Saturday, June 30, 2012

Be Happy: Navigating Tantrum City

Little White Whale
We've been living in tantrum city around here but I am happy to report that I've made a few changes and things have been better.

I have outlawed electronics, for the most part.  No more LeapPad, computer games, or IPod unless we're listening to music.  I've also limited tv to one show in the morning, one while I work out, and one more throughout the day if I need to get something done (like dinner or if I'm desperate for quiet).

I am SHOCKED to report that Abby has taken to these changes like a champ!  She actually chose not to watch tv one of the times I asked her and she hasn't even attempted to use the IPod for anything other than music.  She's also acting a lot better and we've been working on ways to get rid of her sad feelings.

The biggest change might actually be me.  I continuously remind myself that she's hurting so even if talking doesn't get through to her, I hold her.  Even if it means Lilly is fussing, I still hold her.  After I give her time and some extra cuddles, I'll try to distract her and give her ideas of fun things we can do.

I have to admit, it's been a bit exhausting.  I never realized how much I relied on these things to keep her busy or distracted.  However, it's actually been pretty FUN!  We've been dancing around the kitchen, playing pretend, reading... I think having the computer up and running all day was a huge distraction from what I need to focus on too.

I have been repeating a little mantra to myself each morning when I roll out of bed (usually at 5:30):  You choose how your day is going to go from now, just smile.  So, when I saw this weeks quote from Little White Whale was, "If you want to be happy, be,"  I decided to jump on board.

If you want to be happy, just be....

Being happy is a choice... there are reasons to smile in every moment!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

May I Have Some Patience, Please?

Last night, we ended the day with a full blown tantrum... complete with fists pounding and feet stomping.  When it comes to where these tantrums come from and how to deal with them, I admit that I'm at a loss.

Sometimes, I respond in a way that's way too reactive.

Sometimes, I remember to respond in soft but firm tones.

Sometimes, I remember to respond lovingly because beneath that tantrum is a hurt little girl.

Sometimes, I work really hard at explaining why we can not behave that way.

Sometimes, when explaining doesn't work, I try to role play and teach her different ways to respond.

Sometimes, nothing works.

Right now, as I type, I have a 3 year old who is having a fit because she can't find her Pluto toy.  A toy that I have no memory of.  A toy that she says she hasn't seen since she was a baby.

Right now, I have a baby, who just learned to crawl 3 days ago, trying to figure out what she can get into next.

Right now, I am drinking my first cup of coffee that I poured an hour ago.  I am hoping that my coffee gives me the patience that I need for what may be ahead for me!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Super Dad

Whew!  That was a long week but, thankfully, I am feeling better.  I am eternally grateful to my husband for taking time off to help out with the girls.  Funny thing about that though, day 1 he acted like Super Dad.  I mean he even went as far as to wash the windows in the living room and clean the front porch.

Not gonna lie, I felt like he was showing me up just a little bit.  I was amazed that he was able to do all that, in addition to keeping the house somewhat clean.  All while Abby napped and Lilly played.  I felt a little inadequate, even going as far as telling him that maybe he should be a stay at home Dad.

However, by the end of the week things started looking a little more like my reality.  I guess the week was wearing on him a little bit (who could blame him?).

He would never admit it though.

He'll tell you that all was good and the kids were fine.  Typical man, never admitting defeat!

Amusingly, Abby was quick to point out what he didn't do quite right and, if the offense warranted it, put him in timeout.  He never actually went into timeout so Abby also learned how frustrating it is when someone doesn't listen!  Sorry, I know it was a little bratty of her (aren't all 3 year olds?) but I found it quite funny.  Almost as the funny as the day she told him that he doesn't know the rules, only Mommy does.  Does that girl know who the boss is or what?  Unfortunately, she doesn't always care that I am the queen of this castle!

All kidding aside, he did great and it was probably the best thing for all of us.  The girls got Daddy time.  I got rest. And he got time to just be home because sometimes that only happens when he sleeps!

And of course, as I'm typing this he goes ahead and wins more points!  We were on a mission to find Abby this chair:

Source: via Kasey on Pinterest

Of course, our Kmart was sold out and it wasn't available online.  I texted Dan to check the Kmart by his work but they didn't have it so he picked up her 3rd choice.  Since he knew she would be disappointed, he went to a different Kmart and found the one she wanted!

Guess who will be the favorite parent for awhile?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sick of Being Sick

I have dreamed about spending a day in bed, more times than I can count.

I have been begging for time to myself.  To read.  To blog.  To watch tv.  To sleep.

I realized yesterday that spending the day in bed is highly over rated.

After a weekend spent sick and in pain, I went to the doctor on Monday and found out that I had an infection so bad that it caused a lymph node to swell (in what could be the most uncomfortable and awkward spot).

First, let me tell you that I tend to be dramatic so I spent the weekend convinced that I was dying.  Between the stress of my impending death, the pain, and just all around not feeling well, it was a long exhausting weekend.

The good news is that I am NOT dying!  YAY!  But I am on 2 pretty strong antibiotics as well as a pain killer which has left me useless.  A few hours awake and I'm right back to bed.  Sleeping the day away.

The worst part is hearing my girls.  Whether they're playing or crying, all I want to do is be out there with them.

I can not thank my hubs enough for taking time off of work to help me out.  He even gave Lilly a bath for the first time. 

I'm grateful for the help, but HATE that I need it.  My girls aren't too fond of it either and have been spending extra time with me in my bed (I'm not contagious).  Poor Abby just wants me to play and poor Lilly just wants to be in my arms.  

I can't wait to feel better.  I can't wait to be back to normal.  

I hope I never get this much time to myself again.  I never want to NEED this much sleep or watch this much tv.  It's just so lonely!

Obviously, I love my girls and spending time with them but now I realize that they are my everything.  They are my world.  They are growing so fast and I feel like I'm missing something when I'm not here.  I complain and take being home with them for granted but I truly am blessed!  

Here's a little funny Pinterest find.  No truer words have ever been spoken!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Bucket List: At Home Fun

I've seen a lot of people creating Summer Bucket Lists and I really love the idea.  We have a lot of fun stuff planned for summer already but they all center around going somewhere.  We are pretty good at planning trips, even day trips, to explore new places and give the girls some new experiences.  However, we sometimes fall short during our downtime.

I try to come up with creative ways to spend our time at home but sometimes I run out of ideas.  Or fail at executing the idea.  So, I thought I would do a Summer Bucket List of home based activities.  Things that I've been meaning to do, or just found, that would be fun for the me and the girls to do together on the days where we're just relaxing at home.

I'm hoping it helps remind me of the little promise I made... to focus on more quality time with the 2 most important people in my life.

I made a Pinterest board to help organize my ideas and will update you on what we've accomplished.  Here are some things I've added so far:

What would be on your Summer Bucket List?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Getting My Priorities Straight

"In a minute."

"Not right now."

"Maybe tomorrow/after nap time/later/etc."

These are the phrases that I find myself using far too often.  I'm tired in the mornings, which is why I am desperately trying to get Lilly to sleep through the night.  It takes me a while to get moving and then before I know it, it's almost lunch time.

I'm caught up in the bottles, laundry, diaper changes, cleaning, cooking, etc, etc, etc that I THINK needs to be done during the day.

I am finding it hard to balance the household necessities with the REAL necessities.

The quality time sometimes gets lost in the shuffle of things.  The day ends with far too few snuggles, kisses and playing.

Today, a perfectly gorgeous day went by without us stepping outside to play.

And then I hear myself, repeating those phrases.

And then I see the look on Abby's face.

And then I realize that I lost focus... again.

Parenting is a hard road to navigate.  There are twists and turns and sometimes you lose your way without even realizing it.

I am promising myself that I will be different tomorrow.  I will stop measuring the productivity of my day by how clean my home is at the end of it.

Instead, I will measure my day by the intangible things.  The stuff that isn't seen by those who aren't around:  quality time with my two girls.


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