Life Family and the Pursuit of Sanity

or… adventures in infertility and babies and family drama!

Toddlers and Discipline April 27, 2013

Filed under: We're parents? — arminta @ 12:59 am
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Interesting factoid about two year olds of which you may not be aware: They do whatever the fuck they want, whenever the fuck they want and you and your silly rules can go to hell.

 

We had a good day, can you tell?

 

Let me preface this by saying, Lil G and Ladybug are actually not “bad” by toddler standards. They don’t listen like they should and they get into a little mischief here and there, sure, but they don’t do a lot of breaking/wrecking/disobeying on purpose for the fun of it. They are two, which by default means that their little brains simply have not developed the cognitive ability to exercise impulse control in all situations. The fact they exercise impulse control as often as they do is really quite remarkable. Knowing this does not make it any easier on me when we have days where I have toys thrown at my head, I get hit, fishing poles get tangled into light fixtures (don’t ask) and there are lots of toddler vs toddler death matches.

 

When we have days like that, I am not a very good Mommy or Nanny and that needs to change. I have to admit that I had a temper tantrum today and put the kids in a long time out in their beds. I also popped both of the kids on their bum (separate incident, not two punishments for the same incident). I feel HORRIBLE. I spend all day saying “We don’t hit” and “Please don’t scream” only to turn around and scream and hit. I need a new discipline method up in here. I don’t like the one I’m using and it isn’t working anyway. Not that I would like it better if it were…

 

My experience with discipline is primarily of the dad will beat you and mom will scream and flip shit over on you variety. My parents were not “abusive” although, my dad did take corporal punishment a little far. Of course, their parents were far worse, so you live you learn, you improve from the generation before. This is NOT about criticizing the way I was raised, nor anyone else’s discipline methods. If your method is working for your family, then great. I obviously have 0 legs to stand on in the judgement department, and am super glad for you that you found something that works. Also, I don’t necessarily believe that punishment is 100% all bad, all the time. It just doesn’t feel right to me, for these kids at this time.

 

I love these kids. I want them to listen and obey because they WANT to listen and obey. (I get that they are two and their desire to do whatever the hell they please is going to trump their desire to make me happy. It’s not about making me happy.) Or rather, I don’t want it to JUST be a reaction to fear. Let’s face it, at this age they are going to fight, they are going to do whatever they want sometimes. Even when they know it’s not allowed/OK.  The thing I constantly have to remind myself is “they are new here.” Sometimes the lure of Daddy’s fishing poles is just going to be too strong. That doesn’t mean that I have to let them play with the fishing poles, but there are other ways to enforce the boundary than yelling and time outs.

 

Ultimately, the goal is children that exercise self control and exhibit moral/ethical behavior naturally as adults, right? So, I’m researching ways to get there without all of the stuff that I’m feeling negatively about. Again, I’m not talking about being permissive, just disciplining a new way. Because I don’t like ME right now and we sure as shit aren’t making any headway on the behavior front. I think we’re going to start with Mommy having time outs when ever she feels a temper tantrum coming on…

 

Just Bent April 25, 2013

Filed under: Marriage — arminta @ 2:10 am
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Once upon a time the hubs and I used to play a game where we tried to name the artist who’s music best supplied the soundtrack to our relationship. Not necessarily what we listened to the most (although, we did tend to pick from the music we listened to). Usually we came up with things like Jewel and Dave Matthews Band. Because we were young and romantic and in love (and stuck in the 90’s).

Since 2009, though… we both agree that P!nk is holding strong on the whole soundtrack front, though. There are a great many similarities between our relationship and her marriage to Carey Hart (she drinks, they’ve experienced infertility and miscarriage, she has a hateful mouth, he pretty much lived off of her for years), at least according to her songs and media interviews. There are plenty of differences, too (they have money and an insane love of fitness).

 

Our P!nk connection started on July 4th 2009. That was the day G packed all of his shit into the truck and prepared to drive away for good. Emotionally, at that time I was still so numb and raw and angry (oh, I was so angry) about losing Bean. I couldn’t relate to other people, I couldn’t care. But, as he was leaving me (and I was sitting on the couch watching him, numb and pissed and frankly, probably drunk) the song Please Don’t Leave Me came on the radio. When it was almost over, as he was going through our DVD’s trying to decide which ones to take I said “Don’t go.” He made a comment about not taking my “shitty Harry Potter and Twilight movies.” And I said that I didn’t care about the movies, I just wanted him to stay. And he did. Actually, we drove to the horse track (where I got more drunk, I’m sure… I drank A LOT back then) and gambled all day, then had the best dinner at a BBQ that closed down two weeks later. (FYI… if you are ever in Kentucky or Cincinnati, OH and you’re eating at a place that sells burgoo, try it. It is awesome.) We have had more fights since then, but that was the last time either of us has almost left. We celebrate July 4th less as the national holiday and more as our Double D Day.

 

Of course during the worst of our troubles So What was very popular on the radio. I had no trouble relating to that in my anger. Of course, the fact that Cary Hart was in the video told me that they had worked through their issues and were back together or getting back together. Strangely, that gave me hope. Obviously, Sober resonated with me pretty heavily during that time, too. Pretty much the entire Funhouse CD was our story during that time.

 

Then Lil G came and things got better. For a while we were in kind of a bubble. There was trouble, sure, but nothing like what it used to be. Not even close to what it used to be. Then, things got less good again. Not bad like they were. I’m not drinking anymore, for one. (Don’t get me wrong, I drink a bottle of wine a month, maybe two. I used to drink a bottle or two a NIGHT most nights of the week.) As things were getting bad again, P!nk released The Truth About Love and songs like Blow Me (One Last Kiss) and Try really connected with where we were headed. I had been thinking that life would be easier apart. Not because I don’t love him, but because sometimes it’s just SO HARD. We are so different when it comes to parenting and his anxiety is so bad. When his anxiety is bad he get hypochondria, or now he gets hypochondria by proxy and focuses on Lil G. Literally, every night I have to talk him out of taking a healthy child to the ER. We been in marriage counseling for months and it still feels like I am at the bottom of the totem pole around here. SO HARD.

 

Then another song…

 

And it reminded me that nothing is as bad as it seems and we can get past this. We’ve been through worse…

 

 

 

Sunday Night Chit Chat April 22, 2013

Filed under: Grown Up Slam Books — arminta @ 2:11 am
Tags: , ,

Ghost tree at sunset

It’s time for some Sunday night chit chat! Hop on over to Carla’s to play along.

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What are you…

Reading? *Just* started a new book! The One I Left Behind: A Novel by Jennifer McMahon came highly recommended by a girl who took my blood this week. She was reading it when I came into the lab and talked about it the whole time she was taking my blood. So, I have high hopes 🙂 Also, learned you can get free books on the Kindle from the library. Mind = Blown.

Watching? Duck Dynasty is on the TV right now, but I’m not really watching it. I finished the latest season of Parenthood, and am working on Park’s and Rec, now.

Listening to? The TV

Cooking/Baking? Got cheap chicken at the grocery this week, so I cooked and shredded it this morning and made stock. Made buns yesterday. But the big baking project this weekend was the Mudslide Whoopie Pies I made for my cousin’s Girls Night In party last night 🙂 FYI… no baked good can go wrong with three cups of Bailey’s in it!

Happy you accomplished this week? On Tuesday literally *all* of the laundry was done! Of course, all of the laundry soap was gone, too. I also got every surface (I can reach) in my kitchen cleaned off and organized, and got the kids’ art supplies organized.

Looking forward to next week? Tackling the living room!

Thankful for today? Getting closer to vacation, my boy, warm weather

*Bonus Question* Fill in the blank: I am by far the biggest ________ snob! Books. I am so rarely satisfied at the end of a book. For a person that loves bad movies I am a complete snob about books.

 

***

Your turn!! 🙂

  • Reading?
  • Listening to?
  • Watching?
  • Cooking/Baking?
  • Happy you accomplished this week?
  • Looking forward to next week?
  • Thankful for today?
  • *Bonus Question* Fill in the blank: I am by far the biggest ________ snob!

 

Compromise: Haircut Edition April 18, 2013

Filed under: Baby G,We're parents? — arminta @ 2:15 am
Tags: , , ,
It’s no secret that I did NOT want the boy’s hair cut. But, obviously, at some point it was going to have to be done. It was getting in his face in the wind and honestly, the hack job bangs were looking worse and worse as the back got longer. So, we took him in to get it cut…
Sitting in the big chair like a big boy.

 

Being much better for the stylist combing his hair than he ever is for me…

 

First snips!

 

Hey, this is fun!

 

He was so tired, but he couldn’t suck his fingers because she kept getting in his way.

The only thing he really didn’t like about the experience was the hair landing on him. He kept telling her she was making a mess on his knees!

Now, for the big reveal!

Not so different you say? You’re right!

We ended up going with a trim up, rather than a full blown cut. So, the bangs are blended into his hair better and she cut some layers into the back to help with brushing it, but only took about an inch and a half off of the length. Just enough to make it more even and off of his shoulders.

Front view. His hair flips out on one side and in on the other like mine!

 

The mad face. Because he loves making the mad face.
Before
After
 

Diet and Budget April 15, 2013

I don’t know about you guys, but I feel out of control when my diet and budget are off. I can manage for a bit without being too strict, or so I think, then BAM! into the overdraft and gained 10 pounds. Of course, I am not naive enough to believe that it really happened that suddenly, but it still seems to come out of left field all the same.

 

So, I am recommitting. Especially given that our income is lower now (boo!) due to the boys not coming here in the afternoon anymore and my having taken a “vacation” from my Etsy shop for a couple of months. Don’t get me wrong, both of those things were necessary at the time, but I’m feeling ready to pick back up and get back to work. Also, I really hope the boys come back here for the summer. I miss them like crazy. The world is far too quiet without them. OK, I don’t miss the fighting… but, I miss THEM all the same 🙂

 

The budget is getting back on track. I had “relaxed” myself into a little hole, but thankfully, it wasn’t a big hole! The diet is far more concerning. Because? I eat what I consider to be really healthy (almost exclusively homemade, about half organic, no HFCS, no trans fat, no GMO (when possible, obviously the lack of labeling means probably we do consume SOME GMO’s), grass fed meat when possible, minimal white flour/sugar, essentially whole, clean food). Until recently, I also didn’t think portions were an issue. But… when my prednisone bumped up to 30mg, my portions went crazy. Like crazy. I find myself ALWAYS wanting to snack. Right now. I want to snack. And a BIG glass of milk. So, this one is going to be harder. I’ve decided to go ahead and do a food budget! Yes, that just means tracking what I eat and trying to control the calories. So, no, it’s nothing new. But, calling it a budget will trick me into following it, right? We’ll see.

 

My point, I may decide to to some budget and diet updates for accountability sake. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

 

Chit Chat of Undetermined Origins

Filed under: Grown Up Slam Books — arminta @ 3:39 am
Tags: ,

Is it Sunday? Is it Monday? Well, technically, it is Monday, but the sun’s not up, yet and that’s how I tell Lil G we know it’s a new day. But, I’ve been to bed and gotten up. So, yeah, call it whatever day you like.

 

My kid is apparently a social butterfly. Whenever we go places he makes friends and plays games with them. This day he was playing a game with a five year old boy where they had to catch an Angry Bird. Then a couple of days later we went to a Burger King playland and he told two older kids (5 & 8) that he was a dragon and they were knights. Then a little girl came in and he said “Oh good, a princess!” What I wouldn’t give to have that level of imagination back. Or that fearlessness. He just walks up to any ol’ kid and says “Hey kid, mine G, let’s play!”

Very likely the last long hair pic 😦 Daddy scheduled the haircut for Wednesday…

 

On to the chatting!

What are you…

Reading? Almost done with Timeline. Then I’ve decided to re-read the Hunger Games books since there is a new movie coming out.

Watching? Season 3 of Parenthood. It’s like they bottled my worst fears. Throw in a drowned toddler and this season will kill me.

Listening to? Sweet, sweet nothing. Everyone is asleep.

Cooking/baking? Dinner tonight was tacos. Tomorrow is bread day, and I’m thinking about giving tortillas and crackers a go. Why not, right? I’m challenging myself to not go to the store except for milk this week…

Happy you accomplished this week? Laundry? Within one load! I call that caught up. Got my seedlings all potted up. Got one of my surfaces decluttered. Been a pretty successful week.

Looking forward to next week? More organizing. Planning our trip to RI to see Mom. Getting Baby Hooked back up to snuff after going into semi-vacation for a couple of months.

Thankful for today? Orders are already starting to come in. The boy and I can walk to the library without much fuss! We found a playground within walking distance of the house, too! Also, there is this really sweet and handsome boy, and he loves me so much and he calls me Mommy.

*Bonus Question* What is your *ideal* wake up time and what time do you usually wake up? Ideally? I’d like to be up early. But, I’m no early bird. My body will sleep until 10am if I let it. Sometimes on the weekends or if Ladybug isn’t coming, I do sleep that late (Lil G likes to sleep in, like his Mama). But usually I’m up at 7:45am during the week and 9am on the weekend.

***

Ok!! Your turn! 🙂

  • Reading?
  • Watching?
  • Listening to?
  • Cooking/baking?
  • Happy you accomplished this week?
  • Looking forward to next week?
  • Thankful for today?
  • *Bonus Question* What is your *ideal* wake up time and what time do you *usually* wake up?

***

Please head over to Carla’s and play along, k?

 

Sunday Night Chit Chat April 7, 2013

Filed under: Grown Up Slam Books — arminta @ 10:05 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Time for more chit chat! If you want to play along, head over to Carla’s and join in.

 

Playing dino dig OUTSIDE!!!!

 

***

What are you…

Reading?

Still working on Timeline. But, I have a stack of new to me books we picked up for free off of Craigslist waiting in the wings 🙂

Watching?

With The Walking Dead being over 😦 I’m catching up on other shows on Hulu. Right now I’m working on Season 4 of Parenthood. Not the comedy I was planning on getting into!

Listening to?

The dishwasher

Cooking/baking?

Definitely bread and buns tomorrow. Not sure what dinners are going to be next week, but something with cilantro for sure.

Happy you accomplished this week?

Got the laundry within three loads of being caught up! That’s a big deal. Got other cleaning tasks done, but they have all since been UN-done. Got the last of my seedlings started. I am hoping for LOTS of tomatoes and peppers 🙂 Also, got our “cold” bed planted (peas, carrots, radishes, lettuces, cabbages and broccoli).

Looking forward to next week?

Warm! Ladybug will be back. Starting on my new books.

Thankful for today?

A fantastic weekend with my family.

*Bonus Question* What is your regular day to day “outfit”?

Yoga pants and t-shirts. It’s bad. Really bad.

***

Ok, your turn!

  • Reading?
  • Watching?
  • Listening to?
  • Cooking/baking?
  • Happy you accomplished this week?
  • Looking forward to next week?
  • Thankful for today?
  • *Bonus Question* What is your regular day to day “outfit”?