Monday, August 30, 2010

Let go

I am a book junkie. I'll admit it; I have an addiction to books. I have a list of books I would like to read that is ALWAYS growing. The list grows every time I go to Costco (I would hate to see what it would all add up to if I actually bought every book that I thought looked interesting or worth reading), read the newspaper (I love reading the book review sections), flip through a magazine in the checkout line . . . pretty much anywhere. More often than not, I will go and request the books through our local library so I can see if they are worth it without breaking the bank (I bet Jeremy is grateful for that). There have been more than a few times I have taken a book back without getting past the first 50 pages, glad the only investment I made was my time.

One of these recent reads I got from the newspaper book reviews, I think. It's called "Confessions of a Slacker Wife" the follow-up to "Confessions of a Slacker Mom". They looked intriguing, so I put in a request and picked them up a few weeks later. They are both incredibly funny and, I think, incredibly insightful into the lives of women as both wives and mothers. The author, Muffy Mead-Ferro (how can you not love someone with the name "Muffy"?), is a total straight shooter and says things that I would bet most women are thinking but don't want to say because they don't want to be thought less of (or maybe it's just me).

The one thing that really stuck out to me was that we, as women, feel that if we are going to do something, we have to do it to a level that will wow the socks off everyone. I feel this way COMPLETELY! If I am going to make a birthday cake, it should look like it belongs on a Food Network Challenge. If I am going to sew a dress for Kylee, it should qualify to be in the next Children's Place catalog. If I am going to scrapbook, then the work I do should be getting published all over the place. If the things I do don't meet this criteria then what's the point? Sadly, I get way to caught up in this frame of mind and drive myself INSANE trying to be amazing at everything. I completely forget why it is that I do these things in the first place; because I enjoy them!!! I love to bake because I enjoy the mixing and measuring and exactness of it all and I certainly don't mind eating the delicious results. I enjoy sewing for the same reason; the measuring and matching pieces and coming out with a finished product that I think is cute and original. I enjoy scrapbooking because I can look back on all our great memories and make them even more beautiful for us to enjoy again and again. With this perfectionist veiwpoint, these activities are creating more stress than they are relieving it (which kind of defeats the purpose of them).

So I have decided to try and talk myself down from my ledge and remind myself to just LET GO. I don't have to have matching hairbows for each of Kylee's outfits and Kadin will love a cake frosted with plain old frosting just as much as one covered in fondant. If I do choose to tackle any of these projects, it will be because I want to, for fun, and not because I am trying to be Super-Mom and show everyone just how amazing I can be. I need to make the commitment now because I know, as we roll into the holiday season, my over-achieving, perfectionist tendencies will kick in and I will go bananas trying to make the perfect centerpiece for my table to coordinate with my tree decorations, and the new throw pillows I am sewing. Just repeat over and over . . . . let go, let go, let go.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One of THOSE days . . .

If you asked me last night, I would have told you that I was having a pretty good week. I have been consistent with keeping up with my scripture reading, family home evening, exercising, keeping the house fairly clean . . . . I was on top of things!!! Then we hit this morning; OUCH!

Kadin has been getting up REALLY early; like pre-6 am early. So we decided that we were going to start setting his alarm again. Instead of setting his alarm to wake him up, we set it for 6:45 or 7 and tell him that he can't leave his room until he hears the music. He can turn on his light and play with his toys quietly, but he can't come out until then. This morning was a little rough, trying to get back into the habit, but we made it. Then we went downstairs and got some breakfast. I really wanted to watch Good Morning America this morning because I have felt so out of touch with the outside world (I joke that if it's not on Disney channel, I don't hear about it). So I told Kadin that after I watched a Mommy show for a little bit, he could watch his Kadin show. That did not go over very well. He whined and screamed and hit . . . which resulted in timeout and him losing the privilege of watching any show. Needless to say, with things going as "smoothly" as they were, I didn't even bother trying to get my workout in.

After getting dressed for the day and doing some chores, we decided to go to playgroup. It was at Magnolia Park and I thought it would be good to let the kids run around in the fountain and just get some energy out. Kylee pitched a fit the whole way there, which was fabulous fun. Kadin was all about it and couldn't wait to get in the water. Kylee was all about the swings, which was alright for a little bit because I could keep an eye on Kadin. Then I had the audacity to try and spray her with sunscreen. She lost it in a major way. Back arching, screaming, kicking; the whole nine yards. I didn't want to keep fighting her (she was starting to bang her head on the rock wall) so I packed the kids up and came home. Kylee screamed the whole way home, so by the time we got there, I was feeling pretty irritable. And it was only going to get better.

Kylee went down for her nap, Kadin got to watch some Ben 10 and then I told him we were going to have quiet time. I would love for a little break in the middle of the day and I think Kadin needs to get better at spending time playing alone and not being dependent on me to keep him entertained and amused. I set his alarm again and told him that he could play in his room and I would go in mine and we would have quiet time until his alarm went off. We did pretty well until his alarm went off early and then I had some trouble getting him to go back in his room. Finally, he went but not without more kicking and screaming. Thankfully he fell asleep!!!

After the kids woke up from their nap, we went to the library to pick up some books we had on hold and return some stuff. Kylee again SCREAMED the whole way there again. Long story short, Kylee screamed in the library, refused to go where I asked and Kadin had a HUGE accident on the chair by the kid's computer. so we rushed home, with me being totally frazzled and frustrated.

After coming home from the library, I thought we would try to redeem the day by taking the kids out on the back porch and letting them paint. Needless to say, in keeping with the theme of the day, it did not go well. Kylee continued with her screaming, Kadin continued with his whining and disobedience and by the time Jeremy got home, I was at THE END!!!

I know that this day is nothing that every mother hasn't experienced at least once and I'm sure I will have many more days like this. Hopefully, they will be few and far between, and I can keep perspective in the middle of them. For now, I am glad it's over and we can start fresh tomorrow.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Live to fight another day

Earlier this week, I decided to try limiting Kylee's binky use to only when she is sleeping. I was tentatively hoping that it would go somewhat smoothly, like Kadin did, but I was soooooo wrong. The first couple days were ok, just a little fussing and whining, but about mid-week, she LOST it. Every morning when I would take the binky from her, she would arch her back and scream. Unconsolable screaming for at least a half-an-hour. Same routine at naptime. So finally on Thursday or Friday, I just gave up and she is now the proud (re)owner of her beloved binky. She keeps an extra close eye on them lately; I think she is suspicious I am going to try and take them away again.

Aimie came into town this week for a quick stop-over on her way down to Medford. While Jeff is doing a rotation in Pennsylvania, she is staying in Oregon with her in-laws and Mom and Dad Sherwood. The kids and I stopped over on Tuesday night to say hi. She is looking super cute, with a cute little round pregnant tummy! Jaxon has gotten so big since we saw him last. He didn't seem to remember us and was a little hesistant about having us there. But within five minutes he and Kadin were wrestling on the floor and having the best time. I'm excited for her to come back this weekend and hang out for a while.

Last night we went up to Jason and Andi's house for a Sherwood family BBQ. It was a lot of fun to hang out there and let the kids play together. Nia was so great with Kylee and Kadin always has a blast with Justis. Kylee was kind of grumpy; I thought it was just because she hadn't really taken a nap that day, but it turns out that it was the beginning of a virus. She had a HORRIBLE night on Friday (Jeremy and I took it in turns to sit up with her on the couch because she refused to sleep in her bed) so we took her in to the doctor on Saturday. He said she had a virus and there was really nothing we could do but wait it out. So this weekend has been pretty lazy; a lot of snuggling on the couch and movies.

With my stellar immune system, I of course picked up her bug almost immediately. I was pretty sniffly and feeling gross today, so Kylee and I stayed home from church. To add insult to injury, while I was making Choffy this morning, I bumped the measuring cup coming out of the microwave and splashed boiling water all over my hand. It is NOT easy trying to wipe your nose, snuggle a baby and hold an ice pack with one hand. Luckily, it wasn't too bad and it has gone down to a slight sting instead of an insane burn.

I am already starting to think of Halloween and Christmas . . . and school hasn't even started!!! I want them to hurry up and get here because I have a lot of fun ideas that I want to do this year, but on the other hand, I need all the time I can get beforehand!

The other fun project on the docket (because I just don't have enough to do) is that Jeremy and I are talking about repainting the house. It started with me wanting to repaint Kylee's room and then Jeremy suggested doing our bedroom and the living room while we were at it. I have a really fun plan for Kylee's room and we are 90% sure about the color for downstairs. I have an idea for our bedroom, but I don't know if Jeremy is sold on it yet. Should be fun to see how it all turns out!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Life is like a roller-coaster . . . so cliche and so overused, but so true. I go through the up of feeling like I am in control and things are running smoothly to the down of frustration and overwhelming stress. Looking at the moments of the day, I would probably say that it wasn't such a great day. But now sitting here, thinking back, it can say that it has been an up day.

Today I decided to not use the TV as a fall-back when the kids are whining and driving me nutso. Usually when Kylee takes a nap, I put on a movie for Kadin and let him watch while I doze off. Today I suggested doing other things, like playing games or reading stories. He did not take it well. Kadin has been going through a rough patch with attittude lately. He starts the day off whining and it doesn't let up for the majority of the day. For some reason his default setting is on "high-pitched whine" and it makes it REALLY hard to stay patient and not scream. But I think part of it has also been my fault; on the days when I don't feel so good, it is easier to take the easy way out and give in rather than pointlessly argue with him. Sure, it's easy, but it causes more problems in the long run. People always say that being a mom is the hardest job in the world, but I would probably have been fired by now. I plan on making more of an effort to not just take the easy way, but do the best thing for our family and kids.

In that spirit, we had Family Home Evening tonight for the first time in a long time (like so long, I think that it was the FIRST time we had it since Kadin was born). We talked about prayer and used Kadin's train set to show how each part of the prayer is a part of the train. Kadin got restless and lost his attention about halfway through, but for the first time I think we did ok. I'm hoping that the more we do it, the better it will get.

Beyond today, we took the kids to Big Truck Day at the local rec center and Kadin had a great time. I think it would have been better if it wasn't ridiculously HOT and we felt like we were melting. Kadin got to climb in the driver's seat and honk the horn of lots of trucks.

If you want to check out our last few months in pictures here are some links:
Victoria B.C.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Picking Blueberries

Today my mom and I took the kids to pick some blueberries and it was a great time. Kadin got really into it and was very careful about only picking the blue ones (he reminded my mom and me about this fact several times). Kylee was a little bit more impatient with the whole affair, faily interested in the buckets at the beginning but then pitching a fit and tossing them around (losing several handfuls of blueberries in the process).

I am trying to play around with my camera a little more and take more "artistic" and interesting pictures rather than just the standard shot. I was inspired by my sister-in-law, Molly, on our family vacation. She takes amazing pictures and tried to give my mom and me a short tutorial on how to take better pictures and use all the tricky functions on our cameras. It's one of my goals to learn how to use my camera more; since Jeremy got me such a great one, I might as well learn how to use it! I am also playing around some in Picasa to edit them differently. Once I get comfortable there, maybe I'll work my way up to PSE . . . we'll see. I'm still a little intimidated from playing around with the trial version. I'll get there!!!
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Revamp and restart

The past couple days I have been listening to some digital scrapbooking podcasts in the car while I run errands and one of them was about incorporating blogging into digital scrapbooking. It really made me think about my poor neglected blog and why I started it in the first place. I have tried different ways of keeping a journal and it always ends up shoved in the back of a drawer or an unopened file on my computer. But for the same reason that I started scrapbooking, journaling is important to me. I want to remember. I want to hang on to all the little moments that make life was it is; the hilarious things that Kadin says out of the blue, the new things that Kylee learns each day, the frustrations of being a stay-at-home mom. So I am revamping my blog and restarting with my resolution to keep writing. I'm hoping that the accountability of having other people read what I write will help me keep up with it!!!!