November 12, 2014

Doing What Works

Life is going too fast.  I thought I moved for a slower pace, but so far it's anything but.  The morning begins with breakfast for five and doesn't stop from there.  There's working online, cleaning, feeding the kids again, getting them down for naps, cleaning again, homeschooling, maybe a trip to the store, feeding them again, then it's dinner time.  Then a quick bath, book or show, and bedtime.  They eat.  A lot.  And make a lot of messes.  As I mentioned before, we are staying with my sister-in-law and her family.  It's a crazy, loud, chaotic, fun mess.  And it's going by so fast.  I think I have this real fear of losing time.  Everyone says don't blink because your kids will be grown up.  My struggle is between wanting to savor every moment and feeling like there's just not enough time to savor it.  I know our living situation is so unusual right now, things will return to normal when we are more settled.  I hope.

Instagram cropped leaves on a fall day

This was the brightest, most beautiful rainbow I've ever seen.  If you look close you can even see a double.  Phone cameras just don't do it justice.

When we moved, I knew flexibility was going to be key to making this work.  And boy was I right!  We are doing things I don't necessarily like, but, right now, they're necessary.  Things that are working for us right now:

*Watching too much tv.  This is something I fight against, and put so much effort into getting our tv watching minimal and under control while we lived in California.  Now, in order to get anything done, the kids are being entertained my Mickey and Rescuebots.  It's not something I like, but it is working for now.
*Breastfeeding through the night.  Asher is almost 14 months.  Instead of weaning, we've been increasing to get him to sleep at night.  Even with nursing, he's still been awake.  A lot.  So, breastfeeding into toddlerhood is working for us.
*Sleeping separately.  Mike has been sleeping in the trailer so he can get a good night sleep before work, since Asher has been up so much at night.  
*Unhealthy eating.  This one kills me.  With so many people in one house, different foods are available than what I may usually buy.  And I don't have my own supplies to properly prepare foods.  Plus, willpower has been reduced with lack of sleep.  

I'm writing those down to remind myself that those are temporary ways we are adapting to life for now, but I will not allow them to become long-term lifestyle changes.  For now, we are doing what works.  

Playing in the leaves.  Getting dirty and not caring.  This works.

This big one year old is still not walking.  His sis walked when 
she was 14 months, and he seems to be following in her footsteps.

Another change that's been hard to handle is the change I've seen in my oldest son.  He has always had such a loving heart and sweet spirit, particularly towards his brother and sister.  Since we've moved here, he's developed a little boy attitude.  He is struggling daily with showing love, and it's hard for me to accept or know what to do because he's never been this way.  His daily prayer is "God please help me with my attitude and take away my pride."  

I think that's my daily prayer too.

I can't believe my first baby turned 5.  A five year old.  No longer a pre-schooler.  
I'll love you forever
I'l like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be

We celebrated at this fun bounce house place with trampolines, 
bounce houses and slides, and foam pits

This is my favorite picture ever.  He always gives a 
super cheesy fake smile, but this one is genuine.

I painted Pax this garage for his Rescuebots!  He loves it and plays with it daily!

Group shot!

Halloween was one of those very hard days, full of tears and heartache.  The kids looked SO ADORABLE!  And one saw.  No one cared.  At home, we always had plans with cousins and grandparents and friends, where everyone oo-ed and aw-ed over their cuteness.  We drove to Costco to see Daddy, and I was reminded of how many people would have been loving on the kids if we had been at the Costco at home.  We have been shown so much love by the people there, and we've lived life together over the last 15 years, even if it's been sporadic. one knew us.  No one loved on the kids.  No one cared.  I know it won't always be this way, but it's hard not to compare a life overflowing with people to a life with very few.  

This girl.  She brings non-stop joy to my life.  She's my best friend and I adore being around her.
And because I can't pick just one to showcase her's seven more 

This dress was mine.  I wore it to Disneyland when I was two, and 
legend has it Mickey and Minnie followed me around and loved it!

I was so shy though; I didn't have her spunk!

But the very next day, we went to the home of some extended family to press apples and make cider.  The day was so fun, and was just what I imagined it to be like here.  We drove to a huge cattle ranch and pressed what seemed like thousands of apples, freshly picked from nearby orchards and wild trees. The antique presser was run by the men, while the women peeled and sorted apples.  And the juice. Oh my goodness.  So good!  My brother-in-law's step-mother (confusing!) was the host, and she is a wealth of knowledge.  Not only has she been making her own lotions, lips balms, soaps, etc for many years and cooking healthy foods from their farms and garden, but she was homesteading before homesteading was cool.  We talked GMOs, sustainable living, how to make your own everything.  And she's going to write a cookbook abut how to properly prepare your food.  I can't wait!  Thankful for another light in the darkness.  

Last night the freezing weather came, and left us this morning with frozen water and red noses.  And just like fall is slowly rolling out and winter is rolling in, life goes on.  Before we know it, spring will be here, bringing new life and beauty in it's wake.  

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