Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Terrific Tuesday

Just a few things...before the quiet becomes chaos!

We're enjoying a quiet morning with Murray at preschool...and the thought keeps creeping in my mind: I would never appreciate the quiet of two children if I didn't usually have three! It's strange to me! I can remember feeling like things were SO incredibly busy when Murray was just a few months old. Two kids was just so busy...

Now when I have a morning of just two kids I plan extra school for Lucy and make goals for myself and Ginny and even have time to imagine up extra projects I hope to do later in the day (mmm....banana bread)!

I'm excited that Ginny is napping in her bed, Lucy has finished school (minus handwriting...she'll finish this afternoon b/c she just couldn't concentrate any longer!)

What a terrific Tuesday morning, but now I'm sitting here counting the minutes until my sweet boy comes home from school...it's just too quiet without him!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Review

I've never done this before, but I'm just so intrigued by this book and so much enjoying it, I felt I needed to do a review of this book and share it with my other mommy and teacher friends out there!

This week Lucy's lesson plans called for learning about prayer. The activity they gave you was to add prayer to before meals and family time and to introduce prayers your child can memorize to their day (as in Now I lay me...the Lord's prayer, etc.) Well, we do this already...quite a bit. In fact just a week or so ago we started working on Luther's Evening Prayer with the kids and when they get that the goal is to add in the morning prayer at breakfast.

So, even though I'd say she's doing the activity they suggested it made me think that while we do lots of praying with her and we let her tell us things she wants to pray about, how do we teach her to pray, really pray...go to God with her innermost worries, thoughts and thanksgivings?

I know I can model that...but only so much. Do I want my 5 year old to see my crying while I pray that I'm not adequate enough to be her mother?!? Really? I don't think she needs that ammo!

Enter the book review: When we went to DC for my sister's wedding in April we visited Nick's old church. They had just done a weekend conference for families/kids on praying and I had a great conversation with the woman who had organized it. She even gave me the book, I read it this summer and tucked it away thinking it would be great for Lucy in a few years.

Well, we're doing it now!

Praying in Color Kids' Edition: Kid's Edition

Praying in Color for Kids.

We're working our way through it chapter by chapter. Yesterday she "learned" to doodle. To let her pencil move and not try to make a picture...or anything really.

We talked about prayer and praying for things you think about.

I'm excited to see where this takes us! Next week we'll start working on our "doodle" being prayers for God. Intentionally thinking about being in God's presence and visualizing what we're praying about...without needing to put words on it.

I know it's a lot for a 5 year old, but if we start now, we can keep growing on it. I'm just trying to equip her with the tools to grow her prayer life as she grows!

Let me know if you check it out how it works for you and your kiddos!

Thankful Thursdays

Today I am thankful for PANTS!!!
Jeans to be a bit more specific. You may think I am so excited to wear pants because of the cooler weather (you would be correct)...or that I finally fit into pants that button (that happened a few weeks ago...but it would still be correct)...or if you're following my absurd facebook statuses recently you may think it's because an amazingly new pair of jeans arrived at my doorstep today...2 pairs to be exact!

It has been years and years since I bought a non-clearance pair of jeans. Mostly my shopping since Murray, errr...Lucy has consisted of...these are super cheap and fit, so I'll wear these around the house. Not a bad way to go, but they wear out quickly...or don't fit "just right". (Actually, after Lucy my jeans shopping was usually...hey Greta, do you have any jeans you're not wearing anymore? Stealing from your baby sister is a bit strange...)

Enter baby #3...these jeans just aren't working for me anymore...they're too tight here, or sag a little there...and they're doing nothing for making me want to get dressed and moving in the morning. So, when a 50% off coupon for GAP arrived in my inbox, I couldn't resist and I bought some jeans.

It's amazing to have jeans that fit, and to wear a belt again...so thankful for the USPS and GAP for providing me with some stylish warmth today!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rough Day

I'm sitting in the cool quiet of the three season room trying to reflect on my first "rough" day as a mom of 3. In this rough day...Ginny has been absolute perfection, great naps, great feedings, and lots of smiles! Funny thing to me is that the rough part of it had nothing to do with having 3 kids...and really has brought me to reflect mostly on myself.

I'm struggling...and I'm struggling with my struggle. I have a great husband who I don't always appreciate. He's not perfect, but he tries...he really tries...like does laundry tries and I still find fault in it. I have 3 amazing kids who are just that...kids, and they're adjusting. They may not know they're still adjusting to life with a new baby, but I know it...so why do I lose my patience with them?

We're struggling with attitudes and tantrums. We're struggling with teaching the "big" kids to love each other as much as they love their new baby. To have patience and kind words to each other. In the moment when I can't take it anymore and I lay into Lucy about her bad attitude...there it is...the mirror...the awful and wonderful part about being a parent. The fact that the flaw in my child that is driving me crazy is actually a reflection of myself.

How can Lucy use calm, kind words when she finds her brother "annoying" when I am struggling with the same thing now. How can I expect Murray to not think "the sky is falling" when things don't go right...when I am almost brought to tears at having a basket of laundry to fold first thing in the morning.

I know that they take these attitudes to extreme, that they have less control and are more frequent in their display of them...but the mirror is there none the less and it does not lie. It only makes it harder...now I know the only way to correct the behavior is to correct it myself and then slowly and patiently correct it in them.

Time for prayer...time for patience...time for quiet in myself. I can't do this alone. These children are not mine. They are a gift given to me only for awhile. I must rely on my own Father to give me the strength and the guidance to raise these children to be fruitful...to have
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control
(Galatians 5:22)
in all that they do. If only I could model that for them daily.

Murray's First Day of School

Today is Murray's 2nd day of going to school all by himself. Last Tuesday I stayed with him for a "meet and greet" and on Thursday morning he went all by himself. We did take these pictures last Thursday (September 8th), but just didn't get them off the camera.

Isn't he handsome? He's getting SO big!

Love that smile...it gets him into...and out of lots of trouble!

Murray's first day! Wow! Where has the time gone? I know it seems cliche, but I remember when I first brought him home and he was a snuggly baby...now he's off to school! That boy has such a kind and gentle heart covered in all BOY! He plays rough and intense! Everything is done in full force, but he can slow down and melt your heart or melt down himself. I'm hoping preschool helps him learn to control those melt downs a bit!

His first day was quite an adventure. I have to admit I was sad to see him climb in the car with Nick and drive off. I had to fight the urge to call and find out how drop off had gone and as Lucy and I worked our way through school that morning I missed the "kerchow!" and crashing noises he spends the morning making. I did not miss being asked for snacks every 2 minutes though.

Imagine my surprise when Nick called mid morning to tell me Murray had "escaped"! Our independent little man had decided he was finished at preschool and went to the youth room to hang out with daddy. He left his teachers and all the kids in the gym running races! He's so quick about it, the teacher wouldn't have even known he was gone if another boy hadn't said that someone went up the stairs! Of course the teacher and the preschool director were in a panic looking for him! Once they realized it was Murray they thought he could be anywhere! So, they were searching the bathroom and just heading up to the offices when Nick came walking back with him.

Oh, my poor sweet boy cried when he realized he had made his teacher worried. He said he was sorry and that he would stay with his class now. He was so sad to tell me about it when he came home from school that day. Well, I was honestly hardly surprised at all! If anyone was going to leave school early it would be Murray...that boy can have a mind of his own! I wish I could see the world the way he does, I just hope and pray I can gain insight and begin to understand the way he thinks before he is a teenager!

(This picture is from his very first day Tuesday September 6th...he enjoyed exploring all the cars and toys in the room including the play dough.
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Monday, September 12, 2011

2 Months Old

Ginny was 2 months old on Saturday September 1oth!
In some ways I can't believe it's been 2 months, the time has gone so fast. In other ways I can't believe it's only been 2 months because she feels like she's always been a part of our family. I guess that's just the way it goes when you're grown up, time flies and goes slowly all at the same time.

Ginny's 2 Month Stats (she went to the doctor this morning)
Weight: 13# 6 oz
Length: 24 inches
Head Circ: 40cm

Ginny was a little more unsure at the doctor today. She didn't really enjoy getting her ears checked and the shots really did a number on her. She had 3 shots and an oral immunization. She didn't like any of it and it took a bit to calm her down. She then slept most of the day.

2 Month "Tricks"
At 2 months Ginny continues to bring so much joy to us. She's started recognizing Mom, Dad, Lucy and Murray. She smiles at us and we LOVE when she shows us her dimples. She's starting to be more vocal, although it happens when the house is quiet...morning, evening after the kids are in bed or in the middle of the night (I keep praying that I may have my calm, quiet child...but I'm not holding my breath!). She's starting to get a bit more control of her arms and legs and bats at her toys on Lottie Lady Bug.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

In the Middle of the Night

The middle of the night is something I've been seeing these days. I'm a nursing mom and my baby still likes to eat in the middle of the night. Lately we've been visiting most often around 4:30 in the morning. What a tiring yet wonderful time of day it is for me.

As most of you know, my house can be a bit....well....LOUD, to say the least. I like it that way, most of the time. It's usually loud with kids playing or people talking, or singing or enjoying life. Lately it is also loud when Murray decides "the sky is falling" when something doesn't go his way. But, even that is a teachable moment, and while I may not enjoy it, I do like the loud in my house.

Except when it isn't. When my house is quiet it is a gift. A time I can gather my thoughts and spend time praying and cherishing. I LOVE the quiet nights Ginny gives me. I usually miss these quiet moments asleep in my bed, Ginny reminds me they're there for the taking. I think I will be sad when she stops sharing her time with me.

Last night was something really special. Ginny is no longer a newborn, she's 2 months old today and showing signs of it. She's started smiling at us and talking, she mimics our facial movements and especially enjoys her tongue. I really enjoy listening to her baby noises, but they are few and far between. With all the noise in the house I think she sort of clams up. She's most giving of her smiles and coos first thing in the morning or late at night.

This morning after nursing her and putting an asleep baby back in her crib I tip toed back to my bed and spent a few minutes in prayer, easing myself back into sleep. I looked at the clock, just after 5...if I didn't care about a long day I'd get up and enjoy more of the quiet, but no...the day would be too long then so I kept praying and quieting my mind to fall back asleep.

Then, I heard it...squeals of delight. Noises I had never heard before...then coos I had heard...then a laugh! Ginny was awake in her bed enjoying the quiet as much as I was! Oh the delight in her voice. I had to get up and peak at her. I watched through the crack in the door not wanting to disturb her joyful moment. Her legs kicked and her arms waved as she squealed some more. After a few minutes she yelped and her squeals turned to tears so I walked in and calmed her until the smiles returned. Then left her to squeal in silence.

That sweet baby was awake for over 40 minutes playing in her crib then calmly fell back asleep for a few hours. What a blessing the quiet in the middle of the night can be...I think it might be Ginny's favorite time in our house!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Monkey See, Monkey Do...

Monkey see, monkey do happens at our house a lot these days...

Lucy does something, Murray does it louder and with more intensity...it's quite entertaining (most of the time). We've always called Lucy and Murray our little monkeys. It started because Lucy was so obsessed with monkeys and Curious George and continued because Murray was such a monkey himself...we did find him in the sink at 11 months! Ginny is just being lumped with them so far since she's given us no reason to think she won't be a little monkey as well. So I often just say...where are my monkeys? or Let's clean up monkeys! They know who I'm talking to and respond a lot better than when I call them kids or something similar.

Because we love monkeys so much at our house we have lots of monkey related things, including lots of monkey books. Today we were reading through a few of our favorites including Cha Cha Chimps and One Monkey Too Many. The plot of One Monkey too many is that every time they find an activity perfect for that number of monkeys another monkey arrives and trouble happens. On the last page the author leaves to go to lunch saying 5 is the perfect number of monkeys for the book and then a 6th sneaks in..."One monkey too many climbed into this book!" It's a great read! After reading the last page today I say to Lucy, "What do you think, do we have 1 monkey too many in our family now?"

Her response, "No mom, not even close!" Guess I better watch out!

Still Thankful...

I know it's Friday, but I just have so much to be thankful for this week.

School has been going SO incredibly well! Murray has enjoyed listening in on school even when he wants us to think he's not. I often see him peak his head around the corner and he'll ask us a question about whatever we're reading or singing about. Sometimes he's eager to join us, other times he's happy to play on the floor. Next week we'll meet up with our home school group for the first time. I'm super excited (and so is Lucy)!

Ginny is just such a blessing! She's starting to show signs of a routine. Cat naps in the morning and a longer nap in her crib in the afternoon. I keep thinking she would probably take a long morning nap if I swaddled her and put her in her crib, but I like the flexibility of her sleeping in her bassinet in the midst of our morning routine. It makes it easier for me to think of taking her places and expecting her to sleep in her car seat or stroller while we're out and about.

My kids just make me laugh. The things they say and do just bring so much joy and laughter to my days. Murray has been enjoying reading to Ginny and giving her lots of kisses; I think he has finally learned how to be gentle and Murray like with her all at the same time. She certainly loves her big brother and sister and already watches them closely and gives them great big smiles. It's hard for me to imagine when she's able to follow behind. I'm sure it won't be long...she is built like Murray after all!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thankful Thursdays

I've been absent from blogging lately and focusing more on getting my life as a mom of three better organized. We needed to move out of basking in new born Ginny and into life as a family of 5. So, we've cleaned out closets, the toy rooms and the kids bed rooms. We bough school supplies, officially started kindergarten and have been working on a routine that includes Ginny taking at least 1 nap a day in a bed (usually her bed, but if Lucy wants to nap she'll sleep just as well in the pack n play).

I keep taking pictures, and thinking..."ooh, that would be a good blog thought", but I never seem to get to it...so here's to hoping I get to it today,or tomorrow...but for now we're enjoying life as a family of 5, breaking the habits we of whining and putting things off as we made this adjustment.

So, today I'm thankful for getting back into a routine, for my 3 kids and for the adventure that comes with it!