I haven't written just to catch up on life in over a month. That's horrible. It's not that our lives don't have things going on in them. It's just that we're busy and when we do have a break we've been watching West Wing on Netflix together. It's our thing and we have SO much fun with it! :)
I should start this post off by saying I don't think I'm a know it all. AT ALL. I mean, AT. FREAKING. ALL. I actually think my life is a mess on a regular basis. We really live a day by day life here. If I can get through the day in one piece, kiss my husband and girls often, and go to bed with a smile on my face I consider it a success.
But in just the matter of one week I got two separate reader emails (didn't even know I had readers anymore!) asking me two things. I won't say names for sake of anonymity. The first reader said:
"I have two kids and I feel like I'm about to pull (out) my hair!! You're always commenting on how well behaved and easy going Liliana and Gloria are. Any tips? I just don't know what to do and I feel like I'm losing it at times. On an unrelated note, what's the name of the bedding you used for Gloria? I want to use it for my two girls beds."
OK first off ... I have felt like pulling my hair out TOO many times to count. Seriously, it's TOTALLY what Moms do. TOTALLY appropriate to cry and pout sometimes. It's frustrating, it's exhausting. BUT ... I do feel like my adjustment to #2 was about 40 billion times easier and it's b/c I learned a few things along the way (and am still learning everyday!)
Second, it's Kumari fabric collection (just google it). I'm still IN. LOVE.
OK now for the parenting rules we have (again let me reiterate, I am NOT an expert. Every parent is TOTALLY different and I truly respect each way of doing things. This is just what works for US!!! Might not work for you and that's OK! Just wanted to put that out there)
(1) WE. ARE. STRICT. with the "no addiction" philosophy.
We are truly SUCH strict parents (and have actually been criticized for this before). I refuse to let my kids get "addicted" to anything ... TV shows, pacifiers (even poor Gloria who LOVES hers gets her taken away and might fuss for it, but she's learning too bad so sad), toys, etc. We actually learned that from my godsister. We think her & her husband are pretty much the best parents on the planet and they taught us that. Nothing is worth getting addicted to.
We're just strict in general actually. Liliana has known what time out is for a LONG time. She rarely gets it any longer (MAYBE twice a month?) She has had one full on temper tanrum in her life. It was at home (thankfully). We just left her alone, went to another room, and told her not to come in that room until WE were ready to see her again. OH MAN. Cue 15 minutes of crying. That was over 6 months ago. She learned her lesson. I'm sorry if that sounds cruel. It's what works for us. We treat Liliana and Gloria not like babies but like humans that are still learning on a daily basis ... HOWEVER they understand SO MUCH MORE than we give them credit for! We don't take back our rules and make exceptions saying "oh well she's sick!" or "she's tired." These are the rules and she has learned to hadle them.
That isn't to say that they're angels all the time. GOODNESS NO!!!! That wouldn't be normal! But overall, we have a system with the two of them and while we're still learning everyday, we're pretty solid right now (I'm sure I'll be changing my tune when she gets her terrible 3's!)
(2) We are a team: sometimes Evan and I (VERY rarely) disagree on little parenting things, but we are a team about it. Case in point. Last night around 7:30 Liliana asked me for some more milk. We were about to go to bed and so I told her no. She (like the stinker she is) went and asked Evan shortly thereafter and he hadn't heard and told her yes. I quickly told him I had said no. He didn't question, even for a second, and said "Liliana, we say the answer is no." She didn't try again. She knows we're a team.
(3) We urge independence. Evan and I adhere to the Montessori way of teaching b/c it has worked so brilliantly for Liliana and we plan on putting Gloria in a Montessori school at 18 months too. It urges them to be social, to learn consequences, and most of all, independence and pride in themselves. Liliana at 2.5 was completely dressing herself and would say "I'm so proud of myself!" That is a BEAUTIFUL thing to teach your kids ... pride in themselves. She didn't want to do it to make ME proud, but to make herself proud. I want her to go through life like that in general.
(4) Stop comparing. I used to compare myself with other Moms and other women. I've stopped doing that and it's just been great. I don't care if other kids are doing something or if other Moms think it's horrible that I don't cloth diaper, breastfeed, etc. We parent the way we parent and you know what? We think being parents is absolutely a blast!
(5) Kids come #2. This might sound like marriage advice, but I mean it as parenting advice. Evan and I ALWAYS make time for each other. No kids in our bed ... ever. We've never had them crawl in to bed with us (that was Evan's rule that I agreed upon and I'm so glad we did). Liliana knows that Mommy and Daddy are crazy about each other and I think she likes seeing that. It means family. It means love. She sees it on a daily basis (maybe too much b/c she has been known to pinch my butt and say "nice booty!" so we're having to change some of our PDA, haha). HOWEVER in all seriousness, these signs of love and affection have made her so affectionate with friends and more importantly, her sister. Never hits, never pushes, etc. Only kisses, hugs. You learn from example.
OK ... I think that's long enough for now. The second question was about marriage ... and how to keep it happy! I'll write about that next time (might be a month until then, sorry! But I promise I'll get around to it)
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