Ode to a Shower

Our home has always been loud.  From having three in diapers to now three (almost) tweens.  We’ve got some volume going on.

On a not unrelated note, these children have never been allowed in the bathroom with us.  There needs to be one place I can go, in my home, alone, and experience some quietness.

The shower.  Oh the shower.

I don’t just listen to music in the shower, I will spend as much as five minutes choosing just the right playlist for my mood.  Oldies?  Led Zeppelin?  The Head and the Heart?  Let iTunes decide?  Gah, let me look … Read the rest

Growing Weary of Anger Management

I started writing about parenting Eli’s anger a year ago.  A YEAR.  Quite frankly it’s wearing me down.

It used to be that he would keep it together all day at school, then come home and just fall apart.  But now we homeschool, and he doesn’t have to keep it together (I keep reminding myself that’s a GOOD thing).  So he yells at me for rather small things…
– there isn’t any meat to put in his scrambled eggs
– his math is too hard
– his math is too easy
– the milk was put away when we should … Read the rest

The Day I Said “Yes” to Homeschooling

First I have to go back about two years.  Chad brought up the idea of homeschooling, which began the biggest fight we’ve ever had in our marriage, and it lasted about three weeks.  We then decided to never talk about it again.

I then was a substitute teacher for two years, and told Chad I might be capable of homeschooling, but still not willing.  Two very different feelings.  He smiled and nodded.

This summer I told Chad I might consider homeschooling in two years, when Grace would be going into high school and Ada would be done at our … Read the rest

The Courage to Be Yourself

IThird-Thursday-Thoughts had the opportunity last weekend to attend my third Hearts at Home conference, and as usual it did not disappoint.  I heard great insight from so many speakers, took page after page of notes, and was inspired to continue to be a better mom.

One thing I noticed (and appreciated) about each speaker is that they weren’t pushing me to be like them.  They were merely sharing their journey and encouraging me along my own.

We are each on our own journey, with our own map and our own equipment, and let’s not forget our own unique traveling … Read the rest

Finding a Rhythm

As we soldier on in this journey with Eli’s anger, I took some wise advice from a friend and started keeping track of his good days and bad days.  Guys, I’m so excited.

It turns out Eli has three good days and then one bad day.  Over and over and over.  It’s like a break through, without actually being a break through.  I know when it’s coming!!!

I didn’t tell Eli at first about the discovery, because he tends to have the attitude that this is all happening TO him and he has no control over it.  I was … Read the rest

Waving the White Flag

Today, I am waving the white flag.  I surrender.  I give up.  I quit.  However you want to word it, that.

I called a friend to take a child.  THE child.  The one who makes me want to shoot lasers out of my eyes, and then hug him tight to let him know I won’t ever give up on him.

Please make sure that you have that friend – the one who sees your white flag and will answer with an open door, no questions asked.  And you will gladly reciprocate should the need arise.

That’s it for this post.  … Read the rest

When Words Hurt More than Sticks and Stones

So Eli’s anger.  I can see that we’re getting better at managing it, and though every fiber of my being wants to engage, I have seen time and again that if I don’t his outbursts are shorter lived.  There’s a win.

The problem I’m seeing now is that he is getting bolder with his disrespect.  He flat out refuses to do what I ask, and when I calmly give him the opportunity to choose different words, he repeats himself.

“What happens if I don’t?”
“I’m not doing my homework.”
“What’s another reason why I should?”

What concerns me more … Read the rest

What are You Willing to Live With?

Our days are made up of little decisions.  One after another, we determine what we can live with and what we cannot.  Some days, the “I can live with that” decisions catch up with us.

As a general rule, I need to wake up to a clean kitchen so I can start cooking breakfast at 6:30am.  This means going to bed with a clean kitchen.  THIS is where I struggle.  I don’t WANT to do dishes when I’m ready to go to bed.  So really this means doing dishes immediately after dinner.  I’m sure there are many who do this … Read the rest

Practicing Anger Management

Last month I began writing about Eli’s anger problems in an effort to invite you into my world, but also in hopes to make sure no one is going through this alone.  Here’s where we’re at currently.

After a trip to the therapist, we have some new “tools” to use at home.

1. Calming down is the goal.
When Eli is angry, the goal must be calming down.  It is not giving him a consequence for his anger (which is hard for me), it is not reasoning with him (which is hard for me), it is not threatening him with … Read the rest

Orlikowski Family Christmas Card

I really, really love Christmas cards.  I love picking out the paper, the photos, writing the letter – all of it.  This year it’s just not going to happen.  I decided that if something that isn’t required was causing me stress, I could cross it off my list.

But then your lovely Christmas cards started coming in and I felt so guilty!  So I’m cheating and using my blog :)  So here goes.

IMG_0084Ada is in third grade and will be NINE the day after Christmas.  I can’t even believe it.  My baby is going to be nine.  She is so … Read the rest