Sunday, January 31, 2010

Little Miss April

Ok, so my cousin April is totally going to hate me for this, but it's too funny not to share. For those of you not familiar with my family, I grew up with my cousins living across the street from my family, and since April--the oldest--is only six months younger than I am, we inevitably were each other's playmates.

For those of you that don't know her or haven't heard stories about her growing up, she was always a bit mischievous and VERY curious, always dabbling in the unexpected. Like the time I discovered her toothpaste-and-toilet paper sculptures drying on her bathroom windowsill. (A very interesting medium worth trying for any artists out there.) She was always enamored with candle wax and the different shapes and forms you could melt a candle into or what wax would do when poured into different mediums. Like the time she poured the candle wax into the toilet at my house. Why? Who knows! Fast forward 15 years, and we now know she was fine tuning her scientific discovery skills for her life-saving job as an ER nurse practitioner.

I say all this to explain, I think it's strange and unique that I see so much of my cousin's personality in my daughter. I mean, my child is as curious as it comes. Like April, she has no real interest in toys...only the real thing will suffice. (Check out my last blog for some prime examples.) She doesn't name her baby dolls because well, they're not real are they? So the name Baby Doll will do just fine. When she's awake, she NEVER STOPS, and her attention span for something she really could care less about is less than 10 seconds. She must always be the center of attention, and must always be in constant interaction with others in the room. There is no such thing as playing quietly or playing by herself, but especially not both at the same time. Her fascination with all things technology related promises to be VERY expensive in the future, and you never quite know what is going to happen when you leave her alone and things get quiet.

Tell me if this is normal!!! .... The other day I left her downstairs watching her Barney video, like usual, while I put Weston down for his morning nap. I come downstairs expecting her to be laying on the floor like she always is when she is no where to be found. I call her name, to no response, when my eye catches hers from across the room. She is now frozen in position, about to climb down from her booster seat. The look on her face is VERY apprehensive. It's obvious she's waiting to see if she's about to get in trouble. My eye then rests on the filleted Gogurt package laying in front of her, and my jaw drops in amazement. Let me see if I can paint this picture.

While I was putting Weston down for a nap....1) Savannah decided she was hungry and needed a snack. 2)She goes to the freezer (which is on the bottom of our refrigerator) and fishes out a frozen Gogurt. (Which by the way, is an excellent snack--much healthier than a frozen push-pop and not messy at all compared to serving it in its unfrozen state.) 3.) Now faced with the dilemma of opening the Gogurt, she goes to her coloring basket and retrieves her scissors. (These are safe scissors that the two of us have used together on many occasions, and I have full confidence in her scissor-using abilities, or they would not have been stored in a place she could reach.) 4.) She snips off the end of the Gogurt, but is unable to actually push up the frozen yogurt that is inside. (I even have to run it under water for a few seconds before I am able to push it up.) 5.) She pulls a stool over to our silverware drawer and fishes out a fork. (What made her decide to do this? I have no idea.) 6.) She then uses the fork to fillet open the Gogurt down the seem of the plastic packaging on the side, so she in turn is able to dig out the yogurt with her hands and eat it. All while managing not to really make a mess, AND she ate it in the kitchen at her seat at the table.

Seriously?!?!?!?!?! I taught sixth graders that didn't have these kind of problem solving skills!!! So, I'm thinking that if April turned out to be a nurse practitioner, I may have a future surgeon on my hands=) Any suggestions for how to challenge the mind of a child with such fine, tactile motor skills will be greatly appreciated! Because I'm at a loss.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Orlando or Bust!

So this past weekend, we took our first official road trip not only of the new year, but our first with two kids! Let me was interesting, very entertaining, and so much fun! I love my Sis and her hubby Tim. They made the visit so easy even though all six of us were crammed into their two bedroom apartment along with Riley, their BIG black lab mix puppy. Savannah was awesome, even though we juggled her from one bed to the next at bedtime, since she slept on the hide-a-bed. We couldn't have asked for better weather! 60's & 70's--can't wait 'til you get to GA! All-in-all, we really had a great time of visiting, fun, and just going with the flow. I miss having my sis around back home, but it's nice to have someone to go visit elsewhere also=) Enjoy the trip highlights in pictures!
(We drive down late Thursday afternoon. We borrowed a portable DVD player to help pass some time, and Savannah was beside herself. She was so excited that she got her own "humpooder"--AKA-"computer". Can you tell from the picture that we just recently became a laptop only family? She's already got the finger motion down!)
(We had a long day and night Thursday, so we decided to just chill at Aunt Lah's place on Friday. Little did she know that she had the best two-year-old toy my little girl could imagine in her own home on the coffee table--marbles and candles--wahlah! Savannah entertained herself all weekend with these, calling them her "neighbors"? Huh? Your guess is as good as mine.)

(Here she is again with Weston chillin' in the foreground doing his thing =)

(And of course when candles weren't good enough, Weston's seat can be entertaining.)(My smiley little man in his BeBe Pod seat.)(Saturday morning we had fun at the dog park then off to Downtown Disney that evening for a memorable dinner at the restaurant T-Rex. Could we have asked for a better table?!? Look at that Triceratops!)(Ok, you know everyone has to do this...)(...and no child, big or small, can resist riding a carousel.)(Sisters=)(Sunday we were able to attend the opening service of Genesis Church where Tim Grandstaff--friend of ours--church planted from our home church of WestRidge Church. Then it was off to Oceola Park for the day. This is a horrible picture of Savannah, but a good shot of our stroller which is AMAZING! I highly recommend this double stroller to anyone with kids close in age--A-M-A-Z-I-N-G--, and well worth every penny. Savannah loves the back seat. Phil & Teds strollers--check it out!)(Weston lovin' his Mama and his second swing ride.)(And here's my little girl, one last time, although she's not lookin' so little in this picture =( She's growing up way too fast--and Joey, I can't think of a better picture to use for your Facebook profile. =)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sweet and Sour

(Blowing bubbles, and that sweet smile=) )
Well, let me begin with Weston. He's well. He's sweet. He's five months old and weighs 20 pounds! He loves his jumpy seat and his bottle--not such a big fan of his solid foods, but he's cruising right on through all of them. His attention span is so much greater than Savannah's ever was, so it's so much fun to watch him really study, play, and enjoy all his toys. We're still working on rolling over, but he will get it soon. In the meantime, I am just completely enjoying his laid back attitude and sweet, sweet smile that just melts your heart. Oh, and he's started blowing bubbles too, which is so cute with his little half-smile, but mostly it's still just drool and spit-up still coming out. As the doctor said the other day, "He's as mellow as she (Savannah) is energetic." To which I promptly replied, "Thank the Lord!" (After eating prunes for the first time.)(He thinks Savannah is the most amusing thing in his whole world.)
Because Savannah, oh my sweet Savannah, has hit her terrible twos full stride. Her mouth never stops, literally. Her curiosity and independence is insatiable, and she is a people magnet. She's cute and she knows it. I could sit and listen and watch her all day and be exhausted just doing that. The hardest part about this stage right now is one minute she's being adorable and the next she's disobeying and demanding her own way. The sweet and sour of my day is disciplining and praising. Quite often I move directly from one into the other at the blink of an eye.
(Bathtime with "brudder".)
I'm terribly afraid that in the midst of it all, I've become "that" mom with "that" kid at her preschool. She only goes two days a week, but since the first of the year, I've sent her to school with pull-ups for boys, shoes that won't stay on her feet, two left feet shoes (one brown, one black), and it doesn't help my "that" mom look that I can't seem to get a drop of make-up on before I load both kids in the car to be at school by 9a, so I come walking in every day haggard and frumpy like I just got out of bed, when literally I've been trying to feed two, potty train one, and keep two dogs from messing in the house all morning. Sigh...I can only hope that no one judges a book by it's cover. Ha! Yeah right.

Doesn't help that Savannah bit someone in her class last Tuesday, then proceeded to be part of the pushing-gang on Thursday. first experiences of disciplining after the fact when we got home went remarkably well, all things considered. Savannah was extremely repentant about the biting, and I'm 99% sure, I left an impression with her to be sure she will NEVER attempt that again. (As her teacher said, every child usually has to try it once.) We had a long talk about the pushing as well, and I think I finally got through to her. I guess we will see when I pick her up on Tuesday next week.
(My little mommy.)
In the meantime, as a result of her actions at school, I've really started hammering home on the immediate obedience factor. My daughter is the queen of stalling, distracting, changing the subject, or sticking to the subject repeatedly if needed. I often find myself sucked into her games and distracted myself from getting her to obey. No more. I have a new found single-mindedness in making her respond with "Yes ma'am" and promptly obey, and if she chooses not to obey then I am immediate in the discipline, no matter how small the task. This is hard, but I've decided if I can't get her to immediately obey me the first time I ask her to do something, how can even hope that she will obey her teachers at school. Molding such a strong will and magnetic personality without igniting a spark of rebellion or crushing a sweet spirit is a daunting task. "Lord give me wisdom...LOTS of it. Help me to discipline in love, not in anger, and be consistent to teach her what is right."

Examples: I tell Savannah, "Please get down from the stool." Savannah responds in one of several ways. 1) "Huh?"--complete ignorance, as if she didn't understand me 2) "No wanna get down, mommy."--defiance 3) "Mommy, need my duice, pease."--subtle distraction using good manners to butter me up 4) "Mommy, what's that?--blatant distraction, pointing at nothing in particular 5) She doesn't respond at all and just kinda freezes in the act. I mean, seriously? I often end up repeating the command five times before I realize what I'm doing! No more...the expectation is she gets told once, and then I expect to hear a "yes ma'am" and see some obedience. Anything else must be disciplined because I'm convinced she knows exactly what she's doing. Don't you?
(Classic. Oh, and that's a HandyMan magazine nonetheless.)
She has also learned the fine art of manipulation. We started potty training last Thursday because when a child brings you her diaper and says, "Mommy, need change me." It's time. Because she does go to school and because we are on the go so much, this is going to be a longer, more drawn out process than most people tell me it takes. I'm fully prepared to still be changing messed outfits until school is out, but the bottom line is I'm determined. No turning back at this point. However, Savannah has quickly discovered that using the potty is a fine way of getting out of LOTS of finishing her breakfast, sitting in time-out, etc. For now, she's learned that anytime she says, "Mommy! Need go potty!" I quickly jump into action and whisk her away to the nearest toilet; therein, she gets to get out of doing or not doing something she does or does not want to do. I always promptly return her to the task, and she usually always goes tinkle just a little, but regardless, it's frustrating to know you are being taken advantage of by a two year old.

Like when I was rocking her at bedtime the other night. "Savannah, what song do you want to sing?" "Sing ABC's mommy." "No, mommy doesn't want to sing ABC's. How 'bout Jesus?" She cocks her head at me, and in the most nonchalant, whatever voice you can imagine, she says, "Daddy do it." To which I then promptly begin singing the alphabet song. Ouch! I just couldn't stand up to being compared to Joey and falling short. Sheesh...she's good....too good.

With all her recent faults, she is still a joy of a child with a sweet, sensitive spirit to her. Like the other day, when I literally lost my mind. (Joey can attest.) It was just one of those days, and I was freaking out, crying to everyone that called my house and just kinda losing it in general. I was crying on the phone with my mom when Savannah comes around the corner of the kitchen with her rocking chair. She sits down in the chair right in front of me, holds out her arms, and says, "Come here, mommy, I hold you." My heart melts. My mom hangs up because how can I not respond to that? I kneel down in front of my little girl and let her place her arms around my neck and pull me in, rocking me back and forth in her little chair while she pats my back. I wouldn't trade that moment for all the money, success, fame, or power in the world.

Then the other night, when I look at her and say, "You know I love you, Savannah?" And she promptly responds with a big smile, very assuredly as if she knows it's very true, "Yes. Bery much." Yes, very much indeed =)

Monday, January 11, 2010

One of THOSE Days

So, here's what one of "those" days looks like in my life....

6:30am Weston begins talking REALLY loud in his bed wanting to get up, but I refuse to get him up until 7 at the earliest, but I still can't sleep 'cause I can hear him with the monitor turned off and both doors closed...sigh. Good Morning Monday.

7:30am Both kids up and dogs put out, breakfast in full swing.

7:45 Savannah fills her booster seat with pee-pee. (Oh yeah, we started potty training on Thursday...I will recap that in another blog....success to failure rate not so hot right now.)

7:50 Go upstairs for new change of clothes only to discover the dogs crapped in the hallway. Weston crying downstairs to be fed, so no time to clean up right now.

8am Weston is NOT cooperating with eating his solid foods. He only wants his bottle. VERY frustrating....oh, and now Savannah dedides to poo-poo in her new change of clothes.

8:30 Both kids fed, some success with pee-peeing on the potty, time to start laundry for the day.

8:35 I discover that the dogs have also pulled every diaper out of the trashcan in Weston's room. They are torn up and eaten all in the bottom of his closet and under our bed. Dogs are punished and kenneled.

8:40 Savannah poops on the potty! Success! I then find Weston's hamper covered--to the point the bottom looks solid black--in ants. Grrrrrr! This battle with ants this winter is wearing on me. I'm about ready to pay the money and call the exterminator.

8:50 Savannah pee-pees in her panties again. Sigh...I am feeling like an utter failure. I change Weston into his clothes for the day because his diaper has fallen off inside his sleeper, and he is soaking wet.

9am About to walk downstairs to put him in his bouncy seat, and he throws up (spits up) all over the new outfit and down my entire left side. Time for outfit number two. Back to the bouncy seat.

9:30 Weston is fussy. Time for his morning nap. Go to get him from bouncy seat...sigh...time for outfit #3.

So, I have plenty of soiled clothes to launder, ant poison to clean up in Weston's room and the laundry room, half-eaten diapers strewn all under our bed, and I'm feeling like an utter potty-training failure. NOT a good start to the day....pray that things get better.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Here We Go Again! Welcome 2010 =)

So, this may be the longest blog ever...we'll see. It's been TOO LONG since I last wrote! I will break it down into headings for you if you just want to skip to the good parts=) NOTE: I don't think I have ever asked this before, but if you read this blog, would you please respond somehow someway to this post. I am in desperate need of some encouragement these days!


(Christmas morning...yes, me and Savannah had matching PJ's. I couldn't resist...thank you Target!)

1) Christmas began for us in Macon as per the end of my last post.
2) Next for us came Christmas Eve celebration with my mom's side of the family. EVERYONE was there! All the cousins, both my brothers, and even my sister who surprised us all by knocking on the front door Christmas Eve. It couldn't have been a more perfect surprise! And if you're a blog follower, I highly recommend her blog. She's an honest writer with a good heart. Love you sis!
3) Christmas day through Sunday was spend at our home for the first time ever, as we entertained Joey's parents from TX for Christmas. Savannah loved having her CiCi and PopPop around every day, and it was nice to have the opportunity to do some real entertaining. So glad they could come out for the occasion!

(My little bear in his Christmas present=)

Joey is well and ready to take on the world! =) He's got some big goals for this year as he plans on continuing his 4.0 GPA through his MBA courses. He just finished his 3rd class this December--his hardest, most demanding one yet--and came out with an A! I couldn't be more proud of him. He is an awesome example of a godly man, husband, and father.


(Me & my oldest, youngest brother Matthew on Christmas Eve.)

1.) Ok, so the biggest thing in my life right now--other than my two kids, obviously--is training for this 5K. I started to blog about it back the first of November, and I'm still hammering away. Thanks to all my wonderful family and awesome husband for helping me with some much needed gear this Christmas! In case you didn't know, it has gotten COLD here in the South! UnderArmour is a godsend=) (Wish is wasn't so dadgum expensive.)

Please pray that I continue to stick with my training plan. I've kinda hit a wall with lack of sleep and just plain exhaustion from all the holiday hooplah. I'm looking forward to getting back into the program, but to be honest, I'm running 3 miles now for my workout, and it's just plain HARD--every time. Please pray for perseverance and endurance. More on this thought in my next blog=)

2.) Side thought #1: I have become a HUGE fan of reusable grocery bags. I still make a run every now and then to get the plastic ones because I need to keep a stock for dirty diapers, but the few bucks you spend to buy a reusable bag goes a long way....AND it makes you feel good to know you're doing something to help the environment=) Instead of hauling 20 plastic bags inside from the car, I can pack the same amount of groceries into just 5 bags! Plus their handles are long enough, you can throw them over your shoulder when you need a free hand.

A.) Buy just one bag every time you check out at a store, anywhere. I have found it only takes maybe 5 good, sturdy bags to do my entire grocery run for the week.
B.) Only buy bags that cost $3 or less, that way if something happens to it, you don't feel stupid for paying a lot of money.
C.) Only buy bags where the strap is sewn all the way into the bag from top to bottom. If you buy a bag like the Walmart reusables, where the strap is only sewn on just at the top, it will break before you get good use out of it. I also prefer bags with a hard, cardboard bottom. So far, the Publix bags are my favorite.
D.) Have fun and pick up different designs and patterns at places like Michael's or Target.
E.) Keep them in the floorboard of your car or in a seat pocket, so you don't forget to use them. F.) Remember to either have your meats bagged in plastic or wash the reusable after carrying meat in it; otherwise you can spread unwanted raw meat germs.

Let me know what "going Green" ideas are your favorites that really work for you without causing your life extra hassle!

3) Side thought #2: I am a HUGE Pampered Chef fan. Their garlic press has been my favorite kitchen utensil for as long as I can remember. You can't beat being able to peel and press your garlic at the same time--no smelly fingers! Until sister just got me a Citrus Press for Christmas that is out of this world! I love fresh lemon, lime, or orange juice in almost everything I cook, but I hate having to juice things by hand. No more! This citrus press literally turns the halves of the fruit inside out as you press it, giving you all the juice and none of the pulp or seeds. Amazing! What is your favorite kitchen utensil, and why? I'm always looking for things to make life easier=)

Oh, where to begin! Something inside this little girl just clicked and set off like a fire cracker the week of Christmas! Her mouth and her feet move non-stop, and suddenly she has decided it is her job to tell EVERYONE what to do. Sheesh! Discipline and teaching manners has become the single most important focus of every day right now, but please keep praying...I have a feeling potty training is close at hand! Fingers crossed! Here are my favorite Savannahisms that must be recorded for posterity's sake....

1) I was leaning over, trying to get Savannah to calm down and be quiet during a rather solemn moment on Christmas Eve. I reached to cup her face and get her attention, but before I could even touch her, she fell down backwards on the floor, and with this look of horror, hurt, and disdain all at once, she proclaimed for all who could hear, "No knocka me down, Mommy!" She then proceeded to turn to her Aunt Emmie and announce, "Mommy pusha me down." I promise you! I never touched the little drama queen!

(Joey captured the look on her face right before she accused me of pushing her down.)

2) Weston has become a pro at bouncing in his bouncy seat. One night, he was really going to town. Savannah ran over next to him and started jumping up and down with him. They were both cackling hysterically, when Savannah abruptly stopped, turned to me, and in her most state-of-fact voice told me, "Need go get camra, Mommy. Tate piture me an Wesson." Yes ma'am!

3)Savannah loves baby dolls. She got 4 for Christmas and loves playing with all of them. I dug out an old Vera Bradley purse of mine that is the same pattern as the diaper bag I tote around. I filled this purse with all the baby doll essentials--bottles, pacis, diapers, and blankies. Savannah is thrilled to have a purse just like Mommy. She even stomped (literally) around Kroger with me the other day on a quick grocery run, insistent upon carrying her baby and her new purse with her all by herself. There wasn't a face in that store that didn't smile from ear to ear at her!

4) "Mom an Dad, play games wi me." Hungry Hungry Hippo and Memory--two classics we can't escape these days. How do you say no to such a sweet little voice? Besides, the day will come too soon, when I will want to play games with her, and she won't be interested in my attention, so I will play while I have the chance, and she still wants me around.

5) She surprised us both the other night when she pretended, exactly the way she should pretend, that she was putting contacts in her eyes while in the bathtub. She even told Joey she "need put in her contacts." The irony--neither I nor Joey wear contacts!!! I will give either Joey's mom, Patti, or my mom credit for this one. My mom said it was about a month ago--the last time Savannah saw her do this. So much for short-term memory! Oh be careful what you say and do; little eyes are always watching you.


I believe Weston is finally well! We haven't been to church or Savannah to school for the last three weeks, so that's probably why, but I'm enjoying two healthy, happy kids for the time being=) Weston is a chunk! Fitting perfectly into his 9 month clothing at coming up on 5 months, and already starting to wear his 12 month clothing. He is a handsome, smiley little boy. So sweet and gurgly these days. He coos, and laughs, and squeals at Savannah, which I LOVE!

He started eating cereal the week after Thanksgiving and has progressed quite rapidly into pears, bananas, and sweet potatoes. He still prefers his bottle the most, but he tolerates all the other food I try to get down him. If I don't, I promise you, he will eat me out of house and home in formula! Right now, he eats three meals a day consisting of 1/4c. cereal, 1 1st foods container of baby food, and about 4oz. formula. This does not include the 4-6 oz. he will down before each nap or the 6-8oz. he will put down before bedtime!!! Good gracious, that's A LOT of food!

Now that he's eating solid food, he doesn't spit up quite as much, so I've been able to let him spend more time on his tummy. He's a little behind on the game and hasn't rolled himself over yet, but he tries real hard. He hasn't gone from tummy to back yet without help, but he can roll himself onto his side from his back. I'm hopeful he will get it eventually. He's got to get strong enough to move around his big 'ole body!


1). New Year's Eve was spent at the Chick-fil-A Bowl with my hubby and brother Matt and wife Emily. We had a great time watching drama unfold when these two college-aged Tennessee fans refused to sit down about three rows in front of us. They were literally the ONLY two people standing for about 10 sections of the dome that I could see. I thought the people around me were going to cuss them out of the stadium. The two obnoxious kids did their fair share to cuss right back until a stadium worker came and sat them down. Geez...we also enjoyed the view of the guy's butt crack right in front of us every time he stood up. I mean, come on! Don't people know what boxers are for? Or at least how to use a belt properly?

The game was fun and afterwards we all rang in the new year playing some pool at Gordon Biersh in midtown with some of Emily's friends that let us crash their get together. A sackfull of Krystals were downed around 2am, then off to home for 4 hours of sleep before the kiddos woke up. I'm still playing catch up on that sleep=) It was good to get out though and much fun was had by all!

2.) Songs that got me through 2009: (I like that my sister included this on her blog...I always enjoy finding new music to add to my iPod=)
Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus--yes, I am a shameless Miley fan, and this song was by far, my favorite to crank with the windows down on the rare occasions I got out of the house without a kid in my car. Good clean, fun, pop music. Been a while since any of this has been on secular radio.
By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North--my constant reminder to stop striving and let God be God in my life.
Fearless by Building 429--this song has gotten me through more tough spots during my runs than I can count.

3.) Resolutions:
A. With two kids, my time and energy during daylight hours is being eaten away. It's time I start waking up at 6am and get serious about having a consistent quiet time.
B. 5K in February, 10K in May, sprint triathlon by end of summer.
C. Savannah is to be potty trained by end of summer.
D. Keep my focus on the Lord and His focus for me, which for now, means staying at home and training my children in His ways.

I leave you with Joey's verse for this year: Philippians 1:6 "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."