Growing up, I never realized that there could be so much satisfaction in being a father. Not just in having children, but in having someone you simply want to take care of and make happy. Having someone right in front of you that just takes you back in time, to when you were also a child, to when you hopped through a bounce house and sprung around trampolines and thought the world was endlessly vast. I didn't know that being a father meant both being selfless, and also indulging in someone else's joy.
Since our family has experienced quite a bit of upheaval and tragedy in the last few months (and even before that, frankly) a lot of people have asked how Nate and I keep it together. How we keep going, smiling and moving through life. We’ve continued to travel and work, leaning into each other as life whirls on around us. If you’re going through similar issues, here’s a little marriage advice to put your relationship into focus in the midst of chaos.
Our family likes travel and movies and we LOVE Disney, so we were stoked that our Disney Cruise Line trip gave us the perfect opportunity to marry that all together! Disneybounding is one of our favorite pastimes, and we decided to channel some fun silver screen characters for pirate night. There was a little sneak peek of our outfits in our post about what to pack, and now we're laying out all the details for these Peter Pan family costumes.
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.