Thursday, March 27, 2014

When kids put themselves in time-out...

Today was one of those days. Lately "those days" have been happening quite often.
In my family we try not to use the term "terrible twos" but rather use "trying twos"...and oh how trying they are!
One second she is sweet and picking me flowers, singing songs and twirling in her princess dresses feeling like the most beautiful girl in the world...
And the next she is thrashing her head around, screaming, stamping her foot and expressing her upset feelings when she doesn't get what she wants or when she hears the word "no".
Today brought me to tears. And looking back it really was over something quite silly. But it was the needle on the haystack of these long days in which each contains a tantrum (or two or three).
Today I was going through her clothes, organizing them as we try to make room in her closet to share with baby-to-come. First mistake was mine. I should know better. I DO know better than to try and go through her clothes with her right there!
So we've been given an assortment of clothes that are MUCH too big for her, but of course she sees the size 5/6 red dress with white polka dots on it and wants to wear it immediately.
Ordinarily I wouldn't care. We're just at home. It's not a huge deal if she prances around the house in a dress that is enormous on her, right?
But my mind was set on organizing. And I simply wanted to put away the too-big clothes and be done with that task.
And so I said "No."
And she decided she didn't like my answer and was going to choose to put it on anyways.
This is what my husband and I are SO. DANG. TIRED. OF!
The defiance. The disobedience. The complete disregard of our instructions.
These are the trying things.
And we're exhausted!

Ultimately each and every day ends with these battles. When she wants to do one thing and we want another.
Now I should say that I am not, nor do I ever want to be a dictator in my child's life. I do not want her to do what I say just because I say so. I want her to make her own choices and use her brain. But I want her to make good choices.
In this case, yes it doesn't come down to whether wearing a dress too-big is right or wrong. But rather that her choice to disobey my instruction.
We try hard to be gentle parents and guide her to make good choices. We try very hard not to spank or shame her into submission. We deliberately don't put responsibility for our feelings on our child.
But I'm kind of at a loss.
Today all I could do was tell her that I was upset that she chose to disobey me and that I needed to be alone. (Inside I was fuming and wanting to cry and hit a wall all at the same time. To be openly defied pissed me off!)
I tried to go into my room and organize my own closet, meanwhile she's pounding at the door, crying and asking me if I like her, if I think she's pretty. It was breaking my heart. She kept following me around the house (not giving me my alone-time!) asking if I was her friend, if I like her. And all I could say is I was upset with her choice.
I told her I love her. And that's all I can do! I'm at my end.
I am crying out to God as I don't know what to do! How to be a parent in this time.
(And yes, I recognize that my pregnancy hormones are contributing and not really helping!)
I don't have an answer.
But I do know that my daughter knew how upset I was. She went and pulled one of her chairs aside, sat in it and asked me to set the timer for her to sit in time-out!
That shows how ticked I was/am. Now I'm just a wretch. I turned on Winnie-the-Pooh so I could write this blog and get some of my feelings out.
I guess I'm hoping that God will provide some answer or wisdom for me from those of you who've been there or discovered how to best embrace this season?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Paleo & Pregnant

It's taken me a few days to get on and blog after our trip down to visit family for a week. I've been itching to write!
After our home visitor left my nausea mostly disappeared, which I hypothesize had to do with what I was eating. We returned to our paleo way of eating - fruits, veggies, nuts & meat and I felt normal and healthy again, with my only pregnancy symptom being slight fatigue and soreness when toddler girl nurses.
Now I'm down to feeling queasy only after I take my vitamins, but I can deal with that!
This past weekend was exciting as we met with our midwife, Jessica (or at least I hope will be our midwife!). She is amazing and hubby and I both have such confidence in her! Today at my La Leche League meeting I met two others who delivered or are about to deliver with Jessica and they love her! We got to hear the baby's heartbeat for a split second, but I guess baby is so far down near my cervix that we couldn't get it for long. Next time!
Otherwise we're just trudging along here! We got our chair all set up in our bedroom and have begun the process of having our toddler sleep in her own bed next to ours. Boy! Is that a challenge! She fights it with everything in her. I can't blame her, as our bed is all she's ever known for 2.5 years! Now we're saying it's not her bed anymore - which must be a bit confusing for her. She has begun to start the night off in her bed but then crawls in with me in the middle of the night. It's a difficult process for me. I don't want her to feel shunned, but I do want this transition to happen before the baby comes, because I think those feelings of being an outsider will be even stronger if she hasn't accepted her new sleeping place and then the new baby takes her place in our bed.
These are the hard times in parenting when one needs to be firm but loving. She is truly testing our boundaries. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Holy Hormones!

Here's our 31 month old daughter holding up a blueberry to my tummy at 7 weeks. She's so excited!

Nausea has become a bittersweet companion during these last few weeks. Over the past few days however the lovely term "bionic fatigue" joined in on the party. This is a crippling tiredness where you cannot bear to keep your eyes open and your body just shuts down in sleep. Over the weekend it worked out okay as my loving and supportive husband took our daughter out for awhile and gave me the blessed gift of a nap! It was wonderful and totally altered my outlook on life. They returned to a refreshed and rejuvenated mama - oh how I needed that uninterrupted rest!
Yesterday however our daughter decided to boycott her nap for the day...right when I desperately needed one! I do believe I snuck in a few minutes of shut-eye when I turned on a movie for her, but of course she was in my face every few minutes trying to awaken me with "true loves kisses." Not quite the same.
Last night we all headed to bed early and this morning I woke somewhat rested - as much as one can be when they are awoken at least 3 times during the night by a toddler. And yet my bittersweet friend was nowhere to be found.
I ate a banana, took my vitamins with orange juice, which usually triggers the queasy feeling...and nothing.
So admittedly I started freaking out. Have I had any cramping? No. Any bleeding? No. Other than my incredibly sore nipples when my daughter nursed this morning, I felt normal. Which scares the life out of me.
I made eggs for myself and ate them without any aversions. I made my daughter an egg and a hot dog. Feeling completely normal.
So I started crying. Crying and praying and asking for prayer. I realize that I have a deep-seeded fear that I am going to lose this baby. Or that something major will be wrong with this baby. As much as I seem fine and happy on the surface, deep down I'm fearful. There are these voices in my head telling me that I don't deserve another healthy child. That those who love God and follow after Him will encounter hardships and I guess I'm just waiting for the anvil to drop.
When is it my turn? When will I be struck with miscarriage or infertility or cancer or death of someone close to me? Yes I had a somewhat difficult childhood and my parents divorced. I suffered from depression and floundered around in my young adult life, making unwise choices, but that doesn't seem like enough...and that sounds CRAZY! Where did I get this idea? Why do I expect to be punished or experience hardships?
I guess part of it is biblical - where Jesus promises that we will experiences hardships and be rejected and hated by the world, as it hated him.
But I think it's wrong to question if God is going to "cause" these things to happen.
The truth that I am trying to cling to is this: God is always good. And I am always loved.
Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd,
I [a]shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside [b]quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the [c]paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the [d]valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no [e]evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You [f]have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
[g]Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will [h]dwell in the house of the Lord [i]forever.