The Tide is Shifting

There is something about motherhood. It feels like every time you get your footing, things change again. I look back at the past almost seven years of my life and think of all the change, all the upheaval, it's just crazy. 

We had just moved to Aberdeen when I had Connor. I threw every ounce of my being into the small group at our new church that we started going to when Connor was less than a week old. It paid off big time. I made some amazing friends. They were all so different and helped me in different ways. But one in particular, one with three kids, helped me the most. She got me out of the house, both with Connor and without. She watched Connor so Ian and I could go on dates. She was amazing. Just what I needed in that new mothering season, when I had no family around. 

Then we moved home. That was interesting. Everyone and everything I thought I knew about Modesto had changed in the almost ten years of being gone. I had to make new friends. It happened. Slowly. It really wasn't until about two years in that I found my tribe. Things were stable and humming along there for a while. 

Then kids start school. The carefree, schedule less days of motherhood were behind us. But there was still plenty of fun to be had. Lots of it after school or late into the night, hanging out after the kids got to bed. 

Now I find things changing once again and honestly feel a bit lost. It started after I had Callum. Then lump on to it Connor now being in school all day. And all day school really makes for no time to get together with older kids. And Callum is a brilliant napper, making me want to hang around at home for those. And, on top of that, the fabulous moms I got to know through preschool have moved on from there and first grade isn't conducive to hanging out with the other class moms like kindergarten. I just feel a little lost in this new season. 

I know I will find my footing. I always do. But I feel like I am in a bit of a mourning period for the awesomeness that the last few years has been with some amazing friends in my life. And now, I find myself doing something rather difficult for introverts like myself, I am putting myself out there. Dating other moms, so to speak. 

It's a new season. 

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Connor: Homework started this week. He acts like it's the end of the world…then he totally gets into it. Kind of like how he keeps saying school is "horrible", yet is back to playing school at home.

Isla: She is ready to be back to school and around kids again. But since her and Connor are now away from each other all day, they have been playing amazingly together in the evenings. 

Callum: Cut his first tooth this week. His sleep suffered tremendously. Here's to hoping the sleep part rebounds quickly! 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

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An 8.5 Month Sibling Comparison

With Connor and Isla, it was total happenstance that I took literally identical pictures of them mere days apart in age. This time, I saw it coming. I actually remembered the week before and checked so I could take the pictures of Callum at the right time. They were taken at the exact same age as Connor. 

At 8 months old, all three kids were within half a pound of each other. Callum was a little longer than the other two. I would say they all look relatively the same size in the photos, though Connor does look a little shorter, given his legs aren't sticking over the end of the wagon. Also, look how much hair Connor and Isla had compared to Callum! 

At this age for Connor, he could already stand up and walk holding on to things. Isla was a little bit behind. She could go from laying to sitting by herself, but wasn't quite standing up on her own. Then there's happy little Callum. He is content just sitting…and that's sitting where I set him down. He can't yet go from laying to sitting. And he really has no interest in standing. All in his own time. What he lacks in physical ability, he makes up for in his smiles…smiles for days, I tell you.

An interesting little back story about this little push toy. It was actually one of Ian's coworkers in Scotland. Both her boys played with it, then she handed it down to us. It's fun to me to watch toys get played with over and over again by different kids. 

Another little "fun" fact, all three kids lived in different houses at 8.5 months old. That's kind of crazy when you think about it. But, we were living in Aberdeen, Scotland with Connor, our old house in Modesto with Isla and now our new house with Callum. If there is ever a fourth child, I kind of hope it doesn't include another move! 

Just in case you want to look back, three kids, one outfit and same hat, different boy

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Hair Struggles Be Real

After not liking how I did her hair the week before, Isla declared to me that she was doing her own hair for ballet. She stood in front of the mirror and pulled the brush through her hair over and over. Wearing a big, fluffy tutu, it was just too cute to not take a picture of it. While I was taking pictures, Isla declared to me,

"Mom, Im struggling. It's not time to take pictures when you are struggling."

Haha! Oops. And, after all that struggling, all she wanted was to pin her hair to the side with a gold hair bow. As you can see, she was pleased with her results. Girls, I tell you.

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Connor: I'm told this is his signature silly face. He's still not thrilled about being in school all day and would prefer to be playing.

Isla: She is enjoying being the top dog at home while Connor is at school. She pretty much spends her days in Connor's room, playing with his toys. 

Callum: He got a hold of his first lego this week. Thankfully it was quickly noticed and removed from his grasp. I also think he is teething…I thought so a couple weeks back and the tooth went back down, but I think this time it might really be happening. 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2016."

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Whole30 Recap

I really wanted to do a week by week recap of whole30, so I could remember my thoughts and feelings while going through it. Alas, life got in the way and it never happened. But whole30 did happen. In fact, I have been off it two weeks now and am still pretty much eating that way. 

About a week in, I hit my stride with whole30. I knew what I could and couldn't eat and it made things much easier for me. Sure, I had to plan ahead, but once I got in the swing of things, it really wasn't bad. Then we left on vacation. Whole30 food on the road was hard. Most of the places we travelled didn't have "easy" whole30 eats, like In-n-Out or Chipotle. Once, I asked for a lettuce wrapped chicken sandwich at a Mcdonalds and got a piece of chicken sitting on a couple pieces of shredded lettuce. It was awesome…not. And I had an internal meltdown when I ordered a fully compliant salad at another place, only to have it come with fried chicken on top. And the grocery stores in the small towns we were in weren't much better. I forget how much amazing produce is at our finger tips in California. Needless to say, I was happy to return home, to food I easily knew. 

I wasn't doing whole30 to deal with issues I had, per say. I was doing it to kick start a healthier me. But, I did notice that the semi frequent headaches I get went away. I always thought I got them from not drinking coffee soon enough in the day or something. But, I didn't get them while on whole30, so I am going to assume they are from some food additive and not from caffeine. Also, which I really love this, I never got that "I ate so much and now feel full and sick" feeling. 

What now?

Now that whole30 is done, I have relaxed a bit and had some noncompliant things. But honestly, I don't like how much of it makes me feel. I can instantly tell I feel blah and sluggish. I don't feel that way when eating real food. So, for the time being, I think I am going to avoid much of that food and make eating it an exception rather than the normal. And I like that if I get too out of whack again, I can just do whole30 again…I do a good job following rules, so I enjoyed having guidelines to follow and can see myself needing "reminding" of those guidelines again from time to time. 

Eventually, I may get my butt into gear enough to share some of the foods I found really helpful and ate a lot of while on whole30…and beyond. Because, especially when you are starting out, it's nice to have some help to steer you in the right direction. 

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Back at it

Connor starting school last year was a really hard adjustment for me. The mornings felt very early and there were just so many early mornings in a row! I wasn't used to it and it took me a while to really get the hang of it. Like, it literally took weeks.

I wasn't sure what to expect this year, getting back into the school routine. Thankfully, it has been an easy transition. Sure I am not in love with the early mornings. But I am in love with all the productivity that happens, given that all of us are ready and out of the house by 8:10. It has really allowed me the time to do things around the house that need to be done. I have hung things on the walls and been organizing to my heart's content…of course it helps that Isla is super good at independent play and Callum takes a long morning nap!

We have been walking to and from school each day. I know we didn't live far from the school last year, but just far enough that driving was convenient. But, this year, walking really will be it. I anticipate driving on the days Isla has preschool (she starts in September) only because we won't have time to walk to school, then walk home and get the car. But other than that, we are pretty committed. Once Connor started riding his scooter to and from school, I stopped hearing complaining from him about the walking. Isla has pretty much been using Callum's stroller and I have been wearing Callum in the ergo. Because, God forbid my kids have to walk even two houses!!! I kid you not, they are the biggest complainers about walking. I really don't get it.

Either way, I am enjoying walking. I love walking where the trees intertwine in the middle of the road. I love stopping to let Isla talk to and pet random cats. I really love the sense of community that comes from walking around.

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