Saturday, May 14, 2011


To spank or not to spank, that is the question. Well, not really a question for me. I always assumed I would spank. I got spanked as kid, my husband, bless his soul got beat. We will not be beating our children, but spanking when deserved is a fair punishment, of course, with a conversation to follow as to why you got spanked.

Up until now we have been using time out with our 2 year old. This has seemed to work just fine, until suddenly she doesn't seem to be bothered anymore. "L, do you want to go into time out?" "Yes, mommy, I do." Oh great. When your kid is asking to go into time out maybe it is time for a new punishment!

Regardless I really had not given it much thought. I still put her in time out even though she sat there with a smile on her face and when I told her she could get off the chair (or often times we put her on the prayer bench) she would decide she wanted to stay in time out longer. Ha! Tricks on you kid, you can stay there as long as you want. Gives momma a little longer of a break from you.

I've been trying to make an extra effort to spend time with my 2 year old and play hands on with her while the babies are sleeping. Since the babies have been born she spends a lot of time sitting on the couch with me watching me feed babies, burp babies, change babies diapers and rock babies. She behaves well and usually plays with my i-phone (gotta love the i-phone) or finds something to keep herself entertained. In my efforts to try and do activities with her I thought it would be fun to make Easter cards for her grandparents. We got out the paint and the paper and went to town. She giggled and laughed and it was great...until she was done.

I could tell she was finished because she started painting her hands and her face and that's usually a sign that she has lost her concentration and is now bored. So I let her get down while I finished cutting out some bunnies from her paintings. I was very focused on what I was doing and understand, trying to get this all finished up before the babies woke. Every time I looked up from what I was doing L was pulling on the blinds to the window and shaking them listening to them make a loud voice every time the wood blinds hit the windows. Of course she got a kick out of this. So I said, "please don't do that," and went back to what I was doing. Again it happened. "L, please stop that it is bothering me." Again it happened. Without even thinking I jumped up, grabbed her arm away from the blinds and smacked her butt.

Yikes. Her poor little face looked right at me and got all crinkled up and tears started to come, but no noise...then a long soft little cry came out of her. Ooops. This is the first time I spanked my child and I didn't even warn her. I completely spanked her out of reaction without giving it any thought and I felt guilty immediately .I grabbed her in my arms and sat down in the rocking chair. "L, I am so sorry I smacked you, but you were not listening to me and I got angry." I explained to her that I should have warned her I was going to spank her and I apologized for that and she needed to apologize to me for not listening. I hugged her until she was done sobbing.

Needless to say, I am now spanking my child. Well, rarely because the warning of it is usually enough to get her to stop her behavior. "L, I am going to give you a spanking if you don't do, x, y, z". That is all it takes to get x, y, and z done. She is a good girl anyway and listens well. But the terrible two's are here and the jealousy of the twins is another distraction from her good behavior.

We still use time out, of course, and usually on the prayer bench. But I am happy now to have a new method of discipline that so far is proving to work.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

So many children...she didn't know what to do

"There was an old woman who lived in a shoe, she had so many children she didn't know what to do." This nursery rhyme came to me the other day and has been stuck in my head since. Obviously "old" is relative. I am 32 years old which to a 20 year old might sound really old! Also, I don't live in a shoe. I live in a lovely home in a lovely neighborhood with a large community pool and playgrounds all around filled with children. Three of those children are mine. My oldest just turned 2 years old and then of course, there are my 6 week old twins.

I've been in survival mode and I'm not sure I realized it until just recently. On April 27, 2011 several tornado's blew through down. Fortunately for us, they hit all around and our house, nor our neighborhood had any damage. Unfortunately, those around us were hit very hard by a category 5 tornado and many lost loved ones and many lost their homes and possessions. It is very sad.

For me, however, it was a blessing in disguise. The tornado's knocked over large power towers and knocked out the electricity all over our city leaving hundred of thousands of people without power. We stuck it out for a few days before we decided to pack up our RV with some belongings a two year old, two 6 week olds and our 11 year old 80 lb Rhodesian Ridgeback and head to my in-laws house. They were also hit by the storms and had a foot of hail piled up at their doorstep...but they had electricity: hot showers, refrigerator and lights. Lights are really nice to have when you are up all hours of the night feeding babies and changing diapers. So, to grandmothers house we went.

Of course they were thrilled because they had not seen the babies since their birthday. We walked in their front door and my mother in law took one baby and my father in law took the other baby. I handed them each a bottled of breast milk I had pumped in the RV while driving and they fed the babies. I almost didn't know what to do with myself. For 6 weeks I have fed two babies 8 times a day (16 feedings) and tried to entertain my 2 year old while doing this.

We stayed at my in laws for 3 nights and 4 days. And I had no idea that I needed such a break. It was rejuvenating for me. It allowed me to play with my older daughter more. It allowed me to sit and rest and when a baby cried I didn't have to jump up because my mother in law already had them in her arms rocking and singing to them. Also, my husband did not have to work during these days so he was there to help as well.

There were four adults and three children! Adults outnumbered the children for the first time in 6 weeks. Amazing. I really did not know that I needed that break. But I am so glad the storms blew threw and gave me the opportunity to rest some. We are all back home now, safe and sound and with power. We are back on our schedule, which of course we did not stick to at grandma's house, and we are all doing fine.

I didn't even know I needed the help. Now I know what do...when I feel grandma.