Last month we had a warmish, sunshiny day right in the middle of two gray, arctic blasts of typical January weather. We were all tired of being stuck indoors and, seeing the cold forecast, jumped at the chance to go exploring at our favorite neighborhood park. (Please pardon the low-quality pictures. All I had on me was my iPod.)
We got some snow the day after Christmas while we were visiting family out-of-town and then a couple more inches last night. Last winter was so mild that Sam never really got the chance to experience snow. This morning I bundled him up and out we went to see what this white, fluffy stuff is all about.
Sadly, he was not really a fan, though he did enjoy watching the garbage truck as usual. Maybe if we had a sled he would like snow a bit better. He was also starting to get a bit tired right as we went out; we will try again later.
Merry Christmas from our family to you!
Today we are having a quiet day with my in-laws before celebrating our second family Christmas tomorrow. This Christmas has not been what we expected, but we have been enjoying time with family and celebrating our Savior’s birth.
May you enjoy the deep peace, love, and joy that can only come from the Giver of all good gifts. Luke 2:10, ”But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’”
I am always planning and writing blog posts in my head, but when nap time comes I find myself or make myself busy with other things. Life is slipping by undocumented and I want to remember these things. Already I am forgetting pieces of Sam’s babyhood and our early parenting days that I thought I would always remember.
I would love to do another day-in-the-life post like I did almost a year ago. In fact, I intended too! Sometimes I feel like good intentions are the story of my life, but good intentions don’t get you very far. But… today I want to share what a typical day, week, and month is like for us.
Sam (who is currently 15 months old) and I have fallen into a pretty easy routine. He is usually up around 8:30 and if I’ve had an uninterrupted night’s sleep, I’m usually up and in the shower about then. Jeff is already gone for work and we don’t normally see him in the morning.
I nurse Sam, change and dress him, then we go downstairs for breakfast followed by playtime or errands. I give Sam his lunch around noon and then we read books snuggled together in the big, comfy reading chair.
After lunch and reading, it’s nap time, usually about 1:00 or 1:30. Mr. Sleepy takes a 3-hour nap most days and I get some down time and tend to other responsibilities.
He nurses again when he’s up from his nap and we play some more until Jeff gets home. Sam gets some one-on-one time with Daddy while I make dinner. We sit down to dinner as a family (usually about 7:00), have a little more playtime depending on how long dinner goes, then Daddy whisks the little boy upstairs to get ready for bed about 8:00 or 8:15.
(This is Sam discovering that raspberries fit perfectly onto toddler fingers.)
Dad does bedtime routine every night (brush teeth, change into pajamas, read sleepy stories) before I come up to finish things off. We say night-night to Daddy before more nursing and then rocking and singing in the dark.
Sam had been sleeping 11-12 hours straight at night at about 13 months old, but three trips, a fever, and an ear infection in the last six weeks messed up all his good sleep progress. Even naps were wonky and he’s been a great, easy napper for many months. He’s slept 10+ hours the past two nights though so I’m hoping he’s back on track again.
But now I’ve gotten a bit off topic…
Jeff and I will typically spend our evenings at home chatting, watching a favorite TV show, reading, or catching up on internet-y things.
So that’s a typical at home day, but we’re out of the house a lot too. Monday mornings are for grocery shopping. Sometimes we go out again after Monday’s nap to hit up another store. Two Tuesday mornings each month we have MOPS and a MOPS planning meeting. Wednesday mornings we try to go to Library Babies story time. Jeff plays racquetball with a friend after work on Wednesdays so he’s usually home a bit later on those nights.
We used to have our church small group meetings on 1st and 3rd Thursday nights, but we’re trying out a new format where we meet every other week (we used to skip 5th Thursdays). The big difference is our meetings are not all the same now. Just the women meet together, then just the men meet, then the whole group gets together. Rinse and repeat. Our focus is shifting more toward accountability and prayer and away from a more typical Bible study.
Of course we have other random things going on around the normal stuff: doctor appointments, play dates, errands, etc. Weekends seem to fill up quickly and it’s rare to have a whole weekend without something going on other than Sunday church. If there’s not a birthday, wedding, or new baby to celebrate, then we’re off to book club, visiting with family or friends, or even squeezing in a date.
In short, life is busy but good.
You get a double dose of Sammy cuteness today just because I’m backlogged and trying to catch up a bit. Lucky you! Both sets of pictures are from mid-September.
We like to go camping in the fall when the heat is much more bearable and the nights haven’t gotten too cool for tenting yet. I hope to share more about our trip this year, but we’ll all have to wait and see if my good intentions come to fruition.
Flannel shirt – Old Navy, consignment; henley – consignment/yard sale?; jeans – Target; shoes – pediped
Next up, I was so excited that he kept the hat on! He actually wore it around the house a bunch that day even after I was done with pictures. Love, love, love. Oh, and he’s totally learning to ham it up for the camera. Ha!
hat – BabyGap, consignment; sweater – consignment; shirt – Carter’s; jeans – consignment; shoes – pediped
Poor neglected blog. This break of sorts hasn’t been intentional, but I think it’s been necessary. As I talked about in my last post, I’m still struggling to have everything together. Life is busy and full and good… and I still want to document our lives–for ourselves and for faraway family and friends–but, well, life happens and I’m still trying to figure out this thing called balance.
Last week I was feeling five-senses inspired, but last week I was also in survival mode. Jeff was on a business trip to Texas for the week and Sam had a fever and cold which turned into a double ear infection. It was all I could do to keep the two of us clean, clothed, and fed. I’m happy to report that little man is feeling much better and almost fully back to his old self again. He’s sleeping, napping, eating, and playing like himself, and his ears aren’t producing nearly as much nasty discharge. I’m starting to get back into the normal swing of things too now that I’ve gotten some sleep and don’t have a clingy, fussy baby attached to me 24/7. I did enjoy the extra snuggles, but wow that was a long week.
So it’s a Tuesday, but I’m going to do a five-senses post today anyway because I feel like it. And because we’ll be headed out of town for a family wedding this Friday and I will not have time then.
Lately, I have been…
tasting: the first honeycrisp apples of the season (preferably dipped in peanut butter), candy corn and pumpkins (a guilty pleasure), many mugs of hot tea, leftovers, carryout pizza
seeing: a play with my husband (a date!), the drippy nose and crusty ears of my sick toddler, favorite characters back on my TV screen, green grass making a comeback before winter’s hibernation, our small group family coming together to support and celebrate with its members
hearing: hoarse toddler cries (possibly the most pathetic sound in the world), my husband’s voice over a scratchy cell connection, news of two new babies coming to good friends in the spring
smelling: not much through my stuffy nose
feeling: chilly morning air and warm afternoon sun, socks on my feet after a summer of podiatric freedom, the increasing lightness of tissue boxes as Sam and I plow through them, thankful for a wonderful doctor we can trust
I don’t have it all together. Most days I feel so far from having it all together that the idea is laughable. And yet, my perfectionist self longs for just that and my pride longs for other people to think it.
You’ve all heard the anecdotes of parents explaining to their kids about giving your best effort and that’s all that counts. That kid who says, “But what if my best isn’t good enough?” That’s me. I can feel so defeated before I even start that I don’t try at all.
Needing to be perfect or trying to meet unrealistic personal expectations all to often keeps me from doing the good things I could be doing or, more likely, the simpler version of the grand vision in my head.
Let me tell you some more ways I don’t have it all together:
- Clean laundry often sits in laundry baskets for days because it’s such a drag to put it all away. (In reality it usually takes me about 10 minutes.)
- I dust when I notice surfaces changing colors. (Didn’t that lamp used to be black?)
- Our basement looks like the Room of Requirement/Room of Hidden Things. Seriously, it’s where things go and are never seen again.
- Speaking of the basement, I still have boxes (plural) from college to sort through. Uh, yeah, I graduated over 7 years ago.
- I have struggled for years to have consistent quiet times with God.
- I spend time reading blogs instead of working on my own.
- I cannot for the life of me accurately estimate how long it will take me to do something. I take my best guess, but I’m usually wrong. (Thankfully my husband is much, much better at this than I am. And I have improved slightly in some areas.)
- We bought an IKEA wall shelf years ago and it is still in its wrapping, leaning against the bookcase in the office, waiting to go up on the wall.
I could go on, but I’ll stop there.
God has granted me perspective over the years and this struggle does not have the grip on me it once had. I have been known to say, “Eh, good enough”—and not just when I’m frustrated. Sometimes I have to swallow back the perfectionism and realize that no one else will care or maybe even notice what I am trying so desperately to perfect.
At my first job out of college, my direct supervisor used to tell me to just do a good enough job and hope no one complains. If someone complains, then you can go back and fix it later. That drove me insane! I never did understand him.
Now I’ve been doing this mom thing for over a year, and I’m still trying to figure out a good system for balancing the unending to-do list while keeping my child alive and happy. Shouldn’t I have this on lock-down by now?
Sometimes I still struggle with wanting to be super mom and comparing myself to others who seem to have it all together. But the reality is that no one has it all together. You might think they do, but something you can’t see is getting the shaft or they have a virtual assistant or hire a cleaning service or something. We are all just humans. Flawed. Imperfect. In need of God’s grace.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, I’d be able to hire someone to clean my house for me. (Optimism, perfectionism, and procrastination can be a wicked combination, let me tell you.) I get in over my head and just want to quit. At the same time, some challenges loom so large that I don’t even know where to begin and I quit before I even start.
There are many wise women out there who have great ideas and lots of experience in kid-wrangling and running an efficient household. I am thankful for those who share their knowledge and experiences on the internets with newbies like me.
One of those women is Tsh Oxenreider of SimpleMom.net. Right now I am working my way slowly through her ebook, One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” This ebook is great because it simultaneously compiles lots of tips and tricks for simplifying your life (thus giving you more time for the things that really matter) while breaking them up into manageable chunks and checklists. Checklists! Be still my compulsive heart.
So I’m making progress. Slowly figuring out a flexible system that works for me as head housekeeper and cook, bookkeeper, blogger, gardener, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Will I ever have it all together? Nope, but that’s okay.