blessed by Bella

I spotted.

Just now.

This means I’ve been on progesterone 3 months and I am not pregnant.

Am I sad? Indeed.

But, waiting for a baby hasn’t been..

*PAUSE*

It just hasn’t been as painful as I thought it would be.

I’ve been trying to unpack my feelings on this.

Asking myself if I’ve just stuffed my feelings.

What I’ve realized is….

Bella has taught me one thing and one thing real good:

This too shall pass.

I am not a patient person (though I work on it).

And I am not good at not getting what I want (ask my parents!).

I’m a bit baffled as to why I’m not a hotter mess waiting for another child. To some extent I know for a fact it’s because of all those praying me through this. There are moments where I literally feel the prayers said on my behalf holding my head above water when it would have be so easy to slip and let myself drown.

But.

But what I really realize. Is that the gift I have, this special gift of unexplainable peace and patience.  This gift is because of Bella.

With her FPIES and EOE we face years of being patient. She may outgrow FPIES by age 3 or 4 (or she may not).  Her soy reaction was at 9 months. So right out of the shoot, we had 2-3 years ahead of us of not knowing….and waiting.

And…this period of waiting has taught me, how to wait.

Like I said, waiting for a baby month after month, would have drowned me in sorrow and anxiousness; prior to Bella.

I have moments and days where I cry (usually Day 1 of my cycle!).  But generally speaking, I am doing ok.

Thing is. I’ve learned how to tread water. Before Bella, the boat would have gotten rocky and I would have fallen apart and drowned simply in the vast amount of my own tears shed.

But now, it seems the boat can rock, toss me out and I can be in deep, deep waters….and yet… I can tread.

Now hear me out. I much prefer to be in the boat, with a cool beverage and sun beaming on my face – much prefer. But and since, rough waters is what I’m facing, I can tread.

I will tread.

And please, do know, I am in rough waters.

It’s not easy waiting. And with every arm I push out to keep myself afloat I am weary. With every breath I take to bob along the water or with every push of inertia to excel over a wave coming my way, I find myself tired and worn.

And let me tell you, I have NEVER in my life been so interested in my own nipples. Or my body, in general, for that matter.  If you’ve tried for a baby you know what this odd fixation is; this thing where you wonder many’a moments if you are pregnant so you read every potential sign your body may be giving you.

Did I just pee more often than usual?

Was that a mood swing (or do I need to sign up for anger management?!)

Am I tired, tired – or have I just been on my feet since 7AM?

You get it. And I’m stuck in it. Just because I’m doing ok waiting doesn’t meant I’m not waiting; looking for signs that this season will pass.

But. In the midst of the weariness I feel strength.

(LEMME tell you, waiting is work!)

But this? This work. It makes me stronger.

Like a good work out, this waiting is.

And it is a beautiful thing when you realize you can face your deepest fear….

And live.

In the depth of longing, there is strength and living.

I am not alone. (Jesus hold me up in this water if I get too weak!)

And I am getting stronger.

All this beauty in waiting.

All this because of Bella.

 

This too shall pass.

 

God’s gift to me; in her.

 

• Kaylee (and husband, Dan) have one daughter, Miss Bella, who lives in a world of FPIES,EoEDelay in Gastric Emptying.  Kaylee works full-time at Start Garden and fine-tunes plans to take over the world while driving to doctors’ appointments.

Grief; it’s a must.

I feel like my heart is left in the past and just can’t catch up to the present.

This is what I said at a counseling appointment.

My counselor then drew this:

Grief Chart

To walk you through it, she pointed out that in order to go through life, To get to healing. To get to the other side of a situation.

We swim.

We swim from where we are to where we want to be.

But along the way.

There’s a shark.

It keeps attacking us, biting at us, eating us up (devouring us!).

We try so hard to swim across but it is absolutely impossible to get to the other side of something with this threat.

We need to simply take the bridge.

The bridge is Jesus (HOKEY, I know. I thought the same thing.)

But she was a really good drawer and her pretty little picture helped it “click” for me.

She explained that humans will do anything to keep from grieving.  There’s no real known reason why, but grief is the LAST thing we want to do.  We will bury our pain in any and everything: Busyness, routine, structure, too much fun, substance abuse, self-loathing, shopping, coffee, chocolate, success, awards. Name it. You know what it is.

We would rather do “this” than face the pain.

Grief. There are two specific times when I know grief MUST happen.

ONE. It needs to happen when you’ve been wronged. You need to grieve that you were not treated the way God designed you to be treated. You grieve the loss of innocence, the loss of vulnerability. You grieve the fact that you never wanted to feel this way, never wanted to know what “this” pain felt like.

TWO. It needs to happen when seasons change. I once heard a teaching on grief. The pastor noted that with change there is loss. This loss needs to be grieved. You cannot enter fully into the next season of life without fully dealing with former season. You need to get all of you (and I mean ALL of you) together, wholly and fully (as best your able).  If you need to go back to “that moment” or “those words” or “when this happened” — Do it. Go back there to that space and time. Be there. Let all of you come together before you move forward. Grieve the time lost as you ran from  the pain. Grieve the ways life is different.  You get married, it’s change. You lose freedom in ways, you have to give of yourself in ways you didn’t anticipate, you yourself need to change. Grieve this. Life isn’t the same. Say it aloud. It’s okay. It’s the truth. You have a baby.  The baby is up a lot and you’re losing sleep. You don’t have the freedom and spontaneity you once had. It’s okay. Name it. Grieve it. You’re not in the relationship anymore (maybe that’s even  good thing it came to an end) but you’ve lost the plans you had, you’ve lost what you had. Even if for the better, it’s still change and you’ve lost something. So go ahead and grieve it.

How do we grieve?

There’s no one set way to grieve.

One quick way is to stop. JUST STOP. And be still. You meditate on this:

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that “I am.”

Be still and know that.

Be still and know.

Be still.

And then go there.

Go to the innermost parts of your heart.

Start speaking out loud. Your story. The way you feel (or felt) about it. Give specific examples.

I once had a friend who was trying to grieve a relationship that wasn’t the relationship she had wanted it to be.

She literally sat on her bed and breathed in. and breathed out. FOR HOURS.

She breathed in and then she would exhale the name of the person out.

This was her form of grieving; of letting go.

You may need a good hike.

You may need to cry, Really hard.

You may to picture yourself at the foot of the cross. Or maybe picture yourself in a meadow, wind blowing, Jesus sitting by your side. You share. He listens. You both sit in silence because that’s ok. You both like the silence right now.

And. Remember this:

Grief is like waves.

It can roll in and hit you out of nowhere.

Some days can be steady and calm.

Other days will be filled with enormous waves, a strong current.

Moments where you may think you’re going to drown.

And.

Some days the waves may be even invited – soothing, healing memories.

I’ve grieved break-ups.

I’ve grieved OCD & me.

I’ve grieved the lofty idealistic view of marriage vs. reality.

I’ve grieved things…

But I have specifically grieved a lot since becoming a mom.

Bella, honey, if you ever read this; don’t you for one second feel bad. Not one second, you hear! You are everything God wanted you to be. You are my child and I love you dearly. I love you for all that you are and all you were designed to be.

I wasn’t expecting Bella.

I wasn’t anticipating GI issues.

I thought we’d cuddle a lot. (We did not!)

I thought I’d be ever patient. (I am not!)

Bella is strong-willed (in the most beautiful of ways), determined, independent and persistent.

I love this about her.

And though I anticipated different these are not the things that I grieve.

I grieve that I spend so much time driving to doctor appointments instead of fun play dates.

I grieve when I don’t get to spoil her at Halloween & Valentine’s Day like I thought I would.

I grieve when we put her down for a nap to make Christmas cookies so as to keep her away from those “trace” amounts of dangerous foods.

I grieve when I see other kids chewing and enjoying snack time.

Bella and I have managed. And quite well. We figure out our ways. We make holidays special with non-edible “treats” and we find other special ways to bonds with coloring and stickers (in lieu of cooking baking). We manage just fine – and at times, I secretly like our special ways of celebrating Bella differently than I had anticipated.

But it’s an ongoing grief. The moments that make me want to burst into tears can come at the most of random moments – when I see everyone eating their Thanksgiving meal. When Bella calls her blueberries in her bowl “cheerios” because she’s noticed she’s different and wants to be like her friends.

I’ve learned that some things in life are just that – ongoing. And they require me to grieve continuously so as to take the next best step forward, wholly and fully.

So, I’ve learned to take deep breaths.

I can sometimes grieve these things in a simple moment of giving myself permission to do so – I name it. I call it out loud. And then move on.

And I tell myself that I can cry and grieve as often an as much as needed before my Father.

(And I’ll admit, I probably need a good week before his feet – I’m due for this!)

And.

Like I said, an ongoing basis, I give that whole “this is different than I thought” a BIG ‘OLE HUG.

“Different than I thought” and “My expectations” meet.

They took a look at each other.

And then they embrace.

And we all move forward together.

Because.

I need to grieve.

In order to be the best me each moment of every day.

 

I need to grieve.

In order to release the pain and sit in the present with hope, a stilled and content heart.

Amen.

kayleeKaylee (and husband, Dan) have one daughter, Miss Bella, who lives in a world of FPIES,EoEDelay in Gastric Emptying.  Kaylee works full-time at Start Garden and fine-tunes plans to take over the world while driving to doctors’ appointments.

church and our kids – 2

[a follow-up to yesterday’s post, by Sandra Wood Peoples]

I sat in the waiting room while James was in the back for his speech therapy. Most weeks, the other moms, siblings, and I all stay busy with the variety of electronic devices we bring. That day, however, I decided to be brave and start some discussions. We talked schools, doctors, and finally, church.

“I’ve read 90% of families with special needs kids don’t go to church. Do you guys think that’s true?” I asked.

The others moms nodded their heads. They all talked about how hard it is to go to church. One tries to have her son sit with her in the service, but he makes lots of noise and she’s afraid of disrupting others. Another mom said her church has a very loud children’s service and her girls can’t handle all that sensory input. Every one of the moms in the room had reasons not to go.

Let’s be honest—it’s not easy for families like ours to go to church. Most families have a list of excuses why they can’t make it to a worship service, but special needs families have legitimate reasons. But the New Testament talks about the importance of meeting together. The book of Acts gives stories of early churches, the Epistles are written to churches, and even the book of Revelation has praise and warnings for churches. The Christian life is to be lived in community. If we stay home, we are not only hurting ourselves and our families, but we’re also hurting the church, who needs families like ours to be complete.

When we first got James’s autism diagnosis, he was the only special needs child at our church. Because my husband is a pastor, we couldn’t just stay home each Sunday. We also couldn’t shop around for a megachurch that already had an established special needs ministry. We knew God had us at our church for a reason, and that reason included introducing them to the world of special needs.

Now, over two years after his diagnosis, we have a strong special needs ministry. Our church has an occupational therapist and a special ed teacher who stepped up to head the ministry. We offer respite nights every two months for kids with special needs and their siblings. We integrate kids with special needs into our Sunday school classes, Awana program, and Vacation Bible School. We continue to train volunteers to ask about food allergies, know the signs of a seizure, and modify lessons so every child can participate.

It hasn’t been an easy two years. It took a lot of patience on our part. It took a lot of prayer. As James grows, I know we will face more challenges. But I also know God wants us at church, so He will continue to help us find ways to make it happen.

Sandra Peoples is a pastor’s wife and mom to three boys (one with autism and one they are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia). She is the author of Speechless: Finding God’s Grace in My Son’s Autism (available on Amazon). You can connect with her at sandrapeoples.com

church and our kids – 1

We walked up to the registration area for the children’s classes last Sunday at the church we were visiting with our boys. The woman there asked questions to figure out where the boys should go and typed the answers into her computer.

“What are their names? When are their birthdays? Do they have any allergies?”

The questions were easy to answer for our oldest son, but our younger son took more explanation. His birthday does not represent his developmental stage. The computer doesn’t take into account all the variables that would tell the woman where he should go. “Can I type in that he was born in a different year? Would that work?” she asked.

I’ve read that based on the 2000 census, two out of every seven families in the US have a family member with special needs (ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s). I’ve also read that 90% of families with a member with special needs do not attend church. That is a huge “people group” who aren’t being reached.Churches must be able to meet the special needs these families have before they will be able to address the spiritual needs. From what I’m seeing and hearing in the special needs community, churches are working hard to make sure people with special needs are comfortable and safe. I’m thankful for websites like The Works of God Displayed  and The Inclusive Church that are equipping churches of all sizes to be more inclusive.

Churches have a responsibility to meet the special needs of families, and these families also need to take steps to let churches know how they can help.

Here are a few steps we take when visiting a new church so it’s easy for everyone:

  • Call or email the church ahead of time to find out who is in charge of children’s ministry. I use language like, “We will be visiting your church Sunday and have a child with special needs. Who can we contact to make sure our visit is as comfortable as possible for him?”
  • Contact that person directly to let him/her know your family is coming and what your needs are. It allows that person to contact the teachers or volunteers who will be with your child so they can prepare. For example, if your child has an wheat allergy, they can get the pretzel snacks out of the room before you arrive. Also, if your child is older, he may not want to hear his special needs explained in front of him to multiple people. Doing this ahead of time will save him embarrassment.
  • Get to church early enough to know where to go and meet with the person you contacted, if necessary.
  • Bring anything your child will need, including special snacks or sensory toys. I packed James’s back-pack with diapers, extra clothes, and his chewy-tubes.
  • Be honest. Don’t let embarrassment or nervousness keep you from telling those who will be caring for your children what they need to know.

The church we visited did a wonderful job making us feel comfortable and taking care of James. When I picked him up after the service, the teacher in his class asked, “He loves to be tickled, doesn’t he?” I appreciated that they got to know him and weren’t afraid of his lack of communication or special needs!

Sandra Peoples is a pastor’s wife and mom to three boys (one with autism and one they are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia). She is the author of Speechless: Finding God’s Grace in My Son’s Autism (available on Amazon). You can connect with her at sandrapeoples.com

He guides every step

There are days on this journey of special needs motherhood that my heart is plagued by worries and doubts.

My daughter is almost nine, but my mind is still flooded with memories from the early years of her life.  As I think back on those years, guilt washes over me and I begin to question what I could have done differently.

What if I’d known this?  Or done that? Are thoughts that replay often in my mind.

I feel as if I’ve been learning as I go.

And I have.

Because no one handed me a manual explaining how it was going to be, mapping out the path I was supposed to follow.

But there was always Someone, guiding every step.
Looking back I ponder
Questions plague my heart
Did I fight my hardest
Did I do my part?
The days in the beginning
Have grown into a blur
“What ifs” and “should haves”
Make me feel unsure
Dwelling on the past
Causes too much pain
If I could start over
Would I do the same?
But hindsight’s twenty-twenty
When viewing from today
Through worries of tomorrow
Doubts also try to sway
It’s dangerous to wallow
Allowing fears to win
Because it’s now we’re living
Not in the might have been
And then I pause to thank Him
For leading all the way
He’s guided every moment
Of every yesterday

“This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”   Isaiah 48:17

~Rachel

Rachel is a child of God, blessed wife and stay-at-home mom to three, the oldest of whom has a variety of needs surrounding her visual impairment (resulting from her severe prematurity) and mild intellectual disability.  She blogs at This Journey Our Life, to share her personal journey of special needs parenting, encouraging others who find themselves on a similar path.

home

from Kaylee Page this morning for you, mammas…

blessings to you and yours today

To you, mommas who face foreign lands daily:

Details aside, it’s been a long week.

And so….My mom (bless her heart!), came up to spend the weekend with me as my husband travels to Israel for his MBA study abroad. Her car was parked behind mine so when needing to run an errand I hopped in her car and heard:

Hold on… to me as we go

As we roll down this unfamiliar road

And although this wave is stringing us along

Just know you’re not alone…Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it’ll all be clear

Don’t pay no mind to the demons, They fill you with fear

The trouble it might drag you down

If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone….Cause I’m going to make this place your home

I wept. The entire way to the store. (Granted, this is only 2 miles).  But still. I wept.

I’m going to make this place your home. For several years now I have had this deep longing for home, for even a glimpse or sense of home.

Foreign land. That’s where I hang out these days (these years!). In a very foreign land. It’s not all due to being a mom of a daughter with special dietary needs.  Some of it does. Not all though. Life as an adult continuously changes — I grew up in the same home from age 2-18. In the past 10 years I’ve lived in 10 different homes, gotten married, had a baby, changed jobs, my husband changed jobs (he also spent 18 months getting his MBA – which was change to our routine) and we’ve found a new church. Then a miscarriage. Then progesterone to try to get pregnant. Then no baby. And the day to day of caring for Bella and the special ways she needs to eat.

As a kid, home was all around me. Things didn’t change much back then. But things change all the time these days!

And it’s hard for me to find home. IT ALL FEELS SO FOREIGN.

I feel like time is passing but I’m not anywhere to be found – at least not fully found. I’m ok. It’s just that I’m just blowing around in the wind.  And as I blow around it’s all dusty, dry and unclear.  I don’t know the upside from the downside, no idea where the ground is to place my feet, no idea how to look up, no idea how long I’ve been blowing around and no idea when this wind blowing me will cease.

I’ve wished and prayed the fog would lift, that I could just make sense of it all and move on into the next season – IMMA LEAVE THIS HARD SEASON BEHIND.

But…I keep waiting for the next season.  I want the next season, because this season doesn’t make sense. This season has me confused. OYE! THIS SEASON ISN’T PART OF MY PLAN…

So I want to be somewhere where it does make sense and I get to write the story.

Please & Thanks!

As I wept… in the quiet of my heart, God assured and reassured me that this place I find myself…. It, too, can be home.  So of course, I wept some more. Grief went all up on me and got itself some hope.

And through wet cheeks I (for some reason, because I am really bad at recalling Biblical folks who’ve trenched the roads and navigated the journey before us) thought of other women (and an animal?) who have faced the challenge of venturing and living in a foreign land:

How not to find home: Sarah (Lot’s wife)… she so badly wanted to feel home that she turned around (poor thing turned to salt!)  Lesson noted, God. He calls us to stop looking back, stop looking for what it is we want, but look to where He has lead and where he is leading. He calls us to his presence where home resides.  We seek him, lest we turn to a PILE. OF. SALT.

How to find home:  Ruth (eventual wife of Boaz)…. shows ultimate family loyalty which results in her leaving home.  Lands her in a totally foreign place. Eventually she winds up wed to Boaz, but instead of running from where she is supposed to be, she endures it. It was probably difficult, confusing, and most-certainly uncertain.  But she sticks it out. She even proactively does what she can, then waits on God for the rest. She found home in an unfamiliar land.

How home finds us:  The sheep…. We’re told the Shepherd leaves 99 to find 1. We’re not told why the sheep “wanders” off.  I think the church usually plays it up like the sheep ran away like a bandit, in complete defiance of the Shepherd. But what if the sheep just got lost – plain lost. And we always imagine the sheep hanging over a cliff with the Shepherd quickly saving it’s life with a candycane shaped staff. While that’s true in some journeys, I wonder if sometimes the Shepherd is okay with a sheep being away from the herd for a bit – maybe it’s necessary? I don’t know.  WHO KNOWS! Maybe there are countless reasons and maybe those reasons don’t even all make sense to us as the sheep. All we know is that if a sheep gets lost, it will be found… and it’s found in the presence of the Shepherd, not the location of the sheep.

Home. It’s where our heart is. Home isn’t found in routine, certainty, and familiarity (though we try really hard to make this home).  Home is found in the determination to stick it out and in the believing in the unbelievable, and trusting that the unanswerable will be made clear (or survivable) and that if nothing changes the way we want it to, that our God is for us and with us. With us on the journey leaving home behind (like Sarah), with us as we work our foreign fields of life (like Ruth) and in those moments where we are lost (or maybe it’s just we can’t tell anyone where we are).  

We can be home.

Home can be in the fog. 

Home can be in the uncertain. 

To those of you feeling lost and a bit blurry —- Welcome home!

Thank goodness you’re not doing this alone!

Happy Wednesday mamas!

Like many of you, my weeks consist therapy appointments, battles with the insurance companies and trying to conquer that ever growing to do list. We work so hard to advocate for our special kiddos and yet try to maintain some kind of sanity in the midst of it all. Its completely exhausting.

There are many nights when I crawl into bed feeling so drained and I wonder how in the world am I going to wake up tomorrow and do this all over again. I don’t think I can bear any more surprises or add one more thing to my to do list. Then I wake up to find the the KLOVE encouraging word in my inbox,

Isaiah 40:28 – 31

Have you never heard? Have you never understood?

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.

He never grows weak or weary. 

Did you read that?! He NEVER grows weak or weary!

No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

The creator of the universe wants to give YOU his power and strength!

Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.

They will soar high on wings like eagles.

They will run and not grow weary.

They will walk and not faint.

He hears me through the exhausted cries at the end of a long day and when I wait on hold with the insurance company and I ask to not let my frustration get the better of me. He gives me the strength to get through every day without losing faith in the plans He has for my family and especially for my sweet Jameson. Don’t be afraid  to ask Him for strength, for wisdom when faced with challenging situations or when you feel too tired to even make it until your kids bedtime.

Reading this verse today reminded me of the unexpected ways I hear His word and gain renewed hope.

Psalms 25: 5

“Lead me by Your truth and teach me

For You are the God that saves me

All day long I put my hope in You

My prayer is for you to feel His strength and power today and in this season of your life. Please know that the leaders of (in)able and (in)cluded are here to pray for you and support you. Reach out at anytime online through Facebook or here on the blog!

Praying for you today and every day precious mamas

Megan

((you can find Megan at her blog, Our Journey on the Spectrum))

Image

Wife to Brandon PhD smarty pants, Mama to Jameson 3 with an autism diagnosis and Grayson 11 months old. Megan is an art teacher that also loves coffee with her cream and a splash of vanilla.

(in)RL 2013

(in)RL 2013

Ladies!  Today is the day that registration for (in)RL 2013 launches!

[insert gleeful clapping]

I love it. What is it? (said every mother everywhere every day)

Simply, (in)RealLife is a webcast on Friday followed by a local get-together Saturday.  It’s a chance to anchor those beautiful online relationships you’ve made by meeting TOGETHER and in person.  It’s a time to be with other women, other moms, other Believers.

If you register TODAY, you get a copy of the (in)courage 365 Daybrightener while supplies last (US residents only).

EVERYONE who registers gets a copy of the eBook: “Best of the Beach House 2012.”

(in)RL was born out of two years spent listening to women in the comments at (in)courage craving local, real life community. Derived from the social media acronym “IRL” or “in real life,” (in)RL is an invitation to share what we’ve learned about community and encourage women with stories and suggestions for connecting deeper in real life.

Think of it as a FREE girl’s weekend away that doesn’t require packing or plane tickets, where women can kick off any expectation of perfect, set aside their fears, their shyness, their worry that they’re not good enough, and find some of Jesus’ words of rest woven into every video shared here.

The (in)RL webcast kicks off on Friday, April 26 and (in)RL meet-ups follow on Saturday, April 27.

Last year we explored the nitty gritty of community. This year we’re taking a closer look at what it takes to stay rooted in community when sometimes just walking away would be so much easier and tons more convenient. Women share stories of how they’ve chosen to stay through hard marriages, challenging parenting, worthwhile friendships. How choosing to stay has freed them more fully and unexpectedly than if they’d cut and run.

Relevant, yes?

So, let’s sign up. Let’s put ourselves out there and see what happens. Let’s see what God does when we step out from behind the computer and walk through an open door.

Sign up to attend or host a gathering HERE.

rest

Just a quick note to let all you mammas know that the blog here will be quiet for the next few weeks through the holidays and January.  We’ll pick up again with posts once Session 2 of the (in)courage community groups begins in February.  Until then, feel free to join us in the (in)Able facebook group HERE or leave a comment… we’ll get right back to you.  Promise.

Grace and Peace.

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” • Genesis 28:15 

There’s no place like home for the holidays.

Today, Tif is back with a list of tried and true activities to get you through the rest of this Holiday Season with your littles.  If you have anything to add, be sure to leave us a note in the comments!

As a parent, I have found some fun and creative ways to bring the holidays into my home for my children.  We always look forward to the spending of time together…. The crafts, the stories, the fun.  Ever since my children were little, being home was more important to us… than going out. The stay at home activities allowed my son, who didn’t like the hustle and bustle of the holiday, to be in a safe and calm place… and yet it also allowed my other son to experience the special moments of the season.  It even gave us (the parents) the ability to enjoy the joy and fun without getting frustrated or feeling pressure from the outside world.  Many of the activities are simple, cute, quick and easy to plan.  I wanted to share some with you….

Granted, you can add your own traditions…. But these are just some helpful ways to get your home buzzing with activities for the holidays.  Have fun! Take photos! And most of all, enjoy the messy faces, goopy hands, and sounds of joy in your home.  Merry Christmas!

Tif 

Young Ones (ages 2-5)

Older Ones (ages 5+)

Remember: if your child doesn’t hang around for long… let them be.  They may only want to experience it from afar.  Don’t force the activity and time upon them.  Leave your expectations and frustrations at the door… just BE together!