Monday, June 29, 2009

Contest, Contest, Contest!!!

Yeah, I'm excited to be hosting another contest. I love when people who read my blog surface and make themselves known by entering a blog contest. So, I thought it would be an appropriate time to host this fun event. If you haven't visited MckMama's blog, you won't quite appreciate the excitement of this post, but she continually holds contests to help find catchy titles and captions for some of her most hilarious photos. Do stop over and check some out if you haven't already. But, I decided to follow suit. I have an amazing photo that definitely needs a title......

I want you to name that photo! For the person who leaves the very best title, I will send out a quaint little package. Enter, Enter, Enter. I can't wait to start reading through your entries. I will probably close off entering on Wed morning - should be enough time huh? So let's see it guys - let the creative juices flow!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Belated Father's Day

Because I had to work an evening shift on Sunday and because Dave was traveling to California on Monday, we chose tonight to celebrate Father's Day. The presents were bought, the girls were dressed, daddy was hungry and so after a brief gift opening, off we set to have an enjoyable night out as a family.......

The girls were excited to have daddy come bounding through the door this evening. They had been waiting all day to give him his presents. He got some hunting clothes, a book, and a few new shirts - along with some elk jerky the girls personally picked out themselves.

This is Paloma right after daddy offered to share some of his jalapeno elk jerky with her. "Me no like that..."

My beautiful family....

We decided to try a place we had never eaten before. Highly recommend it for all of you who read my blog and know where I live. What a quaint little place. As you will see in the next pic, Mattea got to make her own pizza while Paloma was groovin out to some live music.

Watching as her pizza was taken from the table to the oven.

We then headed over to the community fountain and let them splash around for awhile - that is until Paloma biffed it, fell backwards, and hit her head on the cement. We all heard the thud as she went down. I swear that child must have at least a half dozen skull fractures by now. That was the end of fountain time. It was then off to the coffe shop for happy hour and 1/2 priced drinks - frappes all around. Now the children are nestled quietly in their beds and mommy and daddy are wishing we could be there as well.

Happy Father's Day David - You truly are 'Husband Of The Year.'

Political Post

Some political strategists question how Republicans can get traction when two pillars of their message -- family values and fiscal rectitude -- have been undermined by errant politicians' transgressions, and by the collective failure of GOP leaders to control spending when they held the White House and Congress.

By Dan Balz
Washington Post

Yep, guess the Republican Party has a lot of explaining to do huh?

The above paragraph was taken from an article published in the Washington Post after Governor Mark Sanford publicly apologized for leaving the country and heading off to Argentina nonetheless, to participate in an extramarital affair. And this comes only one week after Republican Senator John Ensign also admitted to having an affair.

So much for family values.

Art Project Gone Dreadfully Wrong

Look what happens when I turn my back for 5 brief seconds....

Mattea Moment - AGAIN

I kid you not - this is the exact conversation - word for word - between Mattea and I about 20 minutes ago as she was getting ready for bed.

I lifted up my dress and was gasping at my sunburned belly when Mattea smiles at me and says
Mattea: "Mom, are you having another baby?"

Me: "NO"

Mattea: "Mom, are you having another baby?"

Me (adamantly this time): "NO, why would you say that?

Mattea: "Because of your big, big belly"

Are you frickin kidding me?

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mattea Moments

This would be Mattea's prayer tonight after coming home from a disastrous trip to Goodwill where Paloma not only pooped her pants and had to throw away her Tinkerbell underpants but literally had one of those ridiculous two year old tantrums in which she threw herself on the ground and banged her head up and down until she had imprints. Mattea sat back in awe as her sister literally lost it and turned into an embarrassing, dreadfully annoying, screaming, kicking, uncontrollable 2 year old.
As we were walking to the car, I reminded Mattea to ignore Paloma and her behavior. She asked me why people were staring and I did my best to provide an explanation over the crying in the backseat. Needless to say, Paloma came right home, brushed her teeth and went straight to bed.
I spent some extra time with Matty reading, enjoying snacks, etc. Finally, it was time to wind down and say prayers. After praying for her mommy and daddy and 'all her things' she then prayed....
oh and Jesus, i pray for my sister's tantrums and to stop people staring - AMEN

In my head - 'dear Jesus, I am desperately praying for Paloma's tantrums as well, and if you could do something about all of those people staring - that would be great

Continuing On The Road To Being A Fantastic Parent

Awhile back, I posted about a recent article printed in Parents magazine entitled "Let Your Child Soar (and 49 other ways to be a fantastic parent)."
I loved this article and reference it often because I think it offers simple, straightforward, common sense advice about raising our kids to be the best they can possibly be. I listed about 3 in the last post along with some of my comments and I've felt the desire to post a few more. I'd love to hear insight about whether you like/dislike or anything else that you have to say on the matter....

Be the role model your children deserve
"Kids learn by watching their parents. Modeling appropriate, respectful, good behavior works much better than telling them what to do.

My take: How true is that. Kids are in constant observation mode. Their minds are like little sponges, soaking up words, actions, emotions from just about anybody they encounter. And who are they around the most during any given day - mom and dad. I strive to be the best parent with the best attitude, and the best example to my kids that I can be but seem to fall short on many occasions. I try and remember that 4 little eyes are staring at me when a crazy driver decides to cut me off during rush hour traffic. I try and remember 4 little ears can hear my words when I get upset with their father or I'm speaking about an encounter with a friend or colleague. It is so hard and none of us are as perfect as our Heavenly Father but that doesn't mean we should ever stop trying.

Fess up when you blow it

"This is the best way to show your child how and when she should apologize."

My take: Having to humble myself, apologize and ask for forgiveness from a 4 year old is truly one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. But when I'm wrong - I'm wrong. When I've disciplined or acted in a way that is inappropriate the only way to rectify the situation is to apologize and seek forgiveness - whether it be a 4 or 40 year old.

Eat at least one meal as a family each day
"Sitting down at the table together is a relaxed way for everyone to connect - a time to share happy news, talk about the day, or tell a silly joke. It also helps your kids develop healthy eating habits."

My take: We definitely take this one to heart. Supper time is the time that our entire family comes together, sits down, takes a deep breath, and enjoys the presence of one another. Some nights are more relaxed than others but for the most part we definitely make meal time a priority.

So there are just a couple more suggestions on helping you become that fantastic parent. I know I need all the help I can get and so I enjoy reading and rereading this article by Barrie Gillies in the Dec. 2008 edition. I hope to get another post together soon. Hope you've enjoyed these simple suggestions.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Precious Paloma

Isn't it amazing how fast children can grow? Wow - time has flown by. It has been the last couple of weeks that I've really noticed a sharp maturation in both of my children. There will be some posts to follow on that but in all seriousness, sometimes I catch a glimpse of them from across the table and I'm amazed at the changes in their faces or their expressions. Language is evolving quickly around our house and feelings are being expressed. Paloma is constantly telling me she is fwustrated (frustrated).

I am a mom who loves the past & does not want to forget the past but also very much looks forward to the future. There is a twinge of sadness as I look over how cute Paloma was or the smiles that I so infrequently captured. But, each passing day is a day closer to the life that God has prepared for them. I love watching them grow and develop into the toddlers, girls, women, wives, mothers that God will eventually mold them in to be. Amazing thoughts if you think about it. I am constantly reminded that these sweet children are not mine but actually temporary residents within my life. They are with me for such a short time and the dreams and goals that I have for them do not stand in comparison to the plans their Father has prepared for them.

Here's looking to the future but taking a glimpse into the past.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Shosone Falls

With Grandma & Grandpa nearing the end of their vacation with us, we decided to (what else) load into the car and head out on a little road trip. I am so not a fan of road trips and literally start to go crazy after about 30-45 min in a vehicle. (Still not sure how I made it down to New Mexico in a U-Haul with David without him leaving me on the side of the road.) Anywho - we loaded up and made the short jaunt to Shoshone Falls. I new my parents would dig seeing the falls and it was a place both Dave and I had talked about going as well. The kids had fun - after cotton candy was distributed. We had beautiful weather, good conversation, and lots of great pictures. Here is a sampling....

Colorful Cotton Candy

It took the kids all of about 2.5 minutes to inhale the very large tub of cotton candy that Grandma & Grandpa bought for them on our recent road trip. It's as if they have never eaten sugar before - sheesh!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wet - One Way Or Another

With all this ridiculous rain that we are having, I am hard stretched for fun activities to keep both my children and grandparents busy. Everything I had on the agenda required traveling and being outside. So - Plan B. Today we decided that if instead of getting wet outside, we would travel over to the YMCA and get wet on the inside. The girls could show off their swimming abilities and grandma and grandpa could get a bit of a break.

Loma threw a bit of a temper tantrum (as evidenced by above picture) when she proclaimed it was time to go and I gently but firmly told her to "think again sister." She was not amused. All in all we had fun, we forgot about the rain, and we got some good exercise. Here's hoping tomorrow's weather turns out better than today!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

She Bit Me

Paloma has been having a rough couple days as she is behind sleep, has a cold, and is getting one of her '2 year molars.' Yes, she is past 2.5 but that is a mute point. So she has been kind of a bear to be around. Nonetheless, we've put up with her and tried to provide as much love and TLC as we can manage all while secretly wanting to throw her in a sound proof room.
Well, bedtime finally came the other night and of course she was whining and fussing about something. Dave patted her back to sleep and came downstairs to talk. After a few minutes, Paloma let out this blood curdling scream and began crying. Dave and I drew straws over who would head up and find out what was wrong this time. Dave won and so he headed upstairs and all I hear come out of his mouth was "WHAT!" A few minutes later he comes waltzing back downstairs and I asked him what was wrong. He busted up laughing and said she told him that her "baby bite me."
Yep - really, her baby bit her. She truly believed she was being attacked by her chubby little baby who happens to be getting teeth as well. Dave swears this is the first sign of schizophrenia but I have since calmed his fears. We have restricted her from taking baby to bed though - with good reason.

They're Here

Well, Grandma & Grandpa finally arrived. The kids were on countdown. M & P are a bundle of energy as they are trying to do and show their grandparents everything in the few short days that they will be here. It's been kind of hard to keep up with them and we're all a little tired. So far we've been to the park, taken a trip to the zoo, taken a bike ride, out to breakfast, up to Bogus Basin. I'm sad the weather isn't nicer as everything I had to do on our to-do list requires being outside. We're hoping to make the drive to Shoshone Falls sometime next week. We'll see. As for now, the kids are relishing in the spoiled nature of grandma and grandpa and Dave and I are relishing in the quiet and peaceful 5 minutes we're able to get now that someone else is watching our kids. Tonight we're even attempting date night - gasp. You got it, we're heading out. Not sure for what, but whatever we do it will be without kids and that will be absolutely perfect.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

It's Finally Finished

With the help of my husband, our "vegetable" color room is complete. I am absolutely in love and can't wait to decorate - although that is not one of my stronger points. I've decided after tackling this room that we are going to brighten up the rest of the house. So I'm thinking bright orange and yellow for the kitchen.....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Paloma's Plug

Tonight as we were getting ready to put the girls to bed, Dave and I decided we would do family prayer time instead of individual prayer time. We got the girls in a circle and explained the 'rules.' (We've done this before, but the girls needed a gentle reminder that prayer time is not screw around and be silly time) I opened and then shouted out Mattea's name who prayed so nicely and then she passed it on to daddy who then prayed and passed it on to Paloma who was entirely too busy sucking her thumb to concentrate on praising God. David asked her "Paloma, Loma, what are you thankful for." Me in the background saying "Paloma take your thumb out of your mouth and tell God who your thankful for." Finally she speaks up...

"Nobody - just mush." And that concluded our family prayer time. So, what do you think God's expression is when he looks down and sees His child saying something like that. I imagine as I became annoyed He let out a gigantic belly laugh. After all, it is kind of funny.

A Look Back

I'm looking at some old photos recently (a chore I absolutely love doing) and I came across this one. This was taken when I was a mere 28 weeks pregnant with Paloma. Mattea and I had so much fun at our photo shoot that day. Knowing Paloma would be my last, I made sure to capture as much as possbible. So preganancy pictures I would do.

I'd love to see 'A Look Back' from any of my bloggie friends. Anybody willing to share a photo from the past? Leave me a comment and let me know. There will definitely be more.....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Road To Becoming A Fantastic Parent

I was recently cleaning out a couple of drawers upstairs when I ran across an old issue of Parents magazine. It was an issue from December 2008. Wondering why I had chose to save it, I began flipping through the pages when I discovered and article entitled "Let Your Child Soar - and 49 other ways to be a fantastic parent." I began reading through it and decided that I would periodically share parts of the article on my blog and then add a bit of commentary of my own.
So check back from time to time if you are wondering about how you can become a fantastic parent - as if you aren't already.

*Don't clip your child's wings.
"Your toddler's mission in life is to gain independence. So when she's developmentally capable of putting her toys away, clearing her plate from the table, and dressing herself, let her. Giving a child responsibility is good for her self-esteem (and your sanity!)"

Me: Oh if this isn't the truth. I have found on my own journey of parenting that I was so good at letting Mattea have an enormous amount of freedom when it was just Mattea. Now that I have two, I have noticed that I'm constantly on a tight schedule. When we need to get out of the house by 0900AM to get Mattea to school, I don't have time to be waiting for Paloma to figure out how to get her Tinker Bell underpants on right. I wind up doing it for her. And then I take a step back and ask Dave, why can't our 2.5 year old get dressed by herself? His response, "she can, we just don't let her." Aaaah. I am consciously making an effort to back off, slow down, and let Paloma gain that all important freedom that was granted to Mattea.

*Gossip about your kids
"Fact: What we overhear is far more potent than what we are told directly. Make praise more effectively by letting your child 'catch' you whispering a compliment about him to Grandma, Dad, or even his teddy."

Me: This is so true. And I've found out the hard way. When Dave comes home at night, I immediately begin giving him the rundown on the day's events - good and bad. Many times I've caught Mattea looking at me while I tell her father about the latest tantrum, food fight, or poop accident. I immediately can see how her face turns sad when she realizes I'm focusing on telling her all important daddy - the one she admires and adores - her faults for the day. So I've definitely tried to reverse that and offer praise and encouragement. I try and save the conversations about the 'bad behavior' until the kids are out of earshot. I highly encourage trying this tactic. It works great.

*Savor the moments.
"Yes, parenthood is the most exhausting job on the planet. yes, your house is a mess, the laundry's piled up, and the dog needs to be walked. But your kid just laughed. Enjoy it now - it will be over far too fast."

Me: Amen to that. Not much to add except that I myself need to slow down, breathe, relax, and realize that whether or not my car is cleaned, my toilet is scrubbed, or my lawn is mowed, I will never get back the precious time with my children. And so if they are asking me to play 'baby dolls' I better drop my broom, close the dishwasher and pull out a diaper bag.

Here is just a sampling of ideas listed from the article published by Barrie Gillies. I can't wait for the next edition. Also, if you'd like to include thoughts, ideas, or criticisms on these particular posts, please feel free.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Do You Ever Wonder What We Do For Fun Around Our House On A Rainy Day?

Aaaahhhh - Asparagus

Remind me again why in the world I would think that taking apart my spare bedroom and painting it just days before my parents are to arrive is a good idea. Could it be that I wanted them to have a bright, fresh, nicely organized room to sleep in - no. Could it be that I'm bored and have nothing else to do with my time - no. Could it be that I'm absolutely crazy and have OCD - yes! Dave feels the need to document all of my crazy home improvement projects. I've never thought his antics are amusing but have decided to post anyway. Please - do not judge me or my house by the looks of that closet - ugh! My closets are way more organized than that. But do take a minute to pause and admire the picture sitting on the floor waiting to be hung. That was me only 28 weeks pregnant with Paloma. Yes, I was huge. I love that picture and would even run back into a burning house for it.
I can't wait for the finished product.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I'm so excited to finally be purging my thoughts and imperfections into my Not Me Monday post. We took a short break last week in honor of Memorial Day - but are hitting it strong this week.

So without further ado......

1) I most certainly did not run out of turkey hot dogs one day last week only to set myself off in a panic. See, turkey hot dogs are my staple back up food. When Dave is traveling (which he was) or I don't feel like cooking ANYTHING, we grill up a few turkey hot dogs and the kids are happy. Well, the other day I most certainly did not run out of the coveted food and then make a mad dash to the store that same evening to pick up another pack. I did not come home of course to realize that there were four packs frozen in the freezer when I went in to grab a weight watchers ice cream treat. Ugh, that shopping trip was not for nothing. Not me.

2) I most certainly did not stumble into the shower yesterday after suffering from pure exhaustion only to emerge with shampoo left in my hair and half my legs not shaved because I don't remember doing anything in the shower - in fact, in all honesty, I don't even remember showering. Um, not me.

3) I absolutely did not drag my children out grocery shopping last week too close to lunch time that by the time we were done, they were on the verge of losing all sanity. I did not think fast and begin pulling out many of the groceries I had just bought and began feeding them picnic style in the back of the truck in the grocery store parking lot. People certainly did not stop and stare, but rather kept on walking (minding their own business as oh so many people do these days) And i won't at all admit that the parking lot we were camped out in was Walmart. Oh no - not this mama.

4) I did not drive all the way into work yesterday only to find out that I had made a mistake - gasp - and was not even on the schedule to work. There is no way that I would make a 'planner error' and transcribe my work schedule wrong. That only happens to the 'disorganized' people - not this organized, busy mom of 2. Ha - not me.

5)I did not encounter my 2 year old daughter stumbling out of the bathroom with her pants down and her finger sticking out asking "mama, what's this?" At first I thought she had snot on her finger or some other disgusting piece of dirt that she picked up from the garbage but oh no. My little Paloma was NOT standing there with a piece of poop on her finger asking me to examine its properties. Are you kidding. That was not me.

Yes, this unfortunately is only the tip of the iceberg for Not Me stories this past 2 weeks. I could think of at least 5 more 'stories' that have occurred but I am Not off to paint my spare bedroom ASPARAGUS in preparation of my parents coming. Of course, I'm way to on the ball to have possibly let 2 years go by without painting the interior of my house. Hello, I have all the time in the world and can't imagine why I wouldn't get little projects like that done.

With that - Happy Monday!