Tuesday, July 6, 2010

And Now I'm Going to Ask Your Help...

It's been far too long, my blogging friends. I've missed you. Lately I've been busy fulfilling everyone's needs but my own (such is the life of a mother, 4th of July party planner, and hostess to foreign friends).

But now I'm back in the blogging saddle and ready to roll, or ride, or whatever that metaphor necessitates? Tying a calf? Jumping a barrel? Waving in a parade while wearing a rhinestone belt and matching hat?

Anyway, I have some questions for you. These questions will also give you an idea of what has been going on in these parts lately.
1) How do you keep a cat (or maybe it's cats, plural) from pooping in your kids' sandbox? The cat(s) in question is not our own. I see a lot of cats around the neighborhood but have never actually caught one in the sandbox-pooping act. What is a person to do about that? Besides cringe and keep your children far away?

2) If, say, a 3 1/2 year old girl were to be constantly whining about every-little-dang-thing, how would you handle that? I'll be honest and admit that I know better than to give into her whining, and yet I do give in because there are 2 other babies around that require my attention and time.  I just feel like a slave at the will and whimsy of 3 constantly whining children. But this really has got to stop. Help!

3)  In "Through the Looking Glass" which happens to be a favorite book of mine, the queen tells Alice, "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" That is exactly how I feel. I'm working as hard as I can and I can never get all parts of the house clean at the same time. I can't get all 3 of my children to be happy at once. When you are doing all the running you can do just to keep in the same place, how do you measure success? What makes you feel like you've accomplished something? What's your criteria?


RhondaLue said...

#1.Only have sandboxes that you can cover and uncover when YOUR children are using it. Cats carry diseases, I think. Can't be safe. lol

#2. Try not to give in. whiners get a special time out till they can talk in a big girl voice. It's seriously SO ANNOYING! I feel ya, sistah!

#3. I do not accomplish anything. ever. Ok once in a while but it doesn't last long. I HAVE accomplished accepting that I'll likely never accomplish anything.

Kirsten said...

Megan I've missed you!!! I hope you had such a fun time with your friends and enjoyed a fun fourth!

So to put my two sense in since I always seem to have opinions! LOL!

1. I agree. Just always keep the sandbox covered when your kids aren't playing in it. Even a piece of plywood or sheet of wood to lay on top helps. Before we did, we did find cat feces in our sandbox and it wasn't pretty, I'll tell you that!!!

2. Three years old is the hardest age!!!!! Everyone says two, but three is hard. WHen my girls whine, I try and tell them that I'll talk to them when they can use a big girl voice. Compliment the times when they do talk without using the whine. If the whining continues I ignore them, or have them sit on their bed until they feel like coming out and talking me me in a bigger voice. Hard to enforce, but works.

3. Success for me is when things get done and goals get accomplished. Maybe that's why I like crafts so much. Unlike laundry and dishes, once you get a project done, it's done. This stinks to stay, but I get up early each morning (like right now) before the rest of the house wakes up to fold one load of laundry, do a quick blog entry, shower, etc so that when the kids get up, I am ready to face them. I have to sacrifice sleep but them I feel better as a mom when I need to be. LOL-And I've decided that if I need to hire an 11-12 girl once in a while to help key an eye on the kids while I get a few things done at home, that's ok too. ;-)

Anyway, you don't need this advice, you are doing a great job. This is the most intense age right now. I didn't believe people when they told me that, but now that our kids are all getting to elementary school, life is a lot different and there is more me time. It won't always be so intense. Busy, but just a different kind of busy.

Looks like I have a lot to say at 6:30am when the house is quiet!!!!! Luv you Megan!! Can't wait to see you in a few short weeks!!!

LL said...

I have missed your posts!
Here are my thoughts to your questions...
#1. a lid. cats, in my opinion, are rodents. They sicken me. :)
#2. UGH. Story of my life. Age 3 is ROUGH. Thing is, my mom was ALWAYS saying "stop whining" I clearly remember her saying it, but I didn't know what she was talking about. SO, when our 3rd would whine, and he did it ALL. THE. TIME. I would whine back to him so he could hear how darn annoying he was and then tell him that's what whining is. I really think it helped. (but it took a while)
#3. I wish I could advise you on this but I do the same thing. And I never learn. It can't all be done! It just can't. I wake up in the morning so excited because TODAY is going to be the day I get it all done. I hit a wall around 4pm and think...I FAILED. But in reality, I accomplished a lot....my goals just weren't reasonable. Don't be hard on yourself. Take time each day to recognize just how much you DID get done.

jww said...

Glad you're back! P.S. I did freezer stencil shirts. It's on my blog. LOVE it!

#1 Ewwwww. I have never had a sandbox OR a cat, but I think covering it is the answer. Or shooting the cat. Something like that.

#2 Well, I *think* the right answer is to just ignore the whines (but I am so bad at that). When I'm at my best, I say things like, "I can't hear/understand what you're saying when you talk like that (whine). Try it again in a different voice." (When I'm not at my best, I don't think so clearly.)

#3 Great quote. I felt the same way about my house, and so I decided to divide the chores up into days. On Wednesdays (or whatever) it was the kitchen, and I would just enjoy the kitchen for that day, and on Thursday rather than being upset that the kitchen was dirty again, I'd think, "Oh, it's okay. It's been clean this week. It'll be clean again next week." It really helped my mind set (expectations) to not be so frustrated and disappointed when I couldn't keep everything clean at once. And, BTW, I have 3 kids who are much older than yours and I am constantly frustrated when they aren't happy at once, so I know how you feel on that one. It's hard, and I imagine harder for you since yours are littler. I agree with what was said before--I also love crafts or scrapbooks or projects for the same reason. I look at it, and it's DONE. And, generally speaking, it doesn't get wrecked. As far as measuring success, I think at the end of the day if you haven't killed anyone, you're doing pretty good.

Ashley said...

Cayenne pepper deters cats. There's also lots of man made products. I'd recommend using around your yard, you don't want one of those cats hurting your kids. They also don't like pinecones in the sand.

Kristina P. said...

All I have to say is that cats are evil.

Vhari said...

If you ever figure out any of these, please let me know. Especially the whining one. Gen is the queen of whining and it drives me to distraction. About the house. I think the best solution is to just not care and not measure your success with that. Does it really mean you are a good mom/person if your house is clean? I think not. And I'm trying to adopt the attitude that my children's happiness is their own problem, not mine.

Dan said...

The cat poop in the sandbox is a serious issue. Our sandbox serves a dual purpose as it is also a material staging area until we are ready to use some of the sand for our paver projects. All engineers know that structural fill cannot contain organic and/or deleterious materials (such as cat poop).

We will have to screen the sand and get all the poop out. We have plenty of pine cones that we can add and I will go buy a pound of cayenne pepper. We can also pepper the areas where the cats sneak into the yard, especially the mangy ones from the north.

Let the cat defensive begin!!

MommyJ said...

When we lived where cats bothered the sandbox, we went the the hardware store and cut a piece of lattice the size of the sandbox to cover it up... a closed in lid makes it a breeding ground for spiders and what not, but the lattice worked great... kept the cats off with no trouble.

the fellers said...

Question #1 and 3 I have no answer for, but #2 we deal with all the time. We started by telling Scoty that big boys dont whine, only babies whine....so therefore, he should not whine. So now as a follow up, when he is whining, I say, "Ummm? Do big boys whine?" and he says no, and I say, "well then you better talk in your big boy voice so that I can understand what you are saying." Yes, I do it a few times a day, but I feel like it is getting better, and I never give into it, like you said, but I ALWAYS make sure I stop him dead in his tracks, even if he isnt done his sentence, and make him re say it and re say it again until he isnt whining, I can not stand whining, so that is what is working for us...good luck!

EmmaP said...

I say get a sandbox cover and only uncover it when the kids go to play.

Also, i had a whiney child... still sometimes is. I used to say things like, "I'm sorry. I don't speak "whine". " Then he'd say (in a whiny voice), "I NOT Whining!" It occurred to me that perhaps he wasn't sure what whining even was. So, we had a discussion about it, complete with role playing. Once I demonstrated what whining was, he understood much better. Then if he would start to whine, I'd say, "I don't speak 'whine'. So, you can either stand in the corner or stop whining and [play nicely]" or whatever you want them to do. If it got really bad, I'd say, "You may whine all you want, but you'll have to do it your own bedroom." One day, in particular he was REALLY whiny. I finally told him to bring me his piggy bank. We emptied the coins on to the counter, and I stacked them up according to coin type. I then got out a plastic cup and with a sharpie drew a sad face on it. I told him that for everytime he continued to whine. I would get to choose a coin to keep in MY cup. I told him that if people want to whine in MY house, they have to pay to do so. He really loves money, so this helped out a ton. Then, after that, when my "I don't speak whine" didn't work, all I'd have to say is "go get me your piggy bank."

There isn't a right or wrong answer here love. You just do what you can, even if it means grasping straws to maintain your sanity. Good luck!


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