June 9, 2017

a new (library) tradition.


I don't think people set out to start traditions? Or maybe they do? I mean, I guess that makes sense if they do... but for us, our newest little tradition just kind of happened. It's nothing big: We go to our little city library, stay for story-time, look through books, drop checked-out books in the car and then play on some old metal playground equipment.

It's only happened twice. But, we've only been to the library twice. So I think it's safe to say a new tradition has begun. Y'all, the metal slide that is opposite the metal jungle gym probably should be retired. It's super-fast, and the kids love it. It does, however, dip on one side. With some fearless kids who think they should do flip tricks in the middle of this slide, well, it makes this mama's heart beat a little faster than it should. Thankfully none of my kiddos have gotten hurt (yet!), so it's all good for everyone.

And watching Graham try to climb the jungle gym... Y'all, it's hilarious. He can get up on the bottom rung, but he's not quite long enough to reach the next level. He's perfectly happy to run around in the bottom area while his brothers climb to the tippy-top though. Tatum? She just sits in the stroller watching her crazy brothers. I can't even imagine what it's going to be like when she starts walking and climbing. Pure chaos, I'm sure.

June 6, 2017

tatum: ten months.


I cannot believe we're only two months away from this sweet thing's first birthday. But, we are. And I guess I have to be okay with that. Mostly.

This last month has been full of all sorts of awesome. Tatum started crawling toward the end of April. (Since I never shared a nine month update, it feels ok to share that here.) For about a week, things were pretty slow... and then all of a sudden, girlfriend was into everything. Still is. She is now pulling up on anything and everything. Thankfully she finally figured out how to sit herself back down and no longer stands in one spot crying until someone helps her out. Yes, that was fun. In the most sarcastic way possible. She's even started cruising along most furniture. I have a feeling we might have a pre-one walker on our hands, but I won't be disappointed if she waits a little while.

Tatum finally got her first tooth this month! And then her second! And now her third, fourth, fifth and sixth are all coming through. There have been a lot of tears over these teeth – mostly hers, not mine! Once they break through it's all good though.

Our sweet girl loves to eat. All the food. We purposefully tried to avoid baby food as much as we could and just went straight to table food. It's so very messy, but also super-awesome. I mean, she loves broccoli. Loves it. And, well, we actually haven't found a food she doesn't like yet. Her thighs are definitely testimony to her love of eating. And milk.

Speaking of, our nursing is still going strong. I'm extremely grateful for that. Jeremy and I just went on a three day trip. It's the first time I've ever left a kiddo while nursing, so I was a little anxious about it all. We got back home and it was like I'd never been gone. Whew! I plan to nurse her as long as she's willing. Graham and I went for 21 months; I'd love to go that long with Tatum (or longer!), but we'll take each day as it comes.

Playing with her brothers is one of her favorite things. She also loves eating, nursing, clapping, yelling, crawling, pulling up on things, crinkling her nose and her mama. She doesn't love laying down – for naps or bedtime (but sleeps beautifully!), being buckled into her carseat, being left in a room alone or cutting teeth.

Ten months is amazing. She is still completely amazing to me. And I'm so, so thankful.

June 1, 2017

some favorite free summer fonts.

As promised, here's a small grouping of some of my very favorite summer fonts. Use them for what you'd like... but they would definitely come in handy if you grabbed that free summer-o-fun poster that I shared on Tuesday!

Each of these fonts are awesome as standalones. Pair them up with others for even more fun. And if you like those cute little summer icons? I grabbed them from here. They were too adorable not to use or share with y'all!

May 31, 2017

cayden reads.


We made our first summer trip to the library yesterday. On Tuesday and Thursdays, they do a storytime at 11am for the kids. It seemed like a brilliant idea to combine a book trip with a storytime trip. And it was. I was a little anxious that Cayden might be on the old side to enjoy the stories, but I was wrong. There were actually kids older than him there, so all was well. They got to listen to a story, jump and dance around like crazy people to some music and go on a little picnic adventure. All three seemed to enjoy it, and Tatum sat in her stroller so very quietly watching all the big kids. High-five to storytime!

After the story was over, we went hunting for books. It took Cayden about five seconds to find the Diary of a Wimpy Kid section and he quickly picked out two of them. Since they're chapter books, I tried to encourage him to just get one and pick up something a little easier. I wasn't sure how quickly he'd be able to get through them, and I wanted to make sure he had time to read them before returning. But... more on that in a few.

Sawyer found one of his favorites – I Spy – and grabbed it off the shelf. This was the first year we actually got to pick up real reading books for Sawyer (so exciting!) and he picked two out without much effort.

Graham dug through a box of board books and grabbed a Lion King book and one about a Grumpy Santa. Y'all. I double-checked to make sure he wanted a Christmas book. He looked at me like I was an idiot. (So much laughter.)

We made our way to the counter, filled out a little paperwork, and voila! The big boys now have their very own library cards. They couldn't wait to tell their daddy all about it when he got home from work. Such proud little guys.

But... back to Cayden. Less than 24 hours after we got home from the library, the first chapter book has been devoured. A total of 219 pages down. I'm so keeping up with his page count this summer; I think he'll be surprised at the end of the summer about how much he's read. At this rate? We'll go through the entire library before the end of summer!

May 30, 2017

summer-o-fun, 2017.

Last summer I was pregnant. So pregnant. And it was hot. So hot. I did a lot of sitting on the couch in the air conditioning. Which means the boys did a lot of sitting on the couch in the air conditioning. I really did feel terrible about it. But I didn't have the energy to feel that terrible, ya dig?

I did, however, promise to give them the best summer ever this year. And we're going to do our best to make that happen! Lots of fun things planned. We're also members of a pool this year, so that alone should help a ton. Although four kids, eight and under, by myself in a giant vat of water IS a little intimidating. Swim lessons are also on our list of things to do, ha!

Anyway, whenever the kids are at home – whether it's the summer, Christmas break, spring break, etc. – there are always so many questions. Most of them revolve around food (boys, y'all) and if we're going somewhere. After I saw Allison post a photo of her summer rules on Instagram it got my brain going. I wasn't really looking forward to fielding a million questions about having a snack (or lunch) by 8:30 every morning. So I whipped up this little Summer-O-Fun poster for our kids to refer to.

There's a section for everything I thought they might need answers to. Since half of our kids can read now (!!!), they can look up the answer for themselves. Graham can't read yet, but his brothers love telling him what to do, so it's really a win-win situation for everyone.

First, I included a morning section. I wanted them to know what I expected of them every morning. On the flip-side? It's also keeping me accountable. If I expect them to wake up, make up their beds and get dressed in the morning, it only makes sense that I need to do these things too. (As of this morning, they have completed everything on their morning list. Me? I'm mostly there... still need to brush those teeth!)

A food section was a no-brainer for our house. I am not even exaggerating when I say that Graham starts asking for lunch as soon as breakfast is over. We now have set snack times, with set snack items. The boys love watching the clock for when it's time to eat. I guess it's like a game for them? Whatever makes it fun. For them. And me.

Media. Whew, media is a tricky thing with kids. Ours can watch hours of TV before I'm even really aware of it happening. We have a set of questions that have to be asked, and if they can answer yes to them, then they can have media time. We've also set up a no media day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'm really trying to push some creative play their way; we'll see how we hold up.

Rest time/quiet time is a must around here. Graham and Tatum most definitely need naps still. And if I'm being honest, Sawyer probably still needs an afternoon nap most days (the ill is strong in that one if he's tired). The older boys have to have an hour of quiet time, and at least half of that time must be spent reading. The good thing? They should still be smart come fall, right?

Summer isn't all about rules though. On Wednesdays, I've designated that adventure day – a day to do something special each week that we won't do any other day of the week. They're already looking forward to a summer flick at the local theatre tomorrow. (I'm just crossing my fingers that I can get Tatum to maybe nap through part of it? It could get interesting.)

The b-o-r-e-d section? Just a few ideas of how they could spend their time. Hopefully it'll help!


And because I love y'all, I'm including a link to download your very own blank Summer-O-Fun poster! Fill it in however works best for you. If you'd like for me to customize one for you, I'm sure we could work something out for a minimal fee – just shoot me an email. Oh, and later on this week, I'm going to give y'all links to some of my very favorite summery-fun fonts. You could totally use them to do your own poster.

Happy summering, friends!
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