Monday, April 29, 2013

Big Fat Fail

Well, regardless of where I was or how I did I just jumped my grumpy hiney all the way back to 0 today.

Man, I hate to admit it, but I just lost it... Twice.

Earlier today we were running late and it just seemed like we were never going to get out the door. Logan hadn't gotten ANY homework done in the 2 hours he had been home. He "couldn't find" his Cub Scout uniform, which was hanging up neatly in the closet where it should be. And he lost his neckerchief slide because he just drops his clothes wherever the #{|| he feels like it when he takes them off. I held it in until I was trying to get them all out the door and all four of them just decided they didn't speak English.

Fast forward to bedtime. Yes, we all know how irritable I get at bed time. Add to that the fact that it is a Monday so we don't get home until past bedtime as it is and it's already the set of for holy terror time. Then add to that Logan having to stay up late now so he can get some homework done and Wyatt being his usual non-stop pain in my butt that rubs off on the baby.

Thank God for CJ. Out cold with out a fight, just hugs and kisses after quick tucks. To think, he used to be such a pain to get to sleep. I hope every day that when Wyatt turns 4 he will hit the turning point like CJ did when he turned 4. I swear, terrible twos my butt. Tremendously tumultuous threes is much more accurate.

After 9pm and still only one asleep. One in time out on the wall. Another doing homework. The last rolling around "sleeping" on the floor. And me, just sitting in the middle of it trying not to lose it.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

What day is it!?

Holy cow! I don't even know what day I am on... Or if I have even made it with out yelling. I suppose if I had it would be memorable right? This past week has just been such a blur! It started on Sunday when I worked my regular Sunday job at a church nursery for 4 or so hours. Then on Monday I started my long term sub job. Thankfully this was a short week, no school on Friday, so it was a helpful transition to working so much. 6 day work weeks start tomorrow.

I wish I could say that I had a nice relaxing long weekend where I slept in and did nothing all day Friday and Saturday but instead we had a yard sale. That meant getting up and pulling out loads of stuff and stressing over people wanting everything for a dime. On the plus side; we had our most profitable yard sale ever!

Mind you, this busy week is just the basics. This run down doesn't include extra curriculars and all the other stuff that I was doing after work every day... Pretty much every day this week I didn't sit down to relax until about 9:30pm and I was then in bed asleep by 10pm. LAME. It also makes this bedtime junk even more stressful. I am so tired and want to sleep. Sitting here while the boys don't sleep makes me really irritable and that makes it hard not to yell.... Then that makes me bottle it up... And that makes it even harder not to just blow up. Usually when I get to that point I find myself kind of growling at them. I guess it's better than screaming at them. So here is to day... Whatever it is... The boys aren't asleep but I'm about to be. Good night.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Does it count?

Does today even count as a day of not yelling? I hardly even saw my kids! I didn't even get home from work until almost 4:30 so I saw them about 3 1/2 hours.

We did,however, spend about half of that time with them acting insane in the grocery store. And I did have to yell TO them several times as they bolted down the isles not paying any attention to anything. Boy, did they stress my husband out. At one point, at the end, I sent him alone to go get in a check out line and I held onto the boys. Er.... I tried to at least. They were being weirdos and I just did my best to keep them close to me and away from other people. But by that time it was already their bed time so it was completely understandable that they were acting like little nut-cases.

I was so busy getting groceries put away and making lunches for tomorrow I didn't even get to tell them all good night. :( I was pretty bummed when I realized they were all asleep. It was nice having my husband home to help get them to bed though. I love his days off.

Now here I sit, dozing off on the couch I have been on for less than 30 minutes. 10pm. Bed time.

Wow. When did I become such a loser?

Well, at least I'm a loser who hasn't yelled at her kids in 2 weeks! Yes people, that is 14 days! Cheers to me!

Uhm, well, no cheering, there are sleeping kids. I will just tiptoe to bed and get some sleep!

Monday, April 22, 2013

If mommy doesn't yell, can you?

What a wonderful way to get some affirmation! Wyatt was screaming... And screaming... And just being a noisy butt (and mean too). So when we got to CJ's tball practice I didn't unbuckle Wyatt right away and we had a little chat.

Has mommy been yelling or screaming?


Then should you be able to yell or scream?


PERFECT! This is a big part of what I was going for. And the best is that my 3 year old told me that I hadn't been yelling. That means even when I am talking sternly to him he isn't viewing it as yelling.

I spent the day working today. When I got home it was already about 3:30 so I didn't have much time with them. It was nice to just play with them, make dinner, and then chill out at practice. Seriously, if I could just get this bed time thing under control I would be SO happy!

Trying a different tactic today. I can't get the babies to stay in bed so they are sitting on the wall. Maybe I can get them to sit still and quiet long enough to get sleepy. I don't know. I am at such a loss. Give me other people's kids and I can work great with them. Give me my own and I can't figure them out for the life of me! At least I had a good time working today. I really love teaching, and I tell ya, pre-k is just so much fun!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

ORC day #12

Seriously, one of these days bedtime is going to get easier, right?

We've barely even started and I want to pull my hair out.

I try to read a story and I have one yelling and covering his ears. Another one not staying in his bed. And the others whining they can't hear the story.

Monster spray. Hugs and kisses. Tucks. And goodnights.

Then.... Still talking, screaming, and not staying in bed.

It's just SO STRESSFUL. I seriously HATE bedtime. If I could just say goodnight and go down stairs and do what I need to do it would be so nice. But it's even worse if I try to walk away. Then it's more screaming and following me. My husband has it a little easier, they at least will stay in bed and be quiet for him until they fall asleep. He still has to sit outside their door until then though. This time of day just makes my blood boil. I could have a fantastic day and come 7:30 I am ready to jump out of the second story window.

I will not yell. I will not scream. I will not yell. I will not scream. I. Will. Not. Yell.


Here's to day #12!

Now I start being a full time working parent. These next few weeks should be interesting. I hope we can get bedtime figured out so that I still have a little quiet alone time before I have to get to bed since I will be getting up and out early to work.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pressing my luck

So it's bedtime... Well, actually, it's past bedtime, and we just sat down for a movie! I have my fingers crossed that I am not kicking myself later. Maybe I will get lucky and they will just fall asleep during the movie!

This morning was no picnic either. I was trying to sleep in since this is the last day I will be able to do so for a while. Starting tomorrow I am working 6 days a week for as least the next 5 weeks. (Although technically this week I will have an extra day since there is no school Friday so I won't be working, but I think working every other day during the week for the first time is going to wear me out) Where was I? Oh, yes. I was trying to sleep in but the boys had other plans for me and were in and out of my room all morning. Then CJ had a tball game which started INCREDIBLY rough. I had to get VERY stern with him, on the brink of a yell, but that is the ONLY way to get him out of a funk when he starts acting the way he does about his games.

So he sat in the dugout until the second inning (they only play 4 innings) when I gave him my final ultimatum. You get out and bat like you mean it, or you sit in the dugout the rest of the game, AND can take a nap when we get home. And wouldn't you know it? He went out and hit like he meant it and ran like a champ! A small snag again when they swapped to go to the outfield again though. However, that was partly due to the fact that coach had mentioned CJ playing 1st base and didn't put him there either time. He doesn't do well with that kind of stuff. Fortunately coach let him cover 1st and all was well with the world again.

After I took the boys out for lunch (and ended up spending more than I planned). They were awesome for me in the restaurant, very rare for all 4 of them when I am alone with them. One thing I have been sure to do lately is ALWAYS tell them how much I appreciate it when they are well behaved for me.

Positive reinforcement is very important, I know that. I can admit that I am not diligent about it all of the time. It is something that I am working on. Whenever they are doing something I like I make sure they know I appreciate it.

So, the bottom line of the day is that I have made it to day #11 with out yelling! Who would have thought when I began this challenge I would be able to do it at all, let alone 11 days!

Friday, April 19, 2013

So Blessed

Right now, this past week, has been a very tragic time for America, and Boston, MA in particular. Being so far away it's hard to really grasp all the horror and I feel so blessed that my boys are safe tonight in our home. Both of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects are either dead or in police custody so that is two less insane and dangerous people off the streets.

It's times like these that make it easier not to yell at my boys. I look at them with different colored lenses. Yes, they can make me nuts but they are mine, and they are here, and they love me with all that they are.

So after a fun filled day at the park with good friends and tasty snacks we snuggle up on couch with some popcorn and a movie and just... Be.

There is nothing more important that the time that we have with our loved ones. You never truly know how much time you will have together. Tomorrow may not come so we must live for the moment. We mustn't dwell on the negative in the day, but instead look to the positive. Look into the eyes of our little ones and see that undying love and affection. And most importantly, we must reciprocate.

Our babies aren't babies for long, time goes so fast and in a blink they are grown. Don't spend these days wondering if your kids know how much you love them. Make sure that you do everything you can each and every day to SHOW them, to TELL them, to ENVELOP them in your love. Cuddle them. Kiss them. Tell them those short, but oh so meaningful words, "I love you". Every day. They need it. You need it. And it is the most important thing you can ever do for them.

So here I sit. Up past bedtime with my four amazing little boys. I know they will fight me going to sleep tonight, but who cares? I love them and they love me. And in the end, that's all that really matters.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Moving forward

After talking with some friends about my dilemma yesterday we decided that whatever level I was at it didn't merit going back to 0. I am happy with this decision! Today was another great day. I don't even find myself raising my voice as much.

How do I do it?

I'm glad you asked!

I have become more diligent about getting up to talk to the boys when I need to. I have been lazy and created a bad habit of "hollering" to them from another room. Not just as a means of yelling when they are misbehaving, just in general when I need them I don't seek them out, I call out. Now I am trying to go find them or grab the closest child and send him on a manhunt for the brother of his that I need. Ok, so that is still kind of lazy, but at least I am finding more ways to keep my voice level down.

I am also stopping to just take deep breathes when I feel like I can't talk to them and want to yell. This actually usually prompts them to ask "Mommy, what are you doing?" To which I respond, honestly, "trying not to yell at you" and I keep breathing until I am ready to talk to them in a calm manner.

I have, however, discovered I need a whistle or something. When they are all playing together they get VERY loud and if I need their attention it is impossible to get, even if I try to go up to them they just run and think I'm playing. Not that yelling even works most of the time but it was my default, I think a whistle would be an amazing help.

Now... If I could figure out a way to get the babies to lay quiet in bed I'd be golden!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Set back

I didn't blog yesterday but I was really excited that I got through a full week with out yelling. I was sailing on high.

Then today happened.

Honestly, I'm not even sure what level I was at but I think I have to reset to 0 and I'm a TOTALLY bummed. It almost ruined my whole day since it happened early but I decided even if the rest of today won't count I still have to stick with it.

Everything was going great. I got up, took Logan to school, came home and was working out, and then IT happened. I was doing my Xbox Zumba and the boys were in and out being irritating instead of working out with me or playing like they are supposed to. Then came Jameson, he had to go poop. That one was an emergency, he can't go himself and so I had to rush over and help him. Shortly after Wyatt started pestering me. I had told him to go take his pull up off and get dressed and so he needed help getting his shirt off, then he needed help with his underwear and then he needed help with his pants. I couldn't get the stupid Xbox game to pause like it's supposed to so I was missing out on a lot of steps and thrown off my rhythm. I kept telling him to just go play and I would help him when I was done... Then he started telling me he needed me to put his socks on. I told him no, he didn't need socks and I would do it after, I was done helping him until my work out was done.

So here is where I get confused. I wasn't really at a level 3 because I could tell that I was angrier than what that level calls for. A level 3 according to is

The firm voice (potentially raised). This is the I am starting-to-mean business voice accompanied with occasional raised eye brows and introduction of idle threats. Signs: you are still calm and there are no hurt feelings, but you’re wondering when (not if) you’re gonna snap and you are growing impatient, quickly.

And I definitely was NOT feeling calm. But it also wasn't a level 4 which says

The “oopsie” snap. Stop! Alright! Ouch! This snap is starting to get nasty, but hasn’t gotten there yet. It isn’t a long tirade, it’s just a quick sharp voice where you stop yourself…it’s just enough to make the kids stop what they are doing for a second and think whether or not they will continue annoying behavior. Signs: blood pressure is picking up a little, but you are back to calm quickly and think “oh sh*t I really didn’t mean to do that.”

Because it was longer it seems to be more fitting as a level 5. A level 5 is

The nasty snap. Darnit! Knock it off! Cut it out! This snap might be short, but it’s filled with venom. Signs: blood is starting to boil inside; vocal chords are warming up, preparing for a long tirade; you think to yourself “oh sh*t” was that a nasty snap? If you think it, it was.

At the same time I don't think it was actually a NASTY snap, it felt, to me, in between a 4 and 5. It was an oopsie in the way that I really didn't mean to do it but it came out in several sentences. I would just hate to start back at zero if it is a level 3/4 but I just don't think it was a nasty snap either.

I think I need some input on this one... So what do you guys think?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Energizer Bunnies

Please, someone, explain to me how these kids can still have so much energy after 3 hours of playing around and being up over an hour past bedtime?!

Clearly I didn't give birth to children. I have a house full of energizer bunnies, obviously.

But! BUT! With all their obnoxious little boyness (yes, I know it isn't a word) I managed to keep my voice calm and not yell at them. Let me tell you, that was REALLY TOUGH with the way CJ acted at tball practice and even harder when he gave me attitude when we went to cub scouts for Logan.

When we got to cub scouts the boys wanted to get a drink and Logan walked over to the room and so did CJ.... I thought... When I had made my way with the littles to the room I looked all over and couldn't find CJ! He is normally very good about going straight in so I started to panic a little. As it turns out he had gone into the bathroom, but not the ones that I had checked in the room, the ones out in the hall. When I told him he had to tell me when he goes somewhere other than where I expect him to be his response was "NO!"

Uhm, I am pretty sure I did NOT ask a question.

He got to spend the better part of the night next to me until he could apologize. Which, if you know CJ at all, is a nearly impossible task. But he did and he got to go play finally.

So of course cub scouts ran late and in stead of getting home around 8:30 we didn't even leave the building until then. So here it almost 10pm and I'm only about 20 minutes into bed time. Only.20.minutes!! I've been averaging an hour and a half so.... This pretty much is going to suck.

At least the older two are quiet... Hey, they may even be sleeping already, although how they can sleep through all this noise is beyond me.

Bottom line is that I am really proud of myself. I have to raise my voice a little still, they don't listen to me 99% of the time, and I want to pull my hair out of my head at bed time, but I have done really well and for that, I am proud.

Here is to day #6! I am determined to make tomorrow a full week of no yelling!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Wow, I thought it was a trying day yesterday. WRONG! They are wearing on me hard right now. I am taking a breather before I lose it.

It's my own fault though, and I know it. I let them, and myself, have a lazy day. The TV was on all day and I didn't enforce going out to run around (and I really should have, it was gorgeous out today) and then I had the brilliant idea for a movie and popcorn before bed, ya know, because they were so well behaved today. :/ Of course they got really restless and I eventually had to turn the movie off and send them to bed. I gave them more warnings than I probably should have too before enforcing.

I really need to get better about that.

So we sprayed for monsters, got hugs and kisses and tucks, and no one is in bed. I closed the door so I could breathe. Then I hear them spitting, a HUGE no-no in our house. I stormed in there and it took everything in me not to loose it. I just went right up to them, starting with the oldest, and told them they needed to stop. Now they have stopped spitting but I can hear ALL 4 playing.

This is when I am really at a loss.

What do I do?! Telling them it's bed time doesn't work. Tucking them in again doesn't work. I know screaming and yelling at them doesn't work but at least that gets them moving and into bed for a few minutes. It's a school night and they need to go to sleep! Do I just leave the door shut and let them scream and play around? Hope they finally go to sleep on their own? The past few nights have been going so well!

I am hoping that I can make it through and today will be ORC day #5.

In the mean time any suggestions at this juncture of bedtime would be greatly appreciated!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

ORC day #4

What a trying day! But... I did it!

Today it was CJ pushing me. He had a game today and I was so excited that his daddy could be there to watch him today. His game on Thursday was AMAZING! He told me that he was going to he great again today. He started out a little rough by not paying attention the first inning when he was in the outfield but nothing too major... Then came their turn for batting... I don't know WHAT happened in the dugout but somehow CJ got skipped. Honestly, from what I could see and CJ's account, it was completely the adults fault. Either way... When it comes to CJ all it takes is one thing to set him off and the activity is ruined. He was a miserable little brat the next inning in the field and even worse the next time at bat. He finally hit but hardly ran and of course lost his mind when he got tagged out. I was so huffy we left very quickly and I got an email from his coach that he had wanted to talk to me about what to do in those types of situations.

If only I had the answer.

But hey, I didn't yell at him!

Even more amazing... The boys have destroyed, yet again, the toy room. The floors are covered in Legos... Guess they climbed up and some how got them down off the top shelf to "play" with. ::sigh:: I am really starting to hate Legos.

So they were given the task of cleaning the up mess, just the oldest two since they were the two to make the mess. You would think at 5 and 8 years old they would be fairly capable of this task. They are, in fact, not. Or at least they aren't unless I sit there and watch them and remind them every 2 seconds they are supposed to be picking them.

Luckily we had a party in the evening so that saved the day. They seem to be really awesome when we are out at certain places and this was one of those places. Then we came home, snacked on some of their goody bag treats and then had a movie and popcorn! Unfortunately all the jumping and running around didn't wear them out enough. Now Wyatt is really testing me with his screaming.

At least the monster spray seems to be working and he isn't crying about being scared of the monsters climbing out of his wall.

It really is the little things.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Monster Spray

So here we are on the Orange Rhino Day #3! I did it! I did it! Today was pretty easy since it was Friday and after school we go straight to the park and spend the majority of our day with friends and eating snacks.

Here I am again though, probably posting my win too early. All 4 boys are still awake so there is always a potential for yelling, but I think I can get through it since we took care of the monsters.

Ah, yes, the horrible monsters that plague Wyatt and have spread to torturing the other boys at bedtime as well. I promised Wyatt last night that I would get some monster spray to keep the monsters from coming out of his wall. I had seen (on SuperNanny) that if you put some water and some lavender oil in a spray bottle it was a great monster spray. Well, I don't have an lavender oil but I did have some lavender scented fabric softener so I put a tiny drop of that in with some water. After our story I tucked the boys and let them spray a few sprays around their bed while they said a little spell. They loved it.

Monster Spell:

Monsters, Monsters, stay away!
I'm going to get you with my spray!

Yeah, kinda lame but it's what came to me lol

Hopefully the monster spray will keep those mean monsters at bay and work for a while.

Now if I could just get these boogers to SLEEP!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

ORC day #2

Wow! Did I really make it?!? I guess maybe I am calling it a little early as I am still sitting here (at 9pm) struggling to get the 2 littles to quiet down to sleep, but so far I only yelled at the tball game and that was to cheer on my awesome baseball player! I didn't yell at Logan when I noticed that he had cut holes in his jeans. I didn't yell at Logan when he lied that he couldn't find his homework and had in fact hidden it in the closet. And I'm not yelling now.

For now I sit outside the boys room listening as the 2 little boys alternate between discussing and acting like monsters. And then racing to go potty. I know typical bedtime suggestions are to not let them go once they have been tucked and you have taken care of that before bed (which we do) but when you have a potty training 2 year old and a 3 year old bed wetter we like to encourage always going when we need to. Granted, they are in pull ups just in case, but I'd rather them go in the potty then sleep in pee.

Anyway... Enough with the potty tangent!

Here I am, an hour after I tucked the boys into bed and 2 still awake and I haven't done more than raise my voice slightly! YAY me! I have actually found that this has helped me stay calmer. I just have to keep it in check and not let the desire to scream at the top of my lungs get to me. I think the boys were happier today too, evidenced by the way CJ did such an amazing job at tball (another HUGE struggle). I really have to make this work, I just have to! Not just for the boys well being but for my sanity! There has to be a better way and I am finding it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ORC day #1

Well, day #1 of making it with no yelling! Yay me! But I don't know if it counts since I wasn't even home most of the day. I worked so I didn't really even see the boys until after 3:30pm. Then again, bedtime is my worst time and even though they were ridiculous tonight I held it together.

Tonights bedtime show consisted of the following:

My older two weren't even as good as usual with the 5 year old kicking his feet around in the air and the 8 year old making some random comment about nothing or sitting up and trying to read in the dark at 8:30.

The 3 year old was all over, as usual, making silly noises, rolling around in his bed and dangling his head over the edge. His antics prompted the 2 year old to roll around and get out of his bed and apparently he had the need to act like a monster, or maybe he was an angry gorilla? He was squat stomping in the middle of the room alternating arms in the air and making some strange noises. I wanted to laugh but had to tell him to get back in bed... the rest of the night he wasn't so funny. Just getting out of bed and running around and racing back to bed when he realized I was looking at him.

But I didn't yell.

So I guess that's a start.

Tomorrow will be the real test. The hubs will be at school and then work so I'm alone all day. Add to that carting the boys to a tball game alone too and I might be nuts before bedtime even rolls around.

So here's to hoping that I make it to day #2!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Maybe you have heard of it, maybe not, but it is all the rage in the stay-at-home-mommy world (do I count as a SAHM anymore??)! The Orange Rhino Challenge is a challenge to stop yelling. I have heard about it through several people posting on Facebook and decided today to really check into it. I'm a yeller, I can admit it. I hate it, but I do it and as hard as I try I can't seem to stop. Fortunately, I am not the only one! It feels so good knowing there are other parents out there that really struggle with this.

I feel like you hear and see about these perfect parents with their perfect kids who never yell and I want to be one of them. Well, maybe not perfect... Where's the fun in that?

So here I go, starting tonight hopefully but officially tomorrow. I actually have a lot of things starting tomorrow. We are kicking it into high gear and getting things figured out (my husband and myself) and on a schedule. The kids need it, and we do too. Tomorrow is a new day in our home. I am excited and incredibly nervous!

Make sure you check out for more information and check in with me and let me know how it goes for you if you start the challenge too (or how you are doing if you have already climbed on board!)

Wish me luck!