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Archive for January, 2008

The birthday party

We woke up on Sunday, the day of the birthday party, to find snow. We don’t often get snow so when we do it is a big deal. The girls were so excited. All I could think of is will her party have to get postponed again? As the day wore on and the snow kept falling I started to get worried. By the afternoon it stopped snowing and warmed up and a few brave souls ventured out in the weather and sketchy road conditions to attend the 9 yr olds party. It was a small turn out, but the girls had fun. They did a great job on their scrapbooks. Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure. And just ignore childs name on the cake.

Miss Bella who likes to jump into my sock drawer

The state of my living room! This is why the birthday party was elsewhere. Now I have to fill these boxes.

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Toughing Up

I’ve come to the conclusion that hubby and I are softies. As much as I like to think I am a mean mom, meaning standing firm and consistent in what I say, I am not. We are too negotiable. Too fair.  Too soft.  The penny in the jar is going well. The girls were kind of excited about it at first. They thought it was fun to scrub the floors. Hey, when you’ve never done such a thing before, it is exciting.  (maybe for a kid)  Today we were at Costco and two of my girls proceeded to argue and be unkind.  They each got a penny.  Arguing continued, penny given, again and again. By the time we got home they both had 5 pennies.  The rule is that the pennies need to be worked off (15 minutes of scrubbing kitchen floor) before the next meal, and especially before they go to bed at night.  Dinner was almost finished and the girls were hungry, but those pennies remained in the jar.  I gave them directions to get started and one child decided she’d rather be difficult and her mouth decided to keep getting her in trouble. Before all was said and done, 8 pennies ended up in the jar. It took her 2 hours to work it off, and dinner finally arrived at 8:30 pm.  They tried to negotiate, and we almost gave in.  I think that maybe this experience was a good lesson. There might be more thinking before speaking next time.  And boy is my floor clean!

Susan

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Creative Discipline

It’s much easier to preach consistency than it is to be consistent in disciplining the kids.  I’d say this is the one thing that I have failed to do.  I let so much slip by and then the straw that breaks my back causes me to yell and fuss and stomp my feet and act like a two year old.  My child then looks at me with a look on her face that says “what has gotten into you? I’ve done this a thousand times before and you never acted this way”.

I don’t know about you but in our house we have way too much tattling going on, way too many unkind words thrown around, and far too much disrespect for all members of the family.  It is a sad day when my friend tells me her children notice how unkind my kids are to each other.  This is NOT what I want for my kids.  Something needs to be done.  I have such a hard time coming up with consequences, so much so that I will tend to ignore unwanted behavior because I just don’t know what to do about it.  Well, thankfully a counselor helped us with an idea that I think is just about perfect. It is easy to implement and in the long run I think it will be effective.  I don’t have to think of something new. In fact the beauty of it is that it is the same thing each and every time someone does something undesirable.

Here is what we do.  Each kid has a jar.  Next to the jar is a little plate of pennies. Whenever I hear or see something that warrants a discipline, a penny goes clink into the jar.  Each penny is worth 15 minutes of scrubbing the kitchen floor with a scrub brush.  Each penny needs to be worked off before the next meal.  So if a child backtalks, a penny in the jar. If a child says something unkind, a penny in the jar. If a child tattles, a penny in the jar for both kids.  I don’t have to think of what the consequence will be because it is the same each time. The kids know what to expect.  My floor gets clean.  Amen!

Susan

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Birthday party has been moved. After looking at all that needs to be done, including bake the cupcakes, and big cake and pull everything together for the party festivities, it became clear that the party cannot happen in this house. No siree.  So the party has been moved to our church. I am so thankful. Now I can concentrate on the important things, like making sure this party is super duper spectacularly fun!

Susan

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Flu

Now that I am seeing the tail end of the flu, dear hubby, after taking care of us all week, is seeing it’s ugly mug. Pixie’s birthday was yesterday and what an uneventful day it was. No visit from grandparents, no party. Just a cheap lunch out and opening of presents from mom and dad. Her party is yet to be rescheduled. I was hoping to get it on the calendar for the end of this week, but now with hubby down, I’m not sure that will happen. I can’t remember the last time I had the flu. This was just horrible. I don’t recommend getting it. And if you have a friend that says we have the flu, don’t step one foot into their house, because even in three minutes time you can catch the nasty bug.

Not only is the house messy, it is cluttered with all the things that are in the process of being packed and taken to the new house. The outside of the house is in the process of getting it’s overdue paint job. The bathroom sink has been torn out and their is no sense at all in putting another one in until we tear out the cabinet and find a new one to put it. Oh, and if we’ve gone that far, we might as well replace the horrid vinyl flooring. I will also need to disinfect the house, air it out or borrow a filter, clean up the messes in every corner, continue with laundry and somehow try to eat something. All this to do before I decorate for a birthday party, to happen sometime in the near future. On top of all that school must be done.

Life is busy, full to the brim. But I’m ok with that. I just lower my expectations a bit and take one day at a time.

Susan

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A few things I have learned…

while down with the most horrible nasty flu ever.

1. Husbands are great workers. Don’t let them fool you. They can vacuum, mop, do laundry, cook chicken noodle soup, grocery shop, wake up with the kiddos who need help in the middle of the night and still give lots of love. And I am not offended that he can’t wait to go back to work!

2. The kids can hear me when I whisper. This flu has caused me to loose my voice. I can’t speak above a quiet whisper. I have called my children by a whisper from a different room and they come. I have almost never had to repeat myself. It’s an amazing revelation. Louder is not better. In fact I notice they are more willing to be helpful when I have whispered. I don’t know how much is due to the fact that I am sick and they are just wanting to be nice to their mommy. Either way, this may change they way I parent to some degree.

3. Friends want to help. Let them. I have great friends and they are so helpful. It’s hard to let people help, even when they offer. But sometimes I think God lets us get down so He can use people to bless us, to serve us and make us feel loved. I’ve had friends bring meals to us, bring us much needed items from the store, pray for us, and call to check in. In the words of my hubby, “it’s a good thing you have friends”.

4.  Part of what makes a sickness so difficult is when the house is dry and the throat and chest is dry.  The cold days and heating system don’t actually help the home environment.  Humidifiers only work in the room you are in, and with the door closed. Well hubby, brilliant man that he is found a great way to humidify the whole house in no time at all.   While doing laundry (before turning dryer on) he detached the dryer vent. All that warm moist air was coming into the house.  The windows fogged up and you can tell that it was working.  So give that a try next time you have a sick house. Just don’t forget to put the hose back on when you are well.

Susan

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Baby Photo Contest

Emily is having a baby photo contest.  I think the criteria for winning has to do with the most dated, goofy picture you can find.  I found a lot but the following are those that I think may be in the running.

Will you look at that belly!

My mom was always a fan of sailor dresses. I think I had one clear until I was 15 or so.

Get a load of the hair dryer!

Love the baby stroller!

I actually remember this. I was hiding from someone who was looking at me.  Like the chair. We had a three piece set.

And this is just classic. My mom is in the middle.  The other two ladies are her sisters. We were at Disney Land.  I remember this outfit, the pink bell bottoms. This was the time that I wore this outfit when I was 7 and my mom put me on an airplane to go see my aunts in LA.  My mom later met us there in the car and we went to Disney Land. This was my first trip.

How’s that?!  Is there a winner?

Susan

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