Tuesday, September 27, 2011


This week is humming along after a rough weekend with behavior. M has been getting pretty manipulative and crying a lot, but she also has 3-4 teeth coming in. Typical interaction?

M, put your panties on.
I have to go potty.
So go, please.
I have to watch Blues Clues.
No, you have to obey your mommy. Put your panties on.
I have to go potty.
So go.
I'm hungry.
So put your panties on and go eat the snack you didn't finish.
I want cheese.
No, you have a muffin that you only nibbled. Eat your muffin.
I have to go potty.
So go.
I want my little potty chair.
Nope, it's messy. I put it away. Use the big potty.
I want to watch Blues Clues.
Not until you go potty.
I can't.
Do you want to wear diapers?
Nope, I wear my panties.

This can go on all day. I recognize the lunacy of trying to reason with someone who won't even wear underpants, yet I have to try to get her to make good decisions on her own.

The boys were very difficult on Saturday, and Dan had to work for several hours. They were completely bonkers in church. When we corrected them with verbal reprimand and extra jobs, they pulled the "poor me, you want me to be sad and die" nonsense. Total malarkey. So we added jobs for each "poor me" comment and told them that they can accept correction with a right heart, or they can work all day. One brother got it sooner than the other. Parenting with our issues requires so much consistency, and work seems to be the key for them. I need to stick to the job chart on Saturdays so that it doesn't turn into Lord of the Flies boys in underpants/costumes watching Netflix all day and treating me as a short-order cook. When I make them work, they choose to watch less tv. They find good things to do when they're no longer on the hook for chores. I don't ever intend to give them unlimited screentime, but it happens that way on the weekend if I don't get them busy with some helpful chores. I explained this to Dan today, and he said that he never would've thought of it, but it seems to be the case. Hopefully I can get everyone on board and make this family clean-up a habit. Family mess-making sure is one.

This weekend we'll have my in-laws visiting. They have offered to trade vehicles with us, a minivan for our CR-V. The cars are of similar value and condition, so it's perfect . We're looking forward to a visit with them, and we'll see them again when the baby comes. I'm headed to the OB this afternoon and am hoping for a head-down girlie!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Poor little blog

So this blog has been neglected recently because things have been crazy, and I've been blogging for the local parenting magazine. I blog about food additives, behavior, and toxins in the home. Sort of using my family's sensitivities as a case study in greener sorts of options but trying to make healthier choices accessible for a broader range of families. It's been interesting to put my writing out there to an audience of strangers.

I've also spent some time in the doctor's office taking A-man to his yearly exam, which was really positive. He had previously been thought to have ODD, but it's looking more like ADHD right now, which is easier to manage. The doctor is fine with my natural approach with melatonin-enhanced sleep for more compliance, and he's reasonably supportive of our use of supplements. He does medicate kids with our level of behavior issues (and he saw A on a good day!), but he knows it's not my preference, so he wants us to try therapy first. A-man is in the 70th for height and 55th for weight, so he's growing really well. The school routine is mostly getting easier, and the doctor even got to see him peacefully doing homework.

I checked into the hospital for a few hours of monitoring because I was having what were determined to be panic attacks. They come for no reason and leave me feeling disoriented, sweaty, and anxious. The doctor did several preterm labor tests and found no cause for concern. The trigger seems to be caffeine, which I've been off of for several days now. It is helping a lot. I only seem to get them now in moments of actual stress, but it doesn't take much. I'm doing lots of house/family stuff when I have energy, and I'm crashing when I don't. I'm able to do a bit of community stuff as well, and it's a good outlet.

I usually get into a bit of an emotional funk this time of year, likely because the reality of 8 months mostly indoors makes me anxious. I've got a better support network than a year ago, I'm not wasting my time at moms' groups where I won't find my tribe, and my home and family are more settled. My solution is lots of structured routine for the kids and lots of soup and bread for dinner. Good healthy comfort food!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hoosier odyssey

After several weeks of Facebook private messages floating around, my siblings and I managed to coordinate a surprise party for my parents' 35th anniversary. My family drove to Anderson, Indiana, on Saturday morning and arrived at my sister's home with 30 minutes to spare. Being more Martha than Mary, I was worried that I didn't have the perishable food I needed to share for the party, and unfortunately I missed their arrival, but it was huge! Mom was shocked to see all her grandkids there, including those from GA and WV. We ate lunch at Arin's and went swimming at Mom and Dad's, where Mom whipped up dinner out of nowhere for 17 people. We hadn't made dinner plans, but we all helped get dinner going. We slept at Mom and Dad's, had lunch Sunday morning, and had a nice big photo shoot before hitting the road.

We were so blessed to be able to visit Notre Dame for a while on Sunday night and Monday morning. My best friend's babies are so sweet and so cute! Dan got some resources from the library for an upcoming paper that he's writing, and the kids and I enjoyed reconnecting with our friends who are still there. We tried hard to keep things low-key for the hostess and her new babies, especially since they've been inundated with other guests and travel of their own. The visit was just perfect!

The return trip home was less smooth, but I have to give credit to my patient little crew. We checked back at our hotel, where Dan left his iPod on the bed, but it was apparently made the property of an employee via the finders-keepers principle. Crap. Then we stopped at the store for a few items and hit the road. The Ohio state line was as far as we got before traffic came to a standstill. For at least 90 minutes. The cause appeared to be a fatal accident, judging from the wreckage when we finally passed the crash site. The kids were all incredible little troopers, watching videos and playing DS games. What I learned about travel with my kids is that A-man will most assuredly drive me bonkers unless he has headphones. If he has something to listen to, he is a very happy kid. If he doesn't, he will talk or make bizarre noises with his mouth for the entire trip! $7 well spent, my friends, and the lesson is well-learned. I will not leave the house on a long trip without headphones for him again. He could not go 15-20 seconds without speaking, interrupting, or making noise. This meant no conversation or podcasts for us, which cuts all enjoyment of the trip for us. Even with the major delays on the return trip, all was well because all 3 kids had headphones and an entertainment device. Hallelujah!

Today is all about getting the laundry caught up and getting our week back on track, a challenge since it's a busy one too! I was tempted to go to the laundromat to do it all in one shot, but that would involve hauling my laundry somewhere and probably still take too long. The tortoise and the hare lesson seems to apply here, so I'll keep at it with my slowly dying heating element in my dryer, dagnabbit.