Sometimes it’s so Obvious

FullSizeRender (1)

A couple weeks ago I was talking to Andrew and telling him how I was frustrated that my rubber gloves to wash dishes got water inside them and were not drying out.  I told him, I just didn’t know how to get them to dry out.  He looked at me and said, “why don’t you just turn them inside out?”  Um DUH, I had literally never thought of this.  I had been trying to hang them for days and never once did this cross my mind.

I had another one of these Ah Ha/DUH moments this week.  I’ve been trying to figure out how to spend more time with Ellery and still get my food prep tasks done.  It hit me this week that she would probably really enjoy helping me in the kitchen.  We got her stool out and she helped me put all the ingredients in the bread machine and mix up some homemade brownies.  She was really into it, I got to hang out with her and I got my chores done. Sometimes the answer to a problem is so obvious and yet it takes me forever to figure it out.  She since has memorized how to turn the bread machine on, select the dough setting and press start and this is her job now, I dare not do it.  Last night she helped me make chili and cornbread and during our February Advent she got really into making our cut out sugar cookies.

This past week we also dusted the house together.  She had her very own dust rag and I showed her how to dust the blinds, window sills, and bottom of the doors.  She was so proud of herself and I got the whole house dusted without her trying to get my attention, or getting into mischief.  It just never really occurred to me to have her help me with these tasks because it’s not “fun” work, but for a 2 year old doing “grown up tasks and hanging out with mom” is just about the most fun you can have.

Learning to Bend

The result of a nap time snuggle.

The result of a nap time snuggle.

I would describe my first year of motherhood as militant.  I was raising my daughter to be a robot.  From about 3 weeks on she put herself to sleep most of the time, crying if necessary (not “cry it out” in the traditional sense, but Babywise crying).  Never slept in the swing, was held while sleeping very little, and was never rocked (we purposely did not buy a rocking chair).  She ate on a strict 3 hour schedule and was taught to sleep through the night by two months because I pretty much refused to feed her in the night around that point.  Do I regret the way I parented my first born?  Well, no, not really.  I was doing my absolute best with the knowledge I had and I was staying true to myself as a person despite the unpopular parenting approach we had adopted.  Looking back, Andrew was happy, I was happy and most of the time Ellery was happy.

My motto was “don’t create any un-sustainable habits.” I was convinced that if we rocked Ellery to sleep as a baby we would be rocking her to sleep until kindergarten or beyond.  When I thought about having multiple children I kept picturing rocking all my kids separately for a total of an hour a night and I just couldn’t see that being feasible.  I also refused to nurse Ellery to sleep, like ever.  I think in the course of the year of nursing I used the boob for sleep maybe 5 times.  I was so worried if I used nursing for sleep then when I no longer nursed, we would no longer sleep.  This created some very exhausting days.

Now, don’t think I have become a complete softy the second time around, but I am learning how to bend now that I have two kids and it’s probably a lesson I should have learned a very long time ago.  I’m still very much about the schedule, but I will use almost any means to get her to go to sleep.  Sometimes she fusses herself to sleep in the crib, sometimes I stand and sway her and sometimes she sleeps in her swing.  When she fusses at 5:00AM every morning I nurse her back to sleep and that means our day starts at 8AM, and let me tell you, that’s pretty sweet!!  So hey, she is 3 months old and still gets up once a night to eat, I can live with that a little while longer.

When Ellery started asking me to “snuggle” a month or two ago I would say no, I couldn’t, because to me that was creating a habit that was un-sustainable.  Then I snuggled her one night and that little sweetie shared with me precious tidbits about her day.  Now this has become our nightly tradition and I’m SO thankful I decided to bend my own rules because these are the moments I’ll probably remember when she’s older and maybe doesn’t want to talk to me about every little thing anymore.

The only way I could possibly be enjoying my two girls and staying sane is to bend my rules from time to time.  I say it often to other mama’s in the trenches, we do what we need to do to survive each day.  I’m hoping all the habits I’m creating with my girls will be outgrown at some point, and despite my less than militant approach with Vaughn I’m confident she will sleep through the night again at some point, hopefully soon!!!

Swing Sleeping

Swing Sleeping

February Fresh Start

Click on image for original source

Click on image for original source

It’s February first!!! This means it’s time for a fresh start if you fell off the resolution wagon, or it’s time for a giant pat yourself on the back if you are still going strong.  You made it through the first month.

I thought I’d set out a few goals for my purging and then give you an update mid-month to try my best to stay on track.

House Purge: Purge my kitchen drawers.  We have a bank of 3 lower cabinets that have become our catch all.  I must go through them, purge and organize them and then mentally assign purposes to each.

Pound Purge:  I didn’t make my 31 mile goal in January because my knees have been really hurting this week and I wanted to give them a few days to recover.  I’m ready to get back at it tomorrow and I plan to do 28 miles as well as 90 minutes of Hula Hooping this month (it’s a sport hula hoop and yes I look absolutely ridiculous doing it) I’d like to purge 2 pounds.

Debt Purge: I’m hoping to apply at least an extra $100 to our debt payment this month.  I’m working really little as I’m still in transition with two.  I’m hoping to up my hours from 5 a week to 7.

I’ve heard from several people the blog has been inspiring them to purge their homes, keep up the good work!!!!