Done is Better than Perfect

I used to strive for perfection on my blog. I would blog something as soon as it happened. Literally. I didn't want to let the moment pass without memorializing it. Then, somewhere along the way, hello there life and children, I ran out of time. It started feeling funny writing about moments that happened months ago. But why does it matter? After all, this blog is for myself. And it's "paid" for itself over and over when I went back and made the kids baby books easily with all that I had blogged about their baby days (and I'm now starting on toddler books for them). But it still feels silly to write things so much later.

But here's the thing. I've realized done is better than perfect. One of my goals during the pandemic was to make a photo book of our vacation in 2018. TWO YEARS AGO. Two years. When I started, I realized I hadn't even gone through many of our vacation photos. They all weren't saved in one place. It was a bit of mess. But I did it. And it felt good. Now my kids will be able to look through the book and remember...or the pictures will be the reminder.

I also started picking up my camera more and capturing our day to day life. It's something I used to do a lot when Connor and Isla were little. And honestly, those are always my favorite memories to look back on.

So here's to not striving for perfection, remembering done is better than perfect and remembering to document so the children have something to look back on...because who doesn't like looking back at old photos? But also, making sure I do something with all those photos I take, as they don't do anyone any good rotting away on old hard drives.

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4th of July

We did our "second annual" kids in front of the garage with popsicles on July 4th picture. Haha! I clearly did not plan ahead because the store was out of bomb pops. We had one on hand and Callum wanted it, so he got that while the others had watermelon. I was looking at this picture chuckling, wondering how long I can get away with them letting me do this. Here is the link to last year's, if you are interested.  

^^ May we all look at someone the way Willa looks at a popsicle! 

Our fourth celebration didn't look much different this year than in years past. For the past few years, we have stayed home and done our own little thing. It allows us to start relatively early and still have the kids to bed at a reasonable hour. Plus, is there really anything more fun for kids than to pick out their own fireworks at a stand then light them on fire?!

This year, there was a bit of a fight for fireworks. Connor and Isla made their own fireworks show and Callum made his. There may or may not have been some fireworks theft between the two piles and some screams, but then everyone settled in and all was fine. 

^^ This is Willa's "mom stop taking my picture and hold me" picture. She did great during the fireworks, but definitely wanted me to hold her. After a bit, I just put her in her carrier, as it was easier. 

^^ Callum loved the fireworks, as long as his ear covers were on. He would pull them up during fireworks, so I think they were more security than anything. We have had a kid with those on for the fourth for so many years, it will be a bit sad for me when they are no longer needed by anyone. 

^^ The ole light and run routine. 

After a bit, I put my camera away and just enjoyed myself. One neighbor came out and watched on their porch for a bit. And another walked down and watched too. Toward the end of our time, a truck came, sped up and purposefully ran into our fireworks display. It send all the stuff (including two "slow" signs) flying as far as two houses down. It was really scary, considering Ian and Connor were there maybe 30 seconds prior. It really shook me up and was a bummer way to basically end things. I found out today that the same guy drove to other parts of our neighborhood and did the same thing. Super uncool, but I am not going to let it ruin the whole memory of the night. 

Even though our country is in turmoil and it seems like a weird time to celebrate it, I am thankful for our freedoms, including freedom of speech. I look forward to the day that our country really practices what is stated in the declaration of independence, that "all men are created equal". Now to fight for the equal treatment of all!

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Bathroom Refresh

I know the pandemic has brought out the house projects in everyone, but I am a little late to the game. I was inspired and had ideas of what I wanted to do project wise at the beginning...and have done neither of those projects, haha! But, I got a wild hair to refresh our downstairs (Connor's) bathroom a couple weeks ago and went for it. 

It started because Connor didn't really have space to store his toiletries, so I went in search of a small vanity for him. The bathroom is small, so it couldn't be anything too large. I found a vanity from IKEA that would work and went for it. My goal was to do everything in a week and I managed to do it. Let's show what I started with...

I took everything off the walls, lightly sanded the walls and gave the bathroom a fresh coat of paint. Just doing that improved things greatly. The baseboards REALLY needed it and look so much better. Then I did my feature wall. I was inspired by some wallpaper that I found...then saw the price of and decided to try my hand at painting it myself. Then we installed the new vanity, mirror and other fixtures. 

The other thing I did was get rid of the tension shower curtain we had that used to fall down and mess up the paint. I replaced with with some piping from Lowes and love the look of it.

We also got rid of the curtain and instead frosted the bottom half of the window. It looks so much cleaner (or less cluttered or something like that) in there without the curtain.

vanity - IKEA
mirror - Wayfair
towel hooks - Target
shower curtain - Target

A quick side note about Wayfair. I haven't used them before and ordered the mirror from them because at the time it was the cheapest place I could find it. It is sold at several places. It is now way more than I paid for it. It would appear they are a bit like amazon and change their prices all the time. 

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Scenes from Quarantine {week 11}

^^ I said goodbye to one of my closest friends, as she moved to Montana. I can't help but feel Covid stole valuable last times to do things together that we enjoyed. 

The week of the heat wave, all the swimming and the end of distance learning. 

This is going to be my last scenes from quarantine. Things are starting to open up. Though the kids have not been in public, I anticipate we will slowly and smartly start seeing some people. It seems odd to even think about going out again. Mass hysteria started when there were only a couple confirmed cases in our county. Now there are around 700 and things are opening up again. Makes no sense to me, except that people are done being scared and being at home. 

We finished up the school year, aka: distance learning, on Friday. It brought a routine to our days that I am going to miss. But I will not miss the struggle with distance learning. Of course, I hear rumblings that school will not be going back to normal in the fall, so I shouldn't get my hopes up too much. But even having the kids in school part time would be nice. 

It got, hot, hot, HOT this week! Our house has basically no insulation, so that means the air conditioner running all the time and still not keeping up. It also means it was hot enough for me to get in the pool...I don't like cold water! We went swimming every day. It was fun, albeit slightly chaotic with four kids in the pool at one time and only two of which can independently swim. Callum is getting close though and I am thinking this is his summer to swim. 

We are certainly at an odd crossroads with this whole Covid-19 thing. With things opening back up, many people are excited to be out and about. Many no longer seem to be practicing social distancing while out in public or even wearing a mask. Which, seems odd to me, given it hasn't gone away. My understanding is just that the curve has been flattened. Of course, we all are reading different news and believing what we want, making the whole thing all the more confusing. It definitely is a time that will be in the history books though. 

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Connor & Isla's Last Day of School

It's hard to believe that we are here. The last day of school happened. When everything switched to distance learning, it was kind of like we stepped into a time warp. Things that would make it seem like the end of school is coming didn't happen. There were no ends to the homework or parties to be planned. Things were basically business as usual right up until the end. The week before, we did go and pick up the kids possessions at school. But the last week of school had just as much schoolwork assigned as any other week. 

Connor got to end his distance learning with a class video call. That was a nice way to end everything. He gets quite animated on the video calls, so he enjoyed himself right up until the end. When I asked him what he wants to be when he grows up, he said, "A doctor...I mean, a surgeon...actually, a robotic surgeon!" Connor has taken a great interest in coding lately. He even coded his own website. A website talking about math. 

Isla had her last video call on Thursday. Her teacher made a video of the year and she started crying at the end of it...both Isla and the teacher! Her teacher didn't want to end the year on a sad note, so had a class dance party before signing off for the year. It was sweet. Of course, Isla still had school work to do Friday! When Isla grows up, she wants to be an artist or geologist. I could see both, as both are things she is interested in. 

And just like that, it's summer! It feels like nothing and everything has changed at the same time. I'm glad to not have schoolwork anymore, but it also brought structure to our days. Here's to hoping the kids get to go back to school at least part time in the fall, as I know they (especially Isla) miss the human interaction with people outside of our household. 

In case you want to look back - Connor and Isla's first day of school. And if you missed it, here was Callum's last day of school from last week. 

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Willa {15 months}

accomplishments: has 8 teeth, climbs up on everything, can go up and down the stairs

I feel like Willa has changed so much in the past three months. She really has quickly left the baby stage behind and gone into the toddler stage. But her smile still remains. Often times, when I pull out the camera to take a picture of her doing something, she just stops, looks at me and smiles! 

Willa can often be found emptying the tupperware cupboard. It's one of her favorite pastimes. That and dragging laundry around the house, haha! She also loves playing with toys and is getting really good at independent play. And anytime she sees anything left unattended by her siblings, she makes a beeline for it. She can spot one of their toys from so far away. It's pretty amazing. And, if they leave something on their beds, she will pull on their blanket until the toy is within reach. 

Willa loves to mimmic things we are doing. If someone coughs, she will fake cough. If someone sticks out their tongue, she will do it back. And her latest is she now hits. I am fully certain she has learned that from her siblings, but she will walk up and just hit you out of the blue. 

Willa is still nursing. This doesn't mean she doesn't eat like a champ, because she does. I am pretty certain she has never turned down any food, unless she wasn't in the mood. She eats all the normal foods we eat. Some of her favorites include blueberries, bananas, avocado, chicken (and really any meat) and ice cream. She has mastered the art of drinking out of a straw as well. Going back to nursing, it really only happens when she is tired, so before a nap or before bed, then during the night. Though, ideally I would like to night wean her soon. 

Speaking of night, Willa is doing better at sleeping. Just a couple months ago, it was common for her to wake three or so times just between the time she went to bed and I went to bed. Now she is staying asleep for several hours before waking and it is SO NICE to have my evenings back. Willa usually naps twice a day, but on the days she only naps once, she will take a loooong nap and is then exhausted by bedtime. Usually one nap is started and possibly fully taken in the carrier on my back. With all the kids home, things are never very quiet and that makes for an easy way to get her to sleep. 

Willa is in size 4 diapers. She is now fully in size 12-18 month clothing. Getting shoes that fit her have been a bit of an issue during a pandemic when you can't just go to the store and try them I. I started with some size 6 that were too big. I ordered size 5 and they were bigger than the 6. A different size 5, the exact same size at the 6. Four pairs in, I decided to call it and let her monster step her way around in shoes that are a bit too big. She doesn't wear shoes that often anyway. She just needs them when we are outside and it's hot. 

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Scenes from Quarantine {week ten}

Let's call this the week we broke quarantine. On Friday, we had an outdoor playdate with Isla's best friend and her family. We chose outdoors to be safe. And both sets of kids (ours and theirs) haven't been around anyone else. Let me tell you, it was glorious to be around other people. To watch the kids be kids. To watch them play with other kids. I missed that.

Isla got her "flat teacher" in the mail and did some fun things with her, like making and playing hopscotch and walking to Yogurt Mill. This was also our first time back at Yogurt Mill since this all started. The girls and I walked there, were able to order at the door, then took a walk back down the trail by our house to sit and eat it.

I guess it was an exciting week with all sorts of things happening. We also got to pick up the kids belongings from school. It was a drive thru where they handed you a garbage bag of your child's possessions. We went through twice, at each kids grade level time so they could see their teacher one last time.

Callum had what was supposed to be his last day of school this week. I celebrated by taking his last day of school picture like I normally would and reflecting on what would have happened at the end of his school year.

Look at all that outside household interaction that happened this week! We are trying to figure out how to safely proceed from here. It's all so muddy and weird. Especially with things opening back up.  I know we are more cautious than many in our community. But we just want to be safe and smart about it all.

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Callum's "last day" of Preschool

This past Wednesday would have been Callum's last day of preschool. It would have ended with a cheesy promotion ceremony that I would have just eaten up. Then, after the ceremony had ended, there would have been a pizza party for the kids and their families. I would have taken one last photo of Callum with his teachers. And we would have collected his end of year crafts. Alas, none of that happened.

I still remember Callum's last day of school. It was surreal. The news of the virus hit hard and fast and mass panic spread quickly. On his last day of school, five kids attended in his class. People were scared. And I think we had five cases of the virus in our county at that point. I remember speculating with the teachers what would happen with the school closure. I don't think any of us thought it would last until the end of the year. Had I thought it would, I probably would have lingered chatting with those ladies a little longer (I love his teachers!) and would have taken one last photo of him with them. Hindsight.

Honestly, Callum doesn't really realize what he is missing out on. He doesn't even necessarily understand what is going on. He will ask to go places "when people aren't sick anymore". And when I tell him that he will be in a different class at school next year, he insists that he wants to go back to being three and stay in the same class at "playdough school".

Callum loved school and loved being around other kids. He loved playing in the sandbox and singing the songs on the carpet. Sending him to school was such a good thing for him and I really do hope they are able to open again in the fall.

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