Saturday, May 12, 2012

Season of Motherhood

Happy Mother's Day!

I've been thinking about this season of my life.  What it means to be a stay at home mom.  Who I am to these two little girls and will be to this man child soon to come.  Here's some of my ramblings:

My world is very small right now.  There was a time when I always had a plane ticket waiting on me...when I knew where my passport was and how to use it...when I knew and communicated often with many different people.  Not so much anymore.  My world is small.  It is mostly confined to this sweet, little house.  Sometimes, to the northwest quadrant of this city.  The players in my life are predominately Dan and the girls.  Sure, I talk on the phone to family and friends, but sometimes even that is awkward because I know so little other than what happens in my living room.  I watch the news (sometimes) but would be hard pressed to sound very intelligent discussing the upcoming elections or the state of the world's economy.  And it just the way I like it.

I never use an alarm clock anymore.  The reason is two fold: 1) I never have to be anywhere very early.  2) My human alarm clocks are consistent to within a half hour.  And it's just the way I like it.

I can/have gained and lost (will lose) 25-40 pounds independent of a gym membership or Weight Watchers.  Unheard of in my previous life.  And it's just the way I like it.

The definition of sexy has changed from something that required lots of time and a little money to just recently showered.  And it's just the way I like it.

A closet full of super high and pointed toed shoes used to be necessary to my completing an outfit.  Now, Old Navy flip flops and a pair of tennis shoes are completing the task.  And it's just the way I like it.

Modesty and body image have new definitions now as well.  I have two on-lookers to most moments throughout the day.  And not only do they need to know the name of every body part, they do not sensor their little facial expressions when something is not necessarily pretty!  And it's just the way I like it.

I used to contribute to the community at large with some skills and abilities.  Now, I contribute to two little ladies.  My specialized skill set is now being able to determine who is crying, where, and usually, for what reason.  I can sense that magical moment right before an all out belly laugh is about to become a cry.  And it's just the way I like it.

It's just a season.  It'll change faster than I can see coming, and maybe even sooner than I'd like.  We'll be on to the next season, with new challenges and new blessings.  But, for right now, everything is just the way I like it.


Friday, May 4, 2012

The D Word

Discipline is hard.

**Disclaimer**  I'm not even kind of an expert.  This is not a how-to, or how you should, or even what works for me (I'm learning, here)...this is strictly an account of what's been going on.  I'd love to hear your feedback, but don't get your panties in a twist.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are certain things about discipline that are not hard for me.  I can bring it.  I'm not worried that I'm going to make them mad at me, or that they won't be my friend anymore.  I'm not worried about damaging their self-esteem or crushing their spirit.  I do worry about picking the right battles.  I do worry about my laziness allowing them to form bad habits.  And, here in the final weeks of our time as just us girls most of the time, I do worry about spending the majority of the day saying no, in time out, or swatting the backs of just isn't fun, you know?!

The hard part of discipline is that it's as hard on the discipliner as it is the disciplinee.  I'm tired.  When I just got plopped down on the couch to rest for a second, it sucks to have to get up to enforce a rule or punishment.  There is no, "Come here and let me spank you!", or "Remember this, and next time I get up I'll put you in time out".  We live in an immediate, now or never, world right now.  Consistency is key and consistency is not always (never) convenient.

The disobedience of the week has been Lauren's hitting.  She hits in play, she hits in anger, she bats at the air, she hits the couch in frustration...she's a hitter.  Dan and I discussed it and decided that no hitting was ok - not even when it didn't hurt, or when it was in play.  No hitting.  And so it began.  We have learned that for Lauren, spanking (swatting the back of her hand, spanking a diapered butt is silly) doesn't work.  She responds best to removal from the situation/area/person/room.  Sometimes just scooping her up and facing her away from the toys we're playing with and making her sit there is enough to get the point across that she's in trouble...sometimes we have to put her in her crib, in her room, alone.  Sometimes it takes 30 seconds.  Sometimes it takes 30 seconds, seven times in a row.

Another hard part of discipline, is that it's just sad.

Scenario: Wednesday had been a bad day for Lauren.  She was in a mood, by afternoon I was in a mood, and even poor Kate had had enough of the discipline interruptions to her day.  I decided a change of scenery was in order.  We went to the backyard.  I got in my lounge chair, the girls were playing in the grass and with their toys, and all was right with the world.  Kate went over to make faces at herself in the reflection on the glass door.  She wasn't bothering anyone, and she was cracking herself up.  Lauren was having none of it.  She kept coming over to Kate saying, "No, no, no" and trying to pull her arm over to play with her.  Kate would wait her out and go back to making faces.  About the third time, Lauren came over and just waylaid her.  I mean arm behind her, full swing, get-your-point-across swack.  (Another hard part of punishment: for whatever reason, Kate acted like she didn't mind.  No tears, didn't fall down, etc.  I feel like it would sink in better if Lauren were getting in trouble for the action and the effect - Kate doesn't play along.)  I swooped (slowly hauled my 35 pound overweight, off-centered, out of breath self ) into action.  I grabbed her up, spanked said diapered bottom, and headed straight to her room.  Plopped her in her crib, no pacifier, light off, closed the door.  Then I walked to the end of the hall where I could see a digital clock and steeled myself to wait ONE WHOLE MINUTE.

Kate walked from the closed door of their room back to me 14 times.  She didn't make a noise, didn't touch the door, just pointed and then came back and looked up at me.  I finally said, "Kate, she's not hurt, she's in trouble."  Kate lost it.  Like louder and more emphatically than Lauren was losing it.  I held her, we waited almost a minute, and then went in to get Lauren.  When I added Lauren to my arms and snuggled both the girls, it was as if Kate were trying to get into Lauren's skin.  She hugged her, she rubbed her back, she rested her head on Lu' shoulder.  The order of most traumatized people from that incident was Kate ---> Momma ---> Lauren.  But we had no more hitting that day.

It also gets me to thinking (DANGER).  I wonder how many time outs God would put me in a day?  As we're trying to raise sweet, kind, loving ladies, what behaviors do we need to be weeding out of our life so they see good examples?  I'm afraid if God actually spend the day spanking the backs of my hands, my day would be even worse than Lauren's Wednesday.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

18 Months!

Can you even stand it?  The monsters are 18 months old today!!!  It is just remarkable to me, and I get to see them everyday....I don't know how you'll even be able to wrap your mind around it!!

We love you, babies.
Big time.