Category Archives: parenthood

(yet another) One of those Days

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It’s safe to say that we have had a few rough weeks around here.  I know everything is a stage, but it does seem like the new stages are incrementally worse than what we’ve left behind.  After a particularly exasperating day with Leah, I headed out the door as soon as Craig got home to indulge in some…grocery shopping. To clear my head and brighten my mood.  And I was feeling pretty down so I filled the cart with blueberries, a new tea variety, artisanal lettuce, and about 1.5 ounces of Jelly Bellies.  While I was checking out, the lady next to me unloaded the contents of her cart: a 2 liter of coke, 6 individual Haagen Daaz ice creams, and a People Magazine.

I was instantly filled with regret over the inadequacy of my stress-food selection.  I decided I would go to McDonald’s and get a giant fry to drown my stress in grease but the drive through lane was insane so I returned home with my purchases, and guess what?  Leah was still awake.  And she was still in the midst of her day-long tantrum. And she neeeeeeded MOOOOOOM.

Sanity Break FAIL.

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Spent

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Summer is over, whew.  My first two months of staying at home went really great, the last month has been trying.  A friend referred to this stage as the ‘”F”-you Fours’ and that is definitely what we have going on here.  To say I am sick and tired of being treated like crap is an understatement and again, it’s only been a month of this.  And in a few days, we are going to all climb into a car together and spend the next few weeks in very close company.  More parents around does not equal better behavior, just twice as many people to feel royally ticked off. All I want is some relaxation at the beach.  Is it too late to leave the kids here?

I’m not really cut out for this, and I miss my job so much it hurts sometimes.  This is part of the adjustment period, I know, but it’s still tough.  More time at home lately is not more quality time, just more discipline. And by the time Craig gets home I’ve had my fill.  There is NO QUESTION that our family was running smoother when I worked part time, but I am hoping this stage will not last forever.

Devan started his first day of Pre-K today, he won’t say much about it, but I’m sure he is going to love it in time. I’m also hopeful that it will help this “I’m going to test you all day long” situation out a bit.  It’s clear he is bored to death at home, I am at a loss for things we can do together that don’t involve him screaming at Leah that she is ruining things, or not playing “correctly”, or is messing up his projects.  I understand why some kids end up in front of movies all day long but I don’t want to do that.  But sometimes, I do want to do that.

So, that sums up August.  I’m been feeling better, which is such a HUGE blessing and deserves a post all it’s own, so maybe in time.  I’m taking a break from Etsy and quilting, and sewing in general for awhile.  It’s been nice to be lazy and watch movies and read books.  I have a huge list of projects and commissions that are backing up on me and instead of tackling them, I felt it more prudent to set them all aside and do nothing for a month.  I’m sure I will be grateful for this decision come October!

We are going internet-free while on Vacation, so it’s going to be quiet around here for awhile.  Not much of a change from this past month, I know.  And I broke a rule by telling you all we are going to be gone, so don’t any of you dare come steal my fabric!!

My Devan

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I refused to get up this morning as I stayed up a little too late, after starting and finishing the Hunger Games in one evening.  Refusing to get up is not something one should do when you have small children, but thankfully I have a husband who indulges my pathetic behavior so long as I don’t try to get away with it too often.  So as I groggily laid in bed, I overheard Devan happily tell Craig that he had made himself some cinnamon toast.  He then said he was going to make one for Craig, but he has used up the last piece of bread, so he went ahead and made him one with a hotdog bun.  My heart melted, and I thought about what a sweet boy we have.  I heard Craig thank him profusely and after a few more fruitless tries to get my lazy bum out of bed, he gave up and they all left.  I finally decided Craig was probably right that it was way past time to start the day, and I went down to the kitchen and discovered this:

Oh, it makes my heart melt.  I don’t think it is what either Craig or I pictured when he was describing the cinnamon toast, but it is so perfectly Devan.  I love him so much it is hard to describe.  It’s true that at this age, the kids require a huge commitment to their physical and emotional needs, at times seemingly sucking my life-force right out of me.  But then they fill me right back up again with a sweet gesture, a hug or kiss, or a funny story.  Or cinnamon and globs of butter on a hotdog bun.

~

You may notice that in my post categories, I have more ‘insanity’ posts than ones tagged ‘sanity’.  I guess to make sure my blog title is still apt, but honestly it’s just how we roll around here.  After we returned from Branson we were all (minus Craig of course) plagued with nasty colds, and breathing problems, and bloody noses, and etc.  And I ended up taking Devan to the pediatrician Tuesday afternoon and while we were there they requested a urine sample.  And in his sample happened to be a very high amount of glucose. Those of you who are medically-savvy may know that this happens when you have diabetes.  But Devan’s blood sugar levels were normal.  The doctor was clearly puzzled, and we were there for nearly 3 hours, finally sent home with the promise of more answers soon.

It’s Friday afternoon now, and I don’t know much more know than we did then.  We’ve done some google searching but haven’t come up with much.  We are returning tomorrow morning for Devan to give a fasting sample.  Maybe we’ll get some clues or answers, and maybe we will continue to wait.

If you’ve known me any time at all, you know we are no strangers to this dance.  The wall that keeps the information from flowing from doctor to patient.  The nerves that build at 5:15 as you wait for a ‘results’ phone call.  The futility of worry, but the impossibility to do anything but. We’ve been here before. Except for, there’s one small difference that makes this horrible in a way I wouldn’t have expected- it’s not about myself this time, it’s my son.  My Devan.

So, this is where we stand.  Waiting and not knowing.  It could be nothing, or it could be something that changes everything.   Not knowing is always the hardest part.  So we go about our business, but we worry.  And now I suppose I’m having all of you worry with me.  But oftentimes, that is what makes me feel just a little bit better.  So please, join me in my worry.  Devan is a special little guy, and I am ready to know that he is going to be okay.

Tooth Fairy Debate

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Though we are a few years out from this milestone, I hope, there has been some discussion around our house about what happens to the baby teeth that the tooth fairy harvests.  One of us feels like they should be kept forever, and one of us feels like they should immediately be pitched in the trash. One of us has been taking informal polls and both of us are curious about what is more “normal”.  So please, please, take a quick moment and help us out:

 

 

 

 

House Rules

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Craig:    Devan, I don’t want you to go running so fast through the house.

Devan:    Why?

Craig:    You trip over lots of stuff, and bang into too many things.  So it’s just going to be a new rule.

Devan:    Well, when I’m older and have a baby, I’m not going to have ANY rules at my house.

Craig:    No rules at all?

Devan:    No.

Craig:    What if your kid wants to knock a plant over and dump dirt all over the floor.  That’ll be ok?

Devan:    Well, they can’t do that.

Craig:    But that’s a rule.

Devan:    Ok, well I’ll just have one rule.  No dumping over poison plants, or plants with dirt in them.  Actually, two.  Three rules.  No knocking over the Christmas tree.  And no taking off ornaments.  Well, 4 rules.  No opening presents before Christmas, or opening presents that aren’t yours.  So just 4 rules.  That’s all.

Craig:    So you’ll have 4 rules, huh?

Devan:    Yes.  Can you remember that for me, so I’ll not forget when I’m old.

Craig:    Sure, I’ll try to remember.

Just another Manic Monday

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Yesterday was like a lot of our Monday’s lately, where I load up two grumpy and sick kids into the car so we can arrive late at some doctors appointment or another and wait for over an hour in the waiting room, and 30 minute back in the patient room.  I usually realize about 5 minutes in that the snacks and diversions I have packed are grossly inadequate. Yesterday was especially miserable as our appointment was at 11 but our wait time stretched quickly into lunchtime and I had two bored and hungry kids on my hands.

When we finally saw the doctor we learned that after 2 weeks of breathing treatments through the nebulizer and 10 days of antibiotics, that Leah’s ears are still infected and her chest sounds terrible.  As he started to tell me how to know when to take her to urgent care vs. the emergency room and all the different sorts of inhaler options it registered to me that he seemed to be suggesting she has asthma.  So I asked and he said most definitely, given her clinical history so far, like we talked about last time. I don’t remember talking about it last time, though that means nothing. So, just like that, she has asthma.  He said it was somewhat likely she would develop it after last year’s respiratory stuff, and my own history of childhood asthma.  Okay, another chronic disease to add to our list.  Fine.  Whatever.  Pile it on.

Let’s get this girl her immunizations finally.  Oh wait, that ear infection.  We’ll come back next week, again.  Wait for an hour and pay a copay, again.  I told the nurse- well, maybe the third time will be the charm.  She laughed and said, this WAS the third time, you are on try # four now!  We’ve had so much fun there, I can”t even keep track.

So the next few weeks  we are hoping  some stronger steroids will help open up her lungs, we hope this stronger antibiotic will clear out her ears so she no longer stumbles around like a drunk toddler.  We most definitely are going to get her set up for tubes, there is no sense in repeating this month after month all winter long.  And I’ll get to see the ENT again myself no doubt because this lymph node is stubborn and hard and painful, and seems to be growing despite my own large doses of steroids.

Thank goodness for all this time off for spending quality time with the kids. Ha.

I guess I”m just feeling depleted.  I know it’s just been little things all year long, but when there are this many little things it starts to feel like a big thing.  And I keep saying “when we are all feeling better…” and I keep waiting for that and it is more elusive than I would like.  I’m not really sure how to recharge or how to start fresh with my attitude.  Waiting until we are all completely healthy could prove to be quite the exercise in patience so I need to start to accept that this is what it is.  Like I said, I’m not sure how to do that. This is just getting really old.

On a lighter note, I attempted to dig our house out of 2 months of neglect.  I failed obviously, because it is an impossible prospect.  But now I know I no longer have to do it alone.  While I vacuumed the kids rooms and dusted, I apparently had two little helpers who cleaned my disgusting shower. With wood oil spray and toilet paper. A project that they worked together on, in complete silence.

Hey, I’ll take all help I can get!

Parenting SUCCESS

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A lot of times I seem motivated to share my dismal failures as a parents.  But I don’t want to share too many of them or I will feel like a loser.  Yesterday started out squarely in the failure category and Devan melted into a pile of rage in his room while I stood outside his door and shook with anger at his defiance.  We both felt out of control and I felt especially hopeless about how I can deal with his behavior in  more responsible way.  All I’ve been teaching him is anger.

So I swung by the library and grabbed a few more parenting books, figuring that I need to start somewhere. And I think that God was watching out for me and I picked out the absolutely perfect book for us right now.  It focuses on identifying your child’s unique Meyer’s Briggs personality type, and then tailoring your parenting to meet their specific needs and world view.  Effective strategies for one child are worthless with the other.  Craig and I had already been ‘typed’ during per-marital counseling and found it to be eye-opening.  It makes sense that the same sort of ideas would apply to our children.

Craig and I had a real light-bulb moment when we realized that while we both fall SOLIDLY in the “Judging” category, Devan is most certainly a “Perceiver”.  How this plays out in our house is that I ask Devan to do something rather straight-forward :

” Pick up your blocks.”

Devan, to whom time in an infinite resource and who is rather enamored in the moment, will find a dump truck to drive down a road to load a block and then drive under the table bridge and through a blanket and then up on his bed where a crane will find the block, swing it over to the box and drop it haphazard on top of other toys that shouldn’t have been in the block box in the first place.  10 minutes later, there are three blocks in the box and I hear the sounds of Devan’s truck and machines, happily chugging away.

Mom gets a little pissed off.  Mom’s perspective?  I asked you CLEARLY to put them AWAY and you DIDN’T.  Why can’t you just LIIIIIIISTEN??

Devan: “I AMMMMMMM!”

Mom: “You CLEARLY are NOT.”

Tears.  Frustration.  Bewilderment.

It all makes so much sense now.  Devan really felt like he was doing what I asked.  He may not even begin to do it in the way I would think makes sense, but he was making an attempt and I squashed his spirit.

I’m calling this whole revelation a parenting success because as Craig and I read though Devan’s personality type and laughed at how dead-on it is (changing his clothes 3x a day just because, needing to know the EXACT rules, lives for surprises), I think we both had a whole new understanding of what we need to be doing to parent him successfully.  We need to be doing so much more than demanding strict discipline and obedience, but rather understanding his way of seeing the world and interacting with it, and helping him learn behaviors that will help make him successful and happy as an adult.

He’s not ever going to be a mini-me and I need to stop being mystified by that.  I was a dreamer, had my head in the clouds- he is as literal as you can be. I hated sports growing up and always knew my kids would excel at arts and music.  And while Devan likes crafts, he seems to have an inclination towards sports and activities so that is something I need to let him explore.  Never thought I would be a soccer mom (or football mom, basketball mom, baseball mom) in a million years, but if that is where my child shines then that is what I will support him in, even as I continue to expose him to the arts, hoping there is a spark there as well!

Whenever I am mad at my kids, I am always asking myself WHY are they so incredibly difficult? What is wrong with them?  And without a doubt, a few hours later the passage of time has clarified that each incident has stemmed from some failure on our part as parents.   This is the hardest job I will ever hold, there is no question.  And there are going to be a lot of failures, probably daily.  But I’m feeling extremely hopeful that we have a lot more successes coming our way as well.

(Okay, last few days to enter the giveaway below.  Don’t be shy!!  You need this prize!)