01 February 2015

Great Plains Balance

As I lay in bed on Monday night and reflected on the day, I once again knew that I'd spent too much time online, but I finally decided to do something about it. I vowed to myself that I would not use electronic devices when the girls were awake. There would be exceptions for taking and receiving calls and texts (I'm not an excessive texter), looking up a recipe, or playing music. But email, Facebook, news reports? They had to wait until Eleanor was napping or Abigail was in school. I really like the results I got, although it does take a lot of discipline to stick with it.

The entire week was five full days of "one step forward, one step backward" - which is actually a really good thing when your oldest kid is three-and-a-half. It means functioning a level above survival mode. Eleanor has an awful, bleeding rash on her bottom from teething. She's very, very fussy all day long, naps like shit, doesn't sleep at night. One step back. But for the first time in her life, Abigail said, "Mommy? Potty." I took her to the bathroom and she went. #2. Right on the potty. I didn't expect her to repeat the performance again all week (and she didn't), but it was a huge hope-bringer to this Mama, who feels like potty training is something we're never going to accomplish. One step forward. All week long. Stayed on top of the diapers and washed all the clothes, sheets, and towels! Got pizza for dinner. Drank 100oz of water each day all week! Skipped my Wednesday evening swim fitness class. But I'm really satisfied and proud of this week - of how I didn't binge on the pizza, how I paid more attention to my kids instead of staying on top of all the blogs. It was a very tiring week - raising kids is both physically and mentally exhausting, but I feel really satisfied.

I recently finished up a bunch of crochet projects, including a poncho-style sweater for Abigail:

 I didn't use a pattern, I just made it up as I went, but as you can see, it's very simple.

Two gifts, one of which utilized this collection of butterfly specimens:

And this afghan that just finished today (Sunday)!

I love crocheting, but I have a lot of hobbies and not much time to do them. Now that I've gotten this rash of projects done, I'm going to shift it to the back burner in favor of getting my book published and reading more.

As I mentioned earlier, Eleanor's top two teeth are wrecking havoc in our lives. I finally broke down and got an amber teething necklace - I didn't really think it would work, but I was desperate. I would say it took the fussiness down by 30% - just enough edge off to restore some semblance of napping. Teething gel works marvelously, but wears off after at 15-20 minutes. I scoured the baby aisle at Meijer and found some teething tablets that take another 30% off as well. So we're down about 60%, with intermittent break-though pain that results in a very unhappy baby.

One step forward? I got my hair cut! One step backward? I still haven't taken an "after" shot.


Well, that is all I have time for, my friends. Abigail is awake and Matt is reaching fussy baby critical max.


Cammie Wollner said...

Eleanor looks so much bigger than the last time we saw you guys! I can hardly believe it!

I love the idea of staying offline when the kids are awake. I've been moving towards doing it. Not sure if I'll get there entirely, but we're heading at least partway in that direction (I keep my computer in the kitchen during the day, so that helps a bit).

And all of your projects look great. That afghan is so pretty!

Anonymous said...

Offline is a great idea when you have Little Ones. I read so much more -both to the kids and for myself. We're also doing schoolwork four days a week, so I'm busier with that. I also think I have more peace of mind, I'm worried about less things and more tuned in to more important things, like my parents' and siblings' lives because I call and write more often.

That little poncho sweater is adorable!

Book recommendations (because I finished the first and am enjoying the second): Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn (truly amazing conversion story that took place when their kids were young, they were in grad school, etc) and My Sisters the Saints by...can't remember her name...but I think you would really like it very much. I hate to say "Google it," but I'm nursing a sleeping baby now and can't run downstairs to grab the book!

Happy February! Winter in the Midwest is almost over! Yay!

:-) TB