Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In the Trenches

Sometimes I feel like I'm sailing the smooth seas of motherhood and other times, I feel like I'm in the trenches of an all-out war with my kids. For the past few weeks, it's been the latter. At first, I thought it was the after-effects of vacation. We always have a few rough days as we go through fun withdrawal. Unfortunately, the rough days have lasted for a few weeks now, so I don't think I can blame it on vacation anymore.

My first instinct is to go on a kid bash, unveiling all of their flaws and the frustrations they have caused but I know I would regret that when we return to smooth seas (I know it will happen. I know it will happen). I'll just say, things have been hard. I often end the day feeling very much at the end of my rope, at a complete loss for what I can do to help things get better (other than have a good cry and eat some ice cream).

I have found a few things that have helped and when I remember to put them into practice, ours days are more pleasant:

  • Say yes more. Sometimes I find myself in a ridiculous power struggle with one of my kids and I don't even know why. I've told them no about something, without a real reason and I've decided to hold my ground when it's totally dumb. It's okay to take a step back and change your mind. It doesn't make you a push-over. It makes you human and a good human at that for admitting you were wrong. Let's be honest, kids hear a lot of No. It seems to be one of all baby's first words. It's got to be frustrating.
  • Acknowledge their feelings. Sometimes you have to say no to things or do things that your kids won't like. I find it helpful to explain that I understand how they are feeling but there are just certain things that we do/don't do in this family.
  • Give a legitimate reason. Instead of giving the mother go-to, "Because I'm the mom and I said so" or just a plain "No", it helps to give a valid reason. No, we can't go outside because I need to start making dinner. It's not a good time to play beads because we don't want Grant to swallow one. 
  • Show an outpouring of love. This one is so hard. When I'm frustrated with one of my kids, I don't always feel like snuggling with them on the couch but sometimes, that's exactly what they need. A lot of outbursts come from kids needing a little attention. Unfortunately, freaking out might be the only way they can think of to get some.
  • If all else fails, repeat the mantra, "I love my kids. I love my kids. I love my kids." And, maybe, go hide in the bathroom and eat some Pringles. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Fun

We started our week dying eggs with Grandma and Grandma. It's fun having them around to participate in holiday traditions with us.

We went to the library for an Easter Egg Hunt but I didn't have my camera. It was the start of a lot of egg finding.

We went to an Easter egg hunting activity with the cousins in Marana. Clara was excited to hug the bunny.

Grant and Abby weren't so sure about the bunny.

They had the egg "hunts" divided into age groups. Clara and Grant were in the baby to 3-year-old group, which was crazy since all of the kids had their parents with them. I say "hunt" because it was just a big open field full of eggs.

Abby got tons of eggs. The kids also had fun playing in bouncy houses and eating free Eegees. We spent the rest of the day playing with cousins.

On Easter morning, we did our traditional egg hunt and baskets at home.

After church, we went to Grandma and Grandpa's for Easter dinner, and yet, another egg hunt. We are up to our eyeballs in candy. I never took a picture of the kids together but here they each are in their cute Easter outfits.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

OBX Trip

Guys, I keep falling off the blogging bandwagon in a hard way. I haven't even been reading blogs very often. But, I'm determined to get back at it. I just love having everything documented and writing things down helps me to remember more than what the pictures show.

We had the bi-annual (I think that's the correct term for every-other-year) Peterson family reunion in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We stayed in an AMAZING house. This picture doesn't do it justice. Check out the Web site if you want to really see the awesomeness.

The girls had so much fun playing with their cousins. I feel like I hardly saw them during most of the week. Clara and Myra were two peas in a pod. There's quite an age difference between them and I really have no idea what they were doing most of the time but Clara just loves her and cried when she left.

 The weather was on the chilly side for the first couple of days. Abby wasn't deterred. She was even getting into the water and freezing her buns off. Clara is not a fan of being cold. She would stay outside for a few minutes and decide she'd had enough.

We went to the Wright Brothers Memorial which was really interesting. Unfortunately, our kids were being pretty naughty so we didn't get to enjoy it all.

I feel so blessed to be a part of this fun, crazy family.

We went to the sand dunes and the kids had a blast climbing, jumping and sliding on the hills.

Grant had a rough time on the trip. He didn't sleep very well and he was pretty overwhelmed by all the people. I was sad everyone didn't get to see his fun personality. He was happiest out at the beach.

Sam went of a deep sea fishing trip. He had a good time despite puking several times.

They came back with quite the haul.

The last full day was gorgeous so we spent time down at the beach.

Clara, the diva, even stayed out and played for a while because it wasn't too cold.

It was such a great trip. We've had a pretty hard time adjusting to normal life. If only I had a pack of cousins around all the time to entertain my kids.

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