Stockton and Austin got whatever stomach bug Natalie had, so for three days in a row I was dealing with a sick household. It was sad and stressful and dirty and not pleasant, especially since I didn't really get a break. I think this sort of started my lingering bad attitude, which was easily stoked by Natalie's frequent and completely unnecessary temper tantrums. She has been teething this week and last too, but I still don't think it's excuse enough for these ridiculous outbursts. She just wails and shrieks and scares Stockton to death and wears my patience down thinner than I ever thought it could go and still be functional. It's over dumb stuff, too, like not being able to hold six magnets in one hand or wanting to be nakie or I didn't take the couch cushion off fast enough. I hope it's just a phase because man it is taxing!
she lost magnet privileges after this picture because she threw the whole thing off the couch in a rage
Another reason I was feeling pitiful and sorry for myself is that Stockton has debuted an evening freak-out - normally he is totally chill and easy but something about that 7-9pm time frame and/or me being gone just doesn't jive with him and he works himself up into a panic, waking Natalie up and causing her to freak out too. I haven't been able to have my normal gym time and if I go out I have to take him with me so I never seem to get a break, which only contributed to my negativity. I miss going to the gym, I want to go to Yogurtini with a friend without lugging a carseat, I need some solid Jessie time when I'm not worried about a child (or two!).
but normally he's so sweet!
Then we find out that our ward boundaries were being changed (meaning our congregations were shifting) and I was stressed about that, wondering if we were going to be moved to a new ward or who we would be losing from our current ward. I have a testimony that the church is true regardless of these kinds of things, but it doesn't make it easier...turns out we are staying in our ward but lots of families did get moved around, so I'll miss seeing them every Sunday. It wasn't as dramatic as I had geared up for, luckily.
Anyway, by the end of the week I had just HAD it. I was feeling depressed and down and was totally wallowing in selfishness and a bad case of the if-only-things-were-this-way. I was tired of not being happy and having everything seem like a chore instead of my lovely life, so I did some self-evaluating and talked with Austin and prayed a lot and realized that my children need almost 100% of my attention, and that's not negotiable. I need to be more willing to give up my personal pursuits and be okay with not getting breaks and stop wishing it was otherwise. My children are wonderful and healthy and (mostly) happy and I am so grateful for them - the grass is greenest right where I am planted currently and I need to remember that.
looking at and laughing with his sister : )
I think part of my problem is that most of my college friends aren't in the same life situation as I am currently so I see them post about all of their exciting, random, fun adventures without children and/or spouses and I sort of get jealous, or at least wistful. Seeing the cruises, ski trips, clean homes, craft nights, and college experiences just made me think more about what could be instead of focusing on the great things I have in my own life, and I need to step away from those bad influences on my mental well-being. So, I started a Facebook fast, mostly to just be more involved and satisfied in my own daily life without trying to keep track of what everyone else is doing and wondering how many people are going to like my status. I want to be more happy and grateful and optimistic, the way I feel like I used to be.
Phew, glad to get that off my chest. Annnnnyway...
he's getting so big!
Aside from my 23-year-old crisis, things have been good. Natalie started actually paying attention to movies this week, which is kind of fun to see. I'm glad she still likes to play and doesn't want to sit in front of the tv for very long, but I like being able to feel like I'm sort of watching a movie with her. She LOVES the movie Beethoven; she's completely obsessed. I asked Austin if he wanted to watch a movie and suggested Mulan, but Natalie totally interrupted me and was like, "Beetho!? Beetho!?" (Bay-toe is how she says it). She also really likes Tangled, and she'll stay focused on little bits of other movies too.
Another fun thing this week is that Natalie and Stomp have been acting more like siblings - they pay more attention to each other and smile and laugh together. I LOVE it, I can't get enough. Natalie loves "tickling" him and a lot of times she'll come up to him and poke him while saying "boop" which is hilarious because we don't know where she got that from. Stockton always gets a huge grin when he notices his sister and it is so fun to think of them growing up together and being pals - I can't wait until they can really play together!
We've gotten back into the habit of walking at the mall in the mornings - Natalie now asks to go, which is really cute. She stands by the door and points, saying "Mah, mah?" (It still amazes me how much she picks up and how much she understands, the smart thing!) I love going in the morning because the mall is full of mostly old people making their rounds. It's like a whole community of mall walkers who all know each other and are getting their exercise. I secretly want to get to know some of them so I can feel like I'm part of the "club"...I'll let you know how that goes. Yesterday I had a little feeling that I should go down a small little corridor that I normally skip so I did and there was an older lady sitting on a bench in the corner and she commented on how cute Natalie was, so I stopped and talked to her briefly. I was heading back around the corner when I almost missed her say, "You're a wonderful mother." I don't know why it hit me so strongly then but I felt so loved and validated and appreciated. I'm grateful for a Heavenly Father who gives me moments like that to uplift me and remind me of my worth.
Stockton is still sleeping really well, thank goodness. He is such a delightful little boy! Most people sort of pay more attention to Natalie because a) they know her better and b) she's much more active so she automatically garners more attention. I feel like Stomp is our little secret though since we really know him well and know what he's like - he is so loving and cheerful but already has a sort of wry, sarcastic smile and seems like he'll be full of wit and charm. I feel very blessed to have him as my son and get to know him better than anyone, particularly right now when others don't see him as often or are busy with Natalie.
I mean, look at those faces!! : )
Happy blog Wednesday, everyone!