Thursday, August 29, 2013

Barnes boys...where they at?

We are approaching the end of Summer. This has been seriously one of the best summers ever and I am so thankful that Bryson has documented all his experiences. Let's be honest though...he did NOT always want to do never...he was cool with it the first few times and then it was like homework. Speaking of which, I am sooooo not looking forward to the homework battle. I'm trying to figure out ways to not make it a battle...basically I am always trying to figure out ways not to battle Bryson, but I will save that for his update...but back to reflecting on Summer. I feel like our business is in a much better place - I feel like our kids are a little older and (a teensy) bit easier to be out and about on your own with and dare I say it...even enjoyable...I am really going to miss our lazy mornings and sleeping past 7 and no homework battles and no schedules except the ones I made and being all together and eating lunch together almost every day. So long summer of 2013 - you were good to us! 

The Awesome - Bobby has been talking sooo much this summer and just about everything that comes out of his mouth is adorable (except when he tourretically shouts butt and poo poo and pee-nee because he thinks it's funny) He is such a trooper - you can take him anywhere and it is just all awesome to him. He is on the brink of turning 3 and at the age where nap times can be skipped so bed time is easier, and this summer we were about whatever the day held and not so much his napping schedule and he was a trooper. Yesterday as I was changing his diaper he looked at me and said, "Mom - you are superman" - in the sweetest way. I  can't really describe how awesome this was - but I could tell it was his way of telling me he loves me. it was super sweet.

The Not-So-Awesome - Bobby is such a little sneak! and a destructive sneak. I came out to the living room this morning to find piles of granola in our shag rug...then in his room and look - there is another pile of granola all over the floor...its like he went around the house throwing granola everywhere. I have never owned a monkey, but I suspect having a pet monkey would be very similar to living with Bobby - let's throw this over here because why not? His level of destruction is like unbelievable. I have put off even thinking about buying any piece of furniture or anything nice for our house until Bobby is like 14 and maybe capable of being able to not destroy something.


The Awesome - Bryson placed #6 in his age division in his region for golf. The scores were calculated over the course of the tournaments he played this summer. The kids who play these tournaments are super serious - practicing every day...seriously like little PGA players - so the fact that Bryson, who plays other sports and practices not too often (1-2x week) is pretty incredible. He is a natural and we hope he continues to love the sport and not get caught up taking it too seriously. He lost his other front tooth and now sports a new smile and the cutest lisp and instead of calling him "straw hole" Bryan calls him "spoon hole" and we all laugh. 

The Not-So-Awesome - Bryson is struggling big time right now controlling his emotions. He cries almost every day about something. I am seriously losing all compassion when he cries - its a problem. We have talked with him every day about self-control about self-discipline and about his selfishness. I oscillate between freaking out that we are doing something horribly wrong and assuring myself this is just his battle and every child has a battle and this is his. and then i freak out all over again. He is not excited about school starting at all. He told me he wants to be homeschooled (because his best friend Asher is homeschooled and told him he only has school for 3 hours a day)  I told Bryson if he didn't argue/whine/cry about homework for 2 months I would consider it...not holding my breath though...

Bodie O!!!
The Awesome - Bodie is my little cuddle bug. Although he usually picks times right after I punish Bryson for something to come cuddle me (stinker) He is always trying to show affection. He has such a great heart. I love having at least one kid that lets me love on them and can hang out and not squirm everywhere - hugging bryson and bobby is akin to hugging an eel...true story. 

The No-So-Awesome - Bodie is lying. Like lying lying. Like all day long lying. I remember my mom telling me that this is a totally normal thing for 4/5 but I can't remember Bryson doing it to this extent...but maybe that is also selective amnesia...but the lying and the not listening are really wearing on me. It is super hard for me to stay mad at this kid - but these days he is successfully doing that to me. We will get through this. This too shall pass...repeat that phrase 100x and you have the mantra playing in my head on a daily basis.

The day I lost my stuff...

Yesterday I just lost it. I did. Let me just recount part of my day which included trying to get the boys to pick up after themselves before we left for the day...simultaneously trying to make sure they are all quiet while picking up (read: impossible) because we have someone who works for our business in our house and requires a peaceful work environment...trying to pack lunches and clean the house while they are running through the house screaming. Trying to get them outside while I pack lunches and freaking out when they are trying to do some skateboard trick off the kitchen door steps.

Then we head to the park where I hoped to run them around and get their energy out before I ran errands...then fast forward to the thrift store where I had to tell them 4 times not to run and not to touch EVERYTHING and when we leave Bodie tells me the lady gave her a car...which I know was not the truth since I was at the counter. I told him if he told me the truth he wouldn't be in trouble, but if he lied to me he would be punished...he then confessed that he found it on the floor and I made him go back into the store to return it (after we were all 4 already in the car and buckled can I add?) then I ran to my friend's store to pick up something I had ordered and they were basically totally out of control - but especially Bryson - causing fights and taking things and pushing his brothers around and not listening to me, so they lost out on getting a cake pop. when bryson heard that due to the way he behaved in the store he and his brothers would not be getting cake pops he collapsed in the middle of the driveway and started screaming/bawling. Can I pause here to tell you Bryson is almost 8 years old? Also bodie was whining and bobby was literally screaming because they just found out they wouldn't be getting their treat they were looking so forward to. So in the car I just lost it. I was embarrassed, frustrated, frazzled, you name whatever intense emotion and I was feeling it. I laid into Bryson for 10 minutes about how his actions affect everyone around him. His punishment for not listening and not staying still was that he had to lay on my bed for 1 hour - no talking - no getting up. When the hour was over he had to do chores all afternoon until dad got home.

That hour when he was in the bed and bobby was also napping was the only hour in my day I felt like I could hear thoughts in my brain and where I didn't feel like running away. Then the hour was over and all that remorse he felt in the car just went away and getting him to do the chores was like pulling teeth...I just couldn't anymore. I just felt like all the fight and all the no, no, no, no and all the punishing and all the correction for all three of them was just weighing on me like a huge damp smelly dank blanket and I couldn't take it.

When Bryan got home I was just a mess. Almost in tears...fighting back tears...i knew I would be no good and Bryan could just see me defeated he told me to just go and he would take care of them. and can i tell you how much I love that man - I could have chosen to lay into him about what a horrible day I had and take it out on him, but instead i just showed the broken-ness and because he loves me immensely (for some reason) - he took care of me. I packed a bag and headed to the gym and I worked out for 2 hours. I did my usual 45 minutes on the elliptical, but at the end, I just said - nope- not done - I worked out harder than I have since I broke my ankle. I made sure to sweat out all that rage and frustration and guilt I was feeling about my day. When I finished and went to a room to do my core work, i had to fight back tears again. There is something super cleansing about physical exercise - the endorphins your body releases...the cleansing act of just sweating out toxins in your body - it releases a lot. I have had my most eye opening talks with God while running - personal breakthroughs. So then I finished and went and sat in the jacuzzi by myself and reflected by myself. I can't remember the last time I have been able to do that. My mind started drifting all over the place, like - what? we can think? lets think about EVERYTHING. ALL AT ONCE. so i took a deep breath and started praying and focusing my thoughts and God started showing me things.

The first image that came into mind was of a girl that we had met at the park that day. A 14 year old girl who was severely developmentally disabled - she couldnt speak but came up to me and grabbed my hand and led me over to the swings because she wanted me to push I did...and God showed me this girl during my prayer and the tears started flowing. Here I was frustrated because I have three crazy boys. Three very healthy, very normal crazy boys. I just felt like the smallest person on the planet at that point. My prayers of "I can't do this" "I don't know what I am doing" started turning to prayers of "Thank you God for blessing us with three healthy crazy boys. Thank you for thinking I am capable of doing this. Please help me to be capable." The second thing he showed me was my husband. I'm not in this alone. I have a partner. God showed this same thing to me right before I had Bobby and it filled me with immediate peace and I had the same reaction last night. No matter what happens...I have a partner. God designed it that way for a reason!

I came home with a renewed spirit. This parenting business is fo reals. I feel like its both the most amazing slash scariest thing I have ever done. I think the toughest thing is the constant putting yourself last business. This is great for anyone who needs to get over themselves (read: me) but is also not so good for people who need time alone to self-reflect and find peace. That balance of maintaining your spirtual/emotional/physical health and at the same time caring for your family to the best of your ability. I won't try to tell you I know how to do this, because...hello...did I tell you about my day yesterday? but it's slowly learning how to navigate in this business of parenting.

A girlfriend and I are leading a life group this fall and we will be discussing the book Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel. I am excited to read this book (I have read a little so far and love it) and even more excited to have girl time and even more excited than that to have discussions with other mamas in the trenches of parenting. It is so nice to hear other war stories because you feel a little more sane...a little more like you aren't destroying your children...a little more like kids everywhere just are sucky for a while. and that is normal! and you are normal! Anwyay - I will end my rant now, I really wanted to flush all of this out while it was fresh for documenting sake and for future reference....and perhaps encouragement for anyone else who might be in the trenches needing a little reminder they aren't alone. YOU AREN'T ALONE!