Friday, January 23, 2015

Happy 5th to my Buggy!

My baby is FIVE. Our oldest turned 17 last week and now our youngest is 5. I'd be lying if I said I didn't shed a tear today. I swear I only blinked and she stopped being a baby....

Friday, January 16, 2015

Parenting the Headstrong Child

My awesome Katie is about to turn five.  She is hilarious, smart, and loving.  When she is playing, she loves to run back in to the room where I am and kiss me before barrelling back out of the room.  She constantly entertains us with her antics and the way she loves to perform for us.  She likes to script our play time, telling us exactly what we are to say next.  Some of the things she busts out with are the funniest I've ever heard.  I honestly don't think I've ever laughed harder than I do from Katie.  Recently, she came in singing the alphabet backwards.  My husband joked it was her already preparing for her first DUI.  She's free spirited and loves life to the fullest.  She took her first karate class last week and we're now calling her the "Smackdown Princess."   Seriously, it was the greatest thing ever to watch her in karate class. She came out screaming "I LOVED IT!!"  Katie is in constant motion.  She NEVER sits still.

This child is a force. 

With all that said, Katie has her VERY challenging moments.  Once this child gets something in her head that she wants to have, do, eat (you get the point), the word NO is utter and complete devastation.  The last big meltdown was Wednesday morning when she came in announcing she was wearing her slippers to school., you're not.  That lasted a good 25 minutes.  She screamed that her other shoes hurt her too much.  They don't.  She screamed that she is allowed to wear her slippers to school.  She isn't.  She cannot be reasoned with once she gets like that.  She will sometimes put herself in her room until she cools down, but most of the time, she will badger us, scream, cry, etc.  By the time it's all over, all of us are WHOOPED. 

It's not every day, but it a frequent enough occurence for us and her teachers that we are talking all the time about how to help her.  Creating incentives for her to work towards.  Issuing her consequences.  Praising her for correct behavior.  Sometimes it helps.  Sometimes she couldn't give a crap.  Over the years, it's definitely improved.  I think we're at once or twice a week and most she can snap out of easier and faster than a few years ago.  About a month ago, she had a fit at school and woke all her friends up during naptime.  After they finally got her to calm down, she looked at the teacher and said, "uh oh, Mama is going to give me a consequence."  Sure did--no sleeping in my bed that night which she had planned to do since my husband was out of town.  She loves to sleep with me when it's just me so that was definitely something she was sorry to miss out on.  Of course, I then got to deal with the "please, please, please, I'll be better" all night when she knew sleeping with me was a no-go. 

Everyone says "it will serve her well later in life to be so strong-willed."  OK, I get that, but oof, I need her to make it through childhood without losing what little sanity I have too!  We all know I'm a little crazy already, haha!

Do you have the strong-willed child?  Any advice?

At least it's a good thing she is damn cute!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 Resolutions

I've thought a lot about resolutions for this new year. Will I make them?  Will I keep them?  What did I do last year?  I kept most of them from last year--more cooking for my family (I cook now!), less cussing (this was tough but I do not cuss very often anymore), put my marriage first, and connecting better with friendships I wanted to strengthen.  I failed completely at others--learning to run and do a 5K (that was a huge fail) and putting down the cell phone before bed.

So, where does that leave me?  In the end, I'm an optimist.  I love the idea of a blank slate and a chance to try something and challenge myself.  I love setting goals and strive to do better each  year. So, here I am, typing out my resolutions for 2015 when I really should be going to bed right now because I go back to work tomorrow.  I decided to break my resolutions into categories.  Here we go...

As a mother
  • More date nights with individual children.  I love our special time, and last year , I did not complete my monthly date nights with the girls.  The children noticed and have been asking to get back into our routine of individual time.  Katie and I had a date last Friday night.  We saw Penguins of Madagascar then went to "gas station McDonalds" per her request.  Maggie and I will hopefully have a date next week to see Annie 2014 (again!).  I had a date just me and 12 over the break, and hopefully will do the same with (soon to be!) 17 soon. 
  • More time reading together.  I love reading with my children.  Love to make the voices and snuggle up as we read.  With crazy schedules, homework, activities, and other things going on, sometimes the book reading feels rushed.  Sometimes I don't get to it with Maggie because I know she read during her after school time. 
As a wife
  • Get my cell phone out of the bedroom at night!  Oh, this is a bad one for me.  I talked to Rob about it tonight.  Recently, we heard someone speak about the destruction cell phones can have on a marriage.  Honestly, I believe it.  I've become accustomed to using my cell as a way to fiddle and relax before bed.  What if I was using that time to visit with my husband, read a book, or actually GO TO BED at a decent time.  Our church is starting their annual 21 day fast.  They encourage people to choose their path of fasting.  I have decided to give up sugar, soda, and the use of the cell phone after 7pm.  I am going to lock it in the cabinet in the kitchen.  I am hoping it will help me create the habit. 
  • Get away just the two of us.  This one really needs to happen.  I love my time with this man so much.  It doesn't need to be a long or extravagant vacation.  At least one or two little getaways for a weekend would be lovely for us. 

As a teacher
  • Lesson plan a minimum of one to two weeks out at all times.  Maybe this one will only resonate with my fellow teachers out there.  How often do I walk in to the building thinking "ok, what am I teaching today?"  Too often.  Granted, I have a general idea, but often I'm still pulling it together during my morning conference period.  When I am one to two weeks planned out, I'm more focused, calmer, and able to stay on top of my grading more efficiently.  All this equals LESS STRESS.  Yeah, that sounds like what I want. 
As an individual
  • Stop and simply relax sometimes.  I am go, go, go most of the time.  Over the past week, I stopped and relaxed a lot.  It felt like a decadence.  I still had time to get the house cleaned, connect with people, and run some errands.  Not every minute was scheduled.  It was NICE.  I need to make sure I am making an effort to SLOW DOWN sometimes.   I need to take some time for me.  Get a pedicure from time to time.  Read a book for pleasure while relaxing at night.  Go for a bike ride.  I need it  I don't do it nearly often enough.  I mean, I'm a mom of a busy blended family of four busy girls.  When is there time for me?  Maybe I can find that a little more. 
  • Blog more often.  I didn't blog much in 2014, mainly due to feeling like I couldn't.  I removed at least three posts last year, either before or after posting them.  I even got in a fight over one post and had to have a long discussion with someone after another.  I want to continue to have my voice on this blog, but do it in the right manner.  I want to write more frequently because for some odd reason, many of you are still reading.  People are still daily coming to this blog and I am not writing.  That needs to end.  I love this blog.  Journaling is very therapeutic for me and has been for the past ten years.