Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Update on sleep issues.

It may too early to call it good, but I think I've solved why Kadyn was waking up. I had a hunch since half of her wakings were solved by just putting on the covers and telling her to go back to sleep that maybe I should just try putting heavier PJ's on her. I really think she was waking because she was cold and then realizing after she woke from being cold that she could really go pee. So anyways, the past two night I've made sure she is well covered and put her in heavier PJ's and the last two nights she hasn't woken once. Yea! Hopefully the problem is solved and I can go back to dealing with my own sleep issues at night instead of dealing with hers too.

My cold is almost gone. I am able to breath again, just having to deal with the left over crud that involves a lot of coughing and occasional blowing of the nose. I think I may survive my trip to Colorado after all. Toodleloo until next time. Have a safe holiday!

Our little corker

The picture with the toilet paper really explains how difficult it has been to teach Kadyn how much paper you need to wipe. In other pictures you can see how obssessed she has become lately over her pink sunglasses. The picture with the marshmellow was her second experience eating marshmellows. The first time she enjoyed roasting them but though they were a little too "dirty" when they would get burned and really didn't enjoy being sticky at all. She's such a girl! The second time around she did much better. The picture of her in the plastic bin was taken with her best friend "Liam." He is the only daycare kid I have left now and she adores him. She professed her love to him the other day during lunch saying, "Liam......I wuv you!" She eagerly waits his arrival everyday. Having him around actually makes my day less stressful because they play so well together and it keeps her occupied and happy. Last but not least, there is another picture posted where she is helping me cook, this is something she loves to do and we always find away to practice counting when she helps me so I have been able to manage to sneak a little learning into every session.

Monday, August 25, 2008

wipe, wipe, sneeze, sneeze

Ugh what a weekend. Kadyn started to get a cold Wednesday and I had it by Friday. So basically I spent most of the weekend on the couch blowing my raw nose a thousand times and sneezing all over the place while trying desperately to breath. Eating and breathing through your mouth is SO hard. I finally put on a humidifier last night and that did help a lot. I just hope I can get over this soon because we will be flying out of KC on Thursday for a very long weekend in CO with my parents. I don't want to be that sick person on the plane getting dirty looks but I have a feeling my nose may be better by then and I will be coughing all the left over mucous at that point. Boy I hope not. Being pregnant and sick sucks!

Jeff got to be Mr. Mom most of the weekend. He quickly found out that cooping Kadyn up in the house all day leads to an early morning the following day. Sunday he got her out to the park and grocery store and she seemed a little better.

Lately Kadyn has been waking in the middle of the night either to A. go to the bathroom or B. get covered up because she's too cold and groggy to figure it out herself. I must say I don't like this new change. She has almost always been a good sleeper with a few set backs here and there. Why now is she having to wake up to pee? She was waking up dry for the past couple months without having to pee in the middle of the night, what in the world has changed? So now I'm plotting in my head to have Jeff be on Kadyn duty every night while I am on Brennan duty once she makes her grand arrival. Of course that's still 3 1/2 months away so hopefully it won't be an issue anymore by then.

Well that's about it for now. Hope all my readers had a better weekend than me:)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Slowly gaining control of my life

This week has been the first week I have only had to watch 3 kids in over a year. It has been such a breath of fresh air. Next week, that number goes down to two kids as another one of the boys will be leaving us for good. For the first time in months I am starting to feel normal again. I feel more like a mom and less like a policeman. The kids are not fighting nearly as much and I even got to go to the park with them twice this week. Going anywhere when I still watched four kids before any of them left was pretty much impossible. I was a prisoner in my own home. I think the effects of being cooped up in the same place all day was having its toll on everyone as the kids just seemed to do nothing but bicker all day long and I was the policeman there to break up fight after fight after fight.

I guess my whole point is that I am finally starting to feel my sanity coming back. I'm feeling like regaining control of the parts of my life that were once spiraling out of control. I have regained the motivation to keep the house clean again, I have regained the motivation to do more stimulating things with the kids again, and I have regained the motivation to start eating better and exercising again.

Speaking of taking care of my body, when I first started this pregnancy I had somewhat decided that I wasn't going to worry too much about overeating this time. I was just going to eat as much as I want and worry about the rest later. After all, this could be the last time I'm pregnant since we are still unsure whether or not we will have any more children. If there is one time in your life when you can really splurge and get away with it, it has got to be during pregnancy when everyone expects you to get bigger anyways. This line of thinking has been liberating and stifling all at the same time. While my taste buds rejoiced in the fact that I had set no limitations for myself, the way my body was dealing with it was not as pleasing. I'm almost 6 months into this pregnancy and when I look at my body in the mirror I hate everything I see except for my round belly. (Pardon the imagery, just being honest here) There is cellulite in areas I've never had cellulite before.

Last night as I was observing the metamorphosis of this body I now posses I felt compelled to not wait until the baby was out to do something about it. I know that women need a few more calories when pregnant than normal, but I was definitely overeating. I decided to start off counting calories making sure to take into account the extra I need to keep baby healthy. This should train me to cut back my portions again. I really think if people would just pay attention to the serving sizes of the foods they eat and then make sure to have a balance of foods on their plate, they would find loosing weight not nearly as impossible as it seems. I have done this one other time in my life and lost 31 pounds doing it. After awhile you no longer have to count the calories. If you do it long enough, you just know that you can have so much of this or that to make your days quota of calories. And most importantly, allow yourself to splurge at least once a week or you'll never be able to keep it up.

Of course regaining control of the body you let go for so long also requires you exercise it too. So...I drug out my "What to Expect When you are Expecting Book" ( forgive me I can't figure out how to get that book title underlined in blogger) and tried the exercises they mentioned. The kids had a ball trying to do them with me or just trying to crawl underneath me when I was on all fours doing the "cat arch." Then I followed it up with 25 minutes on our new exercise bike while watching one of my favorite cleaning shows. I feel better already.

So here's to a new healthier, happier me; hopefully I can keep up with my new fitness and eating goals. But my overall goal at this point is to just spend these last 3 months of my pregnancy continuing to regain me and who I want to be and once was and somehow lost during this daycare and pregnancy. Hello Darci, it's nice to have you back.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Motivating TV

Lately it seems most of what I watch on TV I find motivating. Since we have been watching the Olympics both Jeff and I have been motivated to get our butts off the couches at night and go for walks or work in the yard. Jeff has been riding his exercise bike every other night too. Then I started watching this show called "How clean is your house" on BBC. The houses on this show are so disgusting that it makes me want to get up and clean and sterilize my whole house. Yesterday they had a gentlemen who hadn't cleaned his house in 10 years! He had no furniture and his floor was littered with trash including bags of tissues he had used and never threw out! His oven had so much grease, grime, and hair balls on it that it was black. His toilet had hard crusty filth all over it that looked like wall plaster. It really was amazing to me that people can actually live like this. I am humored by the old ladies that go into these houses to try to help these people learn how to clean their places properly. I get a hoot out of watching their reactions when they walk into these places. They even get out out their q-tips and take samples and see what grows from them in petri dishes. One lady had poop spores growing all over her entire house from not washing her hands properly when using the restroom I assume. Just makes me want to vomit!

Anyways, I guess my point is. I find these shows really motivating and it makes me not feel as bad about watching the television if the end product is a more productive me.

In other news, today is my first day without the youngest daycare kid. He has already found a new sitter and now I am down to two boys and Kadyn. I made a rope out Jeff's socks and they all hung onto it and we walked to the park close by our house today for the first time. It was soooo nice to get out and about a little. I would never have been able to do that with the youngest boy here. It would have been too much. So anyways, things are looking up in the daycare. Once the other boy goes, I have big plans to actually take the kids out and about in the van. I am looking forward to this sooooo much! I will no longer be a prisoner in my own home.

Speaking of the olympics earlier, I almost forgot to tell my cute story of the weekend. We were watching Micheal Phelps race his last race of the olympics and cheering him on. Kadyn threw her hands up in the air yelling, "Go Michael, go Micheal, go!" Then after he won she exclaimed, "And you did it naked!" Ha!

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

So different

Today my biggest trouble maker isn't here. It is 9:15 and I haven't had to break up one fight or send anyone to time out. It is so much more......peaceful and quiet, no tears or screaming fights. He will be back tomorrow, so all will be back to normal, but I am rather enjoying this change of pace and looking forward to the more peaceful times to come. I think I may even be able to actually let the kids go out to the front yard and play with the tricycle in the front driveway today. I don't anticipate any squabbles between Kadyn and the other eldest boy. They get along fabulously and should do a good job sharing. There would never be anyway I could do that with the other boy here because I know it would result in screaming fights and a very stressed out Darci.

The youngest child will be leaving us for good on on Monday. I was very surprised his mother was able to find arrangements so quickly. It's also looking possible that the other boy may be leaving sooner than later. I won' t know for sure probably until the end of next week. I never thought I would have been able to reduce my number of daycare kids this quickly. I was prepared to have to watch them all until the baby was born.

So....this is shaping up to perhaps be a easy fall. Great timing considering I am set to begin my last trimester in September. I was dreading putting up with all of this while being very large and uncomfortable. I am already starting to find it more difficult to bend over and to get up off the couch without rocking back and forth to get some momentum going. I am looking forward to packing up the kids in the van and going to the park, library, playdates with other mothers, etc. That's right, I said other mothers. I may actually be able to have adult contact during my day. Maybe I should put that loony bin number away. Looks like I won't be needing it after all:)

Oh sweet Lord, thank you for this break and the one to come. I know you are listening to me now. Sorry I ever doubted you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Artwork photoshoot

I think there comes a point in every mother's life where she gathers a pile of her child's artwork and scratches her head thinking, "What do I do with all of these?" Although the fridge is a wonderful display area for such masterpieces, eventually new art is made and old art must come down. There is this guilt that throwing it all away is like throwing away a part of your child, a part of their history. However, if you are like me, you HATE clutter. You know that to keep every single piece of your child's artwork would eventually take up boxes and boxes of space. The art would rarely be enjoyed when shoved into a box somewhere in your attic. So should you pick just a couple pieces very special to you and dump the rest?

Then, I found a happy solution in one of my parents magazines. One mother simply took pictures of all of her children's artwork and then made them into a powerpoint screensaver so that they could be enjoyed over and over again without taking up any space. Thus, I had my own little photo shoot with all of Kadyn's artwork. It will be filed away with all other artwork to come during her second year of life. I figure I will organize them all by her age in my computer. I'm excited about being able to go back and look at the progress in her development from these files and know they are forever encaptured in time, even if it is on a microchip somewhere deep in my computer. I'm really looking forward when those scribbles start becoming real shapes and forms. I can't wait for the day I take my first picture of an actual stick person.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Too funny, had to post

Some of the latest things I've been hearing. Too funny not to share.

Kadyn: "My butt cracks!" translation (my underwear went up my butt)

Waking up Sunday morning

Kadyn: "Going swimming?"
Me: "No we're not going swimming"
Kadyn: "Where going?"
Me: "To church"
Kadyn: "Oh! I have nipple!"
Me: OK?

Going to bed Sunday night

(Points at my face)
Kadyn: What's that?
Me: A zit.
Kadyn: Wipe off wipey?
Me: No it doesn't wipe off
Kadyn: I don't eat it?
Me: No you don't eat my zit.

Life certainly stays humorous around here.

Finally got the courage

After my last post I'm sure you all could tell how stressed I've been lately. After a conversation with my mother I decided it was best to follow my gut and take it as a sign that I really need to make a change with this daycare. I called two of the three sets of parents and told them I would not be watching their boys after the baby gets here. They are to start looking for other arrangements immediately and switch as soon as they find someone. That gives them a good 4 months to find someone, plenty of time.

We are a little nervous about the loss of income from the daycare, but are hopeful God will provide through Jeff's job and all will be well. It really will be step of faith on our part, but I think it is the right decision for me and our family at this time, especially with the baby coming.

Now if I can just get through the next 4 months. Ideally these parents will find other arrangements before then, but finding good daycare can be difficult.

I am not worried at all about keeping the oldest boy. He is actually, for the most part, easier than everyone to take care of including Kadyn. He is very compliant and gets along so well with Kadyn. I think Kadyn may be a little lost without him. In fact it may make the transition with the baby easier because she will still have her buddy to play with when I have to tend to the baby. Since this little boy is so hands off it shouldn't interfere at all with my new responsibilities tending to a newborn.

Jeff and I are both feeling good about my decision, a little worried, but pretty sure this is the right thing for us at this time. Now we wait and see how everything works out. Until then, I ask for the great power of God to get through the rest of my time with these other two boys. Already this morning my patience has been tested to the max by them.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Job description

If anyone had to make an honest post of my job working as a home daycare provider it would have to read something like this for the entire truth to be told (although this really should be in one paragraph, I will seperate it to make it easier on the eyes):

Needed one person to take care of 3 children plus their own in own home. Be prepared to make 1 meal and 2 snacks everyday. Must be creative and provided at least two organized activities a day including: outside play, reading books, and art and crafts. Be prepared to always give up space for more toys, high chairs, and pack-n-plays just to keep the daycare running. Be prepared to clean countless pee pee diapers and poopy diapers so stinky you want vomit. Be prepared for it to be so loud you can't hear yourself think. Be prepared to never have the pleasure of going to bathroom without someone banging on the door. Be prepared to have each child ask you the same question over and over and over and over and over again even when you have answered it over and over and over and over. Be prepared to neglect going to the dentist or even the doctor for your own health because you would have to ask 3 families to rearrange their hours to accomodate your schedule. Be prepared to only get off 7 paid days a year which includes all vacations and sick days for yourself and your children.

Be prepared to clean up mess after mess after mess after mess after mess......Be prepared to have many days without a break for all children do not nap for the same amount of times and will often wake each other up. Thus, be prepared for some kids to be sleep deprived and cranky often taking it out on others by hitting, pushing, or stealing toys a couple thousand times. Be prepared to break up fight, after fight, after fight, after fight......Be prepared to fish rocks, crayons, markers, paint, and just general crap out of all children's mouths. Be prepared to clean sand off of feet, hands, and out of diapers. Be prepared to clean up dog poop that has been tracked all over the deck and wash out shoes often. Be prepared to witness and clean up the most boogers you have ever seen in your life and yes, it is humanly possible to be sick that many times and have that much snot come out of your nose! Be prepared to watch them wipe snot on themselves, especially their hands and arms and clothes, and also on your shoulder and your furniture and all toys. Be prepared to clean up spit up and the occasional vomit from the flu.

Be prepared to kiss thousands of boo boos. Be prepared for them to drop everything on the floor whenever you do crafts, art, or eat food. Be prepared for them to try to feed your dog their food several times, to fish your dog off of the table who tries to steal their food a thousand times, and to fish dog out of the trash where their wasted food was dumped. Also be prepared to fish dog out of the walmart sack you forgot to throw in the garage trash which had a poopy diaper stored inside it (not anymore!). Be prepared to repeat yourself a thousand times before they finally listen. Be prepared to have kids dropped off before you are even ready and to have them picked up late when you are trying to get out of town at the end of the week or just need to start supper. Be prepared to see your own child get less of your attention and affection because you are too busy dishing it out on everyone trying to be fair. Husband must be prepared to take a more hands on role with your own child because you are spent at the end of the day and need help or might have a nervous break down even though he is spent too. Husband must also be prepared to take off of his work for your child's doctor's visits because it's easier for him to take off of work than you.

Be prepared to have all kids cooped up in only two rooms of the house for 9-10 hours each day because it is too cold or hot to get outside and all are too young to take anywhere, besides, they all wouldn't fit in your vehicle anyways. Be prepared for one parent to always call to ask why her child has the tiniest little mark on his head or red dot on his thigh for she has not yet figured out that toddlerhood will be filled with many bumps, scrapes, and bruises. Be prepared for kids to be dropped off entirely sleep deprived because parents didn't consider what your day would be like if they kept them up late the night before. Be prepared to keep that child up until the designated nap time or he will keep everyone else awake when it's supposed to be their naptime. Be prepared to not remember what it is like to talk to an adult and feel like you can't talk about anything else when you finally do make adult conversation, thus driving the other person insane. Be prepared to say things you may regret just because the stress of it all is just getting to you and you can't help yourself. Be prepared to cry out to God for help because you don't know how you can make it through another day. Be prepared to refocus your mind to be positive because you owe it to these children and you ought to be thankful that God gave this to you to help you pay your bills per your request. Be thankful that the parents you work with are supportive and think you're great. Be prepared to hang in there no matter what. You have no choice.

Now anyone want the job? I must be crazy. So if any of you have ever considered doing this, just know it's not just fun and games. It is a huge commitment and requires more patience than you know. It's not the same as just being a stay at home mommy. It is a real job and is VERY difficult. There are some positives, and some days are great. It is only by the sweet grace of God that I have made it this far. If you happen to read this and you are just a stay at home mommy, count your blessings. If you read this and you leave your kids in daycare, treat your daycare provider well. They go through A LOT on a daily basis to make sure your kid is well cared for.

The end.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Because you can never get too much Kadyn...

Second trimester pic

This is me at 20.5 weeks and a picture of Kadyn exposing my belly as she so often does many times a day to play with the baby. The kids at the daycare find my belly button fascinating. They like to poke it and watch it poke right back out. To Kadyn it's not a belly and belly button, it's baby Brennan.

Following his will and trusting him.

I haven't ever done a spiritual post, but my friend Kelsey inspired me a bit to post one. It's an area in my life that I have contemplated for some time.

One of the things I find the hardest about being a person of faith in Christ is the area of following his will and trusting him. Most of my life I have been able to control things for the better. I have made decisions that I know will lead me down a path that I will be comfortable with. Then there have been other times where I have had to make decisions that require a great deal of patience on my part for God's leading. I wait, and wait, and wait, and pray, pray, pray. After some time, I am forced to make a decision that I hope will be God's will. I fear that the decision I make is only the one that seems best to me; I fear that my desired outcome of this decision overrides my ability to really hear God's voice in the decision.

How is one to know truly the will of God in his or her life? Is the measure of his will how well things work out for you once you make those decisions? In other words, once a decision is made, if things work out, then you can assume your decision was within his will? If they don't work out, do you alter your decision assuming that his a "sign" that you have not followed his will?

These are questions that I really want answers too. I'm not sure I will ever truly understand it all. I wish I could be one of those people who just heard his voice in there heads and were 100% confident they were within God's will, but as of today I'm not. Yes, I search God's word for answers and I pray about it, still I seem confused. Sometimes I wonder, am I sinning in some way that is impeding my prayers or my ability to hear God's voice? Why can some hear him better than others? Are they deeper in their faith?

I guess for now, I will just have to keep making decisions based on the urging placed upon my heart that I can only assume is God speaking to me. I will have to trust Jesus to help lead me through my husband and the decisions he makes for our family. I will assume that if our decisions lead us down an undesirable path, then we ought to take that as a sign that it is God's way of telling us we were wrong. I just don't know any other way.

I have heard of people, including my sister, who have truly heard the voice of God speaking too them. I have never had that bolt of lightening voice from the sky in my head experience. I have had thoughts in my head that I'm not sure are my own. Perhaps that is the voice of God; some have described it to me that way. The only thing I have really been able to describe as God's voice to me is a feeling, or urging on my heart one way or another. Sometimes I have felt confident that I interpreted his leading correctly, other times I feel clueless.

Recently we have come to a sort of crossroads regarding this daycare I am scared to death we will make the wrong decision. To keep it or not could have hard consequences either way. I think we have come to a decision that is going to require us to really trust God more than ever. We are going to take a little more time to decide for sure, but I'm fairly confident we know what to do. I'm nervous and excited to see his work in our lives all at that same time. I feel silly for even doubting that he will provide for us one way or the other because he has done so many amazing things in our lives the past couple of years, but I still can't shake this feeling of doubt that we will be OK.

My prayer:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for my doubt and lack of trust. Help me to give
my life to you completely, seeking and following your will only, and to rejoice in your blessings for they have been given to me so freely. Thank you, thank you, thank you for my life, your love,and your patience.


Monday, August 4, 2008

She so into her little sissy!

Kadyn said something to me this weekend that might quite possibly be the only time in my life I ever hear that said to me. Jeff shoved her in the bathroom with me because she said she needed to go "pee pee." I was finishing up and she said, "Oh mama, you have a pretty butt!" I about died. No one has ever said THAT to me and probably never will.

As each day goes on Kadyn becomes more and more enamored with my belly and the baby. She must have played with my belly for close to an hour. Within the course of that hour she made comments like, " Brennan you so cute! What you doing baby Brennan? Baby Brennan awake? Baby Brennan move? I love you Baby!" There were lots of kisses on my belly. Then she read to the baby her entire bag of books from the library two times which amounts to 20 books (still amazes me that she remembers a good chunk of words on each page). She topped it off with a bunch of rasberries blown on my belly. ALL of this was her own doing. I prompted her to do none of it. I hoped she would get into the whole pregnancy, but I never expect all of this. I can't wait to see what she does when the baby gets here. Surprisingly Brennan really does respond to her. It's probably impossible for her to sleep through all that attention from her big sis. It's not uncommon for the most active parts of her day to be when big sissy is playing with her so intently.

I must say this has all made going through this pregnancy so much more enjoyable.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Deep reflections on parenting

Naptime, I need to vent. This is bound to be long. Sorry. If you don't like reading novels, don't bother with this one.

Lately I've been plagued with thoughts on my parenting style mostly because it is being reflected in my own daughter more than I realized it would. Of course her behavior is a direct reflection on my parenting technique, but also the way she interacts with the kids at the daycare has also made it glaringly obvious how I parent. At times I'm at a loss of what to think, and others I'm proud of what I see.

I think my daughter is a great child. Overall I have been very pleased with the way she is turning out. She has her moments, but for the most part she is very well behaved and respectful and obedient. I take pride in this and also take it as my sign that I am doing something right.

Since Kadyn's language skills have developed quite a bit over the course of the last year I have noticed that she is suddenly starting to be a tiny reflection of me throughout the course of the day with her buddies at the daycare. It's not uncommon to hear her say, "No, no, Will. That not a toy. That naughty." I've also heard her say, "Don't take toy or go time out!" I must say these things a gazillion times a day, it's no wonder she is starting to mimic me in her own mother hen behaviors! It's these sayings that I enjoy hearing, knowing I have reinforced what is right and wrong enough that both older children are joining in on reinforcing the these things to the younger ones.

However, I have also heard and seen things that have disturbed me which Kadyn has done at daycare. I admit that I am guilty of the hand slapping when the younger ones touch things they shouldn't be touching or getting into. There is a period of time where time outs just don't make sense because of their inability and immaturity to process the meaning of them. Redirecting them to a positive activity works most of the time, but there are just times when none of that works and you need a quick fix that will get across a message to them fast. Slapping those little hands with a firm "no, no" seems a quick solution. Didn't see much wrong with this especially knowing the parents of these children also used this method. It did work much of the time until I saw the two older ones starting to do the same things to the younger kids(only the slaps weren't always aimed at the hands) Ugh! I thought, I can't do that now. What am I teaching the oldest ones by doing this, that hitting is OK?

To piggyback on this, I have always believed there is a time and place for spanking. Just like with education, there has always been a school of thought on the correct way to parent that changes through the years. For years corporal punishment or spanking was believed to be the best way to discipline. Then the pendulum swung the opposite way. Spanking turned into abuse and positive reinforcement was the only way to parent. When strictly using positive reinforcement didn't always do the trick, parents started using the "time out" method, a method that is probably the preferred method today especially since the onset of shows like Nanny 911. All these different beliefs in the correct way of parenting has left many parents confused.

There are three classifications of parents and I don't remember the exact terminology, but it is something like permissive, aggressive, and passive/agressive (or the inbetweenie). I like to think passive/aggressive is the way to go. I think using a combination of time outs, positive reinforcement, and occasional spanking that is curtailed to the needs of your child is the best way to parent. Not every child is the same, and some will thrive more on certain methods than others. I don't think the exclusive use of one method over another will work every time for every kid. So....I have striven to use my best judgement to help my children know the difference between right and wrong by using a combo of these.

For the first year I was pretty adamant that I would not spank another person's child, that was until I met Will. He is probably one of the most stubborn children I have ever met. After a trillion time outs didn't seem to be effective with him, I talked to his parents about other possible solutions and got their permission to use spankings if I deemed necessary. This did put me in an uncomfortable situation because the other children, except for my own, had never been spanked. I didn't want to send the wrong message to them. However, I was so desperate to get through to this child I wanted to try this to see if I could eliminate the problems I was having with him. Instead of threatening him with time out after time out, I began to give him warnings that if he repeated the behavior he would be getting a spanked. Unfortunately, the spankings didn't even phase him and too this day I am still struggling with these behaviors that I hope, God willing, will pass eventually or I will loose my marbles!

My point with all of this is that once these threats started, my daughter started using the same threats with Will. "If you do that again I'm going to spank you!" She even threatened me with a spanken at the dinner table one evening because I took her ketchup away. I rarely spank my daughter, only when all else fails and I need her to understand how serious I am about a certain behavior. Obviously it has made a big impression on her. Once again, I began to mull over my parenting decision of spanking.

I mull and mull over my parenting style everyday. And I keep coming to the same conclusion. I am not perfect. I do make bad decisions in parenting and will always struggle with this probably until my kids are gone (any parent who doesn't admit they have screwed up a time or two is lying in my opinion), but......overall I think I am on the right track. I look at my daughter and the wonderful kid she is becoming and know that I must be doing something right. I see the kids get dropped off at my daycare everyday happy to be here, no crying about their parents leaving, and sometimes, not even wanting to leave my care when their parents return to pick them up and know I must be doing something right.

My child is not scared of me, and most of the time she is very affectionate with me and those around her. For as many times as I see her try to mother hen discipline the other children, I also see her kiss and hug on them too. As for spanking, I will continue to use it with my own child when I deem necessary. My method of choice will always be positive reinforcement and time outs first and foremost. Spanking other people's children, I'm back to thinking that's not a good idea no matter how desperate you become.

I only pray, however, that God will help me learn how to control my emotions. The one thing that I am not pleased with when it comes to parenting is how I let my emotions get the better of me which have led me to some of those bad parenting decisions. I have never been good at containing them, and too often I think I let take control of me. I get frustrated with my lack of control in body language and sometimes the things I say out of frustration because of a typical toddler behavior. I want and need to work on this and it will only be the grace of God that I learn how to control this better. This haunts me day after day. So for now, that is what I will push to work on as a parent. I will never be perfect, but there is always room for improvement.