June must be one of my favorite months. The weather is beautiful. The clothes are more fun. The grills are smelling great. We get a breather from the "big" month of May in our family. There are 3 birthdays in 3 days, Mother's Day, an anniversary and all of the end of school year activities in May. Recovery time = June
I'm going to make you tired of hearing how good my life is. (wink)
Developments with Family:I hear some parents dread the summer with the kids home. And, I was tempted to feel that way too. But I've felt led to use it as an opportunity. When my daughter goes off with her father for summers, I am no longer grief stricken, but use that time to spend quality time with my other kiddos. We're going to go back on similar school schedules rather than staggered. But even then, I've had a time optimizing strategy.
It's nice that the kids are more able to help around the house than last year. I've grown in my love for my other kids since the baby has been around. I love them because I am seeing a new side of them as role of big sister or big brother.
Personal Developments:I played around with the photos I shot with my new camera that I got for my birthday. I was also getting used to my first class at University of Phoenix and the way they set up their modules. I'm of new to this online AND team project stuff. I know I will have to work in teams in the future, so-be-it. My mind is on fire with processing my life and my studies. I feel on the top of my game, mentally.
Blog in Review:
I've made some new blogging friends by meeting Kathewithane.com in person. I had a Guest writer whose story was so compelling that it appeared on my "most popular posts" list. I wrote a guest piece on life after adoption for Psychologist Bob Brotchie at www.angliacounselling.co.uk/. He was responsible for the I.C.E. Protocol for the cell-phone contacts list. I did 21 posts in June which is about 5 posts each week. What do you think about the variety? I had a slight dip in Alexa but I've maintained strong standing (whatever that means, smile).
Parenting Revelation:I had this idea that summer should be parents' (or moms') "summer school" on revamping their parenting. I've resolved to be intentional about doing more new things each day to re-invigorate my relationship with my kiddos. They won't be around forever, so I need to make the best of this limited time.
I've been giving in "part of the way," which in my humble opinion, better. It speaks to "You're not going to call the shots, but I'm not going to be totally oppositional." So that's been expressed in doing a new Sonic slush run (hopefully a regular basis); "two minutes of talking about your game" with my son Alex; "How about you help me with this, and then we can play sooner" with my daughter.
Overall, June has been a great month for my relationship with my older son. He has been more responsible, more talkative, more invested in our relationship because I've made some tweaks to our "norm." I'm laying it on thick as far as what he can expect from me and I do my best to keep to my promises.
We've added writing to our reading and chore queue for the summer. He does really well with rehearsed language (which I learned from observing him taking Drama 2 semesters in a row), so writing, and talking about his writing has been giving him a language boost.
I've been giving him as much physical affection and just "being around time" as I have conversation. I wasn't withholding those things, but it occurred to me that his disinterest has nothing to do with what he needs. We've reached a new level in our relationship. He knows that I've always believed in him and that has been a powerful dynamic between us.
Parenting the Toddler:
For my baby, June has been a month of new abilities and skills. He's fully mobile now and can go around in circles. He's trying to become an expert climber. He wants what we are eating and he cannot have anything without sharing it. He enjoys sitting on everything: the vacuum, your leg, the fireplace, in the dog dish, in the plastic drawers that he first empties (so helpful, not). He sets the robot vacuum off and then runs away like it's coming to get him (so cute). He does some amusing body twisting, arm flinging, and dances. I'm figuring out how much of a sense of humor he has. He likes most dogs, not just ours. He's a champion traveler.
Gabriel loves baths, dog surfing, lollipops, marshmallows, chocolate chips, avocado, sweet potato and to rub a blanket over his face.
I can't believe I don't have much down-sides to having a 14 mo old baby. I'm trying to expose him to play-dates and let him get dirty and run around. So far so good-- he enjoys being around other people and kids. He has social intuition. No drama so far.
He has a repertoire with his dad and I: like a special bit of lovin's he reserves just for us. He rubs foreheads with us and makes purr-like noises to show his love. He makes sure to do things to both of us as recognizing that we have a special three-some bond. He's the most content when we're both around and it shows in his behavior and demeanor.
He's been cute and endearing at the right times. I never saw this in my daughter, my first baby (not to say I love her any less). And, he has his crabby moments like every other child. He has truly been a gift from God.
Out of the Ordinary Events:
- We went to the Renaissance Festival as a family for the first time with great results. We actually enjoyed it for a long time and doing mostly the same things. Weird.
- We got our last Taekwondo belt for a while until we know how best to care for the great grandparents.
- Husband took baby by himself to visit with family before he was weaned. But, I believe it was good for my husband to bond with him and create memories just with him.