Well, things have been going much better for us lately. We've been able to get out of the house since we don't have the third baby, and the kids obviously do better tantrum wise/ sleep wise when they're not bored and stuck in the house. We've started a preschool group with some local MDC mamas. We alternate houses once a week and the mama who hosts picks the lesson/ activity that day. All the kids are from 11 months to 2 1/2, and Zach is one of only two boys! I'm hoping being around other kids will get Julianna walking soon- she's the only one who still crawls! It's so nice to be around other AP parents, I can't even express how much I (and the kids) need this! Everyone thinks it's adorable when someone's toddler walks up and asks to nurse in his or her own way- no hiding that they're still nursing, or bribing them to wait. I can do it whenever, and it's a good thing!
I actually feel guilty giving Julianna a bottle while I'm there beause she's the only formula fed kid in the group for once!!!
I'm really working on gentle discipline lately. I had been getting so stressed out yelling at the kids all day for getting into trouble and screaming at each other. Now I try to take a deep breath, forget about what they've already done earlier that day to piss me off, try VERY hard not to raise my voice, and talk to them. I try to use logic and reason with them. I try to remember what I want them to learn from what they're doing. If all that still doesn't work to calm them down, I'll put them (mostly Zach) in time-out for a few minutes, completely ignoring whatever they're doing (screaming, kicking, etc). It seems to be helping both my stress-level, and the kids' tantrums! Even when they're just being so naughty, and the last thing I want to do is cuddle them and "reward" them for being bad, I try to remain calm and it really does get better results! You probably all think I'm crazy for losing my cool, but it really does get crazy here some days and I can actually feel my blood pressure rising while Zach is screaming at the top of his lungs, and Julianna's tearing up something, and the phone is ringing, and DH is out somewhere, and we have no money and are running out of food, and the dogs are dirty and un-groomed, and Crystal's bus is pulling up the driveway, and everything seems to be just HORRIBLE... But I'm trying to take things in stride now, and just shrug stuff off, and it is helping tremendously! Don't sweat the small stuff, right? Actually there is a very interesting thread in the Gentle Discipline forum titled something like "It's official- I can not use Gentle Discpline with my child". I thought Zach was one of those kids who just didn't respond to anything less than military-style discpline, but he just needs some understanding, some extra time, and attention.
My kids are certainly learning a lot every day. Totally mind blowing to watch them pick up words on their own, and proudly point to something and name it. Having a conversation with the little one who was just a little rolly-poley bug on the floor this time last year is just awesome!
My insomnia is just awful lately... I'm going to try all the natural remedies available! It's like the more tired I am, and the harder I try to fall asleep, the more my body wakes up and it's just impossible to relax and drift off. I would not wish insomnia on my worst enemy, it really takes a toll on the mind and body. I feel like a zombie after I don't get good sleep, and that's not a good feeling!
Take care, all you peaceful mamas. I'm sending you a cyber hug right now