Sunday, May 31, 2015

Life Lately

A bit of life lately, since my blog gets no attention these days. (This seems to be the trend since having our second child 3.5 years ago. How I wish that when I only had one child I realized that I actually did have free time.)

1) We arrived back home a week ago tonight from our 6-week stay in Turkey, waiting on new visas (and all the paperwork that was required). We received work visas (or Shannon did, while the girls and I received accompanying family member visas) and the wonderful news about that is that we shouldn't have to leave the country again for visa purposes. Wahoo!

One of the positives of visa runs: hooking up with friends that you've known for forever. And letting all the munchkins play together.

2) Upon arriving we decided that it was high time to put Raye in the same room with the bigger girls. We have a lot of people coming in and out this summer and moving her bed back and forth from the guest room into our room just wasn't going to cut it anymore. So we moved her in a few nights ago and they've done pretty well together. Of course we haven't had anyone wake up in the middle of the night sick or anything yet (praise the Lord) but still...overall it's going pretty well. Much better than when we put Noel in with Lane for the first time! I did move the furniture around in their room so that Raye's crib is between the window and the chest of drawers, so she can't see the bigger girls' beds. While I don't love the set-up, it works well for a transition time because while she can still hear them, at least she can't look at them (and them at her).

Classic third child syndrome. One year old and finally getting her first toothbrush.

3) Today I started the multi-day process of cleaning off our balconies from their winter accrual of nastiness. Buckets and buckets and buckets of mop water later and they're still so gross. Tomorrow I'm going to get on my hands and knees to scrub, and maybe on Tuesday I'll vacuum the bit of stuff that's left. And then maybe on Wednesday I'll start on the smaller balcony.

One kid's getting teeth while another is losing them.

4) In June the city usually turns off the hot water in apartment buildings for about a month. Since tomorrow marks June I'm feeling pressure to do things (like clean the balconies) that will just be a lot harder with limited hot water. We do have a hot water heater that we have piped in to our bathroom pipes, so we'll have hot water in there, but no hot water in the kitchen is going to make for lots of simple vegetarian meals.

So thankful this girlie still takes a nap most days.

5) When we arrived back in town we got to see how beautiful it's all become while we were gone! Spring has come and with it is that wonderful rush of energy to get things done. It's come in handy for all the furniture-arranging and balcony-cleaning that I've been doing. I'm looking forward to purchasing a bookshelf and some more plastic bins to continue organizing our books, crafts, and homeschool materials that should arrive later this week. I bought some knobs and hooks to make myself a jewelry holder. And we got family photos taken while in Istanbul so I'm looking forward to printing a few more photos and hanging some prints on the wall. After five years of parenting we do finally have photos of our kids on the wall...I'm ready to get one up of our whole family.

Like one of these. This might be my favorite of all of us.

6) Raye turns 13 months old tomorrow and since we've gotten back I've been reminded over and over again how hard the first year with a baby is. I don't think it matters which number it is, just that the first year is hard. So many transitions, they can't eat by themselves, teething, learning to be mobile, and so's just hard. In the last month Raye has gone down to one (glorious, three-hour!) nap a day. She's learning how to walk. She can feed herself a lot of foods. She has 11 teeth and number 12 is nearly through. And my life is so. much. easier. So mamas of young babies out there, take heart and push on: it does get easier. You will make it, and you will come through the other side of the first exhausting year (or so. There's nothing magic about 12's just around then). And you will be stronger for it.

And there are my thoughts for now. One of my goals for the month of June is to come up with a schedule of some kind that allows me some me time for things like blogging, reading books that have substance, exercising, and so on. I've realized that I haven't been taking very good care of myself over the past ten months or so. Part of that is because of point number six's just hard to do anything (let along take good care of yourself) when you have a baby. But part of it is because I haven't been intentional or purposeful in these things. So I'm working on learning how to care for myself. I'll (hopefully) let you know how that's going when I figure it all out.

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