Well, I think I learned a couple of things here this past month. Let's see....
1. The happiness that a new Papermate Flair can bring is absurd.
A friend mentioned this when I shared my OVER THE TOP EXCITEMENT about a new planner and these amazing Summer edition tropical colored pens I happened to find at Kroger. Love me some Papermate Flairs.
2. I can TEAR UP a planner page.
I used to really want to be one of those washi tape ladies but that's so not my life and I've made my peace with it. Making peace with a lot these days.
3. I also can grow big babies.
This is a shock given how petite my first two were/are. Turns out our Tiny Girl, as Graves calls her, isn't so tiny. I figured as much since she's moved into a lot of 3-6 mo. things and still nurses ALL the time during the day but the numbers still BLEW MY MIND. She's in the 46th percentile for weight and 87th for height on the WHO charts. I am so thrilled.
4. I'm the type person who is better functioning in the present when I have a plan for a potential future. I came up with a plan that would allow us to stay in this house without major renovation if we decide to foster/adopt down the road. It's a dream I'm holding loosely, but it helps to dream about a possible future rather than only grieving an impossible one.
5. Homeschooling is going to be very different this year.
Second grade is different and two school age students is different and having a baby in the mix is different. Even with Peyton's help, it's a little overwhelming! I've GOT to be disciplined with it.
6. My highest priorities still don't need to be academic goals. Watching their momma tend her own mental space is every bit as important as learning to read. And prioritizing relationships is a significant reason we're homeschooling. If Graves doesn't count to ten until he's six, but had a true relationship with his great grandmother in her twilight years, I will claim that a success. And if they know and remember me as being healthy during their childhood, I will claim that success too.
7. Cooking with the big kids isn't nearly as hard nor as frustrating as I had expected.
8. One of the ways my anxiety is manifesting is that sentimental and beautiful things just tear me to pieces. They are such a heavy weight. If you know me well, you know I'm probably one of the most sentimental and nostalgic of all your friends and also that I've basically devoted my life to searching for beauty and documenting it is some way. This was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back as far as getting on medicine. One of the main reasons I wanted to avoid medicating again is because I didn't really experience acute happiness or sadness. But the peeks haven't even all been easy. The really happy things sometimes seem...bittersweet? And if I'm not even experiencing the peaks in healthy ways, that sort of eliminates that reason.
9. Annie is so much like me and routines, and structure, and consistency and LISTS really help her flourish.
I'm so not inherently crafty but I guess back to school has got me feeling the need to pull out my old teacher hat. This has been working smashingly with Annie who is a perfectionist and gets totally overwhelmed by the night party carnage (and who was really protesting the most); Bud still gets distracted and just wants to play until you tell him that media time is starting in five minutes and he'll miss Star Wars and then be does the whole thing like the Road Runner
10. My kids are so slowwwww. I've been thinking about this a lot later, in respect to homeschooling. In one sense, it's concerning because the world is not going to slow down for them and the end goal (or one of them) is for them to be able to function in it. But in another sense, I really have no desire for them to adopt the pace most of our society functions at, that many in our culture claim is necessary. Like everything, I'm sure there's a balance to be found somewhere.
11. I love Age Seven.
I love her heart shorts. I love her Nike's. I love her brown legs. I love how big she is. I love that she's holding a skunk. I just love her so much.
12. I adore that soft, still morning hour where my baby and my middle child both still feel like babies to me.
Graves often makes his way to our bed in the early morning hours before dawn has broken. And Sarah Lamar likes to cuddle after she eats breakfast around seven or eight. That spot between them is all mine.
13. We're finally finding our homeschool flow. I feel like this week we've really gotten into a good routine and even been able to start back really being consistent with cooking and cleaning and such.
14. I feel MUCH better if I have a very bare bones lesson plan sketched out the night before.
August was a great month and I'm grateful for all it taught me!