29 January 2011

Really Ikea?!

So, I'm reading this lady's blog & she mentions she got an easel from Ikea for cheap. I've been searching for a cheap easel. I log on to their Ikea.com & now I hate them. I love them and I hate them. Reasons why I love them: they had that cheap easel ($20), it was made of wood, they had other stuff that I wanted, it's all created/decorated to inspire kids imagination, the adult furniture is pretty! Reasons I hate them: I want everything!
I am trying really hard to lessen my desire for things. Really trying. I know that things don't bring happiness. I really truely know that & believe it whole-heartedly. But I guess I don't. I want to provide my kids with the things one would fine in a good preschool (not all of them, but the gist of each center). I want my home to be organized & look clean. I want art. I know there are other ways to go about this & I do try to make things at home & with what I've already got. Im sad with myself. Im sad that I keep wanting. I am happy, I love my life, so whats up with this desire for things...? Do you think it's within reason? Do you think I'm just bored? lol.
I think it would be okay for me to eventually buy the easel, but it sucks that there is always something else i will want. When is enough enough?!

28 January 2011

Our Schedule (2 y.o. & 4 m.o.)

Something that has been driving me a little nuts is our lack of a schedule! I am definitely more laid back than ever before (God does work miracles), but I am still happiest organized & structured! HA. We've always had feeding/nap schedules set up. Sophie's schedule is starting to change because she can stay awake longer. So why have I been craving a schedule, because I want to get things done, I don't want Will to watch too much TV, & I want to help Sophie get the best sleep, & therefore the best awake time, she can.
So, without further ado, this is our schedule until Sophie moves to a 4-hour schedule.

6:45am- I wake up & get ready
7:00am- Kids wake, Will has TV time & his rice milk, Sophie gets a bottle & solids (although we just decided last night to suspend the solids, she's not ready)
8:00am- Will & I eat Breakfast, Sophie sits in the highchair & plays with a toy
8:30am- Sophie is down for nap#1 by this point, Will gets ready
9:00am- Will has Structured* play, I do chores
9:30am- Will has Freeplay*, I continue chores
10:00am- Will has Roomtime*, Sophie wakes, gets a bottle & one-on-one time with Mommy
11:00am- Lunch, Sophie has highchair time or Blanket Time*
11:30am- Sophie is down for nap #2 by this time, Will goes down for his nap, Mommy naps, rests, or very rarely does a little non-stressful work
1:30pm- Sophie gets a bottle, if Will wakes up he has TV time & some rice milk
2:00pm- Snack
2:30pm- Sibling Playtime*
3:00pm- Sophie gets nap #3, Will has Learning Time*
3:30pm- Freeplay or Outdoor play during good-enough weather
4:30pm- Sophie wakes, gets a bottle & solids (again, suspended for now), I start making dinner
5:30pm- Dinner, Sophie has highchair time or Blanket time (whichever she's in the mood for)
6:00pm- Sophie gets nap #4 (I know right!?), Family Time
6:45pm- Sophie wakes
7:30pm- Baths/Bedtime routines- we alternate who gets a bath every other night, unless both are dirty; Sophie gets a bottle
8:00pm- BEDTIME!!!

If Corey is home for dinner, he & I have 15-20 minutes of Mommy-Daddy time after dinner, while Will plays freely.
*Structured Time is when I choose an activity/ies for Will to play with. Today it was waterplay (i made one side of the sink red & one side blue & gave him various tools to manipulate). I stay with him & interact, but also give him some space & get some housework done ;-)
*Freeplay is when he chooses what to play. Again, I am with him some of this time, but sometimes sneak in some housework.
*Roomtime is when he spends 30-60 minutes in his room playing with toys I've set out, or ones that are on his shelves. Today it was books, Legos, cars with his race track, & he also used his music instruments. This is when I get some one-on-one time with Sophie & get some housework done
*Learning Time has different focuses each day (they usually overlap). I work on these things throughout the day, but its a special time to really focus in on an area. I'll use next week as an example:
M- Language Development- Read 3 books related to trains & cars
T- Creative Art- Car Track Painting (letting him roll the cars in paint & then on the paper)
W- Gross Motor Skills- ChooChoo Dancing, like a train
Th- Math/Science- Line up & Count the cars & trains (not very imaginative, i know)
F- Fine Motor Skills- Train & Car Lacing Cards (made from card stock)
Wednesday is going to be when he takes gymnastics starting next month!
*Blanket Time is stared only because this is time she spends alone, in a nearby room.
*Sibling Playtime is not fully developed for obvious reasons. This is a special time I help Will & Sophie play with something(s) together. Usually its a ball or Music Table (on the floor).

And that is it. We let our schedule serve us, we don't serve our schedule. There are days we run errands instead of Outdoor play, Thursday mornings we have MOPS instead of all that stuff, and so forth. I had been scheduling too much things to keep myself from being bored at home, but I started to see the negative effects it was having on the kids (well, honestly, more on Sophie than Will, because he only takes one nap & is okay with breaking that one into 2). It's hard sometimes because some of my friends go out all the time during the day, but they are either at a different stage in life (has only 1 older kid) or they don't have the same philosophy I do when it comes to naps & bedtimes. I get over the hard by talking to other similar mommies & knowing that this is only for a season of my life & I get to enjoy/absorb all of my kids!

26 January 2011

What is your Sweet Spot?

One of my good friends is a life coach and she recently sent out an email asking some questions, trying to entice people into using her services. Well, I dont have money for that sort of thing, but one of her questions really hit me.

What is your Sweet Spot?

This question encourages me so much during the hard times of my day. Having 2 kids under 2 can get pretty hectic or overwhelming at times. I wouldn't trade my life of course, but this one visualization can change my heart. Are you ready for it?

I close my eyes & I see... a big mug of the perfect coffee in front of me (starbucks' house blend with 3 spoons of sugar & 3 spoons of milk), a little table in front of me with a little whatever pastry on a little plate. I look up and I see the familiar sight of Barnes and Noble all around me. I look around and see no children. Corey could be there, but he's not needed in this scenario (sorry babe, its true). The fact hits me that I have the whole day to stay here if I want to, no obligations, no kids needing to be rocked or bounced or changed. No husband asking if I'm done. Just me, my coffee, my pastry, and endless book options. *sigh*

There are a lot of different Sweet Spots I have, but this one is always there. Its so peaceful, I would go there anytime. ANYTIME!

Now reality is that the nearest bookstore is an hour away & that it will likely be a LONG time before I could do this again, but just closing my eyes & thinking of this (maybe smelling my favorite coffee made by me) brings me calm... well, at least in my heart.

So one more time I close my eyes & now I dash off to rescue the crying Will from the torture that is life without his paci. What is your Sweet Spot?

09 January 2011

Review & Goals

I can't believe it's been such a long time since I've blogged. I've started several blog posts, but always have to stop them in the middle to rescue the kids. I'm not usually one to make New Year Resolutions & to look back over the previous year, but for some reason I am this time around. I have a lot on my plate & although I love it, I need to set priorities because with two kids I seem to miss the mark more than I'd like.

A lot of great things happened in 2010. The best & most obvious was the pregnancy & birth of our little girl, Sophia. We love her so much & I am loving getting to know her. Will turned 1, Corey turned 27 & I turned 26. We went to Maryland on vacation, which was a blast. We spent time with Corey's family & my grandma. We went to the beach. We had Korinne & Reese come stay with us for a little bit. We spent the summer at the pool. We went to Maryland for Kelly's wedding. We built family traditions throughout the year. Will went from a baby to a full-fledge toddler! It was a good year. Life is starting to go by really fast; its a little scary!

For this year
*I want to have a special activity for our family each month. I have written one activity for each month. (ex: July is Waterpark Day, May is Strawberry Picking Day, etc.)
*I want to spend more time scrapbooking memories & on that note, taking more pictures. I am starting by giving up a night of TV to spend scrapping instead. I am also taking advantage of my church's wonderful Scraps Of Faith ministry, which is a scrapbooking get-together one friday a month with free childcare!
*I want to spend more time with my family & the Boeckh's. We will make a monthly trip to visit either my dad in NC or the Boeckh's in GA.
*I want to reconnect with good friends & family. I am going to call loved ones at least once a month. On this list: Janet, the Hoh's, my brother, my grandma Joyce, my grandma tutu, my mom, the Shipe's, & the Warren's. I am going to email friends once a month.
*I want to be more pro-active in teaching Will. I am going to plan activities for each month. I am going to get us out of the house more often.
*I want to lose 30 lbs. (don't be dismissive please). I am going to do strength training & cardio every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I am going to be more active througout the day. I am going to reduce my caloric intake, but not deprive myself of what I want.

Please, check up on me to see how Im doing & encourage me to keep marching towards those goals. I'll try to remember to keep you all updated on how my goals are going too!