Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Caleb's 1st Day of MDO

Either I'm emotionless or I'm strong.  I did not cry.  I mean, it's not like it's the first day of kindergarten.  This is just two days a week for a few hours.  I do miss him, though.  The house is quiet except for the radio because it's Sarah's nap time.  I think I can get over missing him as long as I focus on the freedom this provides...

We had a conversation last night that went something like this:
Caleb: Mommy, what are you going to do while I'm at preschool tomorrow?
Me: Probably go to the grocery store.
Caleb: (pouting) But I really want to go the the grocery store with you. 

We had a conversation in the car that went something like this:
Caleb: Mommy, what if I'm at preschool and I really want to give you a hug?
Me: You can save that hug and give it to me when I pick you up.
Caleb: But what if I really want to give it to you while I'm at preschool?
Me: You can give me an extra big hug when I pick you up.
Caleb: (Silence as he thought about that)

When we arrived, he carried his own nap mat and backpack inside.  He actually stopped at the outside doors and put his things down on the sidewalk.  He reached up for a hug to tell me goodbye.  I should have taken that hug because once he got to his classroom, he was off to play.  He didn't even respond when I asked for a hug.  And I was afraid to ask again for fear that he'd get emotional.  He's been going back and forth between being excited to go to MDO and being sad about not being at home with Sarah and me.

So, here is a picture of Caleb waiting to be checked in.

This is Caleb with his teachers, Mrs. Terri and Mrs. Lori.

The finished nap mat, complete with a hand-sewn name.

My first attempt is far from perfect.  Notice the uneven corners.  Eh, Caleb didn't even notice.

Crazy kid is actually excited about nap time.  At least for now...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not So Even Exchange

So, how did Caleb repay me for my hours of labor making his nap map for Mother's Day Out?

He gave Sarah her first haircut.

Thanks, buddy, but that's not really very helpful.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I May Be In Over My Head

Earlier this week, I was able to get Caleb signed up for Mother's Day Out.  He'll start next Tuesday...and he is excited!  When we went in to secure his spot, his teacher was there and he got the chance to see his classroom.  He was right at home!

So today, I bought all the materials to make a nap mat for Caleb.  There's nothing fancy to the process of making it, but I'm way inexperienced with sewing.  I think I'll begin tackling it this evening, but if I get too overwhelmed, I may be dragging my supplies with me to Granny's this weekend and begging her to help me figure out how to get the job done.  I'll try to remember to keep you posted!

By the way, it so was not cheaper to try to make one myself.  Granted, I did have to purchase some supplies that will be used for future sewing projects (if there are any future projects), but even with those expenses taken out, I spent more than if I'd just bought one.  Oh well, you can't put a price on experience, can you?

For anyone who's interested...here is the link to the tutorial I'm attempting to use to make Caleb's nap mat.
Prudent Baby Nap Mat Tutorial

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Something's Awry

I just had to document this day in history.  My husband ate an entire cheeseburger for lunch today.  In his words, "It didn't taste as good as a plain burger, but it was alright."  Wow.  I'm speechless.

This man has not eaten cheese since the day I met him.  I mean, besides mozzarella.  No one can get by without pizza.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Calm Before the Storm

As I sit here on the couch in my PJs this morning, I am acutely aware that this will soon become a rare occurrence.  I may have a few more lazy days this week, but next week is the start of a new routine.  As doubtful as I am about my ability to consistently get out of bed to get myself and the kids ready for the day (all before 9 am), I am excited at the thought of squeezing more productivity out of each day.

I will be enrolling Caleb in a Tuesday/Thursday Mother's Day Out program that will begin next week (if I can get his statement of health back from the doctor anytime soon).

The week after that, Bible Study Fellowship will begin again.  Leader's Meeting will occupy our Monday mornings and Class Day will take place every Wednesday.

And then, we're off and running!  Up and at 'em Monday-Thursday!

On top of that, we signed Caleb up for soccer.  That will be consuming our Saturdays from September 11th-November 9th.  I didn't really think that some through before we agreed to soccer.  Oh well.  Jadie says that I can still get away to visit mom one weekend as long as he doesn't have to work on the weekend I choose.  I sometimes forget that he's perfectly capable of taking care of Caleb (and getting him to a soccer game) in my absence.  I'll have to be sure and sneak in a trip to mom's this fall!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sarah's First Birthday

First, some stats for you.  Our baby girl is tiny!

She had her appointment on August 9, 2010, two days after her first birthday and her party.
Weight: 17 lbs, 7 oz (5th percentile)
Height: 68 cm (3rd percentile)
Head Circumference: 17.75 inches (60th percentile)
The poor baby had 4 shots coming her way, and she didn't like any of them one bit!

Now, for a peek into her backyard cookout/splash party.  We had a fun time with a few friends from church and our families.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Word About Parenting

For quite a while now, I've been on a roller coaster in regards to parenting Caleb.

Sometimes I feel like I'm really on top of things.  I control my emotions, I give clear instructions, and I remain patient as I repeat myself for the 5th and 6th time.

Most recently, I have felt very out of control.  I have been whining, yelling, and punishing him for every little thing.  I can sense the hatred in my voice.  I know that the hatred comes from my annoyance at his behavior, but that it comes across as contempt for him as a person.

These are not my true feelings and I don't want to break his spirit or increase his negative behavior.  Yes, he needs to obey, he should always be respectful, and he should be kind to others.  Inappropriate behaviors are still unacceptable.  There should be consequences.  But the consequence should not be threatening to his self-esteem.

I think you're getting the picture in terms of how I've been reacting to his negative and inappropriate behaviors.  With that said, I came to a point last night where I realized how out of control I was.  I had lost control of my own emotions and my own reactions.  Every misbehavior was being met with anger and frustration.   Honestly, I reached a point where I was afraid of what my next response might be.

I spent some time last night confessing my situation to my close girlfriends.  They reassured me and encouraged me in my efforts.

This morning, I got the word.  You know, the much-needed word from God.  Two words.  Consistently calm.  He said I needed to remain consistently calm.  I realize that I need his help with this one.  And I pray that he will.

I had my first test already this morning.  I remained calm as I outlined the boundaries for Caleb's behavior.  I remained calm as he pushed through the boundary.  I remained calm as I enforced the consequences.  Caleb responded much more cooperatively than when I react in anger.

I pray that with God's help, I can reestablish a calm, loving, productive system for guiding Caleb toward appropriate, respectful behavior in all situations.