|Haba My First Games are fantastic introductions|
to games for young ones! It's so fun to begin
playing games as a family!
The children and I certainly miss his presence at home! I also miss having an extra set of hands with the children. Fortunately, God answered a prayer in leading a woman in our church to come regularly to lend a hand caring for the children or the housework. This has been huge as we don't have family or anyone nearby and rarely get a break. I could feel a weight immediately lift from my being. I have desperately needed this offering for quite a while to simply breathe.
|The one sweet we've found that |
he enjoys- ice cream!
And so, through the struggle I've determined that some changes must be made. The first of which is to begin utilizing the offering of this sweet lady in being my "mother's helper". There are tasks that simply cannot be completed with two very young children underfoot, and her assistance would allow me to maintain those tasks better. Or, have a moment to myself.
Another change is going to be to exercise greater self care. I've come to the realization of just how neglectful I've been of myself. I believe that properly managing the home and children requires a degree of self-sacrifice. However, I also believe you can't continuously pour yourself out, without ever refilling because eventually you'll reach the bottom and have nothing left to offer. That's where I've found myself. I've found myself dismissing self-care. Dismissing personal interests. Dismissing all those aspects that make me me. If I'm ever going to teach my children to be confident and sure of who they are, I ought to know and show those entities in my own life. It's important for children to see that mom is a person too. I think this struggle is part of the precarious balance necessary in being a stay at home mama. It's so easy to be so consumed by the role and duties that you neglect yourself. Yet, it's the knowing and certainty of oneself that contributes significantly to the role and tasks. And so, I've determined to choose one area of self that I will focus on in the upcoming year.
|This girl is no longer content at all |
to be laid on the floor. She only wants to
sit or stand! She's growing up fast!
I'll be fully honest by saying the days are trying. To maintain a pleasant demeanor while caring for a small home that is well lived in, a busy toddler and a fussy baby feels like a lofty goal. Annelise continues to struggle with the basics of properly eating and sleeping. We've determined the difficulties to likely be attributed by the fact that she has always eaten in "snack" portions and consequently only catnapped day and night. We suspect she's getting enough nourishment to grow and not be hungry, but not enough to be fully satiated. This contributes to increased fussiness when awake and inability to sleep well (which adds more fussiness). Though we were assured that she being tongue-tied wouldn't be an issue, we believe that she might have had to work extra hard to maintain a latch and would therefore take in only as much as she needed to not be hungry at the time.
|He's suddenly become interested and |
attached to stuffed animals. "Monkey"
is his best pal. He gets so excited
when he sees it. haha
Consequently, she eats frequently but in very small amounts each time. We believe the poor eating pattern has contributed to a poor sleeping pattern. (She naps only 20 minutes at a time during the day and sleeps only in 2-3 hour increments at night). These patterns have been present for the last six months. The demand and exhaustion has been too great on me, and contributed significantly to feelings of depression. So, we've decided to transition her to a bottle (breastmilk for now, and then formula when the freezer is empty). This, again, has been a tremendous weight lifted from me. Hopefully, she'll learn to eat "meals" and sleep longer soon. We're all needing some rest at this point.
In the midst of struggles, we enjoyed some wonderful moments of holiday celebration! I was particularly excited about Christmas this year. A child's first Christmas is special, but the subsequent Christmases become really fun as the child is able to more fully participate. We did several fun activities throughout the season. (You can read more about how we celebrate Christmas in our home Here). Tennyson really enjoyed pulling a chair to the counter to help make cookies. (He was actually more pleased with playing in the flour than the cookie dough! This is where his disinterest in sweets is really helpful! haha). He now associates the oven or baking tray with "cookies!" Haha. Another favorite of his this Christmas was the Christmas tree lights. If the lights were off, we were sure to quickly hear, "tree on" in that sweet little voice. I put up a small tree in the children's room, and he thoroughly enjoyed the "tree on" as he went to sleep and woke up each day. We did a couple of "tot school" activities, but decided not to add too much more to an already overwhelming time. In fact, that was the approach to advent activities this year. I came to the conclusion of adding one or two activities each year instead of trying to do twenty five all at once. Stree-free is the way to be! All in all, we had a wonderful Christmas season as a family.
|Oh the fun we'll have building with Legos!|
(Let's play a game with this picture-
What doesn't belong? ....
an ONION in the living room.
Oh, toddlers and their treasures. haha!)
After so many stressful and exhausting weeks, David took a week off of work for a "staycation." It was actually the first time we've had that much time together..perhaps, ever! We normally spend all our vacation days traveling to visit with family. Simply staying home, being together, and even getting some projects completed was fantastic. It was absolutely wonderful to reconnect with David. I know I and the children will miss him greatly when the workweek resumes. It certainly gives us motivation to work hard so that we can one day be in a position to start our own family business.
Next month brings New Year Resolution(s) and birthdays for three out of four of us in our family. Tennyson will turn 2 years old and I'll turn...30. On to the next month!