Sunday, August 30, 2015

Testing the Waters - Part III

So, we started the kiddos' little room sharing adventure on Tuesday night. It's now Sunday evening, and I've learned a few things. 

Lesson #1.  It doesn't matter how long I wait for Ella to go to sleep before I bring Jack in.  She could potentially giggle and babble and throw herself all around that crib for an hour, and if I go in there while she's still awake? Good Lord, you'd think I abandoned her forever by laying Jack in his bed and walking out. I learned that on night two. She cried for 15 minutes. I felt bad for Jack. 

Lesson #2.  It's less hassle to just use my mom muscles and get them in their beds at the same time. I pretty much chunk him over the side of his crib after snuggling and saying prayers with them in my arms. He curls up with his puppy (that he immediately throws out the minute I'm out the door). At least until I leave the room. I kiss her and put her in her zipadeezip, and then, I walk out and shut the door. No tears. MUCH better. 

Lesson #3.  Now that they're sleeping in the same room, timing doesn't matter. It could be 7:00 or 7:45, and they will still babble and squeal and play peekaboo for 30 minutes. In the dark. There's usually 5 or so minutes of silence, and then one of them will make a sound, and it's a squealing/humming-fest for the next 20+ minutes. They're crazy. But they're happy :). And, I'm happy that there's no crying. 
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Jack LOVES having her in there with him. He wants her in there during naps, too, but I will continue having them nap separately. He typically goes down 30 minutes earlier than she does, so it's just simpler for her to go to sleep in the playpen in our room. I snapped these at the end of their naps. He had just woken up. She was still snoozing away. I took 5 pictures because almost all of them came out blurry, and the flash never disturbed her. 
Another new thing I've begun this week, is sibling playtime right smack between their separate independent room times. Ella plays by herself for 45 minutes to an hour after breakfast while Jack finishes eating, has art/learning time, and has a potty break. Usually, I then help Ella clean up, change her diaper, and get her down for a morning nap. Instead, I've added in 20-30 minutes where they play together in their room with my guidance.  Then, I get her down for a nap, and Jack has his hour to an hour and a half of room time while she rests. They are really enjoying playing together, and it's a perfect time to work on character traits like kindness towards each other and patience with one another. They play together (around each other) throughout the day, as well, but those times are usually free play, and I don't guide them to specific activities or toys unless they're just wandering around aimlessly :) Sometimes they gravitate toward one another, and sometimes they don't. 
Anywho, this room-sharing thing is a blessing, and it's just one more way they have shown me how much they truly enjoy being around each other. I'm so glad we bit the bullet and did this. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Testing the Waters - Part II

These little people did beautifully last night :) He was so very excited to have her in the room with him, and I had to keep explaining that he had to be very quiet when we went in so that she wouldn't wake up. Well, she wasn't quite asleep when I brought him to his bed, so she cried when I left the room. But that lasted less than a minute, and we never heard a peep from them the rest of the night. 
Fingers and toes crossed for another good night and maybe a later wake-up call (*ahem* Ella) tomorrow morning for this momma who was so anxious she barely slept a wink. 
They'll still take naps in different rooms because Jack takes a longer nap, and I'd really like that to continue, but I'm really happy to have a room for just me and The Husband again. It was a very bizarre feeling to be able to go into our room last night when we were ready to go to bed and turn on a lamp and talk quietly together before sleeping.  We haven't been alone in our room for over a year.  I did miss her a little bit though :) Especially her sweet "wake-up" sounds of squealing and giggling and rolling all over her bed. Jack got to experience those instead, however, and I heard him sweetly saying her name after her noises woke him up this morning. 
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Last week, I received an email from a baby sling company letting me know I had won one of their slings. I was psyched! I NEVER win anything. Ever. 
It arrived in the mail this morning, and I'm looking forward to figuring out how to wear her in it!  It's made to be worn in the water, so I think we'll have to make at least one trip to the local pool before the summer winds down. I chose the purple, and I think it looks really pretty. 
The Husband had an interview this morning, and on his way home, he picked up these and surprised me with them. They're gorgeous. I smiled a lot this morning. 
He had to go back to work today after taking his two weeks of vacation. We had a lot of time together as a family and, most importantly, we had lots of evenings together -- something we don't get often. I have REALLY enjoyed being with him and sharing our days. I'm praying his first day back is a good one and that he's feeling refreshed from his time off. We, however, miss having him here with us already.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

You Are My Sunshine

Gah. This girl. She can be a delight,
and then in the next breath, she can be a crazy woman. We love her beyond words. 
The outfit she's wearing was mine when I was a wee babe. I LOVE her in bonnets. I never thought I'd feel that way because they're so old fashioned, but she was so cute in it. I must find more. Plus, she couldn't rip it off like she does with every. single. headband. I put on her head. 
This boy is a ray of sunshine, and then two seconds later he's a blubbering emotional mess. Ah, the toddler years. We adore him. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend Away

We spent the weekend with The Husband's family. 
We saw a few dear friends while we were in town.  
We were also able to attend our old church on Sunday. 
It was a good, fast, crazy (the children) weekend, and we're glad we made the trip. Also, The Husband learned to use a selfie stick. So there's that. 
And, now we're home, unpacked. The kids are bathed and almost in bed. I'm looking forward to a quiet night curled up on the couch with my husband and a bowl of ice cream that I hope he goes out and buys me ;)

Friday, August 14, 2015

First Road Trip

I'm tired. 
My spirit is worn out. 
I've cried more today than I have in a long time. 
I'm not going to go into the details, but I will say my faith (which was already on rocky ground) has been shaken. And, I'm angry and disappointed and sad. The emotions have grabbed hold of me, and I'm tired of fighting them off.
I won't ask you to pray for me; though I know some of you will because it's in your nature to do so. 

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This afternoon we set off on a short trip that had been planned for a while. Nothing big. Just spending time with family and seeing a friend or two while we're in town. No big adventures. No trips to the zoo (I do so hope we make it to the zoo one day with the kids. It's one of my favorite places to go, and it bums me out that we don't have one anywhere around us.). 

This is our first "trip" with both kids. We left at nap time with the intention that they'd sleep most of the way. 
Then traffic came to a stand-still because of a non-accident. The loss of movement  caused Ella to wake. Lots less fun. Her cries woke Jack. Another reminder that they're not ready to share a room. I prefer that at least one of my children get some sleep :/

We're almost there. I think. Crossing my fingers. And toes. 

I'm hoping this weekend offers lots of relaxation and laughter. 

Both of which I need fiercely. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

New Twist on Nails

About a week ago, I was scanning my
Facebook feed, when I saw a contest for Jamberry. Jamberry is a company that produces nail wraps, and I've been wanting to try them for a long time.
Anywho. 
I entered, and with the help of The Bestie, I won (and so did she!) a half sheet of Jamberry nail wraps. The gal we won from has no idea I'm writing this post, but I may send her the link in case she's interested in my opinion, haha!
They arrived in the mail a few days ago (I didn't get to choose the design), and today, I decided to give them a go. 
Here's my old polish. 
That I did myself. 
Because who has $40 to plop down on a pedicure?  
Not me. 
But, y'all, as soon as The Husband gets a new job, I'm treating myself to one, because I HATE messing with feet. Especially mine. They're not attractive feet, so I apologize ahead of time for all of the foot photos you're about to see. Ugh. Please look beyond the foot to the pretty wraps instead. Thank you. 
Anyway. 
I went to my parents' house and borrowed all the necessary supplies from my mom (cuticle pusher, file, cuticle scissors) that I didn't have on hand. 
While I was there, I removed my old polish. 
Once I got the kiddos down for afternoon naps, I started. 
Here's the half sheet. It doesn't look like a lot, but I guess I have small nail beds because it was PLENTY. 
Here's my "work station."
I followed the directions (I could have watched a video online, but I was way too lazy for that. Plus, nap time is a precious time, not to be wasted. Can I get an "Amen!"?
This foot took me about 25 minutes, mostly because of the cutting/trimming to get the wraps the right size and because I was learning as I went. 
Here's how much I was left with after BOTH feet! I could probably do this process again at least a couple more times. Can you imagine how many times you could do this (or your fingernails) if you had a whole sheet? I even thought about only doing every other toe, and then painting the others for a cute look. 
Voila! Here they are, approximately 40 minutes after I began. 
They say these wraps should last a lot longer than a pedicure with polish. I guess we'll see because I am hard on my toenails. I go barefoot or wear flip-flops much of the day, and I have small children who like to stomp/step/stand on my feet often. 
I know the picture is blurry, but I think they look pretty. Have you tried them? What was your experience like? How long did they actually last?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mess

I'm not a fan of messes. Of dirt or mud. Of paint. Of Cheerios covering my kitchen floor. Pretty much anything that has to be cleaned up, I have little interest in dealing with. 

At. All. 

As a pre-k and kindergarten teacher, I dealt with messes all of the time. It forced me out of my cleanliness-comfort-zone, if you will. Paint and glitter and marker marks and paper and activity center toys. All over the place just waiting to be cleaned up or put back in their places. 

When I married The Husband, I found that I had to deal with other kinds of messes. I think most ladies know where this is going. Socks and underwear left in odd places. Dirty dishes left in the sink (I'm ok with this now) or on the table. Towels and wash cloths left on the floor (he's much better about this one. Well, towels, anyway.). 

Then, we started having children. The messes continued. Cloth diapers and spit-up and bibs (and children) covered in food. With Jack now using the potty consistently, I have the absolute joy of cleaning up urine off the seat five and six times a day. There was only a tiny bit of sarcasm embedded in that sentence. Minuscule really. 

This boy loves to play in dirt and gravel and grass and mud. He likes to get sweaty and stinky. None of which I normally would enjoy. 
His favorite outside game of late is the "run, run, run, run, run, run, stop!" game we started playing a few days ago. It's exhausting. He loves it and asks to do it every time we're outside. 
He likes to draw with markers and get marker on his hands and face, and he likes to paint with vivid paints while requesting them by color (he knows/says them all by name except pink) and getting paint all over the table and his smock and his arms. 
And, once I start doing these things with him, forgetting my desire for cleanliness and order, I find that I start to enjoy them, too. I start to see the beauty in the sweat and the laughter and the dirt and the picture and the smiles. 
*Even if I end up smelling nasty as a result.*

I think that's what God looks at, too. I think he sees beyond the mess, the chaos, the disorder and really looks upon the person in the midst of it all. His child. 

I'm glad He no longer sees a sin-covered mess of a girl when He looks at me. I'm glad He sees the beauty of Christ in me (even when I'm stinking at being Christ-like) because His son has covered me and made me like new. 
Just like I see the absolute beauty in the "mess" my kiddo makes :)