Thursday, September 30, 2010

Life with Lana today (4 years, 2 months)

I love my four year old!
She's so grown up in so many ways, and yet still my little girl.

She is incredibly helpful, and kind to her brother, and inquisitive.

Her new trick she's learned this month is to "whistle."
She's not really whistling, but making a sound that really does sound like whistling!  
It cracks us up every time.
She thinks it's funny to "whistle" to get our attention.  

This is such a picture of the area of Lana's heart that we are disciplining right now.
I mean, look at that face!  And those folded arms!
*sigh*
It's a new phase for us....
for years now, we've been in the process of training her to obey.
That's fairly straightforward.
But now we're entering this phase that requires less spanking,
and more talking, probing, listening.
Hearing her heart, and the sin therein,
and speaking the Truth found in God's Word into that.
Teaching her the intricacies of obeying happily, 
expressing her opinion kindly,
using a gentle answer instead of a harsh word.
This mama's learning a lot, too, about those things.

I can't brag enough on what a good big sister my girl is!
She truly adores her little brother,
and cares for him in so many ways.
She searches out things that he will enjoy,
and gives up her own desires for him.
She knows that when he plays in her room, 
she'll have to spend quite a while cleaning it up, 
and yet she always invites him in.
She knows if she gets a snack, he'll want some,
and she's always quick to make sure he has the best half.
She knows that when they play together, 
he'll probably take things from her and not share well, 
and she always looks for things they can play together anyway.

It sometimes brings me to tears to watch her love him so well.

Her very favorite thing to do these days are "workbooks."
I bought a few really good ones for her at a Books-a-Million going out of business sale, and she wants to do them at every free moment.  I take them with us anywhere we go that she has to wait, and they are sure to keep her quiet and busy.

She's sleeping about 11 hours a night, 
and really is probably done with her nap.
She'll take one, but it takes her nearly an hour to fall asleep,
although she'll sleep for about 2 hours.
She goes to sleep much more easily at night when she doesn't nap,
and she's able to make it through the day without getting cranky.
I'm thinking her nighttime sleep might extend another hour or so when we quit napping her altogether.

She's eating well, as always, except for her lunch at school.
When we asked her last week why she wasn't eating much of her lunch, she said,
"I eat for the 5 minutes that we have quiet lunch, and then my teacher says we can eat and talk, and I just want to only talk."  Silly girl!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Haircuts

Today, the kids got haircuts from Mrs. Linda.

Mrs. Linda's daughter is my friend Kristen, the one we go to the lake with.

Kristen's son is Max, who I taught 2 years ago in preschool.

It was so fun to have Mrs. Linda cut my babies' hair!

Tucker went first:

Mrs. Linda makes getting a haircut fun!

Really, he couldn't stop smiling!
I took about a thousand pictures of this utter cuteness.

This is what Lana did while Tucker got his haircut -
she's being silly, "hiding" from us.

Then it was her turn in Mrs. Linda's chair.

She's such a big girl!
She knows it's a special treat to get your hair cut.
Ever since she was Tucker's age, we've talked about
going to a "special" place to get our hair cut.
We talk about how there are special scissors that they use,
and how we never do this at home!  :)

Then Mrs. Linda spoiled her rotten, and asked her if she wanted her hair french-braided.
 Just after I took this picture, I leaned over and said, "I better watch so I can try it."
And my precious friend Linda said, "Don't bother!  You can't do this!"
Oh, how I LOVE my friends from Buffalo!!!!
She took all that pressure off of me trying to figure out how to do it!
(And she told me that her daughter can't french braid hair, either, so that made me feel better.)

Look how precious!
She wouldn't let us take them out, and even slept in them.

Mrs. Linda has a basket of toys that kept Tucker busy, too.

Thank you, Mrs. Linda!
You and your family are treasures to us, in so many ways.
Thanks for blessing us this afternoon, with haircuts and conversation and love.
I left your house with a full heart.

Maybe he'll love books, too!

Last night, for the first time, Tucker ASKED to read!

We did our nighttime routine:

bath, lotion, pj's, brush teeth,

and then as we were headed back into his room,

I was walking toward the rocker

where I always read him books before turning out the light

and he looked right over to the bookshelf and said, 

"Book!"

He knew what was coming!  

This is really the first step to raising a child who loves books...

you just make them a warm, welcome part of their daily routine.

They won't even know what life is like without books.

Anyway, we snuggled up in that rocker 

and read the two books he's loving most these days:



And then we turned off the lights 

and rocked for a while

and I laid my sweet boy in bed.

Where he immediately sat up and 

started looking at the pages of the books

we leave in his bed for him.

Monday, September 27, 2010

If you're not swagging, you should be!

Search & Win

I don't know how long I've been using swagbucks as my search engine...maybe 18 months or so?

So far....

I've redeemed 50 prizes.

I always, always get $5 amazon.com or paypal gift cards,

so that means

I've made $250 in FREE money,

just by searching the internet.

Just like I would use google.com, 

except by using swagbucks,

I make money!

It's so easy.  

You join.

Then set swagbucks.com as your home page.

And type e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. in that little search bar.

Even "facebook.com" or "yahoo.com" or any website you might be going to.  

Every once in a while, you'll win "bucks," which can be redeemed for prizes.

You can also search for "swag codes" or do little surveys to earn bucks.
Or not - I don't even do that stuff, and I still make money.

And it's legit - no scam!

You get extra bucks for telling other people, so once you sign up, tell your friends about it, and you'll make bucks when they make bucks.  It's a win-win!

Click here to get started.

You're crazy if you're not swagging.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tucker's new tricks

I love, love, love it when my babies start to walk and talk.
Those first little baby steps and words are so precious to me.
It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of the tiny-baby stage. 
I mean, I ADORED my babies when they were tiny, but it wasn't as if I cried my heart out when they grew out of it.
I much prefer this walking, talking, learning, laughing bit.  
I even prefer the toddler tantrums to baby cries.
They just seem to make more SENSE to me.
I can figure out what to do about a tantrum....
that endless crying is such a guessing game when they are so small!

Anyway, Tucker's in that super fun stage that I love so very much.  
Check out some of his new tricks:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lana's classroom theme gathering

Lana's preschool teacher, Mrs. Nicole, teaches in themes that usually last for about a month.
After they complete each them, they have an informal end of theme celebration called a "theme gathering."  

Parents are invited to come to the classroom 20 minutes before dismissal time.  The children put on a show for us, and tell us all about what they've learned.  We get to see all the work they've produced during the theme, and they demonstrate games they've played, songs they've sung, etc.

Yesterday afternoon was Lana's first theme gathering!

This month's theme was "All About Me and My School."

Dan and I were both able to go to Lana's theme gathering:

The theme gathering in action....

My very favorite part of the whole time was right when it ended, Lana RAN over to me so that she could show me her work:
  

We are so thankful that Lana is in Mrs. Nicole's class this year!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall baskets

Early this year, we began the tradition of seasonal baskets.  It began with doing a spring basket instead of an Easter basket, which I love so much.  I wrote about it all here.

Today is the first day of fall, 
so the kids had their fall baskets waiting on them when they woke up this morning:

Lana knew she was getting hers, and woke up early this morning, so excited to see what was in her basket:
She had long sleeve shirts (tucked down in the bottom), apples, caramel apple wraps, a Johnny Appleseed book, a Skippyjon Jones sticker book, tights, caramel apple chapstick, Hello Kitty band-aids, orange fingernail polish, pocket tissues, a pack of gum, and a few more small things.  
I LOVE using these baskets to give her things she needs or would have gotten anyway!

She was so excited about each thing:

When Tucker woke up a little later, he dug right into his basket, too:
Look at that adorable lion on the back of his shirt!  I heart Baby Gap, especially when purchased at a consignment sale.

He was really cute about checking all of his stuff out, too - he took each item out and carefully looked it over.

As you can see, he got Puffs and tissues and a fun ball, along with some books, and some long sleeve clothes that are tucked down in the bottom of this basket.

I also made to sure to have Dan & I some fall-ish things tucked in a cabinet, too: fall candles, the ingredients for Rotel dip and wassail, among other things.

Now we're just waiting for the weather to get out of the 90's.

Happy Fall!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

In the spirit of full disclosure....

I wrote a blog post last week about what I feel like technology is doing to our kids...and to us....and that post rang true with lots of moms.

However, some days....
babies are just teething and fussy and miserable....
and some times
nothing but Sesame Street will do....
and often
Mom will multi-task on her Blackberry
while holding a baby
who is watching a movie....
breaking all the rules.


Just thought I'd keep it real.



Lana's new trick


Lana loves her new swingset, and is so proud of the tricks that she can do on it!  
Here's the latest one:

She's not quite ready to let go with her hands yet unassisted....and I'm thankful for that!

And what was Tucker doing while Lana was being a monkey?
Just swinging:
This boy would swing all day long if we'd let him.

Oh, and here's the reason I ran to get the camera in the first place...
these gorgeous curls: