Monday, May 30, 2011

Britney 2.0

I wore this dress when I was about 3 years old, and now my daughter gets to wear it too. She looks like a little Alice in wonderland. Could she look any different from me though? I mean really!

Beach Babies

Summer is finally here which means every post for the next few months will more than likely involve water. Water at the beach, the lake, the pool, the slip-n-slide, or our little wading pool on the deck. We are all about water during summer in Georgia. For Cameron's birthday we decided to have our first beach day of the season. Here is our first day at the beach at Lake Tara.
Water baby

The beach was having a huge summer beach party on the day that we went. It involved a volleyball tourney (which cameron joined...his best birthday gift ever), a hula hoop contest, and a watermelon eating contest. The kids loved it! Here are Logan and Dylan going to town on their watermelons. Logan ate about 4 1/2 and Dylan at almost 2. Logan ended up in the bathroom, and Dylan looked like this:

Yankees out.

Dylan finally finished out his first baseball season with the Yankees. We all are so happy! Dylan enjoyed it, but he was bored by it for the most part. I can't tell you how many times I had to yell from the sidelines to stop playing in the dirt, to put his glove on, and to run in and out of the dugout. (If you read my previous baseball post, you will understand how frustrating this was for me). I am telling you, this kid is so preoccupied by everything else around him. I need to get him in some science classes or something. Its hilarious! We finished out the season but decided we will wait another few years to try playing again. Dylan needs to work on his coordination and having a longer attention span. I think both of those will come with age, (hopefully). For now he wants to stick to soccer.

Here is his team at the end of the year banquet sporting their medals. (They get so excited over those!)

Friday, May 20, 2011


G-mama got these jammies for the girls on their birthday. I love them, and I LOVE my girls!
Could these two look any less alike?

Macey, although my easiest baby, is into EVERYTHING! If I turn around for a second she is on top of the table, eating the dog food, and more recently throwing anything and everything in the toilet. (I never had a kid that did this...maybe because I was able to keep the bathroom door closed since I didn't have a 5 year old). Last week on a few different occasions, I found a sweater, my necklace, uno card, princess shoe, and a headband in the toilet. The worst part, is that on a couple occasions the toilet had not been flushed and yes, it was number 2. NASTY! At one point I heard Dylan say, "ughh mom, Macey put something in the toilet again!" only to run in and see Dylan peeing on the object in question. Wonderful!

Macey is so quick and quiet when she moves too. When it comes to the toilet she is a little ninja! The other day she pushed to door open (while Cameron was going) and threw a toy in real quick mid stream. Hilarious!
Here is Macey getting into Syd yogurt that was left on the table. I walked in after using the bathroom to find only take 2 minutes to make a complete mess!
With three kids there are a lot more messes, (obviously since I can't be in three places at once). You have food messes, potty messes, toy messes, pen messes (yes, our first on the wall), toilet messes, bathtub messes (splashing and flooding), dirty skid-marked underwear on the floor messes, etc. I walk into a room 20 minutes after it has been cleaned and there is always some sort of surprise waiting for me in store. It is absurd! But it is my family, and I have to laugh and find joy in the little things, right? Just don't come over to my house and say I didn't warn you!

School Days

Dylan had his last day of school on yesterday. *SIGH* . The girls and I went to visit during lunch and were able to help Dylan say goodbye to his teachers and his class. He is really going to miss school (I don't think he is aware of that fact yet), but today he has already said at least 4 times, "I'm bored". Yup, and it's the first day of summer! Help me!
Dylan had fun showing Syd the ropes. He got up and walked her to the carpet and had her sit right nest to him. It was he is trying to teach her how to cross her legs and "sit right".
Dylan had great teachers this year that he LOVED. Mrs Joyce and Mrs. Shea were wonderful. He (and I) were so lucky that he was put into their class. We will miss them!

Sydney also had her last day of her school speech program yesterday. They had a pool/water party. They usually only have about 5 kids, but they combined all of the classes together so it was a bit crowded.
We love Syd's teachers, but will luckily be able to work with them again next year! they ctually go to her preschool twice a week and work with her individually there.

I am dreading summer, but excited for what it means for our family. Next year Dylan will be in kindergarten, Syndey will be in a 2 or 3 day program which will really help her speech, and I will have time all alone with my Macey girl. I can't wait! Until then, I have to just plow through this summer with lots of activities and FUN! Wish me luck! ( I am going to need it!)

Date with Grandpa

Grandpa picked up Dylan and Logan for a little date together at home depot. They made wooden cars, and then met us after at the health fair in town. There they kids were able to see emergency vehicles, and prick their fingers for a glucose test. None of the kids wanted to do this (obviously), so Dylan decided to try it to show he was bravest of all. Of course then Logan and Maddie both tried it cause they didn't want to be shown up by Dylan. :) Very funny. None of them cried, and all of them were so proud of themselves.
Dylan made the front page of the Times Georgian with one of these pics (I can't remember which one)
Maddie and G-mama weren't there yet :(

Here Dylan was waiting for grandpa to come. I think he sat there for at lest 25 minutes waiting and singing,"Grandpa hurry up, grandpa hurry up". Sydney decided to join in the sit and sang along side Dylan. I wish I video taped that part! Those two are two peas in a pod!

Atlanta Temple Dedication

After a year remodel to the Atlanta Temple, it was finally opened to the public last month. Cameron and I were able to go and be temple tour guides, which was a really neat experience. We mostly did Spanish tours since Cameron was one of two people that could do them, but I enjoyed it none the less. The spirit was strong and the service was great. I loved seeing people who just wanted to learn more about "us" and our beliefs, who were respectful and kind. It was wonderful. t was also nice serving with a lot of people from our stake, including other family members.

Before the tours started, we were able to take the kids through, which was wonderful. Dylan had been asking for weeks to go. It was almost as if we went to an amusement park, he was SO excited! It was very sweet watching him with his siters throughout the day and seeing him in awe over the temple and the details. Its funny, but I saw a little bit of a change in him while we were there.
Best Friends.
There is no greater joy than seeing my kids playing together and being kind to one another. They all have such different personalities that aid in helping each other learn and grow. They teach each other more than I ever could.
Look at my little future missionary. What a handsome boy!


I just realized I never did an official Easter post!
The kids are ready... (Macey was in taking a nap, so we let the big kids hunt)
Sydney was all about finding eggs this year. It is so much fun to watch and be a part of when the kids get so excited. I love this age!
I was bummed that we didn't get any family pictures this year. I think I have just given up on the idea of ever getting a family picture. It is impossible! (And not worth the stress!) While I was doing the eggs, Cameron put Macey down for a nap, so we never got a picture of the kids all together wither. Grr. Maybe next year.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spanking is the New Spanking

Update on our spanking/yelling

Spanking has been officially ruled out of our house. Since the quarter reward for yelling however, Dylan thinks he is going to get a dollar for spanks. I came upstairs yesterday to Dylan bending over, booty in the air, with a big smirk on his face.

Dylan: Mommy I just want you to spank me
Me: Why? (Realizing what he was wanting I jokingly said, "well, it's going to be a really hard spank then").
Dylan: Well, um, (lowering his booty just a bit, and whimpering a little bit), OK. You can still do it.
Me: Dylan don't worry, I am not going to spank you, we agreed not to do that anymore.
Dylan: Yeah I know, thats just how much I love money

On the yelling note, I am impressed with how much the quarter system has kept me in check. It's more about Dylan reminding me about the quarters that keeps me in check...its great. I raised my voice once yesterday (which really to me was not even close to a yell more of a stern voice) during a very frustrating dinner time. Without any hesitation, Dylan just laughed and said, "mommy you owe me a quarter." Ughh, it wasn't really a yell, but instantly my frustration was over as I got up to get his quarter. I sat back down and we all had a good laugh. Perfection. I think this is gonna work!

Spelling time!

Dylan loves reading and writing these days. He isn't great at it, but he is so interested in learning! I am so proud. Dylan came off the bus a couple of days ago with this card in his hand (a paper ripped out of his agenda), "Mommy, I made a card for Quinten in my class. He broke his leg and I just wanted to make him a card on the bus. Read it!"

" i Hop u FEl BEDR QUTEN"
Translation: "I hope you feel better Quinten"

He sounded it out and it made sense to me! He even wrote in the lines! He is coming along...I can't believe he will be in kindergarten next year. Wow, he is going to be six! Insane!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The New Cool

This last week I had the opportunity to go with Macey to yet another world robotics competition to support my bother in law Amir, my sister Emily, and their robotics team the "DPenquineers". Together, Emily and Amir have created and implemented an amazing robotics program at Dos Pueblos High School, my alum. It is an AMAZING program! It even landed Amir the McArthur "genius"award this year which was HUGE considering he was the first ever teacher to have won. Can you believe that!? It was $500,000 bucks, and a huge honor! I can't imagine what that would feel like to just be nominated let alone win. Unbelievable! Along with this incredible award, a book was written this year about Amir and this program that he and Emily created. The book is called The New Cool: A Visionary Teacher, His FIRST Robotics team, and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts. I loved it, and finished it in just a few days. The rights of the book have been bought by Disney and might possibly be made into a movie. Crazy huh!? I am related to a celebrity! HA! It was so fun seeing Amir get asked by these kids to sign their book...It was so cute!Anyway, it was a great week! DP didn't go all the way as I expected them to, but just like sports, one mistake can cost you big in the end. And it did. I have to say though, they had by far the BEST robot in the entire place. They so should have won it all. It was an incredible machine! I didn't get great pictures since I was with two kids for most of the week, but I was able to get a few.DP is the black one on the bottom right.
The Pit
Because Emily needed to be helping with the team, I came in order to help out with Aliya, my 20 month niece. We had so much fun exploring the city.
Here at the metro where we started and ended our days. I love city living and not having to deal with cars. Walking everywhere was SO NICE!Here we are at Forest Park at the St. Loius History Museum. They had an entire exhibit on the World fair of 1904. One of my all time Christmas movies (which isn't really even about Christmas) is Meet me in St. Loius. This very fair was a big focal point of the film, an a big part of the song that Judy Garland sang:

Meet me in St. Louis, Louis,
Meet me at the Fair
Don't tell me the lights are shining
Anyplace but there
We will dance the "Hoochie-Koochie"
I will be your "Tootsie-Wootsie"
If you will meet me in St. Louis, Louis,
Meet me at the Fair.

I couldn't stop singing it as I was walking through the exhibit. It was kinda funny, but the kids liked it. (I think!)
  • Here we are at the St. Loius zoo. It was awesome!
    The bears.
    Again, my pictures aren't great at all, but like I said, I kinda had my hands full. It was a great week, and I am so thankful and honored that my sister let me come and watch her little one. Aliya is SO cute, and so smart! I loved getting to know her better and I loved getting to be a part of something so incredible. Oh did I mention I saw Morgan Freeman?

  • Becomming a Better Parent

    A few weeks ago Dylan and I were having a conversation about being better. Being a better brother, son , and mommy. I asked Dylan what he wanted to me to work on, or rather, what he thought I needed to work on. His answer will stay with me forever. "Mommy, I think you yell too much". Now the reason why this hit me so hard was that I remember saying this very thing to my own mother as a kid, to which she responded, "I do not yell very much, don't be ridiculous!". Maybe she didn't yell that much, but I sure do remember thinking she did. I hated that when she yelled all the time, or what seemed to me as all the time. And you know what, I responded nearly the same way to Dylan that my mother did to me "I do not yell that much do I?" Dylan responded with, "yes mommy, you do." Ouch!

    Since this conversation, I have been really trying to make an effort to not raise my voice, no matter how chaotic things may be. (With three kids I fell like raising my voice is the only way to get them all to stop what they are doing and listen...but I obviously need a new method). I have been doing pretty well, but I read this article last night and decided to go ahead and try it. I told Dylan I would give him a quarter every time I is a win win for both of us! So now he is really paying attention hoping that I yell, and I am more aware of what I will be losing if I do. In fact, I tried it out by yelling something funny just to test it, and sure enough he held out his hand for his payment. I hope this cures me! :)

    Here is the article: I thought it was excellent!

    Want to Be a Better Parent? Ask Your Child for Feedback


    It's time we started a parenting revolution. I'm talking about how we communicate and conduct ourselves with our children. Most of us grew up in a culture where parents were put on a pedestal. In other words, they believed that they had the right to be a particular way because they were in charge: "I am your mother and you do what I say." As a corporate coach I tackle this issue in the workforce, as well. Just because you're the boss doesn't mean you have the right to be a jerk. The best way to become a great leader at home or work is to get off your pedestal and start owning your own crap. You will be amazed by how quickly your home environment can shift when you tackle who you are as a parent.

    Why do we think that as parents, we can do whatever we want with our children?

    When my daughter was about 6 and a half, I sat down with her and said, "I want be a great mommy. I know there are things about me that don't work. I'm sure there are things you don't like. What can I do to be a better mommy?" She didn't have to think about it. She knew exactly what I needed to fix. She asked if I would stop interrupting her and saying "no" before she finished speaking. I could say "no," but I needed to hear everything she had to say first. Then she asked if I would stop screaming at her and just use my words. I was allowed to be mad and tell her how I felt, but she didn't like to be screamed at. It reminded me of how I felt when my mother screamed at me. I would tune her out or curse her under my breath. It didn't work when my mom did it either. Why would it work with my daughter?

    The first step toward changing your relationship with your child is to make the commitment to be a remarkable parent.

    I heard everything my daughter said. I promised her that I would work on myself and stop doing those things. I told her that if I interrupted her again before she finished telling her story, I would pay her a dollar. I would also pay her a dollar if I lost my temper and screamed at her. From that day on, every time I interrupted or screamed at her, I paid her a dollar. That conversation changed our relationship. Now she knows that she can talk to me and let me know if something is bothering her. This doesn't mean I don't discipline my daughter; it just means I don't get to be a jerk.

    How to get off your parental pedestal:

    1) Interview your children.

    Sit your children down and tell them you want to be a better parent. Ask them about your bad traits and what you need to do to be a better parent. Listen openly to what your children say. They are genius at it. They know what works and what doesn't. Don't get defensive or mad at them. They need to feel safe and that they won't get into trouble. Sometimes it helps if you first give them an example of one of your bad traits (e.g., "I know when I get angry I shut down and pull away").

    2) Ask how the bad trait makes them feel.

    After you've listened to what your children have to say, ask them how it makes them feel when you treat them that way. Trust me when I say that you will want to stop the bad trait immediately when you find out how your behavior is negatively impacting your children. Recently, a coach at my company interviewed her 12-year-old son about her parenting. He told her that whenever she was mean to him, he thought it meant she didn't love him. You don't want your crap to screw up your relationship with your children.

    3) Choose what traits you're going to fix.

    After you've spoken with your children, make a list of all your negative traits and the issues you need to fix. Choose three negative traits or behaviors that you want to change. Own those negative traits; become aware of them. Once you see them and know they exist, that's when you can truly take them down.

    4) Implement a consequence system.

    Sit with your children again and tell them what traits or behaviors you are going to tackle and stop doing. Come up with a consequence for each behavior. I always like the consequence of putting money in a jar (e.g., a dollar every time you break your promise), which your child can spend on something fun like pizza or a movie when the jar is full. Once you start implementing consequences, you will notice a shift in your relationship with your children almost immediately. They will respect you for being honest with them and owning your own crap.

    I'm always taking on what isn't working in my life and continue to have ongoing conversations with my daughter about who I am as a parent.

    When you get off your pedestal, you are taking responsibility for who you are as a person. It will make you feel happy and proud of yourself. You're also teaching your children that it's OK to have crap as long as you own it and try to fix it. This creates a deeper connection between you and your child. They will always know that you're working on yourself and trying to be a better person and parent.

    Recently, I was at my brother-in-law's birthday party, and we went around the table all sharing what we liked about him. When it came to his 8-year-old daughter, she said that she liked how he always apologized whenever he did something wrong. It was a great moment. As parents we're not perfect. There's no reason to be on a pedestal and pretend that we are.