Day 1510 | Lavender

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Robbe has been having some epic meltdowns lately. We managed to survive the “terrible twos” without one tantrum (no joke), but the last month or so has taught me that we’ll eventually get our due. I’m not sure if it’s the transition to school or his desire to drop nap or if he just wants to be older (the most frequent explanation). Whatever it is, it’s driving me crazy. He loses all control of his little body. He says things to Chase just to be mean. He freaks out for no [reasonable] reason. 

We’ve tried being sympathetic. We’ve been consistent in our expectations of him. It doesn’t seem to be working. Today I resorted to a new technique: essential oils. We bought some lavender essential oil to help keep Robbe calm. For the first day in awhile, we had no meltdowns. No joke. He loved the lavender. We put some behind our ears and on our wrists. We made a spray that he spritzed on his stuffed animals and pillows. I even had the boys lay down and I spritzed some over their faces (one of my all time favorite yoga class traditions from DC). They couldn’t get enough. It was pretty adorable.  

Maybe it was a one-time fluke, but I’ll take it. Fingers crossed it sticks for a bit longer, though! 

Day 1509 | Meet the Authors

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The book festival hosted a Meet the School Authors event tonight so the boys got to tag along on the fun. There are a bunch of authors that do presentations (38 of them to be exact) at schools across the Chippewa Valley and tonight ten of them gathered to talk about being authors and sign some of their books. I really appreciated the opportunity to show the boys that there are real people on the other side of the stories we read all the time. I’m not sure the fully *got it* but it’s all about planting the seeds. 

Three book festival events down, about 18 to go. Whew. 

Day 1508 | The Book Festival

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The Chippewa Valley Book Festival started today. I’ve been spending all my free time (not an exaggeration) on this volunteer marketing position for so long that I can’t even fathom what my life looks like without this major time commitment (until we start planning for 2019, obviously). For now, I will enjoy the events, appreciate all the work that’s been put into the festival, and try to focus on the positive outcomes of my efforts instead of the shortcomings (which there always will be). 

Day 1507 | A Performance

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Can you believe Chase has never performed in anything? He’s had a lot of practices for things at his preschools and last year as a kindergartener but he’s never been in a holiday show or a spring sing or any other public performance. In DC, we missed most of them because of travels back to WI (the shows always landed the afternoon before some extended break...ugh). We thought he was finally going to make his first onstage performance last spring but it got rained out. Are you kidding me?!?

Today! He finally had his singing debut today.  As part of a children’s choir at church, Chase sang his little heart out in front of the congregation. The sing out “loud and proud” advice that I’ve been giving him for years finally paid off. He did just that! We could hear his little voice loud and clear (but not in a yell-y sort of way). He was so proud of himself. We were pretty proud, too. 

*Side note: Yes, he is wearing the same outfit as last night. Turns out we don’t have a ton of *presentable* attire that fits him right now. #growingpains

Day 1506 | Phantom Tollbooth

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Father/son date night tonight! Dinner and a show in the new performing arts center down the street from us. Upon their return home, the theater-goers gave the production of The Phantom Tollbooth good reviews and they were both grinning from ear to ear recalling their evening on the town.  

Oh, and don’t worry, Robbe and I had fun, too. We went to a bookstore and ate a fancy dinner at Noodles. Yeah. We all had a pretty great night.  

Day 1503 | Turtleneck Twins

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I found these sweet turtleecks at Goodwill for part of the boys’ Halloween costumes (no spoilers just yet—but they’re pretty amazing). The boys are so excited about their costumes that they wanted to wear these shirts to school today. For the record, it brightened my day way too much watching these two run around in skin-tight turtlenecks. Also, Robbe is wearing shiny silver leggings. That is all. 

Day 1502 | Typewriter

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On a whim, I asked the boys if they wanted to try out one of Chris’s typewriters after school. You won’t believe me when I say this, but Robbe sat in front of that typewriter and “worked” for the rest of the day (minus a dinner break). He LOVED it. I mean, they both did, but Robbe really did. He’s already committed to finishing his next sheet of paper tomorrow—whatever that means.  

Day 1501 | A CA Visitor

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We’ve got another visitor! It’s been a fun weekend showing Sean (who has never been to WI before) everything that’s great about our neck of the woods. We visited our farmers market, went apple picking, enjoyed the beautiful fall colors, ate at a true Wisconsin supper club, toured a dairy farm, and watched some Wisconsin sporting events. That’s a good weekend. 

A big [huge] thanks to Sean for making the trip. It really means a lot to us.  

Day 1500 | 1500!

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This is what 7:10am looks like at our house these days. That’s what you get when the 1500th blog post sneaks up on you and you don’t have a family photo to share. Seriously, though…1500 posts. I missed some days. I’ve hated blogging some days. But I’m glad to be here. Having to reflect on our sweet little life every 100 days in these update posts really helps me realize how far we’ve come and how quickly the boys change.

Enjoy this little sneak peek into what’s been happening with us.

Sara

FAVORITES: The smell of fall, oat milk + decaf lattes, getting more space back in my life (5 half days of 4K helps!), Halloween costume crafting (I really do love it), seeing the boys grow up as best friends, nearing the completion of the marketing plan for the book festival I’ve been working on
BIGGEST HURDLE TO OVERCOME: Realizing that I might not be completely warm again for the next 6 months. That's not ok.
DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE: Completing the big [HUGE] painting project in the house (which hasn't even started yet). I'm just so excited (mostly because it’s not me painting!).

Chris

FAVORITES: Watching the boys play in the fort, tinkering with his Fantasy Football lineup, regaining his interest in the Brewers, fixing things around the house, eating Oreos, reading The Phantom Tollbooth to Chase
BIGGEST HURDLE TO OVERCOME: Stepping onto a cold tile floor at 6am. It’s pretty much the worst.
DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE: Calling the fort completely done. He's close, but shutters, the door, and some of the "special features" are looming over him as the temperature drops.

Chase

AGE: 6.5
FAVORITES: Legos (specifically the Ninjago variety), playing with new friends, reading on his own, making people laugh, practicing his piano recital song (for once he likes practicing piano!), playing swamp on our new backyard swing set, losing his teeth, hypnotizing people, watching movies, brownie M&M cookies, keeping things symmetrical, at school: silent reading, lunch, and recess
BIGGEST HURDLE TO OVERCOME: Convincing mom and dad to let him play video games more often. It’s a new addition to our house and Chase is VERY interested in honing his skills.
DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE: Always being the one to pick what he and his brother play. I will say he *usually* gets his way, but more and more Robbe is asserting himself. This dream might be harder and harder to come by as the days roll on.

Robbe

AGE: 4.5
FAVORITES: Riding the bus (and *most of the time* opting to sit with his brother), dog-sitting, eating at Noodles, swinging, watching movies, chewing gum, saying "it's not fair", getting presentations at school, smiling + being silly, wearing his sherpa hoodie again, ga-ga ball
BIGGEST HURDLE TO OVERCOME: Waiting for Halloween. This kid is excited. He asks me every day (at least once) if I've been working on his costume. At least he's holding me accountable.
DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE: Dropping his afternoon nap. If he wasn't such a hot mess at the end of the day on the days he skips, I'd be more likely to consider it!

 

Looking back on 1500 posts:

Day 1499 | Another Tooth Gone

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I picked the big one up from school today and he was grinning from ear-to-ear. And then I realized that his giant smile was missing another tiny tooth!

We’ve been waiting for this bugger to wiggle free for weeks and Chase couldn’t be happier that he lost it during school. Because of that, he got a sweet tooth necklace that he got to wear around for the rest of the day. That’s about as good as it gets in the world of a first-grader. 

Now if only Robbe wasn’t feeling so excluded and jealous about the whole thing. It’s just “not fair”.  

Day 1495 | Ga-ga Ball

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Have you heard of this game? It’s all the rage with the kiddos. Robbe even came home from school this week saying he won one of the games against his classmates—he’s 4. It might have been his proudest moment ever.

We got to see their skills in action today when they got in the ring together. Robbe really fights his way into the middle of the action and Chase stays on the sidelines and tries to go unnoticed. Hmmm...I see some personality traits shining through. 

Day 1494 | Picture Day

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These cute little nuggets had school pictures today. No lie, I spent at least 30 minutes attempting to style Chase’s hair so it holds for longer than three minutes. Yes, the photo above is the “styled” version. He claims that it held up until his photo was taken “after silent reading and music class”. I’m skeptical.

I feel like parents should be allowed at school for picture day. I want to be there to fix his shirt when it’s askew. I want to give one more tweak to his little hairdo. I want to “facilitate” a real smile (instead of this). Does this make me a helicopter mom? Probably. Really, though, it’s just because it’s the ONE professional photo we have taken on a yearly basis and I want it to be good! I want them to capture the essence of my favorite people in the whole world. Is that too much to ask?!? And, at the end o the day, I need a real smile for his graduation board, you know?