March Twenty Eighteen

Today is March 31. Saturday. We have NOTHING on the calendar today. It’s been months since we’ve been schedule-free on a Saturday. Technically, we could have gone to the neighborhood Easter egg hunt this morning—I was prepared with eggs—but I’m still feeling anti-social and hermit-like, and Brian didn’t feel like going either. Nothing sounded better. And by nothing, I mean nothing. I cleaned the house yesterday and I’m all caught up on laundry and dishes. And I have zero errands to run. My life is exciting.

The big kiddos are watching a movie and the little ones are jumping on the trampoline. It’s the perfect lazy Saturday. A much needed change. And speaking of change, March brought some changes. Nothing major like I crave, moving to Canada or anything, but small changes that are making a decent impact on our daily lives. Maybe the best kind of changes.

In no particular order:

I’ve gone vegetarian.

For real this time. I’ve gone through several bouts of not eating meat over the past 15 years or so. I’d go almost two years without eating any meat and then all of a sudden crave a steak and then I’d be back to eating meat. Maybe two steaks a year, hamburgers more often, and then there was chicken. I ate chicken weekly.

It’s been over a month since I stopped. And the reason why, poor Brian. Brian finally bought a Traeger in September. In typical Brian fashion, he thought about the purchase for over two years… it takes him six months to buy something as simple as a laptop case. He says he likes the process, all the researching or something. I don’t get it. I’m an instant-gratification purchaser. We balance each other out I suppose.

It took him two months to get the Traeger put together. Rather, two months to have the desire to put it together. It was December, right before his dad came to visit. I think he wanted to have it together so he could do his inaugural smoke with Bob here. Bob has a Traeger also… Brian was inspired when we were down last August. Since Brian’s had the Traeger up and working, he’s been smoking meat every weekend. At first, I was all about this. I love tri-tip and would happily purchase one at Costo each week, until a little over a month ago…

Also in typical Brian fashion, Brian’s hobby is finding new hobbies. In the past five years, his hobbies have filtered through road cycling, scuba diving, shooting, go-kart racing, cycle-cross, tennis, and now smoking meat. When Brian takes on a hobby, he takes on the hobby. There are books, YouTube videos, blogs, podcasts, gear… he goes all in. And the same is happening for this meat smoking hobby. He had his meat smoking book out by his current favorite person, Aaron Franklin (or A-A-Ron because I can never say Aaron the right way anymore, thanks Key & Peele), and I was flipping through the sucker. I happened to land on a page describing in detail the brisket cuts of meat. The detail. It grossed me out. I mean, I’ve always known what I was eating when I ate meat… I just wouldn’t think about it in detail. Now I can’t not think about the detail. No more meat for me.

Ironically, Brian was pushing to go the no meat route before he bought his smoker. And he’s on board with going no meat outside of his weekend smokes. He can be a quasi-vegetarian. And really, I should call myself a no meat eater because I’m not the biggest vegetable fan.

Less yelling.

I’m a yeller. Not daily or anything, but I can get set off. I’m a pretty easy-going person for the most part, but I let some things get to me and I try to brush them off. But apparently I don’t and they fester inside of me. I’m a ticking time bomb and then one day I explode. It’s lovely, really (haha). And my explosions come with variations of fuck as every-other word. It’s almost cathartic. (Except fuckity fuck; that’s too cutesy for my taste.) My most common one is Fucking Christ. Even when not yelling… it’s just my go-to when frustrated, surprised, whatever. I’m pretty sure my kids think Jesus’ middle name is Fucking. This is one of those stories where some will roll their eyes and cringe, and others will appreciate: I was driving the kiddos somewhere, and the big kiddos were talking about all of our triggers. Blaise said, “Mom’s trigger is whining. She doesn’t like whining.” To which Laine said, “I know. If she hears too much whining, she says, ‘Fucking Christ.'” I appreciate that Laine whispered Fucking Christ. The kiddos know words they aren’t supposed to use.

Once I yell and get things out, I’m good for a while… until I explode again. I used to be a phone thrower and door slammer in my younger years. That was the running joke when I was still living at home, Lora breaks phones. The old-school portable house phones. Extending antennas and all. I blame my throwing and slamming ways on being an angsty teenager. The yelling, nothing to blame. It’s all me.

It was late February when I knew I needed to stop yelling. It was a Sunday night after a busy weekend. The witching hour it’s often called. Brian had left for an errand and I was stuck with over-tired kids. I put the little ones down who were fast asleep. I was folding laundry upstairs while the big kiddos were supposed to be playing quietly downstairs. I had asked them about 10 times in the span of 20 minutes to be quiet. Those memes that say things like If you have to ask your child to do something multiple times, it’s not the child who needs to change or something like that. Yeah, that’s not what goes through my head when I’ve asked them multiple times to be quiet. I felt the rage.

Having them be quiet any time someone else is sleeping is painful. It’s like they don’t have a volume button. It’s been years of parenting frustration on my part. Granted, I’m a super quiet person. Like I watch TV so quietly that if anything makes noise, I can’t hear the TV. And if I’m awake when nobody else is, I’m as quiet as can be. Which, if I break this down, being woken from sleep is one of my triggers. Haha. I’m a light sleeper and I’m the nicest person if I’m woken up when I’m not supposed to be (that’s sarcasm).

After asking them to be quiet after what felt like 100 times, I finally let loose. I yelled down something like, “BE QUIET. I’M TIRED OF ASKING YOU GUYS.” I omitted fucking; I try sometimes. As I continued to fold laundry, the kiddos were magically quiet. See, this is the downfall, because sometimes yelling actually works. But I felt bad. I had been trying not to yell and as soon as I did—even while I was—I knew I shouldn’t be. As I finished folding laundry, I came up with a plan. It’s working.

The plan: nickels. Twenty of them. The kiddos are into money as an incentive and I like a good game. I came downstairs after folding laundry and calming down, and sat the big kiddos down.

First, I apologized. And I thanked them… they cleaned up the entire downstairs while I finished laundry. While this was super sweet and appreciated on my part, I know they were only doing it to get back on my good side. And they shouldn’t have to; they’re always on my good side even when I’m frustrated with them. They don’t get this at their young ages; they just want my approval. It’s a sweet-sad thing.

Second, we sat down in front of the fire and I busted out a notepad. I asked them to come up with two things for each of us that we need to improve. This was fun. It’s an excellent insight to how they see me. I’m close to perfect in their eyes, haha. Except for my yelling. Their two rules for me: 1. No yelling, 2. No using a deep voice. We came up with two customized rules for each of them also. And they decided to come up with five general rules for all of us.

The 20 nickels: we each start the week with 20 nickels. Each time we do something we aren’t supposed to, we lose a nickel. And we can all call each other—or ourselves—out on things. We can also earn nickels for doing things that are above and beyond what is expected of us. Like Blaise got Baby dressed one morning, nickel scored. At the end of the week, if we have 20 or more nickels, we get to keep them. If we have less than 20 nickels, we lose them all. The kiddos are incentivized by a measly dollar, and I’m incentivized by the idea of a game. It’s surprisingly curbing my yelling. Really. I have lost a few nickels, but it’s usually that I start to yell, call myself out and lighten the mood by saying, “I just lost a nickel.” The kiddos laugh, and by then, I’m calmed down and there’s no need to yell.

It’s not fool-proof. I did lose it last Monday. Like, big time. It had been a long weekend between a birthday party, Laine’s riding lesson, errands, and everything kid in general. Brian’s mom had just visited, which was nice, but my routine was all off and the house wasn’t up to my standards come Monday morning. And I wasn’t going to have time to do anything about it until late Monday. Saige had dance and then I wanted to get a walk on the trail in before I picked up the big kiddos. After I picked them up and we came home, the minute we walked in, Well, I’m hungry. Can I play my game? What are we doing tonight? When’s dad going to be home? What’s for dinner? The questions were endless. I don’t even think everyone was in from the garage before the questions started. Between the busy morning, the kiddos asking questions, a headache, and a messy house, I lost it. I told them I’d take five nickels for my yelling bout. They laughed. I guess the nickels are working on lightening the mood also.

Running again, again (again).

I feel like I should add about five more agains. I started running in my mid-20s to maintain weight. I was always super skinny as a kid, like 113 pounds at 5’8″, all the way until I was 24. That’s when I got my freshman fifteen, six years late. The fifteen pounds were welcomed… my ideal weight was (and still is) around 130 pounds. Running kept my weight in check.

I remember the early days of my running, it was also when I was really into reading serial killer books. And I’m not a sunshine person, so I’d only run at dusk or in the dark… sometimes I’d get in my head and think about murderers grabbing runners. Which was also around the time Rex Krebs was still in the news for being sentenced to death for snatching and killing two college-aged girls, one of whom was walking alone at night. That’s the one thing I have always loved about running… how I can just let my mind wander while running.

When we were living in SLO post-college and working, I was a member to a women’s-only gym. Man, I loved that gym. There’s something about a gym that is male-free. I’m not even sure how to put it into words but there is a freedom that is felt in the air. Women get a bad reputation for being catty and mean, but in a women’s-only gym, there is nothing but support. It’s a really lovely feeling. That, and it’s super clean. I’d go to the gym every night at 7pm. I’ve always been an evening runner. My body is warmed up and after a long day, it feels so good to use my muscles. After moving to Washington, I tried joining a few gyms but we ended up buying a treadmill for our garage. I liked this better… I could run when I wanted without having to go anywhere.

But I never really loved running. I only did it for weight maintenance. And, it was something to do. I could sign up for a weekend race to feel like I had something to do. Brian and I had boring lives pre-kiddos. Haha.

Then we did the kid thing. I was pregnant. I ran a few months into my Blaise pregnancy before stopping. I didn’t like running with a belly. After he was born, I bought a single BOB stroller right away. I couldn’t wait to use it and get running again to maintain my weight. Although, to my youthful credit, I lost all my Blaise baby weight within a month. To be young again.

I didn’t run while pregnant with Laine. I was tired from being a new mom, and then being pregnant again right away, I only wanted to nap. And the bonus of being pregnant with a newborn still, is that newborns nap all.the.time. After Laine was born, I lost all my baby weight again but going on PPD medication made me gain weight. I still blame that damn medicine for screwing with my body. Long story short, I’ve never been back to my pre-Blaise/Laine weight since. But running has helped. The closest I’ve been was 10 pounds… two more kiddos later and at age 39, I’m now 25 pounds from my goal weight.

Side note: Running is how I knew I was pregnant with Saige. I was back to running again on the treadmill after dealing with all my PPD business. I was determined to lose those extra pesky pounds. But I went to run and it hurt my boobs. I went upstairs and put on a second sports bra. It still hurt. I went back upstairs and took a pregnancy test. Positive.

Back in January, I started taking anxiety medicine. I love this stuff, despite not loving taking medication. It has helped me in so many ways, including running again. I’m not sure how or why, and I’m not sure I really care. But I’m running again, again (again) and I’m LOVING running. Like, I crave a long run. And it’s not just to drop weight. It might have something to do with escaping the kiddo chaos but hey, whatever the reason, I just want to run. I’ve been consistently running 3-5 miles almost every day. And I can’t wait to run tonight.

The only downfall is weight doesn’t come off as easily as it used to. Damn getting older. But you know what, I don’t care (that much). The benefit running gives my mental state is enough to keep me wanting more. The weight not coming off may also have to do with my inability to let a package of cookies remain unopened. And if I’m going to eat one, what’s five more?! Haha. I’ve learned to just not bring home junk from the store. But then I just make crap at home… I do really well for days and then I crave sweets, so I make cookies and proceed to eat cookie batter and cookies. I’m like my dad. I picked up bad habits. And I blame my inability to gain weight younger… I could eat whatever I wanted so I never had to learn better habits. Now I just blame myself… stop eating so much, Lora.

Between running and the thought of getting older and wanting to get my act in gear, I’m on the right path. The weight will eventually come off and I’ll figure out a way to work on my bad habits. Especially since I can admit they exist now… no more rationalizing.

Less doing.

I’m still stuck in my anti-social, hermit-like mood. And I’m totally okay with this. I always think of Francis, Nan’s friend who never left the house. Nan and all of Francis’s friends would run her errands for her. Her husband, Art, died years before she did which is why she relied on Nan and others to aid in her hermit status. This was before online shopping. While that sounds appealing some days, I’m not like Francis. I leave the house, often. I’m basically the kiddos’ personal Uber driver. And I still do things for me, like pedicures which I loathe getting… I’ve been getting pedicures every two weeks since I was 14. About five years ago, they started feeling like a chore. And yet, I still go. But more like every three weeks now. I compromised because at the end of the day, I want nice toes. And of course, there’s Target. And all the activities I like doing, like going to shows and seeing friends. So I’m not totally anti-social… I’m only interested in doing things I want to do with people I already know. That’s it. I’m selectively anti-social and hermit-like. That’s better.

I haven’t been making many plans involving the kiddos. As long as I can remember, we have always been out and about doing something with someone. We’d have down days, but planned down days between the busyness of our social calendar. The zoo with this person, the children’s museum with this person, a play date at this person’s house, a play date at our house with these people… I’ve always packed our weeks to maximize fun maybe? Or avoidance? I mean, if the kiddos are busy playing with other kiddos, then I don’t have to mom much. All these enlightenments with age.

My goal has been to enjoy the kiddos more. And I find this is way more possible with less things on the calendar. If I do schedule something, I try to make it something I’m involved with instead of just hanging on the sidelines while they play. It’s always eye-opening when I take the kiddos somewhere—like a playground—and there are always kids who are craving their parents’ attention… and these parents have their noses buried in their phones. Now, I’m all about my phone but even I halt my Candy Crush obsession when I’m out with the kiddos. I’ll answer a text or take pictures, but my nose isn’t buried. But these kids who have parents who are phone-obsessed, they are desperately trying to get their parents’ attention. Either constantly looking at their parent or causing a ruckus so their parent will look, something. It’s sad. And I never want my kiddos to crave my attention like that. I see when they look my way, and they see I’m watching them. I’m actively involved. Sure, maybe this is one of these modern parenting ways that 1970s Parenting blog posts would mock, but I like my kiddos to know I see them and I’m interested in what they’re doing. In fairness, I enjoy most 1970s parenting ways, like more free-range opportunities or leaving them unattended in the car for a few minutes. Like everything else in life, there should be a nice balance between then and now.

We’ve been sticking to pretty much nothing outside of classes and activities, which are still a decent chunk of the week. But when we are free, we’re doing things together. Even if it’s hanging on the couch watching Top Chef Jr. or Queer Eye. And if we do hang with a friend, it’s to do something, like PEEPS dioramas… before they run off and play sans parents.

And here is where I contradict myself: my plan for summer was to do nothing. No camps or busy schedules, nothing. The plan was to spend our days playing out back, walking to the river, and maybe hitting a few parks. Except swim lessons. Because swim lessons are non-negotiable. And, we can walk there so it’s not an inconvenience. Since I formulated the nothing this summer plan, between all the kiddos, we now have five weeks of summer camps and four weeks of swimming lessons.

It’s so hard to say no to the kiddos! Laine is cooking-obsessed, and there is a cooking summer camp. I had to sign her up. And since she got a summer camp, Blaise needed one to be fair. LEGO Jedi Robotics camp, perfect. While finding one for Blaise, I found a pre-reading and math skills camp for Saige. Now, I’m not all that interested in a three-year-old reading or doing math, but Saige craves workbooks and wants to read… she sees Blaise and Laine do these things. So, I signed her up under the camp equality premise. Then there is my friend, she has an outdoor summer camp for ages 2-5. Because I helped her with a few things, Baby and Saige get to attend one of her summer camps for free. The last camp is a skateboard camp that Brian suggested would be good for Blaise and Laine… especially since we’re going to put a skate ramp in the back of our garage. I signed them both up but then Laine was adamant about not going, so it’s only Blaise now. And then four weeks of swimming; two in June and two in August. And I haven’t checked with Brian, but I think he wants to start Saige on weekly indoor skiing lessons this summer so she’s ready for the snow come January. I guess we’ll do nothing between all of that. HAHA. And I now have a summer bucket list already for all that nothing time… it’s hard not to plan when you’re a planner.

Summer nothing busy, aside, we are doing less this fall. I’m only signing the big kiddos up for two homeschool programs, which means we can actually homeschool on the two days they’re home. Fall will be our less doing (for real) time. After we get back from Legoland and before the birthday and holiday rushes begin, before skiing weekends start… Fucking Christ, it never ends. Haha.

Less social media and online nonsense.

I’ve been staying away from Facebook and my news sites more and more. I’m kind of over how Facebook only shows me things it thinks I want to see. And all the banter back and forth. The vague posts. And the humblebragging, “I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing than snuggled up, reading with my kiddo right now. The dishes can wait!” Or whatever. Yet they take time to post. I remember one humblebrag post from years ago. She posted a picture of herself looking amazing. Not her normal. But the post was about something else. She succeeded; everyone commented on how amazing she looked. Maybe I overthink this stuff, but I would have rather had the post say, “I look amazing today!” Instead of fishing for comments. Because, you do look amazing. I mean, we all humblebrag—and maybe it has its place at times—but as I get older, it’s more noticeable. And I’m starting to realize that even adults still have self-esteem issues. Myself included.

The serial posters who complain about everything, they amuse me. Parents don’t spend enough time with their kids! But every picture they post has the TV on in the background with the kiddos watching, and they post about 10 times each day. Or the self-pity posters. Nobody likes me, I’m so nice and everyone is mean. But who is the common denominator every time? Unless I’m missing information… these posts can be vague also. They’re not worth my time anymore! But I’ll post about how they’re not worth my time anymore and hope they see this. I have a pretty good divorce indication record also… spouses who will publicly shame their spouse or call them stupid or dumb, divorced in a few years. Or maybe they remain together, regularly posting disgruntled relationship statuses. Although in fairness, I’m at that stage in life where people start divorcing. The done having kids, mid-life crisis stage.

I remember a quote from when I was in elementary school—it has stuck with me this long. “You can’t love or hate something about another person unless you love or hate it about yourself.” It was enlightening then and still. People seem to focus on their own attributes when evaluating others. Speaking from experience even. I catch myself. I think there could be a whole new psychiatric discipline based on evaluating people from their social media (or blog, wink wink) posts. That would be interesting!

Now I’m just being mean. Sorry. I went off there a little. For the most part, I get to see all the cute kiddos, fun vacations, special occasions celebrated, interesting comments from friends, several homeschooling posts with wonderful ideas, and connect with some really cool people. But I haven’t talked about MLMs yet…

Then there are the pyramid schemes. Or MLMs they’re called now. I know, they’re different. I applaud anyone who wants to make money and do their own thing… I only wish there was a filter to block that stuff from my feed without having to filter people. About every nine months it’s a new hot product. It’s like that meme below that was shared on reddit a few years ago, captioned “I’m friends with a lot of stay at home moms, and this is all Facebook is anymore.” Haha. So true. Although, the oil people are cool. They all seem to post minimally and go with the flow… like their friends know they sell it and they don’t push anything. Maybe there’s something to those oils?!

I’m getting old and disgruntled apparently.

I guess I could use Instagram or Snapchat… whatever all the cool kids are doing these days. But then I remind myself, I’m not cool. I’ll check Facebook occasionally and call it good. I have learned a trick though. I’ve noticed if I don’t post in a while, my newsfeed is pretty bland. But if I start a post and then hit cancel, my newsfeed updates with all the good posts I want to see.

Then there are the news sites I follow. Granted, they are totally liberal and are my views. But even still, I can’t get past all the slanted pieces. And all the bickering grown adults do. And the deflections. I just can’t anymore. I don’t even dare read comments. Name calling galore. I did read a comment once that said something like if your argument is valid and makes sense, then there’s no need to resort to name calling. I totally agree. And, I also think that someone who resorts to name calling, it’s more a reflection of themselves than the person they’re trying to insult.

Comments and Facebook threads where people argue back and forth, and can’t let things go, it’s not entertaining. It’s depressing. It’s like respect goes out the window when people get behind a keyboard. Everyone has opinions. And they don’t have to be the same as others but everyone should be respectful of others’ opinions. I’m often amazed at what people will say using their real names. I’m questioning including my Facebook views above. I have wonderful humblebragging and MLM friends. I try to keep things non-controversial. And I’m totally a non-confrontational person. I’d rather hide under a rock than have a disagreement. But my Facebook views stay, because it’s my post and I am allowed to have differing opinions, dammit. And, totally an opportunity for someone to bitch and complain about my online presence. Haha.

So, less online nonsense here. It’s also making me less annoyed in life… not that you can tell from my mini-rant there. I guess even thinking about it makes me annoyed. So, yes, less and less online nonsense going forward. Ignorance can be bliss, right?!

March.

March brought the changes. Including spring. It’s all nice and sunny outside, with longer days. Not my favorite time of the year but I’m not complaining. I like change—even if it’s not my ideal—because something different is always welcomed. And with the longer days I’ve been back to taking Melvin on long evening walks. Less murderer snatching opportunities.

And now, March in pictures:

March begins. Thursdays Blaise, Laine, and Saige all have outdoor school. Saige starts at 9:30am at the farm, the big kiddos start at 10am at a different park each month, and then Baby and I kill time before starting the pick-up process at 12:30pm. This Thursday, Saige’s preschool was making a Stone Soup at the fire pit. Each kiddo brought something to contribute… Saige brought potatoes. We had a little time to kill before we needed to leave so Blaise and Laine got in on the peeling action, too. Baby did her thing on the swings. Like she always does.

Baby and I spent the morning at Target and then we hit the trail so I could get a run in before picking up the big kiddos. At Target, she elevated to big kiddo status by getting a lunch bag. I bought one of those pre-made snack packs and stuck it in her lunch bag while I ran. She was pretty excited.

On Thursdays, we often stay after and play at whichever park the big kiddos have class. Just like we did this day. The little ones took to the muddy water while the big kiddos played up in a horse arena. Baby went home with no clothes, straight to the bath. And like every outdoor school day, I keep the washer free with the lid open so I can toss all the muddy, wet clothes in and start a load right away.

Daily walk. I love walking the trails around here. I’ve seen a bobcat, multiple deer, coyotes, Bald Eagles, and often, Blue Herons.

Cold morning walk. I enjoy an early morning walk. It had been super cold in the mornings and I had been going, layered up. Now with the time change, I’ve shifted my walks to the evenings more often. This morning was so cold, poor Melvin got frost all over his chest fur and on his ear floof. Ignore his no pull leash… it’s the only thing that works.

Party Saige! Saige went to a birthday party for one of the neighborhood kiddos. She was super cute. Since she’s started preschool, she’s all about friends and playing in groups. It was fun to watch her pal around with the other little kiddos.

She partied hard and passed out on the way home.

Lazy Sunday. Not lazy for Laine and Brian. Laine had a horse event up north and she needed to be there at 7:30am. She and Brian left at 6am. The rest of the kiddos and I had a lazy Sunday at home, making a cake and decorating the house for whatever reason Blaise came up with. I think it was to celebrate Laine’s horse thing? I can’t remember.

Toothless Blaise! Blaise is down a front tooth. It had been loose a while and I’m so glad I remembered to take a picture of him with it still there… he lost it that night! I feel like I should add that he’s since had a haircut.

Tuesday trail run. Another trail run down while the older three were in school. I’m milking it while Baby still happily sits in the stroller… I know my time is limited.

Not baby pigs anymore. The piglets are more like teenagers now. They keep getting bigger, quickly. Mom still looks tired… although this is dad sleeping. Mom was enjoying the quiet moseying about in the muddy area.

Great Wolf Lodge. Somehow we’ve been roped into going annually. This is our third time… we did take off the two years I had Saige and Baby.

I struggled with this last year when we went to Yellowstone, do a separate post or include it in the month? Yellowstone I included in the month but wish I had made a separate post… so I did for Great Wolf Lodge. It’s here.

Blaise date. I had taken Laine to see Mamma Mia! in February. Blaise asked for a special date with me. He’s not much of a theater guy—in fact it’s painful to take him. He gets bored, asks how much longer every five minutes, and he has to sit on my lap the entire time. Which, is nice and all, but not at the expense of me being able to see now that he’s bigger. Since he’s into magic, I found the Illusionists and bought tickets. I should have thought this through. While he likes magic, it was still a theater setting.

The show was fun and entertaining, and although kid-friendly, most of the jokes were geared toward adults. Which, fine if I was with any kid other than Blaise. He did the whole, “How much longer?” every 10 minutes at least, while sitting on my lap. He really wanted to try a crepe after the show… he knows there is a crepe shop in Pike Place Market. We walked around the market but it was so busy, he decided he wanted to go eat at Denny’s instead. Haha. He’s easy to please. We left Seattle for Redmond and ate at Denny’s before heading home. I love my time with each kiddo, even if it has some downer moments.

Carmina Burana. My absolute favorite. Before kids, Brian and I would go to the symphony and theater often. One of our first outings after we moved to Seattle was to the ballet, and it was Carmina Burana. I had never been so moved by music before. When O Fortuna ended, I was petty much in tears. I’m not a crier. It was weird. Since the ballet, I go see Carmina Burana whenever it’s playing. I bought tickets back in September and totally forgot what seats I bought. The best seats ever. Karann went with me, and we sat in the first tier box closest to the stage. We could actually see the conductor’s face. And at intermission, the older couple sitting next to us were able to talk with the orchestra members about their instruments. Pictures taken before the symphony started and at intermission. I feel the need to put this because I didn’t have my phone out during the performance, and I don’t want to be one of those people.

Before the symphony, Karann and I ate at Veggie Grill. I ate a vegan burger that tasted so much like meat, it was weird.


Hill rollers. We were playing at the park when some other friends of ours showed up. While the big kiddos were off climbing a tree, the little ones were rolling down the hill. Over and over.

Spring Break #1. Because the big kiddos have different school programs they attend, they have three different Spring Breaks this year. This week they were on break from DigiPen. Which meant on Tuesday, they were around for Saige drop-off and pick-up. We stayed after pick-up and played in the sunshine for a bit. And of course, they all climbed the playground tree. It’s one of the best climbing trees we’ve ever come across.

Chalk painters. We continued the outside fun after we came home from the farm. The big kiddos love to use the cheese grater on chalk, add water, and make paint. Saige gets in on the painting action.

Spider webs. It felt like last year… I walked the little ones on a Wednesday morning while the big kiddos were at school up the street. That was our standard Wednesday routine all last school year. It felt good to be back at it. We found some cool spider webs along the way, maybe three in a row in the bushes. Spider neighborhood. I’m sure there were more reclusive spiders, hiding.

More pigs. And sacrificial plants. Jean was in town and we spent Thursday morning dropping off Saige and then Blaise and Laine, before going to breakfast with Katherine and Baby. After we picked up all the kiddos, we ran a few errands, including Home Depot to purchase four plants for Laine’s science project. She’s watering them with different liquids to see what happens. Although, we have a back-up science experiment going since we probably started the plant one too late. I asked Brian over a month ago to work with the kiddos on their science projects… the science fair is this coming Thursday and well, he’s a procrastinator.

Two random March pictures. A neighborhood cat I often pass on my walks and Saige’s happy face I found drawn on the wall. Thank goodness for magic erasers.

Sunday Saige. She drew eyebrows on her pillow and then went with Laine to her riding lesson. They took carrots with them to feed the horses… Saige ate a few.

Saige went to work while Laine rode.

More Saige. At pick-up one day, another mom came over and said she wanted to apologize for her son who apparently keeps kissing and holding Saige’s hand. I laughed. If any of my kids are going to say something about anything that bothers them, it’ll be Saige. She doesn’t put up with anything, and you always know exactly where she stands on everything. I’m not worried about the cute little guy who has a thing for Saige. One of the teachers snapped this picture during class.

Tiger Saige. All the kiddos and teachers had their faces painted at pickup. I guess the kiddos painted each other during the morning craft, which was to paint something else. Whatever, they had fun and all looked so cute. We had to kill time before picking up Blaise and Laine so we went to, surprise, Costco and Target, where Saige proceeded to roar and make claws for everyone. She had all the cute pulled out.

Pictures from her preschool Facebook page of the face painting in action.

Wednesday morning walk, again. The big kiddos were at school up the street while the little ones and I went for a walk. We left at 9:30am with the intention of coming back home before picking up Blaise and Laine at 12pm. The plan was to walk my standard route and let them out on the trail along Tolt River to get their run on. We ended up at the skate park, where they ran around for a while before we left for the river trail… except then we ended up walking to the Tolt MacDonald playground and then went to the library. We stayed at the library until we had to leave to walk over and get the big kiddos. It was a busy morning. A fun, busy morning.

Skater chicks. So, I have to say, the Carnation youth needs to work on their penis spray painting abilities. Those are awful penises.

Library kiddos. Baby was all about the computer. She wouldn’t even entertain the idea of looking at books, and she loves books.

Quickfire challenge. The big kiddos are really into watching Top Chef Jr. They’ve become interested in cooking and making creations in the kitchen. Brian came home one night with apples, caramels, marshmallows, and chocolate sauce for the kiddos to experiment with. I left for a hair appointment so I wasn’t around but I guess they did a quickfire challenge… these are the creations they came up with. Nobody actually ate them but they had a blast making things.

Random Saige art. I’ve been trying to be a better preschool art mom with Saige. A few of our March creations.

Farm life. I LOVE the kiddos’ preschool. I love everything about it… including all the animals the kiddos get to experience. All working animals. They all live happy lives on the farm (and I’ve never seen them actually work). Saige was finished at 12:30pm and the big kiddos didn’t end until 1pm—who were also at the farm this Thursday. For the half-hour between pick-ups, the little ones and I killed time with a lazy farm cat and a hungry chicken, who was begging for bites of Baby’s lunch.

Baby was feeling pretty hot stuff having her first official packed lunch. Brian made her one that morning since I knew we’d be out and about, and that we’d hang at the farm after the big kiddos were finished… which we did, until 3pm.

Gadgeteers. It was their last Gadgeteer Club meeting before the Maker Faire in April. They were taking turns spray painting Blaise’s truck. Brian says he had about four kiddos lined up… because the other kiddos’ dads have taken over their projects and their kids walk around bored. They should have a Dadgeteers Club.

PEEPS dioramas. There is a homeschool group that was going to have a PEEPS diorama get together. Since I don’t do many get togethers in large groups, I decided we’d do them on our own. We invited a friend over who joined us. Blaise made an airport and Laine, a magic show with a PEEP cut in half. Saige just did whatever, painting the PEEPS and box. I stuck Baby in a big box and let her paint and color in there. It was a fun afternoon. Messy, but I dealt with it well. Although, the three-year-old was the least messy compared to Blaise and Laine. The same is true when they eat. Seriously. Come on, big kiddos!

March ended Saturday, when I started this. I didn’t take any pictures but it was the perfect end to the month. The little kiddos played outside from about 9am to 6pm, only coming in for brief breaks. The big kiddos watched a morning movie before heading out back to join the little ones. Brian made a pasta dinner and after we put the kiddos down, we ended the night getting ready for Easter and watching Better Call Saul. We’re finally getting around to season two after a few years. April has begun, and it’ll go as quickly as March did. Hopefully filled with several nothing days and quality time with the kiddos.

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