Last week you turned 5 and it happened to be in the middle of us getting ready to move so it was not an ideal day but I think you really did like it. Becki took you out for the day and you came back tired and happy but 5 year olds don’t stop – you went right out to Jujitsu with your sisters and came home exhausted and ready for cake (brownies) and bed. I wonder if your whole 5th year will be as crazy.
You are the child I think I have spent the most time with. Somehow though you feel like you need me most still. It is a little the age, a little bit you. When I am around and something goes wrong I am the embodiment of a bunker, a band-aid, and teddy bear all in one person. I have seen you work out problems and not fall apart so I know you can, but, I don’t mind being here for you always.
Preschool is over for the year and you did great. Not a bit of separation issues beyond an extra hug every day. Your teacher Ms. Kayla was fantastic and loved you and you loved her. Now you know every letter and number and can write most of them very well. You love to write actually, you write all the time. Sometimes even on walls… Your hobby right now is to cut interesting shapes out of paper so your cutting skills are very good. When you draw and paint, and that is as often as I let you, you are making people and families and noticing odd little things about a person and adding them into the pictures. Gone are the days of abstract, hello 10,000 pictures of our family 🙂 You are also getting decent at sounding out small words when you are in the mood, I hope you have fun in Kindergarten next year.
You did great with the carpool and you and Reilly are super good friends even though you are pretty different kids. In school you made some true friends, friends I get the feeling we will be seeing a lot of over the next 6+ years. I love when kids make friends completely outside of family influence – these are not the children of my friends or the siblings of sisters friends. Selfishly, this usually means new friends for me because cool kids usually have cool parents and 5-year-olds can’t do playdates alone. You think you can though, you think you can do nearly anything your sisters can and your TV and music taste has been artificially aged. Where Niamh was singing Laurie Berkner and Disney at this age, you sing “Way down Below” and “Cheap Thrills”. The best was when you sang the same bit of another song; “1,2,3 your gonna come back to me, I’m the best baby you will ever ever see” when you were sure it was just a counting song for babies. Oh well, that is what happens with #3. You also have a better vocabulary and listen to audio books intended for kids 8+. I never know how much sinks in but we recently listened to a Greek Myth book and just yesterday you told me that Zeus was God’s (Baby Jesus God you made clear) Godfather. I’ll take that, seems like a realistic situation…
As #3 you do tend to almost always have sisters around but this past two years you had significant time as the only child all day while they were at school. Yes, we did tons together and you did want (and get) books and snuggles but for large chunks of time you like to do your OWN thing. You don’t even want the puppy out with you. I’m not sure what fantastic game is going on but you will swing on the swings and run around the yard for about 40 min happy as can be. Same with your room – you go in there and have elaborate games with all the toys. Eventually, you get bored and want to do things with me and there is almost always things to do. You are probably the best at cleaning and loading the dishwasher because we do a lot of that. Sometimes you even do chores all on your own, other times you still claim to be the baby. Your view on life is usually 110%
Speaking of babies. You still LOVE them. You don’t actually have to have your 2 baby dolls at ALL times anymore and you actually are ok with missing any favorite toy at bedtime for the most part, but you still love them. Our friend had a real baby and we would watch him and a real baby was a horse of a different color… you did have some jealousy for sure but you also had that internal protect the small thing instinct and did plenty to help him be happy and me take care of him. I’m really glad we got that experience for you and I’m glad we could help a friend.
Jumping over to gross motor (ha ha) this was a big year for you. You can now swim pretty ok; we started in January and you didn’t really even want to get in the pool and now you bob and actually swim. You are well on the way to really swimming, thanks, YMCA. You are learning your bike but like your sisters, you are faster on a scooter or even just running. You can monkey bar the whole way across and you will jump off way too many things. You started Jujitsu 2 weeks ago and you’re not quite sure about it but I needed time to pack so you needed to go. You also just started archery and knife throwing with Dad, he says your are pretty good. For a large chunk of the summer and fall, we did Pokemon hunting, great reason for a walk and we walked all over town, miles a day most nice days. I’m glad to have 3 active girls and I hope I’m a good role model even if I can’t do the monkey bars.
I’ve been writing on this for a few days so it is getting long. I should really stop so here are some quick other things that were you at 4; you still wanted to sleep with me and would often sneak in around 3am. You fall asleep really fast most nights but 1 in 10 you stay up until 11. You still have allergies and all colds turn into nasty chest issues and you need your machine. Your favorite color is changeable, you love Addie and Reilly as your friends, and you still take baths mostly and are growing out of hair twirling so we might see you with longer hair someday. In your 4th year you went to Hawaii, NY, PA, ND, WI Dells and WI in general, and all over MN. You are not the weakest link on a road trip and you are getting pretty good at operating all the electronics solo. There are still tantrums but you actually lean more toward surly sadness. You mimic and tag along and drive your sisters crazy but you also play with them – the destruction phase is over. You still put way too many things in your mouth and absently pick at things until they are in bits. We get you gum to try and help and it actually does. Your well child is today and I expect them to report that you are 40lb because we just weighed you at the vet Tuesday. You love to snuggle and cuddle and even if it is tiring for me, I am still the answer to most of the problems of the world for you.
Hello! Guess what? I have a 5 year old! and she isn’t the oldest, she is my youngest. Fiona, my change baby (not that change…) is again having a birthday in the middle of a giant life change. She will get her birthday post and I’m also full of other post too, much like the pairing down of possessions one wants to move I have had to pare down what I can actually do in my life. My normal workouts have been dropped to what I can do while they are at swim lessons and 2x other people have brought them so I could do more house stuff. Blogging is on the casualty list too and unfortunately, so is watching TV or reading so busy with all the things! Today I’m going to use my WHOLE computer hour on the blog so get ready for lots of words.
I am getting feeling flashbacks from other times in my life when many important things were going on at the same time. I used to make lists of the major things and their due dates and I did actually get every paper turned in, was on time for every exam, and moved out in good order in college. This is a whole new level of the game though because those things were black and white – move out meant take all your stuff and put it in the car and drive home to Long Island. This time I can’t just clean sweep it all, I need to stage in my wake AND we are living her AND we don’t know where we are actually moving to OR when.
So to the people that I’m not there for like normal, I am very sorry… I hope this is all for the good and I can get back to being a good friend again.
On the positive side – I am not pregnant! that was not actually a concern at all but this would be WAY worse if I was and when you are in birthday season you think about that 9th month and the tiny baby and resulting world shift and this is not that. It is something different, but, it holds the same promise of a new beginning and the waiting and the uncertainty of ‘when’ and ‘what’ have a lot of similarities. I also have kids that while not totally helpful are big enough to not need my constant care. 5 years ago I was starting the stay at home mom life and that was another giant shift in my life. All 6 little eyes on me for all the things. No break, not a lot of help, and the brain activity of trying to make all the things work in a new envelope of time without dropping too many important things too often. Like I said, I am having feeling flashbacks because this is not the first time I’ve done something stressful of juggled things or worked with
Like I said, I am having feeling flashbacks because this is not the first time I’ve done something stressful of juggled things or worked with uncertainty and major decisions. Thankfully they are all things I think I managed to get through pretty well and hopefully this one is no different.
Sine this is my blog I’m going to pat myself on the back for my yesterday achievements. 5 years ago I produced a person from my body who knows the alphabet and can do the whole monkey bar solo but still eats boogers. Yesterday I got up early to do my contract work, then greeted the birthday girl. We made pancakes and whipped cream and sang and she was happy. Dealt with some sister jelly attitude without losing it. Got all kids and pup into the car and to carpool on time and to school perfectly. Had coffee with a Vacation Mom who took Fiona out for her birthday (and my work day) and they went to the zoo and dairy queen while I finished contract work, got all the things on cabinets or walls or hooks in the entire kitchen level packed or put away or in the sell/donate pile. I cleaned up days of ignored kitchen.
In the afternoon I met the kids and kept working on the kitchen. When the painter got here it was at least at 90% ready and coincidently Lars was done working so we did Fiona gifts outside under our favorite tree. She loved everything from everyone, 5 is a happy age. She was as happy with the pack of gum as the scooter. They played and I went back to chipping away. I paused to help all 3 girls get ready for jujitsu – you heard that right all THREE of them went to jujitsu with Lars. The plan was for them to get birthday dinner out after as well as a trip to storage and be home for cake. I moved on to the green room where I started packing and styling the giant built in book case while the kitchen was painted. I threw in a batch of brownies that was done just as they came home and we sang happy birthday with my parents on the iPad on our back deck and then the girls enjoyed our long daylight with playing outside until nearly 9. Not done yet! I actually looked at Zoe’s folder and noticed she was on the 1st for snack in June and I actually remembered in the store on Tuesday night so I had things in the house to make the final cute class snack. Niamh was the trooper on this, delaying her own bedtime to help me do them. The day was finally over and the living room was enough together we could actually watch 1 tv show.
In more full truth, because that really does have the ring of super mom, I’m like a duck with the frantic feet but the top level looks pretty good. We did gifts on the lawn and ate on the deck because there is not one place to sit in the entire kitchen because the table and chairs are holding all the things either unsorted or normally on a wall that plan on going back. I put in brownies 15min before they got back because I completely forgot until that second. Seeing Zoe’s snack day was more happy accident than good parent that looks at all the papers in the folder. Gifts were purchased 2 days in advance via amazon and 1 I knew would be late and 1 just didn’t show up yesterday… the others were gotten in a walmart trip the night before that I made after seeing a house. I’ve gone to lots of hardware and paint stores in the past 2 weeks but we are pretty low on groceries – good way to get the refrigerator and pantry clean!
I think that I’m doing ok but there are pinch points where I just wish it were easier. I am making progress but the list is still very very long. Vacation mom and Lars are both makigng it much better and I’m happy we have a painter friend who can help us because if I was doing this all alone I would be a giant mess and I’m glad his wife is ok with him being here so much. The goal is to have the house ready to have pictures on Tuesday and start showing when we are gone to NY. I’m torn between wanting to be here to make sure the house is perfect and wanting to remove 3 kids and a puppy from the equation…. Any crossed fingers or good wishes are welcome as we keep doing the do.
Guess how I know… her aunt sent me congratulations 🙂 I forwarded them along. Now the house hunt makes sense, I do hope they figured something out because I could not imagine moving with a newborn.
I might have more later today but I’m going to try and blitz the outside things today while we still have miraculous warm weather. Time hop has reminded me that at least 3 years of the last 8 there was snow on the ground by now. I’m living on borrowed summer….
**If you are new here from the NaBloPoMo list welcome, sorry this story seems out of place. If you want the whole story search ‘other kate’ in the search window. Short version, I have at least 3 people who accidently use my email address. The one I have tracked down (also have gotten the most important things from over they years) lives in Australia. I feel oddly close to her given how much of her life she accidently shares with me, and I share with my blog because I know at least 1 person loves the story line 🙂
Weather; Fall again, feel the chill
Kids; 100% in school today
Workout; 1 bodypump class today and maybe I’ll walk to get that elusive 10k steps
health; heard a dishearting rattle in a sudden cough that was not there yesterday…
calories; resisting the candy. Not resisting a cookie for breakfast.
Here I am again! In my old job there was a predictable season for all sorts of thing. The time I would send this or budget that or schedule the other… One of my odd worries when I started to stay home was that I would lose that rhythm to the year. I was wrong. Plenty of things. There were the expected holiday and birthday things that roll around like clockwork but those were already a given. Things like posting every day in November is oddly like when I would review the prices of every item in my zone of influence. It is nice to have built a new framework, there is basically no dull time in the year, no time when I’m just doing the same thing week after week with no variation. I think I actually have more variation now than I did at the mundane job!
On the other hand, posting every day the topics start to get thin. I have not decided if I’ll go with a theme or jump onto the prompts they send out daily or if I’ll fall back on my routine prompts from last year. Each have merit and I guess we will find out tomorrow! One thing is for sure, its going to get a bit random because I am using all my strategy and planning on the 5 other blogs and web presences I’m managing right now!
In the vain of random, here is a picture of Niamh in a shirt she was given when she was 3. It says ‘my dad rocks’ and has been in her wardrobe ever since. The friends that gave it to her are expecting their first baby in March but back then just had no concept of kid sizes – soon they will laugh at themselves (more, because they laughed in the first place too).
ps. I just remembered I could have gotten away with just a picture today as ‘wordless Wednesday’ oh well, I just can’t keep my days straight when my Monday is off balance.
Today I have actually done so many of the things my head says one should do .
- Got up a little early to read and snuggle with Niamh
- I made healthy lunches for kids
- ate breakfast on the go, but, ate breakfast
- dropped off and hugged 5 kids at school
- worked out with a friend who totally made the workout possible by pulling out equipment for me too
- Showered! before noon!
- met up with friends for an hour
- took a 1 mile walk where I got 5 pokimon
- Finished an awesome biography on Birdseye
- ate lunch with my husband
- answered a few pressing e-mails
- did a work call
And now I look toward a major project – swapping kid rooms – that I’ve been trying to get underway for weeks. The bed is here, the mattress arrived this afternoon, I cleaned the kitchen last night so that’s still good and I have a ‘free’ hour before my first sewing lesson student arrives.
This week has been decent in rhythm. I’m working out more if not at normal/regular times. I can spend time with the kids doing individual things because I can get some of the annoying chore things done faster solo. Work is increasing since I’m onboarding a new client so I have way more setup work than normal but its also fun. I still need to work out my computer time because if I’m not with Fiona I tend to work all day non stop and if I’m with Fiona I can’t break away as regularly as I used to. I’ll get that dialed in sooner or later 🙂
So thats my life right now. I need to do some posts on projects I’m working on because the big Halloween holiday is coming and we have a few new hobbies going that are totally worth talking about but I’m too busy doing to get writing.
Hope you all have a great weekend. Mine will involve a chainsaw!
Poor blog, nobody posts on you!
For the second week in a row Lars is out of town and in contrast to last week where I felt like the crazy hub of social activity this weekend we are crazy solo. All little outings fell through and kids were behaving like it was a full moon (it was) and they had spent an exhausting fun week at camp. Solo parenting is for the birds (although based on my nesting robins, those chicks keep 2 parents busy in their species too).
In the win column – I have major amounts of garb produced. Thanks to mom who is quietly producing in NY to supplement efforts here, I think I can put away the sewing tomorrow. I also have one solid box packed and some bits and pieces getting pulled to a gather point for packing in the near term.
We also did a fair job cleaning up. When they start fighting I say I need to micromanage and we clean. Sometimes the mess just moves but it’s almost cute to hear Zoe cut me off mid-word to parrot “do it right or do it twice”. I also seem to have a relaxation issue when Lars is gone. Two nights straight I got them to bed with reasonable ease, that at least is not a current issue, and instead of vegging out I power clean. Last night I seriously intended to just do 10min and then go to bed and there was mud by the door from feet and 30 min later I had the floor cleaned and dry using a washcloth and dish towel since I only was going to do “that spot” but then there was “another spot”.
Today is starting better. It is not raining, it is not 90 degrees and they let me sleep until 7:30. And hey, the kitchen is clean, so that always helps the day start nicely.
Ps. output in the past few days;
2 tunics for Lars, 1 over tunic, skirt and choli for me, 2 kid cholis, 5 kid skirts, a hat, 3 hoods, a chemise, various mending points, and 3 kids that are still alive.