Wednesday, February 29, 2012


It's giveaway time. Check out my other blog for a great chance to win a bunch of swag from Yoplait.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dear Matthew,

I just can't wrap my mind around the warp speed that you're growing up. It's simply impossible that three whole years have passed since that moment I first laid my eyes on you. You are wrapped around my soul and every inch of your warm, sweet smile tells my heart a secret story. I can't believe how far behind you've left the baby version of yourself. The only thing that remains are your chipmunk chubby cheeks that implore me, multiple times a day, to plant loud smooches on them.

You know that with turning three comes a whole plethora of life experiences that you simply can't wait to get your hands on. You can take swimming lessons, you can play sports, you can go to preschool in September. And you can't wait. You've been a baby long enough. You're ready to get your big boy on. This birthday thing has been pretty great, in your humble opinion. First, we celebrated in San Diego with Grandma, Grandma, Uncle Jon and Aunt Heather. Then we celebrated here with Grandma DeDe and Grandpa Gary. Last Saturday we played with friends at an Arctic Circle Birthday Bash and we still have our own little family party to throw. It's like the birthday that just keeps on giving.

You are still my little Jekyll and Hyde boy with your extreme mood swings but I think we're turning over a new leaf. We're starting to see more good moments than challenging ones. This comes as a great relief to your daddy and me because when you're mad you are hopping mad. You've always had incredible pipes and you're not afraid to use them. Sometimes, when you're not getting your way, you sound like wild animals are ripping you apart limb by limb. The fact that you're smiling more and screaming less is nothing short of bliss for those of us who've experienced partial hearing loss as a result of your tantrums.

When you're busy being Jekyll, you are the sweetest guy. Just last night you announced, unprompted, "Thank you for my dinner. I loved it. So good." That, son, is music to a girl's ears, even when she's your mommy. The fact that it was fish is icing on the cake. You love to give kisses and will often wander up, gently place your lips on cheek and make a smacking noise. Sometimes this is followed by, "Mommy's my best friend." Of course, typically, that particular sentence is more like, "Where's Benji? I play with Benji? Benji's my best friend." Since Benji's not quite four I suppose it's a perfectly acceptable arrangement.

I'd be okay, however, if your response to the marriage question was me. But you've never wanted to marry me. Only Lucy. "I'm gonna marry Woocy," you announce. "I wuv Woocy." And, kid, you've got good taste. Woocy is one of the cutest little girls I've seen in my whole entire life. But she's a spitfire. A tornado. So good luck. Her mother and I have decided that we're all for it. We can't think of anyone deserving anyone more than the two of you deserve each other. But we're not volunteering to babysit your children. Those kids are going to be crazy. They may just spontaneously combust upon arrival. But, oh, would they ever be pretty.

Your current favorite things include (but are certainly not limited to): condiments, monkey, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, swords, sugar, daddy, popcorn, Benji, snuggling, books, french fries, movies, music, talking to Grandma on the phone, sports, and on and on and on.

My favorite thing to do is pretend to bite pieces of you. "Num, num, num," I say as I pretend to munch an ear.

"Give it back!" you giggle. I pop my cheek out using my tongue and pretend it's your ear. You shove my tongue with your chubby hand and I pop out the other cheek. This used to crack your brother up and I believe that he bought it hook, line and sinker. "Stop doing that with your tongue. Give me my ear," you laugh. Too smart for your own good.

I can't imagine my life without your sweet voice, your infectious giggle, and your brilliant grin. I simply don't know what I would do if I didn't have you. I thank God for your mother, who gave you life and chose us to be your family. And I thank Him for allowing me the privilege of your presence. Happy Birthday, Buddy.


Monday, February 27, 2012

The Wizard of Oz

Ignore Billy Crystal's joke at the beginning of this video because it's not actually funny. Otherwise, this clip is one of my favorite moments from last night's Oscars.

Because, really, who doesn't love it when Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy and crew get together?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Week 7: Taboo

Once again, I have to credit my husband (and Shel Silverstein) for this one. When I initially read the topic for this week, my mind went to 31 different places, all of them highly inappropriate. And, yeah, the subject was Taboo but there are places a pastor's wife just isn't going to go on her Facebook page or her blog. Trying to come up with an appropriate taboo was proving to be a challenge for me.

Troy wrote down the words to the Silverstein poem "Hat" on a napkin yesterday morning and I ran with it.

Teddy said it was a hat,
So I put it on.
Now Dad is saying,
"Where the heck's
The toilet plunger gone?"
-Shel Silverstein

Here's what I used:

To capture the shot, I first had to locate the plungers in Walmart because, let's be honest, there wasn't any way in the world that I was going to let my sweet babies put our eight-year-old plunger on their faces. I thought I'd find them in the bath aisle but I was wrong. Apparently, toilet plungers are in the home improvement section. This makes sense if you don't live with two little boys who make use of the plunger so frequently that it's a prominent feature of your bathroom. But for us, it's practically part of our tour when we have guests. "Here's the kitchen. The boys' room. The playroom. The plunger."
My sons simply could not have had more fun with this photo shoot. It took me a minute to get them to stop sword fighting with the plungers.
Once that was accomplished, they really settled into the shoot. Faces. Heads. Torsos. They were absolutely not particular.
I like to imagine that whoever was in charge of monitoring the security cameras was dumbfounded by this situation. "Sir," he'd say to his manager, "we have a situation in home improvement. Some lady is encouraging her kids to play with plungers."
With all the merchandise cluttering up my shots, I decided that I'd need to really get into my role as a serious photographer. So, I did what any serious photographer would do. I climbed into the back of the cart. Suddenly, there was a full fledged adult balancing in the back of a basket on wheels, forcing her sons to play with plungers. And, because the scene wasn't crazy enough, I then told my children to lay down on the floor. In Walmart.
They didn't really seem to mind. And they thought it was utterly hysterical that mommy was standing in the back of the cart trying not to die.

If they form a band together when they grow up, I'm totally making them name it Plunger Heads. And I'm going to force them to use that as their album cover.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I was snuggling with The Rock Star last night on his top bunk. The Little Buddy was trying to fall asleep underneath, on his bottom bunk.

Me: Matthew, thumb out.
Garrett: How did you know he was sucking his thumb?
Me: Because I'm a mom.
Garrett: And you know everything?
Me: I know all.
Garrett: Did Grandma teach you all of her tricks?
Me: (snickering) Yes. Yes she did.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Got A Question?

It's been awhile since I've seen one of these going 'round. My friend has tagged me I can't currently post this week's photo theme because it's "Taboo" and I have no idea what on earth to post. So instead of trying to think outside the box on on that, I'll go right ahead and procrastinate.

First the rules: 
**You must post the rules
**Answer the 11 questions that the tagger posted for you & then create 11 questions to ask the people you’ve tagged

**Tag 11 people and link them in your post
**Let them know you have tagged them

1. What is your favorite crafty thing to do?
I love to scrapbook. This is certainly not evidenced by our current scrapbooks as the last pages I've gone in both boys' albums are Autumn. Of 2010.

2. First CD you owned?
I honestly can't remember what the first CD I owned was. What I do remember is the first tape I owned. I think I was seven.
This was followed, rather quickly, by New Kids on the Block and Debbie Gibson. Oh was I ever a product of the 80s.

3. Do you parallel park or drive around the block?
Generally speaking, I parallel park. Although, it should be stated that this comes with enormous amounts of sweat and hyperventilating. This aspect of the driving test was removed just before I had to take it. I'm rather thankful for this fact. I'm sure the poor man who gave me my license is glad he didn't have to witness the hot, sweaty mess of a sixteen-year-old that I would have been.

4. Favorite subject in school?
Math. Or not. English. I just love reading and writing and generally gushing about the Classics. When I was in the 7th grade, I walked up to my English teacher at the end of the year and asked if she would recommend me for Honors the following year. "I just want to be challenged more than I am in core English," I explained. A small smile had curled the edges of her lips. "Sure," she'd replied, "but I want you to know that I taught this class like an honors class. If you weren't challenged here you probably won't be challenged in honors either." Open mouth, insert foot=story of my life. I'd tried to back track, afraid I'd grossly offended her. In the end, I got my recommendation.

5. Do you have any phobias?
Claustrophobia.  (from Latin claustrum "a shut in place" and Greek φόβοςphóbos, "fear") is the fear of having no escape and being closed in small spaces or rooms (opposite: claustrophilia). For me, this manifests itself as a fear of being stuck. In a cave. In a closet. In a jacket. Yes, in a jacket. Once, on the bus ride home from school, I suddenly became panic stricken thinking I would never be able to get off the bus and, more concerning, that I would never be able to get out of my jacket as long as I lived. 

6. Do you prefer to take the picture or be in them? (or both!)
I prefer both. I love to capture the perfect shot but I also like when it's evident that I was present an accounted for at an event.

7. What is the strangest talent you have?
I can turn my feet backward. It's true. First position in ballet has nothing on me. Each foot can go at least another 45 degrees without stretching. If I add stretching into the mix, all bets are off. This strange talent developed in utero and has been going strong ever since. It was really quite helpful as a breaststroker during all of my swimming years. It would have made me a fine ballerina if I'd had a single, solitary ounce of grace and rhythm. 

8. Farthest you have traveled from home?
In April of 2005, I traveled to Israel with a group from our church. We spent close to two weeks visiting archaeological sites, places sacred to Christianity and exploring the terrain. My faith was profoundly changed by the experience. 

9. What is your favorite movie genre?
I don't know how I could choose between two. See, I love a really good drama. With my formal training being in the performance arts, I care the most about the acting in a film. Dramas tend to lend themselves to amazing performances. I also use generous amounts of comedy to get me through the day. Give me a good romantic comedy and I'm a happy girl.

10. Name one person you'd like to meet and why?
Kristin. We walked very similar adoption paths and we've prayed for and encouraged one another. I thought of all the famous people I could meet because, well, it would be cool to meet a famous person. But then I decided that there are connections being made through the Internet with people who become our friends even though we'll probably never meet them. I'd love to say that I knew Kristin beyond the realm of Facebook and blogging.

11. What drives you to succeed?
My children. Truth be told, my children have driven me to succeed since long before I actually had them. In high school, I always told myself I'd never do drugs, get drunk, or have multiple partners because I never wanted to have to lie to my children about my past and I certainly didn't want to have to tell them the truth about a colorful past. Now, I want them to see in me a strong woman who is actively living the Christian heritage she hopes to pass on to them.

Now for my questions:
1. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
2. If money wasn't an issue, what would be your idea of a perfect date?
3. Currently, what is your favorite song?
4. To date, what has been your favorite vacation?
5. Biggest accomplishment?
6. If you had to (got to?) live in another country, which would it be?
7. What is your favorite cuisine?
8. Biggest regret?
9. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
10. Cats or dogs?
11. If you could change one thing (big or small) about your life, what would it be?
Now I tag:  Mom, Troy, Jon, and anyone else who wants to join in the fun...because really, what's going to happen? The blog police are going to arrest me for not following the rules?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Want A Sticker

Three accidents in five days.

We've hit a set back in the potty training department.

I implemented a new reward system.

If he doesn't wet his pants all day, he gets a sticker.

If he wakes up dry in the morning, he gets a sticker.

My son loves stickers.

He just woke up and lumbered into my room with a gait that suggested a heavy diaper hung between his legs. "I want a sticker," he started to cry.

"Are you dry?"


"Then you can't have a sticker."

"I WANT A STICKER! I WANT A STICKER!" He threw himself into a huge fit. "I WANT A STICKER!" Snot and tears flew from his face.

The epic levels of drama never cease to amaze me with this child.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


My husband = the love of my life.

Oh sure, there are a couple of really cute kids who have my heart wrapped around their little fingers, but it still beats for my husband.

His parents are in town so he decided to whisk me away for a Valentine's celebration on Thursday night. First we went to the Cheesecake Factory and used gift cards (insert OH HOW I LOVE GIFT CARDS! here). We shared the chicken piccata which, if anyone is keeping track, is the very dish I nearly choked to death on when I was visiting my old roommates last summer. I managed to not choke on it this time. I didn't think ahead enough to take a picture before I had inhaled most of it. For the record, those are not peas because, um, ew and gross. They are capers. Delicious little tasty devils.
We shared our chicken because The Cheesecake Factory is not skimpy on their portions and we had our eye on this...
There may be nothing on earth that tastes quite as good as a slice of Red Velvet Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. I mean it. If you haven't tasted this you need to. Immediately.

After our amazing dinner, Troy took me to a Bed & Breakfast. He'd managed to pull off the entire surprise until about five minutes before we left. I stumbled upon the packed overnight bag and it was a darn good thing too because my husband had forgotten that his wife needs a little make up and a straightening iron in the morning. I would have had to saunter down to breakfast looking all a mess. I pretended not to know what was going on until we were in the car. "You almost pulled it off," I said.

I'd considered faking it and acting surprised but we've made it through eight years with honesty being the best policy. I was, however, surprised when we pulled up to a castle.

It was seriously cool. I mean, we did spent about a half hour discussing the fact that our oldest son would love it even more than we did but we are total dorks who were seriously excited about staying in a castle. In the picture above, Troy's head is aligned with one of those little square windows you can open from the inside to see who is at your door. I felt like the heroine in every great medieval movie.

We'd thought about going to see a movie but decided to stay in the castle and watch one of their many dvds. I  relaxed in the whirlpool tub and in front of the gas fireplace in our Excalibur room. The next morning we were treated to a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, cinnamon bread, eggs, cheesy hash browns and bacon. Once we'd finished stuffing ourselves, we explored the grounds.

We left with enough time to pick Garrett up from preschool. It was a wonderful and refreshing night away and a big thanks goes out to my inlaws for holding down our fort while we were away. Seriously. A huge thanks to my mother-in-law who got to deal with a toddler who decided to start vomiting.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Week 6: Finding Beauty in Unexpected Places

We were in the car, on our way home from California, when I asked my mom, over the phone, what this week's theme was.

"Something like, Beauty in the Unexpected. Or Beauty in Unexpected Places. Something like that," she'd said. 

I repeated it and chimed in with something like, "What the heck am I going to do for that?"

My husband immediately replied, "Take a picture of flowers in a toilet bowl."

Oh yeah. I went there.
I like to call this "Flower Pot" and Matthew took a great deal of joy in helping me capture the shot. I tried whole roses floating in the bowl. I tried yellow petals with a single red rose bobbing in the center. Eventually I settled on using just a plethora of petals. Then, unsure as to whether or not these would flush without clogging my toilet, I fished them all out. That was fun.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Every Good Gift

"Every good and perfect thing that has ever come into our lives has come as a gift to us from God Himself. It did not bubble up like crude oil from this earth. It flowed down like rain from the riverbank of Heaven. It was intentional. It was personal." -Beth Moore (from James 1:17)

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows. James 1:17

On this day when we celebrate love I remember that the three gifts I cherish most in the world came from the Lord. Ten years ago I had no idea that my heart could burst with this much love. Ten years ago I knew my husband but I didn't know that God had chosen him for me. Ten years ago I didn't know that I would be blessed with the two most amazing boys. Life is not perfect. It is not easy. But everything that is good has come down from the Father.

When He chose to give me Troy, Garrett and Matthew, it was deeply personal. And I am so in love with them.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Disneyland Adventures

We definitely had a blast at Disneyland. Last summer we spent two days there. It was The Little Buddy's first trip and we did not think we'd be going back quite so quickly. In November, Troy's parents bought us a three day park hopper. We used one of the days with them. Matthew was already so in love with The Happiest Place on Earth that when we got home, anytime we got in the car to go anywhere, he would say, "We're going to Disneyland!" I would then inform him that, no, Disneyland is about eleven hours away from our house and we don't just hop in the car and go. But we've been there so many times in the last six months that I can hardly blame him.

Since we only had three passes, we decided that it made sense to head back to southern California and use the other two days before Matthew turns three and requires his own ticket. Side note: Can someone please tell me why people are now referring to California as Cali? First, I thought it was something that people from other states said. Then I started hearing it from my friends who were born and raised in California but have since moved away. Now I'm hearing it from people who are currently and actively living in the state. And, you know what, it's driving me out of my ever loving mind. Cali? It would maybe be one thing if people were calling it Cal-eh as in Cal-eh-fornia. No one calls it Cal-E-fornia. Except the former governor. I just...I don't get it. Can someone shed some light on this for me because it was decidedly not going on while I lived there. 

Anyway. We headed to California. So Cal. Anaheim. What have you. (Anywhere but Cali.) And we had a great time.

On Thursday we enjoyed a day mostly spent at California Adventure (Notice it is not called Cali Adventure). It was a leisurely day with just the four of us. The next day, my parents joined us and we spent the whole day at Disneyland--except for about a half hour when Troy took The Rock Star over to CA Adventure to ride his favorite attraction one more time. Kiddo loves himself some Tower of Terror.

Both days were shorts and t-shirt weather. We started the days off with light weight jackets but quickly abandoned them so our arms could soak up some sun.

How stinkin' cute are my boys? 
Grandma and Grandpa bought them the Mickey ears. Grandma gave them their choice of just about any ears in the entire Mad Hatter and my oldest son, very uncharacteristically, wanted the original ears. His little brother chose the pirate Mickey.

My parents snapped this shot of our family. 

Matthew is still much too tiny to ride Splash Mountain so while Grandma and Grandpa took Garrett, Matthew hung out with this guy...

Garrett posed with his grandparents after riding Thunder Mountain. 

My kids remind me exactly of my brother and me when we were little. I was the daredevil who would ride anything and my brother was the scaredy cat who was terrified of everything. The Rock Star hasn't met a ride he's afraid of. Well, that's not entirely true. He is afraid of the Jungle Cruise. Yep. You read that correctly. He's I've convinced him that the piranhas are real. I've also maybe grabbed him and pretended I'm going to throw him overboard into piranha infested waters. I am maybe not a candidate for Mother of the Year. Otherwise, however, my firstborn isn't afraid of anything.

Matthew, on the other hand, is terrified of almost everything. Really. I kind of want to stage an intervention. Pirates of the Caribbean--he burrows his head into my chest. Haunted Mansion--he burrows himself into my dad's armpit. Small World--he burrows...well, no. Okay, he isn't afraid of that one.

We don't have plans to be back in California anytime soon and my sons will definitely miss The Happiest Place on Earth. We are very thankful for all the fun days we were able to spend there over the past six months.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Glass

We had an amazing two days at Disneyland and California Adventure, compliments of my inlaws and the park hopper pass they bought us in November. I will post pictures soon!

In the meantime, I'll share this story about something that happened at the zoo. I was holding Matthew and we approached the gorilla enclosure. There was a sign that said not to tap the glass. I instructed my son, "Don't touch the glass."

The big silverback was right there. He would run back and forth, pausing, on occasion, to shove his butt right up against the glass. At one point, he stopped right in front of Matthew and me, turned, and plastered his derriere on the divider. After a minute, Matthew slowly took his pointer finger and, in defiance of my earlier instruction, touched the window. He quickly yanked his finger back, looked at me, giggled, and whispered, "I touched his glass."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Week 5: Shades of Yellow

We've just enjoyed a whirlwind two days in San Diego. We leave tomorrow for two days in Anaheim but we crammed a trip to my dad's work, a visit with my three great grandparents, a visit with Troy's sister's family, time with my brother and sister-in-law, and a trip to the zoo into our two days.

I received yellow roses this week and photographed them. I fully intended to use them for this week's theme. However, as my family wandered through the reptile enclosure at the zoo, we happened upon this guy. Or girl. But I'm gonna go with guy because I'm of the mindset that all snakes are male until proven otherwise.

His shades of yellow sure stand out. At the zoo, I didn't even notice that he was resting on another snake. It took a good looking at the picture to see that his vibrant yellow was striking in comparison to the camouflaged  brownish gray of the other one.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

We Had Them...

We're heading out of town for several days. We were going to leave tomorrow but, on account of the fact that I kind of wish the ground would open up and swallow both of the teams that are playing in the Superbowl today, we've decided to head out early. We're staying in a hotel tonight and we're hoping to catch the back half of the game just so we know if the lesser of two evils can pull it out. I haven't actually made up my mind which team is the lesser but maybe by the time we get to Nevada I'll have an opinion.

Anyway. The hotel. Oh the excitement. When my children stay in a hotel all is right in their tiny, little world. It's as though they've arrived. The Promised Land, for them, is not a land flowing with milk and honey. It is a land flowing with two queen beds and a noisy air conditioner. It makes no real difference to them that we often stay in the cheapest place we can find. No bother. Mommy! There are tiny shampoo bottles in here! Can we go get ice? I'm gonna put on this shower cap and play space alien.

Okay, so that last sentence has never been said but I'm putting five dollars down on the fact that it will. Even if I have to be the one to say it.

The rest of our trip should prove to be pretty exciting. We've got some serious surprises up our sleeves. But really, we had them at hotel.

Saturday, February 4, 2012



You all need to get yourselves a nearly three-year-old. Go ahead. I'll wait. And while you're figuring out which method to use to get this half toddler half almost preschooler, I'll take a moment to consider the fact that I HAVE AN ALMOST THREE-YEAR-OLD! What? Where did the time go? How ever did this:

Turn into this? I'll just never be able to figure out the speed in which my babies turn into tiny men. Why hasn't someone figured out a mathematical equation that will stop this madness?

Okay, now that I'm busy having heart palpitations...

Did you get an almost three-year-old?

Because there is simply nothing funnier.

Matthew is hilarious. He knows he isn't supposed to say pee (when referring to urine) but he's figured out a way to get around that rule. I was putting a diaper on him before bed--he's 98% potty trained during the day but tends to still flood the diaper at night--and he was looking at me. 

"Pee," he said. Just like that. Just to test me. I gave it a minute because, obviously, if he followed it with Q, R, S, T, U, V... that would be perfectly fine. Staring down at him, waiting for him to continue with the alphabet, a look flashed across his face that clearly read, Uh-oh. I'm gonna get it. What do I do now? He flashed his famous smile and continued, "BS Kids." When typed out it makes it look like he was testing me even more but what you need to know is that he said P, waited a couple seconds, and followed it with BS Kids. Then he repeated it, "PBS Kids." It caught me so off guard, and was so clever, that I burst out laughing. Then he giggled hysterically which made me laugh even harder. Now he's decided to say, "PBS Kids," at the most bizarre times. In the middle of dinner, when we're snuggling before bed, in the bathtub, etc. Then, because he thinks it must be the funniest phrase ever uttered, he begins to laugh uncontrollably. Matthew's uncontrollable laugh has me wrapped around its little finger and I simply cannot help but crack up when I hear it. This, in turn, makes Matthew think he is wildly hysterical and the cycle continues. All because a toddler was testing his mother.

Other funny things he's said recently include, "I did it, Mommy. I put it in my roombed."

"I not sucking my thumb. It's right here." Which happened to be in his mouth.

His prayers at bedtime almost always go like this, "Dear Jesus, thank you mommy. Thank you Matthew. Thank you Gah-wit. Thank you daddy. Thank you mommy. Thank you Matthew. Thank you mommy. Thank you daddy. Amen." We've started to count how many times each of us gets mentioned and then declaring a winner. It's usually me. It's only fair. I mean, he has clung to me since he was two hours old and attempted to climb into my body on more than one occasion.

Of course the majority of the hilarious things he says escape my memory at the moment but seriously, he is so funny. If you don't have a nearly three-year-old, you are very much missing out. And if you do, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Three for Screaming

My children have a screaming problem.

The Little Buddy does it all the time. He lets out the most high pitched shriek you ever did hear. Typically, it's a sound emitted because he's happy. Of course, there are other loud yells that accompany a feeling of anger, annoyance or frustration. Several times he's squealed right next to my ear and caused a sort of temporary deafness. I did not enjoy it.

The Rock Star does it in response to his little brother aggravating him. Whenever Matthew takes a toy, uses physical violence, or generally behaves like a toddler, Garrett will let out this shrill scream. Sometimes it's just an unintelligible scream. Most of the time it's a very high pitched, "MAAATHEW!"

It's getting worse.

And I can't take it anymore.

So I implemented the Three for Screaming Rule. Whenever one of the boys shrieks--for any reason--he is sent to his bed for three minutes. He must stop what he's doing, sit on his bed, and wait. The time starts when Garrett stops negotiating. Likewise, it stops for Matthew as soon as he stops sobbing. The Rock Star is getting the hang of it. The Little Buddy strongly despises punishment of any kind and even three minutes on his bed is a cause for a major meltdown.

It doesn't matter if Matthew was the offender. If Garrett shrieks, he automatically gets sent to his bed. Obviously, the reverse is true. And, of course, I discipline the offending party as well. I don't really know if this method is working but I'm sticking with it because otherwise I'm going to go raging insane.

This morning, both boys were playing. Suddenly, they simultaneously began the high pitched scream. At the very top of my lungs I yelled, "GET. ON. YOUR. BEDS. THREE. MINUTES. FOR. SCREAMING. WE. DO. NOT. SCREAM. IN. THIS. HOUSE."

They both appeared in the doorway, blinking. Confused. I stared at them. "I probably shouldn't scream either," I muttered. "Get on your beds."

And then I put myself in blessed timeout. If only I could have thirty--instead of three--for screaming, life would be bliss.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Week 4: Use Your Imagination

Make sure you head over and enter for a chance to win a $25 dollar gift card!

When I was little, I would stare up into the great blue and watch the clouds morph and float, revealing new pictures in the sky. What I really wanted to have happen this week was a day of brilliant cumulus clouds. I wanted to lie on my back and take a shot straight up. Then I wanted people to tell me what they saw in the cloud. Alas, we have not had a day of brilliant clouds. Today the sky is gray and snow is on its way.

My husband reminded me of this picture, which is definitely imaginative. Sadly, we cannot take credit for the Goliath sized snowmen in the shot. We simply drove past this house one day last winter, turned around, parked, and asked the residents if we could take a picture of our son in front of their incredible creation. They obliged.
I think it's funny that the day this picture was taken also happened to be a day filled with brilliant cumulus clouds.