Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Daily Homemaking Schedule- late mornings (2.5 year old & 1 year old)

     As much as I prefer a 5-5:30a.m. start time for myself, it just isn't happening with fitful pregnancy sleep. I'm needing to attain as much sleep as absolutely possible these days, and so I've determined that our daily homemaking schedule needed some adjustment to reflect the activities of a later start. 
      Without a schedule guiding how our time and attention is spent, the house stays a mess, children are fussy and I struggle with finding deep joy in home and family. My desire is for the house to be maintained to a point of providing us calm and comfort, for children to be assured they are/will receive adequate stimulation and individualized attention, and for my heart to be completely lost within this role of wife, mama and homemaker (and my husband to see and be delighted in that). I've learned that in order to achieve, or at the least be working towards this direction, I must be proactive. I must consider in advance what is needed by everyone or everything and when the best opportunities to complete that work is in each day. It's a daily effort in diligence in which I'm striving each day. It makes a huge difference!

     Posted below is our newest daily homemaking schedule. Below that are a few elaborations on certain areas. Any questions, just ask! :)

  • I have allowed myself a later waking time of 6:30a.m. I have just enough time to get myself ready before Annelise wakes. I've moved my personal devotional time to be as the opportunity arises, which is often while the children are outside playing or during naptime. Naptime and bedtime are my least successful times because I tend to fall asleep quickly at those moments. ;)

  • I've learned that the children must be dressed before breakfast or any other activity. Otherwise, the task will take twice as long for whatever reason. 

  • After meals we have "playpen time." This one strategy has been huge in providing me an opportunity to get the kitchen and dining room cleaned back up. I had been struggling with keeping these rooms clean, which is important as we don't want dirty dishes and food bits accumulating in these areas creating unpleasant smells and tempting a little one to eat off the floor. I highly recommend utilizing these tools so that the kitchen and dining room can be cleaned up after every meal and thereby kept clean throughout the day!

  • "tot school" & "tiny tot school"- I will further detail these activities in future posts. Essentially, they're not academic schooling sessions, but activities intentionally planned for spending one-on-one time with each of my children. Without such, there tends to be more fussing, clinging and poor behaviors that go against our family rules. To a child any attention, even negative, is still attention. So, I made sure to incorporate a "together time" with each child during the first part of our day. We sing songs, play with play dough, read books, play with toys specifically for this time etc. It's just a way for me to pause in the day to make sure each child gets my undivided attention, and we do something out of the ordinary and fun!

  • Naptime personal interest activity- This is the only time I have to myself each day. Getting up early or staying up late typically doesn't permit me the amount of rest that I need. So, naptime is the best opportunity for me to pursue my own interests. It's been helpful to me to divide my personal interests among these opportunities during the week so that I'm continuing to invest in myself. It's important to be "all there" as a mama, but it's also important to continue to invest in oneself. It's all about balance. If time for oneself is difficult to find (as it is for me), then I recommend scheduling the naptime activity for yourself so that that time can be used the wisest. 

  • Cleaning routine & playpen time- If David is home early, then he plays with the children while I complete my tasks for the day. If not, then the children must spend a little time in a more structured play environment. I simply can't keep a close eye on or have a little one underfoot when I'm trying to clean, especially deep cleaning tasks. Not only would they be creating as much mess as I would be cleaning, but it isn't safe for them to be around any kind of cleaning products or walking on slick floors after mopping. Also, to keep cleaning tasks manageable I created a weekly cleaning schedule for myself. I only deep clean one area and tidy two rooms each day (outside of my day to day cleaning). This is as much as I can accomplish in a day, but our home still stays relatively clean.

  • Questions?

    I imagine we'll remain with this schedule for quite a while (at least until baby #3 arrives). So far, it has been working wonderfully for us! It's so very nice for there to be greater predictability and productivity! It truly bring so much peacefulness to our home and days. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

July 2016 In Our Home

30 months old & 13 months old!

New house .. let the organization fun begin!
     July in our home could be summed up in one word- moving. This was the month we made the move from the rent house to our own house. We didn't anticipate the effort taking quite as long as it did, but with two little ones underfoot, a new pregnancy, and ourselves as packers and movers it was quite the process! 

     We also had two weeks in which we hired a company to complete a few projects in the new home for us. We had the wood paneling in the living room painted, which made an astonishing transformation of the room (love light and bright!). We also had a strange built-in shelf removed from the dining room, and the walls and floors repaired. The extra space allows us to fit a much larger table, which we've been needing for quite a while. Last, we added a garage door opener which will add a great deal of convenience for me in getting children in and out of the car. We could have saved money by doing the work ourselves, but we simply lack the time at this moment. David's time is quite full with his job, and I stay rather busy with managing our home and the children. (Plus, painting is not advisable during pregnancy). Unfortunately, the work that should have taken two days ended up taking so much longer due to difficulties with the company's workers. It was quite frustrating and stressful to continue to function well with little ones with entire days disrupted for so long. 

     In the end, though, we're finally in our own home and enjoying our new space!
Toddler moments- We got a little desperate for ways
to stay occupied and out of the home repair mess.
A dry erase board and marker was the entertainment
of choice one morning. Fortunately, dry erase marker washes
 off really easily! haha
Toddler moments- Tennyson had a "boogie nose." So, he proceeded to tear off bits of toilet paper, wipe his nose, and then toss them into the toilet....for the entire roll. haha!  

Ah, the enthusiasm and joy in that little face! 
    The busyness of the month's activities limited my time to be in the Word. However, circumstance doesn't dictate faith. Despite the lack of moments to be quiet and still, the Lord still spoke to my heart. The state of my attitudes and behaviors and the influence those entities have on my home and children has been pressing lately. Ugly attitude and behavior from Mama begets ugly attitudes and behaviors from the children. I'm their example, and I must lead in our home as such. My voice needs to soften, in tone and volume. My parenting methods needs clarification and diligence. We need established family rules and consequences so that the children know exactly the behaviors that are and are not acceptable instead of it being a matter of momentary decision. I need to remember and be consistent on the three aspects of discipline: 1) teach 2) warn 3) consequence (removal from activity via time out mat). Finally, I need to make greater effort to reconnect with David. He should never feel as though he's my enemy (ouch!). How am I considering and relating to him? Time in the Bible and prayer are, of course, always needed. 
Sweet little face soaking up the sunshine!

     The needs that have arisen are likely the result of having moving, home repairs, and early pregnancy with complications all occur at once. Yet, it's still worthy to self-examine and determine small steps that can be taken to better improve oneself, home and family. This is my "strive for excellence" personal motto. 

     We're looking forward to a much more settled August. Hooray for no more moving for the next few years! haha

Books I'm Reading: continuing to read Toddler Rules by Jo Frost

Friday, August 19, 2016

Baby 3 Pregnancy Journal: 14 Weeks!

Miss Annelise decided to join me in the picture. haha
This baby deep inside of me, ever so small, is a child of God. A child that God gave me to take care of whether for a day or for years. That care began at conception. Whether he or she lives or dies each day I am with him or her is a gift and has a purpose with eternal consequences. My baby is now part of my life, my testimony." -Brenda Rodgers, "New Rules for Announcing a Pregnancy"

How Far Along? 14 weeks
"more fluid-like in his movements ... Other developments this week include a roof of his own (inside his mouth, that is) as well as intestinal activity: His intestines are producing meconium ... He is also sporting a downy coat of hair (lanugo) that keeps him nice and warm." -What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition

Baby Size? "the size of your clenched fist." -What to Expect When Your Expecting, 4th Edition

Gender? We'll find out next month! (I'm kind of leaning towards a boy, but the "gut feeling" isn't as strong with this one.)

Weight Gain?  I've gained 4.5 lbs. since the last appointment weigh-in (at 10 weeks). 

Belly? Oh yes. Baby #3 is making his or her presence known already! I love baby bellies, though, and think they're beautiful. I'm very grateful to wear one one last time!

Sleep? I've already entered that "just can't sleep" phase. During the first trimester, I slept so soundly. Now that the belly is getting a bit bigger and he/she is quite wiggly, I find it difficult to rest very well. 

Symptoms? My biggest symptom so far has been exhaustion. I'm finding it so hard to keep up with maintaining our home and the children. I feel like I'm struggling with exhaustion more in this pregnancy than the previous two. However, the difference probably lies more so in the fact that there are more people and tasks for me to care for in a day than I had during my previous two pregnancies. David has been helping me a lot by tidying up the kitchen at night so I can get to bed earlier. 

Clothes? Maternity clothing! It's too hot here to wear anything remotely tight or stiff. I'm eager to take advantage of some of the end of summer sales to find some cooler pieces, since the temperatures will still be rather warm for quite a while longer here. 
      I'm in that awkward time of regular clothes being too tight, but maternity being too loose. I wear the maternity clothes anyways for comfort. Knits are my favorite! 

Movement? I do my best to keep up with the housework, a two year old, and a one year old.... who needs a gym?! haha! 
     I would like to do more walking, but it's so hot and the mosquitoes swarm so fast. Bummer. Perhaps a prenatal yoga video or app. Stretching and an indoor activity would be nice. 

Baby Movement? I can already feel him/her wiggling around! I'm always able to feel my babies early, and love it. I can enjoy all those little movements before he/she gets big enough for them to be uncomfortable. (This little one, even as small as he/she is, is an expert at knowing exactly how to send me running for a bathroom break. haha)

Food Adversions? Not much. I'm loving food! haha

Food Cravings? Pineapple! I've also thoroughly enjoyed salty snacks like chips and salsa. Salty has been my preference for the most part. Although, occasionally I've enjoyed something sweet. 

What I Miss? Sleep would be nice, but there hasn't been much of that anyways in the last 3 years. haha. Not really "missing" anything. 

What I'm Excited About?  I really didn't believe we'd attempt to have another biological child. I am so, very, very grateful that God has given us this child. I'm really soaking in the moments of this last pregnancy. 

What I'm Nervous About? Some days I'm nervous about quite a few things (upcoming weekly medication injections that brought me to tears last time, another complicated delivery, managing three children at 37 months old, 20 months old and newborn, finding balance and rest in my own life so that I'm thriving more than just surviving etc). However, I try to pray on those concerns and focus on today alone. I'll cross those other bridges when I get there. I wondered how I was going to manage two children 17 months apart in age, and here I am doing it, right? 

How Am I Preparing for Baby?
    I've begun thinking of meals I can either make ahead or freeze for after baby arrives. This time, I want to have plenty of meals prepared for ourselves and family members that will come to stay. Cooking, cleaning, and caring for extra people didn't allow me the rest or recovery that I needed following my last delivery. I hope to try to at least have meals prepared in advance so that that will be one less area to have to be completed. The only problem is I'm terribly clueless about meals that work well in the freezer or prepared in large quantities in advance! (Suggestions welcome! :) )
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...