miscellany vol. 22

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it’s been awhile since my last update–i’ve had my hands full (pictured above)

so here’s a little family update–

Bryan is still enjoying his new job and has started playing guitar in the wednesday night praise band at church

Zuzu loves being a big sister (or “little mama” sometimes) to wendy. she’s learning lots in her little 2-day-a-week preschool (like how to hold her pencil with an “alligator chomp”). both of the big girls have been in our church’s preschool for the past month, and they love it, but i’m dropping them down to one day a week starting next week. i really struggled with that decision and might go back to two days a week, but ultimately i felt like our schedule was too hectic when they were gone all day two days a week (plus, i missed them!). so we will see how it goes! if i can’t get my work done, then we might have to go back to two days–or have a little extra help from their awesome grandparents =) anyway, zuzu is my little extrovert, so all the church involvement we’ve started this fall has suited her just fine.

June is so very ready for potty-training, but i am not! i feel like the worst potty-trainer in the world because of all the difficulties i’ve had with training zuzu. i suppose i’ve got to get over it and plunge ahead. ah and ready myself for cleaning up accidents, so oh so many accidents.

Wendy is supposed to get on a schedule this week. she’s a little over two months old, so nursing every two hours needs to stop. i honestly haven’t tried to schedule her at all until today though, and she’s taking to it (so far..) pretty well. the ultimate goal is to have a schedule for all three that meshes together–and provides a 3-child-coordinated naptime every afternoon (one can dream…)

As for me, i’m teaching online and keeping my head above water. I did reread “the old patagonian express” by paul theroux–a nonfiction travel book about taking a train from boston to patagonia. and some various poetry books. not much writing right now, though i plan to get to it soon–in the next month or so. right now i’m giving myself a little leeway with expectations

miscellany vol. 20

After summer weather lingered seemingly forever this fall, we’ve finally got some crisp weather. june can hold her own at the park now, so, though she still calls herself “baaybee” while patting her own chubby little belly, it really feels like we have two toddlers now—I mean, “kids” even, which is strange!

It is much easier to leave the house though, and sometimes I just throw in a spare pull-up and diaper and a sippy for the girls to share and head out, without even a diaper bag (though NEVER without snacks—you don’t want them to get Hangry). I don’t know if I could even comprehend that when I was in my newborn-baby-mama days, and felt like I must pack the entire house to go out for five minutes.

So an update, on everyone:

Bryan is writing music still, but taking a somewhat break from his fever-pitch of creativity. I’m a little jealous since I’ve written not-at-all this month besides ramblings in a journal. He is also working-like-crazy this week, with his regular job plus a substitute teacher job, which means lots of mommy+the girls time but very little r+r.

Zuzu is starting to show a little defiance and a little pride in being the “Good Girl”. June was born defiant, but I’m not used to this with my sweet, rule-following zu. She can understand more and more (and more than we think) nowadays, so when she disobeys I try to explain more than I do with june (get down from the table JUNE!). I don’t think I’m doing a very good job of it, but I’ve also been trying to use discipline as an opportunity to point her to Jesus and grace—and to remind her that none of us are good, not even MOMMY (if that can be believed!), but because Jesus died for us, God looks on us and sees his Son’s goodness. Most of the time I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing with parenting—but I figure that as long as I love her and point her to Jesus, that is probably the best I can do.

June has finally stopped teething (for now…) so has been completely pleasant the past few weeks. She is still possibly the most stubborn child in the world, and we’re working with her on her tantrums, which are really more like protests—she doesn’t scream and flail, she just lays flat on her belly on the floor and says “NO”. sometimes I’m not even sure what the “No” is for—I might not be trying her to do anything at all. getting her dressed and changing her diaper requires muscle. The bigger and stronger she gets, the harder time I have trying to catch her, pin her down, and change her. I feel like I’m reading for a hog-tying competition after changing june every morning—at 6am.

As for me, I’ve not felt much like poetry lately, but I have been researching spiritual disciplines (which means, reading), and journaling. i’m mostly passionate about my projects right now—we’re redoing (cheaply) our guestbathroom—taking down wallpaper, painting, putting in new linoleum. It won’t be the fanciest in the world, but it will be much less ‘70s. my other project is the 50 Days to Simplify Your Home. I love this because it breaks down the monumental task of “reduce all of your belongings” into easy steps, one to tackle a day, and divides it into rooms. I didn’t think we had a lot of stuff until I started doing this—we’ve brought one carload of stuff to goodwill and I’ll likely have another ready to go next weekend. But my kitchen is divine right now—so orderly, so clean, so just-what-i-use.

~

So how is your family this week?

miscellany: vol. 19

summer is almost over; though we have several weeks left, some of those weeks will be spent in preparations and looking-forwards-to so that they feel like “pre-fall” rather than “end-of-summer” as they truly are.

This summer I didn’t do much by ways of craft projects (aside from rearranging the furniture and clearing out junk we don’t need) or yard projects (bryan built the kid’s playhouse and swingset though) or even very much writing (or submitting my writing…sigh). 
I did teach a bit online to help finish up paying off our debt—we’ll be debt-free by the end of the year if we keep up our frugalness! Goodbye student loans!  I lost all the rest of the babyweight + 5lbs more. we traveled quite a bit—seeing family and some friends—and have one more trip planned before the summer is out.

but I told myself at the beginning of the summer that this was NOT going to be a to-do list summer—I was going to take things as they came, do what I could, not live by the striving for unattainable goals. And I did just that and don’t regret it a bit. I could have possibly done more—maybe—but I don’t know if I would have enjoyed this summer as much as I have living a little bit more carefree, a little bit more relaxed into the ease and grace of God’s love.

the notebook:

I’m auditing a poetry coop class on prose poetry right now, and I’m reading reading reading, while I still have time for reading. I’ve been writing a bit more the past few weeks then I did earlier this summer, but I’m not thrilled with my work. I think much of this has to do with the fact that my extended family is going through some Stuff and I feel too emotional about it to write good poetry. The average person might think poets are just spilling over with emotion all the time and that’s where poetry comes from—it doesn’t for me. I clam up, often as not.  So there’s been a few little guarded poems and a few poems I wouldn’t want many people to read (the “to be burnt” pile). I suspect I’ll get back into a writing rhythm (and submitting rhythm—haven’t sent poems out in Months!) once the fall comes.

the hubs:
bryan is making music, lots and lots of music (good music! and I’m pretty snobby about music). we wrote 1 song together this summer and want to write more. he finished his collection of songs that were inspired by the lord’s prayer. So now he’s working on recording them  from home (I’ll share them here when they’re out).
he’s nervous about it—putting his music Out There—but I keep telling him what I was told when I was nervous about putting my poetry out there—artwork is a gift, and it glorifies God to share it with the world.

oh hum, how does this work with what I said just now about my own work…. Do I contradict myself? so I contradict myself.

the little one:
at the end of august I plan on starting some “pre-school” K3 with zu. I have no idea at all what I’m doing—I was never homeschooled and didn’t know homeschoolers growing up.  BUT I surely know the stuff she needs to learn (I’ve got the alphabet DOWN!), so we’re going to give it a shot.  

I made her a little “school” area in the corner of the playroom—makeshift desk, chair, her own
bookshelf blockaded from june’s gleeful destruction.  I’m doing a program I read on a mom blog that I found through pinterest. This is probably sketch and not the best homeschooling material out there, but  I figure that since preschool is optional anyway, anything I teach her counts.
In addition to that, I’m thinking of buying a jesus storybook bible study guide or making one up myself (on the list of goals this mom uses, I added a “faith” section, where we’ll study the JSB, short memory verses, and learning to pray)
Ok—readers, you may now leave all of your homeschooling advice in the comments area, thank you!

the littlest:
june has left the colicky throws of infant-hood behind and fully thrown herself into small-toddler(ness?). I. love. It.

toddlers are my favorite. My very favorite. (so far). I love the things they say when they start to say them (No-No, mama! When I was wiping her face. tickle tickle when she wants to get our bellies.  Bay-bee, bay-bee when she’s playing with baby beluga). I love their awkward funny walks. I love that they still have a little bit of baby-fatness (or a lot a bit in june’s case).

Oh and june cuddles! Zu hated cuddling at this age, would fight tooth and nail to be down and going going going, but june, oh june, she runs up to me and buries her face on my chest and nestles and sighs. Zu is leaving the toddler stage for full-out being a Kid (or maybe she is already? She doesn’t hardly toddle any more. she goes potty by herself, brushes her teeth by herself. Hm.)
Anyway, you should see our dance parties some time. it is very squealy over here.

Thought for the week:

“Balance the Day, not each meal in a day”
– MFK Fisher, How To Cook a Wolf