Saturday, June 10, 2017

May 2017 In Our Home




Blogging
     Clearly, blogging has not happened this month. I really wish I could post more but I simply don't have the time. I stay so busy during the day caring for the children and our home. My time for other pursuits is even more limited when David travels for work as much as he has this month. I'm not yet totally giving it up because this little space means so much to me and I so thoroughly enjoy the memories recorded. However, posting may continue to be very sporadic. Instagram and the Facebook page have become more preferable as they do not require quite as much time as writing full blog posts. Perhaps when all three children nap well during the day I can pick it up again. I do miss it, and greatly appreciate everyone who continues to follow!


Breastfeeding
     At the beginning of last month I was ready to move on from breastfeeding. Little Huxley and I were continuing to experience lots of problems from the oversupply and fast/forceful letdown situation. I decided to give myself a break by simply pumping and bottle feeding for a while. Unfortunately, since a pump doesn't empty as well as a baby and I make so much milk I ended up with a bad case of mastitis within a few days. It was by far the worst case I've had yet with it, and having to continue as normal in caring for the home and children didn't help matters. A couple of days and multiple cabbage leaves (crazy remedy, but it works!) later, I finally got it to clear up. (phew!). 
     After that experience, I returned to breastfeeding and I think we'll be pushing through just a little while longer. I don't want to experience that again! So, despite some continued problems we've pressed on. And, somewhere along the way I fell in love with breastfeeding. It's always been so problematic for me with the oversupply issues that it's always been more of a pragmatic matter. However, this time is different. Perhaps it's the effect of not knowing if this will be our last baby and my last time to feed a baby myself. Whatever the case, I'm now delighting in holding him close and loving on him in a way that only I can at this moment. 

Traveling Days & Parenting Solo
     This month was a very busy time for David traveling. He was gone one week to PA, then home a week, then gone a week to CO, then home a week. To say I was nervous about having full-time care of the home and children while he was gone is an understatement. Three children three years old and under all day everyday is no small feat. The week flying solo started out a bit rough as we had a plumbing problem and an adjustment for the children, but by the end of the week we were making it through just fine. I learned a few valuable lessons during these times: 
     1. I'm stronger and more capable than I knew
     2. It's okay to cut myself some slack (paper plates and semi-homemade meals are just 
         fine!)
     3. Prioritizing and letting go of nonessentials is a must. (So what if we don't do and go
          like some other families?!)
     4. I can keep my cool to be calm and joyful in any situation, even tantrums
     5. I can get by on very little sleep (hello, night time "napping." It's not pretty but I made it)

Tennyson
      Tennyson is in the middle of that "big emotions" time in life. I think I'm learning how to handle things just as much as he is! One thing I know for certain is that the more upset I get the more upset he gets. If I can remain calm and compassionate, then he can heed the lesson much better. Disappointment/disapproval from me and/or strong disciple are not effective at all with him. He's a sensitive soul and internalizes things so easily. It's a quality I'm needing to learn more about so that I can reach and encourage him to thrive in his own way.
    On another note, I've observed a characteristic of Tennyson's learning style. He does not cooperate with Q & A. Casually reveals knowledge within conversation. It's really remarkable how much he knows (and how much has come from books!)! I think a literature-based homeschool approach will be very well suited for him in the future. 

Annelise
23 months old!
     We continue to have bouts of frustration due to an inability to communicate clearly. She's has many words that she uses, but there are still many, many more that she has retained but doesn't yet have the ability to articulate clearly. I've been spending more time reading to her when she wakes up before everyone else in the mornings or naptimes. I've also been spending some time with her word book by having her repeat the words after me. I've considered flashcards, but haven't purchased them yet. If it weren't for her frustration, I wouldn't push such as this. However, she clearly has the desire to communicate to a greater extent but needs practice in articulation. (I'm open to suggestions for encouraging language development!)
   One big moment for her this month was getting a big girl bed! She has really enjoyed the extra freedom and is much calmer when she wakes. However, this has also meant that keeping her in bed has been a bit of a challenge. haha

Huxley
3 months old!
     Huxley is by far the easiest baby yet. As long as his belly isn't upset, he's such a content little guy. He doesn't mind playing in the swing, on his floor mat, in the bouncy seat etc. He indicates clearly when he's hungry or tired. I can often simply walk around while holding him and he will fall asleep. Speaking of sleep- this. child. actually. sleeps! He's our first to do so! (Our older two still don't sleep through the night for one reason or another). He still wakes up once or twice to eat. However, that one time at night may be at 5am. He's such the easy baby that it's hard not to want another baby! haha


Now that I've had multiple children, I'm more convinced that some things are more personality than training. Two have been poor sleepers and one..well, decent sleeper. Two have been belly sleepers and one is a back sleeper. Two have not taken a pacifier whatsoever and one absolutely loves it. So far, one is a picky eater and one eats everything offered. Two are of a calm personality and one is spirited. 

School time
Colored water exploration bin to go
 with our tot school unit that features
 the color yellow
   Sometimes I wonder if we should be accomplishing more in our school time. After all, Tennyson is three and most children his age are already enrolled in a formal preschool. It's tempting to fear he being "behind" his peers. But then, I go back to our reasonings for spending our days together as a family and homeschooling in the future, and I am confident in our decisions for the direction for our family. It brings me great joy, in fact. So, I push aside the comparison trap and delight in where we are presently. I feel like this is a completely appropriate time in life to just play and read stories together. If the children want to go outside instead of having school time, then outside it is! If we need to spend some time focusing on learning and practicing correct responses and properly handling those toddler "big emotions", then that's what we do. There are many areas of learning to focus on at this point beyond academics. It's not like we don't do anything academic. We still have our tiny tot curriculum and tot school curriculum, from which we complete an activity each day. We still accomplish learning, but it might just look different from a public school approach. (But the freedom and flexibility of choice one benefit of homeschooling?). The point is- know why you do what you do and then confidently and joyfully pursue it. Don't compare. Walk your own path!

New Books We're Enjoying This Month:
     I like to purchase at least one new book for each of us each month. For an additional look into the books we've enjoyed in our home, click the "Bookshelves" tab at the top of the page and then follow the links to our various online bookshelves. 

  • Me:
  • Tennyson
    • *Amazing Airplanes by Tony Mitton
      • We have *Amazing Trains as a part of our tot school curriculum. Tennyson really enjoys this book and has become quite good at naming all the trains and train parts. This book is part of a series and I thought the airplane book in the series would be a good addition. It would also help excite and prepare the children for our upcoming plane rides. 
  • Annelise:
    • *Five Little Ducks by Annie Kubler
      • This book is the fun little song in book form. Annelise really enjoys songs and their motions. Always fun when she can sit and sing the song as she flips through the pages. 
  • Huxley:
    • *Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
      • This was the first book we got when Tennyson was a baby. We read it almost daily during his first year. Unfortunately, it didn't make it in our move to TX. I thought it only appropriate to purchase another copy of the book for the younger two children to enjoy as well. 
Note: The "*" indicates the inclusion of an affiliate link. I am personally an affiliate with Amazon.com, and as such receive a compensation for purchases made through the links. (Thank you!)
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