Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Lots of adjusting going on at the Stephens household. Monday - Friday I wasn't feeling so great about moving here and longing for a lot of the things I knew from Arizona. Stresses I felt from the last week:
  • Our house was a complete disaster. Jordan put away a lot of stuff while I was in Utah, but the kitchen wasn't organized the way I needed it to be and I felt really frustrated I couldn't find what I needed in order to function in this house (I mean really I felt like I couldn't find a single thing in this house, my room, the kids rooms - you name it and I couldn't find it).
  • Matthew was dealing with the change with a lot of disobedience - backtalking, peeing his pants, disobeying lots of rules.
  • Last week it was raining a ton and COLD.
  • I'm dealing with a lot of personal change. Staying home with the kids full-time and everything that goes along with that is a new way of thinking about myself and my role in this household. Not bringing in money is a bit tough on my ego.
  • I'm feeling guilty about being completely behind on all things Christmas related.

Changes that we've made during the week and this weekend to help make this a smoother adjustment:

  • ORGANIZATION - Working on cleaning up and organizing the house. The bottom is in good condition and I completely reorganized the kitchen to what works better for me. We've made good progress and we only have a little bit of Isabelle's room, our room/bathroom, and the craft room which both are huge undertakings but I think we can finish this week.
  • MATTHEW - Changing my attitude with Matthew. He can make my temper flare and push my buttons to the max effectively. I've had to give myself a serious talking to and really tell myself to keep calm and just keep being consistent. We've moved timeout to the garage with the door closed. I know it sounds extreme but after about 6-7 timeouts this way on Thursday I think Matthew is getting it. He's cooperating better and if he forgets to obey I only get to about count 2 and he's decided he wants to obey. I'm also trying to be better in telling him the great things he's doing. I'm trying to loosen up on things that ultimately don't matter. If he wants to take 1 hour to eat 4 chicken nuggets and he isn't bothering me and is staying at the table then I'm just not going to care anymore. It's a work in progress but I'm hoping in a few months he'll be adjusted and his behavior will really improve.
  • RAIN & COLD - I had a 40% off coupon to the Gap and went and bought myself a new lightweight jacket that is perfect for Oregon. I really love it and it's helping me not be as cold. Me + cold + rain = 1 ornery wife/mommy. The downpour rain really sucks, but a light drizzle I can deal with.
  • SELF WORTH - I'm still working on the whole not working and staying home with the kids bit. Yes, I really love having a flexible schedule and not getting up to get ready for work. I love running errands during the day and having dinner under control before Jordan gets home from work. I love going to the gym during the day so I don't have to go late at night. I love being able to watch a show, read a book or rest while Isabelle is taking her nap and Matthew is having quiet time (a new thing we started too for my sanity). I do miss the other adult interaction and the good work I did. I'm still trying to not feel guilty about not working outside the home, but can attest that being a stay at home mom IS the hardest job out there. I just need to train my brain to think differently about all of this and I do know that being home with them IS really important right now.
  • CHRISTMAS - We did a lot of decorating on Sunday evening and it feels pretty Christmasy now. I'm still way behind on projects but will be buckling down this weekend and next week to get everything done. I did get our stocking advent activities all organized last night and everything printed and in the socks. I almost bagged the whole thing, but I know it will be a fun family Christmas thing to do and finally convinced myself it was better to start late then not do it at all.

I'm working on the glass half full theory and having a positive attitude. We have been impressed with how friendly people have been. My neighbor (who we rent from) invited some of the neighbors over on Thursday so I met about 4 women. 1 of them is LDS as well and she dropped off a ward Christmas party invite on Saturday for that night. We are usually not the type that would have gone, but we are trying to be better about putting ourselves out there. We had a good time and met some people so Sunday wasn't bad at all. We had so many people come up and introduce themselves so we are already feeling really great about our neighborhood, our neighbors, our ward and making new friends. We even had a family invite us over for dinner and went tonight. The wife loves reading too so I think we'll start a bookclub when the New Year starts. I made a call today to a preschool that I've heard has an opening and is really good so I am hoping to hear back tomorrow as Matthew needs some friends and the learning environment of school.

Things are looking up and this weekend and today I have really felt that we are here for a reason and that it's going to be a good place to be for awhile.