Our Five Ring Circus: Big Family Life Lately

Monday, January 21, 2019

Big Family Life Lately

Big Family Life Lately

Happy Monday! Another January week flew by in our usual whirlwind of chaos and busyness. It's hard to believe we're rapidly approaching the end of the first month of 2019!

We're currently enjoying our second three day weekend in a row. I could REALLY get used to these! I had high hopes to post more to the blog this week, but four kids, pregnancy, and a cold took up most of my time and energy. I have a drafts folder full of almost finished posts, so I hope to get those posted this week. I also hope to pull out my real camera more often this week, because I only took a few pictures over the past week. I'm beginning to think that the constant busyness of my family just isn't going to change!

Here's a glimpse of life over the past week...

Monday, January 14th

Our week was off to a great start, thanks to a day off from school and work! We all slept in, then had a lazy afternoon at home. Late that afternoon, Dylan had a date with his girlfriend at the movies. I dropped him off, then Liam and I did our weekly grocery shopping and waited in the movie theater parking lot for his date to be over. That's my life these days!

After the movie, we headed home, unloaded the groceries from the car and put them away, then ate dinner together. Thank goodness for easy Crockpot meals! After dinner, the kids did homework, took baths/showers, and got ready for school the following day.  The kids went to bed, and Grant and I watched an episode of How To Get Away With Murder before our bedtime. It was such a nice day!

Down syndrome blogs

Tuesday, January 15th

Back to school and back to work! Unfortunately, Lexie had stomach cramps, and ended up missing school again. I drove Liam and Lily to school, then returned home to get some work done until it was time to pick Liam up from Kindergarten.

I spent the afternoon cleaning, and continuing my decluttering/organization project that I hope to complete before the baby arrives. I tackled our kitchen towel drawer, which was so stuffed that we could barely close it. I ended up with an entire shopping bag full of donations, and streamlined it to what we really need!

Kitchen Organization

That evening, after the kids got home from school, and Grant got home from work, we ate dinner, then had Family Game Night. The girls chose our personalized family game from I See Me. It was a fun way to connect as a family!

Family Game Night

After we finished our game, it was our usual school night chaos. Finally, the kids were tucked into bed, and Grant and I escaped into our bedroom to watch Netflix before falling asleep.

Wednesday, January 16th

Wednesday started off with a two hour delay, which led to a relaxing morning! After I dropped off my crew at school, I stopped to fill my gas tank, then picked up pictures that I had printed. I didn't have much time at home before it was time to pick Liam up at school.

Book Blogger

Wednesday afternoon's decluttering project was our kitchen napkins/storage bag drawer. It was completely out of control! I threw away an entire shopping bag of garbage, and organized it so it was completely functional.

Home Organization

That evening, Grant took Dylan to basketball practice early, because his team had basketball pictures, while I got the rest of our crew ready for school the following day. And cleaned up messes, because that's the story of my life...

Down syndrome blogs

After everyone was home, we put the kids to bed, and Grant and I watched Netflix for a while before going to sleep.

Thursday, January 17th

On Thursday morning, I dropped the kids off at school, then headed to the park for a walk. It was really cold, but I'm trying to embrace Winter. One of my favorite things to do when I was younger, was to go for walks on cold, snowy days. Resting was obviously doing nothing to slow down the frequency or intensity of my Braxton Hick's contractions, to I decided to return to light workouts. It was actually really nice to get some exercise and (cold) fresh air!

Fit Pregnancy

After I got home from my walk, I ended up falling asleep while attempting to eat breakfast. This cold and pregnancy is kicking my butt, and I don't feel like I have much energy at all. Fortunately, I woke up in time to pick Liam up from Kindergarten!

That afternoon, after lunch with Liam, I tackled our (mostly) gluten-free snack drawer. I moved out all the snacks my kids don't eat, and stocked it with their favorites. Seeing it all helped me narrow down my shopping list for what kind of snacks to buy each week!

Snack Drawer for Kids

I reached 32 weeks of pregnancy on Thursday, so Lexie snapped a quick picture for me after school. I'm trying so hard to document the last half of my pregnancy, since I didn't take any pictures before we announced at 20 weeks!

Pregnancy Blog

My sweet girl is such a great helper!

Pittsburgh Blogger

Children's Photography

That evening, I took Lily to her 2.5 hours of dance classes. When we got home, we ate dinner together as a family, finished homework and nighttime chores, then headed to bed!

English Mastiff

Speaking of Lily, how cute is her paper from school?!? She cracks me up!

Parenting Blog

Friday, January 18th

On Friday, we woke up to a fresh blanket of snow! It was perfect for a wintry hike after I dropped the kids off at school.


Fitness Blogger

Back at home, I cleaned and worked on laundry until it was time to pick Liam up from school! My organization/decluttering project for the day was our tablecloth/placemat drawer.We had way too much stuff in there, so I really narrowed it down to the basics. I now have a bag filled with stuff to donate!

Big Family Living

Liam and I headed to our local grocery store to stock up on some necessities since they were predicting a big snowstorm on Saturday, then headed to my parent's house for a visit. While we were there, two of my sisters joined us for a visit. We ate dinner with my parents, I played a round of Quiddler with my mom, then the girls and I headed home.

Liam was finally added to the weekly sleepover rotation at my parent's house. He was SO excited to stay over, and really fought the fact that he was exhausted!

Down syndrome

That evening, we had friends over for a few hours. It was an earlier than usual night for us, though, because Dylan had a ridiculously early basketball game the following morning!

Saturday, January 19th

The alarm went off FAR too early on Saturday morning. We grumbled, but our entire family (with the exception of Liam, who was still at his sleepover) was out of the house by 7:30, and at the gym by 7:45. It was a rough game, but Dylan always puts his all into it!

Youth Basketball

Back at home, I took a nap before Liam got home at 11. When he arrived home, it looked like the snowstorm that had been all the hype for over a week was actually going to start. Grant and Dylan ran some errands, but the rest of us stayed in and waited for the storm to begin. And waited, and napped, and waited, and waited...

By late afternoon, it was evident that it was just going to pour down rain and wash away all the snow we already had, so we invited some friends over for games and binge-watching You and Modern Family. We had a fun evening with our friends, and waited to get snowed in, but the rain never turned to snow. It was a late night for all of us!

Giant Dog Breeds

I headed to bed earlier than Grant, but when he came in around 3:30, he said it was starting to snow. Still, I didn't think we were going to get the 8-14 inches that they predicted!

Sunday, January 20th

We woke up to snow covering everything on Sunday morning, but it was only about two inches! Not quite the snowstorm we were expecting.

Pittsburgh Blogger

We decided to enjoy a day at home, in our pajamas, since Grant and I were still fighting off colds. That afternoon, our dear friend took our three oldest kids shopping so Grant and I could take a nap with Liam. It was so sweet of him, but of course, I woke up within minutes. Pregnancy insomnia is REAL and exhausting!

life with down syndrome

Because everybody was off on Monday, we had friends over to watch the football championship games. One of the teams we were cheering on won! And even though it was a bitterly cold 7 degrees, we kept watch on the lunar eclipse! It was really neat to see!

lunar eclipse

The night ended with all the kids going to bed late, and me frantically trying to write this blog post because the one I was working on didn't save. I honestly wanted to cry after all that work was lost, but I'm choosing joy this week, and another recap post was the easiest one to complete!

On our agenda this week is an early morning NST/contractions monitoring for me, my weekly OB appointment, basketball practice, dance classes, and a basketball game. I tackled a few projects over the weekend, and plan to continue decluttering and organizing all week long, which I share in my Instagram stories each day. We have a lot of extra stuff to fit into our busy schedule by the baby's due date...which is less than 8 weeks away!!!

Big Family Life Lately - A Week in the Life of a Big Family #motherhood #bigfamilylife #downsyndrome

What are you up to this week?

In case you missed it:

Pregnancy Blog


  1. I love following along with your week. The snow is just beautiful. For some reason, I wasn't following you on Instagram but now I am! Hope you have a wonderful week!

  2. Wow, you had a very busy week! I hope you feel better; it seems like everyone is suffering from some type of cold or stomach virus these days. I love the selfies of your winter walks. Can I join you? I haven't been able to fit in a walk all week because either work or the weather wasn't cooperating. I don't know how you manage to muster up the energy to do all that you do, including entertaining friends! You and your family certainly know how to find fun every day (even in between all the errands.)

  3. Look at you nesting / organizing and getting out in the snow for hiking! Great job. Lily's dream paper reminds me of something Simon would write! He had to do something about his hopes for this year and he said he wrote all about soccer, and he doesn't even play soccer.

  4. Looks like an amazing weekend! I was cracking up out loud when I saw Lily's school paper on Insta!! She is hilarious!!! Good luck with the appointments this week!

  5. I don't know how you do it all! I feel like I'm busy with my appointments and having two littles in school. You're rocking it girl! I love all the nights you and your family sit and eat together/play a game together! You're looking great! I feel like I've reached the third semester bloat. Ugh! I'm trying to move, too... mostly thought nesting, as well! I agree - can't we just bottle up this nesting/organizing/purging energy?! That'd be awesome!!!

  6. Oh my word, you look adorable in that photo highlighting the baby bump! Absolutely beautiful!


  7. We've mostly been snuggled up at home; our temperatures are very low here and the boys and I have been hunkering down under the blankets whenever possible!

  8. Haha - 'to achieve that goal I will need to make a bunch of tacos and throw them in the air' - this begs the question Stefanie - will you be a good supportive Mum and help her achieve her goals and cover your house or garden in guacamole, meat and broken taco shells? I guess the plus side is you could channel the preggo nesting into wiping sour cream up from all surfaces? ;) Your snow photos, on a serious note, are delightful and you LOOK AMAZING - despite all that sickness 0 you are undoubtedly made of tough stuff. J xx


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