Friends & Family Archives

I have thought about it so much lately, how I so suddenly put blogging on the back burner 4 years ago after many years of blogging almost daily.  I still can’t put my finger on why I did that and, try as I have, I haven’t been able to figure out how to make it a part of my daily life again.

I’m not sure what I want to say right now but there really is so much to write and I feel an incredible urge lately to return to this place where I have archived so many memories, this place my kids love to come and read about our family’s life and they laugh at themselves and talk about how much they have grown.

This place that has been quiet far too long.  It’s time to wake it back up.

For today I’m going to post pictures.

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You can probably tell from the new header that somebody got into the paint recently.

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Guess who.  I’ll give you a hint.

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Yeah. It was all of us.

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In November my friend Marty did a family painting photo session with us and it was hilarious and needs to be written about in detail because apparently when it comes to family pictures I’m Claire Dunphy.

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And Kait is whatever character pays good money for the supplies and special lens needed (it was a very cool gift from her) and then totally forgets about the whole thing until her dad calls her asking where she is and she jumps out of bed where she was watching a show, runs out the door, and STILL shows up looking amazing.

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I think this one is where Kait is telling the boys that they’d better not get any paint on her.

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All Maggie wanted to do was paint the canvas purple.

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She did not understand why we were putting paint on each other.

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But Lanie absolutely did not want to paint the canvas.

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As a matter of fact, this paint session was not her most favorite activity ever.

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While she wasn’t her most cheerful, Lanie did give us a few good smiles.

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We had a great time but I do regret not thinking it through a bit more. Like not have a ladder in the background and maybe moving the little trampoline out of sight.

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The important thing was that we had a terrific time, made a fun memory, and ended up with some really great pictures.

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And some really awesome family art.


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Perfect Chaos.

I think my perfect sleep hours would be 9:30 pm to 5:00 am. I’d sleep undisturbed and wake feeling completely rested and ready for a new day.
I would get up while the house was still quiet and actually drink an entire cup of coffee without having to reheat it 4 times and write a complete blog post and update my bullet journal.
I imagine I’d have thoughts. Real, uninterrupted thoughts. The kind of thoughts that adults have when they’re adulting. Thoughts about the meaning of life and foreign heads of state and who on earth invented algebra because I’d like to have a talk with them.

At around 7:30 my kids would one-by-one begin to make their way out of their rooms. We’d talk about dreams while we eat bacon for breakfast and then get our day started.

Reality, however, has 10-month-old Lanie falling asleep after midnight and waking up between 8 or 9 so when I get up for the day chaos has already set in.

Maggie is wearing her tights as pants and her shirt is on inside out and backwards and she is trying to get the last bit of oatmeal powder out of a used oatmeal packet she found in the trash can. Then I step in a half-wiped up orange juice spill while trying to clean a glob of something off the front of the dishwasher because my teenage sons started a ninja fight while making some breakfast. And while attempting to get the morning sorted out I misplace my fresh cup of delicious hot coffee which totally defeats the purpose of brewing it in the first place and who on earth thought it was a good idea to put a pull up in the washing machine?

And I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!

But then.
The boys argue over who gets to hold Lanie first and she is all smiles with them fawning all over her and my heart melts at how much they love her. Lucy reminds me again how much she missed me all night while she was sleeping and Maggie says the blessing and she thanks God that Joe (her oldest brother) gets to come visit so often (he lives here) and somebody finds my coffee in the microwave because I had forgotten that I had reheated it just as Joe walks in from his early morning shift at the coffee shop with a white chocolate mocha all for me.

And we all laugh.

And I’m reminded that in the chaos, life is so good. So worth all of the sticky and smelly and accidentally washed pull ups.

Once my kids put an entire package of bacon in the pantry instead of the fridge and we didn’t find it for days and had to throw the whole thing out and I think if we could make it through that, we can make it through anything.

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I am constantly telling my kids to go outside and play, to which they usually huff respectfully and then head out front and have a really good time.  I know they are having a good time because we no longer have grass growing in a large section of the front yard.
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Yards without kids having fun don’t look like this.

I don’t understand why they so often resist the out-of-doors because if they look bored I usually give them a chore or a list of jobs or a baby to hold, though that last one kind of backfires on me because they often argue over who gets to play with Lanie.img_20160529_140241072_hdr

I think it’s important for kids to play outside. And often. Numerous times a day even. I think it’s important for them to make up new games and argue over rules and learn to work together.

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I think it’s important for them to wrestle and race and contemplate whether or not they can throw a ball over the house and what is Mom going to say when we tell her the football is on the roof?
I think it’s important for them to get dirty and sweaty and scrape up their knees.

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I also think it’s important that they take a shower when they come inside because have you ever smelled boy-sweat times five?

Right now there is civil unrest in many parts of our country, mostly from our younger generation, and I feel like maybe they were never been told to go play outside.

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9 people throwing up with only two working bathrooms is chaos like you’ve never seen.  And with the fevers, everybody wants to sit in the shower and one of our 3 bathrooms is in the middle of a remodel and is out of commission. We’ve been slammed with a stomach thing Kait brought home from her fancy new job last week.  She was the only one sick so we assumed it was a food thing until Saturday night when everybody starting running for the toilets, one right after another.

I have no idea how Maggie has avoided it so far.  She just figured out how to make it to the toilet to pee and I’m absolutely sure she wouldn’t be able to do the same if she was throwing up. I’m so hoping for mercy and that maybe she’s just not going to catch this bug.

Lanie is a little grumpy tonight and has a lot of gas but she’s eating and hasn’t gotten sick so I’m hoping the nursing will help kill off the bug before it causes her to feel too bad.

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If you want to participate in the 10th annual 31 for 21 grab the button on my sidebar.  Big Blueberry Eyes is hosting it and you can start anytime in October so don’t worry if you’re late. You don’t have to have a child with Down syndrome to participate.  You don’t even have to know a person with Down syndrome to participate.  Really, you don’t even have to write about Down syndrome. Just write every day in October and dedicate it to 31 for 21. And grab the button and put it somewhere on your blog or your Facebook or tweet it or Instagram it or anything really. 

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Sundays are for swimming

We normally have a common meal at the church every Sunday but today was a little different and we ended up going with our good friends to their house after the service for falafels and some good pool time.

Some of us swam.

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Some of us took pictures of our oldest baby holding our youngest baby.

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Okay, that was just me.  I was the only one who did that.

And some of us slept.

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Jesse is 7 and I’m so proud of how hard he’s worked to overcome his fear of the water.  I had started to worry that he might never learn to swim because Lucy told him once that there might be sharks in there but lately he’s loved the pool and I’m hoping that it won’t be too long before we can ditch that life jacket.

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Maggie just told me that she was finished swimming and it was time to go home.  The girl knows when she needs a nap.

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I got her dressed, per her request, and no more than two minutes later she asked if she could get back into the pool.

We have the very best people as friends.  They love opening up their home to our large family and they do it often. It’s amazing.

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It is just about time to go though so I’d better get the rest of my kids dried and dressed.

Happy Sunday.

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Is it considered a selfie if you prop your camera up and set the timer on it to get a picture of yourself?  Or does somebody in your picture have to physically be holding the camera for it to have selfie status?

We’re on our way home from our first family vacation in a long time but before we took off this morning I forced my very tired family to pose for a picture which may or may not be another family selfie.  We snapped one picture and even though it was a very tired morning with a long drive ahead, it turned out pretty okay as far as I am concerned. Everybody was looking at the camera and smiling except for Lanie and that’s what we call a win.
We did also take one outside which was equally as good but there was some film on the lens that messed it up.

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We had a very good time on this trip and we made some pretty awesome memories.  We haven’t been on an actual family vacation in 8 years and this was way overdue.  We’ll definitely be going back to that cabin again.

Kait took some great pictures of us mining and tubing and exploring downtown Helen and I’ll post some of them as soon as I can get them from her.

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We may just have a photobombing master…

We’re on a family vacation in Helen, GA right now and we’re having a blast.  The cabin we rented for a few nights is right on a creek and the kids have been spending a pretty good amount of time climbing on rocks and looking for salamanders.  It’s really fun.

I went down with them for a little bit to get a couple of pictures.  Some of them turned out really cute and some of them were just dumb but this one was probably the best picture I’ve ever taken.

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Not because two of my favorite people are in it, no.

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There is a third person, also one of my favorite people…

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Joe.
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Joe and some of the other boys had climbed down over the edge of this little waterfall and as I took pictures of Kait and Maggie he was sticking his head up just over the edge and it made for the most amazing photobomb.  I almost didn’t catch it because I couldn’t see it in the picture until I zoomed in, but he stood up after I took the picture and I could see more of him.

Our vacation, which was unfortunately cut in half, has been really fun so far.  There are lots of pictures and I hope I’ll be a good blogger and post some more over the next few days.

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Sunday Selfie. On Wednesday.

I don’t do many selfies.  I just don’t like them.  I could go into a rant on how the current generation has been given so many tools to assist them in completely melting into their own egos, using their vanity to try to get all kinds of self gratifying attention but instead I’m going to post a selfie.

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This is my family being completely normal and respectable in our kitchen.  Kait took this for me last Sunday after I insisted that we must take a selfie in our kitchen because it is the right thing to do and we want to do the right thing, don’t we?

So this is our current family picture – the first one we’ve taken in two years.

I don’t know what Matthew is doing in the middle there and Ben and Sam look like they are planning something devious.
And Gabe looks excessively tall.  Because he is.

It feels like there should be more people in the picture.

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I still have my other kids

There has been so much going on with Lanie that I’ve neglected to post much about the 9 other children running around here so here’s a cute picture of some of them.

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Maggie’s duck face…  Kait taught her to do that.
Funny not funny.

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Catching up. Again.

It has been a really rough two weeks.

Like I had mentioned in a previous post, the kids came down with some rotten colds and while I’m a big proponent of letting a fever run it’s course I found myself administering ibuprofen at night, all night, just so we could all get some sleep.  And then, just as the littles were getting better I got sick and I have now been ill for two weeks.  The doctor said he thought I had strep throat and didn’t see the need to test for it, but just started me on a round of antibiotics.  After two days I felt so much better but my cough is still in my chest and keeps me up at night.  I have another appointment tomorrow so we’ll see what they say about that.  I know coughs can take a while to get over.

Okay.  I’m finished complaining now because this is just some of what I have to be thankful of in the mornings around here.

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These little girls are 2 and 4 and they are just about the funniest things ever.  They were making the silliest faces at each other but I didn’t catch the best of them because Maggie stops whatever she is doing if you point a camera at her.  She is a ham, but likes to look directly at the camera.

I did get this silly one though

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Lucy is much more dignified, but being almost 5 can do that to a girl I guess.

Here is another 3D ultrasound picture of Laney from last week.

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I realize her face looks smashed on one side but it really isn’t.  It was just the way she was laying and rolling at the time of the pictures.  I’ve noticed that 3D ultrasounds are a cross between very, very cool and very, very creepy.
I wish we had gotten pictures of her hair, which would appear she has in great abundance already.

My polyhydramnios has crossed over into severe territory and has to be monitored weekly right now. It’s annoying but really isn’t causing any problems and the benefit of having way too much amniotic fluid is awesome 3D pictures.  All the techs seem to love me because it’s very easy to get good pictures.

And her lips – OH MY GOODNESS.

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