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Friday, June 29, 2012

Demolition and Destruction

My kids destroy things.  Their favorite game must be how quickly they can ruin anything in their site.  I kept hoping it was a phase that would pass, but it is just getting worse and I need help!!

Justin’s home all day alone with the 3 of them.  If he spends more than a minute doing anything other than watching their every move the find something to demolish.

In the last year they have managed to:

1. Color on things: The “paint” in our house is ghetto cheap and when you try to wash it with anything stronger then dish soap the paint comes off.  So anytime my kids color on anything it stays…seriously we cannot get it off without taking the paint off.  Apparently after coloring one day a crayon must have fallen on the floor and rolled under something and Jordan found this crayon and into her pocket it went.  Around came nap time and she colored a wall and hanging artwork (awesome paintings that Shanda got for us for our wedding!!!).  Destroyed.  After a party one night where a permanent marker was used to write names on cups the marker (and cups) were left on the counter for clean up the following morning.  Jordan woke up before us and pulled a chair to the counter to climb onto the counter to get the marker. Her and Elijah took turns coloring on the blinds, beds, walls, and doors.  Destroyed.

2. Dumping things out: If something is used to store something else then its purpose in life must actually be to remain empty.  Elijah takes it upon himself to dump out the laundry baskets constantly so that he can turn it upside down on himself and just there… his own “cave” of sorts?  The tubs in their room that keep their toys organized are constantly dumped into one pile in the room (leading to number 3).  Of course all the girls toys have tiny pieces that take 100 years to re-sort.  I exaggerate… it takes about 2 hours to sit with them and force them to sort through them.

3. Throwing things:  If something is on the floor it is made to be thrown.  After dumping out all of their toys or taking all of the board games off the shelves and dumping those out they must then throw handfuls of toys at the ceilings and the walls.  This is worst when trying to get them to clean up.  So they spent 2 minutes dumping out every toy they own in their room while Justin is preparing lunch.  He then asks them to clean up and goes back to making lunch only to come back to a room that is 10x worse with everything tossed everywhere.  Almost all of their games and toys are missing pieces!

4. Water:  I hate water.  No…I hate my kids and water.  Elijah is beginning interest in potty training and so the toilet and toilet paper is a new fascination.  We now must keep the door closed at all times (he can’t open doors yet) to keep him out to avoid overflowing the toilet…again.  This means that we require the girls to close the door while using the restroom.  You may think “well,duh – they should have privacy or be taught privacy while using the bathroom”.  To that I respond “Well then you are more then welcome to clean up the mess”.  The kids rarely go the bathroom on their own without washing their hands by flinging water on the walls, floor, counter, and mirror.  Water EVERYwhere…all the time.  At least 1 time a day.

I’m getting overwhelmed and lost as to what to do next.  I do not think my kids are poorly behaved, but I feel like we screwed up somewhere along the line for them to think the above behaviors are ok and we just don’t know how to fix it.  In general my kids are polite and good listeners. 

We’ve talked about “throwing away” all of the things they ruin (aka throwing in our storage room outside), but then we’ll just end up with bored kids without any toys to entertain them and I feel like that would just be worse.  For those of you that are thinking they just need to be watched more closely you are right about 10% of the time.  There are some of these occurrences that happen when Justin and/or I get distracted with something stupid, but a majority of the time these things happen when we are doing something that must get done like using the bathroom, making a meal, dealing with another child issue.

The problems occur when they think (know) they are not being watched.  How do you instill in a child the need to behave because it is “right” and not because somebody is watching?  How do you instill in a child good morals.  It’s easier explaining to a 5 year old we don’t do things because how it makes others feel (how would feel if I did XYZ to you?), but for a 2 and 3 year old who cares how somebody else feels? (Yay for egocentrism)

Do you have any ideas?! I’m open to anything really.  The kids have worn Justin and me out.  Mommies and Daddies out there…the Davis’ need some help.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Daring Camping Journey

You know its bad when even your husband notices you haven’t blogged in awhile.  Horrible.

So instead of trying to catch you up I will instead just start with our big vacation last week.

I realized on Wednesday morning that I had nothing ready for a week long camping trip other then a ton of mental checklists of things I knew I would forget.  I decided to make what I believed was the wise choice and actually write down my checklist and take a few hours off of work on Thursday morning to complete the checklist before we left on Friday.

I deem this plan a success.  I like success.

I packed (and repacked and repacked and repacked) all of our stuff and piled it in a corner to prep for Justin’s car packing job the following day.  I repacked a couple of suitcases several times since Elijah loved the idea of taking everything out of a suitcase when I left the room to hide in it.  Cute, but insanely frustrating.

I barely finished my day on Thursday at work and headed home to clean.  Travis graciously accepted our offer to watch our apartment for us while we were gone and he had to stay in a clean house!  Friday morning came and I packed the last minute things and Justin and Travis loaded the car.  We headed to my parents house around lunch time and slept their for our early morning drive.

Day 1:
We left around 4 AM from Montclair and headed to Grant Lake (Near Mammoth/June Lake) only stopping for Gas and Breakfast a couple of times.  We got to Grant right around lunch time and began to unpack.  We needed to keep the kids occupied so they spent a lot of time that first day in the dirt.  We gave Elijah a LONG leash to keep him in the campsite since we were all very distracted with unpacking and didn’t want to risk him running off.  My Mom and my Dad went out that night for a ride in the boat and some fishing while the rest of us enjoyed nice evening under the stars roasting marshmallows.

Day 2:
(Father’s Day) Justin got up way early the next morning and went fishing on the boat with my dad.  The rest of us hung out for awhile at the site just spending time together as a family.  When the boys got back Taylor got her first chance to clean (gut) some fish.  She was enthusiastic until my dad made the first cut... then she decided to just watch.  We headed to Mammoth for a few supplies we had forgotten (and ended up not finding) and stopped to get some ice cream at Thrifty’s.  Yum!  When we got back to camp then a few of us went back on the boat for some fishing (Taylor and Jordan’s first time).  The girls go bored after a few minutes and decided leaning over the boat and touching the water was far more exciting.  We headed back and spent the rest of the night just hanging out and watching movies.

Day 3:
The kids were still enjoying playing in the dirt and my attempt to keep them clean for at least one day resulted in a plan of going back to Mammoth and letting the kids play in a play place at McDonalds for lunch.  We headed back to Mammoth and had a good lunch before heading to the Fish Hatchery to let the kids see a TON of fish and feed them.  Seriously you drop 1 bit of food in there and the whole area goes crazy, it was pretty cool to watch.  We headed back to camp and spent some time blowing bubbles and hanging out at camp. Later that night Taylor and I went night fishing with my dad.  Like she should – she crawled into the front of the boat and fell asleep to the sound of the water (my favorite camping pastime).  The winds were pretty horrible that night and it woke up the kids several times with large gusts.  At one point Justin even had to re-stake part of the tent.

Day 4:
(My Mom’s Bday) We had a pretty normal morning, but for lunch we headed to Mono Cone (AMAZING ice cream and burger place).  We had lunch and then split up.  My parents and sister headed back to camp while Justin and I took the kids to a gorgeous park nearby.  We had a lot of fun a the park!  The girls and I made their first flower crowns and we discovered a drinking fountain with insanely high water pressure that Justin decided should soak the kids.  They had a great time and we headed back to camp.  When we go back we spent some time by the lake shore getting wet and tossing rocks in (maybe Taylor’s favorite thing ever)

Day 5:
During this whole visit Justin had been in pain due to a month old ear infection that is “gone” according to the Doctor, but still bugs him.  We decided that we were running out of distractions for the kids and Justin’s pain was causing him lack of sleep and headaches so we were heading home a day early.  We packed up our stuff and spent one more afternoon on the boat with the whole family before heading home.  We stopped for gas and lunch but other then that it was a non stop race to get to our own beds.  Elijah did not like the ride home and cried a good chunk of the time.  Once were home though the girls were knocked out and Elijah was in heaven.  He ran around the house grabbing and playing with ALL of his toys he could get his hands on.  We brought toys with us, but apparently he missed the ones he left behind.  Around 11 PM we finally had to get the kid in bed so Justin and I could sleep too.

Of course the next day was spent doing 500 loads of laundry and unpacking.  The next day (Friday now) we had the guys over for a game in the afternoon before Justin and Sam headed to a Five Iron Frenzy concert.  After that we have our typical weekend activities.

So that was our week last week. Busy, Fun, Amazing. 

THEN I came back to work on Monday to this in my cubicle. 

I love my coworkers so much!  And not love like “Hey you are awesome”, but love like “I cherish our relationship and the blessing you are in my life”.  I mean seriously…they’re awesome.  I know I was missed and loved while I was gone.

P.S. Sorry for my lack of blogging recently, hopefully I can get the energy to get back to it on a regular basis.