Sunday, April 15, 2018

Mid April Updates.

We finished the book, The Long Winter - by Laura Ingalls Wilder just a couple weeks ago. For some reason, when I turned the last page in the book, I was ready for spring. I stupidly thought that it would come now that we finished "The long winter" I mean, how appropriate would that have been?

It really has been the longest winter that I have ever experienced.

The snow has been falling for over 24 hours. We played Christmas music until it felt wrong and even baked some brownies. The boys have been in and out of the snow, Marshall has been shoveling and blowing the driveway and I have enjoyed watching people get stuck in the snow outside of our big window. (One of my favorite things is watching people get stuck, but then unstuck-- the small triumphs in the midst of an unfortunate event) I do try to send Marshall out to help them, I can't completely sit by and do nothing. I've already told the boys that they will eventually be able to gear up and go outside to help everyone that gets stuck on our street. 
 I actually dread dressing the boys to go out in the snow, but have been grateful that Marshall doesn't seem to mind- he has a precise order in which he dresses the boys for the weather and I stay out of it. Although, I can't help but stand by the windows and watch the boys trudge through the waist deep snow (on our deck) and the look of hesitant joy on their faces as they test their limits with each heavy step.

We celebrated a few happy things in the beginning of the month. Easter! We hosted again this year. Watched General Conference as a family and shared a meal with extended family. It was nice to finally break out the leaves to our new table and use them! 16 people were able to fit comfortably. We are so happy to have everyone at the same table.

Here is Isaac at his first Easter.

                I try to capture the boy all together when I can, and if they are bathed and in clean clothes- that's like a special bonus. I am so glad they are looking at the camera!

Isaac has officially been in this world, as long as he was in! (I was induced at 39 weeks) I cannot believe how much faster time goes by when he is out vs. in. I still feel like I am recovering from having him!

Eli lost his first tooth this week! I noticed he had a wiggly tooth before he did a week or so ago. He never once mentioned it bothering him or never even tried forcing it out (like Ezra) But, while talking to Ezra, Ezra yelled and forced Eli to open his mouth all the way and noticed that Eli didn't have a tooth in his mouth! hahah! I ran over and to everyone's surprise, his tooth was gone! He ran to the mirror to examine his new smile and jumped exclaiming that the tooth fairy was going to come! We are pretty positive that he had swallowed the tooth- especially since we have no idea when he lost it.
There wasn't any blood or anything. He didn't even know! 
Only Eli...

Oliver and Isaac had their wellness checks.
Isaac is 25 lbs! 98th percentile!
Oliver is 32 lbs! 58th percentile (Isaac is catching up)

Both doing well, besides a lingering cough/cold that I am thinking will leave the house when the snow melts.

When Isaac turned 9 months :)

One of my best friends had a baby girl named June. I literally want to rub my face all over her. She is so perfect. We are so excited to have a little girl to play with and to spoil. (Eventually)

Ezra couldn't get enough of her either. She is perfect!

Marshall and boys ran- literally. RAN to dairy queen one night after dinner for Free Cone day. Marshall couldn't believe that the boys ran the whole way there and back (even up the big hill) without stopping. These boys have SO much energy. (And the weather is really killing us)

(obligatory baby in the bath photo- because there is nothing cuter.)

We also celebrated Oliver turning 3!!! I cannot believe this boy is so grown up!
He requested blue cake (to match his eyes :) just kidding- but aren't his eyes insane?

Marshall's birthday too! 
Marshall turned 38! You'd never guess;) Every year, every person in this house has gotten a little birthday tribute from me- but this year, I dropped the ball. I wasn't in the mood.

But here it is, Marshall.

You don't like when my lips are red.,Oliver's Birthday cake was blue,
If there is anyone who deserves another wonderful year- I really hope it's you.

No, really. You are the best- We are so grateful for all that you do for our family.
You are always so excited and in love when the boys run to you to tell you all about what is exciting to them in that moment. You listen intently to their every word they can muster and spit out- and not only do you listen and look at them- you mirror their excitement and ask them the best questions about what they have shared. It is obvious how much you are loved around here. 

Thank you for being you.

We have a book (and a half) left of the Series of Unfortunate events left to read (there are 13 books) so finding the boys in disguise and trying to solve mysterious cases isn't completely out of the norm.

Ezra is even requesting a "Series" themed Birthday party, which I am overwhelmed super excited about planning. I am not a "birthday party mom" We actually will only throw "parties" (with friends and real fun) for Golden birthdays, and when they turn 8. I love and hate stuff like this but am actually super excited if he can stick with this idea for the next 6 months, I am already making lists of ways to pull this off and so far it's awesome.

Ezra has decorated his wall with all sorts of things that inspire him and engage his interests. I love that he has made this "his" space. We don't have a lot of area in our house for this- but he found a way.  And, his drawings and creations are pretty detailed and intricate. I am always impressed with what he comes up with.

He is also infactuated with all things ICE. He loves experimenting with the freezer. You never know what you will find next when you open the freezer.

A last minute trip to the library usually looks like this. Just kidding. It doesn't. Oliver is usually running full speed toward the toys while Eli wanders aimlessly looking at all the things and Ezra is lost in a certain isle contemplating which book/dvd/audio he needs to add to the library bag.

Our home school journey is exactly that. A journey.
I have probably called or texted Marshall more times in the last 2 weeks asking him what we were thinking when we decided to keep the boys home- than ever.
While other days are smooth sailing- wonderful and I wouldn't change it for anything.
My boys are happy and excited to learn new things and enjoy being in charge of what they are ready to learn next. I am loving how well Ezra is taking to leadership and independence in his education. I am remembering where he was when we began this year, and where he is today and I am blown away. WE are doing this! We are making serious progress and strides to a successful academic future.
Mostly, by being together, reading tons and tons and discussing and exploring their interests at their pace.

We started a new thing a few weeks ago. Marshall and I were noticing that the boys were getting super squirrely and forgetting to do the mundane daily things that need to be done. Ie; clearing their plates after dinner, brushing their teeth, practicing piano, running the stairs 10x (for 5 bucks- this is a biggy and the best because they NEED to run off some steam and this way it is a win win!.. etc. We have a "mom bucks" system now. Every little thing that is listed as a daily "do" is worth a certain amount of "mom bucks" if you earn a certain amount- ie; 20 bucks- you can choose to spend them or save them. I have a list of ways to spend them - whether it's popcorn snack (10 bucks) or 30 minutes of a show(30 bucks) They also "lose mom bucks and have to cash them in if they break any family rules, which is a real bummer. I originally started this to get Eli a little more into a routine- so he can find some order and independence. He could care less. haha!! But it works great for Ezra and even Oliver. Eli comes around once in a while but it has been a good way to make the boring things a little more exciting around here.

We are taking our road trip soon and the next few weeks will definitely be prepping ourselves for that. Emotionally, physically, mentally. I have already reserved a ton of books on audio for our trip. I think I might be more excited about this than they are. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Happy Birthday, Oliver.

My blue eyed boy. I remember when they first placed him on my chest, His face was swollen but perfect. And his body was warm and heavy against mine. I was so in love.

Oliver Fitz. I can't believe I've known you for 3 years. It feels like you are a literal piece of me and I've had you in my life forever. Your joy and happiness for life is contagious. Your love for your brothers is at times adorable and frustrating (to them- when you follow them all over the place) 
Your fearless attempts at anything gives me heart attacks more often than I'd like, but you have miraculously survived the last 3 years almost flawlessly. (Except for the one time Ezra was spinning around with his eyes closed with a t-ball bat and hit you HARD in the head and gave you a giant goose egg) Your words are thoughtful, exact and eloquent for your age. You have picked up the rules in our home and choose when and which to obey on your own terms. You know where time out is and how to slide out of it. You can tell me what your hands are for, but forget sometimes that they aren't for hitting, pushing- but also for helping and high -fiving.
Your physical rough housing is fun for you-- but not for everyone all the time. Your naps are one of my favorite things about you. You play hard and live wild, but your naps are perfectly timed and  (almost always) welcomed. Your willingness to help with EVERYTHING has been a wonderful example to your brothers and inspires them to be better.
You always have a smile on your face-  (Even when you shouldn't- you, rascal.;) It is a beautiful smile, though.
I Love being your mom. I love watching you take on the life you have been given and see you become more and more YOU. 

I love you.

Happy 3rd Birthday.

You are so very loved.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

These are the days.

I propped Isaac up in the middle of the room with only a pillow resting behind him in case he fell backward. Eli and Oliver's arms spread out beside them while they pretended they were airplanes and ran circles around the room where Isaac sat. Eli's glasses bounced on his nose and Oliver's hair static clung to his head from rolling on the floor just moments before. I felt as though I was watching this scene in slow motion. The sounds of legos being emptied from their bin in the basement while Ezra's mind created a new scene, a new creation. The smells from our lunch filled the air and I am soaking in every second of this very moment. Isaac is cooing and drooling. His face puffy and red from sleeping on his pillowy cheek during his morning nap. As I replay this moment in my mind, my heart is bursting with an over flowing amount of gratitude for these days and my role as their mother.

I bought a print to hang on my wall that says, "These are the days" I have loved this daily reminder to cherish my time with my kids RIGHT NOW. Presently. It isn't easy to be "present" to every single thing in their lives BUT it has been a lovely mind shift to find joy in my current role in our lives. My life can be chaotic, messy, and frustrating, but those times are easily forgotten by the days that are filled with story telling, daily school lessons, poetry, service, scripture reading, playing, nature exploration, make believe, friendship and family connection. There are a lot of days, especially in the winter season (when Marshall is working long hours) that I can easily feel lonely and overwhelmed with the daily tasks as a mother, a wife, a teacher, a stylist, a friend. I feel like all of my kids,individually, are at these break through phases in their development. It is a pleasure to be able to observe their personal discoveries. As exhausting as it can be to keep up with my boys on a daily basis, I feel like I am the only one who could. They need ME and I need them. These ARE the days that we will look back on and say, "remember when the boys were little and..." And we are trying our best to encapsulate these fleeting moments as a growing family.

A couple things that we have been up to:

This school year has been much more relaxed than last year, but having a lot of learning moments with the boys and many discussions about all things they are interested in.

We spent some time in the winter learning about wars. Civil wars, Revolutionary war, battle of Gettysburg. Ezra recreated a battle with army men, legos, blocks and it was pretty intricate. Of course it was destroyed before a photo was taken to document it.

Isaac is currently 8 months and 24 pounds! He is my biggest baby!

Oliver is talking up a storm. He uses his hands and everything. He has a lot to say. We are getting ready to celebrate his 3rd birthday soon!

Eli is reading! He is sounding out every letter and reading-  This surprised him more than it surprised me- he gets excited to read to us when he is in the mood.

I have been on a mission to save money! I recently switched up my shopping routine and started going to ALDI. Total game changer! I feel so stupid for wasting so much money at other grocery stores. 

I also put myself on a spending freeze and haven't allowed myself to spend any money on myself. This has absolutely changed my life. I am not kidding. It has been so empowering to change the way I think about "THINGS" I don't need a dang thing and our house needs some major updates. I will save until I get too rich ;) 

Marshall's swim season is officially done! I don't think I would have survived another day without him home. These boys are busy! One of his swimmers made it to state and Marshall traditionally will do something crazy with his beard to show school pride. This year, he colored his beard Orange.

I am back at the gym! I didn't realize how much anxiety that I had toward going back until I actually forced myself to get there. It has been so good to be back. I am slowly getting stronger and back into my prebaby body.

Marshall and I are getting ready to sign the boys up for their spring/summer activities. Soccer, swimming, martial arts. These boys need all the moving they can get.

Here are some photo from the last couple weeks. I can't seem to keep up these days.
I love the tears in Oliver's eyes from the cold of the wind outside.

Isaac playing and sitting up. He is SO BIG! 

Oliver feeling confident in big boy underware, although, not confident enough to actually be potty trained. (We have potty trained our boys when they turn 3 but I am holding off until after our road trip in May)

Eli got new glasses. Basically the exact same color and style, just a bigger size.
He really wanted red ones. We talked him out of it. (Just wasn't practical)

Oliver really does look like this doll.

Ezra was cupid at our house this Valentines. I took him to pick up some treats for his brothers and he did such a good job making sure everyone knew they were loved. (This wasn't always easy for him- but he loved the power)

The tub is getting awfully tight these days.

Fresh haircuts for these hams.

Eli and Ezra did such a great job at the dentist!! I wish they did just as good of a job at remembering to brush daily. (I need to be better at reminding them or finding routine to get them to do this!)

It's not often Oliver gives me a thumbs up for a tasty meal. He is picky these days and unfortunately goes to bed without much in his tummy. (Bread and butter seems to keep him happy- I hate giving it to him)

Puzzles seem to fill a lot of time at our house. I love when the boys work together to complete them.

We have been reading  A TON of books this year. Bridge to Terabithia was one of them that had be ballingggggggg. I love getting to experience the stories and characters adventures, struggles and successes with my kids. 

Marshall and I have been counting Sams Club runs as dates. 

We loved visited the Snow Lobster!

Marshall finished up the swim season last week and we are all SO happy to have him home with us again. We all miss him.

Ezra is knocking math out of the park! He is a whiz at addition! 
He is also surprisingly quick and fast at problem solving in his head. He must get this from his dad.

Ezra also built me this rolling cart all by himself!

I left Isaac upstairs for just a minute and when I came back upstairs, he was in costume.

We started reading the series of unfortunate events in mid February, and we are currently on book 9. We have been flying through these. They are satirical and ironic- dark and cold, but so entertaining and we can hardly put them down. Many lessons and discussions happening as we read together. Ezra has been saying that he wants to be a detective when he gets older and this seems to be hitting his mystery solving mind just right.

I love how much Ezra steps up to help with Isaac. He really is the best big brother.

My kids love Shakespeare. Here they are pretending they are the witches from Macbeth. (haha!)

We grabbed a drive thru lunch and ate in the parking lot of Marshall's work for Valentine's day. The boys thought it was pretty special ;)

 These boys wouldn't get through life without each other.

Isaac's first time in the cart!

 An attempt at a photo of the Abrahamson boys!
Ezra LOVES a huge icicle!

CTR- "Choose the Right" - These boys need all the reminders they can get (haha)

Because I have to document a Sunday selfie with Isaac in the mothers lounge at church.

Isaac makes the cutest pup.

We just celebrated my Great Grandmothers 95th birthday!
I hope that I can live a long and happy life like her.
She is so adorable and has such great stories. 

Now that I am (mostly caught up) with the blog. I feel like I can keep up with it!

We are excited that the snow is melting and the sun is shining. I cannot wait to get outside with the boys.