Monday, December 27, 2010

Letters to Santa

Dear Santa,

Hi Santa, this is Caden ******.  I wanted to see how you're doing and let you know how good I've been this year.  I also wanted to let you know what I want for Christmas this year.  Please see the list of things I want for Christmas below:
  • Christmas shoes with sticks on them
  • Princess shoes
  • My family to be with me
  • Wand
  • Santa hat
  • Santa beard
  • Christmas lights to light up on me 
Thank you Santa for bringing good boys and girls presents on Jesus' birthday.


Dear Santa,

I like Rudolph.  I like dog.  I like stockings.  I like pizza with pepperoni.  I like Chuck E. Cheese.  That's it Santa.

This is Caleb ****** and I be good this year.  Thank you for bringing me toys on Jesus' birthday.


**My husband helped write the letters.  I edited as I typed them up to share.
***My heart melted when Caden requested his family to be with him for Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Princess Rings

I found a note in a rarely used laptop in my house tonight dated December 27, 2009.

It is a quote from Caden.

"Daddy, your ring doesn't have a princess like mommy's!"

This was just three short months after we'd wed.

Like I shared in our engagement story, my ring has some lovely diamonds.

Keith opted for a simple white gold band.

Caden apparently feels he should have princess too!  (Maybe that's why this Christmas he asked Santa for princess shoes and a wand.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

That's not fun

Caden: Can I watch a movie?

Mommy: No.

Caden: But we didn't get to do anything fun today.

Mommy: Oh really?  Well you can go make your own fun now and play with all your toys!

Caden:  But that's not fun.

Mommy: If your toys aren't fun, we can box them up and give them all away.

Caden: NO!

Mommy: So let's make some fun with them!

Caleb chimes in: Mommy can I watch TV?

Mommy: No!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jingle & Mingle Morning

Today was Jingle & Mingle with Santa at the company my husband and I work for.  We choose to bring the boys in for the morning session for breakfast and fun.  Wouldn't you know I left my camera at home today? 

Luckily my co-worker and friend Kristin saved the day and let us borrow hers!

However, I will have to wait for her to get the photos sent to us before I can share.

We ate breakfast, we decorated ornaments, we made magnets, and more importantly we saw Santa!  The boys gave Santa their carefully crafted letters with the help of Daddy.  (I plan to share their letters another day; I hope.)

Caleb asked Santa for a rocket ship for Christmas.

Caden asked Santa for pricess shoes for Christmas.

They saw mommy and daddy's co-workers; then it was time to go back to day care with their new stuffed teddy bears from Santa. 

As I walk the boys back out to our van to drive to the day care, Caleb is asking questions. 

Caleb: Mommy, those people, they know your name?

Me: Yes.

Caleb: Oh.  They call you Beth?

Me: Yes.

Caleb: Oh.  How come they don't call you Mommy?

I explained that they had their own mommy and that I was only Caden and Caleb's mommy.  Just for them.

But really, I chuckled to myself and felt very, very loved.

Parenting Class: Week 12

This was our final week!  We've all received certificates of successful completion!  We've come away a little wiser as parents, and grateful for our abilities and families.

We talked about logical consequences.  This was actually just a review of a topic we covered last week, that I didn't blog about.  The concept is nearly as simple as it sounds.  The consequence is a direct correlation to the action that occured.  For example, you break a chair, you don't sit on the chair anymore.

We also touched on the subject to teaching problem solving, mostly for older children.  Their reccomendation was to "scaffold" or to talk your child through the process of promlem solving in different situations when they're calm.

There was also a graduation and small celebration for Dinosaur school.  The kids all showed us what they'd learned in dinosaur school throughout the program.  There were some great lessons for the children on learning how to control their emotions.  Those items were things like a "shield" that reflected bad words and kept nice words, your "ignoring muscle" for when another person is bothering you, and a "turtle shell" to "hide" in when you're angry.  They also learned ways to calm themselves down by counting to ten or taking deep breaths. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm hungry

Caden has developed a habit of waking up in the middle of the night.

It started out as being just around 5:00 a.m., but it's slowly progressed into anytime between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. lately.

It started that he would come in and say "Daddy, I'm really hungry."

Yes, in the middle of the night.  And yes, I feed my kids!  They eat very well!

Now, Caden's questions are starting to branch out a little bit.

"Daddy, I'm cold."

We politely remind him that it isn't time to get up yet, and we'll make breakfast in the morning.  Then we sleep again until morning.

The great thing about this, my kids have learned that in the middle of the night, their best chance at anything, is Daddy.  Mommy, in the middle of the night, pretty worthless!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Piggy Bank Full of Water

It was an eventful day in my house this Saturday.

My mom and I spent the afternoon baking away for Christmas.

I had to run to the store to pick up some chocolate molds from a co-worker.

While I was gone, my boys got the great idea to take a piggy bank to the bathroom with them.

They proceeded to fill it up with water.

I spent the rest of the evening finding wet spots on my furniture and floors.

I then had to smell them to figure out if they were water from the piggy bank or dog pee.

Have you ever seen someone fall into a toilet?

Caden likes to protest nap time on the weekends.  He used to knock on his bedroom door to be let our.  The first few times I'd go tuck him back in, but it would just continue.  I started ignoring it, then he'd get he idea and go to sleep. 

He's moved on to a new method.

Peeing and/or pooping his pants.  I never expected to have to tell my child "peeing and pooping in your pants does not get you out of nap time!"

I went in to check on them this afternoon to find Caden standing there awkwardly saying he pooped.  We got him all cleaned up, clean clothes, and back into bed.

I went back to baking in the kitchen, and about 2 minutes later I hear him in the bathroom again.  He says he has to go potty...again.  I insisted he get to the toilet and go now then.  So he spun around quickly, tripped over the step stool and fell into the toilet.  The lid and seat were up, and his arms were in the toilet bowl.  As water is splashing about and getting all over his clean clothes, I could do nothing but roll on the floor in laughter.

Have you ever seen someone fall into a toilet?? 

It is hilarious.  Disgusting, but hilarious. 

The really disgusting part, the next thing I saw was him biting his nails.  (I really wish we could break that habit!)

In the process, he peed his pants...again.

I couldn't help but laugh.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Parenting Class: Week 10 & 11

Luckily, since I never got around to posting about week 10, we covered the same topic in further detail in week 11!

The topic was time out.

We discussed it for two different purposes.  The first purpose was to teach them against aggression and/or violence.  The second was to teach them compliance to your commands.  (Remember we'd learned about commands a few weeks ago.)

Their recommendation is an immediate time out for any violence.  I.E. Hitting, biting, kicking, throwing something at someone, well, you get the idea. 

Their other recommendation is that if your child doesn't comply with your command, to give them a warning, then send them to time out.  However, the key in this piece is that once the time out is over, they have to go back to complete the command you had requested.  You continue the cycle until the command is completed.  If they don't do what's asked, time out. 

The other key to time out is that it is in a boring place.  They should be removed from the situation and placed somewhere by themselves.  We have a foyer area where a couple rooms take off with a closet in it that our boys have a time out chair in. 

We follow the general guideline of one minute in time out per year of age, but we also learned today that they need to be in time out and calm for 2-3 minutes before being removed from time out.  The theory behind this is that if they're not calmed down when they're done with time out, they'll go back to the misbehavior that landed them in time out to begin with.

Time out is a method to teach the child to calm themselves down and to control their emotions.

We were also advised not to lecture after time out about why they spent time there.  It's best to just move on with activities.  We're directed to say "you hit, now you must go to time out."

We've been using time our for some time.  We're lucky that our boys have adjusted to it.  We did go through a phase where ever time you put Caden in time our, he'd pee his pants, but luckily the ignoring method we learned earlier worked, and that stopped too!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mary Christmas

Caleb has been telling most everyone we encounter Merry Christmas this year.  It makes me proud.

Just the other day I witnessed him telling everyone at the day care Merry Christmas on our way out the door.

Then we get in the car and Caleb wishes us a Merry Christmas.

Then Caden asks "who is Mary Christmas?"

Then I chuckle and offer the explanation that it's like wishing Jesus happy birthday, except that we say Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Reminder

I just finished reading Nichole from In These Small Moments blog, and while I'm not nearly as fluent of a writer, it inspired me to put my thoughts on today into words.

My husband had an upper endoscopy this morning.  I was worried about it.  I'm a worrier; it's part of what I do.  He reassured me it was just precautionary.  After the procedure, he also confessed he was worried too. 

The details of today are irrelevant really.  Everything turned out just fine.

The thing about today, is that was a big reminder in my mind to his colonoscopy nearly a year ago.  You see, he had that procedure on a Monday in January.  The prior week, I'd been to my first pre-natal appointment with my doctor.  We left that appointment knowing there were two possibilities.  1) We weren't as far along in our pregnancy as we thought we were.  2) There was no fetal development.

My doctor wouldn't have results of some blood tests for us until Monday. 

After Keith's colonoscopy, we had breakfast and then were headed to my mom's to pick up our boys when my doctor called.  She confirmed that the pregnancy wasn't developing and that I was to have another ultrasound that afternoon.  I quickly pulled over to the nearest parking lot, and sat there in tears holding my husbands hand, who was still feeling the effects of the anesthesia from his procedure. 

I know he was exhausted that day.  I would soon learn what it felt like to trudge through a day after those powerful medications.  He was a trooper.  He made phone calls to our families and I sent text messages to friends and co-workers.  I made a tearful phone call to my boss at the time, and prepared to have some time off work.  I still had several ultrasounds and appointments before we proceeded with the D&Cs, but we carried on.

Today, we were back in the same clinic he had the colonoscopy for his procedure.  It also happens to be the same clinic I had some of my ultrasounds in.  It brought back a flood of emotions.  I remembered those feelings; thought about our wee one, and reminded myself how grateful I am for the life we do have and how far we've come since this day.

Although, I'd still prefer to not be back in that building again for some time.  I can't believe it's been almost a year. 

Christmas Lights

Every year at Christmas time, we try to take the kids somewhere to look at Christmas lights.  We've been to Oglebay Festival of Lights, Nela Park, and the lights in the park near the Football Hall of Fame.

This year, we went to Cambridge, Ohio.  It was definitely worth the approximately 85 mile drive!  The Guernsey County Courthouse has a light display set to music every year.  The downtown is a buzz with people, lights, a live nativity, carriage rides, and an amazing Dickens Victorian Village!

If you're anywhere close, it's an amazing show and worth the trip!  There's a preview here.  And of course we took some of our own photos!

The show runs in 4 approximately 15 minute segments with a different theme for each.  We were lucky and we took them on a 40 degree day, but I'd recommend dressing warm!  There were even benches to people to sit and watch the show, but you might want to take a blanket or two so keep your bottom warm!

Monday, December 13, 2010

But I heard you!

The boys latest gig is pure determination.  Several conversation in our house go like this:

Mommy and Daddy are talking about something that we're planning for the afternoon or dinner, anything really.  For example, please don't walk through the snow we don't have your snow boots out yet.

Caden and Caleb, with pure determination follow with a related item from the conversation, but twisted into something they want.  For example, mommy, you say we can put our snow boots on at home and play in the snow?

While Keith and I deny all allegations made, because really, we never said such a thing!

They continue with: but mommy, I hear you say that.  No I heard you!

Really, where do they come up with these schemes!?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Where's the line to see Jesus?

This morning in church, the Pastor played this video as a part of the sermon.  
I don't think it needs any further words.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I'm just kidding!

The boys continue to come up with clever antics.  Sometimes I wonder where they come up with these things, but they make me smile.  I blog to remember them moments and antics to share with them when they're grown. 

When we're eating out somewhere, walking through the store, eating dinner at home, we have the following conversation:

Son: I have to go potty!

Mommy: Can you wait?

Son: No I have to go really bad!

So mommy puts down what ever she's doing, moves things around, and goes to get son to go to the bathroom.  Then, as soon as I'm heading toward the kid...

Son: Mommy I just teasing, I don't have to go!

Then the laughter begins in unison between the two of them.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I had lunch last week with a leader from the division I work in.  I reached out to her to talk about the division and get a different perspective than those I work with on a more regular basis. 

Well instead, we ended up talking about our kiddos.  She is divorced, and had some experience that were easier for me to relate to. It doesn't often happen that there's someone who'll listen and somewhat understand what we've been through and the worries we carry in the back of our minds.

I really appreciate when people open up and share and talk with me about it.  It's so wonderful to know I'm not the only one with these struggles.  I hope to have lunch with her again, and perhaps even talk about work things too (as that was my original intent)!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Treasures from the Past

My grandmother's house is being sold.  My grandmother is still doing well, but she's living with my uncle now.  My grandfather passed away about 3 years ago.  So she is downsizing.  I found some great things that I can't wait to find a place for in my home!

This will be a great new serving bowl.
I think there are 12 of these, and they are from 1986 Arby's collection of glassware.

Norman Rockwell Tray

These lamps now sit on the end tables in my living room.  I thought they were ugly, but the longer I look at them, the more I love them!  And they're antiques!
My dad made this for my grandpa, his father-in-law, many years ago. 

New Thanksgiving decorations in our house!

More Thanksgiving decorations in our house!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

What kind?

*Christmas music playing in the background.*

Boys: Is this a Christmas song?

Mommy or Daddy: Yes.

Boys: Ohhh!  What kind??

Mommy or Daddy: What do you mean what kind?  It's a Christmas song.

Boys: No! What kind of Christmas song!?

We still have yet to come up with a good response to this one.  One where they sing?  One with music in it? A hymn?  A Santa song?

I'm taking suggestions.  I'm sure we can try them all!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

What would you say if...?

...I asked you to marry me?

Two years ago today, my husband proposed to me.

It wasn't a huge surprise.  It was just a few short months after our world was rocked, and we'd been talking about it...a LOT!  We'd looked a rings a few times even.  For us, the decision was already made, we were going to be a family, officially, before God.  

It was a Sunday morning; I think we'd stayed at my parents house for the weekend. 

We did that frequently before we bought our house.  We used their washing machine every weekend!

We were going to church that morning, the potluck meal after church, and the carol sing in the sanctuary after.  The carol sing was one of my favorite events growing up in our small community church.  Members of the congregation would gather after church and sing our favorite Christmas carols.  When I was a child it was on an evening, but times have changed that!  

We were a few songs into the carol sing, when hubby's phone rang.  Someone from his family had called to say that his grandmother wasn't doing very well and was in the hospital.  He quickly left, luckily we had my mom's car and our car at the church.  I quickly made arrangement for the boys and followed after him with the help of my aunt.  

We spent the early afternoon visiting in the hospital.  

We had been planning that day to go shopping again for an engagement ring, but after the days events, I told him that wasn't necessary.  It urged him that we could just go home and spend time with the family.  He was adamant we still go.  I personally thought it was a littler weird after saying goodbyes to his grandmother.

We went to a different store this time to look at rings.  I was excited; I saw new things!  I had been dead set on a certain type of ring, but after this I was thinking so many choices!  We spent over an hour there talking with a sales lady, but Keith wouldn't commit to anything.  

Finally, we leave in the dark to head back outside in the snow and slush.  We walk out the front door to our cars, because remember we'd driven separately.  He walked me to my car door.  He may be a gentleman, but he was never one to open doors for me.  Mostly because I'm always too impatient to wait, I just do it myself!  But he's full of surprises, he wants to talk, outside, in cold, wet, dark, snow!  So he stumbles around, looks at the ground, and finally we have the following conversation:

Keith: :What would you say if...I asked you to marry me?"

Beth: Starting to get curious flutters, "Uh now?  We're in a parking lot!  I'd say, but really?  We're in a parking lot!"

Keith: Gets down on one knee, pulls a ring out of his pocket, and says "Will you marry me?"

Beth: Thinking, I just said I'd say yes, but "YES!"

I got the ring on my finger, we hugged and kissed, and then I insisted I get in the car because I was frozen!  I got in my car, he got in his car, and we drove across the street to Max & Erma's for supper.

Courtesy of

I swore for a few days I was going to make him re-do it in a more romantic fashion, but I never did.

The Friday before, Camerin had been home sick from school with Keith.  Keith had taken him with him that day to purchase the ring.  He was afraid if he didn't pop the question that weekend, Camerin would spill the beans!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Parenting Class: Week 9

Last week's lesson was ignoring.  If used strategically, it can help rid bad behaviors and encourage appropriate behavior.  That's really what we're all going for right??

Keith and I had some experience with this in the past.  A year or so ago when we were teaching the boys about using please and thank you, we decided to ignore their questions and requests unless they used please with it.  I'd consider we were fairly successful with it as they're pretty well mannered boys, well in the sense that they use their please and thank yous anyway!

This time around we're choosing to ignore whining and any tantrums.  The theory behind it is that if they're not getting any attention, the behavior will stop.  As long as they're attracting some attention from whatever their behavior is, they'll continue to whine, scream, etc.  We watch videos in class, and it's clear that when the children notice no one is paying any attention to them, the behavior slowly stops. 

When we talk about ignoring, they do mention that if possible it's best to stay in the same room with them, but to otherwise completely turn away from them.  Turn you head, your body, whatever it may be and distract yourself with someone else.  As soon as it stops, give your attention back to the child and you can praise them for being calm.

We've been working on it, and it's improving, but we still have some work to do.  (I have a hard time getting hubby to ignore them...)

Blah, blah!

Tonight while I'm cleaning up dog poop from my floor, Caden tells me "you look like a princess!"

In my head I'm thinking "really?? I look like a princess??  I'm picking up dog poop and cleaning the carpet!"

I really said "thank you sweetie!"

He quickly changed his mind and said "Mommy, you look like blah blah."

Now that's more like it what I was expecting, but we may have to work on being polite!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sometimes I'm a girl you know

Last week on our way to dinosaur school the following conversation happened.

Caden: I don't want to go grandma's house for Thanksgiving.

Me: Why not?

Caden: Because I want to be a lady.  Sometimes I'm a girl you know.

I never did get to an understanding why this can't happen at grandma's house, but I did learn something new.  Caden frequently walks around the house with a small blanket or handkerchief under a baseball hat on his head.  He told me that was his "girl hair."

At this rate, he's really going to love the Disney world surprise because of all the princesses!

If you think this showcases his feminine side, wait until I share what he's asking Santa for Christmas!

Monday, November 29, 2010

The New Fish Tank

Remember when I told you about my husband getting a fish tank?  Remember then I showed you the basement room we finished for the fish tank?  Well, I'm finally posting pictures of the fish tank!

I took this photos awhile ago, and the fish tank has changed a lot since then.  There are more fish and other living growing things than you can see now.  It changes daily.

The boys have named the fish.  We have Nemo and Marvin, Santa, Princess, and Sally.  (We have multiple fish named Princess and Santa!)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Parenting Class: Week 8

This past week in class, we learned about following through with your directions. 

Each time you give a command, like we talked about last week, and don't insist the request be completed, your words loose their power.  Your children will learn that ever command doesn't need to be completed, then they will test the boundaries each time. 

The first step is to continue to give good commands.  The second it to always wait 5 to 10 seconds before compliance to the request begins.  They must have time to react to the request.  Finally, after the first request or possible the seconrd reminder, follow through and assist in making sure they complete your request.

Friday, November 26, 2010

2010 Halloween

We didn't go trick-or-treating this year.  I know, bad mommy.  I've never liked Halloween.  I don't mind dressing up and school parties and such assuming that the costumes are child appropriate and fun, not scary and evil.  Instead we did go to a Halloween party hosted by some family and friends.

That's my husband, the wiener in a bun.

Since I'm not a fan of Halloween, I wore the costume my husband decided on as little as possible.  (Trust me, that is NOT my Halloween costume.)

This, however, was my Halloween costume.  

We finished up the evening on a haunted hay ride through a neighborhood.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Just Thursday

Outside my's raining.  It's rained most of today.
The time is...10:07 p.m.
Today I feel...thankful.
I am thinking...the fact that I'd intended to write a what I'm thankful for post...
At the moment, I am handsome sleeping little boys.
I am going...finish eating this chocolate peanut butter no bake bar I made.
I am favorite green sweatpants (again) and a gray Royal Caribbean t-shirt.
I wish...make a charitable donation in everyone's name for Christmas.
I am reading...blogs.
I am working on...eating.
I am hoping...that I'm not getting a cold.
I am hearing...hubby bringing the dog in from outside.
I bet you didn't know...I went to band camp in high school.
One of my favorite...flavors is mint.

Link up with Abby at Murdock's Mama's!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Oh, you saw it?

During dinner tonight, the following conversation transpired.

Daddy: Don't put that in your mouth!

Caleb: I didn't.

Daddy: Don't lie to me.

Caleb: Oh... you saw it?

Daddy: Yes, I did.  Don't lie to me again son.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Red Derby 10K

The first Saturday of November I ran in the Red Derby 10K with a friend/co-worker.  This was the first time we'd ran together, and I thought it was quite a success!

It was freezing that weekend.  I left my house to some snow flurries flying in the sky.  Most every rooftop I drove past had a coating of snow on it.

I had thought enough in advance to purchase new running pants a few days before, and was wearing them in the car on the way.  I was also thinking about hydration and was drinking an open glass of water in the car on the way too.  Too bad I turned a corner, our cup holders weren't sat up correctly, and the whole glass of water dumped on my leg and seat.  The thought of running a 10K in the cold was hard enough for me to wrap my mind around, but not with a soaking wet leg that was going to freeze, I was not looking forward to it!  Luckily I found a blanket in my trunk and dried myself off the best I could!

We arrived at the race, registered, and headed around the block to the Giant Eagle to pee.  It was much more pleasant and warm than the port-a-potties at the race site!

We did our best to stay warm prior to race start, and then we were off!  Somewhere around a 1/2 mile we were still getting adjusted to the weather and my partner was laughing as I asked "Where the F*** is mile 1!?"

Luckily after mile 1, things evened out and we kept an awesome 10 minute mile pace!  Mile 5 was a 9 minute mile, and was probably a bit too much as I fell slight behind toward the end of our 11 minute 6th mile.

We finished 5th and 6th in our female age division.  I finished with a time of 1:02:02.5!  I was certainly pleased with that, as I'd only been targeting 11-12 minute miles due to my lack of training!

We celebrated after by heading to Longhorn for lunch and margaritas and rounded out the afternoon by spending it shopping at T.J. Maxx!  It was a great first 10K race experience and a great day away from home with a new friend!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our New Puppy

We've been talking about getting a puppy for awhile now.  We finally did it!  We went down to Amish country to look at a West Highland and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  

We decided on the Spaneil!

The ride home we spent naming our new puppy.  The boys had some very unique suggestions for names. 
The list includes:
Vampire Teeth
Lily (My personal favorite.)

We settled on Belle.  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Baby Showers

Let's face it, can any of you actually say you enjoy going to baby showers?

Don't get me wrong, I think babies are a wonderful blessing and we should celebrate it, but showers are definitely not my thing. 

This past weekend hubby and I went to a baby shower.  My hubby's best friend and his girlfriend are expecting and at due in mid to late January.  I know my hubby's friend, but I've never met his girlfriend.  (Awkward point #1)

I also don't know anyone in attendance at the baby shower.  (Awkward point #2)  My mother-in-law had to come early and leave because they had a wedding to attend. 

There was one person there I'd met twice, once at her wedding (she married another of hubby's friends) and once at my wedding.  We made small talk, which in case you forgot from my Thursday post, I suck at.  During the chatting, she asked if I was pregnant.  (Awkward point #3)  I think she missed the memo on what happened earlier in our year.  I was very polite about it, as I know her and her hubby had just been through a miscarriage.

Until half way through the baby shower, I didn't even know which person there was the pregnant girl.  (Awkward point #4)  I've still not met her.  I slid out the back door after the presents were opened to join the men outside before making an early exit with hubby.

Speaking of, hubby got to hang out outside with his friends for the hour or so we were there.  I was rather jealous.

This isn't really deserving of a 5th awkward point, but I did find it somewhat distasteful to have pre-printed thank you notes to pass around the room from a basket after the shower.  Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I much prefer handwritten or those with a personal touch. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Parenting Class: Week 7

This week's parenting class was all about giving commands.  Or more politely stated, how to make your directions more effective. 

The moral of the story this week was that when you repeat the same command 5, 6, 7 and more times, it is ineffective. 

The first steps to remedy this are giving less commands.  This is partically done by establishing routines, like we talked about last week.  If they know the routine and praise them every step of the way, we wouldn't have to give so many commands are parents. 

Another method is to give them choices.  For example, do you want to wash your face or do you want mommy/daddy to do it? 

Next week we'll be learning how to follow through on our commands.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Just Thursday

Outside my's dark. It's late & past my bedtime.

The time is...10:38 p.m.

Today I feel...tired.

I am thinking...why I couldn't just go to sleep.

I am going...bed as soon as Private Practice is over.

 I am sweat pants and my white and purple Relay for Life t-shirt.  (I think this is not the first time I've blogged this outfit. It's a favorite!)

I wish...more sleep.

I am reading...nothing currently. I gave up on the Five Love Languages, but I ordered a new book on Amazon last week, and I'm waiting for it to arrive.

I am working on...learning how to train a puppy!

I am hoping...for a fun girls night out tomorrow.  I can't remember the last time I had a girls night out!

I am hearing...commercials on during Private Practice.

I bet you didn't know...I am terrible at small talk.

One of my favorite...numbers is 2.

Weekend Plans:
[Thursday] We had a relaxing evening at home, and I am going to bed soon.
[Friday] Girls Night Out!!
[Saturday] Day with the kids while hubby spends another day out for fish tank stuff then we're going to take dinner to my in-laws.
[Sunday] Hubby is working all morning, so I'm hoping for a relaxing day at home.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

2010 Pumpkins

Don't let their smiles fool you.  They don't like the pumpkin guts.
In fact, they are actually smiling because their shaking the goo off into that trash can.

This part, on the other hand, they loved!

They're covering their pumpkins well, but you can see a bit of the pumpkin tattoos we used when we got tired of carving!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Are you leaving Mommy? - YES!

This weekend, we arranged for the kids to spend the weekend with my parents.  They haven't spent a weekend with Grandma in quite some time.  They used to do it much more frequently. 

Friday evening after work, we decided we'd take the kids out to dinner to spend some time with them before they left for the weekend.  We invited grandpa and grandma to come with us too. 

On our way to Bob Evans, their restaurant of choice for the evening, they asked if we were going to leave after they got to grandma's house. 

I was hesitant because the last few times they had the opportunity to stay with grandma, they didn't want to.  I slowly said yes, we were going to leave them there.  The response, an excited YES! in stereo from the backseat!

Then Caden proceeded to tell me that that was great because grandma had Scooby-Doo and they could watch movies!

They had a great time at grandma's this weekend, and hubby and I had a wonderful weekend together doing our Christmas shopping and attending a baby shower.  (More on the baby shower later...)

2010 Ohio State Fair

Back in August we went to the state fair, and for several years I've been working with a couple friends of mine.  They have heard of dairy show cattle. 

Fair time is my favorite time of year.  I think for me, it is better than Christmas.  (Seeing as I'm not a huge Christmas fan and all!)

This year, we decided the boys were old enough to have some fun this year at state fair.  The plan was for one to come down with me on Friday to stay the night in the barn and help with chores and getting ready for the show.  Keith and the other would come down on Saturday for the day and swap kids.  Keith doesn't share my love for all things show cattle, so he just comes along for the ride sometimes.  And this gave me the opportunity to have both kids there, without having to have both kids there at the same time under my watch!  Great plan right?

Caleb and I arrived Friday evening after work.  John met us in the parking lot to to drive us in.  We park in the way back with the trailers to avoid getting towed over night when we don't have a rooftop pass.  So I parked next to the cattle trailer and their other truck, loaded up the truck and headed into the barn. 

By the time we got into the barn, Marla had diner made for us in the barn. We hung around and Caleb played, until we realized our air bed for the night was still out in the truck.  John headed out to get the bed for Caleb and I to sleep on.  Things continued as usual, scooping poop and such until John's daughter, stops over.  Their truck is gone.  Marla needs to head out the parking lot immediately. 

And there I sat.  I felt so helpless!  There was nothing I could do to help.  The truck was stolen, they were filling out the police reports at the state highway patrol post.  At least I kept the cows clean.  I was the best cow pooper scooper that night.  I don't like feeling like there's nothing I can do to help.

While I was waiting to hear from them, I took some time to put Caleb to sleep.  If you think normal bed time is difficult, try putting a 4 year old to sleep in a busy cow barn with cows, people, noise, the continuous hum of barn fans, and my personal favorite, the lights that never turn off. 

Around 11:30 or so they arrive back at the fairgrounds.  But there was still a lot to be done.  First was to go move the cattle trailer and my truck up closer to the fairgrounds, and closer to where there were more people and patrolling.  There had also been several cars broken into that evening to have things stolen from inside.  We moved my truck and the cattle trailer up to an open spot on the center isle, locked everything up and headed back in.

At first thought, it's just a car, it can be replaced, everyone is okay, but it really is an invasion of privacy it is.  More than likely, you keep your registration and proof of insurance in your car, probably in you glove box.  If your car is stolen, the criminal has access to that information, and any other information/items you may have in your car.  It's scary stuff.

Luckily sometimes around 2 or 3 that morning they had gotten a phone call that their truck was recovered in Columbus.  Everyone could breathe a little easier, and catch some shut eye for a brief few hours before we were up for chores and to prepare for the show that day!

As we worked our way through show prep, I felt continually worse.  I either had a terrible allergic reaction to something in the barn this year, or I caught a cold at a terrible time.  I suffered my way through the show amongst my nose literally dripping snot on the barn floor and looking like Rudolf since all we had in the barn were paper towels to wipe my nose on. No matter how bad I felt, I had a commitment to help them with the show and help I did!  I wiped cow butts, I brushed them, I walked them to and from the show rings, and I did my best to keep track of who was to be where when.

Once the show was finally over, we ate lunch in the barn before they headed to recover their truck from impound.  There was some damage done to it, but it was still drivable, with a screwdriver. 

Once they returned, I took a quick nap, then we packed up our kiddos and headed home.  I couldn't take anymore of the fun with the miserable cold symptoms.  Caden is still reminding me, 3 months later, that I owe him a night of sleeping in the barn.  We'll have to work on that for next year!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Parenting Class: Week 6

Last Tuesday we attended another session of our classes.  This week we learned about rules and chores. 

We're a little bit ahead in this week as a few months ago we established household rules. It is important to establish rules for which the household follows.

Our kids are great at helping out around the house when asked, but they didn't have a specific chore that they were responsible for.  This was a recommendation made this week  We're starting in our house with making your bed.  This will be the kids chore for them to be responsible for.  Then we'll add setting the table.

The final thing we touched on this week was routines.  Establishing morning and bedtime routines, and any other times of the day as needed.  This can be done with lists, preferably in pictures since our children aren't old enough to read yet!  So the same things happen every morning and evening in the same order. 

We'll see what next week brings in week 7!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Hershey, PA

I know it's been awhile, but you might remember a few pieces from awhile ago about our summer vacation.

Well, it's about time I put together another installment!

The last day of our trip we had a long drive planned back to Ohio from New Jersey, so we decided to break it up a bit with a stop in Hershey, PA!

 Upon our arrival at Chocolate word, we took the tour around to see how chocolate is made.

We saw how it started with the cows and ended with chocolate.

We also thought it'd be a good idea to take the kids on the trolley tour around the town of Hershey to learn some of it's history.
They had mixed feelings about waiting for the trolley.

But if offered a wonderful few of the amusement park.

We also saw buildings in the history of Hershey.

In the short 2.5 hours we spent at Hershey, my kids were given 6 candy bars.

Just what we needed for the 5-6 hour car ride home!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Annual Employee Craft Show

The company I work for has started an annual employee craft show.  It consists of employees and employee family members showcasing their work for the employees.  It's a neat opportunity held just before the holiday season one afternoon and early evening at the end of the work day.

I attended this year with some of the other ladies from our department.  I found some wonderful things!

I have a Halloween pin, I usually wear on my coat, and the same for Christmas.  The boys love it, so I thought I'd add to me collection for the holidays and complete it with the adorable hand made turkey! 

This picture is pretty poor, but it's a navy blue flower made out of a zipper!  Such a cute and clever idea!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Just Thursday

Outside my the front yard.
The time is...7:29 p.m.
Today I feel...tired.
I am thinking...about how I've been neglecting my blog lately.
At the moment, I am thankful...tomorrow is Friday.
I am some tv and hopefully get to bed early.
I am shorts, gray sweatpants, brown slippers, and the gray turtleneck I wore to work. I've only half changed my clothes since work!
I wish...people would remember Thanksgiving and hold off on the Christmas stuff.
I am reading...blogs.
I am working on...finding my workout motivation.  Still.
I am doesn't snow this weekend.
I am husband's very loud movie from downstairs and traffic outside.
I bet you didn't husband started a new job on Monday!
One of my favorite...workouts is running.

Weekend Plans.. 
[Thursday] relaxing
[Friday] Work & a fundraiser basketball game
[Saturday] 10K & the boys might have a visit with their mother at our house this weekend
[Sunday] Church & relaxing, maybe some baking.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Parenting Class: Week 5

Due to my crazy travel schedule for work, I missed Parenting Class: Week 3 & 4.  Although I was enjoying learning more about parts of my territory and traveling to Minnesota and Colorado, it's good to be back home and getting back into a routine!

This week we wrapped up some of the items covered the past two weeks, mainly praise.  Children needs lots of good praise in words that they can understand, the prior week's homework was to practice this.

This week incentives were introduced.  Incentives are different than bribes in that they come after the desired behavior is completed.  Incentives need to be introduced and shared, then practiced.  When they're practiced, especially the first time they need to be achievable, so the child can feel the success.  They need opportunities to reach the incentives.  Our instruction also said that they should be for a specific desired behavior.

In our house, we've been doing the incentive thing for a few months now, but we'll continue as that is our homework for the week!

Our boys sat down with me and they came up with a long list of house rules.  I turned the long list into a short list that hangs on our dinning room wall.  Next to the rule page is a sheet of paper for each of the kids where they keep track of how many stickers they've earned!  The stickers can never be taken away, which was stressed in our learning about incentives tonight.  When they fill their sheet; we're going to Chuck E. Cheese.  They are terribly excited about this; I, on the other hand, dread it.  Next time, we're going to work toward something we can all enjoy!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Big Picture

Driving home from a Halloween Party tonight, my husband and I had some real adult conversation.  We get bogged down in the day to day life of working parenthood and swim lessons, dinosaur school, etc., we sometimes forget about the big picture, and even when we think about it, we rarely talk about it anymore. 

Mainly because, it's scary.

I have a handful of fears in my life in regards to my kids.  I may not be ready to share those, but they're still there.  Sometimes when I think about the big picture of our life, I wonder how I ever made it here.  I wonder how we survived it all and became the strong family we are today.  I am proud of what we've accomplished, but I looking at the big picture always takes me back to those fears I hold hidden within myself. 

I have worries in my motherhood, that I hope there are very few others who experience, not because I don't long for people to connect to, but because I pray that other families don't have to have the same path to happiness and love.  So tonight, I set and reflect on our life so far and the challenges we have to face.  I pray that no matter where life may take our family, I lead by example.  I trust that God is with all of us each day helping us make the right decisions today, tomorrow, and the next, and 40 years from now. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just Thursday

Outside my window... it is dark.
The time is...8:54 p.m.
Today I feel...sick.
I am thinking...I don't want to go to work tomorrow.
At the moment, I am be home from my work travels.
I am going...bed soon.
I am favorite green sweat pants and a Disney World t-shirt I've had since 6th grade.
I wish...I didn't have this cold!
I am reading...The Five Love Languages.  Still.  I'm loosing interest.
I am working on...finding my workout motivation again.
I am hoping...for a relaxing weekend.
I am hearing...some dumb extermination tv show my husband is watching.
I bet you didn't husband got a new job!
One of my favorite...meals is spaghetti.

Weekend Plans...

[Thursday] Sleep.
[Friday] Preschool Halloween party; work; laundry.
[Saturday] Relaxing at home; cleaning; baking; Halloween party.
[Sunday] Church; relaxing.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Beef Cows!

Tonight we were driving to the Mexican restaurant we were eating at for dinner with my parents tonight.  Along the way, Caden interjects into the conversation that there are beef cows over there!  They were there, I acknowledged that, and then Caden continues with: Mommy we're going to eat those.  They make cheeseburgers.  I like cheeseburgers.  Yes, yes they do, and yes we eat them!  Yum!

It makes me proud to know that I'm raising a little boy who is learning about agriculture and where our food comes from.  It's so important as agriculture is continually changing, and there is so much negative advertising about agriculture, that it is important to us that our children grow up understanding where our food comes from and why.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just Thursday

Outside my window... a parking lot and some trees!
The time is...9:11 p.m. (MN time!)
Today I feel... ready to go home.
I am thinking... practice makes perfect.
At the moment, I am thankful... my career/job.
I am going... go to the airport tomorrow morning!
I am wearing... dress pants, turtle neck, and a blazer.  (It's chilly up here in MN!)
I wish... I was crawling into bed with my hubby tonight.
I am reading... The Five Love Languages. (Except I haven't touched it in awhile.)
I am working on... working meetings away from home.
I am hoping... for smooth flight home tomorrow.
I am hearing... humming. My room is next to the mechanical/electrical room.
I bet you didn't know... we had exciting news in our home this week!
One of my favorite... meals is spaghetti.

Weekend Plans.. 
[Thursday] Dinner and drink with the co-worker I'm traveling with.
[Friday] Flying home to dinner with my in-laws.
[Saturday] I promised the kids a pumpkin pie and jack-o-lanterns this weekend before leaving Monday for Colorado.
[Sunday] Relaxing, laundry, and packing before leaving again.

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