Thursday, September 8, 2016

August 2016 In Our Home

 

    I've felt my heart be drawn more towards home. My attention has been pulled far too often away from being centered on our home and our family. There are so many distractions encountered each day. Social media on my phone has a powerful pull. With a simple press of a button I'm entered into another world. When behaviors and attitudes sink, I'm tempted mightly to use this device as an escape. But, mothering-well is not about escaping when times are tough. It's about pushing through and pressing on because the challenge exists for everyone in the family. How else will my little ones know how to successfully overcome hurdles unless they are taught, exemplified, and permitted the opportunity to practice? Escaping will not get them far (a lesson I've had to learn the hard way in life). This lesson is greater and one I wish for them to see from me. I also wish for them to always be assured and confident that Mama is fully present. I desire for them to see that this is where I want to be. This is where my heart is. They have me- all of me. They can trust in my steady love. That means, I need to eliminate the distraction of a device and choose to be all in.
31 months old!

      Another distraction I've contended with has been in being out too often. We've moved to an area in which being out of the house daily is highly valued. We attempted to attend more activities and programming offered at various locations within the community for the purpose of making connections in a new place, but ultimately this approach is not be well suited for our family. It's rather taxing for me to get everyone ready and then adequately managed once there. (I can only carry and comfort so many children at one time!). I'm feeling fatigued and tense by the busyiness and the children certainly do too. We all do so much better by having a predictable daily routine and then reserving one day a week for getting out and about. I've determined that this may be highly unconventional, but absolutely works for us and that's my focus. I imagine this decision and weekly routine will serve us well when in the spring when I'll have three children 37 months old and under.


     As I mentioned, we've been attempting to find connections here. Although we've been here since mid-March, friendship has been hard to find. Yet, I'm remaining hopeful. I'm also remaining prayerful and seeking the Lord. He has revealed much to me regarding this matter. (Future post planned on this matter, so I'll save more details for then).

I neglected to lock the pantry back.
He found the 85% baking chocolate.
Needless to say he didn't go to sleep
until late that night!
       Despite my desire for home and tendency to be highly organized, home life can be rather..messy. It's remarkable how much I don't realize the mess or the ill effects until it's completely cleaned. Then, it's as though a weight has been lifted and I can breath easily again. Cleanliness and clutter have a strong influence on my feelings of stress, overwhelm and exhaustion throughout the day. Our personal attitudes (uh hem..mine) and home's atmosphere needs greater peacefulness and less tension and chaos. One key factor in getting to that point is exercising diligence in following our daily homemaking schedule/routines. Within this plan are pre-determined opportunities for caring for the home while also having adequate times to be attentive to the children and even myself. I rewrote our daily schedule a bit this month to account for our current later start to the day so that it's the most realistic for us to achieve. Perhaps this would be a good time to revive the Homemaking Challenge?

          In regard to the children, everyone is doing well. Baby #3 is still on the inside, and for me that is always the main focus. We did learn that we have a 2/3 probability of another preemie despite interventions. That does leave a 1/3 probability of making it all the way to term. However, we still may face the strong likelihood of an extended amount of time in which I'm 'out of commission' regardless of arrival time. This is concerning because we do not have childcare resources currently. We're prayerful the Lord will provide. 

14 months old!
    Tennyson is continuing to develop his language skills at a rapid pace. It's remarkable that how fluidly we can communicate with him. We can ask him questions like what he had for breakfast, what he did that day, or what he saw if we were out etc., and he can respond. He's still measuring to be our long and lean guy. He's 76% in height but only 13% in weight! Thank goodness for pants and shorts with the adjustable elastic on the inside of the waistband! haha

      Annelise has made a big development this month in that she's a walking girl now! She's following in her brother's footsteps on the timing of reaching milestones. She's really enjoying the greater mobility (and probably a little relief from crawling on hard tile floors!). Also like her brother, she's been working on cutting new teeth- lots of new teeth. Both of them have been slow to begin teething, but then make up for lost time by cutting six at one time. It's always an exhausting and trying time, but we make it. She still measures quite opposite of her brother. She's 51% in height and 51% in weight. She's a square. haha. 

She's fully mobile now!
      It's remarkable how different two children from the same parents can be! Tennyson and Annelise look nothing alike. Their personalities are complete opposites as well. (Makes the mind wonder what baby #3 will look and be like!). Fortunately, despite their differences they get along really well. Now that she's walking and understanding language better, she and Tennyson have really become close friends. I absolutely love hearing him call out to her, "Come on Eese! Let's play ___." (The best he could say her name when he was younger was "Eese" (pronounced like "geese"), and that has stuck. I find it adorable). They're getting old enough to where they can safely play in a room together unsupervised for short periods of time. Their favorite playtime, though, is when Daddy gets off work. My heart delights in the sound of their happy squeals and giggles. He's such a wonderful Daddy.  

     Another exciting happening within our home this month has been the beginning of "school" with both of the children. My purpose in this time is not academics, but one-on-one time. We sing songs, make and play with playdough, read stories, color, play with toys set aside for this purpose etc. We chose to utilize "All Aboard the Animal Train" by My Father's World for Tennyson. For Annelise, I heavily adapted curriculum from abcjesuslovesme.com for Annelise.  So far, we've all really enjoyed adding this time and activities into our days. (Future post planned for each of our curriculum choices, so I'll save details until then). 
Annelise's "tiny tot school." (I created a Facebook Live video on our plan)

     Last, a glimpse into what we've been reading this month. I finished reading *Toddler Rules by Jo Frost. I love her practical approach to parenting. The many techniques presented are immensely helpful. I highly recommend any of her materials. Once finished, I began the book, *Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full by Gloria Furman. The title was very appealing as that is precisely where I am in life currently. However, so far, I'm not impressed with the writing or content in the least. Perhaps it will get better. I've also been independently participating in the Good Morning Girls study of James. I've been interested in these study sessions before, but didn't want to spend $9 for a journal book that I could probably create on my own for much less. Yet, I never have so I decided to go ahead and purchase the journal. For whatever reason, having that *printed journal has made a difference in my diligence in reading and studying the Bible. I really enjoy how it's merely a space to facilitate your own study. I often don't utilize devotional materials because they often tell you what to think of a passage or make the passage fit their topic. The GMG journal does have a reflection question on one page of each section, but otherwise is a blank space to "S.O.A.K." ("scripture"- "observation" - "application" -  "kneel in prayer"). Another feature I've enjoyed is that the sections are very brief, which makes it feasible to complete on a near daily basis. I say "near" because it's taking me twice as much time as the official study to complete the chapter. Many days I simply don't have an opportunity to sit and read or study, but I look forward to those time when I am able. For this reason, I don't believe I'll join any of the online GMG groups. I will, however, continue to make the investment in the journals because it has been worthwhile for me. 

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1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed reading the update:) Making new friends and meeting new people when you move somewhere can be so hard, especially when you are at home so much of the time. I also went through that when we moved to our current place. Getting involved at my church helped a lot, as did joining MOPS, but it still took a lot longer to find close friends than I had hoped. I spent a long time feeling somewhat lonely without any girl friends. We also are homebodies and had to cut a lot of busy-ness out of our life. I currently try to plan 1 morning out to do errands each week and 1 morning play-date type get together with other children. Other than that, it's just us and the dog all day! I like the simple life:) TOO funny when you said Annalise is a square! So funny how each baby, even with the same parents, can be so unique in every way!

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