Spring Park Morning


We’ve just pushed through four suffocatingly intense weeks. In mid-February I flew to Illinois with Josie for a whirlwind househunting trip while the Man stayed home with the older three. After my return we spent increasingly long days preparing our house for market with contractors, DIY repairs, decluttering, and endless games of “furniture tetris” while simultaneously preparing to close on our new home in Illinois, doing regular work, surviving ICU call, and caring for our home and kids as usual. This Tuesday we closed on our new home. This Thursday the realtors came to take listing photos of our home; it should hit the market tonight. We could not have done it without a great deal of help from family, friends, and babysitters! While maintaining a house for showings with four small children underfoot is no joke we’re breathing a big sigh of relief at crossing the first hurdle and achieving maintenance level.

Last night for the first time in many days we didn’t do any home buying or selling tasks, just relaxed, took a breath, and got a good night’s sleep. This morning after speech and feeding therapy and a quick hair fix we took all the kids to the park for the first time in weeks.



(Good luck taking a photo of four non-synchronized kids swinging together…every other shot amputated part of at least one child).

With four kids in a 34 month span someone’s always hitting a new milestone.

  • Josie (8 months) rode in a park swing for the first time and loooved it. She gave us lots of happy baby chortles every time she swooped back for more pushes and belly tickles. IMG_0620.JPGIMG_0617.JPGIMG_0630.JPG
  • Jenny (21 months, basically 18 months adjusted for prematurity) hiked on her own instead of riding in the carrier for the first time. She also pushed the stroller for the first time (juuuuust reaching while walking on her tiptoes), threw rocks in the stream with the big kids for the first time, and enjoyed (instead of tolerating/whimpering to escape) the swings and slide for the first time.IMG_0602.JPGphoto 1 (8)IMG_0633.JPG
  • Annie (3) rode in a “big kid” swing for the first time. She also played with another little girl at the park in an age-appropriate way, a big achievement for a kid with anxiety issues and speech and social delays. We were so happy to see her cheerfully engaging with a peer other than her siblings!IMG_0635.JPGIMG_0625.JPGIMG_0637.JPG
  • Jack (3) also rode in a “big kid” swing, and carefully helped Jenny hike the trail by holding her hand.IMG_0627.JPG

In the afternoon the Man stayed home with the babies while I took the twins on a run to preschooler Disneyland (aka the hardware store). Is there anything better than a row of 20 tractors when you’re three?


This spring holds many more challenges – showing our house, minor surgery for one child, moving cross country, settling into a new area, etc. – but we were so grateful for a beautiful day of refreshing family time!


10 thoughts on “Spring Park Morning

  1. The twins are looking so grown up! How amazing to see such milestones in all four lives. Our Moppet is 9.5 months and is yet to have her first swing – I must get the toddler swing out of the shed.

    Looking forward to hearing more of your exciting adventures. Will be thinking of you with your cross country move.

    • My husband and I were also struck by how big the twins looked in these photos.

      Isn’t it funny how certain milestones either slip later or happen by accident with later children? With the twins I was so eager for them to be big enough for twins or to eat solids or whatever and kept trying until they could. With the fourth, I suddenly realize “my, time has flown, I guess we could’ve done this three months ago, couldn’t we?” But lucky third and fourth siblings, all those big kids around to shower affection and entertain.

  2. first of all, they’re all HUGE. HUGE! stop feeding them woman!

    2nd of all – ohmigosh you found a house! congrats! details! 🙂 and i hope surgery goes well – lots of prayers 🙂

    ps. you’re such a good mom. i haaaaaate taking my kids to the hardware store lol

    • I have thought about stopping the food. It would save so much on the budget! 😉

      I love the hardware store with the kids because the aisles are so wiiiide – they can’t grab anything if they’re holding onto or riding in the cart or stroller! But then, the hardware store, the bookstore, and outdoor gear stores are the only places I actually enjoy shopping. Anything else is pure torture, which is why Amazon was invented… Thanks for the prayers! We’re really hoping this will resolve some issues and help her start non-pureed solids and learn to chew/move food around her mouth.

      • Tongue and lip tie, plus a bit with her ears. Not a big deal wwith newborns, but with sedation since she’s a toddler. We’re hoping the recovery won’t throw off her feeding even more…

      • oh gosh they’re putting her out for TT/LT? ive had it done on a toddler and i just held them – super duper fast with a laser 😦 that sucks! no idea on ears, but its crazy to me they’ll give general anes. for something like that. prayers its goes well!

      • Worlds sloooowwwesst blog comment response to say that this particular baby is unusual because she has so much trauma and defensiveness around her mouth. It’s taken a year and a half of continuous therapy to get her to accept touch around her mouth vs. constant blocking/tongue thrusting/flailing/gagging. Even having the doctor peek at her mouth made her regress months on her eating skills, let alone someone forcing it open/cutting/putting in stitches/causing pain. One of the rare cases where it really matters if she remembers if someone hurt her mouth or not…as it is she doesn’t meet minimum nutrition standards on her very best days, let alone when something triggers a regression. It went smoothly and her eating is really improving! If only the first three specialists we raised the tongue tie issue with had listened…sigh…

  3. Goodness you all have been busy! I hope the house showings go well – at least it’s warming up so hopefully you can just take everyone to the playground whenever you need to show it 🙂

    • Yes, definitely easier than chilly weather when you have to bundle everyone into hats/coats/boots before heading out the door. Even without that, it takes me two hours to get everyone out the door solo so…we’ll see?

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