Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Shadow...

I was wandering around the house picking up things and returning them to their proper place, gathering up laundry, and generally just tidying things up when I realized my son was following me around.
"What are you doing, Cory?" I asked.
"I'm your shadow. What are you doing, Mommy?" How cute, right?
"I'm cleaning up our messy house."
"Can't you make time?" He asked.
"Make time for what?"
"Make time for me!"
Oh geez, the GUILT! I have to admit, I sometimes get too wrapped up in what I'm doing and find that I have unintentionally ignored my kids. I'm very sensitive about this because it's a characteristic of mine that I'm ashamed of and trying to overcome. So, how do I overcome this?
I don't know.
Honestly, since that day, my shadow has become more apparent. Now my son insists he be in the same room with me at all times. In fact, he has to be holding my arm, hand, or sitting in my lap.
Isn't it terrible to be so loved?!
Sometimes... YES!
It really wears on me. I thought it might help if I spent at least 10 minutes per hour playing with him. It's the longest ten minutes ever, and he gets annoyed when his brother tries to join in. I admit I'm not very creative when it comes to playing dinosaurs and cars, so I find myself going a little nuts. He likes doing crafts, so we do one of those every day.
Anyway, I have to say, this attachment thing is getting really crazy. He's four years old, so I would think he wouldn't want anything to do with me. What do you do when your child freaks out if you use the bathroom? Follows you around so much you trip over him? Throws a tantrum when you leave him with his dad?
I left to get my hair done, and when I returned, there was my son on the driveway crying and shouting, "You were supposed to play with me!"
Oh, the GUILT!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Potty Training Woes

It has been two weeks. TWO WHOLE WEEKS devoted to nothing but potty training my two boys! I was tired, frustrated, annoyed, disgusted, and throwing my hands in the air!
In venting my frustrations, a friend offered me a book about potty training your child in one day.
Yeah Right.
Well, I thought it might have some good advice anyway, and I was right.
Yesterday morning, I woke up bright and early, telling myself I would not lose my temper at all that day, that I would devote my whole day to my kids. I would neglect my duties as a wife and homemaker, to be 100% devoted to potty training.
I decorated the bathroom with balloons and streamers. I made special charts with a picture of Chuck-E-Cheese on them. I made a "Super Hero Drink" (1/3 apple juice, 1/3 water, 1/3 sparkling cider), dressed them in their super hero pajama tops (no pants today), and we had a party.

It did not go well the first couple of hours.
Even though the kids were excited about the party and the new charts (I have tried charts before), they still had a lot of accidents.
I set the timer on my stove for 30 minutes, and took them without fail every 30 minutes. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that 30 minutes was too long a time between visits. I was especially discouraged when they both pooped in their underwear in the first hour. I was ready to just give up for the day because my boys normally only poop once a day--but at very unpredictable times.
I decided to stay at it, however, because of the "Super Hero Drink". I don't usually let my boys drink much juice because 1-Cory used to be addicted to juice and that was all I could get him to drink AND eat, and 2- too much gives them diarrhea.
The second reason is why I decided to stick to it.
I knew I was taking a risk dressing them only in underwear, knowing that they could be having bouts of diarrhea all day, but if this was the only to teach them to poop in the potty, I was going to do it.

After a couple of hours of taking them every 30 minutes, and cleaning up too many accidents, I started setting the timer for every 10 minutes.
At about 3:00 in the afternoon, I was ready to sit in the puddle of their poop and cry myself to death.
My four-year-old called to me while I was helping my two-year-old, and said, "Mommy, there's poop running down my legs!"
I ran to see what had happened, and immediately wished I hadn't. It was all I could do not to reach my swearing quota for my lifetime. There was a giant puddle of poop underneath him, and a lovely little trail all the down the hall and down the stairs.
After wiping him down, I put them both in the tub to play for a while. Meanwhile, I managed to clean up the poop and run some laundry and get some dinner in the oven. After the bath, I got them back in their underwear and attempted to get them on the potty again. It was while I had my two year old on the potty that I saw my four year old grab his stomach in panic.
I immediately lifted him off the ground and ran to the other bathroom, where he pooped in the potty, not once, but four times!!!
I made such a big deal about it, we called Daddy at work, we called Grandma, we had a parade, he got TWO stickers on his chart, and he was so proud of himself.
The boys stayed dry for the rest of the evening until bedtime when I tucked them in with pull-ups on.

I stayed up until 2AM finishing the laundry, cleaning the floors, and prepping for the next day.

Today, all I have to say is:
I am reading this entry at their weddings. They owe me BIG time for this.

I haven't showered in three days, I am running on little sleep, the fumes from all the cleaners have given me a headache, my back is killing me from carrying unwilling boys to the bathroom, and my hands are raw from all the washing.

No one is motivated anymore, but I keep setting that timer, handing out praise, swallowing my rage, giving out stickers, and hoping for the day I don't have to do this anymore.

Thank goodness it's the weekend. Now the husband gets to get in on the "party". Bwa ha ha ha.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just to Lie there

I have a problem with falling asleep. I do. Who, me?! Yes, I have no trouble staying asleep, it's the actual process of falling asleep that gets me frustrated. I used to be able to sleep sitting up in my desk in junior high or on my arm in Psychology. I could be drooling in two seconds on an airplane or car ride. Now, I have too much going on in my head to sleep. I have to check on my kids at least twice before I feel it's safe to fall asleep. I also have to have the next day planned out in my head or written down before I can fall asleep. I have to have a lunch made for Matt, the kitchen clean, dishwasher running, washed my face, brushed my teeth, peed, read my scriptures, prayed, and set my alarm before I can fall asleep. Lately, I have had to make sure I'm wearing my robe for protection, so Cory won't climb in bed with me during the night and wiggle his cold feet up under my shirt to warm them on my back. I also have to put lotion on, yuck. Not to mention the pillows being situated perfectly so my head, neck, back, and knees are supported.
No, it is not easy to fall asleep. My mind seems to go wild while I lie there. I used to get so frustrated! My doctor gave me a muscle relaxer to help me fall asleep because I am too agitated to do it on my own. Which was just one more thing I had to do before falling asleep.
Then, one night, a thought came to me. Call it the voice of God, the Spirit, or whatever, but it was not my own thinking. This thought said to me, "Just be content to lie there and relax."
It worked! I don't have to take my medication anymore because I just lie down and relish in the fact that I can. I can just lie there. I just focus on the PRIVILEGE of being horizontal in the most comfortable position in the most comfortable bed.


Does anyone else get agitated by noise? I have to admit that I get testy when I hear unnecessary noise. Nothing gets me like whistling, and no, it's not because I can't do it! My husband likes to whistle, and it annoys me like crazy. I know he does it on purpose just so I'll say, "Matt! Stop it!" and then he'll innocently look at me like I've hurt his feelings.
Tapping, and drumming, and "beat boxing" (I don't know how to spell that at all), are all unnecessary noise. Even singing bugs me.
One time in junior high after musical practice, I was waiting for a ride home, when one of the other girls in the cast walked up to me and started singing to me right in my face. Not only was she invading my personal space, but she wouldn't shut up. To this day, I HATE that song she was singing. No, I'm not going to tell you what it was because I know that one of you will start singing it around me just to see my reaction. Naughty, naughty.
Why, you may ask, does a music-lover like myself not like these things? Let me tell you, it's the way they are "performed". Whistling is too shrill, "beat-boxing" and drumming is too repetitive and it goes no where. It's like singing Mary Had a Little Lamb and leaving out the last word.
For example:
"Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb. Mary had a little lamb her fleece was white as"

Doesn't it just drive you crazy that the last word wasn't said?!!

I studied music in college, but I would never profess to be a professional, or someone of any merit who could critic a singer, but there are some voices that rub me the wrong way.

James Taylor, for example, his voice sounds so nasal, I think he needs some kind of decongestant. I know Matt listens to him just because it bugs me.

Britney Spears sounds like she is going to choke to death on her own vocal chords.

John Mayer sounds like an evil rapist.

Now, I don't want you thinking that if you get up, say in Sacrament Meeting, and I am in the congregation, and you sing a solo, that I will be thinking, "He/She didn't support that note enough", or "He/She definitely should NOT be up there," or "I could do better", or "OHMGOSH make it STOP I am IN PAIN!"
No! I am NOT thinking any of those things at all. In fact, I know that is what people are thinking when I get up to sing.
Actually, I am sitting in that congregation green with envy that you have the courage to get up in front of all those people and sing.

When I say that unnecessary noise annoys me, I am saying that there is a time and a place for noise.
While I am trying to get dinner on the table and having a discussion with my husband and my kids are beating each other up, is not the time for unnecessary noise.
Thus the reason I freaked out at my family at dinner tonight.
Kevin started this really annoying scream, Cory was growling at him, Matt had the news on TV, and he was telling me about his day all while I was trying to sneak salad dressing into the salad before Cory could see.
You know that old saying, "Her blood started to boil".
That's exactly how I felt. I could feel the steam rising from my head. I yelled, "Quiet! I NEED QUIET!"
Is that too much to ask?

8:00PM-midnight is happy time for my ears. The kids are in bed, Matt is studying, and there is no unnecessary noise. Ahhh. Do you see why I am reluctant to go to bed?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spending money

I get home from the grocery store so proud of myself because I had saved $12 by using coupons. I had carefully calculated and planned my trip to the store, accounting for every penny, every situation, and every potential problem. I bought a cart full of groceries for under $25.oo. We were low on cereal and milk, so I stocked up.
I got home and my husband says to me, "You spent money again!"
This coming from the man who tells me to buy the "good" cereal. To buy the "good" milk. If he knew how much time and planning and STRESS my trips to the grocery store give me, I don't think he'd treat me like I went on a spending spree with his credit card.
I have not bought myself a new article of clothing since...
I bought myself some nice lotion for my face not too long ago in order to prevent the chapping and breakouts I've been getting. You wouldn't believe the guilt trip I was given.
You also wouldn't believe the guilt trip I gave back!
My son has shot out of his clothes. He needs new pants and pjs and long-sleeved shirts. I bought him a few, from Wal-Mart, so they were extremely cheap. I hate buying clothes there. They don't last and they shrink and they are usually ugly. Still, they are better than nothing.
This dilemma of money spending, getting the best deal, getting your dollar's worth. I've been trying to master it, and I'm getting close. I'm not a huge fan of couponing, but I do it anyway. I don't like shopping at consignment stores and Wal-Mart, but I do it anyway. I don't like wearing clothes that don't fit me anymore, but I do it anyway. I don't even like shopping, but, out of necessity, I do it anyway.
My husband assures me that someday we won't have to be so careful. Being careful with money is so ingrained in me now, I don't think I'll ever be able to come out of it. I'll be one of those old ladies who wears shoes from D.I., reuses paper plates, and stashes sugar packets in my cupboards.
Someone give me ten bucks to use frivolously! Please, my future depends on it!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Thoughtful Husband...

cleaned the oven for me after I spilled something in it and the smoke detectors went off and I burst into tears. In the process of cleaning it, he broke the igniter. My husband eventually fixed it.

Knowing I had a hard day, my husband told me he wanted to spend some time with me. I spent two hours watching him download things onto his XBox.

It's the thought that counts, right?

Actually, my husband is amazing. I have so many friends and family members who are having marital problems right now. Sadly, it's the husband's fault in every case. I'm not being biased, it really is! This has really caused me to ponder my own feelings for my husband. I am so blessed to have him. He loves me despite... me!

I know you can't blame marital problems on just one thing, but is it coincidence that most of these friends only knew their jerk of a husband for a short period before they were engaged?

Listen, I knew my husband for four years before we were engaged, and now that we've been married for five years, I still feel like I hardly know him, so maybe that isn't the reason, but maybe it really is.

We scoff at people who say they "knew" he/she was the "one" when they first set eyes on each other. Okay, I believe that can be true, I do, but I still think you should take the time to get to know the "one" before you marry the "one".

The first time I met my husband, I knew he wasn't the "one". He was way too cocky. It took four years for me to find out that he is actually the most humble person on the planet. His cockiness was actually self-confidence and his way of trying to better himself. He still thinks every one else is better than he is when in reality, no one holds a candle to him.

I digress...

Where do husbands get off thinking they can tell their wives who she can talk to? Where she can go? What she can watch on TV? What she can wear?

These abusive traits come on gradually. If you only know the guy for a few months before you marry him, then by the time the red flags start showing up, you are stuck.

Ladies, the second your husband tells you you can't hang out with your friends or family, or when he manipulates the situation so you can't go. THAT is a BIG red flag.

The second your husband calls you a B*!ch, slut, or any other degrading name, kick him out of the house!

The second your husband threatens to take your kids away, you pack them up and stay with someone you trust.

The second you find yourself confiding in someone about how badly your husband makes you feel about yourself, it's time to get him to go to therapy with you.

Once, I threatened to leave my husband because he hung up on me. By the time he got home, I had my bags packed and I was looking online for a flight to my parents' house. He felt horrible and begged me to stay. He did not tell me I was being stupid. He did not threaten to take our child away. He did not threaten to cut me off without a cent. He begged me to forgive him, and all he did was hang up on me.

Why was I so hard on him? Why was I willing to leave my husband because of that one instance of disrespect? Because I had been in an abusive relationship before, and I was not going to let disrespect be "okay."

My abusive relationship started with him giving me guilt trips. He would get mad at me for not spending enough time with him. He would make me feel guilty for hanging out with my family and friends when he loved me more than they did. He started telling me what to wear, then he started insulting the people I loved most, and then he started calling me names. The last straw was when he told me I couldn't hang out with my best friend anymore. I did finally get rid of him, but the damage was already done. It took a lot of therapy for me to feel worthwhile again, and, by golly, I was not going to let another person make me feel like that again!

I lucked out with my husband. The perfect man fell in love with me, and I didn't even have to trick him into it. I shudder to think how close I was to marrying the other guy. Boy, I dodged a BIG bullet! How come I got so lucky? Because I had a close friend who helped me through it.

Why are we so afraid to tell people when they are being abused? Why are we so afraid to step in and say, "Watch out for that one, he/she is showing signs of an abusive person." Is it because we think it's none of our business? After I dumped the stinker who was abusing me, so many people, who I thought liked him, told me they were so glad I got rid of him.
If you could see that he was treating me badly, why didn't you say something at the time? It would have saved me a lot of grief!
Stand up, people! Your friend may be mad at you. She may say you are interfering, meddling, that it's none of your business, but at least you can sleep at night knowing you tried. Maybe she'll step back and see what is going on. Maybe not.

It's nearly 1:00AM, and the fact that I wasn't a good enough friend to warn my friends about their husbands is literally keeping me up at night.

I'm gonna go give my hubby a hug.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Have you ever...?

Have you ever had to ask your husband where the toilet plunger is? You probably haven't because you know where it is in a jiffy for those times your hubby or child leaves a drippy surprise in the bathroom. Seeing as we had just moved into our house, I didn't know where it was.

Mostly because I didn't want to get teased to death.

So, when I asked him, "Do you know where the toilet plunger is?" and he asked me, "why?" I wanted to rip his head off.
Trying to keep calm, I ask, "Do you KNOW where the toilet plunger is?"
He just looks at me, amused.


Then he gets all pouty that I snapped at him and gives me the silent treatment. All while I'm imagining the toilet suddenly overflowing and filling my new bathroom with... well you can imagine.


He glares at me. "It's in the cleaning closet, I think."

I find the tool and get the deed done. My roommates didn't call me Diana Pooper Mixer for nothin'. Yeah, they called me that because I was the only one who knew how to unclog a toilet. Gross.

SO, what's worse than having to ask your husband where the toilet plunger is?
Having to apologize for the way you asked him.

Or maybe it's when he asks you, "Why was the toilet clogged?" and bugs you until you answer.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What do I Want to Whine about Today?

I realize I haven't posted in a while. I have been a little bit busy. We are moving into a new house, and I have come to find that we have a lot of stuff. No wonder my life feels so unorganized, it is! I'm so excited to use this new house as an opportunity to create some semblance of order. I have tried to implement a schedule for my boys, but that is nearly impossible when living with your parents and having a husband around all the time. Now that Matt has returned to work, and we'll be in our own place soon, I am really excited to get some routines going in our day. I guess this is how my mom felt when we were out of school for the Summer. I remember her saying how she couldn't wait for school to start again so we could get back on schedule.
What's so great about schedules? For one thing, they sure make things easier for kids. It gives them security when they know what to expect. Thus, it reduces tantrums and misbehavior. Schedules are very important to kids with autism who find comfort in the expected.
My husband has a nightly routine with Cory. First, Cory gets a bath or we wash hands and face, then brush teeth. Then Cory has to put his pajamas on all by himself. This is still a struggle for him, but he's getting faster! Then they play airplane, where Matt balances Cory on his hands and zooms him around. They play a series of other acrobatic games. Then Matt reads Cory three stories because he is three years old. Then they say prayers, he gives Cory a drink of water and tucks him in.
This routine has been a lifesaver, so it's hard when Matt is working late and I have to put him to bed. I don't, for example, do "airplane" correctly.

The Baby Whisperer, and I'm sorry I don't have an exact reference, says that routines are practice for life. If you want your child to behave at a restaurant, then you need to establish a mealtime routine that you can mimic at a restaurant. If you don't want your child playing around at a restaurant, then don't let them play around during mealtimes at home. Meals are a struggle at our house. I know my kids get hungry before we do and dinner just isn't ready yet. I'm looking forward to having my own house where I'm in control of when we have dinner. I know I've talked about this before, but it's something that is really important, and I'm excited to blog about our progress in the future!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Budget Trucks

I warned them...
We rented a Budget truck to move our stuff from one end of this continent to the other. Okay, so, it wasn't that far, but for how long it took us, it should've been!
We get the truck, and I nearly puke all over it. It was filthy! It stunk! I wanted to bathe in sanitizer after getting in that thing!
We get the truck loaded up, we get going on the freeway, we hit a small bump in the road, we nearly tip over. I'm thinking, "WHAT THE &*!!, we're gonna DIE!!" My husband, the CDL driver who kept all the soldier supplies safe during all those attacked convoys in Iraq can handle a moving truck, right? Right. So, why the heck did we almost tip over? Because the truck was rocking, not rockin' as in old-school '80s hairband rockin, but like we're gonna flip over.
The truck wasn't particularly heavy. We had sold most our furniture. We had a heavy piano, and a lot of boxes, and a mattress. THAT IS ALL! Why is the van teetering like this? My husband, the ever careful packer, made sure that the truck would be perfectly balanced. Why, despite his meticulous efforts, did we feel like we were on the ocean rather than the interstate?
Because Budget SUCKS!
Okay, so you don't judge me for using such harsh language, let me continue. It wasn't long after we had called customer service 3 times just to be put on hold and disconnected that a tire blew. We called roadside assistance which told us they would have help there in an hour. Three hours later, we had a new tire and we were "on the road again", to coin the lyric. By this time, it was really late at night, and the stress had taken its toll on us. We pulled over and passed out in the truck. After our extremely uncomfortable "sleep" we started driving again. This time it was about six hours before the brand-spankin'-new tire blew. If my husband hadn't been driving, we would have been dead for sure.
Thank heaven for RedBox. Two movies and a wilderness urination later, we were "on the road again." What would normally take us 16 hours to drive, took us 30!! Thanks a lot Budget.
After turning in the truck, we immediately called customer service to make them aware of our discontent with our rented truck. Which kept rocking even when it was empty!
My sweet husband gets on the line with a woman who is less than sympathetic of our situation. "I only have record of one blown tire," she says with disdain. SO! ONE blown tire is scary enough! We weren't asking for a refund, but maybe some compensation. She said she could give us %15. Um, seriously? 15? That is practically insulting! So, the woman gives my husband serious attitude when he politely says that isn't good enough. He was talking to a lady, so he was being extra polite. Well, she continued to give him grief but says 25% is the best she can do. She puts him on hold, and he tells me what has been going on.
My turn. I get on the phone, and when the lady gets back on I say, "I want to talk to your manager."
"I don't have a manager," she says in a really snotty tone.
"Then let me talk to your superior."
"It doesn't matter who you talk to, you're not gonna get more than 25% back."
"I don't care! You were being a jerk to my husband, and I want to report you!!"
"Fine." I get put on hold for a long time, and finally, a very pleasant-sounding lady gets on the phone.
"How may I help you?"
"I was just talking to one of your customer service reps..."
"Yes, Robert."
"No, it was a woman."
"No, that was Robert." I was floored! I could've sworn I was talking to a woman!
"So, he's got a femmy voice, and he's a jerk?" I ask.
She laughs and says, "Yeah. I'm so sorry he was impolite to you..." blah, blah, blah.
Yeah, so we can't get more than %25 back, whatever. Their customer service blows. I'm telling all of you DO NOT ever use Budget trucks!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bed Bed Bed...

I have a very difficult time going to bed at night. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I relish in the quiet and peaceful solace that nighttime provides. My kids are in bed by 8:00 every night. I am a firm believer in strict bedtimes. I have been ever since I read On Becoming Babywise. Once I got my baby Cory going to bed at a regular time, his schedule kind of fell into place. What I didn't like was waking up my baby. Honestly, it was more of a struggle to try to wake him up and keep this cranky baby awake for a half hour rather than just let him sleep for that half hour and let him wake up happy. This holds true for me today. My kids get about 12 hours of sleep a night. They wake up between 8:00-8:30 and they are happy!
My problem is that once they are asleep in bed I finally get my time, and I want it to last as long as possible. I stay up late, very late! This isn't good because I wake up at 6:30 every morning to go running. I'm exhausted all day, but when nighttime comes and the boys are sleeping, I'm wide awake. Why is that?
Last night, I got into bed without washing my face, brushing my teeth, I even still had my bra on. It was 10:00 and I wanted to read my book. Next thing I know, it's 2:00AM and my mouth tasted like bum. I got up, brushed my teeth, did my business, and went back to bed.
My run this morning went better than expected.
I need a bedtime.