Wednesday, June 26, 2013

In Every Season Some Rain Must Fall

This is a wordy, lengthy post so please hang in there with me until the end.  It has a point, I promise.  I am 32 years old and I've come through so many seasons of life already, but I know that I have only managed to survive a relatively small amount of them in the grand scheme of things.  I've lived through the awkwardness of preteen years (I still shutter to think of those horrendous years); the ups and downs of the teen years; the craziness of college years; early marriage; loss of several close family members including my mother in law; and the pain and suffering of infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss.  However, in all of those seasons of life nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, has prepared me for this season of life...parenting a preschooler. 

We are in a hard season of life right now. Just when I thought we somehow, miraculously and by some grand, devine intervention made it without any signs of the terrible twos...THE TERRIBLE THREES hit us and hit us hard!  My head is spinning and I'm not sure who is doing most of the crying these days, the almost 3 year old or his mommy.  

He has suddenly gone from an easy going, life is alway just a box of chocolates kind of kid to a constant meltdown, my life is terrible and I hate everything around me kind of kid.   THE MELTDOWNS. Oh the meltdowns I'm dealing with are epic and I'm at a loss.  I don't want to give in, but at the same time I don't want to hear the incessant screaming.  He is a perfect child in the morning when he is rested.  He goes to school well and has a great day.  His teachers have nothing but positive things to say about him.  Then, he decides he doesn't need a nap, on a daily basis, and as soon as I pick him up, he goes into this crazy kid that nothing can calm.  I know it is related to 1. Being overtired 2. Being away from home all day and 3. Feeling independent and a sense of being "grown up" now that he is potty trained and called a "big boy" all the time.  However, I'm in a constant game of battle of the wills and a struggle for my sanity.  I'm just in a bad place emotionally right now and I'm physically exhausted. 

I feel like I'm a failure as a mom.  My child cries or argues with me constantly in the few hours we have together in the evening and it is breaking my heart.  I know that every season comes to an end at some point or another and with every rainy season of parenting that we have struggled with so far, the sun does come out eventually.  I'm just ready to see a little blue sky behind this storm in life. 

I love my child with all my heart, but I'm feeling so beat up and worn down right now.  I worry about the transition in a couple of weeks to the 3 year old, big boy, preschool class.  I worry about how he will be every time we go to Sunday school, and I worry about how I should handle his meltdowns.  Ignoring isn't getting it.  Time out isn't working and spanking isn't either.  Taking his toys away doesnt matter to him. He is just so worked up by that point nothing can bring him back down.  Please tell me someone else has dealt with this in a child his age!  I want him to be a happy, healthy, well adjusted child (like he always has been until now). 

I heard this song on the radio last night after one of the hardest nights yet and I just sat in my driveway, listened to it, and I cried.  Big fat sob cry.  It was exactly what I needed to hear right now and it is so true. Thank you Hootie (because Darius will always be Hootie to me) for reminding me that the days are long but the years are short.  

One of these days I will look back on this season (just like I look back on the days of milk/soy allergy and days of constant sickness as an infant and toddler) and think how easy it was in comparison to where we are at that time.  I also know that one day I will turn around and my little man will really be a "big boy" and he will be the 17 year old suiting up for his senior year of football just like "pawpaw's boys" he loves to watch and looks up to now.  As hard as it is, I know it is just a brief, stormy season in many, many seasons of life and that one day the clouds will break and the sun will shine again and I'll look back and smile at the good memories from this season.  I just have to keep remind myself of that. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thoughts For Thursday

1.  I installed the Bible app on my phone and I found the best 5 day devotional series, No More Unglued Mama Mornings.  It has been such a great series for me.  I finish it tomorrow and trying to decide which to read next.

2.  I had an awesome mail day on Saturday!  I ordered a 31 organizer pack to carry as my crossbody for Disney and 3 books I have been dying to read!  I ordered these books on April 14, but forot that if I had them sent supersaver shipping, they wouldn't arrive until after Boo Mama's book came out June 4!  So, I've waited a long time for these, but they have been totally worth the wait so far!

3.  Nicholas tried some Veggie Straws at the pool a couple of weeks ago and loved them!  I was super excited to see them (even if they were just small bags) at Bi-lo when I went grocery shopping this week!

4.  How in this world are we gone 10-11 hours a day and our house continually stays trashed?  I do a load of laundry a night, clean up from dinner, and pick up the house daily, but it seems like my kitchen and living room are a cluttered disaster by Friday.  It's kind of like socks disappearing in the wash, I'll just never understand! 

 5.  I mailed Nicholas' birthday invitations this week and I am IN LOVE with how cute they are!  I will show you the actual invitation after his party, but here is a sneak peak at the mailing labels.  ADORABLE!!!  Have you guessed the theme yet? :-)

6.  Something has attacked my rose bush and another shrub in my front shrub bed.  I was so proud of myself for keeping my roses alive for an entire year! (you could say I am like a hospice unit for plants, you come to my house, you have no chance of survival.)  We have no clue what happened to them, it was a matter of days.  Guess I'm back to having a black thumb. 

7.  It's going to be another 2-3 years before we even plan to build, but lately I am obsessed with looking at house plans.  We know what we want and where we want to build, but I love to plan and dream, so I'm constantly looking at house plans these days.  I'm also obsessed with grey dining rooms and in I cannot look at enough of them!  Sorry if you follow me on Pinterest!  I know you are tired of my house pins. :-)

8.  When my parents sold the home I grew up in almost 9 years ago, I packed up all of my CD collection thinking I would just unpack it as soon as they settled in their new home.  Well, needless to say, I didn't...until last week!  I found these two fabulous finds and it was like 1998 in my car on Thursday and Friday!  I am slightly worried Nicholas may start singing "Shoop"(oops!) soon or at least least "Wide Open Spaces" is a little more age appropriate.  :-)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Praying for Will

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.  Matthew 18:20 

For over a year I've been praying for a sweet little boy who has been facing a big challenge.  Will was born in April 2012 with a rare genetic disorder known as CAMT.  His body has been fighting against itself and in order to save his life, he would need a bone marrow transplant shortly after his 1st birthday.  I have gotten to know his mother, Lindsey through blogging and Twitter and I've been praying for their family and for Will since I "met" her shortly before he was born. 

His sister Kate also has this disorder and has completely healed following her own bone marrow transplant in August 2011. She is now a healthy almost 3 year old!  

Several bloggers and twitter friends have joined together today to pray for Will as he undergoes his transplant at 1:00 CDT.  Someone will be praying for him for 15 minutes throughout the day for 24 hours.  I had the privilege of praying for Will at 12:00 noon EDT. I spent time praying specifically for the procedure, the medical professionals caring for Will, my friend Lindsey, her husband Alex, and Kate. I prayed that God would give them the peace and strength to take this journey with Will and of course, I prayed for sweet Will himself.  I prayed for comfort, strength, rest, a safe procedure without complications, and a recovery without any set backs.  I also chose a scripture to pray in Will's name today:

but those who hope in The Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

Please join us today and pray for this amazing family.  You can read their story on Lindsey's blog.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Being Honest and Being Real

see a lot of posts on social media and blogs that make me wonder "is their life really this perfect?"  Sometimes I worry that I may come across the same way and it has bothered me lately to think that my blog may seem as though I want everyone to think we have this perfect little life that we do not have.  Are we happy and love our life, yes.  Is it perfect in every way, not even close.

God has blessed Michael and I immensely.  We have been given a series of good jobs that have allowed us to live in a nice house, have nice cars, vacations, whatever; but we have worked very long, hard hours for what we have.  Yes, at times I may complain about working or that I am stressed trying to juggle 2 full time jobs of nurse and mommy, but it's just part of being real.  I hope that it doesn't come across that we take these things for granted or that we are not thankful for them. I most definitely am. 

Our marriage isn't perfect. We fight like any other married couple and we have been through a lot in the 12 years we have been together.  Actually we have been through a lot more than a lot of couples that have been married 30 years have been through together.  There is stress in our lives that come from being married, having children, and both of us working full time jobs.  We seem to stay tired and can't keep ahead at home with laundry and housework which would make anyone snap at each other from time to time.  However, at the end of the day yes, we may fuss on and off at times, but we are best friends and love each other.  I just don't see a reason to alert the blog community or FB every time we have a fight.

I think everyone knows by now that Nicholas is no where near perfect.  I have posted about his high energy, spirited personality before and our struggles with naps and potty training.  I don't want to blog every time I have to take his "pirate guys" away for talking back or the fact that we are seriously struggling with who is in charge at our house, but it is happening at our house, just like at every other home with preschool age children all over the world.  

I see a lot of bloggers say that Pinterest and blogs make them feel inadequate.  I have never had an issue with Pinterest, but blogs and twitter can make you feel like a failure in about 10 seconds.  Those that never post anything negative, never have a problem other than what they will order as their next expensive purchase or what their perfect child may have done that day give me serious mommy envy and guilt...until I remember that no one is perfect, no matter how they appear on the Internet!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Behind Again

I warned you I would probably go MIA again last week.  Too bad it lasted through the weekend too.  I had a looooooong week at work and on Thursday I almost had a crying meltdown around lunchtime.  I pretty much never cry at work and it rarely happens, so when it does, you KNOW things aren't going well and you better take cover!  Ha!  Anyway, I'm back now, so let's get caught up.

Nicholas is doing so well potty training!  He is even pooping in the potty most of the time now!  I was so proud of him on Tuesday last week.  He didn't have a single accident, so he got 2 suckers on the way home!  He was pretty proud too!  :-)

Tuesday night we went to our friend Jane's birthday dinner.  Again, Nicholas managed to make us so proud.  He sat like a big boy, ate like a big boy, and made it 9:00, an hour past bedtime!  It's so obvious he is growing up these days. 

Saturday Michael had to work all day. So I braved Office Depot, Party City, and Target with "toddler trouble" (his nickname which was given totally out of love!).  He was so good while getting his party supplies, so I let him go to Toys R Us to look around.  The best part of that story...he told me he had to potty and we went and used a public bathroom TWICE!  No accidents again that public!  Winning! 

Yesterday we went to a really cool birthday party.  A friend of Michael's from high school lives in our area and invited Nicholas to join her son for his 4th birthday at the fire department.  Nicholas was a little shy at first, but once he warmed up to the new kids, he had so much fun!  Hands down his favorite part was the end when they turned on the water from the ladder truck and let the kids play on it. My water lover was the first one to run in!  Of course!  

At the end they got a call and had to go, so the kids got to actually watch them get in their gear, load up and leave.  This same station was one of the ones that came to our fire and it made me tear up to see them load up and think about the family they were going to help.  It's different when you've been that family.  Anyway, back to a happy note, this is how Nicholas ended up and how he rode home!   Times like these I am thankful for 2 backpacks full of shorts and underwear in the car for potty training! Haha!

We got home and put on warm, dry pjs and cuddled in my bed until 8:30 eating cheezits.  Cuddling in my bed has quickly become his favorite thing to do, which I love.

He is such a sweet, loving child and I'm so thankful for that.  I'm just hoping he stays that way, although I'm sure he won't. :-)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

We have had another great weekend and hope you did too!  Michael had to work yesterday until 2, so I finished some laundry and cleaned up the house.  The miracle of the day was that Nicholas slept until...drum roll please...NOON!  My poor buddy has been worn out by the weekend lately because he isn't napping at school and going from 6:45 am - 8:00 pm is killing him.  He slept 15.5 hours Friday night.  I was able to vacuum and unload the dishwasher right outside of his room while he slept!  That is tired!  Good news is, he is at least going to the potty well, so I guess I can sacrifice the naps.  Ha!

When Michael got home we took a chance at the pool.  It was cloudy, but not raining.  Well, within an hour, the sky broke and it started pouring.  As soon as we packed up and ran for the covered area, the sun came back out and it quit.  Figures! 

Nicholas didn't want to wear his puddle jumper, so he had to sit it out by me.  Rules are: must wear puddle jumper or you don't get near the pool.  We don't take any chances here!  I couldn't help but laugh at this, so I took a picture of how he was lying on the chair.  He is seriously the funniest kid I know!

 After the pool the neighbors and their kids came over again this week.   We are truly blessed to have such good neighbors that we enjoy spending time with.  This is the 2nd week in a row that we grilled out and had fun just being together.  We started doing this 4 years ago and we still love hanging out together.

 Today we took our almost 3 year old to Toys R Us to pick out what he wants for his birthday.  Big shocker, but all he seems to want is pirate stuff. Haha!  No one was surprised here!  I also bought his invitations and printables for his party today.  How in this world is this kid almost 3?!  We stopped to get an icee and it was his lucky day, Daddy gave him half of his and he downed it, declaring "I Looooove icees!"  Haha!

 Apparently walking around the toy store is hard work.  This is how we found him on the way home.  Poor buddy FINALLY took a 5:00 in the afternoon!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!  I'm hoping to continue to keep the blog updated, but we will see how that goes!  It is going to be another busy, busy week at work and home.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Potty Training Update

I'm just going to go ahead and say if this is TMI for you or you don't care, quit reading now. :-)

I am still shocked how easily giving up the paci was and I had been dreading attempting to potty train for a long time.  Nicholas showed NO interest for months.  They had decent success at school in pull-ups, but I'm pretty sure it was a peer pressure thing.  Once we got home and his friends were not there, he could care less.  Well as you know from a previous post, we had to have him ready for the 3 year old class by July, so I got started on a weekend we spent at home 4 weeks ago today. 

In that 4 weeks, he is ALMOST potty trained!  He is down to 1 accident a day and it isn't a pee pee accident. Not so bad for just our 4th week working on it! I'm so proud of him and how well he adapts to new things and habits. He is waking up dry from his nap (when he takes one!) and in the morning most days! 

What is the secret to our success, lots of fruit sucks and M&Ms and constant reminders.  He has been telling us over the last week when he has to go at he and that has helped a lot.  We still obviously struggle with pooping in the potty, but I know it will come, so I try not to stress too much over it.  He also loves picking out his undies in the morning.  He will tell me he wants to wear "Jake" or "monsters" or whatever.  He seems to love being a big boy!  Also as a TMI side note, I have been in the nursing profession for 10 years and I've decided cleaning out poopy undies is the grossest thing I've done! Gag!

I am just so proud of him!  He is growing up soooooooo fast.  I can't believe he is already in big boy underwear and no longer in the size 1 swaddler diapers!  My heart gets sad sometimes over that, but the fact I only buy nighttime pull-ups is awesome!  It's like getting a raise!  Ha!  In all seriousness, potty training is hard, takes a lot of patience, and time.  I struggle with patience and this has been a battle for us.  I have to remind myself daily when I clean out his poopy pants, that he is still learning and it's a season of life as a parent.  One day I'll be sad when he doesn't need me to help him potty and he is even more grown up than he is now. :-)