30 September 2010

Has this guy ever had children?

A couple months ago our friends went out of town and asked us to get their Sunday paper for them. I did and perused through it. I came across this article from John Rosemond. Go ahead and read it. I'll wait.

Are you done? So what was your first impression? I'll tell you mine.

A concerned parent writes in asking about her son's throwing problem and the first thing the guy does is insult her! I was in awe that this guy was a Family psychologist and regular columnist and was treating people this way. If I went to him and he answered a question to my face like he does in writing I would walk right out. The second thing that bothered me was his course of action for the child. Sticking a kid that young in his room for that long seems a little much for me. And lastly, don't take any kids to sit-down restaurants until after they are four years old? Are you kidding me? Sounds a lot like "Children should be seen and not heard" approach.

What do you think of Mr. Rosemond's "advice"?

28 September 2010

Sometimes I just have a really hard time coming up with a title

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a good day. It was filled with lots of fun, food, phone calls, Facebook posts  and festivities. Wow, that's a lot of "F" words...I felt very loved and was grateful for that. I've had some disappointment lately and it was really good to have a day where happiness and friendship abounded. Life doesn't always work out the way I want it I've realized--well actually life hardly ever works out the way I want or expect--and yet I still have a hard time dealing with that. More on that later, but first back to the birthday...

So I have Google Voice. It's cool because all my calls--no matter if they come in on my GVoice number or regular number are sent to my GVoice voicemail and those get transcribed and sent as an email to my Gmail. So anyway, my 90 year old Grandpa called me yesterday (well actually he called T-Bone's phone) and left a message. The best part of having Google Voice is getting the voicemails transcribed. The first line of his message was transcribed as "wishing you A Very Happy Birthday, and all yo". He's totally down with it, ya know? :) I have quite the hip Grandpa, even if it is only Google Voice that thinks that. 

Here's another awesome transcription of a voicemail I got from T-Bone:

Okay. I don't know how are you doing A little bit more about my name is Linda. Hello. Hello. Hello. Something. It's been called in Because, or no, I was going to be a called yourcellphone. And I have a that all I I need to let me home Well, I may and Mr here in the shower. Bye and then net and. If you have been this IS A maybe you never pick the message or so. And has been. Hey.

It's magical.

So I haven't been around much lately. Last weekend I flew up with Mr. Smiley to Washington to spend time with my brother and his family who lives in Olympia. I was lucky and got to spend a couple hours with Bythelbs first on Saturday, who showed me parts of Seattle! Then I spent the rest of the time in Olympia walking around Jesse's new school, the capitol building, rivers and waterfalls and just plain hanging out. Vacationing is different when you have kids that need to nap. I didn't mind though. I was just glad to hang out and spend time with them. Here are some pictures from the trip.

I've been thinking that in the history of my life September has not proven to be very good. Not very many happy things--besides my birthday of course--have happened in September. But then I start thinking about it and realize that I'm wrong. Yes, some really crappy things have happened and are happening, but they are definitely balanced with some really wonderful things. I was listening to the Relief Society Broadcast on Sunday and was struck by the opening song. I loved the speakers, but the song is what I needed to hear. Here are the words to Count Your Blessings: 

When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
When  you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one.
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?

Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you his wealth untold, 
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy,
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged God is over all.
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey's end.

I really needed to remember that this life is a small moment. It will be full of heartbreak and trials, but in order to make it through we need to focus on the positives. I have husband who loves me. I have two beautiful children. I have a home to keep me safe and warm. I have so many more things but just thinking about a few things really lifted my spirits. Lastly I have the gospel of Jesus Christ. His true church is here on the earth and I am truly blessed to be a member of it. No matter what happens if I remember these things I'll be okay.

13 September 2010

Love Unrestrained

Both my kids are blanket babies. When Big Sister was around six months and we let her cry it out, I put a pink polka-dot soft blanket in her crib. It didn't take long for her to latch on to it. She carried that thing every where she went. And not only did she carry it, but she smelled it. She would play with it with her fingers and every few moments would put it up to her face to get a big sniff. It was almost like a drug and she had to get her fix. There wasn't only a pink blanket though. I had a white one with little yellow giraffes that was the same fabric that I would swap out if I needed to do laundry or something. I never intended them to be around together, but things don't always work out how we intend them, do they? So she became attached to both blankets and smelled them every chance she got.

Mr. Smiley always loved to touch silky things. When he was a little baby I put a silky blanket over him while he was sleeping. He was in one of those swaddle blankets, but his hand came free and he had his little fingers delicately touching that silky blanket. At Christmas time last year I found a silky fabric and made some small squares that he could have to cuddle with. Although he didn't only want to cuddle them, he liked to suck on them. A couple months later he was up in the early hours of the morning and it was a little chilly. I went and got a blanket from his closet and it was all silky on the back and minky dot on the front. I wrapped him in that and we sat on the couch. After that he was hooked on that blanket. He wanted nothing to do with the little silkies that I made him. He just wanted to suck on the corners of his blanket. 

Just a few minutes ago it was time for his nap. So I started looking for his blanket and he followed me, looking too. I remember doing the same thing with Big Sister. When those special blankets are found there is so much uninhibited love. Mr. Smiley gets all excited and reaches for his blanket and sometimes will make a happy sighing noise as he hugs it because this blanket has filled and satisfied that inner desire that he had.  

I love how babies and small children love--and show love--so uninhibitedly. When Daddy comes home, they run to him and wrap their little arms around him. When I pick Big Sister up from school she runs to me and right away starts chattering about her day. I wish that we didn't lose this as we grow up. We start worrying about whether people like us, or we get embarrassed about showing love to our parents and we start being a little more self conscious about things that we love for fear people will tease us. I was just struck this morning by the pure joy that was in Mr. Smiley's face when he was reunited with his blanket. He grabbed it, shoved it in his mouth and laid down in his crib to sleep completely satisfied. I hope that I can be more like him and show my love with much less reservation and hesitancy. May we all love with much less restraint.

09 September 2010

I can't think of what I wanted to blog about so you get this instead

Over the last couple days I've had a few ideas of things to blog about but I haven't written them down. Consequently they have gone the way of the dodo bird and I can't get them back. It's bugging me quite a bit too. So I guess I'll write about other not very important things.

I'm making this sweater for Big Sister. I just have to make one more sleeve and then do the finishing touches and sew it together. I made a mistake but luckily all it does is alter the length of the sweater and not anything else. I'll post pictures when I'm done.

A couple weeks ago I got a new Nativity Scene. I love it and it's already displayed on my bookshelf. It was exciting because a couple years ago Julie had posted this on her blog. I instantly fell in love with the design and emailed the creator. The pieces had to be purchased separately and they were out of my budget so at the time I had to pass. She told me that she was working on a reproduction set though. She told me she would contact me when she had worked out the details. Well a little over a month ago I got an email from her so I bought one!

Mr. Smiley has been getting his third molar. I hate teething. Sometimes I wish babies were just born with teeth, but I can see the bad logistics in that too. He is not a very good teether and it's understandable. He gets blisters on his gums and they just look really nasty when a tooth is coming. And they seem to take FORever. Big Sister wasn't like that at all. She would be grouchy for a day and I wouldn't know what was wrong, then the next day I would feel a tooth pop through. She has always had a very high pain tolerance so I think that has something to do with it. Plus Mr. Smiley is getting a cold right now too so he's extra miserable. He woke up at 3 this morning and was just having a good time hanging out in his crib. I didn't want to get him, but after a while he started to sound a little impatient. So I got up and took him to the living room where we practically cuddled for an hour. I didn't turn the lights on so I don't know if that deterred him from playing but he just sat on my lap and "talked" to me. It was very sweet. If I wasn't getting so tired I wouldn't have put him back in his bed at 4:30, but I did. The kid is a sweetheart, I tell you.

Thanks for all your advice with Big Sister, too. She has been great the last week or so. We've had some sass from her--which is to be expected--but over all her behavior seems to be better. She is thinking about her actions and words more and that was what I really wanted to accomplish. Her teacher told me she is doing good in class too, so that makes me feel better.

We read Vanity Fair in book club last month. Have any of you read it? Boy was it long! Apparently it's one of those books that authors claim as one of the best books of all time. But none of us in book club could figure out why. Nothing happens! It's long, slow, drawn out and boring. There were some redeemable qualities about it, but seriously I hope to never read that one again.

Well I think I've probably bored you enough as it is with my random thoughts so I'll bid you good day.

02 September 2010

Following Directions

I really hate to write these kind of posts, because I don't want my children to read them when they are older and think that I thought bad of them, but I really need some help with Big Sister. I was hoping that I could call on the hundred or so cumulative years of parenting experience of all my readers.

Big Sister has a really hard time following directions.

If I ask her to do something there will be one of a few different reactions: talking back, ignoring, making up her own directions ("Did you say such and such?" when she knows full well what I asked her to do) and very rarely actually doing what I asked. Most often it's talking back and being resistant. Here's an example that happened this morning. I was at her school waiting for the bell to ring with her. At Big Sister's school they have all the kids line up on their class "dots" on the black top. She decided she wanted to play with the jump ropes so she went and got one. About 10 minutes later the bell rang. All the kids were coming in from the grass and putting away their balls and ropes. I told Big Sister I heard the bell and that she needed to put the rope away.  We had the following conversation: 

Big Sister: That wasn't the bell. That one went doo-doo-doo-doo.
Me: No that was the bell. See all the kids coming in from the grass. Please go put away your jump rope.
BS: That wasn't the bell. It went doo-doo-doo-doo
Me: Yes, Big Sister it was. Please show me that you know how to follow directions.
BS ignores me
Me: Big Sister, please go put your rope away. All the kids are starting to get in line.
BS starts to walk really slow over to where the ropes go
Me: Quickly please so you can come back and get in line.
BS walks a little faster and finally puts her jump rope away.

This drives me crazy! I held my tongue but I wanted to say, "Don't make me send you back to Kindergarten where you can learn to follow directions!" I'm glad I didn't say that. But seriously I know she has a problem. How do I help her? This kind of exchange goes on constantly in our home. I try to be patient. She gets time-outs when she talks back. But I want to teach her how to follow directions, not punish her all the time. I know that she is going to have a hard time in school if she can't figure this one out. I want to spare her that. One girl in her class this morning interjected into our little rope conversation and said, "She never raises her hand in class." I don't want kids to be saying things like that already. 

What strategies do you use to help teach your children how to follow directions?