Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Despite my best efforts, it is once again SUMMER

Last summer was brutal for me, I'll be honest.  With a 1-year-old, two 3-year-olds, and a 5-year-old at home, I was exhausted and overwhelmed.  There weren't many places where I could handle taking all of the kids by myself without fear of losing one or two of them, so I needed back-up most times I left the house.  I was tired from being woken up at night, and spread thin trying to provide basic care for all of them and keep them entertained as well.  Nevertheless, we muddled through and somehow limped into September, when full-day kindergarten and preschool schedules provided relief.

So needless to say, I enter this summer with trepidation.  The expanse of two-and-a-half months awaiting us... with only a few scheduled activities.  However, a lot has changed since then.  Bean matured a lot during the school year, becoming more confident and self-sufficient.  Nix and Gax are potty trained now (for the most part) and I can generally trust them not to wander off (again, for the most part).  Littlest is both easier in some ways -- like his steady sleep schedule -- and more difficult, as he considers himself one of the big boys now, and not a baby to be carried and directed by mom.  I feel like while I may not entirely have stepped out of "survival mode," I at least have one toe in sanity.

Bean has a few activities on his schedule for the next few months.  His "invention camp" was canceled, huge bummer, but we still have soccer camp, baseball camp, and vacation bible school.  After a disastrous and embarrassing soccer season with Nix and Gax, I decided to limit them to vacation bible school this summer, beyond the informal playdates and park visits.  And Littlest... well, as it is with a fourth child, he is just along for the ride.  And he loves every minute of it.  We also have a visit from DH's parents on the agenda for July 4th, as well as a quick trip to Michigan for a wedding the first weekend of August -- WITHOUT THE KIDS!  Amen and hallelujah.

I am ever behind with pictures, but here are some from a local carnival and Father's Day.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Challenge: Week Four

The fourth (and final?) installment of The Maiden Metallurgist's April Challenge to Ditch the Dumpy Sweats!

Wednesday 4/23

Agenda: Annual doctor visit, first t-ball game (rained out at the last minute)

Going comfy and casual to the gyn.  But it still counts as "not sweats!"

Thursday 4/24

Agenda: Indoor playtime at rec center, McTeacher Night for elementary school

I wanted to wear this scarf today, so I paired it with a simple black top and jeans.  The scarf is a piece of a Didymos Indio wrap... one of the first wraps I bought on my babywearing journey.  It has a lot of meaning to me, and a dear friend chopped a scarf off of it so I can keep it forever.

Friday 4/25

Agenda: Work in Bean's classroom, emergency retail therapy with Mom

Love love love this sweater and boots.  It's missing some accessories, though.  Hmmmmm.

Saturday 4/26

Agenda: Tackling to-do list, surprise DATE NIGHT!

My parents surprised us with an offer to babysit so hubby and I could go out to dinner and get a break from the bedtime routine, which has become quite a nightmare at our house as of late.  YES!  Grabbed the new sweater and scarf purchased during retail therapy the previous day.

Sunday 4/27

Agenda: Blerg.

Mama's not feeling so awesome.  Pass.

Monday 4/28

Agenda: Co-op preschool with Littlest

Time to rally!  For preschool, I wore the new tee, scarf, and sweater that I found at a local boutique shop on date night.  The items are really soft, too... maybe not as relaxing as sweats, but pretty darn close.  Mamas don't have to look frumpy just to be comfortable!

Tuesday 4/29

Agenda: Playdate canceled... guess I should pick up this house


My most important lessons from this month are:

1.  Purge the closet, brutally.  I tend to reach for pieces that aren't flattering just because they are THERE.  Out with the old items that no longer serve me well, and in with the new.

2.  Everything is better... LIFE is better... when I feel good in my clothes.

3.  Accessorize!  Putting on jeans and a plain top is boring.

4.  Be more bold with colors and patterns.  I need to add interesting pieces to my closet, not just solid and "safe" colors.

So who wants to go shopping with me?


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April Challenge: Week Three

The third of four installments of the Ditch the Dumpy Sweats April Challenge!  (See The Maiden Metallurgist's weekly post here.)

Wednesday 4/16

Agenda: I honestly can't even remember back that far.

Be warned, the theme of this post is going to be "The Week of Blah."  Blah because I consumed waaaay too much pre-Easter Easter candy.  Blah because it WON'T STOP RAINING.  Blah because parenting is hard as heck sometimes.  And blah because... well, let's just say it's that time of every month that I'm not feeling so peppy.  I chose this first outfit just because I wanted to wear a comfort sweater.

Thursday 4/17

Agenda: Easter party at Nix/Gax preschool, annual check-up for Nix and Gax

I tried again to work in The Impossible to Coordinate pants.  This is a light coral linen sweater and a fluffy scarf... hoping I pulled it off?

Friday 4/18

Agenda: Work in Bean's classroom

My friend found this super cute necklace for me at ModCloth, and I wanted a simple top to show it off.  Sometimes when we are feeling the most Blah, a reminder of a sweet person in our lives can cheer us up.  (Pardon the dorky pose, it was impossible to capture light with all the dark clouds this past week!)

Saturday 4/19

Agenda: Stand outside in the rain for soccer and t-ball, birthday party at bouncy house with Bean

The functional outfit, pants that fit in tall rain boots and a top that layers under my warm, dry, huge jacket.  Done.

Sunday 4/20

Agenda: Easter at my parents' house

Biggest pants in my closet to hide waistline attacked by a herd of chocolate bunnies.  Yep.  At least we got a brief reprieve from the constant downpour.

Monday 4/21

Agenda: Co-op preschool with Littlest

Those same pants.  The bunnies did a lot of damage, little jerks.

Tuesday 4/22

Agenda: Grocery store, post office, Target, soccer banquet for Nix and Gax

This morning I woke up to... yet again... this, out my window.

And I just gave up.  Dumpy sweats it is.  (Sorry Drea!)  Not only is this a comfortable sweatshirt, but it also explains to people in public why I look and act like I am some sort of zombie.  Because I am.  Actually, the checker at the grocery store said to me, "You don't look like you have four kids..."  Which I decided to take as a compliment, instead of reading into as, "... you look like you have at least ten."  So thank you, checker, I appreciate it.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April Challenge: Week Two

Picking up right where I left off with The Maiden Metallurgist's April Challenge: Ditch the Dumpy Sweats.  (See Drea's second week post here.  You won't want to miss it!)


Agenda: Nix and Gax dental appointments, playdate at our house

I call this my "grab everything in the closet that I don't know how to coordinate, and wear them on the same day" outfit.  Those pants, love them... but other than the one top I bought with them, I am clueless.  They are like a clay gray.  It doesn't seem like it should be hard, but I am always taking them out of the closet and then putting them back in when none of the tops feel right with them.  And the scarf, I adore those colors, but again for some reason, it never looks right with my outfits.  So at least I wore these items out of the house, right?


Agenda: PlayDate SEA with a friend, t-ball practice

Not much to say about this outfit.  Both the gray tank and the black cardi got ruined in the wash a couple of days later, so I guess this is the memorial photo of the outfit.  Rest in peace, tank and cardi.  Rest in peace.

I am generally against stealing babies... but I have considered taking this particular one home with me.


Agenda: Tacoma STAR Center playdate

I have put this top in the "donate" pile several times, only to chicken out and rescue it.  Which I suppose means next time I should just leave it there.  I don't know... it fits nicely and the color is pretty.  But something about it isn't yes! for me.  Later in the day, I put an olive green jacket over it, and I liked the sweater a lot better in a lesser amount.


Agenda: Soccer game, errands, *Date Night*

During the first half of the day, my "running around to every store in town" outfit was simple blue capris with a cream top.  Then a short-sleeved black sweater with a knit infinity scarf for dinner with the hubby (thanks Mom and Dad!).

Taken shortly before I ate my weight in fondue and wanted to die.


Agenda: Tackle the epic to-do list

I cheated with mommy yoga pants.  Even God rested on the seventh day.


Agenda: Co-op preschool with Littlest, t-ball practice

Hmmm, second time wearing this sweater during the week.  Yes, I did wash the kid snot off of it in between.  This time I am wearing some super comfy cropped khakis and a necklace.  I am still high on the boring factor, but at least I am dressed!  With make-up!  Monday is a tough morning around here.


Agenda: Take dog to preschool for pet show-and-tell, Target, soccer practice

Pay no attention to the Lego explosion behind me.  (You can see the mess slowly growing behind me if you scroll through these pictures day-by-day.  I am convinced the Legos multiply and scatter while we sleep.)