, I need to add. I promise I am not forcing this- this is what she loves to do! And I remember feeling like that when I was little! She plays school and Barbies and mommy with her baby dolls. She helps Molly when she needs it and keeps Jay in line. She's always doing cartwheels and handstands around the house and never ceases to amaze with her fashion shows!

But she's also become a little anxious and scared about being away from Mom. I don't know if it was the hospital stay or the new baby in general, but she never wants to leave the house away from me. No camp (her gymnastics camp was a fight every day to get her to go- until she was there and loved it!), no playdates, no sleepovers with Grandeb or cousins... she just cries and says, "But I will miss my mom!" And lest you think I don't give her enough attention... we play Barbies, we run errands just the two of us, we color and draw, we cook together... I can't figure out what I need to be doing for this girl, but you better believe I am working on it from all angles! And then again, thankful for Grandeb who can spend more one on one time with her and takes her to do special little things. <3 p="">

This girl. It's like you'd never know we had another baby in the house. She has embraced her two year old self with a BANG. And we've adopted a motto for this one... "Molly don't care"   And she really doesn't. Kelsey is screaming her head off? Molly don't care. You ask her to pick up her toys? She looks at you like you have three heads and thinks, Molly don't care. It's never ending. And it's hysterical. We have done such a poor job disciplining her because she just really DOESN'T care. And nothing she does is that bad that we need to rule with an iron fist. So she just does what she does and we try to figure it out as best we can!

But seriously, she's been fine with this transition. Some days I can tell she is feeling a little needy, and I'm certainly there to snuggle and play and do whatever she needs. But most days, she just goes on as her little independent self. She has truly become SUCH a daddy's girl. He started taking the girls to bed each night because they take longer than Jay. So since I have Kelsey, I put the easy one to bed, and he can stay a little longer with the girls. And because of that (and because of Anthony being on night duty for her and Anthony having to be Mr. Nurse when she had mono), she loves and adores her daddy. Oh man, there is no one else! It's a precious little relationship! I'm super thankful for this easy transition. And you better believe Anthony is LOVING every bit of it!

And finally, Mommy....
So, the beginning was hard. Really really really hard. I don't know what made it so hard, but it was. Maybe it was a high needs, screaming, eating all the time baby. Maybe it was three other kids ages 2-5. Maybe it was all of the above. Maybe it was none of the above. But something made this transition so much harder for me than any of the others. This was the first time I've had a newborn and realized "I can't do it on my own this time." That was hard for me. I am someone who doesn't need help. I don't accept help. I can do it- alone. But not this time. I needed all of my village. Anthony's parents, my sisters, friends who offer to cook or drop someone off or bring me something, and especially Anthony and my mom. I desperately needed both of them. And because Anthony was out earning our livelihood, it was my mom and me. And Lord, THANK YOU for my mom. I absolutely would not have survived this summer without her. Seriously. She drove the bigs to appointments they had, she took them so I could rest with the littles, she swam with all of them while I sat inside and consoled a baby, she spoiled them, she fed all of us, she ran errands for me, she did ANYTHING at all that I needed. I swear, she helped me more in the past two months than in the past six years combined. No joke. I needed her.

Because this was so hard for me, I feel like I have talked to my friends so much less. I feel like there is always someone who needs my attention, and there is literally not a free second without a kid to make a phone call. I'm not joking. Once school starts, that will be very different. But over the summer, no. free. time. The laundry hasn't gotten done nearly as much and dinners are pretty simple. The chores have piled up and the clutter is creeping up. There are errands to be run and things for the home to be done.

Until this past week and a half.

Momma is BACK! I finally feel like myself again! And I don't mean that in a post-partum, baby blues, emotional perspective. I mean that in a physically capable perspective. I finally feel like we are ready to GO GO GO like we used to! Laundry is getting done again, the playroom has been cleaned out and toys donated, dinners are looking semi-decent again, groceries are being bought (you better believe I take all four kids with me!), and the kids are actually being taken on outings to do FUN things! Gosh, it feels SO GOOD to feel like me again. My mom has finally gotten to REST from all that she's done for me this summer. Anthony can breathe a sigh of relief that his wife is back. And I can truly FINALLY feel confident that not only are we going to survive with four kids, we are going to THRIVE with four kids. We've got this!

It's been a loooong two months. But the Squill Six are ready to rock and roll- and take on whatever life brings our way!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Our Last Baby is 2 Months!

Yikes... it just hit me today that this will be our last two month well check ever. Things like that seem so dumb, but it's weird to think that chapter has officially closed. Wow.

Anyway, we had Kelsey's check up this morning. She is healthy and growing and that is all a momma can pray for. Well, that and less crying. But whatever.

This is how it started... Maybe she didn't like the choice of bows?

Kelsey has proven to be a mix between just sugary sweet wonderful and pretty tough! Ha. Typical girl?
-She eats every 2 hours. On the dot. Never fail. I can count on one hand the times she's gone longer than two hours throughout the day. She eats at least 20 minutes each time. Makes it hard to get much done with the bigs!
-She hates her carseat... in the car. She will sit in it and we will carry her around or push her in the stroller. As soon as we lift it up and click it into the car, she screams. The big kids HATE going anywhere because she screams so much and so loud. Molly doesn't care. Typical.
-She smiles like crazy with that huge open mouth smile. She did it the earliest of all the kids- right after 4 weeks!
-She has rolled over back to front three different times. I know she's not trying to do it, but it's happened. She has that body type to make it happen!
-She's cooing up a storm which is just freaking precious!
-Night time is going ok! I won't lie, she's in our bed 100% of the time. Naps and night time. At this point, it works, so whatever. I know she won't be there forever! She has been the best of our kids at going right back to sleep after she wakes to eat at night. I think partially it's because she's in bed with me and I just nurse her and fall asleep and then we stay that way. I also think it's just her (because I did the same thing with the other girls).
-She still isn't going long stretches (her longest has been five hours just 2-3 times). Partly my fault because I have her in bed with us and I just feed her when she stirs (I know, you'll tell me I'm starting bad habits. And maybe I am, but I am getting sleep so just keep your opinions to yourself! Ha!), and partly because she's so small that I think she legit has a little bitty stomach.
-She favors Mommy the most and pretty much screams if anyone else has her. Seriously.
-Likes to sit upright on my chest and just snuggle in. She loves the Moby and Baby Bjorn, but most of the time I don't put those on, so I'm holding her a lot. It's just forgetting/laziness on my part!
-She loves her siblings, but especially gives big reactions to her big brother!
-Loves the swing. Can sit/nap in there well!
-Is in size 1 diapers and just getting into size 3 months clothes... only due to her length! I can't believe I'm packing up her newborn clothes!!!!
-LOOOOVES bath time. Her favorite thing ever! She can sit in there for a long time just so content and relaxed.
-She's ok with bottles. Takes her a while to eat them. I need to give her more! I'm just not sure where to find the time to pump between her eating every two hours and having three other kids to tend to!
-Loves her pacifier- and prefers the biggest ones!
-Poops usually only once a day... or every other day. Not often and that hurts her tummy!
-Has a little hemangioma on her head... all our girls have them just like their daddy!

She is a little peanut like her big sister Charley Kate! I think she resembles her the most and you can just tell with her smaller features and skinny mini tummy that she is small!

Height: 23.75 inches (96%)
Weight: 10 lbs, 11 oz (39%)
FOC: 14.75 in (30%)

Her sibling's stats are...

Height: 24.5 in (92%)
Weight: 12 lbs, 5 oz (66%)
FOC: ?

Charley Kate:
Height: 23.75 (96%)
Weight: 10 lbs, 9 oz (32%)
FOC: 15 in (47%)

Height: 23.25 in (95%)
Weight: 12 lbs (72%)
FOC: 15.25 (70%)

Four kids at the well check. 
And we waited 50 minutes.
Things got a little crazy! 

Kelsey is really a sweet little thing. She's easy for momma now because I've gotten her figured out. I think she is going to be our little homebody! Soon enough she will be in the mix with all the bigs!