This Moment

This Moment~ Joining Soulemama in a Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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Goodbye Diapers… for now

26 months is apparently an important age in our house. For it seems (three times now) that this is the age in which my children decide the are ready to leave diapers behind.

Each and every time this happens I cannot tell how surprised I am. For, it is my belief that the whole potty training thing is best left until later. Mostly from the perspective that the longer we wait the more ready they will be and the less work I will need to do.

But, nonetheless each time it seems like there is one day I can ignore the signs no longer and together we make the leap.

Still beyond the commonality of age each of my children have had very different paths for potty training. And while I could ad a post to the plethora of others out there, listing  all the things that could be done to achieve potty training success. I think instead I will just share the three most valuable things that I have learned during this process over time.

#1 – Simplistic as it may be: Don’t listen to anyone else’s potty training story. Even ours.

Just like when your child first rolled over or crawled. When he or she was ready to eat or take their first steps. Potty learning need not be a competition. Nor should you feel like your missing the mark if your child is not out of diapers by X age.

#2 – Starting late is easier than starting early.

By this I mean really, it is okay to wait. Experts will agree that you should look for the signs of readiness. I like to wait for A LOT of signs. The more of these little helpful ques the easier the job in my opinion. Not to mention, those first months of potty learning seem to be more about you learning the ques than your little one really deciding they know they are ready. Oh, and method? Each of my children have needed a slightly different approach, so I would suggest not getting stuck on the idea there is one “right” way to success out there. You know your child, have confidence that you will find the method that works for both of you.

#3 – Have a sense of humor. Potty learning can be as quick as a day or it may seem to take years for your little one to really get it (true story.) But, no matter what, you can rest assured your little one will get it.

So, there is my contribution to the vast array of information out there about potty training.
Oh, and don’t forget that on that glorious day it is perfectly acceptable for everyone to do the potty dance!

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How I Really Feel About This Pregnancy

????????????Ever since I started blogging I have dreamed of blogging about one of my pregnancies. Taking you unsuspecting readers along for the ride. After all for the last 8 or so years pregnancy and birth have been such a pivotal part of my life. These experiences have shaped and molded me both emotionally and spiritually (and to be quite frank, there have been a few physical changes as well – ahem.) Still my dream of chronicling it all has eluded me as each time I realized all too quickly that I am just not that kind of pregnant lady.

You know the one. She who can do morning sickness and still count it all joy.
She who sails into her second trimester in victory and awe of the miracle within her.
The girl who eagerly anticipates the arrival of her sweet bundle of joy and does all the preparation and nesting while still finding time to exercise and write.

Oh, how I admire that girl.

But, like I said, I have realized that I am just not that girl. And slowly I am coming to grips with it. At first feeling really sad that I just couldn’t live up to my own “ideal pregnant lady” standard. Truly, I am no perfectionist. I hope I never put on that kind of air. I know God has made me to be me. Long ago I set the goal to be real before being good at anything. If I ever share anything, I want it to be honest. Good…or bad.
But, for some reason I just couldn’t seem to let go of the idea that I had to have this perfect grace during pregnancy.

The fact of the matter is… When I’m pregnant, I’m sick. Like, been-on-the-boat-too-long,  puke-your-brains-out-sick for the whole first trimester. During that time, I loathe the child within me. I mean, I love him/her, but mostly I loath what is happening to my body.

As I crawl back to land… er, get into my second trimester, I fret. I worry about everything. How the baby is growing, how the kids will handle yet another sibling. How I am going to cope. How I am going to have the strength to push another living thing out of my body… You get the idea.

And as I round the corner into my third trimester I cry. Hysterically apparently. Just the other night I started laughing for no real reason…and then collapsed into a heap of tears that brought raised eyebrows from my poor helpless husband and fear from my daughter. Yes, I really was that crazy pregnant lady. Oh, and at my last Midwife appointment my dear sweet midwife who congratulated me on making it 2/3’s of the way, then had to console me as I sobbed… about nothing.

So, why share all this now? Because despite all the misery and the tears, I know. I mean I really do know (this 4th time around) that it will all work out how it is supposed to. I know I cannot guarantee there won’t be complications. But I also know it is not worth it to dwell on them. I know I have done my homework. I know this birth will be as different as can be from the others.

In the next few weeks I will write a birth plan, because I know it pays to be prepared. But, I will also  once again include under the section for ‘Complications’ my typical request, “In the case of complications, please just keep us in the loop. We’ll get through it together.”

And, I’ll continue to pray, and seek Gods strength to get through this wonderful/horrible time. I will trust Him to work it out. One day I will have no doubt that it was all worth it. It always is.

Oh! I have learned one thing that I think has a direct correlation to my emotional state this time around:
When having a December 25th due date, one can expect to have slight anxiety at the thought of a new baby and needing to finish Christmas shopping all on the same count down. :)

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Some times I feel as though I have lived twice my years and at other times I wonder where the time has gone. Truthfully I enjoy having birthdays. I’m not afraid to be “in my thirties.”
Honestly, I feel like to be thirty-something means that I am in the prime of my life.

I personally was quite  relieved to leave my 20’s behind. Though I will also admit the thought of 40 seems a bit daunting (thankfully I have a few more years to adjust to the idea.)

Yes, thirty-three feels pretty good to me. And for posterity just in case I ever want to remember, or the kids ever wonder, this is what I think of this birthday:

1. I’m thankful to have made it this far. I truly feel it is an accomplishment to be this age.

2. I love that in my thirties I feel pretty comfortable with myself. I feel neither old nor young. Kind of that just right phase of life.

3. I’m a little surprised that life is still hard. For some reason, I thought my 30’s would include having everything figured out. I guess that just goes to show that life always has its surprises.

4. I’m happy that today at thirty-three I can say this is my natural hair color. I even like the few gray’s that are starting to peek out.

5. I never thought I would be pregnant at 33. But, again God’s plans are often different from our own. Though no less a blessing.

6. I still prefer a cherry pie to a traditional birthday cake. And at 33 I didn’t even mind that I had to make it myself. A treat is a treat after all.
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7. I’m thankful for a husband who knows that while I don’t mind making my birthday pie I was not overly crazy about making my own birthday dinner. He wisely agreed to take us all out.

8. He really is the handiest guy, as my last wish of the evening was to write for a bit. He is wrangling the kids.

9. Only on my birthday do I realize how much this whole social media thing is really a blessing. One day a year I can see the well wishes from all of my friends and family. It really does warm my heart. So, thank you.

10. And the very best reason to be happy about turning 33.

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Really they are the ones who have helped shape me the most. They love me exactly as I am. They offer me living grace on good days and bad days. I cannot think of a more wonderful crew to live through these prime years with.

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Little People

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Every day I want to create something. Though I admit that it is far too rare that I sit down and do it. Too often letting the chores of life and the reality of all it takes to make home and school and food for this wonderful group of people I live with get in the way.
And yet, as the season turns and the color comes to the trees, I can no longer ignore the pull to make something. But what?

Supplies are limited at the moment, and though I see many things that inspire I have found few that would fit in my limited time frame each day.

I do notice that lately there is a busy little girl, who loves all things little. In the book case, or in a box. There are little houses being made. Little nests being formed and assortments of little people are everywhere.

This little house making brought flash backs to my own childhood. Where I remember my Grandma had two little dolls nestled in her book shelf. I adored these little dolls and played with them often. They were simple but pretty, and they evoked my imagination.
As I watch the little girl play, I keep remembering these little dolls with their cute cotton dresses and yarn hair. I wonder if this little girl would like them too?

I figured I could actually muster the materials. Some old-fashioned clothes pins, fabric scraps, and maybe some wool roving for hair instead of yarn. So on a quiet evening I set to work, and soon I had two little helpers to design a family of little people.

There is something that is so wonderful about creating with your children. I forget the preciousness of that time. I forget how much they just want to be part of the process. I must remember this and make more of an effort to create with them. Perhaps I can let go of the idea that it is time I need to carve out for myself. Instead embracing the idea that time to create is a time of togetherness, a time to share.
What does it matter if in the moment the little girl fell in love with the jar of buttons more than the little dolls they were meant for? So what if it was a little more hectic and messy than than I am used to (or like.) It all cleaned up, and the realization that the memory and the request “to make something everyday!” is far more valuable. Even more precious is the joy of finding a little girl making little beds and little houses for her beloved little people.

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This Moment

{this moment} ~ Joining Soulemama in a Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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A little Room Makeover

Toy Room Before Pic

Toy Room Before Pic

I was talking to my mother-in-law this weekend, and feeling slightly baffled by my urges to paint rooms and rearrange furniture. Thinking I never really had the whole “nesting” bug with any of my other pregnancies. But, then it dawned on me today that maybe I did. The symptoms could have been masked by the fact that with all but my first pregnancy I was moving cross country in my second and third trimesters. Each time a whole house to set up! And yes, there was cleaning to do too! What pregnant woman with such urges would not be thrilled?

But, I digress.

So, here I am admitting that I feel a little prickle to pack and clean and paint. And that’s just what I’ve been doing each weekend. From sorting, purging and categorizing totes full of children’s clothes from newborn to size 8. To combing through toys, and the cleaning the loft. There was also the honey-do list I bestowed upon my poor unsuspecting hubby. Good sport that he is, he got it all done. There is also the perpetual urge to sweep floors (though that really just needs to be done a lot around here anyway.)

The climax thus far has been a complete clean out of the toy room –which you should know, I think was our worst mistake ever put into existence.

Again, I digress.

So with a head full  of Pinterest pins and Country Living Magizne images to work from. I began my quest to re-do the toy room.

Only one problem… We don’t have that kind of cash floating around. I cant redo floors or even buy paint right now. We are on a very. tight. budget here! You know the war that perpetuates in the mind; so much to do, and so little money.

But of course this nesting bug would give me no rest, so onward I pressed. What could I do to improve this space? This space which I must keep in mind will hopefully (sooner-than-later) be a little girls bedroom?

After much thought and a few blessings I found myself in our Michigan basement staring at cans remnant paint. Nearly a gallon of primer and two unused gallons of white semi-gloss paint. Yes, that ought to be enough. And it was!

And despite my fear of white walls… in a toy room / future little girl space, this little corner of our home got a little face lift. Ceiling, walls and even the wood floor got a coat of paint.

AND by great blessing from Kyle’s grandma, we covered most of the wood floor with some beautiful berber carpet. So, thank you Grandma Meme, the carpet is just the right touch to warm up this space.

And now….

Like a fresh canvas…

9-22-14 008 (748x1024)Of course this is not where it ends. Something must go on those walls. And I have a few inspired yet thrifty ideas for covering the window. But for now, I am pleased. At least I feel we have taken a step in the right direction.

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