That's the question I have been asking myself, pretty much for about 6 1/2 months, now, and I don't know if I really have the answer, but this last week we have really been trying to do what we can to achieve some peace in our house!
These two kids are so sweet and so wonderful, I truly enjoy being their Mom, but it is exhausting work and hard to handle the days when both are clamouring for attention and crying and needing me all at the same time. There are days when I just fall in to bed exhausted and completely wore out at the end of the day. My mom in law always says that the days that she had with her two little ones were the best days of her life and I had begun to seriously doudt her sanity... ;) But, I have been doing some soul searching, some good book reading, and some Bible studying and this week we started a peaceful house "boot camp" at the Konietzki house! And, so far I'd say it's a success. There are a few new ideas that only made it one day, but there are many that will probably last a long, long time!
One of my favorites is the timer on our stove! We have been using it every day, numerous times a day and Hailey and I both LOVE it! She wants me to time everything, now, and I love it, too, because it works wonders with her disposition. She no longer fights me when we have to put the playdoh away, or sit down to read a story, or share a toy with Jackson (she gets 10 min, he gets 10 min), or have snack time (ok, she never whined when it was snack time).
The other thing that I love is the happy/sad jelly bean jars. We have to take a jellybean out of the happy jar and put it in the sad jar when she does something that would make Jesus sad (whine, throw a fit, beg for snacks when I said no, etc), but when she does something that would make Jesus happy, she gets to put a jellybean or two from the sad jar to the happy jar! She really has gotten into doing this and even says, "happy Jesus" when she helps me change Jackson's diaper or gets him a drink of water or some other little thing. I even let her put a jellybean in there sometimes when she just has a cheerful or happy heart! The goal is to go out on a date with her Papa when she gets the happy jar all filled up. I don't know if she gets that part at all, but she definitely LOVES going out to eat with her Papa, so I think it'll be a pleasant surprise someday. The best part about it is that not only do I get to reward her joyful heart, but when she does have a fit or is cranky I distract her by having her put a bean in the jar and then she generally forgets what the big deal was anyways! :)
I'd have to say that my favorite part of our new "peacefilled" days is our scheduled playtime and scheduled quiet time. We do a "high five" schedule each morning and when all 5 of our things are done Hailey gets to have some free playtime before Jackson takes his nap and we sit down to read some stories, then we move on from together story time to Hailey's quiet storytime and mommy's time to read her Bible! It's even nice for me to have a set time each day that I can sit down and spend some time in the Word and in prayer. I won't bore you with our whole mornings worth of a schedule, but we have it pretty much all scheduled out until Papa comes home at 3:30 and it really does make for a way better day for all of us. I think that I had always rejected a schedule, because I don't like to be "tied" down to one, but I have found that my daughter really does thrive on a schedule- she's a lot more like her Papa than her Mommy in that, and because I love Hailey and I love the peace that having a happy daughter brings to my home I love the scheduled days that we have at home together! I'm not a huge fan of staying home a lot to make it all happen, but it really does seem to make for a happier house, so I guess I can get used to the slower pace of life and even learn to embrace it- especially with the summer coming!! :)
Even Korey has noticed a change at our house and remarked how much he liked the fact that Hailey and I both seem so much happier this weekend...so, can a house with two babies be peacefilled?? Probably not all the time, but I do know that with a few tweaks to my life, a change in my heart and my attitude and a little bit more work it can be at least a little bit closer to peacefilled!!!