Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Breaking the rules

The other day my son was being very quiet and was nowhere in sight... a near guarantee that trouble was brewing.  After a quick sweep of the area he was found hiding out behind the island in our kitchen, marker in hand, surrounded by a masterpiece of squiggles on the linoleum. 
I started trying to edit out all the dirty spots on my kitchen floor and gave up! 
Don't judge me!!

My initial reaction was to snatch the marker from his long piano fingers and silently scream "you little stinker"... but then he smiled so big and pointed to his drawing as if saying "Mom look what I made you!"  I wet a washcloth and ran it over one section, found that it completely wiped away with little to no effort, and handed him back the marker. 

These days, Teddy is usually found near outlets, in toilets, playing with appliances, or banging computer keys, and this easily cleaned up artistic display was a welcome change.  When his mother Natalie saw what he had done she immediately began reprimanding him, "Teddy boy, that is very naughty.  We do not write on the floor with markers, ok sweetie?  Only on paper."  I explained to her that she was right, we don't usually color on the floor, but that mommy said it was ok this time.  She gave me a confused look as I handed her a marker which quickly gave way to a smile as she popped off the top and began drawing suns and flowers on the floor.  On a rainy day when our apartment's cement porch was too wet to draw on with chalk, this impromptu art session on the kitchen floor was the perfect fix.

On a side note, I do recommend explaining boundaries (you CAN draw on floor, you CAN'T draw on carpet, doors, your legs, etc) and making sure to wipe it up shortly after so that you don't have to scrub :)  I gave Natalie a washcloth and said "Cinderella you have chores to do! Just look at this dirty floor!"  She had it cleaned up in 30 seconds and had fun doing it!

Note the marker all over her right leg.  I may have neglected to explain the boundaries...
Because our weather has been consistently gloomy, we have come to embrace this activity over the past few days.  It's like a giant white board of endless possibilities, and Natalie has been tracing letters, shapes and numbers to her heart's content.  We even took it to the cabinet doors, (which I don't recommend if you don't have apartment quality white laminate ones like we do) and Natalie's big eyes conveyed a combination of wonder, disbelief and pure joy!

The moral of this story is based on a piece of advice my mom gave me: Pick your battles.  You could fight with your kids all day long in an effort to get them to do everything right, or you could major on the majors and not sweat the small stuff. 

As the cliche goes, "rules were made to be broken",
so go ahead and let them break them once in while! 

Here are some of our favorites:

Jump on the bed
Splash in the tub
Eat dessert before dinner
Ride a bike (tricycle) in the house

Stay up past bedtime
Skip instead of walking
Zoom your cart down the aisle like a race car at the store
Use outside voices inside
Wear dress up clothes outside the house
Jump in puddles

Stand at the dinner table

Blow in your straw to make milk bubbles

Throw a ball in the house
Climb on the furniture
Wear PJs all day and dress up clothes to bed


Monday, October 22, 2012

Meet the crew

As promised in my last post, this post will be dedicated to showing off my crew!  Before I begin though, I'd like to share a little something.  Right before I started writing this post, I opened my weekly email of encouragement from MOPS.  The writer spoke of following the blogs of seemingly perfect families and their seemingly perfect lives. She expressed feelings of inadequacy and said her inability to measure up to the families she was reading about made her want to stop reading altogether. 
In case you haven't noticed, this blog is not about a perfect family (remember the empty fridge and messy house!).  Of course, like every other mother, I am exceedingly proud of my kiddos and plan on sharing many of wonderful things they say and do.  However, I believe sharing the not-so-perfect moments of life is even better because there may just be another mama going through the same thing and she'll know she's not alone. So I'll end this disclaimer similar to the how the writer in the email ended her story - we will never be perfect, we were never designed to be perfect, and maybe its our imperfections that bind us together.

Onto the introductions, and prepare for photo overload!!

The fetching young lad reclining against the tree is my man!  He is my high school sweetheart and hubby of almost 7 years.  He makes me smile... often.  He makes me laugh...hard.  And yes, he makes me mad too at times, but is always the first to say sorry (I get my stubborness from my dad).  I still blush like a teenager when he sends me sweetly worded texts and my heart overflows when I see him with our children.  We've had ups and downs and inbetweens, but he's been my rock through it all and I love him more every day.

This is our little family.  One day, hopefully, we'll look back and marvel at how little our family was, but for now its just the four of us!

Natalie James
Our firstborn baby girl... who has grown to be a 3-and-a-half year old in the blink of an eye.  She is the most loving little thing, swaddling and snuggling her babies and doting on her little "Teddy Boy".  She sings into her tube of chapstick as if she's the headliner at a stadium full of screaming fans and she's got a memory like you wouldn't believe.  She's a social butterfly and thrives on playdates, MOPPETS, Sunday School and Cubbies.  She's got eyes that twinkle and gorgeous blonde locks, but they didn't start out that way!
She was born with a mop of jet black hair and we fell in love the second we met her!

Time has flown by and she has changed so much!  After she was born, I ran into Mrs. Comstock, my high school English teacher, who told me that I would continually say "she couldn't get any cuter", but with every passing day I would be proved wrong when she did.  Man was she right!
7 Days
1 month
2 months
3 months
4 months
5 months
6 months
7 months
8 months
9 months
10 months
11 months

12 Months
13 months

14 months
15 months
16 months
17 months
18 months
19 months
20 Months

21 Months
22 months
23 Months

2 Years
Summer 2011
Fall 2011
Winter 2011-12
Spring 2012
My favorite picture!
"When I grow up mommy, I want to get married to a prince and be a mommy like you."
I can't fathom how boring my life would be without this pocketful of sunshine!  I live for every giggle, snuggle and smile she gives!
Theodore James
This little guy is the busiest, craziest little monster you'll ever meet!  He is constantly splashing in toilets, dumping water out of the bath like he's bailing a sinking ship, and has made it his life mission to get everything that has a cord plugged into an outlet!  He loves hair blowdryers, vacuums, cd players, fans, mixers... pretty much anything that makes noise.  My mom says that it seems like he is trying to figure out how they work - who knows, maybe he'll be an engineer one day!  Despite all his busyness, he is also the sweetest, snuggliest, most adorable little man in my world!  I mean seriously, couldn't you just melt into those deep brown eyes!!  He has learned to talk now so he settles into my arms, hands me a "book" and points out all the "cows", "puppies" and "duckies" on the pages.  My absolute FAVORITE thing he says is "yah you", translation - "Love you".  He loves to give hugs and kisses and this mama will take all he is willing to dish out!  He had an extremly rough start (read the whole story here) but he has come a long way!!

2 weeks

1 month

2 months
3 months

4 months

5 months

6 months
 (7 Months.... OOPS!  We moved and mommy didn't take any pictures that month!)
8 months
9 months

10 months 

11 months

1 Year

13 Months
14 Months

15 Months

16 Months

18 Months - First "Real" haircut (it was too hard to cut the curls the first time around!)
He went from a baby to a big boy in a 5 minutes flat!
I can't wait to see what an amazing little boy my baby will grow to be!  My world was forever changed when he came and I will never stop thanking God for the miracle that He gave me!