I have four kids ages 7 and under. People always ask if I had a set of twins in there. Nope! It’s just been a solid seven years of pregnant, nursing, weaning, crawling, toddling rambunctiousness. My kids – all boys – were born back-to-back-to-back-to-back all approximately two years apart. That means that we’ve been elbows deep in baby food for over six years. I know a LOT about feeding little kids. And I have the magic secret to getting a baby to love vegetables.
When I was a kid, one of the coolest sets of lyrics to be put to a dope beat was “jump up, jump up, and get down.” The song “Jump Around” by House of Pain included the word “jump” approximately 94 times which, coincidentally, is about how many jumps I have to do to get a full workout. Working up a sweat as an adult is SO much easier than it was when I was a kid, so our son’s trampoline birthday party recently doubled as my gym visit for the day and his celebration. Score!
Our big boys started back to school last week. Second grade and kindergarten! To be honest, I was anxious after a couple of bumpy years. I’ve shared that we do sort of a “modified” schooling situation, pairing long stretches of independent study with a more traditional elementary school setting. This summer took us on a new homeschool adventure, with an educational consultant and lots of fun curriculum, but we ultimately decided to continue with the part-time classroom situation for at least another year. I was nervous that the kids wouldn’t want to head back.
To say that we have some BIG Minions fans in our household would be an understatement. We’ve dressed up as the characters for Halloween, our third son is nicknamed “Minion”, and they’re all over our kids’ favorite jammies! So when our dentist said we needed to motivate our kids to brush their teeth more consistently, I knew exactly what approach to take. A Minions toothbrush, all the Minion-y gear I could find to go along with it, and the new augmented reality brushing experience from Colgate on the Blippar app!
I’ll never forget the day that my oldest son’s preschool called me in to talk about addressing his “learning differences.” As an involved parent and a former teacher, I was acutely aware from infancy that he processed things differently than his peers. I was just surprised to hear someone else acknowledge it. Worry wasn’t top of mind during that conversation, when they suggested we have him assessed by the county for an IEP and start making minor adjustments to his day at the learning center.
I was relieved to be getting help.
My three-year-old is in a booster seat, and I don’t even know how this happened. Basically, I blinked, and now he’s a walking-talking-functional human being with independent thoughts and ideas. I’ve mentioned how buying clothes for him is a little weird because he’s huge for his age. The car seat situation is the same. He’s too big for most harness seats, but he’s still mentally immature and needing something SOLID that keeps him contained in one spot if he wiggles a bit. With our frequent travels, we also need something that can go from car-to-train-to-Uber without much fanfare.
I’m thirty-three years old. Three years ago, I had laser eye surgery to correct life-long nearsightedness. Before the surgery, I had no trouble seeing close up. Books, computers, cell phones and faces in conversation were easy. What caused me to squint were things like street signs, chalkboards and clocks across the room. The doc warned me that my vision may swing the other way after the surgery: based on my eyes and genetics, I’d likely have trouble seeing close up sooner than most people. Surgery could help me travel and navigate airports or roads, but soon I would probably find myself holding reading material and menus further away, struggling to make out words that were right in front of my face.
She was right.
What to do when your ‘big boys’ and ‘little boys’ are the exact same size? There’s a four-year age gap between our oldest three kids, but they’re currently ALL wearing a size six! With a 6’4″ former NCAA football player for a dad, this isn’t shocking. Our kids tend to grow in awkward spurts. They go through husky phases and string bean phases and it all levels out in the end. It does make shopping a bit of a challenge, though. We need cool colors and graphics to make the big boys happy, and awesomely-rugged play gear to keep the little one going. How to solve this problem? Mix-and-match clothes for boys!
I mentioned in my 4th of July pet post that I adopted some more cats recently. Thanks to my friends who know we have space on the farm and like to send me notices of a nearby shelter closing down, knowing I have zero self-control! We brought in three ladies who we call Smoky, Penelope and Twinkle. Twinkle here was named in part because she likes to tinkle everywhere in the house. Particularly in our living room, she pees and poops and scratches and claws. It didn’t take long for me to realize that she would be the death of my go-to hangout spot in no time flat. This cat was ruining my couch.