Thursday, September 30, 2010

Baby E at 2 months

A full belly and a good stretch feels soooo nice!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A DuHa! moment

I recently had a DuHa! moment. Duh, because I can't believe this didn't occur to me sometime during the previous, oh, 9 years that I've been a parent and Aha! because I think I've had a major realization of what my job as a parent is (maybe that should be Duh! also).

It's not about me.

When my kids "spill" baking powder all over the kitchen floor, it's not about me.
When my kids "decorate" their rooms (walls, blankets, toys, bed frame) with a sharpie marker, it's not about me.
When they have a total meltdown over cleaning up their playroom, it's not about me.
When they have a tantrum over doing their homework, it's not about me.

If it was about me, I'd be angry that they made such a huge mess that they were in no way capable of cleaning up themselves. I'd be mad that they ruined a new bed spread, and left me a lot of work to do with a magic eraser (praise be to magic erasers). I'd be frustrated and feel like throwing their toys in the garbage. I'd be ready to tack on some extra jobs, and maybe do a little tantruming myself.

But it's not about me.

So instead, I show them how to use a measuring spoon without spilling the whole jar (or I keep it out of reach of little fingers), and teach them how to use a broom. I keep permanent markers up high, and kid-friendly markers and paper down low, and get two magic erasers and teach them how to clean their toys. I provide places for each toy to belong, and teach them how to put each toy away before getting out new ones, and sometimes I put toys in time out (but I don't yell, because it's not about me). Finally, I sit down with them and show them how to make a to-do list when they're overwhelmed, and if it helps, we both eat lifesavers to get us through the work.

My Aha! moment was that it's not about punishment for things they do that make me angry or frustrated, it's about teaching them to take care of their belongings, and how to clean things up if they make a mess, and use their words to express frustration, and take a deep breath and take overwhelming tasks one step at a time.

It does my kids no good for me to yell and send them to time out because I'm mad. Time outs are for helping them to calm down and think about things. What I need to do when they do something they shouldn't, is teach them what they SHOULD do next time, and show them how to fix whatever it is that they did.

Seems pretty obvious, but it took me 9 years for the idea to occur to me.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Drying Nectarines

Guess what I've been doing lately?  The nectarine tree looks beautiful this year.  We don't usually can the nectarines, I've actually never tried it, but my mom said they don't can well, and she knows practically everything.  So, we've been eating them, (yum yum!) and drying them as fast as we can rotate batches through the dehydrator.
Pick and wash nectarines
Cut in half and remove pit.  Slice each half into 4 or 5 wedges.  If a piece ends up bigger or smaller than the others, you have to eat it.  A shame, I know.  Place wedges close together on drying sheet.  Load into dehydrator.  (I recommend this one: Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator - ED 2900 Dehydrater - Jerky Maker Food Dehydrator Excaliber)
Dry for somewhere around 20 hours- check occasionally so you don't overdry them.
Store in a airtight container.  If you have room, and want to keep them fresh for a longer period, store the bags in the freezer.

The most difficult thing about drying nectarines is not eating them all before winter even starts.  I keep having to tell the kids that they can eat fresh nectarines if they want, but we need to save the dried ones for when the fresh ones are gone.  (of course, I still eat a few here and there, I deserve it, I did the work, right?).

Zoo Trip

Before my parents left, while my brother and his 3-year-old were here, my mom and I had a 3-year-old-boy-zoo-trip.  Baby E got to tag along also.  It was so fun to see CP and LG play together.  They're finally old enough that they really interact and have fun together.  We were sure sad when they had to leave.  Having cousins your age is so much fun!
CP and LG at the zoo.

Isn't the baby Elephant so cute!

Are we in Peru yet?

We took my parents to the Missionary Training Center this past Monday.  They're going to be there for about two weeks, and then they're off to serve in the Lima, Peru Temple.  We're excited for them- this will be quite the adventure.

CP with Grandpa and Grandma outside their "dorm".
The older boys were at school, so we had my parents, my Mister, CP, and baby E.  As we neared Provo, CP said, "are we in Peru yet?"  He knew that's where grandma and grandpa were going, and thought we were taking them all the way there.