Daddy’s “the Rock”

Before I get to the other stuff, it is most definitely worth mentioning that today is the one-year anniversary of Zeke’s lung surgery.

Our Z-Bird is so big and tough and loud that I often forget his lungs are shy one lobe. Thank God the “yucky,” which is how I described the cancer-prone CCAM to Houston, no longer lives inside our sweet Zeke and instead resides in the safer confines of a Wake Forest University research lab.

Zeke’s love of music & penchant for persistence inspire him to “assist” Grumps in playing the recorder.

The last day of May was not only Memorial Day, but it also marked the end of a stressful chapter in my “chronicles of motherhood.” If you hadn’t sensed in the last blog, I had been feeling pretty overwhelmed and fatigued raising the 3 Amigos — good-hearted boys, but all of whom lean toward the push-your-luck school of thought. It’s like they’re animals (this is “the zoo,” after all), who sensed my growing frustration and weakness and were taking advantage of the situation.

Then it all came to a head when Uncle Greg and Auntie Merdy came to our house to celebrate the holiday. Let’s just put it this way, if I saw some other kids acting the way Houston, Gabriel and Zeke did that day, I would think to myself, “Why on earth don’t those parents discipline their children?” Since we do discipline our boys and it’s rare that they misbehave so badly en masse, Daddy decided our strategy had to tweaked and updated.

As of June 1, we agreed upon and implemented more stringent, consistent rules for the family (both boys and parents included). Now there’s no gray area on what to do and when to do it. The kids immediately responded with more tolerable conduct, acceptable manners and better attitudes, and a happier, healthier household has been the result. And since Daddy is is the one who spearheaded this new positive transition for our family, Houston and I have lovingly given him a moniker: he’s strong, he’s reliable, he’s “the Rock!”

Houston helps Daddy tend to his smoked-pork delicacy for our Memorial Day celebration.

My best sanity-saving idea as of late is to SLOW DOWN! I had become my own worst enemy by constantly rushing. I mean, I was hurting myself rounding corners too quickly, making bigger messes by dropping dishes during clean up, doing tasks in inefficient ways because I wasn’t thinking them through, and always forgetting something important and then having to backtrack for the item. What a waste of time and energy this self-imposed habit had become.

So, my new mantra is “I’ll get to it when I get to it.” There’s always a lot to do, of course, but my new way of thinking and doing helps me keep my cool and gives me a greater sense of control, as well as teaches the boys greater patience.

And speaking of discipline and control, Houston has made it halfway through a 4-day punishment that entails no super heroes, no TV, no books, no puzzles, no Star Wars figures, no Hot Wheels, no playing with brothers, etc. In other words, his harshest sanction to date.

The cause? Houston’s horrific display at his annual eye appointment yesterday morning. I have vivid memories of his tantrum-like behavior at last year’s check-up, but this tirade was so bad that Daddy was forced to reschedule the appointment for this coming Monday morning. Only stellar behavior at the doc will earn Houston “Me can’t” Dillingham back his privileges.

Is Gabriel working his way toward penalty in the time-out assembly line? Nah, he’s just having fun w/ Batman.

 Other tidbits:

  • Gabriel can walk down steps all by himself. Zeke, who still needs assistance, is practicing to catch up with brother.
  • Gabriel climbed up the the tower ladder solo for the first time over Memorial Day weekend and Zeke soon followed suit.
  • Despite his fearlessness of physical feats, Gabe is still scared of the sprinkler (a.k.a. “aqua monster”) and exhibits anxiety when the dishwasher is running.
  • The twins are spending more time in the kitchen. They’re doing fairly well with the off-limits stuff, unlike their big struggle in the living room: the electronics shelf with all of its bright, noisy, buttony equipment.
  • The twins independent eating is progressing slowly but surely. Eating out on the deck during nice weather provides a great opportunity (read: easier clean up with a garden hose) to get them used to dining up at a table with a plate or bowl.
  • Due to their recent headway on the table-manners front, today was the first time I took all the kids out to a restaurant by myself. It wasn’t the worst experience ever, but it wasn’t the best either. Don’t think I’ll be doing that again for a while.

This old pic recently sent to me by Uncle Greg is from Houston’s first encounter w/ Spider Woman.

  • Gramsey and Papa spent the night on June 2, and I helped Papa (finally) put together the swing set Santa brought oh so long ago. Thanks, Papa … the kids are loving their fully-assembled Christmas gift.
  • Since the family is more functional now with the new rules, Daddy and I took the boys out to dinner last week at Hooter’s; we figured it was such a loud place that we wouldn’t stand out. The kids did much better under the watchful eyes of both parents than they did with me today.
  • Granny and Grumps visited last weekend, and I was (finally) able to tend to a major garden project that has been on my to-do list since before I was on bed rest with the twins. See, my “I’ll get to it when I get to it” mantra comes in handy in all parts of my zany life!

    Click the top photo of Zeke and Grumps to view all the June photos, and the grilling pic to see a few new shots at the end of the May – Part 2 gallery.