Saturday, April 30, 2016

Because We Live in Iowa

I'm an Iowan, born and raised! I've found myself having the same answers to many things the boys have been asking and talking about lately lately!

"I wore shorts yesterday, why do I need a coat today?" .....because we live in Iowa.

"It smells like cow poop outside!".....because we live in Iowa.

"Why'd the news (weather) interrupt our show?".....because we live in Iowa.

"Why's the tractor driving on the road?" .....because we live in Iowa.

"Why are there fields everywhere?".....because we live in Iowa.

"Why do we have to drive to the store? I want to walk!".....because we live in Iowa.

"It's windy outside!" .....because we live in Iowa.

"It rained, snowed, and was hot today!" .....because we live in Iowa.

I LOVE living and raising our boys in a town smaller than 1,000 people! And soon they will realize that all their questions are just our way of life! I look forward to having the same answer to some other questions in the future!

"Why do you let me ride my bike around the neighborhood?".....because we live in Iowa.

"Why do you let me walk to school?".....because we live in Iowa.

"Why do I know every kid at school?".....because we live in Iowa.

"Why can I walk to grandpa's house?".....because we live in Iowa.

"Why does our town have the same fun events every summer?".....because we live in Iowa.

"Why do we wave to everyone we see even when we don't know them?".....because we live in Iowa.

Not all of Iowa is small like our little slice of heaven, but the people are the same for the most part throughout! There's just a whole lot of love in this fly-over state, and I couldn't imagine raising our family anywhere else!

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

If You Give a Mom a Mop.....

If you give a mom a mop, she'll quickly search for the dirtiest place to start.

While scanning the house, she'll notice a pile of laundry in the bathroom.

She'll realize that no one in the house knows where the laundry basket is and she'll take it upstairs.

While climbing the stairs she'll see sticky handprints on the rail.

After determining it isn't poop, she'll go get a clean rag to wipe off the grime.

Once the rail is clean, she'll see that the whole wall is dirty, so she'll start to wash the walls.

While washing the walls, she'll see that there are mystery spots on the carpet.

After trying all her cleaners to get the spot up, she'll look on LLS (Laundry Love & Science) for help.

While waiting for an answer, she'll see hundreds of before and after pictures of dirty showers.

She'll realize she hasn't cleaned the showers lately and goes to get the supplies out to scrub them.

When under the sink, she'll see that the cabinet is extremely unorganized and will start to rearrange things.

She'll stumble upon some washing machine cleaner and decides to put it to use.

Once she gets to the washer, she'll see the laundry never got switched, so she'll just restart the load.

When she thinks about all the water she just wasted on that load, she'll remember that she needs to pay bills.

She'll go to sit down at the computer, but then spots a cup that never made it to the dishwasher.

After she puts the cup in the dishwasher, it'll dawn on her that she hasn't started dinner yet.

While searching the refrigerator for inspiration, she'll see that something spilled on the the shelf.

She'll start to clean that spot, but then decides to clean out the old food out as well.

When she goes to dump the spoiled food in the trash, she'll spill some on the floor.

Then she'll realize that she still needs to mop........

This is why my house is never completely clean on the days that I dedicate to cleaning! Can you relate? What would you add?

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Please Shit Your Pants Again: The Potty Training Journey

I've literally been potty training for a year straight and I hate it! Not the, "oh it's not that bad" type of hate, but more like the "please set me on fire and roll me into a brick wall before I potty train another day," type of hate!

Kayden is like a drug addict that gets clean and relapses fourteen times in a a year. We go WEEKS accident free and then suddenly forget how to use the toilet. One day last week he shit his pants four times.....

Layne is an emotional pee-er, oh you don't know what that is? You know how some people pee their pants when they are drunk, well Layne pees his pants when he's angry/mad/frustrated/annoyed/sad.........

I've Googled potty training tips and techniques, and all that I get are these books that I'm suppose to read. Please tell me how I'm suppose to find the time to read a damn book when I'm cleaning piss from behind my couch or poop that someone magically shot through the rails of the stairs onto the floor below. Cliff notes people!!!"

We went naked, we did pull-ups, we did just underwear, we set timers, we went back to diapers, we did potty dances and songs, we did treats......and guess what?! They still shit their pants!

I've even tried public shaming, yeah because I'm a great mom like that! I've threatened to tell Kayden's friends at school that he poops his pants, but would it really do anyting? No, because he shits his pants there at least once a week anyways!

This morning Layne asked me to snuggle him. He crawled up on my lap, straddled my waist, and then I felt something wet. I said, "Ummm Layne," he quickly cut me off and said, "Yes mommy, I did pee my pants." You're fucking joking me, right?!

At this point I've convinced myself of two things. One, there should be a place I can ship my children to where they actually read those potty training books and use them to train my children for a week. You don't even want to know how much I would pay for that! And two, children should be in diapers until age 10? Is that taking it too far??? No, I remember peeing my pants when I was 9, because I didn't want to stop shopping to go to the bathroom.....

Cutting this a little short, someone just peed on the floor......I should buy stock in paper towels, floor cleaner and Xanax......

While I wrote, they colored! On the paper for 30 seconds before they turned themselves into animals from the zoo!

Do you have tips for potty training?!?! I'm all ears!!!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

I Won't Make My Kids Share

I always have preached to my kids "to share" their toys with their siblings, friends, acquaintances, etc.......well screw that! Not anymore!

Jayce's thoughts on not making his brothers share with him!

Last weekend we attended a training for foster and adoptive parents in our state. I'll be honest I typically dread the actual training classes, because it's usually not information that I can use daily. But we have to have a certain number of training hours a year to keep our foster license, so I grit my teeth and deal with it dreaming of the adult beverages I'll have afterward!

Well this year was different! IT WAS AMAZING! Every training class we took we thoroughly enjoyed and we learned so damn much! I was texting teachers ideas I wanted to try with our kids and planning out all the different ways I was going implement what we learned. 

Now let me be clear, I'm not a "professional," so please feel free to Google away anything you question. But what I'm going to share with you are facts that I was given and I think all parents; biological, foster or adoptive can benefit from!

Sharing Isn't Okay

Can I borrow your car? I'll give it back at some point, but I might crash it into several different things before I return it. 

Your answer is no, right? Then why do we ask our young children to share their toys and belongings. The idea of "sharing" doesn't even make sense in a child under the age of 5's brain. 

So what if we change the expectation? What if we word what we say differently? I now tell the boys, "He's playing the truck right now, when he's done playing with it, you can have a turn." 

Is this perfect? No, but does it make more sense? Yes!

Suck the Sweet Stuff

If you follow me on Instagram, you would see I had a fabulous trip to Target the other day! I learned to throw what I consider my "parenting handbook" out the window. I gave the kids each an Icee and went on our way!

The brain can process a busy environment the easiest when you are sucking on something sweet! It worked like a charm and I will keep doing it! Also, their hands were busy holding their cups, so they didn't touch anything. AND their mouths were busy, so there weren't any arguments about which way I turned the cart! I also feel like this justifies me buying a Starbucks when I go into Target or the grocery store....I mean can my husband argue with science?!

Schedules Rock

Now I'm SUPER Type A, I like to schedule things weeks, preferably months in advance. So when I was told how much kids thrive on routine and schedules, it made my heart all warm and fuzzy!

We are now doing a picture schedule! Oh, because did you know that kids don't have an internal monologue till age 8, and only think in pictures?!?! I didn't! 

Our schedule is Velcro, because things change from day to day, and the kids each have their own "vehicle" that jumps from one activity to the next! It's still new, but I'm loving what I'm seeing! If kids know what is coming next in their day, their brain isn't in a constant flight or fight state! 

And bedtime? Well ours blows! We fight the middles for hours to stay in bed! Now we are using a flip-down bedtime routine chart! It's fabulous and it helps keeps the hubs and I in check to be sure we stick with the routine!

Our bedtime routine flip-down schedule!
This is our morning schedule. Everything moves, this helps kids also learn flexibility! 

Now I felt like a terrible parent after the conference, like I was doing everything I wasn't suppose to do! I feel better now, because I'm actually acting on what I learned! Do you have a fun parenting tool/hack/trick that you use that's working? I'd love to hear it!

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

At What Point Do I Get Committed?

This question isn't rhetorical, hell I wish it was! 

I feel like I'm the warden of a prison, and the prisoners have overthrown it! Let's recap the last couple days.....

Kayden wearing Jayce's pajama pants....because that makes sense....
Layne has shit on the floor 3 times, and 4 times in his pull-up (because I don't trust him during nap/bedtime)

Jayce pooped his pants 7 times yesterday.....SEVEN TIMES! WTH!?

Dayton has had to be restrained every single day at school for being violent.....with the same behaviors carrying over at home. Because everyone bites, kicks, pinches and bangs their head on hard surfaces... (I'm eye rolling him as I write this)

Kayden has pooped his pants twice *and the crowd goes wild* YAY! "Hey dude, let's go poop in the potty" (as he's making poop faces)....... "Umm no thanks!" Well give him some credit for being polite at least.

Bedtime is currently taking between 45-90 minutes, and I wish this was an exaggeration! Layne and Kayden think sharing a room means that they need to cackle like two old hens and then run around like it's some sort of frat house.
"I's not sleepy mommy," turned into this, 45 minutes after nap was suppose to be over. 

Dayton ate sand, concrete, wood decking, rocks and dirt while we were in the yard this weekend. And the dentist wonders why he has chips on his teeth........welllllllllllll

Kayden listened to music when we were outside also. In my van. Parked on the street. Without us knowing. Oh how did he listen to it? "Mom I just pushed the button and music turned on." The start button that is, thank goodness his legs aren't long enough to reach the brake so it would've actually turned on, instead of just accessories. I'm sure he'll run a vehicle or two through our house at some point.

Layne's latest enjoyment is kicking the baby when he walks past him. Jayce starts crying. Layne is giggling under a blanket. I can only imagine how this will intensify as they get older.

Jayce has cut 3 of 6 teeth in the last 10 days. He hasn't really slept in his bed, mostly in my armpit but will occasionally roll over and pull Jason's beard. I get entirely too much joy from that.

We've eliminated Kayden's nap time, in hopes bedtime will go better. I hate it. He doesn't understand quiet time and I don't get to take a nap. It's a lose/lose situation.

As I type this, Dayton is screaming and kicking the wall in his room, Kayden is watching a movie while jumping on the couch (call the screen time police), Layne is taking a nap (I only had to put him back in his bed 29 times) and Jayce is in his crib asleep, but I'm sure he'll soon realize he's not being held and will wake up.

Some days, if they are sleeping, you just don't move!
So if you see a crazy woman walking the streets, drinking a bottle of wine, barefoot and wearing her's just me. Call the loony bin, because these children have sent me over the edge! 

And to think.....some days I think we need more! Please excuse me while I eye-roll myself!

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