Thursday, January 28

The End of the Time Known as Rest Time

We've entered a new phase in our lives.  The phase where not only do the big ones not sleep, but apparently no longer need rest either.  The beautiful quiet time that has kept me sane over the past 9 years has come to an end, and I've tried with all my might to keep it going but I can see there's no fighting it any longer.

Rest time is over.

It started with Beth last year.  She didn't need to rest, so she would sometimes do some quiet school work on her own.  She took a lot of initiative and picked up books or work that she knew she'd need to do and she'd try to get ahead.  I'd have been a fool to not allow that!  So I allowed her to have quiet time in the school room while her brothers had to stay in their room.

But they weren't really quiet either.  They like their radio on, and despite my pleas to keep it down, it would slowly get louder and louder.  And if I was in the kitchen or living room, I could hear it through the ceiling.  Or I could hear them jumping off beds, thudding the floor with such force that the chandelier in the dining room would sway.  But, it was rest time- and even though they weren't resting much, I was.  And I didn't want to (or couldn't!) get up from whatever it is I was doing, so I let it go.  Because who is going to get out of bed when napping with a sweet warm baby?

Fast forward to now.  Caeli takes a predictable nap around 12:30 pm, and I try to coordinate her nap with their "rest time."  (It's in quotes now because you can clearly see there isn't much resting going on upstairs, even less now than last year.)  But sometimes she naps earlier, and she winds up accompanying me while the three big kids go upstairs.  So no more sewing during rest time.  No more blogging or writing.  And no more time-consuming tasks that, to me, just aren't worth even getting started with such generous help.  And definitely no more napping.

Now with a three students, one with whom I truly try to stay on-schedule, there's more lessons to be done.  Sometimes we have to school during rest time, which is always disappointing to me but it's a good time to work on something intensive if Caeli is napping.

And finally, we have places to go.  The library, lessons, play times, and errands.  We can't do those things in the morning anymore, and I truly detest running errands after 4 pm.  So that leaves 1-3 pm.  Rest time.

I'm sad to see it go!  Truly sad!  But in some ways, it's exciting because I feel like it's the next step in our lives.  Rest time has served me well over the years, but I accept that it's time to move on to the next phase!

Thursday, January 14

Boys Live Here

Boys Live Here.

Tiny colored pieces hide against the dark wood grain, I find them as I sweep.

I sit on a Trio wrapped in yarn, they shout cheers that I've found the lost bucket of a crane.  Didn't you know we were looking for that?

One eats and eats and eats. The other complains and complains and complains, but I know in my heart that one day I won't be able to keep enough food on his plate either.

Pants turn into capris. Socks get holes.  And shoes get tossed aside because they're pinching toes.

And oh the mud.  Mud, dirt, and sticks.  Mud on boots and on jeans, dirt in every corner of the house.  Sticks that have been carved into pocketknives and pencils.

I treasure precious gifts of parking lot rocks, yellow-flowered backyard weeds, and very wet kisses.  They get this look in their eyes, a look I know will one day be for another woman, and they tell me they love me, and plant those kisses on my cheek.  Or wrist or hip, wherever they can reach at the time.

The chandelier shakes and I hear their favorite singer yahhhh-yahhh-yahhhing the same song for the 11th time.  Because "repeat" and "volume up" are their favorite buttons on their CD player.

They quarrel and argue.  They disagree on how to build the castle, or who can be which colored knight.  They can't find a belt and blame the other one for hiding it.  They tease each other, and I know the younger of them usually quietly instigates before I hear the older one yell at him.  They think I don't know.

They are the reasons I sport a few new gray hairs and keep a hidden stash of dark chocolate.

They keep this house lively and loud.  And I love them to death.

Sunday, January 10

Happy 2nd Birthday, Caeli Rose

Two years have gone by since I gave birth to this amazing little girl.  A child who has brought me delight day in and day out.  She has brought me peace and multiplied my love in ways I didn't understand was possible.

As I ponder her second year, she has grown and changed like any one year old should.  She favors her siblings in her looks and in her mannerisms, but has a personality all of her own.  We all dote on her, even her big brothers are reduced to squealy-high voices when they talk about how cute she is!

Caeli still loves to wake up early and keep me company in the early mornings.  She and I will cuddle and read, or she will play with the saint peg dolls as I read.  Usually she prefers to sit with me.

She is very expressive, "talking" with her hands while explaining to me a very detailed story or singing us a song!  Her speech is growing and she definitely has a clear understanding of how to tell us what she has to say, even though we don't quite understand everything.  She's very possessive of everything, from toys to her stroller, her shoes, and even me!

She loves playing with her babies, rocking them up and down and shushing them to sleep.  She's been known to rock- and-shush anything from a dump truck to a shoe!

Caeli is a creature of habit.  She has rituals and routines and prefers that things go as she pleases.  As she falls asleep, usually in the crook of my elbow, she likes to stick her hand up my sleeve.  This has been a little more difficult in winter months when my sleeves have been tight around my wrists!  She also settles quickly this way when she's distressed, or when she's found her Nuk and she comes to me or a bit of cuddle time.  She always calls for "Nuk!" when she's sad about something, and over the past two weeks she's developed a funny self-soothing habit that involves coming into my bedroom, closing the door behind her, and rolling around on the carpet on my floor while she pouts and fusses.  I come in and check on her and ask if she needs anything, she tells me no, and I ask if she wants me to stay, she says no again, so I leave!  She comes out just fine after 10 minutes or so, sometimes she's raided my closet and comes out boasting a pair of mommy's heels!

She's obsessed with her Nuk. I've considered trying to wean her from it, but I can't wrap my head around taking something that she loves so much!  It's going to be painful when the day does come!

She always makes me smile, and I can't stay grumpy at her for very long!  We all love this girl- happy birthday Caeli Rose!  

Wednesday, January 6

Back to school

We started back to school on January 4, so on the 3rd we headed out for some fun family time at the park by Grandma and Grandpa's new house.  It has an awesome zip-line thingie that the kids loved!  And Caeli is a little too brave at the top of these playsets designed for big kids!

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