Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quote of the day.

This morning Elem and I were running SUPER late for school. He woke me up around 3:30am, and I ended up enjoying a nice 6 hour stretch of sleep in the good ole 4 inches of right side of the twin bed in his room. I was lucky to get about 1/3 of the covers over the bottom half of my body. I was so not complaining when I woke up and it was 8:30am, and Elem was still wanting to sleep in. Of course we had to get up and get going, but needless to say Elem was moving right along in his fabulously slow mode he seems to have going these days, and it was like pulling teeth to get him dressed, much less in the car. After him telling me that he did something "good" and "peed outside" in the front yard-uhm with no clothes on what so ever, I thought the morning could not get any more humorous-and SLOW!

I proceeded to tell Elem it was time to go to school and get in the car, because we were going to be late and he responded with the following.....

"Go on and tell my friends I staid at the house today!"

Uhm, are you kidding me??? I turned around in dismay, not quite sure if that was something I was saying in my head or if my 2 year old literally told me to "go on". Much less, the fact that he told me to tell his friends he is "staying at the house today." What ever happened to when mommy says get in the car, you say yes maam? Wow!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Remember who you are.

And I say that with great positivity and sincerity. Elem has been going through some very "intense" mood swings lately, which is to be expected with a 2-almost 3 year old. So I have no problems with that. However, when the mood is towards the south end and on the not so friendly side, it can really put a damper on your day. Not to mention all the others around you. We have been working so hard to find a combination of discipline, reward, and punishment, to fit our very smart little 2 year old, and it has been really tough for us! For now we stick to a strict warning when Elem is not listening, or not obeying, or talking ugly to someone, hitting, taking toys, etc. After the warning comes time out-and with time out usually comes a large amount of screaming. Here are the stages of time out as we see it: Disobedience, anger, sadness, begging for forgiveness (or bargaining), and then the need for empathy, and then apology. After that very lengthy list of events, everything pretty much settles down and the time out is completed. Lately though it seems that getting him to actually GO to timeout has been so much more difficult, because he is so much smarter and knows that he doesn't really have to sit there, because he is strong and he can get up and he knows it! he knows how to push our buttons with his comments when he is in time out and he knows what really gets under my skin. Imagine that? hmm. haha. So I new something had to change and I thought long and hard about what I could "say" or "do" to change the overall feel of doing something wrong and being disciplined rather than punished with every single "not so perfect" thing he does throughout the day! I know I am a little overboard with everything, but I am trying to raise the perfect little, amazingly brilliant, gentleman here people! And by golly I will give it 150%! Even if he doesnt want me too. :) So in thinking, earlier this week, I heard myself, responding to one of his not so favorable actions with...

Elem, remember who you are. Remember how Elem acts. Elem is good and kind to his friends. Remember who you are. I know you can do it.

And wouldnt you know that he totally listened to me!!!!!!!! He stopped what he was doing, although it took him a second to think about what the best choice was, and he listened to me. He even walked himself to time out that first time. And has since just stopped that behavior that I was directing the comment towards. And to top it all off, given hugs and apologies to those he hurt or was unkind to! I am not sure how long this will work, but it appears that instead of speaking negatively about what he is doing that I do not approve of, and changing it around to where it is almost like he has a choice to stop the decisions that he is making and MAKE that choice to be good or to listen, he is really way more receptive to. Yay! There are not too many times as a parent that you actually feel a slight moment of accomplishment with your child, because it seems like there is always something that you need to do better or you need to teach your child! But in that moment, and for now, I really feel happy about the way we have chosen to parent and the way he has chosen to respond. I just could not be more proud of my little man.

Since the adjustment of the terminology :), it seems that Elem has grown by leaps and bounds, and I am just amazed. I know it seems silly, but I just LOVE to see Elem being good, and acting the way I know he can, but just choosing the kind way over the bulling way. Ahhh, a sense of satisfaction. Amazing what a little positive motivation, and positive vibes can do for not only your kid but your whole family. I really going to try and shift from "punishing" Elem to "disciplining" in the most positive way I can. Once that doesn't work f course I will revert back to the good ole time out corner, but until then-Remember who you are-is the golden rule around this house!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Wyatt!

On March 19th my sweet little pale faced red headed nephew celebrated his 2nd birthday! And I am so sad that we could not be there to celebrate it with him and the rest of his family and friends. :( We had planned to pack up the family and head to good ole Rossville, GA to participate in the birthday bash, but my work schedule just wasn't allowing it. It seems like Spring Break time for everyone in the world-BUT ME- means lots of free time, lots of time off, less kids around, etc. But at the shelter, that means more kiddos to take care of because there is no school. So we didn't make it this year, but no matter what we will be at his 3rd birthday! I promise.

We are really sad that we miss out on so much stuff with Wyatt, but long distances and toddlers just don't seem to mix just yet in our family. Hopefully we will see him sometime in April and we plan on bringing some special cupcakes to make up for the birthday party we missed out on. Elem seemed happy about that, so I am sure Wyatt wont complain either. For his 2nd b-day Wyatt rented out a gym and from what I heard, ran crazy with his friends and had one awesome Elem cupcake birthday cake, made special by daddy. Too cute. Since we couldn't be there to join in and show Wyatt some love up close and personal, I decided to post a little video of Elem and Wyatt together around the holidays. They just do not see each other enough and that is one thing my work is just going to have to take the back seat on really soon. Gotta make time for my sweet little nephew before he grows up too fast and his Aunt Mindy hasn't been there to get to know him better.

Wyatt is really little for his age, and still looks so tiny to me compared to Elem at that age. He is pretty quiet-at least around us, and loves his mommy and daddy that is for sure! He loves to be outside, and I think his new favorite love is a tennis ball, but I havent been around him to see that one just yet . We talk about Aunt Becky, Uncle Vincent, and "Baby" Wyatt all the time, just about every day, and Elem totally knows them by their picture and of course talks about them as if they were his best friends. He is very protective of Wyatt and always talks about how he wants to show him how to do things, and how he wants to take things to him, etc. ect. I asked Elem what he wanted to get Wyatt for his birthday and he responded with, "Well I guess I would like to get him a basketball jersey and a razorback hat." Good answer if you ask me! Maybe we will pick up a special Razorback treat for Wyatt on our next trip to spend time with him. Although I dont know if he would actually wear it! But you can never have too many hog fans running around here, thats for sure! We love you baby Wyatt more than you could ever know. And I am apologizing in advance for all the times Elem is going to beat you up and knock you down in the future-sadly he is super tough and it is just inevitable. :)
We love you Wyatt and hope you had a WONDERFUL, FUN, and SPECIAL 2nd Birthday! So sorry that we couldn't be there with you, but we cant wait till the next time we see you.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Easter Bunny-where are you?

Easter Bunny, Easter Bunny, where are you?
Easter Bunny, Easter Bunny, are you watching what I do?
Easter Bunny Easter Bunny, come see me.
Easter Bunny Easter Bunny, can you bring me a candy tree?

Uhm, weird I know but these are the comments I have been getting from our toddler! Who is VERY interested in the Easter Bunny. And let me tell you, the Easter Bunny stories have been getting VERY in depth lately, almost to the point where I find myself struggling to "remember" where in the world the Easter Bunny lives, who he talks to, if he is watching Elem with Jesus in the clouds, why he is coming, why he likes Easter Eggs, if we get to see him, if he is only coming to visit Elem, and what kind of things he brings!!! Not to mention Elem Zane really wants to Easter Bunny to bring him some coke-a colas and a candy tree. Geez, I was not so prepared for the Easter Bunny questions, as I was for the Santa Clause questions! For now, we are patiently awaiting the Easter Bunny and all the joys he brings. Thanks to Memaw for an early Easter Bunny gift, that "she and the Easter Bunny met up to decide on the prize" haha. At least that is what mommy told him. He was so excited to get his early prize and even more so to get a bunny rabbit card, that he needed to read on his own of course.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bye Bye Sadie

Well if you have read any of my previous posts, you will know that Baby Sadie represents every single baby in the world to Elem, but he has a special baby Sadie that he plays with at home. Her name has been Sadie for as long as I can remember, thanks to a real Baby Sadie at school, and I actually didn't think we would see the day when baby Sadie's name would change any time soon. However Elem threw me for a loop this weekend when he updated me on the baby's new name.........

Baby Goose

Uhm, okay Baby Goose it is. And Baby Goose has been doing an awful lot with Elem this past weekend. She has been taking stroller rides, four wheeler rides, laying on the couch, playing in the playroom, etc. Very sweet. Welcome to the family Baby Goose :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bath time changes

I have been noticing HUGE differences in Elem's bath time "activities" lately, and it is really sweet to see. Elem takes a bath just about every night, and he has really come to love this time. Since he was little we have always loved giving him baths, and sitting next to the tub watching him play, and pouring water from cup to cup, splashing in the water, and swimming around like he is in a pool. But lately this time has transformed into a more solitary time for Elem where he plays by himself, and his imagination and creative side really comes out. We love it! Its weird how not only the toy stash in the bathtub changes over time, but so does the conversation that takes place in there! Lately Elem has been having some major CAR play and painting activities going on there, with a dialogue that would blow your mind! It is almost as if this magical world of play comes to life as soon as we turn off the water, close the door and exit the bathroom-

There tends to be all kinds of noises and screetches, lots of cars splashing in the water, and car noises galore. LOTS of role playing, where Elem speaks for everyone, saying things like

"Are you ready guys?"
"Okay we are ready"
"Everybody line up"
"On your mark, get set, go"
"I'm coming, I'm in first place"
"No you not, I am the winner"
"Checkered flag here I come"
"I'm gonna crash you"
"No you are not, cause I am gonna crash you"
and so on and so on. :)

I love sitting outside the bathroom door and peaking in through the crack to see what he is doing, and what amazing little world of his own he has created. It is always so innocent, and his true personality comes out. Sometime the dialogue is sweet and kind and well mannered, and some times it is angry and very up front. Vroooooooom!

My little boy is so close to three I can almost taste it! And you can bet I can see it every single day in the little things he does, like bathtime, where he is slowly transforming from a toddler into a preschooler.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

You never know what you might find!

This morning I was getting ready and found a little surprise Elem had waiting for me :) I went to grab a pair of shoes out of my closet, and as soon as I put my foot in, felt something very strange! Of course, I was a little freaked out and yanked my foot out. Only to find a nice little small bouncing ball stuffed neatly into the part where my toes would go. Hehe. I just smiled to myself and didnt even say anything to Elem. Then I went to put my other shoe on, and what do I find? Another ball left in the same exact place just for me. I could not stop myself from smiling and had to call Elem in to show him what I found.

As soon as he came into the room, and saw me taking the balls out of my shoes, he was SUPER excited! And started grinning from ear to ear. I'm still not sure if he left them for me and put them back in my closet, or if he was just playing with them and then forgot where he hid them. hahaha.

Of course, he was desperate to get them back, and was not sharing them back with anyone any time soon. I love never knowing what little surprises you might found around the house, or even in your shoes, when you have a 2 year old little boy running around!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"E's" galore!

Da, da, da, daaaaaaaa-

Elem has been working on writing his name for as long as I can remember. I know I start him out way to early on a lot of activities, but I just feel like I should introduce him to things any chance we get and if he picks it up, he does, if he does, then oh well. At least I tried, and the next time he hears it or sees it, it wont be the first! Elem has been spelling his name since before he was 2 and 1/2-that was one of those I grilled into his head, and he repeats on command as if to shun me. Bad momma. But on a flip side, he has also been writing his name for about 2 months now, pretty well! I need to snap a pic but just keep forgetting to. However, if you take a look around my house, you might see that the letter E is very important and many things can make the letter E in many different situations! , In regular conversation or just walking around, Elem will spot words with E's or get excited about a word because it has an E in it just like his name. It is as if he feels a connection with all things E. And I love it! It is hard to get ready in the morning and not stop to take pictures and have super special early morning conversations when genius work like the stuff below is going on. hehe. Gotta make sure he knows I am proud of it, and for goodness sake he sure knows if it is picture worthy then he did good! And this is totally picture worthy. Elem took some items from his bookbag, that I had gotten out for him to practice writing his name, and decided to get a little more creative with it.

I love watching Elem learn and strategize, while making different choices. It is amazing to see the little toddler mind at work and beyond all amazement to see what can be learned in just a few hours. Or what can be demonstrated in just a few split seconds, things that show they really are a sponge just soaking up every single thing you can throw at them. Of course we worked with Elem on spelling his name and recognizing his letters of his name, because his name is special and it is a representation of him! And he should be proud of those Es out there in the world, :)Note to self going forward- Best thing we did to introduce the name and letters to Elem was to cut out a medium size rectangle with his name on it in standard print, laminate it, and put it on the refrigerator at home, right at his eye level. We didn't even discuss it too much, but just to spell his name out when we walked past. But it made him VERY familiar with what his name looked like, the letters of his name, and just because something he saw hundreds of times a day rather than once a day at circle time. You should try it!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lets take a look at those teeth

This past week, we made a very important trip to the Saline County Pediatric Dentist's Office, for Elem's very first visit to get his little teeth cleaned and checked out. We were a little nervous because our niece Cecilia was not blessed with the best teeth and didn't have a very good trip a few weeks back, and actually fond out she is going to have to have a root canal! Yikes! She is only 3! So as soon as I found out about her not so happy trip, I went ahead and got Elem in as soon as I could. I actually was a little confused as to when exactly I SHOULD be making Elem an appointment to have his teeth checked. I have heard and researched conflicting ages for early teeth health. I heard from age 1 year, when they first started receiving teeth, all the way to when they are three years old. So I figured lat 2s should be okay, even though when I called, they almost made me feel bad because we hadn't brought him in yet! But once, we got to the actual office, we got a totally different vibe, which I was so thankful for! We chose our pediatric dentist based on one thing-the fact that we knew the dentist! Seth went to high school with our dentist, Derek Marks, and he seems to be a great family guy, with a good reputation in Arkansas. There are only a few pediatric dentists in the entire state (which I did not know) so he was a good pic for us! I had a great dentist growing up, got regular teeth cleanings, and have very excellent and healthy teeth if I do say so myself, and I really wanted the same for our kid! Just to give him a good start, making sure that from the very first visit, everything was positive, and more about the overall experience, and reason for keeping those little teeth clean, than if we got a bad report.

We do not have dental insurance for Elem, so I am sure that needs to be on the horizon, but for now, we can afford 2 teeth cleanings per year, which is all we are hoping he will need till at least he loses some of those baby teeth! Fingers crossed. Our current teeth brushing routine consists of brushing once in the morning sometime before we head out the door for the day, and brushing teeth before we go to bed. Although sometimes one or the other gets forgotten and Elem is happy to "forget" this little task, but mommy has other plans! For some reason, Elem used to LOVE brushing his teeth, and we are in this almost between stage, where I am the one brushing them to make sure they are actually clean, and he just pouts about it! He used to LOVE brushing his teeth, so I have no idea what happened. Just gonna keep at it, hoping he will find a day where he reconnects with his love of the toothbrush. :)

For now, we just entered the dentist office with high hopes of a good adventure and some really clean teeth. Elem really didn't know what was going to happen once we got into the back, and honestly neither did we. My sweet little boy headin' back for his big visit.

Lucky for us, when we got to the back, it was a mini jungle! Animals were painted all over the walls, and there were all kinds of stuffed jungle animals hanging from the ceiling and the lights-it was super cute. It made for a good fun vibe when we first made it in. Elem was super scared at first-it was a little overwhelming-there were about 12 flatly laid back dentist chairs all lined up, with TVs on the ceiling for you to watch while you had your teeth cleaned by the hygienist. So you could actually see other kids getting their teeth cleaned when you walked in and sat down at your chair. Of course after talking with the staff, they only keep the kids who handle their visit well, and those that scream and end up going crazy are taken back to their own "private" room. Haha. I thought that was pretty funny. It was good to see other kids for Elem, letting him know everything was okay. We propped up in some stools around the chair, first off, and Elem got to pick a brand new toothbrush, and even got to hold the mirror to show him it was not a scary tool. Uhm, he was not so sold at first.

After I brushed his teeth for a few minutes, the girl, finished up, and try to win him over with the "cool water gun". Uhm, still not a huge fan-but he was getting interested. You can tell by his face, he was a little apprehensive with the whole idea of trying all these new things at this point.

Then came Mr. Tooth Monkey. With HUGE teeth I might add, and a HUGE mouth, and an even HUGER tooth brush. That uhm, Elem LOVED by the way! At first site, Elem was excited and seriously got in there to give those monkey teeth a good cleaning!

It was all up hill from there! Thank you Mr. Monkey, for making our very first dental experience a good one. We owe you! Elem was very intense and did some major brushing on those monkey teeth. After the visit by the monkey, we had only positive moments from there! Thanks goodness! That is exactly what we were hoping for.

So at this point, we were just waiting for the actual dentist to come in and give his mouth a once over, to make sure there were no cavities or anything worse going on in there. I took this time to chat with the hygienist and see what all we should be doing to take good care of his teeth and what not. I was glad to know that we were doing everything right so far-brushing twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, but we should also be flossing! We had not thought about this yet, so we need to get going on that. She said that is the main place where small kids get their first cavities, is between their teeth and not actually in the grooves like we as adults get. So good to know. We will start flossing ASAP, at least a little bit that is! Elem was really enjoying his visit by this time, so we decided to take a chance and see if he would jump in the xray chair to take a look at the teeth from that angle. We were very hopeful, but not sure what would happen. Luckily-it went a little something like this:

My sweet little boy all propped up and posed to get a nice pic of those teeth! I was so proud. He couldn't have done better, especially for just being 2 and being asked to do all these crazy things from strangers! In the end we got a couple of good pics of his teeth and when the actual dentist made his way to us, he had nothing but goodness to report on the way his teeth looked! Whew, what exciting news, and what a relief to know that we really are doing the best we can to keep those teeth and gums healthy. The advice of the office, is to just keep coming in for teeth cleaning every 6 months to keep the kids knowing that the visits aren't scary, and that there is nothing to be afraid of. I really like the idea, and of course I was brought up getting teeth cleanings every 6 months, and really I never had a bad experience. I want to keep them positive for as long as we can, so that in the event that we do make a trip and we get some news not so positive, he wont be so terribly terrified of letting them do what they need to to take care of his little chompers. We love our dentist and we will be making another trip back sometime around the fall!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Big Boy Room

We actually upgraded Elem's room from a nursery to a big boy room a few months ago, but I just hadn't gotten around to posting pics until now. I can not believe it was already time to be getting a new bed for our little guy, although he was just about too long to fit in his crib anymore. But truth be told, he never even really slept in his bed all too much. Not for what it costs that is! If you consider he slept with Seth and I the entire first year of his life, while I nursed him, and then consider his horrible sleeping habits, it doesn't take a genius to realize that he never spent much time in the awesome crib that he had! Well, I take that back, he and Cecilia did spend a lot of time climbing in the crib and jumping up and down in it a whole whole lot, but very little sleep was actually done in there. Note to self-one thing to change with our next child. Good sleeping habits will be formed early, or I will forever be sleep deprived. Got it! Anyways, we were lucky that Elem never really climbed out of the crib until way later, and it wasn't to be mad and get out, but more so just to do it. So we were lucky with that, but still figured it was time to get Elem a new big boy bed that he could have for his big boy room! We LOVE the way we painted his room, so we did not want to change anything about that. Just a few furniture piece updates, and some new linens, and we knew we would be good to go. Here is the room as a whole, when you first come in. It is pretty tiny-the smallest room in our house, but actually just right for Elem. He loves his room, and it is a very calm room with a great atmosphere!

First purchase was the bed. We actually ordered it online from a random furniture store that I found while looking for the perfect simple and sturdy bed. We knew we wanted dark wood, and the room is so small that we didnt want something that was going to take over the room, so a headboard was kind of out of the picture. We dont plan on this being Elem's bed forever, so a small step forward was really all we needed. We got him a twin size bed, that is pretty much like a box, so you dont have to have box springs, just the mattress. And it has awesome storage drawers underneath, for storing some blankets and toys! It is pretty low, which was also something we wanted, and just nice and simple and clean. It was perfect for his little room. The next buy was the bedding, which I actually got on sale at Target, and it matched perfectly! Cant go wrong with Target! And then the pillows are actually old throw pillows we had, that I found awesome covers for at Target too. ANd just made them work. They totally match too, so we were really happy with the way it turned out!

Next was the toy/book shelf. As you can tell I am a little overboard when it comes to books. This shelf actually doesn't even do all his books justice because you can double up on them so a lot are stacked behind the ones you can see. Which is great for us, because they were kind of overtaking his room. Elem LOVES his books, so I didn't want to move them out of his room, but we didn't have room for another large piece of furniture. So I got this cube shelf from Target also, and filled half the shelves with books and the other half with bins for toys. Still looks nice and clean which is of the utmost importance to me :) and still keeps my little boy happy that many of his favorite toys are still right in his room. Of course we had to clean out our guest bedroom and turn that into a play room as well, but I dont even get into that right now!I love this little shelf.

His dresser is still the same as the one from his nursery. It fits perfect and still works great, so we will be keeping that for a while. We just updated a few pictures and kept it simple.

Bye bye crib, and hello big boy bed. Now if I could only get him to sleep in it full time. I am willing to try out anything.