Water Works: Home Edition

We each have those messy moments as parents that literally take your breath away. Lately I’ve been reminiscing over the “highlights” of those in my mothering journey thus far. Funny that most of those involve copious amount of water. Perhaps you need a laugh today and could laugh with me.

S is now 5 years old, and her water messes have toned down quite a bit the last year or so-but about 1 year ago her worst one happened. (Perhaps my reaction to the WORST WATER MESS EVER made her think twice before splashing away, I don’t know.) We have continued on our “fixing up the house” journey, and the project then involved having the downstairs bathroom walls torn out and all the plumbing exposed. The recently finished upstairs bathroom is directly above it, and they share a “plumbing run”- a wall that is just chock full of pipes, including the sewer vent.  After a horrible wind and rain storm one day we had had a roof leak around the sewer vent pipe, and water had trickled all the way down to the ground floor. After replacing the sewer vent boot and drying out the plumbing run, we thought we were ok against future leaks. The wall stayed open to allow for us to work on the plumbing during our remodeling adventures. This story has to have this background info for you to understand what happened this one calm, lovely day. I was busy working on homemaker-ly things, when I heard what sounded like water dripping very slowly. Because of past water escapades, I have a very keen sense of hearing when it comes to water. So I tilted my head and tried to locate the sound. Several minutes later I walked by the downstairs bathroom again and heard the dripping, still slow… but a little faster. I went into the bathroom and was horrified to realize that there was a slow WATERFALL silently flowing down the last bit of remaining drywall, puddling on the floor, leaking under the wall and into the living room. The drip came from the ceiling, which was quite soaked and looked like it could begin losing a chunk of drywall at any moment. I made a very unladylike screech noise, and about high jumped up the stairs. Sitting on the sink was my adorable 4 year old, sopping wet and looking up from her imaginary world of fun waterworks with wide and frightened eyes. I could hardly speak-and probably a good thing, as my words at that moment were not very constructive or loving. Apparently the one thing on the bathroom floor that we had failed to complete, was caulking around the base of the toilet. The flood of water that was poured onto the floor was slowly finding it’s way under the toilet, across the downstairs ceiling, down the wall, and to it’s final puddling place on the living room/bathroom floor. I couldn’t have been more thankful at that moment that the downstairs bathroom wasn’t finished yet!

I’d go on with more water messes, but I think that’s enough reminiscing for one day. 😉

Advertisements

Big Announcement!

So…. we just found out we are pregnant with baby #4!!!! I honestly was shocked when we first found out. So shocked in fact, that I took two tests just to make sure. And then it still didn’t feel quite real until we told all our family! Baby is due in October, right after Baby #3’s 2nd birthday. ‘Tis a good time of year to have a baby. 😀 To be quite transparent, I didn’t feel quite ready to be pregnant-but at the same time knew God’s timing in this would be amazing. And it is, of course. 🙂 I have a complete peace now, and am thankful the decision wasn’t left up to me. My concerns were that I still have a little baby weight from last baby, (who is 17 months old…) and our house isn’t finished yet. Two things I was sort of hoping to have checked off the list first. So I have two emotions- one, I’m thrilled beyond belief. So. Very. Excited!! We’re having another baby!!!! On the other side of the spectrum, I’m sad I can’t paint any more walls and I never did get back down to my wedding dress size. 😛 Haha, such harsh downsides. 😉 So excited to hold this new little one and to bathe them in prayer during this time of forming and growing.

We now get to delve into a few of my favorite pastimes….

  • Cooking yummy and healthy food to nourish a growing baby.
  • Searching for the *perfect* baby names!
  • Wearing cute maternity clothes. Seriously, they are the best!
  • Dreaming about this birth. Giving birth is such a special experience, and I’m actually really looking forward to it!
  • Praying for our child. Each baby we have prayed for a specific trait or gift for them.
  • Feeling a baby bounce around inside of me! Eek!
  • Eating tons of iron rich foods to help counteract anemia. (This one may not be such a favorite…. 😉

So far God has blessed us to be able to have wonderful home births and to be surprised by the baby’s gender each time… and we are praying this time is no different. These are truly special blessings. Due to our health provider moving out of the country for missions work, we are seeking a new one for this birth. God has provided for each birth, we are seeking Him on how to move forward, and are looking forward to seeing how He provides for this baby’s coming.

A bad school day.

Those who know me well know I am usually very patient and long suffering. But some things really push my buttons. And it’s usually my kids on a bad day, which doesn’t make for good parenting from me. Let me just tell you about today. 😉

My two older girls were begging to do their school work. Mom’s dream, right?! I was happy, and got out their work books and pulled out pages that are very much in their capabilities-should be a piece of cake for them. I explained the directions, made sure the first one was done correctly, and then left the room to order some pictures and library books. Figured I would have some quiet time to accomplish these needed tasks. WRONG.

They started arguing.

I ignored them. Classic mom move.

They kept arguing, and someone screams.

I go investigate. No school work accomplished. H was heartbroken that S had moved a piece of furniture 2 feet from it’s designated location. I set things straight and set them back down to their school work.

S comes running in and rams into my elbow as I’m making online purchases. Not cool. Of course she says she hasn’t finished her page yet. No, she says she doesn’t need help. Ok, then go do it!

A few minutes later S begins running around in circles singing loudly to bother her sister. H starts yelling at her to stop, and of course that eggs S on even worse. S gets a time out.

15 minutes later H has one word written down. She usually flies through these pages, finishing at least one page every 5 minutes. I have a feeling school today is not going to go well. I love the days when I can tell them what to do, and come back in a few minutes and they are finished and smiling. That is usually how it goes! They are really great daughters and students-I probably sound very spoiled right about now. 😛 Just some days are completely the opposite. Today is apparently one of those days.

I didn’t deal with everything well. I spoke in anger to S, and told her we were done with school work for the moment. I have no idea what the root is behind all the squabbling. No one needs a nap or is sick as far as I know. Maybe after I finish dealing with the online business we can try again when I can give one on one attention…

Thanks for listening, I feel a little more sorted out already.

Queen of England

My girls love all things princess and ballet… like many little girls. They love the special feeling of the outfits and the graceful dance moves. The sparkly pink and purple things, the fancy dresses. Well this past week I showed them a Youtube clip of William and Kate’s wedding. They were astonished that there was a real life “princess” wearing a real tiara and that there was a real queen in attendance! We have since been on a Youtube journey of sorts through history of the royal family and Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace… they are thrilled that someone lives like that in real life, and can’t get enough of the beauty and splendor. It has amazed me as well-I have been learning so much! I enjoy learning things alongside my children. Their interests spark fun learning curves, and I love encouraging that curiosity and wonder.

I must be patient.

Patience. Every mother needs it. It’s so elusive.

I’ve told my children to get dressed 4 times. I really don’t want to have to start the day out with punishments. It’s looking like that’s what is going to have to happen. I hear them playing rambunctiously upstairs. Sometimes I severely dislike being “mom”.

*sigh*

Here goes nothing.

Day 31-Hooray!

homeschool button

I am so very grateful for this month long journey we’ve been on. It’s stretched and challenged me as a mom and as a writer. The difficult task of trying to settle into a new routine of homeschooling, blog posting, and fixing up our house has been very overwhelming at times. Other moments I feel like I could conquer the world with all that’s been accomplished in the day. Thus is motherhood. Now I promised an update on how turning off my cell phone sounds during school times this week worked. It did help. Even when I forgot to turn the sound off (oops!) just having the awareness that now was not the time really kept me from getting pulled off track. I am thinking a Facebook fast is in order soon. Just to help me re-prioritize my time online. Maybe I’ll do a “No Facebook December”. That sounds good. 😉 But at any rate, overall this challenge made me really dig in and think about the little things about home schooling. Some highlights of this month were:

  • Catching S writing letters by herself just for fun. Some of them even looked good!
  • H doing school at JE’s work and accomplishing a great amount-with no supervision.
  • Planting peas in a jar on our kitchen windowsill. They sprouted the next day, so the girls had fast gratification. 😛
  • Going to a home school group meeting to hear a local musician teach on the science of music.
  • Writing 4 blog posts in one day.
  • H reading to my grandma at baby’s birthday party.

Thanks for keeping up with me this month, and I hope you continue stopping by! My blog is still quite new, so I’ve been very grateful for the learning curve of this challenge. Will you share your favorite moment of the month? I’d appreciate feedback on what I wrote about that most resonated with or helped you the most, or what you enjoyed reading about. 🙂

Day 30-Let the Children Rest

homeschool button

You may think this post is going to be about letting your child get their sleep out. You would be wrong. 😉 While that is extremely important, this post is about letting those things you wish your child would “hurry up and do” rest sometimes. I’m not wanting to encourage laziness, and I’m certainly not saying to throw the algebra book out of the window. I’ve seen both and it isn’t pretty. No, what I AM saying (lol are you ready for this after all my disclaimers??) is that sometimes our approach to learning needs a break. Needs a “reset” button. Or a perspective shift. Don’t bang your head against the wall! If method A isn’t working, there is no shame in trying methods B, C, D, and so on.

I’m a pretty normal new homeschool mom. I want my child to be moving quickly and easily through her school books, and expecting very high standards of achievement with very little effort. My oldest daughter got the full dose of my scholastic excitement, and while I understood she couldn’t move too fast since she was, after all, only 3, I still pressed in to teaching her as quickly and much as possible. She ate it up for the most part. She loved learning quickly! But the parts she didn’t eat up sent me worrying to my mother in law wondering if my H was ok to not get this as quick as everything else, and she quickly set me straight. Back off and give it a rest. Try again later with a different approach when she’s actually ready! H still thrives on the fire hose method, but I have had to adjust my thinking with teaching math to her, specifically.

Let’s talk about my daughter S. She is very smart, a very active little girl with a very thick stubborn streak. Honestly I love this about her. It’s difficult to teach her sometimes, but I love that she has spunk. I really have no idea how to encourage this while also teaching proper submission to authorities. (I’m not just talking school work here either… but general life know how.) But JE and I are trying our hardest and praying quite a bit. She will grow to be a might woman of God.

S is super excited about school work right now. She is beginning to catch on to a few sight words, and last night I caught her writing a letter E that actually had the correct amount of “arms”‘ (Never mind that it was backwards! ;-). But the hard thing for me to figure out, is how to teach with that big independent streak often getting in the way. She wants to do things her own way on her own timing. Which can be fine in the proper context. The problem often arises that she only wants to do school if she can do it her way. She is supposed to only circle the biggest dog? How ludicrous!

Now I hear some saying, oh that’s normal for her age, don’t make it a big deal!

And you would be absolutely right. I know many children her age are the same way. She’s not a freak of nature. At the same time, I don’t want to sit still. She’s growing and moving constantly at some sort of pace. The idea is to figure out where she is and move with her development, building into her character and mind as we go along. With this in mind, I’m moving slowly in encouraging her to follow the directions. First off, I rarely give her a paper that has directions. Hard to rebel against rules that don’t exist. 😉 A great tool with her has been ABC coloring pages. You can’t go wrong with those. Also we bought a book of ABC mazes, and she loves figuring those out. She usually follows each and every path and gets super excited when she finds the end! She is having fun and loves showing me her completed work. Anytime she asks to do school work I try to jump on the opportunity to encourage her in enjoying learning… and to enjoy following the rules!

If your child is struggling with an area of life or learning, sit back and think. Maybe take a break. Try a different approach. Ask people who have been there. Don’t give up, and don’t push your child into fitting your mind’s idea of what they should look like. Get some perspective. It could completely change how you relate to your child and teach them.  One of my children thrives on learning things constantly…. the other seems to want to take life at a different pace. I’m ok with that. And I have a feeling in 15 years I’ll look back at this post and laugh at myself. Because guess what? I’m still learning too. 🙂