Thursday, July 30, 2009

Picture Day!

Some might say I'm a little crazy about pictures of my kids. I don't always have time or a free hand to break out my own camera as often as I would like, but I do make sure to take my kiddos regularly to Portrait Innovations and get pictures taken. They're inexpensive and they're used to working with kids so as a general rule they do a really great job. I like to get newborn, 3, 6, and 9 months, one year and every year after that. I just really like to capture those milestones. Of course it also means my house is filled with pictures of my kids and not much other artwork, but I like it that way :)
Yesterday was just such an occasion. The primary goal was 3 month pictures of Walker and 2 year pictures of Will, but of course I couldn't leave Gracie out and my sweet nephew Sawyer came along for some newborn shots. Here are just a few of the 131 shots they took.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Discipline Frustrations

2 days in a row, can you believe it! :) I'm going to try to do better, but no guarantees I won't get busy again and be MIA for a week or 2....

Anyway, here's what's on my mind today. Gracie is going to be 4 in December, but it's been clear to be for quite some time that she has has a strong willed, very independent since she was 6 months old. Don't ask how I knew, but it's always been pretty obvious to me and the lion is really making it's way out this year. Don't misunderstand, I think these can be wonderful qualities, I would be proud for her to grow up to be a strong, independent woman. Parenting these qualities, however, is entirely another story. I can't predict the future, but I imagine it is only going to get harder! My patience runs out way too soon somedays and really, try prying a 30 pound child off the floor with a baby in one arm, it's a serious physical challenge too! I like to think I am a good parent when it comes to discipline. I started setting boundaries at an early age, teaching choices and consequences and "punishing" appropriately(taking things away, time out, and the occasional spanking). Some days, though, I feel like nothing works with Gracie. Will is very compliant and helpful. He is happy to go to his room and put his toys away (in the appropriate organized bin) the first time I ask almost every time to the extent of the capability of a just turned 2 year old(and if he can't lift it back on the shelf he puts it neatly out of the way or comes to me for help). I think I'm even more amazed at his ability and willingness to do this because compliance has always been a struggle with Gracie. I have pondered and prayed over it wondering what the root of her stubbornness is. Just her personality or something else? I've watched for triggers and tried to make a connection to the difference between the times she is obedient and the times she is not. Sometimes she is just being childish, other times it is clearly downright defiance. All the time it is VERY frustrating! She certainly isn't a terror child, she's very sweet, helpful and compliant a lot of the time, it's just something I see in her that I want to get a handle on while the stakes are low because I know how much harder it will be if I wait. It has been a goal of mine from the beginning to teach my children to have an obedient heart and positive conscience(doing the right thing because it's right rather than out of fear of getting caught)yes people, children have to be taught these things ;). I have spent every spare minute I have combing the internet for good resources and have found a lot of good info. One thing I know I need to work on is my patience with her, that's awfully hard some days when we're running late and trying to get out the door and she's moving at a snail's pace and acting like a typical woman trying to decide what shoes she wants to wear :) As frustrated as I feel sometimes, I still have very high hopes for her and am thankful for the reminder that parenting is as much about growing me as it is about growing my children.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Chaos and Cakes

I just can't seem to keep up these days! It seems like I think of something else that needs done before I've finished the current task and I start my days with a huge to do list of things that needed to be done yesterday, go nonstop all day long and start the horrible cycle again the next day. I find myself missing meals because I get too busy to sit down and suddenly it's 3pm and all I've had all day is a couple cups of tea and a banana. So I'm working on finding ways to stay more organized which does not come naturally to me! John is away again, he took a temporary assignment at Fort McPherson(sp?) in Atlanta to help cover the lag while we wait wait wait for an active duty assignment. Because of this I am spending a lot of time with my parents in Georgetown to have some extra help with the kids. As wonderful as the help is it makes my days at home all the more stressful because I spend them trying to catch up on things that need done there. I am really looking forward to getting back to a "normal" routine. 2 day a week preschool starts in just a few weeks for Gracie and Will(for the first time! He's so excited) and I find myself wondering where the summer went though I should know it just got lost in the blur of a newborn baby and all the other busy-ness that has taken place in the last few months. My brother got married in June, their sweet baby, Sawyer, was born just a week ago and all of this has seemed to overlap with Walker finally sleeping through the night and hitting that 3 month mark I have been looking forward to which means the start of a more normal and manageable routine with him. I am loving the age he is right now, I really love all the baby stages, but this is one of my favorites. Smiles are abundant, he still naps quite a bit during the day, when he is awake he is easily entertained, and he's still a small sweet baby. I just hate that they change so much in the first year! In spite of all the difficulties we are currently facing I would be a fool to not recognize how very blessed I am, my children amaze me daily and my family has been so supportive.
On a sort of unrelated note, making the cake for Brandon and Heidi's wedding gave me the inspiration I needed to pursue cake decorating further. I've taught myself some over the years making cakes for my family, and now I'm taking classes and have even sold a few cakes! Though I still have a long way to go, I feel the Lord has opened a door for me and I'm really excited to see where it will go!
2 quick plugs before I go, I know I only have a handful of readers(if that many!) but just in case... is an awesome resource for moms of babies, toddlers, and/or preschoolers (or all three if you're like me!). The babywise books have been my go to resource since I was pregnant with Gracie (birthwise) and while I don't agree with/use everything they say, I love most of it and this blog is a great easy way to access and apply some really good parenting info. I've never felt comfortable tooting my own horn so to speak, but yes I already have a (free) website, maybe a little overambitious, but having sold a few cakes and had people show some interest I felt the internet was the easiest way to put my info out there for anyone interested.