Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

How did you celebrate Father’s Day?

In our house we let daddy sleep in until about 7:30am, made him french toast and scrambled eggs, and then let him enjoy his cup of coffee in semi-quiet.  The emphasis is on semi.  The boys then gave daddy a biscuit joiner as his father’s day gift.  Yes, I know it’s not as creative as the wonderful mother’s day gifts that I received, but it’s something he has been begging for for a long, long time.

And then, Ryan took daddy to see Toy Story 3 in the theater.  This was Ryan’s first movie on the big screen and daddy said he did great!  He watched intently and ate all of his popcorn.  He even sat still through the whole movie.  Ryan was so proud when he got home and was so excited to tell mommy and Owen all about it.

Mommy:  “Ryan!!  How was the movie?”
Ryan:  “Good!  Really, really good!”
Mommy:  “What was your favorite part?”
Ryan:  “Ummm….. the popcorn!!”

Oh well.  I should have known better with a question like that.  He did actually love the movie too though and told me bits and pieces about it all afternoon.  He thought it was pretty funny when Buzz switched to Spanish mode and started dancing.  He even showed me how he danced.

Daddy and Ryan both gave the movie two thumbs up!  And now mommy can’t wait to see it.  Who knows?  Maybe mommy and Ryan will go again before it comes out on DVD.

After a little afternoon nap (yes, all four of us slept!) we headed out for a late afternoon swim.  The boys did great and are becoming quite the little fishies in the water.  Owen even practiced jumping off the edge of the pool!  He went from screaming in the water on Saturday to jumping off the edge on Sunday.

You never know what a day will bring…..

We hope you had a super fantastic Father’s Day daddy!  We love you lots and lots and lots.


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Since time out doesn’t seem to be working for Ryan and Owen right now, can mommy take one instead? I will gladly go sit in the other room with the door closed.  Alone.  Quiet.  Away from the temper tantrums.  Quiet.

We’ve had a tough stage with Ryan and the temper tantrums have resurfaced from his early terrible two stage.  But this time it’s far worse than it was back then.

When he was going through these tantrums at the age of 20 months it was clear he was frustrated and he didn’t know how to and couldn’t communicate what the frustrations were and what was causing them.  But with the tantrums now he clearly knows what the frustration is and can verbalize it, but instead he flat out refuses to listen and he will scream and cry and yell and hit and become so upset that you can’t calm him down.

What should we do?  How do we stop this?  How do we deal with the tantrums?

What we have been doing is definitely not working.  If we put him in time out he will just scream.  And I mean scream.  It’s not crying, but screaming at the top of his lungs.  If we take something away (like a favorite toy) he doesn’t seem to care.  You can not talk to him and reason with him until he’s calmed down.  And when you do talk with him he knows exactly what he did and why he was being naughty.  And his response “I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry.”

Clearly, he did mean to though.  Otherwise he wouldn’t have done it.  He knew what his actions were and why they were naughty.

Mommy:  “Ryan, why are you in timeout?  Why was mommy so upset with you?”
Ryan:  “Because I didn’t listen.  Because mommy said to put my jammies on and I didn’t listen.”
Mommy:  “That right Ryan.  And why else is mommy so, so sad right now?”
Ryan:  “Because I hit mommy.  I didn’t put my jammies on and I hit mommy.”
Mommy:  “And why did you do that Ryan?  Hitting is not nice and it is not acceptable right.”
Ryan:  “I sorry momma.  I didn’t mean to.  I love you sooooo much.”
Mommy:  “I love you too buddy.  But we cannot hit.  If you are frustrated and upset you need to tell me and not hit ok?”
Ryan:  “O-tay momma.”

He gets it.  He definitely gets it.  But that is what is so frustrating.  He does get it, but he still does it.  I know he’s only 3 and a half years old.  And I know that temper tantrums happen.  But HELP!  It’s wearing mommy and daddy down right now.  We’re both stressed with work.  We’re up late at night to get everything done that needs to get done.  We’re tired.  We’re crabby.  And our patience is worn thin.

I know that part of Ryan (and Owen) reacting the way they have been with tantrums and such is a direct reflection of our stress and lack of patience.  I am aware of that.  And I am trying to recognize it and not let it show, but it’s hard.  And it’s especially hard when you have a toddler throwing a full out temper tantrum because he didn’t want to put on his pajamas.  Little tasks like that should never result in what seemed like the entire family crying last night (yes, mommy and daddy included!).

My cousin is going through the same with her 2 year old right now at It Keeps Getting Better.  And between the two of us, we need your advice.  HELP!

How do you handle tantrums?  Is there an easy way to avoid them before they start without just giving the child whatever it is that they want and letting them rule your household?  Does anyone out there have any simple advice to offer?

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Another week is gone and another Tuesday is here!  Another busy week behind us and I’m sure another on the way.

This week’s Tuesday Ten is a listing of the ten places I have traveled to that I love, love, love!

  1. New York City, NY:  I love the busyness of this city and everything it has to offer.  I love how there are so many people in such a small area and how there is always something to do at any given moment regardless what that desire is.  I love all the culture including the Broadway shows, restaurants, museums and of course shopping!
  2. Minnneapolis, MN:  The land of 10,000 lakes.  I love the Spring, Summer and Fall there (notice how there is no mention of Winter?!).  I love boating and biking and walking and spending time down by the lakes in South Minneapolis.  Love this city!
  3. Breckenridge, CO:  We got married there.  We got married at this really cute little yellow church with a red door by the most awesome pastor ever.  We rented out this bed and breakfast in Dillon, CO for our family and friends to stay in for our wedding weekend.  What a beautiful weekend it was.  It even snowed that weekend while we spent time in the hot tub.  Oh, I should mention that our wedding was June 11 so snow was not expected.
  4. Gordon, WI:  This is the place where our cabin is located.  I love Gordon, WI.  Things are simple there.  Cell phone reception is not great.  Beers are $1.50 each and you can see Northern Lights and shooting stars as you sit around a bonfire at night.  Everything is just so still and calm there.  You can hear the leaves crunch under your feet as you walk and as the geese land on the lake you can hear the swooshing sound the water makes when they hit the water.
  5. St. Maarten:  Who wouldn’t love it here?!  Are you kidding me?  Sandy white beaches, clear blue waters and relaxation around every corner.  Aaaaahhhhhh……
  6. Big Canoe, GA:  Hiking trails, lakes, winding roads and beautiful views.  It reminds me of a mix between the Rocky Mountain towns (Breck, Vail, Aspen, etc.) with a little bit of Gordon, WI thrown in.
  7. Denver, CO:  The mile high city.  There are views of the mountains everywhere you look.  It’s the most dog friendly city I have ever been to; there are places to hike, bike and jog; and you encounter wildlife every where you go.  And for all of you who think that Denver gets tons of snow and has really cold winters, you’d be surprised!  It’s not what you think…. It’s not only the mile high city, it’s the mild, mile high city.
  8. Middle of the Ocean:  Cruises.  I love cruises.  We’ve been fortunate to be able to go on two of them since Jim and I have been together.  We got engaged on one and we went on one as a family last Christmas with Jim’s grandmother, mother, step-dad, aunt, uncle and cousin.  It was a blast.  You can read more about that adventure here.  So much fun.  In fact it was so much fun that every morning when Ryan wakes up we ask him “Ryan, what did you dream about last night?” and his response is always “The ship-boat.  And the beach.  I built a sandcastle on the beach momma.”  Yes, it has been 6 months since we went, but every morning he talks about it and swears he has dreamt about it.  Me too, Ryan, me too.
  9. London, England:  It felt like London was a cross between NYC and Chicago.  They had an awesome Broadway scene, great restaurants and tons of historical venues to visit.  It had the busy feel of NYC in a smaller setting like Chicago.  It was so easy to get around on the Tube.  Or maybe it was my unofficial tour guide (thanks Joel B.).  I loved my experience there and would love to go back some day.
  10. Our Home, GA:  I love our home.  I have traveled for years over the course of my career and while I loved every single minute of it (well almost), I absolutely love being home with my boys.  I love having a routine and sleeping in my own bed each and every night.  I love seeing the smiles on my little guys every morning and I love to kiss them goodnight each night and snuggle with them before they drift off to sleep.  I love our home and those inside of it.

Where are some of your favorite places to visit?  What makes them special to you?

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What a great weekend it was.  Friday night (after a 3 day work trip) I fell asleep snuggling with Ryan at 7:30pm.  Came downstairs around 8:30pm and proceeded to immediately fall asleep on the couch.  Got up around 9:30pm and went to bed for the night.  Pathetic, yes.

Saturday we had some fun in the backyard while daddy mowed the lawn and did yard work.  He then moved the mower across the street and did our neighbors yard since they are still living in San Diego.  I’m not sure their yard had been mowed yet this year so it took daddy several hours, one trip to Home Depot for more landscaping bags and a trip to the gas station for more gas for the mower.  After filling 3 landscaping bags with the grass clippings and edging their yard, it looks wonderful!  Your welcome Kevin 😉

Mommy and the boys ran some errands to the post office, Costco and Publix.  We had one major meltdown from Ryan when he decided to dart out from behind the van as a car was coming around the corner.  Mommy almost had a heart attack and grabbed him very quickly causing him to drop his chapstick.  He cried and screamed at the top of his lungs because I refused to let him pick it up (to prove a point that he should have listened and not dart out in front of a car).  Wow.  That was not a good idea.  I of course grabbed it when he wasn’t looking, but him thinking we left it behind was possibly the most horrible thing that happened to the kid in a long time.  Owen couldn’t stop staring at him as he screamed.   Boy was it loud.  Did you hear him?  It doesn’t really matter where you live in comparison to Georgia, I’m pretty sure you could have heard him if you listened hard enough.

When he finally calmed down I explained to him how dangerous that was what he did.  And of course, I showed him that I did pick up the chapstick.  He just looked at me and said “Oh!  Tank you momma.  I sorry.”  Wow.  Melt my heart.

And at each stop I checked in via Foursquare.  Any of you use this application?  It’s kind of pointless, but lots of fun.  It’s neat to see who is at the same location as you.  If you’re using it, look me up!

Then after Saturday afternoon naps for the boys we hosted a little BBQ at our house.  Some friends from Alpharetta who have a little guy, Pace who is a few weeks younger than Owen.  And another family in our neighborhood who have a little 4.5 month old baby, John.  So fun!!  A house of boys, no tears and fruit punch popsicles.  What could be more fun than that?!

Today we did more yard work and mommy decided to dig out our six bushes that had become diseased.  Sounds easier than you think, but let me tell you it was far from easy.  Every muscle in my body hurts tonight as I type this.  Then after cheeseburgers on the grill for dinner mommy decided to climb the hill and do more weeding.  Seriously!  What is wrong with me?!

So two showers later (one after my morning dig and one after my evening weeding); two boys in bed; a tired dog from golfing; and sore muscles, this momma is going to bed early!  Not like Friday night early, but still early none-the-less.

What did you do this weekend?

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I can’t believe it’s already been a week and I haven’t updated everyone on Owen’s last eye appointment.  The morning started like any other.  We were casually getting dressed and motivated for the day (I work from home on Friday so without a 45-60 minute commute we have some extra time) when out of nowhere I remembered that Owen had an eye appointment.  At 8:05am!!  Dang.  On the other side of Atlanta!!  Dang again.  And it was thunderstorming!!  Dang yet again!

Since you know all about how people drive in Atlanta (here), you know I was freaking out.  I grabbed Owen, an Oatmeal to Go, and off we went in the pouring rain.  Luckily daddy hadn’t left for work yet because he had to bring Ryan to Woodchase Academy to save us a few extra minutes.

We got there only about 10 minutes late, but thankfully because of the rain everyone else was late too.  We were seen rather quickly and after some examination they decided to dilate his eyes again just to see if they missed something before in regard to why the surgery didn’t work 100% and why Owen was still having issues.

Everything looked great and Dr. Lipsky said his eyes are very healthy and his vision is great.  They aren’t ready to do another surgery so instead he wants us to try glasses. Dr. Lipsky thinks it may be a focus issue and wants Owen to wear them for 9 weeks or so and we’ll have another follow up appointment.  If the eyes improve we’ll continue with the glasses.  If they do not improve at all we’ll discuss further surgery.  Dang you strabismus!

So far Owen is handling his glasses with no problem.  He keeps them on throughout the day/evening and doesn’t seem to mind them at all.  If they happen to come off he will bring them to you and say “Elp.  Peeze.” (translated means help please) and want you to put them back on.

He looks absolutely adorable in them and seriously looks like he got smarter overnight.  Since he often times has a serious look on his face, when you add the glasses to the equation, he looks like a little genius!  Oh, wait!  He is a little genius!!

Ryan has been begging to wear Owen’s glasses.  Every now and again from the other room I’ll hear the following conversation:

Ryan (while nodding his head up and down):  “O-wee.  You want this?  Yeeeeessssss?  You want this?”
Owen:  “Yes.”
Ryan:  “Yes?  You want this?”
Owen:  “Yes.”
Ryan (handing the toy to Owen):  “Ok.  Here you go.  Now give me your glasses.”
Owen: “NOOOOO!!!!”

Aaaaahhhhh…. brotherly love.  Our little Ryan is quite the persuader.  I think he’s going to be a lawyer.  Or maybe a sales person.  He already has some great tactics and can convince his brother of a lot of things.  But apparently he can’t convince him to hand over the new glasses.

Do any of you have kids with strabismus or know anyone who does?  I’d love to hear some (positive) success stories!  For instance, was surgery successful in your case?  Did you go through multiple surgeries?  How long were glasses worn?  Any advice to share?

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I used to be surprised with some of our conversations between me and Ryan.  But over time, nothing shocks me anymore.  Don’t get me wrong, they still make me smile and laugh to myself, but they don’t floor me like they once did.  For instance….

Mommy:  “Ryan, how are you liking your new big boy room at school?”
Ryan:  “It’s perfectly fine momma.”
Mommy:  “Oh really?!  Perfectly fine?  Where did you learn a word like ‘perfectly’?”
Ryan:  “In my big boy room at school momma.” (add a completely annoyed look like which basically says how could you not know that?)
Mommy:  “Oh.  Alright.  Well, good for you Ryan.”

And later that night after a few more random conversations with Ryan….

Mommy:  “Ryan, when did you grow up on me?”
Ryan:  “I didn’t grow up mommy.  I’m right here.”
Mommy:  “I know you’re right there Ryan, but you act like at least an 8 year old.  Not a 3 year old.”
Ryan:  “Oh.  Well that’s because I’m really tall now.  See?  My jammies don’t reach my feet anymore. I’m SUPER tall.”
Mommy:  “I love you Ryan.”
Ryan:  “I know momma.  I love you too.”

Our little Ryan is definitely a talker.  He wakes up taking and he goes to bed talking.  He doesn’t stop at all (I’m not kidding) throughout the day.  He talks to anyone who will listen.  And if nobody is listening than he just talks out loud to nobody.  He talks to little brother Owen (and bosses him around); he talks to Delta (the dog); and he talks to his toys, the plants, his shoes and well just about anything.  Or nothing.  Whichever.  It doesn’t matter much to him.

He questions every single thing.  He tells you everything he does at the moment he does it.  He is simply amazing.  Our little chatterbox.

Is it a sibling order thing?  Is it a hereditary thing (from his father of course!)?  Or do we just have a chatterbox on our hands?

What is your opinion?

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Or at least that is what you would think by the expression on the little guys face.  Seriously, he would not crack a smile.

It’s hard to believe that he absolutely loves playgrounds and everything that you can find there.  Even at the quietest mention of slide, swing, playground or climb the kid goes crazy.  He starts jumping up and down exclaiming “Yah!  Side!”

(side note: side = slide in Owen’s language)

And if you make mention of any of the above words you better be ready to leave immediately for the playground.  Owen will go find his shoes and stand at the door and wait very patiently for you to come and put them on him and head out the door for some fun.

But don’t be fooled by the straight faced boy featured above.  I guess to Owen, a playground is all business.  There is no room for fun or excitement when someone takes this task on as his job. And I guess I have to give him credit for giving his all to not mix work and pleasure.

If you’re lucky though you may catch him in a moment when he lets his guard down and gives a silly face.

Take some time today to enjoy the little moments and give a silly smile.  What did you do for fun this weekend?

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