Friday, October 29, 2010

Hibernation And Nesting

You know, I think we could learn a lot from the animals. I don't think we give them enough credit for their instinctive actions. Most of the birds from around here fly south for the winter. As do retirees and we call them 'snowbirds', but I call them wise. Other animals find a warm, cozy place for their fluffy, overweight selves to hibernate. Best idea yet.

Oh sure, we're not animals and we do have obligations and duties that make us the responsible humans that we are. But when the wind starts howling, the temperature drops and weather forecasts give indications of first snowfalls, this mom starts getting in hibernating/hunkered down mode. You're right, I am not made to live in Minnesota. We come from hardy descendants though and we are tied with resilient heart-strings to our families and we just can't bear to leave this wonderful state.

Until the first snow flies...

So, when the first flurries began and the winds were howling and moaning out my window, creating slushy roads and reminders of winter realities, I couldn't help but think. You know, because I'm starting to feel like a mama bear these days. Big and rounded and testy. It's those hormones of course.

It's just fine though because I've got a baby in my belly that is gonna start growing like crazy in these next 15 or so weeks. There are holidays, holy days and happy days that will fill our calendar just enough to keep us busy. I've already begun all of the nesting and preparing. Trust me, even hubby was questioning my sanity when it all began last weekend. Why was I wandering around tearing into numerous projects, re-organizing and throwing things away like a mad woman? It's the change of season, the chilly weather and general nesting hitting me full throttle.

I started to wonder aloud, ponder and fret while hubby listened and chuckled. Why does it matter what we get the kids for Christmas RIGHT NOW? Why does it matter what kind of gifts we'll buy for this baby in a few years because we have so many 'things' already? What do you mean will this baby feel loved? Oh yes, I was all over the map and ever-patient-one that my dear husband is, he took it all in stride. You know, sometimes it's overwhelming (my new favorite word, just ask hubby) being so planned and organized.

In making plans for the coming months and Christmas preparations, I re-read my post from last year. It reminded me of how much I enjoyed the Advent season last year. I stayed out of the stores and we focused together as a family on the true meaning of Christmas. I think this will work out perfectly for my hibernation-while-baby-is-growing scenario and will also allow for some more wonderful memories and days at home.

I guess I better get plugging away at that Christmas shopping list, even though I'm planning on keeping it rather simplified and gifts more thought out/meaningful rather than spendy. I've got a little over a month to do it in an effort to keep with my December 1st deadline. I think I'm up for the challenge.

There's sure to be more nesting ahead too amidst my restful hibernation. After all, we all know that the state of every nook and cranny along with every closet in our house will really matter to this precious little one we are awaiting. Um, sure it will.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

For The Love Of Piano

A musically inclined family we are not. Especially gifted with an ear for music? Not so much. We do enjoy music, but do not stimulate our senses with Mozart and Bach tastefully dancing out of hidden speakers within our home.

I know, what kind of homeschool family are we any way?

It was with that thought in mind that we began Lily with piano lessons last winter. I do believe that even she was BEGGING for us to let her begin. I think at some point I longingly watched the Duggar children joyfully play their instruments beautifully and gracefully as their parents looked on lovingly, maybe too many times. Because, wouldn't that be blissful? Wouldn't that be music to my ears?

Somehow it hasn't turned out that way. Don't get me wrong, I was in no way expecting a fully perfected pianist in our household in six months. Not at all. I was thinking long-term beauty. Many years from now, hearing Pachelbel Canon (my favorite) being played by my perfectly postured, eager, Bach-in-training.

We started the lessons knowing that it would take both commitment and sacrifice from all of us. We knew it would take determination, practice, patience and tenacity. We wanted to instill those things and also give her the option for the lessons to encourage her abilities and musical expression.

The first months were met with eager displays of learning and satisfaction in accomplishment. In time though, we began going through the ups and downs of daily practice and routine. All of that easily led to daily frustration and constant reminding of the need to 'get to your practicing'. Being that I'm here most every day, I'm mostly the bad guy and play piano cop and it's wearing on me. Those days that practicing is still not accomplished before daddy steps in the door, he gets to join in and we can play the (seemingly) endless game of badgering the little pianist. I know she enjoys playing at least some of the time. I know she is doing well. I'm just not getting where the eagerness is and where the responsibility lies.

How DO you do it in your household? I know so many of you who run numerous children to lessons and recitals, so I know it can be done. Are your children reluctant? How do you schedule practice time each day? I want our children to love music and responsibility and not hate it because we pushed too hard and were drill sergeants about it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Sole Dilemma

Have you been shoe shopping lately? Although I am not in the least a shoe fashionista, I occasionally like to buy a new pair. No, I'm not talking about anything super fancy, outrageously expensive or even the sacrifice of comfort for fashion statement. I don't care. I go with Reed's motto 'Are they comfortable? Then get them. If they're not, don't buy them' along with mine 'As long as they don't look like grandma shoes..'.

I realize that I'm in a bit of a hormonal state with numerous parts of my body growing weekly, but I'm fairly sure that my feet have not taken a size jump in this pregnancy. Thankfully, they didn't with Jonah either. With Lily, they did more than their fair share of growing-a whole size or more! But, when I pull a pair of shoes out from my closet they all still fit. However, when I try on shoes at the store I'm finding that a half size up fits better. I seem to have noticed this change not just recently, but maybe even as long as over the last year or possibly two.

Tell me that I'm not imagining it. In fact, I'm almost sure that in the past few months I either read an article or heard a news story validating this fact that manufacturers were changing the sizing. You know, as in what they used to make as a womens size 8 is now actually an 8 1/2. Anyone else? I couldn't possibly be crazy and just imagining all of this. Or could I?

At this rate, I'm going to start feeling like a giant about any day now....

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just Dreaming

The morning has a rough start.
I'm yelling at my kids almost constantly.
There's too much to do and no one is moving fast enough.
We rush through the morning, eating breakfast and getting dressed.
She chooses her clothes and they don't match.
She is putting on numerous necklaces.
Her schoolgirl outfit she insists on wearing is my least favorite.
She wants the black tights, not the white ones.
His outfit matches, but the pants are too small.
The back of his pants are all wet from some accident of sorts.
There's no time to change, at least his outfit matches.
Their shoes are too small.
I look at the clock and realize they are about to miss the bus.
Then look at another and see that every clock in the house is set on a different time.
What time is it? Are we early or are we late?
I'm still shouting and rushing, frazzled from the chaos.
I decide to drive them, heck with the bus.
We arrive at school and there are boys playing in the street.
They look at me and shout bullying comments as we pass by.
They are in fifth grade.
Sitting down in the cafeteria, my children find their classes.
I've forgotten their lunches.
They've got no lunch and no snack for later.
What was I thinking? How could I forget?
A teacher hands them each a slice of bread.
I'm embarrassed and on the verge of tears.
I hear a group of fourth grade girls giggling and speaking of things girls their age shouldn't even know.
Oh my gosh, that will be my daughter in two years.
What am I doing here? Why are my kids at this school?
My children barely look like they belong here and my heart is aching.
Why do I go through this every morning? Why don't I homeschool?
I'm so crabby to my kids......

And then I wake up. It was all a bad dream. A just-before-wake-up-time morning dream. Phew. I get my bearings and am relieved. And humbled.

Would this be our reality each morning, each week if we sent our children out of our home to school? I doubt it. It was awfully extreme and so vivid.

BUT, a dream like this on a Monday morning does make me approach the new day and this new week of homeschooling very differently. I'm glad that this is our reality, this is our Monday morning. For us, it works.

I'm Sarah and I'm a homeschool mom. Good morning!

I hope your morning and your day are off to a good start!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

With A Full Heart

(This can also probably serve as my Thankful Thursday post this week)

Perhaps it's the change of seasons and nostalgia that fills the air as one season flows into the next. Maybe it's hormonal changes and a settling that has filled my days.

Pondering and cherishing. Resting and waiting.

It's a good place to be. I notice how peaceful this place is and how enjoyable life is living here.

Life is settled. Our family is growing and the children are thriving. My marriage is as blessed as ever. Breathe in, breathe out. Each day flowing into weeks. It's simpler here.

As always, yearning for a deeper relationship with Him but finding that I'm not questioning or wanting. Not at odds. No grasping. It's a much more safe and secure place to settle in, come what may.

I am at peace.

My hopeful heart is happy and full.

And I just had to remind myself how blissful this feels.

May you find yourself with a full, uplifted heart today too!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mommy Matters: Intimates

Finally back with a Mommy Matters post. Somehow they got lost in the shuffle of things around here, but rest assured I've still got a number of questions that need answering before this baby arrives!

So yes, today I decided to focus on 'intimates'. Specifically, bras. I just didn't want that word sitting up there hanging out on the top post. You never know who might get here with that word up there.

I'm going to lay it out there and be honest, so please don't blush. I promise, it won't be THAT detailed.

Let's just say that I've grown in more areas than my belly during this pregnancy already and honestly I'm getting a little worried. At this rate, things are gonna be awfully large before baby arrives and if nursing is in my future (which I'm hoping it is) then we're gonna really be gettin' big. Yikes. Here again, since it's been some time that I've been this abundant, perhaps I've forgotten that I was this large before. It's hard to say.

What can you tell me about maternity bras? Nursing bras? What I'm finding online is an acknowledgment that there is indeed a difference between the two, but in my searching I'm also finding that it is almost impossible to find maternity bras and every site only shows nursing bras. I don't remember having a problem wearing a normal bra during my pregnancies before, but I'm wondering if opting for a maternity bra (if I can locate one) would be a better choice.

Do you mind sharing? What do you do/wear at the later portion of your pregnancy? Where do you shop for your bras? Brands? Stores? Any other suggestions or recommendations? They are appreciated.

**Note: I promise I won't giggle if you start to blush while commenting.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Joining in with Jamie's wonderful idea to bring back Thankful Thursday. A great reminder to be grateful for the big and small things that make up our week.

I'm thankful for....

Autumn in MN

Fun in the leaves

Children cheerfully playing

And simply enjoying

Precious children who don't mind having their picture taken

Friends who come to visit

And of course, a husband who works hard and most often misses out on all of this fun.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Autumn Daybook

For Today...10.5.10

Outside My the 40's this morning and it's suppose to be in the lower 70's today. Windy too, which means many of the trees are becoming quite bare already.

I Am Thinking...about baby names, how this baby will look when she/he is born and what it will feel like when I hold them in my arms for the first time. aaahhhh....

I Am Thankful For...crisp autumn air and the colorful leaves on the trees that are quickly covering the ground they fall upon.

I Am Praying...for an uneventful second half of this pregnancy and a change in my body that will allow for the possibility of more babies in the future.

I Am Reading...The Promise of Lumby by Gail Fraser

Around The House...leaves, pumpkins and scarecrow decor; Laughter and fun with our out-of-state friends.

From The Schoolroom...lighter days at the desk and more time out and about with our guests.

From The Kitchen...Tator Tot hotdish; Spaghetti & Meatballs; Cream of Chicken/Wild Rice Soup

For The Rest of The Week...more visiting; dentist appointments for the kids and I; a local fire station tour with our homeschool group on Friday; extended family annual hayride on Saturday.

One Of My Favorite Things...feeling more active by walking and doing my Wii Fit again since being taken off of bed rest restrictions. Hooray!

Picture Thought I Am Sharing...

Read more Daybooks over at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Whole Lotta Sunshine

Sunny days fill the landscape of our autumn surroundings and we are completely enjoying them.

When I needed a snack idea for Little Flowers last week, I rummaged around and found a cute cupcake recipe I had pulled from a magazine.

Feeling Sunshiny? Check out the recipe over here.

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