Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Live and Learn

With our new-found parenting skills - really a lot of it was coming together with a really consistent method that we both liked - our kids have made some good strides this past week. After only a few days of the new "system" (which is a lot more detailed and better than I make it sound on the last post - we've learned more about it since we started) Logan has shown a notable difference in behavior. He is still his stubborn little self, but I'm starting to feel like we are getting through to him a little more and he's actually been a lot more helpful around the house and obedient. I think part of that too is me being happier and nicer and having more patience with him and actually letting him do more.

One thing that I have noticed is that when I'm disciplining one, the other is learning. If Damon has to go to "calm down time" (that's what we call it) for something, I notice Logan veering away from that and vice versa, especially if it is a new boundary or limit that we have recently talked about. And because we have been consistent with both of them on the rules, Logan doesn't get as mad at Damon when something happens because he knows I'll take care of least if it really is worthy of the now dreaded "Uh-Oh...." It does require me to be a little more on top of things, but I'm finding that because I am, there is less fighting between the two of them and I actually can get things done while they are playing together as long as I still have them in sight. I can clean the kitchen while they are playing cars in the living room and I've even been able to fold laundry in the living room with the door open where I could see them playing outside and they stayed in the boundary...that really was a glorious day for me, you have no idea!

One last quick cute story about that. The other night it was time to clean up and we gave the usual warnings and choices and such that goes into that and Damon was helping clean up all the little cars really well. (He loves to throw them in the bucket and say YAY) Logan was over playing with another toy and I told him that it was time to clean up and we needed his help, and he said no. So I said, Logan, I need you to come and help us clean up please. He said no again, so I said Uh-Oh.....and he immediately jumped up from his chair and was frantically saying, "I can help, I can help" you should have seen the dedication that little boy had to clean up every last toy in the room. It was an awesome mommy moment and exactly the way the Uh-Oh is supposed to be working. It was a rough few days while I was trying to train myself, and them, and it's still a work in progress, but it has been so worth it.Morgan is now in study mode with his final final final final certification board exam in only about 8 weeks. He usually gets to stop at home to grab some dinner play with the kids for a few minutes, maybe throw in a story or two with them and then heads to the library for a few hours of study. Friday night we still get our "date/movie" night and as long as he gets a couple study sessions in on Saturday we can go play together in the evening. This past Saturday after two study sessions we went to the Pleasant Grove Discovery Park.
The boys had a blast. Logan loved this swing because he didn't feel like he was going to fall out. He never lets me push him so high, but he was having a blast with daddy.

Of course we had to have a little snack break and the boys would wander over and grab and handful of fruit snacks and then go back and play some more. It was such a beautiful day. I'm so loving spring and warmer weather.

Damon and Daddy playing with the letters. Damon is really good at his letter sounds, but is still working on the actual letter name. One week every letter is "b" and the next it is "a" :) silly boy.
Logan loves his letters too. He'll sound out a word and then say it spells a completely different word. My favorite is still when he's looking at the letters on the van and says S-I-E-N-N-A spells mama van, now he just does that with letter sounds. :)

Damon is coming out of the little beehive. I don't think he really liked the confined spaces all that much, not with so much to explore.
We've been having a lot of fun with Logan's birthday presents, especially Play Doh and train tracks lately. Some days just those two things will keep them entertained for hours, but other days for only a few minutes.

Logan is getting the hang of putting the tracks together by himself now, so it's a little less work for me and it's fun to see what he comes up with. It's so fun to see them having fun together, I just love it! I know we are still going to have rough days and rough times, but the last few days have just been extra good and I really needed that. I'm just glad that we're starting to figure things out a little better when hopefully they are too young to remember all the mistakes we have made so far. :) So, until next time.....

Friday, April 16, 2010

Being a Better Mom.....I hope.....

Being pregnant has sort of skewed my least this pregnancy has done a number on them. I really don't remember being this emotional with Logan or Damon, but you'd have to ask Morgan for a more unbiased opinion. Anyway...Logan and I sort of went through a pretty rough patch for a'll remember the spanking post. I decided that most of it was probably me and my emotions and just how short my fuse was on my temper, but Logan was also almost 3 so I'm sure his age also played a factor. (bear with me, this might be sort of a random post as I'm still collecting my thoughts)

A week or so before Conference I decided that something had to change though. I couldn't keep going through everyday frustrated, angry, or annoyed all day long. So I really made an effort to be nicer to Logan and to try to have more realistic expectations for his behavior. This made a HUGE difference. He still had his time outs, but I seemed more calm and collected and didn't seem as frustrated. He in turn seemed more willing to listen and talk to me more, but I still felt like he kept going to time out for the same thing over and over again, which was still kind of annoying.

So, a lady in our ward was doing some parenting classes and Morgan and I decided to go. She's big into the Love and Logic, which I know a little bit about and I'm still not totally 100% on board because I feel like it's a little bit scripted, but I did want to give their discipline methods a try in hopes of changing behavior. Yesterday I thought I would give it a shot. Basically when they misbehave you say "uh-oh" and put them in a place to "calm down" or rest and then wait until they are done crying, fussing, or had some time to think (yeah it sounds a lot like time out to me too) but the main thing is you don't say anything else. You don't explain why they are there or talk about it yet, which is what I have been doing.

I tried this with Logan in the morning when he hit Damon. I calmly put him in his room and he sat there and cried for Percy (the train we were playing with when it happened) for about 45 minutes. He's never cried like that in time out, I'm not really sure what the difference was, but when he finally did calm down for his 2-3 minutes I went in and gave him a hug and said I love you, let's go play trains. And he said, "yeah mom, I'm sorry I hit Damon." It shocked me that he still remembered why or even knew why he was there after 45 minutes of Percy calling.

Off and on we had these little calm down times...for both of them and they lasted soooo much longer than my usual time outs, but never once that day was the behavior repeated. I know it wasn't fixed overnight, but I felt like I had better results than our other time outs. As stressful as it was to listen to them cry for so long and so hard, I actual felt like they understood better. I hope it does get less and less that we have to use the Uh-Oh time because 5 hours of sobbing is too much to handle. Especially when poor Damon is laying on the floor looking up at our picture of Jesus and reaching out saying "Jee-Jees, Jee-Jees" (his version of Jesus). But he bit me and I wasn't going to back down. It's really hard not to go in and comfort them and today the calm down time only lasted about 15 minutes, so I think we are making progress. We'll see, I'm really going to try and give this a fair shot since I do feel like I had some results in just one day.

I think I'm mostly just documenting this for when we have rougher days or to tell myself to hang in there, I'm not sure, but either way, now it's here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday Logan!

I can't believe that my boy is 3 years old. He seems so old to me, but is still so young. He's definitely a challenge, but I think everyday we're figuring out how to do things the right way. This past week we sure had a lot of fun. My mom and dad stopped by for a quick visit on Saturday and Scott and Christine ended up being in town too, so they came over for some birthday cake.
Logan was really excited about his birthday, but I think Damon was more excited to open the presents and Logan was actually fine with that. He didn't want to put down the two "birthday" cars that came on his birthday cake.

They have been doing better with Playdoh, so we got him a little accessory and they love it. It's so fun to sit at their little table and play with it. It's even more fun when I hear Logan and Damon talking about the food and I hear Logan telling Damon "it's just pretend Damon, don't eat it, just pretend" (I must say that a lot).
Again, you'd think it was Damon's birthday, but he was just helping out his big brother. :)

I love it when Logan gets excited and says, "Oh wow!"
I can't remember what was making him smile so big here, but he had a wonderful day!

And Damon loved eating the cake too.
Of course, Logan is my clean eater, so I don't have to strip him to diapers when we have birthdays anymore. :)
But Damon we do.
Big cheeser for the camera.

Scott, my brother and Morgan putting together Logan's tricycle. It's still in the house since it's been too cold to ride outside, but he loves it and so does Damon...I think I know what I'll get Damon for his birthday now. :)
Papa is helping Damon-zilla make some train tracks.

After presents we went up to Hogle Zoo, since we had to go up that way to drop my parents off at the airport and our free pass is almost expired, so I have to get in a couple more good uses while I only have two kids. :)

Logan and Grandma were checking out the elephants and rhinos. Logan just kept asking, "what's that? what's that?" He had a good time walking around and seeing all the animals.
But Damon was fascinated. It was hard to keep him on track to keep up with how fast Logan wanted to see things.
Daddy playing with Logan and Damon with Play-Doh. Morgan said it felt a little girly, but I just said get used to it, make hamburgers, or dinosaurs or something manly. :) I heard them later sizzling steaks, it was really cute. I sure love my hubby, and my boys.
This is actually Logan's first picture that almost has a whole person in it. I think had to delete about 50 pictures after he got a hold of the camera this week. Most were close ups of his nose or the floor.
On Monday night, April 12th, Logan's actual birthday we had Morgan's parents and grandma down for dinner and some cake and ice cream.
I made a carrot cake, and Logan picked out the color of plate and color of frosting. I thought it was pretty funny that it ended up looking like a carrot too. :)
hehe, I just thought this picture was funny because of the mischievous grin on his face as he was looking at the matches.
We were singing happy birthday. Logan is still getting used to Papa Beard's no beard. :)

It took him a couple tries, but he eventually got all the candles blown out.

Morgan and his dad and Damon cheering on Logan for blowing out his candles. We were glad they could come down and celebrate with us again. Today we had a doctor appointment for both the the same time....never again.....anyway the doctor asked him if he had a birthday and he said no, I don't want a birthday. heheh then he said "I don't want to get big, I want to stay small" It was kind of a rough dr. appointment, I'm glad that only Damon had to get one shot. :) Luckily, all the looks from the nurses seemed to be of sympathy/empathy rather than annoyance at my two screaming and diaper naked kids while we were trying to get them weighed and measured. And, they have both grown! Yay, so to finish up, here are some stats of my two big boys:
Logan - Weight: 26.79lbs (6%) Height: 36.22 in. (21%)
Damon - Weight: 24.8 lbs (31%) Height: 32.68 in. (52%)
Damon is catching up, but Logan is making just enough progress to stay a little bit ahead, although the nurses did ask me if they were twins, I get that a lot. Oh well, what Logan lacks in bulk he makes up for with energy, spunk, and personality. :) I sure love my boys! Happy Birthday again Logan. We love you!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Lot More Happened Than I Thought

This is going to be a long post, but there are pictures, and it's for posterity, so hang in there. I guess a lot more has happened according to the pictures on the camera this past couple weeks than I thought, so here goes: I tried another new recipe, which I won't post here for length reasons, but I will tell you, it was delicious. I had a butternut squash laying around trying to figure out what to do with and I came upon this "Squash Braid" (recipe courtesy of It was really good bread that just tasted like bread. Logan actually asked for a second piece. If I double the recipe again like I did, I'll make sure to cook them on separate cookie sheets. It was a nice way to score some veggie points with the boys. :)
Oh my boys how I love them and how they are growing so fast.

Damon is super happy, but is quick to throw a little tantrum when he gets frustrated and for some reason whenever I start cooking he gets really really clingy, so I'm working on ways he can help or keep him busy (most of the time it's Toy Story or Cars)

Logan will be 3 years old next week and is getting better at communication although he is still my strong willed and typical 3 year old that tests my patience everyday (you'd think I'd have passed that test by now...) The bruise and scratch on his head all happened the same day with two different events, the bruise was from running into the open van door, right on the edge and the scratch from diving over his bed onto Damon's and catching a corner that scalped him a little. Good thing he's a pretty tough kid.
How to make the most scrumptious burrito. First lay out blanket and place two delicious selections of filling.
Next, start on one end and roll burrito style.
Make sure you don't let any filling fall out.
And then devour! :)

Morgan made a "burrito" with Logan a while back and now when the blanket is on the floor he always wants to be a burrito, this particular Sunday Damon decided to jump in too. They had fun for quite a while with this game. :)
Since I have been more in a cooking/baking mood the boys have been helping me with my messes (making them more than cleaning up though). This day I decided that I wanted some chocolate frosting to go with some graham crackers, but I didn't want to go to the store.
Luckily I had some cocoa on hand and whipped some up. It was delicious. The boys loved licking the beaters. Damon had it everywhere and when I gave him the graham cracker with frosting on it, he licked off all the frosting first and then ate the graham cracker...silly boy.
Logan, my dainty eater of course, there is hardly a smear on him although he licked that beater almost spotless. He had a couple crackers, but it was kind of frustrating to wipe off the chocolate frosting on his hands after every bite, so we went with bite size and less frosting.
For General Conference/Easter Weekend we headed up to Green River to visit my brother. We were really sure all week if it would happen because Morgan was sick and then the weather was crazy, but it turned out to be good weather and Morgan was enough on the mend to make the journey. We picked Morgan up from work and headed out. Logan was being kind of grumpy and in a weird funk, so we stopped in Evanston, WY at a McDonald's to let the kids play in the play place and cheer Logan up.

It was actually a pretty decent play place, only one way in and out and Logan could actually climb up everything. Just as we were getting ready to leave though, we hear Logan at the very top..."Daddy, you have to come rescue me"
So, Morgan had to shimmy through the maze (quite difficult actually) and get him down. Luckily I had the camera in my purse and got proof that Morgan really is just a big kid! :)

This was Logan's happy face now that he was in a better mood.
And of course Damon is always ready to give a smile to the camera.
We made really good time and ended up at Mike and Quel's in pretty good time. The kids had fun pulling out basically every toy available and things were going really great until bedtime. It was really late and the kids were overly tired and poor Logan got homesick...something that's never happened and kept saying "I wanna go home" It was really sweet and annoying at the same time. Sweet because I was really happy to know that he really does know what "home" is and annoying because we were all exhausted and just wanted them to sleep. We took him with us to the grocery store and he fell asleep on the way (Damon and Lincoln had fallen asleep at this point). On the way up the stairs though he woke up, "no, I don't want to go up, I want to go home" Logan is not a very pleasant kid to sleep with and kept kicking us (we just brought him in bed with us). He did finally fall asleep and we moved him into the bedroom with the other boys, but they all woke up way too early for all of us.
They had fun on Saturday playing with all the toys. These buckets were a favorite. Lincoln is under the blue one on top of the pink one, and Logan is under the pink one. They thought that was hilarious...until Logan wanted to get out.

Lincoln and Logan had a lot of fun playing. The boys sometimes look like twins and at a glance I even get them mixed up...especially from the behind.
Peek a Boo was their favorite game, that and spinning.

Where did the boys go??

Here we are!

That afternoon we did a little Easter egg hunt. Logan was having a rough day and was in the playroom waiting for me to hide the eggs and even when he came out was still having a little tantrum, he looks so distraught over this egg and it took him a while to figure out what we were doing.
I think he cried during most of the "hunt" Damon loved it though and a couple times he almost put his eggs in Logan's basket and then realized what he was doing and hurried over to his, it was really cute. They ended up with lots of treats and I think a little of a candy over-load.
We decided that it might be a better drive..and night if we hit the road after the Priesthood session so the kids would just sleep the whole time...which they did. Ahhhhh, it was wonderful. We had some awesome "Cafe Rio" chimichangas that Mike and Quel made, they were super delicious! A lot of effort though, thanks guys! P.S. Don't forget to send the recipe. :) We had a lot of fun despite Logan's constant whining.
On Sunday we had a super relaxing and chill day. During the final 10 minutes of conference, Logan actually fell asleep...I think we all did actually, Damon was already taking his nap though. About 5:00pm I tried to wake Logan up, but he was just totally out no matter how I moved him or anything. So, while I cuddled with Logan, Damon and I played with Mr. Potato head. It's one of his favorite toys right now.
We had a little fun with Logan too. hehehe, he didn't even wake up either.
Damon loves that mustache!

Silly Potato Head

Usually he sticks the glasses on his neck, Morgan helped him out with this one.

This was quite the accomplishment to get him to keep three pieces on long enough for a picture.
One of the things I really took from conference is how important my role as a mother is and how much I need to be an example to my kids and teach them...and be more patient. I've been trying and I know I still have my good days and my bad days. In an effort to involve the kids more in things they have been "helping" me with dinner and cooking and stuff.

We decided on scrambled eggs and breakfast burritos for dinner that night and the kids really wanted to help, but they're not so good about the whole hot stove/pot thing. So I set them up to make their own eggs. I can't believe it worked, but they really stirred and played with those eggs the whole time I made dinner and came back to them after we ate. They played in the water...ahem, I mean washed the dishes after we were done and overall I think they had a lot of fun. And I actually had fun too and realized that when I do actually take the time to find something for them, or to involve them they day really does go so much better and there is lot less (still some...and sometimes a lot) crying and whining and just overall fussiness. So, here's to really being there for my kids and being a better mom! Until next time.....