Posted by: Tricia | October 15, 2013

ONE!

Wow!  It’s hard to believe that just a little over a year ago we met this sweet boy for the first time.  A lot has happened in Benjamin’s first year and he has brought us so much joy.  I know that I am going to forget so much of what life is like with these little ones so I am going to take a minute to write down a few things about Benjamin at ONE!

He started out as a brunette, but is now sporting a head full of blonde hair with curls at the neck!  His looks favor his big brother, Elliott, a lot.

He is definitely the baby of the family, getting LOTS of attention from everyone.  He gets countless kisses from his brothers every day and loves to cuddle with us, too.  He is a silly character who often tries to get the attention of someone else by roaring at them or saying “Hi!”.  He is a great mimicker; often times repeating an action after seeing it just once.  These days he is walking fast…almost running…to catch up with his brothers and do the things that they are doing.  He has quite a long attention span and will sit and play with one thing for a long time.  He has bright eyes and an infectious toothy grin that will brighten even your grayest of days.  We are a house full of boys and Benjamin fits right in! He loves to roll around on the floor and “wrestle” with his brothers.  And, he loves to play outside, especially on any of the riding toys that we have.

Some of Benjamin’s favorite things are his pacifier and blankie, Elliott, any toy with a button to push, scrambled eggs, bananas, milk, meats, macaroni and cheese, and yogurt.  He will not eat peaches or raspberries!  He is not a big  fan of baths, riding in the car, or the church nursery!  His unwillingness to cooperate and attend nursery has left David and I with no other choice but to take turns each week sitting out of the service with him.  We are hoping that this phase will be over soon, but others tell us it could go on for years!

We started out Benjamin’s birthday by singing “Happy Birthday” to him first thing in the morning.  He loved it!

Then, I took the boys to have donuts.  Of course, the big boys were most excited about this!

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We got done with breakfast in time to have a few minutes to play on the church playground before dropping Elliot off at Art Camp.  These boys sure do love each other!

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At lunch the big boys couldn’t wait any longer to give Benjamin his present.  Of course, they all wanted a turn to play with it!

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Later that evening we had a small family get together.  I made him a rainbow cake that I had been wanting to try out and it was a big hit with everyone.  Surprisingly, Benjamin barely touched it!

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The very tall “1” rainbow cake!

I’ve had this cake on my pinterest board for a long time and thought that Benjamin’s birthday would be the perfect time to whip one up.  Everyone could not believe that I made this. It wasn’t hard at all…just three boxes of cake mix, some food coloring, a few cans of icing, and a few hours to bake it.

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A few pics of the birthday boy before his celebration.

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After cake, Benjamin was beat and ready for bed.  Even though we had guests I gave into a very strong impulse to rock my baby to sleep.  I never do this anymore, and it was such a sweet time…a memory that will last a life time I’m sure.  While I rocked him I could not help but shed a few tears for how quickly these little years go by.  They sure are hard, but I know that they are fleeting and that they will be missed greatly.





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Posted by: Tricia | October 15, 2013

The Lemonade Stand

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A while back the boys and I began talking about having a lemonade stand, and a little later we decided to do it with the intention of raising money for our World Vision sponsored child, Marvin.  The boys were so excited to have a real lemonade stand in their yard and to raise extra money for Marvin and his family.  I found the cutest banner templates on pinterest that I printed and laminated  (have I mentioned that I love my laminator?!?).  It was so easy and our lil’ lemonade stand was so cute, if I do say so myself!  Since our street doesn’t get a ton of traffic I thought it would be wise to send out an invitation via email and Facebook to a few people, telling them to stop by if they were going to be in the neighborhood.  The boys had no idea that I did this (wink, wink).  We figured at 50 cents a cup they wouldn’t raise too much money so we told them ahead of time that we would match whatever they made.

The boys were so excited to get to help make the lemonade.  I forgot to take pictures of them helping, but they did a great job taking turns and tasting it, too!

Once we had everything set up and ready to go, all we had to do then was wait for customers!  For the first few minutes or so they started to get a little worried that no one would come, but I assured them that if we just kept waiting someone would show up!  At this point I was very glad that I had sent that email out!

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Our first customer was actually my close friend Stacey’s mother and sister, but I forgot to take their picture!  Daddy stopped by not long after.

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After that, more and more customers started to arrive!  The boys would wave whenever a car got near and they would jump up and down with excitement when the car would pull over and stop.

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I was astounded by how much people were donating to Marvin and his family!  Our promise to match their earnings was starting to look more and more like it would actually make a dent in the pocketbook….and I could not have been happier about it!

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Sweet Elliot enjoying a nice cold glass of lemonade!

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Our friends Jaclynn, Gabriel, and baby Daniel stopped by for a bit.

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Kristen and Chase drove across town for a glass of lemonade.  Apparently Chase knew about it the night before.  The moment he woke up he grabbed his quarters tight in his hand and began asking when he would get to go to the lemonade stand.  He also told his mom that it was the best (albeit the only) lemonade stand he’d ever been to!

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At one point we had quite a crowd!

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We even had a few dogs visit the lemonade stand.

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Among the last to arrive were Pop and Grand Hat and Papaw.  Papaw actually came and gave a generous donation to take the remainder of our product home with him!

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After three hours at work we packed everything up and headed inside for lunch.  Elliott could not wait to count the money!  It was a great exercise in money counting for sure.  Again, I was blown away when we figured that the boys raised over $100!!  That meant that we were going to be able to send over $200 to Marvin and his family to spend on whatever they wanted.


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When I called World Vision to make the donation I was able to tell him about the boys’ lemonade stand.  The rep was so excited about it and reminded me that we could send Marvin a picture via email of the boys selling the lemonade.  The process for actually getting the money to Marvin’s family is long and it will be a few months before we hear back from them, but apparently they will most likely be sending us a picture along with a letter explaining how they were able to use the money.  We are very much looking forward to hearing back from them!

This was such a sweet time for our family.  God has blessed us beyond measure and it was wonderful to be able to do something like this for others who have so little.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Tricia | September 18, 2013

One step closer to being swimmers

This year was our first year to attempt swimming lessons with both boys.  Elliott took lessons two years ago at the YMCA, but he really didn’t benefit from them at all.  Unfortunately, I missed the super early registration for the best swim school in town in February (!!) so we were forced to look at different options.  We decided to go with TCU.  Elliott has always been cautious in the water, refusing to even get his face wet, so I knew his teacher would be in for a challenge with him.  Jude, although younger, has shown more interest in the water.  He is more willing to take risks.

The first day went ok.  Elliott did everything his teacher asked him to with the exception of putting his whole head under water.  Jude was a bit standoffish and wouldn’t venture over to the pool until late in the lesson.  Even then, he wasn’t focused.  I think he thought we were just going to play in the pool.  After the first lesson with the two of them together we decided that it would be best to split them up and have them each take their own private 30 minute lesson.

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Miss Danielle was a sweet girl and she was very patient with the boys.  However, I am now convinced that Elliott will need an instructor who is much more persuasive or forceful.  It’s no secret that he is stubborn, and this is one area where he may just need a little tough love.  Otherwise, I am afraid that he will never learn to swim.

She worked a lot with the boys on their kicks.  Keeping the legs straight and kicking under the water fast.  I think that if Elliott were to fall in the pool, his kicks alone would be enough to get him to the side, but we won’t know until that happens!  They did a lot of kicking back and forth across the length of the pool on the board and they learned how to put their face in the water and blow bubbles.  Having goggles helped the boys be a bit more brave about doing this.  Elliott eventually even put his whole head under water…something he worked on by himself while Jude was taking lessons.

Miss Danielle also had the boys doing super hero blast offs off  the steps toward her.  However, Elliott would not dare allow her to get too far away!

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Benjamin and I sat out the first day, not realizing that it would be ok for us to get in the pool, too.  From the next day on we had fun playing in the water, too!

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Our experience at TCU wasn’t a bad one.  It just wasn’t very effective.  So, naturally it was a bit disappointing.   We had a good time, but boy was I worn out from the rigorous schedule we maintained getting to and from lessons on time for two weeks straight!  This summer they got more exposure to the water.  Next summer I hope that I will be able to blog that these two are A+ swimmers!!

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Posted by: Tricia | September 16, 2013

Camping with the Big Boys

To kick off the start of summer we decided to take a camping trip with the big boys. Although they had a good time together and made some sweet memories, David and Elliott didn’t have the best experience camping close to home last year so we thought we would travel out a bit farther and see what it was like to camp as an almost complete family!  We had a great time, took some notes, and are hoping to be able to go again soon…and perhaps next time we will bring Benjamin along!

We asked around about good places to camp and decided to try Lake Tawakoni.  Over all, we were impressed.  There was enough space and trees between camp sites that it felt private and there were lots of families there, too.  We liked this because it was nice and quiet at night.

We didn’t arrive until close to sunset so the first thing we did, even before fully unloading the car, was gather firewood to make a fire.  This proved to be a more difficult task than it should have been because the sticks and brush were still a bit damp due to recent rain.  I finally decided to go ask to borrow some lighter fluid from some nearby campers.  This turned out to be just what we needed to get our fire started.  Tip #1 for next camping trip: bring firewood and lighter fluid!!

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Once David had the fire going we quickly roasted our hot dogs and managed to get the boys’ marshmallows roasted for their s’mores before the flames fizzled out.  David was in no mood to try again, so we went the rest of the night without a fire.  Tip #2: bring s’more roasting sticks (purchased later in the summer) to make roasting easier for kids!

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After dinner we finished setting up camp.  Tip #3: bring twinkle lights!  I was envious of all of our neighbors who had  festive lanterns or twinkle lights strung across their site, which added a lot of warmth and charm.  They must all be frequent fliers!

The boys definitely had trouble settling down in the tent.  We went through our normal bedtime routine of getting ready, reading books, praying, and singing, but they were so hyper!  At first we had them laying next to each other on their sleeping bags with our air mattress on the other side.  But, after asking them to settle down over and over again we decided to split them up and put our bed in the middle of the tent.  This seemed to do the trick and by 10 o’clock they were asleep.

I was definitely a bit bummed about having to drink my glass of wine by “lantern light” instead of “fire light”, but it was still nice to sit and be with my honey.  Next time we will improve!

We all slept well, with the exception of being awakened to the sound of a “wild” animal rummaging about right outside our tent.  It turned out to be a big dog whose owner was whistling for him to return.  And, of course, just as he does at home, Jude woke up with the sun so we were up and at ’em early!

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We splurged and got powdered and chocolate covered mini donuts for breakfast!  Also on the menu were scrambled eggs, real bacon, and hot cocoa!  Mmmm, mmm!  It was fun using the camping stove and our camping cookware that had been given to us years ago.

Side note: packing for a camping trip is not easy!  It’s one thing to say, “Let’s go camping!”, but it’s not as easy as it seems at first.  You have to remember to bring everything!  I was relieved to discover that we really didn’t forget anything that we needed.  Thanks to the internet and Pinterest, I came across some really great camping packing lists.

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After breakfast Elliott read us the story of Daniel in the lion’s den out of the real Bible!  He is reading so well now.  It’s amazing what a year of school has done for him!

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And, Jude helped me do the dishes.  This kept him entertained for a long time!

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The boys had fun exploring the area around our site.  They spent a lot of time digging in the gravel and making “cakes” in their buckets.

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I would say that the most fun they had was inside the tent!  They could not get enough of wrestling and jumping on the air bed!

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After cleaning up it was time to go exploring!  We found a nature trail near our site and had the best time walking, talking, and discovering things.

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Lake Tawakoni is known for having a lot of spiderwebs.  It’s famous for having the largest spiderweb ever documented.  Kind of creepy, but cool, too.

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After our hike on the nature trail we explored the lake. It was too cold and windy to swim!  But, we found some cool shells and saw some neat fish bones in the mud.  We also enjoyed some sno cones from the bait shop.

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We stopped by the park Ranger’s station and learned that Lake Tawakoni also has a fully stocked catfish pond that we could have used without needing to purchase a fishing license.  We were tired and hungry from the morning’s activities, otherwise we would have loved to have tried it out!  There were also other trails along the lake side that we could have explored.

We enjoyed one more meal at our site before packing up to head home.  The boys napped great in the car on the way home and baby Benjamin was happy to see us!

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We can’t wait for our next camping adventure!

Posted by: Tricia | September 15, 2013

He’s a Kindergarten Graduate!

Elliott’s kindergarten year went by so fast!  God truly blessed us in that all of my fears and anxieties about having to do some home schooling were quickly dissipated once the year got going.  Elliott did exceptionally well with everything.  Of course there were some trying days at home when he wasn’t feeling motivated to do his work.  And, he also had some trouble remembering to raise his hand and be quiet in class when the teacher was talking.  But, over all, we could not be prouder of Elliott!

His graduation ceremony was so sweet.  His class was unique this year because it consisted of 8 girls and 8 boys.  So, at the ceremony they sat boy-girl-boy-girl.  Mrs. Hobbs did an amazing job organizing the ceremony.  Ms. Dumas put together a sweet little slide show of pictures that she took throughout the year.  We got our own copy as well.  They performed some of the songs that they learned throughout the school year to help them remember important facts, and they received awards.

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Elliott received an award for perfect attendance along with three of his classmates.  I thought it was interesting that they were all boys!

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He was also the proud recipient of the “Best in Math” award and he shared the award for “Best in Phonics” with one other student.  Wow!  Way to go, Elliott!  So far, school is a breeze for you.

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The neatest part of the ceremony came at the end when Mrs. Hobbs presented the character awards.  She took the time to write a paragraph about each student, hilighting a quality that stood out about them.  Some students received awards for kindness, patience, diligence, etc.  Elliott received an award for knowledge.  Mrs. Hobbs said that whenever she would begin a new unit and ask a few introductory questions Elliott would always already know the answers, plus he would have a few things to add to it as well!  Sounds about right!  She also commended him for his thirst for knowledge.  Of course we were not surprised in the least.  I just could not get over how special it was that she knew the strengths of each student so well and loved how different they were from each other.

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After the ceremony it was time for hugs, pictures, and yearbook signing!

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Ms. Dumas – teacher’s assistant

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Mrs. Hobbs

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Elliott also received a folder with his pre writing and math assessment test scores.  I was amazed to see just how much his writing had improved from the start of the year!

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And, see how much he has grown up?

First and last days of kindergarten

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What a special day!  Elliott, you are growing up so fast and we are so proud of how well you are doing in school!

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Posted by: Tricia | April 25, 2013

King of the Throne

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It seems that with the first child every “first”, every milestone, every time he did something cute, every time he took a breath we were documenting it and posting it on this little blog of ours!  Unfortunately, with more than one child life is too busy and too sweet to stop to write everything down.  Is it possible that there is a blogging mother in the world somewhere who has managed to give all of her children equal blog space shout outs??  Probably.  But, I’m not her!

 There are so many things that I wish I would have had the time to blog about and probably won’t ever have the time.  However, there is one thing that keeps coming to mind that I must not forget to document.  And, that is that

Jude potty-trained himself!!!

You heard me right.  Our beloved second son took it upon himself to learn how to use the potty.  When Benjamin was a mere 1 month old, and Jude was just past 2 years old he started asking to use the potty.  I went along with it the first few times but when I realized that he was serious I actually tried to get him to stop!  I had a newborn and did not want to spend time trying to potty train a 2 year old boy at the same time!  Late night bed wettings and abrupt “I have to go potty” scenes at the grocery store were not something that I was looking forward to adding to my plate.  We waited until Elliott was nearly three to start potty-training.  It went so smoothly so I had planned on doing the same with Jude.  He, however, was persistent and so I gave in and got on board with his program.  Because we started at his prompting I wasn’t even prepared with a sticker chart or candy!  He did it all for quite some time without any rewards.  About 2 weeks into it he got tired of being asked to go potty and started to resist.  “Oh, no you don’t”, I told him.  “You started this and you’re going to finish it!”.  And, finish it he did.  He definitely had more accidents than Elliott did at 3 years, but we were so impressed with how well he did overall.

He continued to wear pull-ups for naps and diapers during the night until very recently.  He hasn’t even celebrated his third birthday and this boy is completely potty-trained!

 Jude is the King of the Throne!!

This mama could not be more proud!  Jude, you are a delight.  You are stubborn, and persistent, and you don’t give up.  You are going to do amazing things in your life if you keep this up, kiddo!  We love you so very much!

Posted by: Tricia | March 3, 2013

Froggy Find

This video is super old, from May of last year, but it is too awesome to not mention.  This was one of the last days I had Jude to myself before Elliott finished preschool and Benjamin was born.  We borrowed a generous friend’s key to her neighborhood pool and spent the morning swimming.  It was really windy, but we had the place to ourselves.  Jude, always the little explorer, spent a lot of the time opening and closing the filter lids around the pool.  I was in the water when I noticed him getting really excited about something in one of the filters.  At first I started to brush it off as nothing, but then the horrific thought occurred to me that something harmful might be in there.  I jumped out of the pool as fast as my 7 month pregnant body would allow me to.  I could not believe my eyes when I got a look at what Jude had discovered!  The biggest toad that this city girl has ever seen!  There is really no telling how long he could have been struggling in there.  We watched him for a while and then decided to set him free.  The video doesn’t show it, but he did eventually hop away like nothing had ever happened.  I like to believe that we saved the little guy’s life!  Jude loved every minute of it.  It was a sweet ending to a sweet year at home with my sweet little boy.

Posted by: Tricia | March 1, 2013

Starring…JUDE!!

Next up, our darling second-born, Jude.

This video was taken 9 months ago!!  It is most definitely one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. It reminds me of the time Elliott had the same dilemma.

This is just a video of a few random moments with Jude.  The first portion was taken shortly after Benjamin was born…in fact I think it was my first day on my own with all three!  And, the second portion was not long after Elliott started school.  I love these sweet glimpses into our daily life.  They seem somewhat insignificant at the time, but are so much fun to look back at.

I put this video together to show the progression of Jude learning to ride his tricycle.  He’s been sitting on it since before he could reach the pedals.  We intended to put some blocks on the pedals to help him reach but never got around to it! Ah well, time passed and he grew.  Finally he was able to reach, but he couldn’t quite get the hang of it.  Frustrated, but determined, he kept trying and eventually propelled himself forward.  The first part of this video was taken around that time.  Fast forward a few months, and he was finally ready to venture out of the driveway and take it for a spin around the pond!  Way to go, Jude!!

Jude loves to sing!  If you were to visit our house you will no doubt hear him chant a tune at the top of his lungs while you’re here.  We sing to the boys before every nap and bedtime and, like any child, they like to hear the same songs over and over again.  How else would they memorize the words!?  During the Christmas season Jingle Bells quickly became a favorite.  By January we were all beyond ready for a new song!  I still sneak it in with him at nap time though when he asks for it.  This little montage does not cover all of the songs that he loves to sing, but it’s a good sampling.  Without any further ado….here’s Jude!

Posted by: Tricia | March 1, 2013

Starring…ELLIOTT!!

The iphone has made taking videos so much easier.  The only problem is that I forget about them!  David and I recently transferred all of our photos and videos to the computer.  There are so many!  Rather than post about each one in a separate blog post I thought it would be easiest to give each of the boys their own movie page to hi-light what they’ve been up to lately.

We’ll go in birth order and start with Elliott!

This first video was taken the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  We were on my way to my mom’s house for dinner and apparently this non-napping 5-year-old needed a nap that day!  There is almost nothing sweeter than watching my children sleep and it’s really fun watching them trying to do it in the car!

My mother-in-law had the fantastic idea to visit the Chinese Lantern Festival in Dallas back in December.  And, to make it even better I found a Groupon for the event just days after she mentioned going!  It was absolutely amazing.  I would highly recommend it to anyone.  I will share more pictures from that night later, but for now I’ll leave you with this video of Elliott getting his groove on to the Chinese music playing in the background.  I love this age.  Totally uninhibited, living life to the fullest, dancing in the middle of a crowd without a care in the world.  Apparently a ninja dance was the best interpretation for the music.  Well done, son.  You nailed it.

The monkey bars.  He’s been trying for years.  But, at 5 years old, he tackles them and finally wins!!!

This last video was taken by Elliott on his camera that he received for his birthday.  It was recorded in September but I actually hadn’t noticed it sitting in our photo library until a few weeks ago.  It’s not very exciting, but it’s fun to get a glimpse of what he was doing at that time.  Funny kid.  I love him.

Posted by: Tricia | February 28, 2013

life with three

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People are constantly asking me how life is with three.  When we’re out and about we get lots of attention.  Elderly women smile and coo at the boys.  Many people comment on what great helpers I have.  Some like to tell me about their kids, grown or not.  And lots and lots of people like to tell what I already know…that I’ve got my hands full!  I usually respond in a way that I remember reading in one of Rachel Jankovic’s books…”Yes, full of good things!”

It’s easy to think that I will never be able to forget these times.  After all, these little people consume every minute of every day of my life!  How could I forget all of the details when at times I feel like all I think about is them!  None of the following will come as a shock to anyone.  Of course the logistics of having three kids is more complicated than having two; just as having six children would be more complicated than having one!  It’s just that people seem to be quite curious about the transition.  I thought it worth something to write some of these thoughts down, both for the sake of remembering these early years when the boys are all so small, and to share with other mamas out there a bit about what life is like with three.

Getting out of the house is hard.  The logistics of getting everyone ready, out the door, and into the car is grueling work! If we are already planning on being somewhere; for example school, it isn’t too bad.  I try to prepare the night before by having clothes laid out and ironed and a lunch box packed.  Compared to when Benjamin was itty bitty, now I am much more familiar with how long it takes us to do each part of our routine.  I just back track from the time we need to leave, then I know what time we need to finish breakfast, nurse Benjamin, start getting dressed, be in the car, etc.  It’s the spur of the moment, on a whim, “let’s all hop in the car and go to the park” outings that can be a bit more frustrating.  Is everyone dressed?  Been to the potty?  Had a diaper change?  Wearing shoes?  “I need a snack!  And, something to drink”  Is my diaper back packed with extras?  Do I have my keys?  The checklist goes on and on.  A spur of the moment venture out of the house can become quite the ordeal, and look more like we are preparing for a week long vacation rather than a 30 minute play date at the park!  Life is definitely not as simple with three as it was with one!  All of this being said, it is no wonder why we spend a lot more time at home these days.

Trips to the store are definitely more interesting.  Jude loves to be out and about and is quite content to run “boring” grown-up errands with both David and me so I usually plan my weekly trip to the grocery store for when Elliott is in school.  Baby carriers have been a Godsend with Benjamin!  In the early days he loved being snuggled down in the Moby wrap and nowadays we prefer the Ergo.  He is my little snuggle bunny and I am happy to have him close whenever the need arises.  On the rare occasion that all three boys need to be with me in a store Elliott is really good about wanting to help out.  He tends to wander and run off more, leading Jude to tag along, so I have to do a lot of reminding them to stay close.

I think that one of the most difficult things for me about having three children has been learning to juggle the very different needs of each child.  They are all in different stages and require different types of attention.  Despite the fact that I never stop moving and caring for them during the day, at times I feel like no one is getting enough attention!  It is easy for me to feel sad about having to divide my attention among the three boys because I so badly want each to know how important they are to me at all moments.  In the rare moments where I have some alone time with one child I try to make myself stop whatever it is that I “need” to be doing to sit down and give some extra attention to him.  I think that most of the time my feelings about this are irrational, and that the boys are doing just fine.  With time I’m sure we will adjust and it will feel normal to be stretched in so many different directions.

Laundry.  Loads and loads of laundry!  I could keep up when there were just four of us, but now laundry seems to be like a gift that never stops giving!  I’ve recently started trying to do one load a day to help cut down on the mounds of dirty clothes piling up around us.  It works well….as long as I keep up with the folding and putting away, too!

While we are on the topic of chores I will go ahead and mention tidiness around the house.  It’s never clean.  At least not in my opinion.  One day the kitchen will sparkle while the rest of the house sits littered with toys and a thin layer of dust.  Another day the bathrooms won’t smell like a mens’ restroom but the kitchen sink is filled to the brim with dirty dishes and your feet stick to the tiles when you walk through because someone spilled their juice again.  After Benjamin was born my mom gifted us with a house keeper for 3 months.  It was wonderful!  The best gift ever for a new mom!  She did the hard work and I managed to stay on top of the dishes, laundry, and clutter.  I’ve recently started trying to loosely follow a daily chore chart that helps me focus on one room each day of the week so the toilets are at least getting scrubbed and the floors are getting vacuumed more often than they were before.  Sometimes when there is so much to do it’s easier to just do the things that you’re used to.  It helps to have a way to check things off when the list is so long.  What helps most of all when I get overwhelmed by the state of the house is to remember something my mother-in-law said to me when Elliott was just a baby.  “Tricia, you will have years to clean you house.”  These are such simple words, but so wise.  There will be years and years for me to enjoy my house being tidy.  These are the years when it is messy.  Embrace it for what it is.  Clean when you can and don’t let the messiness around you get in the way of enjoying life.  After all, the kids don’t mind a bit do they?

Life has definitely gotten sweeter having three.  My heart is so full.  Being an only child, I was a bit nervous about sibling interactions.  When Jude got old enough to tear into Elliott’s things and annoy him I was a bit taken aback at the way they would treat one another at times.  My lack of experience with a brother or sister of my own left me wondering if they were going to hate each other forever.  Thankfully, my worries were short lived and I was able to relax in knowing that brothers will be brothers and brothers will fight. But, oh my goodness, how they love on another so!  I am not exaggerating when I say that multiple times a day I hear them telling each other that they love one another.  Melts. My. Heart.  It has been so much fun to see the way that the boys have included Benjamin in their brotherhood and I cannot wait to see how their love grows in the coming years.  Having three who are all boys is something special for sure.  They have no idea how blessed they are, but I pray that one day they will.

Curious moms of two are always asking me if the transition from one to two or from two to three kids was harder.  In the wake of bringing home the third, it is difficult to remember all of the details of bringing home the second.  There are some differences that immediately come to mind though.  I think a lot of it depends on the baby and where you are in life, too.  With Jude I was no longer working outside of the home and we were more strapped for cash.  He had reflux.  He and Elliott were nearly three years apart.  All of these things played a part in shaping the transition.  However, after thinking about it quite a bit I think I can finally answer the question for how things went in our family.  Going from one to two was definitely more difficult.  Sure, there are things that are harder with three than with two.  And, although we are outnumbered now, and the kids are all different ages with different needs and demands, and we are getting less and less sleep, I am still sticking with my answer 😉  I will elaborate.  The transition from zero to one child is a bit of a shock.  The lack of sleep is enough to rock your world.  On top of that, you’re now in charge of having to keep another human being alive!  Schedules, activities, meals, etc. all revolve around the new cute little person in your life.  It’s fun, but way different than it was before.  But……you’ve still got nap time!!  When the little one goes down for a nap it is all about you again!  Haven’t had a shower yet today?  Knock it out during nap time!  House is a wreck?  Tidy up during nap time!  Need some sun?  Sit out in the yard and read a book while sipping on your favorite beverage during nap time!   Mommy needs a nap, too?  No problem!  The house will be quiet during nap time!!  Nap time = Me Time!  Do you see where I’m headed with this?

Cue the second child.  Jude came along and rocked our world!  Or, at least mine!  Simply put.  There wasn’t guaranteed me time anymore.  Jude was king of the 45 minute nap.  When he was a baby I would lay him down for a nap, quickly read Elliott some books, and get him down for his nap.  Then, just as soon as I was settling down to read a book or catch up on a missed show….Jude would wake up!  So, I’d feed him, play with him, and put him down for another nap.  Then, you guessed, it! Elliott would wake up!  They had it made…each getting lots of alone time with Mommy!  But, I was exhausted and not used to the demands of being a full-time mother of two, without so much as a few moments to myself during the day.  It was frustrating to say the least.  I felt like I never got a break.  I think I hit rock bottom the day I ran circles in our backyard because I just wanted to get away from the crying baby inside but knew that I couldn’t run around the neighborhood with two kids back at home!  Talk about feeling like a rat in a cage!  Truth be told, as Jude got older he actually became a stellar napper, and he still is.  The early days were rough with him.  Knowing that babies eventually grow out of things and move on to new phases is part of what makes dealing with subsequent childrens’ quirks bearable isn’t it?

Wait a minute!  What’s that you say?  Don’t you have even less me time now that you have three?  And, the answer is “yes!”…but the difference this time around is that I’m so used to it that it doesn’t even bother me.  If I do get a few moments to myself (like now…I’m actually blogging!) then it feels like a rare treat.  A breath of fresh air.  I don’t count on it, but when it is given to me I savor it!  So there you have it.  It’s all about giving up the idea of me time if you ask me.  And, more than that, it’s all about your attitude!  If I had taken a chill pill and relaxed when Jude was a baby I know that the transition would have been much easier.  Thankfully, the Lord was gracious to me this go-round and has answered my prayers to help me to enjoy this time as we adjust to adding one more to the mix.  This season of life doesn’t allot much me time.  There will be years ahead of me to spend doing things that I want to do.  But, I’m fairly certain that when all is said and done I will be wishing that I had less time for just me and more time to be with them.  The trick is to keep this reality of the future a reality of the present.  The honest truth is this. I am going to miss this.

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