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     After a brief hiatus from writing, I am happy to announce that I'm back...and feeling a good deal saner, too! It truly was a rough couple of weeks. Without going into all the woe-is-me's, let me just say that lack of sleep, an increase in kids' negative behaviors, getting sick, and having a broken computer (not to mention prepping for the holidays) was a bit more than this Mommy could handle! So, as to avoid bringing down the mood of all you other lovely mommies out there, I decided that I would suffer in silence until the dark cloud passed. (And by suffer in silence, I mean roar like a raging lion at my husband, children, and all those near me for about 2 weeks straight.)
     So, when my parents came out from Michigan to help us manage life (oh, and to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday... I suppose that was the actual reason they came out, wasn't it?...), it gave me a bit of time to pull back and yell less.... less. Then, my father had a novel idea. He suggested that I try to be calm with the children. Is this man out of his precious mind? I thought. He's been with these rascals all weekend and seen how taxing they are! But he reminded me that being reactionary makes me feel worse instead of getting my point across to unruly kids. (Duh... this is therapy 101, but because I'm currently living on the crazy farm these days, I've lost all sense entirely.) I decided to try my dad's plan. So, this evening, I calmly told the children to clean up their rooms... I had to calmly tell them about 40 times, but I did it calmly nevertheless. Then, I calmly informed Taylor that she could refuse to get her potties out before bed, but that I would then wake her every 10 minutes throughout the night until she peed for me. Finally, I calmly reminded the kids that their constant squabbling over minute matters breaks Jesus' heart... and that we now have three children, so that means we have a spare if one of them would happen to, say, disappear in the middle of the night and never be heard from again. Both Cameron and Taylor looked at me with slight grins... because they were PRETTY sure I was kidding, but they weren't positive, so they figured they'd better behave.
     On a different note, I'd like to request some advice from you Mommies (and Daddies) out there. Let's say your baby were to scream for hours on end, no matter what you tried to do to calm him... and let's say that your baby ALSO has pretty ferocious gas all day long. Could these screams be due to gas pains? And if your baby were getting gas drops regularly but not feeling any relief at all, what would you do? Because MY baby would never be like this at all.... (I'm just asking for a friend of a friend....) And if your baby were to have consistently green and yellow soft-serve-ish poos that cause his diaper to rival your Thanksgiving turkey in weight, would you be concerned? Isaac... I mean, my "friend's" baby, Shmisaac... is completely fine for many hours during the day, but then he cries constantly, and even food won't calm him, which is COMPLETELY abnormal for this little chunker. Anyways, I'd love to pass on your advice to my friend, so please, let your Mommy juices start flowing and help this gal problem-solve!