Monday, January 28, 2013

Making time for friendships

Just on my mind today-- I have such a hard time keeping up with friends. The last time I went out with my girlfriends, with no kids or husband, was almost 3 months ago. I never would have thought I would be the kind of person that would friendships. The thing is, it's a lot easier to neglect it, since I have so many things [read: people] to attend to in this period of my life.

I went out this morning to have a playdate with a couple of mommy friends of mine (and one not-yet-mommy friend!). I'm so glad to have friends that pursue me, because that's not my strong point right now. I get so focused on my own home. And the thing is, so do my friends with kids. There just really isn't as much time, so getting together (choosing a date/time, figuring out childcare) seems like such a hassle in the time leading up to it. But when it happens... oh, it's glorious. So fun, so refreshing. And right now, I can use all the refreshing that comes my way.

So, no, making a point to hang out with girlfriends is not going on my New Year's resolutions' list. There isn't room! Instead, I'm just giving thanks for the girlfriends that do pursue me, knowing that they won't let me get too far into myself before pulling me back out again.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Re-prioritizing : Elias

How I wish I had written this post a week ago! This week we have been hit by two teething boys-- E has his top two second-year molars coming through, and "Shysha" (as he is known by around here) has his first teeth coming through, bottom center.

So it's been chaos. Tylenol isn't touching E's pain-- and really, it seems like more than pain. Like teeth coming through makes him crazy. Literally.

Just kidding.

Not really.

And Josiah can't stomach Tylenol. Both boys have been emotional and grouchy, and this mama is tired.

But before the teeth started coming through, we were having a pretty good time here during the day. Josiah started napping again, thank goodness. And Elias, suddenly, was a happy boy again. There were a couple of days that he didn't get in trouble. Folks, that just doesn't happen around here. I was pretty disappointed that the teething got in the way of the peace, but I'm hopeful we'll see it again. Maybe in a couple of weeks.

I wrote that we are looking at our lives with a critical eye, trying to create more purpose in our thoughts and actions, instead of treading water each day (which turns into weeks, and then months). I remember being very surprised this last year when it seemed like toys weren't enough for Elias anymore. He always played great by himself, so when he started demanding more of my attention during the day, I was pretty overwhelmed. I was like, dude. Play with your toys, like you always have. What's the problem?

Obviously, I'm not that bright at picking up on developmental cues from my boys, or at least I wasn't then. Because it's not like they just start giving easy to understand cues. They totally change, and as the parent, I have to figure out what's going on, and fast.

So during the day now, I have my morning chores that I do while Elias plays and eats and watches tv and eats. (He loves breakfast). And then, we play together. We put together puzzles and play trains and paint and read books (I've also been utilizing our library-- why do I always forget about the library?). I noticed a change in Elias immediately. He was so much happier. It means I have to manage my time more efficiently as far as everything else, but it's what was needed. And ultimately, that's why I'm home with him, right? To actually be with him, not to just let him do his own thing while I do what I think needs to be done around the house.

This is what I meant about purpose-- I want to be more aware of what I'm doing, what I'm working toward. And for Elias, I want him to be an independent, playful little boy. I want him to have a small amount of screen time each day. I also want him to be really aware of how our lives are directed by our faith. So in addition to being more proactive with playing, I'm trying to include him more in my chores; he helps with the laundry and cooking and in cleaning up his toys when he's finished with them. I'm also going to start a (very flexible, very child-friendly) bible study with him. We'll read a certain story each week (several times) and then do some activities that connect in ways he can understand. Please hear me on this: this will not be Pinterest worthy. I will not have lots of construction paper projects, etc. I'm not that kind of a person. Just some small things that will add focus to our week together at home.

Anyway, just a few thoughts about how I'm becoming more purposeful with my days at home with Elias (and of course, Josiah).

Monday, January 14, 2013

The new year

We had a good (and snowy!) holiday season, and I'm looking forward to the new year with some excitement and what I hope is a fresh attitude. There is lots to do, but I'm feeling hopeful. I've begun to jot down ideas about what to think about and pray through with Jeremy for the new year. I hope to get some of those down here in the next week. It may feel a little late for resolutions, but it's only the middle of January!

The concept that has really grabbed me though, is living more intentionally. I know that this is not a new idea, but it certainly has captured my attention in the last few months. (Like Josiah, this idea has grabbed me roughly by my ears and is now sucking on my face. Figuratively, of course.) I imagine that this is partially because Josiah is a bit older, and we are out of the newborn fog. And I've just been realizing how we, Jeremy and I, just kind of float through our days. We wake up exhausted, since both boys are sleep-training. We feel like we barely make it through our days, and then evening is a blur of eating and getting the boys to bed. Then it's cleaning up after our day, and probably includes television as well. We get to bed and think, what was all of that for? How is this living a life of abandon and excitement and joy? It's surviving. And I think there's a place for that with having little kids, of course! But that can't be all, at least not for me. Not anymore.

So I'm trying to think of the things that are most important to me, big picture, and then figuring out how those can be addressed each day. I've had a list for Jeremy and I to work on, but really haven't had time to get to it. I'm determining that this week will be the week.

I don't want to put specifics here, yet, but I will soon. It may be helpful for some of you, perhaps not. Either way is cool. But I need to get them out here, in the open, so that they are more concrete. I need these dreams to feel more real, more substantial. They are not mere daydreams. I believe they are goals to be grasped. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Not much today.

Both boys are down for a nap, and while I was excited to have some time to myself to write, I'm finding that I don't really want to. I have that peaceful, sleepy feeling that warm sunshine streaming through a window brings, on a cold day. There are also sweet potato chips crisping in the oven and a dinner that needs to be prepped. In a few minutes, you will find me in the kitchen with either a This American Life or Fresh Air podcast on, chopping veggies for tonight's meal.

Happy Friday, you guys.