Monday, February 18, 2013

Random thoughts on life

Well, I thought I was home free until the icky blahs hit me at 6.5 weeks or so and now at about 8wks I wish I could feel normal again.  I'm thankful that my "morning sickness" doesn't involve throwing up but it does involve a lot of nausea and upset tummy, a LOT of thinking pretty much all food on earth sounds disgusting, and a lot of exhaustion.

I'm figuring out that if I stay fed I feel a little better than if I don't.  Also if I get enough sleep I feel better than when I'm not getting enough sleep.  Unfortunately "enough" sleep seems to be an amount I'm not able to attain on a daily basis.  I slept 8hrs Saturday night, took a 2.5hr nap yesterday afternoon, slept about 9hrs last night and FINALLY felt somewhat awake this morning.  I don't usually have the luxury of the nap though.

Having a bit more awakeness this morning it was nice to use some of that energy with Sierra and working on some tot school activities.  She's very into numbers and counting, we reviewed capital letters and their sounds, shapes and colors, and she got to put stickers on a do a dot number page I found here.  I'm so thankful for these other moms who put stuff together like this.  My kids love these things and I don't have the know how to create them myself.

Being able to give a little more energy and attention to the kids' school has been nice this morning.  Of course I'm starting to wane, my eyes are beginning to get droopy, my tummy is hungry, and school, thank goodness, is almost over for today.

Oh one more thing, yesterday my oldest son Kayden got baptized.  Now that alone is pretty great but even greater was that he asked his Daddy to do the honors.  Talk about an emotional mama.  We had a really great get together with a few friends and grammy afterwards and that was followed by my amazing nap.

Also it must be said that Jay is being great.  He's run to the store more in the past two weeks than probably the past whole year previously.  He's been really great about helping get the house cleaned up for yesterday's get together.  I really appreciate that he's been so helpful. 

And one last word, I don't know how consistent this blog will be for the next few weeks.  I have lots of fun things I want to do with the kids and post about but with my icky blahs I'm just not often up to messing with getting a post together.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A little bit sticks with you

I'm a reader.  I've always been a reader.  In middle school you'd rarely catch me walking down the hallway from class to class without an open book in my hand.  I would stay up late at night with a flashlight and struggle to stay awake in my first class of the following day.  Reading allowed me to go into a world that I would never otherwise be able to go into and have adventures that as a normal person in small town MI I would never have otherwise had.  I still love reading.

As a parent the function of reading has often been different than before.  Now, I often reach for a book hoping to glean that magic piece of parenting wisdom that I feel so desperate for.  I don't read too many parenting books, or don't finish them at any rate because I tend to lay them aside to deal with the children I'm seeking help with.  Isn't that just always the way?  The true irony of parenting books is that you really only have time to read them BEFORE you are a parent.  But still I've realized recently that a little bit sticks with you.

I read a great book when my older two were little and I was probably pregnant with my 3rd.  The author encouraged allowing the children to do things that conventional parenting said they weren't really old enough for.  It talked a lot about gearing the home environment to where the kids could do a lot for themselves without a ton of parental interference.  And while I certainly don't do half the stuff the author encouraged in the book, a little bit did stick.

Because of that book the children's dishes are in a low cabinet where they can get them out themselves and put them away out of the dishwasher themselves.  Even Sierra at 2 has no trouble doing either of these things.  Because of that book I have tried over the past years to encourage my children to do as much for themselves as possible.  I suppose some could look at it as me being lazy, but really there are times when I find I have a HUGE advantage that my children can follow some basic directions given from a mom laying on the couch and function on a basic level without my constant interference.  If necessary Kayden and Colton could make pb&j without any assistance, even Sierra can peel her own clementines (once I've started it a tiny bit - but again a brother could help with that), Kayd has been known to serve breakfast completely on his own.  And I will tell you that since becoming pregnant with our fifth blessing (which the kids share their excitement about nearly every day) there have been several occasions where I have been thankful that I read that book and that a little bit stuck.  It's super beneficial to me now in this season and I know that in the future the sense of independence we're giving our kids will be beneficial to them as they continue to grow.

So even if you can't make it through an entire parenting book, be encourage that usually, from whatever you are able to read, a little bit does stick.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Letting Go

I won't lie.  One of my favorite things about homeschooling my children is that I don't have to let them go as much.  I have at least a bit more of a sense of control over things even if the control isn't real.  This past summer, at the encouragement of a few friends from church  and the excitement from Kayd after reading the brochure, we allowed Kayden to attend a Christian day camp for a week.  He had several friends from church in his little group and he had a blast.  He went in the morning and came home for dinner at night.  The last night the campers had the option to spend the night to get a taste of what overnight camp is like and we let him do that too.

Kayd had a blast.  He loved it and is still bummed that not having two vehicles means that he won't be able to go this summer.  However, I received a brochure for a one night overnight winter camp.  For some reason I thought it was a great idea to let him go.  The timing worked out to get him there and pick him up on time and I know he'll have a lot of fun.

But it's so very hard to let go.  If his socks get wet will he remember to change them?  Will he remember to wear his hat and dry  mittens every time they do an outdoor activity?  I won't be there to remind him.  I won't be there to check on him.  And it occurred to me yesterday that I don't actually know any of the adults who will be responsible for my child for a 14hr period of time from tonight until tomorrow night.  Panic began to set in.

And then I prayed.  Because really even though I feel like I have some sense of control in my home, it's mostly an illusion.  God, really, is in control and He is with Kayd whether Kayd is under this roof or the roof of the camp chapel.  I think that letting go is one of the hardest parts of parenting but it's also essential.  Kayd's confidence grew leaps and bounds when I let go last summer and I trust that he will have a great experience this weekend too that will grow him into what I hope is a strong, independent, and responsible person.  So much of our job as parents is to prepare our children for the final letting go.  Oh what a heart wrenching job this can be.  But for today I will let him go for one overnight and fun filled day tomorrow.  One small letting go opportunity at a time will hopefully prepare my heart for the final letting go when he's ready to go out on his own which I know will happen all too soon.  God will have to help when it's time to really let go.