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At the end of the day

**We’re having a flash giveaway of an Ergo brand baby carrier: Click here to read how!  Ends Monday 10/8/12!**

So done.  I am almost ready to read a parenting book.  I have nothing left.  My children are behaving like they are on a sitcom.  Walk-ons in a sitcom where naughty children who are too bad to find endearing bring a rain of destructiveness and meanness down on the maligned main character.  Somebody please take over.

Loving them when I can’t like them

I have been trying for the past three days to dig out from the laundry and destruction they have created, and if anyone so much as breathes a sigh that sounds like “make them help you clean it up” I will Chuck Norris roundhouse you through this computer screen.  When the only good part of your day was Facebook, you know it was a complete waste.  And that’s even with my “super-homeschool mom” trip to a country park to walk the trails to find different kinds of leaves for our leaf book.  J and L wouldn’t hear of it and said “I’ll just see them on the ground.”  I don’t even have a picture to show you because it was so obnoxious that even the dog ran away.  (She did come back, covered in rank duckweed and slime.)

The coup de gras (which as a Spanish student, loosely translates to me as “top of fat”) was the complete sham of a bedtime routine we just pulled together that spanned the ranks from JR putting his pull-up on upside down in bed with his feet banging the wall during prayers to Lumpy having a complete fit about using the potty.  It was a battle I wasn’t about to lose, after spending each morning clogging up the washer for the first three loads of the day with tinkle duty since Friday.  Growth spurts hit this family hard.  As I was reduced to yelling at Lumpy to get her pull-up on, I realized that there was no parenting happening.  Just a full-on fight.  Parents versus kids.  Her only need was to say no to me.  My only need was to get her to comply.

You’re expecting me to say something like “and that’s when I took a deep breath and realized…”  But no.  Heck-freakin’ no.  All day long that little girl pushed me and disobeyed me and taunted me.  This garbage has to end.  I gave her space.  I let her twist her actions into compromises.  I was firm.  I put her in time out.  But at the end of the day, there was nothing left to teach.  Unlike JR, she never tantrumed and raged uncontrollably.  She fought tenaciously.  I got the pull-up on her, but I can’t say that I won.  I set her, screaming, in the bed and walked away, disgusted with it all.

Fine, laugh at me, but I really am trying my best, and don’t know why my kids don’t appreciate it.  But, I’m not supposed to say that, because that’s the kind of weakness older people see as an excuse to make a condescending comment about.  And I would tell someone this: Kids aren’t ever going to appreciate anything, because they are inherently selfish, as they were made to be.  Yes, I know that.  But what it feels like is that I must have done something wrong.  I must have ruined the day and spoiled my kids.

But in the middle of this lump of poop day, JR wrote down his own song today called “I love God.”  Cal pushed Hoss on the swing while I took Lumpy to the Port-a-Potty.  And Lumpy stopped pulling Hoss’ arm out of the socket when he screamed and bent down really low and asked “Hey, Hoss, do you want to be the princess now?”  And, I got Lumpy back and sweet again in time for a good night kiss.

At the end of the day, when all of my efforts were for nothing, sometimes all I get is a small reminder that I can try again tomorrow.

Path of Destruction

When I woke up this morning, I had a rare, overwhelming moment of cleaning inspiration.  The big kids were immediately sent to get dressed and make their beds, and the littles tried their best to do the same.  I was so wrapped up in getting one more thing done, multitasking with every pass from one room to the next, I noticed that the kids were all, suddenly, nowhere to be found.

My husband’s closet is clean, all the beds are made, and the sinks have been wiped out.  And this is what it cost:

25 minutes unsupervised downstairs.  

Oh Heck, I’m beat.

Avon Calling!

If you aren’t familiar with Avon’s fantastic line of personal care products, jewelry, make-up, and more, now is a great time to check them out.

California-based representative, Melissa Condon, who loved our little Thadius from the start, has offered us an amazing opportunity. She has offered us all of her profits for this quarter. But the quarter ends this Monday, August 27.

Would you consider looking at Melissa’s Avon site to see if there is anything you might buy at Target anyways? Any Christmas gifts that you could take care of now? I am hoping that, because she is offering all of her personal financial reward for her efforts, we could knock her sales goals out of the park.

Right now sun and bug care, Skin-so-soft products are half off, and there is always free shipping.

Please click here or the image below to browse all of the exciting Avon products and finish your Christmas shopping early!

Welcome Home

Today a man came home.  A husband came home.  A dad came home.  To the three women who share his name.

Two little girls and one happy Dad…and Mom, who always gets to take the pictures.

And tonight, a daughter is still far away.

You see, the Dismuke family is bringing home Mika, now named Josie, a sweet baby girl from Reece’s Rainbow.

Michael has spent the past 12 months deployed to Kuwait.  He first saw Josie’s face via an email from his wife, Heather.  And he said yes.  And she said yes.  And Heather not only took care of her two biological children on her own for the past 12 months, for the last 5 months, she has been assembling all of the adoption paperwork on her own.

Heather is a woman who gives with an open heart, and her husband has said yes with an open heart, and now I am asking you to do the same.

I have offered Heather the next two days off while I mind the store.  I am going to be her fundraising pinch-hitter until Monday at midnight EST.  Heather has put together a great giveaway–with a Keurig, people, how awesome!  But, to show how much we appreciate all the Dismukes have done this past year, as a family, in service to our country, and now in service to little Josie,  the BLD’s are adding $50 Disney Dollars to be given away to one person who donates at least $10 to the family’s tax-deductible FSP between now and Monday at midnight, EST (1 entry for each $10, 8 entries for $50, 20 entries for $100).  Heather will get an FSP report from Reece’s Rainbow to get the donor list.  Feel free to leave a comment below or on their blog with a message of encouragement or thanks for the Dismukes.

Right now the Dismukes’ fund reads $1750.  I would love to have that read $2500 when Heather and Michael next check in.  Not because they’ve asked us to, but because we’ve asked them to let us.

It’s what we can do to say welcome home.

Cottonelle Contest

Do you have what it takes?  I entered the Cottonelle Name-It contest today to win some great prizes.  I could win a year’s supply of toilet paper…and so could you!  (Of course, “year’s supply” with a potty-training Lumpy is all relative.)

Delicately put, Cottonelle is now offering a two-step process to a clear derriere.  Think you have a better name?  Try your own name tag with a travel-theme by entering here: Cotonelle Name-it Contest.

My submission..think you can top it…or should I say “bottom” it?