Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Security in Routine

The early days were hard, but then we started to settle in and find our groove.  Hannah got more comfortable in our house and I got more comfortable with her in it (knowing what she could or could not get into, etc.).  We worked through some of those early frustrations of being a new sibling and started to find joy in being together.  I took a big gulp and made the transition back to schooling Jacob.  The first few days of that were especially difficult, but as with all other things, we have found our groove with school again and Hannah handles it like a pro (most of the time).  Play Doh was a huge life saver for school!  And she has learned to sign when she wants to write with pencil and paper and she does a lot of both of those through our school sessions.  I passed the baton of mathematics to Daddy, so he handles all of those lessons on the weekends or a couple evenings a week and then I handle all the other subjects in the mornings.  It has allowed us to have a much slower paced morning, not having to get started immediately, and keeps my focused time on school shorter, thus allowing me to focus on Hannah as needed.  So far this is working for us!  Hannah seems to know the routine each day and thrives on it.  She's got the get up, eat breakfast, get dressed, start laundry, brush teeth thing down pat (and reminds me if I do it in the wrong order or deviate in any way).  She understands the clean up routine after lunch leads into the quiet time of snuggling to read books and generally falls asleep for her nap fairly quickly (she still has to be rocked to sleep).  Her naps are getting a little longer each day (security, safety, routine=more restful sleep).  She knows when Daddy gets home it is wild chaos playing time and has really started to warm up well to him.  We eat dinner and then Daddy mans the bath and PJ's portion of her day (and let me tell you, you do NOT skip bath with her).  She eats her night time candy (melatonin chews) and then knows it is Bible story time, prayer, and singing.  She asks for Jesus Loves Me every night.

For a child that has undergone what she has experienced in the last month, there is a lot to be said for establishing a secure routine.  There is safety for her in this routine because she knows exactly what comes next.  She knows when meals will happen and when "formal" snacks will happen.  She knows that in between those snack and meal times she has access to her Cheerio cup and drink at all times.  Changing the routine leaves way too much unexpected out there for her...she isn't sure if meals will still happen as planned or if her little world will be changing or remain the same.  For the most part, during this time of cocooning, it is really simple to keep her routine unchanged each day.  We don't deviate because we aren't going anywhere!  I will say that for a child like Hannah, who needs this security in her routine, even the weekends present a new set of struggles.  We haven't had enough weekends back home in America yet to fully establish the "routine" of a full week--weekdays and weekends included.  Saturday and Sunday are confusing to her.  She doesn't understand why Daddy is here when she wakes up, why our get ready routine in the morning is slower and different, why we don't have school, etc.  So there is some uneasiness still to work through on the weekends.  Once she has experienced more full weeks with us at home, she will get that natural rhythm of what Monday through Friday looks like and what Saturday and Sunday look like.  Weekends are a little difficult right now.  We generally see more behavior problems and just a more demanding attitude in general.  It will come.  In time.

She is learning that Mommy can do chores around the house and still pay attention to her.  She enjoys helping with laundry and like all of our other kids, she loves to help me work in the kitchen.

So now, weeks two through (just shy) of four at home, there is a growing sense of security and peace.  Don't get me wrong.  We have days.  Bad days.  We had one day that was about as bad as China days.  But we worked through it and the process of moving forward began again.  No more unexpected.  We are here to stay.  Safety.  Security.  Loved.  Cherished.  Forever.

Safety and security in her role as little sister.  Honestly, she can be really mean to these guys right now as she figures out how to play and be a sister.  They teach us daily how to be compassionate and loving.  True pictures of unconditional love in each one of them.  Really proud of them and the safety they provide Hannah has she learns about sisterhood.

 Safety and security in the expected each morning.  Helping Mama do her chores!

 Safety and security in the provision of meals and snacks at expected times each day.

Safety realizing she can be involved in Mama's chores and not be left out.  She loves to help bake!


  1. What joy in how the Lord is growing each of you! When you said she asks for "Jesus Loves Me" tears just flowed - how awesome that Jesus Loves Me can be so special to us no matter what our backgrounds are. I truly believe there is safety and security in Jesus Loves Me -reminding each of us that we are His and we are loved!!!!

    1. By the way - this is me Tawndee :)