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Summer is in full effect this week. It’s hot. Really hot. The kind of hot that I love, but only for part of the day. After a little while, I’ve had enough of sweaty baby heads and itchy, sweaty skin, and worrying about sunscreen (even though I love the smell of that stuff!) and water intake, and the inevitable cranky that comes after getting too much hot everything. But at the same time, I am over the moon and head over heals in love with summer! Shorts and tank tops, bare feet and sunglasses, fresh fruits and veggies, long days full of sunlight, warmth, family, and fun.

This morning, after several that were so muggy, it was so much cooler, and breathing in the fresh air was so refreshing. I turned the AC off and opened all of the windows so wide. I could feel myself relaxing almost instantly. In our jammies, The Littles, The Zoo, and this mama – with fresh coffee in hand – headed outside to play in the yard before the heat could get hot. Those two cuties headed straight for the dirt patch (oh, how they love it but I’m ready to pave it!)  and the dogs sniffed everything in sight while the cats nibbled grass and rolled in the dirt patch. I sipped my coffee, soaking it all in. This was just about as perfect as it all could get, except for the rest of my brood who are all dispersed for the day. I always soak in those moments, thinking of all my littles, wishing they were all still little and under my wing every minute of every day. And missing James while he’s gone. *breathe in, breathe out. I can’t dwell here, it makes me emotional – but you get the idea.*

Lucas asked to “call Dad” so we did. With Facetime. Seriously. How in the world did we get so lucky to have such awesome technology so that these kiddos could run around the yard, play in the dirt, jump on the trampoline, throw balls with the dogs while their dad gets to watch from halfway across the country?! Being apart is so hard. SO HARD. But it’s things like this that make it just a little bit easier and lets us not miss out on the everyday things that sometimes, we take for granted. The kids love it, they want to hold the phone and walk with Dad or show him something that they think is cool. It warms my heart, completely. My phone photography skills were clearly lacking today – but sometimes, buttons get bumped while trying to press two buttons at the same time while holding the phone all in one hand and holding a squirmy baby in the other. This mama has mad skillz!! Or not. ha!

facetime

After awhile, we went back inside, had some breakfast, I indulged in a second cup of creamy coffee, did some laundry, fed the dogs, and lazed around a bit. But it’s Friday, which in our neck of the ‘hood, is “garbage day.” And in a house full of boys, that’s a pretty big deal. It’s taken on a different feel over the past few years as it meant hauling the can to the curb, but this past winter, The Littles discovered the GARBAGE TRUCK! And since it’s summer, there is also the added bonus of the wood chipper truck and today was also recycling day, which means RECYCLING TRUCK! So we gathered up the household garbage and while holding Levi on one him, Lucas and I wheeled the can to the curb and then pushed the recycling bucket to the curb, and then neither wanted to do anything else but hang out in the front yard. So I put them to work and we pulled some weeds.

Levi weeding

But then a few minutes later, while I was slaving away, I found them wrenching on the truck wheels. These two, they crack me up.

Lucas Levi wrenching

We headed back in for some quiet time, only it wasn’t quite as quiet as I was expecting, but there were some cute moments.

iPad

After some napping and other mundane things, we snuck back outside, just in time to catch the sky doing some pretty cool things as an awesome summer storm was rolling in. I absolutely love the clouds and the sunshine and the fun things they do together. It’s stunning. And amazing. And perfect.

sky

Grandma “Fran” stopped by so the boys could play in her car. Gosh they love that so much. Keys and windows and doors and changing seats and opening compartments – they are in little boy heaven when Grandma comes over! We were outside for quiet awhile before the brisk, cool wind picked up, the skies got darker, and the sprinkles started. And just at the time that Grandma had to leave, the sky opened up and it downpoured. She later called it a “gullywasher,” a term that I’m not sure I’ve ever personally used in my adult life, but I remember hearing it used a lot when I was a kid. I don’t think we have any gullies, whatever that is, around here. Maybe I’m wrong. I’ll have to consult the online dictionary. Ok, I did. I’m wrong. There are likely gullies everywhere. Learn something new, everyday. Anyway, we went inside and after waving goodbye to “Fran” for 5 whole minutes, I realized the patio door was wide open. And the rain was pouring in. Sopped it up, closed the windows, and I caught Levi watching the rain.

Levi rain
Only a short while later, after we had filled our bellies with pizza delivery, a little spontaneous scream it out fest, and some jumping on the couch, the nighttime crankies kicked in and that cute little dude found himself sound asleep and in bed. Lucas and I got some quiet time together while Hannah vegged out with some Minecraft after work. Finally, Lucas has fallen asleep and I’ve just texted my dear friend who is in the hospital getting ready to have her first baby. She’s going to be a great mom!

I reflect on these days and always remember how lucky I am that I get to be the kind of mom that I have always wanted to be. Enjoying the wonder that’s in the little things that these little ones and big ones do and think and say and feel. Laughing so hard that we cry. Even when the days are trying and exhausting, they’re so worth it. It’s totally worth it.  There is nothing better than being a mom. I mean it.  Nothing ever can compare to all of the emotions that fill a day, that fill a heart, that fill a LIFE by being a mom. It’s a super huge responsibility, one that I don’t take lightly. It’s hard work. It’s cute and fun, but it’s hard work. But there are these kick back and mostly relax kind of days that are there to put you in your place and remind you that this is the good stuff. The really really good stuff. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Not even to never have winter again.

But I’d really love not to have winter again.

James left this morning. It’s always hard when he has to get up early, pack his bag and head out for another stretch of truck driving. I know it’s what he has to do but I hate that he has to leave. I’m always left with a big empty space inside of me. It’s even harder now, knowing that Lucas is growing and changing every day. And even just a few days away could mean missing out on fun things. Being gone weeks at a time could seem like forever for Lucas.

We’ve been really lucky since Lucas was born. James has been home 7 of the 8 weeks. I’m so thankful for that. I know most new dads might get a couple of days at most. It’s been great and I have loved every minute of it. But I’ve also been spoiled to have him here so much. So the thought of him having to go back on the road is that much harder, I don’t want to give him up to working again.

But a great opportunity has come up. I’m not sure James feels it’s so great right now but I do. I’m almost certain that James will come around and see the great benefits it has. A dedicated route. A short dedicated route. A short dedicated route that will have him gone 3.5 days and home the rest of the week. The same schedule every week. EVERY WEEK!

Those that know me well know that I’m a planner. I’m never good at the long-term plan but in the short-term, life sure runs better when I’ve got it all figured out. One of the hardest parts of his job is that there is no planning more than a day or two ahead for the most part. That just digs my stress level. I to go with the flow but many times it’s just so hard. Now, I’ll always know when he has to leave, how long he’ll be gone, and a general time of when he’ll be home – within hours at least. As long as Mother Nature cooperates as well. We can plan months ahead if we need to!

I know it’s going to be an adjustment for James. He said to me yesterday, “but I’m a long haul trucker.” He always has been and he really likes it. I don’t understand it, but he really likes it. He likes destination Florida. I hate gone so long and so far. He said it will be like having “a real job.” It is! But I think that’s the glory of it all. It’s short, it’s regular, it’s reliable. RELIABLE! So much frustration comes when the loads aren’t available or they’re running so late or they’re running all over a state to get things picked up or delivered. It’s such a waste of time in my eyes. A waste of time that could be spent with family.

Family is on top of my important life list. While we’ll all miss James those few days a week that he’s gone, we’ll get to see him for a few days every week – we won’t be waiting 3 weeks to get 3 days of home time. This is really important for Lucas – he needs his dad around as much as he can be. And James will love that he really won’t miss out on much of anything – except Super Bowl Sunday. It’s a good thing the Vikings failed to make it there again this year. But really, it just feels so good to me that finally we can have a ‘normal’ family life. It sure would be better if he were home every night but this is so close to otherwise perfect. He may not be here every night, but he can be here all day and night on those days he’s home. And it can give me some regularity with my business, which will help it grow better and faster, which is that much better.

And I’ll be a bit jealous that he’ll get to see the Rocky Mountains every week.

I know he’s feeling a little hesitant right now but I’m beyond excited for him and for all of us. This is a really positive change and has some really nice perks. It may not be exactly what he wants right now but it will be. It will be perfect. I look forward to having a life – as a family – not having to sit around and wonder and not make plans and worry if the work will be there when it’s needed. I’m excited!

After 2 days in the NICU and an overnight in my room and a day getting ready to go home, we finally made it home. There are so many exhausting details – some I will probably never get around to getting caught up on. The main points being that all is well, it was hard and draining – and experience I hope to never have again, and we are just so happy to be a big family and home all together. This is just going to be a picture post of the past few days.

 

Well, almost done with 3 months – which also means the end of the 1st trimester!

No, I couldn’t pee in the cup again – I had to wait until the end of the appointment. I certainly need Dillan’s pee on demand ability!

I weighed in at 138 – losing a pound and my doctor asking me, “are you eating?!” Well, yes, I am, just not as much because everything makes me full and nauseated! I hope that comes to an end soon!

Better news, James lost 4 pounds! I knew this challenge would motivate him.

Best news, WE HEARD THE HEARTBEAT!! It’s so tiny and fast and soft and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The rate was right in the middle at 150.

My doctor mentioned that my uterus feels a bit more like 13 weeks and I’m not even 12 weeks yet! This puts me in a bit of a freak out! I’m not really worried that there are twins in there, I’m pretty darn sure there isn’t, but until there is an ultrasound – who knows?! The crazy, worried, OMG mom feelings are all over the place on this one. I’m certain she doesn’t suspect twins otherwise she’d probably rush me to the ultrasound. Thankfully the incidences of twins all run on James’ side of the family.

It was a good day. I’m pretty sure I’m smiling all over the place.