Thursday, November 7, 2013
Over the past two weeks... no let me go back. Two Sundays ago we were sitting in church and Allen left to use the restroom, leaving me with all four kidos on my own. Ephram has reached the age where sitting for longer than five minutes is impossible, the girls were fighting over a crayon and the meeting was wrapping up which means packing up the church bag. I was starting to feel like the world was closing in on me when a sweet sister in the ward slipped into the pew next to my girls. They stopped fighting and started talking quietly to this sweet lady (she leads the music in primary, so they know her really well). She helped them clean up their crayons and put them in the bag. It gave me a tiny breather and helped me feel so cared for. At that moment I looked over to see what Riley was up to. He was quietly reading the Friend (a church publication for children). I saw the title of the article he was reading: He Calmed the Tempest. This hit me like a ton of bricks. It honestly took my breath away. This tiny sentence was there as a message just for me from my Father in Heaven.
He calmed the tempest. The story is from Mathew 8:23-27. To paraphrase: Christ and his disciples went on a ship so the Master could rest. As He was resting a Tempest or huge storm came up. This storm was so violent that the waves were covering the ship. Many of the disciples were fisherman. Seasoned in working on ships, and they were afraid that the waves would sink the ship. I can see them doing their best, using all their skills and learning to save themselves from the terrible storm. They couldn't understand how Christ could sleep though such a storm.
Finally they woke Him up and said: "We perish". In more modern English I think it would have come across like this: "We are all going to die!!!!" But that's just me.
Christ got up and said to them: "Why are ye fearful, o ye of little faith." This was the Master. The sea would not swallow Him up. He then arose and rebuked (express sharp disapproval) the winds and the sea. In my mind's eye and can see the wind being naughty and being told to go to time out for throwing a temper tantrum. And then there was a great calm.
This has been kicking around my head for the last two weeks. The word tempest means: a violent windy storm. I have felt that storm. When the noise and the chaos gets to be too much and I feel like I'm about to scream if something doesn't stop, I have felt the tempest. When the walls around me are closing in and I am feeling flustered and upset, I have felt the tempest.
I guess what got me was while things around me may not change the Lord can calm the storm inside of me. If Christ can tell a horrible storm that made fisherman scared, why can't He help me to calm my mind when things are going too fast or when things are too loud.
I am so grateful for this moment and the several moments I've had since. It has helped me to know that I matter. Even when my problems seem small compared to others, they feel SO big to me. I know my Savior is mindful of me, and knows what I need. Isn't that a wonderful thing?
Friday, September 13, 2013
But I have some stuff rattling around in my head, and I felt the need to put it on paper/screen. To get it out of my head and clear out some space for other things. So, hopefully this post will look OK and not get lost in cyber space. So, what has been rattling around in my little super Grover mommy mind? I'm so glad you asked. I've been thinking about several things lately. With the start of a new school year I thought about all the changes and challenges that it would bring. How important friends are to my well being. And today, I'm grateful for the sunshine.
School started three weeks ago. This year we contemplated the idea of homeschooling Riley. This went on right to the day school started. I still don't know if we did the right thing, but we sent him to school. I needed him to go. Which makes me feel a little sad. He is a really good kid, but with him home everything is more. And sometimes mommies need things for a few hours of things being less. Now just letting go of the guilt and everyone can be happier.
I have been wondering why, as moms or really as women, we like to hold on to the guilt. We sometimes wear it like a badge of dishonor. "I'm not good enough, I'm not working hard enough, my kids aren't doing enough" I think a little guilt is a good thing, it keeps us motivated, to know that there is still room to improve. But really, why do I hold on to it when the issue is dead and over. And not just "mostly dead" but all dead.
So it is time to let go of the guilt that I didn't do enough to prepare my oldest for kindergarten, that he has a learning and behavior challenges that are not caused by me. That it is just how he is and that we have to learn to work with it, instead of against it. That even though he didn't go to any kind of preschool, it really doesn't effect him now. For heaven sake, he's in 3rd grade now! LET IT GO! I'm going to work on embracing this challenge, 'cause it isn't going anywhere.
It's been really interesting to have three in school this year. I know that as time goes on, life is going to just get busier. I can't even begin to imagine what life will be like when my sweet little Ephram starts school and I have kids in high school, middle school and elementary school! Right now I have 2 in elementary and one in preschool and it's crazy. My sweet Emmaline has afternoon kindergarten and little Beka Sue has morning preschool. So, on Tuesdays and Thursdays we spend a crazy amount of time in the van. At first I was disappointed that Em had afternoon school, but it really has been a wonderful thing. I get to have an hour or so of time just with her (little E goes down for a nap). And in the afternoons I have time for just Beka. So, I guess my Heavenly Father really did know what we needed. It has done so much to ease the guilt of not spending the one on one time they all seem to crave.
|portrait by Erin Hatch Photography|
Yesterday, one of my dearest mommy friends moved away. Really, she was one of my only mommy friends. And I miss her already. It made me think about how much we need that sisterhood. I will forever be grateful that my sweet Erin made me be her friend. She would call me and invite me to things. She would come over and visit. We had many things in common: our kids are close to the same ages, we both had an oldest child that challenged us everyday, and we both loved photography and music. It was wonderful to have someone to call when I just couldn't have my kids with me and she was happy to have them come over play. To have that friend that when things were just hard, she always helped me fill my cup. When wonderful things happened I could celebrate with. And even though she is moving so far away, I know that though the power of technology, we will stay in touch. It just wont be the same
Isn't technology wonderful! Today a dear friend from high school wrote about her oldest son's birthday. He just turned 18, and I was there the day he was born. Without technology and Facebook we wouldn't have stayed in touch. She was a big part of my last year of high school, and I loved her like a sister. I loved her through her hard choices and did my best to make sure in my small way that she was taken care of. She gave me friendship and advice and acceptance. I love when life comes back around and we see our sweet sisters again.
Sisterhood is so important. That friendship is so vital to each of us I think. It gives us the power to be the Super Grover Mommies we want to be. I know that for my well being I need to get out of myself and start looking for other sisters around me that the Lord has placed in my life. I need to get out of my head. For me this is hard. Frequently, I have an argument in my head that goes something like this:
|portrait by Erin Hatch Photography|
Monday, July 1, 2013
Summertime is in full swing here. We are currently in the middle of a heat wave of epic proportions! I understand that I live in the desert, and it’s going to be hot… but 118, 120? That’s really too much! It’s been crazy. Crazy I tell you! My poor family has been stuck inside, which is a very unnatural thing for them. My sweet kids love to be outside. So, what is a Super Grover Mommy to do?
Well, let’s start the day the heat wave came to town… It happen to be cub scout day. As a committee, we had decided to have a pack field trip. I had set one up for my little wolf den and invited the rest of the pack to come along. For cub scout ignorant: Den-a small group of boys the same age (7 year olds-tigers, 8 year olds-wolves, 9 year olds-bears, 10 year olds-webols); a group dens is a pack. So, I knew I would have at least 7-10 boys, a couple of parents and a couple of leaders going with me. And my 4 kids. We were going to the Old Mormon Fort, and it was going to be 102 out there. We had made plans to meet at 10 AM at the church.
At 9 I felt I really need to have a cooler with water, Capri suns and some snacks. So, I load up my kids in the van and went to Sam’s Club… And I was stressed. I knew I only had about 30 minutes to get everything done, and I was worried no one would show up, or what if more kids showed than we had seats for, what if something went wrong… Yeah, I was a stress case. And my kids felt it, reacted to it. Between the heat and mommy being cranky it was a no brainer that they would act up.
Every time we get somewhere I open the doors, unbuckle Beka, then walk around the van to get Ephram. I expect the kids to get out and meet me at the back of the van, at which time we go into wherever we are going. So, on this particular trip Beka got out and started walking to the store and Riley and Emma didn’t want to get out. They were to busy fighting. Sam’s was pretty much empty (expect for cranky old people) and the parking lot was too. They finally jumped out and as they were, a lady zipped into the parking spot RIGHT NEXT TO US. Really, I thought. A dozen or so parking place all around and you had to park right next to my car? But whatever. The kids were safe and finally coming and really, I was in a BIG hurry… I now only had 25 minutes to get everything done. So, we speed into Sam’s, ran over to Wal-Mart and got back into the van… and there on my windshield was a note. Oh, no! I thought. Some one hit my car! But no this was not that note.. oh, no. As I read the note, I got mad. Some one had the audacity to write something so rude when I was trying so hard to do the good… To not yell, to make sure the scouts were safe, to teach my kids the right things, to keep them all safe. So,this note read something like this: You kids nearly got hit. You need watch ALL 4 of your kids, not just 2.
Nice, really. And I kinda lost it with my two oldest, that were, by the way, still fighting in the backseat. And I wanted to just sit there and cry. Don’t I watch my kids, was I neglecting them, am I a bad mommy…. But I couldn’t just sit there and cry, I was on a very tight schedule. So, I pulled myself together and went to the church. I was so glad I’d brought the drinks. We had 10 boys come! It was a really good turnout. The people at the fort were really nice, and it was fun to see how bricks were made… And at the end of the field trip, I lost Beka. She had decided she wanted to ride in the stroller. When mommy said no and started walking with the scouts down to the visitor’s center, she sat herself down on the ground. Then she noticed that no one was waiting for her. And I didn’t notice that she wasn’t with us until we were leaving. Sigh. One of the rangers brought her down. Apparently she had found some shade and was screaming.
So, more guilt… I’d lost my little girl at the museum.
Anyway, heat makes this Super Grover Mommy not so super… At least not that day. But, I’ve been working the 30 days challenge with the Orange Rhino. Each day (expect Sundays) she sends a little email with advice and tasks to do. On this particular day, it was about lack of confidence. That often we get in our own way, that the thoughts in our head are stopping us from reaching our goals. When I say to myself “I’m not a good mom! I just keep screwing up, I suck” well, guess what? I do, I’m not and well things just suck. When I say to myself “I CAN do hard things. I’m getting better everyday.” Even something as simple as I think I can! Guess what, I can, I do, and things suck less (sometimes things do suck and that’s ok, but we don’t have to stay there) So, I put my anger at the nasty lady’s note up on facebook (and got some super nice comments which made me feel a little more super) and let it go.
The next day (Friday) I knew we were in for SUPER stupid crazy heat. There would be no playing outside. So, I got the kids in the van early (it was already 103) and went and got a movie and wii game at a red box, stopped at the dollar store for things to do inside. Then we hunkered down to escape the heat. We had fun playing together, snacking together, and taking it super easy. We even had fun making water/oil fireworks. Actually, we made water/oil/food coloring fireworks 3 times… but that another story. And after the sun went down, we went to Grandpa Leavitt’s pool. Emma swam the whole length of the pool. This was epic. Two years ago, she was so afraid of the water she would scream and cry when we would go. She wanted to be held the whole time. She was SO scared. Scared to the point you couldn’t reason with her. And she was scared on Friday. But, after a little coaching from Super Dad she did it! Afterwards we talked a little (she had said some not so nice things to me) I told her that she was a amazing. That she can and does hard things! And tonight, for the first time, she jumped in to the deep end. I heard her saying to herself, “stay calm and think. you can do this” She is amazing!
See, little Super Grover Mommy in training!
We all can do hard things. Like learning to make each day, each moment a little better. And sometimes the hardest thing to do is to let go of the negative thoughts. Thoughts about myself, thoughts about my kids, just let it go. And then I can enjoy the moments like watching Beka’s face as the color began to explode in the water.
With another week of temperatures over 110, what is this Super Grover Mommy to do? Love my kids, try to make it fun, let go of believing I’m not good enough, and maybe some bubbles.
I can change my world! One moment, one choice at a time!
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
So, the weekend was kind of weird. It was the end of the month, which is still a hard time. My sweet hubby works really late (read: he got home from work on Friday at 10:00 AM Saturday) and that’s tough for me. It means he’s not really available even when he’s home. I am working hard on myself to not turn this into a trigger of yelling at my kids. Over all this went pretty well… And hubby was able to come swimming with us. That was really fun, and with grandma the adult to kid ratio was great. But, I was feeling a little weird. I had a little head ache, which turned into a bigger head ache. So big I was physically ill. It was a nasty migraine. The pain was so intense, similar to labor (which is really saying something, I’ve had 2 kids completely natural). I haven’t had one that bad in a long, long time. Why? Because I normally know when the headache is coming. I’ve learned the warning signs, and take steps to stop the pain. I didn’t do that on Saturday. Didn’t take care of Super Grover Mommy, and I truly paid the price for not listening to my body.
We got home from swimming and I went up to my room. There for the next couple of hours I dealt with the pain, nausea, dizziness, and cramping. I prayed a lot. I was finally able to keep so painkillers down, and at about 10:00 PM the pain finally eased. Thankfully! I was still feeling dizzy and weird, but at least the pain was less. I’ve been paying the price for not taking care of me all week. I’m still having what I’d like to call aftershocks. I still feel a little dizzy and weak. I spent most of Monday resting.
This whole episode got me thinking, when I could think straight. Why do we often put ourselves last? Why did it take such a bad migraine to make me slow down a little and take care of me? And why do I feel guilty about it? Hmm… guilty for taking it easy the last couple of days, for not doing as much, for not really getting ready for summer break… It’s silly! In Ecclesiastes 3:1 it says: To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose… It’s all in the Lord’s time, and I need not “walk faster than I have strength to go”
The other interesting thing that happened this weekend was getting invited to share what I’ve been sharing on my blog with some of the ladies at church. It was neat to be asked. I was surprised, and it was nice to know that what I’m writing isn’t just getting totally lost in cyber space. It was also nice to look back on some of the things that I have been able to experience since taking the change to heart. I hope what I said made sense and helped.
I have joined Orange Rhino in a 30 days challenge. I love that it’s small steps. This is how we can change! One thing at a time. Today’s action was to focus on my physical feelings when the angry mad “I’m going to hurt someone” feelings come. I know I’m about to blow when: I start to clench my teeth, my head feels like it’s about to blow, and my heart starts to race. It’s about understanding the warning signs and be able to do something to change it. Just like my migraine if I ignore the warning of the rage I will pay a harsh price.
Yesterday when Riley got off the bus, he was in tears. He was afraid… of me. I had made him lunch that morning. He forgot about his lunch and ordered hot lunch. He was terrified he would be in trouble. It’s the last full day of school, and I wasn’t mad. I thought it was kind of funny. But I’ve been so unreasonable that he was afraid of a blow up. Sigh. Paying the price for my bad behavior.
A thing I am learning to do is let go. Let go of my expectations, let go of my guilt, let go of my disappoint. It’s an everyday task, and it really doesn’t come naturally at all! It’s all about the baby steps. Learning that I can’t do it all right this second!
I read something in a book:
This home is a safe home
People are safe
Feelings are safe
The Holy Ghost is safe.
I’ve tried to make this a theme in our home. This is where they can be safe. I know I am such a work in progress! But, I can chose to send myself out of the room or Riley or Emma before I blow my top. I can chose to take care of my body so I can take care of those who need me. I can chose because that is what my loving Heavenly Father sent me to the life to learn to do.
Being a Super Grover Mommy is hard sometimes, but so rewarding. I can change my world, one simple small step at a time!
Monday, May 27, 2013
Yeah, that about sums up this weekend. Or, rather the last 4 days. I was doing really well at the beginning of the week, keeping the house clean, getting chores done, feeling well. I even was able to exercised twice! I know! It was a miracle. And then I ate tacos… and cracked a tooth… and it hurt really bad. And I got a “lil’ bit” grumpy. And then I had to go to the dentist and get that tooth worked on. And that hurts a bit too. But it a good way, like it’s going to be ok. And it was just a little crack. So, that was really good too. That was Friday. And then, well, I got bit by a spider.
Nasty gross spider bite. It’s big and swollen, bruised and painful, and makes my feel weird and so tired.
Now, back to the fact that it was a four day weekend for Riley. Oh, and let’s not forget that it was Emma’s last day of preschool. Coupled with the fact that we had to say good bye to Allen’s younger bother and his family (Emma and their oldest have been in preschool together). But mostly, let’s get back to the fact that Riley was home for 4 days straight… And this Super Grover Mommy wasn’t feeling so super. In fact, this Super Grover Mommy would have really liked to spend all day in bed. But this was not to be, sigh.
I did get to lay down a few times (thanks honey) on Sunday. This helped, and going to bed early helped too. What I was really having a hard time dealing with was all the noise and activity around, you know, the chaos that is young children. And my sweet Riley… oh, yes. He was very challenging this weekend. I’m not really sure what had gotten into him. He was pushing everyone’s button. Frankly, he was making me feel just a little, ok big bit, CRAZY!
We took them swimming, twice. We let them ride their bikes, went the the park. So, I hope that when they look back and remember this weekend it’s full of fun memories. Like making cookies with mommy, and splashing in the water. That Beka remembers having time with daddy and getting to snuggle up watching one of her favorite movies. I hope Riley remembers that we found him a new bike, and not the million times we told him to be quiet in the van.
Seriously, what I can’t take, more than anything is riding in the car. It makes me so mad, cranky, nuts, and want to scream and yell when we are in van together. Just thought of going anywhere, even the store makes me want to cry. Seriously, I have cried trying to get everyone to the car. It’s the constant fighting, name calling, kicking the back of the seats, spiting, hitting, name calling, SREAMING, yelling, leaning over into someone else’s space, bringing tons of toys and books just to leave them in the van until the van is so messing no one can get in or out of it. Well, it can make even the calmest individual scream.. and I’m not the calmest. I end up feeling worn out and near tears by the time we get home. I guess, this weekend has left me feeling overwhelmed by everything. And sometimes, the thought of “Why oh why did I think having so many little ones would be such a good idea”…
And then I go to get little Ephram out his car seat, and he is asleep. And he is so peaceful. So sweet. So calm. A warm feeling just comes over me. I am so grateful for him. I wouldn’t trade him for anything. He has brighten my life in so many ways. And it gets me in a better place… I wouldn’t trade any of my little ones for more peace.
I wish I could say that this nice warm glow lasted though bedtime… I am afraid I lost my temper with the kids… but, I did sing them good night and tucked them in. Sigh. But a least tomorrow is a new day. An new day with no mistakes in it, yet. And tonight, in the quiet of the night, there is peace for my poor spider poisoned brain.
He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Monday, April 29, 2013
So, last week my computer died… Died as a doornail my friend died. We didn’t get the blue screen of death, oh no.. we got the “there is a corruption in the operating file”. OMG! It took all week but my sweet hubby was able to bring it back from the dead! Yeah!!! So, I’m back to write again!
I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. I made a commitment to myself about a month ago. At church we were challenged to think about things we think we could do better, choice one and then write how this one thing would make our lives better. I have many things I feel I could do better, but one thing I’ve neglected for many years is my personal scripture study. I made the commitment to myself that I would read for at least 5 minutes everyday. The problem I’m finding is cutting myself off after 15-20 minutes. I have found my mind is more open. I’m a finding I feel impressions of things to do.
For example, last week I just felt like I needed to follow Riley to the bus stop. I don’t know why. But I did. Or I just felt like I needed to go up and see Allen at work. He said he really needed this. I figured if I’m willing to follow the Spirit, then I will have more impressions.
I have been trying to find one thing I can make better each day. One thing I did was hang a pretty picture in my bathroom. I wanted a place I could go and get a little recharge. I took this picture when the flowers were blooming. I love it! It makes me feel happy and calm.
Last week I took Riley to another doctor appointment. And it was a frustrating waste of my time. And it made me angry. And it made me sad. And I didn’t feel like a super Grover mommy at all.
This mommy thing can be hard sometimes. It’s hard to hear there is something wrong with your sweet little boy, and that the only thing they (doctors) can do is give him a pill that may or may not help. And to know that a pill was not going to be an option. He wont take it. And to have them tell you that this was the only option, when all the research you have done says that it is ONE treatment. Just one option, and one that is risky. It’s hard. And it’s hard not take my unhappiness out on little miss talking none stop or when the baby is screaming, or when the kids start fighting! Big deep breath! I can do this. I believe the Lord will help me do this.
I read this week a wonderful thought. The author said that she prays to love what God loves. I love this! It inspired me to write this:
A Mother’s Prayer
Lord, let me love what you love!
‘Cause right now it’s kinda hard.
The dishes in the sink are piled up
And someone just pulled his sister’s hair.
My feet are sticking to the floor
The baby has a poo
All around me is messing and loud
And I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Lord, please let me love what you love!
Those little sticky hands
The runny noses
The messy rooms
The crying and whining…
Oh, wait that last one was me!
I’m trying to find the joy
In the little things all around
So, Lord please help me
I know it can be found
Lord, please help me love what you love!
Let me see my babies as you do:
The noble ones sent by you.
Help me teach them to be brave
And kind and respectful too
And not be frazzled when things don’t go our way.
Lord, let me love as you love!
Help my voice touch their hearts
In a soft and gentle way.
Please let your sprite guide my footstep
Along my motherhood way
Lord, let me love as you love!
Thanks for reading! I hope we can all find joy in each day. That we can find a way to change our world! With our kind Heavenly Father and Jesus, all things are possible! So, get out there Super Grover Mommies! We can do all things!
Monday, April 15, 2013
Got up this morning in a bad mood… not sure why. I went to bed early, Baby E didn’t get me up at an ungodly hour. But, I woke up with a bad head ache and feeling like I hadn’t slept a wink. My mood didn’t improve as we sat and ate breakfast, trying to rush Riley to get ready for school and out the door for the bus. Allen was also in a grumpy mood, and I’m afraid we were feeding each other's mood. Sigh, trying really had not to yell and scream “Riley! Move it!!! Emma quite picking! Beka knock it off!!!”
One of my favorite movies of all time is Anne of Green Gables. I have seriously seen the movie hundreds of times (I’ve worn a VHS and a DVD out). In the first few minutes you see Anne walking in the woods reading a book. Then you hear Mrs. Hammond yelling at her. At the end of the scene Mrs. Hammond turns to her kids and yells “EAT!” It was a bad moment when I realized I was becoming a mom like her! Ugh!
Riley and Allen left. And I was still grumpy. So, I called for a morning do over! I put Ephram back in his crib, tucked the girls back into their beds and told them we were doing a do over. I was going to go into my room and take a shower. They were to stay in their beds and pretend to sleep, I would come and let them know when it was time to get up. I went into my room (still grumpy) and decided I needed an attitude adjustment. I got into the shower and got clean. This had an amazing effect on my mood. I felt so much better, I even brushed my teeth!
During this time Ephram finally went to sleep. Yeah! After I got dressed and felt like a new improved Super Grover Mommy, I went into the girls’ room. I walked in and said (loudly) “Good Morning Girls!!! I’m so happy to see you guys! Let’s get up and get this room cleaned up” I made both of them jump! and they laughed. and we had fun getting the dirty clothes put into the dirty clothes basket. We took them downstairs so that Emma would have something to wear for bed.
The day went better. I am working on this no yelling thing. I read something today that really struck a cord in my heart: I don’t want to unleash my bad feeling on my children because they don’t deserve it. Will I have ugly feelings and want to yell? Yes. Can I choose not to. Yes. I can choose to tell my kids how I’m feeling without yelling AT them.
Last Friday, I felt like we should keep Riley home. I was very conflicted. I wanted to go up to the county fair (we didn’t get to go at all). I wanted Allen to take the day off. I wanted to do something fun as a family. But, Allen went to work. I keep feeling like I really should keep Riley home. But… I didn’t. I drove him to school. I kept asking him if he wanted to stay home. He didn’t. He was excited about fab Friday activities. But his head was hurting, a little. When he got home, he wasn’t feeling too good (and he bombed his spelling test and he’s fab Friday activities weren’t what he had hoped). I got dinner made (which I totally ruined) and he started screaming about his head and throat hurting. I got him upstairs and he had a low grade fever. He hasn’t been wearing his glasses and now had a migraine. The pain was so bad, he willing took pain killers (Riley NEVER takes any kind of meds). He finally went to sleep. Poor guy. Moral of story? Listen to your instincts. I could have gotten Riley to drink lots of water likely staving off the headache and we would have had a fun time together as a family. Lesson Learn!
So, today when I pulled into my driveway and noticed 7 teen boys sitting on the neighbor’s wall. I try not to judge others, but it has been my experience that when more than 2-3 teen boys get together it means trouble. I wasn’t quiet done finished doing the grocery shopping, I was just dropping off the frozen stuff. I did drop off my groceries and started heading to the next store. I felt a very strong impression that I should return home. I’m not sure why. But, I turned around and parked the van. 4 of the boys were still there. So, I let my girls play in the front on their bikes. The boys were left in about 10 minutes. Not sure why I had the impression, but I’m glad I listened.
The other thing I am working on is discipline vs. punishment. I know there have been times when I wanted to punish the kids for what they did, how I was feeling inside. I wanted to make them feel bad. This is hard to write, because this is so not the mom I want to be. Do kids need discipline? Yes. They need to know there are consequences to our choices. Sigh, but not my mad, angry, out of control, stuff directed at them to make them cry and feel bad. Our family motto is: I will be kind, respectful, and gentle to myself and others. I am learning that I need to follow this motto as badly as my kids do.
I’ve also tried take stock of my triggers, what’s making me feel out of control. One of them is when there is too much static noise. For example, if the TV is on, the computer game is going, the dishwasher is running, the dryer is going, and kids are running around. I can feel the walls coming in on me and my blood pressure go up. It’s too loud. Solution: stop the dishwasher or the dryer, turn off the TV, go outside.
This is a process. I am learning and changing how I do things. I don’t believe in being fake with my kids, that everything is wonderful and perfect. But I want them to know that I love them and want the best for them. I don’t want them to be afraid of me.
See, I can change my world! I did it today, and I can do it tomorrow as I choose how to express my emotions! Go Super Grover Mommy!
Friday, April 5, 2013
Today was not such a good day… It wasn’t a bad day, but I have to admit to yelling at the kids at least once. Sigh… my inner monster came out. But, I explained my expectations at the store and the kids excided my expectations! Yeah! And I kept it my cool when Riley had a panic attach at the store.
Yesterday I found this perfect video yesterday, and the girls made me watch it about ton of times today! It’s perfect:
I used this method with Riley today at the store. He was panic about choosing something from the dollar section. I don’t really know why.. it drives me crazy when he does this. I’ve tried telling him that there is no wrong choice, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. But I had him breath, and the girls helped. And he got it under control. And I kept it under control. Go Super Grover Mommy!
So, Belly Breath Super Grover Mommies! It really works, and if it doesn’t seeing Elmo turn into a scary monster has to make you laugh and turn your mood around!
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Yesterday as I was snuggling Beka Boo on the couch watching Sesame Street (our current favorite thing to do when Emma is at preschool and Ephram is down for his morning nap), Grover came on and said: “I just had an epiphany! I do not know what epiphany is, but I believe I just had one!” I just had to giggle. And what, dear friends was Grover’s epiphany? “Why, I am special! And you are special, we are all special.” At which time he then breaks in to song. How can you not love Sesame Street?
I have been having epiphanies. By trying hard to think before I “react”. I am so not perfect. No, not even close. But, if I can stop, even one time, the yelling and screaming, I’ve won. I love Grover’s message: I AM SPECIAL. There is no one in the whole wide world just like me. There is only one me and I’m important. Love it!
Today was interesting. Riley had his occupational therapy. This is always tricky, trying to get all 5 of us dressed and in the van by 7:30 AM. Riley was really crazy this morning. His therapist mentioned this to me. We talked a little about his diet and sleeping. Poor Riley had a hard night. He walked in his sleep and got lost. Add to this that breakfast was a banana (I was planning on getting him something on the way to school). I had a kid who was wound up tighter that a sling shot. He was grumpy and picking and being nasty.
As I was driving toward school, I had a quiet thought “He needs to run, be in the grass, see the trees, feel the sun, breath in the air. He needs to play and not be told what to do. Just for a few moments and things will be better.” This thought “He needs to run” kept coming to me.
“But, can he afford to miss any more class time? He’s already struggling in school… This can’t be a good choice”
“Yes, it is. You need to stop and let this poor kid run.”
So, I stopped at a park. We hadn’t been to this park in a LONG time. The kids didn’t recognize it. And I let Riley out and told him to run, hard. Boy, he jumped out the van like a shot! And he ran, for five minutes hard. And then he climbed and jumped. Explored. He got to be a kid. The girls had a blast. They ran and played, went down the slides. Beka Boo ran though the grass with her shoes off. And for 10 minutes, we found peace. It was wonderful.
Then, I had to use the restroom. So, they got 5 more minutes to play. Then I called the crew in. Well, Riley called the crew in. The girls wouldn’t come when I called. Riley called out “R.E.B. club! Come on!” and they did. Amazing.
We stopped and got Riley a breakfast sandwich. He was thankful and nice. We dropped him off an hour late to school, and I just didn’t care. I know he got more out of school today because we stopped.
The interesting thing was the trickle down effect this one act had. Emma was so nice and helpful. She was trying so hard to be a good girl today. I believe she needed the time at the park too. I felt better too. I am learning how to trust my instincts.
Riley was still hard today after school. He was having a hard time concentrating. I could feel myself getting frustrated. Working on spelling is always hard. Trying to learn those stupid spelling rules when the spelling list doesn’t follow the same spelling rule is madding! For example, this week they are working on the oo sound … in words like few or fruit. Ok, ew or ui. Got it. Then they have a word like fluid. It is pronounced: flu-id (floo-id) where fruit is pronounced: froot. Or more crazy: pursuit. For a second grader? Seriously? I have always struggled with spelling. I am so grateful to spell check.
Anyway, Riley was mind was not catching anything I was saying (which his therapist had said this morning) and I was getting cross. I took moment, and then we changed how we were working on the words. This went so much better. And I didn’t yell. I put my energy into solving the problem!
Then I let the kids play outside until dinner. I’ve given Riley a slightly bigger boundary this week. He can ride up and down the street outside our little cul-de-sac. By doing this,he found a couple of boys from school to play with. He came in sweaty and happy. Riley has been playing with the little boy next door, but he is only three and it’s been kind of hard the last couple of days. Dinner got made with no one fighting, they were too busy outside.
So, I was able to change how the day went, just by listening and doing.
I can change my world, one moment at a time!
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Have you noticed how holidays are stressful? I mean, they are fun and worthwhile, but even good things can be stressful. And stress can have a disastrous effect on Super Grover Mommies! Easter really snuck up on me this year. Was I the only one? Please tell me I wasn’t! I mean, are we ever really ready for gift giving holidays? But this year, it was Friday and I was begging my parents to watch the kids so I could go Easter Bunny shopping. Thankfully, they said yes. And thankfully I had the girls’ dresses bought almost a month ago.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the flood of candy that has gone though my home the last week. It all started with the girls having not one but two birthday parties last weekend. And they came home with all that nasty piñata candy. You know the type: bubble gum (not allowed in our house), now and laters, smarties, star busts (so hard they seem like now and laters), and my least fav: blow pops! Beka Boo hid all of her candy when she got home, pre the removal of all things gum. I kept finding wrappers, and the candy she didn’t like all over their room… and she wasn’t eating her meals! This made for a very grumpy 3 year old. I finally got all of the candy on Thursday. And Saturday was the big annual Easter Egg Hunt for my sweetheart’s family. Love going! So much fun for the kids! Tons of eggs, tons of toys to find, tons of money filled eggs to find, tons of good grub. My kids came home with SO MUCH CANDY! UGH! And today, I found Beka Boo’s stash in her bed. Sigh.
I was not at my best. I wish I was. I am really trying, but… seriously, how many time does one need to tell a kid not to put candy in their bed!
What I am finding, is that I’m turning to my Heavenly Father more. I want to me the best mommy for my kids, and I really want this to be their safe place. But, I can’t do it without heavenly help!
Tonight started really tough. We enjoyed a early dinner, thanks to crock pot magic and a wonderful quick roll recipe. My mom can for dinner and that was fun. Beka Boo was not so much fun. She had been sneaking candy all afternoon and was not hungry. She ended up spending some time in her room. But she did eat. Eventually. We have a tradition in our home. Every Easter we take pictures in the new outfits. This afternoon when we got home from church the light was just too bright. So after Mom left I asked the kids if we could get back into our new clothes… they were pretty good sports about it. Until Beka couldn’t find her tights and didn’t want to put on her shoes, and Riley couldn’t find his other dress shoe. Then the melt downs started. Screaming and crying all over. Big breath in… couldn’t find the camera… more silent prayers. Camera found, tights found, shoe (sigh) not found but that was ok. We just put on our tennis shoes and got into the van. I was starting to worry that it was getting too dark. It didn’t.
So, why was I so stressed? Why was I yelling at everyone it just get into the van and buckle up? Everything worked out great!
We got home and Beka was done. Ephram was done. Super Grover Mommy was done. Beka was so upset that she could get her pjs on or something. Ephram need to nurse and was screaming. I told the kids that mommy need to 10 minute timeout! I went into my room with all the lights off. I got down on my knees (something new for me) and pleaded with my Father in Heaven for the strength to get through the next few hours.
Did I forget to mention that it’s the end of the month and all of my sweetheart’s billing has to be done, by tomorrow? So, he left right after dinner. Anyway, down on my knees I was asking for the peace in my heart to keep calm and be able to attend to everyone’s needs. I prayed for the ability to stop the escalation that was happening. And then I stayed there for a few moments. The peace came. And I was ready to go back into the fray.
I felt that if I could get Beka Boo tucked in, everything else would be easier. So, I finished changing Ephram and took him in with me to get Beka into bed. She was almost asleep before I left the room.
I brought the Emma into my room while I feed the baby. Riley joined us and we watched a little of a movie. When I was done nursing and had put the baby to bed, I was able to read to both the kids. It was so peaceful. While I was reading Riley’s story, Emma started to doze on my shoulder. We were all cuddled up on the big easy chair. Riley went to bed without to much trouble (this is a huge deal).
Pray and listen. It works. Imagine that.
So, holidays can be tough. Kids are hopped up on too much sugar. And let’s be honest, so is Super Grover Mommy. Trying to make memories, and keep it together. But I can have calm in my heart, even when things are loud and crazy. Plus, who could stay mad at this face:
Saturday, March 30, 2013
The past two days have been interesting. I’m really working on this whole yelling thing, to only yell if it’s an emergency (like a car is coming on the street, or when my crazy 7 year old decides he is going to slide down the banister…). It seems to be working. Because I’m using my “nice” voice most of the time, when the emergency voice yells, the kids listen.
There is one area of our life that I’m really having a struggle with: the van. I’m not sure why my older kids think it’s time to fight over who gets to have the “blank” (this could be a toy, book, magazine, the middle seat belt, any thing). My sweet little Beka Boo turns into a screeching siren and kicks the back of my seat. Little E has finally had enough of the whole car seat thing and is crying. And in the middle of all this, I’m supposed to drive.
So, what is a Super Grover Mommy to do? I’m not sure. But, I’m trying a couple of things.
Yesterday was particularly trying as we had a lot of driving around town to do. As we were leaving a fun play date, my oldest was just plain being nasty. He was just yelling and being super defensive. Now, normally (before this challenge) I would yell at him to stop picking on his sister and just get himself in control; but instead I asked him if was hungry. “I’m STARVING!!!!” Bingo! Feed the beast and my sweet little man comes back. I bought him a sandwich on the way to the store (got myself something to eat too, nicely shared with the girls) and everyone was happier.
It was still a tough ride, and I have to admit to yelling at the kids at least a few time.. but at least I am taking steps to understanding triggers in the kids and how to stop them. Learning and relearning lessons!
This evening I decided it was a pizza night (mommy needed the night off from cooking). I told the kids that if they cleaned up the front room while I was ordering the pizza we could have a movie night. Otherwise we would be eating pizza at the table. Eating in front of the TV is a rare treat. They all worked together as I order the food. It was all going according to the plan in my head when I realized that I hadn’t change the order from pick to delivery. No need to panic! I told the kids what a great job they had done (using my enthusiastic voice) and that I’d made a mistake in ordering the pizza. We were going to have to pick it up. Cue the loud groans. But, we are going to go up stairs first and take quick showers (more loud groans). That way we can just “chill” after we get home and we can be SOOOO comfy! It went great!
We enjoyed eating while watching the movie. Sadly, the movie I had gotten from Red box wasn’t so good. We tired to use our Netflix, but it didn’t work either. So, we watched a little video on the computer and everyone went up to bed. I read to everyone (go Super Grover Mommy) and got everyone tucked in.
I was happy to have channeled some of my normal manic I have to control everything and everyone energy tonight. By controlling my emotions and keeping myself under control, I can point out my behavior when the kids get crazy. Little Beka said the sweetest thing to me on the way home with the pizza: “Mommy, you are so sweet and happy! I love you!” I asked her if I’d been a better mommy the last couple of days. She said “You a happier mommy”
I’m trying harder to love them as they are right now! It’s going too fast, and I don’t want to spend the time angry and flustered. I have noticed when I don’t yell, when I take a breath before reacting, there is more peace in my home. Please don’t get me wrong, my kids still fight. We have gone through more band aids than I care to admit to this week. We end the day with a bath because we have to, they are that dirty. I still get mad and irritated by the things they do. But, I am noticing a change in me. I’m trying to let go when things don’t go my way. It sounds so silly in my head to read it put like that, but that is really much of my problem. I have in my head the way things should go. And often it does. However, when it doesn’t look out! Stress kicks in big time. By letting go. Not letting little bumps get me totally crazy and manic (see Grover whenever something goes wrong) I am able to put that energy to better use!
So, my fellow Super Grover Mommies: We can change our world! One little moment at a time.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Today I worked hard to see my kids as people. I wanted to work on treating them the way I would like to be treated. That was the pray and goal of the day. I wouldn’t want someone up in my face asking me “WHY ON EARTH DID YOU JUST…” So, I used my inside voice, and took lots of deep breaths, and yes, said many prayers.
I also made note of when I was starting to feel overwhelmed. What was happening? Why do I feel this way? Can I stop this before it escalates? Guess what? I could stop the feelings, I could figure out why I felt that way, and I could let it go. It was very empowering. For example: it was this morning after breakfast… Well, 2nd breakfast… Riley has occupational therapy on Wednesday mornings at 8A.M. which we all have to get to. So, we had snack bars on the way there with Capri suns and cereal when we got home. Ephram was fussing and I was starting to feel frustrated at the kids for making messes. I took a deep breath, and thought about the WHY. Did the mess really matter? No, we can clean that up. Why is Ephram upset? He’s hungry and tired. He needs to nurse and take a nap. Why is this bothering me so much? Oh, that 4:30 A.M. feed is getting to me today and allergies are kicking my butt. It’s not really the kids’ fault that I feel this way. So let’s not take it out on them, right! Good Super Grover Mommy! Put a fun show on for the kids, take the baby upstairs and feed him while dozing in the nice soft chair.
Did this make me a better mom? Why yes it did.
I had to do the last of the grocery shopping today too. We had two stops to make: one the the pet store and one to (shudder) Wal-Mart. I HATE going to Wal-Mart. It’s always crowded and hard to navigate around with my 4 kids. The pet store was a good test run. Beka hadn’t brought her shoes and had to ride in the cart. This meant she was constantly standing up and leaning over. The old me would have gone hoarse yelling at her to sit down. The new me (reigning in the crazies) took lots of deep breaths and gave her a job. She was to hold the doggie’s treats and keep them safe. We got to look at the birds, small animals, fish and the cats. Everyone had fun and everyone (including mommy) behaved themselves.
On to Wal-mart… Emma was done! Just plain, I want to go home, my legs are tired and I’m hungry, why can’t we just leave, done. She was fussing before we even got into the store. Big breath in, and let it out. Silent pray: Please Heavenly Father, help me keep my temper in check. Let me not yell at Emma. Or hang her from the roof by her toenails…
I knelt down to her level and said: Emma, I know you are tired and hungry. I understand that you really don’t want to go shopping. But, we are going to go. You can decided how this trip will go for you. If you are a good girl, and help Mommy out, this trip will go fast and we can get home for lunch. If you CHOOSE to be nasty, it will take longer and Mommy will not have the energy to make a good lunch for you. So, what do you think? Do you want a yummy hotdog with a bun, some pear slices and a drink? And should we use the special lunch baskets to put them in? We might even have some fruit snacks too. What do you say?
She took some breaths and said “Ok, mom.”
It wasn’t easy, but I made it though shopping without yelling at anyone.
We took a walk after dinner tonight. We only need 3 band aids for bloodied up knees… sigh, but we made it to the park. The kids ran and dug in the sand while I pushed Ephram in the swing.
Happiness is swinging on swings! We came home and got ready for bed… Bedtime is one of the hardest time for me. I’m getting really tired, the kids are tired or wired, and often hubby isn’t home. Hubby not being home is one of the hardest parts… and I’m realizing that this makes me grumpy. And it’s not the kids fault that daddy isn’t home. So, I shouldn’t take it out on them! Way to go Super Grover Mommy!
So with this knowledge (and knowing Hubby wasn’t going to be home in advance helped) I prepared myself for the last big push. It was going pretty good until I found my haircutting scissors in the girls’ room… and no one would own up to taking/using them. OH, and they were icky sticky. This was really hard to keep my temper under control. But I did. After all, kids are kids. No one got story time tonight.
It has been interesting to be aware of myself the last couple of days. Seeing my triggers and working hard to take control of them. And holding a prayer in my heart. A specific pray: “Please let me not yell at my kids. Let me be aware of what is really going on.” The atmosphere in my home has improved. I’ve been reading in Proverbs the last couple of days. It really has struck a chord in me.
So, just keep swimming and breathing and praying.
I CAN change my world one day, one moment, one choice at a time!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
My kids are my most important audience
Kids are just kids; and not just kids, but people too.
Often times, I am the problem, not my kids
Taking care of me helps me to not yell
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post on my family blog. I titled it: Super Grover Mommy. In it I talked about how sometime I'm just not the mom I wish I were and that sometimes I get a little crazy... and sometimes (more than I want to admit to) things kinda sorta go really wrong. I sometime really screw things up. But I keep trying. It was a pretty clever post, and got me thinking about how I have been acting as a mommy.
Then, spring break happened...
Day 1: I knew I had a problem when my first reaction to this: was to yell. She pulled a shelf down on top of her. This particular shelf was a two long heavy shelves with all the wood puzzles and wooden dolls on top. She didn’t start crying right away, the weight had knocked the wind out of her.I stopped myself, and took a deep breath. Yelling was not going to help.
I realized that I am yelling at my kids... a lot. And they aren't listening. Really who would? This crazy person screaming and carrying on... the crazy person who is 'posed to love and care about you. That night I read this amazing blog orange rhino. She made a choice not to yell at her kids for a whole year. Tough, yes. But doable. This made me really think. I want my kids to remember me as their safe place, not the place where they are torn down all the time. I also hate the way I feel at the end of the day. I drag myself to bed, feeling down, worn out and guilty.Orange rhino wrote a few things that really struck me:
She has a ton of stuff on her website, but these were the things that stuck me the most.
The other thing that I read on her site that really stuck a cord was: Yelling is mean. It’s hurtful. And I don’t want to be that way anymore.
So, I’m taking the challenge: one day at a time.. no yelling
Day 2 of spring break:
I made a conscience effort not to yell. And life was better. I wasn’t perfect, but because I was choosing not to yell at the kids it was more peaceful. Things still went wrong, but I wasn’t as stressed about it, and so the kids weren’t as stressed.. I was pretty proud of myself when I walked in on a this (minus the shirt, I made her put that on) and didn’t start screaming. She had used a marker and colored all over her legs and opened all the candy from a couple of birthday parties all over her bed and floor. I calmly asked her to please put on a shirt. We cleaned up the mess together.
I didn’t yell when the kids started fighting. Dinner prep went so much smoother… So, maybe there is something to this not yelling thing. Sure going to give it a try!
And that’s the reason for this blog. I want to tame my inner Super Grover Mommy. I want to make that crazy manic energy work for me and my family instead of hurting. So who will join me? Making the world a more loving and happy place!
I can change my world one day, one moment, one choice at a time!