Friday, August 29, 2014

A New Chapter

Miss F turned two in June, and we welcomed her new baby sister, Miss C, two weeks ago. We've quickly learned that I need to be very conscious about the quantity and quality of one-on-one time I give Miss F. One night just before bed, she collapsed in my lap for a prolonged snuggle - she missed her mama. We also realized that she didn't mature overnight just because she became a big sister.  Mr. B and I found ourselves getting frustrated with her for being a two year old. She was playing with the baby's car seat when we told her not to, dumping puzzle pieces all over, and even tossed her glass of milk on the living room floor. Since the baby was born, Miss F has learned to climb into Miss C's crib and to open doors.  I had hoped to have at least a few months before either of those particular milestones.  Miss C's arrival has been an adjustment for all of us, but one we're happy to make.

At the same time, we're trying to sell our house. We found the perfect house for us - an old four bedroom farmhouse on 2/3 of an acre with mature fruit trees that costs less than our house now -  but we can't find anyone to buy our townhouse. It's frustrating, but we're carrying on here as if nothing's different. We're still canning and gardening as if we're not leaving. At worst (or at best, I'm not sure), someone else will harvest our crops.

Mr. B is still looking for a job in his field. He has been looking since graduating college in 2009, but he earned his masters in December, so we're hoping for more luck now in his search. Just in the last week, he's gotten some interviews, but the pay is *significantly* lower than his current pay. As it is, we're barely making ends meet.  I had been working five - yes, five - part time jobs simultaneously in the last year, but I quit them all (except a couple hours of private tutoring sessions) in July.  We were miserable when I worked at night, and we ended up spending extra money on transportation and food to allow me to work jobs I didn't love.  I read Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin this week, and we're starting to follow the program so that we can afford to live on a smaller income.

Since Miss F is now two, I'm starting to plan activities with homeschooling in mind.  I really liked how Mrs. Mordecai of Be It Ever So Humble approached letters with her son, so I'm doing letters of the week with Miss F starting the day after Labor Day.  It's in no way a formal thing, but if we happen to make the letter A during play-doh time or sing a song about A or read a book about A, well that's a little more exposure each time.  I'm looking forward to posting about our letter activities (and other things) as the weeks go on.

Miss F loves her little sister.
Miss F is showing her daddy and little sister the apple we foraged on the way to the park.


  1. I have five children, the oldest now in their twenties and the youngest entering tweenager hood. Each reacted differently as their next younger siblings arrived. You have the right idea about just making sure to spend some one-on-one. Story time is great for that. And when the baby is old enough for story time then they get to take turns picking the story or acting out a sound from the story. If you can find an old copy of "Alphapuppets" it is a great way to introduce letters ... songs, games, foods/snacks, puppets, stories. If you can't find an old copy of the book then DLTK at has basically similar types of activities by letter. Each stage of a child's development is precious and these early years will help you develop the stamina and relationship with them to make it through teenage years to come. LOL

    1. The website you posted is awesome! Thank you for the heads up. Our library has some books about each of the letters, and I found some YouTube videos, too. Between all of these resources, I'm hoping to be able to fit in at least 5 minutes of letter time (even if it's just watching a video) a day.

      I used to be a high school teacher, so I'm always interacting with Miss F with an eye to how things will be when she's older. Thankfully, she LOVES to be read to and is now starting to memorize books herself. She also loves to cook with me, so I anticipate being able to bond over that.

  2. It's nice to hear from you again! I've missed your blog. Congrats on the new little one! It can be so hard for an older sibling and also for Mom and Dad!

    I hope you enjoy doing preschool activities. I often had a hard time sitting down to actually do them, but we always had fun when we did.

    1. Thank you! I've been reading your blog through Feedly, so I don't get to comment all that often.

      I've found (so far) that the preschool activities tend to mean less work for me than just letting Miss F play on her own. When she's doing her own thing, she could be walking on her puzzles or ripping the covers off of books. When I give her something like gooyuck, she is enthralled for at least 20 minutes :-)