Friday, February 26, 2010

time out

i have just started utilizing the "time out" method with the 2.5 year old i baby-sit frequently. she is very conscientious about sitting on the chair for her two minutes and apologizing for her "infraction". after the first several time outs this is the scene i found after she left the room...

can you stop laughing? i couldn't either.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

just for the taste of it...


i don't know what's come over me. i've regretted the decision ever since i made it a few minutes ago, but i am giving up diet coke today. this may not seem like a big sacrifice to some, or definitely not blog-worthy, but this is a HUGE deal for me. i wake up and buy a diet coke. i pour two cans to have with lunch, i buy another in the afternoon, and several more through the evening. if i happen to be at a restaurant the count doubles or triples when there are free refills flowing. it is just what i do. it is how i "cope" in a small way with my day. i don't want to rely on something, but it seems the most "harmless" of all coping mechanisms and it is so easily available. i know it isn't good for me. i know it's expensive. i just don't care.
it feels so weird not to go through a drive through when i'm on the road. and it's only 8:30!!! updates to come...
EDITED TO ADD: it's 9:58 a.m. and i'm sipping on a large diet coke. there were some major stressors in our house this morning and i caved. i thought i could do anything for one day, but clearly i need to think through this strategy better. perhaps reducing slowly and relearning how to do things withOUT a diet coke would be more effective.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

just for me!

so i travel with a lot of kids. they are particularly thirsty children and i transport 4-6 sippy cups with me most days. this causes a great deal of leakage and more soaking disasters than i care to remember. i have looked for a solution. i have shopped. i have googled. there just aren't bags, even diaper bags, with enough sippy cup holders to accommodate me. this has been a great frustration. i finally thought about etsy. this website of handmade creations held TONS of bags. this one in particular caught my eye.
pretty , huh? sippy cup holders? two. a few short. then i had a flash of brilliance. this is etsy. i could order thousands of bags that would be handmade. if i am buying a bag from an artist, shouldn't i be able to commission one of those artists to make me the bag i need that no one else seems to make? the answer was YES!! nicole from coon and cole was ready for the challenge! she let me choose fabric, how many cup holders, where they went, and basically everything about my bag. she also is not a mom (i just assume everyone is) so she actually went to the store and BOUGHT a sippy cup for the sole purpose of measuring and making sure it would hold. wow. her husband laughed, but she is committed. THEN she went another extra mile and took a bunch of pics of my amazing creation for me to review before she shipped it. you can see my one-of-a-kind, just the way i want it, bag here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

mommy, "i helping!"

oh how i often dread those words. this time i sucked in a deep breath and let him go with it. noah wanted to "help" pack a box during the move. he put his blanket, a few toys, and a book into a large box. he taped it. taped it again. and then taped over the tape. he then grabbed my sharpie and i got really nervous. again, i coached myself to let him do this. under my watchful eye this is how he labeled his box...
this, i was informed, is our family. the one on the left is a toss up between the hamburglers' little friends, or a miss packman ghost. either way, he's family now.
slowly but surely we're getting settled into the new house (if i just don't let myself think about the mountain of stuff waiting to be organized and put away in the garage) and slowly but surely our old house empties. it just needs one more load to be taken and then a major cleaning and then i think we will be locking the door for the last time. thanks for all of your questions about our transition!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

happy valentine's day!


sorry these are a bit late, but i couldn't find the transfer cord amidst the sea of boxes
we were invited to a valentine's party where there were all kinds of love themed crafts, valentine's cards and candies, and a beautiful spread of love filled food.
we had such fun!

Friday, February 12, 2010

love in the form of food

people gotta eat. it's one of the biggest challenges when you in a difficult spot. you get irritable, tired, and just plain cranky when you don't have food. my friends and family know this and they have stepped up during our move.
my friend nicolette is having us over for a home cooked, nutritious, make -you-feel-so-much-better-than-mcdonalds, meal tonight that i don't have to prepare or clean up (not that i could find a pot or pan if i wanted to:)
my sister, would totally be cooking for me, but it would probably be a bit cold by the time the meal arrived from michigan. she took initiative (with the help of the internet) and found the closest pizza place, called, made an order, paid over the phone, and now i know that tomorrow night we will have hot, yummy, pizza ready and waiting amidst our chaos. thank you my sweet ladies and may i be as thoughtful and creative as you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

again?

this poor box has seen better days. it's been through lotsa moves. it gets beat up with each use and i feel its pain. i hate moving. you'd never know it by the frequency with which we participate in this activity, but i really would have like to have one address my entire life. this is the EIGHTH move sonny and i have done as a married couple and yes, we just celebrated our ninth anniversary on the day we bought this house. we're right on target for our one move per year record, but i sure hope we don't attain it. two dudes and a vehicle (or whatever they're calling themselves these days) will be here at 9 a.m. and so it begins...

p.s. i'm really not depressed as this post may suggest. i will make it as i have seven times before and i will be thrilled to be in our new home and so happy that i was forced to clear the clutter, purge, and organize. more happy posts soon, i'm sure!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

scream free parenting, part three

remember that picking up the gauntlet thing? well, it sounds nice huh? don't engage in the fight. just let the glove lay there. bend and sway like a willow tree instead of being rigid and breaking off your branches (o.k. if you didn't read the book that might not make sense:) BUT how does that actually work in real life? won't that just give your kids the message that their testing behavior is permissible or won't you bottle up your frustration and then explode one day? here's how it works (directly quoted from scream free parenting) ...

" I'm Bored"

This is the classic gauntlet. And so often we are quick to pick it up. First, we get angry. 'Bored?' How could you be bored? Why don't you go play upstairs with all those toys I bought you?' 'You know what's boring? Working my job every day to buy you those toys, that's what really boring."
Then we get anxious. 'You mean you can't find anything to do?' We might even think to ourselves, 'Is this kid totally uncreative? What have I done wrong?' Finally, we overcompensate. 'Look, you could go outside and find Jimmy, or you could go upstairs, or you could do this, or you could do this, or this, or this...'
A ScreamFree response could choose, instead to never pick up the gauntlet in the first place. 'Wow, you're bored? That stinks. I hate it when I'm bored. What are you going to do about it?' No resistance, just go with the momentum and actually join right alongside your child as she faces her own dilemma."

make sense? the problem is THEIRS. just keep putting the ball back in their court. you can do it lovingly, empathetically, and calmly. you just REFUSE to get worked up by something they throw down. as my bff (see post 2 1/2) hal would say..."Calm yourself down, and grow yourself up." or as helen parr of the incredibles would say..."IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU, BOB!" you are the one already grown up. we are here to help guide our children to maturity and independence. it's game over for us. if we're not done growing (i'm not) then we need to do that on our own time....not try to while we're swashbuckling with our kids.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

we are officially homeowners!

let's add a kid to our family, celebrate nine years of marriage, and buy our first house. sounds fun, huh? seriously, we should have added "never a dull moment" to our vows. we've been entirely faithful to that phrase:)

nine years

worth fighting for.

Monday, February 8, 2010

scream free parenting, part 2 1/2 or..."AAAAAUUUUGGGHHH!!!"

imagine my surprise when i see a facebook friend request from Hal Runkel. i didn't know him in high school...weird! so i click open the request to find the following note from none other than the AUTHOR of scream free parenting.

Hal says, "Hey Kristal, Hal Runkel here. Someone sent me to your blog, where you explained the gauntlet idea perfectly! I'm thrilled that you're finding ScreamFree helpful, and I'm honored that you would recommend it to others. Please let me know if I can help in any way.
Take care,
Hal.".

whoah.

scream free parenting, part two

your kids wanna fight. they want to engage you in battle and they wanna win. o.k. maybe it's just my kids. but this happens multiple times a day in our house and i'm usually the one who "takes the bait" and i'm the one who loses. scream free parenting says...

you.
don't.
have.
to.
pick.
up.
the.
gauntlet.

i know what the phrase "picking up the gauntlet" means, but i didn't know where it was derived from. turns out in medieval times, the gauntlet was a protective glove worn by knights. when thrown at the feet of an adversary, the gauntlet was an invitation to a battle. picking up the gauntlet was an acceptance of the invitation. ooooooohhhhh.....i get it now. my kids are droppin metal left and right. looks like they are "cruisin for a bruisin" but in all reality, they want to test me to see if i'm safe. will i be the one constant in their very chaotic, uncontrollable world? will i stay calm while everything around them is rocking their boat?

you've heard as a parent to"pick your battles". scream free parenting says...just don't battle. don't touch that glove with a 10-foot pole. sure you see it. sure it's the shiniest, prettiest, most pick-up-able thing you've ever seen, but DON'T! leave it there in all its glory and let. it. lie.

a few of the kids' favorite ones to throw down? how 'bout "are we there yet?" "i caaaaan't" "i hate you!" "i don't want to and you can't make me" "you're not the boss of me" sound familiar? yup. every knight carries those as staples. they whip 'em out in a pinch and throw those puppies down. they are just DARING you not to join the fight.

so, what do we do? are we just gonna let them win? are we gonna let children control our lives? if you know me, you know i could never advocate that. and you know children don't WANT control. they want you, the experienced adult, to control. but they just need to be reminded. a lot.

now this concept was fleshed out in dozens of pages in scream free parenting and i'm not going to do it justice in this post. i'll write a bit more about it tomorrow, but seriously, get the book. if you don't like it....just throw it down:)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

basketball

ari is part of the undefeated (although we don't keep score:) 1st grade casady basketball team. they practice each sunday afternoon as us parents watch and cheer.
what are the little brothers to do?
swap video games of course!

Friday, February 5, 2010

love birds

it's been WAY too long since i changed my blog layout so here's somethin' new! february is not only valentine's month, but sonny and my anniversary month. the real reason i chose this layout? it will force me to change it once the season of love has past so i don't get stuck again:)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

when oklahoma freezes over

when you get two boys who only see snow in the movies and add all the spring toy displays at the store, they take their new bubble sets to "play in the snow".
oh, well, at least they had fun and felt like they were getting the full winter experience:)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

scream free parenting, part one

i just finished this book and wanted to let you know how much it gave me to chew on. lots of old, some new, and a great overall presentation of the way i want to parent. my only complaint with the book is its title. i think it should be re-named "Anxiety Free Parenting". It's not really about screaming. maybe that title was already copyrighted.

more about specific insights and thoughts rolling around in my head spurred by this read coming soon.

Monday, February 1, 2010

cooped up

is this how chickens feel? maybe i should become an activist to make them all free range. i CANNOT stand being completely cut off from the world and in our house all day. i guess prairie life is out for me.
yesterday i hit my breaking point and we HAD to get out. science museum here we come!
playing in water is always alluring to kids...maybe cuz it's messy?
ari was engineering something in the "tinkering garage"
noah "jammin'"
today my friends invited us to "bouncin' craze" and it took me half a millisecond to say "YES!"
matthew and noah didn't need any instruction. they bounced and crazed and all that pent up energy was spent.
no wonder those free roaming chicken eggs taste so much better!