I fell out of the habit of writing here a year ago. Almost exactly. 2017 has been a hard year for me, and I have been focusing my energy in other places than this blog. But I am still trying to post at least once a month. Last night I listened to a podcast by Shawn Stevenson in which he interviewed Tom Bilyeu. They discussed self-esteem and how to reprogram your brain. One tool that I felt I could immediately put into practice is to decide just who I am. What is my identity? Continue reading
Today I want to share with you a diaper cover tutorial for cloth diapers. According to Pubmed, many children still wet their beds at age 5 more than 6 times per year. My daughter A is one of them. Every morning that she wakes up dry, she gets a sticker on the calendar. Last month (February) she got 19 stickers. So far this month, she has 9 stickers. This means she has an accident approximately 1/3 of the time. This month, she was sick for two of those wet nights, and she is on a five day streak right now. I have told her that once she goes a whole week staying dry, she can wear underwear to bed. Continue reading
I have often berated you for all the things I thought you did wrong in raising me. Since our relationship over the years has fluctuated between close and very distant, it has been easy to find fault with your decisions. I have made it very clear that I was not happy. But as we have our space from each other again (and we both know that the quality of our relationship has been in inverse proportion to how close we live to each other), I am coming to see just how many things you did right for me. I keep hearing myself saying, “Oh, my mom taught me …” and I am seeing now just how ungrateful I have been. Continue reading
Over the last twenty years, I have spent time as both a working mom and a stay home mom. For as long as I can remember, my career plans were to be a mother. My mother left the workforce when I was born to be a stay home mom for me and my brothers-to-come. Nearly all of my friends while I was growing up had stay home moms. This was in the ’80s, and the poor children who didn’t have stay home parents were called latch-key kids. I haven’t heard that term in a very long time now. It seems to have become the norm rather than the exception. Continue reading
Last century, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Before she was 10 minutes old, she uttered her first word. No! That has been the theme of our relationship ever since. She has been a very strong-willed child her whole life. She knows what she wants, and she doesn’t let little things like reality get in the way. Continue reading
Today I struggled with coming up with a topic for today’s post. I started my day by opening up a bill in excess of $1000 that I was totally not expecting. That put me in a sour mood, so I put off writing. I wanted an authentic gratitude post, not one that felt forced. I went about my day, washing dishes, knitting a Christmas present, supervising kids after school, and then attending E’s and A’s school concert. Eventually, I realized that my inspiration for today was that my son is a very kind-hearted and generous boy. Continue reading
All across the country, school is back in session. This is often a bittersweet time for families. Children are ending their summer leisure time, but will reunite with friends they may not have seen for a few months. Parents are losing the extra time with their children, but gaining more quiet time to work on goals that may benefit from the solitude. As with any major change, it is a time of both endings and beginnings.
I work from home. This allows me to be a homemaker and a full-time mother while still earning an income. My primary income is from sewing, but my sewing always takes a back seat to my kids. I also love to write this blog, and that is also easier when it is nice and quiet. Over the summer, I tended to stay up way past my bedtime so I could write in the quiet after everyone had gone to bed. Now that school is in session, I can go to bed at a decent hour and get my writing done while they are at school.
Two to three hour blocks
This is the first year I have not had children at home during at least half of the school day. Until 2010, I homeschooled, then that year my children began public school. I had one in high school, one in middle school, two in elementary, one in preschool, and one in the oven. My day was chopped up into short blocks according to the bus schedule. Anything I needed to do had to fit within a three hour time block.
- 6:00 Get up and start the day with C
- 6:40 C gets on the high school bus
- 7:20 M gets on the middle school bus
- 8:00 Put L and R on the elementary bus, then free time
- 11:15 Put E on the preschool bus, then free time
- 2:15 C gets home from high school
- 2:45 M gets home from middle school
- 3:15 L,R, and E come home from elementary/preschool
- 5:30 (in theory) Dinner time
- 7:30 Begin putting children to bed
This year, my youngest is in full day kindergarten. I get a full 7 hours each and every school day to accomplish great things. Or at least make some headway on cleaning the house or sewing up a beautiful dress or quilt. I have 7 hours of quiet, with just the tick of the clock to keep me company. An occasional buzz of the dryer or beep of the dishwasher lets me know they are done. This quiet has done wonders for my sanity. I would love to figure out how to store it up in a bottle for vacation days.
I would be remiss to ignore the fact that I live in an industrialized nation, where free education is available for all. I am very blessed in being able to send my children to school and know that they are safe there. My daughters do not have to miss school every month due to their cycle. My children have access to sports, clubs, and extra-curricular activities that broaden their horizons, sharpen their skills, and build a sense of community.
Two of my children have/had Individual Education Plans (IEPs). This gives them access to the extra resources they need to succeed, at no extra cost to me. It levels the playing field, so to speak. One child in fact made so much progress that they no longer need the IEP. I fully expect the other one to make similar strides.
I love my children dearly with all my heart, but I need quiet to balance out their loud, raucous kid energy. And so, I am thankful for the peace and quiet that accompanies the beginning of school. I am thankful for the community that supports them at school and gives them a sense of belonging and achievement.
Do you have kids in school? Is September a happy, sad, or ambivalent time for you?
Today I am out of my usual routine, so I thought I would share something that I wrote for a church service this past winter. I was asked to share my personal credo, my system of beliefs. Since my religion does not have one specific dogma, we sometimes have services in which a handful of us share our own beliefs. It is so fun to hear the ideas that govern each of our lives. So here today is n explanation of my own personal religious beliefs. I hope something here resonates with you. Continue reading
Welcome to the first of my Thankful Thursday series. Each week I post something for which I am thankful. Gratitude is an incredibly important aspect of living a happy and fulfilling life. It is key to success. Pollyanna was right — there is always something for which you can be thankful. Lest we forget that, every Thursday I share a post about something for which I am especially thankful.
Peanut Butter, Mmm….
Recently, A, who is barely 5 years old, asked me for a scoop of peanut butter for snack. She went and fetched a fresh jar of Continue reading