The other morning, Oliver crawled into my bed. Marshall was getting ready for work and Ezra and Eli were playing quietly waiting for everyone else to wake up. Oliver sweetly snuggled under the covers. I held his chubby little hand in mine and looked at the curves of his cheeks, the perfect shape of his nose and the golden blonde hair that only shone by the light of the hallway. His skin was so soft and I couldn't help but nuzzle in closer to him to take it all in. He is by far the hardest to cuddle these days and can hardly sit still for a second. I soaked up this moment for as long as I could. He eventually fell back asleep and I let him sleep for as long as he wished.
It was this moment that shaped the remainder of my week. My boys are growing everyday. Their minds and bodies are busy and active and the moments I have to snuggle them all individually for a time are somewhat fleeting.
While preparing lunch for Ezra the other day, he said, " I am too old to hold your hand now, mom" I put my butter knife down and hung my head. I wanted to cry. I asked him why he thought that and he responded, "Because I know not to run away or into the road" But what he doesn't know is that I hold my children's hands, not just to keep them safe but because I want them close. Because their soft little hands fit perfectly in mine and eventually they won't fit anymore. They will instead place their hands in their pockets, or worse! Another girls hands! (gasp!!!)
I am trying my hardest to bottle these individual moments I have with each of my children.
This month, I was able to take Ezra and Eli on individual dates. They both felt so special and I even got a kiss at the end of the date. I hope to be able to do this every month with each of the boys as they get older.
We have been staying in a lot more than I want to admit this summer, mostly because of Isaac being so little- but recently because of the rain.
Don't tell the boys this, but we have already started our school year.
Our Family theme for the year is "I will Listen, I will Learn, I will Labor, and I will Love."
The boys (even Oliver!) have memorized this and everyday I ask them if they did these things and how. My favorite is how they tell me how they "labored" I forget that things that are hard work for them, are seemingly easy things for me. I love that as a family we are learning the value of working together for good. Listening, learning, laboring and loving are vital everyday values that they will need to know how to do for the rest of their lives. Already I am seeing a difference in our home from introducing this theme.
Another major thing that we have accomplished the last 3 weeks has been eliminating screen time!
No more shows for the boys (unless we are learning something together). While I am in the salon, the boys were normally allowed to watch a show to keep them out of my hair (see what I did there?) But I put together a busy box of fun activities that they can do to keep busy. Ezra listens to a book on tape (He has finished Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian and now Voyage of the Dawn Treader)
I have noticed a tremendous shift in our home. The boys are so much more respectful to me, more helpful to one another and to me, and play so much better together. It is also, a LOT more work for me to keep them busy. It is so tempting to just throw them in front of a screen so I can get some peace and quiet, but I have watched them create and discover things that they can do together and on their own that they wouldn't have recognized if they were in front of a screen and I am proud of all of us for this.
We have a piano now! It's presence has changed the feeling of our home, which led to me purchasing a fun new rug and inspired to do more updates in our home. (Marshall doesn't get as excited as I do about these things, but I am at home all day, and I want to feel inspired in my space)
The boys aren't always good and well behaved, although I am sure I don't need to say that.
Isaac is still my hardest baby. He eats every 2 hours, STILL and always wants to be held.
Oliver is very much a 2 year old. He enjoys destroying lego buildings, a folded laundry stacks.
Eli doesn't like to pick up ANYTHING and is mostly always in his own little world and Ezra is often in my personal space, bossing everyone around or telling us about who broke what house rule and is always coming up with the latest business venture. All these boys are killing me- but I love them ;)
Here are photos from the last few weeks (oldest to newest)
from some things that have been happening over here.
We have a couple fun things planned for the remainder of the summer and I am dying to get to the State Fair. I cannot believe how fast this year has gone!!