The boys and I were able to get outdoors and explore quite a bit this week.
Last weekend, I took the two older boys to see a movie in an actual movie theatre, which we rarely do. The three-year-old is finally at an age where he can (mostly) sit still through a nearly two-hour film, without too much”Shhhhushing” on my part to get him to stop TALKING OUT LOUD and narrating all the action for us. There was a little bit of this going on, but I think our neighbors were mostly okay with it, since it was a kid’s film after all.
Later in the week, we visited a beautiful arboretum on the campus of my old college, where I was a little wistful reminiscing about being young and quietly studying for exams in the shady gardens there as a teenager, when all I had to worry about back then was studying for exams and being a teenager. I used the outing as a vehicle for not only allowing the boys to study nature, while using their imaginations and getting their hands dirty poking around bubbling streams with sticks and leaving with muddy knees, but to continue to explain the concept of college to my oldest, who had never actually stepped foot on a college campus before.
We stood beneath giant cacti in the sunshine, got up close and personal with vibrant orange monarch butterflies, who let us nearly touch them with our fingertips, and ran through make-believe jungles, pretending we were lost there, using our sticks to guide us through tangled vines.
We also hiked through our favorite canyon this week, under a canopy of oak trees. It was the first time I really let the baby walk around on his own and hike along with us, instead of strapping him into a stroller or onto my body, carrying him on my back. He was giddy with the freedom of exploration, grabbing sticks to carry like his big brothers, stomping around in piles of autumn leaves, touching new textures and throwing rocks. I’ve realized a large part of boy behavior involves searching for the biggest stick you can find on hikes and wielding it as a sword to fight your brother, while also chucking rocks at anything and everything that moves.
“Yeah, boys? Let’s not throw that giant rock at that beautiful bird resting peacefully in that tree, okay?
This week, we also tackled a little project I’d been talking about for awhile, but hadn’t gotten around to. We finally moved the baby’s crib out of our bedroom and into his brothers’ room so that all three boys could finally share a room together and the baby could sleep in his own crib overnight instead of co-sleeping with me, as he’s done since birth.
I dreaded the process because I knew it would be met with major
screaming tears on the baby’s part. I wrote about why I was ready to get him sleeping in his own crib here. It’s time for him to learn how to sleep in his own space, without still waking up to nurse every couple hours when he’s co-sleeping with me. I am more than ready to get some solid sleep again. They say it takes 72 hours to break any habit and last night was night three of him sleeping in his crib overnight with his brothers.
The first two nights didn’t go very well, my husband was up with him several times, coaxing him back to sleep, but last night, he did much better. He only woke up once, fussed for a few minutes and got himself to go back down. It was the first time in fourteen months that I was able to sleep a solid six hours without waking up and it was blissful. Let’s hope tonight goes just as well. Fingers crossed.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the US and we feasted and gave thanks along with the rest of the country. This year, it was just us five gathering around our table, which I decided to decorate and make festive for the occasion. My husband roasted a delicious turkey and we collaborated on the side dishes: mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberry chutney and pumpkin pie. It was a lovely day and an opportunity to be grateful for our blessings, especially the three little lively boys who have stolen our hearts more than we could have ever imagined.
They have taught me so much about loving and living.
And to tie this week up with a beautiful holiday bow, a book I contributed a piece of my writing to, was released today. It’s an honest anthology of funny pregnancy stories from twenty moms called, “Bumptabulous,” and if you’re so inclined to buy it for yourself or an expectant mom, you (or they) are sure to get some laughs and a candid peek at pregnancy and motherhood.
If you celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope you had a wonderful one with your loved ones. I’m thankful for those of you who visit and read about this little life of mine, with my Three Wild Things and share your stories as well.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Some days are more inspired than others in this house.
They’re the days when we’re outside exploring under a giant blue canopy, getting up close and personal with wildflowers or wildlife or anything my wild things can discover that isn’t an incessant loop of animation on television.
Yes, we have those days too. The days where the exaggerated cartoon voices of PBS Sprout or Ninjago are the soundtrack to our Monday. Or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday. Where we don’t leave the house for an entire day, where we have the same clothes on from the day before. Where we eat leftovers from last night’s dinner for today’s lunch, where we walk around with bed head knowing nobody’s going to see us anyway, save for the possibility of a random neighbor or the UPS man. Who cares — I’m pretty sure the UPS man has seen it all in his career.
And then there are those days when a burst of energy inspires me and we go outside to discover new treasures, or re-discover old ones.
This week it was a first-time visit to a historic mill from 1816, built by Native Americans. We roamed the old stone adobe building and gardens, where I’m almost sure all the lizards in California have taken up residence, because we spied about 1,000 of them while there.
Later in the week, we reunited with one of our favorite botanical gardens, where the toddler let off some energy running through shadowy groves, made cool and serene by rows and rows of giant oak trees. We spotted turtles and koi fish in tranquil ponds, played chase with neon orange dragonflies and wild bunnies, which zipped and teased us through the brush.
The baby took barefoot steps in fresh grass, while clapping his hands over and over, as if giving himself a round of applause — and tried to eat purple wildflowers for lunch.
Big brother is in summer camp most of the week and at times I feel a little sad that he misses out on these mid-week adventures with us. And then I remember he’s visiting places like Disneyland and splashing around in water parks with his buddies, having adventures and making memories and friendships all his own.
I love that he forges friendships with new friends and reconnects with old ones independently each summer, sealing their camaraderie with a handmade friendship bracelet around the wrist. Because, as he approaches 7 years old, that is much more exciting to him than hanging with his mom and baby brothers all day long.
Next week, if the stars are aligned just right and mercury isn’t in retrograde and there are no summer storms on the horizon — I’m making another attempt to shuttle all three boys back to the beach again. It might just be our final trip there this summer.
May the force be with us.