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Month: September 2007

Unfinished Business

  • Zach woke up this morning asking where the turtle was.  He met me outside while I was out with the dogs and asked in his sleepy-just-waking-up voice, “Where turtle go?”  I think he was a little sad when I reminded him that he and daddy took the turtle down by the water and the turtle went home
  • I still haven’t worked out the plan for Zach’s reward system yet.  There are so many different things that he needs a little motivation for right now and I can’t decide which one thing should take priority.  However, I’m seriously considering teaching him Zoot’s “obey first time” concept.  That could save me so much time and frustration if it actually works.
  • This whole Flickr/Orkut deal has got me thinking and re-thinking how I share and use photos on the internet.  If you haven’t heard about what is going on, I recommend you start reading here.  I love that Flickr makes it so easy for me to share pictures with family and friends, but when children’s photos are being stolen and exploited on other sites it is just plain disturbing.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it yet – if anything – but I’m certainly thinking.
  • I’m giving Craigslist a shot one more time in an effort to sell the foosball table collecting dust in our basement, one of my guitars, and some brand new bunk bed mattresses that we never managed to return to the store.  I haven’t had much luck there in the past, but I’m starting to panic just a bit about the whole money thing (partially because I spent way too much on hubby’s birthday gift) and if I could sell those things it would pay off at least one more credit card.  I really need a little breathing room in the budget and to start socking away some money to pay my insurance deductible next year when I birth this baby.  I’m trying really hard not to even think about the cost of infant day care yet.  Anyone need a foosball table?
  • I have discovered once again that pregnancy seems to sap every ounce of creativity out of my body.  I remember it happening when I was pregnant with Zach and here it is again.  I’ve been trying to come up with a new header for this site for weeks now and can’t come up with a single idea,  I promised a friend I would help her with some business cards that I haven’t even started on.  Plus, I have babies to knit for and I can’t seem to even pick up the needles these days.  At this rate, I’m pretty sure even my own baby won’t have any little knitted goodies when it is born.  I seriously need my creative juices back.  If you see them, could you send them my way?

Edited to add:  I seem to be having some problems with the comment system on my blog.  I have changed a few settings and would love it if you guys could try leaving a comment to see if it is working.  If your comment doesn’t appear (it should come up right away) please e-mail me so I can try to troubleshoot some more.

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Turtle Surprise

Turtle-6, originally uploaded by deew27.

When Zach and I got home today, Daddy had a big surprise waiting. He had picked up a turtle on the side of the road and brought it home for Zach to check out.

At first, Zach wasn’t too sure about the turtle, especially after Daddy told him to be careful so it didn’t bite him. It took him a little while to warm up but after a few minutes he was even willing to touch it and eventually helped Daddy hold the turtle.

After having some fun watching the turtle walk around, Zach and Daddy took it down to the little creek the runs by our house and let it go. I’m sure Zach would have loved to keep it, but I’m sure the little turtle is much happier out in the wild.

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27 Months

Dear Zachary,

It has been a while since I’ve written you one of these update letters.  The last one was when you turned two.  It is amazing how much you have changed in three short months.  Somewhere in there you changed from a whiny, needy, toddler into a very determined little boy who wants to do everything on his own…except when it comes to walking.  Apparently you still need me to carry you everywhere we go.  As much as I complain about how heavy you are, sometimes I don’t mind that you still want me to carry you because I know that one day soon you will be off and running and will no longer need the comfort of my arms.

aug_07 020It seems like every day you lose a little bit more of your baby tendencies and gain a little bit more independence.  You like to open the refrigerator to get your own snacks out.  You like to serve yourself and try to cut your own food up at meal times.  You even say a prayer all by yourself before you eat (and with just a little help at bed time).  You like to brush your teeth by yourself (even when mommy really wants to help).  You like to open and close the doors for mommy when we go out.  You really like to put your own bubbles in the tub when it is bath time.  I try to be patient with you, but sometimes I get a little frustrated when I’m in a hurry and you want to do everything yourself.  I’m so proud of you when you accomplish a new task, but sometimes I wish you could realize that mommy really can do it faster.

Your personality shines through more and more all the time.  You have a really great sense of humor and try to express it more and more all the time.  You have started telling “knock, knock” jokes and even though you rarely add on a punch line at the end, you laugh so hard that it makes everyone around you laugh as well.  You think burps are hilarious and always try to imitate it when you hear someone else burp just to get a laugh.  You make other little jokes here and there, just waiting for someone to catch on to what you have said.  One of my favorite things to do with you is to laugh.  The smile on your face and that little glimmer you get in your eyes can light up even the darkest of rooms.

sept_07 076These days I constantly want to compare you to a sponge as it seems you just soak everything up.  Since you started at your new day care (“school”) at the end of July, you have been learning so much.  You surprised me just last week by counting all the way from 1-20 while I was pushing you on the swing at the park.  I didn’t even know you could count to 10, much less 20.  You know most of your colors and can pick them out in pictures when we’re reading books together.  You can even pick out a few letters when we read your Elmo ABC’s book.  You’ve been singing your ABC’s for quite a while now, but I didn’t realize you could pick the letters out by sight.  Besides ABC’s, you’ve picked up several new songs that you love to sing.  The first time I was surprised when you started singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat in the bath tub.  Now you go around singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, B-I-N-G-O, ABC’s and other various songs all the time.  You still skip over some of the harder words, but you are so cute when you’re singing I’ll let that slide for now.

Things haven’t been all rainbows and sunshine over the last few months though.  You’ve regressed in several areas that I’m not real happy about.  I’m pretty sure that it is because you are learning so many new things at once, but it still gets frustrating.  The main problem areas right now are sleeping, potty training, and that dang pacifier.  It all started around the end of July, when we went on vacation.  I can’t blame it all on the vacation though, because you started at your new day care about a week after we got back so I’m sure that has had a lot to do with it too.  Since that time, I’ve barely been able to pry your pacifier or “noonie” out of your mouth.  I’m so sick of seeing that thing I could scream, but I’m trying to come up with the least traumatic way to get rid of it.  The sleeping is starting to get back on track, but we still struggle some nights at bed time.  As for the potty training, well, let’s just say momma quit pushing so hard.  You still go potty at school when your teacher takes you, but I have a really hard time getting you to go at home.  Some days you fight and scream so bad that I wonder if it is really worth the effort.  I’m hoping that if I back off a bit, you’ll decide you want to start doing it on your own.  Meanwhile, your Elmo and Diego big boy underwear sit unworn in your dresser drawer.

big boy zachWhile all of this has been happening, Daddy and I have also been trying to get you ready for a very big change that is headed your way.  In about 6 months, you will become a big brother.  I know it is going to be hard for you to get used to having a baby in the house, especially when you are used to having all of our attention on you.  We’re all really excited to meet your baby brother or sister in March, but I have to admit that I’m also a little sad that I won’t be able to spend as much time doing the things I love to do with you.  I’ve been really trying lately to spend more quality time with you in the evenings and hopefully will be able to continue doing that even after the baby arrives.  I don’t want you to ever feel like you have been replaced or that we love you any less.  If anything you will be loved even more, because your new sibling will love you just as much as (if not more than) your daddy and I do.

Some days when I sit back and watch you I am just filled with so much love I feel like I could burst.  I want to share every little thing you do with the world because I am so proud of you and the boy you are becoming.  I cherish our conversations, no matter how silly they may seem at the time.  I wish I could record every moment so that when you are all grown up I could go back and re-live it over and over again.  You are everything I ever wished for in a child and more.  I’m not sure it is even possible, but I think I love you more and more each day.


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Happy Birthday!

sept_07 008, originally uploaded by deew27.

Wishing you many more years of health, happiness, love, and chocolate cake!

I love you (and that has nothing to do with the fact that even though I’ll be turning 30 in a few months, you’ll always be one year older than me)!

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Reward System For Toddlers – Yes or No?

REWARD_CHART.jpgI’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about reward systems.  At first, I was simply trying to devise a simple reward system for potty-training.  I picked up several items from the $1 aisle at Target that I thought Zach would enjoy.  I set out to establish some simple goals for him that could gradually expand as he reached each goal.  But then I got stuck (or maybe lazy) and never got around to making up a chart for him to use.

Shortly after that, my boy who was doing so well with the potty training started regressing.  At first it was just a little resistance, then it turned into an all out fight to get him to even sit on the potty.  However, the resistance seems to only be at home as he does fine at day care and has done fine at my sister’s house when she has him.  For now, I’m letting off of the potty training a bit because I don’t want to force it and make it a negative thing for him. 

Besides the potty-training, Zach has also regressed in other areas and they all pretty much have to do with personal care.  It is an absolute fight most days to brush his teeth, get him dressed, etc. unless I bribe him with getting to watch Blue’s Clues when we’re done.  If I had all the time in the world, it wouldn’t matter.  I could let him do things at his own pace, but most days we’re on a pretty tight schedule and I don’t have ten minutes to convince him to let me brush his teeth.

Now I realize that he is two.  He’s trying to establish his own routines and exert his own opinions.  The problem is, he’s two.  He doesn’t understand why he needs to brush his teeth no matter how many times I explain it to him, nor does he understand why he should do anything else that I tell him to do.  I don’t think my requests are unreasonable.  Most of the things that I want him to do he has been doing for a long time, he just no longer wants to do them.

I’m tired of threatening time-outs or other punishments just to get him to cooperate.  Basic positive reinforcement doesn’t seem to phase him.   I don’t want to bribe him with TV time because he gets more than enough of that as it is.

That’s where the reward system comes in.  I need to find some way to encourage him to follow directions and to do the simple daily tasks that he already knows how to do.  I’m just not sure whether to narrow it down to specific tasks or whether to make it more general.  I’ve consulted Dr. Google and have a few ideas that may or may not work with him.  I’ve seen a reward system work well for my 7-year-old nephew.  But, I’m just wondering how effective it might be for a 2-year-old.

If anyone out there has any advice or has tried reward systems with your own kids, please share your experiences.  I’m all ears.

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