Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Infant Toys and Toddlers

It's been so fun to watch my toddler react to infant items she once used. She definitely doesn't remember using them (but she will try to tell you she does), but she is surely set on using them now. As I flashed through my pictures this morning (because it's quiet and I miss my babies), I found a running theme in many pictures from this week. My daughter loves my son's toys:

As we are entering into a phase where my daughter doesn't always want to share, I use these periods of time as teachable moments. Her brother shares with her, so she should share something with him. So far it works and is evidenced in all the pink gear our baby boy is surrounded by.
I continue to embrace watching their relationship grow and am so blessed to call them my own. They are bonded for life, for better or worse.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Apple Harvest

We completed another season of harvesting our apples trees. Well, almost completed. I still have about half a bucket of apples to process. That will be done this week (hopefully).

This was our second fall at our house and we absolutely love having apple trees, harvesting the apples, and having homemade apple goodies all year long. This home has taught us so much in such a short time.

My love for apple harvesting has grown as I observe what we are teaching our daughter and the increased family bond that is formed as we all work together. She is learning about where our food comes from, the work put into preserving food, and how this hard work pays off for our family. One day, our son will learn as well. 

As the aroma of fresh apple cider fills our home, I find my heart filled with love for our little homestead. Who knew 3 small apple trees could bring so much love?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Our Daily Schedule

It's been a long while since I have done a day in my life post so time for the update! I have to say, I'm not overly satisfied with one aspect of our current routine. I never would have guessed my beautiful, tiny toddler could become so demanding, throw so many tantrums, and believe she could not live without the television being on. That's right. Dora the explorer has caused many issues in our house.

For a period of almost 2 months, I was very sick (pneumonia) and was doing what I could just to survive the day. Unfortunately, I did turn to TV for entertainment for our family. Now that I am healthy, I am ready for the TV to be off and return to our normal, with the TV on minimally. That has become a huge undertaking that I don't necessarily have the energy for quite yet. I'm slowly weaning though!

So, despite knowing how much TV we watch, here is what a typical week day looks like:

6:10am: My hubby's alarms start going off. I mentally prepare that I will be getting up soon with Riley, our 5 month old.

6:30am: I'm up for the day with Riley. I change, feed, and rock him. I pray he takes this time to sleep (while he can) before our toddler is up. He says, "not a chance, mom."

7:30am: Payton is up and refusing to get dressed, for now. I start a load of laundry, feed the dogs, and feed our 2 outdoor cats.
I get breakfast going and Riley falls asleep while we eat.

8:15am: With Riley still sleeping and Payton fed, I convince Payton to get dressed for the day. She currently believes tutus are the best clothing items ever (and on a toddler, I can't help but agree). She makes sure to rock her tutu and spends the rest of the day twirling sporadically.
I spend some time cuddling with her while she watches Dora. Sigh. At least I am getting some 1:1 time with her and get to hold her. She also requires her dolls to sit with us.

9am: Both kids are awake. Payton plays while I change and feed Riley. We all play cars together.

10am: I workout. Before the obsession with TV, Payton worked out with me. We would do Zumba, just dance to music, and/or workout DVDs. She now has less interest in this so I now use the elliptical while Payton plays in the room. Riley hangs out next to me during this time. 

After taking the fastest shower known to man, I start making lunch.

11:15am: We eat lunch. Riley typically falls asleep again.
When I am done eating I start kitchen chores while I wait for Payton to finish. I empty and reload the dishwasher, plan supper for the evening, and start making homemade applesauce in the crockpot. I also make a quick dash to move laundry from the washer to the dryer.

12-1pm: I try to find something to really wear our kids out before Payton has quiet time (since she doesn't nap). I prefer getting outside but weather makes this impossible. Today, we play-doh.

Bonus points for no TV being used! :)

1pm: Quiet time. Payton spends an hour in her room, on her bed, reading and playing with her babies. Sometimes, she sleeps, but usually she plays until her hour is up. Riley sleeps during this time as well. I have a list of things I should do, but I typically rest.

While I relax, I find a picture from 5 years ago (thanks Facebook time hop) and ponder how much has changed since that picture:
Oh, if only I could tell my past self what was to come! My 2 dogs babies are still my first babies but now there are 2 kids and 2 outside cats in the mix. There has also been 1 move (in the same town) and both sides of the family have expanded!

2-3pm: We all play together as a family after I finish another round of changing and feeding Riley. When the mixed berry applesauce is done, we pair this with some string cheese and call it our snack.

The rest of the day is a blur really, it flies by so fast.

3:30pm: Daddy comes home. I never know who's more excited, the kids or me?

Payton and I head to town to deliver some homemade gifts to those close to us in town. I went with a homemade popcorn mix this year.

4:45pm: Like clockwork, I start supper while Monte supervises the kids. Today, we actually switched roles and the hubby cooks homemade pizza. I made the dough previously (and pulled it from the freezer the night before) but he does the rest. Payton loves to help with this meal.

5:30pm: We eat.

6:45pm: We start bath/bedtime routine.

7:30pm: Payton goes to bed. I lay with her and we talk until she falls asleep (typically within 20 mins). Then, I rock Riley and put him to bed.

Both kids are typically asleep for the night by 8:30pm. I enjoy my husband, the quiet, and some tv shows that are not cartoons. By 9pm, I miss both my kids terribly and contemplate waking one of them. Deciding against this, I make my way to bed. Sometimes I get to sleep until 4-5am or until 11pm, depends on the night and when the next kids wakes!

This is our typical week! We are home most of the week except for 1 morning each week when we head to our local library for story time. We also have a sitter that comes 1-2 afternoons per week to watch the kids while I work. I also take Payton to run errands with me after the hubby comes home 1-2 nights per week.

This may not be the right life for everyone, but it's a perfect fit for me! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

My Week of Personal Trials

Wow, I have really been struggling lately. Although I am so blessed and thankful for the life God has provided me with, some weeks are just hard. Really. Hard. I struggle with even writing this post as sometimes it's just easier to sweep the bad stuff under the rug. Some challenges I've been facing:

I went to the doctor the other day after having chest pains. Coincidentally, my jaw hurt as well, which can be a sign of a female having heart issues. By the time I saw the doctor, I was very scared I was having heart issues. I didn't want to have a heart attack while home with the kids. Can you imagine how bad that scenario would be?

It turned out my heart is good and strong, but I wasn't healthy. I was sick with pneumonia. This was so hard to hear because it's impossible these days for me to slow down with 2 young kiddos. Being sick and still taking care of kids ranks as one of the hardest things to do, in my book.

And flash forward another 3 days... Our whole house had pneumonia. The fun continues...

Eeek, a Mouse
Living in the country has brought its fair share of wildlife. It's better when observed outside, but when it comes inside, it's a whole other story. 

I was preparing for my in-laws to visit by making our guest bedroom downstairs. As I went up the stairs I found my daughter and dog sitting on the stairs. Our daughter was petting our dog, who was sprawled out messing with something. That something turned out to be a mouse. I quickly got everyone upstairs and shut the door for my husband to deal with the situation later.

I really don't care for mice. My husband did clean up when he came home (thanks love) and we have set traps in case there were more. We are all relieved that the traps have not been set off and there have been no more sightings.

I don't know if it's the combo of all of the above, providing around the clock care for two active, young children, the weather keeping us inside more, and/or hormones but I have had a week of crying. My days feel challenging. Sometimes a good cry helps.

It's just one bad week, not a bad life. Thank goodness for a toddler who will hold my hand, an infant who can find the humor in any situation, and a husband who works by night as a superhero.


I hope you had a great weekend! It was great to have Halloween fall on a Saturday this year! We kept it low key though as our our 3 month old and toddler can only handle so much.

Payton was Cinderella and Minnie Mouse for Halloween (both outfits were given to her by her cousins). Riley was a monkey. He slept through all events!

At our community trunk or treat, Payton got to meet Ana and Elsa and she was star struck! She had no idea what to say and just stared at them! We also took Payton to a church fall festival where she bounced in the bounce house, won a cake at the cake walk, and rode a horse!

I ended our day with the kids watching Halloween themed children's shows in my bedroom until bedtime. The hubby had a banquet to attend so I was on my own. The kids had a blast and Payton continues to wear her costumes around the house!

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