— sojourning, us

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Baby

climbing to get the camera

Working for myself means that it’s way too easy to work all day (and all night, and all weekend …) without coming up for much air. Sure, we eat lunch together as a family and try to take a walk and I put Elisha down for a nap during the day, but I can still seriously just get in the zone and work without thinking about my time. One of the reasons I wanted to work for myself was to be with my family, and if I let myself get caught up in too much work, I miss out on the whole point of being self-employed.

Finding this balance in my life has been one of the most difficult parts of my freelance career. It’s a double-edged sword, though, for when I’m interrupted too often while working (or trying to work) on a project, I lose my train of thought and any creative muse flies out of my brain only to be lost until I can get some quiet time to myself again. With a toddler in the house, my muse is often hiding until the wee hours of the night when everyone is in bed instead of during the day when there are games to play and books to read.

veggie

This delicate balance is precious—I love that I’m not missing out on the early years with Elisha and I love that I’m finally able to choose my own clients and nurture my own creative style once again.

I’m still in the process of figuring out what my work day and work week look like, even 11 months into working for myself. Settling into a routine has always been hard for me, and as Elisha grows and as our business grows and as we hope to eventually continue to grow our family, I have to constantly evaluate how I work and when I work and where I work. Every day is different in some ways—Mondays are errand days and Wednesday are late nap days because of Bible study.

face

These past few weeks have been crazy busy with client work, which is good for the bank account, but difficult for me to manage in terms of balancing my time. I finally had a moment to catch my breath with the boy today, and it felt nice.

drawing

drawing

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For the past few months, we’ve somehow managed to endure all four of Elisha’s first-year molars moving into their proper places in his mouth. It wasn’t always easy. Compared to the rest of his teeth, the molars were full of more crankies, more snot, and more restless sleep than ever before.

Well, that is until his incisors started growing in.

Ugh.

I will admit I’ve been happy there hasn’t been much in the runny nose department, but the restless sleep and crankies come and go and come and go on a day-to-day basis. Couple this with the force of a 16-month old blooming head-first into his toddlerhood and the adventure just gets more and more whine-filled.

I can’t wait for teething to be over. It’s a series of milestones I look forward to putting behind us all. Less long nights spent nursing (yes, we’re still breastfeeding … no, I don’t have a set-in-stone date for when we’ll wean) and more time exploring new foods will be something to enjoy together. Well, we may actually be able to start the weaning process if he’s ready.

Although, I really hate that phrase, especially now that we’ve come to love elimination communication and all it’s benefits. Potty “readiness” is very different, I think, from weaning “readiness.” During the worst of his teething, Elisha will sometimes refuse to eat anything (except for a bit of fruit here and there and maybe, maybe, maybe some yogurt). I just couldn’t dream of letting him go without eating, so during the worst of his teething days, he would always without fail nurse. Yes, toddler nursing antics (upside down nursing, nursing and dancing, etc.) can sometimes be a challenge to my patience, but it has been more than worth the delay in weaning to keep him full of something nutritious and so incredibly valuable to his development.

There are definitely days I am very ready to wean. There are other days that I know it will be bittersweet.

Given Elisha’s strong personality, however, I know that he will help me set the pace. He already has started putting himself to sleep at night (after nursing) instead of nursing to sleep. Sometimes, laying him in his own bed and sitting in the office chair across the room from him (singing) is the only way he’ll go to sleep. Some nights, when he wakes, I can rock him back to sleep after he goes to the potty. Other nights, he needs to nurse again. On the teething nights, he often nurses all night, but those are getting fewer and farther between.

It’s getting better. It’s been an awesome ride so far. I’m interested in seeing what the end of teething brings into our lives. It should be exciting.

His potty readiness has also been pretty amazing. Since we’ve been practicing EC over the past 10 months, it’s been crazy to see just how much babies are capable of. While he’s not that communicative while teething, he still has so very few misses these days. I’m not confident enough to go out for long errands in training undies, but we did go to church with them last Sunday without issue. He goes all day with maybe a miss or two, and he’s often dry all night long. It’s certainly lessened the burden when it comes to diaper laundry, but I have never considered washing cloth diapers to be much of a burden to begin with. Ha!

Anyway, time just keeps flying by. I still can’t believe I have a walking, talking, drawing, imagining, playing toddler.

Elisha loves to draw

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little drummer boy

little drummer boy

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Well, despite having to give my tomato plants some major attention (they may both be infected with bacterial speck; I’m waiting to see if the dark lesions on leaves reappear on the upper branches that are now out of the shade/moisture of my bushy cucumbers), I will say we have a successful garden. I picked my first cucumbers the other day and there’s four peppers slowly changing color that I can’t wait to eat. Some banana peppers are growing and there’s at least one eggplant on it’s way to shiny fatness. I’m excited.

Elisha had fun carrying the prized cucumbers around the house for a while, though even with all his molars growing in, he’s not quite sure what to do with a bite of their crispiness in his mouth. He tends to gnaw on it for a while and then spit everything out all over the floor and his person. I am not amused by this, but the dog thinks it’s fantastic every time.

It’s also very, very hard to get a busy 15-month old to stand still for photographs any more. He used to be such a ham for the camera, but now he wants to be coy or shy or just try to grab the thing out of my hands. Oh well, such is the life of a busy toddler.

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06152011 - Garden Boy

06152011 - Garden Boy 06152011 - Garden Boy

06152011 - Garden Boy

06152011 - Garden Boy

06152011 - Garden Boy

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our first garden

loving the pool

our first garden

a garden visitor

What do I love this Monday? The feeling of summer that’s in the air. I mean, I’m not looking forward to the heat, but I love summer. I love sunshine and gardens and the pool. This year, we have all of those things in our back “yard” of sorts (it’s hard to call our tiny space in the back of our townhouse a yard).

We caved and bought Elisha a kiddie pool. It gives us something else to do during the day, he loves it, and we can all work on our tans together. He loves the bath (and the sink), so I figured the pool was the next logical step. It’s been very much a success, but I must admit I find a kiddie pool a bit high maintenance considering we don’t have a hose or access to one anywhere near our townhouse. Buckets of water from the sink are kind of annoying, let me tell you, especially since he plastic inflatable thing needs to be emptied and cleaned often because of things like bird poop and bugs. I don’t even think covering it would make a difference, but the smiling baby is totally worth it.

In fact, the baby smiling is really worth it after this rough month we’ve had. Three molars at once, some verbal milestones (he knows a lot of words and signs, even if he doesn’t always use them all when he could), and who knows what else have made sleeping rough and the crankies a constant battle. These past couple days have been on the up and up, however, and I’m not complaining about how worn out a dip in the pool makes little E.

He also loves to jump in first thing in the morning. It’s so cute.

A toddler is a completely different adventure, and I think I still cringe inside a little even when I type that word. He’s still my baby… but he’s gotten so big!

Another new adventure for me is gardening. We’ve got two raised beds out the kitchen door with eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, and various peppers. I’ve got some lettuce and mizuna to plant, too, but I need to knock the bottom off of two clementine boxes to fill with potting mix and seeds. I should hurry up before it gets too hot, really. Summer is creeping up on us fast … and I’m excited!

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Sink party!

Sink party!

Sink party!

Sink party!

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