Happy Thanksgiving! We are in for a bit of the snow before we feast on turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin pie!
Last week was a blur, after we returned from our first road trip to Joplin, MO as a family of five for our cousin’s wedding! 10+ hours in the van, 2 exhausted parents, and 3 little people! But we made it, and that’s all that matters! Friday morning we woke the kids up, left their jammies on, put a waffle in their hand, loaded them in car seats and took off.
The two older kids did great, all things considered. I bought these fancy trays that clip on the car seat that they can use to color, read, eat food. It has compartments for crayons, stickers, play-doh, or whatever, as well as a spot for water and snacks. Best purchase ever. I loaded down the floor storage compartment in our mini-van with books, new stickers, little cars, magna-doodles, chalk and chalkboards, puzzles, magnet games, and TONS of snacks! We stopped quite a bit mainly to feed Anna and go to the bathroom (2 kids potty training), but then met up with a friend and her 4 kids at the Kansas City Zoo for a 3 hour break!
It was a GREAT opportunity to run off some steam and have fun seeing polar bears, kangaroos, camels and penguins all with friends we don’t see often! The weather couldn’t have been more perfect “fall” weather for us! 55-60F and sunny with little wind!! A dream come true! We didn’t even wear our coats until it got dark!
Once at our friend’s house, we figured out our sleeping arrangements. Nathan and Natalie fell in love with their little girls’ room, with a bed on the floor for Nathan and shelves loaded with books and a cool canopy surrounding a plush kid-sized chair. Natalie swooned over the little cradle and baby with a big doll house and stuffed animals. They couldn’t have been happier! (I did pack some melatonin gummies to help them sleep, just in case!)
The next morning the kids jumped on the trampoline and helped me collect beautiful fall leaves outside. It was so nice, we decided to have a little lunch picnic on the deck! Yep! My eyes are closed, because it was SO bright! 🙂
At the wedding there was some juggling and managing with feedings, and naps, but overall they did great! We had some help from family and loved at least seeing everyone!
The trip back went much smoother! Anna learned how to sleep in her car seat and slept for nearly 3 hours, while the older two had fun playing with me sitting in the back. The only downside was Natalie developed a fever the night before, but got two naps on the way home, so plenty of rest. We landed on our home place on Monday and I decided we should stay home all week to recover!
In the meantime, Anna surprised us by rolling over for the first time at 4 months exactly! While we were eating supper, Anna was playing under her activity mat on the floor in the living room. I looked over and she was on her stomach! The Jumperoo is also her favorite thing to do now as well!
Nathan and Natalie and I spent a few nice days outside, foraging for winter berries, pine cones and greenery for a homemade wreath.
Before we left for our trip, Nathan helped Mike Rust combine corn. I had a good laugh when he was recounting the day he helped “Neighbor Mike” combine corn, and I asked him who was driving the tractor and grain cart. He thought about it, smiled and slowly said, “Christopher Robin!”
Nathan has been transitioning into not taking naps, but every so often he really needs one. Usually I just put him in my bed with a pile of books to read for “quiet time” until the timer goes off, or I come get him up. The other day I said he needed to sleep and sent him back to bed when he tried to get up. He insisted he didn’t need a nap! It got quiet, and I found him on the floor, next to the bed with a blanket sleeping like this….
In N&N news, it was the best of times; it was the worst of times! One minute they are playing so wonderfully, being gentle, kind and caring. Sharing toys or snacks, and acting with sincerity. The next they’re at each other’s throats, yelling, pinching, hitting, pushing. Usually because Natalie “messed up” Nathan’s toys he was playing with, or Nathan took something Natalie wanted or is especially hers like a blankie or doll just to rile her up. Throw Anna in the mix and it can be either chaos complete with crying, meltdowns and tantrums or absolute bliss as they run and jump around Anna trying to get her to laugh! Most days it’s a mix of both! Raising little human beings is hard and wonderful in the same breath!
Natalie is getting more teeth again. It’s hard to tell the progress since the threat of being bitten is very real! She is talking like crazy! Instead of using the word ‘not’ or “don’t” in a sentence, like, “I don’t want the apple” she’ll say, “apple, no?!” and shake her head. It’s so cute! She repeats everything I say, which has been a wake up call, as I hear her say often “In a minute!” when I ask her to do something or come. She’s polite even when she’s angry and will cry or yell “thank you.” She is ready to potty train too, I just need to get more “unnies” as she calls them. Her hair is impossible to tame! It’s so fine and long. She always wakes up with a huge tangled mess. Most days, I just put it in a pony tail, or headband until bath time.
They are both becoming experts in getting dressed by themselves, although socks are still tough. Natalie loves to “flip” her jacket to put it on herself and often gets upset when I don’t let her do it by herself.
Nathan is like a little sponge. He recounts events or lessons that I thought he didn’t even comprehend or hear. They both LOVE watching “Elmo” or Sesame Street on Youtube before nap time. It often starts with a “word of the day.” I was so impressed when Nathan was trying to tell Dan one morning, but all he could get out was “nickel”, when I realized he meant “pumpernickel” and informed us it’s a kind of bread! He’s also in the habit of trying to eat his meal or snack like Cookie Monster, which Mom doesn’t like very much. One time as he made a huge mess stuffing an oatmeal apple muffin in his mouth, I asked him if he thought Cookie Monster’s Mommy thought that was a good way to eat? He said no. Right answer!
I love this time of year! The holidays, the food, the family, the friends! I have so much to be thankful for! Have a great week celebrating and spreading gratitude!
And that’s the news for this road-trip-and-wreath week on the farm!