2013 kicked off in full force, but now that the holidays are behind us, we are just staying busy where we live versus traveling all over the place. That’s the nice thing about the off-season (football) is that we stay put much more and actually have time for projects around the house (no, we still haven’t hung any pictures and we’ve been here over seven months…we’ll get to it). But, Trent’s Dad did come down for a visit and the two of them were able to clean out the garage enough that both of our cars fit in it and it is no longer a place for storage! The girls started some gym classes at the Y and have loved it. Although, we are interested in something a bit more structured and not sure about a free-for-all class, so we’ll see what other classes are offered that may be better. I traveled to Orlando for work, Trent had Y Guide activities and an outing to a Checkers game, there were birthday parties, and we even enjoyed a date night in downtown one evening. Somehow three drinks affect me much more than it did back in the day (Becca, you aren’t 21 anymore! I keep forgetting. Rats.). We took Mom to brunch for her birthday and gave her a necklace with her grandkids’ initials on them. We enjoyed a nice dinner at Aunt Patty’s house to get a great picture of the entire family, as Dadaw is being recognized in April for a leadership award at the University of Kentucky. More to come in that post, but it is super exciting and we are so proud of Dadaw!!!
In one of many rites of passages to come, Brayden lost her first tooth on January 13 and it was the bottom one! Her upper tooth had been loose for a very long time, but this one came out of nowhere and was ready to fall out. Grandpa was in town and we were all having dinner which included a fit of giggles and acting silly. All of a sudden, Brayden raised her hand in the air and was holding something in her hand. I just thought it was a piece of bread, but then she smiled. I started jumping up and down with the most joy any parent could have at a moment like this. I probably scared someone with all the excitement! There was a bit of blood, but Brayden couldn’t have been happier. She was finally a member of the missing-tooth club. We placed the tooth in her pillow and the tooth fairy came and brought her $5 (this may be the payment for the first lost tooth and subsequent teeth may not get as much money…the jury is still out).
Brayden’s 2nd quarter report card came back and it was fabulous! She had all 3s and four 4s. This basically means that she met expectations on everything and exceeded expectations on some items as well (reading, math, and presenting in front of others). We took her out for frozen yogurt (yes, in January) as a reward.
In the ever-evolving saga that is potty training, Trent finally got Hanleigh to poop on the big girl potty. He caught her in the act before she did it, gave her “privacy” and after a few minutes she said, “I did it”. She really she was on there for about 10 minutes total (some with him reading to her and others by herself). She was so proud of herself and he bribed her with a handful of M&Ms. Whatever it takes! He gave her tons of love and praise. So, maybe we’ve turned the corner. It seems to ebb and flow in terms of her interest to go in the morning, but during the weekends we are putting her in big girl panties pretty much all day long and only having a couple of accidents.
Since meals can be a bit challenging around here, we instituted a new rule at dinner where if anyone says ‘treat’ or ‘dessert’ during dinner, they aren’t allowed to have any themselves. This is our way of not tying dinner to dessert (as a reward). The idea is that dinner is a totally separate entity and everyone is expected to eat a reasonable dinner, regardless of anything else they may get afterward. This rule applies to mommy and daddy, too, so we are extra vigilant in not using it as a bribe technique. Amazingly, it has made dinner so much more enjoyable! Why did it take us so long to think about this?
In terms of still “keeping it real” with these posts, I think just making that slight change during dinner has dramatically helped in huge ways by removing a lot of the fussing. There are so many factors and variables, so it’s always hard to pinpoint why something is working out better when it comes to raising kids. It could be that someone is more or less patient, listens better, understands better, uses his/her words to express emotions, etc., but I am enjoying these last few weeks where I feel we’ve turned a new page at least in that department. Have there been meltdowns out of nowhere over the teeniest of things? Of course. Have we raised our voice more than we should have? Definitely. I am trying my best to do a better job of leaving “work at work” and starting the afternoon anew the minute the kids are home. I find that there is a huge difference in the amount of patience I have if I can manage my stresses better as well (Deep thoughts, huh? It is easier said than done, however). So, it’s definitely a two-sided street and one that requires constant work. Being a parent is easy if you let your kids rule your life, do whatever they want, and act however they want. But, being a GREAT parent is what requires constant attention and always striving to make sure your kids grow up to be respectful, kind, patient, determined, passionate, and well-rounded adults. Remind yourself of that when you think about a constantly bratty child you may have met. Chances are their parents aren’t keeping them in check, or didn’t at some point in their lives. Someone told me a long time ago that “parenthood is the hardest job you’ll ever love”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
- She loves that song “Cruise” by Florida George Line. One evening, at bedtime, she said, “Why do they say ‘Baby you a song?’” to which I replied, “Not sure, but it’s not good grammar.” She then said, “Well, it’s a country song, mom…duh!”
- The night she lost her tooth, at bedtime, she said, “I’m gonna say something weird, well not weird, but…when you lose all your teeth, does the tooth fairy put them all together and make a bracelet out of them?”