Monday, October 8, 2012

Pictures Say the Words I Don't

Pictures for your viewing pleasure!  It's been a busy summer with so much to share.  For now here are pictures!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Little Man!

Little Man turned 3 on Monday.  It's hard to believe that he has been in our lives for 3 years now.  He is just the happiest little person I know!  He enjoys playing with his sisters, kissing and pretending to eat Noodles' feet and fingers.  He has an amazing imagination and loves to play with his trucks and trains and animals.  

And this is what I wake up to every morning!  What an amazing little person he is!  How could you NOT love him!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Behavior Sheet

Setting:  The end of the last school year.  I'm laying on my bed resting, waiting for the kids to come home from school.
Enters: Sweetie Heart (9)

SH: :With a look of foreboding:  Do you want the good news or the bad news first?
Me:  I'll go with the good news.
SH: : Tosses me a piece of candy:
Me: And the bad news?
SH: :Hands me a piece of paper.  "It's a behavior sheet."

So now I have two options.  I can lecture her about getting in trouble at school.  Tell her how her teacher already called and talked to me about her "bad" behavior.  Tell her I expect her to be respectful and "make good choices" (whatever that means.)

Me: Okay :I look it over:
SH: You have to sign it. And I have to stay after school.
Me: Okay
SH:  :Stands there waiting for what's next.  Daring me, with her look, to lecture her:
Me:  Do you want to talk about it?
SH: No
Me: Okay.  This is between you and your teacher.  I assume she's already talked to you about it.  So I don't feel the need to say anything more about it.  But I'm here to listen if you want to talk about it.  :I sign the paper and hand it back:
Me: Everyone gets in trouble sometimes.  It's not a big deal.  In the last 5 years you've been at school you haven't had a single behavior sheet.  I'm not concerned about this one.  If you start getting more of these we'll need to sit down and talk about it.  But that's all I have to say about it.

Sweetie Heart goes on to tell me all about what happened.  I asked her what she could have done different.  She responded.

We made connections.  She knows I have confidence in her.  She knows that I love her even when she makes mischief.  And we build a relationship of trust.  She knows she can talk to me about things without getting lectured about things.  The afternoon and evening move on in a positive way and we forget about behavior sheet.

Thank you Vicki for helping me see beyond the mischief and live into a positive relationship with my children.

Vicki Hoefle, professional parent educator, has a new book out called Duct Tape Parenting:
A Less Is More Approach to Raising Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient Kids (Bibliomotion,
August 2012), which is available at bookstores nationwide, as well as on all major online
retailers, including Amazon, B&N, Indiebound, and others."

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Little Girl Running

Last year when I started running 5Ks Sweetie Heart decided that she wanted to runt hem with me.  Last year was about me.  I needed to do them alone.  This year is about her.  I told her that whether or not she trained for a 5K she could run in them if she wanted.  The first one of the season came around.  This was my first 5K last year.  It's a nice non-competitive race to raise money for one of the community schools in the area.  I was told by my midwife that there was no way that I should run, so I enlisted Webby to run with her.  
 She was a bit nervous
She and Webby had a wonderful race.  They finished in
34 minutes 35 seconds!  They had a great time and great weather for the race.  Little man had a good time, too, swimming in the rocks.

The following Thursday, Webby ran another 5k with a team from work.  He finished in 22 minutes and some odd seconds.  I guess we might be a family of runners.  Who would have thunk it?!

Report Reflects Life

I just love this!!  It is the first report that Sweet Girl wrote.  Apparently this is part of the kindergarten curriculum.  Looks like they chose a picture then wrote what they know about it.  The last sentence made me smile.   She chose a picture of markers.  This is what it say (in case you can't read it):
Rt Stuf (Art Stuff)
You can mac pichs. (You can make pictures.)
You can culr With Them. (You can color with them.)
You can Filin Them. (You can fill in them.)

(And my favorite)
You have to pt them uwa. (You have to put them away.)

If you can't tell that is a BOLD period at the end of that sentence.
I had a good chuckle when I read that last sentence.  How many kids would write that as part of their report?  Fun stuff!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I have a friend who was pregnant at the same time as I was. She was due a few days before me. She had her baby early as I did. Her son was born on the 7th, mine was born on the 11th. So they are the 7-11 boys. Her son is Big Gulp and mine is Slurpee. Enjoy the pictures!

Friday, April 6, 2012


This is just an amazing video. How many lollipop moments have you had? How often do we actually say thank you to those to have made all the difference in our lives?

Here's another video by him. Insightful man!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Let me introduce you to the newest member of our family. This is Giraffe. He was born Sunday 3 March 2012 at 11:40am (I think.) He was 8lbs 2ozs and 21 1/2 in long. No, you don't get to know his real name on this blog. I like to protect my innocents. I also reserve the right to change his nickname on this blog, like I did with Squeak/ Little Man.

So why the nickname Giraffe? I knew you would ask that question. We didn't have a name picked out ahead of time. We didn't know if it was a boy or girl and we tend to either disagree or not even use the names we talked about so we didn't really bother this time around. When Sweetie Heart asked what his name was I didn't have an answer. She kept calling him by Little Man's name. She said to me, "Mom! He needs a name of his own." So I told her to call him Giraffe. "Why" she asked. "Because I like giraffes and I like him, too!" So there you have it. After 2 days he finally does have a name. Praise be.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Things I've Noticed

Over the past few months, I've been observing myself and my family. Here's some of the things I've learned.

  • I like to be in control (WHAT!?!?!)
  • I nag, badger, speak sternly (my kids call it yelling) to get my way
  • I feel unappreciated most days
  • When the kids are fighting, yelling, screaming, instigating each other, I have a hard time staying out of it
  • I feel like if I could get this "parenting thing" right my kids wouldn't do the above and we'd all be happy and helpful and kind to each other
  • When we are all peaceful and kind, the whole family has more fun together
  • I want to say "yes" to everything my kids ask from me
  • Feel bad when I have to say "no"
  • Compares my worse to others best
  • Has a hard time overcoming the "what will the neighbors think" thing
  • Feels freer when I pass give up a chore to the kids
Sweetie Heart
  • When she feels discouraged she tries to bring everyone down with her
  • She can, when she puts her mind (and prayers) to it, overcome her anger and frustration with others
  • She is quick to react with her temper (see above)
  • She is quick to reset if time is taken with her alone to help her feel connected
  • She feels like she needs to be perfect (hmm, I wonder where she gets that)
  • Time has no meaning, unless it's her time
  • She feels entitled in some things but not everything
  • She has a subtle way of making people engage in a battle with her
  • When something is bothering her she attacks the family without cause
  • She is reliant on verbal cues (ie reminding) to get stuff done and easily "forgets" to do stuff whether she's asked to or it is routine
Sweet Girl
  • When she gets mad or discouraged, she screams to make everyone else miserable
  • When screaming doesn't work, she goes to her room to be alone and resets on her own
  • Does not respond well to verbal cues
  • Responds well to a bell to signal the next step (contribution time)
  • Whines to get her way
  • Time doesn't matter. The future works itself out without her and she's usually fine with that
  • Wants verbal cues to keep her on schedule in the morning
  • Is very generous and loving
  • When asked nicely with respond in kind

Little Man
  • Asks for help doing things he can do by himself
  • Whines and tantrums to get his way. When ignored moves on and forgets it and moves on
  • Screams when Sweet Girl takes his things away to get his way
  • Throws more tantrums when Sweetie Heart is here because she gives into him
  • Like to play in his room alone before taking his nap
  • Is content on his own in his room in the morning
  • Is more capable then I ask him to be

I'm sure there are a ton more. I need to focus more on the positive things, like the fact they can and do make themselves a hot breakfast most mornings all by themselves. They make their own lunches. They help me make dinner. They help can and do play well together most of the time. They do their own laundry. They bathe themselves. They pick out their own clothes and dress themselves. They do their contributions very well. They know 'how' to do lots of stuff, they just don't.

I am hearing small statements of entitlement. Which really bothers me. But it isn't all their fault. I know that I made that beast. Now I need to tame it. Not with retaliation, but with kindness. I should probably start by apologizing that I taught them that first ans then move forward from there. Here is a great post I just read.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I just read a post/ article (how do I figure out which it is?) called "Is My Kid entitled? How to Tell" and it really intrigued me. When I saw the headline I had to go and read it so I could find out if my kids are entitled.

I found out that it's not an easy answer. Are they ever? The answer is yes and no. When I look at the behavior my kids exhibit, sometimes they do act entitled and sometimes they don't. Hmmm, what's a mom to do?

My answer is to reflect. As I look back on my kids and their behavior, I have to say that in the past they have acted more entitled than they do now. I credit the education I got through the Parenting on Track Program and my own and Webby's personal conviction to teach our kids that life will not just be handed to you. Upon reflection, however, I figured out that's exactly what I was doing. There is a difference in inviting your kids to participate in their lives and asking their opinion, or what they want on everything.

I remember as a new mom going to the store and my little cherub saying she wanted something and I would get it for her. "She's only little once," my mind would tell me. Or, "Who doesn't want a little treat every now and then. Surely, she deserves it. She's just spent time at the grocery store with me." Or worst of all, "I want that, too. So I'll use her desires to fulfill my wants." No, a treat every now in then does not make an entitled child. But what about every week. I remember asking my 2 year old what she wanted for lunch. Not a big deal, she has her preferences. But I would also make 2 dinners. One for Webby and I and one for her. Because, honestly, how could I possibly require a child to eat an adult meal. Not that she didn't do it all the time, but when she didn't want to then it was different. I remember my mom telling me she ask my daughter what she wanted to eat and she said, "Cajun Salmon." Nuff said.

So what about now? How is it different? I don't really have all the answers. I can tell you I make one meal for dinner. If you like it , great! If not, too bad. The next meal comes around eventually. No snacks in between and no, you can't have a spoon full of peanut butter and some bread. Breakfast and lunch, on the whole, my kids are in charge of fixing for themselves.

One of the best things I ever did for myself was to teach my kids how to do laundry. I figured out recently, that laundry was one of those things that was making problems with my relationship with my kids. I would do the laundry or "help" them with the laundry. Then I would separate the clothes into individual baskets and stack them in my room or their room. In either place the baskets would just sit until I said I needed them again. Then the clothes would be dumped on the floor with the dirty clothes (yes, there was a hamper in there) and it would get all mixed up and I'd end up washing clean clothes. Does that make anyone else angry? If they baskets were in my room then they would take out the clothes they wanted, when they wanted them. You get the picture.

Now honestly, I don't want something stupid like laundry getting in the way of our relationship. So I came up with this solution.

Each child gets 1 ticket each week. That ticket is good for 1 wash and 1 dry. They don't have to use their ticket and they can keep collecting them as they want up to 5 tickets. If they need to wash something but don't have a ticket they can pay $1 for each wash and or dry. New tickets go in one side, used tickets or money goes in the other. They can separate their clothes by colors and share the responsibility or they can throw all their stuff into one load (that's what I did in college.) I won't say a word about any of it, unless they leave their stuff in the washer or dryer. They can leave it clean in the basket or fold and put it away. Whatever, it's their stuff. They have been trained how to take care of their stuff. What they decide to do is their decision. How nice it is to not have that on my back anymore.

Why did I tell you that? I have no idea. It just came to my head and I posted it. That's how I roll sometimes.

Take a few minutes, if you haven't already, and go read that article (I decided it was an article.) It's very insightful.