Tag Archive | parenting

Breath

Breath.
The 4.5 year old is whining and crying because he once again has a fever and feels like crap.
Breath.
The 6.5 year old is running around like a feral cat because it is time to get ready for bed.  Getting ready for bed is obviously the worst possible thing in the world and must be avoided at all costs.
Breath.
The 17 month old is acting like a total goof.  She keeps trying to get the 4.5 year old to play with her, but he feels like crap and keeps screeching in response.
Breath.
I love my children.  I am grateful that they are part of my life.  These moments though, the ones where it feels like I’m in the middle of a riot, overwhelm me. 
I have to take a step back and breath. 
Collect myself. 
Look at the picture from a different angle.
Start the moment over.

Or,  maybe get rescued by my husband when he walks through the door from work.  That works too.

Later tonight,  when they are all  sleeping,  I will gaze at them as they have adventures in their dreams.  Sometimes I get glimpses of those dreams when the boundary between dreamland and reality is blurred. Someone will sit up and mumble about swords,  or bring their hand to their mouth as they snack on something delicious.  I giggle thinking about it.

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Tomorrow is a new day.  New discoveries.  New trials.  New inventions.  New frustrations.  The key is learning to work through it all together.  Learning to communicate effectively with one another. Someday that will happen,  maybe. 

Finding Me

I posted this earlier today on my Facebook page.

“I’m trying to find myself again. I’ve lost sight of who I was over the last 6 years. I’ve been a mom and a wife, but have almost ceased to exist as Amanda.
I’ve missed myself.
I used to wear make up and do my hair before leaving the house. I used to dress nice. I loved my music. I loved being with friends.
Since having children, hair, make up, clothes, music, people outside my immediate circle, have all fallen to the sidelines.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom and a wife and wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I also loved being me.
So, here I am, re-emerging little by little.”

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I got much more of a response than I would have thought. Losing oneself in the role of motherhood is much more commonplace than I thought. It’s definitely easy to do. Going from one task to the next, one day to the next. We give of ourselves unconditionally, no holds barred on a daily basis.

It has taken me a little while to come to terms with this. To be able to admit that I wasn’t wholly myself. I was missing a vital piece of who I was. I didn’t forget, I just got lost. I thought I had to give up on that stuff. I was a mom. Moms don’t dye their hair funky colors, or listen grown up music. Forget nice clothes, unless you are a working mom, they will just get pooed on, peed on, spit up on, a muddy hand print in the middle of your butt.

I was wrong. We can have that balance. We can still be us while taking care of our families. Sure, having beautifully coiffed hair and make-up may not be a daily thing, but I would definitely likely it to happen several times a week. I want to feel good about myself on the outside as well as on the inside. I’m tired of looking frumpy all the time.

Monsters in the bed

How do you handle night-time monsters?

Munchkin apparently has 2 green ones that like to lurk under the covers and scare him out of sleep in the middle of the night.

Connor's Monsters

I have tried pulling the covers back one by one and showing him there are no monsters there. I gave him a flashlight and told him the monsters don’t like the light. Still he wakes up though and if I am still awake he will join me in the living room and then it takes a while to get him back to sleep. If I am in bed, he will climb into bed with us, this isn’t so bad because he goes right back to sleep.

My Mother-in-law suggested making some Monster Spray with lavender essential oil. I think I will give that a try.

Hello

I figured I would say “Hi” to you all while I wait for my cup of tea to finish steeping. I should be going to bed because sleep has been hard to come by with this stupid cold making the rounds. But, I seem to have a frog in my throat that just doesn’t want to move on. So tea and Hello it is. 🙂

We found Rocky a new home. He is living happily on a farm. He has his own little flock of Barred Rock hens to look after. Before we left the farm I picked up two Australorp pullets. I have no pictures yet because the girls, who we have named Dorothy and Rose, have been a little on the shy side. Yes, we have Blanche, Dorothy, and Rose. We just need a Sophia now.

Today Hubby and I started digging out the drainage culvert that divides the property. It was almost flat in some areas. We got about 40 feet of it cleared out today. There is still a lot more to go though. I am already pretty sore, I am hoping tomorrow won’t be too bad.

Munchkin has been super whiny for the last 24 hours. He hasn’t been able to verbalize why he is feeling so sad or angry. Everything has been setting him off though. I’ve been doing my best to keep my cool, it is hard at moments though. I am hoping tomorrow is a better day for him. I hate to see him having a difficult time.

Peanut started saying “sorry” today. Then when we were having some silly time before bed he started saying “I love you”! It was so sweet. That really made my night.

Blah. My throat is getting scratchier by the moment. I don’t want to be sick again! 😦

Sh*t Happens

Earlier today Munchkin suddenly stopped all activity. He was just standing there leaning on the handle of his trampoline. He had a kind of thoughtful/guilty expression on his face.

I asked him what he was doing and he replied with nothing. I asked if he was ok and he replied mhm.

Then I realized he was actually looking at something. So I asked him what he was looking at and he shyly pointed with his pinky. At first I didn’t see anything and then I realized there was a nugget of poo on the floor. . .

I asked him if he had an accident and he said yeah. (He just had on shorts and no underwear. He changes his clothes a million times a day) I replied with ok and said I would clean it up. He then asked me if I was mad. I told him I wasn’t and that accidents happen. He was so relieved. He ran down the hallway stating that he would help and grabbed some toilet paper to clean up the mess.

Poor kiddo. He was so afraid that I would be angry with him. He has been doing so fantastic with using the potty. I understand that accidents happen. Cleaning them up off the living room carpet isn’t the most fun job, but it is okay. I made sure he knew that we don’t want to make a habit of pooing on the floor and that he needs to listen to his body when it tells him he needs to go. I also told him not to be afraid to tell me when things happen and I will do my best to stay positive.

Love him

Feeling touched out

Yuck.

Today is one of those days where my skin is just crawling and I feel like I can’t get comfortable in my own body. And I don’t want to be touched. I am soooo touched out today.

It has been rainy and gross out since yesterday, so the kids are a little crazy and super clingy. I am being used as a human jungle gym much to my dismay. Peanut of course has already nursed like a million times.

I just want to go hole myself up in the bedroom and take a time out. I desperately need a reprieve today.

Hopefully the boys will nap in the car when we leave in a few to pick up K from work. That will at least give me a little bit of quiet.

Unless Munchkin decides it is one of those days that he needs to throw things and hit Peanut and screech as loud as he can and just make the car ride awful. I really don’t like those days.

How do you handle these kinds of days?

A new potty learning contender?

For a while now Peanut has been sitting on his little potty in the bathroom. Fully clothed of course. It is really cute. He comes in, sits down, makes a “sssss” noise, and then asks for some toilet paper.

I try to give him naked time whenever possible. He has been prone to rashes. (I think I need new diapers or inserts. That is a post for another time though.) We have a potty in each bathroom and one in the living room. We sit him on them frequently and he did pee on the potty once so far. Yay Peanut!

He is starting to recognize when his body needs to go. Yesterday he was playing and let a couple drops of pee go (yeah, I know, he is going to hate me someday), realized what was happening and started yelling “Mama!” Same thing happened today too. He didn’t end up going in the potty, but it’s a step in the right direction. 🙂

 

My Munchkin

Whew! It has been hot, hot, hot the last few days. I am very much looking forward to this weekend. The temp is supposed to be in the upper 70’s instead of the ninety’s and super humid. My mom, aunt, sisters and mother in-law all pitched in and got the boys a swing set, so I am anxious to get that get up. This weekend should be perfect. Munchkin cannot wait. He has been asking everyday if he can swing.

Being 3.5 is hard. For everybody. Munchkin’s ears don’t work very well.

We have to repeat ourselves.

We have to repeat ourselves.

WE HAVE TO REPEAT OURSELVES!

Frequently.

“Don’t climb up there”, “Keep your hands/feet to yourself”, “If your brother is crying, it means you should stop whatever it is you are doing”, “Don’t sit on the dog”, “Get off the lawn mower, it is not a toy”, “Please stop chasing the chickens”, “Stop hissing/screaming in the cat’s face”, “Stop screaming/yelling”. The list goes on and on and on.

Our other thing is that Peanut is learning what he should and should not do. So if he does something that is a should not, Munchkin feels that he should be able to do it as well. And then Peanut does it again because despite our telling him not to, his big brother just did it, so that means he gets to. Do you see the viciousness of this circle?

On the other hand Munchkin is trying very hard to become self-sufficient. He pours his own drinks, makes his own sandwiches and bowls of cereal. He and Peanut both helped unload the dishwasher yesterday. I put Munchkin in charge of silverware. He takes his own showers, although he does still prefer the bath. We collect eggs and vegetables together. We share the responsibility of feeding the animals. He tries to take responsibility for Peanut. He looks out for him, tries to pick up after him. Like just now, Peanut was pulling all the books down. Munchkin told him to stop and very nicely asked me if I could help him for a second.

Fortunately for me, he still loves to snuggle. If we have  rough patch, we can always sit down for a snuggle to reconnect.

He is growing up physically and emotionally. Yes it is a hard journey for all involved, but I wouldn’t trade a second of it.

making a sandwich

 

 

 

 

Computer games : Saving our sanity

I know I may get crap for this, but we have started letting Munchkin play computer games before bed.

Life with Munchkin is not easy. He is a “sparkler”. Go, go, go. All. Day. Long. Our days are loud, intense and energy filled. He could run a marathon and still be rearing to go for another few hours. He is very stubborn. He knows what he wants and it is very hard to distract him if it is not something he should have or can have at the moment. He also in a throwing phase right now. So annoying. He has lost quite a few toys recently because he was throwing them and wouldn’t stop. *sigh*

The end of the day is the worst. It starts after dinner. He is out of control. I know it is because he is getting tired and winding down would mean he has to acknowledge the tiredness. Munchkin has always hated sleep though. Since the day he joined us. He fights it with everything he has. We’ve tried every possible thing we can come up with to make sleep an easier thing for him.

Bedtime has been all over the place. Super early, no bedtime and everything in between. We finally settled on bedtime being sometime between 9 and 10 pm.  Before that, we were spending between 1 and 2 hours trying to get him to fall asleep. Now it takes less than a 1/2 hour(most nights). We watch for the subtle signs that he is finally giving in to the sleepiness and then get him ready for bed. Hubby handles Munchkin’s bedtime. I used to, but somewhere along the line, he refused to go to sleep for me.

Anyway, back to the computer games.

I have this app on my phone called Zoodles. It is a great app. I can load kid apps that are on my phone into the program and it has lots of kid friendly videos. It has a drawing feature and stories that it reads to them as well. Really fantastic. Great for grocery shopping or keeping him busy in the car or when I need a few moments to get something done around the house.

I discovered last week, that this app is also available to use on the computer. It links up to videos and online games from Nick Jr, Sprout, etc. It blocks the kiddos from getting into the rest of the computer, it blocks ads. You can set limits on time, what sites they can get to, what characters they are exposed to, etc. Again, I’ll say it, Fantastic app.

We’ve started letting Munchkin play the games when I bring Peanut to bed.

He LOVES being able to use the computer. He LOVES being in control of what games he wants to play and what videos he wants to watch. WE love that he stays completely focused. He is quiet and relaxed. I know they say no TV or computers, etc for an hour or two before bed for better sleep, but he does so much better being able to play these games. He even turns it off fairly easily(for a 3 yr old) if we give enough time to prepare. I start telling him about 10 minutes before we need him to turn  it off and get ready for bed.

We don’t just leave him to it. We are nearby and talk to him about the games and what he is learning (the majority of the games are educational). Sometimes he asks for help figuring out how to play a new game. He likes to take turns playing as well. So we aren’t using it as a babysitter. It is just nice to have our evenings a little bit quieter.

What things do you do to help your kiddos wind down at night?

Munchkin’s Potty Learning Journey

I am pleased to report that Munchkin is mostly potty learned during the day now. It has been a really long, slow journey. (I really use “journey” a lot, but that is what parenting is, right?).

I had bought one of those plastic frog potty chairs sometime between a year and a year and a half. Just to have it around in case he wanted to try to use the potty. He liked following me into the bathroom, of course what baby/toddler doesn’t. It’s obviously a very happening place. :p He would get all up in my personal space to investigate what was happening when I sat on the toilet.  I miss the days of being able to use the bathroom without an audience.

He started showing an interest at 18 months. We were keeping the potty in the bathroom for him and he would sit on it (fully clothed) while I sat on the toilet. We made a point to sit him on it right before we got him in the bath and when we took him out. I’d say “Let’s go potty” and make a “sssss” noise. He’d laugh, I’d laugh and then he would get up without doing anything. It was a little while before he actually did do anything on it. When he finally did, I was very excited and so was he.

I decided to bring the potty out to the living room and started letting him run around the house with a naked butt. We would sit him on the potty frequently, but of course he would never go when we sat him on it. He had to do it on his terms. He did great as long as he wasn’t wearing any pants. We’d try putting training pants or big boy underwear on him and he would just pee in them. Eventually he would lose interest and want to wear diapers again. We just followed his lead.

This back and forth went on for a year and a half. Then about a week before Christmas (and just before he turned 3), he decided he wanted to use the potty again. I decided this time that I was going to put him underwear and see what happened. The first day was rough. We kept reminding him to use the potty and he did a few times. There were quite a few wardrobe changes though. We left him in underwear for nap time and he woke up dry. We did put him in a diaper at bedtime though. He is still a pretty heavy night-time wetter.

The second day was better than the first. We went through about half the wardrobe changes as the previous day. Still dry at nap time, but a diaper to bed.

Day three was fantastic! Not a single change of clothes was needed! Yay for Munchkin and yay for us!

He has continued to do well over the past 6 or so weeks. He still has days where he accidents, but that is to be expected. He gets caught up playing and doesn’t want to stop. It is cute though because he will jump up and yell “Potty!” and then go running into the bathroom. Sometimes he wants help, sometimes not. Oh, and he uses the “big potty”. We keep the little potty in the car now. It has come in very handy.

My baby is growing up. It’s crazy to see him standing up at the toilet and peeing because he has to be a big boy. He actually told me last week that he wasn’t a baby, Peanut is the baby. I call Munchkin “Babe” or “Baby” all the time (affectionately of course). I made a sad face and we had a conversation about it. I told him even if I couldn’t call him “Baby” he would in fact, always be my baby. He thought about it and then decided it would be alright if I continued to call him “Baby”. I made sure to tell him thank you and of course gave him a big hug.

Still on the pottying theme, a few nights ago he randomly decided to remove his pants and diaper while he was in bed. He woke up completely dry. It’s weird because he normally soaks his diaper overnight. This was the only night it happened, but I’m taking it as a sign of things to come.