Monday, August 22, 2011

Prayer and Patience....

One of the most important goals I have in this life is to be a good mother and raise God centered, self controlled, independent, kind, loving, and family oriented children.  I have had an extremely challenging week in that department and have felt angry, impatient, desperate, and overall just like a bad mom..  My sweet and fun child has turned into a whiny, defiant, and disobedient little boy (I've been referring to him as our 'punk kid' which my mother doesn't appreciate), and I'm at my wit's end!  ugh. 

Here's what happened this week....
While Steven was in the field this past Tues-Friday, we had a backslide with the big boy bed.  The day Steven left, James flipped the switch and started getting out of bed 8-15 times after I put him down.  He can open his bedroom door himself, so he just gets out of his room and comes looking for me.  The first night I handled poorly, got angry and impatient.  Tried spanking, threatening, yelling, giving him the "you better obey me NOW" eyes, and then even rocking, singing, and soothing....nothing worked.  Finally, after 13 times up, he stayed in there and fell asleep.  Unfortunately, that was just the beginning of the drama that week. 

The next night I tried the "Super Nanny" tactic, which worked better.  The 1st time he got up I calmly said, "James, it's bedtime.  Goodnight, I love you," and without emotion, put him back to bed.  2nd time, "James, it's bedtime."  3rd and subsequent times, I said absolutely nothing and conveyed no emotion at all, just took him back to his bed.  He got up a total of 5 times that night and then decided he was done.  much improved!

I thought we were then on the right track.  Night #3 I did the same Supernanny tactic, and it did not work so well.  Up 10 times and then finally went to sleep.  Not to mention that all of this drama happens at nap time too.  I was seriously losing my mind and going to throw in the towel and put his crib back together.  I knew Steven would be upset with James when he got home and saw him acting like this a bedtime.

On Friday evening Steven got home, we talked it through, and decided to give it one more night.  Can you guess what happened?  That punk kid went to bed and stayed in there without getting up once and has continued to do so all weekend.  gggrrrrrr!  Don't get me wrong, I'm so glad he's in bed, but if it takes Steven being home for James to go to bed then I'm in big trouble come November when he deploys!  On top of all of this, he is really acting out when we are shopping, too.  He will not sit in the cart without a major fight and meltdown.  Talk about embarrassing and infuriating!  All this drama started in the last week and it better end soon! 

I need to get my act together and figure out what I'm doing that is enabling this bad behavior.  A wise mother (mine) once told me that if you don't like the way your children are acting, then you better look at how you're handling it and change your own actions!  Well, I think that's right on the money...I just don't know what I'm doing wrong!  Anyone have any suggestions?  I need help!  Until then, prayer and patience are my game plan...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rock Hill

Steven's sister, Alicia, lives in Rock Hill, SC and we jumped in the car on Sunday and took a day trip up there to see them.  Alicia moved there about 15 years ago, and this was the first time the family has seen each other since then.  Needless to say, it was quite a reunion!  Alicia has four kids, Taylor 14, Chelsea 13, Mikayla 4, and Karlee 4 months.  Her boyfriend, Andy is a really nice guy and he planned a few activities for the day. 

We first went to this huge park that had an amazing playground for the kids.  James and Mikayla had a blast on the slides and jungle gyms.  We then went to the Rock Hill Museum which was awesome!  They had numerous animal and interactive kid exhibits as well as a planetarium!  We spent several hours there and everyone really enjoyed it!  Andy then took us on a tour of Winthrop University's campus and their outdoor athletic facilities which are beautiful!  Finally we stopped at Lake Wylie which is HUGE!  It spans across 3 states and the part we saw reminded me of Lake James in northern IN only on a much bigger scale. 

We then went back to Alicia's place and Andy grilled burgers and hot dogs for our BBQ dinner.  The kids had fun playing together, and it was nice getting a chance to visit.  We hope that since we're now only 4 hours away we will be able to get together more often. 

Grandma Terry's Visit

We had a wonderful visit this week from Steven's mom, Terry.  She flew to see us all the way from Long Beach, WA...coast to coast!  We had such a nice time together and James loved getting to know his grandma!  We went to the beach at Hilton Head where Grandma and James searched for shells, built sand castles and retrieved buckets and buckets of water!  We also took a driving tour of downtown Savannah as well as Ft. Stewart where we visited the on post museum.  The museum actually had some really neat exhibits, and James especially loved the tanks and helicopters!  Our most exciting part of her visit was a trip up to Rock Hill, SC where we spent the day with Steven's sister Alicia and her kids.  More on that in the next post....

Grandma Terry, thank you so much for braving the long flight and the Atlanta airport, we know it took some guts!  We truly enjoyed having you here and hope you'll come back again soon!  Love you.

Anna & Scott

My sister and brother in law came down last week for a few days to recouperate from their hectic summer and spend some time with us.  We had a very relaxing week spent at the beach, downtown Savannah, the pool and just enjoying some time together at home.  Anna has a special gift when it comes to children, and James just had oh-so-much fun with his Aunt and Uncle! 

 We took a tour at the Owens-Thomas house downtown which was the first home in the country to have running water...even before the White House!!  It had some amazing architectural details inside and out, as do so many of the homes in Savannah, and beautiful gardens in the courtyard.  James is cheezing it up, as usual...but lately he's really been scrunching his eyes when he says "cheese" for the camera.  hey, at least it's a smile! 

 At the beach we found a live starfish and sand dollar, very cool!  I've never actually held live ones, and was amazed at how the sand dollar digs and buries itself in the sand and the starfish moves fairly quickly with its prickley litte legs. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Don't Fall Out...

We turned James' crib into a toddler bed this past weekend.  We were a little apprehensive at first, knowing he could get in and out all on his own was a little worrisome.  However, he has done a great job.  He still goes down for his naps and stays in his bed (for the most part) and night time has been wonderful!  He sleeps well and just gets up in the morning when he's ready.  It has been such a blessing on my aching back already, and I think it's helping him learn a little self control...Crying babies go to bed, and when you're happy you can get up!