It’s always strange to me how, in the wake of tragedy, life keeps moving. It feels like time should stop but that’s obviously never the way things work and somehow, in the middle of a week filled with Chase’s swim team practices, Ryder’s 3-year-old preschool graduation and end-of-the-school-year activities, I found myself in search of moments where I could privately dissolve into tears, take action behind the scenes and sit with the heaviness we’re feeling in our hearts. I know this is also Memorial Day weekend and please know our family is also thinking about the brave men and women who have given their lives to our country. It’s not lost on our family why we are observing Memorial Day tomorrow and we are so grateful.
For those who have tomorrow off from work and/or school, what do your weekend plans look like? We’ve been filling the past few days with low key activities — an end-of-the-soccer-season pizza night with friends on Friday, back-to-back pool days, family walks, tadpole catching… just our usual spring/summertime go-to activities. Chase still has two more days of school next week before it officially feels like summer in our house but we’re hoping to fill our family’s day off tomorrow with some lake time on the boat. I hope you are able to get outside and be with your loved ones as well!
As for my blog post today, it’s been a hot second since I’ve done a “Currently” style blog post and since my mind is all over the place right now, I figured a themed blog post would be a good direction to go in so I’m not too jumbled. Scroll on down if you’re in the mood to read about some randomness!
Currently: May 2022
Currently Watching: Stranger Things
Any other Stranger Things fanatics out there? Ryan and I jumped on the Stranger Things bandwagon big time a few years ago when the show made its initial debut and when Ryan told me Season 4 was out on Friday, we instantly knew what our Friday, Saturday and Sunday night plans would entail. While we’re still majorly invested in the show, the earlier seasons were my favorite. It’s more suspenseful/spooky than I’d like right now (I’m a big-time baby with scary movies/shows) but I’m hanging in there and we’re hoping to finish season four soon. I just love Dustin so much!
Currently Celebrating: The End of Ryder’s 3-Year-Old Preschool Year
(Dress: Amazon / Sunglasses: QUAY — currently BOGO! / Sandals: Amazon / Ryder’s shoes: Adidas)
After a pizza party celebration on Thursday, Ryder was officially done with 3-year-old preschool! It’s hard to believe he’ll no longer be a “Butterfly” at our beloved preschool… and it’s even harder to believe Rhett and Ryder will be in preschool together (different classes) this coming fall! What!? Ryder loves school and his teachers so much and didn’t quite realize he would not get to go back to the Butterfly class again after his final day in his 3-year-old classroom. He was clearly sad about it until I told him that he’ll still return to his same school next year with a bunch of his friends and will still be able to see his same teachers, too!
Currently Finalizing: Our Summer Schedule
Between very sporadic summer camps for the big kids, my desire to keep Annemarie’s amazing help with Rhett 1-2 mornings a week, travel and an upcoming move, nailing down our summer schedule has felt a bit like one giant unsolvable puzzle. With so many balls in the air, it’s hard to commit to too much right now but on Saturday morning, Ryan and I flushed everything out and I think we have a solid plan.
We didn’t go overboard with camps at all this summer (Chase is one week-long camp and both big kids are in a few 1/2 day camps that allowed me to select one or two days per week) and I’m thinking this schedule will work well for our family. After early morning wake-ups and rushing out the for 9 months, we’re ready for some chill time, pool time, play dates with friends and lots of sunshine. My mother-in-law will be visiting for Ryder’s birthday at the end of the month and again in August and we are looking forward to some quality time with her. We will also be spending a good portion of our summer in Jacksonville (we booked a rental house within two miles of my parents and sister so we can stay longer without feeling like we’re on top of everyone) and we are counting down the days until more family + beach time!
Currently Diving Into: Learning More about Highly Sensitive Children / Deeply Feeling Kids
Truth time: When Ryder approached 3.5 years old, Ryan and I began to struggle with some of his behavior, specifically his reactions to our discipline or behavior correction. He seemed very flustered in the face of behavior correction (i.e. simple “I cannot let you do x, y, z” statements) and being told “no” would often cause him to laugh or run away and flail his arms and legs when we’d try to approach him. Cycle this behavior over and over and I began to get a little concerned. Our traditional parenting and discipline strategies didn’t seem to be working with Ryder and I was at a loss.
It wasn’t until I found myself in the depths of Google that I read more about highly sensitive children. So many of the characteristics of highly sensitive kids aligned with Ryder’s behavior. When I read that evasive responses to behavior correction (running away, laughing, etc.) may actually be a sign of feeling emotions very, very deeply, it sounded like this could align with Ryder because he is incredibly sensitive. When I read that highly sensitive children can feel flooded with shame and overwhelmed when they know they’ve acted out or done something hurtful, it helped redirect my thoughts and the way we approach discipline with Ryder. (One thing that works: Getting physically close to him. Taking the time to stop everything, walk over to him, hold him in my arms firmly but lovingly and speak calmly and closely. Talking about what happened after the fact — in moments of calm and in a way that focuses on connection and relating to how he was feeling — helps, too.) I’ve been doing a deep-dive into reading about parenting highly sensitive children and it has been fascinating and so incredibly helpful. Dr. Becky also has a course about Deeply Feeling Kids and it’s on my radar to sign up for because I can only imagine it would be incredibly helpful to us.
Currently Wearing: All the Summer Favorites!
(Flashback to one of my fav pics of baby Rhett from last summer!)
Just when I was feeling over sweaters and bulky winter-wear, the temperatures changed and it was time for easy, breezy summer clothing. Bring it on! Here are some of my summertime favorites I’ve been reaching for on repeat:
- Fitness Apparel: Athleta Run with It Shorts (aka the most flattering shorts I wear non-stop in the summer), Free People The Way Home Shorts (high rise and lots of colors — great price point and they live up to the hype!), Athleta Horizon Tank (love the ribbed fabric), Amazon Crop Tops (Lavento + Gym People Longline Top + Strappy Yoga Top), YUNOGA Biker Shorts (the only shorts that made me embrace the biker shorts trend last summer)
- Casual Wear: Agolde Parker Shorts (the holy grail of denim shorts!), Waffle-Knit Casual Jumpsuit (feels like pajamas and so cute paired with a sun hat), U-Neck Tank (the best-fitting slouchy tank — I wear it with everythinggg), MangoPop Tank Top Bodysuit (great for a streamlined look under denim shorts, jeans or a breezy skirt), Treasure & Bond Ruched Sleeveless Dress (still love this one years later)
- Shoes/Sandals: TKEES Gemma Sandals (I love the nude color and simple double strap and reach for these over and over), Pillow Slides (I have sensitive feet to hard floors and these are my fav to wear around the house), Clear Slides (I’m a sucker for anything clear and love dressing these up or down), Adidas Slides (I slip these on after a workout if I don’t have time to shower and change but don’t want to wear my sneakers anymore), Cushionaire Woven Slides (super comfy and go with so many looks)
Currently Reading: Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory
I actually JUST finished this one but it was a winner. I would recommend it if you’re looking for an easy read with some romance (and steamy moments)! I’ll share more of my thoughts on this book on Friday but in the meantime I’ll just say thank you to those of you who encouraged me to give this author’s books another shot after I wasn’t enamored with one of her previous novels.
Currently Surprised By: The Deadliest Animals in the World
Thanks to a book about sharks Chase recently checked out from our local library, we learned the following: The deadliest animals in the world are (in order) snakes, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, bees, jellyfish and sharks. I thought this was a random but fascinating fact and figured I’d share it so those of you with animal-loving little ones can impress them with some new animal facts!
Currently Indulging In: Gooey Butter Cake + Homemade Ice Cream
Our trip to St. Simons Island over spring break this year sparked a love for gooey butter cake and I cannot get enough. We’ve also been on a big homemade ice cream kick (the above batch was Oreo + Golden Oreo Cookies ‘n’ Cream) and I can guarantee this kick will last all summer long! I’m convinced the ice cream maker Ryan gave me a few years ago is one of our family’s most-used gifts ever. Also, since I get asked about this often, my favorite way to store our homemade ice cream is in one of these 4.7-Cup Rubbermade Brilliance Glass containers. They create a tight seal and we’ve never had an issue with freezer burn… though we do tend to eat our ice cream fast!
Currently Browsing: Memorial Day Weekend Sales
Some random sales that caught my eye…
- Athleta: 20% off everything (I’ve been waiting for a sale to order their ultra high rise elation leggings after eyeing them on a friend!)
- Old Navy: 60% off summer finds + site-wide discounts (I love their solid-color jersey shorts for kids — super comfy and go with everything — and I’m also eyeing these slides, these longer length sweat shorts for lounging, this dress that doubles as a cute swim coverup and this summery swing maxi dress)
- Madewell: 25% off everything + 30% off sale with code LONGWEEKEND (I swear Madewell always has some of the cutest casual sneakers around.)
- H&M: 20% off sitewide (If your kids are into characters, H&M has some of the cutest character apparel that isn’t cheesy! I also love this springy floral dress.)
- Anthropologie: Extra 40% off sale
- GAP: 40% off everything + Extra 10% off with codes SUNNY + ADDIT (I just ordered this denim dress.)
- LOFT: Up to 50% off
- McGee & Co.: Up to 25% off (I’ve taken full advantage of this sale for some of the lighting in our new house. We will be using this Saxon Chandelier in our living room and the Hampton Chandelier in our foyer.)
- Serena & Lily: Extra 20% off everything (We have these lidded baskets and they are a gem for hiding the boys’ toys.)
Question of the Day
Choose a few “Currently” prompts and play along!
In case you’d like some starters:
- Currently Watching…
- Currently Reading…
- Currently Celebrating…
- Currently Indulging In…
I also follow Dr. Becky! She’s great! Another amazing resource I have found is the Neufeld Institute. They have many free articles and their courses are incredible. Here’s an article published by one of the faculty on sensitive children but they also have courses available. It’s a non for profit organization dedicated to the research of development and attachment of children. The founder was a professor at a top university in Canada and has now dedicated his work to providing caregivers with the knowledge they need to understand and raise their children via the institute and books he has written (“Hold On to Your Kids”)
This probably comes across as a bit much but I want to share as it has made me feel so much more confident as a parent.
One last thing, you’re doing incredible! You are always taking your kids outside on fun adventures, spending so much time with them and clearly they are everything to you and Ryan. They are very blessed and lucky!
Thank you for sharing this!!
Hi! Thank you for sharing about Ryder’s behavior. I’m having a similar challenge with my 4 year old and at times and I couldn’t figure out what was happening. I never thought to travel down this road. Did you happen upon any other resources in addition to the link to Dr. Becky that you shared?
Love your blog by the way and this type of post!
Currently reading a thriller, The Long Weekend by Gilly Macmillan. I’m really enjoying it!
Kori Daniel says
I love this style of post! Thank you for sharing all of this. I think you and Ryan are phenomenal parents. It’s interesting how different children can be, which makes sense because we adults are not all alike. I am curious how my daughter, Ansley will be. I don’t know how, but she’s already one month old!
We’re watching Stranger Things, and after the first episode, Matt and I both were a bit stunned. We agreed with each other that it seems much darker than the prior seasons. Dustin is my favorite character too!
This may sound so dumb, but I’m currently celebrating how I’ve embraced my fourth trimester and my body. I wore a swimsuit yesterday at our lake house and plan to wear one today at my in-laws’ pool. I don’t feel ashamed, and I want Ansley to one day see that I didn’t hide the same body that gave her life.
YES. Definitely darker. I’m invested at this point but I told Ryan that if this was the first season, I’d likely be out because it’s so much darker. And I cannot believe Ansley is one month old!!! I hope you’re all doing well <3 Sending love (and good wishes for good sleep!) your way! And HECK YES to embracing your postpartum body -- both for you and your sweet girl!!
Kori Daniel says
I agree! It feels more like the Exorcist-type show. Really demonic. But I’m invested too!
Thank you so much! Honestly sleep has been great all things considered. She has experienced occasional cluster feeding since one week old, but she has switched to doing so mostly during the day. So I typically can piece together around seven hours of sleep. 😄 I went to bed late last night due to watching Stranger Things funny enough, so it was my fault for getting less.
Thank you so much!!
May I ask when you started to notice these behaviours in Ryder? My little guy just turned one but has the same reactions when being told “no” or when we take something away. I know he is still very young, so it could just be a comprehension issue. I am highly sensitive, so I would not be shocked if my little one is too… ! Thanks!
Hi! I haven’t read too much about when you can start noticing these patterns but I will say that, at least in my experience, for our boys at one year old they ALL had BIG reactions to “no” or things being taken away. I think this is very, very common developmentally at that age! For Ryder, he was over 3 when we really started noticing his bigger/different reactions to behavior correction/discipline. It was honestly the laughing/running away from us when we’d try to calmly correct him that really threw me for a loop with him and caused me to look into what more could be going on.
Thank you very much for your reply!
I hope this doesn’t sound intrusive, but I feel like I missed something. I keep rereading to make sure I’ve understood… but has your family recently gone through a tragedy? The beginning of your post has me confused. I hope all is well!
Referring to the horror in Uvalde, Texas I imagine
Yes, Anna is correct. I was referring to the horrific shooting in Uvalde.
🤦🏻♀️ Of course, ok it makes total sense now. Yes it was incredibly horrific. Just wanted to be sure because the wording made me think it was something in your family.
Thank you very much for your reply!
I have a highly sensitive child who is now 11 and noticed behaviors around the same age. I did coaching with Jen Harrison several years ago and it changed so much about my parenting as well as how I communicate with my daughter. It’s been a wonderful gift. I am not generally a commenter, but had to share! https://www.instagram.com/thehighlysensitivechild/
Just started following her! Thank you so so much 💗
Love this style of post! Thank you for sharing about Ryder. I follow Dr. Becky too and have been thinking our two year old is a deeply feeling child too. He can throw a big tantrum over things that are very minor when he is told no. Thank you for sharing your struggles and resources as it is very helpful to not feel alone and to get other ideas. Thank you!
I noticed this in my middle son starting at an early age, as well. He’s 6 now. It turned out he has a sensory processing disorder, which was very mild but definitely there. Little things bothered him so much and all of my parenting techniques that had worked so well with my older son, didn’t work at all with him. We have him in OT now and it has helped immensely. He had a some fine motor issues which OT completely resolved but they continue to work to help him learn how to regulate his emotions. It has been amazing.