Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Momma said there'd be days like this.

Nothing fun ever seems to happen when Jonathan is home from Angola. All the really good stuff like the AC breaking, pipes freezing, trips to urgent care clinics always seem to happen when he’s gone. When he’s home, not only do things run more smoothly with an extra set of hands, but we seem to incur less ‘incidental’ events. 

I think the thing I dreaded most was the first time I would get sick when he was away. After not having so much as a sniffle since pregnancy, I have contracted two heavy hitting colds back to back. I’m not gonna lie, it has been tough! All I’ve wanted is to lay up in bed and watch TV while fairies brought me soup and hot water with lemon. But alas, I am the fairy godmother in this scenario so of course there are no sick days for momma. (This is seriously the worst thing about stay-at-home-mommimg. I really need to renegotiate my contract with Master Forest for more/any vacation and sick days.) 

To Forest's delight, we’ve been watching A LOT of Disney movies lately. Forest has been pretty well behaved, understanding when I say ‘mommy isn’t feeling her best, could you please go play in your playroom for a bit?’. On the other hand he knows I’m in a weakened state so has also taken advantage of that. I *may* have given him goldfish and a popsicle for lunch one day.  *I *may* have even given him his paci back as an act of desperation at naptime. (Luckily he chucked it out of his bed…unluckily he still didn’t nap). 

Once I’m feeling better (I feel like I’m on the mend, so fingers crossed!) I have a feeling it will be back to behavior boot camp since I’ve definitely been a little indulgent these past 2 weeks just to help things go smoothly with him. Also once I’m back to 100% I plan on putting together a little container of ‘sick day’ activities so the next time this happens I’ll be more prepared with some quiet, independent activities for him instead of just putting on movie after movie. 

Though he definitely didn’t complain about unlimited screen time, now he expects that everyday he gets to watch a movie. This morning he said ‘after preschool I will watch Cars and then tomorrow I will watch Pinocchio’. Honestly the first two days of this cold I didn’t have energy to do ANYTHING with him. Yesterday I at least had some energy to get out his paint supplies and do a few craft type things but he still watched two movies. 

I’ve been having a big fat pity party for myself the past few days for sure and really wondered how I was going to make It through without any family nearby.  But God provides and thanks to preschool hours I was able to rest a little and get to the store for some meds and soup fixings. I really need to be more prepared for things like this!! Any advice for parenting while under the weather? What should I have on hand for myself or for Forest the next time this happens?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Big Green Tractor

It’s been raining Noah’s Ark style in Houston lately which is a big fat bummer. Not only does it sourly effect my mood but Forest is a kid who literally NEEDS a physical outlet. I think even more than the typical boy, Forest’s physical needs outrank his peers. He thrives when his gross motor skills are in play and loves to be outside, even doing something as simple as running or splashing in puddles. 

Because of this we’ve always gently suggested that our parents buy him ride on toys that he had to actually propel himself. My parents obliged for his 3rd birthday by buying him his first pedal bike and we all know how that turned out. 

Total obsession. 

For Christmas, my parents didn’t ask for my advice or permission for what they got Forest. Instead a John Deere tractor showed up on our doorstep courtesy of Amazon. It was quite a feat to keep this hidden from Forest until Christmas since it’s big enough to warrant it’s own spot in the garage. It’s so hard core that it comes with it’s own radio and off-road capabilities. Needless to say, Forest has been over the moon with his new tractor and I have been as well. 
Even at full speed (which let’s be honest, is the only mode Forest drives in), I can keep up with the tractor as long as I power walk whereas on bike rides I am always in sprint mode. 
So despite my original ‘only self-propelled ride-on-toys’ stance, now I find myself trying to sell the tractor versus the bike for our neighborhood excursions. 

The sun has come out today for the first time in a week and the next few days look gorgeous, so I am sure both modes of transportation will get some mileage after being so cooped up the past few days. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Year Check-In

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukah! Happy New Year! Happy everything. Wishing you all a healthy and drama-free 2017. I have many New Year’s resolutions, one of which is to blog more. Having some difficulties with internet speed here lately which means uploading pictures takes a bajillion years. Honestly, I am having dial-up flashbacks. So we’ll see. Other resolutions are  to organize the house and donate/purge all of the stuff that isn’t loved or useful. Just because we have a big house doesn’t mean we need to fill every nook and cranny of it. The STUFF is stressing me out. 

Today I asked Forest which toys he would like to donate and he said ‘All except the Thomas and Friends characters’. Harsh. We probably won’t be that extreme but will definitely be cutting back. I honestly find that he becomes more engaged and plays more independently when he has LESS toys to choose from. Keep it simple and all that.   

I am currently reading 31 days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way by Sarah Mae. 
31 Days to Clean - Having a Martha House the Mary Way
I just love the title of this book. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Mary and Martha were a pair of sisters within Jesus’ inner circle. When he popped by for a visit, Martha was going nuts trying to do all the things that needed to be done- cooking, cleaning, setting up a guest room, etc and Mary simply dropped everything to sit at Jesus’ feet for a chat. I can just about imagine the eye roll and grumbling that I would have elicited if my sis was slacking on her responsibilities in that moment, and sure enough Martha complains to Jesus that Mary should be helping out more. Jesus instead admonishes Martha saying that Mary has prioritized correctly. (I'm paraphrasing. If you want the whole biblically accurate spiel it's in Luke 10: 38-24.)

But we can’t just neglect out house-making duties. The dishes DO need to be washed and the clothes NEED to be folded. But after hosting Christmas for Jonathan’s family I felt convicted that sometimes I did those things at the expense of quality time with family. That I stressed and fretted over food prep and clean up and that the anxiety and pressure I felt made those around me feel less like welcomed guests and more like a burden. 

So how do we find a balance where we can get everything done around the house and provide food for everyone while still having time and energy to be present and pause for those we love? I have no stinkin clue. Hopefully this book will give me a few tips on how to accomplish this because it’s truly one of the big struggles of my “occupation". 

In other news, we decided to finally phase out the pacifier about 10 days ago and Forest hasn’t napped since. Way harsh. Jonathan insists we stay strong but the overtired tantrums and hyperactivity make me feel so tempted to just re-introduce it. At least until he drops naps on his own. He was already on the precipice but the paci-extraction pushed him over the edge a little prematurely. 

I know, I know. *Everyone* says a paci past age 3 is ridiculous but I’ve never actually been that stressed about it. The more I read, the more it seems like the long term damages are really not that extreme as long as they drop the habit by 4/5. That could be another 12 months of sleepy-time bliss. 
Are the effects of chronic sleep deprivation (he's sleeping about 2 hours less per day than he used to) better than the possibility that he may need braces (75% chance he'll need them either way)? He's totally fine speech wise and hasn't had an ear infection in nearly 2 years. What am I missing? What's the big deal for him to use a paci to fall asleep? Guys I totally felt outside pressure to snatch it and I feel like it went against all my instincts which makes it hard to stick to my guns when he is currently NOT napping for the ninth day in a row.  

But alas, 10 days in, I’d hate to turn back and have to start from scratch later. He said he’d sleep better if I got him the book ‘Llama Llama Red Pajama’ but since I’m currently resolved to get rid of stuff and not replace it with more stuff, I just don’t think that’s the golden ticket to nap time. 

Well that’s enough rambling for this week. Here are some pictures from our Christmas celebrations. 

Forest was SO excited to have his cousin at church.

He even bought her a donut:)

Swim trunks on Christmas. Ah, Houston. Also, this big boy is just grazing on a veggie tray. Such a grown up.

Boxing day morning,sharing all his new trains.