936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
When our first son Ezekiel was born, Gray and I decided to not have anyone stay with us. We wanted the time to simply adjust to our life as a family of three. With two children, however, things are different. As soon as we found out we were pregnant with Ellis, I knew I wanted my mom to stay with us for a time to help with the adjustment, and to chase Zeke for me.
And so my parents made the trek up to Wisconsin from the Ozark mountains to be here for Ellis’ arrival, and so that mom could stay with me last week as Gray returned to work.
Well, mom and dad headed back home this past Friday, and here I am on Monday: my first day home alone with two kids!
Now, I promise to never fill my blog with pictures upon pictures of my children, and so count this blog post a rarity. Today I wanted to do a photo documentation of our first day.
7:30 Ellis stirs to be fed. Once he decides he’s full, I move him to the bouncer beside the kitchen window for some “awake” time. I fix myself a bowl of homemade honey, nut, and coconut granola, with raisins, blueberries, and ground flax seeds to aid in milk production.
Next–onto the dishes from yesterday. My house is not always clean.
This one tires of awake time, so I place him in the swing for nap time.
He dozes off right in time….
…for this one to wake up! 8:10, not bad.
Zeke’s breakfast this morning consists of a whole wheat lemon poppy seed and berry muffin, organic raisins, and fresh cheese curds from the farmers market. We are joined at the table by trains.
Both boys and myself fed and the dishes washed, finally it’s time to sit down with a cup of coffee and the Word. Time in God’s Word has been scarce lately; my own negligence. I need this today.
How fitting this morning to read Hebrews 4, about the rest that we find in God.
“For whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest….” Hebrews 4:10-11
And in David Platt’s “Radical”, to read about God’s full provision of power for everything we do in life:
“He intentionally puts His people in situations where they come face to face with their need for Him. In the process He powerfully demonstrates His ability to provide everything His people need in ways they could never have mustered up or imagined…
…This is how God works. He puts His people in positions where they are desperate for His power, and then He shows His provision in ways that display His greatness.”
I am desperate for His power.
I manage to get both boys (and myself) dressed by 11:00am.
I told myself I’d stay home all day today, to keep things simple and ease into our new normal. It’s a gorgeous day though, and we just have to go outside! I strap both boys into the stroller and walk to the playground.
After thoroughly wearing Zeke out, we head home for lunch. He enjoys a new recipe Daddy invented for him yesterday: Pan-fried tortilla sandwich with homemade peanut butter and bananas.
For me: Leftovers from dinner last night– Tortellini and Spring Vegetables in Walnut Pesto with Goat Cheese. It’s good, but not yet blog worthy. I think the pesto recipe I used is where I went wrong. I love the idea of incorporating walnuts. I used parsley, which probably wasn’t the best choice.
If you have a good recipe for pesto, please share it with me by commenting below!
12:30– Zeke goes down for his nap. He was up late last night playing with friends. That coupled with our time at the playground today should make for a good, long nap time. Which means it’s time for me to get some work done; while nursing, of course.
Ok, those things out of the way, time for fun!
Here is my first go at pickling asparagus. My mom helped me with canning some home made tomato sauce while we were down at their place in the Ozarks this past winter. Her expertise plus some quick research on the internet should lend me a good foundation for my first try at pickling.
I picked up some beautiful green and purple asparagus at the farmers market on Saturday. Last night I went out and bought the canning equipment.
I’m starting with just one jar to see how we like the recipe, and make sure the pickling process is successful. If it is, then I’ll purchase another 8lbs or so of asparagus this weekend to stock our shelves.
Here’s the process in a gist: Sanitize the jar in boiling water. Clean and trim asparagus to fit in jar. Peel two garlic cloves, place in jar whole. Pack asparagus spears into jar. Sprinkle dried chili peppers (from the farmers market last summer) over asparagus. Boil water, white vinegar, pickling salt, and dried dill weed. Pour pickling brine into jar. Place lid on jar, place jar back into pot, cover with water, boil for 10 minutes. Remove jar and let sit without touching for 24 hours (make sure jar sealed).
Our pickled asparagus now sits on the counter top, tantalizing us until we open it in a few days to see whether it’s a success or not.
Although famed for its key role in Bloody Marys, pickled asparagus is also fantastic with runny eggs, on sandwiches, as a snack itself, or as we’ve just discovered: on breakfast hotdogs at our farmer’s market!
Forget what I said about a lengthy nap time. My child seems to think he can function quite fine without one. After he plays in his crib for two and a half hours I go in to retrieve him, only to find him balanced over the edge of his crib, legs dangling beneath him. Escape is imminent, of this I am sure.
Now comes social time with the dog.
I know I said I was not going to venture out today, but that’s just not me, and I need coffee. I successfully transfer a sleeping Ellis from the baby swing to the car seat. Breathing a sigh of relief at his still restful state, we set off in search of caffeine.
There’s been talk of the husband working late tonight. I believe this merits an extra shot of espresso in my iced mocha. Don’t worry, one of those cups is from yesterday. There is a lot of coffee in our life right now.
Back at home it’s time for Zeke’s snack and some train time. My mom was a world of help last week. Her help didn’t leave when she did however. Before leaving, she bought Ezekiel his very first wooden train set. He has been glued to it every waking moment for the past four days.
It is a life saver.
I get a moment to sit and sip my coffee while Zeke plays and Ellis sleeps.
My iced mocha has been spotted.
There goes my extra shot of espresso.
This one needs fed.
It’s 4:27 and this is the first time I’ve been the target of his spit up. Now that is an accomplishment!
A few days ago we began adjusting Ellis to a flexible routine as laid out in the book “BabyWise”. He has taken to it like a champ. I can now predict when he’ll eat, play (or be awake, at this point), and sleep.
A seat next to the window will do just right for his “awake” time.
5:16pm, thank goodness–word of husband working late was a myth! Time for the hand off, and some entertainment from the ceiling fan.
Now for some delicious chicken enchiladas and carrot and nut muffins brought over from good friends; thanks Connie!!
Time also to sit back, relax, and enjoy our evening.
And there you have it; the first day of our new normal. May it never grow mundane. May it always be an adventure. May it always be covered in God’s grace, led by His wisdom, and lived in His love.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!