Changing my Expectations and Opting for Preschool-Mom Sanity!

Daniel's adorable drawing of Grandaddy

Daniel’s adorable drawing of Grandaddy. Don’t worry. Those things under his nose are supposed to be Grandaddy’s mustache. 

While working on improving the blog and sifting through my old work, I came across this OLD post that I wrote in 2013. I emphasize that it’s from 2013 because I do not want any of you to get all excited and start thinking I’m expecting a baby. There’s no baby. I’m so sorry to disappoint you. Ha!

Such a 'special' phase of life...Waiting in back rooms to keep children quiet during ceremonies....missing things......nurturing your children so they turn out to be good people

Being a preschool mom is such a ‘special’ phase of life…Waiting in back rooms to keep children quiet during ceremonies….missing things……nurturing your children so they turn out to be good people. It is hard, fun, but hard.

I’m sharing this because I want every pre-school mom I know to read it. 

Some of you are like me, and you are busy, busy, busy with those little ones, and you are disappointed that you are not out there saving the world. Or you know, at least serving on the PTA. Ha! Because that’s the same right? But why run yourself ragged? Yes, be involved in the community. You need that to stay sane, but once it gets to the point that you feel worn and empty, start cutting things. You can pick them back up later.

Okay, so here’s what I wrote at the time:

2013

It seems I will really never catch up on my housework now. I had booked myself too full of appointments and such the rest of the week to get much done. Alan is fantastic about helping, only Alan is too busy now to do much either. He had work, cub scouts, and baseball coaching this week. We both did our best, but the fact is that we currently have more work than capable working hours.

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You know what I think? I think God is preparing us for having four children. Four children, and not one over the age of seven. We need to learn our lesson now to stop signing up for activities, especially leadership roles (that’s Alan more so than me). Most all of my activities are physical maintenance and child rearing (like constant doctor visits). I did sign up to help my friend Margret with Staff Appreciation Week, and I haven’t even been able to be an effective helper! I do feel quite badly about that.

One thing that has been great this year is that I’ve met several more moms in the my neighborhood that also have preschoolers at home. Here I am beating myself up because I cannot do all the things that Joshua’s friends’ moms do with the PTA and volunteering at school, when that is simply not the phase of life I’m in yet! These moms are a few years older than me, with no preschoolers left at home. The fact is we have different roles right now. Daniel and the baby that is soon to arrive (we do seriously plan to name him eventually) are a full-time job.

I had the privilege of walking to my Yoga class (oh, yes, I did sign up for 1 yoga class/week) with Monica yesterday. Monica has a daughter in Caleb’s class. Monica also has a three-year-old, and she said some things that really made sense to me. She said something like, “I just figure for now, while I’m taking care of a little one, I’m just not much use to anyone for much else. Even when it’s not nap time, there’s only so much I can do. You never know what her needs are going to be, or what mood she’s going to be in.”
Oh, yes, never were truer words spoken!

I’m going to finish out the things I am currently committed to (well, as best as I can), and then I’m done. Of course, the Yoga class and the Fitness in the Park class I actually consider to be for my health. There are lots of negative health effects to gaining 50 pounds with each pregnancy, believe me! I’m still not convinced I can change that either though, but ugh I’m so tired of even thinking about pregnancy weight!
I even turned in my resignation for my Sunday school class a few weeks ago. I’m going to do it until the baby comes, and then I’ll just be home for a long time. When I finally go back, I will be attending Alan’s class, since he’s actually going to be teaching an adult class, starting in June.
Gradually, I’ll add back in nursery duty. When you’re breastfeeding you spend a ridiculous amount of time back in the church nursery feeding your baby anyway!

I’m not cutting everything, but it’s time to give my family a little extra grace and time and space to grow in. Reasonable expectations are a rewarding thing to have.
Praise the Lord for our sweet little boys. Can’t wait to meet the new one!

Have you ever gone through a phase where you simplified? Did you see a huge difference? I  certainly did, and I’d love to hear about your experience too.

 

When We Met Matthias: Story of a Military Family

I’ve kept a tiny secret from my blog audience. Well, not all that tiny…8 pounds of secret at least…

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Oh, yes! Please welcome little Matthias!! (But no, he’s not mine. I just got to hold him for a while. I’m done, people. Remember?)

No…I didn’t have another baby. I did better than that. We brought this baby home with us, but we haven’t taken leave of our senses. We brought his mama home with us too.

military families

Emma and Matthias

hehehe Aren’t they precious?

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We even took Emma to my favorite place in the world, Point Lobos, a couple of days before she had the baby.

It was just a few weeks, a few of the fastest weeks ever. See, Emma’s husband is a friend of ours, from church, and he is in the military. Church family is real family because many of us don’t have the luxury of having family anywhere nearby.

When you’re in the military, you aren’t the only one making sacrifices for your country. Even your spouse makes sacrifices, yes, most of us realize that. But people often forget who else makes sacrifices…

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living the patriotic life already

Our babies. Our children. Our teenagers. They sacrifice having their military parent there for birthdays, for Christmas–ouch! Christmas, and God forbid, even sometimes for births. Not to mention the service members who never return at all, leaving whole families motherless or fatherless, not just for months or years but forever.

But don’t worry. Emma’s husband, Richard, did actually manage to fly in for 3 days. He was there just long enough to be there for labor, delivery, and a little of the hospital stay before he flew back out again. Babies come no matter what orders dictate. And you can’t plan a family around the military. We decided that long ago. It’s too uncertain. You just pray for the best.

military families

Richard enjoyed his cereal that Saturday morning, as Emma braced herself through the contractions of labor.

God greatly provided for this sweet, new family. I can’t imagine giving birth without your husband there, but it does happen to military families all the time. So glad that wasn’t the case here.

Well, Emma’s labor and deliver went beautifully. But once the baby is born, the work doesn’t end there. And to compound the situation, this young family was also in the midst of moving. We were so happy to get to be a part of it. We simply moved JD in with Dan, and believe me, they loved that, and we made the nursery back into a nursery again.

When I moved into this house, I thought, “Wow! 5 bedrooms! Wow!” It’s a gift to have so many rooms, and gifts are meant to be shared.

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.”  Proverbs 3:27

military families

me and Emma at her baby shower

And of course, Emma and little Matthias blessed us more than we blessed them. It was such a pleasure to hold a newborn again. Did you know that rocking a sweet newborn baby is good for your heart? Oh, it is. They kept giving us thank you gifts, but we didn’t need gifts. This was a wonderful thing to be a part of. I am so thankful. Y’all know I love to be the hostess.

But yesterday morning I drove these two to the airport because they are flying overseas to be with Emma’s parents for a couple of weeks, and then Emma and Matthias will reunite with her husband and move to their next duty station. Matthias is literally gong on tour first to meet all of his people.

military families

Emma said, “Let’s wake him up so he will sleep on the airplane.” Smart momma.

military families

sort of awake

military families

totally unaware that he’s about to fly across the Pacific Ocean

There are no lengths that a military family won’t go to to see the grandparents. It’s such a unique lifestyle. Matthias is 3 weeks old, and he has more stamps on his passport than most of us! Yes, he even has a passport!

military families

Y’all this girl is so brave. She has taken all of this in stride: first baby, husband being away, flying overseas, and moving…Shew! That’s a lot! Her positive attitude was such a blessing.

 

military families

“Wake up, Matthias.” “Ehhhh…”

 

Matthias has gotten a quick introduction into the strange lifestyle that we lead, as military families.

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And in only 4 more weeks our not-so-young-and-little family will also be reminded, as we up-root yet again for our 9th move. Yep. 9th. 

But it’s a great adventure. And I say bring it on. God bless, Emma! Thank you for sharing some time with us! We will miss you all!

Matthias

Bye-bye, sweet baby!!!

 

 

“Doesn’t JD make your heart smile?” It’s a quote post!

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Alan, Caleb, and JD were in the kitchen eating cookies. I don’t know what JD said, but Caleb looked up at Alan and said, “Doesn’t JD make your heart smile?”

We all definitely smiled.

Caleb has also recently taken up saying, “ain’t.” He uses it correctly (if there is such a thing), but it took me by surprise. We don’t say ‘ain’t,’ nor does anyone that he knows in California.

My suspicions lie with Granddaddy, but that’s okay. Caleb has that whole classic-8-year-old-boy act down pat, so it kind of fits.

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Joshua and JD are both sick right now, but JD is especially so. I have a little bit of it myself, so the three of us sat in the living room together tonight, eating cough drops, watching Cars, and constantly wiping JD’s little nose.

All day, that poor baby came to me saying, “Nose running,” in the most pitiful voice I have ever heard, asking me to wipe it for him.

You’d think after an hour or two of this, I would have thrown in the towel on the home schooling and focused on that sweet baby. But no, no. I lack that amount of sense. I kept trying to force school. I am here to tell you that you cannot teach ANYTHING to anyone with a sick baby following you around and crying.

Caleb and Daniel are not sick, but they certainly felt entitled to their share of cough drops.

“If you want one, go ahead, but I’m warning you that they taste terrible.”

“I want some!”

“I want some!”

I washed my hands of the situation and moved onto the kitchen to finish cooking spaghetti.

Then I heard Caleb, “Hey, Mom! You were wrong! These cough drops are DELICIOUS!”

Wow.

But what quote post is complete without a little Daniel sass?

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Alan was herding the cats upstairs for bedtime. He directed them all to clean up the living room, which only has to be done about 5 times per day. He gave them each a task, and he told Dan, “You’re in charge of cleaning up the floor.”

Daniel only focused on part of that sentence. “I’M in charge!!!???”

Alan hesitated, “Yes. Do a good job.”

“Oh boy! I’m in charge. All right, boys, clean up this floor! Get to work!”

A few minutes later, I heard Joshua say, “Daniel’s trying to act like he’s the president of us or something.”

Daniel was so happy, “Yes! I’m the President!”

Joshua said, “Well, that doesn’t mean you have to act so bossy.”

Alan gave them all a pep talk, especially Daniel. “Daniel, if you’re the leader, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to work. You clean up too.”

“Okay! See! I’m cleaning up! Now come on, boys, clean up! Wait, Joshua! Right there! I’m the President!”

It’s still going on. Wait, no, it has now morphed into a game of tag, and they are arguing over who is ‘It.’

Don’t let this adorableness overload fool you. Parenting these angelic looking children will bring you to your KNEES, I’m telling you. I cry often.

But I love them. Plus, I’m out of here in just 5 minutes. Thursday night is ladies’ Bible study night at my friend Hillary’s house. Whoot! Good luck, Alan. If all else fails, just open the Bible and start reading it out loud and praying for help. That’s what I do.

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