Introducing: Little Prince

I have been trying to think of a good blog nickname that would be appropriate for our most recent addition to the family as of November of 2013 and coming up short for months.

Nothing seemed appropriate or good enough. He is just so incredibly loved in our house. And I’m not talking favoritism with the parents. Buddy, Peanut and Bear were head-over-heels in love with him from day one. Possibly even more so than Husband or myself. They want to hold him and cuddle him. They want to help feed him and change his clothes. They sit and play with him for long periods of time because they want to. They comfort him when he cries. They talk about him constantly. Buddy cries when Little Prince doesn’t sleep in his room with him. THe girls cry when they can’t take a turn holding him. Their love for him shows. He is their baby brother. Their precious little baby brother. He is their littlest prince.

Buddy was actually the first one to mention that term for Little Prince. The kids were playing house and since Peanut usually plays baby, Buddy thought up the new household position of Prince for their baby brother. And they gave Prince everything he wanted. By the time they were done I was resolved on the nickname. Even husband, who hates frilly things, agreed it was incredibly appropriate.

His big siblings were so right on. He is just SUCH a little prince.

First Family Picture

First Family Picture

Little Prince

Little Prince

Peanut with Little Prince

Peanut with Little Prince

Bear with Little Prince

Bear with Little Prince

Buddy with Little Prince

Buddy with Little Prince

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His smile has always made us melt

 

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And his giggles brighten our days

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Buddy loves to help carry him around and Little Prince loves to be carried, no matter how roughly

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His sisters love him more than anything else

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It’s a little ridiculous how much the camera loves him

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He is never lacking for attention

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Our handsome little prince

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Changing

Isn’t it interesting how you can completely change your way of thinking in the blink of an eye in one of those rare “aha” moments? You’re doing some completely unrelated mindless work and suddenly everything clicks. Everything makes sense and everything you thought you knew changes. You think, “Whoa! How did I not realize this sooner?” And I find it even more interesting that – most times – these moments happen when you’re not even searching for an answer.

Last night my “aha” moment actually applied to myself. I realized I have been changing. Or maybe I have already changed. Maybe it’s temporary. I don’t know. But I did three very big and very out-of-character things recently. Right under my own nose. And these out-of-character actions led me to rethinking my entire way of “living”.

#1 – I joined a softball league.

This was probably the biggest of the three “whoas”. First and foremost, let me explain one thing. Up until recently, I have always thought I was a skilled athlete. I always thought I was in pretty good shape and mostly capable of anything you could throw at me. I didn’t think I was invincible, but I definitely had unrealistic expectations for myself.

That said – The first thing that “hit me” was that I realized I’m *deep breath* a terrible athlete.

I’ve been graced with an athletic frame but I’m extremely uncoordinated. Give me a ball – any ball for any sport – and I’ll screw up. Bad. REALLY bad. So I avoided sports with balls and only allowed myself to participate in things I was confident I would do well with. And the things that I did do, I climbed the ladder fairly quickly. I got used to being “the best” or darn near close. I went tunnel vision and thought only about the things I was good at and pretended the rest didn’t exist. That way I was able to legitimize my “I’m good at everything” way of thinking. Meanwhile my experiences with different activities became more and more limited. I opted to sit out and watch almost everything, pretending to be uninterested, when really, I wanted to participate but I was very scared of making a fool of myself.

Now fast forward to this year. I joined a sport with a ball. A ball I have to hit and catch and throw accurately. And I joined this sport when I was in the worst shape of my life. I was so bad right from the start. I whiffed at bat, I missed easy fly balls and I overthrew the ball. A lot.

That leads me to the next thing I realized about myself. I’m not used to being the worst at something. I’m not used to being last. I’m not used to being the weakest link. But the reason I have never been the weakest link is because I’ve never allowed myself to be in that position. I never took risks. I never stepped out of my comfort zone.

And here I am. Playing softball. Terribly, but still playing. Probably the worst on the team, but still playing. I’m so far out of my comfort zone every time I step out into the field and that will probably never change. I may end up being the weakest link all season. But I’ve finally come to terms with my “athleticism”. I’m not an athlete. I’m not coordinated. I’m not even that fast of a runner anymore. But I’m having fun. I’m laughing and having fun with a group of ladies that I happen to have quite a bit in common with! Sports really can be fun if you can learn to laugh at yourself and enjoy the moment. I finally get it.

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#2 – I “taught” a “class”

Okay. two things. 1.) I have a debilitating fear of public speaking. My hands shake, my voice sounds like I’m about to cry and I’m pretty certain the anxiety attacks will kill me one of these days when my heart is about to explode from my chest. 2.) The class was a group of ladies for a bachelorette party. There was nothing official about this teaching or class.

My cousin is getting married this week and her bachelorette party was this past weekend. Her sister (my other cousin) was planning the party and was trying to get a local lady that does a painting party. At a painting party, you’re provided with a canvas, paint and supplies and the teacher will take you through a painting step-by-step while you enjoy some wine and visit with the other classmates. When my cousin found out she couldn’t get the painting party, I was really bummed because I thought that would have been really fun. So, since I enjoy painting on occasion myself, I offered to take the group through a painting if we could gather our own supplies. Everyone agreed and the ad-libbed painting party was planned.

I was super excited about it until about ten minutes before we started. I was setting up my easel and displays and turned around to find a group of ladies – all eyes on me. Waiting on me. To teach them. To present. To be in charge.

Crap. CRAP. OH, CRAP. CRAPCRAPCRAPCRAPCRAP.

I freaked for a split second. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! I could feel my heart start pounding in my chest and I prayed my hands didn’t start shaking because – well – shaky hands and painting don’t mix…

And then I realized none of them were even looking at me. They were looking at my displays. They were talking excitedly and nervously amongst themselves about not “being that good” and putting their skills down before they had even touched a brush.

I took that lifeline and held on like my life depended on it. I had been so excited to share this thing that I have always been passionate about and I wasn’t going to let my fear get in the way of that. Especially when I knew how proud these ladies would be when they finished! And I wanted to give that to them. Sharing my knowledge became more important than hiding behind my fear. So without even knowing it, these ladies helped me overcome my own anxiety while I helped them.

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#3 – I constructed something

Last night I offered to help knock out some of Husband’s to-do list. Normally I treat his projects like the plague and stay far, FAR away from them. They usually require the use of terrifying tools that I could kill myself with like chain saws, blowtorches or nail guns. Add in the fact that I’m a very clumsy person and, well, let’s just say we both prefer I stay away from his to-do list.

But over the last week he fell behind on his list because he was working on some woodworking projects I asked him to make and I thought it was only fair that I at least try to do something from his list in exchange. I scanned the list and the blood drained from my face as I repeated “crap, crap, crap”. Electrical stuff, car repair stuff and things requiring no small amount of knowledge in construction. Nothing looked do-able for me. Except… maybe one.

I had asked Husband to fix the torn up screen door, put on a guard and add lower handles that the kids can reach.

Normally I’ll tell husband I will do something for him and I’ll have every intention of finishing it. But somewhere along the way I’ll lose hope (or ambition) and I’ll tag him in on the project. But this time I was determined. I went out to the local hardware store and found a screen guard, screen, supplies to set the screen and door handles. I took down the door, pulled out the old screen, set the new one, measured out and drilled holes for the screws for the guard and new door handles (after digging around and finding a cordless drill, a charged battery and the appropriate sized drill bit) and I “installed” everything. I set the door back up and put everything away.

I did it. I laughed at myself at how childish I sounded, but I was seriously so proud that I did it all by myself. Everything. From shopping for parts, to the actual repair/installation to finding the tools. Everything. I think I often sell myself short when it comes to these jobs that are out of my comfort level. And I often take advantage of having an incredibly handy husband around. I’ve grown lazy and incompetent. And, just like the athletic thing, I was afraid of looking stupid so I avoided something I didn’t know a lot about.

Right after setting the door back up and stepping back with a proud I-did-it-myself grin on my face, that’s when all of this hit me in that “aha” moment. Was I really coming out of my shell? The shell I had built up as an impenetrable wall of fear? The wall that I had hidden behind my entire life? I began to rack my brain and I shocked myself with how many examples I could come up with. Making new friends. Volunteering to help with projects or even lead them. Building things that I have no experience with. Joining in on activities that I wasn’t comfortable with. Instigating other activities… the list goes on. Had I really been growing and changing so much without even knowing it? The answer was a resounding YES.

Last night I redefined myself. I’m still an introvert. I will always be an introvert. But I’m not afraid anymore. Somewhere along the line, I stopped hiding behind my fears. I stopped hiding behind excuses and I started living. And the laughter and fun that followed was worth stepping over every one of those boundaries I had laid down for myself. I am capable of so much more than I gave myself credit for and I can’t wait to see what else I’m capable of!

Clarity

I was angry. Black cloud following me everywhere I went kind of angry.

I had stopped posting updates on Peanut because I was getting too frustrated with people saying “I knew she could do it” or “of course she did!” when I announced an accomplishment. I would think, “No. No, you don’t know. You have no idea. You haven’t been here for the last month while we struggled over and over again through the tears and failures that led up to this one moment. How can you just sum this moment up so casually?!” And when someone would say , “It can’t be that bad.” or, “Can’t she just do this?” I would want to fall apart and cry. I would think, “How can they think this is so simple?”

I would hurt for Peanut because the first thing many people would talk about or ask about was her disability. And many would point out what she wasn’t doing or can’t do and told me what I should do to “improve her life”. I would feel the weight of the world on my shoulders trying to satisfy everyone. Trying to explain why we’re doing this and not that would exhaust me, but I didn’t want to let anyone think I was doing anything less than everything possible for Peanut.

People would ask for updates as if they deserved it. Even when nothing “big” was going on. As if she was some ongoing experiment. And when I was vague, some would push as if I was being rude not to keep them informed. And it hurt so badly every single time.

There were so many suggestions. ALWAYS suggestions. ALWAYS ideas. So many. So many that I began to think that people thought we weren’t doing enough. Because why else would they keep telling me about more and more and MORE? It began to hurt too much, so I stopped posting things. I stopped sharing. I pushed everyone away because I couldn’t handle it without burning down bridges.

And most of all – It would disappoint me to the extreme when people never thought to ask what Peanut wanted in all of this.

So that’s when I removed myself. I took the deepest, most calming (metaphorical) breath of my life. I let all of the worry, anxiety, frustration, anger, offense and sadness out. And an amazing thing happened.

I didn’t care anymore.

I didn’t care what everyone else thought.

Not in a “bugger-off I’ll do what I want” kind of way. But in an “agree to disagree and move on” kind of way.

I have taken time to just breathe and realize that, no, people probably never really will understand. And that’s okay. They don’t need to understand. Understanding is irrelevant. What’s important is supporting Peanut and encouraging her. And I have learned to teach people the right way to encourage her. To set their expectations to her level, not theirs. To respect what she wants and needs. That maybe she can’t handle this overwhelming regiment of therapies, miracle cures and testing because she is a three-year old little girl with three-year old little girl needs. And many of them have nothing to do with her special needs.

I have realized that speaking up, no matter how much I don’t want a person to dislike me or my views, is imperative. And I have realized that speaking up doesn’t always mean a fight. Most people aren’t looking for a fight. They’re looking to understand because they want to help. And that’s something I can get behind. So I have been speaking up when necessary and shutting my mouth when necessary. I have been educating and correcting where I felt necessary. And I have learned that if someone is going to dislike me or my views on what’s important for Peanut, then that’s their problem to work through. Not mine.

And you know what? An amazing thing is happening. People are understanding, respecting, stepping back or stepping up.

Ironic, huh?

Most people never will truly understand what we go through on a daily basis. And I have realized that that’s not my problem. Nor is it anyone else’s. The only one who matters in all of this is Peanut. And if she’s satisfied with where we’re at, then that’s good enough for me.

Old news but BIG news!

Wow. I promised periodic updates as my family and I packed, moved and adjusted to our new life (I promised, right? Maybe not, but I promise you I promised you in my mind. I sometimes have a bad habit of thinking I’ve shared something when it never actually got communicated. One of my many charming qualities…). So obviously that whole “keeping you all updated” bit didn’t happen. I’m not going to give you a laundry list of excuses about how I was just soooo busy. I was busy, but I also had plenty of time to sit down and write if I really wanted to. I’m not going to tell you I decided to quit blogging because, to be honest with you, I’ve started maybe ten different posts but just never got around to finishing them.

I just kind of got caught up in life. I’ve spent the last few months packing up our whole house, moving into my in-law’s house for a month and living out of suitcases while we spent the next month closing on our new house, THEN moving in and unpacking at our new house. Just a tad busy. That, and I’ve got a bit of big news to share with those of you that aren’t involved in my life personally or in the least stalk me on facebook.

I’m pregnant!!

It feels a little weird to be announcing this right now. You see, I’m 27 weeks pregnant and just getting into my third trimester.

Erm… yeah. Dropped the ball there.

I kept intending to announce it in some cute way on here, then time passed… and passed. The cute idea was kind of getting old and then I just got too pregnant to really make it cute. It would have been like me buying a ten-year old dog, announcing I just got a puppy and inviting everyone over to meet my adorable new puppy and OH I’m SO excited!! Then my friends come over, anticipating a cute little ball of wiggles all yipping and snuggly… and they’re greeted with an old dog with a graying face that probably farts and has terrible plaque breath.

Well it was kind of the same here. You’d be expecting a freshly pregnant woman, all smiles and giggles, and instead you’re greeted with a much larger, much snarlier pregnant woman.

So I apologize readers. You totally missed the puppy stage of my pregnancy and I’m the farting dog now. *hangs head*

But I did get an idea that I thought might make it up to you. I thankfully took pictures throughout the pregnancy, so I thought I’d share those pictures and a little tidbit with each of those pictures. It’s not specific posts dedicated to how I’m feeling and what I’m doing that week but it’s better than nothing!

Six Weeks

Look at that smile! Look at that belly (or lack therof)! I was only six weeks pregnant and glowing! I obviously had no belly yet at this point, but I stupidly, oh so stupidly, was eager to see myself starting to pop. One of the silly mentalities of a newly pregnant woman. *sigh* But I took this picture to show what I looked like before starting to show… I don’t know why. As a reference? To torture myself? I had my reasons back in the day, but now those reasons completely elude me…

Nine Weeks

Nine Weeks

This was my first ultrasound where I got to see my little peanut. Baby is nine weeks young here. I remember my OBGYN bringing this up on the screen and I just smiled knowingly as I looked over at my three other beautiful kids who I had brought with to the ultrasound. Sooner than I’d ever expect, this nine-week-along pregnancy would result in another beautiful child. Just as big as his/her siblings with his/her own personality and looks. I was so excited!

12 Weeks

12 Weeks

What a difference only three weeks can make! This is only three weeks after the last ultrasound and now there are obvious arms and facial features. They’re not fully formed yet, but even as I observed my fourth child, I was still in awe at the wonder of creating life.

13 Weeks

13 Weeks

There. You see that teeny tiny bump? Right there. Yeah. There. That’s the beginning of my belly. I remember being so excited to share the belly pic! At this point, I had REALLY bad morning sickness and I just wanted to sleep all day still. I was pretty bitter about this since I was supposed to get out of this stage. Little did I know this would last for MANY more weeks yet!

16 Weeks

16 Weeks

Now my belly is starting to pop. I thought I had gotten so much bigger at this point! I still had morning sickness at this point and poor husband had to be subjected to whatever meal I thought sounded good. Oftentimes it was just simple cold cut sandwiches because that was all I could handle smelling. I also began to notice my bras were getting very snug at this point! And I also noticed movement with baby at this point too!

18 Weeks

18 Weeks

We had just finished moving into our new house here and I was finally beginning to feel my energy kicking in at 18 weeks! Baby was starting to really wiggle around now and I was also feeling quite a few stretching growing pains in my abdomen. I was equal parts bitter and proud of this since it was my third pregnancy and I assumed I’d never have “growing pains” again from my abdomen stretching out!

19 Weeks

19 Weeks

I’m exhausted. Dead beat. Over and out. This picture was taken after a week straight of unpacking our new house and taking care of my three-year old and twin two-year olds. Baby was really active now at this point and I was finally beginning to feel “pregnant”.

20 Weeks Old

20 Weeks Old

This beautiful, BEAUTIFUL picture is my baby at 20 weeks old. This was from the ultrasound that women get midway to find out the gender and get a peek at their baby while measurements and pictures are taken of baby to make sure they’re growing up strong and healthy. Prior to this ultrasound, I had suffered from some severe anxiety over the health of baby. So it was an extreme relief to me when baby was immediately announced to be a “really good lookin’ baby”. Yay! (P.S. We decided to let this baby be a surprise!)
I will be posting more on this picture and the day that surrounded it in another blog post.

20 Weeks

20 Weeks

Sciatic nerve pain resulted in me needing to sleep with a pillow between my legs at this point. But that didn’t matter, because I was overjoyed to find that I could finally drop my morning sickness medication and I felt okay!!

21 Weeks

21 Weeks

I’m hot now. Not sexy hot. No. I was a sweaty, uncomfortable kind of hot. This week was the week where all of the US just got blasted with that giant heat wave. In Wisconsin, that was high 80’s and 90’s. Previous to this, I remember thinking to myself that pregnant women really couldn’t suffer as badly as they claimed in the heat (Both of my previous pregnancies were over winter). But oh my god I ate my words that week. The heat just slows you down to snail speed and turns you into a snarly beast! I hated this week the most so far through the pregnancy. I HATED it. And I’m pretty sure husband hated me this week, too.

22.5 Weeks

22.5 Weeks

At this point, I was getting really round out front and uncomfortable from hip pain. Apparently my body has a “been there, done that” mindset this time with this being my third pregnancy. My pelvic bones are already separating and it makes walking very painful. And standing on one foot just about kills me from the shooting pain. I’ve had to adopt some pretty creative ways to put on shoes and socks! But, that said, I was just happy that I hadn’t started swelling up from the heat! And I can only hope this early separation will make for a much easier delivery when the time comes!

25 Weeks

25 Weeks

My growth spurt slowed and I’m not sick. That’s a lot to smile about! At this point I’m just riding the pregnancy wave and waiting for delivery day. I still get lots of pelvic pain and pinched nerves and lower back pain from running around all day every day, but I think at this point I finally just accepted my fate and ignore it as best as I can. Instead, I’ve been counting down the surprisingly small number of weeks left. 15 weeks at this point only!

I’m 27 weeks now as of yesterday and feeling as good as a 27 week pregnant woman can. I’ve stopped finding the bad in everything and I’m trying to stay optimistic which hasn’t really been all that hard. I still haven’t started swelling up and I’m getting used to the pelvic pain. Husband takes really good care of me when he can tell I’m starting to slow down and the kids are all really good for me all things considered.

I’m getting really excited to meet baby now! Impatient even. I feel and SEE giant kicks and squirms and just smile. I can’t wait to hold baby in my arms and snuggle them and kiss them. I can’t wait to show them off. I’m a little afraid of having a gigantic baby this time around since i Had twins for my last pregnancy, but I’ve decided dwelling has done me NO good with this pregnancy. I’m just trying to live day-by-day and enjoy the good instead of snarling about the bad. As best as I can anyway, because don’t get me wrong, I’m still plenty snarly. 😉

I will try to keep my blog updated with the pregnancy now that I’ve finally broken the news. Sorry it took me SO LONG to do!

Moving On

We’re moving. Officially now. We finally got an accepted offer on our house and we’re moving out on April 30th. Right now we’re  in the painfully overwhelming process of packing an entire house with three kids and a dog underfoot. It’s amazing how much stuff you can build up when you go from an apartment to a house. And it’s also amazing the things you unearth from the far reaches of the home as you begin the packing process. Things that bring back memories. Baby clothes. Puppy toys. Closing documents from when we bought this place. Old pictures of what the house looked like when we first moved in.

We bought our house three and a half years ago. I can’t believe how much our lives have changed in that short amount of time. We brought three kids into the world and got a puppy. We also went from two incomes to one. That alone calls for some drastic lifestyle changes. We’ve struggled to maintain friendships from our old lifestyle and gained others that fit the new one. In three and a half short years, we have become two completely different people.

And it all happened under this roof.

And now we’re leaving. We’re moving on. Every box that I tape closed and set aside, every day that draws nearer to the closing date, it hits me that we’re actually leaving this place. We’re leaving. It’s kind of surreal to think that this won’t be our home anymore in just a month.

In a lot of ways, I’m reluctant to leave. The house is old, falling apart in some areas, the yard is small and there are probably a million other reasons why I should be happy to be moving on. But still… I’m reluctant. We’ve (literally!) put so much of our blood, sweat and tears into this house. We’ve gone through some serious heartache and triumph here in our first home. Our first day as homeowners. Our first day of owning a puppy together. Our first day as parents. Our first big landscaping project (and a hundred more to follow). I can point out specific areas on the carpet that I’ve toiled over after a potty training accidents, a house-wide flu epidemic, muddy paw prints or nasty food spills. I look around and remember disasters we’ve averted with power shortages, heater failure and flooding. I think about everything we’ve been through here in our first home, and I feel like we’re abandoning it in some way. I know that sounds so silly, but we’re really attached to this place. Because even with all of its shortcomings, it was our first home.

But…

I know it’s time. I hate it, but I know it’s time. We truly are in that stage in our lives where it’s time to move on from our “first home” and find our “forever home”. Peanut will be getting her wheelchair shortly and we need a ranch. Our family grew much more quickly than we had anticipated and we need more space, both in the house and the yard! We’re ready to get back home to the friends and family we know and love. Because it’s just not the same here. We’ve made friends… but it’s not the same. It’s not back home. It’s not our community. It’s not 100% right.

So, it’s time to move on. It’s time to go back home. We’ve hit a few bumps and we haven’t found our forever home just yet. But we’ve got a temporary living situation figured out and we’ll keep on searching for our home. I’m still excited despite the setbacks. I’m excited to see what home we finally find. I’m excited as I think about how attached we’ll grow to that house. I’m excited to think about all of the memories we’ll make there. I’m excited to move on and see where our next adventure takes our family.

(And, honestly, I’m excited to be DONE packing and moving. Woof.)

Do Differences Make The Difference?

Alright, so I just had a thought and I wanted to get it down. These thoughts might be a little bit jumbled because I’m just writing as I think…

Consistency vs. opposites. I’m thinking about parenting methods. Couples talk through their parenting beliefs, how many kids they want or if they want kids at all etc etc before really getting serious in a relationship (usually). It’s believed that you want a partner that has the same beliefs as you do when it comes to parenting methods. Whether or not to spank. Whether or not to start education before kindergarten. How to dole out punishment or maybe not to punish at all. There are hundreds of different methods out there.

And it’s generally agreed that your partner has to totally agree with you.

But… is that really true?

Bear with me here.

If we have to agree on everything, then why is the saying “opposites attract” so well known? I mean, yeah, you’re typically not going to find a lazy slob and a health nut in a serious and healthy relationship. There’s bound to be conflict there that just can’t be accepted.  But on the whole, with “opposites” you tend to find that perfect amount of adventure and self-realization when you find that person that complements you.

Maybe parenting should be the same way. Complementing.

Hmm…

Now, I don’t mean one parent should be a bully while the other parent turns the other cheek to everything. But maybe there’s something to the whole “good cop bad cop” thing.

I just wonder about this because I see SO many kids taking advantage of their parents these days. “Opposite” parents rely so heavily on  being on the same page that they compromise on their methods to the point of crippling themselves.

I can see kids nowadays laughing in the face of their mother who says, “Just wait until your father gets home!” Why? Because their father isn’t the bad cop anymore. Their father isn’t someone to fear anymore as “the parent who you do not want to cross”. Their father will probably just come home and say/do the exact same thing that failed to work with the kids in the first place.

Why don’t we adjust? Why don’t we improvise when things don’t work? Why don’t we switch things up now and again and keep our kids on their feet. Why do we stick so resolutely to one parenting method when we have two kids with two very different personalities that act and react completely differently to different situations?! WHY?!

Why are we making it so easy to be taken advantage of by our own children?! We are parents for a reason. We are the authority for a reason. Why do we put so much stock in these parenting methods created by complete strangers just because they have a PhD? So what if they’re the topmost authority in field A and field B. In my opinion, the theories sound great, but kids just can’t be categorized so easily. Kids have a whole range of different personalities, so one parenting method just does not suffice.

And in the big picture: How do we ever raise them to respect rules and authority if they don’t respect us? How do we honestly expect our kids to survive in today’s society and handle rejection and disappointment if we don’t force them to face the reality of rejection and disappointment in the comfort of their own home? No… I’m not saying make their lives a living hell. But why has it become so hard for parents to say NO and MEAN IT?

“Opposite parenting” can bring out the possibility of different parenting methods for different personalities and different situations. Sometimes the fit-thrower just doesn’t respond to positive reinforcement like the eager pleaser. Sometimes the wall flower blossoms under gentle encouragement while the attention-seeker thrives under strict structure.

So why don’t we let Dad continue to be the beast at the dinner table and Mom be the beast about bedtime routines (while the other parent couldn’t care less)? Why don’t we tailor parenting methods to our kid’s specific needs?

I can see plenty of flaws and loopholes in my thoughts here, but I think I might be on to something and I intend to look further into it.

As Mrs. Sparklenose – the fairy teacher from The Flying Fairy School on Sesame Street – once said – “Sometimes differences make the difference.”

What do you think? Do differences make the difference or am I just plain crazy?

De-Scheduling

Approximately two (maybe three? I honestly don’t remember) months ago I presented my idea to start blogging regularly to see how much traffic I got. I began posting a blog every Monday and a photo every Wednesday. I started a Twitter page and a Facebook page.

I’ve done my “test time” to see how it panned out, and while I’m getting decent traffic after only a couple of months, I’ve decided that I’m just not into it enough to make it a regular thing. I’m really realizing that I write my blog for the release of writing or excitement to share my stories, not for the publicity or social networking. Like… at all.

Last week we had an awful flu take out our whole family and I just didn’t have time to get on the computer. And over that week, my addiction broke. Now all I see is that I’m losing myself to the computer and I’m missing out on a lot of quality time with my kiddos. Time I’m not going to get back. The only quality time I recently had with my kids – where I didn’t jump up to check the computer – was when they got the flu. That wasn’t cool with me at all.

I will continue to blog and share my stories about raising my insanely energetic son and twin girls, but I won’t be posting regularly every Monday anymore. I’m also going to be getting rid of my Supermom Facebook page and Twitter page. Honestly, I don’t do well with schedules and I get myself too stressed trying to remember to write something by Monday morning (HUGE kudos to WAHMs!).

Another reason I’m cutting back is because I’ve been writing a book. It’s a fantasy romance novel (and no, it’s not about vampires) and I’m about 3/4 of the way through with writing it. I’ve been working on it since October of 2011 and I’ve only recently gotten a really good hold of my writing and feel more confident that there actually is an end in sight for my book.

If you’re interested in my book-nerd side, I do have a twitter page dedicated solely to my book-nerdiness. I made it purely for fun and sometimes go days on end without posting, though. Fair warning! @RachRate

When I finally sat down and decided to cut down on all of this, I really felt happy with my decision to simplify. This is the right thing to do. No amount of blogging publicity is worth compromising my time with my family during the day. I will work on my book on occasional evenings when the kids are in bed and I will identify as a stay at home mom, not a mommy blogger. I’m really liking this decision!

But don’t worry. I will continue to write my blog posts when I get the time or something happens in my life that I just have to share with you all. There’s just no way I’d make it through motherhood without sharing my stories. 🙂 Love you all and thanks for sticking with me!