2017 Headshot Project: August

I haven’t been great at recording little baby-isms this month, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to sort of update the blog in regards to my current parenting approach with each child, and some breakthroughs I feel I’ve had lately.

Auggie turned two this month!!!  And literally, about two days before his birthday, he started SCREECHING AND SCREAMING to get his way, ha!  Right on schedule!  I understand, though.  It’s hard to feel like you’re really noticed when you have two older, loud brothers who know how to communicate to get what they want.  So the screeching and screaming is stressful, but we seem to have gotten a handle on the SLEEPING ISSUES!!!  We finally got the boys bunk beds and rebuilt the big ikea crib for Auggie and the three boys share a room and it’s magical!!  Auggie is in HEAVEN in that huge crib!  He can climb out of it, but we figured out that sleep sacks make it harder for him to and sleep sacks with rubber bands around the slack at the bottom make it virtually impossible for him to!  He’s just our little merman every night.  He doesn’t try to climb out because he hates it, he tries to climb out when he wakes up in the middle of the night or early in the morning, etc., and that’s just not safe to have a baby free-roaming the house all alone in the night.  So merman it is.  I do miss the teepee phase, but Auggie couldn’t handle the teepee bed yet–he’s just too little still. We tried it for about a week and it wasn’t working.  So the room is being taken over by huge beds, but it’s still a pretty dang cute kids area.  And Auggie will get to the teepee soon enough.  He’s finally forward facing in the car and that has helped his car sickness a bunch.  And Moana is the cure for any temper tantrum he throws, so that’s nice.  But he remains my tiny little perfect buddy and could not be more fun.  He is at the age now where I can really focus on his character development and teaching him that there are other people with needs in the world.  But really, these sleeping breakthroughs are huge for us.  We are finally all sleeping through the night!!!!

Charlie is obsessed with paper airplanes.  Like, they’re his love language.  Which is always nice to be able to leverage!!  He can be so sassy sometimes, it’s great to be able to hold this privilege over his head, numsayin’?  It’s one of the few things I’ve got on him.  Until he figured out how to make one himself.  It’s actually adorable, he just crunches up his paper and twists the end until it comes to a sturdy point and then he just throws it like a dart everywhere and it works really well!  He calls it his paper bullet.  And one of my favorite Charlie stories from this month was unforgettable—I have been trying so hard to not yell the past few months…..more on that later.  I keep telling the boys in my nicest voice, “I don’t get mad anymore, I just issue consequences!”  I fail sometimes, but it hadn’t gotten bad-bad in a while.  Until one Sunday morning in August as we were getting ready for church.  Leave it to Sunday morning to bring out my beast.  I don’t even remember what happened, but I lost it big!  Totally yelled.  And right after that, Charlie says in the cheekiest little voice, “Aaaaaaaaaaaand she’s back.”  Charlie is a good boy, though.  He is still pretty physical and has a hard time controlling his temper but he usually makes great choices.  I find the best way to parent him is to really praise his good traits and go crazy with pride every time he makes a good choice.  If i try to strong arm him or control him, we just get in a battle.  Nothing I can’t handle (or win), it’s just not that fun.  I’m excited to be able to have special time together again now that James is back in school.  It’ll be so good for both of us.

Good ol’ James.  August was a big month for him.  He started kindergarten, got bunk beds (he’s assigned the top bunk but ends up in the bottom bunk with Charlie every night…) and lost his first tooth!  He’s such a grateful, mature boy, but still deliciously little.  He’s thriving in Kinder and it carries over into home life.  Summer was hard with all three boys at home, but now that James is back in school he’s just so pleasant and kind and helpful and has a strong sense of duty that shines bright again.  We’ve started a family economy that is working great so far.  The boys can earn up to three points each day for completing certain sets of duties, and each point contributes to how much money they earn that week.  I made them cool little check books and checks for them to purchase things and a ledger for them to keep track of their balance (we obviously help with everything.)  The rule is that they can buy anything they want within their budget!  It teaches them all about working hard to earn things, helps with things like entitlement and being spoiled, helps with gratitude and deciding between needs and wants—it pretty much solves all problems.  The boys love it and so do we!!!!  James really likes it and the fact that he can earn money and buy stuff.  He’s the perfect age for it, but we are including Charlie because James gets him excited about it.  Might as well.  It’s a little hard for him to grasp on his own, but it’s working for us and so far so good!

I’ve been feeling pretty good about parenting lately.  Summer was hard—and depressing a lot of the time.  But I had some major parenting breakthroughs that have truly changed the way I approach things.  The concept of not getting mad but just issuing consequences, for example.  That is so freeing when I remember to do it.  Getting angry is what comes as my gut reaction, unfortunately.  But I try to be deliberate.  I really do try.  This summer consisted of some of my greatest moments and some of my all-time WORST moments.  But man are my boys merciful with me.  It’s a hard phase of life, but it’s just incredible too.  On any given day, at any given moment, I am on one end of the spectrum or the other of “Ugh, I can’t believe this is my life…” and “Oh, my HEAVENS, I can’t believe this is my life!!!!!!!”