Thursday, January 31, 2008

Some of My Favorite Pictures and Quotes from January...

Aren't they cute?



Conner is hamming it up!




Yuuuummmmy!


Conner's self-inflicted bald spot (see the post "Oops")


Conner likes to read on top of Daddy's truck




Ride 'em "cowboy!"




Like my sunglasses?



Conner tells the best stories




Conner got to pet an alligator at the zoo!




The aquarium was awesome!




Chicory needed some help breaking through the ice in his water a couple of times.

Leaves are so much fun!


Can't wait for Mardi Gras!


Mommy's headbands are almost as cool as the mardi gras beads.




And, last but not least, quotes of the month:



  • Conner was working on his memory verse the other night, and was having a really hard time remembering the "address" (the scripture reference): "Help one another. Neptune 13."

  • "But Mom, Yogi doesn't have any hair, so he's not a mammal!" --Conner

  • Conner: "Mommy, where will Joey come out of your tummy?"
    Rachel: "At the hospital. Mommy will have to go to the hospital when Joey is ready to come out because my tummy will hurt."
    Conner: "Oh. But what about the manger and the stable?"
    Rachel (after a chuckle): "Well, we don't have a manger and a stable."
    Conner: "Daddy can build one and Joey can be born in a manger and a stable just like Baby Jesus!"

  • "Well, I wasn't good every minute today, but I was good enough." --Conner

  • "Hey, Doddee. Duddee do." (Translation: Hey, Daddy. There's a puppy dog on my shirt.) --Micah, one of his first sentences.

  • At church Wednesday night, Conner's class was studying the wise men and their journey to Bethlehem. They talked a lot about stars, and his teacher hid several throughout the classroom for the kids to find. Conner found several. When we asked him where and how he found them, he stuck one of his stars behind a poster on the wall, leaving one of the points sticking out a little and said, "I saw it's ankle sticking out!"

  • Micah, in the middle of a prayer at church: "Jesus!"

  • Conner, in the middle of the same church service, following a song in which he thought the piano was too loud: "My church doesn't have musical instruments!"



Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Oops!

While he was at Gammie's and Poppy's house last week, Conner got ahold of a razor in the bathtub. It doesn't look like he tried shaving anywhere except the top of his head, but he got the top of his head pretty good! He got two spots very closely, but somehow managed to get away with no cuts or even razor burn. Conner was needing a haircut very badly anyway, so Bret just buzzed it when we got home.

Conner's new haircut really doesn't look too bad...
...until you see it from the right side!
By the way, for any of you who might see or talk to Conner, he is very excited about his new haircut. He loves it. He is, however, a little embarrassed about the razor incident -- not because of how it looks, but because he did something bad and got in trouble. He's not real interested in talking to anyone about it.

A Visit to Gammie's and Poppy's House (and Chuck E. Cheese, too!)

Micah and Conner got to spend nearly the whole week at Gammie's and Poppy's house last week. It was very cold and rainy for the first several days, so they had to be creative and come up with fun things to do in the house. Micah was quickly reunited with his friend "Shasta McNasty," (who, by the way is not just a pet kitty cat, but some kind of exotic Bengal tiger cat or something - Poppy knows!) And he was never far from his golf balls.
Conner made a tunnel from the couch cushions.

They got lots of cuddles and tickles from Aggie.

Gammie got a bunch of new pictures for her "frigerator."

And Conner challenged everyone to a few games of Sesame Street Chutes and Ladders (when Micah wasn't stealing all of the game pieces!)
Then Conner's hair had an incident with a razor. (See the post titled "Oops.")
On Saturday, it finally stopped raining and warmed up enough for them to get out. It has become bit of a tradition to go to Chuck E. Cheese with Gammie and Poppy, so they went to (as Bret and I refer to it in code) "Charles'."

They rode the carousel...
...played games...

...ate pizza...
...and tootise rolls, too.
The afternoon wouldn't be complete without some "cheesey" (get it?) pictures in the parking lot with Uncle Adam and Aunt Caroline.

The next day was Sunday. After the shock of the guitar and piano at Gammie's and Poppy's church wore off, (Conner announced to everyone in the middle of church that, "My church doesn't have musical instruments!") it was time to start packing up to head for home on Monday.

We had a great time, Gammie and Poppy. We can't wait to do it again!


















Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Positive Discipline

I went to a seminar on positive discipline at work yesterday. You know, the kind that has lots of good parenting tips (a few you don't agree with, but mostly good). I always leave those things feeling good about a couple of things that we are doing/have done, but mostly feeling overwhelmingly guilty about all the areas in which I'm failing! Because it was in a preschool setting, we talked mostly about 2, 3, and 4-year-olds. I think I'm the only teacher in which all of my children currently fall into those categories, so I somehow became the 2-year-old "expert" when it came to describing the challenges and characeristics of one. I felt so guilty, having just posted on terrible twos and temper tantrums! Poor Micah.

When I got home, I was thinking I would try to renew my efforts (which admittedly have gotten pretty lax due to stress and exhaustion over the fall) to be a good parent. Not that I don't always strive to be, I was just reminded how important it is to be creative and patient, how good it is to take a minute to assess the situation before jumping to conclusions and doling out punishments, that it is so helpful to try to "catch your kids doing something right" (they learn and respond more to praise than discipline), etc... I was also reminded how hard it is going to be on Conner and Micah when we bring Josiah home. Time to start replacing some bad habits with good ones while I still have a least half a brain!

I hadn't been home long when I was trying to cook dinner, Micah woke up from his nap early, and Conner was driving me crazy. He had been sick, and hadn't been out of the house (save a two hour trip to the airport and back Saturday evening in which he didn't even get to get out of the car!) since Friday afternoon (this is Wednesday morning). He was wanting to play duck-duck-goose, hide-and-seek, soccer - anything, it seemed, that required lots of sitting and running that I just didn't feel up to. So, I said (selecting the "redirection" tool from my newly replenished parenting toolbelt), "Hey, I've got an idea! Why don't you see how many times you can run in circles around the couch?" He didn't disappoint - he ran around the couch 100 times, stopping very breifly only 3 or 4 times to catch his breath! Micah and I cuddled in the rocking chair (which was exactly what he was needing) while we counted laps. (Meanwhile the casserole was overcooking in the oven, but I was concentrating on being a good parent at the moment! It did turn out alright -- the boys even ate it pretty well.) He left me alone about the duck-duck-goose game after that - but the cough that had been mostly gone all day found it's way back. Oops. So much for good parenting!

I guess in the end I just need to remember that we do the best we can with the energy, creativity, and patience we've got -- and trust God that not only will we not mess them up too much in the end, but that He will bless them in spite of what we put them through! I'm thankful, too, that I have been blessed to have a partner in this endeavor. Thank you, Bret, for being the wonderful father and husband that you are! I look forward to many more years with you, filled with trying not to mess these boys up too much!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Terrible Twos

Micah turned 23 months this past week. He's only one month from officially being two, and he's not going to wait those extra few weeks to start acting it! In this picture, he was wearing several strings of Mardi Gras beads, a winter snow hat (that he refused to wear when it was actually cold!), and throwing a huge temper tantrum because I was trying to take his picture! When this happened, I started making a mental list of the things he had (or hadn't, as the case may be) done in the past 24 hours that are signs we're hitting the "Terrible Twos":
  • Micah has recently decided that it is great fun to hold the last bite of a meal or snack in his mouth for a prolonged period of time before swallowing it -- up to 30 minutes or more. This is especially awesome when it has been so long that he begins to drool colored, sticky, and/or chunky liquid. Sneezes are also especially exciting.
  • Micah has also recently decided that there will only be one food on his plate worth eating at each meal. He could love everything there, but will choose only one to eat. When it is gone, if he does not get second or third helpings of this particular food, he will not eat anything else on his plate. He will simply be finished with the meal.
  • Dumping everything out of a container or pulling all of the books off of a shelf has become one of his favorite past times. He does not do this so that the items are more easily accessible and played with. Rather, he makes the mess simply for the mess's sake, and then leaves it.
  • Micah has also decided that he no longer wants to get dressed. He will throw a huge temper tantrum (which includes, at times, hitting his head against the wall or floor, and making himself puke!) anytime it is time to put something new on. Then, once the clothes are on, and he realizes he is being ignored, he is fine until the next time it is time to get dressed.
  • I have been trying not to carry Micah around as much when we are out. He has been getting to ride in the stroller or hold mine or Conner's hand. This is because a) he can walk by himself, b) he weighs 28 pounds, c) I think I'm already carrying a 28 pound baby in my belly!, and d) when Josiah is here, Micah is going to have to start pulling some more of his own weight! We were doing good for awhile, but now he has begun the "jello legs" routine. You know, where all of the sudden his legs can no longer bear any weight, and you are left with the options of a) standing there pulling their arms out of the socket while they hang, b) dragging them, or c) loading them up in the stroller or carrying them. Awesome.
  • Coloring with markers has been replaced with taking off all of the lids and throwing them, and coloring on paper with crayons has been replaced with coloring on the floors, windows, and walls. When Conner was this age, the crayons and markers simply got put away. It is hard to punish Conner for Micah's behavior, though!

Then, just after I had put Micah to bed and had even more time to think, I was getting really frustrated and wondering what in the world we are getting ourselves into. So I stuck my head in his room to check on him and found him laying there sweetly, cuddling the softie, milk (warm, of course!), soft ball, and bouncy ball that he insisted on having before he went "night-night." My heart melted, and I was once again reminded "what in the world we are getting ourselves into" - a wonderful family blessed by two (and soon to be three) active, healthy, and smart boys. We get the privilege of watching them grow and learn, and yes, throw temper tantrums. Thank you, God, for all of these frustrations that make me know that my baby boy is healthy, growing, and learning as he should be, and for some how making me love him all the more because of it! Only You could come up with something so crazy.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Daddy's Home!

Bret got home this evening. A week of him being gone is a long time! As soon as he walked in the door, a much anticipated "karate" match began. Mommy (especially very pregnant Mommy!) is just not as good at "karate" as Daddy is -- and not nearly as fun or rough, either.

Boys are fun. It's good to have them all back here again!





Friday, January 11, 2008

Fightin' Texas Aggies

We may be living in Louisiana, but (even admidst all of this week's LSU hype!) we're still raising 'em right.



Gig 'em Aggies!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Confessions

This is a picture that Conner took of me several weeks ago. Awful, I know! Since I am the one in our family that manages all of the pictures, I have the liberty of keeping any pictures like this of other people (for future embarrassment), as well as deleting all of the potentially embarrassing pictures of myself. However, I just couldn't bring myself to delete this particular picture, because I look exactly like I feel so much of the time! This week is one of those weeks. Bret is out of town for the entire week, and I am here chasing the boys by myself, huge pregnant belly leading the way.

It has also been brought to my attention that I need to inform the few of you who might be looking at this blog every now and then that I am breaking what is probably one of the cardinal rules of blogging. I am blogging forwards as well as backwards. I am a scrapbooker at heart. Before I had children, I did some scrapbooking -- the kind where I covered the floor of an entire room for days and weeks at a time with markers, paper, stickers, scissors, etc. I even made entire scrapbooks where I hand printed and drew everything - no stickers or pre-printed labels. But, my kids now take up the time and money that I once had for that, as well as invade the space! The scrapbooking part of me that has been bottled up for 4 1/2 years now has been unleashed! True, I don't get to play with all the scissors and paper and markers, but I have found an avenue to journal along with the pictures that are so special to me in a way that is inexpensive and not messy. When I get a new batch of pictures that is worthy of a post, I am posting it. But, in between those opportune days, I am working my way backwards through the pictures, postdating the posts. I realize that as I get to older pictures, the journaling will dwindle, as the memories are not as fresh. But that is one reason I am doing this - they're fresher now than they will be when my kids are grown and gone. And, I also realize that the arrival of Baby Josiah will certainly slow all of this down. But, for now, after the crazy-busy fall semester that I had, in which I did absolutely nothing for myself, I am enjoying doing something that I enjoy. Thanks for hanging with me!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Church Today: Have You Been Marked, and What Conner Saw at the Zoo

There was no Jesus Rocks (children's church) today, so Conner got to sit with me for the entire worship service. We had a great bag full of fun things to do, but he stayed busy the entire time with only two activities.

The first was stickers. About the time he found them, it was time for meet & greet (where we walk around and tell everyone hi for a few minutes). Conner spent the entire time (and most of the following song) giving a sticker to everyone he greeted. What was funny about this was that the man who led the closing prayer went up to the microphone, showing everyone the lovely kitten sticker on his hand, and asked, "I was marked today at church. How many of you were marked?!" The entire section of people sitting around us all laughed and raised their hands. He then went on to make an object lesson of Conner's sharing, about how we have been marked by Christ. It was pretty cool.

Conner's second activity consisted of merely a legal pad and a couple of markers. He decided he was going to write the names of all the animals he saw at the zoo yesterday. He did it all by himself, except for some help in remembering what all he saw. It was too cute! This may not be cute or impressive to anyone else except his parents and grandparents, but I'm going to share it anyway. Here's what he wrote, along with a translation (and a few random dinosaur names thrown in at the end!):
  • PECOC (peacock)


  • FLEGO (flamingo)


  • ALGADR (alligator)


  • ODR (otter)


  • JAGUR (jaguar)


  • TIGR (tiger)


  • BAIR (bear)


  • LIYN (lion)


  • ELFIT (elephant)


  • ANT EDR (ant eater)


  • PAIRRIT (parrot)


  • SNAC (snake)


  • FISH (fish)


  • RINOSRIS (rhinocerous -- I don't even know if I spelled it right!)


  • TRDL (turtle)


  • MUCE (monkey)


  • KAGROO (kangaroo)


  • SEGSORIS (stegosaurus)


  • TEREX (t-rex)


  • CHRISAIRRTOPS (triceratops -- his "tr" sounds like "ch")


  • TAIRRDACTL (pteradactyl)


  • PADSORRIS (apatosaurus)


  • IGWDON (iguanodon)


  • RAPTR (raptor)


  • SPINSORIS (spinosaurus)

Here's a couple of pictures of his actual handwriting so you get the full effect. (Okay, so I can't help myself!)