Loving Your Kids Different Personalities

One of my favorite things about having four kids is how different they are. God has uniquely crafted and made four completely different little people and decided I was the best Mama for them. While they are my greatest gift and I am continually in awe of them and their incredible personalities and giftings, it is also the thing that is the most difficult. There is no mold, there is no cookie cutter. What works for one may not (probably will not) work for another.

So how do we face this challenge? How do we love each of our kids (in spite of their) different personalities?



Know your kids. And keep learning about them.

This is my favorite thing. Learning about my kids. Continually getting to know them. Because each new age is different and I learn new things about them at each new stage.

What makes them smile?

What makes them mad?

What makes them sad?

What makes them feel loved?

What makes them full-on belly laugh?

What motivates them?

What scares them?

What makes them feel safe?

What discourages them?

What encourages them?

I think it's important to know your kids' love languages. How do they best receive love and how do they best give love. (Also important to know this about yourself...you can take a free quiz online for yourself here http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/). This book is an excellent read for parents.

Laura Kate's love language is a tie between quality time and words of affirmation. Any time spent with her she cherishes and feels special. The gift of her words is a treasure and it's also a need she has. She needs to hear words to make her feel affirmed.

Shepherd's love language is acts of service. Nothing makes him feel more loved than when I clean his room for him. He will talk about it all day long, thank me profusely and compliment my cleaning style.

Fischer so far I feel is words and touch. He likes to snuggle, hold hands, and talk!

Archer so far is touch. (I get so curious thinking about the future though as his personality develops!!)

Naturally as a parent, I gravitate towards my own gift: words of affirmation. It takes less effort to express love to LK in her language than it does to clean Shepherd's room or even to snuggle with Fischer sometimes. This is where being aware and then being intentional can really have an affect on their personality.

More than know how your kids feel, I think it's important to be aware of how they THINK.

Laura Kate thinks in stories and ideas. 95% of the time when you talk with her, she is either dreaming of or writing a story or she is making a plan for some great new idea she has. At times, her creativity combined with her brilliance is completely overwhelming to me. While I consider myself a creative person, she far exceeds where my limits are capable of. Many times a day I end up asking her if she is pretending or if it is real. Keeping up with her brain and imagination can be really exhausting and I have to be careful not to end up discouraging her dreams or ideas because of my lack of understanding or let's say "limited vision".

Shepherd is so logical. He needs to know what the rules are, he needs to know where things go, and he needs to know what's going to happen if things don't go according to the rules. He constantly checks to test and see that the rules are the same for other people as they are for him. Fareness is very important to him. What makes this difficult for me, even though I'm a rule follower myself, is that Shepherd's rules and what he feels like the fare thing is, are not often the same things I think they are. It takes great effort to change Shepherd's logic. I have learned with Shepherd, I have to think through things how he sees them and try to understand where he's coming from first in order to help him grow and learn in different scenarios. I also have to be careful because he has a lot of buttons to be pushed and if I'm not careful, I ended up mashing on them without thinking through to consequences for he and for the family as a whole.

Most of the time, Fischer thinks while is in the middle of acting. He figures things out my doing them. He didn't think through that pouring a glass of orange juice into chocolate milk would taste really nasty and would likely make a mess. He just did it and figured it out along the way. This is maddening to me some days. But remembering this is how he is wired, helps me parent him better and in a way that is going to make a lasting impact.

Obviously, I'm still learning about Archer. So far I know that he is very observant and imitates waaay more than my others did at this age, both with speech and action. He is constantly watching his siblings and try to do and say what they do. I have a feeling people are going to be important to him.

Be intentional.

I struggle to type this part because I have a really hard time with the "carpe diem" mommy heart. 4 kids in less than 8 years has meant more survival mode days that thriving mode days. Often, I do not have the capacity to seize every sweet moment. And that's not necessarily what I'm getting at with being intentional. I'm thinking more big picture chunks of time than the day to day roller coaster. Being intentional to know your kids in this (fill in the blank) season. This is something that can be accomplished in the small pockets of time you do find yourself having from time to time. Also, those times you find yourself worrying about a particular thing for a particular kid, replace the worry with intentional thought: How can I parent this child well in the middle of this situation or circumstance?

Look for the good over the bad. 

Let's be honest, multiple children with varying personalities, love languages and preferences is enough to make us want to quit the day before it starts sometimes. It is hard work and it is really easy to only see the challenges and many times we overlook the precious gifts that come from each one.

There are practical ways you can do this. Sometimes just being more aware each morning when you start your day can help.

Because I'm a list maker, I started making lists of my favorite things about my kids on my "lists" app on my phone. I try to make notes when they say or do something really funny or sweet and sometimes I just write down the things I like about them. This is especially helpful on days when one personality is more challenging than the others. It really helps me shift my perspective and look towards the beautiful treasures they give to me every day.

I think looking for the good really helps me as I'm growing as a parent. I really want to do a good job at this whole mom gig. I really want to love them well. Looking for the positive helps encourage me along the way.

Related:
The Question I Get Asked The Most About Having Four Kids


Today my friends in the Babywise Friendly Blog network are each talking on the topic of "love". Check out these posts as well as our Pinterest boards for even more tips and tricks!

Chronicles of a Babywise Mom: Self Worth Comes Vertically, Not Horizontally
The Journey Of Parenthood: Lessons I Learned About Love, From My Six Year Old
Mama's Organized Chaos: What Is Love?


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Be sure and "like" the Wiley Adventures page on Facebook right HERE

And follow me on bloglovin! 

I sell Scentsy to help generate extra income for my family and to make the world a better-smelling place. Check out my website here: http://carriewiley.scentsy.us  

This post may contain affiliate links - which means that if you clicked on a link and purchased an item, I may receive a small commission.  THANK YOU for supporting this blog! 

Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

Carrie's Chicken {Recipe}

I'm sharing my family's favorite recipe with you. When I say it is everyone's favorite, what I mean is that Shepherd eats it, all of it, every time, and requests it. And he doesn't with anything else. (Except chicken nuggets, but since his stomach is made out of them, I don't count them).

The recipe got its name because I made it so often that some friends of mine just deemed it "Carrie's Chicken" and it stuck. For the record, I do not own this chicken. I just kind of pulled together different recipes from Pinterest and it evolved into what it is today.


Ingredients:

4 large chicken breasts
1/2 cup of white vinegar
dry italian dressing mix
1 block of cream cheese
1 box of your favorite pasta (Don't be boring!! Do something fun here! Seriously, bust out the wagon wheels or twists!)
**If you like to hide veggies in your kids food, feel free to toss up to 1/2 a cup of pureed cauliflower in with it. I didn't today, but I have before and no one knew **

In your crock pot (lined with a disposable liner of course...come on yall... don't make this harder that you have to!), put your chicken in (mine's still frozen), sprinkle the italian dressing on top, pour in your vinegar and plop your cream cheese right on top. (You can save the cream cheese till later if it makes you nervous, but I've never had it do anything funky.) Put your lid on and let it cook 6 hours on low or 4 on high.


When it's done, set your pot to boil to cook your pasta and while that's happening, remove your chicken to shred. I prefer not to wait for the chicken to cool and not to scorch my fingers, so my preferred shredding method is in my kitchen aid. You just plop it in hot, use your regular ole wedge blender and turn it on low. It bumps around a lot and then you get this perfectly shredded chicken. Watch it though, it can turn mushy if you let it go too long.



In the meantime, take a whisk and blend the remaining sauce and cream cheese to make it a smooth, creamy sauce.


Add your shredding chicken back into the sauce and blend it together.



After your pasta is cooked and drained, toss it with a little olive oil and then add it to your saucy chicken.


Serve and enjoy!!





Also, this makes a great freezer meal! I actually stocked my freezer before Shepherd was born (apparently back then I used a can of cream of chicken soup too.... I prefer it without it, but if it tickles your fancy, go for it!) with a couple of these. Just throw everything in a ziplock except the pasta! Thaw overnight in the fridge and then toss it in your crock pot in the morning! 

____________________________________________________________________________
Be sure and "like" the Wiley Adventures page on Facebook right HERE

And follow me on bloglovin! 

I sell Scentsy to help generate extra income for my family and to make the world a better-smelling place. Check out my website here: http://carriewiley.scentsy.us  

This post may contain affiliate links - which means that if you clicked on a link and purchased an item, I may receive a small commission.  THANK YOU for supporting this blog! 

Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

Disney World 2015 {Day 5}

Day 5 was our Animal Kingdom Day.

I know I've kind of said this about everything, but Animal Kingdom is our favorite. It's not everyone's favorite, I know. But Kyle and I both agree that they have done a fantastic job of keeping the authenticity of Africa and Asia, two of our very favorite places. And since we have both been to both Africa and Asia, we love the opportunity to take our kids "there"minus the 15+ hour plane ride.

The shirts I made for this day were my favorites that I made for the trip. If you don't get it, watch the Lion King and then try again.



We woke up early because we wanted to get to the park right when it opened to head to Kilimanjaro Safaris. We had a FastPass for later in the morning, but each trip the animals are different and they are the most active early in the mornings. We headed straight there and walked right on to the ride. Get excited to see Fischer in some pictures today!







After the Safari (the first time) we headed to Expedition Everest to use our Fast Pass, but took the scenic route. One of the things we love the most about Animal Kingdom is just walking around and getting the experience of a different culture. Totally our jam. 






We used rider swap for the Fast Pass and Kyle and Laura Kate rode first, because she is a maniac and turned out to be quite the adrenaline junky. While they were on the ride, Shepherd somehow fell and scraped his knee and it was bleeding to the point of needing a band-aid. I of course, had everything BUT a bandaid in my backpack, so I took the three boys back all the way across the part to the first aid station to get a band aid. After that was taken care of, we headed to meet back up with Kyle and LK. LK decided to ride with me again because she loved it so much. I loved the thrill (but not the heights) and I loved making a memory with my girl. When we got through, Uncle Joel was getting on the ride and LK chose to ride with him... so 3 times in a row. It was her favorite ride in all of Disney World.




After Everest it was then time for our FastPass back at the Safari. I know this may seem redundant to some people, but we truly love it so much and the atmosphere is so great.


It was lunch time and we had some whiney, hungry kids. We went back to the Harambu Market for some African street-style cuisine. We didn't want to eat a huge lunch because we had reservations at 2:30 for the Tusker House which is our favorite restaurant at Disney. I sure am using the word "favorite" a lot... it's just the truth! 2:30 is such a random lunch time, but it was the ONLY time we could get a reservation for and we didn't want to miss it.


After our first lunch, along with Joel and Ashley and their boys, we headed to the Lion King show. Which is phenomenal. They had moved the location since our last trip and to be honest, I preferred the old one. This new one made me feel like cattle being driven into the arena for the show. Even with a FastPass we ended up waiting for a WHILE.



But it was totally worth the wait because the show is seriously the best show at Disney World. Very very talented performers.


After the show we headed to Tusker House to meet up with the whole group for our lunch reservation. Tusker House is a Character Dining experience and Breakfast and Lunch are a beautiful Buffet. We have actually eaten all 3 meals there and I think of all 3, Breakfast on our last trip was our favorite. Regardless, the food is top notch and the characters are the Mickey classic characters (minus Minnie) in Safari gear. This is when Fischer finally perked up for some pictures... because Mickey. (This is so interesting to me because on our last trip it was the EXACT SAME WAY for Shepherd. He was so scared of all of the character interactions until he met Mickey at Tusker House).











Because of our awkward lunch time, and also because Animal Kingdom closes earlier than any other park at 6:00 (for the cast members to be able to care for the animals), we skipped naps. Some people handled this better than others. Also adding to the adventure, it started pouring down rain. I mean a full-on gully washer. We headed to Dinoland hoping to be able to get some rides in before the park closed. In the middle of all of that, Fischer ended up completely passing out in the stroller (covered with a clear shower curtain) and Archer was asleep in the Ergo under my poncho. Super comfortable.... not!! I kept trying to make sure he could get air and I was trying to push the single stroller with a sleeping Fischer while trying to keep the cover on it. All the while Kyle was pushing the double stroller with LK and Shep under that cover. So because of all of that debacle and because it was coming down so hard, we didn't end up riding anything.  We ended up heading back to a few little shops, including my favorite little shop where I got my favorite flip flops on our last trip and this trip I ended up with a really cute Japanese Tea Pot, and then heading out to our resort a little early. It was our last night at our resort and we needed to get packed up and ready to check out the next morning. 

See all of the posts from our trip here:







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Be sure and "like" the Wiley Adventures page on Facebook right HERE

And follow me on bloglovin! 

I sell Scentsy to help generate extra income for my family and to make the world smell better. Check out my website here: http://carriewiley.scentsy.us  

This post may contain affiliate links - which means that if you clicked on a link and purchased an item, I may receive a small commission.  THANK YOU for supporting this blog! 

Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

Dear Archer (One Year)



Sweet Boy,

It is so hard to believe you are already a year old. Where has the time gone? It is such a bittersweet thing, you growing older. I have watched you grow before my very eyes and one minute I am amazed and loving seeing you explore and learn all the things, and the next minute I am teary eyed and sad, grieving the loss of you as a tiny baby.

You have such a special personality and I love to think that the Lord was saving it for me because you are my last. You love to snuggle, and you give me these grins at just the right moments that completely melt my heart.

You are so happy and content. You find so much delight in our family and you bring so much joy to anyone in the same room as you.

-You weigh 23.3 lbs and are 30 inches long

-You wear size 5 diapers and size 12-18month clothes, and size 3 shoes

- You are eating so much better. You definitely have the hang of solids, although you are picky about what you like. Bananas are by far your favorite food. You dance in your high chair whenever you see me getting one out for you.

-You are completely weaned. You are doing great with your sippy cup though and we have you drinking soy milk since you are showing sensitivity to dairy.

- You are still not pulling up yet, but have successfully learned to sit up by yourself as well as army crawl. We are working with Early Intervention services and an OT and PT to work on the low muscle tone in your arms and build up some strength. You are showing great progress!

- You got some fun new light up toys for Christmas and you are loving all the buttons and sounds.

- You seem to have a special relationship with each of your siblings and you continue to watch their play and laugh at them.

-You have a special affinity for the button on Mommy's surge protecter and LOOOOOVE turning everything off.

- You are sleeping some nights all night, but some nights are waking up. We have had a long stretch of sickness, traveling, teething, holiday schedules, and now ear infection that have greatly affected your (our) night time sleep. We are working very hard to get you back to a place of sleeping all night.

-You take two, two hour naps every day and sleep beautifully.

- You love to babble and talk and sing! You can say a few words: Daddy, Hi, Hi There!, nana, Mama,  Gaga, all done, and light.

- We ended up having to have a small family-only party for you this year due to sickness! Boo!! You still loved your cake though!

We are so in love with you Archer Leigh, and are so thankful God gave you to our family! Happy First Birthday!

Love,
Mommy


















____________________________________________________________________________
Be sure and "like" the Wiley Adventures page on Facebook right HERE

And follow me on bloglovin! 

I sell Scentsy to help generate extra income for my family and to make the world a better-smelling place. Check out my website here: http://carriewiley.scentsy.us  

This post may contain affiliate links - which means that if you clicked on a link and purchased an item, I may receive a small commission.  THANK YOU for supporting this blog! 

Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

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