Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My New Year's Resolutions

It has been an amazingly busy year with so many changes!  We found out we were pregnant with baby #3 near the beginning of the year, our other babies turned 2 and 4, we moved back home and bought a house that we spent the better part of the summer renovating and settling into, and we welcomed little Caroline in September!  Looking back on this year I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my family and all the people in my life and am looking forward to what 2014 has to bring! 

I love the idea of New Year's Resolutions!  Getting a fresh start and setting the reset button to make the following year the best it can be!  Last year I gave myself a nice well-rounded list of resolutions here.  However, I have to be honest... my good intentions rarely make it past January... see here.  This year I'm getting smarter!  Working under the premise of "set your goals low so you're not disappointed", here are my 2014 New Year's Resolutions!

1. Get my little boy potty-trained!! 
I've declared every pack of diapers I've bought for the last few months would be the last pack of diapers I'd buy, but between his lack of interest and my lack of effort I just keep buying more!  Well he turns 3 in the Spring and this mama has had 2 kids in diapers long enough!

2. Put pictures in all my empty frames!!
I was good enough to get all the frames out and set up when we moved into our house, but have yet to put a picture in any of them!  I always refer to them as my ghost family!  So this is the year to actually put them to use!

3. Make photo albums of kiddos!!
With baby number one, I stayed on top of uploading pictures and creating a 1 year album online.  However, I never added the one year pictures and therefore never ordered the album!  Babies 2 and 3 have no pictures uploaded, and in turn, no albums started!  I've got to get started so I can remember all the important details!!

4. Do crafts with my son!!
I always think of Teddy as younger than he is.  When Natalie was his age, we had been working on numbers, letters, and shapes for months and had created crafts to go along with all of them.  He's already got the letter recognition down so I'm excited to get started on numbers, shapes and colors!

5. Play more games with my daughter!!
Natalie is a quality-time kid.  There is nothing she loves more than undivided attention from mom or dad.  She's always loved puzzles but has recently shown an affinity for games.  As a board game/card game junkie myself, I'm pumped about this and want to encourage it as much as possible!

6. Get Caroline on a schedule!!
You'd think by baby number 3 I'd have my methods down pat, but somehow I have an almost 4 month old still sleeping in my room and a nursery that's not quite ready yet.  Perhaps I have to put "finish the nursery" on my list!  Natalie and Teddy were both around this age when I was able to get them into a good nap schedule and bed time routine so I've got to start soon with Caroline! 

7. Finish the nursery!!
#6 made me think of this, and as one who loves to check off my list of things to do, I might as well add it to this list!


Friday, December 13, 2013

Too busy

I can't believe how long it has been since I have written on here.  The last six months have brought a lot of change for our family, most importantly the addition of our sweet little Caroline!  She's already 3 months old, and while I could write paragraph upon paragraph about her adorable little smile, her striking blue eyes and auburn hair, and all the new things she is doing these days, I will save that for another post.  :)

Today, I am writing as a humbled mama.  Lately I have been feeling like I'm falling short as a mom.  My patience has nearly run dry and I yell way more than I want to.  My Facebook newsfeed seems to be spying on me as many friends have shared blog posts like "10 Things I Learned by not Yelling at My Kids" and other posts urging me to just give in and lay with my almost 3 year old who refuses to stay in bed.  Reading these posts has been encouraging... to know I'm not the only one who struggles with my temper or feels like a failure.  This posted video had me dissolved in a pool of my own tears one night, praying that my kids would say sweet things about me.

Today was "one of those days".  If you are a mother of small children, that phrase requires no explanation.  I was overtired from a night spent bouncing and swaying my 3 month old to sleep, my little guy's volume was stuck on high, and my baby girl was cranky and letting me know it.  My 4 1/2 year old daughter and I played a game of Uno and tried to start Chutes and Ladders but after a jealous little brother scattered the pieces we put it away.  The rest of the morning did not go well, and I dropped my little girl off at preschool at noon.  Later that afternoon, I found out that she did not act like her usual happy self at school so I asked her when she got home if she was sad at school.  She said "I missed my mommy".  I couldn't imagine why she would miss me given my less than stellar performance as a mother that morning.  I apologized for being crabby and for raising my voice at her that morning and she looked at me and said, "Mom, you were too busy". 

Those five words felt like a knife in my heart.  All morning she had been begging to play another game of Uno and I kept promising that I would as soon as (fill in the blank).  As soon as I get Caroline to sleep... as soon as you get out of the bath... as soon as I'm done washing the dishes... as soon as I'm done cleaning the kitchen... as soon as I change a load of laundry... as soon as I'm done paying bills... as soon as I'm done feeding Caroline... and then the time ran out. 

She wasn't sad about my temper or my raised voice.... she was sad that I didn't stop finding things to keep me busy and didn't just sit down and play cards.  I'm sure the day will come all too soon where she doesn't want to play cards with her mom, and I should be taking every opportunity I can to do it now.  With a "to-do list" that keeps growing and a holiday calendar that is overflowing with events, I need to remind myself to slow down, let the dishes sit in the sink, and play cards with my little girl.