Monday, September 25, 2017

I Need to Miss Them Sometimes

When I worked full time outside of the home I missed Jena every day. Every day I hated dropping her off at preschool and every day I counted the hours till I picked her up. I felt guilty for not being with her, for not spending my days with her. I planned short outings to squeeze in our precious time between work & preschool and bedtime. We didn't have much time together, but I tried very hard to make it quality time. I missed her. All the time.

Now, the picture is very different. Now, I stay home with my children. I even homeschool them. We are, generally speaking, together 24/7. Even when Jena participates in activities, I am there. Watching, cheering, encouraging, parenting, waiting... I'm always there. We're together. All the time.

And I love being with my kids. I find it hard to imagine sending them off to school 6+ hours a day five days a week. My heart aches at the thought of not being with them for such a huge amount of time.

I love it... and I don't.

You see, I find myself needing just the smallest bit of space. It comes on me at some point almost every day. Perhaps it's because I'm an introvert, and alone time refreshes me. Perhaps it's something else in my personality. Or maybe it's just something we all need sometimes.

I find myself eager for "rest time / quiet play". Eager for bedtime. Giddy when someone actually watches them for me for a few hours.

And then, of course, I feel guilty for feeling relieved to have some time to myself, some space.

I love it... and I don't.

It used to be that if Jason & I went away by ourselves that I missed Jena terribly, I could barely stand to be without her. The truth is that now when we get rare nights to ourselves, I don't miss my kids. My heart doesn't ache. Not for a few days anyway. Oh sure, it comes eventually. But that familiar ache used to hit as we drove away. Literally just a few miles down the road. Now it takes a few days before it sets in.

I know it makes sense, to a point. But I don't know that I like it.

I need to miss them sometimes.

I need a chance to feel that ache, to want to spend time with them. Really want to, really miss it. I need an opportunity to look forward to the time with my kids, instead of it just being part of my everyday routine.

I miss missing them.

I need to miss them sometimes.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Top 10 Items We Use with an Eight Year Old

Well, a while back I came to you with the Top 10 Items We Use with a Three Year Old, and today I'm moving on to the Top 10 Items We Use with an 8 Year Old.

1. Baby Shampoo
Yes, she's eight. She also has incredibly sensitive skin. We've tried a myriad of different brands of shampoo, including organic, all natural, etc. You name it, we've probably tried it. And every last stinkin' one of them resulted with Jena having a rash on her scalp. Everything, that is, except Johnson's Baby Shampoo. Since it works well, and my poor baby has been through enough skin conditions to last a lifetime, this is it.

2. Play Doh
Thank goodness our 8 year old still likes Play Doh. It's one of the few activities she & her younger sister can agree on when playing together. Win-win for everyone.

3. Rainbow Loom & Bands
Anytime Jena is playing quietly in her room by herself, I can just about bet that she's working with her loom bands. She loves these things! I love seeing her creativity come out as she makes different items: bracelets, toy animals, clothing for her dolls... she's made so many things in some pretty cool designs too!

4. Scissors
Seriously, my child loves to cut stuff. She takes old cardboard boxes and turns them into doll houses, cuts old clothes up to make new creations. She has loved cutting since she was able to. She recently has been allowed to us my scissors instead of only using her safety scissors, and knock on wood, no accidents yet.

5. Hot Glue Gun
With all of her craftiness, which she does not get from me BTW, Jena has recently graduated to using a hot glue gun. She uses it to put together some of her cardboard creations, to create a hem on her clothing creations, or just to make a pretty craft.

6. Gymnastics Mat
My parents got her a gymnastics mat for Christmas last year, and I have to say that she has used it nearly every day since. If you have a little one in gymnastics, or who just likes to tumble around, I highly recommend investing in one. She has definitely gotten the money's worth out of it!

7. Scooter
Also a gift, Jena's scooter has become her main riding apparatus, even more fun than her bike according to her. She loves to ride it up & down the driveway, to get the mail with me, and we even took it on our camping trip a few weeks ago. 

8. Mr. Turtle
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Mr. Turtle. We got Mr. Turtle for Jena when she was just 6 months old, and he hasn't left her side since. He's a bit (okay, a lot) worn down, but he's still as awesome as ever.

9. School Supplies
I couldn't decide on one item that we use more than others, so I'm lumping them all in as "school supplies". If you recall, we homeschool our daughters, so this definitely makes the list of top items we use with Jena.

10. Soccer Stuff
Last, but certainly not least, is Jena's  soccer gear. Again, it's hard to pinpoint one item she uses more than another. Ball, shin guards, goalie gloves, water bottle, etc... all essential to every practice and game. This year we're adding a concussion headband to her gear as well. She had a close call with a cleat- meets-face scenario last year, and the play is only going to get more aggressive the older she gets. Better safe than sorry.

Well, that about wraps up my list of Top Ten Items We Use with an Eight Year Old. What about you? Anything you'd add to this list?

As always, thanks for checking in!
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