Lent, PPD, Coconut Oil and More Random Thoughts!

Good morning, World!

I have all these random thoughts bouncing around in my head and none of them seems to be quite enough for a dedicated post, so I thought I’d just put them all in one place. Maybe next time I can time my randomness better to coincide with 7 Quick Takes at Conversion Diary (but probably not!).

1. On Lent.

I love the practice of Lent, even coming from a non-denominational protestant background. This year, I’m reading Kris Camealy’s Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey Of Refinement and working through the companion workbook, and Good Morning Girls will be starting an Easter study in two weeks.

I’m also participating in the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge because the clutter in this house is making it very hard for me to keep my focus where it needs to be.

As a family, we’re reading The Jesus Storybook Bible each morning. (Our pastor is currently preaching a series based on the subtitle of the book Every Story Whispers His Name!), and Amanda White just released A Sense of the Resurrection, a devotional/activity book to celebrate Easter as a family, that I’d like to incorporate into our Easter celebration.

I have a feeling that the decluttering challenge and resurrection activities may be a stretch for our current crazy schedule, but we’ll see how it goes.

2. On postpartum depression.

I don’t know if there are stages of depression, but if there are, I’m at the annoyed-to-be-feeling-this-way stage.

Honestly, I have had some really, really good days — days that make me question if I’m being dramatic when I use the PPD label. Our trip to Florida was virtually stress-free, but coming home was like jumping into a glass of ice water and we had a pretty rough transition. The week after that I had a great week, where everything seemed sunshine-y and lovely. And this week has been tough again.

I’m tired of feeling this way. I can feel myself start to lose it, where the house and the kids and everything on my to-do list become so heavy that I feel like I’m suffocating. And in my head I know that it’s not as bad as it feels and that the depression will lift, but in the midst of it, I sometimes dream of taking the baby to live in a hotel room, just the two of us, without a care in the world.

3. On coconut oil and chocolate chips.

How’s that for a segue? I told you this post was random!

Vitacost has some of my very favorite products on sale this month, plus when you click here, you’ll get $10 to use on your first order:

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4. On flexible homeschooling

Although I felt very settled when I made our homeschool plans for this year, I’ve had the nagging feeling that some of it wasn’t quite working like I’d pictured it. So this week I’ve been reading through A Well-Trained Mind (again!) as well as the books from this week’s Beat the Homeschool Blues collection at BundleoftheWeek.com.

Our issue is that the girls seem to be skating through their history and science topics. While I’d hoped to inspire them to read and discover more about the weekly Classical Conversations memory work through our notebooking pages, they tend to just do the bare minimum to check it off their list, which is making it feel like busy work instead of something valuable. I also realized that the downside to building our subjects around the weekly memory work is that I feel like I need to get a full week in before we can move forward, which is actually slowing us down.

So. I decided this week to move memory work back to just that — memory work. I’m going to assign a subject to each day of the week and make playlists of songs for that subject. And that will be it.

Then, for history, we’re going to dive back into Story of the World. We’re currently reviewing (and loving!) the Einstein in a Box STEM activities, and I think this monthly subscription will be a great supplement for science. I also might try Apologia science again in the fall, but we’ll see.

5. On boys and baby food.

I had big plans to hold off the baby food for as long as possible and transition Jackson directly to table food, a la Baby-Led Weaning, but he wasn’t having any of that nonsense. Well, at least not the holding off part. He’s been reaching for our food and smacking his lips since 3-and-a-half months, so we finally gave in and let him try a cooked sweet potato, which he loved. Since then, he’s gone to town on banana “sticks” (if you stick your finger into the middle of a banana, it actually splits into 3 non-slimy pieces!), sweet potato “fries” and, as of last night, avocado spears. This boy can eat! I’m not sure his digestive system is as ready as his appetite, so we’ve only been doing food every 2-3 days, but he gets so excited whenever we sit down at the table!

6. On Harry Connick, Jr. and American Idol

It has been many years since I’ve watched a full season of American Idol, but I started watching at the beginning of the season because Harry Connick, Jr. (who is my very favorite artist) is now on the judge’s panel, and I’m hooked.

This season is so much different than any of the others have been. It’s not about drama or being snarky but on finding and cultivating real talent. I love how down-to-earth all three of the judges are. I love that Harry regularly asked young girls to consider the words they were singing in the early shows. I love that Randy is back as a coach. Sean swears he hates American Idol, but he often sits down to watch it with me when it’s on, something that I don’t think would have happened in any other season!

(P.S. Go C.J.!)

7. On my new Starbucks love.

On Sunday I got a soy latte with two pumps of hazelnut syrup, and let me just say…YUM! Starbucks soy milk already has vanilla flavoring, but when I can have real milk again, I’ll probably do a latte with one pump vanilla and two pumps hazelnut. So good!

Mandi Ehman is the blogger behind Life Your Way. She and her husband have four beautiful girls plus one baby boy, and together they live, work and homeschool on a little slice of heaven in wild, wonderful West Virginia. Mandi loves coffee, chocolate, easy meals, beautiful things and minimalist spaces.
  • nurturedmama

    Hi Mandi, I struggle with seasonal depression and I hit that annoyed-to-be-feeling-this-way stage twice a year. I’ve learned to read it as “this is when I need to really focus on taking care of myself” when it hits in November and “soon I’ll be feeling normal again” in February. So hopefully that feeling means you are on the mend!

    • http://joyceandnorm.wordpress.com/ Joyce (and Norm)

      I have struggled with that, and I think I need to work on taking care of myself during those months too. I’m in California so we don’t have the snow and “gloom” of winter, but it’s still there. I found that taking some Vitamin D has been so helpful too!!

  • Courtney

    Thank you for the vitacost info and referral code!

  • http://joyceandnorm.wordpress.com/ Joyce (and Norm)

    1. Our church does Lent, but this is the first year that I have intentionally thought about it because the church I grew up in didn’t practice Lent. I read Kris’ book mid-way through Lent last year and kind of skimmed it, so I’m excited to work through it this year. I don’t have a particular decluttering “system” that I am doing right now, but we really need to get all the stuff out, so I just have a goal of filling up our little trashcan for recycling twice a day to take out to the big bin.

    4. I am feeling the exact same way about history and science. I am already thinking about what we can do for the upcoming year since both my girls are “school” age. For now, we only use the memory work as just that. Sometimes they have questions, and I will give them a snippet of what the history sentence is about, etc., but not too much besides that. I see that it is already a great tool for building those “pegs” for the later years. Any other 3 or 4yos talking about Charlemagne, the seven types of biomes, the Industrial Revolution, or skip counting the 15s? :p

    6. I don’t think I have watched a full season of American Idol before. I love that they are focusing more on finding real talent…I think things get lost in translation in show business. Do they have episodes online? We don’t have a TV, so I would have to catch whatever is streaming. :p I am getting back to Dancing with the Stars this season though.