Logsdons Blog

Learning As We Grow

   Feb 20

Big Family Update

Well, apparently three kids is what does it to me – I finally fall off the monthly blog wagon and have completely and utterly slacked.  At this point, our life is documented on Instagram (@namastemamarose and @nathanlogsdon), so I’ll try to keep the gazillion daily pictures on there…which I typically share on Facebook…I’m so connected).
It’s a new year, and time for a big ole’ update on the crew.
2013 Big Family Update

Um, I digress.  First, Merry Christmas!

Now, moving on to 2013.  First one up, the token male in the household.  He holds the role well and happens to be the best man in the world so we’re pretty lucky.  I’m pretty sure that’s a fact, too.  I am a pretty unbiased, un-opinionated person, typically.  😉

Just look at that handsome devil.  
Nathan is an official Realtor now!  After some serious cramming, he took all his tests, passed with flying colors, and is now working part-time with FYK Group as a buyer’s agent.  Tiffany and Joshua Fykes are friends of ours with very similar family and personality styles, so this is a great fit for Nathan and allows him to connect with people and help them through the house-buying process.  He’s really excited and enjoying it – if you are looking for a house, you know the perfect Realtor to talk to. 😉
His first investment purchase – now rehabbed and rented out!
Not only is he working part-time with Tiffany, he is also still checking out real estate properties after a year of studying under some incredible real estate investors and dear friends, Connie and Sheila.  At this point he’s managing three rental properties and looking for our first big flip!
First time ice-skating!
Outside of work, he has definitely experienced a different lifestyle over the past few years since leaving the bank.  He commented the other day how different it is this time with an infant – this is the first time Nathan has been home all day instead of working an 8-5 with a new baby! We both love it so much.  We’ve been having these freakishly warm days lately so we drop everything and go “creek walkin” with the whole crew, or run errands, or do anything together as a family, even if it’s in the middle of the day. I  love that!  We love playing during the day, being able to talk and catch up at any point in the day, eating our meals together, and generally being around each other!
Eyes only for Daddy
One of my most favorite pictures from one of our afternoon walks.  In January, no less. 
Nathan really is a hands-on (and costumes on) Dad
On to wonderfully witty Clara.  Man, if I thought four was fun, it was just because I didn’t have a five-year-old yet!  She is such a hoot, and it’s really hit us that she is not a preschooler anymore.  She’ll be six in just a few months (and believe me, we are corrected if we say she is five.  She is “five and a HALF”)!  Her imagination and creativity always astound me – she can spend hours just playing out the vivid stories she creates in her head.  I love to look at her lost in her own little world and lock that image of sweet contentment in my mind:
Here are just a few of her highlights:
Making Marshmallow men.  This is “StrongMan”
And “Funky Lady”, I believe
They play it ultra safe in the bathtub.
This is our first year of officially saying we are “unschooling” Clara.  Technically, our kids have been learning since they were born.  Hasn’t everyone?  We’re simply trying to equip them with the desire to continue learning for the rest of their lives.  If you’d like yet another unusual term for what we like to think of as education, check out this hackschooling video by a brilliant 13-year-old.
Even her food becomes a creative endeavor
Anyway, this is my vision and goal for schooling.  Yes, I want my kids to learn math, science, grammar, history, etc.  I plan on enlisting the help of not just Nathan and me, but every educational resource – books, online sites, videos…and people.  Gobs of people.  Man, we have so much to learn from everyone we meet. I believe whole-heartedly in apprenticeships and mentors as well as the power of simply connecting and learning from watching others pursuing their passions.
She may not ride in one, but she knows how to build one!
In this vein, we have found a golden opportunity for Clara at Cool Springs Montessori.  They are starting their first ever pilot class for homeschoolers in March, and Clara is IN!  I’m so excited.  It’s for ages 5-12 on Mondays and Tuesdays:

 The twelve-week program will guide students through a study of World Geography and Earth Science, while integrating literacy throughout the curriculum.  Students will also benefit from working with traditional Montessori materials to help them develop the foundations for Mathematics and Language by reinforcing the understanding of: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, grammar, sentence mechanics and writing.  Each week will also include a collective art lesson where students will create their own masterpieces under the guidance of our art instructor.

Clara is already creating masterpieces left and right.  This was “Swiss Family Robinson” for Aunt Rhoda
 So…back to my education rant.  Yes, I want my girls to learn the essentials.   But, more than that, I want my focus to be on equipping them to learn…and to love doing it.  I don’t care so much that they have reached each educational checkpoint as laid out by the public school system.  I care that they get excited about learning and growing and opening their minds to new things each and every day – regardless of whether it’s titled “curriculum” or “educational lesson.”  Life is an educational lesson!
(Step off mini soapbox…now.)

One of Clara’s little village creations
On that note: Clara told YiaYia that she is very smart – she gets some from her parents but a lot of it she was just born with.  HA.
Also, Clara is a master artist – she has made some fabulous creations using various mediums – art, paper, pipe cleaners, playdough, markers, etc.  She’s had her art up at the local library and she loves to get into her art box every chance she gets.  Of course, her artwork is her daily self-expression as well.

New costume or outfit creation all day, every day.  Complete with body tattoos.
At the Thrift Store with Daddy
Clara has perfected her negotiation skills.  This morning she came to me with a perfect plan – present a request she knows will get a no: “Can I watch another movie?” with another one she hopes I’ll give in to: “Then can I give the chickens a bath instead?”  Riiiiiight.
I love this one.  A tank top and snow boots.
Clara has to have her special kiss and say “I love you beyond  more than infinity – iloveyouiloveyouiloveyou!” every night or when I leave.  She’s very particular about the order in which this is given, and that we do the same routine every time.
She tends to be the ringleader on playdates, oftentimes leading them down the path of playing cheetah…and sometimes decorating themselves as such.
Playing with friend Olive, as cheetahs, of course
Speaking of, Clara has an alter-ego when she’s naked – it’s a Cheetah named “Speed.”  We have to refer to her only as Speed and she only growls.  *Update from Clara:  “Speed has two sisters that are very sneaky.  Sparkle and Jewel – Ellie happens to be one of these.  Speed is a boy and he’s poor.  His brothers are very mean to him and they don’t like him.  They are part of an army, but I don’t know their names.  Also, Speed has a kid.”
Clara’s new friend obsession is Bradford.  She announced a few months ago that she was going to marry him.  Since then, this conversation has been an almost daily thing in our household.  The other day, Clara was talking about her friend Bradford and how they are holding off on getting married and having kids – they will just have a lot of playdates.  But she still wants to marry him because he’s different.  “We are on the same cord – he just gets me.”  WHAAAA?  Thankfully, Bradford is the sweetest boy ever.  
Clara and sweetheart Bradford, holding one of the many, many pictures she has drawn for him.

I was just reading an article about first crushes and am just cherishing these moments talking with Clara about Bradford.  When she talks about what she likes, it has nothing to do with the surface – it’s all about how they are best friends, how they imagine and explore together, and how he is so considerate and kind (I swear, this precious boy says “yes ma’am” all the time – I love him, too!)  It’s amazing the wonderful conversations that have come up due to Bradford – ones that are laying the foundation, I hope, for positive deeper relationships in the future.  

Cue us to today.  I actually got the question: “Mommy, how do babies get in your belly?”  Only 5 1/2 and it’s here.  It led to us watching a video on egg implantation, learning about sex (“so will I have setz?”), why grownups have it, why kids don’t, conversation about private areas on our bodies and who is allowed to touch there, birth control (geesh – she wanted to know if you have a baby every time you have sex), puberty, and kissing (“So you have a baby when you kiss, too, right?”)   Wow – I was not prepared for this to happen today.  She’s so young!  However, I remember well me learning all about it at age five.  From a little missionary girl, no less.  And then I went to my Dad to verify the story.
Her other love is animals.  She claims one day she’ll have a zoo.  She wants to be an artist and a zookeeper, and she’s hitting us up every day for more animals.  The latest have been a parakeet (actually two so they can have babies), lizard, tadpoles and a cheetah.  Not so sure I can follow through on the last one.  
Finally, Clara has a book about her!  At the 48 Days Christmas Open House, Clara was present to autograph her book, “I Know Who I Am” – YiaYia wrote it about her (it’s the fourth in a series of books about the Miller grandkids), and it’s complete with lots of purple and cheetahs, just like Clara loves!  
    Next up….Sweet Ellie-Belly!!

    Ellie has had quite a big adjustment lately, giving up her baby role and taking on the new double-task of being both a BIG sister and a LITTLE sister.  She is navigating it fairly well, and sometimes requires an extra dose of mama love.
    Ellie is wearing her “hair” – she will walk around for days with her “long, bootiful haya”
    again with her “haya”
    For a while, she seemed to really be off-kilter.  On top of being ousted as the only baby, she has embarked the world of 3-year-olds: highly opinionated and emotional but not fully able to regulate the extreme feelings in a positive way.  I’m all for kids feeling both positive and negative emotions, and being able to fully express them.  But a negative emotion still has to be checked if the solution is to release the anger by a punch in sis’s face.  Yes, it’s happened.  I won’t tell you how many times.
    With the amount of things Ellie uses as a “phone” already, I have a feeling she’s going to be on it a lot when she’s a teenager. 
    We started to see an insane amount of aggression – not just physically reacting, but a major inability for impulse control.  Her constant movement, high aggression, and complete over-reaction on anything had us questioning whether there was a deeper issue going on.  Ellie is a sweetheart and we were starting to see more sweet-tart (especially tart) than sweetheart.
    Soooo, we started experimenting.  First thing to look at was Ellie’s diet.  We cracked down and have eliminated gluten.  We’ve been gluten-free (for the most part – not die-hard) for a month now, and WOW.  We have definitely seen a difference.  It’s funny – she is still wonderful Ellie, without the insane button!  When she’s upset, it’s legitimate.  At the beginning, she would get upset, and then laugh at the absurdity of what she was getting so upset about.  She has become…reasonable.  (okay, “reasonable” for a 3-year-old).  She has better impulse control.  She is generally more even-keel.  It’s amazing.  And we know this how?  Because her valentine’s party at preschool was complete with a chocolate chip cookie cake loaded with gluten and bright red icing.  Wild child returned.
    Pink hair day.  And tattooed-nose day.
    Next up?  Eliminating the majority of sugar.  We aren’t going die-hard with either the gluten or the sugar – but we’re preparing ourselves now so that in the rare instances the kids do eat them, we can brace ourselves.  We’ve adopted the gluten-free diet for the whole family, and will continue to have gluten and sugar as a very rare (if ever) addition to our household kitchen.  Going to other peoples’ houses and restaurants, we’re willing to be a little lax.  I’m so, so grateful that this is simply a lifestyle choice for us and we don’t have anyone with a horrible allergy.  We are very lucky in that regard.
    Speaking of food, when Ellie’s tummy is “scrumbly” she is ready to eat.  And…if she’s “drinky” she’s up for a drink.   If she wants to be specific, then she’s “juicy.”  When I was little, I was always hungry and thirsty at the same time, so I was “hunky-tursty”.  I love seeing Ellie coming up with her own combinations.
    Those are Hokey and Pokey…yes, playing in a tent.
    Not sure how much fun they were having.
    Exit is the other way, gals. 
    Since El has had a lot of adjusting to do lately, I’m cherishing the extra requests for snuggle time and trying as much as I can to give her extra love.  With her evening out some, we aren’t cringing with her overly physical touches and we get sweet hugs and fun times with her.  I love it.  And…she can’t go to bed at night without her “lovingkiss.”  Sometimes two.  😉
    Ellie’s first Valentine for me.
    “It’s a cobra building and Grandma Bit”
    Random…the other day Ellie was sitting on the counter with me where the iPad was playing Pandora.  The Jackson 5 came on and Ellie exclaims, “It’s the colored people!!”  I about had a heart attack and then noticed she was pointing to the screen where is showed the album cover – silhouettes of the Jackson 5 with a rainbow background.  Nice.
    Ellie has come up with her new favorite “fairy-princess, Tankerella”.  Yes, that’s “Tangled” (Rapunzel), Tinkerbell, and Cinderella all rolled into one.
    Poor Ellie has had some serious sicknesses in the past few months.  First, in December, we finally had to break down and get a nebulizer for her – we all had a persistent cough and Ellie’s was so bad she was having a hard time catching her breath.  For a while she had to do the “funky chicken” at least three times a day.  No fun.
    Next was just last week.  “Aunt Rhoda” came to visit and I swear she wasn’t here for an hour before Ellie was in my arms puking.  Thankfully it must have been a 24-hour thing (that no one else caught, thank God!) because she was back in the swing of things pretty quickly with only two throw-ups.  I still remember that awful day when I was in my first trimester with Ellie and Clara threw up 26 times in 24 hours.  I never, ever, want to relive that day.  Can’t watch Kung Fu Panda without remembering it.  It was a movie day for sure.  
    Just look at that sad little face
    Ellie is queen of the hats.  I finally broke down and went to my cousin Elizabeth’s Etsy store (Little Bucket Boutique) and, um, got addicted.  First was this owl hat.  Then I learned quickly that this was not a hat to be shared, but to be worn by Ellie, all day, every day.  
    Temp was about 40 degrees at this point.
    Had to wait ten minutes outside before she finally decided she needed a sweater.
    Just in case you haven’t gotten enough of her cuteness in that hat…
    All my silly girls and Jules with her Austin Powers pose
    Ellie loves Juliet and is getting better and better about being sweet to her.  Jules lights up with both girls, and I love seeing them sing to her and want her to play with and watch them!
    And now, precious Juliet!
    Wait, wait…that’s not a happy baby….   Ahh, we’ve learned why.  She wasn’t being held!!  This child is a saint…every second she’s in Mama’s arms.  When she’s not in my arms…it’s hit or miss.
    Keeping track of Daddy’s Apple Pie Moonshine
    Really, she’s a pretty easy-going babe.  She is definitely taking her social cues from Ellie and just lights up when she can watch people.  She is very relational, just like her sis, and her whole face just glows and she squirms like she’s gonna pop when people pay attention to her.  And who wouldn’t with that cute face?
    The many faces of Jules
    I’m overdue for these shots.  I swear I took a 2 month picture and I can’t find it anywhere.  So I guess I’m doing the 3-6-9 month pictures instead.  Oops.  I had such great intentions.  I can’t believe she’ll be five months this week.  
    New with baby #3 is my venture into cloth diapering.  I was going to go halfway because I was skeered but I admit I’ve gone all in.  I love it and can easily see becoming a cloth diaper junkie with all the cute little diapers.  However, I will also say I could eat these words because happy little breastmilk poop is NOT the real deal.  So, the jury is still out on how long I’ll cloth diaper, but so far, I haven’t used disposables since the first week or so, and I haven’t wanted to!
    Maybe she just gets bored without me. 
    Thankfully, Jules has a pretty good sense of humor.  She is very patient with the girls and allows them to deck her out in all kinds of madness.  I have a feeling they are going to be a pack of musketeers as soon as Jules is mobile.
    Speaking of mobility…Jules is taking her time.  The token baby of the family, she is perfectly content to wake up all through the night, sleep in our bed, and be carried/worn all day instead of doing any of this stuff on her own.  She is working on sitting up on her own, and rolls over, but isn’t too interested in staying on the ground much (remember the Mommy holds me thing).  So…she’ll get there…eventually.
    This used to be called my side of the bed.  Now I have a tiny sliver.  
    I am loving so much of this baby-ness.  However, I’m also reminded how difficult it is to get things done when you are holding a baby in your arms all the time!  Jules had her first bought of sickness last week with a 102 fever.  I didn’t even get to put a shirt on that day- just wore her skin-to-skin in a baby wrap and she slept on me all day long.  Look at those eyes – so pitiful!
    Jules talking with her big sis.  And yes, that’s a glove/balloon/man, Chavez Chavez. 

    I have to put a little snippett about our other little girl, Harley McQuinn.  She’s come a long way from being that tiny pup we brought home in April!  This dog has got some energy!!  She also is fond of the most awkward sleeping positions ever.
    She has grown into an incredibly gorgeous and good dog.  Nathan has worked hard to train her and he’s done an amazing job.  She is awesome…as long as we walk her and pay attention to her.  And if not, destruction ensues, like eating toys, eating 16 fudge cookies off the counter (really bitter about that one), or eating a hole in Clara’s down comforter (really, really bitter about that one).  Needless to say, Nathan takes her on a walk daily.
    This was even more uncomfortable looking in real life
    She is Clara’s best friend and sleeps in bed with her most nights. On the top bunk.  That pup is extremely patient with the girls, and I’m so glad they have her around.  We definitely made the right decision in getting another dog so soon.  She’s been perfect for us all.
    Lastly, and I’ll make it quick…there’s me.  Hi.
    Guess which one is me?  I’d say we’re all pretty distinct, but it was still fun pulling together the pictures:
    So what all is new with me?  I’m still “Chief Inspiration Officer” at 48 Days, managing the business so Dad can stay focused on coaching, writing and speaking.  I work as his personal assistant, handle clients, marketing, sales, shipping, social media, new product development, web development, and customer service with Nathan.  Missy is my right-hand woman for all things techy, and recently, I came on as a Virtual Assistant in her business, iSimplifyVA.  She works for me, I work for her.  It’s fun.  I’ve got three additional clients through her, and the work I get is always new and different.  Fun for me, and great extra cash.
    Babywearer.  Always. 
    Granted, it’s a lot of work.  I’m working a lot right now.  But I know this is just for a time, and I’m looking at ways to be more of a manager and not so much of an “I have to do it all myself-er.”  I want to make sure I get plenty of time to be with my girls.
    At Christmas this year, we made most of our gifts for people.  A lot of it was food.  I made 8 apple pies and didn’t get a single one for us!  Well by golly in January I made a pie just for Nathan and me and we devoured it.  Yum.  Also made quite a few new Pinterest recipes I was really excited about.  Love love love baking.  Now I just need to look for some more fun Gluten-Free options!
    Yes, those were some of the cookies Harley devoured.  
    I’m also loving getting back into painting.  I pulled some of my old pieces out of the dredges of our closet to update a bit, and immediately sold both of them!!  I was pretty excited about it and I’m eager to do some more.  Since Clara and I have been so crafty, I’ve started a Pinterest Board that is just our artwork.  You can check it out here.
    Sold!
    My very first painting sold – to Patsy Clairmont, no less!
    That’s pretty much me.  I’m counting down the days until I can get outside and start our garden, plus I’m brewing with ideas for our family hall and for repainting rooms inside.  I’ve got a burst of creative energy lately and I might as well take advantage of it!
    This has become an insanely long blog update, but hopefully you now know the latest of life in the Logsdon realm, so when you say “what’s new?” I can say…read above.    
    Much love to all of you and wishing you an incredible 2013!!

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    3 Comments

    1. Ilea says:

      amazing update ashley! thank you! so wonderful to see all of your beautiful faces. my favorite is the picture with all of you logdson ladies – you are SUCH a stunning mama. love you!

    2. Lauren says:

      Ashley, I love the photo of Clara on the stability ball! I’m sitting on one at my desk right now! I enjoyed seeing what your family has been up to. You are all beautiful!

    3. Alana Mokma says:

      Ashley, I quickly scanned through this post and the photos. The photos combined with your captions totally cracked me up! I love, love LOVE that you and Nathan encourage your girls to just be themselves! It is so fun to see a child be who she really is rather than what the parents have tried to form her into. I admire you!