8-18 (1 of 1)

Before I had kids I thought that I wanted to have a lot of kids. At one point I thought ten would be a good number. I obviously had no idea what that even looked liked, much less what that felt like, or what that would entail on a day to day basis.

I think I’m sticking with three. I recently gave away my nursing bras (big decision since I actually spent a lot of money on those bad boys). I’m planning on getting rid or all the baby clothes I’ve been holding on to. It’s not much at all since I rarely keep things that my kids aren’t currently using, but there are a few favorites I have kept.

I think that three is my sweet spot. Maybe when my kids are adults, and if I’m lucky they’ll all be responsible adults, maybe then I will have wished for more. But for now I think three is it.

If I don’t connect with each kid every day I feel crummy. They drain me but they also re-charge me, and it’s during one on one time that I get re-charged. It’s during the thirty minutes after the girls go to sleep that I can go and lay down on Enzo’s bedroom floor and just talk to him about school, his books, his friends, his cousins, and try to answer as many of his questions as I can without using my google app.

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Enzo would be a dream to homeschool. He is such an independent learner. If this kid could work on projects for 6 hours a day instead of worksheets he would totally excel. He could easily do independent projects and still have time for the busy work. But, that would take him away from his social life, from his bike riding every day, and recess games. I wish there was a happy medium. Basically, I think school is just too long. Four hours a day would be ideal for me.

Speaking of school Maria is doing better than I would have ever imagined. The part of school that’s hard for her is waking up early. Everything else she seems to enjoy. Today her Hawaiian tutor/friend came over and I was so impressed with how much vocabulary she already knows. They had a couple Uno games, all in Hawaiian. It was awesome. The bonus of her learning Hawaiian is that her Portuguese has significantly improved. Weird. But I guess exercising that part of her brain has triggered her Portuguese as well.

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Eliza, my child who I was sure had a speech problem is turning out to be a total talker. She tells me regularly “you’re my best friend mom” and my absolute favorite is when she says “you’re beautiful too mom” without any prompting and in the most random times. I’m putting rice on her plate and she’ll look up and say “you’re beautiful too mom.”

I love these little humans in such a fierce way it’s hard even for me to totally understand. I love that they all still need me. That they are all so different. That their day to day experiences are in different environments with different people.  I think they are all exactly where they should be, for now.

My brother-in-law snapped some shots of us a couple weeks ago. Adam is so great! I love how he captures the light and the mood. If you are ever in Hawaii book a photoshoot with him. You can check out his site to see his work and his Instagram feed for some aloha.

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 Every day, sometimes to their dismay, I make my kids spend 10 minutes of one on one time with their siblings.

I have this total mama bear fantasy that my kids will be used to spending one on one time with their siblings that even when they are grown and out of the house they will call each other on whatever new fancy device Apple creates and they’ll still want to connect with their brother or their sister.

I started doing “mama time” with my kids when Eliza was born. Enzo wanted desperately to play Monopoly and every day I would have to blow him off because I could never set aside a couple of hours to just play a game with him without needing to also take care of 3-year-old Maria and newborn Eliza. So instead I gave him 10 minutes and every day we would play for 10 minutes. I think it took us probably a month to finish that game but knowing that he would get my undivided attention every day dramatically changed his overall behavior.

So “mama time” was implemented. Now we also do “papa time” and “brother-sister time” and “sister-sister” time. It’s not perfect and there are days that we skip. But on the days that we do make time to connect the payoff shows. The kids fight less and are overall just nicer to each other.

Do you force your kids to spend one on one time with each other? What things do you do to connect with your kids? I always love new ideas.