toddlers

Dear 2 Year Old: You’re Making the Baby Cry


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Dear sweet, precious 2 year old of mine:

I know that you love your baby sister so much that you want to squeeze her, but she doesn’t like having all her insides shoved into her chest.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know that you have this weird ear fetish right now, and you think that other people like having their ears pinched together. But no one likes that.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know you were only trying to give the baby a drink of water because you thought she was thirsty. But I’m sure you know that her mouth is not on top of her head, and now she’s soaking wet.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know you were just chasing bandits on your stick horse, but you trampled the baby and smacked her in the face in the process.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know you were just trying to help her stand up because you wanted her to walk, but her legs aren’t strong enough yet, and neither are you based on how you dropped her.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know you were just trying to give her a hug, but you knocked her down sumo style instead.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know you were trying to help feed the baby, but onion skins are not for eating, and as it turns out, get stuck to the roof of one’s mouth.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know you just wanted to cuddle, but when you climbed in her crib and fell on her, you scared her shitless.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know you were just copying Mommy and pretending to eat her chubby thigh. But when Mommy does it, she doesn’t use her teeth.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know you wanted to teach the baby how to catch, but now she has a black eye.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know you still don’t grasp that pinching people hurts them. But it does.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know you really wanted to play with the baby’s toy even though you have 100 of your own, but damn it she had it first.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know you were only trying to get her dressed, but you have to undo the buttons before trying to ram her head through it.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know you were just trying to give the baby a treat, but she’s too young for chocolate. Now I’m the bad guy who took it away and there is chocolate EVERYWHERE.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know that you just wanted to play hide and go seek and thought that the best place for her to hide would be underneath a blanket, but she hated that.

You’re making the baby cry.

I know you told her to run before you shot the arrow at her, but she can’t even crawl yet.

You’re making the baby cry.

 

In conclusion, my dear, sweet little angel of a toddler: I know that you love your baby, and are confused as to why she starts crying when she hears your angelic, screaming voice coming her way, but for the love of God LEAVE THE BABY ALONE!

Because you’re making the baby cry.


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On Doing a Sam’s Club Run with Children

Shopping has gotten much harder since I’ve had kids. I remember how terrified I was to go to Costco solo after we had our first kid. What if the baby starts crying in the middle of the frozen section because she wants to nurse? Two kids later and I look back at 1 child version of me and think, “What the hell was I scared of? It’s like a vacation when I get to go shopping with just the baby. Babies are easy! What a whimp I was.” Shopping with 2 kids was challenging, but they were both small enough that I could shove them in the cart and still get everything done pretty fast. On a good day, I was able to bang out 6 stops in 4 1/2 hours.

But now? Sam’s Club alone takes me 3 hours. 3 hours! In 1 store! My baby is a cluster feeder and the other two eat like hobbits, so we had to stop to eat before we even started shopping. Then there’s all the bathroom breaks because the first two are potty trained, and let’s be real here–my bladder will never be the same after 3 kids.

There’s no room for Things 1 & 2 in the cart anymore, so I have to let them walk. I believe that leashes are only for dogs, so I have to say a prayer and hope I don’t lose them. The baby started screaming in the car seat, so I had her in my Baby Bjorn. Of course Things 1 & 2 have to touch everything and climb on every display of stacked boxes. We’ve been sick practically all winter, so now my germaphobia is on full alert, and seeing them put their little hands on everything makes me want to panic because all I’m thinking about are all the germs they’re probably gathering and shoving up their noses that they are shamelessly picking.

Their walking speeds are Painfully Slow or Running, with nothing in between. So basically, I spend 3 hours saying, “Don’t touch that / Get down / No / STOP PICKING YOUR NOSE / Please stay with me / We don’t need that / I’m going to leave you if you don’t hurry up / NO!!”, on repeat. God forbid the baby starts fussing, because then I have to add bouncing and singing to my broken record. Plus I have to remember everything that I came to this God forsaken place for?

Nightmare.

After we checked out today, I led everyone to the bathroom because I didn’t want to hear the dreaded, “I need to go potty!” on our way home. And by led, I mean I chased Things 1 & 2 as they darted into the family bathroom without me, while pulling our cart that was literally overflowing with stuff. All I was thinking was, ‘Please don’t be on the toilet without a cover or lock yourselves in!’ Thing 1 pees no problem, but Thing 2 does not. I remembered that I forgot something, so we pick it up and wait in line AGAIN. The lines are now much longer than when we checked out the first time (of course), and the girls are climbing all over a nearby patio set up. After getting them off of that, they proceed to try to steal giant bags of M&M’s. As if I can’t see the 2 pound bright yellow bag.

Then it happens–Thing 2, (who is only 8 days into potty training and not wearing a Pull-Up), says, “I need to go potty!” I turn towards the woman in front of me and explain that despite the overflowing basket I’m lugging, I really only need to buy one thing and can I please go ahead of her so my kid won’t piss herself. She graciously lets me cut and also allows Eowyn to yak her ear off while I’m checking out. I then rush us and our overflowing basket back to the bathroom to have Thing 2 sit on the potty for 5 seconds and declare that she’s done.

All 3 of her names were used as I told her in my scary Mom voice that she was not getting off the toilet until she put pee in the potty. After a full 60 seconds of physically restraining her while still wearing the baby on my chest, she finally pees. Why must they make it so difficult?!!

It’s 9° out, so then we have to go through the production of putting jackets on. And by “we” I mean me. 6 zippers later and we’re all bundled up (why each jacket needs 2 zippers is beyond me). The baby is screaming at this point because she doesn’t want to be in her car seat. I’m not one of those parents who’s grown immune to their baby crying; it instantly stresses me out.

I had just given the Things yet another stern talking to about running away from me, so their pace walking to the door was back to Painfully Slow. The one good thing about having had 2 transactions, was that I had 2 receipts, so there was no fighting over who was going to hand it over to the employee at the door. But then Thing 2 didn’t want to give me the receipt back. While we were standing in between the two sets of exit doors, she starts screaming. Over a receipt.

Enter: Raging Mom. I grabbed her and lifted her up as I said in my piss-your-pants Mom voice, “Don’t. do. this.” I remove the diaper bag that had been occupying the space next to the car seat and shove Thing 2 in. While I’m doing this, Thing 1 is purposely standing in the way of the second set of exit doors with her arms stretched out, letting people go past one at a time. I yell at her to get out of the way while I contemplate how in the hell I’m going to get to the car carrying a diaper bag and ginormous thing of paper towels and push the overflowing cart of screaming children while making sure that the other one doesn’t walk in front of a car.

Then grace stepped in in the form of another mother, who had been lucky enough to come shopping alone. “Can I help you?” she asked.

“Yes, please!” I said.

She grabbed the paper towels and walked me to my car. “Do you need help loading or getting the kids in the car?” she asked.

“No thank you. I’ll be fine once I get them in. Thank you so much!”

That mom caught me in a not so great mom moment: yelling at my tantruming 2 year old and hyper 4 year old while completely ignoring the screaming 4 month old. But she didn’t judge me or pass any condescending looks. She extended some much needed grace to a fellow frazzled mama, and it made a world of difference in my life.

Thank you, Anonymous Mama.

It turned out that I continued to have a tough mama day after we left Sam’s Club. Even though I got us back in time for nap, Things 1 & 2 did not sleep. Thing 2, who had been doing so well with the potty training, took 10 steps backward and had 4 accidents this evening. She even splashed around in the last pee accident, getting it on practically every part of her naked body (she refuses to wear clothes). Since they were overly tired, they were throwing tantrums left and right and fighting with each other the rest of the day. I lost count on how many time outs were given. Neither of them ate the Turkey Corn Chowder that I made from scratch for dinner, and then complained the rest of the night about how hungry they were.

The woman who let me cut in line, the woman who helped me to the car, and my husband doing the dishes despite the discomfort it caused him (he has problems with both wrists, and recently had a surgery on one of them) were the three saving graces of my entire day.

Be kind to your fellow mamas. We’re all trying our best, and sometimes we need help. So if you come across another mom with a screaming kid, don’t just walk past, grateful that it’s not you this time. Help a mama out, because next time–it will be you. And you’ll wish someone would extend you some grace.

And maybe if we all extend grace to someone else, we can start a chain of grace that reaches around the world and breaks through cultural and political divides, in one big hug that brings some happiness into our world.

Wouldn’t that be extraordinary?

25 Ways to Piss Off a Baby Ary

My middle child is the most ridiculous person I have ever met. She’s fiercely independent, over emotional, and runs on extremes: either she’s hot or she’s cold. Yes, that’s right–she’s a two year old. How’d you guess? After putting up with her for 2 years now, I’ve compiled a list of things that are sure fire ways to piss her off, just in case I’m ever feeling malicious one day.

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25 Ways to Piss Off a Baby Ary

  1. Tell her that she can’t have Goldfish for breakfast.
  2. Tell her she has to wear clothes. Baby Ary operates best when naked. Tell her she has to put clothes on, and she acts as if you’re asking her to pick up the 52 cards she threw around the living room. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”
  3. Refuse to allow her to strip naked once you’ve gotten to wherever you were going.
  4. Refuse to undo her car seat straps, because the car is in motion and you don’t want her to die should you get into an accident.
  5. Sing along to songs in the car. She’s decided that adults aren’t aloud to sing. We must endure the never-ending Frozen soundtrack in silence while her and her sister pierce our ear drums with their high belts.
  6. Tell her she can’t have Goldfish for lunch.
  7. Give her Mac ‘n Cheese after she specifically asked you to make her… Mac ‘n Cheese… She now wants a banana for lunch.
  8. Peel the banana for her.
  9. Clean the mashed banana off of her hands, face, hair, chest, arms, legs and feet. Apparently this is the most painful thing in the whole world.
  10. Tell her that she can’t eat her Goldfish in the living room. She must eat them at the table, because that’s the house rule. You know, the house rule that’s been in effect since forever…
  11. Correct her when she calls the afternoon, “morning time”. She knows everything, Mom; you could stand to learn a thing or two from her.
  12. Demand that she pick up after herself. She’ll melt into a puddle on the floor as she declares, “I just tan’t, Mom!” It’ll take about 3 time outs and threats of spankings to get her to pick up one thing. You must go through the cycle of time outs and threats again if you want her to pick up anything else.
  13. Play the wrong episode of Sofia the First. The Emerald Key episode is so yesterday, Mom.
  14. Tell her it’s her sister’s turn to pick a TV show to watch. It doesn’t matter that they both like all the same shows; it’s a matter of respect and principal, Mom!
  15. Insist on changing her diaper when it’s wet. She’s really busy playing her favorite game, “How Many Toys Can I Dump On the Floor?”, and does not want to stop.
  16. Refuse to let her in the bathroom with me. A minute ago she couldn’t care less what I was doing, but now that I’m about to sit on the toilet, she cannot be separated from me.
  17. Say to her, “Hi, Minnie!” when she comes around the corner wearing Minnie Mouse ears. She was pretending the ears were a crown; she’s Queen Elsa right now. Duh, Mom.
  18. If you’re her sister — look at her at the wrong time of day.
  19. If you’re a dog — look at her at the wrong time of day.
  20. If you’re anybody, really — look at her at the wrong time of day.
  21. Tell her that her dress looks nice. How dare you compliment her. She can’t be seen in something that her Mom likes; what will the other toddlers think at the playdate?? Now she has to change.
  22. Tell her that she cannot return the last bite of marshmallow for ice cream instead. You picked marshmallows for dessert kid– live with it.
  23. Rinse her hair during bathtime. I guess the sensation is similar to drowning, because she acts like her life is in danger every time I do it.
  24. Put lotion on her. This, along with being cleaned off, is the most painful thing in the world. Never mind that she spent the entire day flinging her body off of the furniture and crashing onto the floor; suddenly she is quite the fragile flower. “You need be gentol wit me, Mama!”
  25. Allow her blanket to flip up the slightest bit at the end of her bed when you’re tucking her in. She can’t possibly be expected to sleep in such a shamble of a bed!

 

So, anybody in the market for a 2 year old? I’ve got a little angel that I’ll sell to you for free.

I’m kidding, of course.

(But seriously–private message me if you’re interested.)

The First Day of Christmas

Let me start this post by saying that I am not vowing or promising or otherwise saying in any way that I intend to blog every day this month. Inevitably there will come a day where it’s simply impossible. That being said, I’m aiming for at least once a week.

This morning the older two woke up before the baby, and managed to wake me up without disturbing her peaceful slumber. I said a quick prayer over the day: Lord, please let Laurelyn sleep long enough for us to have breakfast and make our advent calendar; please give me patience; please remind me what is really important every time I start to lose my temper so that I may be an effective tool in Your Kingdom. As He is prone to do, God answered my humble prayer. Laurelyn ended up sleeping another 2 hours! We had breakfast (which involved 2 cups of coffee today) and got the supplies for our advent calendar: the box of our new, fresh wreath; a box cutter; envelopes; mounting squares; a hole punch; twine; WASHABLE markers; Frozen stickers.

After I cut the sides of the box off, I let the girls color / sticker-fy them. Then I attached 25 envelopes onto them. I chose to do this with craft mounting squares because it was easy; I didn’t know how much time I had, so I was trying to speed things along without rushing, because then it would be stressful instead of fun. I reminded myself over and over again that if the baby interrupted, it would not be the end of the world; we could just finish it later. And so, I was able to get through our project without stressing out and consequently freaking out at the kids whenever they did kid things (like color themselves instead of the cardboard, fight over markers, fight over coloring space, fight over stickers, etc).

By the time we got to the sticking the envelopes on part, the girls were over it. So I suggested we put in a Christmas movie to watch together. Of course, they each picked different movies. So I put each behind my back and Eowyn picks an arm at random. Ary’s movie was selected, so Eowyn lost her mind and ended up in timeout. I wanted to lose my temper at her ridiculous behavior, but that would hardly send the right message since she was in trouble for losing her temper. Motherhood is full of irony. She ended up sitting alone pouting long after her timeout, but I took a deep breath, calmly told her that she could join us when she wanted but was not allowed to turn the other TV on, went back to Ary and patiently waited. She eventually rejoined us of her own free will, and we had a nice time watching Charlie Brown Christmas together. Laurelyn literally woke up right as I was finished putting the supplies away. Absolutely perfect timing. But then again, God’s timing is always perfect.

I am getting ideas for activities for our advent calendar from a blog that I found via a Google search. I’m not just cutting and pasting completely; I’m changing some things up with my own ideas too. But this post is a great foundation to start off of.

All three girls actually managed to nap at the same time, and Laurelyn was not sleeping on me, which NEVER happens. I think that was our first Christmas miracle! So I used the 40 minutes I had before I had to wake Eowyn up for dance class, (Ary didn’t fall asleep right away, so I spent the first hour of nap time putting her back in bed while I nursed Laurelyn), to cut and write out as many cards for our envelopes as possible. I was able to get the first 9 written out, but only had time to shove the first one in the envelope. I dug out mini candy canes from last Christmas and shoved two of those in there.

My random act of kindness for the day was a note and candy for the lady that tends the front desk at Eowyn’s dance studio. I know how much work it is to stay on top of all the administrative duties, and she also teaches a class, and is in the studio’s Nutcracker production. She works hard and despite being obviously exhausted all the time, is always nice. I wrote that out during nap as well, and used leftover pinata candy from our Frozen party last week. This literally cost me nothing extra but my time.

She looked especially tired today; her smile was heavy this time, but as always, was present as she asked how she could help me. I paid my tuition and slipped her my note. She came up to me halfway through dance class, and she looked completely refreshed. She had a smile from ear to ear as she thanked me for my note, telling me how much it meant to her. I am so happy that God was able to use my simple little note to brighten her day.

Since Eowyn is only 4, the best way that I can think of to teach her about random acts of kindness aside from example, is to point out when she does something nice out of her own free will. That way she’ll form connections and begin to think of her own ideas for random acts on her own. Her dance teacher is 8 months pregnant right now. Before leaving class, Eowyn went up to her teacher to give her a hug and then put her arms around her pregnant belly and said, “Bye, baby!” Her teacher looked like she was going to cry because she was so touched. While I was making dinner tonight, Eowyn took stickers that she got for her birthday and gave one to each of us (Laurelyn actually got 2). Both things I pointed out to her as random acts of kindness, or ‘the power of doing good’ which is what she calls it.

Time got away from me once we got home, so we didn’t get around to opening the day’s envelope on our advent calendar until 10 minutes before bath time. Of course, they fought over who got to open the envelope. Since they were both yanking on it, the candy canes fell on the floor and broke into pieces. Then they were so distracted by their excitement over the candy that it was hard to get them to pay attention to the card. I told them they weren’t allowed to eat the candy until after we did the activity, so we got them to listen. Kind of.

Day 1

Day 1

The ‘Whisper Game’ is the telephone game that we played as kids, where you sit around in a circle on the floor and have one person whisper something in their neighbor’s ear and the last person in the line says the message out loud. I thought this would be the best way to demonstrate the prophesy of Christ being born being whispered from the prophets throughout the years. The line started with me and ended with Ary, so it took a few turns before she got the message of “Jesus is born”, but she got it! The girls ate their candy canes and then we announced that it was bedtime.

“That’s it?”, Eowyn asked.

“Well, yeah, sweetie. We did our activity and you guys had your candy. That’s it for today.”

“But we didn’t do a craft!”

“I never said that we were going to do a craft every day; just that we would do an activity every day.”

“No! I want to do a craft!”

Great. She hates it already.

They did enjoy the activity, I think the problem was that it just wasn’t long enough. Note to self: don’t start advent activities 10 minutes before bath.

After the kids were in bed, I put the other 8 cards in their envelopes and got the candy canes out. I popped one in my mouth before putting more in the other envelopes to discover that they were a bit soft. I gave my kids old candy that tasted a bit old! Mom fail. I chucked those and filled the envelopes with candy from their pinata grabs from a party they went to yesterday. Takcy, I know. But at least there’s candy in there for them to find! Like I said, I’m making this up as I go along.

So here’s our advent calendar:

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Yes, those are princess stickers on the envelopes. What do princesses have to do with Christmas? Absolutely nothing, but it’s what we have on hand. Hopefully I can get the rest of the cards written out tomorrow so it’ll be done.

How did you go out of your way to touch someone today?

 

 

Related Posts:

The Second Day of Christmas

A Christmas Pledge

For the Days When You Have Cookies and Beer For Dinner

We just had our 3rd baby a week ago. Whether it’s your first baby or your third, bringing a new tiny human into your life is a huge adjustment. They completely disrupt your routine, throwing everything into a temporary chaos until a new balance can be found. It’s a stressful process, which I’m discovering gets more complicated with each child. For the older kids also feel the stress of change and don’t know how to process it. Although our 3 & 2 year old girls love their new sister, they miss Mom and Dad’s attention that just got divided to include the newest addition.

I ended up hemorrhaging with this birth and lost a liter and a half of blood. Two units of blood transfusions got my hemoglobin up to 8.9 (normal being 12), but it could take anywhere from 4-8 weeks for me to feel 100%. Until then, I’m going to be low energy and in need of rest. Which my 3 and 2 year olds don’t understand. “I need Mommy!” the 2 year old cries out all day. “But you’re not pregnant anymore Mom. Why can’t you run with me?” the 3 year old asks. It’s not that I don’t have help; my husband and extended family have been amazing. But sometimes the kids just want their Mom. So I push myself and try to do little things with them, even though all I have the energy to do is sit and watch Netflix. I make an extra trip up the stairs to be there for our bedtime story. But kids want ALL of you, and the little that I’m able to offer right now isn’t enough. They don’t understand that my whole body aches from the struggle of bringing a new life into this world. A painful process that almost killed me this time. And because they’re toddlers and are still learning how to express and process their emotions, their stress and frustration manifest into misbehavior and fits. Loud fits. Which is stressful, and makes you lose your temper because you’re exhausted, and in my case running off fumes.

Today there were a lot of fits. My dad had been staying with us, but had to go home today. So the kids were sad about that. My mom is flying out today to visit, but her flight got delayed so she won’t be getting in until after bedtime. Big fit about that. There were countless fights over what we were going to watch on TV and over toys that they both suddenly couldn’t live without because the other had it, making it instantly irresistible. Even though Dad took them outside to run off energy, they didn’t take a nap. Dance class got cancelled, so the world was over. The 2 year has started randomly crying over literally nothing, multiple times throughout the day. The house is a DISASTER. They are fighting us on every little thing because their little toddler worlds are upside down and they’re desperately trying to control something.

So on days like this when the kids are being a total nightmare and you’ve lost your temper with them more times than you can count, there’s only one way to handle it. Make cookies with your monsters. Even though they will make a mess. Even though the 2 year old will sneeze on the dough. Even though the last thing they need is sugar. Make the cookies. Put them on a plate, cuddle up with your kids in front of Cinderella III even though you hate that movie, and throw out your rules of not eating on the couch or eating dessert before dinner, and have cookies for dinner. Don’t stress about the crumbs; the dogs will take care of them. Chase it with a beer and leftover pizza and Chinese food and lots of GRACE.

Grace for your children who don’t know any better.

Grace for your spouse who is also stressed and doing the best they can.

Grace for YOURSELF. You’re only human and can only do so much. Give yourself a break.

Especially when the 3 year old accidentally spills an entire cup of orange juice all over the dinner table which happens to have your brand new laptop on it. Anyone would lose their shit. After you calm down and apologize to the 3 year old, remember to forgive yourself.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares for you.

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Allow yourself to feel horribly flawed but not be defined by it. Everyone has bad days. This too shall pass.

And do your best to focus on the good, because it’s worth the struggle and the fight.

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My Eggo is Prego: 35 Weeks

35 Weeks

35 Weeks

Notice my adorable Fall sweater top? The weather here has been absolutely GORGEOUS! I’ve been ready for fall since the beginning of August. Let’s just say that being in your third trimester during summer sucks… Although I have to admit that we did have a really nice summer. I think the hottest it ever got was 90 degrees, and we only had like 2 of those days. The humidity was not as bad as I was anticipating it to be either. The natives say that they normally get more humidity, so this was another weather abnormality. But for once it was in our favor.

This week’s been tough physically for me; lots of contractions and the pelvic pressure is intensifying. I can waddle with the best of them now.

waddle

Actually, these guys are definitely faster than me.

Speaking of faster than me–it is getting more difficult to keep up with Ary. I mean if I’m being honest with myself, she’s been 2 steps ahead of me since I got pregnant with her. But now that I’m-GASP!-in the last week of my 8th month of pregnancy, she’s like 20 steps ahead of me. Literally. All the time. I have to sneak up on her to grab her for a diaper change, because if she sees me coming, she runs behind the couch which I’ve been too big to squeeze behind for months now. I’m seriously considering buying one of those kid leash things. Not really. But I mean, I think she would like it (hypothetically of course). I could tell her it was a game; she could pretend to be a puppy. All day long.

Despite my body slowing down and being a pain to live in, I’ve still been doing my best to get the kids outside as much as I can.

Having popsicles with their neighbor friends

Having popsicles with their neighbor friends

We turned away for 1 minute and she climbs on  the four wheeler

We turned away for 1 minute and she climbed on the four wheeler

Mind you, we have not made it outside every day. Friday for instance, I would get contractions every time I was on my feet longer than a minute. They would only go away if I sat down. So we watched movies (including, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which is one of my favorite fall traditions) and read books and they played with their toys when they were bored of sitting. Of course it was the end of the world to Eowyn that she couldn’t go outside, but I wasn’t about to chase after them in my state and Tyler’s been swamped with work this week, so what are you going to do? We’ve definitely had fast food for dinner twice this week, because I just didn’t have the stamina to cook through contractions after I’d been having them all day.

Ary has decided that naps are dumb again, so I’ve been dealing with that frustration this week. They haven’t taken naps for the majority of this last week and it has really pushed me to my limit to fight with them for an hour over something that has always been a part of our routine. I don’t understand how one day they can be with the program and the next day go back 10 steps and need bed training all over again. You would think that once you set up a routine that that would be it, but they will change on you and the fight begins again.

Saturday was particularly hard. I had taken the girls outside to play for about an hour in between lunch and nap time even though I was uncomfortable and only wanted to sit down, in the hopes that it would tire them out enough to ensure a nap. None of Eowyn’s friends could play, but after she pouted about that, we had a nice time together. They rode bikes/princess cars; went on the swings; and then we walked around our entire 1 acre lot collecting leaves that have changed color. But despite all of the physical activity, Ary still was getting out of her bed during nap. I lost count of how many times I had to go in there to put her back in bed. The thing with Ary is that she can be very difficult to discipline because when she sets her mind to something, no amount of time outs or spankings will detour her. This is the case with bed training–I’ve tried time outs and spankings and scary Mommy voice, but she still stubbornly continues to try to sneak into her sister’s bed once she’s stopped crying. So I spent an hour putting her back in her bed repeatedly and all for not. They ended up not taking a nap. Also–it hurts to pick Ary up. For the past 3 months I’ve had pain in my right elbow. My doctor says it’s tennis elbow; probably a side effect of things loosening due to the pregnancy. It wasn’t too bad at first, but it’s gotten pretty bad. I’m taking magnesium/potassium supplements for it and stretching it, both of which seem to help.  So not only was I extremely frustrated, my elbow was killing me and my pelvic muscles were burning from all of the pressure.

I threw my maternity brace on and then had to jump right into making dinner, but first I had to wash a bunch of dishes that had piled up because of my increased discomfort and Tyler’s increased work load. I had taken away TV and dessert for not napping (it wasn’t just Ary who had been acting up; Eowyn was sassing me too), so the kids were left to their own devices while I got to work. They were both nagging me the whole time about when dinner was going to be ready because apparently they were starving to death, and kept running around the kitchen island despite me yelling at them not to. Then Eowyn comes into the kitchen to ask if she can help me make dinner. I tell her no because if I let her come and help then I also have to let Ary come and help. Anyone who has cooked with toddlers will tell you that you have to be in a patient mood going into it because it’s stressful and the exact opposite of helpful. Given what they had already put me through, I knew that I was not in a state to cook with them as well. Eowyn didn’t take hearing ‘no’ very well and started throwing a fit. She then retreated to her play room and came back 5 minutes later with a sweet-as-pie smile on her face. “Mom, I have a surprise for you! I cleaned up my special room.” I go look in her special room and find this:

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Hell hath no fury like a pissed off 3 year old. I literally started crying when I saw this because I was already so stressed and worn out. It all went down hill from there. I went back into the kitchen to find Ary standing in a puddle of water. She can now reach the water dispenser that’s on the outside of our freezer door, and plays with it whenever she gets a chance. After I cleaned that up, she started climbing everything imaginable: up her bookcase to get to the window above it, on the kitchen table, on the coffee table, on the kitchen counters. She also kept trying to touch the oven while the biscuits were baking, completely ignoring me yelling, “NO!” at her. Somehow dinner got made, and after we ate, I sat on the couch with my feet up and supervised Eowyn’s clean up job to make sure she put everything back where it belonged. It took her almost an hour and a half to pick everything up, but she did it. Then they got put down for bed right afterwards. Ary only got out of her bed twice, and then they gave in to their delirium and passed out.

With how miserable I’ve been feeling physically, having this added stress of fighting over nap time has really pushed me to my limits. Sometimes I wonder what would be more stressful: to continue being pregnant and uncomfortable with the stress of the girls or to have the stress of the girls plus a newborn but not be so uncomfortable physically. I genuinely don’t know which I would prefer. For the first time, I’m actually scared to have the baby out because I honestly don’t know how and if I’m going to cope with 3 kids. But I know that God never puts us in situations that are beyond our ability to handle (though they may push us to our breaking point). I know that God has a plan for good for our family. I know that He is taking every step with me. Therefore even though I don’t understand how it’s going to work out, I know that we will be just fine.

And I know that He holds every one of my tears in His hands, because things like this keep happening: this is my Timehop for today…

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Baby Stats:

-Baby is about 18 inches long and around 5 1/4 pounds, about the size of a honeydew melon

-Baby is starting to run out of space because of his/her size (although he/she is not head down yet and is still swimming around to my discomfort)

-The kidneys are fully developed now

-The liver can process some waste products

-Most of the physical development is now complete. The next month is all about putting on the fat and maturing the lungs

 

Here’s to more beautiful fall colors and sunsets!

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