So glad you came to visit today! Here at my little corner of bloggy world I share a little bit about everything--family, parenting, goals, struggles, photography, recipes, n more! So curl up with a cup of hot tea {or not} and feel free to peruse around my site! Check out my sidebar for links. And come back again!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Anger Management.

I try to be real on this blog. I don't want to just share all the good ideas and happy stories. I want to share the ups and downs, in hopes that it would help even one person out there dealing with the same thing. So today I want to open myself to you readers and share an area in which I've been struggling: anger towards my 2-yr old toddler. I've had a really hard time lately controlling my anger and frustrations with Eli. I've been disciplining out of anger and yelling and just not being a good example to my son. I know it and I hate it and I so want get control again. I was talking to a close friend about it, got some good ideas from her, and have been reflecting on the following Bible verses on anger and patience:

Proverbs 14:17 "A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated."

Proverbs 14:29 "A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly."

Proverbs 16:32 "Better is a patient man than a warrior, a man on who controls his temper than one who takes a city."

Proverbs 19:11 "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense."

Ephesians 4:22-5:2 "...put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness... In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold... Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs [even to my toddler]... Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another [even to my toddler], forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love..."

Colossians 3:8,12-14 "But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips... as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

Galatians 5:22 "...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."

1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

Ecclesiastes 7:9 "Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools."

If I don't display patience, kindness, and self-control then I am no better off than my toddler throwing tantrums. He will learn more from watching me then he will ever learn from what I tell him. It is so very important for me to get a grip on life and give him a good example to follow by using God as my strength instead of relying on myself.

When I was talking to my friend Angie she gave me some good ideas of how to discipline. They had just started this with their toddler and it sounded good to me, so we gave it a shot and so far I think it's really helping! So here's what we do: first step, when Eli disobeys or does something he knows he shouldn't we take him into the bathroom for his discipline. This alone makes a HUGE difference. 1) That short walk into a separate room helps me calm down and get control of the situation. 2) It helps to separate Eli from what he's upset about, whether it's a certain toy he wants or something he's wanting to get at. second step, spanking. third step, since disobeying us is disobeying God, we have Eli say, "Sorry, God, for _____ (yelling at Mommy, throwing the toy, hitting Grandma, etc)" I love that this step helps Eli recognize and confess what he has done wrong. fourth step, we don't leave the bathroom until Eli is calmed down. When we do return to the scene of the crime, Eli is so much better. He really seems to be responding well to this. And it's also easy to follow through when we're not at home, because we're already used to going to a separate room. So, thank you, Angie for all your help!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Activity: Collages

I did this one with Eli a couple weeks ago. As we were cleaning things out for our move, I went through all my old magazines cutting out pictures for Eli to use to make collages. All kinds of pictures of things he relates to: dogs, Elmo, teddy bears, milk carton, flowers, flags, cars, balls...anything. I put them all in a baggie and in his craft box so they'd already be ready whenever we wanted to do this activity. The way we do it is I draw a star on the paper where I want Eli to glue, and then he sticks the picture on. If it's a big picture then I draw a big star, and so on. Just a simple thing, but he gets so excited about it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Activity: Pumpkin Faces

Today's fall activity was making pumpkin faces. I drew four pumpkins on construction paper, then cut out face pieces and separated them into piles for eyes, noses, and mouths. Then Eli picked which eyes he wanted, found a matching eye, then nose and mouth and I helped him glue them on. Very easy, but boy, was he excited about it!

All set up
Working hardPressing it downSo happy
Eli showing off his work: #1#2
#4Finished productsNow on display in the dining room!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Toddler Time.

We've been back in Iowa for 3 weeks now (hard to believe it's been that long already!) and we've had a lot of ups and downs. Definitely to be expected with a toddler during a time of so much change. Throughout the process I'm figuring out when Eli is fine and when he's definitely NOT fine. And I'm trying my absolute hardest to keep our days smooth! It helps when we stay at "our" house where there's more space for Eli to play and his toys are all right there. It's not even like he plays a TON with his toys, but for whatever reason he's pretty rotten every time we go to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Within just a few minutes he'll be bouncing off the walls, rowdy, and just throwing a lot of fits. So I've figured out that we just need to stay put as much as we can and not plan too much. I've also been working hard to put more structure into his day by providing specific activities for him. Before we even moved I had started thinking about how I wanted to make our days more productive with learning and doing real quality activities together. Even if it's just one or two of these things in a day, I at least put together a little list of things for me to pick from, and as our days our more stable we'll work more things into our daily routine.

1. Flash cards-- letter sounds, numbers
2. Craft (anyone have good links for toddler craft ideas??)
3. Story time/ Bible time
4. Song time
5. Counting/sorting activities
6. Blanket time (~40 minutes of individual play time)
7. Show/movie
8. Cooking
?? Any more ideas, anyone?

Time has really passed me by and I'm just now starting to really get excited about fall, so I've been thinking about fun fall activities to do. Today we made pumpkin cookies! Just nice and easy, those cookies that are ready to go and all you do is put it on the pan and bake. Very manageable for little Eli!
Ooo, they're getting fatter!
And done!
Ready to eat!
I've got a fun activity planned for tomorrow doing pumpkin faces, so hopefully soon I can share about that!

My new favorite thing

So we just got a new double stroller system, Baby Trend Sit & Stand, right after we got back to Iowa. It's soooo nice to have since we weren't able to fit the double jogger in the van when we moved, and it got left behind with all the rest of our things. This serves a different purpose from the jogger though. The double jogger is GREAT for walking outside which I love to do, but because the front wheel does not pivot (meaning you have to lift the front in order to make turns) and it's pretty wide, it is not good at all for indoor use, which I knew when we got it (off Craigs List) so I'm fine with that. For quite awhile I could just put Eli in his umbrella stroller and Hannah in the front pouch, and I still do that sometimes, like at the grocery store, but if I'm in a place where I know Eli is going to want "up", like at a parade or aquarium or zoo, then I can't be carrying Hannah in the pouch. So we got this new stroller for outings or shopping, and right now since I don't have the double jogger, it's just fine for walks too! And wow, I love it!

Eli can stand on the back or sit (he likes to sit facing forward even though it's meant for him to ride backwards). And Hannah can sit in the front seat or if she was asleep in the car, then her car seat can transfer to the stroller. It's kind of bulky with the car seat on the front, but it's definitely nice to have that option, since no one likes to wake a sleeping baby! This stroller gives Eli independence and makes him feel like a big boy, while at the same time keeping him contained, which everyone knows is very necessary with a toddler! It's easier to get him to just "hop on" than to get him to hold my hand or strap into a stroller all the time.

This stroller is very lightweight and easy to fold! I can even fold it up and put it in the van while holding Hannah on my hip at the same time! It's not bulky, except when the car seat is on it (just my opinion), and very easy to steer! There's a good storage basket underneath, though I haven't needed to really use it much. The attachments (car seat adapter or snack tray) are very easy to put on. And it's really a pretty good price, purchased at Target!

So yeah, I definitely love the new stroller and just thought I'd share my thoughts in case you were thinking about what to get for your own family!

Eli sitting
Eli standingWe didn't have the umbrella stroller with us this day, so we used this stroller and brought Mr. Bear along with us on our walk to the park while Hannah stayed home to nap.
Hannah was asleep when we decided to stop at the park.

I also have a review on our pouch carrier, but I'll have to wait 'til Kevin's back with the computer so I can post our pics of it. So stay tuned for more about my favorite products!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Not just a box.

I'm trying to use this blog for parenting/mom/wife/personal posts and the other blog for kid news, family updates, and pictures. Though it's harder to separate than I thought! (and no, Paul, I'm still keeping both blogs). Anyhoo... just wanted to share a fun project I worked on while the kids were in bed/napping this week: a play kitchen made out of cardboard boxes (mostly diaper boxes!). Check it out, I think it turned out really nice and Eli loved playing with it all day today! I don't anticipate it will last REAL long, seeing as it's only cardboard and I have a rowdy 2-yr old boy, but it'll be fun for now! And it was fun for me to create! Only had to buy a good sturdy roll of packing tape and bottle of rubber cement. Already had scissors and construction paper. How's this for a cheap toy!

the white box on the left is the fridge, in the middle is a drawer with the microwave on top, and on the right is a cupboard.
inside of the fridge
the drawer, counter top, window, and microwave
stove and cupboard
inside the cupboard, except now we have a more things to put in it once we made a trip to the local thrift store!
and my toddler having so much fun!
Sooo, whatdoyathink?? Did I do good??

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Family Updates

I started another blog for our family updates and still haven't quite figured out what I'm putting on which blogs. But for now I'll just be updating Sincerely Yours so check back there for the updates on our move and job search.