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Katie B's Parenting Journal

Entry 21 ~ April 13, 2010
Piles of Laundry and Decisions

Hard to believe another month has passed already! I have had great intentions to get another journal written much sooner than this, but when I actually get a chance to write, I'm more in the mood to watch t.v. or read a book. I have been a terrible housekeeper as well. The laundry is constantly piled up somewhere in the house, bathrooms are never sparkling clean anymore, and Lilly can feed herself a snack off the crumbs on the floor--ewww. I really need to stop letting things stay on my "to do" list and start marking them off instead. The difficulty of this is compounded with the amazingly beautiful weather outside. Why clean a kitchen floor when we can hop on our bikes and head to the park instead? As the season changes, I also need to change by finding a new balance to my day. A little cleaning, a little more playing, and somehow accomplishing everything that needs to be accomplished. Easy . . . right?

We are smack in the middle of the "end of the year" activities at school. Both older kids have had their Spring breaks. Owen had his Spring program and it was wonderful. He was so focused on doing the motions to the songs correctly for the entire program. He never smiled, but was very proud of himself at the end. We were proud too. He is growing into such a handsome, helpful, and kind boy. The rest of Ella's school year is filled with activities. I am always torn not being able to help as much as I want to in her classroom, but I am trying to contribute in any way possible. Ella is also in the middle of her soccer season. She truly enjoys it and we love watching her play. She is a natural born leader. Sometimes it comes across as "bossy", but I have to remind myself that it's how God made her and it is who she is supposed to be. I really love watching these two kids grow up. They are amazing creations and I feel so blessed to get to be their mom.

In other exciting news, Lilly took her first steps all by herself the other night! Of course, she hated it and still isn't very willing to try, but she did it. Randy has been great in giving her that extra push to try something new. Their relationship appears to be full of angst, but it really is an amazing relationship. Randy can push Lilly just enough to make her furious, but still do what she needs to do. She seems to love him all the more for it too. She has become a "daddy's girl." It is so sweet to watch them together. And my hope of Lilly walking by summer break is renewed again. Yippee! The other "big" Lilly news is that she is now in a regular bed. After seven years, we have finally taken down the crib once and for all. As most of these moments are, it was bittersweet, but also a relief. Now the girls' room has lots more space. Ella can keep track of all her stuff and feel like she has a space to play in. Lilly has adjusted pretty well. She has tested the limits of the bed (flipping herself out over the toddler rail--yikes!), but now understands how to get down safely. The picture is of the first night we put Lilly in the bed. Ella desperately wanted to sleep with her and we figured it was a great way to make the transition. I think it's so sweet to see my two girls together like that.

Connor is my little buddy during the day. He is always helpful when we have to do all our running around. He loves getting to spend time with me and have a little break from the older kids. He will be four this summer and we were planning to put him in preschool in the fall. However, I'm not so sure anymore. He will not be able to enter kindergarten until he is six. So we have two years to have him in preschool. I am considering keeping him home next school year and working with him myself. Then when he is five, we will put him in preschool. It sounds like a great plan until he gets really naughty or defiant and then I think we both might be better off with him in some kind of program in the fall! We are still in the process of trying to figure out what would be best. Seems like it should be such a simple decision, but somehow it's not!

Honestly, it seems like most of my parenting decisions are difficult these days. Other parents we know are so firm on their choices and talk about how their parenting style is the right way and everything else is garbage. If I put my kids in school, I'm not protecting them enough. But if I chose to homeschool, I'm sheltering them too much. If I choose to be strict about them eating a certain amount at meals, I am being too rigid. If I let them eat whatever they want, I am being too lenient. Too much sun is exposing them to skin cancer. Too little sun is not getting them enough vitamin D. Give them juice and I'm putting them on a path to obesity. Don't ever give them juice and they never get to have a "treat." I won't even go in to the spanking debate . . .

It can be overwhelming for sure. I've heard the saying, "major on the majors and minor on the minors." But often those lines can become blurred too. To be certain, most parents just want what's best for their kids. I know I do. I want my kids to have a strong foundation and faith. But I'm not always sure the right path to get them there. It all comes down to faith. Praying for discernment and wisdom in my parenting choices. Trusting that God's plans are so much bigger than mine and He will protect these kids despite my unwitting efforts to sabotage them--lol!

Right now there are five loads of clean (yes!) laundry piled high on my bed. Randy and I cannot go to sleep tonight until they are folded and put away. So off I go to begin what promises to be a very long chore . . .

~ Katie

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