Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Quality Time

Every time a new baby joins the McMillan clan, it is like people have to find their place in the home.  Attention-seeking behavior, either good or bad, to not be forgotten.  I majored in child development in college which I LOVED!  I learned about birth order, emotional needs, etc. yet it is sometimes hard to apply.

i am like my mom.  I have countless energy and always need to be going.  That is a great blessing in many ways but also a curse because I need to remember to sit down and spend quality, one-on-one time with my kids and spouse.  Not quality time while I am folding laundry, prepping dinner, washing windows.

I am not an emotional person.  I don't need quality time or words of affirmation to fill my love language so it is something I need to remember to do to fill my family's love tank.  My husband is a words of affirmation man.  He in many ways is more emotional than me so I need to work on this.  I am sure that is one reason why we are the perfect match for each other. I need to learn to give more to grow.

Blake has been so angry.  He would get angry this summer but gets these bursts of anger.  So yesterday I took Blake out of school a little early to bring him to a lunch of his choice.  5 year old boy lunch dream....McDonalds.  He LOVED it!  You could see in his eyes and little heart how much that meant to him.  I was planning on going to Winco to get him his favorite ice cream that the kids voted against on our last trip over the weekend, but only when he was done and if he wanted.  I didn't care if we got there or not.  I just wanted the afternoon to be for him and about him.  I could always do grocery shopping another time.  It was a beautiful mindset to have.  Much better putting people first instead of the endless list of things I need to do that really should come second.  So that was a great lesson for me.  Everyday, I really need to remember to take time with each kid to connect emotionally.  The kids get to bed too late because I come home from work around 8pm and they are still up, like to come down and eat again with us, etc.  Blake wanted me to read to him when it was late and he needs sleep, so instead I laid down in the dark and told him a story about himself.  How great he was, etc.  It was just a few minutes but filled his love tank again.  My husband always tells me it isn't hard, it doesn't take long which it doesn't.  I just need to rewire my brain that this should take priority.

So I am going to work on dedicating more time to them.  Quality time.  I wrote little notes in their lunches and Blake really liked it. I remember a talk years ago about being at the crossroads with your kids.  Picking them up from school and maybe having 5-10 minutes with a child and using that time wisely.  I make Scott turn off his phone or i-pad in the car to talk to me.  He can't go anywhere and in some great way it is quality time.  I ask him questions and he answers.  Yesterday I heard all about his teachers.  He doesn't have any favorites.  Likes them all which is awesome.  Said Band is so different than other classes because it can't really be graded like other classes.  He is excited for PE this week because he and Ryan Price are doing paddle ball and realized they can win by giving really fast serves.  He talked about the halloween dance coming up and how someone asked someone.  We talked about going in groups to dances, asking people to dances, my experience with junior high and high school dances.  I told him about a time I remember I wasn't asked to a dance and that was hard and my friends found a guy to ask me that I didn't really know.  I remember one of the best dates I had to a dance with a good friend and we had so much fun!  I was kind of dating someone else but he had promised my best friend he would take her about a year prior.  It all works out.  I asked him if his teacher runs with him and he said, "oh, I am not sure if she will be able to do that.  She was foaming at the mouth yesterday."  Apparently they had to run up this hill and he felt like she was foaming at the mouth.  I am sure she wasn't.  Maybe out of breathe.  I shouldn't have laughed but I did. It was innocent and kind hearted but sounded so funny.  Scott is a good runner.  He was thinking about not running because of interfering with swim, but I am glad that he did.  It will be fun for him to try a school sport.  He makes it to fall swim when he can but does other things.  He goes about 3 times a week because of scouts or running or playdates.  He is enjoying middle school and that makes me happy.

I am coaching Aquabears this fall.  Just through the beginning of December.  Last year I kept coaching and while I love it, I missed time with my kids.  If my kids are there, it is great because I would be there anyway but as soon as they stop, it isn't worth it because I am missing out on being present in their lives.  I am so grateful to have a profession that my kids are a part of.  That allows them to be there with me.  It is something I love, gives me great balance and I think something that I make a positive impact on others and am good at.  I like teaching little kids.  Feel so blessed for my jobs!  They really don't feel like jobs.

Now that Scott swims in a wetsuit he really likes it.  It is funny because in the summer he wants to push himself and work hard and has goals. Fall swim he doesn't quite know his place.  I gave him a goal to try new events this fall.  Rec is awesome but it is all about racing shorter events and winning.  USS is more about swim development and not all about winning.  There are pros and cons to both.  So I told him not to worry about racing, placing or winning and just succeeding by trying new things and going out of his comfort zone.  The first meet is in 2 weeks and he is going to swim the 200 IM and 200 back.  He wouldn't even go near those last year so I am very proud of him.

Kira used to be so sweet but she is becoming sassy and kind of mean.  She will do these little mean things to her siblings and lie about it.  Like put her foot out to trip them and pretend like it is an accident.  Not sure why she is doing this but need to get that under control.  One thing she is doing better than last year is her anxiety to try new things or do new things seems to be better.  What a difference from last year that she wouldn't even swim. Was too scared, too anxious.  I signed her up for Rasmussen Swimming twice a week to swim with paisley.  It is 30 minutes before Scott's workout and last week it was too hard to get out the door so she just swam with me but we are hopefully going to make it this week. Maybe at least one of the days.  I thought aquabears would be too cold and wanted her to have time with her cousin plus I love christian. He has a great program.  I leave it up to her and our schedule and whatever works for the day we do. It makes me happy she likes it.  She goes to gymnastics and after wants to swim.  Reminds me of me growing up. Countless energy and always on the go.  Blake tried to swim but was always angry so now he isn't swimming.  Not sure why he was angry.  he always blamed it on his goggles because I didn't have his right goggles.  Needless to say now we are taking a break with him.  I am pretty chill with allowing my kids do things when they are ready or when they want.  Not sure if it is the right approach but for now it seems to be working. It is always hard to know the balance if you push or just let them choose.  I think they have to choose to do things to some extent because it has to come from within.  At the same time they can't just sit home and do nothing.  I don't care what they do as long as they are doing something productive.  Swim works for our family because it isn't in a million locations at once.

Tyler seems to be doing well.  He loves his teacher.  I got to teach art last week and his teacher is so nice.  She emailed a couple of times asking for an art docent and after nobody responded I said I could do it.  I am not an artist and 5th grade is a little intimidating because some kids really are talented artists.  More talented than I am but I can teach and told her I would love to teach as long as she knew I wasn't a real artist.  She is so nice.  It is always great volunteering in kids classes.  Tyler loves it.  It is his quality time.  She has them doing book clubs that they are accountable to read for their book club and for the first time he is really enjoying reading.  He reads and does finger knitting in his room and it is great down time for him.  He has never done his reading homework so if that is what we get out of this year, it will be a success!  He started a machine sewing class on Thursday last week which he was excited about.  He felt bad because he was the only boy but I know he will have fun. Scott would hate that but Tyler will be ok.  I think it is funny that Tyler isn't as aware of gender roles or norms like most kids or Scott.  Some of that is because he has an innate self confidence that he just doesn't care what others think.  It is a great quality and I hope it stays with him because it can and will be a great personality trait to have.  Self confidence is hard to teach and he just has it. He seems to be doing well.  I sometimes bring him breakfast in bed just so he can have quiet time upstairs and sleep a little longer.  He seems to need that.  I am sure it is because he doesn't feel well so I try to encourage that so that he feels the best he can feel.

Parker is doing well.  He is pretty easy going.  I hope he stays that way.  He is used to going with other people and tagging along wherever we go.  I think he is looking more and more like me as a kid.  He LOVES this little push bike Renee gave to him before leaving for London.  He would spend all day and night on it outside in the court if he could.  It is great but I also need to get some things done so the tantrums of having to come in are hard.  I then bring the bike in and ramps inside and he is good.

I am in love with Hanna.  I love holding her and her little noises.  I prayed so hard for her and recognize what a miracle she is.  It makes getting up at night easy because I realize what a gift she is.  What a tender mercy that is.  When you yearn and pray for something and think that it isn't going to happen and it does, it gives you a whole new appreciation and love.  Truly great things come out of trials.  There were months that I mourned her absence.  I didn't think we would have another child and it was really, really, really hard.  It ached.  If I didn't feel that, I would appreciate her as much as I do.  I wouldn't recognize the love of the Savior, the love I feel for her and the gift she is as much as I do.  I really do feel so grateful!

Danny is a great dad and husband.  I feel like I am learning to see things how he sees things and that is making me a better wife.  I am not a great wife.  Danny is not me and I sometimes forget that.  He has so many amazing qualities I don't have.  He is patient, can fix anything, loyal, obedient.  I wouldn't consider myself good at any of those.  However, I am a multi-tasker, can read people and just know what needs to be done. He isn't so much that way.  He just needs to be told.  Sometimes I get frustrated that he isn't a mind reader or just know what I need or a kid needs done.  It would take me 5 seconds to just ask him or tell him and he would gladly do it and I wouldn't get frustrated.  I am finally getting that after 13 years of marriage. Ha!  I have such a long way to go. I am grateful for all that he does and I feel so grateful for him and his patience with me and how long it sometimes takes me to get things.

This deserves a post of its own and once I get pictures I am going to do another post but Danny has a calling of being the primary chorister and is AMAZING!!! I peek through the window and he does such a great job.  A calling he was made for.  He is talented and wants the kids to learn how to sing but also fun and doesn't get stressed or have expectations of how kids need to learn or what level they should be at.  It is so fun to see him in his element.  Everyone loves him and tells me what a great job he is doing.  His pianist is a good friend to him and they make a great team.  This needs a whole post on its own.  I need to take pictures of all the fun activities he does.  Tyler loves that he is the chorister and always tells me how great it was.  All the kids do but I am learning that quality time is important to Tyler and means a lot and that is one way he gets it.  I am so proud of him.  I am so grateful he gets this opportunity.  We are so lucky to have him.  We are so lucky in my home to be blessed with great music.  As soon as I get some pictures I am going to show you how fun his classes are.

This parenting/spousing thing is no joke.  So much to work on, figure out and improve.  I am trying to make scripture study and prayer a bigger part of my parenting and wifing.  I know that is the greatest tool we can use.  It feels good to be journaling again.  This is my journal for life now. 


Chelle said...

I can't believe how fast you bounce back! You really do have boundless energy. So sweet to read about your one on one time with Blake. I'm sure that meant the world to him! As far as Kira, is she seven? Bc there's something about age seven...both my kids were awful

Chelle said...

Sorry, to finish...and I've heard the same thing from other moms. Thankfully it is a phase!!! I'm so happy you are feeling so content with Hanna. I am dying to meet her!