Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekly Happenings Post #178 (August 6-12)-- Hearts and Bones

 I look like I ran a marathon instead of walked a mile (maybe?), AP's eyes are rolled back like she's drunk and she insisted on holding the floatie thing, Graves is reading, and Peyton looks half normal, which is really the most bizarre thing about this picture.

Last week was hard for me y' really hard.  I kind of hate saying that and complaining because I know there are parents who day after day deal with MUCH worse than a broken bone.  But, I've always made this a place of honesty and transparency and last week my week was hard.

Truthfully, I can't remember a harder week since Graves's itty bitty days.  In fact, my feelings all week were strangely reminiscent of those first early weeks and months as a momma to two.  I had the same feelings of weariness, exasperation, and honestly, defeat.  And even worse I experienced the same devastating lack of confidence.  I questioned why I was so frustrated, what it meant that all this didn't come more naturally to me, and mostly if I was even good enough for them.

I struggled a lot with decisions about discipline.  AP was all out of sorts- she was in a lot of pain because of her broken arm and when the pain was managed she had a fear of pain (e.g. taking her arm out of the sling, even when we supported it, to get in the car).  On top of that she was sleeping poorly and eating even more poorly (she lost a couple of pounds over the past week, actually, which is really not good).  So basically: 1) she hurts 2) she's frightened and 3) she has little reserve to run on. So, I tried to ere on the side of grace a lot with her last week.  I mean if she shoved Graves or something, she went to time out- and she went to time out a lot.  But I didn't punish her for things I normally would- throwing fits or not doing something the first time I asked her to. Stuff like that.

On Sunday, I told a friend (whom I really love and respect) about something she said- something that was funny, but also sassy.  My friend asked me if I had "whipped her butt".  First of all, she was totally joking.  She knows, like most of y'all do, that that's not how we discipline anyway and moreover, she knows AP really, really well and knows her character and that her behavior had been really unusual and was due to the strange circumstances of the week.  She was totally kidding and trying to make me laugh (which she did).  At the same time, it brought up the thoughts I had been having all week- was I doing this all wrong? Should I be harder on her? What AM I DOING?

I know that seems over the top dramatic, but I was just in a bad place (and also I'm over the top dramatic).  In addition to the behavior issues, she regressed with potty training, was spending at least part of each night in our bed, was going to bed with a sippy cup, and was watching way too much TV.  I was just overwhelmed by all I was doing "wrong".

I can already see that though some of this may be hard to break in the coming weeks, it was what she needed at the time and though for a while, her behavior may not fit my desires for her, erring on the side of grace was the best thing for our little "broken" girl.  I shouldn't doubt myself so.

A couple more notes and then I'll be onto the post.  My mom was such a lifesaver. I think part of what made the week hard was that we hardly left the house at all because getting AP in the car without hurting her arm was such a monumental task.  When it was just me and AP that was normal, but we're "on the go" a lot more now and I just get antsy feeling like I can't leave my house. Anyway, Minnie visited almost daily.  Also, y'all know I  would NEVER have it any other way, but some much of Annie's frustration was due to Graves poking and prodding her- things that ordinarily annoy her just sent her over the top.  At night when he'd go to sleep she'd relax and was so much better.

Totally unrelated, but we had also picked this week to paint (or have painted) and have some carpentry work done to the outside of our house.  It really wasn't a huge deal- the guy doing the it actually our across the street neighbor and is super nice and VERY flexible (like asked me what time the kids woke up in the morning). Anyway, I'm glad we finally decided colors (I'm SO indecisive, especially about big things like this) and are getting it done!

Graves woke up early on Monday, but he had gone to bed late so I nursed him and put him back in bed and he slept until until nine something!  AP woke up around eight and I turned on cartoons and snuggled with her and then took my bath and got ready before Graves got up.  Once they got up, I fed them breakfast and ate some myself and then I straightened a bit and got Annie dressed (kind of difficult with the sling and she hates to take it off because it hurts her so bad to have it not supported, but I found a dress that I could slide under without even taking it off). I folded a little laundry and got the breakfast dishes cleaned up and we played and until Carrie and her kids got here for lunch.

 Working so hard! She's also gotten good at holding books with her feet and turning the pages with one hand!

The Howies arrived and we had egg salad sandwiches and had a fun time.  Peyton had been worried AP would be super cranky, but she just sat/laid in a chair at first and then she played with Aubrey a little.

After the Howies left, the kids ate lunch (they didn't eat at 11:30 because they had just had breakfast) and I cleaned up and did dishes and then put them down.  I called my Dad about something else with my computer and got that fixed and played on the Internet some.  I had a snack and Peyton got home and I got ready to leave for a consignment sale.

 Baby Graves is a fan of the Nutella.

I got some cute things and Carrie was there, so we got to visit some.  When I got home, my mom was at our house to help us pick out paint colors because we're painting the outside of the house.  When she left, I started cooking supper.  I realized I needed something so I ran to the store.  We ate late and then I cleaned up the kitchen and Peyton got AP to sleep.

 I got on the computer and then went to bed.

Tuesday was a long day because we didn't get much time with Peyton.  He worked that morning and then had a meeting that night.  Graves woke up around eight after I fed and put him back down at seven.  He and I got up at eight and I took my bath and we had breakfast and I started folding some laundry.
I was washing his highchair cover and so the straps were missing.  I just put the tray on and went to the bathroom.  This is what I found when I came back.  Y'all.

  I spent the morning catching up on laundry and AP didn't wake up until almost eleven!  We played and then had lunch and played some more.  I fed them kind of late and then put them down for naps.  Graves fell asleep right away and I read to AP and cleaned up the lunch dishes and then got her settled in for a nap.  We made her a palate on the floor and she was playing on it.  I checked Twitter, finished a blog post and put pictures on Facebook and Flikr and then Peyton got home.  We checked on the kids and AP was her bed! I can't believe she got in there without hurting herself, but she did.  Anyway, Peyton and I visited a little and then the kids got up.  We all hung out for half and hour and he left for his meeting.  My mom stopped by again and we visited with her and I fed Graves supper.  He was super cranky while I was cleaning up the kitchen and I was glad when it was finally his bedtime.  He must have just been tired, because he went right to sleep.  I picked up around the house and went through some piles and then I organized my craft closet some while AP played.

Peyton got home from his meeting and we hung out some more and then did AP's nightly routine and put her to bed.
 Yep, he really did that.

Annie took forever to fall asleep and I got on the computer and then read my Bible and some in 7 and went to bed.

Wednesday was Peyton's day off and it got off to a good start. Peyton had to run up to the church and he decided to stay and read a little in the quiet. I can't say I wasn't a little jealous :) The kids didn't wake up until nine, though, even though Todd (our painter/neighbor) was outside working, so that was nice.  We had breakfast and did normal morning stuff and my dad came over around ten thirty with some more paint he had at their house.  Peyton got home around then, too, and we all visited and then cleaned up and I put the kids down for naps.  I got on the computer and worked on a post and Peyton took a nap himself.  The kids didn't sleep/rest as long as they usually do, but it wasn't bad.  I made a phone call and then left to go get bread, make a run to Cokesbury for church stuff, and pick up something from my parents'.  When I got home, I was a little short with Peyton because he never painted some samples so we could decide on a color and he was already stressed because the kids had been a handful.  We got in a big fight and both said some hurtful things.  He had fed them supper already, so I cleaned up and then got them both to bed.  Peyton and I talked and made up and then he went to see Batman and I got on the computer. AP woke up sobbing and I went to see what was wrong.  Her sling had slipped off and her arm was really hurting.  I took her in the den, but I couldn't get it right.  First of all she kept pushing me away and telling me not to touch it (through hysterical sobs) and secondly, I couldn't tell if it was too tight, too loose, or what.  Anyway, I called an texted Peyton (the texts had some, um, strong language), but he didn't respond.  We were both crying and I was loosing it.  I mean she was in a LOT of pain and I couldn't figure out how to help her.  And I just knew Graves was about to wake up.  I was seriously about to call my parents to come over (and I totally would've called SisterNurse had she still lived in Jackson) when she settled down and let me work on it a bit.  I fixed it and put her back to bed and ate a snack and got back on the computer to order some of her school books.  Peyton got home and we talked and he checked on her.  The sling had slipped again and he had to readjust it.

At some point AP got in our bed.  I seriously don't even remember.  Whatever.

Peyton got up with the kids on Thursday and I woke up at 9:30 just in time for us all to get ready for AP's doctor's appointment for her arm.  I wanted to go this time, but I didn't want to try to get her in and out of the car by myself and all that, so we all went.  And it took the remainder of the morning.  I think it's was the smallest visit to wait time ratio ever.  The appointment literally took like five minutes and we waited about an hour and a half.
It was actually raining.  She's so fashionable, though, it didn't matter.

  Anyway, we got home and I fed the kids lunch and put them down for naps.  Annie was so cranky and kept hysterically crying about things.  She finally went to sleep and I actually got a good little break before Graves was up and going.
Annie's little set up we fixed for her because we weren't about to put her back in bed.  Since we had moved the dresser away from the window for Todd to work, we put the pallet right there so she could see out.

 Peyton had gotten AP a new doll awhile back in NOLA and we had been saving her for something special.  We decided "Rose" would really be helpful in making her feel better, and Annie did just fall in love with her.  It was so sweet and I think it melted Peyton even more than it did me.

  I got on the computer and ate my lunch and made a few phone calls.  The kids got up and I played with them and picked up a little.
Watching a movie- AP is zoned in and Graves could not care less

My mom came over AGAIN to visit and look at the paint samples and the kids perked up for her.  She helped me adjust AP's sling (which Annie was not happy about) and stayed while I fed them dinner.  They played a little after she left and I made a few more calls about something for church and then got Bud to sleep.  Annie watched a little Kipper while I cleaned up and then I put her to bed.  She threw a fit and I told her TV was a privilege, which she responded to with, "Kipper is NOT a privilege. Brushing my teeth is a privilege".  AHHH! She finally got to sleep and I read blogs for a bit.  Peyton got home and we had to clear out the whole garage so Todd could pressure wash the next day.  We're big rednecks, so it was a ton of crap.  We ate dinner and chatted and then I read some and went to bed super late.

Friday was another long day.  I feel like this is getting redundant.  Peyton was working in Philadelphia because he hadn't been to my parents on Friday night in so long and I was determined to go somewhere fun, so he switched shifts.  He left at six, I fed Graves at seven and put him back to bed, and then we all got up for the day at eight.  I fixed him breakfast while AP watched TV and then I took my bath and dried my hair.  I ate breakfast and the kids played and I started some laundry and did a few things and then we had a Morning Meeting that I cut short because AP was so irritable. The whole morning was just so full of whining, pushing and crying.  And that was just Annie! Graves got in trouble several times for climbing on the hearth and coffee table.  It seemed like someone was in timeout all morning!  I talked to Morgan on the phone and discussed some stuff with Todd and then it was time for lunch.  The kids ate and then I got Graves down for a nap and AP played with Play Dough.  I put her down, but she kept getting up.  She had an accident, fell down and hurt herself, and got herself all wet washing her hands after she went to the bathroom.  I knew she was about to wake Graves up, so I let her watch a movie. Peyton called to say the other pharmacist that was supposed to work the afternoon shift was sick and he'd be in Philadelphia until eight.  After he had switched shifts and got up at 5:30 to drive 1.5 hours after going to bed after midnight. So much for trying to make it to Beans. I called my mom crying.
 The only thing that separates this from AP's favorite lunch is the breakable plate and the Blue Cheese I used in lieu of Ranch.

I ate a snack and that made me feel better and then Graves woke up.  I fed him a snack and read some and then folded some laundry and then we got ready and headed to my parents'.  Getting AP in (and out) of the car was an ordeal, but she really enjoyed seeing Mickey and Minnie and we had a nice time.  It was good for me to just be out of the house, too.  We gave her a bath, which was another big deal, and we left pretty late.  Peyton got home about when we did and helped me transfer her and then we talked some.  I got on the computer for bit and then went to sleep.

Saturday was a turning point and I was so glad.  Graves slept super late and Annie and I snuggled in the bed and watched cartoons.  She did tell me that I was "being disrespectful" to her when I told her it was time to turn it off.  Anyway, we all got up and had a nice morning.
 Diaper changes are so much easier when you have a sporty Potato Head in your hand.

I did dishes and started laundry and ate breakfast and then the kids ate.  We read some and played some more.  Since Graves slept so late, I fixed their lunches and and put them down late. Graves took an okay nap, but not as good as usual.  Can't complain, though.  I just relaxed during their rest time.  When they got up, I folded some more laundry and we read some I fed them an early supper and Peyton got home and we all went for a walk. 
 So pitiful. Honestly, a swim suit is the easiest thing to get on her and she loves it so I just went with it.

 Both kids fell asleep! Tod and his wife were outside an we discussed how the color we had chosen for the shutters seemed too light. I nursed Graves when we got home and put him to bed and we got Annie settled and then just talked.  I got on the computer.  AP took forever getting back to sleep and I just read blogs while Peyton watched a movie. We chatted and went to bed late.

Sunday was good, but different.  My mom came over to watch AP because I was sure I didn't want to try to manage getting her in and out of the car.  I took Graves to church and Peyton took his car so he could leave for work.  We went to the early service and it was good; our associate pastor preached.  Some missionaries that are friends of Morgan's came to talk to our class and that was really neat.  When I got home, my mom and I visited a little and I picked up the house and started laundry and dishes. I fixed the kids lunch and my mom and I discussed the paint color again and then I put Graves down for his nap.

 I got AP down and then I fixed my lunch- buttery noodles and leftover roasted broccoli. I'm glad we had some leftovers this week because I hardly cooked at all!   I ate and cleaned up the kitchen and then scrubbed the microwave because Peyton had exploded something in it.  I put up some laundry and then got on Twitter and put pictures on FB.  Graves had a dirty diaper and woke up, but I was not ready for naptime to be over.  I put a couple of toys in his bed and told Annie she was allowed to talk to him and then I laid down on the sofa myself.  They played for almost an hour while I snoozed!  When they got up, we cleaned up their room and I fed them a snack and started more laundry.  Annie had an accident on the couch so there was major cleanup involved with that.  I also decided to clean off the decorations behind the couch because Graves is always trying to get to them. I called my mom to ask her advice on what to put up there, but we decided to just leave it bare for now.  I started deflating a little raft thing Graves uses in the pool and it took me probably fifteen minutes. Annie found a little beach ball and wanted me to blow it up and that took another fifteen and I was out of breath by the end.  I'm so out of shape!

We read some books and I fed the kids supper and unloaded and loaded dishes and then Peyton got home. I finished the dishes and he had a snack and then we took Graves's monthly picture (those things are getting HARD!) and then we went for a late walk.

 Seriously, Dude?

We walked until it was almost dark and when we got home we pulled AP's mattress off her bed, per my mom's suggestion.  I straightened up  a bit and got Graves to bed.  We let AP play a few minutes while I picked up laundry and straightened some more and then started getting her ready for bed.  Peyton and I talked a lot and then we folded up Graves's inner-tube thing. I couldn't do it and I'm so stubborn, I kept wanting Peyton to show me again and again.  I finally got it and I cleaned up the den and the kitchen. He went to sleep and I wrote Graves's letter and uploaded and edited more pictures and then went to bed.

And, because I always have to do this- a video of the title reference.  It has absolutely nothing to do with the contents of this post except that it seemed like a perfect title for it.

This week has already been better and I can tell I'm just in a better place.  Ann Peyton slept through the night last night and has been eating better and I think that, combined with her arm starting to heal, has really helped her attitude.

I'm also really excited about this weekend because Carrie and I are going to visit Ashley.  I asked Peyton last week if I should consider not going because, um, these kids have been a lot to handle.  He makes up for the confidence I lack, though, and assured me that it would be fine! I CANNOT wait!


Ashley said...

I can't wait to talk talk talk!!!

The Niemeyer Nest said...

Your honesty is so refreshing! We all have hard days and weeks and it helps me immensely to know that I am not the only one that gets frustrated, says unkind things to my husband or cries for no real resaon. HA! I am currently annoyed because my new phone is not working after my other one was stolen in Atlanta on our trip. Life is an adventure!