This has been the longest, coldest winter here in this part of Texas in a long time (not that it's all that cold compared to other parts of the U.S., but for here, it's cold!). Usually by now it is in the upper 70's and sunny every day. We actually got snow a few weeks ago (several inches)! That is VERY unusual, period, let alone at the end of February. I am ready for spring. We get a glimpse of it every few days, then we have a nasty day like today. Cool and raining. Of course, I guess I shouldn't complain because last summer we were in a horrible drought with 115 degree temperatures and no rain.
The hard part about dreary weather is that it makes me feel dreary. With all the stress in my life right now, I could definitely use some sun. It would also help to be able to let the kids play outside!
Kids Behavior, update
So, I wrote last week about how much better my kids' behavior has been... then Friday happened, and it has been downhill since. Thursday night, Levi was awake the majority of the night. I probably got about 2 hours of sleep total. So, I was easily frustrated, I yelled more than I should, and my kids could see a difference in me, therefore; they acted out more. It has been that way all weekend. I have decided that I need to lighten up on myself a little bit. All of this started because I cared too much about what everyone else thought... Some comments that someone made had me feeling like I was a bad parent and I needed to come up with some kind of method to deal with it... And I know that the comments weren't even necessarily toward me or about me... I just took it personally. I know that my kids aren't "bad," and that they are just being kids that have undergone a lot of changes in the past few months. I need to just take things as they come and deal with them the best way I can at the moment. It's very difficult to be as consistent as I would like and need to be when I'm nursing constantly and exhausted. I'm not saying that it's okay for my kids to throw tantrums or not do things that I tell them to do, but much of the times their tantrums start because I get mad at them for something that really doesn't matter... like Ethan getting into the plastic cup drawer for the fifteenth time. I need to just lighten up and let the kids be kids. I need to choose my battles and correct them when their heart isn't in the right place or if they're doing something dangerous. I think that will make things a lot less stressful around here. My good friend, Sandy (who has four kids, two grown), has told me many times to always ask myself "is it going to matter in two weeks?" If Ethan gets into the plastic cups and gets them all over the house... is that going to matter in two weeks? No. If Karis talks to me disrespectfully or yells at me, is that going to matter in two weeks? Yes. So, again, I'm going back to this way of choosing my battles :). By the way, a friend of mine watched Karis over night Friday night, and she agrees that she is very strong willed... which actually makes me feel better. :) It's not just in my head!
I have attempted to create some routine around here and one day I'll do well, then the next day is tough because I got less sleep the night before. I'm going to try every day, but I have to lighten up on myself in this area too. So, I didn't get to the dishes or laundry today... but my kids are dressed, fed, and taken care of. I've done all that I need to for that day. I do feel, though, that routine for the kids is very important at this time in their life, so I am focusing on that. Mornings are rough, but we definitely have their nap time and bed time routines down :).
I LOVE my Sleepy Wrap. I'm so glad that I bought it. It takes a little bit to get it on, but once it's on, it's super comfortable and Levi loves it. If I can't get him to stop fussing other ways, I put him in the Sleepy Wrap, and he's asleep :). The only thing that is tough is I can't really lift Ethan when I'm wearing Levi. So, if I need to change his diaper or something, it's a bit of a challenge. I'm sure I'll get it figured out. Here's a close up picture that I took with my phone:
These past few weeks have been rough, and I know that things aren't going to get "easy" anytime soon, but I am looking forward to some "normalcy" :).
I'm excited that Karis will be turning 4 on March 15th, and we are having a birthday party for her on Saturday, the 13th. She is going to have a blast! For her present, Robert is building her a little play house to put in the back yard. I can't wait until she sees it. It will definitely come in handy in the coming months as it gets warmer. I plan to have a daily time of outside play every morning for the kids. I can't wait until it's warmer!
I'm looking forward to having true routine again. I miss getting up at 6 am, having quiet time with Jesus before the kids get up, being able to get things done throughout the day, meal planning, grocery shopping, and lots of cooking and baking. I have made a few things from scratch since Levi was born, but we have definitely been relying heavily on the dining hall here at camp and convenience foods (well, and food that people have brought us!).
I am looking forward to being able to take the kids to the library, park, zoo, museums, etc. I plan to start doing those things in the next few weeks (at least try!). I think it's important for them to be able to do things outside of the house, but it just isn't happening yet. I have only taken them out all together once by myself... so it's going to take a little bit more time before I feel comfortable doing that more often. I don't think it'll be much longer, though. They do pretty well when we're out, but it's still a challenge.
Here are some recent pictures: