Parenting blogs are for the birds. Here’s another.

You’ve seen them all right? There is a parenting blog for every topic under the sun: Spank, don’t spank, yell, don’t yell, make your kid do chores, drink wine, don’t drink wine, read a book, don’t play on tablets or phones. It’s almost mind numbing how much “advice” there is on the web. So I would like to throw my hat out there…here are a few guiding principles and hopefully some links (that’ll hopefully work) that we use. Let me preface all of this by saying:

“If you are doing it in love, it is probably right.”

We are not our parents or grandparents generation. If you’re like me we are some weird hybrid of knowing life before it got all tech-y yet we can still learn new things when they come out every week. Our parents made us play outside constantly and didn’t worry about anything yet now we KNOW we can’t really do a lot of free-range parenting because let’s be honest. People suck.

So even though this is kind of like a list of things to do, I want you to read it more like: “here is how we do life, lets use what works and think they’re crazy on the ones that don’t.”

Chandler Principles:

  1. Use the bible as your guidebook. For discipline, for love, for everything. Read bible stories to your kids. We do this every night. Ben reads three bible stories then I put them to sleep with an extremely long prayer. It’s strategic but I think of it like this, do you mind when the kids fall asleep on you? Then I bet God doesn’t mind them falling asleep when I pray. YouVersion has an amazing bible app when plenty of “plans” for kids. Bible App
  2. We listen to a guy named Kirk Martin. He’s called the calm guy. It’s pretty straight forward, you have to be calm to be a good parent. If you are doing ANYTHING out of anger or stress then you aren’t doing it well. Let’s be honest, kids can suck too. So this guy lays it out on how to manage yourselves before you manage those pesky cutie pies. I’m linking to his podcasts because I listen to a lot of podcasts. Calm Guy Podcast.
  3. If you did number two and listened to Kirk you’ll already know that you have to work on yourself first. Second, make sure your marriage is golden. We have communication issues so we have to do a lot of backtracking when it comes to stuff, maybe since we know we have communication issues that will eventually correct itself…one can dream. Anyway I really value what the bible says about marriage and a good one to listen to is Marriage Today
  4. We don’t say, I can’t. Unless it’s I can’t get up today because I’m so tired…but only I can use that one.
  5. Our kids do chores. They don’t get paid to do those chores. There is no negotiating, bartering or trading off. Everyone has a job and a part of being a team is doing your assigned task.
  6. We don’t do games on week days regardless of anything. It’s raining? So what, read a book. You’re sick and at home, hope you like the VHS tapes in your quarantine time. You made all A’s? You’re welcome, I made that brain in my tummy.
  7. I don’t treat my kids the same. Yep, I said it. I’m not going to even pretend that I even like them the same. My eleven year old boy talking about smells and hairs is not going to get the same awws that my two year old gets when he says a word funny. You know what? I love them both so much, just not the same. And I tell them that. I also tell them that Ben will always be tops in my book, then them. My job as a parent is to raise them up and send them off to be good wives and husbands and all the amazing things they’ll be but living in my home forever, they won’t. But Ben will. And I’m excited about that day. I’m also excited about being a grandparent and more of a friend to my kids than I am now.
  8. BECAUSE You are the parent, not a friend. You’ll never convince me that that’s a good thing to be to your truly immature kid or teenager. Because even if they’re “mature” by some standards they’re still kids, and that’s okay. Be the mean parent until you can be the nice one 🙂
  9. We go to bed early. For us, not them. Our nighttime routine starts around 7:30 with baths…usually we are done with everything by 8 or 8:30. They get all the sleep we get time to finish the stuffs and then talk or zone out. It’s really nice.

Anyway, this list is not definitive or even comprehensive but it is a lot of what we do…and sometimes we do fine. Sometimes we do not. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things and different techniques with your kids. If you are reading a parenting blog or listening to a podcast about it then you’re probably doing better than 80% of parents out there, let’s be honest. So pat yourself on the back when no one is looking.

We have a strong-willed one who sometimes requires a whole lesson on childhood development and you need a doctorate to get through to her/him (I’m not naming names, but I bet you know already). If you have some ideas that we could implement comment me down there somewhere.

 

Side note: Today is my last baby’s second birthday. He’s really the cutest thing.

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For my Yoga lovers.

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Nursing…

Okay I posted about most everything that has been going on in the past few months but I barely touched on my experience breastfeeding. For one thing this is my fourth baby and my first time being able to breastfeed longer than a month. I am normally around a 34A and right now I refuse to measure because they are so large. I actually call them milk jugs, creative & classy, huh? I also normally exercise and since they move around when I walk I refuse to do anything that might actually make them BOUNCE! What the heck!

I think being back at work (since he was six weeks old) has made it worse because I am an almost exclusive pumper, so that sweet bonding time you’re supposed to have with your baby is limited to the middle of the night feedings and let’s be honest those aren’t the prime times for bonding. I dread having to go home for lunch on my break every single day and pumping. And then having to do it around 4:30 every afternoon. And then again around 9PM and then again around 2AM. And then again at 7AM. Now I’m sure you’re thinking 1. that I am selfish or 2. why don’t I just breast feed. Well, once you start up the work/daycare routine his feeding times are extremely different than my needing to pump times. In a perfect world I could go to his school and feed him but it’s too far away. Sometimes we get lucky and I can stay in bed longer and can feed him. It’s so much easier than the mind numbing twenty minutes of pumping.

I asked my hubby last night if he thought there could be a direct correlation between breast pumping and depression/anxiety. I mean, I sit in my dark room and pump while I eat breakfast then I eat lunch in there and then I am awake at night by myself pumping away. I do have three bigger kids who sometimes stroll in there and keep me company. They are all pretty funny so that is my favorite time, otherwise I’m on my stupid phone looking at stupid facebook (but that’s another post on another day).

I think a smart person needs to check into my previous paragraph. Breast pumping and anxiety. I tell you what, I can feel it in my finger tips & toes. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, good for you. All that anxiety just coursing through my body sucks. I wish it burned calories then I wouldn’t have to worry about the BOUNCE!

A different set of Hormones

 

Great. I thought being done being pregnant would help my hormone “rages” but alas it hasn’t. They have just changed to something else. It has been a while since I have posted anything but football is just around the corner and that’s my prime writing time. Mainly for the venting and rambling and venting and rambling. Did I say rambling?

This past year has been a whirlwind. We had our baby boy, March 30th, he’s such a joy. His name is Conan. It’s pronounced Co-nin. Like Conan O’Brien. No he isn’t named after him, but he is developing red hair so that’s going to be great. *sarcasm*IMG_8952

 

When he was born the labor was intense. All day, nothing, then when it came time to push he was here in less than two minutes, literally. Coach hubby Benny boy delivered him, he wore the gown and all. He was so proud, I was so proud.IMG_6776[1]

It was pretty exciting until we heard how he was breathing. It was almost like he couldn’t catch his breath…all the nurses just left me hanging, again, literally. They went over and checked on the baby and sure enough he had transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN)…so we spent the first eight days of his little life in the NICU in Little Rock (You rock Big Baptist)! UWTF2303

After we get home, one kid (& then mom) drop like flies with some stomach bug then a fever bug all in the next few weeks. So that was pretty exciting…I had one full week of maternity leave where there wasn’t an extra kid at home with us before I had to go back.

Then we make it to month three…baby Conan has been mainly a breast milk baby, which is hard as heck when you work full time, so he missed all of the sickness going around up until July 8th. The pediatrician had told us that if a baby has a fever of 102 when he is three months or younger then you need to go to the ER immediately…well that evening he had a 101.8 and he was three months and one week…so we called and she told us to use our judgement. I wanted to stay home, but Coach hubby Benny boy wanted to take him to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. I agreed. We go and they get us in and traiged and into a room super quick. They took his blood through his IV (which they got on the first stick, like the boss’ they are) and it all came back good. Then they wanted to do a Lumbar Puncture…I didn’t agree. I wasn’t happy about it because all of his blood work looked fine and all he was doing was being sleepy with his fever….well they all, doctors and hubby, talked me into it. So they did it. I had to leave the room, but it didn’t take long because they were able to get it on the first stick also. CHBB says that he felt the presence of God in that room because he was praying so fervently for them to get that LP done in one take and he said there was a moment where he felt HIM and the LP was done…anyway after a few minutes the doctors come back in the room and tell me that my sweet, sleepy boy has meningitis…of all the things on the planet it was meningitis. The lady who told me what it was had to tell me four times before I could wrap my head around it. It was like a bad scene in a bad movie…

“Your son has meningitis”- says the lady doctor wearing a Tinkerbell shirt and earrings, with green pants.

“What?”- the unintelligent mom

“Your son has meningitis” -says the lady doctor wearing a Tinkerbell shirt and earrings, with green pants, again.

“Are you sure?”- the disbelieving, unintelligent mom

“Yes, I am sure your son has meningitis”-says the lady doctor wearing a Tinkerbell shirt and earrings, with green pants, again.

“Umm…but…he’s…not…umm…”– the disbelieving, unintelligent, unable to forma thought mom

“It’s okay, he has meningitis and we are going to admit him”-tinkerbell doctor

So we spent the next four days cooped up getting our boy better. There weren’t many scary times, but we had faith he would be fine, when I finally wrapped my mind around what it was…IMG_8933

Ahhh…to the reason I even wanted to post anything today. All this to say that… I HATE BREASTFEEDING! He has been about 70% BM and 30% formula because I’m a slow/low milk maker, but even though he mostly gets BM he still goes and got sick. Oh it’s a no win. I’m sure he would’ve gotten sick regardless and maybe him being mostly BM helped him fight it off as well as he did, but in my mind I can’t help but wonder why I am putting myself through this. I get that it’s the best thing for him to have BM but man do I not like doing it. I know all of the pros. I know that I need to change my perspective and focus on the good. I do a lot of self-talk, people. I’m one of those that has whole dialogues in their head…but I cannot get into loving breastfeeding. So today I came into work and started looking stuff up on the interweb and I found this…About Nursing Aversion. It made me so happy to find out that I am not the only one. That it might not just be about hating breastfeeding but there could be a physiologically explanation to my agony (a little dramatic, I know).

Even though I feel this way about BF I plan to do it until my body decides it can’t handle it anymore. Football season is around the corner so that means CHBB won’t be around for about six months so it’ll probably be in those lonely, crazy, busy, hectic months that it might stop. Until then, I will continue to look up other crazy feeling BF’ing moms who feel the same and help me cope.

Gas Station Birthday.

My daughter is funny. She thinks differently than most people, she’s an artist in training. Public school is harder for her than most kids, but when you read to her (or when she’s reading) she understands the concepts better than most kids her age. She can visualize what you are talking about but can’t necessarily explain it to you. It’s hard being her mom. I’m type A. She’s type XYZ, or type unicorn, or type rainbow, or type glitterysparklyfunsunshine. 348

Well she is turning seven soon. She requested that she have her party at the local Pilot, which if you don’t know what that is it’s basically a truck stop that has frozen yogurt. I laughed originally, and thought, “Yeah, no.” So I started planning a bigger swimming pool party at our favorite college, but then she starts TELLING me what she’s getting, how it’s going to be and who is going to be there. Ohhh and that didn’t sit well with me. I don’t like entitled people so I’m definitely not going to raise an entitled, ungrateful person. Because of this my husband and I went back to the gas station idea. She’s getting to invite one friend and we are going to have gas station food and gas station frozen yogurt. We don’t want her to expect things like a big party and lots of gifts. We want to teach her gratitude, putting family first and contentment. We want her to receive a gift and truly be thankful for it.

How do children learn best, even children who think outside the box? By example, of course! My goal is to be more thankful and to be more content with what I have, and hopefully she will see what I am talking about. Since we live in a world of capitalist where making more money, getting more things and taking whatever it is to be better is normal the example needs to be taught early and in the home. We want to live a christian lifestyle of giving, being honest and being thankful for every single, tiny moment that we are given.  And that’s not so normal anymore. And it’s not easy. So pray that I can be a good teacher for my daughter. And I will try to let a human out in the world who is going to change perspectives of anyone who meets her.