I promised myself that I would do a little check in every once in awhile to set some goals and regroup with how things are going with me being at home. Honestly, I've been met with all sorts of reactions when I've told people that I left my job. Some congratulate me on my decision while others tell me they could never stay home with their children all day. I know everyone has different experiences, jobs, and children so there isn't really a right way to approach the decision. Ultimately, I knew it was the best choice for me, but I am definitely still figuring a few things out! I've been home every day for two months now, with little to no childcare other than grandma or a friend watching Edwin for an hour and I've really only done that a couple of times. He has come everywhere with me including a trip to the nail salon when I just couldn't take it any longer and had to get that pedicure! ;)
Here are a few things that have gone really well these last couple of months and a few things I would like to work on moving forward...
#1 Edwin and I are just starting to get a solid routine down. We have activities planned most mornings of the week so we are up and out of the house from 9:30-11:30 each day. This gives us time in the morning to get up, get ready, get dressed, and use the potty. I work out a few days a week, and other days we go to the farm, the library, or the children's museum. Some days we'll go swimming too! After a morning activity we are usually both ready to go home for lunch, stories, and then nap. If I'm lucky I can get something done around the house during nap time, but it doesn't always happen because I will sometimes nap myself. I feel ridiculously spoiled right now and have taken a lot of naps this summer!
#2 Potty training! Edwin is not fully potty trained, but we have made SO much progress this summer and I have gained a lot of confidence in working on it with him. It's become a regular part of our daily routine and we definitely use the potty every single day. This was not happening at all while I was working and it feels really good to be starting this process. We have even started to feel brave enough to leave the house without a diaper on and I now bring extra undies and pants with me wherever I go, just in case. Major thumbs up!
#3 Finding simple activities to do! Whether it is scooting around the neighborhood, picking clovers, or laying on a blanket in the yard, I find Edwin and I are happiest when our days are really simple. I've definitely felt a shift from the frenzy of summer activities into a quieter routine and it is really nice.
#4 I feel very satisfied with each day. I no longer feel like I am missing out on everything and I no longer feel really sad and stressed out all the time. This is huge! I find it to be a really good challenge for me being at home. There is always something to work on and I don't see that slowing down anytime soon.
Thumbs Down, For Now
#1 I'm sure you could ask any parent of a toddler this and you would get the same answer, but meal times are still one of my biggest frustrations. Nick and I are realizing we need to be firmer with rules at the dinner table and not give in to his crazy demands. The other morning I made muffins, muffins right? You would think the most toddler friendly food in the world, but no, I was in tears and there were muffins smashed on my table. It's not always like that, but I definitely have a little fear in me at every meal. Will this improve as he gets older? Gosh, I hope so.
#2 Meal planning. I need a good hour or two set aside just to plan food for the week AND another hour or two to do some prep on the weekends. If I don't, guaranteed I will be running to the store 12 times for one ingredient. Making a list is a must for me. I also have dreams of coming up with a dozen or so go-to meals that I could make all the time that would please everyone. I have never been that streamlined in the kitchen before, but I think it's time. I have to chuckle because my first idea of "streamlining" things was coming up with "muffin Monday" for breakfast. As you read, it didn't really go as planned!
#3 Getting to a yoga class. What yoga class? I really really hope to get to a yoga class again someday, and it better happen before my next yoga retreat when I'm 50. I've made it to one class this summer. Major thumbs down.
#4 What else? I know. Edwin and I have started arguing a little. Honestly, I never had the opportunity to do this before, so this is really new for me. But, now that we spend so much time together, it happens. He's tired, I'm tired. He's being a toddler, I think it's ridiculous. Again, stuff I'm sure every parent deals with, but it's definitely new territory for me. Learning how to respond, how to diffuse it, how to pick my battles? I don't know, but it's something that is in the back of my mind a lot these days that I hope evolves and makes more sense to me over time.
Anyway, these are just a few things that I have been thinking about lately. I am looking forward to doing these check ins to see if we can keep a good routine going and maybe even improve my consistency with a few things. I know being home with children can be a challenge, but I also know that I can learn so much from this experience and that I have really high hopes for this chapter of my life. So, to end on a positive note I thought I'd share a couple more huge successes, in addition to the ones above.
One, I am ridiculously caught up on my laundry at all times! Yay! And, drum roll please...I scrubbed my bathroom floor for the first time in a year!!! Don't ask, just know that I am really really glad it's clean! Overall, I feel way more organized at home, but as we all know, the work is never truly done.
Posted by Sally Mae at 1:06 PM
We've been spending some time this summer on Sugar Camp Lake. It feels really good to be up there after a couple year hiatus while the cabin was being worked on. My in-laws have poured there heart and soul into that place over the years and I can't believe how ridiculously blessed we are to get to raise our family on such a beautiful lake. Edwin just loves it there and we make sure to play in the water a little bit no matter how windy or cold it may be, it's still really fun. This weekend was an extra special treat for me because Edwin was so busy playing with friends and family that I actually had time to read, nap, didn't have to cook at all, and even got to sit on the dock with my husband and enjoy the super moon! I'm not quite sure exactly how that happened, but I'll take it! We'll be spending a few more weekends up there this summer, but this one was noteworthy.
This week I took advantage of the end of strawberry season with a quick batch of popsicles! I used a recipe from this cook book and made a purée of strawberry, coconut milk, and a touch of maple syrup. For the bottom half I puréed mango and coconut milk, and layered the two flavors in the popsicle mold. Needless to say, they were a hit! I love that they are way healthier than store bought popsicles because the fruit is so sweet you don't need much sugar, and the coconut milk is a healthy fat that makes these so creamy and delicious!
Strawberry Mango Frozen Pops! (makes 8)
1 cup of strawberries, washed and hulled
1/4 cup of full fat coconut milk
1 T maple syrup
Puree ingredients together and pour halfway into popsicle mold of your choice. There are so many cute popsicle molds out there that I have to practice some serious restraint to not buy a bunch of different kinds!
1 ripe mango, peeled and sliced away from the pit
1/4 cup of full fat coconut milk
The mango is so sweet you don't need any sweetener! Puree together and pour into the popsicle mold to fill. Insert sticks into the mold and place on a flat shelf in the freezer for several hours until set. To release the popsicle from the mold sometimes I need to run the plastic mold under water for several seconds. Eat and enjoy outside, in case of drips!!
Last year Nick and I had fun trying out a few firework pictures, but I realized that I never actually posted this fun little animated GIF that I edited from all of our photos. So, here it is again, one year later. Edwin, written in fireworks!