May 13, 2015

Goals and Kittens

I think I'll write a blog post about goals, soon.  I'd like to write about how they've helped me, and when they don't.  I'll probably share some of my goals.  I might write about why I disappear from this space sometimes, and how I feel about that.  I don't know that I could be called a goal-oriented person, but I do have goals and hey- goals is a funny word, isn't it?

Now isn't the time for that post.  Right now I'm teetering on the far edge of a nap time, and I'm struggling to regain my motivation and productivity.  It's not that I haven't had ANY free time this past week, it's just that I've spent what little I've had watching Big Love.  What can I say, I'm only human- and I just got a subscription to HBO Now.  Fifteen bucks a month, guys= worth it.

Anyway, NOW feels like the perfect time to dump the inordinate amount of kitten pictures I compulsively take every day.  She is adorable, after all, but I don't want my instagram account to be ONLY pictures of cats.

May 5, 2015

5 Sentences

Not too long ago, I wrote about how all of my children are different.  As I mentioned in the post, there are many perks to having four unique individuals running around your house- but there are downfalls, too.

We've had one particularly bad attitude knocking around here for months.  None of our methods for squashing it were working.  The things we'd tried before on other kids only made things worse for this one.  We tried all the positive reinforcement, praise and special attention- but nothing was enough for this kid.  It was frustrating, and beginning to feel a little hopeless.  My inner dialogue started to go something like, "Maybe we're just going to have to live with a jerk for the next several years and hope by the time they're an adult they will have grown out of it?"  My outer dialogue (to Chris) went something like, "I can't live like this for the next several years and just hope by the time they're an adult they grow out of it!"

So you know as a parent how sometimes, when your kid is having a problem, you consult with people you trust- a doctor, a teacher, maybe just a close friend- you make a plan with your partner, and you commit to trying some recommended strategy that seems designed for your child, directed toward your goals and in line with your parenting philosophy?

And then, you know how sometimes you're at the end of your rope and instead of doing any of those things you just BLURT something out and then cross your fingers it doesn't TOTALLY backfire?

I did the second one.

And it's been working, friends!

Every time something snotty, rude, or disrespectful pops out of my kid's mouth I say "5 sentences!" and they have to write 5 sentences on 'fill in the blank.'  Sometimes they're writing about why they shouldn't speak rudely to people, sometimes they're writing about why we all do chores or homework- the assignment can be easily adjusted to fit any scenario.  It completely deescalates the situation.  The worst we get is a low breathy "fine!" and a slap as the paper hits the table.  By the time they are done writing, they're not angry any more.  I'm not angry any more, because I feel like I've reacted appropriately.  And slowly but surely the attitude has started to fade.  I know for a fact this wouldn't work on all {of my} kids, but it works for this one and I LOVE it.

As a bonus, my kid gets to practice their writing skills and I get to find 'mess ups' in the art cabinet, which I think are adorable:

May 1, 2015

Out With the Old

I had a routine going that I was quite fond of.  It included exercise, healthy eating, and time to pursue creative endeavors that fill my bucket (like writing and sewing).  All of these things were worked into the schedule of non optional things like spending time with my kids, taking care of the baby, and some household chores.  The house/yard wasn't quite up to par, but hey you can't do EVERYTHING right?

Over the past two (maybe three?) weeks, it's completely disintegrated and that makes me sad.  A lot of different factors contributed to the destruction of my routine, the two most powerful being my getting sick (twice) and the baby switching up her nap schedule.  She was napping three times a day and it seems she's ready to drop that to two, but babies aren't rational so what she's tried to do over the past few weeks is NEVER SLEEP EVER AGAIN.

The madness isn't working for anyone in the house, so we came up with a new plan for a new routine and we'll spend the next week working on implementing that.  I'm looking forward to getting back to some of the activities I enjoy that I've been neglecting (and wrapping up one big project I was really hoping to have finished by the end of April but THAT'S not happening (can you believe tomorrow is May 1st?!)) When it comes to exercise/healthy eating I'm viewing this as just a hiccup that doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

Anyway, happy weekend all- and wish us luck getting our tiny terrorist <ahem> I mean beautiful precious angel on a new schedule.