Three Kids and a Dog

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Changing the Way I Parent

Just last week I came across a post on Facebook titled, "My daughter is not giving me a hard time, she is having a hard time." I had read a very similar article recently and now this second article made my heart hurt for my middle child because it rang so true.

Austen had recently told me that while him and Peyton were playing downstairs she had asked him why mommy paid more attention to Hailey than she did to us? After my initial shock that she asked that, I asked Austen how he answered. He said matter of factly that he told Peyton that Hailey was little and needed more help than they did. Smart kid. However, being a middle child, I knew how she felt. You aren't the oldest that commands most of the attention with all of your activities and you aren't the youngest that needs your parents overseeing most of everything you still do.


So while we had been chalking up her outbursts, her defiance and just generally her bad behavior to her personality saying oh that's so Peyton; what we were missing - what I was missing - is that she is having a hard time. That she wanted and she needed more attention than she was getting and she didn't know how to ask for it or to get it.

It's funny because after I read the first article, I changed how I started parenting her. When she started having an outburst or started becoming defiant, I would show her love by wrapping her up in my arms and talking to her instead of shouting right along with her. Amazingly she responded differently. She calmed down quicker and I could even head off her tantrums before they even got to the point of escalating.

I also started making a point of doing things that Peyton wants to do and having just Peyton time. Whether it's taking her to the store with just me or meeting Tom for lunch with just her, we are making more time for our middle child. She may be our second child but she is definitely not second in our hearts. We love you P!


Monday, June 22, 2015

Father's Day

We just finished up a great but very busy weekend with our kids in celebration if Father's Day.

We kicked off the weekend by taking Austen and Peyton to mini golf (Austen's request) and to see the new Pixar movie Inside Out (Peyton's request). We left Hailey at home with a babysitter so we could all fully participate. It felt weird with her not being with us but it was also nice to be able to spend time with the older two together without one of us having to hang back. 



Saturday we went to breakfast together before Tom headed off to golf with friends (his Father's Day gift of sorts). The kids and I headed to the mall to run some errands and ended up at the Disney store for some special interactive games. Home for lunch and nap for Hailey before heading to Austen's little league home run derby contest where beforehand they  test the skills of all the little kids beforehand. While Austen didn't win any category in particular, he did really well in all categories probably placing in the top 3 in at least 2 out of the 4 categories for hitting, accuracy, throwing and speed. 
Tom met us at the field and we capped off the night with a date night to a Mexican restaurant in a neighboring town that I would definitely go back to. 




Sunday we woke up early so I could run in our town's 5K and Austen got to run the 1/2 mile race with all of his friends. He placed 18th overall out of over 300 kids ages 1-10. Maybe we have a runner on our hands too. I did okay as well averaging a 9 minute, 20 second mile. It's not the 7 minute mile I did when I was 12 but I was happy with it! After the run, my dad met us and we headed for some beach time in Michigan. We love that he loves going there as much as we do. Someday soon, Dad, we will have a place there to go to that's ours! Until then we'll keep going up there for Father's Day as long as you do!




Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hailey's New BFF

Can you guess who it is? Austen? Peyton?

Neither.

It's Adler.

I love how Hailey just decided one day to pay more attention to her.  Adler will be sleeping and she will go right up to her and start having a conversation with her. Sometimes Adler becomes annoyed and moves because Hailey is interrupting her nap time and she's old and needs her beauty sleep. But, for the most part, Adler will start to lick her and Hailey will laugh. Then Hailey will pat Adler's head. Sometimes she will pucker her lips and stick her face right in Adler's asking for a kiss. And, sometimes they just play side by side, content knowing that the other is there.

Hailey has also shown a great interest in feeding her -- from treats to dog food to her own food (including Froot Loops!). That's probably why Adler considers Hailey her BFF. Hailey was probably the reason Adler gained 4 pounds in three months!


Monday, June 08, 2015

Old Friends are the Best Friends

What a weekend! Aside from school ending on Friday and helping to run the second grade end of school party, we had old friends come into town on Friday afternoon from Austen and Peyton's old school in the city. Add an evening baseball game, two early morning soccer games, feeding the goats at Peyton's school (yes, goats), coaching another soccer game, preparing lunch for five kids, mini golf, feed goats again, showers, dinner, Blackhawks and bed, and boy I sure worked up a sweat! 

Sunday we had all of our old friends over from Austen and Peyton's old school for a reunion of sorts for lunch before heading to a final soccer game for the weekend. 

It was so great to see all the kids grown up and how well they all still played together. It made me wish they could continue to all go to school together but that's probably because I like all of their parents so much. 



Monday, June 01, 2015

Kindergarten Here We Come

Peyton attends her kindergarten meet and greet today where she gets to meet her kindergarten teachers and the parents get to attend and ask any questions.

I don't know who is more excited me or her. Me because it feels like she has been going to school forever and she is more than ready to go...that's if she listens! It seems the only person that she listens to these days is herself! 

Peyton is excited because after two years she is finally able to go to school with her brother again. He, however, is not too thrilled. 

I am sure it has something to do with Peyton only wanting to do things her way. There is no compromise and if you cross her, look out. 

Good thing there was no one in her way when she randomly decided to open this umbrella in the car. I think she secretly hoped she would poke at least one person in the eye!


Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Things Hailey has Learned from A,P & Addie

 1. How to throw a ball up against the wall if there is no one to play catch with her (even if she technically can't catch yet). Austen



2. How to let out an ear piercing scream when someone is doing something she doesn't like that has the whole store, stands or people at another public venue looking at us. Peyton



3. How to never be idle for one minute without a ball in your hand or at your foot. Austen


4. How to share not one toy with another child but her food with a seemingly starving dog who has gained 5 pounds in 3 months. Adler

5. How to climb up into her brother's bunk bed by herself unassisted. This kid is a climber! Austen and Peyton


Sunday, May 17, 2015

My Littlest Gymnast

As soon as Hailey turned 18 months old, I could enroll her in a parent/tot gymnastics class. This was a day I had been waiting for as Peyton loves to go to gymnastics and as Hailey got older, she didn't want to just sit there and watch Peyton in her class, she wanted to be doing her own class. So for the past month, Peyton attends her class in the gym at the same time as I am doing the parent/tot class with Hailey.

She is definitely one of the younger ones in the class and I wasn't sure how she would do. Surprisingly she understood a lot of the directions and was able to sit nicely in class as well. She isn't a fan of other kids (not used to that one since my other two didn't have that problem since they were in "school" all day) but she is getting better at sharing, taking turns and dealing with them being in her personal space.
But she is a fan of doing somersaults, jumping in a big pit filled with styrofoam, climbing the obstacle course, swinging on the rings and hanging from the bars. She definitely can hang on her own for at least 10-15 seconds. She's amazingly strong...and brave!

I think she may be my dare devil AND my most athletic one yet - watch out Austen! She probably will give you a run for your money in mini golf too!