Thursday, March 20, 2014

Toys Bee Gone

Kids don't come with an instruction manuel.  I know, big shocker.  Britta especially did not come with one.  Britta was only 9 months and I found myself clueless, confused and completely crazy.  When I went to my mom for some "motherly" advice she turned to me and said "um, sorry! I don't know what to do to help you!".  So, we have had to make our own rules and regulations at home.  Those are other topics for other days... We have tried a little of grandmotherly advice, tried advice that I found online, really try anything that seemed to have any positive effect. It has been more of a trial and error... 

So it comes to this new turn of events....

I found myself standing in my kitchen, Gunnar had just left for the next few days for work and had had it.  Spring break was in full 'spring' and we were at a crossroads.  There was constant arguing, fighting, tantrums, crying, screaming, begging, whining, mostly everything under the sun between the two of us.  Some of you might wonder and question the serious nature of the issue and how can you have all those emotions from a kindergartner and my response is you just have to see it and know Britta from the beginning.  What was I to do to 'survive' the rest of spring break? (and by survive I really mean survive.... literately). 

I stopped, 
and in a small way, snapped,
and made the decision,
"I'm getting rid of EVERYTHING".

  I took a lesson from a semi-well known blog post "Why I Took My Kids' Toys Away" 

I remembered reading this post and then the post from the year after this awesome mom took away her children's toys.  It was time to take the house back!  My smart, strong-willed, determined daughter was ruling our household and I  would be damned if I was going to continue living like we were.  There was also no way in hell I was going to raise a entitled child.

So I grabbed totes and A LOT of garbages and just started to get to work. Her room first; with books, pictures, doo-dads, trash, crayons, markers, cards, everything.  Then to her playroom (affectionately known as her octagon), her legos, cars, dress-up clothes, accessories, marbles. I even took her favorite clothes to wear (all nike apparelI didn't even bother organizing it. (it was mostly cleared out anyway).  I figured it would organize it if and when I gave it back to her if at all. At this point, all I knew was it ALL HAD TO GO.  I cleared an entire shelf in the garage and placed all of the loot on that shelf. 

I would lie if I said there were no tears unlike the prior post (Why I Took My Kids' Toys Away).  There were lots of tears, screams, and slamming of anything she could get her hands on. None of it phased me, I had made my decision. 

I should say I only let her keep her blankets that she sleeps with every night (I knew I needed more leverage in case of an emergency).  

I explained to her what has happening and that she would have to earn every piece of it back.  One item at a time.  Thats as far as I knew what to do.  

Yes, I did have a good cry (more like sobbing on the phone with my sister) in the garage where she couldn't see me.  I'm her mom, its hard.  But she couldn't see that it was hard for me, I had to be firm and follow through or all of it would be in vain.  My decision was solid and there was no turing back.  It was done.  

We then, got dressed, and went out for the afternoon.  Simple as that.

It has been 24ish hours since then.  I still can say (after re-reading the blog post) I'm not sure where to go from here.  Yesterday, she earned the book that we have been reading to her at night.  Today she earned back her beloved stuffed Ironman that she sleeps with.  Piece by piece. Day by day.  

So far so good, as more time passes I do feel we will be getting rid of MOST of the things that I took away.  She doesn't need them.  I'm all about clearing the excess.  I can only hope that our version "Ruth's" post is close to her experience.  I feel we are going to have a more bumpy ride to contentment.  That's ok, with Britta in our lives there has not been one milestone that has been smooth sailing.  

And I am ready for any storm. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Good Luck...

Today as I was checking out at Sams Club, and a realization came over me.  Van was crying (mostly just complaining... he hates to grocery shop... too bad kidd) and Britta in tow.  A cashier helper looked in on Van crying and had said he was expecting his 2nd baby in about two weeks.  "Well congrats!" I said "that is exciting!"  He then continues to say that he is hoping that he wont make the mistake of what everyone says about their second.  In my mind I was thinking of all sorts of things like... 

Shopping with a crying baby while everyone gives you bad looks because you are ignoring and semi laughing. Or how much the second one just has to deal with missing naps and being stuck in a car seat most of the time because "we got things to do!" But he surprises me and says that he has heard the second baby doesn't get near as much pictures taken of them as the first. "oh, yea" is all I can say because... I couldn't burst the bubble of this soon dad-to-be-of-two that, yep... good luck to ya... you will have bigger fish to fry than pictures.  He goes on to explain he has a new camera and the camcorder all set up.  Again, good luck. Maybe you will be much more put together than we are but sorry second kid... not near as many pictures as the first. There are just not enough hours/minuets of the day to squeeze in a photo sesh. Van was lucky that Winter is so awesome and MADE me do baby announcements! We are lucky to all be cleaned, dressed, and fed with minimal scarring and yelling for that matter and to make it at the end of the day without being sent to the looney bin.

It did make me reflect about what is different now with two.  Yes, there are many LESS pictures of Van.  But there is instagram and social media out there that wasn't there when Britta was born (wow 4 years really makes a difference).  I have lots of phone pictures of him! Does that count? I don't know, but it will have to do.

Britta gets much less time with me and Gunnar. This is something that we are working on.  There is more yelling, less patience, and a constant struggle for her to have Gunnar's attention.  She always requests Gunnar to put her to bed. (trust me that is just fine with me!)

Grocery shopping will never be the same.  With one, grocery shopping wasn't easy but it was doable.  With 2 - grocery shopping goes like this - even with a list in had - I leave with only getting half of what I needed because of I was completely distracted by crying and constant nagging on getting a "surprise" or rushed because heaven forbid it is close to feeding time.  

Eating, breakfast is always a maybe. Especially if we have somewhere to be in the morning, breakfast will not happen for me.  Maybe for Britta (as long as a bag of cereal in the car counts) and Van, right now his eating comes first or else we all suffer. Lunch, if I go out or even eat at home he is usually crying because again, his lunch is close to mine and that means he wants his bottle now! Dinner, if I get it put together it usually starts with me yelling for it being time to eat and everyone get their crap together so we can eat as a family and it ends with me inhaling food just so I can be done to bath him and get him and Britta in bed. 

So yea soon-to-be-dad-of-two, get that camera set up because there will be a lot of memories and moments to capture.  I do hope you get those photos.  We however don't have near the amount of photos of Van compared to Britta, and I have made my peace with that.  His birth was so much different than Britta's (see previous post for details)  and having a shared room post-pardum did not make for many photo ops.  We didn't get one family photo or even a photo of just him on his blessing day because he had gone pooped himself and Britta had her dress off so fast after church it just couldn't have been stopped. 

 It doesn't mean we don't love and adore him.  I much rather play with him and get him to giggle and put on the smolder then try and get the perfect photo of him. Most of our photos are on my phone because the moments I want to remember are the ones that are happening right now and in one second they will pass and we will be on to the next disaster/magical moment. 

Things may be more complicated but it is nothing else I would rather be doing.  We have come out of the newborn phase (thank goodness we survived!) and life is slowly getting more 'normal' and 'routine' for us. I'm sure as you add more kids the more complicated 'normal' gets.  My mom always has said that their 3rd pushed her over the edge... That just happened to be ME so 'your welcome' mom!! (I also happen to be the favorite one so it all worked out!!)  But for now this is all the chaos we can handle! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Family of Four

 After "the birth story" there is so much that comes after!! Usually new moms just worry and fret about the birth and arrival of their new 'bundle of joy' but what comes afterward is when the real work begins.  

It is no secret... babies are hard! And again it is no secret that newborns.... not my favorite.  I know werido right? I have come to realize I am in the HUGE minority when it comes to the lovable, soft squeezable, snuggable newborns.  Britta was not one of those lovable squeezable newborns... lets me honest, it was pure survival mode for us the first few months (and really years) for her.  Van has been a dream.  I get to experience what a 'good baby' or 'normal temperament' is like.  As great as he is, he still cries, screams, poops, feeds wakes up a lot - and what seems to be our norm a nap/schedule fighter.  He goo's and smiles and melts hearts, something that was new to us but he is still a baby! They are hard no matter what phase.  

As the long days go by and the weeks zoom by he is now 3 months old - still fighting scheduling but at least sleeping amazing at night.  He will normally sleep from 7:30-4 or 5am.  Nothing to complain about.  Yet I find myself dreaming of when I get to feed him food or when he crawls, sits up in a shopping cart and yes, even throwing tantrums.  I find myself so much more confident it handing tantrums and crying fits of a 2 yr old then sleep training a baby.  I think I have Britta to thank for my confidence in dealing with a difficult baby. 

Britta has blossomed having a little brother.  She is protective and always amazed at how cute and adorbale he is.  She calls him her 'bundle' and always wants him to smile or talk to her and no one else.  Yes, we have our moments - I wont say there are obstacles, She is argumentative, strong  and at times self conscious but Gunnar and I are doing our best to keep her in check as well as giving her the attention that she needs (not always wants).

  Van is completely infatuated with her. He looks at her like she might be the center of his universe and loves it when she sings to him.  Needless to say we are still trying to juggle getting britta to and from school while attempting to nap Van in-between and stay on schedule while we run her to dance and all other things that come with having kiddos.  We are slowly figuring it out and I am happy to stay the family of four for awhile but I feel this transition has been as nearly as smooth as it could possibly go.   I finally seem confident of what we are doing and we feel the best is only ahead of us - the good and the bad. 

Here are a few pics to recap the past few months.  Yes, most all of these are instagrams, they just happen to all be my favorite and I don't normally use my regular camera anymore! 

One of the only pictures we got on his blessing day.  He had gone a pooped himself and well, this was the aftermath in the mothers room....

Mud party at the Rogers for Ben's graduation

My grandpa and Van - This was seriously one of the sweetest things I had ever seen! 

Bath time has always been his favorite.

Britta's last preschool pic.  Love her!

Yes, Britta is crossing her eyes, Van looks quite amused...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Van: A Birth Story

I am so behind on posting - so I feel a slew of posts in the coming days.  So I will start at the  beginning - and that just happens to start with a birth story that I'd rather not elaborate on but it is the beginning and I know I love reading other people's stories whether they be rainbows and unicorns or hell on earth.  This birth story just happens to be hell on earth.....

Ok, maybe hell on earth is being too dramatic because the story ends quite happy. Thats why there is all these cute lil pictures throughout the post because he is quite the sweetheart! Sooo....
for better or for worse, here it goes....

It started when I was just a couple days early of my due date and it was time for the eviction of the little man! So on a cool evening in February we met my mom and dad for what seriously felt like "my last meal" before being a mom of two, at Pita Jungle to hand Britta off to my mom and dad before we went to the hospital for the induction.  It was delish and it really was a great last meal! 

As we got checked into the hospital I was starting to feel contractions - welp, he got the notice and was helping out in the cause.  We had a the "luxury suite" of the labor and delivery room, quite exciting.  I decided to walk it out before they hooked me up to pitocin since I was contracting on my own anyways.  We walked, talked and then it was time to settle in for the night.  Then the waiting.... I watched tv as long as shows permitted, then I watched Hunger Games- quite delightful at 2am. Early morning brought on pain.... but I was strong and wanted to hold out till I was farther along. Gunnar took a shower, and around 5am I asked for the good drugs through my IV (ohh, love those drugs).  Then, a few hours later the drugs failed to take the edge off as much as I would have liked.  So around 9am I got my epideral. 

Yay, epideral.... I had high hopes.  My last epideral brought on tears by a mean anesthesiologist, this time he was nice and it was easy peasy.  Too bad it didn't work in the area that needed it most.... maybe I should have asked for the mean one... 

I felt better for awhile but then I started feeling serious pressure.  A good sign I knew but not so much fun... So finally they broke my water around 10am and instead of my bag of waters pressing down on me it was my sweet baby boys head! Much better yet actually horribly worse for me! Then the party started...

My contractions were not letting up and there was no breaks in-between  them. Just pure contractions over and over like a never ending wave.  This was when I called Gunnar to stand by my side.  It was time to enlist him in our endeavor. It was about this time when I realized, this epideral is working on my stomach and legs... that was it. It was going to be a bumpy ride! 

Now it was time to push.... no seriously "I need to push!"  is what I told my nurse even though last time they checked I was only a 4.  So she checked me and quite shocking to her (not to me) she said "OK! We are having a baby!! We'd better call her doctor NOW, he might miss it!"  

The entire 20 minuets waiting for him was excoriating! But I was bound and determined to wait for him. I wanted MY doctor there, not just his resident but HIM!  If it wasn't for the best nurse in training coaching me through each long long contraction I wouldn't have been able to make it.  All that time was quite a blur.  I remember kinda freaking because my hands were tingly and numb and I quite anxiously said "I can't feel my hands! I can't feel my hands!!" then in a sweet tone my nurse said, thats because of your breathing, lets give you some oxygen and it will go away.  You baby doesn't need it but It will help you"  

After that there was lots of sweating and breathing.  My sight was seriously blurred and all I could manage focusing on was the ceiling  and keeping that baby in till my doctor was there.  He was NOT going to miss it! I finally knew and now understand why they call it the "ring of fire". That was one of the worst parts! Now I completely understand why they call it labor because it is hard painful work bringing these lil people into the world! 

Swiftly and mercifully Dr. Nelson finally came in and he was all business.  I'm sure he noticed really what was going on and there was no messing around. When I saw him come in it was all I could do but not yell "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN??!" I knew better, no one yells at Dr. Nelson..... 

Oh yea, looking a lot like I just had a baby! 
The next thing I remember is being told ok, lets push! I, being quite relieved because my doctor was here and all was well and I could finally let my body work and push this babe out! Push one: holy crap!! THAT HURTS!! There was yelling and I have to say I was quite proud of myself afterward that there was no explicits... go me.  There was a small thought of mine that said "yea, I don't want to push again..." then the nurse said "ok, you can either wait for the next contraction or just push whenever you feel like it." Part of me wanted to wait, I'd rather not feel that pain again! But something deep inside of me reared it's head and said "Let's get this baby OUT NOW!"  So two more horrifying pushes and all of it was over.  On the last push, Dr. Nelson told me to reach down and grab my baby.  So I reached down grabbed under my lil man's armpits and placed this little ball of skin on me! Everything was forgotten (ok, not really but kinda) and he was just quiet and a little whiney but so yummy! Through sweat and tears he was here and this part was over and now.... I had a newborn. It was all worth it, we just may have to wait a long while for me to forget the pain...  either way, our family had a new addition and he is ours to teach and love. We had a newborn! 

Now the fun really begins! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Last Christmas

Perks.  Having a bit more years than we originally planned in between kids has perks.  One of them has been being able to have one last Christmas having just Britta. I can see the draw to having an only child.  All our attention was on her this year and it has been so much fun to see her get so excited about Christmas. 

We spent Christmas up at the cabin and it couldn't have been more wonderful.  Not only did she get 100%  attention from dear mom and dad but also grandma & grandpa (plus Bethany and Casey).  There was gingerbread men making (thanks again for the memories mom), snow playing and a merry time all around.  This is not to say we wont have a wonderful time next Christmas with the new addition; I am just enjoying the time we have left with only one kiddo.  If we have learned anything this last year it has been to have joy in the journey.  It is not where we will be in a month, year or even 10 years it is where we are in the here and now.  I feel grateful to say that there is nothing I'd rather be doing.  

Here are some pics of our last Christmas with only Britta. 

The day before we left to the cabin Britta played with Bethany (and her kitten katniss) poor cat....

Sugar cookie decorating with grandma is quite thrilling

We did get our white Christmas - why sled when Grandma will pull you around??

Eating Christmas eve dinner is hard work for this one...

Best mom and dad ever!

Nativity dress up - a must! Thanks to Hailey-bean!

The most meek and mild she has been her entire life was when she was playing baby Jesus.
Next year we will have a real baby Jesus!

Christmas Eve family pic....
I obviously didn't quite fit into my PJ's this year... for obvious reasons.

Quite the typical kiddo pose....

Christmas morning

Writing letters to McKay!

Britta likes to make "lightning bolts" for Elder Tanner - 

Right before Dolly freaked out because Britta was in her "space"

Merry Christmas dinner

More memories being made!

Britta waiting patiently to open her gifts on Christmas.

Feeding the ducks at the lake

By the end we had one tired kiddo! 
I hope your Christmas and New Years was just as wonderful as ours! Bring on 2013!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lucky Number 4

     August 2fird! A date we have all been hearing about for about 6 months and it has finally arrived! So we celebrated rainbow style! We had the birthday bash at my mom and dad's last night to celebrate and I guess 4 is our lucky number.  No crying, no whining, no freak-outs just pure unadulterated FUN! What a difference 3 years makes! We had rainbow cake and rainbow treats and with an August birthday there always has to be swimming!! Check out the fun afternoon we had celebrating!

I have to give myself dibbs on this cake.
Thank you Pintrest! You make a domestic goddess out of me!

We can't have a birthday without a little sass!

Beautiful right???
It turned out better than I could've imagined!

Britta being older and having AMAZING older cousins to help present opening was a BREEZE!

Birthday princess for sure! 

A year from now we will have a new baby and Britta will be a kindergartner! I can not wait to see what the next year brings us!