Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Time for a break

I haven't been around much on this little blog o' mine. I think I need a little bloggy break. I'm feeling a bit out of sorts in my "real life", and I'm afraid that if I continue attempting to post on a regular basis that my blog will become a whine-fest or just a big ol' downer. And that's not what I'm here for. Heck, that's not what you're here for. So I'm going to take a break for a little while. I'm sure I'll be posting when something cute or funny happens, but if I tell myself that I'm on a break, then that takes the pressure off to blog regularly. And I'll definitely be keeping up with your blogs and trying to comment to let you know I'm still around.

Love all around.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

You know you are a tired mother of 3 young kids when....

...the oldest child tells you that the youngest child has somehow gained possession of the bag of Goldfish crackers and is eating out of it and you don't go find him to take it away from him before he dumps the whole thing. Instead, you just blog about it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Move along, nothin' to see here

I don't really have a purpose to this post. But I feel like I should post.

So the kids and I have been sick the last few days. We originally thought that kids were sick due to something they ate, but then concluded (after we thought the worst was over and that it was something ate and took them to church) that it might be a bug because I started throwing up and we hadn't eaten the same food since Friday morning. Now I worry that we not only infected the t-ball team, but also three different Sunday school classes, the church choir AND the praise and worship band. Because there is no limit to our friends or our germs.

I'm going to take back all the stuff we bought for Stephen to bribe motivate him to sleep in his room without me being there. He cries about not getting the stuff in the morning, but doesn't care about it at night. And I've had enough of sleeping in bed with Zachary. So I'm taking the stuff back to get a new mattress, and to get poor Zachary a mattress pad. I've been meaning to get him one since he moved to that bed at Christmas, and am only now just realizing how uncomfortable that mattress is. So Mama's getting baby a mattress pad so he can be more comfy.

That's it. See? I really don't have anything to post about.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Zachary burped quite loudly at lunch yesterday. Stephen said, "Zachary, you can control burps! And toots."

Zachary said, "And beavers?"


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Y'all, I'm just. tired.

I'm so frustrated and tired and....I don't know what else. I feel like I'm at the brink of cracking. The last few days I've just felt like I don't know if I can do this for one more second.

We're back to having problems with Stephen. We've had a really hard week, and beyond the frustration of his behavior, I feel like it's putting a strain on our relationship because I don't really like him right now. And I'm sure he doesn't like me because I've lost my cool more than a few times this week. I'm not handling this round of negative behavior as well as the first round. So on top of everything else that I'm feeling, add guilt. Because I feel like I'm wasting time being so frustrated and angry with him. But I certainly can't feel or act like everything's roses, because it's not. Everytime we "fight", it's like I've put a chink in our relationship, in his trust for me, in his ability to be a normal, loving, well-adjusted human being. I can't handle the feeling that everything I do is going to affect who he is and what he does for the rest of his life. Does anyone understand?

And, y'all. I just want to be able to put the children to bed for the night, and crawl in to my bed and sleep all night. But that hasn't happened in over a month and a half. And now they've broken the air mattress I sleep on. Two nights ago, I slept on the air mattress anyway, and by the time I woke up at some point in the night, I was also sleeping on the floor. Lemme tell you how fun that was.

I sit here in tears because I just love that child so much and I hate what's happening. I hate that I don't like him. I hate that so much of my energy goes into disciplining and coaxing and, I have to admit, yelling. I hate that I see that reflected in how he handles everything else....the anger.

I just want things to go back to normal. I don't know how to get there.

I took Stephen to the store yesterday to let him pick out several toys/movies to use as motivation for him to stay in his room while I slept in mine. He picked out some cool stuff. The idea was that he would get one every few days if he stayed in bed all night, and we would work up to the big toys. And then I told him that if he could stay in bed 2 full weeks, we would have a party. I meant it, too. I seriously would want to throw a party if we made it 2 full weeks. I told him that if he couldn't stay in his bed without me being in there, then I was going to take all his toys back so that we could afford a new air mattress. However, we didn't make it one night. I ended up in his room (in bed with Zachary, actually, and sleeping with a three year old has got to be something like sleeping with a large octopus) at about 2am. That's when he told me, "It's okay, Mama. You can take it all back. That's okay." GRRRR!!!! That's SO NOT the point!! I fussed and complained...I didn't go to bed till almost 1am and I was beginning to get dizzy I was so tired. And then I forgot that I had told my neighbor that I would take her daughter to school today so she called and woke me up before 7am. And given that I felt like I was on the brink of losing it altogether yesterday, when I was relatively well-rested and not cranky, I can't imagine what today will bring. I can't stop praying for God's grace and mercy.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Can you feel the love?

Part of a conversation we had this weekend regarding whether or not a fire should be built in the backyard to enhance the "camping out" adventure Sweet Hubby and the kids had this weekend:

"Fine. If you burn this house down, you don't get to live in the new one."

No fire was built, just so you know.

I am Mommy, hear me roar

So as you all know (because I've mentioned once or forty-two times), Stephen started T-ball this year. For the most part, we've had fun with it. But things are starting to take a turn...

I haven't always been impressed with the coach. But I told myself (and Sweet Hubby) that we don't know what it's like trying to teach 12 5-year-olds the intricacies of a ball game. And really, are the details really all that important at this age? But there have been more than a few things happening that make me raise my eyebrows. Like the team mom, the coach's wife, yelling "Son of a b!tch!" from the dugout loud enough for the kids to hear. And the coach on more than one occasion telling his child and one other child that he was going to beat them. And the coach's child shoving Stephen and calling him chicken or stomping on his foot at second base. And the grown-man wannabe coach who laughs at and teases Stephen when he has to go to the bathroom for the fourth time during practice. It's enough to make me queasy, really. And angry. Things like this are exactly the reasons why we're choosing to homeschool. Why in the world would we pay to have our child subjected to it?

Stephen's even getting discouraged by it all. He told me this weekend that he didn't want to go to the game because of "Braaaandon" (which by the way, is not his real name, but it is what Stephen calls him and because of the way this kid has treated Stephen, I've never corrected him). He just doesn't understand. Stephen is loud and bossy and boisterous and exuberant. He's been known to shove one of his brothers a time or two and heaven knows he can yell when he's mad. But he and I both know he would never do that to another child. He's just not the kind of kid to lash out physically. So neither one of us can really understand where these other kids are coming from.

So it's obvious we had a decision to make, Sweet Hubby and I. Sweet Hubby's instinct was to tell Stephen to shove the other kid back when Stephen first got shoved. My instinct is to "turn the other cheek", not seek revenge, and the be the bigger "man". I realize there's a fine line between being confident enough to not fight back and being wimpy and not fighting back, and then consequently being picked on all the time. How do you teach that to a 5 year old? Does a 5 year old even need to learn this? There's a big difference between a 5 year old and a 10 year old learning to handle and defend himself. Honestly, deep down, there's a primal, immature part of me that wants to punch the coach in the face for not handling his own kid better and for not demanding that these kids learn respect and sportsmanship first, before learning how to hit or throw a ball. But I'm clinging to what I know is right, and what we're wanting to teach our children. There are, after all, always watching.

Beyond giving Stephen guidance on how to handle all this, we also had to decide if we were going to continue subjecting him to it. Here's the back and forth we had about it:

There's only a month left in the season.

But there are at least 2 games each week.

If we let him quit, we won't have to teach him this lesson right now when we think he's too young.

If we let him quit, we might be inadvertently teaching him that just because we don't like the people we have to deal with, we can just walk away.

If we keep him in it, someone (us as parents or Stephen) might do something they will regret.

If we keep him in it, we might have the opportunity to show God's love to someone else by the way we handle another bad situation.

Obviously, Sweet Hubby and I are both conflicted about it. But some good has come from it so far. Last practice was when Stephen got shoved. I wasn't at the practice, and on the way home I was asking Stephen a series of questions, trying to get him thinking about it all. Here are parts of our conversation. (Sweet Hubby and I are red, Stephen's blue.)

"So how did it make you feel when Brandon pushed you?"

"I didn't like it."

"Have you ever pushed Zachary?"

Long pause. "No?"

"Yes you have, and do you think Zachary felt the same way you did when Brandon pushed you today?"


"God wants us to do and say things that build people up and help them. Not tear them down."

"Why did Brandon push me like that?"

"It has nothing to do with you, Sweetie. Brandon has a lot of foolishness bound up in his heart and maybe his mom and dad aren't helping him get it out like your mom and dad are."

"Why doesn't Brandon's mom read the bible with him?"

"Well, we don't know that she doesn't. But some people don't do things the way we do them, and that's okay. But that also means that we're given opportunities to show God's love to them so that they know about it, even if they don't read the bible."

"I'm glad you read the bible with me."

And then I melted.

I can kind of see how the hard month that we had with Stephen's behavior and the issues we're having with t-ball are all coming together for Stephen (and I) to have a better understand of what we're supposed to do. And that what how we're raising these little men is actually paying off.

So here's the decision we reached (believe it or not, I actually started this post last week before we made the decision). We're going to have him finish out the season. We're not even going to give him the option to quit. However, one of us will be sitting in the dugout with him at all times (I suspect that that's where most of the misbehavior takes place, and believe me, it's not just Brandon misbehaving) and during practices, Sweet Hubby or one of his grandfathers will stay near him on the field to try to make sure the kids don't lay a hand on each other (any of them, not just ours). Sweet Hubby is as much on board with this as I am, but at first he bristled at the thought of trying to protect Stephen like this. He made the old argument that Mommy and Daddy can't always be there to protect him. I gently reminded him that he's FIVE and if he were 10 or even 7 or 8, that we would be having a different conversation. I think he finally realized that some of us aren't equipped to handle this kind of thing in our 20's. Why in the world would we expect a five year old to be able to?

Monday, April 07, 2008


Remember this post I wrote whining asking advice for how to handle the baby that's into everything all the time? Well, I figured I'd update you a little. I did replace all the books on the bottom shelf of the bookshelf with Marc-Adam's books. He loved that for a while, but has now lost interest in the bookshelf altogether. I also taped a soda bottle cap over the power button on the TV so he can't turn it on and off in record speed while also annoying his brothers. It's a very attractive look, lemme tell ya. However, I couldn't figure out how to cover the rest of the buttons because when I attempted to do so, he was still able to push ALL the buttons at the same time and put our TV into SAP. That was fun. So I had to remove that prototype and now those buttons are still exposed, so he gleefully turns the channels and the volume up and down all the live long day. And sends his brothers into panic attacks. I did also remove the chore cards for good until he's old enough to not be interested. Who knows when that will be.

So, even though most of those "problems" have been resolved, he has now moved on to bigger and better tricks. His new favorite past time is climbing up and standing on the coffee table or kitchen table. He climbs on the coffee table while I'm sitting on the couch and then hurls himself at me so that I have to catch him. This goes on and on, and I can't stop him from doing it. I'm too afraid that he'll do something when I can't catch him and hurt himself. He's also learned that when I'm cooking dinner and can't hold him he can climb up on the kitchen table, stand up, stand dangerously close to the edge and then cry. He knows that I'll come get him every time. And so for those few seconds, he also gets what he wants because he's got my attention.

And the newest trick is really very smart. If there's a seat that he wants and someone else is occupying it, he distracts them out of it. For instance, the other day, Z was sitting on a stool watching his favorite show and minding his business. Marc-Adam decided he wanted that stool (that we have three of, by the way) and started to push and pull and yell at Z to get up. When Zachary held his ground, or his bottom as it may be, Marc-Adam went over to the TV and turned the channel. Zachary got up to turn it back and went back to his seat. But by that time Marc-Adam had already run over and plopped himself on to it. That's really very smart. And funny. To me at least, and only until he uses the same trick on me to get the computer chair.

And an update on Stephen. I'm afraid to say much out of fear that I'm speaking too soon, but the last week has been really good. It seems we've weathered the worst of the attitude. For the most part, he's back to his normal sweet self. He has his moments, but really, don't we all? I'm still sleeping in his room, but I'm not ready to fight that battle yet. I want him to forget about being so oppositional and get back to being more compliant before I try to get out of there totally. Anyway, he's been sweet to both his brothers, too. And yesterday he asked if he could go get his new movie out of the car. I told him no and when he sweetly said, "Yes, ma'am", I praised him big time and told him that not only could he get it out in a little while, but that he could also watch it while eating dinner in the living room (which is a big treat around here). We've been talking a lot about getting out the foolishness, and the other day he told me that he didn't want to be foolish and that he was glad we were getting it out. I just about fell over...I had no idea it was actually sinking in.

Friday, April 04, 2008

They ARE a different species, you know

I think my boys need a little more influence from the younger female variety.

Z: Do bats bite people?

Me: No, they don't usually bite people.

Z: What do they eat? Girls?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I forgot about this....

I bookmarked this link a while back meaning to blog about may think it's the dumbest link ever shared, but I find it fascinating. I guess if you start thinking real hard (which I never have time to do) you could probably start figuring out that we're all related really. But I find these kinds of genetics stories really interesting.

Wordless Wednesday--What you get when the kids get a hold of the camera