Monday, April 4, 2011

Year 2.

Saturday was kind of a big deal for Team Green. We had the kids with us for the first time since new year's, Saturday morning was my last shift ever at my job, and it was also our 1st wedding anniversary. Let's break this down.

Loved having the kids. Friday night they had Daddy Date Night because I was at bunco. (I love my bunco group soooo much. Its something I look forward to every month. These women are so much fun and have really been rays of sunshine in the dark times of the past year.) Whenever Daddy's in charge, the kids are always up soooo late. This is more of an issue for Owen than Cherie, but we kinda saw it coming. Saturday am, we were up at 6:45. Owen got a hair cut and Cherie got braids. They were fed, sunscreened, and lookin' snappy in their uniforms (Cherie plays softball and Owen plays t-ball) and off they went with Daddy for their games. O missed pictures because Mama can only move so fast lately, and Daddy decided to shower and shave instead of help get them dressed. Live and learn. They picked me up from work, we had some lunch, and then had some down time. O took a 3+ hour nap.

Cherie had a luxurious bath. I'm serious. She asked for a mud mask (I created a monster with that one!) and was in there for a good hour. (Don't worry. I made her change the water after she washed the mask off.) Sheldon and I were cracking up in the living room listening to her singing and chatting to herself in there. When she got out of the bath, Daddy decided to take a nap so the girls ran some errands. We went to Target for an anniversary gift and to my parents' house to pick up the top of our wedding cake. When we got home, we woke the guys up, everyone got changed, and we headed to Old Katy to have family pictures taken! I can't wait to see them. I really think they're going to be so beautiful. We continued our whirlwind of a day with dinner at Chuy's. Oh Boom Boom Sauce... how we love thee! Owen started to melt down when we got home because Little Guy was so tired! Sunday morning was church as usual, then we had lunch and some playtime at my brother's house. We wrapped up the weekend with the totally un-fun task of having the kids try on their clothes to purge the stuff they've outgrown. I really wanted it done before Eli's here in the event they needed a lot of new things. I wanted that done before I'm on house arrest or just too tired to go shopping. I was pleasantly surprised that most things still fit. Tax free weekend, however, we'll be doing some replacing.

The downer of the weekend: Owen's behavior. I understand that he's almost 6 and am fully aware that when his behavior was at its worst he was usually pretty tired. That does not make it acceptable for him to keep doing the same things over and over again. We had some problems with him lying, but he's improving there. The biggest problem was him following instructions and being disrespectful. It is NEVER acceptable for a child to yell back at an adult. Our waiter accidentally tried to give him Cherie's drink at dinner Saturday and Owen immediately YELLED at him that he was wrong. I was so embarrassed. When he was trying on his clothes, Sheldon said something to him and he yelled his disagreement in Sheldon's face. NOT ACCEPTABLE. He also just had a really hard time following instructions. It wasn't a great decision on Sheldon's part to decide that he wants to have Owen trying on clothes in the living room so that he can watch a movie while Owen's changing. That's a Daddy Fail. But the distraction was just too great for a 5 year old to handle, and he could not stay focused on what he was doing to save his life, no matter how many times he was told. He also just doesn't pay attention to what he's doing. I've put my shirts on backwards and/or inside out before. It happens. But after the 2nd time he put something on backwards and/or inside out and I told him to pay attention and check for the tags or a picture when getting dressed, that should've sufficed for the day. By the (I'm not exaggerating) 8th time he did it, my patience was gone and time out happened so he could focus on something. He dresses himself every day and has been dressing himself for as long as I've been around. This is not usually a problem. It frustrated the crap out of me that I told him 4 or 5 times to pay attention to what he's doing and then the next thing he'd put on, he'd do backwards because he just wasn't paying attention to what he was doing (yes, we were still in the living room. No the tv wasn't on.) He had some other incidents with being told to do or not do something more than once and then doing it anyway. He's not misbehaving to the extent he was before, but when its the same thing over and over... I'm trying so hard to expect less from them, because they're kids and its okay. But there are still things that will just get me every time. Lying, for instance. CAN'T STAND IT. Cherie got busted in a lie (she told me Saturday morning, "Daddy said I could...". I told him about it that night, after they were in bed - obviously it was such a big deal! - and he said he never said it. So Sunday morning, he mentioned it to her. She goes, "Oh, no, what I said was..." and I cut her off because no way was I letting her start another lie and basically call me a liar. We weren't even mad! Sheldon was like, "Baby, you need to remember that Mama and I tell each other everything. You can't tell one of us that the other said something when we didn't. We always find out. Now eat your cereal." It wasn't a big deal at all, but she was so upset about being busted she started to cry. She got in trouble 3 times while she was here and cried every time. I asked her if she cries every time she gets in trouble, and she said no, just at our house. I don't have a clue why.) Anyway, I'm trying to be more flexible with them, to be more patient (which is a big deal for me, because I am tired and cranky these days and very few people get patience from me!), to encourage them, and give more hugs and snuggles. We're getting there. Even with the discipline issues, they were happy to be here. It broke my heart when I was snuggling with Owen on the couch before we left to take them back to her house and he just kept telling me he didn't want to leave. I can't wait until we have primary custody...

I'm done working. DONE. I haven't officially turned in my notice. I'm currently technically on maternity leave. Its so sad that I couldn't just quit before I left because I knew there would be some bad treatment. I fully believe that working there made my pregnancy harder. I think the needless excessive stress they placed on my position exacerbated all the negative symptoms I've been dealing with. They weren't super understanding about things when I was in the hospital (all 3 times while I was working), and I'm having a bit of trouble with the transition. My doctor mentioned last week that he thinks there's a good chance Eli's going to come early on his own (and by early, I mean before his induction date of April 25th). We were talking about it today and Sheldon said (and I think he's totally right) that if I was still working there, I'd be in labor by the beginning of next week (which puts me at 35 weeks and that's really not great.) I've been working there for a year and a half, and I've invested a lot into the job, making it more efficient and developing my own procedures. Because of that, I'm having a hard time transitioning and not feeling responsible for it. I keep feeling like I'm supposed to be there! I really hope I get over that soon...

And then the big one: our anniversary. I can't believe we've only been married for a year. We haven't even been together for 2 years, and yet I feel like he's always been there. Sheldon was awesome. He was bouncing around like an excited little kid Friday night because he wanted to give me presents so bad. At midnight I got a dozen roses and a card that was so perfect and obviously made me cry. At around 2am, he took amazing care of me while I puked up everything I'd eaten Friday night (yea, not going to miss that in a few weeks when I'm not pregnant anymore) and then ended up with low blood sugar. When we got the kids up, he sent them in with balloons and candy for me. He's so sweet. Seriously. Being with him is the best thing. We've been through so much this year, lows like the early summer miscarriage and the custody battle to highs like getting ready for Eli. Everything feels better with him. Hard times don't hurt as much and good times feel even better. He can make me so mad and so happy. And no matter what, I always feel so loved and cherished. Every day, we love each other more, flaws and all, and I feel so secure. I'm looking forward to growing old with him.

Eli continues to thrive. I continue to be in pain and have less and less energy. I've started to have random contractions. My father in law told me last night, "That bread's just about baked!" I'm 34 weeks now, so 2 or 3 more weeks, tops. We were blessed beyond belief at our showers so we have just about everything we need. This weekend, Sheldon's off so we'll do the last of the organizing and setting up of stuff. We'll take the gift cards we got and go get the last things we need (nipples, burp rags, a breast pump, and a crib mattress. Not much!) Then it's just waiting for him to be cooked enough! I can't wait. I'm already so in love, and I think I'm going to explode when I finally get to hold and kiss him.


Jenn said...

Girl, I feel you on the not wanting to repeat yourself a gazillion times! My son has to be told eveything multiple times and depending on what it is, it can really grate on the nerves! It doesn't give me much hope that will change given that his dad has to be reminded a few times to do certain things as well.

Mama said...

I know your done hearing this stuff from me, but's some advice on discipline:

1-Decide what the punishment for specific "violations" will be in advance. Write it down. Let the kids read it. That way, when it happens, alot of the stress is gone because you both already know what you need to do.

2-Don't punish true mistakes, but don't take the consequences on yourself either. If he puts his shirt on backwards, that's a mistake not disobedience. He either wears it that way or he fixes it. It's not for you to fix or worry about. I know you like your kids to be cute, but the best way for him to learn is for him to get a little embarrassed one time in public - then it becomes something he cares about, not something he knows he gets fussed at for but doesn't really care about himself.

3 - If you really believe the kids' mom is as bad as you say, then you need to accept that your kids have suffered abuse and neglect. Kids who are abused and neglected are not emotionally or socially the same age as they are physically. Ask their counselor where she thinks they are next time you go. You might have to accept behavior from O that is more typical of a 3 yr old & understand that he should be held accountable at that standard.

It's really, really hard. I know. But you can do it.

Suz said...

It was less about him putting his shirt on backwards and more about me saying, "Owen, make sure you check for the tag." literally within a minute of him putting a shirt on and watching him not check for the tag. He was told to check repeatedly and never did. That's where the not following instructions came into play. When he came in to go to church after brushing his teeth with his shirt on inside out and backwards, that was a mistake, and he was just told to fix his shirt. It wasn't a big deal.

We brought this up with the counselor on Tuesday, along with his tendency to behave impulsively (a problem his teacher has frequently noted.) She said she was glad we did because she's noticed that he exhibits a lot of symptoms of ADHD. Sheldon has it, so it's something we've been watching for in Owen since he started school. His pre-k teacher told us that as long as he isn't falling behind academically, its not a problem. All the grade problems he's had have been because he's not following instructions or he's behaving impulsively, so while he's mastering his skills, he's not mastering the behavioral aspects. The counselor said the problem won't really start to be obvious until 1st grade when the kids aren't moving around in class as much. Owen exhibits symptoms of focus-based ADHD. It makes sense, given most of the time when he's not following instructions its because he gets distracted or just isn't focused on what he's doing to begin with. She said that basically, repitition is going to be the key. When he makes the bad choices, when we're talking to him about it, we try to ask him if he was proud of himself or if something good happened from that choice. We're trying to encourage him to take that second to think about what happens next before he does things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Impulse is a strong force...

We went over punishments in counseling. If its not a severe "infraction", its just a verbal thing. But if its severe or if they continue a behavior, they will either receive time out or lose a priveledge. Owen made several bad choices during bath time so he didn't get to eat any of Ruth's dirt cake with Cherie. Owen's had a lot of success with his cube system at school, so we're going to implement it here, too, to compensate for the lack of routine here. Even if it's the same every time he's here, the fact that they're only here every other weekend makes routine impossible here.

I can see times when they both act younger, typically to either avoid consequences (or at least reduce them) or when they want to be the center of attention. Some of it we just let happen, other things are corrected, such as baby talk. I have some suspicions about how they developed some of these behaviors, but they're going to just stay suspicions and that'll be that.

There's a good chance he'll start taking medicine to help with his focus. Until then, our focus is going to be patience and repetition. And naps. Naps help a lot.

Mama said...
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