Saturday, October 29, 2011

High Fives!

We have had quite a week at our house. If you've ever had young children living in your house, than you know the week we had. The unexplainable, horrific, defcon 6 (thanks Shay) behavior. We can go weeks and I only have to discipline the kids harshly once or twice. I was setting records in just 3-4 hour blocks. I am only consoled by the fact that at least three of my other mommy friends said they had the same kind of week. I swear they mobilize against us while they are in Sunday School!

My friend Kate had this week a little while back and came up with a fabulous little behavior system to try and right the wrongs. Then last Saturday I had the privilege of sitting in on an "in-service" about how to deal with children with behavioral difficulties in Sunday School(I think they need to plan the next in-service to be how to foil the plans of the devious children who ban together to infuriate their parents).

Between the two above inspirations I was able to come up with a new system to try for my crew. We're calling it High Fives. I traced 10 hands on poster board and cut them out. I have one hanging on the fridge. When I "catch" either child following our four "big" rules (to be mentioned later in post) I put a star on one of the fingers. When all five fingers are starred, it's a high five! They can trade that high five in for various prizes, if they hold on to the high fives they can redeem them for bigger prizes! Miss M is very excited, JB has no clue...guess which one it's really for???

I know, I behavioristic! I'm not a huge propronent of this philosophy but something had to give. We'll do this for a week or two until things settle down, then we'll take a break and see what happens. I generally find this stuff works for a little while, usually just long enough for mommy not to lose her mind, and really, isn't that what it's partially about!!

My rules are as follows:
1. Obey the first time
2. Eat all that you've been given (I give tiny portions of each thing so they have to try, then can have seconds of what they like when they've tried everything)
3. Love and respect your brother or sister
Number four is specific to each child:
Miss M-Get your hair combed without kicking and screaming
JB-Use words instead of screaming

I'll let you know how it goes. So far they've received one high five today and they are opting to save it. If they get three than they get a trip to my Mom's indoor pool to go swimming.

Signing off...I think I'll go down some sprinkles!

Friday, October 28, 2011


I have deemed today pumpking day! We will probably have pumpkin weekend, maybe not ending until Tuesday...I love everything about pumpkins :)

Here's how we are pumpkining around:
1. Orange pancakes for breakfast with chocolate chip jack-o-lantern faces. I plan to try actual pumpkin pancakes on Halloween morning...ooh, maybe we'll have them for Halloween dinner instead :)
2. Rice Krispie treat pumpkins! We had some friends over this morning and we made this yummy treat. Next time I try this I will 1) use more food coloring so they actually look orange 2) find the tootsie rolls in the grocery store so we can make stems 3) get all the rice krispie goo out of the pan onto a cutting board and then make the pumpkins, we lost a lot of goo to the sides of the pan, it hardned faster than we could all ball them up (give us a little break here, two adults and five children under the age of 5)
3. Pizza for lunch, used pepperoni to make jack-o-lantern faces
4. Painting a jar orange and making a face using masking tape for eyes, nose and mouth. Then take the tape off when the paint dries and you have a face :) Miss M made one yesterday at school and JB wants I will pull out the paint and masking tape for my little guy!

We have plans to:
1. Go buy the official carving pumpkin and have at it! We will roast the seeds, make a jack-o-lantern and light him for Halloween.
2. Watch The Great Pumpkin...I hope I remembered to DVR that last night?!!?!
3. Go to a Halloween party on Sunday night with our small group and have lots more pumpkin fun and food :)

I love fall...really I do...winter I could do with out!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

things heard in my house/car this week...

Miss M has recently said:
"Daddy is 44 so he can carry a big pumpkin" (I told her we were going to get a big pumpkin this weekend to carve)
"I'll be honest with you Sierra, Everest needs a Halloween costume too" (this conversation happened on the way to Cubbies, I wish I had taped the whole thing!! Along with this precious comment was Sierra's completely speechless reaction to Miss M's news that she wasn't going to be a if there is anything else to dress up as...)
"I thought you said I was fearfully and wonderfully made" (this was her Cubbies verse this week, she said this to me when I told her that her head must be very sensitive for all the screaming she does when I comb her hair)

JB has recently said:
"I wanna see Megan on the puter" (we just skyped with our friend in the Dominican Republic)
"Mommy get my goldfish right now" (he didn't get what he wanted, but I had to hide my smile at his insistance...he said it in kind of a demanding growl)
"I not destructor, I J..." (he ripped a book cover off a book, so I called him destructor)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And here we go...

Last winter I found myself stuck at home for long periods of time with my little JB who struggles with viral induced asthma (translation: everytime he gets ANY virus we're tied to the nebulizer and the devil medicince, aka oral steriods). My pediatrician keeps telling me he's going to grow out of it. He hasn't yet...

He started coughing a little on Saturday, couldn't go to church on Sunday and today I kept him home from my Bible Study. We're on day three of limited outside contact and I'm already feeling caged in. Not to mention what it does to Miss M to not get out of the house for a few days! I am not looking forward to the winter, I think I'll start praying that he grows out of this by November (he's got 6 days for his lungs to correct themselves) Ready, set, go...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fake Dinner

I love to cook! I have been addicted to the Food Network since its inception. I have subscribed to many food magazines over the years and my favorite books to take out of the library are cookbooks. Seriously, I take them out and read them almost cover to cover. Some of my favorite cooks (they win this title by simply cooking things I can cook that taste really yummy, and usually I really like them on TV) are Giada, Ina, and Betty (Crocker that is, c'mon, her basic recipe book is a must have and you know it!).

There are two factors that deter my love for cooking and they are
1. my food budget
2. my audience (a 2 and a 4 year old are not the best food testers)

I really do make an effort to look for meals that are healthy, tasty and family friendly. Every once in a while I make something totally selfish that I just want to try, knowing full well the tots are not going to like it! And sometimes, like last night, I make a fake dinner.

What is a fake dinner you ask??? Well, it's something I can quick whip up, no special ingredients. For example a meat, potato and vegetable. Now don't get me wrong, there is really nothing wrong with these meals, Prince Charming and I practically grew up on them. But I like to stretch my culinary legs more often than not and so these meals are my fakes :)

All that to say, last night I made a pork loin over the stove, baked potato wedges and string beans with a little garlic and butter (thanks for the idea Dana). Everyone ate like they hadn't seen food in weeks. Even Prince Charming commented repeatedly about how good dinner was.

Maybe I should reconsider my love for cooking and just stick with fake dinners :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Today I was observing a Student Teacher in a Kindergarten classroom. I haven't seen many Kindergarten classrooms in this little job of mine, certainly none this year. So since I have K on the brain (Miss M will be attending next year), I was particularly curious to go to work today!

As I sat there doing my job, which is to observe and comment on every word, movement, activity, etc. that the Student Teacher does, I was also observing as mommy! The first poriton of the class was a no brainer, Miss M will participate, love it, and thrive. The Math lesson itself was short and sweet, I'm pretty sure Miss M will handle that okay, she might not raise her hand and she might tell the teacher a story or two, but she'll get whats going on for sure!

Then they went to tables and drew a picture of their house, cut out their address from a card they were given and then glued the address on the picture. Simple right...I just about had an anxiety attack...Miss M can't draw our house!! And if I asked her to do that today, she'd cry and say "I don't know how to draw a house".

I have two options here:
1. Begin art lessons 5 minutes ago, start with basic architectural drawings then slowly ease her into 3-D type models that show all the details she has memorized and categorized.
2. Relax and remember that she isn't in K yet so she doesn't have to draw a house yet. Remember that K is for learning the simple foundation it will take to build all her future skills on. Enjoy that I still have her home with me every day and be thankful that she is smart and will do fine when she gets to school NEXT YEAR.

Sometimes having been a teacher first makes me my own worst enemy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Kim Kardashian

I knew the second JB came out of my tummy he was going to be my favorite...

Took the kiddos over to the mall this morning to play at Barnes and Noble. As we took our little "hike" through the mall (where we actually collected fall leaves?!?!?) we saw a huge TV screen. JB looks up, points and says "look, it's mommy" with a big happy squeal! I look to see who he is talking about (figuring it's Julia Roberts since that's my celebrity look alike **wink, wink Deb**) and lo and's Kim Kardashian...from his lips to God's ears Scott might say :)

And, if you know anything about JB's birth story you know I wasn't thinking he was going to be my fav when he came out! I wasn't thinking at all, I was to busy dying from a mistake with the spinal...well, that's a bit dramatic! But, in case Miss M and JB read this when they are older I have two favorite children, a girl and a boy :) I'm one lucky mommy!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

bath anyone?

We love bathtime at our house. I have been a bath person all of my life. I actually grew up in a home that only had a bathtub, no shower. Really, I'm not kidding, the tub was up on pedastools and everything. At some point in my jr. high school life my Dad bought this crazy hose hook up thing that went on the spigot and had a shower head on the end. I hated it, I usually ended up spraying the whole room! We did move when I was entering 11th grade, the new house had two bathrooms (the old house only had one) and both had showers!! I still took baths pretty regularly but I did learn the convience of hopping in the shower before school!!

Fortunately my kiddos have always loved bathtime. Miss M and JB both giggled through their first baths and seemed to enjoy the freedom, the water and the undivided attention.

As they get older it is still a favorite time, marked with a few moments of yuck when JB gets soap in his eyes or Miss M sees the shampoo bottle coming towards her. They still take their bath together, they love it and it's easier for me. Since they have both taken to the idea of swimming in the tub, it's a little crowded with their long bodies sprawled out. Soon we will have to be a one-at-a-time family, but for now, we're keeping them together. And no, we don't feel weird about the boy/girl thing. We could make it weird, but why spoil their innocence. When one asks a question, or just points and ponders, we give them the straight answer and move on. It's a total non-issue!

We've done a couple of fun things in the tub, tried a new one tonight that was a big hit. So if bathtime is getting boring at your house, for you or your kids, try one of these activities out:
1. Homemade tub paint (see previous post) made from shaving cream and food coloring.
2. Close the shower current and have a water gun fight (or squirty fish fight as we do in our house)
3. Bubbles--ya know, I figure if they sit in a tub of bubbles for long enough, who really needs to bother being scrubbed...
4. Toys--we've tried many of our toys in the tub, I figure, if toddler/young child toys can't get wet, they aren't worth their salt (with a few exceptions ie stuffed animals). Miss M likes to bring her princess collection in for a swim FYI Cinderella and Belle float because of their poofy dresses, Pocohontas and Mulan sink like anchors! JB likes to bring his trucks in and then run them all over the tub walls.
6. Gone fishin'--throw in stuff that floats and give them a net.
5. Tonights fun--glow sticks! I bathed them and then turned off the lights and threw a bunch of glow sticks in the water. They loved it, bath time lasted another 1/2 hour easy!

Any ideas you'd like to share???

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bon bons and soap operas

I haven't been posting...if you're a mom of young kids you know why...I'm waaaayyy to busy sitting on the couch eating bon-bons and watching soap operas to blog!!!


We are enjoying fall at our house, especially because it looks like fall but has felt like summer! Love that, thanks God! Morgan has been anxiously awaiting the leaves to turn colors. Just today we pulled in our street and the trees lining it have suddenly turned yellow. Her words..."it's beautiful mommy, fall is my favorite". I love that she has a favorite season and it is based on how pretty she thinks it is!!

We've been apple picking twice, bought baby pumpkins and gourds, spent a day on a farm out in Lancaster, and have tackled a few fall "projects". I think some hiking through the park when the leaves really get going will be on the agenda.

A few other things on my fall bucket list:
1. Strasburg Railroad--we thought we would get to this on Saturday but our day at the farm tuckered us out, the kids were asleep before we left the "parking lot". I love days like that!!
2. Carve pumpkins--we always wait until the week before Halloween for this. We did carve a fake pumpkin though. I cut the top off, filled it with yarn and tiny pieces of straw cut up (to look like pulp and seeds). Then I poked holes in it and the kids put their Mr. Potato head pieces in. My sister-in-law actually gave us a little kit last year with Halloween things to stick into pumpkins. The kids play with this a lot, I can put it away after Halloween and use it again next year!! woo-hoo
3. Jump in the leaves--well, we're already jumping in leaves, but there isn't enough for a pile yet. That's when it gets really fun!!
4. Drink apple cider--just haven't gotten any yet.
5. Roast marshmellows--now this really needs to happen at my friend Mary's house, since she has a firepit. And since I haven't seen her or heard from her since she watched my kids a month ago, I'm not sure this is going to happen. Mary--if you're out there--we're comin' over!!!!
6. Trick-or-Treating--Miss M wants to be a ballerina and JB wants to be Captain Hook! Fun!
7. Scarecrows at Peddler's Village--this is a Bucks County tradition. The kids get a kick out of seeing all the different scare crows and I get my Peddler's Village fix! It's a win win for everyone but Prince Charming, he would prefer to live his life never returning to Peddler's Village for any reason :)

Happy Fall friends!!!