Now that September is half over, I’m finally sharing the highlights of the month of August. Oh well, better late than never!

Here are some favorite photos and memories from August:

Home Depot Workshop

Paxton attended his very first Kids Workshop at Home Depot and loved it! He built a pencil holder and was so proud of it.

Reading with Brother

We came home from church after our first Wednesday service and I propped Cecilia up on the couch and asked Paxton to watch her while I went and helped Weston. When I came back into the living room, I was greeted by this sight that took my breath away. My heart felt so full seeing my biggest boy cuddled up with a book and his baby sister. These two have a special bond.
Playing

Our girl has been rolling and scooting since she was 4 months old, once she started moving around, I started putting her in the boys room sometimes to join in with their play time. At first they thought it was the cutest thing, now they’re starting to realize that she’s into everything and she wants to chew on their toys. It’s so fun watching them interact with her and watching her playing with their toys.

Back Carry

I love wearing my babies in my stretchy Baby K’tan for the first few months, then I like using a soft structured carrier because they’re so easy to put on. While I prefer front carries, it’s nice to be able to put baby in a back carry for washing dishes and gardening. At 4.5 months, Cecilia was comfortable in a back carry and I had to document the moment!

Decorating

Once we decided that we were staying in our home, I decided to love the home we’re in so I started working on some decor plans for Cecilia’s room. I chose a color scheme (hot pink and teal), bought bed sheets and made bunting back in July. We finally got the bunting and her ‘C’ hung in August. There’s still a few more finishing touches left but I love the girly space I’ve created for her!

Closet

Another ‘love our home’ project was creating built in shelving in the boys closet. My talented husband built designed and built this shelving and we worked together painting them. The closet looks great and it’s very functional (notice the low clothing rods – easy access for preschoolers!)

Bunk Bed Construction

We’ve been talking off an on about bunk beds for our boys. We decided that we wanted to free up floor space in their room so they’d have a lot of room to play since baby sister is now in the room that was their playroom. I found a set with stairs on Craigslist at a great price! John David’s dad just happened to be visiting when we got them so he helped him pick them up and assemble them. The boys really enjoyed watching daddy and papaw assembled their beds!

Bunk Beds

Here’s an ‘action’ shot of their bunk bed! They were sleeping in separate twin beds before we got the bunk but since getting the bunk bed, they’ve been sleeping in the same bed. And, I’ve spent half the night with Weston in the bottom bunk and it’s quite cozy under there.

Sleeping Baby

Baby girl has been sleeping most of the night, usually waking up anywhere from 4-7 to eat. Once she wakes, I’ll put her in our bed for the rest of the night/early morning. There’s nothing like waking up to a sweet, chubby, sleeping baby!

Reading

Cecilia is starting to join in with story time! Scenes like this are precious.
5 months

Cecilia was 5 months on the 20th.

Here are some milestones:

  • Rolling and scooting wherever she wants to go
  • Laughing
  • Smiles so big when she’s talked to
  • Loves sucking/chewing on cloth – burp cloths, swaddles, taggie blanket
  • Wearing 3-6 month clothes
  • Exclusively cloth diapered – bumGenius One Size on medium setting with regular insert and doubler.
  • Nursing every 3 hours during the day.
  • Starts the night in her crib and when she wakes to nurse, I bring her to our bed.

Siblings

The boys love joining in her monthly photo shoot – and I love that they actually want me to take their picture! I feel so blessed to be their mama!

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Keeping it Real

Last week I gave you a tour of our 1,343 square foot brick ranch. The pictures I shared were from when we were trying to sell our home so they were beautiful – showing our home looking it’s best.

Well, this week, I’m giving you another tour of our home but this tour is keeping it real – nothing staged, just real life!

Messy Dining Room

I try my hardest to keep our table clutter free because we eat 3 meals a day there however it’s just seems to be a stuff magnet. Honestly, it’s mostly my stuff – we come home from running errands or church and I dump everything on the end of the table instead of putting it where it should go!
Finger Paint Mess

Ah, preschoolers and art. Before having kids, I dreamed of peaceful, non-messy, creative art time with my kids. Ha, ha! My boys love creating but boy are they messy. This time, I let them have a few different colors of paint and they were happily painting on their paper. Well, then the baby needed me and I left the room for 2 minutes and came back to paint everywhere – all over the table, chairs and the boys. At least they had fun, right? And, thankfully it was washable!
Dirty Dishes

This is an all too common scene around here. I guess because we eat 3 meals a day?! There’s really no getting around that. So, the kitchen is used and is pretty much never fully clean!
Laundry

Here’s photographic evidence of our mountain of laundry. I was warned before Cecilia was born that a third child seems to make laundry really explode. Well, it’s true! So much laundry. (But, who really cares if there is a little more laundry to fold – our third baby is awfully sweet and so worth it!)
Pile of Laundry

More laundry. Messy Bedroom

Noticing a trend? Laundry. Everyday. On my bed.

Confession – some days, I don’t get around to fully folding it all so I just dump what hasn’t been folded yet back into the basket for the night and the next morning dump it back on the bed to fold sometime that day!Livingroom

Living rooms are for living and we do a lot of living in ours so it’s rarely clean. This day, the boys were creating with big cardboard boxes. Art stuff all over, pieces of cardboard everywhere and a really sweet baby girl in the midst of it all!
Messy Kid Space

My boys love puzzles. I love that they love puzzles. I however, do not love puzzle pieces. So many pieces. I may break out in a sweat when I realize they’ve mixed puzzle pieces all together!Broken Blinds

One thing I find myself saying over and over is ‘we cannot have nice things.’ The reason I say this – my boys are destructive. I’m often quite impressed at the things they decide to destroy. One day, one of them spent rest time in the baby’s room and decided to bend back a piece of the blinds. (It has since snapped off…)
Unmade Beds

Right after deciding to put our house on the market, we decided to rearrange the kids rooms. When Cecilia was born, we had the boys in a full size bed and her crib in their room. We decided to separate Cecilia from the boys and then got the boys twin beds. Their beds had sheets and quilts but nothing on the box springs for months (and now they don’t even have the box springs thanks to their bunk bed!)
Messy Kid BedroomAnd, since deciding to stay in our home instead of sell it, we’ve been making some changes to make this house work better for our family. One of those things was installing some shelving in the boys closet for more efficient organization. So, everything from the closet was piled up in the corner for over 3 weeks. And, while the closet is finished and some things have been put back into the closet, there’s still a nice pile in the corner.

I shared these pictures with you so you remember that people often just share the beautiful (like the staged home tour I shared last week) on blogs, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. I didn’t want you to think that was my reality because it’s so far from reality that it felt like a lie!

We all have messes (at least those of us with young children do!)

Stop aiming for an unattainable goal of a perfectly clean home. Embrace the reality that life is just a little messy and then you can begin to view your mess as beautiful.

Brick Ranch Home Tour

In April, we decided we were going to sell our home and spent a few days thoroughly cleaning and taking pictures. I’ve been meaning to post them for a few months so you can have a glimpse into our home!

Our home is a basic little house built in the 70s, a  3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home totaling 1,343 square feet.

Here’s a glimpse inside:

Livingroom

Kitchen

Dining

Bathroom

Master

Kids Room

Play Room

After a few days of intense cleaning, decluttering (and maybe a little shoving things into closets), the house looked amazing! In fact, it was exactly how I often dream our home should look – super clean and clutter free. But, getting it show ready and ‘perfect’ really was eye opening to me.

Instead of loving the clean, clutter free look, it felt too sterile! It didn’t feel like our home – there were no signs of real life within the walls! Those (maybe) 2 days that it was ‘perfect’ really have helped me appreciate the beautiful mess of real life.

This little home tour is showing our home at it’s best – it’s never, ever this clean on a daily basis, so please don’t think this is my reality! Next week, I’m going to share a keeping it real home tour so you can see glimpses of our reality.

Personalities

Children are unique individuals. Just look at siblings, even with the same parents and home environment, they’re completely different. They’re different because they’re individuals.

We started noticing some behavior issues soon after Paxton turned 4 (which was also a few weeks after Cecilia’s birth). We were feeling challenged but thought maybe it was just part of being 4 plus the adjustment to a new sibling. There were numerous tantrums, anger issues and hard days. We were at a loss as to what the right approach was.

In late July, I picked up a book about organizing and started skimming. One thing that caught my eye was a description of the 4 personality types: choleric, melancholy, phlegmatic and sanguine. I had studied these personality types in leadership development classes and workshops in high school/college so I was familiar with them and knew that I was a melancholy.

John David and I both have an interest in understanding our personalities. We’ve both taken Meyers Brigg and DISC assessments and use that information professionally as well as in our marriage.

However, we had never thought about personalities in regards to parenting and the personalities of our children.

 

We started talking about these temperament types:

Choleric- high energy, task oriented, goal setter, leader

Melancholy- low energy, task oriented, analyzer, organizer

Phlegmatic- low energy, people oriented, calm, easy going

Sanguine- high energy, people oriented, friendly, optimistic

 

After reading a few articles describing the different temperaments, the personalities of our boys jumped out at us. Paxton is a choleric (like his daddy) and Weston is a sanguine.

While reading in-depth descriptions of these personality types, I started to feel like I understood my children better. It really was a light bulb moment.

I started reflecting on the issues we had been having with Paxton. Almost all of the issues were control issues. He was trying to be the boss in every situation, from putting shoes on to leaving the house, he was trying to exert control.

And, Weston’s personality started to make sense too. He’s a little chatter box that loves making people laugh.

Choleric

We decided the best approach to take with parenting our kids is not going to be a ‘one size fits all approach’. We’re going to have to parent them based on their personalities.

 

Paxton, as a choleric, needs control. Obviously good parenting is not giving a 4-year-old complete control but we can give him some control.

We’ve started letting him choose his own clothes, shoes and pajamas (even if it sometimes means shorts with cowboy boots!)

We are viewing things in light of big decisions that we make and little decisions that he is allowed to make.

Example – The big decision is we’re having tacos for supper and the little decision is that he gets to choose what goes on his taco.

We’re also trying to limit the use of ‘because I said so’ when he asks us ‘why’. He’s an inquisitive, logical child and an honest answer as to why we are doing something has really helped.

 

Weston, as a sanguine, is generally optimistic and full of fun but can be dramatic.

If he gets hurt in any way, he usually makes a big scene but as soon as I kiss his boo boo or simply acknowledge his hurt, he goes right back to his play! Knowing he has a flair for the dramatic has helped me understand his interactions with his brother better.

We’ve also noticed that he has a knack for storytelling. He can make up a whopper of a tale and tell it to us with a straight face. Being aware of this will be beneficial as he gets older and begins attempting to deceive us.

 

Our boys are 4 and 2 and it’s really amazing that their personalities are already so clear at such a young age.  Our daughter is 4.5 months old. At this point, she’s way too young to know what her personality is but we’re definitely looking forward to watching her personality emerge as she grows so we can figure out the best way to parent her too!

While I’m no parenting or personality expert, this information has definitely helped us in our parenting over the past few weeks. There may be no science behind parenting based on personalities but we’re going to continue to study our children and parent them based on their unique personalities.

More in-depth personality information, as related to children:

Personality Types Overview

Choleric

Melancholy

Phlegmatic

Sanguine

 

This photo is a good example of my boys personalities! Choleric Paxton is taking the task of picture taking seriously. Sanguine Weston is having a blast and his personality shines through!

This photo is a good example of my boys personalities. Choleric Paxton is taking the task of picture taking seriously. Sanguine Weston is having a blast and his personality shines through!