Thursday, July 16, 2009

Terrible Twos

A stereotype is a type of logical oversimplification in which all the members of a class or set are considered to be definable by an easily distinguishable set of characteristics . . . Stereotypes often form the basis of prejudice and are usually employed to explain real or imaginary differences due to race, gender, religion, age, ethnicity, socio-economic class, disability, and occupation, among the limitless groups one may be identified with. (as defined and paraphrased by 'Wikipedia').

Term [Stereotype]: Terrible twos
Definition: A stage of development in which toddler behavior is a particular challenge
Example: Alternately clingy, whiny, negative, fearful, and loud, their unpredictable behavior is epic, and it's often been written off as the Terrible Twos. (as defined by '')

With that said I would like to say that my son is the poster child for the 'Terrible Twos'. John is quick to throw himself into a tizzy if he doesn't get what he wants when he wants it. If there's something other then Nickelodeon or Disney channel on he brings me the remote and points to the TV. When I tell him "no, mommy's watching something" he immediately begins crying/screaming and even sometimes hitting. I don't tolerate hitting, so I discipline according to the offense and an and I'm working with him teaching him to apologize when he's done something wrong. If he continues to be aggressive then I put him in his room for 2 minutes (one minute for each year he is) then I go in after he's settled down and sit on the floor so I'm eye level with him and tell him why I put him in his room, tell him why it was wrong, reassure him I love him and have him say sorry to the one he wronged. (which for right now is giving the person and hug and kiss because he still isn't talking).
Some days are much better then others, but the bulk of his frustration and everyone else's frustration is the language barrier. Yes, he's 2 years old and many 2 yr olds are speaking and putting sentences together. John isn't. He still mostly baby babbles. Some of his words are discernible, like 'mama', 'dada', 'no', 'ease' (for 'please'), but in general, he doesn't talk yet. It's difficult on everyone.
He's also found ways around all the child safety locks I have around the house (except the cabinet doors in the kitchen). I had the plastic door knob covers that spin around unless you grip them tightly, well, he breaks them off. I have a lock on the refrigerator and he pops the latch and still gets into the fridge. If it was up to him he'd graze out of the fridge all day!!! I have to tell him "no" all day long and listen to the fits and tantrums because he's not getting his way. John doesn't seem to care that I have 2 other children who need attention from me or housework for me to do each day.
I'm aware that it's our sinful human nature to be selfish and want instant gratification. From the moment we're conceived we're taking for ourselves. We're using our mother's bodies to supply our needs for growth (unconsciously and as instinctual as it may be). Children have to be taught how to behave and use manners because it doesn't come naturally. You don't have to teach a child how to be 'bad', lol.
I know he'll 'grow out' of it one day, and I'm doing my best to instill morals and values based on God's word in my kids, but that day isn't coming soon enough, lol!!! I'm ready for John to speak in understandable sentences and have fewer fits each day. Until then I'm just trying to keep my sanity in tact, lol!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sleep Over At Grandma & Granddaddy's

Saturday morning I packed a couple bags, gathered up the kids and headed to my mom and dad's house. I don't get out of the house much and really just needed to get out of the house. I had talked to my mom a day or so before and she mentioned me bringing the kids over Saturday, staying the night and going to church with them Sunday morning. It sounded great to me. Charlie had to work Saturday and he had plans to work in the garage Sunday so he really wouldn't be missing much time with me and the kids. It gave him the opportunity to have a quiet house and not come home to a chaos like every other day when he gets home.

The kids and I got to my mom's around 11:30am. Hannah and Tabytha immediately went off to play, John found something to entertain himself and Jessica played with some toys my mom has kept since Bethany was a baby. Mom made the lunch for all the kids (chicken nuggets and french fries). After they ate I laid John and Jessica down for a nap and mom filled her baby pool for Tabytha and Hannah to splash around in for awhile. When John woke up from his nap he wanted to play outside as well. Mom has a sprinkler that looks like a sunflower. She got it set up in the front yard and John, Tabytha and Hannah all ran around and played in the water spraying out of the flower. I stayed out front to keep an eye on them and mom stayed inside to listen if Jessica woke up.

Mom made spaghetti and her homemade spaghetti sauce for dinner. All of us sat together and enjoyed a delicious meal. After dinner the kids went back to playing while mom, dad, Bethany and I looked up different things on 'YouTube'. Dad took a break to go out to the store real quick to get a few items needed for the next day and brought back Frosty's from Wendy's for all of us. It was a nice treat. It's been YEARS since I last had a frosty.

9pm rolled around and it was time for the little ones to go to bed. Hannah got her bible out and Dad sat on the floor with Hannah on one side and Tabytha on his other side. The rest of us sat around in the living room listening to dad. After the devotional we all gathered in Hannah's room for bedtime prayers.

Now, to put John and Tabytha to bed (Jessica was put to bed while dad was doing the devotional so she would get to sleep before I put John down to sleep in the same room.) Tabytha slept in Bethany's bottom bunk and John and I shared an air mattress in the school room along with Jessica who was in the pack-n-play.

Turned out to be a really bad teething night for Jessica. She was up several times throughout the night screaming which not only woke me up, but John, too. The first time I got her a bottle and she fell back asleep, but not long after that she was up again crying and screaming. I took her out of the pack-n-play and laid her in bed with me and John. John tried to make her feel better by petting her head and trying to give her kisses, but she wouldn't be still. After awhile she would wear herself out and finally doze off for a about 2 hours and then we'd do it all over again. The next morning while getting ready for the day mom discovered a top tooth that had broken through and 2 more teeth working their way to the surface of her gums.

Mom, dad and I collect all the kids and head off to church. Bethany and dad offer to stay in the nursery with John and Jessica while mom, Tabytha, Hannah and I sat in the sanctuary to listen to the service. John cried pretty much the whole time in the nursery because I wasn't there with him. Jessi was good. After church we went back to mom and dad's and had lunch and John and Jessi took a nap.

After naps and making sure all of our things are packed up Tabytha, John, Jessi and I head home. We had a really great time at our 'sleep over' at grandma and granddaddy's house.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Adventures In Potty Training

Up until this week John really hasn't shown any interest in using the toilet. No biggie. I wasn't going to pressure him into potty training. I've been waiting for cues from him that he's ready for going potty like a big boy and getting out of diapers. Sure, a few times in the shower he may have wet down the drain, but that hardly counts as 'ready' to go on the potty.

Monday I was feeding Jessica and heard the back bathroom toilet lid slam shut. Jessica was secure in her highchair so I go back to see what John was up to. He was playing in the toilet, soaked head to toe with toilet water. (Luckily whoever was last to use it remembered to flush). So, I send him to his room for a 2 minute time-out. When his time is up I go into his room, sit on the floor to be eye level with him and tell him playing in the potty is a "No-No", but making a 'wet' in the potty is good.

He pointed to his diaper and then to the hallway bathroom door. I asked him if he wanted to make a wet in the potty and he turned back to me and shook his head 'yes' and hummed "uh-hum". So, I strip his wet clothes off, take off his diaper and he takes my hand and leads me across the hall to the bathroom.

The toilet seat is too tall for him to stand on the floor and be able to aim inside the bowl, and the step stool makes him stand too tall over the toilet seat and he'd aim over the bowl. So, I pick him up under his arm pits and he goes potty in the toilet. When I set him down I praised him and gave him a 'High Five', then he brushes past me and puts the seat AND lid down and flushes the potty!!!! I give him more praise, clap my hands and give him a hug.

So, everyday I've been encouraging him to use the potty more and more. I discovered yesterday that Tabytha's old car booster seat stands John at the toilet bowl just right. The toilet bowl isn't too high he can't aim inside the bowl and he's not standing so high above it that he'll miss the bowl. It's perfect. I'll ask John if he wants to go potty and he'll shake his head yes and run to the bathroom to go potty. Even if he can only manage a little tinkle I praise him for it, and then he put the seat and lid down and flushes.

We had a small mishap this morning. Just after I was finished my shower and began drying myself off Tabytha comes in and tells me John stripped his diaper off and"pooped on the floor". Oy!!! So, I dry off quickly, get dressed and go clean up the mess off the living room floor. It made me wonder if he's ready to try making a 'stinky' on the potty, but I figure he should get a little better wetting in the potty first and then we'll tackle making #2 on the potty.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Growing Up

I've posted quite a few blogs about the kids, and yet, I haven't written much about our youngest one, Jessica. She's just over 7 months old now. She's a joy to have in our lives. Tabytha and John adore her. She's been sleeping through the night since around 5 months old. She's on a regular sleeping 'schedule' now and I can put her down for her nap or for the night without having to wait for her to fall asleep before putting her in her crib. Which is great. I can just put her in her crib at nap or bed time and know she'll get herself to sleep. Routine is awesome.
Jessica has 2 teeth (one top and one bottom) and another bottom tooth just recently broke through her gums. Along with her regular bottle feedings she has Gerber baby food. She loves squash. She eats more Gerber veggies then fruits.
Jessi began crawling at 6 months old! Before she could even sit up by herself. A lot earlier then John and Tabytha did. (Tabytha didn't crawl until 10 months and John began 'army' crawling at 7 months then moved onto hands and knees crawling about a month later). Jessica just got up on her hands and knees one day and figured it out! Same thing with sitting up by herself. One day she just did it! I didn't position her or place tons of pillows around her. She just sat herself up and stayed there. It was a beautiful and surprising thing to see.
Just this past weekend she began pulling herself up on the couch and standing up. She seems to be flying through milestones, I guess she needs to so she can keep up with Tabytha and John. Soon enough she'll be walking. But not yet, and that's fine with me!
(Side note: the dress Jessi is wearing in the picture was my dress from when I was a baby!)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4 Years Ago Today

It's 7pm as I begin writing this blog. Four years ago today Charlie proposed to me. I remember it clearly. Just a couple weeks before he had taken me to look at engagement rings. He wanted me to pick my ring so he knew I'd like it when he proposed. He didn't tell me when or where he'd propose. He gave me a price range to stay in and I found a ring I really liked. The jeweler got my ring size and said she'd have to send it out to be sized, the one in the display case was too small for my finger. It would take about 2 weeks. No biggie. Charlie and I had only been dating 3 months at this point. I wasn't in a rush to get engaged, but at the same time I was looking forward to his proposal.

July 5th, 2005 was a Tuesday. Tabytha and I had spent the day at my mom's house. Charlie was working at a body shop in Dover. When I got home from my mom's Charlie wasn't home yet. His dad told me Charlie had gone to Lowe's to get a new air compressor for the garage. He got home around 6:30pm. We all sat down to eat dinner and after dinner Charlie took me back to our room and sat me down on the couch and told me he needed to talk to me.

He began telling me how much he loved me and how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and then pulled the ring out of his pocket, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I teared up and said "Yes!". We hugged and he kissed me. We went out into the living room to show his parents the ring. I got on the phone and called a few of my girlfriends and told them the great news.

The next day I went back to my mom's house and got there with Tabytha just before Dad left for work. Tabytha went downstairs to play and wait for Hannah to wake up and I went up to the kitchen while dad was getting his travel mug filled with coffee to head off to work. I said good morning and told them they were one step closer to getting a son-in-law and showed them my ring. They were very happy. Just a few days before Charlie had come with me and Tabytha to meet my family in Delaware and there he sat with my dad and asked him for my hand in marriage. So, my parents knew he was going to propose at some point. Dad had to get to work and mom and I sat at the dining room table with our coffee and I told her how he proposed. I stayed at mom's until dad got home so he could get a good look at the ring. Then I was on my way home again.

Fast forward to today, July 5th, 2009. Charlie and I have been married a little more than 3 years now. We have a wonderful home and 3 beautiful children. I'm blessed beyond words to have Charlie as my husband and father to our kids.

Before I Was A Mom. . .

Some days I can't believe I've been so amazingly blessed to be a mom to 3 precious children. All moms believe their children are the most beautiful children in the world and I'm no exception. I love getting stopped at stores and outings by people wanting to tell me how adorable and beautiful my children are.
I saw the 'poem' below several years ago and every time I read it, it brings tears to my eyes as memories of each sentence floods to mind. I know all moms out there can relate to it and know exactly what I'm talking about.

Before I was a Mom I never tripped over toys and forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom - I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.
Before I was a Mom I never held down a screaming child so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.
Before I was a Mom I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put them down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.
Before I was a Mom - I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body.
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small could make me feel so important and happy.
Before I was a Mom - I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache, the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.

Jessica (7 months old)

John (2 yrs old)

Tabytha (7 yrs old)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Rules of a Toddler (aka ~ John!)

If it is on, I must turn it off.
If it is off, I must turn it on.
If it is folded, I must unfold it.
If it is a liquid, it must be shaken, then spilled.

If it a solid, it must be crumbled, chewed or smeared.

If it is high, it must be reached.

If it is shelved, it must be removed.

If it is pointed, it must be run with at top speed.

If it has leaves, they must be picked.

If it is plugged, it must be unplugged.

If it is not trash, it must be thrown away.

If it is in the trash, it must be removed, inspected, and thrown on the floor.

If it is closed, it must be opened.

If it does not open, it must be screamed at.

If it has drawers, they must be rifled.

If it is a pencil, it must write on the refrigerator, monitor, or table.

If it is full, it will be more interesting emptied.

If it is empty, it will be more interesting full.

If it is a pile of dirt, it must be laid upon.

If it is stroller, it must under no circumstances be ridden in without protest.

It must be pushed by me instead.

If it has a flat surface, it must be banged upon.

If Mommy's hands are full, I must be carried.

If Mommy is in a hurry and wants to carry me, I must walk alone.

If it is paper, it must be torn.

If it has buttons, they must be pressed. (this includes mommy's 'buttons', too!)

If the volume is low, it must go high.

If it is toilet paper, it must be unrolled on the floor.

If it is a drawer, it must be pulled upon.

If it is a toothbrush, it must be inserted into my mouth.

If it has a faucet, it must be turned on at full force.

If it is a phone, I must talk to it.

If it is a bug, it must be swallowed.

If it doesn't stay on my spoon, it must be dropped on the floor.

If it is not food, it must be tasted.

If it IS food, it must not be tasted.

If it is dry, it must be made wet with drool, milk, or toilet water.

If it is a car seat, it must be protested with arched back.

If it is Mommy, it must be hugged. (as long as it's on his terms)