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*insert crazy freak out right here, right now.*

August is the end of summer – though really, our weather for the last week of July totally felt like September, I think Mother Nature is a bit confused. I dread the end of summer. I love these hot afternoons, long light days, sounds of nature everywhere. And I love doing everything and nothing with all of my kids. I’m never ready to send them back to school – ok, some days I feel like giving them that structure and break from home – but it’s only temporary. They’re never ready to go back to school. It’s sad that learning and discovering and socializing comes with such dread. Over the last few months, when thoughts of homeschooling have been more and more, I hope that I could be that change that removes the dread and brings in the excitement. Kids really shouldn’t dread going back to school. They really should get much more play time in their lives. They’re kids. That’s what they should do. But I do dread them going back to school as much as they do. We don’t spend our summers coming and going and doing all kinds of crazy things. We just spend time together. That’s so important to me. It makes me sad when I hear or read other moms anxious for school to start and to get rid of their kids for those hours.

Seriously, if you’re excited for your kids to go back to school for any reason, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!

We should be excited for them to learn and grown and to broaden their horizons – but you should already be doing that with them every day, no matter what time of the year it is. You should be cherishing every moment that you have with them, even when they’re overtired and cranky and pushing each other’s buttons, and grating your very last fried never. We know that happens, nobody’s life is pure bliss and nobody is perfect. But we should still be thankful for those days, because we have those days. We shouldn’t wish them away or think that going to school will take them away. School is that many more hours every single one of those days that you don’t get to spend the whole day with your child. Yes, school is necessary. But looking forward to being away from your kids, I don’t, and never will understand that.

Yes, I’m crazy. I love my kids like crazy. And when they drive me crazy! Because it does happen. But I just take it in stride – that’s life. But it doesn’t make me wish to have less time with them. I have to sacrifice that enough as is.

Embrace it. Love it. Own it. Don’t take a single day for granted. Live in the now. For me, that doesn’t mean living in the extreme every day – sometimes it’s just getting by and going through the motions of a mundane day. Mundane days are ok.

There is still summer left. I will not be sad that each day is closer to the end of summer. I’m going to try to forget that as much as I can. We have plenty of school prep to do but there is plenty more fun to have as well! I have not accomplished nearly what I thought we would, but that’s ok. We’ve spent time together, and that’s what I love.

With August and discussion of pack to school, I tend to get in ” over planning mode.” I have a whole stack of new irons to put into the fire. Some rekindling of old irons, too. As if my plate wasn’t already full… But sometimes, I thrive on the chaos and the trying of new things. I’m going to start making some goals at the beginning of each month, share them here, and hope to check them off the list one by one. Sometimes doing things “out loud” really helps.

In the meantime, the napping is over and The Littles are ready for fresh air and sunshine – so am I! We are off to the big backyard!

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Sometimes, I have to sit back, take a deep breath, and forget all the frustrations and focus on the little things – the happy things.

Losing sight is easy – between 511 diaper changes, 6093 removals of toddler from high places or garbage cans or dog food or bathroom sink, wiping tears, listening to screams and whines and dealing with colic, hearing complaints and sibling disagreements, removing pet hair from every.single.thing I eat, if I actually find time to eat, trying to use the bathroom or shower with no fewer than one extra person, wondering if the laundry will ever get all washed, folded, AND put away, remembering to wash floors but never finding the time to do them day after day, cleaning up baby barf from my hair and shoulders on a regular basis – longing for that shower by myself that rarely seems to come, and just doing all that I can to survive the day with everyone in on piece and put to bed with an extra hug and kiss and knowing that they are loved – despite any craziness they may have encountered from me throughout the day.

Creating a run-on sentence like that takes SERIOUS focus.

At the end of the day, when my head hurts and my arms are weak from holding my precious loves all day, when my eyes just want to slam shut, and I’m not even sure that I can climb the stairs and into my bed, I look back on the things that made me smile and laugh and be so happy to be a mama.

*extra “I love you’s”
*milk drunk smiles
*ice cream bucket hats
*messy pizza face
*teeny tiny fauxhawk
*silly belly laughs
*”wow,wow,wow,wow,wow”
*picking up too many matchbox cars that make cute toddler noises
*chubby cheeks
*curled up baby legs
*baby back arched stretches
*the hot dog dance
*big blue eyes
*lotsa hugs
*daughters that bring home fast food for dinner so I don’t have to cook
*laughing until we cry
*sharing chocolate chip cookies
*sweet smelling baby head
*lashes that go on for days
*the quiet of bedtime and a few minutes to have just to myself to appreciate all of the chaos that was today and to look forward to doing it all again tomorrow.

I extra big love this quite time. I can clear my head a little bit, finish up a few things that got started and never finished, but mostly, I get to look at their angel faces and be so proud of the little people that I’ve made. One day there will be no more diapers, no chubby hands to wash, no sibling squabbles, and no toys to step on. When the kids have all grown and moved on to the rest of their lives, I will look back on days like today and not remember the frustration and the tears, I will be filled with love and joy for having such amazing moments to fill my days. I am so fortunate to be a mama that can stay home to be with her babies. I appreciate James every day for being an excellent provider and supportive dad and partner.

We are so blessed.

Lucas is just so adorable. I think I could go on and on every day about all the cute things he does. This morning he was nursing, grasping the edge of my shirt with one hand and patting my side gently with his other hand. I suppose all the bum patting I do while he’s nursing has made him pat me back. It’s so sweet. And then he di that thing that I have loved so much as each baby has done it, the heart melter – tear jerker moment when he suddenly releases his latch, smiles and coos, does a little wiggle and then goes back to nursing. That’s heaven right there. That’s a total “I love being a mom” moment. No, it’s not the first time he’s done it, but after being awake every two hours last night and feeling totally exhausted with a time change to boot, it was just what I needed this morning for a little extra boost for the day.

It’s times like these that make me feel like I could be a mom 20 times over.