Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Backtalk

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Over the past few months I've been bombarded by children who talk back to their parents. Kids who question, resist, fight, and argue when given directions. It makes me insane. INSANE!!!! Do. What. You. Are. Told. Period.

Let me share something that Bee and I have done right (at least in our opinion): Our kids don't talk back. When they are told to do something, they don't argue, attempt to negotiate their way out, question our directions, or give us any opposition.  They do it. Period.

I should say that I don't run my house the way I was raised though. We will allow our children to ask "why" if they are still following our directions. In other words, if they want to understand the process, or the thinking behind our directions, we will explain them. If they are asking "why" in opposition, that's backtalk. Our kids know the difference and so do we. We will happily explain why we are asking them to do something. It gives them a chance to learn and ultimately, it leads to them making better decisions because we don't have to give them directions every single time a similar or the same situation arises. If they understand why they are being asked to do something, they will be more likely to do it themselves the next time.

This isn't to say our kids are perfect all the time and never talk back, but as a norm and a standard in our house, it doesn't happen.  I'm pretty proud of that.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

This and That

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I am drowning in life responsibilities. I told Bee this week that maintaining this blog takes every ounce of effort I can muster. I want to continue the blog, I desperately want to give my kids a catalog of their life. I just don't have time. Ever.

Therefore, here is a post of the most random things I can get my brain to spit out....

  • Blue says the "t" sound for the letter "c." It's told outside. He needs a tup to drink out of. He's going to tall you on the phone. Super, super tute. 
  • Having a woodstove is awesome. Since we've moved here I've discovered that I love burning things.
  • The kids have become less afraid of bugs since we've moved to the country. Bean even took a stinkbug outside recently.
  • My job has not turned out as I expected. Vague, I know, but this isn't the place for explanation. Just a bookmark on that thought.
  • I tried to do this stupid clean hands vs. dirty hands on a slice of bread experiment.  You have your kids touch a piece of bread with dirty hands and then after washing their hands, touch another piece of bread. You put the bread in bags and wait. All the pictures online showed the dirty bread all moldy and gross. Want to know what my two slices of bread look like after a month? Exactly the same. Awesome. Thanks for nothing science. Now my kids are more convinced than ever that hand washing is stupid.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Birthday Planning For Blue

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In a smidge under two weeks, a certain boy will turn three. Some days I can't believe he's only three, some other days I can't believe he's already three.

A few weeks ago I started thinking about the party planning and realized that I was thinking about a different kind of party for Blue than I did for the girls at three. When the girls were three they were in a preschool program and had the same kids in their classes day after day, all year long. They had their third birthday parties at a local play gym (that is gone now) and we invited their classmates. 

Blue is at a different type of program, not daycare, but not a formal preschool that has the same kids in his class every single day. It is different from where the girls were at this age.  As we planned his birthday party, I realized that we don't know many of the kids he is "friends" with and the three boys he does talk about from school are a year older. So as we started planning his party, we decided to stick to family.

We'll be celebrating Blue's birthday in about two weeks with family and a construction theme. I'm sure he will be happy as a clam to get a few presents and be surrounded by love. And, we don't have to surround ourselves with a room full of three year olds. Success all around!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I Stand By My Theory

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Okay, so the title is a little misleading. It's not my theory, it's a theory someone once suggested to me but for the life of me I don't know who said it therefore, I am stealing it as my own.

The theory is this: When your kid is going through an annoying, crappy, annoying, difficult, annoying stage, it is because they are getting ready to go through a major milestone. Every single time one of our kids is driving us to the edge of sanity, very soon thereafter they hit some milestone. Sometimes it is developmental, like crawling, walking, talking, or speaking in multiple word sentences. Sometimes it is a physical milestone like teething (or loosing teeth). I am telling you, it happens every single time.

Recently Blue was going through a horrible stage. He was defiant, nasty, and downright difficult. Then, overnight he started talking in complete sentences. He went from telegraphic speech to full blown sentences and his behavior is so much better.

Bean has also been quite challenging lately. Her "listening ears" have certainly been on the fritz. And now? A grown up tooth is on its way and we are working on a loose tooth. Might I add her ears seem to have recovered?

The Milestone Theory. I swear by it.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Un-Awesome Parts of Parenting

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  • When your kid throws a tantrum because you ask if they want you to make them some scrambled eggs.
  • When you wake up in the middle of the night to a finger drilling you in the forehead, followed by the phrase, "I have big poops."
  • Every morning when you're up before 7:00 even though you don't have to get up to go anywhere or do anything.
  • Poop where it doesn't belong. 
  • Yelling. Lots of it.
  • When you can't say "I told you so" when you really want to because it's not the right thing to do.
  • Snotty noses and kids who scream when you try to wipe them. 
  • Cleaning puke off the carpet (bed, clothes, hair, floor, counter, walls).
  • The simple fact that it takes three times longer to complete a task because kids are in the room. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

For The Teacher

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As an educator, some of the most rewarding moments of my career have been when I got feedback from students telling me that what they learned in class mattered to them. As a result, I always try to share those types of moments with my children's teachers. For example:

When Tot was in first grade, they planted a seed in a cup at the end of the school year. Over the summer, it grew and grew. By the time school was ready to start the following August, Tot had a huge yellow flower in a tiny little cup. I took a picture of her and sent it to her former teacher on the first day of school, wishing her a great first day. I got a wonderful and kind email in return. I've heard that she printed it and still has it hanging next to her desk (it's been a year and a half now). 

Before winter break, Bean's teacher gave each student a pine cone with directions for making a bird feeder. After many, many requests, I got my act together and Bean and I slathered that sucker with peanut butter and rolled it in birdseed. We took a picture and I sent it to her teacher with a little note. I got an emphatic "I love it! Thank you for sharing!" 
(For the record we hung it outside and I'm anticipating a bear at our back door by morning).

Here is how I see it: We all want to know that what we are doing, what we are passionate about, matters. It takes two minutes to upload a picture from my phone and shoot a quick email to a teacher. Why not let them know they are making a difference? Because they are!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Snow Day!

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These kids definitely made the best of some snow these past few days!
We all got in a little sledding!




The best part of sledding? The ride back up.







Think it was cold out?

This picture pretty much sums up my feelings about the day:
The ride back up. Again and again and again.






Mollygirl was super pleased with the day.

The boy's favorite part was digging with the sand shovels. Of course.

Little stinker.