Christmas 2015

There seems to be a common theme for all of our Holidays this year.Elsa.

She's everywhere. We cannot get away. Of course, the singing Elsa ornament was the "toy of choice" with the Garay Triplets; and it's been singing for dayyyysssss now. We are all SUPER excited about it, too. can't you tell.....

LOL, but here are some highlights of our Christmas Day from Germany. The most shocking of them all being that it was close to 60 degrees and sunny. What an incredibly day FILLED with family, food, friends, and so much MONOPOLY. (oh, also, I got a new lens for my camera and I just had to test it out all day <3 )

IMG_3679 Liv attempting to smile into the sun. Just felt like this needed to be included since Jess is actively attempting to fit into the Little Tykes car in the back HAHAHA

IMG_3690 Liv probably yelling at someone about something. #typical

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J C + O

IMG_3701 Elsa, the winner of "Present of the Year 2015"

Stells just couldn't hang. Poor girl is so SLEEPY!

IMG_3729 Clara, Chief of Garay Family Police.

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Christmas Hangover

I hope everyone had exactly the holiday they were hoping for this year!

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Diaries of a very loud person

I hear it, probablllyyyyy, 27 times a day. and I'm not exaggerating. "Ssshhhhhhh" or "take it down level" or "your volume just escalated VERY quickly" or (my fave), "I heard you before I even SAW you!"

Now, my family and close friends, they know. They get it. They've learned how and what is appropriate to say to me when I am extremely loud (as in, when talking to me all day, every day) and what is not.

Well, I'm getting ahead of myself. First let me start by saying this. Hi, My name is Shannon. I have no volume control. AND I KNOW THAT. (step one is admitting you have a problem, right?) It's been an issue my ENTIRE LIFE.

+It's why I was so good at cheerleading. +It's why in weird "ice breaker" situations I'm picked to be the "group leader." +It's why all of my evaluations in the Army have the stupid, pointless bullet of "excellent command voice" on them. +It's why there are TWO groups of girls/women in my life. The ones who I immediately become good friends with, and the ones who IMMEDIATELY dislike my guts. Because, as a Buzzfeed article recently BRILLIANTLY pointed out, Others judge me before they even get the chance to get to know me because of how loud I speak.

And, I have the awesome benefit of being too loud AND EXTREMELY extroverted. oh AND BLONDE. (adds a whole other factor of airhead into this that I'm just not getting into today).

This is the story of my Life: 57421084

Except it's not. I like who I am. I like what I've become as a person. But, I HATE the consequences of this "blessing." The reason I'm writing this down today is because for the 4th time this calendar year, we were eating out in public, WITHOUT THE TRIPLETS (meaning THEY were not the reason for the noise), and someone came to our table specifically to let us know that my volume was distracting. THE FOURTH TIME. My good friend Jess was with us today when it happened and she made the point that NEVER IN HER LIFE has she been out and had a stranger negatively comment on her volume.

Yep. Well. It's my life. and it's embarrassing. and it's humiliating. and it makes me want to get up and do one of three things: 1. Kick you in the back of your knees while you walk out (totally 5th grade standing-in-line move). 2. Go to the bathroom and cry (or like I did when it happened in Amsterdam on my birthday, Sit at my table and opening cry)3. Wittingly tell you to F off in a more polite way that kind of leaves a good ZING.

But, unfortunately, each and every time it happens I'm even more stunned it has happened. So, I just sit there with this face that reads, "Did that REALLY just happen..AGAIN?!"  Really I'm just here to tell the WORLD--

I KNOW I'M LOUD. No, I DON'T realize it has reached that level, usually.NO. I'm NOT personally trying to RUIN YOUR DAY/DINNER/LUNCH/COFFEE/DATE. Yes, I do realize that Americans have a reputation of being loud and obnoxious and I'm NOT trying perpetuate it. But, mostly, I know.

oh, and this: e0dfb0604f85806e851df6eeddb47c05f541116d73c5366cf7e3018187a7def2 The above? I've tried it. I've been alive for 27 years with the SAME problem. I've attempted remediation. Believe me.

So, just know, GUY IN SANDERS WHO CLAIMS "NO BIG DEAL BUT...YOUR VOLUME WAS VERY DISTRACTING TO MY FAMILY AND PROBABLY EVERYONE ELSE IN THE ROOM"...I know. and until they come up with a volume dial for my voice box that others can control (or maybe the army realizes I DO have a slight hearing problem and could use something for that..), I'm not sure it'll get any better any time soon. I apologize my conversation about the habits of my newborn who I'm actively breastfeeding as you tell me this "disrupted" your family's brunch SO MUCH that you felt compelled to tell me, a complete stranger, about it instead of doing what the REST OF THE WORLD for 27 years has been doing and just complaining about me while walking back to your car.

I apologize. and Merry Christmas. and I'd like to redirect you to this blog:

https://yeldaba.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/voice-immodulation-disorder-the-more-you-know/

to learn more about the condition I suffer from. and thank you everyone else for reading my rant. Because I'm sure you, too, have been a victim.

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thank you for still being my friend.

But, mostly:

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"Alone"

Well. Today was my first morning getting everyone out the door alone. My mom left yesterday morning and she's been an invaluable help. I haven't had to touch laundry in 5 weeks. Seriously. She's done it all. ❤️ Oh and By "alone" I mean I panicked and called Bran to come help after his dental appointment. He needed to come home and grab something so he helped me cart everyone downstairs and put some eggs out for me, then headed back to work.

They usually eat breakfast at school but by the time we got down, I realized it was past breakfast at school already. 😳 so, everyone had a meltdown (#1 of 19 for each girl for the morning).

I had to change Liv's shoes three times before she would stand without melting down.

I had to give Clara three different things to drink before she would stop melting down.

I had to give Jack his peanut butter toast folded instead of flat so he would stop melting down.

Ohhhhhhh toddlers. (This whole time I forgot Stella was still upstairs in the bassinet. She was sleeping peacefully thank goodness 😂)

We finally finish getting ready and go get "da Bebe" to get her changed to leave. That was everyone's highlight of the morning. EVERYONE helped. Which meant it took 8 times as long.

Oh, today also happens to be the day Jack finally figured out how to open doors. Including the front door. That was an interesting panic trying to find him only to realize he had locked himself outside and was eating leaves.

I got everyone to school an hour and 15 mins later than usual. And now I'm sitting in my car typing this out and drawing motivation and inspiration from JBiebs and one of my fave Instagram accounts @hellotasha with This beaut:

Then imma chug my ningxia red before going into Starbucks and ordering the biggest chai with as many shots as will fit in the cup.

Also, I forgot to brush my hair or wash the mascara off my face from yesterday. Praise Jesus for the kids' teacher Roberta who told me I looked fabulous in spite of it all. 🙌🏻

Now onto getting Stella a SSN and passport so they don't deport her! ✌🏻️

Just cause she's the 4th...

About 7 months ago, I swore to myself, "Just because she's the 4th child does NOT mean I won't do the same things for her as I did the last three."

...and looking back now it's the BIGGEST joke I could have told myself. I could BARELY get a blog post in once a month while pregnant, working, and chasing the triplets around all summer and fall. oh, and that move around the world thing. THAT totally put me in a blogging funk.

I'm pretty sure I had the triplets' outfits planned out DAILY when they were newborns. and BY GOD were they the CUTEST boutique/etsy/instagram outfits you've EVER SEEN. (I mean y'all totally saw. since I blasted it all over social media) Stella, well. She's lucky to be in a matching onesie and pants. I think I've put her in a planned "outfit" three times in the last month. (I instagrammed one of them. So, there's that)

She doesn't even wear clothes to bed. Just naked in the swaddle.

I didn't get many photos of "firsts" so far. Didn't get the first bath photo. Didn't get the first appointment photo.

BUT GUESS WHAT?! She's ALIVE! Fancy that. and ya know what?? adding JUST ONE MORE to this bunch of crazies is SO MUCH HARDER and SO MUCH MORE WORK than I could have ever expected. Except, my heart has never felt more full. I feel like she's always been here and we have only had her less than 30 days!

I've come to realize that I am REALLY good at time management already (thank you NURSING SCHOOL!), but I need to time manage more often. I've come to realize that getting out the door with the #garaytriplets and #fourthkid (thanks Madison for the INCREDIBLE hashtag) is more than just "lets get our shoes on and head to the car!" I've come to realize that just one more little, tiny, barely-bigger-than-a-turkey human added to the mix means our laundry amount has somehow doubled. how?! she's legit the smallest thing ever. I've come to realize that being #fourthkid inherently means she'll be the chillest, calmest babe ever. She sleeps when she sleeps, she eats when I'm available, she only gets real angry when she MEANS IT. As upsetting as it is for me to admit it, she went the first 10 days of her life with a terrible diaper rash/yeast infection without me even realizing what it was, but you'd have never known it in her demeanor. I've come to realize that it is entirely possible for an ENTIRE day to pass in what feels like 2 hours; and that from here on out, there will NEVER be enough hours in the day again.

So, I've given up my quest to be the neurotic, SUPER ON TOP OF IT mom I thought I'd always be with EACH AND EVERY child. I've decided that I'll take photos when I have a camera near, I'll attempt to dress her when the clothes are clean, and most importantly I'll cherish every second of every frightfully fast day because she's already a pound bigger and a month older and I'm pretty sure I just found out I was pregnant with her yesterday...

Oh, I've also realized that when it's not three itty bitties at once, you  don't have to do things in an assembly line. Like if you want to bathe her in the middle of the living room at 9pm, you can. Just cause she's the 4th.

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