Sunday, October 30, 2011

Recent Realizations

Have you ever been surprised to find yourself changed? When some aspect of yourself is somehow different than you remembered it? How can this happen? Don't we live with ourselves every single moment of every single day? How can we just wake up one day and feel strange in our own skin?

I have always felt that I know who I am. What I believe. What I like. What I don't like. But if these undetected changes can occur, who's to say I would even recognize myself twenty years in the future?

Part of this is that I am just now coming out of the fog. The post-baby fog, that is. Veronica turned seven months old a couple of days ago. And I feel as though I am taking an inventory of where my life is. For instance, it suddenly became very apparent that we need to be working with Joshua in some more creative ways to help him along in his emotional maturity. And by emotional maturity, I mean not throwing a frickin' fit or having a complete meltdown every single time he's disappointed. And it's not like I'm talking about huge disappointments either. He recently had a tantrum because the DVD we watched didn't have any bonus features other than "Watch with Commentary." Of course, he was tired at the time. But still. Kind of eye opening.

And we have also discovered that we need to be working with Noah on his apt to be living in his own little world. It's something that I love about him very much. But it can also be aggravating, such as when I give him an instruction and he completely forgets it within ten seconds. On a particularly bad day, it was frightening. I had my worst scare thus far (and hopefully ever) when putting Veronica into a grocery cart on a shopping trip this past week. After the ninety seconds or so of buckling Veronica, I looked up and Noah was gone.

Immediately, I was yelling his name, searching frantically and praying. I realized that if anyone was going to grab a child, the entrance of a grocery store would be the perfect spot because of all of the people coming and going. But after a few minutes, my prayers were answered and Noah was looking up at me with his enormous, unblinking eyes. Angry and scared, I reprimanded him. He bust into tears. I still lectured him, but was then able to hold him in my arms and comfort him. Of course, he was scared too. He had simply walked into the store and continued on, believing we were all still beside him.

And that's the problem that we need to work on. I'm all for imaginative play. But Noah can be completely unaware of the world around him. He's the kid that walks into large objects. Such as trees. How do we work on this? I'm not sure yet and am very open to any suggestions you may have.

Anyway, back to the fog lifting. It seems that now I am getting regular sleep, I am becoming more aware of the areas of my life other than Veronica that need some attention.

And I am also becoming more aware that I am not the same woman I was before our third child.

I am even more protective and particular with how I spend my time, probably because I have less of it. TV watching is at an all time low in our house.

I am becoming more of a homebody.

I still love to entertain and love a big crowd, but am realizing that I work too hard. Or at least too hard for this new, unfamiliar me. We had our 5th Annual Halloween Party last night, which was awesome. But I think for next year, I will definitely be searching for ways to make things simpler and easier. First of all, I made way too much food. Big surprise :)

I have become more comfortable with the phase of life I am in. Many people ask how my book is coming. And while it is still very close to my heart and I think about it a lot, I just don't have time to write a novel right now. But I will. Possibly when I don't have little ones who are quite dependent on me. 

Also, for my sanity, I absolutely need time in my house by myself occasionally. I know all moms need this, but with homeschooling I find that it is crucial to the health of our family life. I mean, I love my children, but I am pretty much with them all of the time, every day. Thankfully, my amazing husband has no fear of taking all three children away so that I can have this. He loves to take care of me. But it has its benefits for him too, such as giving our intimate life a boost. And it also probably helps me to be a more interesting person for him to be married to. I would guess he gets a little bored of conversing about nap times, feeding schedules and spit-up. When I have time at home by myself, I can write, read and catch up a little on the news. It's kind of like I return to being part of normal, adult society.

I guess it's not surprising that having a baby would cause some changes other than to my hips. I mean, there's a whole other life in our house. A whole other person. A whole other human being. A whole other personality developing that didn't used to be there. She is more attached to me than either of our boys ever were. The other night she was crying because Jason was feeding her dinner in her high chair. The audacity. The nerve. As soon as I took over, she was fine.

I have an entirely new relationship. I have a daughter now. That rocks my world.

I look forward to seeing what other changes in myself may have also developed. It's nice to know that my personality is not stagnant. Who knows? Maybe all of the sudden I'll become a stand-up comedian. The new Jerry Seinfeld. It could happen . . .






  1. Just stumbled across this post of yours, and saw some very familiar things where you were talking about your son who walks into trees and needing to find ways to help him focus. I work with special needs kids, many of whom are autistic. I know you didn't say that your son was, but focus is a big deal with my autistic students and something we work on frequently.

    One thing we establish with our students at the beginning of every school year is a "focus word." This year, the focus word in my classroom is "fuzzy green lollipops!" The idea is for the focus word to be something that you would NEVER have a reason to say in the course of normal conversation, so the word draws attention to itself—and to you—simply be being completely out of place in every setting (this is also why you want to word to be something silly that isn't likely to be offensive to anyone). When my students hear "fuzzy green lollipops" they know I'm about to say something they really need to hear, and so they should all stop and give attention to it. During the first couple of weeks of school, we reinforce this by randomly calling out the word at an odd time, and rewarding everyone who stops to pay attention with a sticker or small candy. It's GREAT at getting their attention.

    The other challenge is getting them to REMEMBER what we tell them once we have gotten them to stop and listen. For this, there's a very simple technique (one that I also use with my 3-year-old at home). We do not allow them to "yes, ma'am" us. It's not that I don't appreciate the respect, but this is something that is often said quite idly but without registering what you are agreeing to/with. In place of "yes, ma'am" we ask the students to repeat back to us whatever instructions we have given them. This requires not only listening to us, but internalizing the information enough that they can turn it back into words to repeat back to us.

    Finally, to keep some of our daydreamers from walking into walls (or one another) around the school, we send them on "missions." Their mission might be to count girls with pink hair bows as they walk in the hallways from class to class (they're middle schoolers) or to count boys with glasses. They record the results of their missions in pocket-sized notebooks throughout the day, and we share our results during homeroom the next morning. Just make sure that the missions focus on things at or slightly above eye level for the child...walking around counting white flip-flops will send them walking into walls still.

    I hope some of these might be of use to you. I know they are a HUGE help to me and my students each day!

  2. Hi Sarah! Thanks for your great comment and your tips. Noah can have trouble focusing and these are great ideas. However, we recently just found out that Noah actually has trouble focusing literally! Meaning he can hardly see. I took him to the optometrist and he has astigmatism and is very far-sighted. The doctor held lenses up to my eyes to show me what he is seeing and it was unbelievable! So, he is getting glasses and has a consultation set up with an eye therapist, so hopefully these things will help. But thank you again for your great tips - I'm sure they will come in useful too :)

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog too. It is so appreciated. I have been spending a lot more time on it recently and you are the first reader who I don't know to comment. Thanks for making my day!

    1. That's great! I recommitted myself to my blogs (there are 4 of them, linked together in a "blog family") this year as well, and have been elated with my increased readership! It seems that trick #1 to getting more readers is to simply write more often! Here we are in mid-February, and I'm already 3 posts away from matching the number I wrote ALL YEAR last year! Good luck growing your reach, and I'm sure I'll be back to read more of your stuff! If you ever get bored sometime, feel free to come check out mine at!

    2. Thanks for the great encouragement. I visited your blog as well and it's beautiful! I also noticed that you occasionally have a guest post. I would love to write a guest post for you if you were ever willing. Thanks again!

    3. Absolutely! I'd love to have some new faces in my still-small pool of guest bloggers! I've written for a host of other blogs, and it's always fun to get your writing in front of a new audience! Put together a post, a short bio for my "guest blogger bios" page, and a good pic and send them to me at! I also always include a link or two back to your own blog to send some readers back your direction. There's no rush or time limit, of course, and I look forward to reading what you send! :-)

    4. That's awesome! Thank you! I will definitely be sending you something. I have contacted a couple of other bloggers about doing guest postings, but to no avail. If you ever know of other bloggers who are looking for guest posters, please don't hesitate to give them my name or to let me know. Thank you!


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