Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Stress

I have to admit that I didn't have as Merry a Christmas as I wanted.

I hate to admit it because I want appear to have that "perfect" life that I feel like I should be having but I realize that I'm not perfect and I need to stop trying so hard to be.

Jerry, the kids and I (along with my niece, Mia) and Santa
I think that my expectations of Christmas are set too high.  As an adult, Christmas just doesn't hold the same magic that it does when you are a little kid.  It is a lot of work.  It is a lot of stress.  It is a lot of planning and preparing and wrapping and packing and praying. Even when you have all that done perfectly, you can't control the things that you have no control over - like how long mass will last or which of your 2 year old sons will scream his head off because he would rather eat chocolate than Christmas dinner.  Oddly enough, I think I handled those things pretty well . . . I'm not sure why I felt so down on Christmas Day, but it was a lot worse than I would have EVER expected it to be.

I made sure that the kids had a Merry Christmas and even Jerry had one!  They LOVE the X-Box 360 and Kinect.  (I LOVE watching them play with them!!!  It's hysterical! Jerry is in his GLORY playing Halo again!)  It really is great to give to others and I'm so glad that they had an amazing Christmas!

I'm not sure why that didn't make me ecstatic.  I loved seeing their faces Christmas morning!  I loved hearing the laughs, squeals and giggles.  I loved hearing how happy they were!  (Except Danika . . . she told me Santa didn't understand her because she said she wanted a BARBIE doll house not a regular doll house.  :)

Then it was over.  The over part of it kind of hit me like a ton of bricks.  That, and the fact that I forgot to take my "happy pills" for 2 days in a row because I was too tired to remember and too busy to realize I forgot, made for a weepy, stressed out, puffy eyed me at Christmas dinner.

I'm better now.  I'm actually really excited about the new year and plan on taking it on full force with a whole new plan/outlook on how to get things done!!!  I'm not going to set myself up for disappointment but I have high hopes for this new year!

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Still Searching for that Magical Fix All . . .

You may remember when I talked about the whining problem we have at our house and how I was hoping to find something to fix it.  It's not that I have horrible children.  They are genuinely good kids and usually know how to behave but the CONSTANT whining and fighting is KILLING me!!!

I know they are cute:

but I still wanted some help getting them in shape a bit.

During my search, I stumbled upon the book:

Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman (click on the link for the GoodReads page with some review)

and have to say that I've already found the first chapter (titled: Monday) inspirational . . . as well as practical and kind of common sense.  Although I already knew a lot of the things I read in the book (I haven't started Tuesday, yet) I feel like I need a little bit of support putting some of the things into practice.  It's a lot easier to say you are not going to give in than it is to really stand your ground and NOT give the wailing 4 year old "just one piece of candy" before dinner. . . especially, when you have her 2, 2 year old, brothers wailing behind her.

However, Dr. Leman makes a point that I already know . . . if I'm consistent and stand my ground then I will only have to fight a few battles rather than battle with them my whole life.  They will know that I mean business.  

I also love that he talks about how it isn't REALLY our job to make our children happy ALL the time.  It is actually okay for them to be upset, disappointed, angry or even a little bit sad.  I hate to see my children that way, but I also know that life isn't going to always be there to protect and provide for them like Jerry and I do. That doesn't mean I'm going to make them start paying rent right now or make their own dinners but it does mean that they will be responsible for consequences of their actions.  (It also means there will be a lot of crying, fighting and screaming while we try to revamp our parenting style and put some of this into play. . . . good thing aspirin was on sale at GE a few weeks ago and I stocked up!)

So, today's little experiment ended up being with Danika.  Here's how it went...

Me:  Danika, can you please get me 2 diapers so that I can change your brothers and get them down for their nap?

Danika:  Can't you get them yourself?  You always ask me to do everything.

Me:  So, you are telling me that you won't get the diapers for me and that you don't want to help me anymore?  How would you feel if I didn't help you anymore?

Danika:  You just want me to get the diapers.  Why don't you just go get them?

Me:  Okay, but then the next time you ask for my help I am going to tell you no.

Danika: Fine.

So, I went and got the diapers and changed the boys.  I put them down for their nap and went into the kitchen for a drink.  Danika followed me with the remote control.

Danika:  I want to watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Me:  Go ahead. (as I mosey on up to my laptop and pull out my chair)

Danika:  I need you to turn it on for me.

Me:  Can't you do it yourself?

Danika:  No.

Me:  Hmm...maybe you should have thought of that before you said you couldn't help me with the diapers.  Sorry.

What followed was kind of cool.  Danika looked shocked and kind of hurt (okay, I'm not saying that seeing my daughter hurt was fun).  Then, she started to cry a little . . . but it wasn't the big sobs that she usually throws at me when she wants something and doesn't get her way.  This time, it was kind of like a "I know I screwed up" whimper.  She went into the living room and found something else to do and Rudolph still isn't on.

Do I think I won that one?  Not necessarily...we will have to see what happens.  It will depend on if she will help me the next time I need something or not.  I will say that it felt good to set a consequence and follow through with it, though.  It was so immediate that I know she understood.

I'll keep you posted and am hoping to read Tuesday later tonight!  :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holy Bloggy Break!

It's almost (but not quite) a month since I've posted a blog post . . . and I really, truly have missed blogging.  I could try to make excuses for why I haven't blogged and blame my kids . . . they have been SICK SICK SICK for the past month or so.  They were even kind enough to pass the sickness on to me so that I had to spend Thanksgiving Eve praying to the porcelain god.  (I remember Thanksgiving Eves of the past where I also said a few prayers to that deity, but this was no where near as much fun beforehand).

I could blame it on that . . . but I also could have gotten my butt to my laptop a few days after being sick and just jotted a post or two.  The truth is, I just haven't "felt" it lately.  I haven't been myself lately.  I have been more stressed out than usual and a lot more scatterbrained.

The twins have been horrific when I'm home alone with them - they've been pretty horrific when Jerry is home with me, too...however, they seem to be really happy when I'm not around.  I'm starting to get a complex about it.  The thing is, they want my attention all to themselves and when I try to make breakfast, lunch, heat up dinner, sit down at my laptop or start to clip some coupons they go NUTS!  They want to be on my lap, they want to see what I'm doing and they want to help.  It's exhausting and frustrating.

Here's just a few of the things you missed around here!

  • Thanksgiving went really well after I was done throwing's a picture (NOT of me throwing up)                                                                                                                                                                                         Loch, Porter, Nate, Danika and Mia at Thanksgiving . . .
  • I'm done Christmas shopping - well . . . that's not 100% true, I still have to go and buy stuff to put in the kids stockings.  The major stuff is taken care of and I've already WRAPPED everything, too!!!
  • Tinsel and Holly (our Magic Elf elves) have been up to their old tricks again...the kids seem less excited about it this year but still run downstairs EVERY morning to see what Tinsel and Holly did that night.  Here's some of my favorites:

  • Tonight, Tinsel and Holly were able to sneak out of the house somehow and hop in Santa's sleigh while he was following the firetruck around handing out animal crackers!!!  Nate and Danika's faces were priceless and I really really wish I would have had a camera.
  • School and work are winding down and I'm REALLY excited about having some extra time off to hang out as a family this year!
I think that's it...lame, huh?  Oh well, it got me typing again and I'm sure that I will be back again soon!