My Sunday Photo

I was trying to find THE photo to share from this week. And realized that I’ve shared most on good ol’ Instagram already… but… not this one from this evening’s bath shenanigans.

In truth: it’s been a really long week. Jared was sick at the beginning of the week and I was sick the later half of the week. And all the kids were/are sick to some degree. So just blah all around.

But, one thing I did think about…

There are no “sick days” in mothering. I mean, there are definitely days where you’re sick while mothering, but no days where you get the “lay in bed and sleep all day” option. At least not in my stage of motherhood. Maybe oneday…

As a Catholic, I hear a lot about carrying my cross, and right now, my cross is motherhood. Motherhood is also my vocation, and don’t get me wrong, I love it, but it’s also a cross. I really felt like I fell down this week under that weight. And then I remembered Jesus on His walk up the hill, He fell down too. But, He got back up and kept on going. And in that moment, I felt this life line being tossed. Like, it’s ok, we all fall down sometimes under the weight of… everything… the important thing, I think is to get up again. And keep going. {Even if you can’t talk to your kids, because your voice decided to give out…}

Sorry, guys, wasn’t trying to get all deep and depressing here tonight, it’s just what came out when I started writing.

But ending on a positive note we welcomed some new people into our extended families this week.. one by birth and one by marriage so life is overall Good. {Especially if you’re not quite two and mom lets you intentionally dump the water out of the tub}

Photalife

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My Sunday Best {7?} // JEI {2}

My Sunday Best – mommy
My Sunday Best – Kat

You know those times you just show up at Mass? Those times where the mornings don’t quite go as planned? And there are moments of pure frustration? This was one of those mornings.

I kneeled down before we began and was definitely questioning the “why’s” of making the effort. When the processional started and I realized the words…

“Here I am to worship // here I am to bow down // here am I to say that you’re my God”

I felt like God had definitely made Himself heard (by me) loud and clear.

So…

Switching gears a little, I’m answering this week’s “Just Enough Info” questions…

What is your mom beverage of choice? 

Well…. If we’re talking alcoholic beverage (?) then I really don’t drink, so…. I’m leaving that one blank.

If we’re talking other beverage…

Coffee.

Hands Down.

If it was possible I would live off coffee. And it’s not the caffeine buzz that does it for me (I really don’t get much of a buzz) nor the popular mommy cliche “I’m so tired, I just need coffee to survive” (I’d rather just have the sleep thankyouverymuch) I just, really, REALLY, love coffee.

What do you do to relax? 

Read or Crochet. Listen to Podcasts. Drink Coffee.

When was the last time you got away with girlfriends or alone (and the grocery store does NOT count)?

Ummm….

Ummmmmmmm……

I went to Cape Cod with Jared for our anniversary a few weeks ago, but… we took Nicholas, so that’s not really “alone”.

Before that, I seriously have no idea.

One thing I did realize while we were at the Cape was that I was seriously exhausted. Not necessarily in a “need more actual sleep” kind of way, but of being hands on mom every minute of the day. Yes, having Nicholas there meant I was still doing mom stuff all the time, but it was just him. I don’t think I had realized just how much mental time and energy I had been spending doing all the mom stuff that needs doing. And what I took away from that is that I’m pretty sure I need to have some more built in away time.

I think awareness is the first step in correcting that, but beyond that I don’t know how to implement it. Because I think it goes beyond needing just a couple of hours to myself. I feel like I might need more like an entire day and logistically I don’t know how that’s supposed to work right now. I do have some ideas, but baby N. complicates it. Prayers?

~~~~~

Here’s the link up for this week’s JEI over at Sweeping Up Joy and for My Sunday Best at A Blog for My Mom

 

JEI {1} : Chores

And continuing in the “let’s join in new link ups this weekend” theme….

I heard about this link up, The Zelie Group : Just Enough Info a few weeks ago, by the internet/blog randomness that sometimes happens, and I tend to love these kids of things because there are a few questions,  easy to answer, and you get to have my take on various motherhood things.

This week the talk is about Chores

1. What chore should you be doing now instead of answering this question?
Well, interesting that I’m writing this on Sunday…. because normally I try to leave Sunday free from any unnecessary chores. It doesn’t always work, but I at least aim for that. {I wrote about it a little tiny bit a few weeks months back over here}.

Anyways, things I need to do that I forgot about: Pay bills, empty bathroom trash can, empty recycle bin… I guess, technically none of those will suffer if I wait until tomorrow to do them, except for the fact that both the trash and recycle bins are full. to. the. top. So….

I also have a tendency to forget about chores I need to do “tomorrow”, by which I mean if I don’t do them “right this second” I will guaranteed forget about them. I could always make a list of them, but then I have a to do list that takes me almost as long to write up as to just do the chore so I don’t do that either…. Anyways

chores

2. Do your kids have chores? If yes, what’s your chore system?

Yes. Yes they do.

They are responsible for:

  • Cleaning up 97% of the toys, books, and general random stuff all over the house.
  • Cleaning their rooms
  • Setting the table on rotating days (most of the time)
  • Clearing off the table after meals (Johny and Karl)
  • Sweeping the dining room floor three times a day as needed (Katherine – it usually happens less often than once a day)
  • Washing the breakfast and lunch dishes on alternating days (Kat and Johny)
  • Putting away clean dishes on specific days (Karl)
  • Helping with other household cleaning as they’re called upon, including but not limited to: mopping, vacuuming, cleaning or at least tiding the bathroom)
  • We’ve made a half hearted attempt at helping with laundry, but it isn’t very consistent yet. Kat will randomly decide she needs to have a specific piece of clothing right away and then do a load of laundry (wash, dry, fold) to get it.

By the way, my kids are nearly 7 (Kat), nearly 6 (Johny), and 4.5 (Karl)… so they’re more than capable of taking care of things that need to be done. Other than the sweeping I try to keep it limited to once or twice a week.

I don’t know if that system has a name per se, but that’s what we do, it’s mostly on a flexible list in my head 😉

I try to remember something that was told to me, which apparently originated with my mom (but was told me by someone else):

If they’re old enough to make the mess, they’re old enough to clean it up.

3. If someone gifted you a housekeeping service, would you use it?

Absolutely! I know this for a fact because over the winter I had a girl come and help out with some cleaning. It wasn’t anything crazy (like spring cleaning), but it was so, so nice to know that all the nooks and crannies in the bathrooms got taken care of and the floor was mopped to the point where all the sticky spots were actually cleaned.

So, yes. I will take all the help. I have no shame in admitting I’m a pretty lax housekeeper, and there have been more times than I’d care to admit that my husband has showed me how some things are supposed to be clean – *cough* bathtub *cough*…

The one thing I DO like doing? Decluttering and throwing stuff away. Oh and laundry. Love getting the laundry done (just not the folding part 😉 ).

chores-2
I would like to be a better housecleaner, but…. there’s just so much other stuff to do. I mean, someone’s gotta take cute pictures of the kids, and those books aren’t gonna read themselves….

~~~~~

Here’s the link up for this week’s JEI over at Sweeping Up Joy

 

Two months: a check-in

Two months

I did my first “hard” trip with kiddos this month last month {because this is how long it takes me to write posts these days…}. I took both the babies (at the time 18 months and 2 months) to the pediatricians alone. My mom had offered to go along with me, but I told her I really needed to try and do it by myself, because I know there will be a day when I just don’t have anyone else to watch the kids and I’ll have to bring them somewhere by myself. {Side note: it may have actually been easier if I brought the older kids to help entertain Z during the whole time we were there, but I didn’t have them, so it makes me hopeful that if/when I do have to do it with all of them by myself that it’ll be easier}.

As a mama of five now, but more importantly, as one who has been a mama for 6+ years, I look back at myself when I had just the one baby and think “if only she knew how easy just one is”. But then I catch myself and realize that where we’re at in the moment is the hardest. Because we’ve never done it before.

I know when I was that first time mama, I would look at mamas with older/more kids and think “well, they’ve at least got it all figured out”. Now I’m that mama that I was looking at: I’ve got a few more kids, and they’re somewhat older and…. I don’t have it all figured out.

Sure, the newborn stage isn’t as scary anymore. I more or less know what to expect from the new baby. I don’t have to give myself hours of pep talk to take the newborn to the grocery store or the pediatricians or to Mass or pretty much anywhere. I don’t worry about if he’ll need to eat while we’re out. I don’t worry about having to change him while we’re out. I don’t worry about him starting to get fussy or crying while we’re out. So, yes, in a sense I’ve got a much better handle on that stage.

But… all five out at once? Still working on that. That’s still new for me. That’s still hard. And maybe someday I’ll look back and think “ah, those were the easy years”, but I’m not there yet.

So, for all you first time mamas out there, or mamas with a new little one, just a note of encouragement, yes this time right now is hard, and that’s OK. It’s hard for everyone. Don’t feel like you have to have it all figured out, that comes with time.

Even “experienced” mamas still have new things to learn; new situations to encounter and make it through. And new is scary and hard sometimes.

In the trenches of motherhood with all my fellow mamas!

little things that are helping {feb 2016}

little things

What’s keeping me going these days? I honestly hadn’t thought much about it until a post popped up from Modern Mrs Darcy – The things that are saving my life right now… And while I don’t know that I would classify these as lifesavers per se, they seem to be saving my sanity at the moment, so maybe that’s what it means?

Little recap of where we’re at right now: Homeschooling 1st grade (the early grade kids just aren’t getting any official school work right now, no energy from me); 32+ weeks with baby #5, mild-ish winter (with the exception of a few days). Hubby recently on a *hopefully* short lay off from work…

~1~
Coffee, first thing in the AM

Now, I know many people use coffee as a “wake up/stay awake” vice, but not me. It doesn’t keep me awake nor make me less tired. (In fact if I drink too much I just get shaky). So I know this is a cliche among mothers, especially mothers of littles (of which I most definitely am), but I really just like to have a nice hot cup of coffee when I first wake up. Mostly because I like it.

~2~
Quiet in the AM

To go along with the coffee. Doesn’t happen every day, but when it does…. definitely makes for a bit calmer me.

~3~
Cup of tea mid-morning

I mentioned above I can’t really drink a ton of coffee, but I do still enjoy hot drinks in the winter time. I was 99% sure tea was out of the question because it was really making my stomach hurt every time I even tried to drink it. But… then it was recommended that I try an herbal tea. I had conveniently been give some just a few days prior to that conversation so I tried it…. And it wasn’t horrible. Maybe not my top hot drink ever, but, good enough to help get through the school morning. {Again, not because of the caffeine, but just having something nice and warm in my hands while trying to get through the math lesson…}

~4~
School work getting easier

Maybe it’s just that we’ve finally managed to figure out how to work together, but school seems to be getting just a little bit easier to manage with Katherine. Maybe it’s her reading skills (which have GREATLY improved since the start of the year) or maybe it’s that she hasn’t been dragging her feet so much about math or maybe it’s that I finally figured out a way to make the history book we’re using work for us…. Whatever it is, I’m glad.

~5~
Nap-time

For the kids and for me. Rest time for the big kids and nap for Zachary, who finally may be getting on roughly the same schedule as the bigger ones, which is helping so, so, so much! I’m really needing to have the time to be able to sleep in the middle of the day and it’s been so nice to have that chunk of time available.

~6~
Car Seats

Have found out that we probably won’t have to spend quite as much as we first thought we would on new car seats for the kids. (We’ll need them once baby arrives). Pretty sure we found a booster option that’ll work. We’ll still have to pay more than I’d like, but not as much as we initially thought. Which is bringing financial calmness to me.

~7~
Hubby helping with dinner dishes

This is probably one of the biggest things that makes me calm inside. I can’t stand having a dirty kitchen (which you’d never know if you visited my house, because I’m such a *super-fantastic* housecleaner…) But, having it cleaned up while I put the kids to bed, leaves it with a nice clean place to start to make the coffee for the morning.

~8~
366 Project

I know I forgot to post last weekend. But really, having a little photo project for the year is just something that I really enjoy. And it’s been about all I’ve posted on the blog in recent months. But I still like that it gives a little year-in-a-glance and also makes me feel like I accomplish something (or part of something) every day!

There you have it. Little tiny things that make my day run just a little bit smoother. Nothing huge, but stuff I definitely look forward to. What’s been helping you along in the middle of this winter?

{I’m linking up with MMD at the above link.}