Monday, February 11, 2013

When Your Spirited Child Finally Sleeps

It's like wow, maybe I have a different child? You mean my son is actually SLEEPING?! No more battles, no more tears, no more screaming, no more throwing up, no more hyperventilating, no more getting up 4, 6, 8 times a night. Only took 2 and a half years, but we finally made it to a point where sleep is a happy place. So all of you struggling mamas with Spirited children please have faith that IT WILL PASS! It won't happen when your nieces or nephews start sleeping through the night, it won't happen when your friend's children start sleeping through the night. It will not happen. If you don't have the expectation of it happening, when it doesn't happen you will not feel as defeated or guilty or ashamed. Trust me.

So here I sit in shock. Here I sit writing a blog that I spent so much time writing posts on while my son was sleeping in my arms. And today I am writing while my son sleeps happily in his crib in his room with out a fight. It brings so many tears to my eyes. The struggles I have been through and to have finally come out of the hell tunnel that was my son's refusal of sleep.

Here I sit a much stronger mother, because God gave me a strong-willed child to make ME strong.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Did You See Me In The Store?

Did you see me in the store? I am the mom with a screaming and crying toddler on the floor who refuses to listen to anything I say.

Did you see me in the store? I am the mom whose toddler is 15 feet in front of her running away as fast as he can, while looking back laughing as I try to catch up with hopes that no one steals my purse that so abruptly I left in my cart.

Did you see me in the store? I am the mom whose toddler just knocked down whatever display he could get his hands on. Or just recently who tried to climb the floral print bike at Target and tumbled down.

Did you see me in the store? I am the mom whose child is violently shaking back and forth screaming because I put him the cart thinking he just might not get in trouble there.

I am sure you saw me, and I am sure you judged me.

Shopping with a Spirited toddler is not fun. Anytime I see a mom in these same situations I try to look and give her a knowing smile, or walk up to her and say "hey you are doing a great job." Because us mom of Spirited toddlers need that kind of support. And do not judge a book by it's cover. These kiddos seems like little terrors in the store, but they are WAY more than what they seem.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

3 Generations

I had seen this idea on Pinterest and decided with my new fancy camera that I should attempt it for my father in-laws father's day gift. Despite the few things that I nit pick about it, I am actually pretty pleased with the way it turned out. Now I just need to blow it up, get a very nice frame and display it somewhere in my living room.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Being the parent of a Spirited Child can be really lonely. To quote my favorite movie Titanic " I feel like I am standing in the middle of a crowded room, screaming at the top of my lungs, and no one even looks up."

I feel like grabbing people and shaking them until they UNDERSTAND. Of course then you have the quote "You can't shake sense into people." So I find myself surrounded by people who feel like throwing their ineffective advice at me. I find myself surround by "shut your kid up" stares and "control your child" looks. It is easy to let it beat you down day in and day out. Then who do you turn to? You don't. You have no one because everywhere you look there are children who sleep all night, who walk beside their parents, who listen, who are easily calmed, who are not attached to their hip all day long. I bow to the person who invented the Ergo and think why the heck did I not get one sooner. That thing is amazing.

I have to rely upon myself and my own strength to survive day in and day. But sometimes you just crack (usually at 2 in morning when a very resistant and determined child will not sleep.) After week after week of 2AM wakings you are worn down, tired, drained, discouraged and lost. Then those feelings of loneliness hit full force.

But like I said before.....I won't give up.

Friday, May 18, 2012

I Won't Give Up

This week has been a major struggle for me as a mother of a spirited toddler. It's been a rough road for sleep, especially last night. I am experiencing the "why me's" again. I am feeling oh so very inadequate, like I am not capable of raising such a determined, persistent, and intense little human being.

So today on one of my many drives to Walmart with Tristan in the back seat I am feeling very depressed. I really couldn't hold it in anymore and I just start crying. It's been a  long time since I have cried as the mother of a spirited toddler, but there I was bawling in the drivers seat. I was angry, and I was discouraged. I was angry and discouraged with myself. I was angry and discouraged with my situation. I was angry and discouraged with God. So what do you do in that situation? You pray.

As I am praying and talking with God I turn off my Jewel CD and turn on the radio. And that is when this song came on. It was like a bright light shinning in my life at that moment. I don't think I could pinpoint better words for my relationship with my son.

And all of a sudden, I felt hopeful again.

Jason Mraz "I Wont Give Up"

When I look into your eyes
It's like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
Well there's so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you've come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up

And when you're needing your space
To do some navigating
I'll be here patiently waiting
To see what you find

'Cause even the stars they burn
Some even fall to the earth
We've got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it
No, I won't give up
[ Lyrics from: ]
I don't wanna be someone who walks away so easily
I'm here to stay and make the difference that I can make

Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use the tools and gifts
We got yeah we got a lot at stake
And in the end, you're still my friend at least we didn't tend
For us to work we didn't break, we didn't burn
We had to learn, how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I got, and what I'm not
And who I am

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up
I'm still looking up

I won't give up on us
God knows I'm tough, he knows
We got a lot to learn
God knows we're worth it

I won't give up on us
Even if the skies get rough
I'm giving you all my love
I'm still looking up

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Transition

I will most likely have a few posts about Transitions, but this one is about me. I feel like I was finally getting a hold of raising my spirited child but then all of sudden my spirited baby turned into a full blown spirited toddler and I am completely lost again. Talk about a confidence destroyer.

I find myself with a whole new set of difficulties that become apparent more and more everyday. Sleep is still the same. He does not wake up or fall asleep easily. It often takes a long time for him to settle down to sleep, and often takes fifteen to twenty minutes to wake up. He is a restless sleeper, often moaning, crying, whimpering, and even talking in his sleep. He can be a very light sleeper, and a meowing cat will wake him up. Have a mentioned how many times I wanted to tape the cats mouth shut? Anyone looking for a very talkative cat? He goes through stages where he does not want to lay down and he reminds me of a monkey. When we go to lay him down he locks is arm around arm and tucks is knees up to his chest and clings to us like a baby monkey would to it's mother. I guess he is living up to his Monkey nick name. He would much rather sleep on our chest. But it has gotten 110% better than it used to be so  honestly I can not complain.

The kid is super smart. Traditional toys just do not make him happy, and I am often thinking out of the box for toys that he will play with (did anyone say whisk?) I refuse to buy toys unless I know it is something that will interest him. He would rather sit in my lap and go through the alphabet with me, in which he knows quit a few letters. He would rather count fingers with me and play Itsy Bitsy Spider (which he can do! In his own little way of course.) Did I mention he knows 2 shapes (oval and circle) and one color for sure (purple.) He loves music, especially the guitar. His whisk comes into play here...he plays it like a guitar! It is amazing to watch how music makes his face light up.

My day to day life is still unpredictable, so still very similar to when he was a baby. His moods are unpredictable and swing from happy to mad to sad and back again all with in the same minute. His intensity is still the same, he can just express it better which leads to ultimate melt downs. If there is one thing I know how to do it is avoid melt downs. He experiences emotions so strongly. This is why the famous cry it out just does not always work. There are have been more times than I can count that he has gotten so upset that he has thrown up. It is a matter of learning his cues, and his cries. If he gets too worked up it can take minutes to hours to calm him down. At least now I can avoid the things that make him this upset, where as when he was a baby that was almost impossible. Just living as a baby made him upset.

I am experiencing extreme separation anxiety. He pretty much lives on my hip. So I never get anything done around the house. I am lucky if I get the chance to pee. I have to be quick. I turn the tv on, run up the stairs to bathroom and by the time I am done he has climbed the stairs and is standing in the bathroom with me whining. Or whining at the bottom of the stairs. God forbid I leave the room he is in, follows me everywhere. Independent play seems to be non existent right now. He needs tons of physical contact with Bryan and I. He requires lots of attention, lots of holding. He comes in for lots of hugs during the day. He has his own chair to watch tv in but prefers to be in my lap. He pretty much spends all day in my lap. This is where most of my draining comes from. He requires so much from me, and I often wonder if I even have enough to keep giving. He stretches me out so much, that at the end of the day I have nothing left. Recharging is hard.

Discipline is really HARD. Like really really really HARD. I can not even explain to you how hard it is. Many of the techniques often recommended for this age are just not acceptable for a spirited toddler. You say distraction? I say ya right. Good luck distracting a toddler who knows exactly what he wants and has the determination to get it. Not to mention the high expectations he holds. Not to mention a kid who is going to want to know WHY he can not do something. Always pushing boundaries. This is not a child will just take no for an answer because that is what mommy said and I must "obey" mommy. And you know what? I think I am okay with that. I want us to work together, to learn together. I want him to listen to me because he wants to listen to me, not because I demand it of him.

Daily routines are still a pain in the butt. You would think over time he would realize we are going to take a bath, brush our teeth and get in pjs. Or we are gonna wake up and eat and then get dressed. These things are still a battle. Gives you an idea of his determination huh? Bath time equals wash time. Yet still EVERY single time he still cries, screams, whines. EVERY TIME! Diaper changes have been happening since day would think he would realize it is still going to happen. It has not changed! Nope, it is a constant battle and he often runs away now.  

Guess this turned into more of what my child is doing right now than anything else. And the realization that now I truly have a spirited toddler and not a spirited baby anymore. A new chapter. Some things will be easier, and some things will totally be much harder. I have made it this far, so bring it on!