Dry Spells.

For quite a few months I have not written or shared much on motherhood and as a result there has been a dry spell here on the blog. The problem is that I have not had much to say. I am at a point in motherhood where I am trying to figure a lot out. Whenever I think " I got it" in regards to child-rearing my kids throw me a curve-ball and change in some way. I suppose it will be like this for a while since my kids are always changing and are each growing in their own individual ways.

Many days I am at a loss as to what to do and how to best raise my boys. Despite all the books, blogs, and advice I receive I still I feel like I am a referee, chef, house cleaner, doctor, coach, teacher, disciplinarian, and babysitter all at one time. Each boy has their own needs and whether it be a meal, a sickness, or a change in clothing size my days are starting to blur together. The OCD/ schedule-lover likes the monotonous life I live where I can to some degree expect what each day will look like. I am a control freak (and will be the first to admit that) at times and being able to decide what we do each day keeps my nerves at ease. At the same time, I sometimes stare outside or look on Instagram and long to have some spontaneity in my life. I wonder what it would be like to throw our normal routine out the window and just drive somewhere because we can. The struggle is real and as much as I try not to fantasize what my life could be life it is so easy to wonder what it could be like if I was more of a free spirit. I  am content with life right now (and have much to be thankful for) but at the same time I am up for a change in our day to day routine.

There is a quote from the show The Crown (a series on Netflix) where Queen Elizabeth II states " That's the thing about unhappiness. All it takes is for something worse to come along and you realize it  was happiness afterall. " After dealing with PPD for the second time I now know what it is to be happy. I have had days that were very low and now I can embrace and love the days that are no longer filled with the worries, fear, and anxiety that can come with postpartum depression. 2017 was full of change. Change and me don't mesh well. But I can see how God has used all of the change in our lives this past year to cause me to trust more in Him and to see more clearly how my ways are not my own. 

If you would like to share a little bit about your journey through motherhood, a birth story, reflection, book review, and/or want a space to share what is going on in your life please contact me @ ginazdavis@gmail.com and submit a post. This space has been very instrumental for my own life and I hope it can be a place for you to have a voice too. Thank you so much for listening to my ramblings and for sticking around. 

***If you did not know already, there is a private mom Facebook group for the blog called Baby Blue Mom Group. This group of moms are some of the most encouraging, kind, and loving women I know. If you would like to join please find us.

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 December was filled with sickness at our house. 

December was filled with sickness at our house. 

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toddler sleep struggles.

It is no surprise that we like our sleep around here. Our kids have always had an early bedtime and Nick and I value our alone time just as much as we value our time with our kids. With having a third baby on the way we are trying to help pave the road for the smoothest transition possible. Two weeks ago we moved Max out of his beloved master closet and moved both boys into a room together. I was originally super hesitant about this but thanks to the gentle push of one of my best friend's the transition has not been awful at all.

Currently we put both boys to bed together at 7pm. We read books, pray. sing and then Nick tucks Calvin into his bed and I put Max into his crib. Max really wants to sleep with Calvin but Calvin (being such a routine kid) is not having it right now. We still use fans, a sound machine, and black out curtains to help the boys sleep through the night.

When we leave the room Max uses that time period to basically go crazy. He jumps up and down in his crib like it is the best possible thing in the world to do and proceeds to throw out his "night night" aka Aden and Anais security blanket and sippy cup of water onto the floor. Calvin is usually super tired at this point since he no longer naps so Max is always confused as to why he isn't joining in on the fun. Max will giggle and say "come on brother" on repeat for a good 20 or so minutes before falling asleep. 

The struggle we have is during the middle of the night when Calvin wakes up. Max has been sleeping through the night for over a year now so he is out for the night once he is asleep. For the past two years Calvin has always woken up to use the potty and then has been sleeping with my mom every night. We are trying to break this habit and also give my mom a break from sleeping with Calvin since he is a very active sleeper and can easily kick you in the face while he sleeps.

For now we are putting him back into his bed and if he gets out Nick is in charge of making sure he either goes back or if he is emotionally just scared Nick will jump into bed with him. We don't want him in our bed because:

1. We have a queen bed which is small
2. We want him to get used to his bed for when Max eventually goes into a big boy bed and
3. When the baby comes I always like to have my newborns in my room for the first 3 months and we don't want baby brother waking him up. 

Our bedrooms are less than 10 feet away and our door is open, so our hope is that every night he will slowly get used to being in his own bed alone. I am sure that right when that happens Max will learn to jump out of his crib, but we are working on one kid at a time. Calvin learned to get out of his crib around 22 months so we are keeping Max in his sleep sack for as long as possible to help prolong that event. 

Every family does bedtime and sleep differently. For us, we like our room to be "ours" and value time alone together. I'm also not a cuddler by any means so the fewer bodies in our bed the better. And I always get anxious when we try something new. Thankfully, this transition is going much smoother than we thought. Our boys are loving their new room together and my hope is that they will love being together just as much as my sisters and I loved being able to share a room. I have just over 4 months until baby boy #3 arrives so I am not wasting any opportunities to maximize my sleep before we go back into newborn survival mode. 

What sleeping arrangement do you have for your kids? Did the transition from crib to bed go smoothly for you? Any tips or advice on room-sharing, nightmares, and middle of the night wake-ups?

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 2 of the same for everything

2 of the same for everything

 They read Room on the Broom ALL DAY long

They read Room on the Broom ALL DAY long

 Work in progress

Work in progress

why we won't be homeschooling...for now

Nick went to preschool. I went to preschool, and it turns out we did just fine. I am well aware of how different society is now than it was around 27 years ago, but for our family we have decided to put Calvin in preschool. You can read about our first initial trial with preschool HERE. We ended up keeping him home this previous year but are all ready for this new adventure.

Each family makes decisions based on what works best for them and for their children. Our kids are super social and love being around people. Calvin asks me when he can see his "friends" on a daily basis, and I can't help but want the same for him. He is almost four (in a few weeks) and still has two more years to go until kindergarten, and preschool in Southern California is a huge financial investment, For us though, sending him to school part-time is going to be worthwhile for him, even though it's quite a sacrifice for us. Thankfully, Nick has two sisters who have selected different educational paths for their children: one sends her son to school and the other home-schools. Having family members who are on both sides of the coin helps me feel confident that I will have the support we need for the years to come, no matter what we decide for our children.

Calvin is very impressionable and loves imagination, adventure, science, make-believe, and just plain fun. The school he will be going to is really going to help him continue to explore some of his favorite hobbies, all the while learning a few things here and there.

Before deciding on preschool, I wanted to find some other moms or groups that I could do "school" with, but that was to no avail. I also have never really had an interest in homeschooling. Once both boys are back in school I hope to go back to work in some capacity. Possibly working wherever they attend, finding a company I am passionate about, or whatever other avenue God opens up for me. Nick and I are not naive to the fact that both public and private school is never going to be a substitute for our parenting in the home. We will have to use wisdom and good judgment on a lot matters regarding their education and influences, but for now we have total peace about preschool being the next big chapter in Calvin's life.

Max and I are about to have some much needed one-on-one time, come September. I hope to find something that we can do that is special between he and I. Calvin will not stop talking about how many friends he plans on making and he asks us thrice daily how much we will miss him when he's gone (for less than 4 hours only twice a week). I hope he comes home with a smile ear to ear and that as a family we meet a whole new community of people to do life together with. The school he will attend is not part of our denomination and we only know one or two other families there, so we are excited to meet new people. Whether you home-school or send your kids to school, I support you as I hope you will support me.

My kids continue to grow up right before my eyes and one thing is for sure: one of us will be bawling our eyes out in a few weeks; and it won't be Calvin.

Is anyone else starting school in September? Do you home-school or send your child to school? What is the hardest part of watching your baby grow up?

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