I'm here! Love that I don't feel the need to apologize or explain my short absence from blogging~ I always just write whenever I feel like it which is one of the main reasons why blogging and I get along so well. ;)
One revelation that I recently had came from a conversation between my Dad and my oldest son, Benjamin. My parents came up for the afternoon and with them, brought Benjamin a Buzz Lightyear figurine. Benjamin instantly fell in love with it. Then as the day progressed, he put it aside until he later gained interest in it again (as most toddlers do). When he had the toy back in his full focused attention, I overheard him ask my Dad what a button on Buzz's arm does. At first my Dad replied "Oh, that button doesn't do anything." But a few seconds later, my Dad changed his response to..."Actually, that button can do whatever you want it to do!"
I love the perspective that my Dad took in that moment, because as you can probably guess, the button doesn't really do anything. But, the point is to not be so quick to dismiss things. And after thinking more about it, I realized how often I was doing that. I know a big reason why was because of the million-and-one questions I get every day from my ever-so-curious little preschooler, or the constant pulls on my pant leg and sound of "mama" coming from my toddler, but I don't like excuses like that no matter how distracted and busy I sometimes feel. I like creative problem solving, the feeling of being control (noticed I didn't say in control- but the feeling of it), level headedness, patience. I never knew the value of these skills until I became a Mom. Before Motherhood, I prided myself on multi-tasking, planning, and getting things done. Now I shudder at how cold and boring those things sound. I would much rather be the woman who knows how to go with the flow, make sure everyone is always included, understands the fine line between necessities and pushing it, lets love rule all, makes a point to teach life lessons (even the tough ones), is always prepared with yummy treats and a song to be sung. Doesn't that Mother sound just lovely?
Even though the message of "finding what works best for you and your family" is repeated over and over again, I still love it because I think it successfully captures what an evolving process both the growth of children and parenthood is. One tried and true rule for one family may be completely different for the next. For example, in our household we rarely eat dinner together as a family during the week. I know, gasp! :O But it's not set like that forever. We do value around the table family sharing time, it's just that family breakfasts work much better for us right now. At our house, the morning is when our kids are hungry and actually willing to eat, everyone's well rested, and there's not so much pressure at the end of already long and tiring day! Plus, I like the boys to have time alone with their Dad and by 6 p.m. I NEED to retreat for a bit....usually just an hour. After one miraculous hour I'm recharged and ready to help with bedtime or....To Infinity and Beyond! (Ha ha, I just had to throw that tie-in in there.)
We've had some other experimental things going on around here in involving kids beds, kids rooms, and bed time. These changes were due to a lot of things....no more pull ups (per Benjamin's request), a child who acted ready for a toddler bed, and the dreaded time change. Let's just say that after a couple weeks of adjusting all of that is back to normal now....or should I say our NEW NORMAL....G is now up at 6:30, naps every day for 1- 2.5 hrs. and asleep by 7:30. Benjamin is up by 7:30 asleep by 8:00 or 9:00 (depending on if he naps), and now after I've adapted to becoming a morning person (can you believe it's taken me this long?!), I'm now getting 9 hours (or close to) of sleep every night. It's delicious. I find it truly amazing how much better I function and how more present I am when I get all of the sleep that I need. Boy had I been missing out for too long!
Speaking of missing out, my parents generously gifted us a subscription to Netflix. It's like out of this world amazing. We stream downstairs and get DVD's sent to us for upstairs (no cable outlet in our bedroom). I know we must be the last people on the planet to discover Netflix, but I've always been cautious about monthly subscriptions to things....but, once Bart and I realized how little time we had for t.v., we dumped our DVR + HD and now happily save $17 every month! Recently on Netflix, I came across this British mini-series....Berkley Square. It's about a group of nannies in the upscale area of London during the 1900's. Ok, so some of the storylines may be a bit soap operery, but the main reason I picked it is because I find the idea of hiring someone else to raise ones' children quite interesting (not something I could or would ever want to do, but still interesting). The popular book The Help is what first got me thinking about what it would be like to live with that type of mentality and I find this t.v. series to be very thought provoking as well. Plus, I love that I can commit to one 1 hr. episode without the hassle of commercials or length of a full movie.
So don't worry when you start something and don't finish it right away, or take awhile to get back into the groove. Take the Buzz Lightyear approach and just make it into whatever you want it to be! While some structure can be helpful, I believe too much can be counter-productive, boring, or downright painful. As I watch my children, I see the varying times in their day when they're emotionally, and/or physically ready for something and when they're not. I actually think it's pretty funny how they'll think nothing of dropping a book half way through, or just walk away from something when it's no longer interesting. I admire the way they're connected to themselves and in essence, simply act upon whatever feels right to them at the time.
Time for me right now? I'm about to curl in bed to finish up the last of my detective novel. It's a book Bart got me last year for Christmas but have just recently found the time for. ;) And after that? Sleep. Ohhhh, sleep. Lots and lots (okay, as much as I can get before my 6:30 a.m. wake up call!) of glorious sleep.