The Winter Beach and the Wallaby

A few weeks ago I took the kids to visit my Aunt, and my cousin and his girlfriend, who are expecting their first baby. I am very close to my cousin, who is “Uncle Colin” to my kids, and his baby (its a GIRL) will be my first niece of sorts. They recently moved down to south NJ and we stayed for the weekend.

There were many fun adventures for the girls to go on but Markos wanted me to hold him all day, expect for when the huge puppy they recently adopted was around; he stuck his entire hand into the dogs mouth! We don’t own pets so I suppose he wanted to figure out what those teeth were! Thankfully, he is a big sweet dog and nobody got hurt (drool not withstanding).

 

Uncle Colin played his guitar for the girls, and I talked about having babies with Alysha, his girlfriend.

 

The next day, we went to the beach since it was only 20 minutes away from her house. It was cold, but that didnt bother the girls at all. Markos napped in my arms and in my Aunts arms, while the girls ran with the dog and collected bags full of seashells. There is something about the beauty and peacefulness of the ocean that always sets my heart at ease (despite my frown, the sun was in my eyes!).

 

Later, after we went back to my aunts house, we met her neighbors we had heard much about. It turned out that we actually have friends in common, it is a small homeschooling world. The girls played with their 8 year old daughter who gave details about their recent trip to India, and I was ecstatic to meet their pet WALLABY! (or “wallabean” according to my daughter) Here was this wallaby bouncing around their yard! I was

much more excited than the kids were. I was told that he was a rescue (who rescues freaking wallabies?) and he goes in and out a doggie door, and he enjoys peanut butter crackers. I love the wallaby, and hope to visit again haha!

It was a fun weekend, and I will update on more wallaby and dog adventures at Aunt.Pam’s house.

20180311_172518

Shalom.

 

 

Advertisements

I Feel Lately Like…I Fail at Life

Pile of unfolded laundry on my bed. Mountains of half finished homeschool work on the table. A plastic cup with a sad little rock in water (“crystal growing project” for my 6yr old). A backpack filled with microbiology and chemistry books that I have not opened even half as often as should. Tempers flaring. Boobs hurting from 16 month old boob barnacle. You get the picture?

Lately, I want to throw up my hands. Raise the white flag. Surrender.

Everywhere my exhausted eyes look, I see evidence of my failure. Housework? Fail. Schoolwork? Fail. Parenting? Fail.

The truth is, I have overloaded myself. I have too much on my plate. I thought that I could do it all, but then life threw us some curve-balls. I was not expecting so little time to study, but situations have come up that we could not have known. My relationship with my mother, my once biggest support person, is terribly strained. I am not getting the breaks that I am used to.

I have lot of on my mind.

And, frankly…I am sick of being in college myself. Nursing has been my goal, and now I am on my last semester before nursing school. But, my heart is not quite in it anymore. I need to be focused on my kids, at home.

So, here I am. Feeling pretty fail-y. But still trying. Still getting up after 5 hours of “sleep” with my toddler’s boob death grip.

I can not wait for May!

 

Parenting an Angry Child

Let me start at the beginning.

I was so excited to have another baby. Soon, I would have two baby girls! My second child was my first natural birth. She was tiny! She opened her eyes and looked right into mine, and I fell in love right away.

At six months old, she would close her fists and her face would get red with anger if she didn’t want to be put in her carseat. I joked that she had the fiery temper of her Latina/Italian heritage.

She grew into the incredible, intelligent, strong 5 year old girl she is today. Long blonde hair, big brown eyes that turn into laughing half moons when she is happy. My beautiful girl whose name means “light of God”; Liora.

But, her anger has only grown with her age.

I have felt helpless, hopeless, desperate, and depressed. I have felt insecure, inadequate, and incapable.

I have held her strong little body as she flung her fists at me, raging at me until she collapses into a heap of sobs.

It could be smiles one moment, and rage the next. Playing one moment, hurting the next. Toys have been hurled at my head. Her finger nails have broken my skin. Her words have sunk into my heart like a knife; “I hate you”, “your not my real mother”, “you don’t love me, nobody loves me”.

Of course, I know it isn’t true. I know that she needs me more than she can express. I know she hates her explosive anger more than I do.

Lately, she has described her anger to me like this;

“My anger is a person who holds me down and wont let me walk away.”

“My anger is like a remote control.”

She wants walk away. She wants to be in control. She comes to me in tears after the anger flees her body and her true self is back in control; sorry. So sorry.

It impacts her big sister, who cries to me about why her sister isn’t nice.

It impacts her little sister, who is starting to imitate some of her behaviors.

We have gone to therapy, and tried many different things. Right now, we are focusing on being loving and firm. She needs those limits. She needs to understand that she cannot hurt people, even when she is really angry. But she also needs to know that she is LOVED.

It impacts her self image. Somtimes, she sees herself a bad kid. She thinks God doesn’t love her, neither do her parents. That breaks my heart more than any little fist she has thrown at me.

It is this impossible balance of love and discipline. It is this terrible fear of “am I doing the right thing for her?”

Raising a child who has explosive anger is a path I did not plan to walk, but here I am.

In my nightmares, she doesn’t get better. In my nightmares, she is 15 and hates me.

But, in my dreams she overcomes her emotions. She is strong and powerful, but gentle and kind. Despite her anger, she is deeply sensitive and loving. I believe in her, and I will never give up helping her.

For now, it is one day at a time.

Shalom.

20180223_134730

Letting Your Kids Get MESSY

Winter is winding down, slowly warming up for the newness of spring. Here in New Jersey, we had 6in of snowfall followed immediately by warm weather. Our backyard changed from a pile of snow, to a sheet of ice, to mushy mud galore.

So, what does a homeschooling family do when the weather magically turns from stuck-inside-freazing to welcome-spring-warm? Get MESSY of course!

Put those workbooks away kids, it’s time to play in the mud!

Some sad, unfortunate barbie mermaids were abandoned outside since summertime, the girl decided they needed a soapy bath.

Markos joined in the fun, playing with water and mud.

Everyone got a nice bath afterwards!

The joys of springtime are near 🙂

L