Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Parenting PK

Parenting is hard. I don't think anybody can dispute that. 
After reading on a friends blog awhile back- I've decided to compile a few things that 
we do in parenting PK and will use as a guideline for the rest of our babies.  
{Mingled with a few random pics of the kid}

Some of Our House Rules: 
Be Respectful- Since a newborn- we  have respected PK and his personal preferences and personality- but we require respect in return- not only of us- but of all adults. One simple way we do this- is by calling people with their proper title. I call my friend Cherstin, but he calls her Sister Morris (meaning that is how I refer to her when I'm talking to him) or Mrs. Morris would be fine too- also Aunt and Uncle etc. etc.
Be Obedient- We do not expect complete obedience from PK. Since he isn't going to be baptized until he's 8- I need to remember that he isn't capable of being fully obedient now. I read in Babywise (my favorite parenting book aside from the scriptures) that at around 2 I can expect 100% obedience 60% of the time. I honestly have no idea how I am supposed to gauge that- but it does help me remember that he is 18 months old- not 18.  However, there are things that we do teach him and actions that are not acceptable.

Here are somethings that Jed and I do to help teach and discipline PK. 

1. Redirecting- this is basically where we redirect his attention to something else. This works well  because he often finds things that he isn't allowed to play with- so we will redirect his attention to a more suitable toy or activity. Sometimes- if he gets really upset about taking it away- it helps to move to another room to find a different activity. Usually- he will have totally forgotten about the other toy.

2. Isolation- this sounds awful- but it's not. Basically this is where we put him in an undesirable place. This is either his crib for a few minutes if after several warnings he isn't behaving- or we'll move his high chair in the hall with no food if he's throwing food or in some way being disobedient during meal times.
**We have heard and read that having isolation in the crib can associate the crib with bad feelings- so night times/nap times can become a hassle.  We stopped doing crib time when we first heard this. We have since re-started because we've never have problems with nap time- but if later on we have a child that does struggle with nap time- we may try something different. Isolation is what we use if PK needs time to calm down. He has a hyper and social personality- so being by himself helps him to calm down- and it's something he doesn't like- which means he knows that he has crossed the line whenever he is put in his crib. 
3. Quick time-out-- This happens when he really just needs to get taken out of the situation. This is where we will hold PK and his hands and wait for him to calm down. This usually takes about 2 minutes. Jed usually does this- mostly because he gets a quick time out if he pinches/bites/hits me or anyone else.
4. The Flick- I really don't believe in spanking. I could go on and on about it- but it's just a form of discipline that we won't use. However, if PK bites me- or anyone else- I flick his mouth. As I am writing this I am second guessing my reasoning behind this- but I don't do it to hurt him- I use it so that I bring attention to what is not okay- using his mouth/teeth in an inappropriate way.
** To my knowledge (meaning I am not always with him when he's with other children) he has only tried to/actually bitten another child three times. This is three times WAY too many for me- but I recognize that he is only 18 months and I have to understand where he's coming from.
5. Loss of Privilege/Natural consequences- If PK is being disobedient- where he is throwing a toy or making an unnecessary mess or whatever- then he gets that thing taken from him- pretty self explanatory :)

6. Love, Love, Love, Love, Love!   I think it is important to note that parenting is to be done with love. If I can feel myself getting worked up over something- then I give myself a time out- or change activities. The Lord taught us through love and kindness- even when there was reproof. This is definitely what Jed and I strive for and will continue to work on- there can never be too many hugs and kisses- especially at the end of a time out.

Just a hodgepodge of random things: 
PK also has "chores" that are simple tasks that he does to help around the house (meaning that I am trying to teach him at an early age the importance of work and of helping the family-- I could do all of this MUCH quicker! )
---pick up toys
---put dirty clothes in the laundry basket
---put the recycling in the bin in the kitchen
---brush his teeth (Jed and I brush his teeth 2 times a day- but at least once PK will brush his own teeth to practice
---pick up the pillows when I am straitening up the living room


I really would love to hear your own opinions- whether you are a seasoned parent or not. I know that parenting is a personal thing- but I would love to hear things that have/haven't worked- or what you think about our ideas. Hope you are having a great Leap Day! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Just a lil' different

I made this blog so that I could post about being crafty, topics on my mind, etc.  It was supposed to be my-space. But, alas, my family is my life.
Yup. Another post about PK.
If I get around to any cool crafts or something I'll post that too :) Promise. 

The morning my baby was born was a beautiful one. After a check-up leading to an induction, labor, and not sleeping for 48 hours- he finally came! It was a beautiful moment. For a few minutes I couldn't even see him because tears were streaming down my face. He was just so small was all I could think. After blinking a ton to get the tears out- I saw him. I don't remember him crying- but he probably was. He was finally here. All 9 months of torture had finally paid off. It was all totally worth it. 

And then they took him. "He has to get cleaned off," they said. I had got to hold him for awhile and I knew there were things I had to finish before my work was done... so it wasn't too terrible. Until the hoard of nurses and who knows who came in. 

They were surrounding him like he had won first prize at the fair. They were whispering- but I could tell they weren't chatting about his cute, little nose.  
Apparently, Jed had seen what they were talking about- but just didn't say anything so that I could get to hold him. 

Oh, gosh! He was SOOOO little! 
He was born with a hemangioma. Basically it's a benign tumor made up of blood vessels. No idea how it was created- obviously in utero because he was born with it. 
They did an ultrasound of it at the hospital just to make sure there wasn't anything "extra" in it- and it came out "normal." 

It has since gotten smaller but is still noticeable. People usually just ask, "What's that?" and I laugh because they usually think it's a bruise or something.
{I even had a sitter think that he had gotten it while she was babysitting!}
It hasn't caused him problems in a long time. He usually laid on his back like that (with his arms up) so I don't think it bothered him while he was sleeping. I nursed him so that we weren't putting any extra pressure on it (after I figured out that's why he was struggling to nurse on that side!) but so far it hasn't caused much trouble. 

I forgot how much they sleep at that age! 
We were told that it would go away- usually by 5 but no later than 10. I think being a boy it won't bother him much- and I have always thought that if it did bother him- then we would look into having it removed. 

I guess I don't really know why I'm posting about this now- aside from the fact that this kid as had more medical issues in his 18 months of life than most do in a lifetime. I may take a few days to chronicle them. Just so he never forgets what he put his momma through :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Real Life nightmare

I have my nightmares categorized.
 {Don't you?}
I have my unrealisitic nightmares- the one where I'm being chased by Fred Flintstone or fall into a latrine toilet. I have my ultra scary nightmares- the one where Jed dies and I suddenly find out I am 9 months pregnant. But then I have my real life nightmares. Ones that could happen- and probably will- and I think about what I would do if it were to happen today. 
Well Saturday- I lived a real life nightmare. 

Okay- so PK got 3 stitches in his lip. He tripped and hit his mouth on the dishwasher. Not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of life. But man- that kid bled like crazy! I mean blood everywhere. It was like some deer was drained in our bathroom. 

Red. No longer on my favorite color list. 

I've seen my fair share of blood- I mean Jed has blood noses about once a week. But there's something about being a mother that makes the situation totally different when it's your own child. 

When I first saw his lip open up- I literally couldn't breathe. Not to mention he was crying- and when he has gotten hurt in the past (even when I think- oh man! that must have hurt) he doesn't cry for very long. 
Not a real cry anyway. Sometimes when he's tired he'll have a whiny cry for awhile... but you know what I mean. 

So we drove to the immediate care instead of Stake Conference and after having it examined they said that we needed to go to the Emergency Room because they were better equipped for the situation. 

After waiting.... FOR.E.VER!!!.... He finally got stitched up. 

We were in the hospital room for a long time- so naturally PK got pretty restless. He wanted to touch every button and lever and instrument in the room. He pushed the stool to every corner about a bajillion times. 
He read every book, did every puzzle, ate all his snacks and them some... and I was going crazy! 
Jed wasn't feeling the greatest and was pretty tired- so I followed PK around and tried to get him to sit still- but after deciding that wasn't gonna happen- I just made sure he didn't stick his fingers in any of the sockets. 

But when it came time for the stitches- I beamed with pride at how well he behaved. They wrapped him up in a blanket so that he would stay still- but he didn't have any trouble with that. He sat there stiff as a board while they were giving him the shots to numb his lip. They had to stick the needle right into his cut and he didn't even FLINCH! 
{I however was holding his ankles and just watching the clock. I was focussing on my breathing and just praying it would get over soon. I'm pretty sure the nurse was more worried about me than PK}

The stitches took about 10 minutes and we were maybe 2 minutes down the road when PK fell asleep. His stitches appear to be healing fine and we got some tylenol for him so that hopefully it doesn't bother him too much. 

Nothing would have prepared me for that moment in time. No book, or family's advice, or role-playing would have prepared me for that feeling. The feeling that I would have done anything in order to take back that moment. I would have given anything to take that pain from him.  I wish I could just hold him in my arms and never let him have to suffer again. 

I know as a parent that has got to be one of the hardest things. Seeing your baby in pain and not being able to take it all away.

 I'm grateful for a husband who was pretty calm the whole time and was able to help me be calm. I'm grateful to all the people of medicine who studied so much and went to school forever so that in that moment they could tell me what I needed to do for him. Most of all, I'm grateful for my Savior who was there with me the whole way. Helping me stay calm and whispering words of encouragement the whole time. 
[Seriously though this kid is 18 MONTHS! He's already been to the hospital twice. I see many slings, and casts, and doctors visits in our future. MANY!!!}

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

I woke up to this today :) 

What a cute hubby I have. 

I really have always loved Valentine's Day. I guess because throughout my life I have been surrounded by great friends and family who have helped me to feel loved. Now that I'm married it's even more fun to show extra love in a fun way for this holiday. I'm a believer that love should be showed everyday- not just once a year- but I still love to get giddy and excited about heart shaped strawberries and love notes for V-Day. 

Here is our V-Day decor- pretty simple: 
Sorry about that crazy flash! 

So if you can't see in the picture- in the center of the mantel is a picture from our wedding with our announcement, and propped up behind that is the knife set we used to cut our cake. AWWW. I know :) 

I hope you have a great holiday- whoever you get to spend it with. XOXO

Friday, February 10, 2012

Healing Hurts

**Not typical to my blog- this post is about a horrific murder that has shaken my soul. Proceed with caution. ***

I can now officially say that Dr. Phil has helped me. 

A recent story that has shaken my home, Utah, and even the nation has really effected me. The story I am referring to is the Susan Powell missing person case and the devastating murder/suicide fire involving her husband and 2 sons. 

The link above explains the details of the fire- but basically the husband of missing Susan Powell- started his house on fire during a supervised visit with his 2 sons. He, Josh, locked the case worker outside and then supposedly tried to kill his sons with a hatchet. Then with accelerants used- his house burst in to flames- killing himself and his two sons 5 and 7.

I have been reading everything about this story. Purposefully making every effort to watch the 4:00, 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 6:30, and 10:00 o'clock news. Using the KSL news app on my phone every few hours. Searching the internet for news articles near Tacoma, Washington for any new information. 
{You could say I am obsessed.}
It has effected me to my core. I have personal experience with the court system and I guess that connection strung a resonating cord that just kept ringing.   
The thought of the boys and the suffering that they no doubt felt. The thought of Josh Powell and his own issues that he apparently didn't think he could overcome. Of the families and friends of this family that are just trying to understand what happened. Explaining to their children that there cousins aren't here anymore. All of this brings me deep, deep sadness. 

In the past, I have suffered with sadness on a regular basis. During this entire ordeal I could feel those feelings coming back. The ones where I was down on myself. Quick to anger. Days where sadness was my most common emotion. I could feel myself slipping. 
However, this time around, 
I was reading my scriptures and saying my prayers. I was playing with PK and reaching out to others. I was going for daily walks. 
{I know this helped}
These things are the reason that I have been getting dressed, having hours of happiness, still acting some-what human (which was not the case in the past).
In the past, I haven't known how to deal with sadness- I didn't have the skills I so desperately needed.
 I have since learned some things that can help.
praying {OFTEN!}
reading the scriptures and writing down my thoughts
talking to friends and family
showering/getting dressed
having a "do-able" To-Do list
thinking positive about yourself
only listening/watching/reading uplifting material 

Dr. Phil today did a special report about the entire Powell situation. He explained that religious beliefs and having a good support system are key to overcoming sadness and grief. 
{I know this to be true.}
I'm grateful that I was able to turn on the TV minutes before Dr. Phil helped me to remember the great principle (who would have thought?) 

Life isn't easy. And I know that I will struggle with sad times again. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father has helped me to learn things I can do to overcome. 
It has truly made all the difference in the world to me.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

.50 Cents A Day

...Is apparently the only thing I need to exercise regularly. 

Okay. Not True. 

I also struggled with finding a buddy to work out with- mainly because most of my friends have access to the BYU facilities and I no longer do- but that was my biggest excuse not to exercise.
I knew that if I gave myself a goal- I needed some kind of accountability- so without it- I wasn't even going to try.
{Lame and Lazy- I know! But that's not what this is about :) }

So after hearing some great advice from our friends- Jed and I decided to give something new a try. They suggested paying themselves .50 cents each/day that they exercise. 

So what was the first thing I did? Went and found a VERY CUTE vase to hold our counters. 

If you look very closely- you will see our progress: 

(view from the top of the vase looking down) 

There's that bottom portion of the vase that is taking FOREVER to fill in- but I think we have started to fill the actual vase now. 

So we are saving up for the rest of our ski trip (we already had saved up some money from presents etc. but we are going to use this money to pay for the rest.)

It's fun to work towards something as a couple. It binds us together in a new and different way. Last night we watched some funny game show clips on Youtube (totally worth a few minutes BTW) and my abs hurt each time I laughed! 
Yay baby! Here's to summer!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Romantic Night {on the cheap!}

yes we are "newlyweds." yes we are in love. 
but that doesn't mean we are untouched from those {blah!} months weeks where we let life and the day-to-day get in the way of our marital relationship.

We are coming up on 3 years of marriage- and we decided that whether we were nearing our 5th or 50th anniversary- we were going to do whatever it takes to "keep the spark alive."

One night- after telling Jed that we needed to do something fun- that is exactly what we did :)

We built a fort! It's sad- but it's the first fort we've ever made! We gathered our supplies {chairs, furniture, blankets, pillows, TV, DVD (Somewhere in Time) & snacks} and got to work. We built the fort- with a few minutes of planning and sketching (JKJK) Then while Jed was setting up the TV- I got to work making the desserts.
{I mean, what's better than some smoothies and ice water??}
I made the smoothies by adding a bunch of random fruits and veggies and maybe some ice cream too- they were yummy! The ice water is a must have around here- oh how I love our ice maker :) 
After a long week- this was just what the Dr. ordered (literally... man that kid was T.I.R.E.D)

We grabbed a few extra blankets and our pillows and snuggled up in our cool fort.  We gabbed for a bit about all the trending topics, and I talked about every single current woe in my life. {It was perfect.}Then we turned on our movie- and we slept all night in the fort. It was fun waking up and snuggling in a new, fun place. 

I love trying out new things- and this really takes the cake. I mean, it's free, it's fun, and it's romantic. To me- those three are the makings of a perfect night out {or IN!}