A 10K, A Three-Phase Evening and Meeting Babies...

So I'm alive. I survived my first (and probably last) 10K. It has been hanging over my head for two months, yet for the last several weeks (actually since the 5K I ran on May 4), I didn't even look at my running shoes. Didn't work out a single minute. Stupid, you say? Yes. I would agree with that. I realize this is not an unfathomable distance. As I have said before, 6.2 miles is a mere quick jog for plenty of you. For me, it was my own personal marathon. Due to the incentive provided to me by my wonderful husband, I was determined I would crawl across the finish line before I quit. 

Here are a few things I learned from this experience. 

-training would have been really helpful
-despite what I thought, running feels better than walking on major, evil hills
-pee one final time before I start
-don't forget to actually train
-adjust my playlist so that all of my songs don't have the word "walk" sung in them constantly  
-I'm much stronger than I thought I was
-oh and train

So I finished in around 1:11, which is terribly slow. Considering I had the lofty goal of 1:30, I deem this a complete success. I was actually surprised that I only walked probably around a minute total through the race (cramp in my side during the last mile, a dagger... I would walk for 10 seconds then keep going). The hills were my enemy, and I think they were quite mean to put a seriously rough one right before the finish line. I basically sprinted the very very end, thinking... the faster I run, the sooner this is over. I ran with two moms from Layla's preschool, and they are both rockstars. I felt energetic and excited after the race, on top of the world. We stuck around after with the kids for the moonbounce and stood in line for 120398 minutes to get balloons in the shape of butterfly wings and a mermaid. 

Can I do a quick aside on people in lines? My children (particularly Layla), don't necessarily understand that if you step seven inches out of line to try to get a better view of the clown balloon guy, the people behind you will try to swoop in and not let you back in. And this INCLUDES the parents. When I try to explain that my adorable little three year old was directly in front of them in line, they just give me blank stares and move in closer. I swear I just start seething, but those are the times that aren't worth the trouble. We moved to the back of the line to wait for another 230483098 minutes for the stupid balloon that popped in the car four minutes later. I digress... 

So I'm all "wahoo I feel awesome" and we go home to prep for the pool (for the third day in a row). I take a shower, get my suit on, and then I start to feel the exhausted, body-turning-to-jelly feeling come on. I rallied (freshly juiced orange crushes may or may not have been involved), but I was a semi-zombie for the rest of the day. I had to snap out of my zombie-ness when I took Olivia home for a nap while Matt and the other two stayed. She, for the second time that weekend, had the most disgusting poop EVER. If you have experienced swim diapers, you know that they are essentially worthless (and apparently in high demand... Matt had to go to three different stores before he found a random pack behind another box of diapers). I did my best but ended up just hosing her down in the tub. She seriously needs to be potty-trained, stat. I'm so over diapers and I cannot fathom dealing with those kinds of swim diaper-debacle poops all summer. 

The next morning I woke up and hobbled out of bed. Pretty sure I could feel every muscle in my legs. Thankfully I somewhat loosened up as the day went on, but there is nothing better to ease an aching body than... wait for it... SHOPPING!!! Although I admit it is slightly stressful deciding what I am actually buying... but not so stressful that I can't do it. I mean come on, you all have read of my shopping addiction. 

Other than the 10K, our weekend was full of fun. All day Friday I was a bundle of excited, emotional nerves. Matt's brother Scott and his wife Karli were in the hospital having their twin boys. If you are fortunate enough to know this couple, you love them. They are just straight-up amazeballs people who will be phenomenal parents to those two little boys. All of us (girls included! I was shocked they were allowed) went to visit them Friday night. Troy looks like a total mini-me of Scott with blonde hair, fully comb-over-able. Luke has dark hair and is straight out of Karli's Italian family. They are perfection, and the girls were THRILLED. 

The girls had a total ball at the pool all weekend. Summer and Layla have made huge strides at swim lessons and are legit little fish. Livi will be up next for swim lessons, but for now she is a champ with her puddlejumper (best swimming-related invention EVER... clearly not in the same ballpark as swim diapers). 

Saturday night we had a three-phase situation. It started out long ago as me being very proactive and noticing that my dear friend and neighbor Tammy's birthday fell on a Saturday. I arranged for a babysitter prior to anything being set up because I knew without a doubt we would be going out (she is my true match in so many aspects of life). Not too long ago I found out one of my oldest friends is moving to Oregon (for love! I'm so happy for him!) and his going away party would be held the same night. Tammy's son had an early evening baseball game, so her gathering wasn't going to start until 8pm... The same time that the going away party was to begin. And I had scheduled our sitter for 5 o'clock. Hmmmm. The intricate planning began. 

Phase 1: Matt and I went on a date to one of our favorite restaurants near our old house... Sergio's. Authentic Italian at its best with the same little old Italian men that were there the first time 8+ years ago (and that is just when we started going). 

Phase 2: The going-away party (right near Sergio's). We said "see you later" because I refuse to believe that Big Dan won't be back to see us. 

Phase 3: Tammy's birthday partayyyyy at a bar right near our house. 

Love her
I realize I am jumping around in my days, not that it really matters. Switching back to babies... In addition to meeting the twins on Friday, we also were able to go meet baby Brooklyn (Matt's sister Katie's daughter, born last week) yesterday. They live across the Bay Bridge, so the Memorial Day Weekend traffic made it a non-option then. She is as perfect as I expected, and her big sister Kemper was SO excited to see her cousins. Katie and her husband Garrett are settling in amazingly as second-time parents. I tried to get a cute pic, but as I captioned last night: Kemper loving on Livi, Layla pouting because she wasn't holding Brooklyn, and Summer in baby bliss. 

So awkward I LOVE it. Kemper made sure she still got some kisses: 

Layla couldn't get enough. 

Olivia was more interested in Kemper's toys until mommy was holding baby Brooklyn. Then the little nugget got jealous and tried to cuddle up with me. I will have to say, I was concerned that all of these little babies would awaken the urge for another one... and I am happy to say that it hasn't (mostly). I am so happy when my friends and family are blessed with these new perfect little people. I reminisce about my girls as I hold them, but then I hand them back over to their parents and go home knowing I will get a (mostly) interrupted night of sleep.  

Happy Thursday!!! 


TP Debacle, Line Leader Conniption and New Babies...

So you think your morning is going well until you run to the bathroom and the dreaded happens... no toilet paper. I referenced this story on Facebook, with the hashtag: #Ijustlost12minutesofmylife. Twelve minutes is a near eternity when it involves screaming for your three year old and two year old and trying to instruct them while the oh-so-distracting TV is on. Why didn't I just take one for the team and just get up? I had fresh clothes at my disposal; it would have been the simplest option. But I had just showered, and to be honest that always grosses me out. I realize we are delving into for real TMI territory (not just the usual), so I should move on. Anyways, after endless redirection, explaining that I was in just one of the five bathrooms in this house and they could go to ANY.OTHER. for TP, Layla actually went to the closet in the laundry room where we keep the extras to get me a fresh roll... after what seemed like 1/3 of my life. Moral of the story: always check before you go. I should add that to my endless notes to self. 

There is no smooth transition to a different topic, so I will just jump right in. 

As a parent, there always seem to be infinite behavioral issues you need to deal with. During toddler and preschool years, tantrums, screaming, hitting, scratching, biting, not sharing, straight-up saying no (just to name a few), seem to be the big ones. At times, you don't know where to start. Sometimes I just think, "Wow. I am really, truly a terrible mom and I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing." I do seek advice from other wonderful mothers who have gone before me, and one suggestion I have tried to follow is the concept of focusing on one behavior at a time. With that, actually teaching them how they should respond, instead of just consequences when they exhibit poor behavior. That way, they know what they are actually supposed to do. With this method, I do try to pick my battles so I'm not forced to really accept other terrible behavior... meaning I try to avoid putting them in situations that I know will cause an issue if that is not what we are working on right now. It doesn't work all the time, but I attempt. If this made no sense to you, the point of all of this is that parenting is ridiculously hard and can feel impossible, like ALL the time. And you feel like you are screwing up, like ALL the time. 

You can have a moment when you are excited how your kids are acting. I'm not saying excited as in proud or arrogant that they are angels... they are not, they are children who act like children. I'm talking excited as in you actually see glimpses of progress in areas you are working on. It is amazeballs! A major thing here with Layla and Summer is when I tell them something and all I hear are the choruses of "But mommy..." and other whining. So I have been working on them saying, "Okay mommy." That is all I want to hear, end of story. Whining sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me, I detest it. A major thing I have been working on with Olivia is her reactions... aka not scratching, drawing blood and giving her poor cousin scars (Sidenote... for whatever reason, this is her reaction with her cousins but not her sisters. No idea why, but regardless it is just not okay). This was her "thing" for a while. It was a terrible "thing," and we have been attacking it full-force for a while with decent results. 

This past week, we had walked over to my sister's with Layla and Livi for a few minutes. At one point, my niece Madelyn had something that Livi wanted. I have no idea if it was taken from her or any other context of the situation, but instead of gouging Madelyn's poor skin with her nails, she just ran straight over to me and said that Madelyn wasn't sharing. I realize that it was very probable that Livi just wanted what Madelyn had, but she didn't react!!! I cannot begin to explain to you my excitement over this. She was met with a situation she would previously have drawn blood for, and she walked away. MIRACLE!!! HOORAYYYYYY!!!! I praised her up and down and she was thrilled. Progress!!! 

Several minutes later, I called down to Layla that it was time to go. As I waited for the whining and begging to stay to begin, I heard it. Music to my ears. "Okay mommy." I almost keeled over. I basically grabbed Layla and bounced around my sister's house whooping like a crazy person. It is really just so exciting to see the fruits of your labor in action. This may seem like a ridiculously small wins to non-parents, but try battling a small child when they are tired and have absolutely no desire to do what you are saying. We joyously left, with me still on the high of an actual checkmark in the win column with both of them. 

Then... it came crashing down. Just minutes later. I mean, we weren't even home yet... And that will put you right back into your "I am such a terrible mother" zone. On the walk home, Layla decided to have a straight-up conniption that she wasn't the "line leader"... aka walking ahead of me and Olivia. I'm talking sobbing-in-the-middle-of-a-field conniption. It was not awesome. 

So you get put in your place very quickly. It is endless; it is always something. But you keep trying, because that is all you can do. I love them too much to let them become brats. It is hard to remember to praise the good behavior, not just get upset at the bad. Despite my efforts, they most definitely have their moments... and moments they are. Ahhhh motherhood. 

In other news, we had a fantastic Saturday night at my cousin's wedding. It was down outside of Ocean City at a brand new gorgeous yacht club... and new is an understatement. I think they installed bathrooms last week. I saw my cousin's now-wife a few weeks ago, and this will give you an idea of her awesomeness. When asked if she was stressed out about the place not being finished, her response was, "If it has a dance floor, a bar, and bathrooms, we'll be good." They are such a phenomenal couple and the wedding was perfection (in part because one of the specialty drinks was an Orange Crush. I die). 

It also happened to be the weekend of the OC car show, where sitting in the back of your pickup truck, drinking beer, and watching traffic with crazy cars mixed in with normal ones is actually THE event. My grandma could not get over it. 

Yesterday was a major event in our house: it was Layla's last official day of school for the year (please don't ask me how I am going to entertain her every day. I'm working on that). She was in class three days a week with my two favorite teachers in the universe (they were Summer's teachers last year, and will be Olivia's next year... yet they still like me. More miracles!). Here is a side-by-side of her first day of school and her last: 

I'm so sad that her baby-ness is going away. She is really turning into a little girl, WAY too fast. Well, except for the whole line-leader conniption thing. 

Another major event occurred yesterday... I became an aunt for the 10th time. Matt's sister Katie and her husband Garrett had their second girl, named Brooklyn Rose. It was a delivery surprise which I absolutely LOVE (both Layla and Olivia were... it is the last true surprise in adulthood and I definitely recommend it. Such an amazing and exciting moment). Their daughter Kemper will be a phenomenal big sister. I think because of my relationship with my own sisters and having three girls of my own, I just get so happy when a girl gets a sister. Built-in best friend for life. We are also awaiting another major moment... Matt's brother's wife is due with twin boys any nanosecond. The latest they will let her go is tomorrow, and she is SUCH a champ for lasting this long (38 weeks!!!) with two in there. I really, truly, cannot imagine her discomfort, but I have not heard a single complaint out of her mouth. True rockstar. 

Hope everyone's holiday weekend is phenom... I will be running that 10K on Monday, so hopefully I will survive to write another post next week! 

Happy Thursday!!


Field Trips, a Lunchable and Mother's Day...

As shown from my planner pic in last week's post, this past week was insanity. Like stupid insanity. It all was made worse by the fact that Matt was basically gone from Wednesday to Saturday for work stuff. I did survive, and the major points to this post are: 

-I could never be a teacher
-Puppets are creepy
-Lunchables are gross
-I am blessed

Let me begin... 

Layla had a field trip on Wednesday to a farm. Goat petting, bunny holding, hay rides and the like. 

It was much colder than anticipated, so we decided to skip out on lunch with her class and have some mommy and Layla time that we just don't get enough of. Cheesecake Factory for whatever she wanted (a grilled cheese with fruit-- not fries. Parent win!) and red velvet cheesecake (to die for) and some honest-to-goodness sweet one-on-one time. She is so stinkin cute. 

Summer had a birthday party that night, but I also had plans to meet up with some phenomenal old friends (which I am SO happy I went to... one of them informed me that he was moving across the country. Thrilled for him but so sad to see him go!). Got a sitter for the younger two, a ride home for Summer, and had a great time catching up and talking about exciting futures. 

Thursday was Summer's open house and performance for her Spanish class she takes after school. Had to get another sitter for the younger two again (I brought them to the open house first semester and vowed... never again). Summer performed her "chick" role perfectly (The Little Red Hen was their story) and I actually remembered the water bottles I was supposed to bring. Another win!

I chaperoned Summer's class field trip on Friday. We were going to Glen Echo Park for a puppet show of Pinocchio. We had to bring a disposable lunch, and this is when I decided to grant Summer one of her lifelong dreams: A Lunchable. Now I remember the excitement of a Lunchable as a child. The cute little round meat slices with the cheese and crackers... It was a major treat. Looking back at them, they really just are disgusting. A ridiculous amount of sodium in a non-quality meal. Summer had seen them a few times from classmates and whatnot, and she would always drop hints about how much she would just DIE to have one. How convenient they must be, how it would relieve me from packing her a lunch because it was an all-in-one box. A future saleswoman? I think so. Now I try to feed my family in a mostly healthy manner, but I will never deprive them of treats on occasion, no matter how gross I think they are. I decided to surprise her on Friday... 

I was actually hoping she would realize how tasteless they really are. After she started putting her first little cracker sandwich together, she made a side comment, "Hmm. This turkey is pretty slimy." I think I nipped this one in the bud. Not that I want to destroy her dreams in life... but this is a Lunchable. We can have other dreams. 

So I was in charge of Summer and three of her classmates. Spending several days with so many children makes me realize that teachers in general really are saints. I love my children... but even they drive me insane, and they are my children. And spending so much time with little boys makes me realize why God gave me girls. The puppet show was SO totally bizarre. I don't know if it is the story of Pinocchio in general--super weird--or the creepiness of puppets, but I just didn't follow. At one point, some freaky character said to Pinocchio, "We are going to the greatest land of all-- The Land of Boobies." All the kids burst into laughter and the parents were all looking at each other questioning if we misheard them. I still have no idea what that was about but thankfully the kids moved on from that very quickly.

After the somewhat painful bus ride home, I made the executive decision that I needed my own Summer/mommy time that afternoon instead of leaving her at school for some unnecessary assembly. So we left. And went to get a pedicure. 

It was glorious, and she loved it. 

Friday night Matt was actually gone overnight, and I had agreed a few weeks ago to watch my sister's kids (we trade off sometimes for babysitting to get free date night situations). Since Matt was gone I figured I wouldn't be doing much of anything, so it was a rare open Friday evening that I could help her out. I got a little overzealous with my planning for our activities, which included a dance party, pizza, strawberry milkshakes, popcorn and a movie. I was exhausted to an epic level by the time I got them downstairs for the movie. I set myself up on the couch with my wine, the giant cookie I added onto the Papa John's order, and Bravo TV. 

I legit could have fallen asleep and it was only 6:30. The movie ended around 8 and I put everyone to bed... but my sister and her hubby came to get them shortly after, where I discovered that my niece had thrown up in the pack and play she sleeps in (which we always put in my closet). I guessed that perhaps it was due to the mass amounts of food we ate. I cleaned that up and went to bed myself before it even hit 9 o'clock. 

Saturday was ballet (I somehow feel the need to acknowledge every week that we remember like it is some sort of celebration), and then one of my lifelong best friend's 30th birthday that we celebrated the exact same way that we celebrated her 16th: a fabulous fondue night. 

Sunday arrived. Ahhh Mother's Day. A day that stressful and relaxing all in it's own ways. A day that can be sad for some, a joyous new occasion for others, a hyped-up disappointment for many. As a mom, I think we all have in mind what would be our "perfect day." Which will most likely never happen. 

I actually had a phenomenal day. I woke up too early (nothing can be perfect), got my favorite coffee and lots of wonderful cards from the girls. Summer made me a totally adorable book: 

Is it just me or do I look pissed in this drawing? 
Translation: Favorite game- Don't Wake Daddy. Favorite movie- Hop; 
Love it. 
When I told her I actually know how to make ice cream, she nearly keeled over. 

Accurate... but the "whole" house is a bit of an extreme statement. 
Matt made me ridiculous huevos rancheros (I cannot explain how much I love it that my man can cook):

And Orange Crushes made with OJ from our juicer:

We lounged outside in the absolutely gorg weather with some neighbors throughout the afternoon. The girls gave me a bunch of herb plants, strawberry plants and tomato plants (I swear they are trying to rid me of my black thumb. I'm trying... I ordered two gardening books). Matt then made yet another ridic meal for dinner: Salmon grilled on cedar planks, and grilled squash and zucchini. Steamed spiced shrimp for appetizer. 

I only have a "pre"-picture because I was too busy stuffing my face to stop and take an "after."
My caption for this picture below that I posted was, "From left to right, my babies in the order I was given them."

I am just more and more aware of how wonderful my life is, craziness and all. I surely don't deserve to be so blessed. 

Happy Thursday! 


Baby Gifts, a Fair and a Race...

Mania continues... what else is new. 

This week has (and continues to be) a slightly psychotic one. See the scribblings from my planner below, which only really encompasses a small part of major activities: 

As you see, Tuesday appeared to be free... which turned into a five loads of laundry, grocery store, clean parts of my house that haven't seen disinfectant in a while type of day. The type of day that you feel like you are cleaning for hours but no one would really see any difference. SO not fun. 

This portion of my planner also doesn't show last weekend, which was exhausting to a new level. Let me cut to the chase... 

Friday night we met up with dear, wonderful friends. They are expecting a little girl who is beyond wanted and long-anticipated. I seriously couldn't be happier for them. I wasn't able to go to her shower (Hershey Park day) but I wanted to give her her gift in person. 

One of my favorite kinds of shower gifts to give is just an assortment of some of my favorite things. These usually involve something adorable (but you wouldn't buy yourself), some practical items, and then a few fun ones. Here is what I included in this gift: 

First up: Ridiculously.Teeny.Toms. Every little girl needs some sparkle in her life. 

Next: My favorite wine to give mommy's, purely for the name. A plastic, lidded wine sippy cup goes along with it... babies are spastic, those little arms can knock over a wine glass faster than they can poop. 

To go along with the wine, these strips are amazeballs for your peace of mind when breastfeeding... 

These little squares of heaven shown below are essential in the beginning... being proactive with these will seriously help prevent or ease the horrific pain/cracking that can occur. 

This last one is a new one for me, and not personally tested out. I have heard from all of my friends with recent babies that this is a total lifesaver. Called Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit (yeah, I know), it helps keep babies cozy and slightly weighed down to prevent their spastic movements that cause them to wake up (or knock over wine glasses). I have heard major sleeping improvement occur with this thing... and sidenote: this baby was just a google search image of the product. 

So those are just a few of my favorite things. I always have to pick and choose because there are just so many phenomenal things out there (along with 8 schmillion unnecessary ones). We had an awesome evening catching up with them. They will be absolutely amazing parents, for sure. 

Saturday started out with Summer's ballet (Remembered again. Parents of the year!), and then a fair at Summer's elementary school. We clearly were clueless about what activities were going to be there, because we pulled up and saw a ton of bouncy-house type activities and had to run home to get Summer some pants. Her dress was just not going to cut it. 

We had an awesome day there, full of face-painting and pink hair:


***Sidenote: we totally forgot Summer had soccer team pictures on Sunday. Whatevs. She will be the cool girl with the pink ponytail for all eternity in her team's eyes.***

It was a fun time and the girls enjoyed themselves. 

Saturday night was a very special celebration. Close family friends of ours celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary this month, and their kids threw them an absolutely awesome surprise party. I love seeing a couple who so obviously cherish each other and are clearly best friends as well. Those are the couples who are such wonderful examples. They really are an inspiration to Matt and I, and it was a great party. 

So Sunday morning came around way too quickly. Every year my family participates in the Race for Hope in memory of my dad. It is an annual 5K to raise money for brain tumor research, held on Pennsylvania Avenue... in the heart of the gorgeousness of DC. 

It is actually just a really hard day for me every year. I don't enjoy it, which is sort of selfish on my part. You see all the survivors walking or running in their special yellow shirts which is so so SO amazing... but my dad isn't among them, which brings out a sort of jealous/grieving situation in me. I don't wish the pain and agony of losing a loved one to a brain tumor (or anything else of course) on anyone. I just wish he was here and it didn't happen. Or he at least survived it. The visual awareness that others survived and he didn't can just take me back to a really sad, hard place. 

I usually just walk the 5K (or to be totally honest, go for a little bit and then turn around. You try having three kids in a massive, crazy crowd of 12,000). This year, considering the fact that I am supposed to be running twice the distance in just a few weeks, I decided to run it. I had one goal, and one goal alone. Don't walk any of it. Once again, for you runners out there, a 5K is merely a quick jog. For me, my friends, it is actually the longest distance I have ever really run. I am happy to report that I accomplished my goal. The last half-mile I kind of wanted to die, but my inner competitor came out when I saw other people running around me who made me think, "Okay if they can do this, I can." It was a totally gorgeous day, we went back to my mom's house after for the usual brunch she puts on after the race, and we enjoyed relaxing with loved ones. A few of my girls and some cousins got ahold of the cucumbers from the veggie tray and decided they needed a little refresh... 

We celebrated my brother-in-law's birthday that early evening, went home, rinsed the girls off in the bath, took my very own long, hot shower, and I went to bed. At 7:57pm. And I went RIGHT to sleep. 

So my week began, as you can see. More on that next week. I'm too tired from this week to write about it... 

Happy Thursday!!! 


Hershey Park and Hand Me Downs...

You haven't truly lived until you have been on a Tilt-A-Whirl with a two year old. I would actually rate it as one of my top parenting moments that I will tuck away forever. It was the last ride of the day at Hershey Park with a bunch of my family this past weekend. I was exhausted, and in serious need of a shower and a beer. Thankfully, fortunately, we were all gathering to leave right around several kiddie rides with essentially no line, one of them being the Tilt-A-Whirl. Layla, Livi and I plopped ourselves down and prepared for awesomeness. And then it happened. The ride started, we began to fly around. The best sound in the entire world was loud and solid. Olivia could not stop laughing... a belly laugh that you wouldn't believe. The biggest smile in the world. She was actually red-faced and crying because she was laughing so uncontrollably. Those are the moments that all of the insanity is worth it. Pure joy on the face of a child. 

We really did have a great day. 

This was the girls' first time going to Hershey Park. My mom gets cheap tickets for a specific date every spring via her gas company (I have no idea). This was the first year we were able to go, and I think it was perfect. Kids are categorized based on height for what rides they can go on. The adorableness is that they are named based on different Hershey candy. Olivia was a Hershey's Miniature. Layla was a Hershey's Kiss, and Summer was a Reese's. The rides they were able to go on were actually a little surprising. I was frantically grabbing onto Layla's shirt on the Tilt-A-Whirl because we were spinning so hard I swore that little peanut was going to fly out. Summer was obsessed with the roller coasters which was a bit surprising. 

Layla handled herself well despite leaving her motion sickness bracelets in the car (she was actually obeying me by taking them off because I have told her very specifically that we keep them in the car... It really sucks when you are driving and she says her tummy hurts and you know the bracelets are sitting on the kitchen counter). 

Livi loved every ride she could possibly go on. We were expecting rain in the afternoon but I only felt three drops during one threatening 15 minute period (I was beyond prepared with perfect layered outfits/rain jackets for all that could accommodate several weather situations. I ended up sweating, per usual). 

The only snag of the day occurred when we arrived at the hotel we chose for the sole reason that it had an indoor pool. Instead of driving home exhausted and miserable, we figured we could make a relaxed night of it with additional fun for everyone. Not 10 minutes before we checked in, a glass lightbulb had been broken in the pool, necessitating immediate closure and evacuation. 

Who needs a pool when you have seven cousins together, a laptop, Frozen, beer and Jimmy John's Gargantuan sub?? I swear I don't even normally like half the stuff in that sandwich but it was phenomenal

After a lovely weekend, I began the dreaded process of spring clothing cleanout. I detest it, because I mean... getting all of my girls to have all pieces of clothing on at all times is basically a feat. Having them try everything on is an incredibly tedious chore. This year is particularly challenging, because my adorable youngest daughter happens to be, ahem, a big stockier than her older sister. She is shorter but rounder... and weighs more. This screws up the whole 'hand-me-down' concept. Different shirts fit them differently. So everything must be tried on. 

Although Summer is very petite for her age, she did definitely have a bit of a growth spurt lately... which basically means she can't wear any of her 4T clothing anymore (she turned six last December). I tried to explain to her that it is kind of awesome to be the oldest because you get the most new clothing. She LOVES all things girly and is obsessed with shopping (bad news, this house can only handle one of me). Summer has always been our child with the old soul. She has this strange sense of maturity and awareness that her childhood is fleeting. She also has a ridiculously empathetic, sensitive heart. She attaches memories to absolutely EVERYTHING. Then it turns into the saddest, most pathetic sobfest. I'm talking... the girl doesn't want to throw a dirty bandaid away because "it was from the time that I fell and scratched my knee and Layla said my name for the first time and we had spaghetti for dinner" type of thing. 

"I remember <sniff sniff> at our old house, <sniff> I was sitting on the couch with daddy <sniff sniff> watching a movie... and I was wearing those pajamas."

"But I wore this shirt last Easter. It just CAN'T be too small!!" 

"Aunt Lizard got me this shirt! It is just so special to me!!" 

I could go on and on.

My heart sort of breaks for her, because it is like she feels my pain over how utterly quickly she is growing up. She has no major desire to get older. Summer would be perfectly happy hanging out with me all day, every day, and cuddling up with me every night. Last week after spring break she was in tears going back to school. She absolutely loves it, but says to me, "I got so used to being with you all the time this week, and I'm just going to miss you." She is devastated when I go out at night. Her favorite Taylor Swift song is "Never Grow Up." After her fourth birthday, she very seriously proclaimed that she would never get older. No turning five. No way. Four was it. If only we could freeze them. 

Random Sidenote #1: Summer packed her own lunch for school last night. I checked it out and even wrote her own note. 

Random Sidenote #2: We found Summer's FAVORITE sunglasses from when she was a baby. Then and now.

Random Sidenote #3: We had swim and golf team signups this week. Summer is going to be on the mini swim team, and play golf as well. All the girls were obsessed with the little golf set-up which is like a total dream for Matt. I mean, he has three daughters. Give him a break. 

Random Sidenote #4: The swim team bathing suit was $62.54. I'm sorry, on what planet is a child's bathing suit SIXTY-TWO DOLLARS?!?! It better stinkin teach her how to swim. 

Happy Thursday!