Thursday, November 30, 2017

The No Texting Update

It's been three weeks and this No Texting/No Social Media thing and it keeps getting better and better. Everyday I enjoy it in different ways. Like a waterfall rushing over the edge, the (major and subtle) lifestyle changes of this new/old way of life are flooding me. 

I'm serious. We are talking about major shifts in the undercurrents of my life. 

Here is the scorecard of the first two weeks. I have: 

1. Written letters.
2. Received notes.
3. Drained two pens of their ink.
4. Journaled semi-regular
5. Finished two books, halfway through my third.
6. Taken daily catnaps. 
7. Had several good meet-ups with friends. 
8. Invited even more friends over.

Things in my life feel so much better than before. Part of me wants to stop and thoroughly take inventory of all the changes, big and small, that I've experienced. The loudest part of me doesn't want to worry about figuring out the changes. This is a novel feeling for me, but I believe it: I don't have to know all the ways it is better to know that it is better. Meaning, I don't have to list out all the pros and cons and see the large list of pros to validate that this has been a good decision for me. Everything feels better. Everything. 

There is a disclaimer: I have mixed reviews from my family. One person is understanding and supportive, two people are outright critical, the rest are indifferent. If I'm being honest, I miss sharing pictures and moments with my family. That has been the biggest sacrifice. It's hard on everyone. 

Nonetheless, I love it and I'm not sure that I will ever go back!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Ridge and Lark Museum Day

It's back to the baby boys again! In many ways, Ridge and Lark are like Burl and Fern 2.0. The age differences and my parenting flavor are the same. With Burl and Fern, I looked at each week and decided 2-4 outings that we would do. With Ridge and Lark, the structure of school and all the naps we have to take has limited our ability to go out and do. While we are limited to one outing a week, we traded them for a buffet of floor time play and inviting friends over (when we are well enough). It's a different speed, but it's still good and rich. 

Last week, we got to go on an outing. I was thrilled! I woke up in the middle of the night with anticipation! I knew that we would spend most of our time playing in the water exhibit of our children's museum, and that's what we did. 

These babies loved playing in the water! I sat there and slightly supervised, but they didn't need me much because they are busy on their own. 

The time passed quickly and we had to head home for naps (always), but I look forward to when we can go back. Until then, we can be found on the floor at home, at the grocery store, or napping. 

Moms of littles, what's your mom speed? Go and do or homebody? 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Remote Control Tickles

Guess who fixed the remote control for her camera? 
This girl did. (One of my favorite gifts ever!)

I am definitely a Tickle Mom. I know just where to go for the laughter that temporarily stops breathing-I love those little laughs. 

{Growing up, my mom was the Armpit Birdie and my dad was the Tickle Monster. I have some ancient memories of them putting us to bed taking turns tickling Joseph and me.}  

Once I fixed the remote, I set it up o the tripod and got to work tickling my two little buddies. While we miss Burl and Fern when they're at school, we do our best to have a good time playing, usually on the floor and always together.  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fern is 6!

Before we had children, John and I would play this fun game called, "Where would the baby be?" We would ask that question at different times and day dream where the baby would be in any given situation. During one fun round of that game, I said, "I want a red headed girl named Fern," and a few years later, I got one. I got a great one. 

We overdid it again with the celebrations, but we can't not celebrate. EVERYTHING turns into a party. Here's what we did:

1. Grandparents over for doughnuts
2. Friends over for rainbow party
3. Cookies to school on her ACTUAL birthday
4. John, Ridge, Lark and I took Wendy's to eat with her at school
5. My personal favorite: take the birthday child out for dinner alone with Mom and Dad

The friend party was sweet because she is in a really good season of having fun friends from school, church, and life. She LOVES friends. Her rainbow party was really a playdate with decorations and good snacks. There were no games or tasks. Play-eat-play. 

It should be remembered that her precious teacher asked me if she could come to Fern's birthday party, which she did. She was the star of the party. Fern loved her card and flowers, "I'm going to treasure this card forever."

For her fancy dinner out with John and me, she chose Jimmy John's (and we threw in Clumpies for fun). The nights with the one child is as much for us as it is for them. We VALUE this time with them. We've found that the kids don't stop talking and everything is noteworthy. Throughout the night, John and I exchange knowing glances at each other. 

We both know that this time with Fern, this meal, this day, this season, this life, is our treasure. We love and adore her and she feels that. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Halloween 2017

Fern from Charlotte's Web.
Pikachu from Pokemon
$9 Monster's Inc costume that we called Baby Dragon to fit Ridge's alter ego.

It was another great night of neighborhood chaos and tired legs after trick or treating.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Reading The Bible

Two years ago Burl asked me, "Mom, have you finished reading the Bible yet?" The answer was multifold of "I never stop reading the Bible" and "actually I haven't read every word but I've read several parts multiple times." That conversation stuck with me, because I want my children to know that I believe so strongly in the Bible that I have read every word, so I launched into a read-through-the-Bible schedule with the goal of reading it within three years.

It has been the best, richest, favoritest way that I've experienced the Bible. BY FAR. I think that I will always have this schedule as my basis for my personal devotions. I'm about 3/4 of the way through it and I'll say two things about it:

1. The Bible makes more sense to me and is way better than I've ever realized. 
It is my lifeline. 
2. There's some weird stuff in there and I have more questions than ever before. 

If you're at all interested in Christianity or are a Christian yourself, then I would highly encourage trying this schedule. (The reading takes about 20 minutes each day.)

Also, I would love to talk/email with anyone who wants to discuss it. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Mom, The Community Helper

Fern had to choose a community helper to be, and she chose "mom" because she wants to be just like me. Her words, not mine. (Birthday presents were doubled when she told me this.)

For her tools, she said that she needed a pots, pans, purse, wallet, and a baby doll. (There was no mention of a phone-winning!)

When asked what would happen if there were no moms, the two moms said, "all the children would die."  

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Too Much & Not Enough

I can't slow down time or add days to this sweet short season of my life. However, I can slow the pace by which I live them. For the next year, I've given up social media (blog excluded) and texting.  I've taken major strides on getting myself off of my phone over the year and it's helped, but the changes have not been enough. I want for more of life and less of phone. 

The main reason that I'm doing this is that I have a disdain for keeping up with and managing my phone. It's another thing to get out the door, another thing that I have to make sure is with me, another thing to check, and another thing to speed up my life. I was fed up.

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, cell phones didn't enter the scene until I was in college. In many ways I hold a deep nostalgia for that pace of life. The only interruptions were a knock on the door or a ringing phone. I was either with people or I wasn't with people. My time alone was alone and my time with people was fun and great. There were no blurred lines of socializing. When I was by myself I watched TV, listened to music, wrote in my journal, (I didn't become a reader until adulthood,) daydreamed, moped, doodled, and my ultimate favorite thing to do: wondered about stuff. 

Texting and Instagram helped living my life like this for a little bit. Texting helped coordinate my calendar and Instagram gave me a fuller view into the lives of my friends. These were helpful tools until they weren't. The scales tipped along the way and socializing happened on my phone instead of in person-a watered down version of friendship. 

Sure, I love a good banter in my girlfriend text thread or sharing cute videos of the the kids with my extended family. It became too much and not enough. I was shoving my phone camera in my kids faces to share whatever cute thing they were doing at the moment. I missed hanging out and letting loose and not worrying about a picture. 

This word vomit of thoughts got me to hating my cell phone. I was ready to get rid of it and install a landline. After talks with John and friends, the decision was made to cut down the functions of my iPhone. I'm a little scared about the adjustment, but I'm also looking forward to the reclaimed time and fuller meet ups with friends.

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