Thursday, August 28, 2008

1st Time Cruisers

We finally did it! We've wanted to do this for about 7 years and we'll get to do it this coming December....take a cruise! It will leave from Charleston and is a 7 night cruise to the Bahamas. The biggest appeal for us is that we don't have to fly; we'll just drive down to Charleston. We just hope Tyler does okay on it....unless someone will let us leave him at their house for a week. HA! :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Address Labels and a Laundry Basket

Tyler says, "Adults see these as address labels but I see them a colorful roll of FUN! Oh, so that's what my address is! Who knew?!"

"Last night I read a book in the laundry basket. You don't need this, do you, Mommy?"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Unusual Place to Eat

Some people enjoy having a meal at the table, some on the sofa. I enjoy having a meal under my Mommy's desk! Come on, Mom! You caught me eating with my mouth open.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

10 Years of Addictions

It all starts off innocently. My addictions started 10 years ago. First is was Beanie Babies and then Collectible Barbie Dolls. For a long time it was Beanies and Barbies at the same time. This was when I was working full time, had few expenses, no children, and had a lot of time to go shopping. I was still frugal but I indulged in these items. Oh, it was fun. I remember the rush I felt searching for new Beanies that had just been released. After about six years, after 500+ Beanie Babies and 50+ Collectible Barbies, I decided that I needed to stop. What was I supposed to do with all that stuff, anyway. I ran out of room to display all of these treasures anyway!

Like most bad habits, I replaced one with another. I love, love, love buying children's books! This started about six years ago when I did my post-bac in elementary education and when I was an assistant teacher for 3 year olds. I had access to the cheap book-club books. I was going to teach the early primary grades and knew that I needed to build a library for my classroom. I was advised to have at least 100 books. Between hand-me-down books, the book club books, and garage sale books, it was easy to reach 100.

I went all through the post-bac program, student teaching and everything, only to decide that I didn't want to have my own classroom. (I love subbing, though.) My love for books did not subside. It got even worse when I had a child who loves, loves, loves books!

I was outside of to Books-a-Million tonight and wanted to go in to look at the children's book clearance rack. I thought, "I shouldn't go in. He has enought books already....well, I'll just go in to look." I only spent $19.50 and got some great books so I can't complain. I'm picky about what books I get; they have to have educational value. There was some sort of book about a farting dog...give me a break.

The next phase of my addiction will be going to old, used bookstores to buy children's books of yester-year. I have a reference book that lists bunches of books that have a ton of historical value. They are kind of expensive but I figure that I can sell them on ebay once we've outgrown them.

Anyway, I suppose that this is a good addiction because Tyler reaps the benefits!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Politics of Parenting

I can honestly say that I felt prepared to have a baby before Tyler was born. Minus the fact that he was so ill for 10 week as a newborn, I thought that raising an infant was not all that difficult. I think it was because I was older (33 when he was born) and had matured over the years, I had examples of what a good mother is (especially my best friend Kris), Tyler was an 'easy' baby, and I prayed a lot. However, I had not experienced any of the politics of parenting with the exception of receiving tons of advice from a variety of people. Sometimes I received advice that was good and sometimes not. I was not afraid to say, "Thanks for sharing your experience but I don't think that will work for us."

Having a toddler has been political. Most parents that I have encountered have been caring, sincere, and have my (and Tyler's) best interests at heart if Tyler behaves in a negative fashion. Tyler's verbal skills are underdeveloped and he cannot express himself in an appropriate manner sometimes. He can bite, push or pinch. I was terribly worried about this at first. My friends helped to put my mind at ease. Some people said that his behavior was quite common and normal. I pray about this on a regular basis and I consult with a Behavioral Specialist, not because I think Tyler is a tyrant, but because I simply didn't know what is normal toddler behavior and what is not. (It's a free service comes along with Tyler's other services so I'd be ignorant not to take advantage of it.)

The politics of it all are this: some parents are laid back when Tyler mistreats their kids (I'm on top of the situation to correct it) that they tell me, "Why are you so worried? That is normal." On the other end of the spectrum there are parents who make a BIG deal out of it. They will say things to me that are hurtful and inappropriate. Nonetheless, what is normal behavior? It depends on who you ask.

The conclusion I came to is that Tyler does display normal toddler behavior almost all of the time. There are times in which he treats kids in a manner that is not appropriate and it is my job and my husband's job to show Tyler constructive ways to display his anger, frustration, and confusion. I truly think that the negative behaviors will lessen or disappear once his verbal skills are more proficient. Still, we work with him a lot. He does not have the right to hurt another child. Just like no child has the right to hurt him.

I don't think that the politics of parenting will go away. I think that the politics chance phases just as the phases of parenting change. The one advantage of having the aforementioned challenges is that I have become more humble and less judgemental. I am more understanding of different parenting styles. Some lessons we learn in life are free and some we pay a high price for. This has been a rather costly one but the lessons have been priceless.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

He Counts, Who Knew?

Tyler's PT (physical therapist) came over today for a session. I think he tries to impress her because each week he'll do or say something new just for her! She was working on something with him and counted "1, 2, 3," and then she paused. He continues with"4, 5, 6, 7". I looked at her and she looked at me. She could tell by the look on my face that the counting thing is brand new. So we start to 'test' him to see how much he knows. He can count from 1-10. I have joked with the PT that we should hang out with her all the time because Tyler seems to do more for her than for anyone else. Maybe he has a crush on her!

Monday, August 11, 2008

First Time at Charlotte at Play

Tyler and I went to Charlotte at Play for the first time today. I thought it was such a great place and Tyler did also. I think his favorite stations were the painting station (although he refused to wear the smock so paint got all over his clothes and shoes) and the car station. It's cute that the car station is set up like a mini race track. This is a place we will surely go back to. I like that it is in the Pineville area as opposed to going Uptown.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


BounceU, located in North Charlotte had their grand opening today. Thanks to Megan for telling the club about it. This place is FUN! I highly recommend it. I played camera girl while Rick went into the inflatables with Tyler. I don't know who had more fun, Rick or Tyler. My favorite photo is the one of Tyler's derriere! The admission was free and there was even free pizza and soda!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tyler and his ABC's

Tyler likes anything that has to do with letters of the alphabet and knows all 26 letters. He also knows colors and shapes. He's known the alphabet for quite a while and some colors. More recently, he's been able to recognize most colors and shapes. This is him reciting the ABC's while looking and pointing at his alphabet place mat. He also enjoys repeating "purple" or "orange" over and over.

Yogurt: Food or Hair Conditioner?

I turn my back for one moment and this is what happened. Click on photo to see the full effect. hee hee.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Special Moment in the Cheese Aisle

Tyler and I went to the store this morning. He was sitting in the cart and we were going down the cheese aisle. I sneezed and he said, "Bless you." It made me smile because that was the first time he said that; it caught me off guard. It made my heart warm. :-) One of the best parts of being a mom is getting a total surprise of glee when you're doing something as ordinary as grocery shopping.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

"Don't sweat the small stuff" is easier said than done sometimes. When a bunch of small stuff happens over a short period of time, it adds up to a big ache in my st0mach. Over the past two days my patience has been tested because my time has been wasted by other people. This is probably my biggest pet peeve...people wasting my time when there is nothing I can do about it. I truly don't want to turn this blog entry into a @#$%^ session; I just need to vent a little. Don't worry, I'll spare you most of the details.

My time was really wasted at the OB's office today. I went in for a consultation about what the next step is in trying to prevent miscarriages. The doctor was running a whole hour behind but when I signed in and specifically asked, "Is the doctor running on time or is there time for me to run an errand that will take 15 minutes?" I was told, "He should be running on time."This is what gets me, I anticipated that the doctor may be running late and I tried to make the most of my time, which is VERY precious to me, by asking if I could sign in and come back if I was going to wait anyway! I waited an hour. I was angry. All I wanted to do was drop off the backpacks for the Service Project at a location that was only a short distance away.

On top of that, the doctor didn't tell me anything that I didn't know already and could have been told over the phone (it would have taken less than 5 minutes). Megan, if you're reading this, you explained what the next steps would be better than the doctor did so I think I should give you my co-pay of $25!

The icing on the cake is that the doctor said that I had been pregnant with a boy when I miscarried back in November. (He would have been due on July 4th.) They know this because they did a chromosomal test. I know that the doctor didn't do anything wrong per se' but I just really was not prepared to hear that, the way he rattled it off, like it was my blood type or something. I really try to give doctors the benefit of the doubt, try to look at things from their perspective, but that is starting to fade.

Thanks to Karen R. for watching Tyler while I went to the doctor and dropped off the backpacks.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes

This morning Tyler and I were up in his room so that he could play. I started going through his clothes to weed out what is getting too small and incorporated clothes that will soon fit. I love going through the clothes. I have fond memories of "playing" with his clothes before he was born. I was, and still am, like a little girl playing with her doll's clothes. Can you relate to this? This reminds me that he is getting bigger and bigger. It is bittersweet. My baby boy is almost 3. The good thing about him being petite is that I get to enjoy the 'smallness' a little longer; some babies and toddlers grow so quickly. I like having a little peanut. Besides, we get more use out of the clothes. hee hee.