Thursday, July 23, 2015

Disengaged but trying

Doing something for myself today by letting us all have a very slow paced, at home kinda day. I made it to my small group for the first time in forever last night and it truly filled my heart in a way that I haven't experienced in a long time. But catching up lasted until almost midnight and then when I arrived home, Nora was having a very uncommon middle of the night nappy change for an icky poop. She then spent the next 2 hours struggling to get back to sleep so by 2am I was only just drifting off to sleep for the first time. Then I was up at 4 searching the house for a pacifier after Nora woke up, tearfully asking for one and I could not for the life of me find the one she had gone to bed with, and then I was up again at just after 530 when Levi came into our room. He went back to sleep thankfully but I got up with Jeremy just after 6am to get a shower in before he left for work so I didn't have to juggle it with both kiddos awake, all that to say, I am running in fumes today.

I packed the kids in the car, in their jammies to drive thru Starbucks before 8am so I could get a much needed coffee and get them a muffin for breakfast because even making toast felt like a gigantic energy expense that I couldn't face.

Seems Nora's upset tummy is still lingering and shes had a few squirts this morning. None for a while now, but she crawled up onto my lap an hour ago and fell asleep so i am hoping she can catch up on some missed sleep from last night and shake off whatever is going on on her body. I don't know if it's a little bug or the result of too many grapes yesterday, or just something she found somewhere on the floor and decided to eat...she likes to do that. Who knows? She's not acting sick - at least not yet.

The sun is only just starting to burn through the clouds so the more overcast skies certainly provided a fitting backdrop for our cozy, snuggling under a blanket movie watching morning. I am cashing in all those months when Levi didn't watch any TV so I can let him over indulge today :) I got out the crayons and colouring books earlier with both kids and we have read stories too but its been a very lazy parenting day.

I feel as though this new house provided opportunities to get out of some of the ruts I have found myself in but I need to be more proactive in planning ahead to make that happen. I am still very much adjusting to our new space, our new normal and our family life once again just including the four of us. Its a lot. More than I realised and I am not handling it very well. My kids bear the brunt of my lack of energy, mostly in lazy, semi engaged parenting days. After a good nights sleep, and with some pre planned play dates we have wonderful, sweet times and I hope that these will become more of the norm around here.

I desire our days be filled with friends, and creativity. Outside time and adventures; bike riding, hiking and beach time. Slowly our days are including more of these and more often but today is not one of those days.

I was convicted by the painting Levi brought home on Sunday from kids church which had his apple printing all over this verse from Galatians "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control" Ouch. Apparently, my lack of time for myself and lack of prioritizing time with the Lord is very obvious from my recent parenting struggles. I am making changes. I have started reading the 'She reads truth' devotional online every day. Its a step in the right direction.

Levi continues to struggle with his potty training after taking himself for pee and poop for a week he has regressed and we have hit the two weeks pooping in underwear every day mark. He is still doing pretty well with his peeing and will go if I ask him to but he doesn't seem to be as proactive about taking himself. My prayer request at small group was that he would find peace to poop on the potty again. I am navigating how to encourage him but not condone his behavior when its a case of making the choice to wait so long that he has accidents. I know he has gone trough lots of change recently so I am trying to have grace. Sometimes I do that better than others.

I love my babies but I am also realising that I am such a better mummy when I have made time for Jesus and time for myself. I need my girlfriends and I certainly need my God to make it through the days with a joyful and thankful heart.

I am watching Levi watch the TV still in his pajamas and resolving to have some intentional time with him today - even if it's not something elaborate.

Come, Lord Jesus. Please fill me with your Spirit today. Give me your wisdom and strength to parent these precious babies to the best of my ability and to draw from you when my well is dry. I cannot do this alone and I am so very thankful I don't have to. Let the fruits of your Spirit be the markers of my parenting and may my children know how loved and cherished they are. Let me be your hands and feet as I parent.
Please Lord.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Mum Hack and poop on a log

I think that term is so funny, but I love that I have figured out a few little routines or "hacks" that make our lives run more smoothly. Today for example, this peaceful blogwriting in the middle of the day is a direct result of my personal favourite mum hack.

My kids play hard and they are not great eaters during playdates there is too much going on and too many distractions but they don;'t take good naps if they are hungry. I found that if we leave play dates around lunchtime, and strap the kids in their car seats, they realise how hungry they are and scarf down the lunch I packed! I always change their diapers in the car right before we leave (or make Levi pee now we are potty training, but I have been putting a diaper on him when I think he might fall asleep in the car because I don't think he's ready to be dry during sleep) This way they are clean and dry and full and by the way did I mention, we aren't moving yet? That's right, we have a picnic in the car, parked outside our friends houses or in the parking lot of the beach as we did this morning!

My friends who have caught me and invited me back inside only for me to politely refuse think I am a little crazy, but I swear it is great for us. Levi and Nora are both good transferers for middle of the day naps especially when they have been playing hard in the morning so getting them to sleep in the car eliminates the struggle at home! Levi is dropping his nap, but really gets tired [read - over emotional and totally a basket case] after a few days of no naps so I use this hack especially on the days I want him to sleep.

After the food is gone, I take off shoes, give loveys to Levi and pacifier to Nora, remove other toys or distractions and start the car. They are usually asleep in the first few minutes. Today we hadn't even driven out of the parking lot and they were both sparko. It was great.

So I am home, both kids are in their beds and I am sitting. Maybe sneaking a cheeky ice cream treat because I don't have to share or give them one...its blissful.

For many reasons this is not a hack that would work for everyone but for us its been a great find and I love having it in my pocket. After a long playdate it can be a reward for me to save the energy I would have expended on nap time for something more fun in the afternoon.

I feel like this new house and being around our old friends and community is making me realise how far I have come in my parenting. I am a much braver mum than when we moved out of our other home. Taking both kids to eat at  restaurants by myself, and even taking them to the beach or other places which are not "predictable" or fenced in. I am so very grateful for such amazing friends who also give my courage to explore the world with my kids and keep me company while I do it. Not to mention being there to love on my kiddos and laugh or console with me when something really good/bad/ridiculous happens. A prime example was this morning when my sweet potty training son runs to me along the beach with his meat and veg flying everywhere, no underwear and no shorts in sight. He was heading from the log raft/fort that he and his two buddies have been playing on on the beach, to report that he had gone poop. His story was corroborated and expanded on by his two slightly older buddies and when I approached the scene I see an enormous turd sitting on a log. I dealt with it and cleaned stuff up as best I could, and honestly I couldn't help being kind of impressed that a) he had not gone in his underwear and b) that he had had enough balance to poop on the log. Still, after some good mummy laughing, Levi and I had a long conversation about where it is appropriate to go to the bathroom!

Kids keep it interesting!

Hope your day is as sunny as our has been so far!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Next Chapter begins

It feels like a million years since I posted on here. In reality it's not been that long time-wise but lots of things have changed so it feels like a lot to catch up on.

We finally moved into our house on Wednesday, June 24th. Over a month after we closed! Our painters worked really hard to get things finished but were not quite done when we got back so instead to trying to have the kids adjust to the new house with doors off hinges and light plates off, not to mentions wet paint, we decided to give them the extra time they needed. We did move a bunch of our big furniture into the garage and out of the POD storage, and we had our small group and some other friends and family help us empty the storage unit we had the weekend before we moved which was such a help.

We have been in for almost 2 weeks, there are still boxes everywhere, and nothing on the walls. My lovely kitchen is full of things to find places for and counters covered in stuff! Our little ones make unpacking complicated.

Jeremy took them to the zoo for the morning last weekend so I could finally organise their rooms and that felt like a huge deal, although once everything was off the floor, they looked ever so bare! I need to get some pictures and things up on their walls.

The past few evenings, once kids have gone to sleep (which in this crazy hot weather is miserable for all of us) I have tackled the playroom. I understand that this will be a daily event to get it in order but now most things are organised into boxes and have a place, even if its temporary - we are planning to get some other furniture to store things in there but this works for now. Again however, the bare walls are so hard for me to handle. I have an idea of a few things I want to get for the walls but it will take money and time to get it to where I want it.

The rest of the house continues to be a work in progress. It will be for a while. I have to try and find peace with that. That too, is a work in progress :)

If that wasn't enough, we started potty training Levi last week. I put pull-ups or a diaper on if we left the house for a few days, especially for longer car rides, but he was doing so well at home in underwear without accidents, I have even ventured out with him diaper less! He even took himself to poop (for the first time!) while I was putting Nora down for a nap! I am so proud of him and impressed with how well he seems to have taken to it. He will be starting pre school next school year and so now he has the peeing and pooping in the right place, we have to start working on him, pulling up underwear and pants before leaving the bathroom and begin lessons in wiping his bum. 

And then there is the sleeping - kids in their own rooms. Its had good nights and bad ones, but the hot weather has really played into the worst of them. The two coolest nights they have both slept in their rooms until the very early morning when they come into our bed and have fallen back asleep. We haven't put up the dark bedroom curtains yet, so I am hopeful when we get that project done it might help. They are both doing better than I expected.
We need to get into the habit of settling them back in their own space but boy that's tough in the middle of the night. When they will fall right asleep next to us in the bed.

We made it to our church for the past two weeks, which is a huge deal. Before that we hadn't been since Easter and it was so great to be back! Levi has had a blast in his class and Nora did really well (for her anyway) in the nursery. I stayed with her the first week but she barely looked for me, so Jeremy stayed this week but then tried to leave which did not go over well. But she was really tired, having been disturbed through the night from all the crazy fireworks which lit up our house all night long, and there were less kids to be a distraction so. I think we might try one more week of staying with her before we try to leave her again. I am hopeful and prayerful that her separation anxiety will be getting less and less.

We are finally here in our new space, so thankful that God brought us here and excitement that we have about the future. We are finding our rhythm slowly and surely, in between the unpacking. The past eleven months have taken it's tole on us as a couple and as a family and we have some kinks to work out but I am confident we will in time. This is the beginning of the next chapter in our story and we are ready!


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