Monday, March 3, 2014

Is it Spring yet?

Here we are in the first week of March and starting month 3 of the Yell Free Year. I'm not doing as well as I had hoped. I rarely go one day without yelling. So I try to focus more on connecting with the kids and worry less about the volume of my voice. This is still really hard. I've struggled in the past with major depression and I tend to have a harder time during the winter months. When I was pregnant with K I decided to go off my meds and I have been doing well, but lately I'm wondering if it might be time to re-evaluate. There are other contributing factors to my struggling this winter though. It has been a record setting cold and snowy winter, which makes it much harder to get out and be active. The cold and snow, lack of sunshine added to the terrible foot pain from Plantar Faciitis really make it difficult for us to be as active as we need to be in order to not go crazy. This fall I was doing really well, going to the Y at least 3 or 4 times a week and working out and letting the kids get their energy out in the rainbow room, but then the pain started and I am not able to work out regularly or as intensely. Add that the kids are not sleeping well, so I never get more then 3-4 hours of sleep in a row and no wonder I'm struggling. The hardest part about this is that there's really nothing I can do about any of it. I can't force Spring to come, there is no magic cure for Plantar Faciitis, and I can't make the kids sleep. All I can do is power through and try to make the best of it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Barf City, but I didn't yell!

Last week I was thrown up on for the very first time! It was gross, but I managed to make it through. Poor baby Kenna either ate something icky or caught a tummy bug. She puked a few times, but seemed fine otherwise. We had a nice weekend and celebrated my goddaughter's 12th birthday on Saturday. Then I started feeling sick on Saturday night and now its Monday and Lance has been puking. But I haven't yelled! Maybe it is easier to keep my calm when I know he's not feeling well. I'm hoping he recovers from whatever he has a quickly as Kenna did. I hate when my poor babies are sick!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Failure :(

I feel like this past week has just been failure after failure. I couldn't go even one day without yelling at the kids! Leaving the house was a constant battle every day, even when we were going somewhere fun. The kids were fighting a lot and I was loosing my mind. I'm trying to be a better parent, but I honestly feel like I'm failing. My kids deserve to have a mom who respects them and talks to them in a respectful way, but I am having such a hard time not yelling. I get so frustrated and my voice just raises without much thought. I know I am naturally a loud person and I try to modulate my volume, but I know even if the words I'm saying are not terrible, yelling is damaging my kids. Hopefully this week will go better.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Work in progress...

       Man, this no yelling thing is HARD!!! Jess and I both come from families where yelling is just what happens. I've noticed that we yell even when we are not angry. We are just really loud talkers! Well, at least I am. This week has been going pretty well, and the kids have been getting a long ok. On Wednesday night it was getting close to bed time and the kids were getting a little crazy. They were running around and making a bunch of noise. Usually this is a trigger for me, but that night I was able to step back and enjoy that they were actually playing together and not fighting. Jess had a harder time, but we managed to not yell.
        Potty training is still a struggle, but we had a great day yesterday! The kids and I met friends at the library and Lance told me he had to go potty for the first time ever in public! It was a huge win for me, as he has been doing great while out with Jess. He went twice while we were there and was dry when we got home. Today wasn't as successful, because he peed in his pull up about 2 minutes after I put it on him! But baby steps are good.
        Kenna is still not sleeping in her bed and just not sleeping well in general. This is a huge drag on me right now because I know when I don't sleep well I have a really hard time not yelling. I think her teeth are really bothering her a lot. Both kids have dentist appointments next week, so I will have to ask the dentist if there's something we can do to help. On the bright side, she has been going back to sleep in our bed pretty easily and without having to nurse every time. She is so sweet with her kisses and snuggles at night. I just can't sleep well with her having to be practically on top of me. I'm hoping it resolves itself soon and we can all get back to a good sleep schedule.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Struggling

Last week was full of struggles. Kenna hasn't been sleeping well and Lance has been pushing and testing boundaries like crazy. Friday was particularly difficult. Getting out of the house has been frustrating with both kids being reluctant to do much for themselves. Lance refusing to put on his coat or shoes makes me so irritated. I know he can do it, and he just won't. With Kenna being so cranky from not sleeping and possibly teeth and Lance testing my every request, I yelled. A lot.  I'm not proud of it and it makes me incredibly sad. I was also rough with the kids. I feel terrible about how I treated my precious babies. I know that one day or even one week in the grand scheme of life will not determine a whole lot,  but I really want to be a better mom and treat my kids with love and respect always.
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Deep Freeze 2014 Yell Free Year Challenge

           Here is Minnesota we are in the middle of a deep freeze!! It has been so terrible cold the past month. Like -50 degree wind chills and sub zero room temps for DAYS! So with it being so cold and us being sick and Jess having surgery last week, we've been stuck inside a  lot. This makes the challenge way more challenging! Keeping a preschooler and a toddler inside the house without loosing your mind is HARD! Jess was home last week so that helped a little, but he was in some pain and was not able to be as physical with the kids as they like him to be.
           Our win from last week is how well we all did while Jess was having his surgery. He needed a driver to be there and we didn't have anyone to watch the kids, so we all went! The kids did very well in the waiting room and I am very proud that I didn't once yell. It was a bit stressful trying to keep them from destroying the waiting room, but they managed to charm the receptionists and have a little fun.
           We continue to struggle with the kids fighting and being aggressive with each other and just plain not listening. Jess seems to have hard time with Lance not listening and they had a rough time on Saturday. Lance was running around and Jess was trying to vacuum. I was asking Lance to stop and Jess got very upset and yelled which made Lance cry. It was a rough time because I got upset too. After everyone calmed, Lance apologized and Jess half assed said sorry too. I'm trying very hard to get Jess on board with the challenge and he acts like he agrees, but then he yells and acts like he didn't do anything wrong. I guess I need to make more of an effort to include Jess in why we are practicing positive parenting. He was raised in a family where mom and dad are the boss and kid do as they're told no questions asked. It is hard to move away from what you grew up with.
            My goal for this week to to get Jess more on board and work on not repeating the past.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Yell Free Challenge, sick days :(

For the last week or so we have all been battling a cold bug in some way or another. This has made it a rather difficult challenge to stay calm and not yell. When Mom and Dad are not feeling well and kids are fine it is a special kind of challenge! Jess and I both started feeling bad on Monday and Lance seemed to catch it on Tuesday. Because he was not feeling well, Lance seemed to have a harder time not lashing out and we had a lot of hitting and pushing and crying this week. Kenna is not sleeping at night either, so I was sick and exhausted! She seems to have caught the bug now so that presents another challenge for us this week. Jess is having oral surgery this week and will be home with us Tuesday-Thursday. Last week was very hard, but I am not giving up! I may have yelled a lot more then I like but I am trying very hard!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Week 3 Yell free

Last week, Thursday and Friday were tough days in our house, but we managed to make it through. My period started on Friday and that has a severe affect on my moods. I yelled, a lot. This weekend was fun though. We went to the trampoline park and the kids had a great time. There was very little conflict. Now this week is starting out a little rough as well because Jess and I both caught some bug and it looks like Lance might have it too. So Monday and Tuesday have been stay at home days and those are always harder then days when we get out. Hopefully the bug is a fast moving one and we are all back to good health soon.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Yell Free Year week 2

This weekend went really well for my no yelling! Not so well for Jess. I told him about the challenge and he agrees that it is a good idea, but he has a hard time not yelling. He definitely has a hard time keeping his cool when Lance does anything to hurt Kenna. I struggle with this a lot as well. Right now the weather is so cold that leaving the house is not recommended so the kids are having to be stuck inside at home, which makes for a hard time not going nuts! Kenna is teething pretty badly and not sleeping much so that also contributes to the crazy in our house. She has started throwing little tantrums and biting in retaliation for Lance's aggression or even just randomly. I think it might be related to her teeth coming in. I find that I have a hard time not yelling when I'm in pain, so when Lance hits or kicks me or Kenna bites I have to try very hard to keep my voice calm and speak respectfully to them. I am also in quite a bit of pain from plantar faciitis right now and I know that is not helping me. I hope to have the pain under control soon and to be able to get back to working out. I know for sure that working out really helps me stay calmer with the kids. The physical activity I get is great, and the break from being "mommy" for a hour or so is very refreshing! I love that the kids get to play and run around in the Rainbow Room at the Y!
In other news, Lance might finally actually be potty trained!! He did really well this weekend and was in undies all weekend. He did have an accident Sunday night at Granny P's, but I think it was mostly because he was so busy he forgot to go. With him finally getting into undies full time I need to start looking for a preschool for him. Yeah! We used going to school as a "motivator" to help with the potty training so I want to find a good fit for him that he can start soon. I'm looking into a couple "christian based" ones and the local public preschool is also an option. I am also considering a Montessori school. I'm really looking forward to him going to school as I think he will thrive on the social interaction and I will have time to be with just Kenna for a few hours a week.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Yell-Free Year Challenge

This year I've decided to take the Yell Free Year Challenge by Positive Parents! I started yesterday and did really well, but today has been more of a challenge. I want to be a better mom and stop shouting at the kids. My main triggers are: exhaustion, violence (when L hurts K mostly), and being ignored. I am working on helping myself not react to these. Here's the link to the challenge: http://www.positive-parents.org/2013/11/the-yell-free-year-challenge.html

I'm going to try to document my struggles/successes here. Today's struggles: Lance freaking out because he wants more screen time, and K sticking her hand in her poop. Today's successes: Getting through breakfast and lunch without raising my voice (these kids are messy!) and not yelling at Lance when he was too rough with K.