Saturday, February 7, 2015

Current Inspirations

We're right in the midst of a transition right now. We moved to Seattle last week, and we're living downtown in a two bedroom apartment with our four little ones until we find a more permanent place to live.

So far life here has been different but good. My boys are adjusting to life in the city much more smoothly than I expected. Jonathan is loving his five minute walk to work, and I'm still trying to get my bearings and figure out what to do with the kids all day.

In times like these it's good for me to be thinking, reading, and creating. If not, I go crazy worrying about the future or just being bored. So here's what's inspiring me right now:

Tiny Houses

 If you haven't seen this documentary you need to (it's on Netflix). It will make you question just how much house and how much stuff you really NEED. We watched it a few months ago, but I've been thinking about it daily since we moved.  We're living in a much smaller space than we're used to. But it's been nice: I've been able to keep a better eye on my crazy 18 month old, and I don't have as much square footage to clean.


I am ridiculously behind the times. We just started watching this show a few weeks ago. I tried to watch it a year or two ago and couldn't get into it, but this time around we watched 2 episodes and I was hooked. The Bravermans are just a family full of flawed people who chose to love each other through the joys and pains of life; needless to say, there's much I can relate to.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

I just started using this book with my oldest son this week. It took me a week or two to read through the intro and instructions . What I love about this book is that the lessons are written out for you, and they are short and sweet. We're planning to send our son to kindergarten in the fall, but we want him to be able to read and sound out words phonetically before he gets there. We'll see how it goes!

No Drama Discipline

A few days before we moved to Seattle, we had one last play date with my friend down the street and her three children. We've talked a lot about parenting our kids, what it looks like to extend grace to them, and what loving discipline looks like.

She told me that she was reading No-Drama Discipline so I picked it up. I've really enjoyed it. Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. He studies the brain and its role in development and interpersonal relationships.

So far the book has been about the real meaning of discipline-- to teach. How can we use the moments when our kids are misbehaving to activate their higher brain functioning so that they will have the tools they need to regulate themselves and make good choices even in our absence.

He encourages parents to move away from one size fits all punishments and instead stop to think about the specific child, the specific situation, and what they want to accomplish as far as teaching the child. He says that this helps parents move towards their children relationally instead of parenting on autopilot.

 I don't agree with every little thing he says but so far so good. If you know me, you know that I need all of the parenting wisdom I can get.

Downtown Seattle

Sure, right now everything in this city feels unfamiliar to me, but we are living smack dab in the middle of downtown. Instead of letting myself feel trapped in our apartment with my four little blessings, I've decided to try to explore as much as I can between naptimes.

I love that this city is so walkable. It sure beats loading and unloading four kids in the car. We've already found a great Thai restaurant, an awesome local coffee shop, and a French bakery all on our block. Earlier this week, we scored a membership to the Children's Museum which is a five minute walk from our apartment. With all the rainy weather we'll probably hang out there a few times a week. I can't wait to see what else this city has to offer.

What's inspiring you? I'd love to hear what you're reading, watching, and thinking about! If you'd recommend it, I want to hear about it.