Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New baby

No... I'm not going to have another baby. My hubby and I have talked about how we are very happy with our 3 boys. I was just reminiscing about when we brought our second son home from the hospital. It was something I'll always cherish, and for some different reasons than expected.

I remember when I thought I might be pregnant. Our oldest was a couple of years old and I told my husband that I wanted him to have a sibling. It was important to me that he had someone to grow up with; to play with; but most important, to be there for when he is older. Alas, it took a lot longer than I thought it would for us to get pregnant again, but once we did I was over the moon with excitement.

As we prepared for the baby, my hubby and I confessed  to each other that we were nervous. Excited, yes, but also nervous because we didn't know what to expect. We only had one child for two years and that's all we knew. I was nervous that our oldest would take his aggression out on the baby. I knew that he wouldn't understand that babies need the extra attention and I was afraid that he would begin to hit or do other mean things to the baby. All I could do was hope and pray that everything would be OK. The morning (and I mean 2:30 am morning) came and I felt my water had broken.  We headed to the hospital after calling my dad to come and stay with our oldest. Once we got to the hospital we had a good number of hours to wait before the baby was ready to come. Finally, he made his debut and we couldn't have been happier. Our family had grown and I was excited to bring him home.

When we were all home my nerves kicked in again. I wanted to have such positive energy just so our oldest would feel it and know that the baby was good and that he had someone to play with when he was older. A few days passed and to my surprise he took to the baby really well. He gave him kisses and hugs. There wasn't any animosity toward the baby at all. Now me on the other hand...that's a different story.

I remember sitting on the couch holding the baby and our oldest came over. He gave the baby kisses and I asked him to go do something. He looked at me and yelled out "NO!" I couldn't believe it. He had never done that. This was something I had never even thought about. I never thought he would take his aggression out on me. Just about every time I gave him a direction he would yell "NO!" and began to hit my legs. I was in shock and was beginning to feel hopeless. I was thankful that he loved his brother but heartbroken that he was taking his frustration out on me. How in the world were we going to stop this behavior before it got worse? Then it came to us...

"Mommy & me time". We decided that when I was going to the store our oldest would be the one to go with me. The baby would stay with daddy and it was just him and me. I was praying that this would be the answer to my hopelessness. It was! It was just the thing that we needed. It gave my husband bonding time with the baby, and it gave me and my oldest time to bond again. It was his time and I couldn't have been happier. After a few weeks I felt and saw a change with him. He still loved the baby just as much as he ever did, but now he was giving me the love that I missed.

As I look back it seems like it should have been right there for us to see. But adding another member to our family was life changing. Some of the simplest things aren't always able to be seen right away. I still try to do "Mommy & Me time" when I can. Sometimes he doesn't want to go to the store with me and that's OK. He knows I love him with all my heart and I will always be ready for our "time" when he needs it.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mommy! Where are you!?!?


This is what I hear normally from our oldest when he's looking for me but doesn't want to leave whatever it is he's doing, especially when the two younger boys are sleeping peacefully.  Even though I've explained to him that if he wants me, he needs to come find me, the agreement that we have seems to fly right out of the window. As I cringe down the hallway, I'm trying not to yell back while I attempt to find him, because this would contradict what I want him to do.  So I speed walk to where he is while "Stage-whispering" for him to stop yelling.

This is a typically normal day, but yesterday was a little bit different. There was a calmness in the house. I'm not sure if it was the fact that my husband was coming home from work early and he would have the rest of the weekend off or that I had just given up on being "super-clean mommy". Maybe I had just told myself that it was going to be a nice day. Whatever it was, I had such a relaxed feeling and I wanted it to last. To my surprise...it DID! 

While my two younger ones were napping and my oldest was playing games (Starfall & Nick, Jr) on the computer I wanted to do something creative. So I decided to bake something with my oldest. He loves to help out in the kitchen, I got everything ready to make Rice Krispies treats. I had never made them with him before. I thought that this would be a great time because he would have the one-on-one attention he craves. I called him into the kitchen, asked him if he wanted to help me make the treats, and he answered with a resounding and enthusiastic "YES!"

I have so much fun making food with him. He really enjoys working with me in the kitchen and just about every time he helps make food, he eats it. It doesn't hurt that the recipe is so easy and keeps his attention.

I started with melting the butter everything was going perfect. Then I told him we needed to put in the marshmallows. Then my "Baby Brain" kicks in and I grab the Rice Krispies and dump them right in bowl with just the butter. WHAT???!!! Oh great. I knew I had a choice. I could have gotten upset at myself and threw the contents away while saying "Oh well, we aren't making anything because mommy made a mistake". Or I could get a bowl and put the Rice Krispies in and do the marshmallows the right way.

I don't know if today was special or what was going on because I didn't even consider the first option like I normally would. I just laughed at what happened, which made my boy laugh, and started again. We did have to add a  little bit more butter, since the first was still attached to the cereal, then the MARSHMALLOWS, and THEN the cereal again. My son had a blast mixing it all together. He loves seeing the process of how each ingredient go into the pot individually and then comes together to create the final product. What a great experience for both of us!

The one thing I've learned with having kids is that each child needs that special one on one"mommy and me/Daddy and me" time. It doesn't have to last all day, although sometimes we're having so much fun I want it to keep going. As long as you give a little bit of time and attention to them they  feel wanted. It could just be sitting at the dinner table asking them about their day, or at bath time playing pirates with their toys. Whatever it is they'll soak it up.

I remember a conversation I was having with a friend. I was talking to her about how I had so much to do and my oldest kept asking me to play with him. She looked at me and smiled. She told me to take the time with him. There will be a time when he won't ask you anymore. I thought about what she said and smiled. She was right. The housework will be there tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, while my boys are growing up so fast and they won't always want me to do things with them. That is reality.

Whatever you are doing today, take a few moments and spend time with your children. Give them the attention they need because one day they will be all grown up and on their own far too quickly.  It's sometimes hard for me to remember to do this when "life" gets in the way, but the effort needs to be made.   Remember,  "Make It Count!"