Monday, February 23, 2009

Motivating a 3 year old

Ah my precious Reece a roni. Full of life, energy and more spunk than any of us can handle. I have tried quite unsuccessfully to create a sort of harmony in our house. If you take out a toy (or buckets full of toys in our case) you put them back. You want something, you say please. You get something, you say thank you. You take turns with your sister. You are nice to the pets. These things are non-negotiable in my house.

So, Reece has her own viewpoint on how this should all happen. Mommy picks up all of my toys, I do not use my polite words unless I am prompted (this is by the way is of course after I have obtained a chair or some other object to get it myself to avoid this whole issue) and anything that is Kyleigh's, is mine whenever I want it.
I know she's 3 and she's still just learning all of this, but I really want to make a united front. With Kyleigh when she wouldn't pick up after herself, we would take anything that wasn't put in it's place at the end of the day in a bag and she would lose it. She learned very quickly that if she got toys she needed to take care of them.

We have tried this several times with Reece. She actually helps us put the toys in bags and waves them goodbye. No tears, nothing. Even her beloved matchbox cars have been taken away.

The politeness is getting better and I know that is an age thing. Toddlers naturally have a very strong self view and it takes them a while to get the hang of manners. That one I know will come with time...and Kyleigh's help. It's actually sweet. When Reece will ask for something, Kyleigh will say "mommy, can I show Reece the right way to ask for it" or "Reece, you know you are forgetting something".

So I am reaching out for ideas. I have refused to clean up her room now for 3 weeks, I just take my foot and shove the toys out of the way to make room for us to get to her bed (yes folks, I am not exaggerating that one!). What can I do to get her to help me out? We have trying making it into a game (basketball into the toy buckets), having a race to see who can put it up the fastest (which turns into her expecting a treat every night when she picks up even one toy), we have tried taking the toys away she won't pick up, we have taken away movies, I have not let her come out until the toys have been picked up (the longest she has stayed in her room was almost 2 1/2 hours!) and I have just ignored it thinking she would get tired of it herself (clearly not working at this point!).

She is such a wonderful kid and has just the best personality. She is so sweet and daring and ready for anything at the drop of a hat. I love her spontaneity and her zest for life, even at 3....I just don't want to do anymore acrobatic moves that I am not physically prepared for because I have stepped on a car and am heading face first for the floor!!!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

These Dreams

A central theme that has seemed to be occurring these past couple of weeks has been dreams. Not the kind that you wake up and wonder what in the world you ate before to have such crazy things go through your head, but the ones for your future. Remember before we turned into old boring adults when we had dreams for our futures? Things we wanted to do that we were passionate about. Maybe a job, a trip you wanted to take, the type of family you wanted to have. Over the years it seems we have all done the "responsible thing" and settle into jobs or situations that just made sense or fit into the norm. Why?

What did you want to be when you grew up? I know I changed my mind it seemed a thousand times in college, but not really for the right reasons. When I was a little girl, I wanted my job to be a teacher or an author. I love to learn and I love to teach and I love to write, I always have. I started my teaching degree, but didn't finish because I missed the timing and it would have been a whole year before the classes I needed would be offered again. I felt like I needed to graduate and didn't want to wait, and I couldn't afford to go to school another year! So, I got my Biology degree and was 4 classes short of my teaching certification, always saying I could go back.

I did the sensible thing. Got a good job with my degree, did all the right things, moved up the ladder, never went back. I made it work for me. I was lucky, with my position, I had the opportunity to teach and mentor, so it filled that void.

Listening to close friends this week, I cannot help but think we've all had this on our minds lately. Whether or not we all realized it, we've all been talking about our dreams for our lives....things we want to change, what we would do different, what we are going to do with our's fun to sit and let your mind wonder to the "what ifs".

And not just about jobs, about our families too. Some people know they never want to have kids. I always knew I wanted to have children young and have one of those marriages where I am still completely in love with my husband after 50 years of marriage (7 years and counting!) I am most inspired by listening to dreams for our families. Isn't it funny when you think about it, how we only set limits on ourselves? We feel like our kids can do anything, we feel like our families can do everything. What happened to feeling that way about ourselves individually? What are we teaching our next generation about self esteem and believing you can change any situation you are in? Do we teach them to settle because one day it may all pay off? Or do we get down and figure out what makes us tick and will make a difference? Do you remember what your real passion is? Are you brave enough to go for it or have you set an age limit on yourself like the rest of us?

Pay attention to your dreams....and stay posted for mine.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!

Thought I would just post some recent pictures of everyone since it's been a while. The main theme is our new pug Pugsley! (long story short, the lady that owned Bozwell decided to keep him, so we adopted Pugsley. He is about 15 months old and quite the spoiled boy!). Enjoy!!!

2 Pug Family

Our First Snow!

Kyleigh's acoustic set on Friday night

His favorite place to sleep while I work!

Crazy boy......

Friday, February 13, 2009

Strength to Speak

So, it's been awhile since I have blogged. It's been a tough couple of weeks. My dad has been gone from my life for a month now. I still feel like everything is uncertain and up in the air. I have been praying a lot. I guess dad's passing made me realize life is too short to just settle. You really should be doing what you love to do everyday, you should make time for your family and friends no matter what and you should be using your life to make a difference in others. Mostly, I have prayed for God to put me where I need to be right now. I feel like I am in between, just floating around in a waiting room waiting for my destination to be announced. I am yours now, how will you use me? How would He have me make a difference? A new career? A church? A new opportunity my way?

I had to go to Goldsboro this past Wednesday to settle up a last bit of business for my dad's car. On my way back, I stopped in Wilmington and had dinner with 2 great friends that I miss terribly. One of them I am very close to and the other I don't know as much about, but she is a beautiful person and I would love to get to know her even more. We sat there, 3 ladies without our babies, in front of our Blue Moons and too much fried food to even mention! We talked about lots of stuff and then she said "I called my dad today, I don't know why, but I did". I had no idea about her situation and I didn't want to pry, but with some encourage from my other friend, she started to talk some more. Her dad left when she was a kid and had some problems with alcoholism. Wow, this sounded familiar. As I sat there and listened, normally I wouldn't say a thing. It's not my place to intrude, but I felt different now. I shared a little about how my dad and I reconciled and came back together after so many years. I encouraged her to go to him, to help him with his pride and shame, that he loved her...sometimes you just don't know where to begin or you are too scared too. I was so glad we were sitting because my legs were shaking so badly and neither of us could look each other in the eye because I knew we would both cry. It came so freely. I had cried at the 5 second beginning of a song just an hour before on the way there thinking of him and here I was, speaking about him and filled with his memory and spirit and smiling.....SMILING as I spoke of him. Smiling to think that another relationship can be built back up and they both could overcome their past.

I drove home that night filled with a peace I cannot explain. I was calm as I drove with my windows down and the night air blowing through my hair. It felt so good. And then I realized, my prayer had been answered. I asked to be put where I could be of use, and I was. I never knew it would be a dinner with friends just coming through town, but that was the beauty of it.

If my story helps to give strength to save one relationship, that is something unimaginable. I'm so grateful to be able to share my stories over this blog...and anywhere else God feels like it is needed.