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SO! We are at a major and exciting transition in our lives. We’ve just relocated back to the Pacific Northwest, after being gone for 11 years. Although we weren’t always sure we were going to have children, they are the ones that ultimately brought us home. And for many reasons, including this, we have them to thank.

When I say we are in transition – that means we are living in the home of a retired old couple, who heads south for the winter. And, if you’ve ever been to Grandma’s house, you know that it is full of “pretties” AKA – my kids want to touch it and/or smash it on the ground. About 90% of our day sounds like this: “no, don’t touch” and “that’s not ours.” And of course the natural sibling chastisings of “don’t hit your brother” or “your brother is not a horse” fill the other 10% of our day. In addition, besides what we brought on the plane ride over, all of our belongings are in storage. So, if you can only imagine, the 5 toys we thought were so fun and exciting were exhausted about 5 minutes after we unpacked them. And lastly, our daily routine flew out the window the moment we closed the door of our Orlando home. From hotel living, to time zone changes, and new bedrooms for all (did I mention my youngest sleeps in a pack n play in the bathroom?) – our world is upside down.

To say that I am stressed, overwhelmed, and actually BORED – barely scrapes the surface. We have made an offer on a home, and cannot wait to begin our lives there. But, we have 6 more weeks of this phase of life before we can do so. I am constantly nagging the kids, they are constantly bickering with each other, and we are all bored of these 4 walls we are living in. I find that my voice has naturally become shrill-like and about 3 levels louder than it was when we were scheduled and comfortable with life. And recently, my oldest has begun to repeat things that I say like “give me that, NNNOOOWWWWW” (always emphasizing the now with a super scowl). My husband is training in his new role, and is working all sorts of odd hours to ensure face time with all aspects of the business. So, that leaves me with the kids about 3-4 hours longer in the day, without him. God, I miss him.

Last night, I was attempting to make dinner.  My oldest kept interrupting me to help him rebuild a fort that his little brother was demolishing every 20 seconds.  After the 5th or so interruption – I erupted.  “NOOOOOOOOOO. YOU DO IT. I AM TRYING TO MAKE YOUR DINNER. NO. GET OUT OF HERE.” And he ran into the other room, upset.  Not sure if it was my yelling, or if it was the fact that his fort was just gonna lay there on the ground now.  Regardless, the guilt sank in immediately.  Still thinking about it this morning over coffee, I came across this blog about the #5ringstostopyelling.  Wow – what timing.  Facebook is suspiciously creepy in how it always seems to know what’s on your mind (maybe I ought to tape over my computer camera!).  I knew immediately that I needed some accountability for my temper.  If I could just on occasion, pause before erupting, I am sure I could better handle such situations.  Is it going to be easy – HELL NO.  Will I fail? Undoubtedly.  Here’s an excerpt to loop you in:

The Plan is Simple

Start each day with all five rings on your right hand and move one to your left hand each time you have a setback.

What’s a setback? Losing your patience, saying “no” out of habit instead of really considering the request, having unrealistic expectations, etc., etc. I’m sure you have your own list.

Be warned, the beginning could be tough. We’re going to be taking a long hard look at our parenting selves and we might not always like what we see. But hang in there! If your left hand has already filled up with rings before lunchtime, just remember that we’re all a work in progress and we all have to start somewhere.

Run your thumb across those 5 rings and remind yourself that you’re doing your best and you’re doing something real to try to do better.

I don’t know yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the days when fewer and fewer rings switch hands are near. And the payoff is going to be huge.



Stackable gold and silver rings

So today, I have decided to take the challenge, and have ordered my 5 rings!  You can find the rings through Stella and Dot. And for a limited time, I’ve partnered with my friend Karrie (a Stella and Dot rep!) – She is willing to offer you FREE STANDARD SHIPPING on your rings.  All you have to do is email her directly, and she will place your order with no shipping charges:  Karrie.Schaefer@gmail.com

Once I receive my rings, I will be providing short updates about my successes and failures with this challenge.  I’d love to have a small army of moms to join me in the #5ringstostopyelling challenge.  We can share our stories.  Vent.  Rejoice.  Or whatever else is needed to support one another.