Monday, June 27, 2011

Calmness with experience

Sunday morning around 5 in the morning Bren woke up covered in vomit.  5 days earlier little man vomitted all over my couch and was out of daycare for the following day.  Therefore, I wasn't surprised one of my girls got it.  She was a real trooper.  She never cried.  She just got anxious to be cleaned up.  She had trouble sleeping as the vomitting was very persistent.  Collectively she spewed 11 times from 5:00 a.m. to 11:30.  Poor little lamb.  She finally did get a couple hours rest later that day and once she awoke it was as if nothing was wrong.  She downed a piece of toast, some juice, and was up and around laughing, running, and giggling. 

I think that is the most puke I've ever had to deal with in such a short period of time.  I was surprised at myself.  Usually I freak out when my kids are this sick, fearing the worst.  However, this time I just knew that it was a bug and needed time to pass.  I knew that my main priority was to monitor her for dehydration.  I knew that was basically all the doctor would tell me too, so it was pointless take her in unless it carried on too long where she was showing signs of dehydration.  I cuddled a bunch with Bren comforting her and trying to get her to relax and rest and reflected on how I was handling it all.  As the years go on as a mother, experience comforts me.  I freak out a little less.  I'm glad I've gotten to this point in my mothering.  It is much less stressful.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Something tells me...

....I will be glad I'm only having two kids.  Tonight I had the biggest show down with Kadyn ever!  Although she tests me occasionally, as she has aged she has seemed to get easier and easier to raise.  That was until tonight.  I won't go into details.  I will just sum it up by saying that she made some bad choices and wasn't happy with me when I decided to follow through with a consequence.  She was screaming, mouthing off to me, and trying to say whatever she could think of to hurt me.  She even attempted to hit me.  Of course I knew better than to take it to heart. 

Probably what hurt me the most was that at one point Brennan started crying and said she was scared Kadyn was going to hurt her.  Kadyn was literally out of control.  I've never seen her that way before.  It's not like her to get to that point.  Although she's had some pretty dramatic fits which rarely occur anymore, they pale in comparison to tonight.  Something was off tonight.  It wasn't my normal Kadyn.  I've always been fairly proud of how I raise my girls. They are, for the most part, well behaved little girls. They have their moments as all children do but I have never felt that they were out of control, until tonight.  I don't know where this came from.

Why am I airing my dirty laundry?  Because the outcome at the night was awesome!  I felt led to grab my bible and plop my butt down on the floor and just start reading outloud.  She was up in her bed saying something about how she was going to leave the light on because she wasn't going to sleep, but rather stay up all night and cry.  When she saw me sit down to read, she immediately changed her mind I'm sure to try to make me angry, so I couldn't read.  She got down from her bed and walked over the light switch.  She put her hand on it as I was reading and paused.  Rather than flipping the switch she calmed immediately and came over to me and sat next to me and put her head on my shoulder. I kept reading and started to cry.  She looked up at me, locked eyes and cried together.

We had a good chat.  I told her how the word was a sword and had true power.  I told her that  I believe it is why she immediately changed her demeanor and was able to choose respect rather than being hurtful in that moment.  The scripture I read was just something I opened up to randomly. I didn't even take time to look at the book as I was in a hurry to start swinging my sword.  It was a man asking God to have mercy on him for God was disciplining him for his sins.  Must have been Job.  Ironic considering Kadyn kept sputtering off that night that she was going to tell "God" on me.   I kinda felt like it fit perfectly with the moment as it showed Kadyn that God disciplines us too and discipline isn't just carried out by Mommies and Daddies.

We talked about how sin opens doors for evil to enter your life.  How God can't protect you as much when you choose sin over him.  We talked about how to use the word to fight off the evil that tries to persuade her to make wrong choices.  She immediately remembered scripture about love.  I instructed her to say that scripture over and over again if she ever felt this way again to help her regain control of her emotions as she was concerned that she didn't know how to stop when she got on a roll.  She asked me to just come in and read the word if it happens again.  Telling a child that something has power at the age of 5 is easily accepted.  It's like superman or something.  The awesome thing is, in this case it really is true, not pretend.

It was certainly a light bulb moment and another chance to teach my baby how to arm herself spiritually.  I could see a sense of strength starting to fill her up.  The Kadyn I know and love came back to me.  Once all was calm again, we went to get Brennan and Kadyn was able to apologize to her and shower her with love and kisses.  We ended our night with Kadyn praying for forgiveness for being disobedient and disrespectful, with Mommy praying for forgiveness for loosing my cool once, and asking the will to make better decisions next time and control our emotions.  We might be two peas in a pod Kadyn and I.  Quite frankly, I'm pretty nervous how the teenage years with her will be.  However, I'm hoping (and praying) that the foundations, expectations, and limits I'm laying out before her now will help carry us through those times.  We shall see.

When will it end?

I have been potty training Brennan for almost 6 months now.  She is pretty good at the pee thing.  As long as I make her go at regular intervals there are no problems there.  The poop thing is another matter.  She has tried for me very hard a couple times, but she just can't get it out.  She hates having in her panties and lets me know as soon as she goes.  She hates it so much in fact, that now she sneaks into the bathroom, pulls it out of her panties, plops it in the toilet, and runs to me declaring, "I did it!  I did it!"  In her little mind as long as it gets in the toilet, no matter how it gets there, it's a success.  Sigh!  I've tried treats, extreme enthusiasm, potty song and dance, etc.  Nothing is working in the poop department.  Anyone have some good tips?....  Anyone?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  LOL.

The reality that Kadyn learned in only 2 weeks seems like a dream.  Two different kids, totally different learning rates I suppose.  When will it end?

Now that Bren is 2.5 I'm slowly seeing behaviors that tormented me during Kadyn's 3rd year.  I am a true believer in the horrendous 3's.  Brennan is really testing her limits.  Hearing a lot of "No's" these days and lots of sassing and ignoring what Mommy says.  Also, when she makes her mind up and wants something, she will not take "no" for an answer.  I love the age of two, but seeing a bit of the horrendous threes sneak in is taking all the fun out of it. 

At least this time I don't feel as worried about the behaviors as I did the first time.  Now I know it's a phase that they go through and they will get out of it as long as I remain consistent and firm.  Kadyn knows better and has figured out that Mom doesn't put up with disrespect so she rarely tries to cross me anymore.  Was just hoping that perhaps I'd get lucky and totally skip the horrendous threes.  No such luck.  Where's my time out timer?

Then there's the times when Brennan just leaves me scratching my head.  One day in Walmart she started to misbehave so I asked her if she wanted to go to the van .  She said yes.  I marched her out there thinking once she got in she would realize she made an awful choice.  Sitting in a van isn't nearly as fun as getting to look at things at Walmart right? Or so I thought.  After I got her all buckled in and got into my seat and sat there for about a minute she said, "This is fun!"  Needless to say, I don't think I got my point across that day. 

Despite my potty training woes and hints of sassiness and defiance, I can still catch little glimpses of the little two year old I adore.  Last week she said, "Mom, I want to be with you."  She climbed up in my lap and then said, "This feels good!"  Sigh.  She still pronounces some words in the cutest way and I just want to freeze her language development right where it is at.  Someday she'll just say it right and I won't even notice that it is gone.  Instead of stawbees, she will say strawberries.  Instead of dink, she will say drink.  Oh, why must they grow up so quickly?

Someone please pass a tissue.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Perspective Part II

In keeping with my post about perspective I wanted to share one more thought I had on the topic.  I am constantly rearranging the way I reorganize things in my house.  Each time I get done, I feel I finally got it the way I want it.  I can't imagine it working any better any other way. Then a week later, I'm doing it all over again.  It's an addiction really.  I enjoy it though.  Organizing things so that I can work more efficiently gives me some sort of high. 

However, so many times as I'm trying to find new places to put things I think to myself how I wish I had a bigger kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, etc.  How it would be easier to organize if I just had more space to put things.  But then I stop dead in my tracks and realize that I have much more than many, many people around the world. Maybe what I need is less stuff, not more space.  It's that whole mentality of "more and bigger is better" that always seems to creep in somehow. 

As I've aged, it's begun to get easier to be content with what I've been given.  I've begun to appreciate more and desire less.  It is a process to think this way.  You have to be good at capturing those "more, more, more" thoughts and retraining your brain to think less is better, but I must say it's very freeing and it makes me more happy. 

Perspective Part I

Here's some things I've been thinking about lately:

Everyone has something about themselves they'd like to change.  Whether it be physical or mental, I'm sure every human alive could tell you something they are insecure about.  For me it's my nose.  I have inherited my Grandmother's nose.  I've always daydreamed about changing it. I've been so insecure about it, in fact, that I let it dictate how I fix my hair, what I wear, and whether or not I wear glasses.  I'm always trying to find ways to detract from how it looks. 

The other day I was thinking about our heavenly bodies and how they are supposed to be perfect.  Then I felt all giddy with excitement of the thought of having a perfect nose.  However, the thought occurred to me that my idea of a perfect nose may not be perfect at all.  The standard of what is considered beautiful is literally in the "eye of the beholder."  What some cultures consider "beautiful" may be less attractive to others.  Think of those women you see in the National Geographic magazines who wear multiple rings around their necks in an effort to elongate them because long necks are seen as a thing of beauty in their culture.

So after considering this I realized that my nose, bump and all, to God is probably perfect.  It's the way he meant for it to be.  I imagine after he created each one of us he looked back and thought, "perfect!"  Think of a baby.  They come out and we think they look perfect.  Do we ever think, oh she needs more color? Let's put on a little blush?  It's only as we become adults that our standard of beauty starts to become warped.

So I imagine that our heavenly bodies will be perfect in the sense that they will be free of things such as wrinkles, acne, extra fat, disease, and illness etc.  I also imagine that our idea of beauty will be more aligned with God's idea of beauty.  Maybe I'll actually be able to look in the mirror at that little bump on my nose and think...."perfect!"  So in the mean time, I'm trying to retrain myself to look at beauty in a different light.  I am allowing myself to wear hats, contacts, and hairstyles that I otherwise would have steered clear from because of my nose.  I am trying to remember that I am beautiful to God...... and that's all that matters.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cousings, cousins, cousins part 2

Sunday afternoon we decided to torcher the kids a little while and do a photo shoot at Branson Belle park. It has the BEST backdrops.  Can you please say CHEESE?

I miss them already!

Cousins, cousins, cousins part 1

Jody and the kids came to visit us last weekend.  We had a blast!  Kadyn and Gracy are best buds.  They are just a little over a year apart.  Jessa loves helping with the little ones, so that was extra nice.  Friday we spent the day at Silver Dollar City where we got too....

...try on silly hats
...ride rollar coasters
Shoot pretend scary things on a boat
pretend to be a criminal
and pose for pictures at the entrance.
The kids also treated to us to a homemade play that day.
Sunday we got to go to the butterfly palace where Bren got her very own lady bug and safari hat to tour through the exhibit with.  She was in seventh heaven and felt very special since she was the only one in our group able to ride it.
Later we got to go to Andes frozen custard.  Bren THROUGHLY enjoyed her custard as you can see.

First fruits

It's a glorious thing people, picking your first fruits.  All plants are doing exceptional, except my pepper plants.  I had a bad fight with some aphid colonies and almost killed my plants trying to get rid of them.  I used dish soap and water (that I read about somewhere online) as a more natural approach to try to kill the pests.  When I went to Garden my neighbor was instructed to use the spray if he noticed any bugs on the plants.  Instead of looking for bugs, he just smothered them in the spray.  Then I overrwatered them.  Needless to say, they weren't real happy with me.  I'm happy to say they are recovering and looks like I may have some blooms in the next week or so.  Unfortanetly, three pots of flowers are toast thanks to those aphids.  I have resorted to killing the little bugs by hand off of each and every leaf of the pepper plants simply by squashing them.  There are WAY too many leaves on my flowers to do that!  My basil plants are just about ready for their first harvest too.  I heart fresh produce!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day Two

We are on day two of starting a new infant at daycare.  She is 8 weeks old.  She already has many admirers. The girls are head over heels for her, and little man likes her too.  They sit by her singing too her in their cute little girly voices, trying to imitate my baby talk, petting her head, and commenting on how "precious" she is.  Bren called her a "cooty pie" this morning.  Kadyn ran into my bedroom squealing in excitement that she winked with one eye and then the other.  Day one the baby was here before the girls even woke.  Today she showed up later and they were concerned when she wasn't here yet. 

Kadyn asks to hold her and feed her.  She is more than willing to help me out.  The baby seems to be just as fascinated by the girls so it is a win, win situation for everyone.  She seems to be adjusting fairly well.  She wasn't a big fan of taking a bottle, but she is quickly learning that if she doesn't try to eat from the bottle, she will be hungry.  Needless to say, after only one day, she is much better at taking one.  I didn't really want to have an infant in my daycare as it's hard to be mobile with one around, but I'll take this "cooty pie" any day over the chaos that I had a couple months ago.  I don't feel comfortable taking an 8 week old outside because it is super hot, so I think after I get her on a little more consistent schedule we will venture outside during her nap times so I don't have to worry about taking her out in the heat.  I'll have a baby monitor close by just in a case and her Mom has given me approval to do so.  I don't want to short change the bigger kids on summer fun just because I have a baby to look after.

I will be starting another new little man when school starts.  He will fill Kadyn's spot as Kadyn will be going to school.  His mother is a teacher.  He will be 1.5 when he starts.  So it seems 4 is my number for home daycare.  It is what I feel the most comfortable with and is a gives good balance of playmates for everyone.

On a different note, I had a garage sale and made $132 last weekend.  My goal was to make enough money to buy an above ground pool which I did.  It's not gigantic by any means, but it is certainly more substantial than a baby pool.  It is about 10ft around and goes to about mid thigh on me.  My hope is that I can teach Kadyn how to float and get Brennan more comfortable getting her head wet.  Since I am homebound each day because of the daycare, taking my girls to swim lessons is out of the question so this seemed to be a good fit.  Also, it will be nice to be able to get in with them instead of sitting in a lawn chair and roasting. 

Counting down the days until Chicago.  We are very excited!  I think the girls will enjoy having more Baba and Bama time too!  They love their grandparents.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Picnic weather finally

Feels like Spring never got here with all of our monsoons and all.  We finally got a clear day and took advantage with a picnic outside....just before it rained again. 

We have a clear week this week finally, but now it feels like a sauna.  I'm confused.  Is it spring or summer?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Two funnies.

On our trip to Garden the girls watched some movies.  Headphones aren't exactly made for children so I had to improvise....with a diaper.
In Kansas sometimes it is crazy windy!  We found a robin egg blown out of a tree and a baby bird blown out of a tree.  So sad.  I love that my hair holds curl in drier weather, but it really doesn't matter with all that wind.  Here's the proof.  Jeff calls this one "Darci, add wind."  Like my doo?  Why does anyone bother fixing their hair in that town?