This school thing, work thing and mom thing all combined is tough folks!
But I’m doing it. I’m not going to rate how I’m doing it, but I’m doing it.
I love when I started this blog I had such high hopes of documenting life with kids. I was a bit idealistic to say the least. I didn’t envision 3 kids probably at that point or working full time and starting a doctorate for sure. So it seems instead of chronicling everyday life, the blog has become more about birthdays and holidays, which for as crazy as life is, I think is pretty darn good! I think what I hoped more than anything with this blog, is that I would have it to read when the last kid headed off to college and I sat in an empty house wondering why it went so darn fast (while I planned my trip around the world). I want to remember the funny things they say and the arguments we have and the ways I learned to hold on and let go.
I’m on a short (too short) 4 week break from classes right now, so I’m trying to get my to do list of life parred down. Blogging was on the list….so here we are.
I went up to Bree’s school today to surprise her with ice cream during lunch. I had been promising for weeks to eat lunch with her. Unbeknownst to me, there was also a PTA meeting scheduled for that day. Bree asked during the course of lunch why I wasn’t going to that meeting as she had seen some of her friends’ moms come in the door to attend. I told her that they normally met during then day and with my work schedule it wasn’t something I could commit to. Then she asked why I had to work and not pick her up in carpool everyday.
A couple years ago, this conversation would have been my worst nightmare as I was convinced all the choices I was making as a mom were probably wrong. But I have come a long, long way. I simply answered her that I like working. I followed up with her liking to have new clothes and go to the doctor and my job allowing for that to happen. I didn’t even take the time to point out all the other ways I volunteer up at school or in her life. I wasn’t trying to prove a point to myself which is all that would have happened. Her mind had already moved on to her ice cream and her friend coming up for a hug.
I’ve become surprisingly okay with my choices in regards to parenting. Do I sometimes wonder what my life would have looked like had I stayed home? Sure. Do I look at the clock around 2:45 and think about Bree headed to after school care? Yep. But I don’t feel any guilt about it anymore. AND THAT IS SOOOOOO LIBERATING!
I’m not sure how or when it happened, but it did. I’m learning to quiet those voices in my head that make me wonder about all the other options all the time. It’s not fool proof, but like anything else it is a process. Supermom has exited the building and everyone is still alive and well.
Part of this change is probably due to seeing my kids getting older and excelling in different areas. You begin to think you haven’t screwed up too much when your kid seems pretty well adjusted, has friends, is performing well in school, etc. Don’t get me wrong, it takes a village, so I in no way credit myself for all of that! However, it does help you realize that loving your kids and creating a stable environment seems to be the best combo for any parenting.
Bree-Bree! Bree just continues to amaze me. She is me through and through. She fights with passion and loves with that same extreme passion. She has STRONG OPINIONS about everything. She has started trying on clothes by herself in the dressing room and our latest disagreement was at Gap Kids when she was determined she would have a two piece bathing suit this summer. Yep, she’s 7. No, she did not win.
She loves to have sleepovers. She would stay at someone else’s house every weekend if she could. These first grade girls just can’t get enough of each other. They are best friends through and through. She is already being influenced a lot by their choices and behavior. We had our first conversation about other students copying her homework and her allowing it. We talk about not being a “mean girl” and how to have a lot of friends and not alienate those that aren’t as popular. We talk about how to be a hostess when we have friends over to our house and why its important. We talk a lot about sharing (yes still).
One of her best friends, Julia (GG):
Bree is doing dance again this year! Her recital is in June. When I took her for pictures last weekend, I was just amazed at how old she looks. Oh and how beautiful. We actually got her short hair to pull back into a “bun”. She is more convinced than ever that she wants to grow her hair out. I plan to give her another “trim” after the recital. I’m still that tricky mom!
Recital pics with another BFF, Olivia:
She played volleyball this year for the first time. A friend asked her to be on the team and she instantly said yes. Then she looked at me and said, “How do you play volleyball?” So my child. She has turned out to be pretty good at the serve and will probably continue on.
Did I mention she has a lot of BFFs, here’s her and Kayla before a game with the Sugar and Spikes Volleyball team:
She is also starting softball again this year. Those Sweet Stallions have turned into Sassy Stallions and are wearing hot pink this year. It should be a fun season.
FYI: The bat in the picture below is way too long for her but she wanted it because it was covered in animal print and was pretty. Dad gave me. She struck out her first at bat. Hoping she gets the hang of this pretty bat soon.
Bree like all her friends is obsessed with Frozen…we have watched it no less than 542 times. She is also obsessed with riding her bike and scooter and learning new skills like braiding. She braids pipe cleaners just for fun.
She is also pretty obsessed with me! I love the relationship we are building. There are fights and attitudes and frustrations (from both of us), but I feel so blessed to have gotten to have this daughter!
Our mother/daughter date to Disney on Ice:
Power Bauer! If you ask Bauer how old he is these days, he will say 5 and 3/4ths. He is on his way to SIX very soon and he doesn’t wanted to be associated with all those newly turned 5 year olds. Its been a pivotal few months for this boy. He is still our red headed wonder boy in so many ways.
As you can see from the above pic, he has lost TWO teeth. What is fun is that Bauer is already beginning to see the joy that will come from being the oldest in his class. He was so excited to be the first kid in his class to lose a tooth. This is probably more important for him due to being so close in age to Bree. She always gets to do everything first.
Bauer has learned to ride his bike without training wheels. This occured in like 20 minutes. Seriously, when this kid wants to do something, it happens. It took Bree like 4 months Now they have another hobby to compete and race each other in. And cry at the end of when one beats the other. Awesome.
Bauer is also trying very hard to like running. We have done two 1Ks in the past couple months and he has run hard. Better yet, he is learning to pace himself! Medals at the end do help with the motivation
Bauer surprised us all at his preschool spring show in April when he stole the show. He sang so passionately (i.e. loud and clear) that the entire audience was just cheering him on. I couldn’t keep myself from giggling out of the cuteness and pure surprise I felt. He did such an incredible job that the teachers were telling him for days how proud they were of him.
Bauer also retired from soccer this past April after three turbulent seasons with the Plano Rovers. He had a love-hate relationship with soccer. He liked the idea of it but the actual going week after week/playing in each game/learning new skills really dampened his enthusiasm. Each week he either played like David Beckham (okay, maybe I exaggerate) or he laid on the sideline crying because we made him get dressed and go. Like his sister, this kid only lives in extremes. Sean and I were both thrilled to attend the retirement (end of season) party
Bauer getting his team/retirement trophy
Because we are gluttons, we have let the retired soccer player try out baseball. He is adamant that he will enjoy this team sport. His first practice was “not good, it was incredible”, while the second practice he laid down and cried on the first base line because he didn’t get to be the first to bat. The first two games are this weekend. We could be attending a retirement party very soon
Bauer has also taken to loving his scooter. He got it from Santa for Christmas (such a smart gift giver) and didn’t touch it til a few weeks ago when he found out it is AWESOME. Now we can’t get him to stay out of the street on it. Be careful what you wish you!
All these successes and journeys lead up to one big step this Fall. Bauer is finally headed to Kindergarten. While our “not pooping in our pants” regime has not been 100% effective, it is so much better than even around Christmastime. He knows what he has to do and is really excited to tell me at the end of each day that he has had no accidents. Its been a journey with this kid on the potty training front, but like most struggles, you appreciate it so much more when they get it right. The kinder teachers at Saigling have been warned and an extra set of clothes will go in the front pocket of his brand new big boy pottery barn backpack. He’s going to be incredible and they will fall in love with his sweet heart and amazing hair just like every other teacher who has been on his path.
Big Bennett! This guy brings a craziness we never expect to every situation. He has gotten very vocal about his life these past few months. ”His way or the highway” should be his motto. In the picture below his pants got wet when we were playing in the water at the Dallas Zoo (he was very clear he would not wear them until they dried) so we played the rest of the day at the zoo sans pants. I definitely have learned to pick my battles with number 3.
This kid has a sweet tooth like no other. His favorite candy is Nerds. Only a three year old can pick a favorite candy that causes the ultimate mess. Again, I pick my battles. You can also tell Bennett is the third kid by his candy reward during potty training. Bree and Bauer would get ONE m&m after an attempt while this kid gets a full sized reese peanut butter cup. We are not messing around. SO CLOSE TO BEING DIAPER FREE!
Bennett is also our prodigy. We realized during Lent when we would do our nightly devotional with the kids that he can straight up read. It freaks both Sean and I out because we just don’t know how it happened. People who wear diapers don’t normally read. One night I went in to check on him after we had put everyone to bed and found him practicing writing words from flash cards on his magnadoodle. WHAT IN THE WORLD!!! Again, God blessed him with a special gift and Sean and I just get to be the audience, but it sure if fun to watch this kid learn.
It comes with some challenges though in his classroom at preschool. Apparently he has a low tolerance for the other kids and is starting to push and hit them. Friendliness does not come quite as easy as reading for this little guy. I asked him a couple days ago who he plays with at school. I started naming his classmates. When I named one of the girls, he stopped me and said, “I can’t play with her!” I asked why and he said, “Boys play with boys and girls play with girls!” Glad three year olds already know the rules! Unreal. The girls are probably just scared of my big boy who pushes and just refuse to play with him Good thing this kid is cute!
While he may not be as friendly to his classmates as I would like, he sure does love our family! He won’t ever beat Bauer in the loving category, but he really is a very loving child. He kisses and hugs on demand. Since he’s our last and thus our forever baby, this is super special to me! He is also really bonding with brother and sister. He’s not the best sharer (none of them are), but it is amazing to watch the individual relationships grow with both Bree and Bauer. Bree likes to do art projects with him while Bauer and Bennett play games together (mostly on the ipad). Star Wars Angrybirds is apparently a great team sport!
Being so smart and loving takes its toll occasionally. Bennett doesn’t get a lot of organized naps at home, so he still passes out in the car every chance he gets Even Spiderman gets tired!
I say everyday to anyone I meet that I am super ready for Bennett not to be three anymore (sadly, we are only half way through). And I mean it with all my heart. I know you shouldn’t rush your kids to grow up, but three is just a super frustrating year for parents. Kids are so independent but not on your timeline. Actually they have figured out the exact opposite of your timeline and live there. It’s hard to even reason with Bennett without him screaming his head off until you give in. And since he’s the third, I give in a lot. After 7 years of screaming, I’m over it.
But regardless of his age, I’m 95% glad we made the plunge to have a third kid. He really does add a whole different, very loud and smart, dimension to our family that we didn’t know we needed, but now cannot live without!
Like I said at the beginning of this epic blog, life is crazy. But we are hitting a stride. Almost out of diapers and almost two kids in FREE school. I, for one, never really thought we would see this day. Despite being way behind in blogging and scrapbooking, the memories are happening. FAST. FURIOUS. FABULOUS. MOMENTS.
My three little b’s!!! They really do like each other at least 50% of the time! I’ve starting imagining the group text messages they will send as adult children to each other when they dealing with Sean and I as old people. It cracks me up.
Sadly these group bath days are numbered – bathtime with lights!
The ipad brings siblings together:
Wagon for three:
May the 4th be with you:
The ice cream man comes to our house regularly – I’m raising kids with sweet tooths (or is it sweet teeth)!. Good thing we have dental insurance!
Board game theme for this year’s Mother’s Day – Bauer was so proud the theme was his idea! I am now the proud owner of Bejeweled, Jenga and Scrabble Jr.!
We loved celebrating at my best friend’s gender reveal. It’s a girl btw!
What was I saying about a sweet tooth?
Bluebonnet pics….some are more classic than others!
We all know I’m the ultimate picture taker so I could go on and on and on. But its time to wrap up this epic update!
Summer is next up for the Murphys. Bree goes to her first week long sleep away camp! I overheard her tell a friend at school (in a very excited tone) that she gets to spend a whole week playing without mom or dad. I can’t wait to see how this pans out. We also have our big road trip to Mount Rushmore to look forward to in August. It is either going to be one of my best or worst ideas EVER. Stay tuned.
And meanwhile back at the ranch, this is the scene of the doctorate journey!
At least, these type of activities are happening right outside my window and give me a great excuse to take a break!!!