I love that we have a leap year this year, so I wanted to commemorate it with a blog post of how the year has been so far!
I feel like this has been a year of goals for me. Already. In February haha. There are many things I want to do and learn and implement, and I am trying to take it a step at a time.
So far, we decided to take a break from the tv again. We usually take a break during the summer, but we felt like we needed to reset earlier. I found myself just losing myself in Netflix binges and Disney marathons. Which, in itself are not bad! But when I go to bed days in a row and don’t really have memory of being intentional with my children, or cannot remember the last time we actually ate a meal together at the table in the kitchen….action was needed. And wow, what a difference it made! I am truly astonished at the positive changes that happened in our family. Now, this is not meant to be a guilt slinger for anyone. This was something that I am thankful I did with MY family, and OUR situation. Am I anti tv? Of course not. If the girls go somewhere, they aren’t “forbidden” from watching tv. And I am not judging others for their choices or anything! Again, I wanted to remember how positive this experience was for OUR family so I can remember it if we fall back into some rough habits and mom guilt.
So the end of January we decided to put away both the tv and iPad, and this is what positives I have noticed:
-BOOKS! The tv was replaced by books and I aint even mad. Seriously. The girls are book fanatics. We go to the library once a week and checkout at least 15 books and we read the crap out of them. Plus we have accumulated quite the personal library of our own, and the girls have rediscovered their love for them. They carefully choose which books they will sleep with them at night lol. It makes my reading heart so happy! I loved reading as a kid! It’s been a long time since I have read for pleasure, Ive missed that. I will admit that I get the scruffy tired reading voice with the girls and will tell them my reading voice needs to “take a break” and that they can look at pictures for a while, while I tend to some chores or other things I gotta do haha.
-ATTENTION SPAN! Because of all the book reading and more intentional time, and more time for them to figure out their own boredom while I am busy or whatever, they have greatly increased in their attention span. Claire particularly. She used to be so glued to the tv, that she had a hard time acknowledging and focusing on what I was saying for anything longer than maybe 30 seconds to a minute. And wow it is night and day. In fact, we have even started reading chapter books. I had gotten some books a while back that were more for older age groups because they were on sale and I put them away until I felt the girls could handle it. Claire found them one day and asked, and I decided to try it, and her and Bailey were hooked! They were able to listen to the stories and chapters and didnt mind that there was maybe an illustration only every couple pages. We will sit and read for 45 minutes at a time, and they will still beg me to keep going. I was surprised! And so excited! It opens up more doors of what I can read to them and I love it! They are learning how to figure out their own boredom issues and entertain themselves (On most days at least haha) and I think that can be a really beneficial skill. It is something even I am working on personally! Trying to not fill my boredom with my phone!
-FAMILY BONDS! I feel like the bond between them as sisters has become so much more solid and strengthened. Instead of watching a few shows when Bailey is home from school, having mac n cheese in front of the tv for dinner, another movie and then to bed….now when Bailey gets home she gets attacked with hugs and kisses from Claire and Sophie, and then they all 3 run off to play together and make up stories and have imaginary time! I looooove hearing them giggle and play and use different character voices while I am making dinner. Plus, Bailey has been learning to read at school, and she will bring books home to practice with, and Claire is so eager to be read to that they will cuddle up and Bailey will read to her. It makes my Momma heart burst with happiness. And I feel like my bond with each of them has strengthened as I join in their games and reading and dance parties and sit down at the table for meals. That has been such a difference in our house. Meals at the table. It is hard for me sometimes, since Adam usually misses dinner with us from his work schedule during the week, so I didnt really make it a big priority. However, it has turned into a blessing. They are eating better and we have more discussions about how their day has gone 🙂
-MORE TIME! I feel like I gained more time overall with my children. I was living from movie to movie and show to show and centering my schedule around that. But I love that I have more time to do things with them in the day and can fill it with time together. Now, some days def feel longer than others….and I will still have time where I lock myself in the bedroom for 10 min for a breather haha but I am thankful that I gained this time with them before they are all grown and doing their own things.
Now of course I am not perfect. By any stretch of the imagination. I know I sound like I am probably gloating and bragging, and I do not mean to toot my own horn. I still have days where I am counting down the minutes til Adam comes home. I still have nights where they aren’t showered before being in bed early because I am over the bickering. I still have days where I hide in the bedroom and want to scream into a pillow from being overly needed. I still have mom guilt from yelling. I am still trying to put away my own dang phone and disconnect. And some days I am so exhausted at the end of the day because I haven’t had ANY “me” time, and I just am done.
So I don’t mean to come off as this perfect parent. Because I am not. I just wanted to document this experience for my own benefit. To remember the insane difference in my children I noticed from doing this. Because I have found that even with all the times I want to scream and pull my hair out…there have been waaaaay more positive times and smiles and hugs and happy kiddos.
Soooo yeah. There is that goal so far! We haven’t decided if or when we will bring the tv back out. We will see how it goes. But we are currently not missing it 🙂
Another goal I have been wanting to do is learn and stretch myself by doing new things. I miss learning. I miss the joy of figuring things out that are new and frustrating.
One project I have been mulling over in my head for the last 4-5 years is a baby blanket quilt. I saw the concept on Pinterest when Bailey was a baby and fell in love with the idea. So I have been saving baby clothes and momentos that I loved from each baby, (or even outfits that all three wore!) and saving them in a closet for when my last baby was at least 18 months old. Well, Sophie will be two in about 2 weeks! Ive been putting it off because it was so daunting haha plus I had soooooo many clothes I loved that I had to narrow down, and it was a slow process for my momma heart haha. But I FINALLY got the drive to start it one day, so I ran with it. Every night after the girls went to bed I would work on one step. A few of the evenings the girls would still be awake and watch me from their bedroom and ooh and ahh over the cute tiny clothes haha. Many nights I wouldn’t get to bed til after midnight. But it felt so good to learn something new, even if it was frustrating at times haha. And I finally finished it! I love it so much. Each piece is a sweet memory of the girls. Even the border around the edge is the leftover fabric I saved from making them each a quilt a couple years ago. It is like I was able to do a little time capsule of them to hang on my bedroom wall. 🙂 When it was all done I layed it out and showed the girls and brought out their baby books and showed them some pictures of them as babies wearing some of the clothes, and they were enamored with it! Again, oohing and ahhing over it and making me feel pretty great 🙂 Now at the moment it will be stowed away in my closet until we buy a house in a few years and I have space on our bedroom wall haha but I wanted to at least complete it and learn how to do it as a new project 🙂 (Which honestly…I am fine with not doing again hahaha)
So that was invigorating! Now I am figuring out a new goal. I know I want to organize all of the videos and pictures I have of our family since we got married. To put them in nice hard drive system of folders and labeled for easy finding….whew that will be an undertaking haha but I want to do that. So maybe that will be the next project I chip away at. lol.
I just feel like I can do hard things. And new things. And Ill be honest. I sometimes get overwhelmed. Or selfish of the time with Adam and us as a family. And I will bury my head in the sand for a bit and close the shades and reset myself. Specially if I feel like Ive taken too big of a bite out of something, or if I have said “yes” too much and spread myself thin. And I will pull back and hide haha. But I think that can be necessary sometimes. And I have found that if I do that…I always eventually come back out, reset and refreshed. 🙂 So that must just be my own little cycle of life haha.
But overall, I am optimistic about 2020. I am excited for the adventures and lessons that it brings 🙂
These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.