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Thursday, January 25, 2018

midwinter
















It's a quiet time of year right now. We have no upcoming travel plans, and we are doing our best to tighten our spending. Meal planning is in full force, and we are trying to just get through the winter days, as best we can. Many days at home, often lead me to thinking ahead. This time of year, often has me dreaming of warmer and sunnier days, and so I begin to make my summer plans.
I am so blessed to be able to stay home with the kids. Yes, there are the downfalls of not having the extra income (no big trips, no disposable income - thrift shopping is where it's at!, camping instead of cottages), but for us, the rewards outweigh the consequences, and we are generally, very happy with our lifestyle. Because I stay home with the kids, we have a very flexible schedule and we often take off for day trips, or we can sneak away mid week when Winslow has time off.
While I have moved away from using the term "Bucket List", when it comes to Christmas and other times of year, I still do like to make a "Summer Wish List", because I worry that we might miss something important, and there's only really 8 or 9 weeks of summer vacation. For me, summer is a time to squeeze every last drop, to seize the day.
So, for the sake of day dreaming at the end of  January, here are just a few things on my "Summer Wish List" ...

~ Canoe camping with the whole family at Keji NP.
~ Camping in Cape Breton. It captured our hearts last year, and we're going back for more this year with the cousins!
~ my long anticipated attendance at Land and See. Oh my heart is almost hurting, I'm so excited. I'm so ready to fill my creative cup with fresh ideas, inspiration and knowledge. Also, 3 days to myself (kid free) will be absolutely refreshing.
~ a garden with Spring bulbs, veggies and sunflowers. 

...

And then back to the present. The long days of January, where school is often cancelled and we find ourselves at home, together. It's lovely and challenging all at once. After so many days of painting, building forts, making crafts and baking, I feel like I am running out of creativity in the home and in my parenting ways, not to mention artistically as well. 

Today I found myself really itching to get out of the house with Wesley. I decided that we'd do some errands. Just as we were almost at our turn off to go shopping, I realized that we had time to make it to the babytime at the Wolfville library. We hadn't been there in months, and I wasn't sure how Wesley would react to it (he always takes time to warm up to certain settings). So we found a chair and sat back from the group, but participated from the sidelines. In the end, he enjoyed the songs and stories (and the play kitchen afterwards), and I enjoyed bumping into my mom friends. I really see and feel the need to connect at this time of year. I'm thinking that I need to make this happen more. 

Lately I have been thinking about setting better parameters around our screen use, here in the household. Where I used to be very strict about the amount of screen time that the children got, somewhere along the way, I let go of some of my rules, and I fear that we have gotten to used to relying on them. 

The other day, after too much fighting, some rude behviour and not enough playing, I decided to "ground" the older 2 from screentime for 3 days. Believe it or not, they like the term "grounded", because friends of their had been grounded too. Maybe they like that I am enforcing rules? Maybe it's the fact that they know and like having boundaries? 

So there they were, screen free for 3 days, and right away, I could see that they were connecting better with each other and me. Once their 3 days were up, we had a conversation about how we would put some new limits on how much screen time they get throughout the week, and it made me think, perhaps I need to set limits for myself too.

I have decided to take an internet break for a few days, only allowing myself access to emails (for my photography business), texting (my line to the outside world) and the occasional movie on Netflix (we have no TV). This means, I will not be checking Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest for a set amount of time. Instagram will be the hardest.  I'm gonna put away my phone. I'm  going to pick up my camera, pick up my paint brushes, pick up the phone (to talk on- not to browse). I'm gonna go for walks, have friends over for playdates and coffee, go to the library. 

So wish me luck. I anticipate it being hard. That's ok. I need this.





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