Cat Got Your Tongue?

My children have been blessed with the gift of gab.  They never stop talking unless they are asleep.  Seriously.  I’m a stay-at-home mom and sometimes I don’t want to stay at home.  I need the voices to stop sometimes!  My sister recently wrote a blog entitled “Time Out for your Mouth”.  You can read it by clicking here.  I definitely am needing one of these time-outs for my children.

My son Sam is 6 now.  He started talking at 12 months.  My darling daughter Devri is 2 years and 4 months old.  I think she came out of the womb talking (or so it seems).  She actually started talking a little later than her brother.   Around 15 months.  I loved it that Sam talked so early because when it was just the two of us, it was fun to see what would come out of his little mouth.  He is such a sweet, kind-hearted kid.  Devri’s personality is polar opposite of her brother’s.  Don’t misunderstand, she can be absolutely precious and I love her dearly.  However, Devri has already developed her “alpha woman” gene.  “Do this, Mamma.”  “Move, Brother.”  “Go away, Mamma.”  She is quite bossy.  Yesterday Sam told her so and her response was, “I’m not bossy.  I’m busy.”  I actually like this.  I think I will use this at some point in my life.

So, today the three of us drive to Odessa to go see our awesome, wonderful dentist, Dr. Joel Edwards.  I highly recommend him and you can find his information here.  We arrived to his office and they call Devri’s name and all three of us proceed to the back to the exam room area where Devri is weighed and measured.  Devri begins to tell the hygenist all about her princess band-aid that is across her nose.  (She fell down the cement steps at church last night.  Owww!)  The hygenist seems smitten with the conversation coming from this little two year-old with lopsided ponytails.  She takes us into the exam room and tells us Dr. Edwards will be with us shortly.  He arrived after a few minutes and for the next 20 minutes my two children became mute.  Not one word.  What?  It was amazing.  And a little strange.  He is a wonderful dentist.  Very gentle and the kids both responded to his requests while he examined them, but they would not speak.  He gave them both stickers.  Devri for being a great patient and Sam for wearing a Texas Longhorn football jersey.  Another reason that I like him-he’s a Longhorn fan!  Then he sent us on our merry way.  We stepped out of his office and my serenity came to an end.  Devri started singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” whilst Sam engaged me in deep conversation about sharks all while I am trying to find my way back to Big Spring.  Somehow we made it.  No one fell asleep on the way home.  Darn.

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First Day Back

So far on this first day of homeschool, this is what I have learned-

  • Devri can paint her own fingernails.
  • Devri can unscrew the cap to the nail polish remover.
  • Devri can get up on the potty all by herself.

Love Her!

This is just a short clip of the darling daughter being her adorable self.  I am loving this stage in her life.  The new words she acquires daily (it seems), the personality coming to life, and watching her discover new things.  Enjoy!

Our Day in S.A.

So far it has been an adventurous, fun-filled, no-accidents kind of day.  This is wonderful considering we have three 2 year-olds (one is almost 2 and the others are almost 3), a five-year old, and a 7 year-old.  The first adventure was managing to feed five small children in the lobby of the hotel because there was no available seating in the tiny dining room.  One child had to change clothes afterward-not too bad.  The next adventure was surviving the car ride from the hotel to the parking lot downtown.  My sister sometimes suffers from road-rage.  She might disagree, but from my perspective, it can get a little volatile riding with her.  😉  She spoke vehemently to the driver who accidentally turned the wrong way in the parking lot.  Then she might have used her hands to make some motions like “what the heck were you thinking”.  Thankfully, the person in the other vehicle basically ignored her.  It was exciting for this Big Spring girl, anyway. 

Then we made it to the San Antonio Children’s Museum.  The kids loved it!  It has three levels and all the levels were full of interesting, kid-friendly areas ready for exploration and discovery.  On the lower level was a kid-sized grocery store compliments of H.E.B.  The little urchins loved “grocery shopping”.  The only problem was that there were not enough grocery carts to go around, but we managed to share the two that we found.  There was also an area where you could watch yourself on the big screen.  I thought this would appeal more to our kids than it did.  Oh, well.  There was more on the next floor. 

On the middle floor, we found a large push-pin wall.  I don’t really know how to describe this except to say that there are these little pin-like rods that you can push from either side of the wall and make imprints.  I have actually seen these little toys at Wal-mart.  Mostly the kids just make handprints, but there were some face prints in there, too.  Our five seemed to really enjoy this display.  Also on this level was a room with water and bubbles.  The kids could make little boats and ducks race in the water and they could make a huge bubble around their whole body.  This was a huge hit.  There were also blocks and an electrical circuit board for building.  The favorite thing on this floor had to have been the loader that the kids could “drive”.  My five year-old especially loved this one.  Here is a picture of the little dude.

 The second level had an area especially for toddlers that our little ones really enjoyed.  I did not go with my little one on this adventure because I stayed with the big boys instead.  But here is a shot I took of her over the wall.  She was having a blast!

We took a little break after two floors and finished off the box of goldfish and the organic peanut butter granola bars.  Then it was time to hit the third floor.  On the third floor, to the boy’s delight, there was a life size airplane.  Or at least part of a plane that seemed life-size.  Our two boys managed to find and don the captain’s hats and then they took over the cockpit.  We finally had to pull them away because they were not giving other children a turn.  Just look at these faces. 

 

The darling daughter found her own little area to play and I finally managed to snap a picture where she was smiling.  I told her to say, “Hi, Daddy”.  She said it with a big smile!

Our final landing spot on the third floor was in a back room where the children could read in a cozy room, play make-believe with a kitchen and upstairs dining room or put on a performance on the mock stage.  We actually had a little performance starring one of the moms and the two big boys.  Then one of the little girls wanted in on the action.

Eventually we made it to the gift shop where everyone was blessed with a souvenir.  All in all, it was a great day at the children’s museum.  The little darling even used the potty three times while there.  Woohoo!

We left the San Antonio Children’s Museum and headed to The Twin Sisters Bakery and Cafe for lunch.  They close at 3:00p.m. and we got there at 2:56 p.m.  Thank you God that they let us in.  We did not have a back-up plan for lunch.  It was a good lunch.  I’ll post about it later.  We then headed back to the hotel room.  My little darling fell asleep on the way back and she slept for an hour in the hotel room.  Now she is laying next to me awake as I finish this post.  I wonder what adventure we will have tonight when we attempt the Riverwalk.

Words of Affirmation

Many of us have read the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary D. Chapman.  I have identified my top two love languages as “words of affirmation” and “gifts”.  Meaning, basically, that I like to be affirmed daily (or hourly, or a couple of times a minute), and I like giving and receiving gifts. 

As a mother, I felt that it was my duty to train my son in this as early as possible.  I wanted him to know how much I love him and I needed him to know how to love me back.  Of course, this was impossible to teach a newborn, but I was ready as soon as the occasion arose.  And, it didn’t come soon enough, if you ask me.  Tirelessly taking care of a newborn is both physically and mentally exhausting and I needed some affirmation and a gift or two. So, when my little boy was about 22 months old and demonstrated a semi-mastery of the English language (well, at least, the common bystander could understand him, not just his mommy), I felt that he was indeed ready to be taught his mommy’s love language.  Hence, the following pathetic tale ensues. 

In all of my motherly wisdom, I decided to teach my precious angel to say “mommy’s beautiful” whenever he wanted something.  Who needs to hear the words, “please” and “may I”.  In all my selfish need for affirmation, I taught my son to indulge me with this pleasantry.  Actually, I just thought it was really funny.  I did teach him to say “please” and “thank you” and all the other appropriate phrases that would elicit comments such as, “He has such good manners.” and “Wow!  What a good boy you have.”  Lord knows I needed to be affirmed by strangers, as well, that I was a good mother.  Forget about love.  Just tell me how wonderful I am and that I am doing a good job raising my child. 

I think what it really boiled down to was that I had a lot of self-doubt.  As any first time mother, I wasn’t really sure if I was doing a good job raising my son.  I had waited for motherhood for so long and I wanted to be sure that I was doing everything right.  That was my true need for affirmation, not love.  (Not that I am dissing Dr. Chapman, or anything like that.)   Thank goodness, that misplaced need for affirmation from my son and strangers has dissipated.  I am much more confident in my parenting skills now and I don’t need my children to tell me how beautiful I am.  I still like to hear that my children are perfect, though.  So, bring it on.  (I know that they are not.  BELIEVE ME, I KNOW!  I just like to pretend.)

Thinking that I need to read this one

Just One

So, this morning I am sitting at the breakfast bar area about to blog about something incredibly interesting (I’m sure) and my almost two-year old little girl climbs up in the bar stool next to me and starts pointing at the candy/candle holder that we have out for the holiday (we are so festive around here, can’t you see?).  She is excitedly saying something in her native “toddler” tongue.  As a mother, I, of course, know exactly what she is saying.  “Just one, just one.” 
 

Now before you do a front flip over how brilliant my child is in the manipulative skills of begging for candy, let me tell you that she has heard this phrase from me too many times.  She points to the candy, and I say, “Just one.”. 

 

 

So, I give in (hey, she already had a semi-healthy breakfast) and let her have one.  She happily devours the candy heart as if it were her first meal in a while.  Then she points again to the dish and says, “just one” almost as clear as day.  She is just melting my heart a little, so, I think it won’t hurt to give her one more.  I pull out a purple one.  She grabs it from me and looks at it and shakes her head “no”.  She doesn’t want the purple one.  I proceed to select a pink one for her and when I hand it to her and try to take the purple one, she stuffs them both in her mouth.  Little toot! 

Then she tries to pull the same cute little “just one” routine one more time.  It’s not going to work this time.  I’m no sucker.  At least not three times in a row.  Now, I am not sure  if my little prima dona thinks the sweet hearts are called “candy” or “just one”.  We’ll work on that later.  I have to go finish the Pioneer Woman’s book.  Which, by the way, I do think the PW would think Devri is adorable!  I’m just sayin’!

Hot-chi Mama!

I have the cutest story to tell about Sam in his early years.  Okay, okay, I know he is only five, but he is such a mature five and since he started talking full sentences at 18 months, it just seems appropriate to say that this story occurred during his “early years”. 

He was a young two-year old (meaning closer to 2 than to 3-got it? okay).  He was perched up in his high chair awaiting his morning meal.  Connoisseur of the kitchen that I am (I mean was, because I have made advances in this area of my life), I was heating up something in the microwave.  The microwave dinged and I pulled the bowl out and set it on the counter.  As every good mother should, I decided to give it a little heat test to ensure that my precious baby would not be burned when he took his first bite. So, I stuck my finger right down in the middle of it.  First thing that came out of my mouth was, “Hot-chi Mama!”.  It wasn’t a yell or anything.  Just a normal-level voice.  Sam did not even seem to notice what was going on.  I set the bowl aside for a couple of minutes to let it cool off.  I then felt the food again and decided it was at a safe temperature to feed my toddler.  He happily took the bowl, stuck his little finger down in the precise spot I had put mine and said with exuberance, “Hot-chi Sam!” 

I just love this child!  And this was the day that I decided that my toddler is a genius.

Oh My Word!

We spent Thanksgiving with my family.  I have a 2 1/2 year old niece.  She is adorable.  She discovered my and John’s Iphones.  She loved them.  We couldn’t keep her off of them.  Along with our 5 year-old son and 7 year-old nephew, not to mention my almost 40 year-old sister (you know who you are!), it was almost impossible to keep the things charged.  John decided it would be humorous to teach the little niece, Ellie to say, “I want an Ipod.”  I’m not sure if her mom and dad thought it was funny! 

I really don’t know if I think it is funny!  I definitely think that there should be boundaries involved with children and technology, but the truth of the matter is that this is a different generation.  But, we as parents have a responsibility to make sure our children use technology in age-appropriate ways.  I don’t think a toddler should play on an Iphone, but I am guilty of indulging my 19 month old in the pleasure of the glorious touch screen.  Sometimes I have done it out of sheer desperation.  I am in the grocery store and I have to get my shopping completed.  The only thing that will keep her from fussing is handing over the phone.  Ugh!  I have to watch her closely because she has texted and called people unbeknownst to me.  I especially hate when she is finished and decides to drop it.  Thank God for the Otter Box! 

I have been feeling convicted of this disbalance in my life.  John and I decided to sync up the old Ipod Touch with all of our apps so the kids (5 yr old and 19 months) could play on the Ipod and not mistakenly make phone calls or delete important information.  This has been working o.k., but I am still convicted that I just need to tell the toddler, “no more Ipod”.  This morning when I got up, I purposed to myself that I would not allow the child to play on the Iphone or Ipod.  I would just try to keep them out of her line of vision.  So, I fed her a banana and began to wash her hands.  As I set her down on the floor and told her to go play, she looked up at me and said, “Ipod” as plain as day!  I could not believe it!  And she is a persistent one.  She walked around the house looking for it and crying.  Don’t ask what I did!

my three-year old made me do it

This must be where he learns it!

This must be where he learns it!

He must be up to something!
He must be up to something!

Before I had a child of my own, I was the person who looked on with disdain as a preschooler acted out and I would say to myself, “my child will NEVER act like that.”  At our church there was a fountain outside that all the children would run to after service.  Those who were unsupervised would sometimes manage to get a little wet.  My childless friend Keisha and I would huddle to the side and say, “our kids will never do that!”  And, then, my sister had a child before me and I would sometimes be around her little boy and I would again think to myself, “If my child acts like that, I will just spank him and make him mind me.  She needs to show him who is in control.”  Boy, have things changed! 

My son, Sam is three now and whoever first spoke the term “terrible two’s” was not talking about my son.  We loved being two.  Sam is no angel, but we never had any major behavior problems at two.  But, he turned three only two weeks ago and, boy, is he enjoying “discovering” himself.  I think we must go through several stages in life when we say, “I am discovering who I am”.  I am convinced that is now happening with my sweet, adorable two-year old has been.  He turned three and he decided, “I need to find myself.  I need to test some uncharted territories in my life.”  Pretty profound for a three-year old, I know.  But, let me give you an example.  In the past, when we have gone places I would always get comments like, “He is so calm” and “What a well-behaved child” and even some snide looks from other parents as they would run after their wild-child.  I must have been getting a little prideful about this because since Sam has turned three, God has been allowing some pretty crazy stuff to happen.  And even though I know God is not making these things happen, I have a feeling He is probably somewhat amused by it all.  Sam and I went to church with my parents just last Wednesday night.  Most of the evening he just wanted to lay on my shoulder or hold my hand.  So sweet.  As soon as church was over, he didn’t want anything to do with me.  He just wanted to run after a group of four-year old boys.  No problem.  I guess if other parents are allowing their children to run free, then Sam can too as long I can see him.  So, I tried to keep my eye on him as I visited.  Next thing I know, I am jumping out of my skin because someone (namely, “Sam”) has come up behind me and has bitten my behind.  Yes, he bit my bottom!  This is not funny.  Especially, because we are not even with people who we know.  So, now I am merely making excuses for his behavior.  Saying things like, “he doesn’t usually act this way.”  And, I am most certain that bystanders are thinking, “she needs to do something with that child.”  We left pretty quickly after that happened, because short of beating him, what could I do?  At least it was my bottom and not some random stranger…that definitely would have been worse. 

The next day we went to the mall.  We were visiting friends and we did not have our stroller.  Big mistake.  We went into a clothing store and Sam immediately heads for a rack of clothes that he can hide in.  He loves this.  I let him hide in the rack of clothes that we were looking at.  What harm, right?  Well, when it was time to move to another section of the store, he would not come willingly.  So, I have to pull him out by the one arm I managed to grab and try to have a serious talk about how he needs to stay with me.  Again, I say, “uncharted territory” is on his little brain.  As soon as he can pull away from me, he is off.  I tell him to stop and he begins laughing and running around the whole store.  Yes, I had to chase him.  I was so embarrassed and, once again, I can picture God up there chuckling.  He made it around the entire store before I finally caught him and whisked him into a dressing room.  I am sure people knew what was going on in that room, but noone seemed to mind that my child was being disciplined.  It was a pleasant surprise to actually feel like people thought I was doing the “right” thing.  Maybe it was because I was in one of those trendy stores that attracts teenagers and they were just oblivious to what was going on…who knows? 

I am sure there will be many more adventures with Sam as his borders continue to expand.  I look forward to everyone of them…even the ones that make me want to scream and cover my face in horror (or shame).  I love watching him grow up and explore new things.  I want to always be there to guide him in the right direction and keep him safe, and I want to remember every single detail of these days, because I know they will not last forever.  I just hope he gains some better judgement soon!

Something about Sam

I just want to share some of the cute things Sam has said lately.  My sister-in-law is in town and she took Sam with her to have lunch with some friends.  As they were leaving, Sam told them all, “Nice to meet ya!”  He is so polite! 

Later that night John and I were in the restroom giving him a  bath.  We got him out of the tub and I was drying him off when he looked me right in the eye and said, “Stupid Mommy.”  Not so cute and not so polite.  He got his mouth popped for that one.

A couple of days ago, our dog Hydro hurt her leg.  She could not walk on her right front paw so she would hop.  Sam kept chasing her and we would tell him not to chase the dog because she is hurt.  At one point, he laughed and said, “Hydo is bouncing!  Look at her bounce!”  I never thought about it before, but she did look like she was bouncing around the house.  What perspective!

Finally, last night I was watching re-runs of “What Not to Wear” and Sam was in the room with me.  He got my attention and said, “Shut Up!”  Of course, I told him not to say that and then I wondered aloud, “where has he heard that?”  Then in the background of my thought, I heard Stacey (from the show) say in her sing-song voice “Shuuuuut Uuuuup!”  I turned the t.v. off and we went to say our prayers and go to bed.  No more watching t.v. with Sam.

Proverbs 22:1

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

All Cleaned Up

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