Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hold It Right There

Wait — hang on a second. Can someone please tell me when my itty bitty babies grew into kids? 

Man, time flies when you're having fun and cleaning up messes and giving baths and building block towers and doing laundry and making meals and painting pictures and washing dishes and having tea parties and playing hide 'n' seek and kissing ouchies and reading stories and breaking up fights and piling onto the bed for snuggles and tickles. Wouldn't trade it for the world. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Terrible, Terrible, Terrible Threes

One was hard — mostly because of sheer exhaustion and a lack of understanding what was wrong. So. Much. Crying. 

Two was hard because of the frustration they had communicating, especially Grace. She knew she had something to say, just couldn't say it. 

But Three? Holy Moly. Some days, I swear that Claire has been infected with the Rage Virus

For the record, these pictures are not during a Rage Virus moment -- that has yet to be captured on "film."

It's weird because she's so verbal and has been communicating so clearly for so long, but her frustration seems rooted in an inability to communicate her feelings. She doesn't get what she wants and she immediately melts down into a ball of kicking and screaming and even hitting sometimes.

For example, the other day I picked the girls up from preschool, pulled into the garage and got Grace out of the car first. When I went around to Claire's side, I could see her shaking with anger. I asked her what was wrong and she exploded with fury — I got Grace out of the car first. I tried to reason with her. I told her I'd make sure to take turns with who gets out first. But she was too deep into her tantrum to listen to my logic. So, she sat on the floor of the garage for 15 minutes, screaming. When I told her that I wasn't going to pick her up until she came into the house, she spent 10 minutes crawling on her belly until she finally crossed the threshold. 

This was a few weeks ago. We were experiencing a version of that tantrum at least four or five times a day. It seemed like each step we took, I was battling her. It was very exhausting — both physically and mentally. 

But it seems like we may have rounded a corner. She is still throwing fits, but we worked out a process that is at least minimizing them and their magnitude. And Scott's been the true hero with this phase. He is calm, firm and consistent -- an approach that really seems to connect with her. 

As for Grace, she has been throwing mini-tantrums her whole life. Her fires have always been easy to ignite and easy to put out, so I'm hoping we can just skip this Rage Virus stage. If only we're that lucky. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Milestone #76: First Haircut

As you probably know, my girls were the baldest babies this side of the Mississippi. For the past couple of years, their hair has been growing in very, very slowly. We've watched other kids their age get first haircuts and second haircuts, while we considered washing their hair with Miracle Grow. 

But for the past several months, I've been watching a rat tail grow behind Claire's ear  -- one strangely long strand of hair. So, I decided it was time we even things out a bit. 

When I first told them what we were doing, they both adamantly refused. Claire was worried we were going to cut her hair like Daddy's and Grace was just scared of the whole idea. 

But after watching me get mine cut, they quickly changed their minds. 

And then we came home and did this. It's been a good Friday. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Treading Water

Good golly, Miss Molly. 

I've been in survival mode these past few weeks, and when I'm in survival mode, things like blogging, vacuuming, and sometimes even showering get shortchanged. Send your sympathies to Scott. 

It started with Claire being sick, which promptly spread around the family. Work was busy and with lots of family activity going on, I've been treading water since the end of January. 

But I'm back. At least for today. 

A list to catch you up:

1. Scott and I got recently got iPhones. The day before we went to get them, I would have told you: "Eh, I don't need an iPhone. All I ever do is text my sisters and Mom."  The day after I got one? I was hooked. Oh, and when I said Scott and I got iPhones, what I really meant was Claire and Grace did: 

2. My brother and his family moved back home in February after living in Missouri for the past three years. I can't express how happy it makes me to have them around. I love my little brother and his wife to the moon and back and I adore their family. My niece Bella had her first school performance last week and as I watched her sing, the tears just started welling up in my eyes. I love their kids like they're my own and can't wait to watch them grow up right alongside my own. What great friends I hope our girls will become. 

3. After a little trial and error with Claire's glasses prescription, she's finally wearing them consistently, sort of. But we had her re-checked last week and although they are helping, the doctor thinks she made need surgery to correct what the glasses aren't fixing. 

4. I'm so ready for spring. I love the snow and I love how much fun the kids have in the snow, but I'm ready for green grass, flowers, birds chirping and most especially playing outdoors without spending 45 minutes bundling the kids up first. 

5. Last weekend, the girls went with Scott to visit his Mom and I stayed home. I could write an entire blog on how I overcame my fear of letting them go out of town without me (if something bad were to happen, I want to be there -- not an hour away), but instead, I'll just tell you that everything worked out okay. They returned safe and sound and while they were gone, I had a delightful date night with my little sister and lunch with my Mom. It reminded me that it's good for Moms to have breaks, too. 

6. And lastly, a sneak peek at what I'm sure are many more blogs to come: living with an emotional, irrational three-year-old is OHMYGOD so challenging. I thought I knew what fits were, but OHMYGOD I definitely did not. Until now. And challenging doesn't even begin to describe it. Frustrating, maddening, defeating, back-breaking, spirit-crushing … ok, that might begin to describe it. Just please, cross your fingers that my other emotional, irrational three-year-old will steer clear of this phase.