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.

Caden

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.

Caleb

**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

Understanding

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 Zales.com

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!

Slices

Tonight in the car, Elinore asked me if bugs poop.  I said yes.  Then she asked me if bugs have slices on their butts like we do to go poop....