Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Community Meetings With Nolan

I have anxiety. 

Back when I was little, I was known in my family as the 'worry wart,' but now that I know more about myself and anxiety, I know that incessant worrying was anxiety.  I do not hide my feelings well at all, so when I wasn't in a good mental space- everyone in my family knew about it.  My sisters, brother, and parents were patient, they were kind, and I can't tell you how many times they (especially my mother, who is an ANGEL), allowed me to verbally process my worrying thoughts out loud to make sense of them.   


My mom said this quote to me constantly- "Stop worrying. The bridges you cross before you come to them are almost always over rivers that aren't there."

I also had this quote from Matthew 6:34 posted all over- "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

It's MY CRAZY, people- you all have been reading about it for YEARS. I am aware of it, I recognize it, I can label it, and often times I can help it go away on my own.  It is such a part of who I am.

Being anxious has actually given me a lot of great things- I plan, I prepare, I anticipate. I out-work and out-try most people.  I'm thoughtful and conscientious. I take the lead.  I'm prayerful (being a pray-er sure does help a worrier, I'll tell ya).  I deeply, deeply care about the well-being, happiness, and safety of those around me.    

Anxiety has also made my brain a very busy, a very crowded, and a very hectic place. I'm rarely calm. I'm a control freak. I overthink things. Most significant is that I often spend too much time worrying about stuff I shouldn't even be thinking about (see above quotes). 

Thank GOD I have naturally low blood pressure. Seriously. 

I have also produced a son who is most likely an anxious worrier too. He struggles with changes, asks questions CONSTANTLY about our schedule, who's working, what's for dinner, what day it is, which parent is putting him down for bed, if anyone is driving anywhere today.  He needs to control things and does not like the unknown.  We also have to role play a lot of situations with him beforehand to make him more comfortable.  

He also has the positive, wonderful things a worrier can posses- he is literally the most thoughtful, aware person I have ever known.  He takes care of others always before himself.  He rehearses, and practices and is 'ready' for things he can prepare for.  He thinks and prays for people he loves often.   

I want ALL of him, even his anxiety, to feel supported, safe, and loved by us.  I want to give him tools to verbally process and label how he's feeling, to problem solve how to help himself, and strategies to calm himself down.  Thankfully, I understand him, which gives us a really strong foundation.  

Lately, our newest idea in supporting him is doing a community meeting or morning meeting at the beginning of each day...

I steal lots of good parenting ideas, including this one, from being an educator.  "Good" parenting and "good" teaching might as well be synonyms as far as I'm concerned.  A community meeting is how we start our time together each day in our classroom.  It is probably the most vital minutes I plan for- to build relationships, build safety, and build a community where voice and choice are important.   

So, each morning, usually at the breakfast table, we have a community meeting.  I give Nolan a play-by-play of what I know of our day and give him information on how the other important people (grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc) will spend their day as well.  He asks me questions and we often talk about upcoming things too.  Even though I may be doing this for Nolan, Judah and Carter like it too.  As Nolan asks questions throughout the day, I will redirect him back to our community meeting to help ground him and calm him.  It's also a great way to check in with listening and comprehension too ;) 

Is it THE solution to someone with the wiring of a worrier?  No.  No way.  But it's a start and it's a help.

Seeing your behaviors, neurosis, and quirks reflected from another human being has been a fascinating part of parenting.  The opposite is also equally intriguing- having your children act in ways that are so very different from you...

Observing Nolan lately has helped me reflect immensely on the example I'm setting for him through my own actions coping with anxiety. He NEEDS to see me be flexible and adaptable and handle it gracefully.  He NEEDS to hear me talk about how I help myself and problem solve when I worry or feel out of control. He NEEDS to observe me being patient and staying calm when chaos might emerge.  He NEEDS, most importantly, to see me be okay with who I am so he can be okay with who he is.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Photography & Parenting: Fleeting Moments

Taking pictures of the people and places I love the most is one of my absolute favorite things. I have a camera with me everywhere searching for a moment to capture like a football player waiting for the word 'hike.'



This picture is a beautiful moment between my three sons- my favorite kind of moment to trap in time. It was unseasonably warm today, November 29th, so we took our ball pit maze into the three seasons room to have at it!

There is an interesting connection between picture taking and parenting- how fleeting moments are.

In photography, if you miss a perfect photo by a fraction of a second it can be, for lack of a better word, ruined- sudden movement can make a picture blurry, smiles turn into frowns, people look away or step out of the shot, a person walks in front of a building, and the sun disappears into the horizon. I have an infinite amount of almost perfect pictures :)

In parenting, time can seem to pass by as quickly as that tiny window for a perfect photograph. I'm sitting here watching two 3.5 year olds and a 1.5 year old play... How can that be?!? I still feel like I just brought them all home from the hospital. Instead, the truth is that Nolan rarely asks me to carry him. Judah often makes a stink if I start to dress him ("I do it all by myself") and Carter hardly ever crawls anymore. I will blink and they'll be graduating from high school.

The other fleeting thing about parenting is how quickly "good" moments can turn into "bad" ones. How quickly everyone can seem content and then one toy gets taken from someone, or one person trips over their own feet and falls, or someone becomes cold in the bathtub; it's game over.

The reverse can happen too, which brings me to this photo. Not very many moments before this photo was taken, I was disappointed and frustrated as Nolan and Judah had destroyed the basement (playing beautifully together) but then refused to help pick anything up. I unraveled- raised my voice, stomped around, and got dramatic and theatrical as I put a bunch of their toys way high up and out of reach while saying out loud, "goodby toys." I gave them a 'time out' from toys.

They wanted to say sorry and move on, but today, for me, that wasn't enough.  We talked about the difference between saying sorry and showing we are sorry and I asked them some prompting questions about how they could SHOW they were sorry and left the kitchen to get this ball pit maze thing set up so Carter, who did help clean up, could play. There were tears for sure and it appeared my boys would be toyless (as I now needed to follow through) and I was dreading how the rest of the day would go. I didn't handle that well, kindly, or productive and I knew it, but I couldn't go back now.  I guess parenting has its own fleeting moments too, now that I think about it, something seems like a great idea, you say it out loud, and then you're stuck with it.  I digress...

As Carter played, I saw Judah out of the corner of my eye begin putting toys away in our TV room. Moments later Nolan followed suit. Nolan specifically asked me not to help. They apologized to me, I apologized to them. We reflected on their behavior, both the good and the bad, and the consequences, both the good and the bad, that came from their choices. I thanked them for their kindness. Then, we played.

It took some bad decisions and a few good ones to end up in a place where I even had the opportunity to capture this moment.

Good and bad,  joys and sorrows, positive and negative, seemingly perfect and very obviously unperfect pass in and out of this parenting thing. I'm thankful I think like a photographer so I can capture it, remember it, freeze it... All of it.... As best as I can.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Finding the 'Thankful' in Every Day by JOSHUA HUNDT

I was sitting home relaxing for about four minutes one Saturday after a long day with the boys. It was a rare night when Kristin was out of town, and I randomly thought back to a cold, dark December 25th evening when I was a child. I can remember myself reviewing all the gifts I received, lining them up neatly (some things don’t change), and maybe playing with them for a bit. It was a day full of gifts from Santa, a huge breakfast at my house, two donuts after breakfast, time with my cousins and siblings at my grandma’s house, and my parents letting me have a can of coke with my dinner because it’s very hard to say no to a kid on Christmas. Basically, it was me just thinking about how Christmas day was (still is) always just the most perfect day in the world.

Then my thinking fast forwarded  many years to reminisce about a recent day in our life filled with dirty diapers, a trip to the garbage dump to drop off leaves with the men (one of our favorite fall activities), reading books for naps, debating with the boys about how many of their gluten free fish sticks to eat, walking outside to see the moon, playing a game of PIG in the fireplace room (against Kristin while the boys cheer us on), the bathroom getting flooded because the boys haven’t learned the meaning of the phrase keep the water in the bathtub, reading more books and saying prayers for bedtime rituals, and ending with Kristin and I having our favorite “date” of watching a TV show recorded days earlier, and eating Dusty’s takeout. Basically, it was me just thinking about how that day was the most perfect day in the world.

The realization that a day like the one mentioned above is the most perfect day in the world, is the most incredible feeling in the world.  In our time together we have been through many challenges of sickness in the family, death of family members, fertility struggles, and days, weeks and years so difficult that all we wanted was for them to end. I also realize we will have all these same types of challenges, and more, as we and our children journey through this difficult world. These challenges make me even more grateful for what we have. So It wasn’t a perfect day because every event that happened was perfect- far from it. It was a perfect day because I realized through that day I have every major thing dreamed for in life, and that despite the fact that none of us are perfect on our own- our little family is perfect for each other..

Unlike most ten year olds that played sports all the time, I never thought I was going to be a professional athlete. That simply was never how I viewed a successful adult future for me. When it really got down to what I dreamed for myself as an adult, it was a wife to love, kids to play with (specifically twins, as long as they were different sizes so I didn’t get them mixed up), and a job where I could wear a tie. Somehow, I have been blessed with all of these things and more. 

I have an amazing wife that will always try to put my needs before her own, a wife I genuinely love spending time with, a wife that makes me smile and laugh, and who even occasionally still laughs at my jokes.

I also am blessed to be watching my sons grow up before my eyes, realizing it is about so much more than just playing with them like the ten year old version of me dreamed of. It is about the amazement of things like hearing them learn a new word, find a new country on a map, show compassion for the people of Haiti (taught by Kristin), and them dancing in a circle together singing ring around the rosey. It is about about the grind of teaching them to always listen, to always be kind, to always help their brothers, and to always stay curious.

On this thanksgiving, I am writing this to remind myself not only to be thankful today and every day, but to always remember that at the end of each evening I don’t have to wait 365 more days for another day like a childhood Christmas day, because odds are tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day will all be incredible days on this journey of our life.


Happy Thanksgiving (and Merry Christmas) to all of you! 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Why I'm #notwithhim and I'm #notwithher - What endorsement means to me

I have been politically quiet on social media outlets for many years - like since I had an 'away' message in AOL Instant Messenger.  It's not my thing to post about that.  I consider myself a knowledgeable voter and am certainly passionate about many political topics.  I don't need you to try to change my opinions over a screen and I certainly don't need to change yours that way either.   

Election day is in a couple of days and I find myself more and more disappointed... I know many of you are too.

When looking up 'endorse' on Google, it is defined as to "declare one's public approval or support of."

That word is thrown around a lot during political elections- people giving endorsements, taking away endorsements, and my favorite, people who refused to endorse a candidate at one time then choose to endorse them later. 

My vote in the booth is my endorsement of that person and I take that word very seriously. For many reasons, I will not 'endorse' either large party candidate this election year.  And for many other reasons, I will not be endorsing any popular third party candidates either.  I  just cannot.  

So...

I will not vote for someone just to 'stop' another candidate from winning.
I will not vote for someone because he/she is a part of a political party in which I often times align myself.
I will not vote for someone because he/she is the "lesser" of two evils.
And I certainly will note for someone if I do not feel ethically or morally comfortable declaring my public support of him/her.  

What I WILL do though, is vote on Election Day.

I will vote because I know an endless list of countries who do not give their citizens a say or a voice in how their government or leadership is set up.
I will vote because my gender fought tirelessly for years to be on an equal playing field in that voting booth.
I will vote to set a good example to my three young boys of the importance of being a part of our democratic process.  
I will vote because if I don't, I am part of the problem that set up this election in first place instead of the solution.
I will vote because there ARE American citizens who are over 35 years of age that I DO endorse - that I can publicly declare my support for.  

On Election Day, I will write a name on the line- probably my mother's.  I DO endorse her: her morals, her values, her respect for life and human beings, her character.  If you know her, you would probably agree that all American citizens could use a little more Pat Pavona in their life. 

#PattyforPrezi
#PresidentPatPavona
#TripleP
#AnAngelforAmerica

Many would certainly label my vote a 'throw away' vote. However, I can be at peace knowing I will truly endorse the candidate I will write on that line. I may not support our country's choices this election year, but I can still support the process. I hope you all choose to vote too, for whomever you endorse. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

New House: One Year Later

On November 1st, 2015 our family stayed our first night in our new house in Okemos. 

Looking back, I feel so at peace with how things worked out and our decision to buy the house we did.  We are loving the subdivision, our neighbors are fantastic, and going from a ranch to having an upstairs has been a GAME CHANGER for our family. 

When we bought the house, there was something about it that felt right, but it didn't look right... yet.

Little by little, over time, we have been transforming it into really feeling like ours. 

Here is some of the work we've done.

KITCHEN:
Thankfully, we were able to own this house for one month while still living in our old house so because of that, we were able to do the bulk of the kitchen work when five people (including three kids 2.5 and under) were living there.  We re-faced the cabinets and painted them, took out the drop down ceiling and fluorescent lighting, got several new slate appliances and rearranged them, added a backsplash, redid the flooring, painted the room and got new counter tops.  Josh and his parents did the flooring and Josh has been a beast at changing the trim from oak to white (I've helped some too ;) )

We also got some new furniture for the breakfast nook.

BEFORE: Kitchen
AFTER: Kitchen

AFTER: Kitchen


BEFORE: Breakfast Nook



AFTER: Breakfast Nook


LIVING ROOM:
We are hoping this room will be a place to harness some of our genius: to create, to read, to pretend, to learn, to study, to play.  No TV here! :) The living room (which we call the fireplace room) got new paint, new flooring, and new d├ęcor.  Bye-bye stuffed pheasant!  And no, we haven't used this stove... yet ;) 
BEFORE: Fireplace Room
  
AFTER: Fireplace Room

AFTER: Fireplace Room
FAMILY ROOM:
This room of the house has been great because it has a door to shut!  Quarantining people in one area was certainly how I survived the first few months in the house when Carter was still very little and was needing to nurse a lot.  It has also been a Godsend as Carter began getting mobile because we could shut this door and be away from stairs! This room got new paint and new furniture. 


BEFORE: Family Room

AFTER: Family Room

You'll notice only a few rooms featured here.  Even though we've been here a year, we are still continuing to change, paint, and update.  These are truly the only rooms I would consider to be basically "done."  Onward! :)

Happy one year anniversary, house.  We sure are loving you!!


Monday, October 17, 2016

Judah's Allergies & Tears in Foods for Living

We've been trying to get the bottom of Judah's skin issues for a long while now.  We've seen his pediatrician, a dermatologist, and an allergist several times over the last year JUST to talk about Judah's skin (that's a lot of $30 co-pays).  We've always been told he has baby eczema and that it will pass.  When he was a very little baby, that answer was fine for me because he would go through ebbs and flows with it; sometimes his skin would be totally clear and then he'd have a flair up for a couple of weeks. The winters were worse because it was drier out and in the summer, his skin was usually completely clear.  But for the last year, he's had bad skin the entire time, no ebb and flow. So I started to get more frustrated and asking questions.  He got his allergies tested a year ago, I probably told you, and they tested for all the regular most common allergies and he came back totally clear, but his skin still wasn't.  So after several appointments, lots of ointments and treatments later, the dermatologist agreed that we should get his allergies tested again.  

So a couple of weeks ago we did and LOTS of things came back positive.  He had some blood work done to check the food allergies because they said there are lots of false positives with those.  We finally got the blood results back Friday and all the food came back positive.  Judah is allergic to chicken, eggs, beef, soy, wheat, rice, almonds, cashews, coconut, peas, and carrots.  Yep. All legit.  So welcome to the new Hundt family: pig eating, turkey eating, wheat free, soy free, rice free, etc.  Thank GOD he's not allergic to cow's milk.  If you look back up at that list, any alternative milk product like soy milk or almond milk would be off limits too.  We definitely dogged a bullet there at least. 

I went to Foods for Living in EL Sunday and walked around that store clueless trying to find things I could buy for Judah.  Do you know how RARE it is to have something be wheat free AND rice free?!  All that gluten free crap is made with rice - rice flour, rice syrup, etc.  I literally bought ANYTHING that was free of all the stuff I needed - whew.  That was rough.  I tried not to cry in front of strangers at the store, but continuing to pick things up and then having to keep putting them down was quite discouraging.  My eyes welled up several times thinking of all Judah's favorite foods (pancakes, sweets, cereal) and how different things were going to be for a bit while we sorted this out. 

A few of my finds - Kid's gotta have some snacks! 
Getting any news that means life will be a bit tricky for your child is really difficult.  Your heart really does hurt.  I am so thankful for his resiliency, grit, and toughness - his life has not been without a few struggles and he continues to push through with a positive attitude, hard work, and improvement. He also has his completely supportive twin brother, Nolan by his side.  Nolan's compassion through this process has been a Godsend; he will even ask for us to put Judah's ointments on him too in solidarity.  I pray that support never wavers for either one of them as they grow.  
Anyway, we are cutting all these foods and then slowly introducing them back in one by one to see what his reactions actually are.  Hopefully most of them are minimal so that if he has a piece of cake every now and then, for example, it will be okay.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Tonight, we are trying corn and quinoa pasta!  Onward!  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

9 Year Anniversary Trip: TORONTO!!!

First of all, if you haven't been to Toronto yet- GO! GO NOW!  Stop reading this and get in your car :)




Before I gush about the awesome 43ish hours we had in one of our favorite cities, Toronto, I have to go back to the early summer of 2015, over a year ago.

Carter was only a month or two old and we were adjusting to life as a family of five, which included three kids under two.

Josh let me know that summer that he wanted to take a trip for our nine year anniversary, just the two of us, and that he thought we should go to Toronto.

I answered, "mmmhmmm okay."

yeah right. I thought.

We have three kids!  Next year Nolan and Judah will likely be in preschool!  We both work!  Carter won't even be 18 months old yet!  That's so far away!

I essentially put the idea out of my mind.  I may have even laughed at him when he brought it up.

Fast forward to about 15 months later...

Somehow we pulled off squaring away child care (GOD BLESS MINE AND JOSH'S PARENTS) and we were off for child-free, anniversary fun.  

One of the best parts about the vacation is that we purposely made NO plans.  If you know us or have traveled with us before, we research, make Excel spreadsheets, and pretty much have every minute planned to take maximum advantage of the destination.  We had been to Toronto three other times and had done the tourist thing.  We left this vacation wide open. 

If we decided to go see a movie at 2pm, we were going to do it!  If we wanted to shop all day long, we were going to do it!  If we ended up sleeping all day long, we were going to be okay with that too!  
We were so laid back, that we forgot to bring our Toronto guide book (gasp!).

So... we shopped, ate incredible food, slept in, took naps, walked for hours and miles (Kristin Hundt does not pay for public transportation), and stopped many times just to sit, talk, and enjoy each other's company.  We  also thoroughly enjoyed the view we had being on the 40th floor of an apartment complex facing the CN Tower, Lake Ontario, and the Toronto Bluejay's stadium.




Our life is incredible and busy and hectic and stressful, and amazing. Taking a time out to connect, just Josh and I, was everything.  Without our commitment to each other, our incredible and busy and hectic and amazing family would not exist.
BLUEJAYS!!!!!

PERFECT Italian meal @ Trattoria Taverniti in Little Italy

Dundas Square
@ Amsterdam Brewing Company overlooking Lake Onatrio 
#xoTO




Monday, September 5, 2016

ENOUGH: What I DID do this summer

It is September 4th.  I have one more day of summer left.  At the end of summer, I always get so pensive about how I spent my time: did I relax enough?  did I give my boys enough experiences?  did I read enough?  write enough?  was I productive enough?  That word enough keeps popping up as you can see.

I know I am the type of person that's more likely to zoom in looking for possible failures and shortcomings rather than zoom in on progress and accomplishment.

I tweeted out recently that I needed to go somewhere and ponder if I had _____________ enough this summer and a fellow educator, who I respect SO much, tweeted back at me: "It will never be 'enough.'  Ponder all you were able to do. We are only human."  

#truth.

SOOOOOO....
This blog will be about what I DID do this summer... no mention of where I fell short; no mention of things I didn't accomplish, didn't finish; no mention of the stuff I let fall by the wayside (like how this is my first blog post of the summer... whoops). 
  • I DID read... A LOT.  I'd say 15 books is a solid accomplishment.  Plus, I'm reading two right now.  The best part is I read books for several genres as well as books about teaching, parenting (which always help my teaching too), young adult novels, and books just for my own pleasure.  Let's not forget the HUNDREDS of picture books I've read with Nolan, Judah, and Carter.  A favorite for them this summer was Everyone Poops. More on that later ;)
  • I DID update and upload all photos from all devices through this spring.  They are organized on Snapfish. 
  • I DID continue my quest at putting all other photos in albums.  I started way back in 2009 and am all the way to 2013. Plus, Carter's pictures from his first year is into albums too.
  • I DID upload all videos from all devices through this spring.  They are even backed up on an external hardrive...score! I also began burning family videos on DVDs.
  • I DID continue to follow Nolan and Judah's lead in their potty training journey and it has sure been a journey!!!  They started the summer not consistently wearing "fancy" pants during the day and being terrified.... absolutely TERRIFIED to poop on the potty.  I'm happy to report that "fancy" pants are a staple and both both poop on the potty at least once a day.  The best thing is that I am at peace and they are at peace.  
  • I DID begin my first crossover from teacher to parent.  Judah started speech this summer.  I've learned a lot and he's learned a TON.  Just tonight I left their room in happy tears and Judah was pronouncing Nolan and Carter's names more clearly with the help of a wonderfully patient teacher: Nolan.
  • I DID stay away from school.  This is the first time in four years my professional world has not been rocked with new teaching partners, new subjects to teach, or a movement of my classroom (one year, all three of those things happened).  I can't begin to tell you how much I noticed the hours and hours I was able to spend with my boys instead of being at school working.
  • I DID enjoy being an aunt, sister, neighbor, daughter, and friend.  During the school year, my roles of wife, mama, and teacher can be about all I can handle sometimes.  Visiting, having play dates, doing dinners, catching up, talking on the phone, and spending lots of time with friends and family made my heart feel full and extremely lucky. 
  • I DID take time for myself... an occasional nap, exercise, dinners out with friends...  
  • Finally, I DID play and play and play and play with Nolan, Judah, Carter and Josh.  We played at the beach, in Lake Huron, outside, in the basement at playgrounds, in the pool, at family's houses, at neighbors' and friends' houses, and went on more "adventures" than I could count.  
Now that I've looked over this list... Wow.  This is enough.  

Thank you, summer 2016.  You've been the best one yet!  



Monday, May 30, 2016

Carter Pavona Hundt: Month 12

CARTER BING is ONE.  I can't even.  I really can't. 

I'm embarrassed to admit how many tears were shed as I put him to bed on May 2nd - his last night not being one. 

What We Learned About Carter:

Last month, I reflected on three things being important to Carter: eating, walking, and talking.  These three still remain except now he is better at all three of them...

Carter still to this day has NEVER stopped himself from eating.  It appears that he can go and go and go.  Josh or I always have to tell him 'all done.'  I fear he could totally be legitimately obese if he was in the driver's seat.  My pediatrician always tells me that infants and early toddlers don't know how to overeat, their body stops them.  Well lady, you've met your match.  The Bing Bong does not stop.  I was going to make a list of his favorite foods, but I won't even bother... it's everything.  

Carter is a walker.  He is.  As long as he can pull himself up on anything, he is off.  I can't believe how fast he is and how good he is at it.  The downfall for him is being outside.  It's a lot harder to walk in shoes and walk on grass or pavement.  He wants so badly to be able to run around like Nolan and Judah can, but he isn't there yet... he took his first step a month ago for goodness sakes.  Slow down boy, let's practise for a bit :) 

This guy is able to say some more words now besides mama and dada.  He can say: papa, meow, quack quack, ball, buh bye, Nolan, and Judah.  I love watching him try to communicate. 

I'm going to add one more thing to his list of important things: animals.  Carter loves animals.  LOVES them.  Dogs, cats, chipmunks, cows, sheep, chickens, chicks, ducks, horses, you  name it, he loves it.  We took the kids to the small animal show at MSU and he couldn't get enough.  It was all pointing and grunting trying to be moved near wherever there were animals.  I can't say the same for his brothers... Nolan was scared out of his mind at just about every animal.  Judah interacted, but kept his distance :) 

Some Firsts:
-First time to Florida (St. Augustine)!!! April 3rd-April 10th
- First time taking several steps in a row: April 20th
- First time trying cake: April 23rd (at his 1st birthday party)
- First time clapping and waving

What I Learned About Being a Mom:
When Carter was born, I had an advantage over other moms in my situation.  Because I had Nolan and Judah at the same time, I knew my heart was capable of loving another child just as much as I loved my first born (in this case my first bornS).  I loved Carter huge and I loved him immediately.  Looking back over this last year, I can barely remember him not being a part of our family.  He is such a strong important presence and I'm so thankful for that.  Twins keep a sista busy and I did have the slightest fear Carter would be overshadowed, but that is totally not the case at all.  He's got things to say, he's got things to do, and he definitely has his own unique place in our family that makes him special and important.  I have truly and whole-heartedly enjoyed getting to know him.  I'm so glad all three of my children are so different from one another... it makes things fun, exciting, and never boring. 

This month in particular, I have such an appreciation for Carter being a younger sibling.  I was the oldest, which makes my perspective different.  My sisters were chasing after me, trying to copy me, trying to do what I was doing.  Sometimes that was endearing, other times it was annoying.  Now, I watch as Carter tries SO hard to do what Nolan and Judah are doing and to play WITH them.  He is noticeably frustrated and discouraged when he can't keep up with them.  It hurts my heart to watch even though I know it is what it is.  I'm so thankful Nolan and Judah are usually kind and do pay attention to him.  They are both wonderful big brothers.  But they have their moments of wanting him to leave them alone.  I can only hope and pray ALL my children will use kindness and respect to try to achieve what they want.  I trouble shoot with Nolan and Judah often on how they could ask for their wants with care and how they could say things differently to make them nicer.  They need a lot of reminders, but they're three. 

On the flip side, when things don't go Carter's way, he screams... a lot.  So we've been working on that too ;)  I have predicted he's going to throw some gnarly tantrums in the next couple of years! 

On his birthday, May 3rd!

Bing loves the outside

One of his favorite toys, a baseball bat

<3


Sunday, May 1, 2016

St. Augustine: April 3rd - April 10th

The Hundts DROVE to Florida!!! Yes, two adults, three kids under three, a double stroller, a single stroller, two Pack N Plays, and LOTS of luggage, snacks, games, books, toys were packed into our Saturn Vue.  We made it and vacation was WONDERFUL! 

The Drive:
The 18.5 hour drive (counting stops) was exactly how you might expect it to be... or better!  We left around 7pm drove for a couple of hours before stopping, stretching, and getting ready for bed.  All I kept hoping for was that people would sleep.  I knew Josh and I wouldn't much at all and I could handle that.  What I couldn't handle is having Nolan, Judah, or Carter not sleep.  Thankfully, everyone slept!  Judah slept awesome (all night basically), Carter slept great (most of the night with a couple of scared wake ups where he needed to be touched or reassured that we were all still here), and Nolan slept good (he woke up once of twice in the night and just quietly observed everything for like forty-five minutes before going back to sleep. 

We had a morning stretch and breakfast around 8am and then continued for about 4 hours until we arrived in St. Augustine! 

We sang, read, snacked, played with some toys, and I am happy to report that we only used the portable DVD players for the last ninety minutes or so.  I'd say = SUCCESS! 


The Trip:
We have been to St. Augustine once before (when Nolan and Judah were Carter's age- almost one) and we did much the same stuff... We strollered downtown, saw Flaggler college, played at the beach, splash pad, and playground, swam in the pool every day, ate some yummy food, and spent lots of time on the balcony pushing furniture around :) 

Some Highlights:
- Swimming every day... Nolan, Judah, and Carter got WAY more confident in the water.  Nolan can now swim on his own with swimmies and Judah will play independently by the steps and swim a little on his own with the swimmies.  Carter also went from hating to the pool to splashing all around.   
- Playing on the playground... N and J LOVED it.. especially Judah.
- Alligator Farm... I took Nolan and Judah to the Alligator farm where they saw huge crocodiles, alligators, turtles, and birds.
- Nolan pulling the fire alarm on our first full day.  He apologized to the firemen and thankfully everyone was super nice about it.
- Taking a walk every night or being the last people out of the pool
- Watching House of Cards with Josh after everyone went to bed








 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Carter Pavona Hundt: Month 11

My Bing Bong is a lot closer to a year right now than he is to 11 months.  AH blogging... I love you when I'm top of things and hate you when I'm not.  Alas, Carter is wonderful, busy, funny, happy, and growing like CRAZY!  Here's what's been going on with him...

What We Learned About Carter:
The big things going on with the Bing Bong right now are all about three things: walking, talking, and eating.

Carter took his first step this month (March 30th).  Originally, I was expecting Carter to be one of those babies that walks at nine months because of how earlier he was crawling and how much he wants to do what his big brothers are doing.  Thankfully, he slowed down just a bit.  Carter continues to balance between the way his brothers did things.  Judah would not try something until he was ready to be a master at it; Nolan would try anything at anytime whether he was ready or not.  Carter really does do both.  In reference to the walking, you can tell Carter WANT to.... he's been pulling himself up on stuff forever and wants to get where he wants to go as fast as possible.  But I can also tell he doesn't want to try walking until he knows he will have some success at it.  When he took a step this month, he freaked out maybe more than we did.  He was noticeably surprised!

Carter babbles all the time!  He can say a pretty good "mama" and "dada" but other than that, he just loves to make noise.  He does NOT get over-shadowed by his brothers in this area; he will yell sweet nothings just so you know he's there :) 

Finally, this kid... LORD he will eat anything.  He had such struggles at first with eating solids, but sheesh.  I can't GET food in his mouth fast enough.  He will basically eat anything whether he is ready to eat it or not.  He still has the same original six teeth that came in all at the same time.  He keeps acting like more are coming, but none have shown up.  I'm sure this hasn't made chewing very easy for him, but he's not seeming to let that stop him at all. 

A few other things... he is way more digging reading right now (yay!) and loves to roll balls to you.  He loves to cruise all around the house standing and holding on to things.  He loves the Tupperware drawer.

Some Firsts:
-First time really eating spaghetti
-First Easter: March 27th
-First Step: March 30th


What I Learned About Being a Mom:
For as much as I (and parents in general) give and give and give and give, I have something I'm selfish about: naptime.  I have been able to finagle things enough that all boys can be asleep at the same time for a good ninety minutes each day.  I let that time, my only alone time, dictate the way I do other things and the way our schedule goes for the day.  I will not apologize for this; I just won't.  I have three kids under three.  That is LITERALLY the only time I get anything done: grading papers, lesson planning, folding laundry, doing dishes, putting away my own clothes, blogging, updating pictures, and on the extremely rare occasion, I can even squeak in some reading time.  When my kids are awake, I work hard at being present and try hard not to allow myself to be distracted by other things so this nap time is coveted for me. 

Afternoon naps are on my mind this month because there have been times I've broken the cardinal parent rule and woken up a sleeping baby.  Carter has tried to make his morning nap be "too" long, which then messes up the afternoon nap.  So I've woken him up several times so that the afternoon nap thing can happen where everyone sleeps at the same time.  This is a selfish move on my parent.  I certainly don't want to rob my little precious baby boy of sleep he needs in the morning, but he has proven, many times, that his afternoon nap will be short and sweet if his morning one is longer.  I can't risk it. 

This move is for the greater good, people!  If I am frazzled, stressed, and anxious having gotten nothing done in my day, that's not good for anyone! 

As moms we break little rules to keep everyone as sane and happy as possible.  If mommy's not good, nothing else is going to be good either :)
What happens when you've had five helpings of spaghetti and there isn't any more for you..


I love it when all three play together!

This is the Bing Bong.