Friday, November 27, 2009

"No dying until you've finished your chores."

That is what I told Jeffrey last night as we really cleaned up after a DELICIOUS Thankgsiving dinner that Rob nearly made single-handedly.

As Jeffrey was sweeping he woefully declared that his arms were about to give out, that he had a headache, that his hiccups had only just abated, and a couple of other bodily grievances.

At first I applied the "you may not play the victim role" tactic:
"I have a headache, too, Jeffrey, but the work still needs to get done."
"Yup, this is hard work, isn't it? But it's part of being a family."

But when he said his arms were about to give out on about his fourth round of complaining, I laughed out loud and exclaimed, "I think Jeffrey is dying. Hey, you can't die until you finish sweeping."

Ha ha ha, I'm so funny.

But hey, he stopped complaining. Once he sort of collapsed on the floor, and I was quick to remind him, "No dying until you finish your jobs," and he quickly explained, "I'm just sitting for a moment!"

And then I heard it. The sound & action that every mother wishes for. Jeffrey grunted and spoke out loud to himself something to the effect of "Ok. Gotta get my head in the game and just do it."

HE DECIDED HE WOULD PLUG IN AND PLOW THROUGH the chore. And he got up and did it! In a matter of minutes!!*

Aaaaaaaaah. : )

*If only the kids would realize that in the time they complain, drag their feet, whine, etc (see my all-time FAVORITE parenting comic), they could have completed any requested tasks 3 times over and been off to play.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An Interesting Child

How I love my little children. I really do.

However, I must admit it's quite interesting to have a son who resists so much. You think as a parent that your kids will just love you when you have that spontaneous spark (ok, ok, that ADD spark), and sometimes skip off to the beach, or take them out of school for a little adventure.

But Jeffrey (10 yrs old) fights these things, and is quite put-out about them. A couple of examples:

--Didn't want to go to the beach last week when we had a day off school. Very strongly expressed that. Quite sullen on the drive down (which I politely ignored).

--Didn't want me to take him out of class on Thursday to visit Bryce's 2nd grade Thanksgiving presentation of some reader's theater skits. The entire time I took him out he kept turning to me with a look of "I don't understand why I have to be here." Most kids would JUMP at the chance to get out of class for a half hour.

--When we were at a fall carnival, Jeffrey rode on a 4-wheeled motorized little jeep with a group of kids. They went around a track several times, and because several of the little kids weren't too good with managing their little jeeps, he often was out "ahead" of the pack, separated from them. He called out to us, "Am I winning?"

We assured him he was winning, just for the fun of it. So, when the ride ended and the attendants told the chidren to stop, Jeffrey had arrived at the finish spot first, before the other kids. The attendant told him to go around again, so he ended up coming in behind the other children. He was very upset that they made him "lose."

Only when we went with the little "winning" illusion and told him that he got a victory lap, and explained they gave him a special treat by letting him go around again, did he change his tune and become excited.

Sigh. I do love him. Sometimes I wish that I could teach him that life doesn't have to be so rigid, that it can be fun and enjoyable.

--ps. Once we got to the beach, Jeffrey had a BALL. He loved it.

But, at all our trips to the pool this summer, where he was terrified of getting stung by a bee, he complained the entire 1-2 hours we spent there each visit.

But I did see him smiling at some of the fun poems and skits in Bryce's class this week, even though his body was tense and I could tell he didn't feel like he was in the right place until I let him go back to his normal routine of class.


Then, there's my middle child, Bryce, another interesting child. He is a 100% kind of boy, and very strong-willed. He can be super excited and bouncy and full of energy while he's in the middle of something that interests him, or tearfully sad, or explosively angry.
When he was younger (about age 2-5 1/2), when he was angry he was defiant, and expressed it by hitting, and then his anger would escalate. Sometimes he would start by hitting the air, then the floor or a wall, and then human beings. Many times I didn't catch him and get him to time out before the escalation of anger blew up in my face, and I would have to carry him to his bed when he was in full hitting, flailing mode. I always carried him so he was facing away from me, so I wouldn't get the brunt of his out-of-control anger.

My friend Robin has started a new blog called Parents helping Parents, and I'd really like to hear from all of you. Click on the link and, in the comments, tell us, what has worked? What hasn't worked? What has helped, and with which child? (i.e. what personality types succeed with which parenting tools as far as you've seen?)

Thank you. For as much parenting help as I've received over the last 10 years, I still find myself worrying, doubting, from time to time. Especially this weekend, when Bryce has been crying all day long, bursting into tears over several little things (wait, he was doing this the last two days, too). Is this a case where I should be looking to see what's really causing the crying (I have no idea), or where I need to show tough love and consequate with losing money (2 cents each time, he earns and loses by 2 cents, Jeffrey by 5, Nathan by 1, but I'm the bank, and 1 penny can buy a popsicle, so it all works out nicely) each time he responds with tears instead of being more mature?

Sigh. Again.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fantastic Owl-Themed Baby Shower!!

Last night was my baby shower, hosted by my best friend, Tami.

Since I'm due at the beginning of January, Tami had the shower just before the busiest time of the year (Thanksgiving and Christmas).

I just about died, it was all so perfect. Remember the adorable invitations she already sent out? She kept with the owl theme. Which I love, since I fell in love with my Carter's Tree Tops baby bedding because of the darling owl on the comforter.

The pictures simply don't do the shower justice. The time and effort, the detail, all the special little (and big!) touches made me feel SOOOOO loved. Several girls asked Tami if she'll be their friend, too ("Hint, hint, do MY next baby shower!," they were all thinking). : )

But I'm going to try with the pictures anyway.

Welcome table at a local clubhouse:

This "family tree" has pictures hanging from it, and five of them are all of our baby pictures. 2 of them were from Tami's family. People had to guess Whoo was Whoo, knowing 2 of the pictures didn't belong!

This nest contained the cards for the opening game. Look at those beautiful white feathers!

Here are the cute "guessing" cards. No one guessed all of us right, though most people were pretty good at weeding out the pictures that didn't belong. A lot of people thought Rob's baby pic was me and visa versa. : )

My flash was too strong and too close, so it's hard to see these little miniature blue binkies on their brown-ribbon necklaces, but they were cute. They were the other game. If you said "baby," and got caught, you had to give up your necklace. I think the person with the most necklaces at the end had 5 of them. Of course I lost mine in about the first 2 minutes!

Going around the room, from left to right, after the welcome table, was a nice sitting area.

Next, my woodland animals comforter was set up on display next to the cookie bar.

And what a cookie bar it was! Look at all those gorgeous, fresh home-made cookies, and their presentation! There were little bags you can see at the bottom of the picture that had stickers on them with the owl from my invitation, and people could mix and match cookies and take them home in the little baggies as their party favors.

And look at the beautiful diaper cake in the middle, with the rich brown and blue ribbon, and little miniature binkies attached to each layer!

Swinging around to the right were banquet tables set up end to end, with a blue runner, miniature bird's nests, apples, & fresh flowers that had similar blue and brown ribbons wrapped around their vases (I took a new pic of the flowers as they sat on my mantle this morning, so you can see just how pretty they are).

The tables were next to a mirror, and you can see the food table in the background.

And of course the food was DELICIOUS, since Tami served things I'm craving, like chicken salad sandwiches with cashews, purple grapes, celery & chicken, with a twist of ranch dressing mixed w/ mayo. Mmm mmm. I took this pic before everything was set out, though. Can you see that fresh fruit behind the wraps? Happy sigh. I'm still full.

Here is my yummy & pretty chocolate cake. I know you're asking, "Well, what did everyone else eat?" But I was really nice.
I shared.

Some ladies, eating. I loved seeing so many great friends; "school" moms (we meet when our kids are in the same classes, and bond quickly), neighbors (I have an AWESOME neighborhood, it's one of the reasons I never want to move), and gals from church (I also have a great ward/congregation, yet another reason I love right where I live).
Some ladies, chatting (ok, well, a lot of them stopped chatting when Tami snapped the pic).
More chatty ladies. That's what we do best. I loved every minute!
One of my gifts, a home made "rag" quilt from my neighbor Hope, which I took a picture of this morning.
I would also post the picture of the home-made hooded towel my sneaky cousin Shelly sent Tami from Illinois, that Tami quietly nestled in with the rest of the gifts. But it's already upstairs in the bathroom where the boys were quite excited over who got to use it first.
A picture of Tami and me at the end of the shower. Awww. The perfect ending to a lovely night. (And if you look at the cookie bar you can see it was a hit. Even though Tami replenished it all night, pretty much ALL the cookies went home with the guests.)

Well, actually, it was made even better when she came over to my house later that night and we sat and re-lived the shower together, which I always love to do after something memorable.
Again, what else can I say but give a HAPPY, contented SIGH, and cuddle up with some of the baby's new, soft blankets and stuffed animals? And tease my kids about letting them "eat" a piece of the diaper cake???

Life is good.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Preggo Pics


My mom has been asking for preggo pics.

So, here they are. This was cute, as both Bryce and Nathan came to cuddle up after dinner, and both fell soundly asleep on me.

I think this one was after church. I'm trying to remember to have Rob snap pics here and there so posterity can see how fat I get when I'm pregnant. And FYI, pregnancy clothes that fit me during previous pregnancies are already too small! And I have 2 more months to go!

This pic is also taken on a Sunday ('cuz I actually straighten my hair and wear makeup most Sundays) to show off my new crib bedding for baby #4. I'm in love with this adorable bedding! And look at that precious mobile!

I think this was the weekend of Time Out For Women, which I LOVED!

Do you like my costume? Original, right? (I dressed up as Barefoot and pregnant, of course)

Tami and me at Super Saturday last weekend, in front of the "Sweet Shop" sweets table, so this is the most updated pic. Boy, I'm big. Tami looks gorgeous, though.
And how could I post preggo pics w/out a notable mention going out to Nathan, who one night decided *he* would play pregnant, and fell asleep that way?

The work of a 2 year old. Or a pregnant woman.

You'd think a little kid would overfill the kitty's food, right?

Wrong. It was me. The one time I have fed the cat in, like, the 7 years we've owned her. The whole lid came off when I was pouring.

I'll leave feeding the cat to Rob.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thanks, Tami!

Isn't this the most adorable owl invite?
Can you see the cute glitter she put on the owl's beak, tummy spots, tree branch and leaves?
And look how it's matted with the most perfect bamboo paper (you can feel the texture on the actual card).
And the beautiful brown ribbon!

(Of course I changed the actual address and phone number so the internets can't hunt us down and find out exactly where we live)

; )