Saturday, March 16, 2013

Raising a toddler and preschooler is like raising Jekyll and Hyde

I pretty much have a love/hate relationship with the current phase my 2 and 3 year old are in. I hate that they fight over EVERYTHING. I want that, I had that, don't touch that, Morgan's hitting me, Maddie's kicking me, blah blah blah.

When Morgan doesn't want to eat something or she's had enough of something...on the floor it goes. And it's not like she just drops it right below where she's sitting, it ends up halfway across the room in all of .2 seconds. She's obsessed with dumping liquid anything on to whatever she can. I'm still not sure if it's because she's a little scientist and likes experimenting, or if it's because she enjoys seeing her mom lunge across the room in one leap while screaming like a lunatic. 

She throws a tantrum like it's her job if she doesn't get what she wants, and she is super gifted at turning the waterworks on at the drop of a hat. She screams and cries so loud during bath time you would think that I am ripping a limb off, and purposely does exactly what you tell her NOT to do. She practically lives on timeout, and still doesn't get the fact that crayons and markers are for coloring on paper and not carpets, furniture, herself, or her brother. She rips, shreds, and trashes whatever she can get her hands on, and thinks it's awesome.

Maddie's past everything that Morgan is still doing, other than her ability to turn the waterworks on on command. They are both extremely good in that department. However, Maddie does have a problem speaking for EVERYONE. I can't ask Morgan a question without Maddie answering. And if you tell her not to, get ready for a meltdown worthy of an Oscar.

Reading a bedtime story? Forget about it. It turns into the battle of the century nightly. No I want to read this book, let me turn the page, I want to sit there, stop touching me, get the picture. She's started growling when she doesn't get her way, and is on timeout whenever Morgan isn't sitting there. We have entered the talking back phase, and her attitude seems to get snottier and snottier with each passing day. She is quite the little smart ass already. (My husband is terrified of what our house is going to be like when we are all on the same menstrual cycle)

Even though all of that drives me bonkers during the day, they still manage to melt my heart more often than not. Morgan loves making food from her kitchen set, and serves me meals no matter where I am. She's always saying "Mommy...I love you too" even when I haven't said it first. She loves making her brother laugh, and will do whatever it takes to get the job done. Seeing how excited she gets when she answers a question right makes me smile from ear to ear. (That's only when she's able to beat Maddie to the punch) She's always dancing and will command that whoever is in her presence at that time has to dance too. No exceptions. She has started telling jokes, and always has an endless supply of energy. She buzzes around our house like a busy little bee on a mission, and watching her imagination unfold is awesome. She is super creative, and so smart!

If someone is crying both girls will flock to you genuinely concerned, and will heal all wounds with a kiss and a hug. Maddie is the most compassionate person I know, and is always on a hunt to make someone feel good. 

A disagreement is easily diffused by simply asking someone to go make my bed, fill up the dog's food bowl, help with laundry, or do dishes. (I don't want that one to EVER end!!) They truly enjoy making people happy, and they live for seeing the pure delight on your face when you praise them for doing something good. They LOVE playing dress up, and seeing some of the crazy outfits they come out wearing is absolutely hilarious. When they aren't at each other's throats, they are the best of friends and are always looking out for one another.

They are always making me laugh even when I just want to scream. I truly enjoy seeing all 3 of their personalities develop right in front of me, and couldn't be more proud that those are my kids.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My kids ARE able to survive without me.... Who woulda thought?

I had quite the stressful week last week. I was invited to go on a women's renewal weekend retreat. After seriously thinking about it, I decided that I needed to go, for many reasons, but mostly because I felt the desire to strengthen my relationship with God. It seemed like as soon as I made the commitment to go, everything went haywire.

I was already nervous about leaving my kids (it would be the first time EVER that I have slept away from them. The only other time I have left them is when I was in the hospital giving birth to the next kid, and I still ended up having one with me!). Then the two youngest ones got croup and an ear infection at the same time. (which resulted in zero sleep what so ever. They were up every hour and half because they were so uncomfortable.) Dex, my youngest kept throwing up his meds, and this is our 4th antibiotic in a row. I had two GIANT exams to study for and take before I went on my retreat, and since I was tending to sick kids... studying went right out the window. I actually think I forgot things!

After snapping at everyone and anyone because I was so on edge, it was finally exam day. I managed to pull off A's on both exams, but then had to deal with penile adhesions with Dex once I got home. Seriously. Could the timing be any worse? (Well..yeah, actually it probably could have...but this was bad enough)

I'm leaving for my first weekend ever away from my kids, and besides dealing with the anxiety about that, I have to worry about my husband giving everyone their meds when they need it, making sure Dex doesn't throw his up, and remembering to put medicine on his ticky. The antibiotics wouldn't be that big of a deal if my son wasn't going in for surgery in 2 weeks. If he still has an ear infection they won't touch him, so I was even more nervous about leaving that responsibility in someone else's hands.

After I finally made it to the church and started out my weekend, my stress and anxiety slowly started to melt away. If there's one person who can take care of my kids just as good as I can, it's my husband. I knew they were in good hands, and I was really starting to enjoy the adult interaction. Not to mention being able to eat a hot meal since I didn't have to cut up any one's food, and drinking a few beers and letting my hair down a bit was pretty refreshing. It was a great feeling, and just what I needed.

My husband and kids came to church on the final day, and I saw them sitting in the pews as we all filed in. I spotted my girls and started chuckling to myself. My husband is not the girly type. He doesn't do well with ponytails, or even head bands. And picking out their clothes? Forget about it. That's not his cup of tea either. When I first saw Morgan, it looked like he used his pomade in her hair and slicked it straight back. I laughed out loud for a split second, and then tried to compose myself. The shirt she was wearing looked very church-appropriate which was a pleasant surprise. My oldest had a headband in, but it slid down her forehead so far that she looked like she was wearing a workout sweatband. My little Jane Fonda. I snuck over to see them half way through mass because I missed them so much and really got the full blown view then. Morgan had a nice white dressy turtle neck sweater on...and black sweatpants. Sweatpants that were 2 sizes too small. Completed with dressy black sequined boots. She was a hot mess. Maddie looked nice even though she was wearing a summer shirt, and a sweatband, and my little Doo-Doos had on a pair of jeans that I think he grew out of 2 months ago. I didn't even know I still had then in the drawer! His chunky legs were spewing out all over the place...but all 3 of them were as cute as could be. The fact they were dressed like orphans just added to their cuteness.

After a crazy week, and a my first weekend away from my kids it was over just like that. And we all survived. I got a much needed break from the real-world and got to concentrate on myself and my faith, and my husband got to walk a day (or two) in my shoes. Having him experience what it's like to be a stay-at-home mom for a weekend gave him a new appreciation for what I do on a daily basis. I loved getting tackled by both of my girls, seeing those gummy smiles from my Doo-Doos, and getting hugged so tight by my husband that I lost my breath for a minute. It feels good to know that you are where you belong ♥