Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What's Been Happening Lately, Part 2

As I've been thinking about the last few months, trying to decide what to put on my blog, I've been realizing that there's been a lot of growing going on in our house recently.  Physically, of course, as everyone is getting bigger.  Benjamin turned 7 in November, lost his first tooth a few months ago, and has become quite a good reader.  Joanna turned 6 last month, is learning to read, was the first child to learn to tie shoes, and has become really detailed in her drawings.  After both of them had their birthdays, Ezra is eagerly waiting for his, in June, when he will turn 5.  He just learned to write his name.  Toby practically potty-trained himself last fall, catching on so quickly that I really felt like I hardly had to do anything.  He's finally started talking as well, and has more words all the time.  Simon, of course is growing constantly.  He just started walking, following our family's schedule of walking at 13 months.  He still loves to get into things, but he's learning to listen to Mommy's "no"!  :) He loves to go outside.

Our food consumption has really gone up in the last several months, so much that I was feeling like I was spending almost all of my time in the kitchen.  In an attempt to simplify a bit, I decided to eliminate our morning snack time.  I wasn't sure it was possible, but it actually has gone surprisingly well!  We eat a little more at breakfast, and I adjusted our schedule to allow for an earlier lunch, and it's working great!  I now am making less food, and spending less time cleaning the kitchen, so I feel like this simple change has made a noticeable difference.

Not only has there been a lot of physical growth in the family, but I feel like there has been a noticeable shift in our family dynamics.  Instead of having five little kids, there are two different groups now: big kids and little kids.  That seems obvious when I say it, but it's really only been in the last few months that I've noticed it being true for us.  Benjamin, all of a sudden, has been declaring himself too big for things, like certain movies and books.  Even though the four (or 5) kids still frequently play all together, more and more I've noticed them playing in groups, older and younger.  Ezra is kind of the wild card, switching between groups, depending on the activity.  Our bedtime story time has changed, and instead of reading picture books with everyone, Seth has been reading a chapter book with the older two, while I read picture books with the three younger boys.  Last fall Seth and I felt like it would be good for the older kids to have some kind of outside activity they were doing, so every week the older three kids go to an AWANA group and Seth and I have just the two little boys.  The older three all have regular chores they do around the house, and they are a really big help now with the work.  I'm finding myself frequently talking about the "little boys".

I feel like it was interesting for me to make this realization.  I'm not sure I totally like this shift; some changes have made me a little sad, and I'm having to get used to it.  I know this is our new normal, and the trajectory will probably just continue!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

What's Been Happening Lately, Part One

I've wanted to post here more often than I have lately, but my time and energy has simply gone to other things.  So, a little update of sorts is in order!  :)  First up, our biggest recent news:


Baby #6!!!  We are so very excited to meet this new little person around the end of June!  Joanna, of course, is hoping for a sister.  :)
We now have the oh-so-fun task of purchasing a new car ahead of us, since we've outgrown our minivan.  Hello big family van!  We are very sad to have to say goodbye to our beloved MPV.  It has treated us well.  :(
My one disappointment this time around has been our decision to go with a hospital birth.  We made that decision based on some complications with previous births, and while I have peace with that, we really miss our familiar midwives and birth center!  It was so much more family friendly, especially for appointments and such!  My consolations are that I'm so much more prepared this time around than I was the last time I gave birth in a hospital (with Benjamin!), and that I will still have a midwife, not an OB.  So it will all be fine, and at least we won't have to worry about needing a hospital transfer.
Anyway, we're down to just over three months, which will fly by, of course!  And we are all so excited!!!  :)