Monday, January 31, 2011

Playroom Disaster

I feel like I can't ever keep up with the housework. I'll get into a period where I'm doing a good job and the house is nice and clean. But after a week or so, I start slacking and the house slowly deteriorates.

I don't know what to do to keep myself motivated to keep up with it. When I get it to how I want it, I think about how easy it will be to maintain. Obviously, like most families, it's the kids who makes the majority of the messes. That is certainly the case in this house. Toys and all the other kids' doodads are literally in every room of the house.

My kids have not been taught enough yet to pick up after themselves. That would be my fault. Most of the time, I do the clean up because I'd rather do it and get it over with than have to coax and bribe the kids to do it. Sometimes, when I have the energy, I have them help or pick up what they got out. But man, is that time and energy consuming!

I'm going to go out on a limb here and put up a picture of the playroom. This was taken at 8pm last night and shows just what our playroom looks like at the end of any typical day.

Is there any wonder I'm tired of cleaning? Or why it would be easier just to do it myself? It would take hours to clean with the kids!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I feel like I am in a CONSTANT power struggle with the kids and that they are in a constant power struggle between the two of them.

I have a very opinionated and strong-willed four year old girl and a two year old boy who's quickly learning to toughen up and give his sister a piece of her own medicine. Most days, I'm breaking up some sort of fight or argument between the two of them just about every fifteen minutes. I can't seem to get them to understand that when one hits the other, they will hit back. And then it just tailspins into more hitting and someone always ends up crying.

I was using spankings and time outs as punishments, but I'm trying to put an end to spanking. Sort of a "live by example" type of thing. If I'm constantly telling the two of them to stop hitting, well I need to stop too. And so far, it doesn't seem to be making a difference. I try talking to Alena about being nicer to Christian but she blatantly tries to ignore me. Talking to Christian is like talking to a wall.

I don't know what to do anymore. If they're fighting over a toy, I try to be fair about who ends up with it. But when that doesn't work, I take the toy away. Toys create a lot of fights in our house. Especially with one girl and one boy. Alena doesn't think Christian should be playing with her toys b/c he's a boy. But when she wants to play with one of his toys, it's a whole different story.

And then there's picking on each other. Alena loves to do things on purpose just to upset Christian. Well he's learning fast and picking up on it. Now they both do it to each other. Part of it could be boredom... I just don't know why they fight so much but I'd really love for it to stop. I realize it'll never completely stop (I remember fights with my siblings)... but I want some more peace in this house. I'm around them nearly 24/7 and I'm about to go crazy.

Of course, they're not ALWAYS fighting. There are moments when they play so nice and they're giggling and I love it. I just wish there was more getting along and less fighting. *sigh* This too shall pass... right?

Just Another Morning

So this morning was certainly nothing out the ordinary for us but it definitely got my heart racing.

I don't set an alarm clock to wake me up. My son is usually the first one up and he'll come join me in bed. Then when my daughter gets up not long after, she'll come in too. Well I went to bed too late and must have been sleeping hard b/c I vaguely remember them waking up.

I was woken to the sound of running water. I assumed the kids were playing in the bathroom sink and hopped out of bed and sleepily walked to the bathroom. I was greeted by Christian sitting on the bathroom counter and Alena on the stool by the sink trying to wash her hands.

Why was she washing her hands...? WELLLLL, she had taken it upon herself to paint her own nails. I had done them the day before and apparently they needed "fixing". She had gotten out the darkest purple I have and literally painted her nails.... and toes. It was not pretty and I was scared to see what her room looked like. I was expecting to see paint everywhere but surprisingly there were just a few small spots on her pillow and comforter. Whew!

It took me a half hour of scrubbing and soaking her nails in polish remover and it still didn't all come off! Luckily, I saw SOME humor in it and managed to get some pics.

Can you tell which hand was holding the brush?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What's in a Name?

As I'm trying to figure out this whole blogging thing, I'm giving you fair warning that the name will be changing. Probably multiple times. I'm already on my second blog name and I'm just trying to find one that fits. It might also change if I get bored of the one I have.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How do you do it?

This is probably the most asked question that I get. Or the "I don't know how you do it." statement.

With Gabe in Iraq and my nearest relatives over 2000 miles away, I don't really know how. The best way to answer the question is that I just take it one day at a time. I have no other choice. With a house to take care of and two kids who are counting on me, giving up is not an option.

The same question and statements have been said about my marriage. We've been married for five years and have spent over half of it apart. We were married in 2005 and have spent (outside of 2008) all or part of every year since then apart. Believe me, it hasn't been easy and we have had a few close calls with calling it quits. But we've never given up and have worked hard at staying close and connected. Being a military wife and a vet myself, I have seen all too many marriages end in divorce due to too much time apart. Just yesterday, I heard the news of a friend (who's husband is currently deployed) getting divorced.

Sometimes, I just want to shout "What is going on here!?!" Marriage and divorce are not something to be taken lightly. They are serious matters. And except for extreme cases, divorce should not be an option. I believe you can work through any problem with hard work and determination. Marriage problems will NEVER solve themselves.

And with that, I would like to say that despite all our separations and problems that we've encountered, our marriage right now is the best it's ever been. And yes, I am bragging. If you've got a great marriage, why would you not want to brag? I'm not ashamed. But I'm not going out and flaunting my marriage in any divorced person's face either.

I have also gotten this question a LOT when it comes to my kids. And frankly, I don't really have an answer for them. We planned both kids and were super stoked when we got pregnant. There are many days where I just want to scream and crawl back into bed. But then there are days where the kids get along and not much goes wrong, and I think about how lucky I am.

So how do I do it? I JUST DO! There's no simpler way of saying it.