Friday, January 22, 2016

Five on Friday!

My first Five on Friday of 2016... Woop!

New blog look!  You like?  I try to give my little ol' corner of the internet a facelift once a year, just to freshen things up a bit.  There are so many things I want to do with this blog, but I am sooooo bad at all things html code, etc.  Maybe one day?!

After my raw and real and honest post yesterday, I am so, so appreciative of the outpouring love and support and advice and words of wisdom and invitations for a mama's night out.  Honestly, it was hard writing that yesterday.  Actually, that's a lie.  It wasn't hard writing it - I wrote it in mere minutes, because it had been on my mind and in my heart for weeks.  The hard part was hitting "publish."  I never, ever try to act like our life is all puppies and rainbows over here, but to shout to the world that we're having so much trouble with our sweet CK, that I feel like I'm failing as a mama - that was tough.  But I did find comfort in those of you who reached out to me to make me feel like I wasn't alone, to tell me to keep on standing my ground, to offer to bring me wine.  In the midst of our struggles we're still having sweet moments and giggles with our girl - and while it often feels like one step forward, two steps back... I'm wishing and hoping and praying and crossing all fingers and toes that the steps forward will soon overtake those backward!

Speaking of that spunky four-year-old, we just signed her up for soccer and I cannot WAIT!  You probably remember we did tball last year, which was a huge hit (pun intended). Even though she did less hitting and more grass-picking, she loved every second of being part of a team.  I wanted to try something different this spring in an attempt to expose her to all types of activities, and soccer excited us the most!  Stay tuned for way too many pictures of tiny shin guards and aimlessly running around a field and probably even more grass-picking.

You guys, we had the absolute best four days with one of my very best friends.  Linds and her daughter Olivia journeyed all the way from NC to see us, and it was the perfect combination of lazy and productive, loud and quiet, busy and fun and oh just perfect.  We zoo'd, we napped, we ran, we Pure Barr'd, we lunched, we bounce-housed, we Chick-fil-a'd, we played, we ate, we drank, we girls-night-out'd, we laughed... it makes my heart hurt just thinking how much I miss them already.  I honest to goodness am not sure how I'd do this life without my Yinds!

THIS WEATHER!  I'm all about a good snow once a year, especially now that CK gets so excited at even the mention of winter weather.  But here in good ol' C'ton we're just below all of the counties getting covered in snow, and all we have is lots and lots and lots of cold, nonstop rain.  They keep saying we MIGHT get an inch of snow tonight, and I sooooo hope we do!!

Have a wonderful, bundled up, warm weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

My Mama Heart is EXHAUSTED

Well, I really started off the new year with a bang around here by pretty much neglecting this blog.

And that's because we pretty much started off the new year with a bang around here with sickness upon sickness coupled with a four-year-old who has been really, really, really challenging us.

In terms of sickness, we bounced from colds, to a respiratory infection, to croup, to strep, to stomach bugs...  Not to mention E cutting molars and we were all like SOS.

In terms of the four-year-old, we have been s-t-r-u-g-g-l-i-n-g.

We're not sure if it's post-holiday hangover, trying to get back into a routine, recovering from all of the sickness, jealousy over her little brother (which, honest to goodness, she has never had, since the day he was born.. so maybe it's finally surfacing?)...

No matter what it is, her behavior has been absolutely unacceptable, and we have had many, many challenging days and nights and talks about what to do and how to handle her and how to guide her in the right direction and what consequences to try and what incentives to promote...

The issues we're having are mostly focused around naptime and bedtime.  Refusing to sleep, refusing to stay in her room, kicking and screaming and keeping the whole house awake at all hours of the night, etc.  The straw finally broke the camel's back and one night, at 3:00am, T and I stormed into her room and removed every single toy and stuffed animal, even her lightbulb... leaving her with her bed and her dressers.

And for the record, that night she was up from 1:30am-6:00am throwing the most epic tantrum I have ever witnessed.

Parenting is no joke, y'all.  Especially when you see your sweet, kindhearted, sensitive, rule-following four-year-old act like a child you've never met before.  We have been at a loss for what to do, for how to handle her.  We've researched, we've prayed, we've asked family and friends for advice, I've cried, we've taken about a million deep breaths...

I think we're finally headed in the right direction, though I still miss my sweet CK who usually makes it her goal to please us and make us smile.  As with most things related to kids, I'm hopeful this is a phase that is related to previously stated circumstances.  Three-years-old was tough for us with our stubborn and hardheaded girl, but since about July she has been an absolute joy... up until recently.  And I'm not naive, I know things ebb and flow and you have peaks and valleys in parenting... good days and bad.  It's just so tough when, day in and day out, you put into guiding your child to be kind and selfless - to make good choices and to make people smile - to be considerate and compassionate.  And then it's like everything you've done seems like such a waste, because your child seems to be completely disregarding everything you've ever said.

AND SHE'S ONLY FOUR.  How in the world am I going to survive her teenage years?!

I hate to sound all down and woe is me and negative, but Lord knows I needed to type this out and explain my absence.  I rarely if ever get a midday break these days, and if I do I'm usually trying to catch up on life or maybe even nap since girl hasn't let us sleep through the night in weeks.

Parenting is beautiful, but it's also brutal.  And when being a mama is your FULL-TIME JOB, and everyday you feel like you're failing... it's exhausting.  And my mama heart has just felt so insecure and frustrated and sad lately.

And truth is, there isn't enough red wine or Blue Moon or Deep Eddy's Grapefruit Vodka in the world to fix my exhausted mama heart.

So we'll keep on keeping on, plug along until - fingers crossed - we crawl out of this rut with our girl... And in the meantime I'm trying to focus on the fact that her tenacity, her persistence, her stubbornness - those will all pay off at some point in her future, right?!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

TGIalmostF Randoms

*CK had her first ever battle with strep this week.  Monday morning she woke up with a fever and a stomachache after I was counting down the hours 'til preschool dropoff.  I know that sounds terrible, but girl has been a HANDFUL lately and this mama needed a break from her favorite four-year-old.  I had to postpone my preschool-dropoff-dance a couple of days and instead, I thoroughly enjoyed snuggling my girl on the couch while we watched two of my most favorite movies - the original Annie and Wizard of Oz.

*I need new running shoes, desperately.  I'm trying to save my pennies and extend the life of my current shoes by putting in some good (but old) insoles, and my legs are not happy about it!

*During a week of too-cold weather and quarantining our germs, I am so thankful for this (thank you Meme!):
and this (thank you T for your access to closed university buildings):
We have major cabin fever and the Peeles just don't do well being cooped up inside for more than a few hours.  I think being on the go keeps us all happier!

*Everette has finally, finally started to choose walking as his preferred mode of transportation.  He still crawls quite a bit when he's in a hurry to get into trouble, but you can see his sweet little drunken toddler steps more often than not around these parts!

*I ordered a Life Planner, and I am ridiculously excited about it.  It's supposed to arrive today and my palms are sweating in anticipation of filling in all of its nooks and crannies!  I went with Plum Paper, which allowed for all kinds of personalization and fun add-ins.  Once I get it going, I will share and post pictures!

*I'm considering joining a gym.  I hate to even say that aloud in January, because I typically roll my eyes at all of the gym-going-resolutioners whose workout motivation lasts until about mid-March.  But I've just felt so blah about my running lately.  I got a couple Pure Barre DVDs that I love, but I'm ready to shake things up even more and see some new changes in the ol' bod.  We're gonna have to crunch some numbers to see if we can fit it into the budget, so stay tuned!

*Ever since I had CK, I've always been anti-shoes-in-the-house.  Think about all of the places your shoes go, and then think about that all over the floors in your home and then YOUR BABY IS ALL OVER THE FLOOR EATING ALL OF THE THINGS.  I've never known how to politely say, "Will you please take your shoes off?" every time we have guests.  (Though you will hear me shouting TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES every single day to T and CK, ha!)  And well, this article has me even more convinced that shoes should not be worn in the house!

*Over the holiday break we went to Atlanta for the day to celebrate Christmas with my in-laws, sister-in-law, and her crew, and we went out to lunch.  We had the most delicious assortment of nachos as an appetizer, and I ate the most incredible fried oyster caesar salad.  I have been thinking about that lunch ever since.  Who thinks about food that much?! Also, I never give enough credit to a caesar salad.  I love a good caesar salad.

*Also over the holiday break... T and I added Showtime for a month so we could binge-watch two of our favorite shows.  We got sucked into Homeland and I'm so sad we finished it already, and now we're knee-deep into The Affair.  But all I've been hearing about lately is this How to Make a Murderer show.  And now we can't wait to watch that on Netflix next!

*I was irrationally excited on Tuesday night when we had our first (EVER!) Peele family fire!
In NC our fireplace was non-functional, and when we moved here we knew our chimney needed some major work/cleaning before we could use it.  Since E was born last November, we never really got around to it.  We finally had a chimney sweeper come out, and I am loving having a fire in our den in the evenings!

*Watch Shark Tank?  Heard of pipcorn?  T and I love some Shark Tank, and he thought it would be fun to get me something we've seen on there for Christmas.  He got me four bags of pipcorn! Ha!  And it's really, really good!

*I recently realized that I am obsessed with births.  I have always, always wanted to be in the room for a live birth, and even used a mirror when I was having E (which turned out to be a huge blessing when we had a little scare during his delivery!).  Call me weird, but I think labor and delivery of a baby are absolutely fascinating.  I am not grossed out by it whatsoever, and often get wrapped up in tv shows and videos that highlight births, as I am in absolute awe of the miracle of it all.

*This week I have struggled with mamahood, y'all.  It's probably a topic meant for its own post, but E has been a teething, fussy, clingy mess, recovering from an ear infection and CK is all out of sorts.  I don't know if it's because she's getting over her sickness, because she's been out of her school routine for so long and she's now trying to get back into it, or just regular old four-year-old drama (things have been so bad she's been without Ellie for 48 HOURS.  The only punishment that seems to affect her.).  Anyway, this week I have been grumpier than I should be, ungrateful rather than thankful, and I have raised my voice more than I'd like to admit.  I need to get my mama-act together.

*Have you heard about the new Fitbit?  I just heard about it, and it won't be available until March, but I am dying to have one!  Y'all know I love mine and this new one is like a Garmin, but does more (I think?).  Anyway, I need one.  Not want.  Need.

*You guys, E's vocabulary has skyrocketed lately!  I am just so impressed with all he is saying.  Some of my favorites are:  belly (bewwy), uh oh, hi, bye-bye, walk, nap, yucky (gucky!), water/bottle (they sound the same), nigh-nigh, mommy, dada, DOGgy, cheese, shoes, baths (probably my favorite of all!), sissy, PaPa, car, ball, cracker, eat eat, no!, teeth, bay-bay (for Bailey), ears, medicine (MEcine), and bless you (BESS you).  And just the other day he started stringing two words together! ("sissy water!" when he saw CK's water bottle)  He is just growing up way too quickly, but we are loving every single minute of watching him grow.

*One thing I'm trying to do more of is stop.  Slow down.  Breathe.  And one thing that's always helped me do that is to leave my phone in another room and get in a very hot bath with a book and the door locked.  T is always supportive of me having this time, which is great!  So I'm trying to do this a few times a week, even if for only a few minutes.  I can't remember the last time I was able to read (and finish!) a good book, so last weekend I started The Good Girl under a mountain of bubbles and I am already hooked.  
And then water started leaking into our den ceiling from the master tub.  So that was that.

*Has everyone else struggled with getting back into a "normal" routine?  Over the holidays T worked very sparingly, which meant he was around most of the time.  Which meant handling things 50/50 around here.  Which meant sleeping in ('til 7!) because I could run later in the day.  Which meant tag-teaming all meals/naps/discipline/etc.  And wow, I didn't realize how nice that was until it all came to an end bright and early Monday morning.  It has been so hard for me to get back into my 5:30am runs and back into handling the kiddos and the house and everything inbetween all by myself.  And Wednesday morning I accidentally overslept ('til 6:55am, gasp) and didn't get my workout/shower/bible-reading/devotional done before the rest of the house stirred and all heck broke loose.  It was like the apocalypse , and I learned the hard way that no matter how tired I am at 5:30am, it is better for all parties involved if I get my tush out of bed and get my (and our) day started.



Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

I love doing life with him, and can't believe this is our fourteenth new year together.  We've been through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows as a couple, and life just keeps getting better.  I'm so looking forward to what 2016 has in store for us, and am equally excited to work on my own personal resolutions, which I prefer to keep to myself. <3

I hope today brings you a fresh start, a clean plate, a clear perspective, and a joyful anticipation of what is to come.

Happy New Year!