Alternatively, the month that ALMOST (but didn't) break me. I wanted to chronicle the sheer craziness of this month in a single post so that in a few years with a few more activities and at this rate a few more kids, I can look back and reflect on what I thought was really, really hard.
May 1, 2017
I purposefully didn't change over the April calendar to the May calendar because I just couldn't. That April calendar was pretty full. May was fuller and I just couldn't bear the thought of seeing it. Spring sports, after school stuff, end of year stuff, Lee's work schedule... Once I finish this post I will most happily put up the more reasonable June calendar.
There are so many things about this month that I want to remember because they were fun or character building or the kids loved it or whatever. But I really could not have done it without family and friends stepping up and helping.
May kicked off with me being in charge of a teacher luncheon at school. I asked a friend (which I NEVER DO) to pick up R and M from school and feed them lunch so I could just have A to mess with for lunch. I had to take off work (again a stress point that I recognize) and get it done and boom it was over. Just like that. No problems. All the food showed up and I believe a good time was had by all.
Being a Monday M had soccer and being May Papa was not there to go to the game. He's a pool man by day and a deacon in his free time. M had soccer several Mondays in May. Fortunately Jibbe came to the rescue for at least one or two games and some super kind mom (you know how you are!) helped keep A at bay during the games. E and R learned that they can goof off that the games just not RIGHT IN FRONT OF ALL THE PARENTS WHO ARE TRYING TO WATCH THEIR 3 YR OLDS PLAY. There was lots of growth and teachable points (and threats - because let's be honest). Did I have to coach M's team in the spring, while 30+ weeks pregnant. No. Of course not. But I like it. I really like it and that's why I don't mind it adding to the madness.
E has been attentive to her herb responsibilities but I think she killed a Japanese maple I asked her to water... but whatever.
Everyone was dragged around town to various things. A usually screamed when we got in the car but once he was free to roam the great outdoors he was happy. Activities were missed because I'm only one mom with one
minivan minibus and learning that you don't always get to do things that you want to and making a sacrifice for someone else's practice or game or whatever is not a terrible thing to learn when you are 6.
We had much later nights that I would like to remember. E's 7 pm soccer practice was EASY for Lee to manage picking her up but that meant a later night for her and meant me being on bedtime patrol for the other 3. I know I take for granted Lee cleaning up the kitchen while I get everyone in bed in the fall and winter because just when I thought the night was winding down and everyone is quiet I remember the mountain of dirty breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, water bottles and pans that are waiting to be cleaned. Though I have found, there is some gratification I get in having the house cleaned up by the time Lee rolls in the house. I know he appreciates a clean kitchen and while he may not say it, I know it. Just like I appreciate all his HOURS of hardwork he puts in everyday and I probably don't tell him enough that I appreciate it. Having a cleaned up kitchen let's him know I care and so I don't mind doing the dishes nearly as much during the summer.
I've learned that I can always do a little bit more when I'm doing something for other people. I can power through just a little bit easier when it's not about me but serving.
Even though I might reap some of the benefits : )
Please note the weather machine says it is raining 7 inches an hour. This was on a Friday morning AFTER Lee had left at 5:45 for work. It doesn't seem like he has caught a break this year with weather and staff and workload. There's loads to be thankful for because it has been a feast of a year. He kept saying - just let's get to Memorial Day and things will be more reasonable - like not working 6 days a week and 60-70 hour weeks. I'm still convinced that it will be July 4th before that happens but we'll see. I just keeping praying to St. Joseph and realize that worrying and stressing isn't helping anyone.
All the while the normal school and preschool and work stuff is going on. The kids ask when Papa's getting home and might catch a glimpse of him in the morning. R has struggled with him being gone the most probably. Even though she's not the first to give him a squeeze or need to tell him all about her day... There have been multiple times she just comes down or is melting down and says - she just misses Papa. Yeah me too, me too.
The first Friday of May we went to a company pig picking which was so fun.
A loved the balloons
And the girls loved the piñata.
I am so grateful for the people I work for (at both jobs). I really really do. Family is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS first. That is an irreplaceable work environment that probably is not the norm. In two - yes two - short weeks baby #5 will be making an appearance and for the fifth time (barring anything insane) we'll be setting up camp in office for a few months. Something I really must remember to no take for granted.
This would be Lee pulling into the yard past 9 pm on the same day he left at 5:45...
There's been loads and loads of laundry to be done and when Lee's working full force his clothes require the full force laundry treatment : ) I still have not figured out how to do wash during the week without it sitting for 2 days until I realize its there and then it stinks so I have to rewash it and then it sits in the dryer and requires extra fluffing because everything is so stinking wrinkly.
The kids have banded together and realized that I need help. This is E trying to put A unsuccessfully in the swing
Then there are moments like this that make all the madness worth it. They absolutely adore this man and so do I.
We managed round 3 of the Rocket Mile and forced me to reflect on parts of my motherhood.
I've killed my fair share of flies and in this case horsefly (because not taking chances with the towel with this one) but praise the Lord we have not had any snake encounters to report.
Of course we had to celebrate E's birthday - again that was one for the books of family coming together and helping us out.
Sometimes we'd patronize the playground after soccer and tee ball games just because we had a few extra minutes to spare.
Mother's Day was tossed into the mix of May. Honestly if our family could permanently transfer Mother's Day to December that'd be great.
This month I learned just how mischievous M is. She's the one I'm going to have to keep my eye on over the next few months.
In addition to taking myself to the doctor a few times this month - because ain't nobody got time for that - A went to the doctor and there is a chance that he might need tubes in his ears. More on that next week.
There's been lots of afternoons outside and complaining that its too hot. I keep telling them just wait until summer but I don't think they believe me!
My sanity has been saved more than once by raining afternoon that have canceled sport games and practices. It seems that the rain comes just at the right time so that I don't totally lose it. I have found that having a dinner plan for the week is CRUCIAL. Whether we stick to it 100% is questionable but at least having things on hand to cook rather than scrambling at the last minute is definitely a saving grace.
R visited her school for next year and I didn't have a total emotional breakdown. If we had been less busy I probably would have.
R and M wrapped up preschool for the year
I finally let them turn on the sprinkler and have some fun because they pretty much deserved it. E had Field Day and Grammy came and stepped up so that E would have someone there - and she might be on the hook for future Field Day's now that a precedent has been set.
The sports season seemed never ending because of the rain we've had but the girls really do enjoy it. So despite all the traipsing around - even though the ball fields are less than 5 minutes from the house - watching them makes it worth it.
E went to a swim clinic and I didn't realize how much she liked it until I read a journal entry that came home from school.
R literally made a new friend.
There have been dance parties and parades louder than I could possibly imagine.
There's been playing in the rain because I just don't have a good enough excuse as to why not. (even though the clothes really should have been washed the same day - that was a lesson learned).
I've nested a bit and sorted the mountain of clothes that really just needed to be put in appropriate bins. The baby bin has been drug out and the infant bucket seat unearthed but still no hospital bag packed. Let's see other things that can be gleaned from this pic. Andrew actually spent another week in this crib because the crib in M's room was broken until the following weekend because Lee has been a hair busy. Also, the curtain is now finally ready to go back and get fixed. I really like our shades but they are a bear to fix and this one has been broken for ohhhhh.... about a month or two.
We had a nice Memorial Day complete with Papa, pool opening, cookout and Sno-Balls.
Then the flurry of all things end of the year set in the last few days of the month...
End of American Heritage Girls for the year.
End of the Year celebration at school. I took videos since Lee couldn't be there. It is so hard knowing that the kids want to see their Papa at these kinds of EOY stuff because their friends have their dads there. But E kind of gets it but that doesn't make it any easier. Yeah, it's a bummer... I know, I know, I know, I KNOW
We've ventured to the pool sans Papa and lived to tell about it.
And then on the first day of June we wrapped up E's soccer, R's tee ball and M's soccer in a triple header of a night capped with Papa seeing EVERYONE play.
But on any given day, during the month of May you could probably find....
Some amount of clothes that needed to be washed,
My kitchen needing attention,
Okay lots of attention,
Me and the kids and the bump flying through Sam's,
and wondering where in the world all the cargo space is in this massive van.
We were probably running a few minutes late, but not terribly late.
You probably could hear the squawking minibus brakes when I back up because I need to ask about that when I take it in for service.
I probably was second guessing myself about where to park the van because I swear the entire soccer fields have watched me try and park that monstrosity - and it ain't pretty.
Me raising my voice at the kids and subsequently regretting it because they miss their Papa just as much as I do.
You might even catch us going to the dump and singing the Dump Song (because we have one) since Papa's been too busy to go himself.
But at the end of the day, at the end of this crazy, crazy month I'll probably never be able to remember all the good, all the grace, all the growth that has come from these experiences. God is so good and has certainly given us these moments. Even though I think He gives us more than we are able, He never fails to see us though it all.