Friday, January 10, 2014

Instead of yelling...

I've sat down to write this blog post several times in the past couple weeks, and a some small person or another keeps pulling me away. I have (hopefully) about 30 minutes before my smallest of small people wakes up hungry, so here goes!

Not yelling is harder than I thought it would be, and I thought it would be pretty hard. Some days it's a breeze. I calmly and quietly handle misbehavior, my heart rate stays normal, and our day is nice and smooth. Some days it is a physical and emotional struggle. Some days I can feel the yell in my throat. Like it's a seed or something I choked on. My heart goes faster and faster, and I fight so hard against the urge to yell. I don't always win, but I'll ya what, the times I DO win? Man it's a sweet sweet victory. It's such an amazing feeling to push down that yell, and speak calmly instead. The times I don't win? Well, those are not good times, but I make every effort to stop it as soon as I possibly can.

Some things I've learned:
-I am more likely to yell at Sam if Kate is fussing. And that is so not fair.
-Sometimes I feel like yelling, not because Sam is even doing anything particularly BAD, but because I'm frustrated with how slow it's happening or how much of a mess it's making.
-Yelling makes a temper tantrum/bout of misbehavior last at least twice as long as calmly dealing with it does.
-Time outs are more effective if they're used incredibly sparingly (continued misbehavior after several attempts to calmly stop it/redirect or repeated actions that could cause harm to himself or others)
-Sam is more likely to act out when he's bored. Sam is more likely to be bored when I am very busy with other things. I am more likely to yell when I am very busy with other things. I need to slow.down.and.simplify.

Some things I've done when the urge to yell is about to overtake me:
-Close my eyes and take several VERY deep breaths
-Shut myself in the bathroom or laundry room for a few moments
-Go outside.

The last one ^, go outside? A.m.a.z.i.n.g! Particularly when it's cold! I make sure both kids are safe (Kate is buckled into her swing or something where Sam can't mess with her) and I step out onto our front porch. It's like as soon as the fresh air hits my face I feel immediately better! I've always liked utilizing time outside for the KIDS when they're having a bad day, but now I love to utilize it for ME. 

Even better than stepping outside for a moment to pull myself together? Getting a chance (if Daddy gets home early enough) to go for a run on my own.

Yesterday was a TOUGH day. I did not win against the yelling. I was extremely tired. Kate's naps were all off and she was very fussy. The house was messy. Sam was messy. Sam was tired and slightly bored. It was an all around bad situation. James got home early, I nursed Kate, said, "I'll be RIGHT back", and laced up my running shoes. 

3 miles and a shower later, I was a new Mama. I scooped Sam up to snuggle on the couch and told him that Mama was sorry for yelling so much. He said, "Mama! Look at Sam's orange cement truck!" and gave me a hug. In Sam's world, that means all is forgiven ;)

Sam, my sweet sweet Sam, has started doing something that is both heart breaking and such an awesome reminder to keep my promise to him and to myself and stop the yelling. When I am upset with him, he grins, and says in a quiet voice, "Mamaaaaaaa. Smile.". Oh Sam, Mama wants to be able to always smile for you!

And so I will trudge on with my promise. I will be calmer. I will be quieter. I will be the very best Mama that I can be because I have been blessed with 2 amazing little people who deserve nothing less :)


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013- A Recap

As I'm nursing Kate to sleep just hours before we ring in 2014, I thought I'd take a minute to post a fun recap of our year :) 

I was struck down with 'morning' sickness. Sam watched a lot of Thomas movies and I ate a lot of crackers.

We also made my pregnancy 'Facebook official', Sam got his first haircut, and we got the news that our new house on base would be finished and ready for us to move in in March! 

The sickness haze started to lift and we got down to business getting organized for our move.

I also started leading the 'Couch to Crazy' group with Stroller Warriors. We started with a couch to 5k program.

Towards the end of the month we found out our new address and were able to drive by our still under construction house. 

At the very end of the month, Sam and I flew up to PA for a visit.

Moving month!

We packed. And then packed a bit more. James had to be at the range the week we got our keys. So my mom flew down to help me out. She and I were able to move over a bunch of boxes and get the kitchen set up before the truck moved everything else a week later. I <3 my kitchen!

My couch to crazy group ran their graduation 5k! I felt so proud watching them all cross the finish line!

We continued to settle into our new house and Sam loved everything about living in a house rather than an apartment. So many opportunities to play outside!

We also found out that the baby in my belly was a GIRL! 

In May we finished up the last of our unpacking. Took longer than I was expecting!

Sam and I made the loooong drive up to PA for Tommy's graduation and shortly after we got back we had Sam's Thomas themed 2nd birthday party. We celebrated a little early since we'd be at the beach on the actual day.

Sam turned *2*!!

We had a fantastic week and a half in Lewes with my family. James and I went out on our first date night ALONE since before Sam was born to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. 

When we got home from the beach we moved Sam's crib to the nursery and set him up with a BIG BOY BED! He did so well with the transition!


James was gone for a good portion of July doing some training.

Sam and I stayed busy playing at the park, going running, and taking swimming lessons (they did NOT go well, although by the last day Sam did kick his legs and blow a couple bubbles)

The biggest event in July (besides Mom and Dad's visit for my birthday of course!) was POTTY TRAINING!! Yay! We stopped diapers cold turkey and never looked back! A day and a half of a lot of accidents and then it 'clicked'. Hooray for Sam! 

Big month!

Early part of the month was spent filling the freezer with dinners, prepping the house for a baby, and doing fun one on one activities with Sam (like Mini Marine day at Daddy's work and a visit to a train museum!)

Then on the 20th our sweet Kate joined our family! 


A lot of adjusting to having a baby in the house again.

My Mom came to visit and help out when Kate was 3 weeks old and James had to be in the field for a week.

This month I started to sllllowly ease back into running. I was SO happy to get back into it!

My couch to crazy group ran their first HALF MARATHON!! This group of women were SO amazing! The amount of pride I felt hanging medals around their necks as they crossed the finish line was immeasurable!

I myself started running more and more and really started to feel like my old (non-pregnant) self again!  

We saw lots of grandparents this month! Gran'mama and Grandpa came mid-month and we went pumpkin picking. Then Nana and Grandpa Bob came at the end of the month and joined us for trick or treating! 

James and I kicked off November with a 5k race. My first since having Kate! It was rough, but felt great to be 'back'!

Sam and I caught a nasty cold, complete with high fever, mid-month which kept us inside for a while. Cabin fever didn't take long to set in so I turned to Pinterest to find a few activities and crafts that might help alleviate some of Sam's boredom. 

We made the trip up to PA (first road trip with Kate AND first road trip with Sam in undies!) for Thanksgiving and were lucky enough that James' grandparent's Christmas brunch was the same weekend! It was awesome to be able to see SO many family members in one long weekend!

So much holiday fun!!

We attended Christmas parties for both Stroller Warriors and 2nd Tank Battalion and went to a friend's for a super fun cookie decorating plays date.

The kids were getting their own table and chairs set from Nana and Grandpa Bob and since that would be top big for us to fit in our car with the rest of the presents at Christmas, they shipped it to us early. We took full advantage and had an early Christmas with just the 4 of us in NC. Big Christmas dinner and all! I made my first turkey and it was amazing!

We spent a few days in Maryland visiting with Gran'nama and Grandpa (and saw Uncle Josh and Aunt Julie too!) and then some time in PA with Nana and Grandpa Bob. Christmas morning was spent at Nana and Grandpa Bob's and the afternoon and dinner was spent with the Maida cousins. 

Sam really 'got' Christmas this year and it was SO fun to see how magical it all was for him! It gave my heart so much joy to ask him, "Who's birthday is on Christmas?" and hear his little voice say, "Jesus!" What a special time!

We have had such an INCREDIBLY blessed year! It has been so wonderful settling into our first house (rather than an apartment) and becoming a family of 4! 

I have so many hopes and goals for 2014. One that I want to share here is my goal to RUN A MARATHON. Yes. A marathon. A FULL marathon. 26.2 miles. I'm most likely completely nuts. It's going to be a fun year :)

Happy New Year!