Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Could your Child be Spirited?

I thought I was going to have a few minutes to myself in the bath while Jayden took his nap, Ellie had food and cartoons....so only naturally wouldn't you assume you have at least five minutes?  Nope.  So it led me to this post.  I've been reading "Raising your Spirited Child" and Ellie fits a lot of the personality traits it mentions.  There's also a quick questionnaire to find out if your child is an introvert or extrovert.  Out of 9 for each, Ellie was 8 Extrovert and 0 Introvert.
For parents out of 13 each, I am 11 Introvert and 3 Extrovert. (Jon is 50/50.)  They say the worse combo for Spirited Child with the parent they spend the most time with is Extrovert, Spirited Child with an Introvert Parent. Ya, think?

Ways to know if you have a Spirited First Born

--You wake up to hearing them talk or sing and they are NOT in your bedroom.
--They change their mind on what they want for breakfast multiple times, and then end up with the first option.
--They want to be offered more than two options for everything.  Even if they don't pick the third option.
--You are told you can't sit in any other seat than you normally pick. (couch, kitchen table or the car)
--You are not right.
--When you are right, they praise themselves (except on good days).
--You have to respond to them.  Even if you thought you already did.  You didn't do it the "right way."
--They wont go to the bathroom unless you promise them you will help wipe them.  They hate washing their hands, unless in public places.  They still want you to wipe, but love to wash their hands.  (Try holding the baby with one arm and helping keep the automatic water going.)
--They freak out over any temperature of food or drink that is warmer than room temp.  They cant touch it.
--Bath water is TOO hot. So you have them do the water themselves.
--They want you to not touch them as they help themselves into their car seat and buckle themselves.  But then five minutes later they DO want you to help.
--No one is a stranger to them.  You meet everyone around you.
--You apologize to strangers A LOT.  For all sorts of reasons.
--They don't understand personal space. "Please just sit NEXT to me." They hear "Sit on top of my lap, rub my arm and face, and snuggle your check into mine. Then start talking loudly into my ear."
--Their laugh can be heard across an entire store.  Which is helpful when one parent cant find the other....but of course when she is lost she is silent.
--Walking isn't an option.  There's only running.
--Holding hands in parking lots are for babies.
--It takes over an hour to go anywhere.  Not because of you or the baby.
--The cheeseburger has too much Ketchup on it.
--You gave them the wrong type of silverware for their food.  It has to be the one underneath that one. (They're both exactly the same.)
--You set the sippy cup in the wrong spot on the table.  It's supposed to be two more inches this way....
--You said something wrong.  Now there's screaming. For minutes.
--If it means it's time for a time out might as well tell them they never get ice cream again for the rest of their lives.
--If you constantly ask them to be quiet because the baby is a light sleeper.
--Baby nap time USE to be relaxing.
--Time to yourself means having them lay on top of you while you both watch My Little Pony until baby wakes up, realizing you haven't eaten anything.
--When they complain of hunger while they're on their fifth "meal" and you haven't had one bite.
--They run laps in an auditorium waiting for a recital to start.
--Meals at a restaurant usually means you didn't order them enough food or they want nothing to eat but ketchup.
--When you say something to them and they look at you like you're speaking another language.
--You repeat directions a million times and nothing happens.
--You say something they don't want to hear or do and they yell "DONT SAY THAT!"
--And when they finally follow through, they yell at you "I AM!!!"
--They start acting like a baby thinking they can get away with it, since the baby does.
--They're willing to get rid of most of their toys when you say "Go play or I'm getting rid of your toys!" or "Clean up or I'll give them to some kids who will take better care of them!"
--Being quiet means yelling in the hallway or jumping on their knees on the hardwood floor next to the sleeping baby's room.
--Every day you could add more to the list of things they do that fits with the Spirited Child personality traits.
--You can spot OTHER Spirited Children when you're in public places.
--"Please be quiet, brother is trying to sleep." gets a response of "I CANT!!"
Always ends in a baby awake.
--When the baby starts to play REALLY well when the first born is not in the house, because he feels more comfortable.
--When you have more blog posts about the Spirited Child over the baby because there's more parenting to process.  And when baby sleeps you don't usually get "that time" you need to post anything.

This list only scratches the surface, but maybe helps give you an idea to figure out if your child COULD be Spirited as well. :)


Thursday, May 18, 2017

When Brokenness becomes Reality

Ever since Easter I feel like I've been processing a LOT. Who am I as a Mom? A Christian? A wife? A friend? 2013-2014 was a huge shift in my marriage and adult life in general. (From Sept 2012-Sept 2013 I was pregnant 3 times.) I'm hoping and looking forward to life to slow down, meaning it's not so overwhelming "sucking my brain all the time" stage of life with little ones.

This past year has been hard adjusting from one to two kids, especially with our first born's high needs and our newborn rarely let me set him down (and didn't like baby carriers). 🙄
He's finally just now using objects to stand at 14 months old. He took so many months wanting me he never got better at strengthening his mobility.  His new found freedom has showed him how exciting life can be when it's about sneaking off to get cords, eat food off the floor, or open cabinets!


My favorite moments with him is hearing his giggle or laugh. He can be so happy and filled with joy. It reminds Jon and I what Ellie use to be like. Just simple things were fun. Now, she overwhelms us with her tantrums, need to control every situation, and doesnt like us to say she can't do something. She has also hit the million questions a day stage. Preschool can't come soon enough. We're hoping going every afternoon will help give her an outlet since she's so extroverted.


We obviously love our kids to pieces, but just like any other parent we look forward to when they're both in bed so we can just BE. We can hear ourselves think. We can have a complete conversation. We look forward to them dressing themselves (Ellie is near this but we still have to keep her focused), feeding themselves, bathing themselves, and understanding boundaries. Even though my love language is touch, does not mean I appreciate them needing me All. Day. Long.

I can't get ready alone.
Don't they know toys are not in here?

Weekends are filled with spending time together as a family, deciding what plans to say yes or no to, and remembering this is just a stage.  In three years we will have a 4 year old and 8 year old. That sounds dreamy!

"Try not to wish these early years away" is like the most confusing advice ever. It's not that I wish it away, I just picture the person not remembering what it is truly like to be in this stage of little kids and babies. All they see is baby faces and cute feet. That's why you rarely see me post perfect pictures on social media. I'm all about showing reality. I share the sweet moments, but don't clean up the house or brush my daughter's hair before I take the picture. I don't try to edit the pictures to make them look amazing. The only times I edit them is if I want to zoom them in or had poor lighting.

Our weekends opened up even more now, because we stopped attending a church. *Gasp* I know. Who would of thought? There's a list of many reasons why, and you might remember my post from October 2015? But we didn't want to settle on a church anymore. I wasn't gaining my mom community I desired and NEEDED. Except I was gaining the opposite. If anything I was wanting to step away from the mom's there. I didn't feel loved, accepted. It was my only place I felt I had to defend myself as a Mom. Why is that? I don't know. My husband and I couldn't even attend a church service together, unless we sat on a couch in front of a TV. That's when I realized I could do that in my own home. So why not, put kids to bed and watch sermons online?

Community you ask? Well, I know sitting on my couch listening to a church service in my home isn't the same as attending a church, but how is it any different than what I was doing Sunday morning? Instead now I don't mess up my baby's naptime needs, and I have a much happier baby. It's what I need right now for survival come Monday morning. Feel free to disagree with my decision and my husband's backing up this decision, because I'm not going to share everything that brought us to this point. If you were in our position you would probably do the same thing.  I'm not comfortable dropping off my baby to cry all morning when I could easily receive same teaching at home. Yes, I'm missing out on community but I was already missing that so what's the difference?

Our next step has been to continue doing church at our home and not visit a bunch of churches. (What good is that for our kids?) Ellie is old enough to be confused, and Jayden wouldn't want dropped off somewhere different all the time. So this option fits the best for us. (If we had no kids we would visit churches like any other church searching adults would do.) Once we find the best fit for us, we will transition Jayden in the nursery and Ellie will adjust just fine. (On walks she wants us to let her go home with anyone who is walking their dog. So the unknown doesn't worry her, but visiting a bunch is confusing.). But until we find the right fit for us, we got our hands full!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Broken

I've been meaning to share my thoughts "out there" for weeks now, but with days so long and nights so short -- now I can hardly get my mind to slow down enough to put my thoughts into a post.

Holy cow. No wonder. That was one whole sentence.

As I look at the past year my eyes usually fill up with tears. My heart breaks and I become numb. As a mother it's been humbling and eye-opening. So many times I've tried to find my voice and SPEAK to others. But what I find instead is mumbling nonsense. When it all comes down to it, my brain is fried. My heart is broken and my hands are hurting.  Ironically I've been having physical pain lately that can't be explained.  I can't help but wonder if it's my body telling my mind something. Slow down. However it's not like my life is going fast right now. If anything I feel like it's an ongoing repetition. (Some days there's sweet potatoes while others are filled with pasta.)

The physical pain has been in my feet and my left hand. I can't explain it. But it definitely slows me down. Emotionally​ I've been holding it together until I unwind with my husband. The hardships of my life right now seem enormous. The only thing that gets me from point A to B is hoping next year my breath will become calming.

The moments I'm dealing with cleaning up urine (because taking a year to fully train is not long enough for strong-willed four year olds), nursing while pooping, or hiding the fact I prefer chocolate over exercising makes me feel like a nonsense. I'm a robot. I'm the one every one goes to for everything. I'm the source of food, the calendar, the cooker, the planner, the cleaner, the driver, the laundromat, the one who they go to while you're showering even though the other responsible adult is sitting right there. I'm the multi-tasker. I'm capable of making dinner, doing dishes, folding laundry, working on ABCs, and answering preschool-aged questions at the same time.  I'm the one who looks at the clock five minutes after Daddy leaves and starts counting down the hours and minutes until he arrives back home.

My husband is probably tired of receiving texts that say "don't look at me too closely, I think I have yet to shower this week" or "I did XYZ, please acknowledge upon arriving home even though you won't be able to tell I deep cleaned XYZ."  Or one time I called, "please bring home pizza for us. I fed kids. I want coke now." Or that one time I grabbed our four-year old and took her on a walk since baby was crying for the past hour and I needed to step away. #teethingsucks

So many people tell you what to do or how to do it. As a mom you get so many opinions and advice on how to approach EVERYTHING. I've even been told my 4-year old is "normal". 😂😂😂😂😂



If one more person tells me they "get it" one more time I might go crazy. Do you? Really? You get what it's like to be me in my shoes? You know what it's like to wake up one morning and see your life completely different then what you expected? You found yourself with a 11 month old baby and miscarrying the second time. Being told your baby doesn't have a heartbeat? You know what it's like to arrive at the hospital and birth your fourth baby and realize it was your only non medicated birth?  You know what it's like to birth your first baby and told you are not allowed to get out of bed without a nurse to help you because you were given oxygen after passing out three times? Or what about day-to-day life? What is it like to watch other people have babies who happily play (you use to have one), while your current baby rarely does?

Or the feeling of missing out on who your lost babies were and how to move on with the baby you've been given without feeling lost or guilty? Or what about crying while holding your newborn at midnight who won't go to sleep (this went on for months)!

The past year has been like a hula hoop. Things start to swing in a good direction but something always comes crashing down. Potty training, clingy baby, tantrums (it takes us hours to get out the door), and emotional rollercoaster. I say something, I've said it wrong. Have you ever met someone like that? It can, no it IS exhausting. So many nights my husband puts her to bed so I don't say something I will regret later.

Who knows why she has decided it takes hours for us to leave the house. Because putting clothes on is not something she's willing to get help on, even though now she wants it, oh wait now she doesn't. And as soon as the door opens she giggles with freedom coming out of every part of her being. Seriously kid. We could of been out here an hour ago. But you refused. Everything!

Our good moments is what helps me through the really bad. The amazing moments make me tear up. The typical make me frustrated. The intense situations make me confused. The horrible make me feel incapable and lost.  It's humbling as a parent to know (and to say) that you are finding help. Not only for you but also for your child.

After so many years of working aside young children I have learned so many things. It led me to this moment. Realizing I know better than to continue this way.  It's not a bad thing to admit or to share that you need outside resources to help restore a relationship and be able to breathe again.

But I'm not broken because of just processing our daughter. I'm broken because I can't breathe through my every day life. I'm finding myself wanting space, wanting to hide, not able to enjoy good things in life.

I'm thankful for my loving husband who has always been here (especially this past year) as I process how life as a mom has changed. He has helped me realize who I am as a mother and acknowledging that what I am not, is okay.

As I continue to search for where God plays in to all this, I'm sure I'll find restoration and freedom. And peace. Oh my goodness. Peace. Rest. The moments I can't see my messy house, my dirty floors, my filled hamper, and hear my crazy kids I can breathe. My deep breath brings relief. But I'm ready for that feeling more often. I'm pleading to find it in every moment. Because in the stillness, He is here.

As we're getting closer to Easter (just hours away from church service I'm about to attend), I'm reminded of His Resurrection. Good Friday this year hit me like a ton of bricks. I already felt defeated. But then the light of it reminded me. He suffered. He knows. He's the only one that does. He knows what it's like to feel like no one "gets it". That it's just a typical tantrum. It's just a typical baby. It's just a typical feeling this time of year to feel so overwhelmed. He understands physical pain. He understands being mistreated. He relates with me on being criticized, misinterpreted, and unloved. He understands what it feels like to be alone. To say so much and response seem so little. (Because I didn't even share the extent of spiritually where I'm at this year.)  Easter brings on so much hope for us. And this year I HOPE it brings me a refreshing feeling of feeling His joy again.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Rainbow Baby Birthday

We celebrated Jayden's Birthday today!! 🎉

When he was born I pictured his first birthday theme being rainbow.  A rainbow baby is the baby you have after a miscarriage or infant loss. 🌈

The day started off with 9am church (which we were late to but whatever), then brunch at Village Inn, and back home so he could take a good nap. My parents had taken care of Ellie since Friday evening as a way to help me with the party. It was a lot easier to decorate and set up the house the night before!


The party was from 2-4pm, and ordered pizza for supper afterwards. I like to keep it simple.  Jayden took a good nap before people got there (at least for him) and when everyone arrived we got right to the cake. (He's always hungry for food after his naps.)



He wasn't too sure about his cake. So we cut him up a small piece and let him try that. When that didn't get him to eat much, I gave him something I knew would fill his tummy with happiness.

Sweet potatoes.



He finished off about two helpings. (What's in the picture is "one helping.") Then Daddy got him a bath so he could be ready to open his presents. 



My sweet wittle guy 💙💙

We scrambled around for family pics and cousin clan.


And at first all we could get of my family was me and birthday boy. 


My loves 💗


Jayden: What's it like being the baby of the family? (To parents who are both the youngest in theirs)
Mom & Dad: Have you not figured it out yet??


Then many minutes of trying to get kids to sit on the couch. 10 in all

Ok. "Whoever sits the nicest gets to hold Jayden!" It all clicked. They did great! Briston caught my attention first. 



"Be silly!"





Time to open presents!!


To keep older kids busy I put them on a crazy scavenger game to find toys that were colors of rainbow. And gave them glow in the dark kit ($3 from Target). Whoever won the game got first pick. Jon got them situated in the basement in the dark and possibly Dodge ball with some of our toy balls. The family got snuggle time with Birthday Boy and I hid my face (and voice).

Ordered pizza from Pizza Pit. And kids scarfed down the rest of the snacks. Rainbow fruit tray and colored goldfish.



After pizza we just did what people do and I put Jayden to bed. He was wiped.  

We want to thank our family for coming! Its been a whirlwind of a year. I'm so thankful for my baby. 


*I pay someone else to bake pretty things for me so I don't have to. Cake from Ali Cakes here in Ames.

JAYDEN updates:

-can say "Ma-Ma"
-Wave
-Refuses sippy cup and bottles
(Hoping he breaks that no bottle thing in two weeks when I'll be away from him for 2 nights.)

Favorite food: sweet potatoes, grilled chicken, Puffs, breads (like pancakes or toast)

He loves that we got him a "new" carseat. He enjoys being able to look out the window.  He loves his Momma so much. Toys are becoming more fun.  I can set him up with toys in living room and I find him coming to me in our bathroom doing his army crawl. He laughs at Ellie and gives you the flirty face.  We're also feeling top teeth coming soon. No break through but gums look mad at us. Jayden sometimes sucks his thumb which he use to never do. I'm guessing it's due to those gums.

His "schedule"
(That was a joke. Babies don't have schedules.)
7am wake up/nurse
8am breakfast
9am nurse
Play time & snack
10:30/11 Nap
12:00 Lunch
Nurses in place of a drink
Play time
3ish Nurse & Nap
4ish Supper 
5:00 snacks on our supper if he wants some
6/6:30 bedtime

Friday, January 20, 2017

These four years....

The last four years of my life has got to be the hardest, emotionally drained years I've had in my life.  I could go on and on about what life has been like, but I'll spare you and let you read previous posts if you desire to look into it a bit.

However, the next four years looks pretty draining as well.  Today we gain a new president and say good bye to one that had great strength and dignity.  The family was one I could stand up for and allow my children to watch their every move. Did I agree with everything? No. But my fears and concerns for my country were nothing compared to what the family endured each day.

Today I can't stand behind the family who is being welcomed in the White House. And what is more heart breaking is knowing I have family and friends who stands behind him and even voted for him to be there.  Even if you don't know "for sure" what all he has done, you are capable of following his Twitter account. That alone is something I could never read out loud to my daughter. We just elected a man to be President who shares things on social media that I can't read out loud to anyone in my household.

That's saying something. And I can't just sit back today with my needy children and stay silent.  I want a president who has dignity and strong social etiquette. Is that too much to ask? I think a lot of people didn't think so, until a few months ago.

Questions I consider....
Did people not realize there were choices beyond Clinton and Trump?
Do people realize what Trump has said about people of color?
Do people realize people of color live here?
Do people realize what he has said about women? About people with disabilities? What he has said about his own daughter?
Are people just pushing these concerns aside because next to his name it said Republican?

God have mercy.

My heart breaks because I'm tired of people telling those of us who don't like Trump to be silent.

Ask my husband how I go about life when something is really frustrating...
I hardly sleep.  I get really confused because why are people not seeing this??

What am I missing that all of "you" can sit back and watch Trump step into the White House and cheer? You're so thankful he was elected. You're posting links about Democrats needing to just suck it up.

By the way, I'm not a Democrat....And by how this last year has gone I'm finding myself not fitting anywhere. I don't like what Republicans are saying (and what they're not saying).

We can't go back now and change who people voted for, but all I ask is hearing us out.  If you can't admit the poor judgment Trump has on our country that's scary.  How he treats people "lower" than him is rude and inhuman.

The Gospel spreads love to all, and electing Trump has me greatly confused.  I'm not God, but I can say something when people decide to pick him because of what "he stood for as a Republican."  His actions and words are harsh and unloving.

My prayer is that as a nation we start listening.  People don't live the same way. Unfortunately people voted Trump. And I pray in four years someone will come up in the next election who stands for justice and equality for all Americans.   Someone who is easy to vote for because they hold people in their hearts, live to greater our country, and someone I can watch with my children in the room with me.



People are grieving today. Let them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A day in stay at home life

Dear Mom's,
Can I just say what I accomplished today? Will you feel judged or hurt that it was just a normal day at home for your family, while I accomplished more than just fed and kept my kids alive? May I share without any side of things coming off wrong?

Okay, here goes:
-I found my daughter sneaked bread.
-She wet her pull up twice today after fighting and yelling at me that she didn't want to "try" to go.
-I cleaned up her poop...In her pull up.
-I cleaned up the baby's poop.
-I fed the baby every hour that he was awake.
-I ate breakfast.
-I ate some pizza for lunch.
-I drank some Coke while I cleaned out/organized some kitchen cabinets. And helped my daughter spell words from her magnetic letters.
-i kept baby from eating every single cord he could reach.
-i did three loads of laundry, hung up wet items, folded & put away dry items
-I completely emptied out the baby dresser and reorganized his clothes... Including 3 baskets of future items. (He's ready for next size up.)
-I cleared off the dining room table. (You know...The typical dump all space.)
-Cleaned off the high countertop (the dump place for please kids don't mess with this stuff)
-I let a movie play on repeat.
-I let my kid eat Spaghetti Os for lunch
-Organized a mountain of papers
-Cleaned up diaper bag & my go to purse
-I took a shower with my daughter
-I called my Mommy.
-I asked my husband for help with baby so I could shower.
-I prayed for a mommy today.
-I put daughter in her room often for taking toys from the baby.
-I heard lots of yelling.
-Im pretty sure daughter wasn't the only one yelling.
-I prayed for Jesus' grace for my household.
-I put baby to nap 3x
-Put baby to bed.

Some days I feel like if I don't share what I did in a day to at least one person "out there." It won't be noticed. It won't feel worthwhile. Because I heard the saying, "No one notices if housework was done until I stopped doing it."

As a stay at home mom I encourage husband's to listen to their wives when they return home.   Or at least spend a day in their shoes. Because mom's are special and unique. But a mom who stays home is like a bear ready for hibernation to end. They can't wait to unload everything until the moment they can get out.  Don't get me wrong, I love being a stay at home mom. But the stages in life where you're in constant struggle with a kid who fights you just to pee in a toilet, or the baby who cries because you can't hold him all day long, or the countless times you can't even hear yourself think! Those are the days you feel like you can't get out of...That they will never end!



"They grow up so fast! Enjoy it while they're little." That's because those people just remember the fun baby snuggles, the smell after a good bath, or the little giggles.  Day in and day out, we mom's bare much more than just snuggles and giggles. And that's something we're looking forward to saying adios to..... We're baring the weight of caring for someone who can't even care for themselves. Let alone dress themselves.



So, mom's feel free to comment on what you accomplished today. No judgement. Because there are days (too many to count) that all I got done was: kids fed, kids alive, and the house isn't on fire. 😉

So press on stay at home moms. Your job is normally unnoticed, but never from this Mom.