Monday, August 26, 2013

A New Year

It seems that life operates on the school year. While resolutions are promises are often made at the beginning of a new calendar year, I usually find myself refocusing and revisiting my goals at the end of every summer.  Will and I recently discussed where our family is now, and where we hope for it to be in the future.  We thought in the long and short term.  Long term goals are easier for me.  It is the short term that tends to give me difficulty.  I often ask, "How do I live today?"  So, in some since, I love the start of the new school year because it helps me define that question.  It is when I plan our daily and weekly schedule.  It is a time where I plan for my husband, my children, my friendships.....I try to think through every arena that God has me in, and I weed out that which is not profitable for my time or attention.  I plan my days around those short term goals and continue to keep the long term ones in my vision.

I seem to be rambling, so I will just say that I think it so important to step away and do this.  It stops me from living life haphazardly. 

I think this year will keep us home a good bit. Clara still needs that morning nap, which ensures that we will be home most days  until 10:30.  It is rare that I would get out before then.  Everyone naps from 1-3.  Some mornings Clara can take her morning nap in the car, but I would prefer her to be home.  

I am using her morning nap to  do some structured attention time with Hudson.  I am letting him lead that time.  I do want to work with him on academic material but more than that, I just want to communicate time with him.  There is no other time in the day when it is just him.  I think it is most important for him to have that time with me right now.  I have been reading books that focus on more of a Charlotte Mason style preschool, and I am leaning towards that style of learning with him.  We are going to read through Mason's preschool book list slowly, and we are also going to work through The Big Picture Storybook Bible, along with ABC Scripture Memory.  I also want to strive towards doing one craft, science, and kitchen activity a week, along with some letter and number work.  The main thing Mason teaches is to keep the kiddos outside.  I want to try and do this throughout the day.  This will mean many walks, picnics, trips to the park, and lazy days in the backyard.

I also am working with him on keeping a routine.  He has daily chores.  These include, taking his plate to the sink, brushing his teeth, helping to make his bed, stacking his books on his night stand, taking his dirty clothes to the basket, and helping dress himself.  He has to be prompted to do them, but I am hoping he will eventually do them without being told.

Hudson's school space.

Hudson's preschool space is filled with good books, puzzles, music, and activities for us.  It also contains his chore chart, his Ipad minutes board, and a list of our daily activities.  This space keeps me focuses as much as it does him. 

Other than that, I am planning on doing a MOPS group, and maybe a  Bible Study.  I also plan on taking the kids to the Hoover Library Storytime.  Instead of doing a Mother's Day Out, I have a wonderful babysitter from my church that is going to come over for an afternoon each week.  I am going to use that time to spend time with the Lord, read, and plan my week.

I love being a mom and staying home with this littles.  I truly am grateful and blessed with this time.  The days are hard and slow, but so rich and full!  I am trying to keep my expectations low and the eternal perspective before me.  A daily call to one of my best friends in the same stage of life helps too!  Sometimes, you just need to laugh at the day!

Disclaimer---I use this blog as a journal for my family.  We print it out each year.  I by no means think that your day should look like mine, or that there is only one way to do something.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Our Summer

Today is the last official day of our summer.  I am one lucky lady to have my husband home during the summer. It is a bit fairy tale like, I know, but believe me, we pay for it during soccer season. He does work...cutting lawns, office work for his team, and practices, but for the most part, I am able to plan around his help.  I love having him home for breakfast and going to the grocery store alone.  I will miss that.

We really didn't do much traveling this summer...other than our Chicago trip.  Our days were slow.  We spent most mornings watching cartoons and drinking coffee.  We went to the pool,  the lake, played in the yard, and had many cookouts with friends. We ate many lunches picnic favorite-easy clean up!  We also celebrated the beginning of a new chapter for us....Will accepting a head coaching position at Hoover! Instead or writing details of our summer adventures, I chose some pictures to share instead.  It was a great first summer as a family of 4.

Pool days:

Taken right after Huds took a bite out of Clara.

Blueberry picking:

Lake Day:

My sister, Wendy.

Chuck's pizza!

Kayak date:

Exploring Helena:

Hillsboro walking trails.

Family fun night with our church:

Water balloon fun!

Before Five in a Row with friends: (We did this once a week).

Owen, Huds, and Jacob

Watching Daddy play softball:

Moss Rock:

Annual Chick-fil-a dress like a cow day:

Home improvement projects:

Slow mornings:

Slow evenings:

Watching life begin from porch:

Park days:

4th of July firework explosions in our cul-de-sac:

Laura, Maggie, Noah, Hudson, Charis, and Nikki.

Play dates:

Water day with our playgroup.

Family fun days:

Discovering the wonder of summer storms:

Watching a storm with Daddy...way after bedtime.

Lots of watermelon:

Ryan, Jacob, and Hudson

The Galleria- aka: the coolest place on earth according to Huds:

ABC Toys...Hudson's favorite toy store.
Free carousel rides....Hudson like it....Clara loved it!

This boy loves an escalator.

Oak Mountain:

Oak Mountain Farm.  Clara was obsessed with every animal.

Treetop trail.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Kiddo Update


Clara will be 11 months old on the 15th.  She loves to clap, wave, motor boat, and give kisses.  She dances.  She loves animals...especially dogs.  If she spots a dog, her eyes will not leave it.  I love to see her pet and talk to animals.

She loves to crawl and pull up on everything.  She gets really excited when I get out the shredded cheese.  Her favorite toys are bouncy balls and toy cars.  Seriously, I never taught her how to play with either of those...she just started doing it one day.  She loves to go in Hudson's room and "vroom" cars with him.

She says mama, dada, and bubba. She finally started going in the church nursery the entire time.  It has happened twice, but I will keep celebrating each victory for the time being.

Sleeping through the night is still hit or miss for her.  As I write this, I am celebrating last night's victory.  The night before that she was up twice.  You never know with her.  Sometimes, she will fall back asleep after crying for 5-10 minutes.  Sometimes,  I end up nursing her after 30 minutes of crying.  It is torture to let her cry for that long!  I just don't plan on nursing an 8 year old! :)

Hudson is 3 years and 3 months. He loves digging in the dirt.  He gets really pumped about earthworms and red clay.  He loves to check everyone's blood sugar with the broken "blood sugar checker" his pawpaw gave him.  He really needs a doctor kit because he always plays with them!  He also is really good at a few games on the Ipad...including Sonic, Cut the Rope, and Temple Run...sadly, our Ipad is currently not working!  He loves to watch Leapfrog, Barney, Curious George, and some very dated Looney Tunes type shows.  He still loves doors, but his imagination has run wild with them.  He pretends that the door is an elevator or that he is at someone's house.  In fact, I have really noticed his imagination lately.  He is talking to pretend people and acting out pretend scenarios with his toy cars.  It is so sweet to see because he has always been such a mechanical kid!

One main thing I have noticed from 2 to 3 is the talking back.  He makes everything into an argument.  His "why" questions have increased tremendously too.  I think he was a little late on that one though!

He can also fully get in and out of his 5 point harness car seat.  He usually will obey, but when he is in a disobedient mood, it can be scary.  If I turn the buckle around, he can't get out, but I am not sure how safe that is!

He has really done great learning his letters and numbers.  He loves to sit and long as as you keep your attention on him!  We do think he is a bit behind his peers as far as his maturity level.  That being said, we have decided to not put him in school this year.  I am going to do some directed learning time with him daily, but more importantly, I am excited about just living life with my two littles.  It will be so tiring and messy, but I can't get his time back!

Hudson pretending he has a cast.