heart in the clouds

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


We've been trying to teach Z how to be quiet and sit still during church on Sunday nights because he's really too old for the nursery and there's nothing for his age during the service time. I'd say that we don't get too much out of the service because most of our time is spent sssshing Z and giving him something else to draw on, etc.

Well this past Sunday night, I had to sing on worship team so I could see him sitting with David from my spot on the stage. He did pretty good. At one point, the sweet girl behind him stood up and raised her hands during one of the songs...and pretty soon after, Z stood up with his hand raised too. It was too cute and I almost choked up a bit watching it. See he does fine during the music part of the service, enjoys singing and listening...but when it comes time to be quiet for a sermon...well, thats' a different story.

After we finished our last song, I was walking down the isle back to the pew where Z and David were sitting and Z walked out in the isle to meet me with a hand full of offering envelopes he'd been writing on. I quickly directed him back to his seat and didn't pay much attention to the drawings..but then I realized what he'd written.

It wasn't just his normal scribbling...he'd actually written M O M several times. I was so happy and yes I almost cried. He's been learning letters at Montessori school for more than a year, but we can rarely get him to try writing them at home. But it's finally all coming together and my baby is actually spelling words by himself and it was amazing that his first one was MOM!! After that he'd written MOP and POP and whatnot and some attempts at things I don't recognize, but the most important one was MOM!

Most of you moms can empathize with me here, because the majority of children say dada before mama and that's just how it is...but fear not, the last shall be first in the writing realm because M is definitely easier to write than D :) WOOHOO

Friday, September 3, 2010

The first big seal

I've never seen anyone react to the announcement that it's dentist day quite the way Z reacts. I went to pick him up early at school yesterday - which he sometimes complains about if he's in the middle of some "big" project." He asked what I was doing there and where we were going and I hesitantly said "the dentist." In and instant he was jumping up and down and flitting around the room telling everyone he was going to get his teeth brushed at the dentist and how awesome that is. Well, okay...hope he always loves it this much.

He talked about his excitement all the way there and how he was so couldn't wait to get a toy after his teeth get all shiny. They've tried the past visit or two to take x-rays of his back teeth, but Z's mouth hasn't really been big enough (apparently it shrinks at the office, because it seems pretty big everywhere else) to get the bitewing things in there. So another attempt at that yesterday and Z tolerated it so well...never moved a muscle while they took the pictures. He loved looking at the images on the screen when they were developed. He went through it all like a champ and then Dr. Combs came in and said he had a small pit in one of his back teeth, not a cavity, but an area that could become vulnerable to decay because of its depth. She said maybe we'd seal it next time. But after we explained to Z that they would paint his tooth and then put a blue light on it and make his mouth light up...he was game. So he sat back in the chair and crossed his right ankle over his left knee and just hung out while Ms. Michelle finished the seal. We were all so proud of him...he saw this as an opportunity to get a reward. So he convinced us to go to Red Robin....because it's Thursday and Red (a girl in a bird suit) hangs out at the restaurant from 5 to 7.

We've gone through quite the big love/hate relationship with Red for a couple years. Red is rather scary...a bird costume with a giant head...reaching out for kids with giant red claws, 2 times the size of most kids heads and then pretending to cry and sulk if the kid doesn't go nuts wanting a hug or whatever. Last night, however, Z was all about asking questions...why doesn't he talk? why doesn't he ever close his mouth? Where does he go potty? Why won't he fit in the bathroom that we use.....oh my the wait staff must've been either highly amused or highly annoyed lol.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nighttime is the right time...for stuffing things in your pjs?

Anyone who knows my Z, knows he literally never stops talking. I'm telling you that he even talks in his sleep and we have strange conversations at night. He usually sleep talks more when he's really tired, or when he's worried about something.

Wednesdays are pretty long and Z leaves church with David before I do and he's asleep when I get home. I always promise to come in and give him a hug or a kiss when I get home and he usually doesn't sleep very heavy until that happens. But last night - ha, I'm still laughing about it - I came home, took a shower, got ready for bed and then went into his room to turn his CD player off and cover him back up and give him the promised kiss. Even in the dark, I noticed something strange; he looked....well...pregnant or just really fat. I kept trying to adjust my eyes to the dark to figure out why my eyes were playing tricks on me. I try not to touch him too much because I don't want him to wake up.

This time, however; I couldn't help myself. I reached down toward his belly and realized that he had his "blankie" stuffed under this shirt. I was having such a hard time keeping my laughter quiet. I put my hand over his ear and then told called to David. He came in and he was having a hard time not laughing too. So we started to gently pull the "blankie" out....and it was sort of like a magician pulling that scarf out of his hand...it just kept coming. He had all three of those "blankies" in his shirt. Oh we were really struggling to maintain quietness at that point.

We finally got him all covered back up and then I just stood there holding his hand and listening to him breathe. I was thinking about what a blessing he was to me and how much I love him and all the silliness and joy he brings to my life.

(UPDATE, forgot to add this in the first draft) About 30 minutes later he started talking in his sleep...mostly gibberish, but then he yelled for daddy to come in there. He was pretty scared. David went and I followed...he was crying, but we could tell he was only half with us. He started asking where his blankies were and feeling around the bed. David handed him one and then picked him up; he fell back asleep and we didn't hear from him again until about 5:30 a.m. I guess he really was worried about those blankies.

This morning he called me when he woke up and I told him about the "blankies" being in his shirt last night and he said "I know." I asked him why and he said..."Because I was trying to exercise in my bed." WHAT?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Ashgrove Pike Incident...and a heart made of stone

Wow, two days in a row...now how many days until something becomes a habit?

I've really been trying to get Zachary to understand the world does not revolve around him (it revolves around me!...kidding), but seriously, the quicker a kid knows this, the happier they'll be. I truly believe that. But selfishness is a part of human nature and I think we all struggle with it almost on a daily basis. So although I'm not immune to being selfish, I am the adult here and I need to bestow some wisdom on my little dude.

I keep having to remind myself of Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

I believe that doesn't just refer to the disciplinee...but the one handing it down as well. It's just not a fun experience. I will heretofore describe all discipline as "before Ashgrove Pike Incident (API) and after API and I'll tell you why.

Many of you know that life before API was a struggle with tantrums, strong-wills, defiance and such. After API, I have a more compliant, yet still strong personality-filled child.

You see the day of API, we were on our way to Panera Bread in Regency Center to meet up with someone who wanted to buy a spare lens I had for sale. Zachary was demanding to listen to certain music...said please, so then I turned it on. After one song, he said "fast forward it, I don't like this song." I told him that was his only fast forward and that I was not his DJ today (something we struggled with quite often). He said okay and listened to that song...but lo and behold the next song comes on, he doesn't like it, he demands it be changed, I say no and he began to come undone. So I turned it off completely and told him we were not listening to any music. He didn't like that at all and promptly threw the cell phone he was holding at my head. The phone bounced off my head and onto my right foot, which was on the gas. Mind you, we were still in the 55 mph area of Nich. Rd.

We were coming up on Ashgrove Pike and I remained silent, turned on the blinker, turned right and then found the first driveway I could...the long winding one on the left that goes up the beautiful white-columned house. I unbuckled my seat belt, opened the door, got out and then opened the back door. Now up until that point Z was just staring at me wide-eyed wondering if I was going to say or do anything. When he realized I was coming in the backseat for him he literally freaked out screaming, yelling, holding his carseat straps yelling "YOU WILL NOT SPANK ME MOMMY!!" He was literally out of his mind at that point. David had to hold his arms back while I unstrapped him and pulled him out of the car. I still hadn't said a word...and finally I broke my silence. In a calm voice, I told him to put his hands on the backseat of the car. He sat on the door frame and screamed at me some more. I waited for him to finish, then repeated that he needed to turn around and put his hands on the seat.

He kept asking me if it was going to hurt, if I was going to do more than one, and then told me the car was burning his leg...exaggerate much Z? I told him we were staying there as long as it took until he complied. I finally got him to turn around and spanked him twice while he continued to scream...he got back in his seat and cried and cried. I was still calm; I got back in the driver's seat and started back to our original destination. He calmed enough to hear me talk and I told him how dangerous it was to throw things at people, especially in the car...how awful it was to kick my seat and scream in my ears...then he said "okay, I'm sorry, but where we goin?"

So I spoke the truth and here's how it went:
Me: We are going to Panera to meet the sheriff
Z: WHAT? (his eyes were WIDE open)
Me: yep, gotta go meet the sherriff
Z: Are you gonna tell him what I did?
Me: Maybe
Z: (starting to cry again) Will he ...sniff sniff ...take me to jail.
Me: Well, what you did was pretty serious and dangerous, but I don't think you'll go to jail.

Fast forward to Panera...the sherriff was there...off duty, but IN his patrol car! I could not have planned it more perfectly myself. I went out to his car by myself, sold him the lens, came back in to a transformed 4-year-old...but at the time, I was wondering how long it would last.

I haven't had to spank him since then. Sure we've had a few issues and he still cops an attitude at least every other day. But, for the most part, he's a totally different kid who respects his mommy and all I have to do when he starts to get out of control is give him a look...cock my head a little to the side and stare him down and he'll say "Yes, Ma'am" or if he needs to "I'm sorry, mommy." I've not really had to even raise my voice.

Maybe the API ushered him more quickly into a new stage of maturity that was coming all along, or maybe it truly put the fear of mommy into him...and by fear I don't mean scare...I mean respect. He's been extra loving lately ...telling how awesome his meal is, how wonderful I am, how much he loves me...I'm all over it! I think we really have turned a corner.

One day when I picked him up from school he told me he found a heart rock and he pulled out a rock he found on the playground. It really was a faint heart shape. I took it home and put it on the counter and thought hmm that's cute. But two days ago, Z found it and told me that he got that rock for me and he wanted me to always hold it. I told him I'd put it in my purse so it would always be with me, he seemed okay with that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Apparently I took the summer off...from my blog

So I'm almost embarrassed that I haven't blogged all summer. It's not that I had a lack of topics; I just had a lack of motivation...oh and time, yes that trumps it all I suppose. I started feeling a little mommy guilt when more experienced moms (notice I didn't say older) kept saying "oh I hope you wrote that down!" when Z would say something profound.....I did write it down - in my head. And then as usually happens, it's hard to recall what I wanted to transfer to the blog. But a few things stick out and I'll concentrate on those here and then try to be better this fall about updates.

First of all, one of the big things that sticks out in my mind is money. Zachary has been trying to understand the almighty dollar...and the coins too. He was curious about the people on the bills and we explained who they were and I guess George Washington made an impression on him because I gave him a few dollars, told him about the first president and then told him he needed to put one of those dollars in the offering at church. He sat quiet for a few moments and then said "But mommy, why do I need to give George Washington to Jesus?"

I think the highlight of our summer was spending more than two weeks with family in Oklahoma. We stayed a few days at MawMaw's house in Mustang and then drove to Stillwater to stay with my sister and her kiddos. It was so nice to watch the kids play together and see how much they've grown. My nephew has grown into an amazing young man with many talents. He started guitar lessons while we were there and incessantly practiced his baseball skills...it paid off too...he tried out for and made the AA traveling team!

My niece Sarah was attached to my Z. Those two were pretty inseparable and they were really good at catching frogs, avoiding copperhead snakes and generally chasing each other through the trees. I loved sitting in the kitchen and looking out the huge picture window, just watching them run and laugh and get filthy dirty. Yes, that's right - Z got dirty willingly and many times over. One day when my Nanny, Aunt Debbie and cousins came up from Texas, Z changed clothes at least 5 times. We were all joking about it because, he'd run in and go to Clay's room and come back out with a different outfit because either got the other one wet or dirty. At least he was doing it all by himself..but the laundry wow, never had to do so much in such a short time!!!

My mom came up the same day as the Texas clan and it was good to see her see Nanny for the first time in almost 30 years. It truly was a special day. The next day, we ALL went to Mexico Joe's for lunch...I don't think they knew what was coming haha. So much fun. I got to photograph my cousins' children in my sister's field...it was just zen for me really. Z loved playing with all the second cousins...and yes, they all caught frogs.

My friend Kim and her family came up to get pictures of little Zander, who's grown so much since we saw them at Thanksgiving! They also introduced us to the most heavenly grilled peaches EVER. Basically you half and pit peaches, put in a ziploc bag with LOTS of honey, cinnamon, and I can't remember what else....then grill them peel side up until the peels get wrinkly...they slide right off. Plate the halved, grilled peaches, fill the pitted area with strawberry preserves, top with vanilla ice cream and drizzle the marinade over the top....OH MY GOSH!

So eventually we did have to get on the road back to Kentucky. I was doing so well not getting emotional while I was getting ready that morning, until my niece came in and said she thought I was staying one more day and then she cried...then Zach started crying about leaving and my stupid eyes welled up. Just seeing their little hearts hurting made me hurt too. I SO wish we lived closer!!

So yes, back to life, back to reality (that's a song lol) and when we got back it was like the whole summer had slipped away...and I guess it has for sure by now. It's been so hot this year for so long, I'm actually REALLY looking forward to September! Cooler temperatures...at least 3 newborns to photograph that I know about so far! Definitely going to be a good fall.

Tomorrow I'll write about life after the Ashgrove Pike incident :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Does God Know Her?

Anyone who's spent much time with Z knows that some pretty profound things come out of his mouth quite often. He's got a natural curiosity about everything...how it works, why it works a certain way, why people say or do the things they do. I think most people wonder these same things on a daily basis, maybe we just don't voice it as often as a preschooler. In the past few months, Z has been really curious about relationships, often asking if me and his daddy are married and why....if his friends parents are married....if so-in-so is a mommy, etc. But the most surprising relationship I've seen him dwell on is the relationship of God and His people.

I like to people watch...sit at a park or the mall or wherever and wonder about the people walking by. What's their story? Not creepy stuff, just wondering who they are, what they do, why they dress that way...haha anyway. Z apparently likes it too, but his questions are more intense. The conversation often goes like this:

Z: mommy, do God know her/him?
Me: well, yes, I believe God knows everyone.
Z: Does he/she know God?
Me: wow, well, you know, I don't know.
Z: why mommy? Will you go ask them?

How do you even answer that? He's just 4 but he stepped on my toes and it hurt a little bit. I wish I was more concerned with people passing by and if they have a relationship with Christ. I wish I had the boldness to ask them. I hope I never squelch his desire to know if God knows each person, if that person knows God and then to just pose the simple question.

I'm constantly amazed at how much little minds understand about the nature of God. As we get older, we complicate it so much...try to logically explain God, when you just can't. You have got to approach him as a child would, with complete faith and trust before the world pollutes the view.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vegan leanings and a place with two Suns

So I haven't blogged in over a month...ridiculous, I know! Completely unacceptable...but I lost some of my motivation after I literally reformatted a compact flash card before backing up Z's 4th birthday party photos. I can barely talk about it for fear of bawling sooo if any of you who were at the party took ANY photos, can I have copies?

Okay, now that I've come to terms with that it's time for some catch up. I'm constantly amazed by the profound things that come streaming out of my 4-year-old's mouth. Most of the time without even thinking. He's just too smart, which explains why he knows exactly which buttons to push to fire me up! grrr But all tantrum, strong-willed talk aside...that intuition about the world this child has is quite amazing. We are in a phase, and have been for the better part of a year, where most of our conversations revolved around how things work...how does the electricity get to the lights...where does it come from before it comes in our house....where does the water go when it goes down the tub drain and how big are those pipes under the house and where do they lead and ...well you get the picture.

So we're driving home from Lextown the other day and the sun is setting beautifully to the west, leaving a very dark blue sky in the east....

Z - why is the sky blue, Mommy?
Me - God made it blue (not wanting to get into the technicals of it all because that would require a google refresher for me and we were in the car)
Z - why is it blue over there and white over there (west)
Me - because the sun is setting...the earth turns away from the sun and toward the moon and it becomes night time.
Z - oh
very short pause
Z - is it night in heaven too?
Me - well I don't know all the details about heaven, but I think it's light there all the time.
Z - oh, so does heaven have two suns?
yes, it took me a bit to understand what he was saying and when I did I said hmm, that's a very profound statement Z.
Z - What was so profound about it mommy?

And I once again realize how much trouble I'm in with this one.

On another hand, he's an incredibly health-conscious little dude. Recently he begged to go to golden corral and his plate consisted of cottage cheese, applesauce, broccoli with ranch dressing, pears, pineapples, peaches and corn...he did eat a little ice cream at the end of it all. I thought it was a fluke, but not so much.

We stopped at Culver's last night before gymnastics and Z didn't know what he wanted so he asked me to read him all the things on the kid's menu. I started going down the list...chicken strips, cheeseburger, corn dog, hot dog.....and he says "A salad is what I want and applesauce." Okay that earned a giggle from the cashier and then he asked her if she could put some strawberries in a cup for him...which they did. Once again, he wanted a little ice cream and we obliged.

At least he likes beans and peanut butter and oh...cheese. So we got some protein options. Every now and then he'll want steak from the fire place...which is Z code for Azuka Japanese Steakhouse haha....but once again he's still way more into the sushi, rice and salad from there too.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

WOW! Lily can stand on one leg

About 5 years ago, I was helping out Jill Campbell lead the middle school choir at church. I really enjoyed hanging out with the students each Sunday afternoon and when it came time to go on their tour in the summer, I was excited to go to Myrtle Beach. When I found out I would be alone in a room with four sixth-grade girls, I was a little nervous. I mean okay, I didn't even have a child yet, much less a teenager. But I am a girl and I was in sixth grade once...so I guess I had something in common with them, right?

It was an amazing week, those girls - Lily, Arynn, Sarah and Autumn - were amazing. We really bonded and I've had a relationship with them ever since. I felt so honored that they let me into their world and now, they are halfway through their junior year of high school...are you SERIOUS? That week in Myrtle Beach, I was so tired....and shortly after I got back, found out I was indeed pregnant with Z, which explains it all. Since he was born, the girls have all made him feel so special and he's developed bonds with them like me; he's even been invited to a few sweet sixteen parties haha. Last year, Lily invited us to her dance team's friends and family night. We took Z and he was enamored watching the girls, they were amazing. So of course we decided to go back this year.

We sat up at the top of the bleachers with Lily's family and some other supporters. Z moved all around, but spent a lot of time sitting right next to Lily's mom, Karen...although he called her Lily's mom at all times. He was armed with his usual package of questions about everything from why they had make up on, to why they had on no pants and why their shoes were funny...but my two favorite statements were:

"I didn't know Lily could stand on one leg?" and "Does Lily have a belly?"

Well yes, of course she does, it's just flat....so yeah, I'll be doing 1,000 sit ups tonight :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

...like a thief in the night

Today's blog title may be a tad misleading, but whatever. I meant to write about this when it was fresh in my mind, but I'm still laughing about it...so...again...whatever. Z has actually been sleeping quite well; I've been impressed at his ability to throw together 9 to 11 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Well, uninterrupted may be misleading (I'm doing a lot of that today). He still talks in his sleep quite a bit and occasionally needs his daddy to come in his room before our alarm goes off...but we are fine with that.

I'm wondering when as a parent, you feel good about turning off the monitor completely? Is this another proverbial cord I need to cut? There are so many of those and I have a feeling there will be so many more...Anyway, Saturday night, I think it was around 2 a.m., I heard Z start his usual sleep moaning. But then when I noticed he started to cry I of course asked David if he heard that (my cue to make him get up haha) and he on cue, got up :) But Z kept crying and I heard him ask to blow his nose, so I knew he was awake. I got up and grabbed a tissue then headed into his room.

He was sitting on his knees in the middle of his bed just sobbing. I could tell this was not a night terror, because he was fully aware of us in his room so the conversation went a little like this...through tears and sniffy breathing:

Me: Why are you crying Zachary?
Z: I had a bad dream
Me: Oh I'm so sorry, what was it about?
Z: It was about the Pastor...about Pastor Bill
Me: (trying to not laugh out loud...sympathetic) Oh well, what happened?
Z: The pastor took all my stuffed animals out of my room and he took my books too
then the crying got worse again for a few seconds.
I was trying so hard not to laugh, because honestly, I can't imagine Pastor Bill taking anyone's stuffed animals and books.

I reassured Z that it was only a dream...wiped his tears...gave hugs and kisses, shuffled back to my bed and left David in there to console Z. He of course fell asleep with Z and I got our bed all to myself ahhhhhh :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Four for Four

So who's bright idea was it to have four shots at the four-year well-child ped visit? I hate needles so I think I was more anxious about this event than Z ever could have been. I had heard some say not to tell your child they are having shots, just take them to the doctor and spring it on them. I heard others say to warn them and not make a big deal about it. We chose the latter route simply because I know my Z and I know he likes to have all the facts and details about everything.

So when I mentioned his doctor visit about a week before the actual appointment, Z was full of all his usual questions...when, where, why, how and of course WHAT? He asked me where the shots would go and if they would hurt and I told him they would probably hurt just a little bit and then it would be over and we'd go do something he wanted to do. That was enough for him, he didn't make a big fuss at all. He mentioned several times to various people that after his birthday he would go to the doctor and have shots, but it was just a fact that he was stating.

So yesterday I didn't mention the doctor at all until I picked him up from school and he said "Oh, okay, I will go have my shots." The appointment was very normal, he's still taller than most kids his age and weighs more because of his height...I sometimes wonder where all those pounds go; he's so skinny! Dr. B came in and checked him out...eyes, ears nose, throat, heart, lungs oh and yes, boy parts.

Z giggled a little when Dr. B. looked down his pants and then matter of factly said..."Dr. Boarman! Why did you look at my (insert correct boy anatomy part here)?" Dr. B didn't hear him at first, so Z repeated louder. Then the doctor just said it was part of the exam to make sure it was okay and that seemed to pacify Z. Dr. B let Z use all his instruments and check out Tucker bear (who was still wearing his hospital gown and bandages from Z's tonsil surgery last summer) and our newly acquired "floppy cow" stuffed animals. He gave Z a sack full of goodies for his doctor kit at home and then he sent nurse Linda in with the infamous needles.

Z kept careening his head trying to watch the whole process and David and I kept telling him it might be better if he didn't watch, but there was really no stopping him. He was super curious even though a bit nervous. The first needle went in and all we heard from Z was a little grimace and an "ouch." The second needle got the same response. The third...well there was a little more nerves in his "ouch" and he added "that really hurt my leg!" But, we didn't get tears until the fourth one...the dreaded hot shot - MMR. So it burned and he let us know as much. He kept asking me when the needles were going to come out of his legs. Poor thing, thought Linda left them there. I assured him there were no needles in his legs and then he said "But, those needles left holes in my legs."

I had to explain the holes were so tiny that they already closed up and then we had a conversation about how porous skin is and how we already have holes all over our bodies...aye, aye, aye!

After two suckers and three stickers, Dr. B told Z that he really was one of his best ever patients and that if all patients were that good, Dr. B wouldn't be so old, HA! He also told me how smart he thinks Z is and how he must be reading on a second-grade level by now haha. I told him Z was more interested in geography than reading right now, but he's paying attention to his phonics as well. He asked Z if he'd ever thought of a career in acting and Z said he has (even though he likely doesn't know what that meant) and Dr. B said "Good, because you're way funnier than that kid on Two and a Half Men."

Now I'm gonna have to look up this TV kid and see what's he's talking about haha.

Friday, February 19, 2010

and it's One, Two, Three Frames, You're Out...

Alrighty, Z's first bowling experience was not especially pleasant. You see, David is a serious bowler and he hasn't played in about 6 years. Yes, we've been married just under 6 years, so I suppose this is all my fault hmmm? Anyway, I got a little sneaky because I knew he missed it and he really needs a hobby. I got him hooked up with a league that plays on Friday nights. At first he was just going to be an alternate for the rest of this season, but it turns out there was an opening and now he's a full timer.

The first week, he went by himself, but last week we decided to make it a family affair. Now I'm not a big bowler by any stretch of the imagination. I do have fond memories of bowling alleys and nachos though as I used to tag along with my mom and grandma in their league bowling days. I know it sounds silly, but those were the best nachos in the world...or maybe it was just because my Ma bought them and shared them with me....probably the latter. Geez I miss her, but I digress.

So Z and I ate Nachos last week...they were pretty nasty, I must admit...and watched David bowl while we waited for our own lane. They finally called our name and said we could play one game if we were done in about 45 mins. I thought...NO problem, we'd be done in 30 or less...HA HA HA. We picked out our mighty 8 lb balls and put on those nasty shoes (I swear I'm not wearing them ever again, I forgot how completely unfashionable and ugly they are) Mine were fushia and neon yellow...seriously?

We got the computer set up and the bumpers raised and I led Z up to the line to push his ball....it was the slowest moving ball I've ever seen, and that's when I realized we'd be lucky to finish in an hour...much less 45 mins. By the third frame, he was getting bored....he pushed his ball and it went about 3 feet and pretty much stopped...great, now what? Well, I forgot how slippery the lanes were and told Z to just walk out there and give it a push. Losing mom points yet again, he shuffled out there and leaned down to push the ball and yes...he fell. He got up and then picked up the ball...crap....before I could tell him to put it down, he fell again - this time the ball landed on his lap, smushed his fingers to the wood lane and he was crying. Obviously only thinking of saving my child, I walked out onto the lane and yes, surely and very suddenly my legs flew out from under me and I landed flat on my tail bone, legs out in front barely missing my child's face with my nasty bowling shoes. That sent him into a bigger cry and there we sat 3 feet into the lane, me holding him while he cried. I'm still baffled by the way NOT ONE PERSON offered to help us out...RUDE. I later found out that one lady on David's team saw the whole thing and never bothered to tell him...nice, real nice. So we crawled out and Z decided right then and there he hated bowling and he would not push another ball.

I do not waste money and we had paid $12 for this awesome experience, so I had to finish the whole thing by myself. He followed me to the lane each frame, so I couldn't really swing the ball. I think I bowled about a 60 that night...nice, real nice. Oh, did I mention that I really could not care less about bowling?

Then in the 8th frame...some magical happened. The people in the next lane had this metal contraption, apparently made for children to roll the ball down onto the lane so it's not such a painful wait for the ball to make it to the pins. They let us use it and Z became an instant fan of the sport because now, it was not bowling, it was a ball on a roller coaster, flying down the lane to massively destruct white poles and then waiting for the ball to magically reappear in the ball return...how does that happen so fast anyway?

So tonight, we'll try our hand again at bowling...only this time, we'll use the roller coaster beginning on frame ONE! I think most of the soreness of last week's disaster has worn off and we'll try to toe the line this time :) Still not sure if Z is going to love this as much as his daddy.

Suck It O'Charley's ...umm let me explain

So last night after work, we headed over to O'Charley's because we had a gift certificate to blow and we are a very "eat-out" kind of family. (Side note: if you ever don't know what to get any of us for anything...get us restaurant gift certificates lol). Z ordered chocolate milk, mandarin oranges and a house salad with white dressing and as we were waiting, he commenced singing The Ants Go Marching One by One Hoorah, Hoorah....well in the first verse the little one stops to suck his thumb yada yada. Z gets to verse three and can't remember what the little one stops to do....so he stops and then just loudly says SUCK IT!

Now I have to admit my reaction should've been more stern, however, all I could do was laugh hysterically. Pretty soon the waiter was in on the laughing and Z thought he was just the star of his own little show and so he kept repeating the phrase. I finally calmed down and told him that wasn't a good thing to say and he didn't understand because the little one stops to SUCK his thumb...we SUCK on lemons in our tea, etc. It was really hard to try to explain to my newly-turned 4 entertainer that in that context, it was not a nice thing to say. Let's see that would be mother-failure number...oh, I don't know....this week.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The moon is full of cheese and well, he's probably right

For all I know, the moon IS full of cheese. It's more fun to think that anyway, right? Random conversations with an almost-4-year-old. Apparently this last full moon was the closest to the Earth the moon will be in well...a year. So it looked so huge and me and Z love to look at the moon anyway. I told him it was almost full...he asked me what was it full of and of course daddy told him cheese. I hope they don't really start taking a lot of tourists to the moon anytime soon because we are a fairly cheese-lovin culture and you'd probably get hungry on the moon. ...then in a few decades, no more moon...we will have made queso dip from the entire ball.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dethroning the lion king

Well, some people say that when they turn 4, a child magically becomes easier to discipline...let's hope that's true for Z...and us! We have plenty of good times and I love the discovery part of this age. We also have had intense power struggles, so we knew we needed to get a hold on Z's worldview really fast. You see, in his worldview, we are here to serve him, obey him and basically let me call all the shots whether it has to do with bedtime routines or when and why we leave the house. If we ever utter a word that might not fit into his daily plan, he gives us what for and fast. Sometimes that includes hitting, screaming, stomping and various other annoying reactions.

I admit, those reactions push every button I apparently have and I have been known to yell back, spank, and probably act a little immature myself.

Well it's time for that to all stop and for the little "king" to come down from the throne. Mama has been empowered and well, I would not try to cross her my little pretty :) I'm taking the scepter back!

It started this week with a hellacious a.m. battle that went something like this:

Me walking into Z's room in the early a.m. singing (yes it was a Monday): Good morning to you, good
Z interrupting with hands over face: DO ....NOT....LOOK...AT...ME
Me: hmmm okay (walked out to go get myself ready)

I went back into his room and flipped on a light in the front half of his room....not above his head. I needed that light to pick out clothes for him to wear to school. Mind you, I did NOT say a word to him before he started ranting at me.

Me: You need to stop being so rude, NOW, that's your only warning mister. We are going to get up and get ready for school.
Me calmly: oh okay, well that's too bad that you feel that way. Please get out of your bed and let Daddy help with your clothes.

At that point, I just left the room. It was very difficult to do...to stay calm and not react...not give him what he was seeking...a giant blowup. So David went outside and started the car (it was 8 degrees so it would take awhile to warm up) and Z freaked out thinking we were leaving. He was yelling our names and I didn't answer. Pretty soon he got up, totally transformed (or so I thought) and from the top of the stairs said "I'm out of my bed."

So once he figured out we did not in fact leave him alone, he went back to his ranting at which point I just told David that after he came back from dropping us off to just remove the prized radio from Z's room. When all was said and done that morning, Z had said he was going to put himself in timeout and could not get ready yet because he was in said timeout. Well we don't do timeout anymore in the true sense of the word, but he doesn't know that. We didn't have time to do the full room time that our new strategy includes so I threatened to take him to school half dressed; he didn't like that...put himself back in timeout and began hitting the walls and anything that came remotely close to him...cats, daddy, etc. David wanted to spank him but I convinced him to hold off for the time (in hindsight he should've promptly been thrown over a knee and swatted about 3 times for complete defiance).

Long story somewhat shorter...bedtime came that night and I just felt all hades was going to break out when he saw that boom box gone so prior to that I offered to cuddle him in his bed for 5 mins after we read books and he said "Really? Okay, that means daddy won't have to do it tonight." haha anyway, we got into his room, climbed into bed and then this is what happened.

Z: Where is my radio?
Me: Well, do you remember this morning before school...how badly you acted? You were yelling at mommy and daddy and saying no about putting on clothes. And, you were hitting walls, spitting and disobeying our rules?
Z: uh huh, yes I do
Me: Well, that is why the radio is gone.
Z: okay, can I have it back now
Me: Most certainly not, it's gone for at least three days..at least until Thursday.
Z singing slowly to the tune of Oh My Darlin' Clementine: Sunday, Monday....Tuesday Wednesday...Thursday, Friday, Saturday....
Z : What is today Mommy?
Me: Monday
Z now starts to sing to the tune of frere Jacques: Today is Monday, Today is Monday all day long, all day long, tomorrow will be....Mommy, what is tomorrow?
Me: Tuesday
Z: tomorrow will be Tuesday, tomorrow with me Thursday? all day long, all day long
Me: Nope, tomorrow will be Tuesday, then you have Wednesday, then Thursday.
Z: oh....oh....where's my radio
Me: I already explained why your radio is gone.
Z: I know, but WHERE is it?
Me: I don't know.
Z: you don't know? why?
Me: because daddy put it away
Z: but, where?
Me: not important, end of discussion.

So not as bad as I thought.
Cue to Tuesday morning and the tantrum-prone king reduced to a prince at this point emerges from his room...willing gets half his clothes on then begins ranting again. Told David we once again cannot react emotionally to the outburst but there will now be no Mickey Mouse or Olivia the rest of the week. This has also not been a popular punishment, but this morning was a rare moment with Z getting dressed without a hitch. We briefly had a scuffle about how many dried pineapples he was going to get after he ate his toast, but he realized he wasn't winning so he forfeited this one. Took him to school with white eyes instead of red, breathing normally...wow, not bad.

I know we are not finished the decoronation process, but I think he's starting to see he is not going to phase me with his antics anymore and that it really is in his best interest to be a subject, not royalty. I have felt amazingly liberated by remaining very calm. I'm sure my blood pressure thanks me.

Hopefully we won't ever get to the point where we have to "kick him out of the garden of eden" as John Rosemond says....but I wouldn't hesitate too much if that is what it takes to reign in this "ruler" so that he'll be a respectful, self-controlled ...and yes, sweet, child very soon.