Wednesday, June 30, 2010
What I mostly get is that there are no quick and easy answers here. After writing yesterday's post, I tried really hard to make things better today, and incorporated some of the suggestions offered. Here are my thoughts:
- I paid attention as much as I could. I am prone to wander away with my thoughts (or just mealtime preparations), and ignored children seem to fight more to get my attention (I feel dumb for mentioning this).
- We moved our bodies in (somewhat) constructive ways. Blue had a rec center class today, and we also spent a good deal of time racing around the house. When I thought we might descend into chaos, we took a walk, even though it was hot, threatening thunderstorms, and I had other things to do.
- I tried to get a few quality minutes in with each kid so that they felt like I was paying attention. For Pink, this was during Blue's class, and for Blue, during Pink's nap. I didn't do any special projects today or any significant meal prep so that freed up some time.
- I tried really hard not to raise my voice. I'm kind of a loud person, so my "inside voice" is already at increased decibels, and I tend to shout up the stairs rather than walk up and talk to whoever's attention I'm looking for.
- I checked out the site from Vanderbilt University recommended by Kim. Certainly a lot of good information there about how to help little ones build pro-social behaviors.
Thanks to everyone for offering support and similar stories. I believe we are all trying our very hardest to raise our kids to be happy, healthy, functioning members of society, and I appreciate all the moms who offer a listening (blogging?) ear when I become the unhappy, unhealthy, totally non-functioning person who can't get her kids to behave.
This, too, shall pass - and one day, they'll have kids of their own, and we can snicker...
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I blame his mother. She's an only child and never had any sibling relations to deal with. Or maybe his father since he's the oldest of a bunch and knew all the tricks. Regardless, I need help. Ideas. Something. My usual parenting technique (thank you, Kazdin method) is to reward and encourage appropriate behavior and (try to) ignore inappropriate behavior. How do I reward someone for not hitting?
Anyone out there with kids about as far apart as mine that has successfully dealt with this, please, give me some hints.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I love to bake, but in the summer, anything with yeast makes me thrilled. It rises at supersonic speeds, and if I'm a little behind on my timing, a few minutes out on the patio makes up for it. This morning before church, I baked 5 dozen rolls. The yeast start practically climbed out of the bowl, and I had to rearrange my other activities because instead of an hour to rise, the rolls were ready to go in the oven after 20 minutes on the counter. A few days ago, I made oatmeal bread, which is generally kind of hit or miss for me because the dough is so heavy and the yeast start is unusual. Nevertheless, a few minutes outside, and everything turned out fine.
The only problem with everything being the temperature of a warm oven is that turning on the actual oven is not so appealing. Although, I might just be able to get around turning the oven on - I'm pretty sure that it was close to 350 degrees in the attic the last time I went up, maybe I can just bake up there.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
"No, I'm busy"
"Pink, it's time to go"
"Just a minute"
"Pink, you can have some lipstick if you get dressed right now"
In keeping with our summer of over scheduled lessons (ie, golf, tennis, other sports, swimming lessons, piano), we signed Pink up for ballet lessons. She thought it was a marvelous idea, and has spent the last week gearing up for the lessons by telling every member of the family that they would not be allowed into the room for her lessons - we would all have to wait outside.
She practiced before we left by demonstrating fifth position:
Of course, once we came into the classroom, Pink's big talk about everyone waiting outside turned into a plea to hold mommy's hand and sit on her lap. I managed to get 3 feet away for a second to snap this picture before Pink noticed and insisted that I sit within arms reach. What's so scary about a ballet teacher?
With her hand firmly in mine, we practiced running on tiptoe making "princess" and "beachball" arms, pointing our toes, and some stretches. For a first class, not too bad. To hear her tell it, she had a marvelous time and was totally into it - and earned a teddy bear sticker for all her hard work.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
So that she could get to my lipsticks, which I keep at the very back of my counter (after discovering that "in the drawer" was not safe).
After trying out several options, Pink finally settled on this one, and wore it proudly for about 1 minute until I attacked her with a tissue (before she attacked my white sheets in the next room).
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Fortunately, I will get to see Ann live and in person later this summer - all by myself. I hadn't realized it before, but I have never taken a vacation without either my parents or my husband. Crazy! I've done plenty of solo travel for work, but never for fun. This one will be for fun. Ann and I will be at the BlogHer conference in NYC this summer, and I am so excited I can't hardly stand it. Not only is she a fabulous tech guru and resource, she seems to have no real need for sleep. This is my kind of girl! Can't wait to see you, Ann!
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
As I get older, and get to watch more and more kids grow up from an adult's perspective, I see how important dads are - especially the ones that are trying. As in, trying to be involved with their kids, trying to do the best they can, and trying to teach the values they believe in. I am grateful to Red's Dad and my Papa for trying so hard to raise the two of us, and for trying to be involved with our kids, even though we've moved them so far away from their grandparents.
Here is Grandpa with Blue, doing chair races. Grandpa raised 8 kids, has 6 grandkids, and acquired 4 daughters-in-law. That's a lot of people to remember - yet he still knows all our names and relevant information. Thanks for teaching Red how to work and about the responsibility he has for his family - it shows in the way he raises his own son and takes care of us.
Here is Opa. He has always called me his favorite daughter (so what if I'm an only child...), called Red his favorite son-in-law, and carried that on with Blue and Pink. It always makes everyone feel special. Thanks for always believing in me, and making me believe that there wasn't anything I couldn't do if I put my mind to it. Thanks for teaching me to ride a bike and drive a stick shift car. I can't imagine how you survived that with your sanity. Thanks for showing by your example that it's never a burden to go out of your way to help someone or to share what you have - even if that's only a smile.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
In the last few weeks, I have started attending exercise class 3 days a week with a group from church. Not that impressive unless you consider the last exercise class I attended more than once was in college, and I needed the credits. I've ridden my new road bike an incredible number of times, and at unusual times of the day: crack of dawn, check; dusk, check; 95 degrees in the middle of the afternoon, check that too. I've taken my first piano lesson ever, and practiced the 5-note version of "Ode to Joy" enough to make my children run in fear. And I've committed to myself that I will write at least one blog post a day until the BlogHer conference in August.
But now I find that the mania is backfiring, because exercise class comes really early, but I can't go to bed until I blog...thank goodness summer solstice is almost upon us, and the daylight hours will be lessening.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
stiffles: stubble + prickles = what daddy's face feels like when he hasn't shaved
next by me: as in, "sit next by me", which is something between "by" and "next to"
litty bitty: little bit or itty bitty, I'm not really sure, but I know it's not very much
mommymommymommy: my new name; apparently the old one wasn't getting attention quickly enough
Pink is also working on her "s" sounds at the beginnings of words, so we either hear a lot of "SSSSS" or none at all, either of which is hilarious.
Blue couldn't get enough. One of his friends from preschool happened to be there, and he was so grateful to have someone to pal around with.
Friday, June 11, 2010
- pandora on the go: I exercise in the mornings with a group of people in our church gym. One morning, no batteries for the CD player - enter my phone with pandora, and we all got to sweat to my Gwen Stefani mix.
- google sky: point the phone at the sky and learn the names of constellations, stars, and locations of planets. I even found the polar star for the first time ever. I'm a geek, but I'm okay with it.
- live navigation: the woman who tells me when to turn has saved my skin more than once.
- gps: okay, this is silly, but I'm totally obsessed with the geocaching thing. I'm trying to talk random people into playing with me now - since I've already exhaustively nagged my friends and family to go find stuff in the woods.
- email in the park: I think the grandparents have gotten more pictures of the kids in the last few weeks than all of last year. "Click, send, I'm in contention for daughter(& -in-law) of the year"
- mickey mouse clubhouse (or anything YouTube): the kids think it's amazing that mickey can sing to them while we are waiting in line for something.
I'm a little embarrassed about how long it took me to be talked into this thing - Red really had to go the extra persuasion mile. I'm slow to adopt new technology. I won't even tell you how long it took me to start paying bills online. The only drawback is that I spend most of the day trying to convince myself that it's me that's getting smarter, and not the phone.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Have you ever paid the price for not paying attention?
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
I caught them in a rare moment of quiet peace in Blue's bed.
Maybe what they really need is to share a room...
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Have you tried geocaching? I hadn't, until I saw a little description on Wendy's blog (sorry, she's private, or I'd link), and curiosity got the better of me. I looked up the geocaching website during dinner, signed up, and convinced the kids that this was a good use of our evening - with a little help from this video:
So, we looked up our closest cache, put the dog on a leash, and went on a treasure hunt with a GPS-enabled cell phone. Lo and behold, we found it (see Pink with the container under her arm?)!
In retrospect, the 95 degree temperatures, mosquitoes, and black-panting-dog-who-hates-heat should have been a little bit of a deterrent, but what's a little suffering in the name of treasure hunting fun?
There are over a million geocaches out there, and I can't wait to find some more. Long live technology!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
* Rest stops are not for resting, they are for running around like mad. Resting is done when strapped into a seat with nowhere to go.
* Stopping to eat is futile. Kids who have been strapped in need to move. Feed them while they are strapped in. Eating kills time, and keeps tired parents awake while driving. Don't ask what my upholstery looks like.
* Strange amusements. I found these wax sticks in the dollar bin at my local craft store. They provided 2 full hours of entertainment on a recent plane ride. Better than the game system, far quieter, and lighter too.
* Leave early, stay late. If you can manage it, travel while the kids are supposed to be sleeping. They might sleep in the car/plane/train/boat.
* New toys. They don't have to be fancy or flashy, but something small and interesting, preferably in a difficult-to-open package will buy a lot of mileage.
* Don't forget the lovey. Whatever my kids love (we call them snuggle kitty and new bear), they travel with us. We're down to just one snuggle kitty because we lost one in the Honolulu airport, so they now travel exclusively inside suitcases, but when we get where we're going, the kitty and bear are there.
* Hotel pool (thanks to my friend Charlotte at Memories for Later for this one). The hotel pool will tire out a small child so much that they will sleep no matter how unusual their surroundings - and it might be their favorite part of the vacation anyway.
* Dishsoap-soaked paper towels. This one sounds odd, but before we leave, I drizzle a little dishsoap (we've already established that I like Dawn) on some paper towels and let them dry for a day, then fold them and put them in a Ziploc bag in my luggage. They go through security because they are not "wet", and it lets me do some dishes - like reusable water bottles and sippy cups at any hotel sink.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Swirled the oil around a little, and found out that even though there wasn't very much of it, it stuck to our fingers when we put them in the water: