Spring Break has come and gone. The weather was gorgeous, we had no school drop offs or pick ups, and we got a little taste of what summer will be like (+ a newborn)! We met friends at the park--friends that we don't usually get to see because they're all at school. We played out in the back yard and rode bikes in the culdesac. We went to the zoo and got ice cream. We had friends over to play and have a pizza picnic outside. We painted nails and read books and drew with chalk and rode scooters. At the end of every day, the little ones were exhausted and I was really exhausted but this week home together just reaffirmed for me how our family works best. I love having everyone home from school. I love letting them wake up when they want and lounge in their pajamas and take their time eating breakfast and play with whatever lego/doll/dinosaur combination usually fancies their interests first thing in the morning.
I'm not pretending every minute at home with these three is easy and full of smiles and children playing nicely--that's not the case at all. There are moments when Lilly is telling on Jack and Jack is telling on Hannah and Hannah is telling everyone else what to or shrieking for no reason. There are moments when they're all talking at once and everyone has some comment to make about what they would like for dinner and how they really didn't feel like eating what I made. There are moments when my phone rings and Hannah takes advantage of the distraction to run into a corner and go to the bathroom, and then announces to everyone that "I peed in my pants," with a huge grin on her face while Lilly and Jack chuckle in disbelief. At one point, Jack came in to get everyone cups of water for outside and ended up with ice all over the kitchen floor, more water on the floor than was actually in the cups...and a big proud smile on his face because he got everyone 3 (almost full) cups of iced water. The loads of laundry and the mess are endless as are the constant requests for snacks. "No--we just had breakfast/lunch/dinner... " was probably my most used phrase over spring break. We all took full advantage of nap time and quiet time every day--Hannah and I would often take 2 hour naps while Jack and Lilly had their time to play and read on their own. I got to use some quiet time to listen to Lilly read, which is something that I want to do all the time but which I rarely have the opportunity to do quietly as there are always other children around asking questions. Parts of the week were exhausting and frustrating, just like life in general. But I would have weeks like this over and over again if I could.
I spent a lot of the week smiling. One morning, I watched them trace each other with chalk on the driveway before going around the back for a picnic lunch. I would see Lilly pushing Hannah on the swing while Jack was spinning himself around in circles on the tire swing. Hannah learned how to climb up the rope ladder by herself (while giving me minor heart attacks) so that she can be up on the playground with the other two. One afternoon, I sat outside with my iced coffee trying to pretend I wasn't there (which never works--as soon as I'm out there, they want me to play). But, they know I've got a "giant tummy" at the moment and that means I don't run around in circles with them so eventually, I got to sit and just watch. I watched them chase each other around in circles shrieking and yelling "try and catch me!" and the hysterical laughter that ensued when one of them caught the other. I watched them play their "family" game where Jack is Jim, Lilly is me and Hannah is "Little Katie." We're not sure why or where Little Katie came from, but it's been consistent enough over the past few months that if you called Little Katie across the yard, Hannah would come running. When I see these three little people make each other laugh--real, belly laughs--I watch and smile. Last week, they got to do what children are supposed to do. They got to run and jump and climb and play games. They got to choose their own clothes and I didn't have to worry about things matching. They learned how to solve problems together and they were happy. I was happier. 6 more weeks of school, and then we get to do this all summer.
|The owl was Hannah's favorite animal at the zoo!|
|Jack asked me to take a picture of him and the turtle to "send to Uncle Joefy!"|
|The ducks were a pretty big hit too.|