Friday, November 30, 2007

I know blondes have more fun, but....

Well, I got tired of my roots coming in where I had lighter blonde highlights.
I was tired of it looking mousey. And I knew that getting my hair highlighted right now was not going to be in my budget. So, I picked up a $10 box of bronze shimmer Feria hair color and made my hair brown.
It was my first time dying my hair on my own, and it was pretty easy.
I took a picture of myself, but it is fuzzy. And the lighting isn't the greatest..I think it's prettier in person.
So, Before with blonde hair, however in this picture, I hadn't styled it or put on makeup:

and, after:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Picture Me

So, I found this fun meme at Diary of a Shoe Addict and thought I'd do it as well.

I added a couple to it though...

Basically the rules type your answer into google images and use your favorite image.

1. My Age at my next birthday, which is soon:

2. Place of Birth:

Hartford, Connecticut

3. Places I want to visit:

Okay, first there's the Hagia Sophia in Turkey

Then, it's off to Ireland to see the castles

And then, once back in the states, it's off to have a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3

4. My Nickname:
Well, I don't really have one. So I looked up, I don't have one, and here's the image that came up...

5. My Favorite Places:
New York City

In Worship

On stage performing

6. My Favorite Things:

7. My Favorite Food:

8. My Favorite Colors:

9. My Favorite Flowers:
Sterling Roses and Tulips

So I tag all of you, if you are up for it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Quick Sewing Links

I have been loving This site, which started up a handmade holidays section filled with different categories for each day in November. They range from aprons to blankets to organizational items. I have found some great tutorials and ideas. They make me want to run to Joann's to spend a small fortune on fabric and then sit at my sewing machine all day long creating masterpiece after masterpiece. Because in my mind, you see, I am an amazing seamstress., even though, all I have done are 2 quilts and a curtain. I have yet to do anything on my own from a pattern. Yet, I think I can tackle all of these fun projects. I should give it a try though, right? I am now wishing I had bought some of the fabric when I was at Joann's for their day after Thanksgiving sale. They had their fabric selling for crazy cheap prices. I was probably the only person there who didn't fill their cart with 25 bolts of flannel, fleece and cotton.

I also found This Great Site, which has been following the handmade holiday projects and then adding even more to the list. So, seriously people check it out. I already want to make a Scarf, a crayon roll, a chenille baby bib, a bunny pillow, and a Baby wipe case

So much fun you guys. You must check those sites out, okay!

Ever wonder what your kids dream about?

This morning as we were eating breakfast, the miss told me a tiny bit about her dreams last night.
"I had a dream that I had a fish room. It was so neat. You should see it, mommy. When the sun is down, I'll show it to you.
And then, I had a dream that I was playing the violin and everyone threw eggs at me."

That last one had me cracking up, no pun intended.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Psalms Sunday - Psalm 55

Psalm 55
To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments.[a] A Contemplation[b] of David.
1 Give ear to my prayer, O God,
And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
2 Attend to me, and hear me;
I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily,
3 Because of the voice of the enemy,
Because of the oppression of the wicked;
For they bring down trouble upon me,
And in wrath they hate me.

4 My heart is severely pained within me,
And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
5 Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me,
And horror has overwhelmed me.
6 So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
7 Indeed, I would wander far off,
And remain in the wilderness. Selah
8 I would hasten my escape
From the windy storm and tempest.”

9 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues,
For I have seen violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around it on its walls;
Iniquity and trouble are also in the midst of it.
11 Destruction is in its midst;
Oppression and deceit do not depart from its streets.

12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me;
Then I could bear it.
Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me;
Then I could hide from him.
13 But it was you, a man my equal,
My companion and my acquaintance.
14 We took sweet counsel together,
And walked to the house of God in the throng.

15 Let death seize them;
Let them go down alive into hell,
For wickedness is in their dwellings and among them.

16 As for me, I will call upon God,
And the LORD shall save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon
I will pray, and cry aloud,
And He shall hear my voice.
18 He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me,
For there were many against me.
19 God will hear, and afflict them,
Even He who abides from of old. Selah
Because they do not change,
Therefore they do not fear God.

20 He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him;
He has broken his covenant.
21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter,
But war was in his heart;
His words were softer than oil,
Yet they were drawn swords.

22 Cast your burden on the LORD,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

23 But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction;
Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days;
But I will trust in You.

In this Psalm, David is dealing with the anguish of betrayal. His trust in someone else was broken. He is hurting. We see his pain and then we watch how he handles it all. He ends the Psalm with, "I will trust in you."
He doesn't seek revenge, he doesn't bad talk the other. He gives it to God and trusts in Him. He trusts in Him to deal with the situation and to heal his pain.

There are many times when I feel let down by those closest to me. And it hurts, it does. And unfortunately, I don't handle it in the same way David did. First of all, I don't pour it out to God, I instead pour it out to friends. I also don't pray about it as much as I should. I need to give my pain to God. I need to trust in Him that He will help with the circumstances. I know it won't be in my timing. I also know that I can't change things on my own.
I need to let God fill me up with joy, and stop relying on other people to make me happy.

How did the Psalm speak to you this week?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful Thursday on Thanksgiving

I am thankful for my husband and my kiddos. I am so blessed, really.

I am thankful for the little life moving around inside of me. You forget, when you aren't pregnant, what it feels like. And each time I am kicked, it puts the biggest smile on my face. I love it.

I am thankful for my closest friends who are always there for me when I need to chit chat or when I have pressing matters that I need prayer for.

I am thankful for the strong Christian women God has placed in my life. They are amazing!

I am thankful for my Beth Moore devotion I have been doing. I have been learning so much and it's wonderful.

I am thankful that I have all the basic necessities..a home, heater, clothes, food.

I am thankful for God's provision.

I am thankful for Christmas music and that it will start playing on the radio tomorrow, so that I can listen to it non-stop.

I am thankful that I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my hubby and kids and that everyone is healthy and well. There are so many with loved ones overseas or in hospitals. So, I am just blessed that I could spend Thanksgiving at home with my family.

In honor of my best friend

This has been our song since Freshman year of high school. It's a long story, really.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Song

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Homecoming

I am so happy for these families that they can be together again and at holiday time too.

Our Turkey Cupcakes

Wow, these were more time consuming than I thought they would be, maybe because the batter and frosting were made from scratch. But the miss and I had fun making them. I had to watch the short segment on how to make them again, on the saved Martha Stewart episode. The miss watched it with me and was so excited. As I was filling the liners with batter, I made a mess. She began laughing at me as I told her I wasn't very good at this. She then informed me that, no, I wasn't as good as the lady we watched on T.V. I told her that of course I am not as good as Martha Stewart. She reminded me one another time that I was no Martha.
Anyway, here are a few of the finished turkeys that we made.

Can you read what her shirt says? "Just be glad I'm not a twin"
When I saw it, I HAD to get it.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Our Homemade Ornaments

Well, things will be a little different this year with our tree as well. Over the past few years, most of our ornaments have been the bulb type ornaments, because they are fairly inexpensive, but they break easily. We do have some Hallmark ornaments, since traditionally I buy each family member one each year. And we have some other regular ornaments. But this year, the bulbs will not be put onto our tree. Last year, the miss broke many of them. She even put some into her mouth. And with the mister being a toddler who is into things, I think it would be best to keep them boxed up.
But I do not want to go out and spend money on new ornaments to decorate our entire tree with.
I may buy some after Christmas, when they go on sale, for next year. But I will not buy any before then.
So, this year, we will have mainly homemade ornaments on our tree. That is, if I am not getting myself in over my head here. I do want to decorate this Friday and throughout the weekend. The miss is so excited to put our tree up.
So, we need to get cracking on these ornaments here, soon.

I wanted to share with you the really neat ornament ideas I found online. Because although they will be homemade, I don't want my tree to just be filled with construction paper. I do want it to look pretty, you know?

Sheet music star ornament

Martha Stewart Click and Print ornaments

stained glass ornaments

paper tree ornament

victorian paper ornament printable

Candy cane ornament minus the bear, I think.

Drum Ornament

puzzle piece ornament

Victorian icing card decorations

Christmas card star ornament

I think I may also get some plastic ball type ornaments and let the miss fill them up with tinsel, potpourri, glitter, and paper snowflakes. That would be easy and fun for her to do.

Do you know of any easy to make ornaments?

This Christmas

So, this Christmas we are doing some new things. The first is a Jesse tree. I read about it last year at Rocks in My Dryer.
Most of our ornaments for the tree will just be printable ones I found online, that I printed in black and white and will color in, but some others we will make out of clay or other materials. I found a cute glitter covered harp for mini trees last night at Wal-Mart, so we can use that for David.
When you use a Jesse tree, each day leading up to Christmas, there is a little Bible story lesson, beginning in the Old Testament and working up to Jesus' birth. I have found little crafts to do for each lesson, and then we hang our ornament on the tree.

Another thing I want to do with the Miss this year, if I can, I haven't looked into it completely yet, is to have us make little crafts for children at a nearby hospital. And maybe on the 20th or 21st, we can visit the children in the hospital, if we are allowed, and pass out the crafts. I am not sure what rules there are about this, especially bringing a young child into a hospital room during cold/flu season. When I read the idea, it suggested visiting a nursing home, but I think that would scare the miss a little. She seems to shy away from the older people that talk to her when she is shopping with me. I think she'd relate better to younger kids.

Oh, and I just came across this adorable movie. I will have to see if our local Christian store has it, because it looks GREAT!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Psalms Sunday - Psalm 54

Psalm 54
To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments.[a] A Contemplation[b] of David when the Ziphites went and said to Saul, “Is David not hiding with us?”
1 Save me, O God, by Your name,
And vindicate me by Your strength.
2 Hear my prayer, O God;
Give ear to the words of my mouth.
3 For strangers have risen up against me,
And oppressors have sought after my life;
They have not set God before them. Selah

4 Behold, God is my helper;
The Lord is with those who uphold my life.
5 He will repay my enemies for their evil.
Cut them off in Your truth.

6 I will freely sacrifice to You;
I will praise Your name, O LORD, for it is good.
7 For He has delivered me out of all trouble;
And my eye has seen its desire upon my enemies.

This Psalm reminds me to look at my circumstances, not through the eyes of my flesh, but through the eyes of The Spirit. There have been times when others have let us down, used us, conspired against us, and there will continue to be times like that in our lives. But instead of dwelling on it, or holding anger toward those people, we need to give it to God. We need to rely on our faith and know that God will take care of the issue and take care of us.
God is our helper, but do we really let Him help us much as he wants to or could?
How many times, when we are struggling with something, even something small, do we just rely on ourselves or on the advice of others?
Why do we do that when the ever powerful God is our helper?
Let's give it all to Him!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Blue 52

Apparently she didn't want to color on paper anymore.
I asked her if she is trying to be a football player, and she said, yes.

Food allergies are no fun

So, the miss is allergic to tree nuts, which includes well every kind of nut you can think of, except for peanuts, because those are actually legumes.
Today there was a Thanksgiving potluck at the hubby's work. I wasn't too too worried, because we control what goes on her plate, but in the back of my mind I thought it important to bring her super strength Benadryl. It was prescribed specifically for allergic reactions, because it is stronger than normal Benadryl for her age would be. And of course I have the Epi-Pen in my purse. So as we walked into the area to eat, we walked past the table with desserts, and I quickly glanced at them. I saw a red velvet cake amongst the other cakes and cookies and thought it would be a safe bet for the miss. Plus it's red, which I thought she would love.
So once we were done eating, hubby went and got desserts for us while I stayed with the kids who were watching Shrek on a huge tv.
So the miss ate about half of her cake when she looked at me like a deer in headlights. She told me her tongue hurt, she ate nuts, and she needed her medicine. She is such a good girl. I am glad she can recognize how it feels when she eats a nut. I was surprised and grabbed her plate. And sure enough, there mixed into the cake, were tiny pieces of chopped up nuts. And I mean, tiny! Like the gal who made the cake, took out her Pampered Chef chopper and made these itty bitty pieces of nuts.
The last time she had a half of a piece of a pecan, we had the paramedics at our house, because she was in bad shape, she threw up, had an excess of saliva..was just wasn't good.
We gave her the benadryl, and for the first 7 minutes or so, it was a bit scary, as she told me her throat hurt and stuff...and she did look swollen. But she ended up being just fine, thank goodness.
As we drove home, she told me that the medicine worked and she felt much better. She then said..."Listen, mommy, I can breathe again." And she took breaths for me. That led me to believe that she must have felt tight before and her throat was swollen a bit.
I have learned that I need to taste everything before she eats it. I should have broken up her cake a bit and inspected it more. So, now I know. We have another Christmas potluck to attend with my work in a few weeks, so I will be prepared for that one.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Good Ol' Vaccinations

Well, I came across information regarding a book by Dr. Sears, The Vaccine Book, Making the Right Decision for Your child. I am very interested in picking up a copy of this book. I'll have to see if there is a copy at the library.
The site that I just linked to explains a bit about the book and a bit about vaccinations, so check out the link above.
Nobody has yet to prove a link between vaccines and autism, but many parents with autistic children can tell you that it seemed to take form in their child's lives after certain vaccinations.
Those parents are thinking that there are some children who are born with a weaker immune system, that can't handle the vaccinations as well as children who don't have the weaker immune system. The body ends up attacking itself. A child who is on a lot of antibiotics all the time, due to being sick all of the time, or having ear infections all of the time, end up with an influx of yeast in their gut, which can bring on problems. Perhaps mercury is to blame. There is mercury in many vaccinations.
Nonetheless, many who are against vaccinations or maybe against vaccinating at such young of an age, suggest a different vaccination schedule for children, where they are receiving the vaccinations when they are a little bit older.
My son happens to be a bit behind on his immunization schedule. Now it isn't because I insisted that he get immunized when he was older. It just happened to turn out that way. We'd go to get him immunized and he'd be sick, or they were out of the shots, or whatever. But to be honest, I was a little relieved that he was behind. Because I have been aware of the possible autism/vaccination link. Also, my son's head measured rather largely at like his 6 month checkup and that worried me a bit too, because usually autistic kids have a larger head circumference. So it was always in the back of my mind that possibly, he could end up having autism, so when he got behind in his shots, I didn't mind one bit.
However, the doctors didn't like it. They made me feel like I was the worst mother on earth. When he went to the base, right before the hubby got out of the Air Force, for his 12 month check up, they saw how behind he was. I was lectured like crazy. I was told of babies who have died recently because they weren't immunized against a disease that they picked up. I was told that many people in our state choose not to have their kids immunized and that every time I go to Wal-Mart or a grocery store, I am exposing him to their germs. They wrote me up a new vaccination schedule and stressed that I follow it exactly.
He now has a civilian doctor, since we are no longer in the Air Force, and he too, seems very strict about immunizations, which I may keep in mind. We might choose a new doctor, because I think I want to have my baby that is due in March, to be a bit behind in vaccinations as well.
Until someone can show me proof that there is no harm done with vaccinations, than I won't worry about it.
I'm curious to hear what you all think about this topic....

Fall Leaves

Throwing leaves at mommy and brother

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Miss' Birthday Celebration (Segment 3)

Slide show of Fun

The Miss' Birthday Celebration (Segment 2)

Unveiling the Tinkerbell quilt. She loves it! She told me thank you and she said she wanted to thank Miss Tiffany too. She knew that Miss Tiffany had helped me with it.
So here is the finished quilt, with a corner folded over so you can see the backing. Also a close-up shot of the detail and finally the miss cuddling with it.

The Miss' Birthday Celebration (In Segments)

So, most of the morning and afternoon is going to be all about the miss. We aren't having a party with friends this year, although one of her old day care buddies will meet up with us at Chuck E. Cheese later, to play.
So, we are just doing a family thing this year. She woke up at 6:00 A.M. to see the kitchen looking like this..... (isn't too too much, but she was thrilled)

And right before leaving for dance class, she got to open a present,from mommy and daddy, which was a box filled with My Little Ponies. She was so excited.

Once she gets back, she can play a bit, then we will have lunch, open presents,play a bit and head to Chuck E. Cheese.
Then we will come back home for her unicorn cake, which My Little Ponies constitute as unicorns to her. She wanted a pink unicorn cake with rainbows and cherries. So, I did the best I could, last night, rushing through it. So I will post more pictures of the festivities later today.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Louder Than Words

So, I received a notice today, that my days of waiting for Jenny McCarthy's new book at the library had ended. Having been on the waiting list for awhile, it was finally my turn. I have been so excited to read this book. I have been intrigued by autism for 10 years now, for no exact reason, actually. It is just something that has interested me greatly. I have read many books about it. I have written many research papers on it. I have an entire folder in my filing cabinet filled with articles about autism.
And I finished the book in an hour. I had some time to myself this afternoon, and instead of cleaning or doing laundry, I read the book. And it was so interesting. I really recommend it. Autism is become so prevalent now, that I think it's important for any mom-to-be, parents of infants, or those who plan on having children someday to stay on top of. Because right now, one out of every one hundred fifty kids is autistic. So, I just had to quickly share. Jenny was able to cure her son, with ABA therapy, special diets and things like that, he no longer is stuck in the lost autistic world. Her story is incredible.

Thanks Super Nanny

I know I should do most of this, but in the moment, it's hard to remember. Here are things I found on the Super Nanny site.

I find myself getting angry. What can I do about it?
1. Change the way you view your child’s behaviour


The way you view your child’s behaviour will influence the effect it has on you.

Understanding child development can help you to see your child’s behaviour in a less negative light.

• Parents often say “he’s winding me up” or “she knows how to press my buttons”. If you believe your child is deliberately seeking to upset you, then their behaviour is bound to infuriate you!

Let go of the idea that your infant or toddler is scheming about how to drive you crazy; this kind of manipulation is developmentally impossible as it requires a child to be able to understand that other people have beliefs and intentions different from their own – in developmental psychology this is called “theory of mind”.

This relatively advanced type of thought process does not develop until around age three or four years.

• Try to view your toddler for what he is; a little person enjoying his new found ability to move around and explore with huge curiosity the fascinating world around him. Remember that the little person causing such havoc simply can't understand that his actions affect other people, has not developed the ability for self-control so will act on impulse. He also has no sense of time, so will just not be able to wait.

• If you have an older child whom you feel is deliberately winding you up, try to look at why they may be behaving like this. Perhaps they have learnt that pushing you to the edge is the only way to get what they want? Make sure your child gets attention for all the positive behaviours you want to see more of.
2. Reduce stressful moments

If you can reduce the chances of melt-downs, tension and conflict in the first place there will be fewer chances of you reaching explosion point.

Be aware that children will readily absorb the emotionally climate around them; if you’re wound up they will be too.

• Use clear, brief, simple commands and keep your tone polite, calm but firm. Children will pick up on any hints of stress, wavering or anger in your voice and this may make them more agitated or more persistent.

• Avoid sarcasm (“Great, I just love clearing up your mess!”), threats (“If you don’t hurry up, I’ll go without you”), labelling (“you’re so selfish”) or criticism (“you’re taking forever, you’re always lazy”) when speaking to your child. In the short term these kinds of comments will upset and provoke your child and in the long term they may cause a damaging erosion of their self-esteem.

• Parents are often aware of the importance of praising good behaviour, but feel resentful about dishing out compliments to the little terror who’s causing so much grief. Set yourself small goals e.g. initially aim to praise just four good things a day, then gradually increase this. The more you praise, the more good behaviour you’ll see so this should be fairly easy!

• Agree a set of house rules and consequences – write these down and post them somewhere obvious. If you have a pre-agreed plan, your child knows where they stand, and you’re less likely to react hastily in the heat of moment.

• Set aside weekly relaxation time – this is not a luxury for you but a necessity. This may be a massage, a nice walk, listening to music or just a relaxing bath. Set up a babysitting circle with a group of friends if you are struggling with childcare.

3. How to cope if close to snapping

Reacting in anger often leads to rash decisions and sometimes aggressive responses such as shouting, smacking or hastily imposing extreme discipline . The result is that you're left feeling guilty and your child is left feeling upset and anxious. It’s fine to feel angry but it’s important to not let it control you.

• Tune into your body and learn to recognise early warning signs that you’re getting annoyed such as heart racing, feeling shaky or getting sweaty.

• Whenever you notice your body’s angry warning signs kicking in, stop what you are doing and try to look objectively at what has wound you up. This will help you to feel more in control.

• State your feelings, without attacking. Use ‘when...then’: “When you call me names I get upset”.

Now is not a good time to get into a debate. Show willingness to resolve things but just not now – “We can talk about this tomorrow over breakfast, but right now I’m feeling too wound up".

• If your child is safe, take time out , saying “I need some time to cool down”. Remove yourself from the situation.

• Take deep breaths; in through your nose and out through your mouth, trying to slow your breath as much as possible.

• Try clenching your hands tight as you breathe in then releasing them as you breathe out. This will turn down your body’s fight-flight response and makes you feel calmer.

• If it’s hard to leave your child, use distraction techniques (counting, reciting song lyrics or a poem in your head) to stop yourself from reacting rashly. Use positive self-talk – say to yourself “I’m doing the best I can” or “Keep calm!”

• Displace your anger by whatever means works for you – vacuuming, singing along to a favourite song, doing exercise.

• Some parents find it useful to keep a journal to jot down how they feel after angry outbursts. This is a useful way to vent your emotion and also may be helpful in revealing any recurrent patterns in you and your child’s behaviours.

• If you find you are regularly losing control of your anger and it feels like nothing is helping, you may benefit from seeking some professional support and advice.

How to handle backchat and disrespectful behaviour

Many parents complain about disrespectful behaviour from their children. But what can we do about it?
Why is he being disrespectful?

Various factors may be related to children behaving disrespectfully:

1. Being frustrated by limitations and wanting to test limits.

2. Copying the behaviour of other people around them.

3. Realising that being disrespectful gets a reaction: laughs, shouting, shock – either way it’s attention.

4. Feeling they are being treated unfairly or are not being listened to. This can particularly be the case with backchat or mumbled comments.
How to react to disrespectful behaviour

• Ignore minor disrespectful behaviour such as backchat or sulking. Say “I will not tolerate being talked to like that” and do not respond until your child is communicating appropriately.

• For behaviour which is more offensive or rude, you can use the naughty-step technique. Before taking your child to the naughty step, make sure you give one warning clearly stating why the behaviour is disrespectful and not acceptable. “In our family, we don’t talk to each other rudely.”

• When your child is rude, don’t laugh as this will give your child positive attention and encourage them to continue being rude.
"However much you cringe when you see or hear your child being disrespectful in public, resist the temptation to correct them in front of others."

Instead, take your child aside and describe the behaviour you disapproved of and provide guidance. For example, “I noticed you ignored the librarian when she asked you to stop talking. She seemed upset by your lack of respect. Either you can act more politely or we will have to leave story-time.”

How to prevent disrespectful behaviour

Children learn how to respond appropriately by watching and imitating those around them. This is called modelling. The most effective way to get your child to act respectfully is to treat them with respect and also to let them see you act respectfully towards other people. Remember ‘actions speak louder than words’.

• Let your child know exactly what behaviour is not acceptable by including statements about respectful behaviour in your house rules eg “No swearing”, “at dinner time, we sit nicely at the table”.

• Teach your child social manners by giving continual, gentle reminders about appropriate communication and behaviour. When adults provide clear information about appropriate behaviour, children learn what is expected of them. For example, “When you leave a friend’s house, it’s good to say ‘thank you for having me’. People like it when you do that”. Or, “When I’m talking to someone I expect you to wait until I’ve finished before asking me a question, or if you’re finding it hard to wait you could say ‘excuse me’”

• Pay close attention to your tone of voice, words and body language, not just with your child, but with everyone else around you as well. If your child hears you using put-downs, making snide comments, using sarcasm, swearing or shouting or sees you rolling your eyes or making faces at people, you are not modelling a respectful attitude. Be polite, courteous, considerate and well-mannered, and you will soon see such an attitude from your child.

• Make sure that you use good manners and a respectful tone when correcting disrespectful behaviour. Firmly state your disapproval by commenting descriptively and asserting expectations. Tell your child what you want, not what you don’t want. Rather than “Cut the backchat!” say, “Jamie, I heard you being rude to me under your breath. I don’t like that kind of behaviour. If you’re feeling frustrated please tell me directly.”

• Make sure you respond positively to good behaviour. When you’re child behaves nicely, respond with praise, approval and affection. Every time your child uses the type of manners and behaviour you want to see more of, comment approvingly. For example, “Thank you for waiting for me to finishing talking on the phone before asking me for a drink.” Or, “I noticed that you asked your brother before taking his toy. That was very considerate”.

• Keep an eye on the type of communication your child is exposed to. Swearing on TV, negative attitudes in video games and even disrespectful lyrics in music can all be absorbed by your child and may filter into their vocabulary and behaviour.

• Make sure you listen to your child and enable them to give their opinion or share how they feel. A child who feels listened to is less likely to try to have the last word. You may want to try using a thought box to encourage communication.

• Backchat is often associated with your little one’s resentment at being asked to do things she doesn’t want to do, or not getting her way. Minimise this frustration by using minimal, clear commands (avoid long lectures) and by offering choice. “Would you like to tidy your room before dinner or after?

Win over the Whiner

Six Strategies To Help Parents Keep Their Sanity

Before you frazzle your last nerve, or worse yet, give in to your child’s demands for attention, try these six tips — and restore your sanity.
Be calm and clear

Children will use kicking, biting, screaming or crying to get a reaction from Mum or Dad. When parents lash back at the child out of frustration, it may have the opposite of the intended affect. A child may see their bad behaviour as a way to get them the attention they desire.

Instead, calmly but firmly correct the child’s behaviour by saying things like, “Please ask politely” or “Please don’t hit Mummy. When you hit Mummy it hurts.” If you snap at your child, expect that he or she will adopt the same tone as an appropriate way to express frustration.

When children persist, resist the urge to give in. “Make an announcement: 'When you use your normal voice I will listen to you,’” suggests parenting author Elizabeth Pantley. “Then turn your back to the whining child and make it obvious you are ignoring her by singing or reading a book out loud held in front of your face.”
Don’t be afraid of discipline, but don’t forget the praise

Whining child - A child will quickly learn there are consequences to his actions if they result in time out, or time on the Naughty Step.

If your child’s bad behaviour continues, make it clear that you intend to follow through on threats of discipline. “If you yell at Mummy again, you will have to sit on the Naughty Step.” When he does it again, it’s straight to the Naughty Step for one minute for every year of age. When he is calm, and ready to try again, reinforce the message by asking for an apology — then give him a hug. Your child will learn that his time out was for his own good.

The key to discipline is consistency. Regardless of how busy you are, make the time for a time out when necessary.

And while bad behaviour deserves parents’ attention, so too does good behaviour. If your child resolves a conflict without resorting to whining, heap on the praise. Let him know that a calm, measured approach to frustrating situations will have the most positive outcome.
Stop whining before it starts

When a child whines or displays related behaviour, he might be trying to tell you something. Perhaps your children are not stimulated enough with games or exercise, or maybe they are hungry earlier than the established time for meals.

When your child starts whining, make note of the circumstances surrounding the situation. Perhaps a simple midmorning snack will ward off a noon meltdown, or a trip to the park for some play time will give the child a positive release for pent-up energy.
Pay attention to nap time/bed time

Whining is often related to a child being tired. Parents may expect children to conform to their sleep schedule, but children demand longer and more frequent periods of sleep. Consider whether your child’s sleep schedule is consistent and satisfying. If you child starts whining in the early evening, before bed time, perhaps it is their way of asking to go to bed a half-hour earlier. If your child is a terror by mid-morning, they may need to sleep it off.

For your children, the need for sleep doesn’t stop because it is not convenient for your schedule. You may have to make adjustments so your children get the appropriate time to sleep.
Cut the sweets

Diet and behaviour are often connected, and in children sugar can be like a drug. If you are pouring glass after glass of juice, you may be exceeding your child’s tolerance for sugar. Likewise, sweets, soft drink and other prepared foods are sometimes packed with sugar. Once the sugar high is gone, then comes the low. And with the low comes whining.

Pay attention to your child’s eating habits, and make connections to their behaviour. Perhaps some simple changes will make all the difference.
Be flexible

Remember, kids will be kids. So parents should understand that their minds are active and when they are engrossed in a project, or having fun at the playground, they may not want to stop.

When possible, meet your children halfway — “Okay, we can stay at the park for five more minutes. Then it’s time to go home and take a nap,” or “Alright, we can read one more book before bed.” Compromising with your child will teach them that reasoning with you is preferable to whining and acting out.
Common whining wind-ups, and how to avoid them:

* The ever-popular supermarket meltdown: Keep your kids in line by feeding them before you go to the supermarket, and give them duties to keep them occupied while you’re there. “Can you help Mummy find three apples?” You might want to avoid the sweets and crisps aisle altogether.
* Whining as you're winding down the road: Let’s face it, kids get bored in cars, so bring along games, toys and snacks to keep them occupied. Play their favourite music on the radio and sing along.
* Headaches when they’re hitting the sack: Children who are resistent at bedtime may benefit from an established routine that includes bedtime stories and other family rituals.

I took all of the above from the Super Nanny site

Awesome Reward Charts from Super Nanny When I get some ink for my printer, I will use the fairies and flowers one with the miss. It's time to focus on the positive and no longer on the negative.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hi Ho Hi Ho, it's off to work we go

So, I was tagged a while back, by Jen for the Work Meme
I am supposed to tell you about my past work experience. So here are the not so entertaining details.
In High School, I held only a couple of jobs, besides babysitting. I worked at a nearby Spaghetti restaurant. We are talking a very tiny place in a little shopping center. It wasn't too busy.
I also worked at a day care center after school and then during the summer.
After graduating from High School, I wanted to move out of my parent's house and I began working full time. I worked as a receptionist for a Real Estate Company. Well, actually there were about 5 of us, who had the same job. So, we'd take turns working at the front desk, while the rest of us worked in the back, answering phones and paging the Real Estate agents with their messages. I didn't work there for very long. For some reason, a couple of the girls who worked with me hated me, and they made my life a little horrid, while I was employed there.
So, I then became a receptionist for a nearby Title Insurance Company, Grand Canyon Title. I really enjoyed the job and the people I worked with. But I was then asked to work at another Title Company, ATI Title. My boyfriend at the time, who is now my hubby :o), his mom was a co-manager at ATI Title, and I was hired as their receptionist. Unfortunately, I wasn't there for too too long, because our office walked out. I just went with the flow, I didn't know what was going on. We, as a branch, also split up. I followed the other manager and several employees to another Title Company, Equity Title.
Are you confused yet? SO, I stayed with Equity Title for awhile, and moved up to an assistant. I had my own office and everything, it was pretty nice.
Unfortunately, the industry got slow, and being young, and without a family, I was chosen to be laid off. It was sad. I also had life changes going on at this time too. I had broken up with my boyfriend, my high school sweetheart, and a couple months later, started dating another guy. I also looked around for another job. I gave the food/service industry another chance and worked at a really nice restaurant inside a nearby Hyatt. It was an Italian place where the servers sang. It was tough work. There was a lot of verbiage to learn, and I struggled with carrying the huge trays and presenting the wine properly as I opened it. I also seemed to stay in training for a long time. SO, I wasn't making a whole lot, so I quit.
A little while longer, I began working at another Title Company, Title Guaranty Agency, as a receptionist/assistant. It was a very small office. There was just the manager, one escrow officer and myself. We weren't very busy, and I found myself very bored.
I don't remember how long I was there, but I then found out that Equity Title was hiring again, at another branch, pretty close by. So I was hired there as an assistant, and again had my own office. I really loved the staff there, it was fun.
But, I soon decided to go away to school, so I had to leave the company, since I was moving out of state.
So, I went off to school for a year, but during that time, I got back together with my ex-boyfriend from High School, who is now my hubby. We became engaged to be married pretty soon after that and I became employed at another Title Company, First American Title. I was a Junior Escrow Officer, but when I left the company, to move to my current place of residence, I was at that time a branch support/floater. I loved doing that. I would go to our different offices, and take over an Escrow Officer's desk, while they were on vacation, or help out an overly busy office. It was fun to help out in a branch where they really needed help. They were always so appreciative.
When I moved out here, where we currently live, I decided I wanted to be able to stay at home. I worked nights at a hotel for awhile, as I worked on becoming licensed to do day care out of my home. Once I received my license, I stopped working at the hotel, and I started up my day care. I did have fun with it for awhile, but then I had another child, got a full day care load, and became pregnant again. The day care became very stressful and very draining. So, I recently stopped my day care business, and I am now working nights again at the hotel I started working at when we first moved out here.

So there you have it.

And now, I tag Sara

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Night Laundry gal:

You start your shift at the hotel, at 11:00 P.M., as mine is ending. When you get to work, you have a lot to talk about apparently and you begin to yap away. Now don't get me wrong, I am a social person and you are very entertaining when you tell your life stories. But darling, my shift is over, I am exhausted and I need to get home. See, my two kids get up at the crack of dawn. Actually, they get up earlier now that daylight savings changed my life around. And I have been up since 5:30 A.M. If I don't leave the hotel soon, it'll be midnight when I get home. My pregnant self needs a snack, so at this rate, I am going to only get 4 hours of sleep and then I have to chase my kids around.
I felt bad this evening, because you were obviously bothered by something, so I thought I'd be nice and lend an empathetic ear as you told me about some issues going on in your life. You had tears in your eyes and I couldn't just leave you like that. But honestly, deep down, I was praying for you to shoosh. When that story of yours ended, I mentioned to you about needing sleep and my kids getting up early and one being sick and I thought maybe you were freeing me. I had my keys and purse in hand and I had my body angled toward the door. But you started telling me another story about the guy you are dating and then another about this guy who likes you and then you whipped out your old high school ID cards so that I could see you with blond and red hair. And as fun as it all was, I was about to get on my hands and knees and hysterically beg you to let me go home.
And the worst thing is, you do this every time you work. I love it when the other night laundry gal comes in, because she doesn't talk to me. I am able to leave work at 11:00 P.M. It's glorious.
I understand you can't relate to me when I tell you why I need to go home and sleep. You are 21 years old and you don't have any kids. But if you were a mom, you'd shoo me out the door and tell me to get rest. My pregnant tired self, with her hands full, needs sleep.
And I do so appreciate the adult conversation, and I do know that you are wide awake, because you slept all day, since you work a night shift, but please, please, please empathize with me. PLEASE!

Sleep deprived Front desk agent

Dear Walk-in hotel guest who came in the hotel doors at 11:45 P.M., looking for a room for the night:

THANK YOU! You abruptly ended the conversation and opened up an opportunity for me to slip out the doors, race to my car and drive home. I can now get 4 and a half hours of sleep. I am forever indebted to you.

leaping with glee to my car.

Monday, November 5, 2007

For my Next Quilt

So, I am going to start on a quilt for the baby and I am ready to try something new. I just found a neat project on It looks pretty simple, because all I do is cut fabric into squares and then sew the squares together. That sounds easy enough. What is neat about this quilt, is you use a variety of fabric types, from cotton to chenille, so that it is really touchy-feely. See the quilt directions here
It is called a cuddle bug quilt. Isn't that cute???

Last week or so, I talked about sewing a duvet cover for the miss, but I didn't have any luck with that project. The spoiled miss has a full size bed in her room, because it was the only spare bed we had, and we couldn't afford to go buy a twin yet. So, it was impossible to find flat sheets that were sold separately. I could only buy them in sheet sets, which was way too much money. If you remember, I was going to sew the flat sheets together to make the cover for her existing comforter. SO, I just bought her a comforter for her room, after having several trips to Joann's and purchasing the wrong amount of fabric each time. I was going to use cotton fabric with a flannel bottom, to make her duvet, but it's hard to do, when you don't buy the right amount of fabric. I quickly gave up. Oh well.

I plan on taking a picture of the miss' Tinkerbell quilt today to share with all of you, so stay tuned.

Oh and by the way, the kids woke up at 5:30 A.M.AGAIN!!! Did I mention that I hate daylight savings???

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I Hate Daylight Savings

So this whole changing our clocks thing is rather annoying. See, I lived in Arizona for 15 or so years, so moving to a location that takes part in daylight savings has been strange.
I had to get up this morning at 5:50 A.M., thanks to my wonderful mister. Which really, it was 6:50 to my body, since it isn't used to the time change yet. And that isn't much earlier than I usually get up. But, I still knew it was really 5:50,which IS MUCH earlier than 7:15 A.M., and I wanted to be curled up in bed. So, now it is 1:35 P.M., and I feel like it should be 4:00 P.M. already.
I have gotten a ton accomplished today. I cleaned my kitchen thoroughly, including the microwave and organized it in some places as well. I also did a ton of laundry and hung up the clean clothes. And I still have a chunk of the day left.
We were all up in plenty of time to get ready for church this morning, but the poor mister has a bad cold. His nose is a faucet, he is coughing a bit and he has slept a lot today. Maybe because he got up at 5:50 in the morning. Actually, he was up before then, it just took me a good 15 minutes or so before I got up to get to him. I knew the nursery workers at church wouldn't have been happy, had we brought him to church, so we stayed home and missed church AGAIN. But, it will be a big priority to go next week.

I do work tonight, but I don't have to be there for 4 more hours.
This is one long day.
Hopefully I am not up at 5:50 tomorrow morning as well. That would just not be fun.

I did find out just now that I am number 2 on the waiting list at the nearby library for the Jenny McCarthy book, Louder Than Words. For some reason, I have always been fascinated by autism and I am so excited to read Jenny's book. When I first signed up for the waiting list, I was number 18. So, to be number 2, makes me happy!

Okay, I have posted quite a bit today, probably because I got up before the sun did. Have a great rest of the day.

Psalms Sunday - Psalm 52

Psalm 52
To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation[a] of David when Doeg the Edomite went and told Saul, and said to him, “David has gone to the house of Ahimelech.”
1 Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
The goodness of God endures continually.
2 Your tongue devises destruction,
Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
3 You love evil more than good,
Lying rather than speaking righteousness. Selah
4 You love all devouring words,
You deceitful tongue.

5 God shall likewise destroy you forever;
He shall take you away, and pluck you out of your dwelling place,
And uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
6 The righteous also shall see and fear,
And shall laugh at him, saying,
7 “Here is the man who did not make God his strength,
But trusted in the abundance of his riches,
And strengthened himself in his wickedness.”

8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.
9 I will praise You forever,
Because You have done it;
And in the presence of Your saints
I will wait on Your name, for it is good.

There are 2 contrasting verses that stood out to me in today's Psalm.... Verse 7 and 8.

7 “Here is the man who did not make God his strength,
But trusted in the abundance of his riches,
And strengthened himself in his wickedness.”

8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.

I love, LOVE verse 8. I honestly don't know too much about olive trees, so I studied up on them for a few minutes for this post. Here's what I found out.

"Olive trees tolerate drought well, thanks to their sturdy and extensive root system. They can be very long-lived, up to several centuries, and can remain productive for as long, provided they are pruned correctly and regularly.

The olive tree is the symbol of abundance, glory and peace." - Wikipedia

Do you see all of the similarities? We, as believers, can also tolerate drought and tough times well, if we remain strong in our faith and focus on God, not the world. We too have a sturdy root system, but we do need regular pruning. We need that time with God, that time in worship. We, as believers, are a symbol of abundance, glory and peace, that does not come from worldly things. It is an inner abundance and peace, that only God can give to us. So although many in the world trust in their own strength and focus on riches and wickedness, we, as believers will flourish like the olive tree in the house of God.

How awesome is that.

So, my dear trees, let's get pruning today.

Letters to the Grandparents, G.G., Papa and Tara

The weekly rambling of my almost 4 year old miss.

I made a glass pumpkin. We painted it orange with black eyes, mouth and nose.
I'm eating jello. It's shaky. It fall on my leg.
I saw a Bee Movie. A dad tried to kill the bee, Barry, in the bathroom. It was really funny. Everybody laughed at him. We laughed so hard. Daddy took me. I went to the movie with my daddy and I rested my head on him. And then I got blue ice cream, cotton candy taste, with sprinkles, because I was a good listener. I couldn't eat daddy's ice cream. His had nuts in it.
My teddy bear is at a dress up party. I put makeup on her and brush her hair.
That's Enough!!!
I love you and I give you hearts, big hearts. Mommy, color a heart! Where's the heart? Mommy, color it. Okay. I will hang this on the fridge now and G.G. and Papa will come to my house to see it.
The Miss

Another Drum Roll

Well, the original winner of the free blog design, asked me to select someone else, because she had already won so many other fall ya'll giveaways. What a lucky gal. So she was nice enough to share the wealth....that was very kind of her. So I selected a new winner at random and she is Qtpies.
So, congratulations Qtpies. I will be leaving you a comment on how to contact me. And I am thrilled to work on a design for you. :o)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

New Favorite Song of The Moment

I heard a song on the radio a few days ago and loved it, LOVED IT. I tried to find out online who it was, because the station didn't tell me after the song, stinkers. I tried to remember a few lines, so that I could look them up, but, I didn't have any luck. But then, this afternoon, I heard it again, and found out that it is "Sorry", by Paul Wright.
And here is a cool music player with some of his songs. You can select songs, up at the top menu and then scroll down and select the song, sorry, to hear it in its entirety. You can also listen to his other tracks as well. Enjoy.

Oh, and the player also has his song, "Your Love Never Changes", which I have always loved.