We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are." ~Marjorie Pay Hinckley~

Loehrmann Family Favorite Recipes

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hi QT Pie. Email Me. Want 2CU. Be Mine.

Parenting Lesson I've learned: Get a babysitter, put your hair up, put a dress on, and go out with your sweetpea for a fun night once in awhile!

The 8 area congregations joined together for a Stake Sweetheart Dance. Jared and I swapped babysitting with another couple, so for the first half of the dance I was watching a baby while Jared bathed Lukas and put him to bed. Then they came home, and we left to go dancing.

8 Turkeys

Parenting lesson learned: Live in the moment. Bust out the camera when child-who-would-have-been-excited-about-XYZ was asleep in said moment. haha!

What??!! Eight real live turkeys were hanging out in my "backyard" just now and I jumped up onto the couch and snapped a half a dozen pics. Lukas is going to FREAK out when he wakes up!

This morning was the power washer guys at an adjacent building. Now the turkeys. And with a slew of burglaries over the weekend to boot (including my downstairs neighbor-DIRECTLY downstairs), this is becoming QUITE the happening place!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Parenting lesson learned: Get 'er done if the end result will be worth the effort. Blogging about family is journaling, therapeutic, and helps one celebrate the small vistories of parenting. Unlike facebook, you have something to show for yourself in the end. Make time to do what's important to your internal-anti-chernobyl-ness.

Dear family,
Enjoy the next few posts. Might want to take your commercial break before you begin reading.

I finally found time for my list of "nice-to-dos" and caught up. It took me one hour from start to finish. That's my tradeoff instead of Lost, American Idol, CSI, Office or whatever else others might like to watch and spend their time doing. The blog to journal, scrapbook, familyhistoryize, and keep a record of dates, growth info and happenings- all in one.

And you know what's super duper awesome? Jared's printing my blog into a book for me for my birthday! YAYYYYYYY!

For the record:
Lukas went to the doctor yesterday and he weighs 34 pounds. Boo yeah. We'd guess around 37 inches tall, but that's just guessing.

Thank you Jenn Ditty

Parenting lesson learned: Choose timing wisely for giving/showing new (freepiled) play items. And GO FREE-PILING!!

39 degrees in Davis, CA. What to do? Go outside? Sure. But aww man, the rain started pouring again... hmmmm. Time to improvise. I've been waiting for the right moment. Bust out the chalk. It's time.

Total concentration. Mouth open.

I can draw in a seat.
I can draw while I eat.
I love to draw and say "Jenn Ditty"(true)
I drew a picture of (of course) AVENDI* !

*(his battle cry for hitting sticks on tree branches). No it's not German.

Fröhe Valentinestag! Happy Valentine's Day!

Parenting lesson learned: Celebrate the fun days SOMEhow. Create moods. Ask yourself what feeling you want your kiddo to get out of a certain day.

I wanted to make the day special so I painted toilet paper rolls red. How's that for a quotable quote? I saw something similar in a magazine and gave it a quick whirl during Lukas' breakfast. Just needed paint, broken necklace, some heart shaped stickers, needle and thread- all of which were readily available. I took pics along the way and will post them on the my recipes website since it's pretty for the table. Just don't poke your finger with the needle like I did. And wear a thimble! Lukas asked for an entire afternoon, "Where's the thimble mom?"

Howdy Valentine!

He can't get enough of himself in his own mirror. Why didn't I think of this earlier? He LOVES it. $5 can buy happiness.

Lukas has a valentine. Her name is Cameron and she lives at the end of our building. They are really close in age and see each other quite often. They first really met eating sand at the sandbox while their parents looked on in panicked disgust. (That was then. Now I don't care about eating sand.)

He clutched his little handmade paper valentine all the way to her house. I hoped he wouldn't drop it in a puddle. He walked in to the Dumas house to find Cameron on the couch crying- sick- and miserable. He handed her the paper. She threw it and wailed. Then he turned his attention to ELF on TV. Then I handed the little "QT PIE" heart-shaped box of chocolates to her mom for all of them and she insisted Lukas give it to her. He regained a smile and handed her the box.

"Here'a'go Cammy"

She smiled. Renee and she ate one. By the time Lukas made his way to the fridge to play with their super cool letters she was already up on the couch dancing as he put in new letters that would say their sounds and sing the ABC song. These two were a riot.

They played for the rest of the afternoon, and as it was time to leave, Cameron reached up to hug him,("hold") and Lukas put his arms around her, his head towering a good four inches over hers and went MUAHHHHH! but to no avail. Better so since said little lady was sick. Renee joined in this big group hug that had adorable written all over it.

When Lukas got HOME, you should have HEARD him: Cameron, 'armen, lieb, küssen. yayyy

Don't worry. It's all innocent. So cute though that the next day he asked to play with her specifically. I called over but she was napping so I asked Lukas if he'd rather play with someone else and named a couple little friends.

"Nooo! CAMeron!"


Boys and their toys

Parenting lesson learned: Relish in a healthy father/son relationship and help capture it for them. Appreciate what man does for boy.

Cheap thrills of life: Wearing Dad's tie, taking pictures with ANY camera, and then the anticipated "sehen" afterwards. Oh boy.

We've moved into the posing stage over the last week. Lukas will ask for his picture to be taken, and then ask to see it. He'll holler "Cheeeeese" and make big squinty faces as he anticipates that flash. He's always thrilled to see himself in a photobook, or on the web-log of our family. Little cognitive steps here and there towards understanding his huge world around him. He parrots literally everything now, and this morning ran around saying, "I can't believe it! I can't believe it!"
The ABCs were always in German until this week as he's listened relentlessly to that Fisher Price mailbox from Jared's coworker and I thought I would regret the high pitched singing at some point. (That point being this past week as he and I were both sick, he was very whiny and there was lots to do and continually singing, "Let's get some LETTERS!"- Ug.)

Batteries should always come 'not included'!! :) He has, however, learned the ABCs in English and all the songs it sings in just a few days, sooooo... guess batteries stay in. For now.

Objects tell stories- Meredith Culture 330

Parenting lesson learned: Connect children to your childhood, and fix things once in awhile, eh mom?

Pinewood derby cars, wooden hat racks for Christmas, dining room table chairs, and now Lukas' toy train.

This glue has been there for it all. Have you ever seen such dedication and loyalty?
(And such stubbornness? It took me 10 minutes to get that glue clot out! haha) Yes it still does its magic. The smell and the date on the front brought back a ton of memories, so putting it here means nothing to anyone but really me- and maybe a couple of Merediths.

Before Sainthood there was...

Parenting lesson learned: Combat the naughties, but take time to laugh about them when naughty-pantz isn't looking!


A switch has flipped and he has realized and we have realized that he is almost two.

Gone are the days of piousness and quick compliance. We have found the answer to our snag for the time being, but let me explain:

When Lukas sits on the computer chair and forever asks us to "C'mon! Ver-ochen" (Try!) to reach Omili, or Onkel Ryan, or Steffen or Florian, or Grandma or Grandpa-- anyone who he's ever skyped with basically. When we ask him to get down he calls, "BaKa!!" and I have to admit that it is SO hard not to laugh when overhearing this exchange between child and the OTHER spouse. hahahaha! In the moment when it's me though it got old kinda fast, and I said one day, "Lukas if you say that one more time then you go to time out."


Time out.

One minute.

Got up at 45 sec. Back in corner.

20 secs later I said I love you and that we do what mommy and daddy say, and mouths are for doing nice things.

The NEXT time he sat on that chair and the word BAKAAAA came flying out of his mouth, he announced, "TIME OUT" and went right into the corner. And stayed there.

And sometimes he'll put himself there randomly. He doesn't get warnings, because if I say "the next time" he marches right over there and plops down. And inside I am laughing hysterically at this cute little person who punishes himself.

Oh dear. At least there's less Bakkaa going on. And that's a relief.
*Now we just pick him up off that stool and do something else. The battle of Baakaa isn't worth it.

It's Raining, it's pouring, the old man is...

Parenting lesson learned: Think outside of the box when stuck in the box.

...thinking of what to do next:

I Can’t Stand The Rain – The Commitments

Blame It On The Rain – Milli Vanilli

Fire and Rain – James Taylor

Singing In The Rain – Gene Kelly

With a week of cold and wet, we decided to draw, to party, to create, to listen to music, to read, to cook, and just play. Every once in awhile we could sneak in a walk outside between outbursts from the heavens.

Being inside brings lots of listening time too. Outside I can easily be distracted by other moms & kids and have a great ol' time in conversation, but then I miss little things here and there. It happens. That's life. But it's SO fulfilling to see small little glimpses of their spirituality, creativity, or imagination come through in just little moments.

For example: While jumping around on our bed, he pulls up on dad's leg lying next to him and says "Löffelbagger!!" as Jared's foot flops up and down at the end.

Or watching Lukas dance with arms flailing as he spins in circles and taps his legs in beat to "Rosanna" from the 80s. Priceless.

The BEST moment though was while jumping on the bed- again - one morning and all of a sudden Lukas looked up at the picture of Jesus looking out over Jerusalem and he says,

"weh tan...Jesus weh tan...Hände (pointing to nail mark spots on his own hands)...traurig!!" (rumpling his forehead and making the 'cry' sign with his finger to his eye)

Jared and I sat there with tears in our eyes listening to him and agreeing with him.

Monday, February 14, 2011

10 Reasons Why Jared is my Valentine

Parenting lesson learned: Kids notice how mom loves dad and shows it. Not JUST the other way around (as always quoted at church). But don't just show it for the kiddos' sake!

10. When the house is crazy messy, he doesn't scream or get frustrated, he pitches in and helps pick up.

9. We've decided that in our house to become a "real man" means said man has had to reach into the toilet at least once in his life to pull out something that certainly didn't belong there. Ewww! And Jared is a REAL man :). Toilet paper rollers, toys and little people do not belong in the Klo.

8. He knows where we're going. I dislike being lost and wasting time. Jared usually always looks ahead, maps out the trail and we rarely get lost. I dislike being the navigator in quick city traffic, especially if it's a place we've never been. Jared lowers everyone's blood pressure by planning ahead. God bless that man.

7. He really enjoys serving other people and can pack a moving van like tetris. Just ask anyone who he's helped move! We have become moving EXPERTS now that we've moved EIGHT and soon NINE times. Please, we got this. Yes, we still need your strong backs, but only for 25 minutes. He also likes driving the homeless people, goes out of his way to accomodate university students, and teaches an early morning scripture class to high school students 20 miles away.

6. He calls me to say he likes me.

5. He eats what I cook. (And yes, I'm pretty sure back in the college days I even made him try Spinacholi- poor man.) And he cooks for me now and again :)

4. He shows loves to our child, and shows that he wants to make him happy, (and has already taught Lukas to do a heel shot with the soccerball!)

3. He chooses hanging out with his family over ANY one else :) Booyeah Family. He even taught Lukas to raise his hands and call out YAYYYYYY when we say the word FAMILY. Family's a lot of work and he shares his load in it well: switching off the the FHE lesson, swap off cleaning up kitchen or bathing Lukas, reading scriptures at night, putting little man to bed, and groery shopping with us (most of the time) after he's home from work.

2. He lets me sleep in a lot of Saturdays because lately especially I've been sick and the exhaustion catches up to me by Saturday morning and it's nice to sleep in until 9am. He takes Lukas to the park, on walks to the chickens, or out to play with a ball.

1. He loves God even more than he loves me :) and that is a very wise choice.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

No more thinking. Clearing brain space:

Parenting lesson learned: "Free your miiiiind. The rest will follow!" No really. Simplify. Organize. Take 10 minutes now to save a few hours and unneeded stress later.

Hey, so I've gone round and around with this problem, mine being TOO MANY CHOICES. So... the latest solution? Base foods around a grain or basic staple (wheat pasta, wheat cous cous, rice, potato, etc.) then make it into something you're in the mood for.

Breakfast and Dinner themes are basically the same every Monday, Tues, etc. Lunch is pretty much always sandwiches or leftovers. But here's the deal. It's flexible. Less brainwork for me. No more "what should I make" when it's early morning brain-dead time.
Check it out:

My menu gets changed now and again, but has- after some tweaking- generally remained the same :) As you can see, I still need to fix it. It hangs in the kitchen in plain sight :)

Bfast: Rice pudding (easy in microwave too- add rice, egg, milk, sugar, cinnamon per bowl. Easier to count servings this way too :)
Dinner: Stir Fry & Rice- this could be Indian, Chinese, or American stir fry. See? It's whatever you want! Spices I already have, and the staples go on the grocery list-- froz. CA veggies/Rice. Easy! (And one rice cooker full in the early morning does the job- with extra for next day mexican.)

Tues: French Toast, Mexican Food (see the flexibility here?)

Breakfast: Egg & Toast (w. tomatoes, or egg in frame, or mc muffin style)
Dinner: Pasta something (change the sauce, or go exotic. It's usually simple so I have a quick dinner nite)

Breakfast: Muffins (apple? Drop biscuits? banana?)
Dinner: Soup or some kind of one pot meal (chili, soup, chowder, stew, you get the idea)

Breakfast: Pancakes
Dinner: Chicken something (Schnitzel? Jared's German Chicken? Tenders? Jamaican Jerk Nachos? Pizza? Whatever)

Breakfast:Tongan Breakfast
Dinner: Stir Fry & Cous Cous

Breakfast: German Pancakes w/ applesauce & whipped cream
Dinner:Potato Something (could be fries w/ hamburgers if that's what's goin' on that day, or shepherd pie, or a potato casserole, baked potato, or crock pot, mashed potatoes, Raclette, etc.

See? No more guess work. Still lets me try new stuff, keeps the family guessing, and lets me focus on what on Earth I'm doing in the kitchen with less brain power so I can do other things, like figure out how to get the measuring spoon outta the speaker box :)

Disclaimer: I hardly used to MAKE breakfast that often either-- until two things happened to our family:

1. I visited "the farm" and stayed with my sister in law & her kids on her parents' farm. Her mom hops over fences to grab chickens to kill, and cooks for an army every morning, afternoon and evening. I was more than impressed, inspired, and simplified. It's not a full spread of everything, but something simple that fills up and gives nutrition. Hits about 4 food groups usually. And she made EASY things that ANYbody could make, and make quickly. I save money too because cereal costs compared to flour, eggs, etc is no contest.

2. Jared began teaching seminary, and he'd get up at 5am, leave by 5:45, get home from the 6:30am class around 7:45 or 8am...about the time Lukas was on to his second breakfast- or 2nd meal of the day (usually eats around 630 or 7am.) So I'm already up, I feed man-child, play/read with him, then we cook together. He likes it. I like it. It passes the time with something more interesting than the farm book for me the 100th time, and he always learns new words cooking too, and feels successful. I found out that I liked the feeling of having made my family breakfast. I know it sounds so June Cleaver, but then I also found that we were all more satified in the belly too. Cereal leaves us all empty an hour later. Bummer. So we use all that WIC cereal for snacks, or for mixing with Yogurt for Lukas' first breakfast.

Do I break my own rules? Yes. Do I sometimes make (gasp) french toast on a pancake day? Sure. If whatever's on the "menu" seems disgusting to me in that moment, there's no ball and chain attaching me to that menu. Just allows me to keep things mixed up and I most usually follow it now. And on the way to the grocery store in the car I can ask Jared, what kind of Mexican food you want this week? "Tacos!!" Okay, no problemo. Input here and there is nice for him now and again, but at the end of the day the man is just happy that ANY dinner's ready when he's coming home, or on its way to being ready. It was amazing to me how eating together around the table in the mornings as well has really been so memorable and happy for our family.

p.s. Tongan breakfast is fried bananas, bread with cream cheese and tomatoes, and avacado. Mmmmm.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Parenting Advice from Teacher World

I recently received the following letter from a friend, which has led me on a pondering streak like I haven't had time for in aWHILE:
I have a question for you. I know you taught school for several years
and have read a great deal, and frankly I need some help. I've fallen
into an abominable habit of striking my children when I run out of
ideas for correcting wild misbehavior and I KNOW there have to be
other ways of dealing with it.

I've made a deal with myself to never touch my children again in any
way but lovingly, but it's frightening to think that I really don't
know how to handle the situations when they are willfully misbehaving
and laughing at me for it.

I've upped the positive reinforcement, but I thought with your
background you might have a few ideas or a book or two you could throw
my way. I really want my kids to be well-behaved without ever having
any angels taking any more evidence in my book of life of the
injustices I've committed against them.

It's something I'm really ashamed of, and I need some help. It just
breaks my heart to think of my actions making my kids cry--and only
engendering more violent actions from them towards myself and one

Help a girl out?

Me again:
And today while grabbing, folding and hanging laundry the thoughts have been flooding in. Maybe at least ONE thing here could help your situation. Don't scoff til you try it!

While teaching I had the amazing opportunity to have the State Behavior Specialist right in my classroom watching what I did, then tweaking my decisions and methods from the side, then sending me back 'out on the floor' to try them again. It was fun. It could make some people throw up from nervousness. For me it was like a game. If I do said suggestions for positive reinforcement, will said result actually happen? Then, later if I do A, will said child really do B? Let's see. And if not, what are appropriate negative consequences?

So here's what I learned that has ALSO been like GOLD in my little one-child parenting world. If it worked on 25 kids, I was pretty sure it'd work on one. So far, so good. (Doesn't mean he's perfect, but it means we're trying to be purposeful in what we are doing as parents. We're not perfect at it either, but at the moment we're all happy, so I guess that is something.)

PRE-Argument Strategies:
-Praise 4 to 1 (for every correction OR reprimand, follow up with 4 positives. Ex: "way to use your fork!", clapping, high five, "You worked so hard!", woo hooo!! "Look how quickly you came when I called! Obeying makes us happy!!", smiling.
-Tell kids what they should do, not what they shouldn't do (wasn't that confusing? They think so too) ("Don't throw your food!" vs. "Food stays on your plate") In little children brains, the brain understands the word not poorly if at all. It's like a blank. So while you hear Don't throw your food, they are processing "Throw your food" Great, huh. I'm sure they understand from your frowny face and tone of voice that they should stop, but use the DO form and see what happens. You are then teaching behavior instead of playing terminator parent or feeling like one. There's no such thing as MISbehavior. All behavior is behavior. There's just behavior we like and behavior that is NOT appropriate. We have to teach it.
-Create a successful environment for them. EX: Kid friendly levels for things:IF they're always pulling off books, just be a pal and move them up. If they're trying to hand you glass bowls from the cupboards- rearrange to make it more successful for them, and show them what they CAN play with. If they are going to spaces where you can't see them, move the things they always pull out to areas where you can see them, then help teach them clean up before something else. Or choose to not care til the end of the day. The clean up battle is not one worth choosing a ton of times daily. You wonder why teachers have storage cabinets and closets? 1. so they have a place to run and scream when frustrated 2. So that everything is NOT out at once. Art project with ALLL the art stuff? No way. So don't give kids access to more toys than they can responsibly put away. I realized I was tired of picking up Lukas' books THAT often, in THAT quantity because we're still learning that whole clean up thing, so I put the books he likes into boxes, and just rotate them in and out of his little world now. And never more within reach in one room than can be picked up in 5 minutes. If it takes 3 hours to clean an area, you've either got too much CR-P in there or too much within reach of those not ready for that much responsibility. So either sell it, give away, or pack away. My rule is, one thing comes in, one thing goes out. 5 toys at Christmas? 5 toys away. (Unless you literally have NOTHIng and you're saving up, but be honest with self!)
Limit media time.

-DO HOUSEWORK WHEN KIDS ARE AWAKE. They will see that messes don't clean themselves up, and that large messes mean less playtime. Natural consequence. They LEARN behavior. How do they learn to clean a room? Pick up areas? You make it possible, and then teach teach teach instead of gripe gripe gripe. Of course, not ALL the time, but if you vaccuum quickly once a day or load/unload dishwasher- it doesn't take that long, but they see, learn, and then take over those jobs. That is the joy of more children. Child labor. Cheap. (Ah hem. FREE)

-OUTSIDE- makes kids tired, creative, and not inside making a mess. Appropriate clothes make it possible. Do I need to say more?

-Also remember that routines are more important than schedules. If bath always comes before bed (except on rare occaisions where mom and dad just really wanted to stay out later with you) then keep those in mind. If we nap after lunch, then we nap after lunch. Resist the urge to get "one more errand done" in that time. You'll only hate yourself later. Have a routine, and do things for YOU while they're asleep or during "quiet time", or after they're in bed. Long phone calls, emailing, blogging, talking to other moms are okay, but be wise in how long you take away from your kid's time with you. Ask a phone call friend to call later. Or don't pick up. You're not a slave to the phone, or email, or blogs, or people who want to talk your ear off. That's why playground chatting is great, as long as you're still watching your kid. You expect that conversations will drop more than T mobile's cell service in the space of 15 minutes. It's the nature of the beast. Of course there's teaching a child to wait, and be respectful of talking to another adult, but teach this and practice this in Family Home evening. Don't expect them to just "Get it" because you do.

-Give choices, both of which are acceptable to you? (Do you want to clean up the cars or the trains first? (Either way they're cleaning up) Do you want sneakers or sandals? Do you want to do the velcro at the same time or each alone? A stretch you say? Not to a toddler. They're getting to choose. You're getting a good outcome either way. And if they don't make a choice? I choose for you.

-Identify ABC's of their actions and see what you can do to give a situation less friction. What was the (A)ntecedent (what happened before the bahavior- were they into a game? Wanting food? too tired? Was it a transition to/from the house/car/store/bedtime? Then identify what YOU can do to make it easier. (5 min warning, 1 minute warning. Say we have one minute and then.... (and let them verbally fill it in so it's coming out of their mouth) This has worked wonders for getting Lukas to an afternoon nap lately and Jared told me his little trick. Nice)What's the (B)ehavior that's happening? And what was the (c)onsequence (result- can be positive or negative. Also, did they just want (A)ttention? Do they need a
(B)ehavior practiced? Did they want (C)ontrol over a situation (maybe they need some more choices)?

-REDIRECT instead of dishing out tons of negative consequences. "Ohhh, let's put that glass bowl away- it could break (do a switcheroo all excited about new item) and check out this (plastic) bowl. Look, you can put the whisk in it and make music!"
-Choose your battles wisely. Safety and need are a real issue. When I call and you don't come outside, is it when you're close to a street and could die, or is it because I'm actually just wanting to fix your hair (which you could care less about and doesn't REALLY matter.) Go to the kid, for cryin out loud and when it's time for them to play, let them play. Try not to interfere in their train of thought.
-Ask them evenly toned to do something and then SAY NO MORE! No, really. If you ask them to put on their shoes, ask, then don't say another word for 10 whole seconds. (Yes, it can be hard). If you constantly prompt, your expectation has been set in your child's mind that you will always ask a few times before you mean business, so why comply the first time? And DON'T ASK ANY QUESTION YOU DON'T WANT THE ANSWER TO or you'll be hosed. Ex: Want to go grocery shopping? (Only works if they also have the option of staying home with dad) Instead, use what's called DIRECT COMMANDS- Please put your shoes on. Sally, please clean up your toys. Joey, come to the table for dinner.

Now we go to DISCIPLINE MODE- GAME TIME:Let's say shoeless child chooses NOT to put on said shoes in said 10 seconds. You don't get to get mad - YET! You ask ONE more time like this: Lukas, you need to put your shoes on NOW please. Then you count to 10, because it's a long time and if you don't think about it you will probably forget.

You CAN praise any movements and actions that indicate compliance (doing the asked thing) along the way, like: "Oh, great job, you're almost there! Oh wow, you got that right shoe on so quickly!" Resist the urge to hurry them: "Hurry, c'mon! Hurry!" can cripple some kids or just sound like noise to them after awhile. Try praising instead. You'll feel silly at times, pasting that smile on with all that positiveness spewing from your mad lips, but try it and then try it again. It takes practice to make it a habit.

No deal after two tries of requesting? Instant consequence giving. Note: Don't bite off more than you can chew!!! You may not believe me, but I can tell you that taking away 10 SECONDS (yes, seconds) of a 6th grader's recess time was WAY more effective than the whole thing. Sometimes a kid was up to 30 seconds waiting, and what would I have taken away had I offered the whole recess up at the beginning? Ummm... I'm at a loss and child has in effect won. Remember this later with "grounding for a week" and "loss of phone priveleges" Once it's been a day or two, they've probably figured out a way to be happy despite the long punishment (email now vs. phone) and the punishment has lost effect.

You'll notice there was no warning before the consequence, like, "If you do that again, you'll go to time out". That's up to you. Supper Nanny does it. State Behavior Specialist does not. Maybe it's because people know after awhile what said action will cause.

Time out is effective, but only if you can handle giving said child absolutely no facial or verbal acknowlegement in that time. If they leave, you put them back, but without talking, without arguing with them... they'll egg you on I am sure, call you dumb, or hate you, etc. Be above it. Know who you are and play your part. Keep facial expression as sterile of anger as humanly possible when you are actually mad. Avoid eye contact.

Right now, we have a problem with Lukas not coming when he's called. Yep, we're heading to 2 years old. We ask twice, then pick him up and take him home (if we are at OP and don't need to stay in that space-- you can't shoot yourSELF in the foot with your consequences. You just have to inconvenience a child enough to make them want to make a better choice.

Just today I walked home with my 33+ pound child under my arm and went right up the stairs. At the place of the "crime" and once at home we repeated this mantra a few times. (ME: When I call for you to come, then you___) (LUkas: COME!") This has happened before and I was amazed that when we went out side the next time that day, that he did listen. Now, carry over to the next day is not yet happening, so I'm still teaching that behavior.

Don't wanna go home? Just reinforce that you want him to come when you call, and practice it, or redirect him to another fun activity to dwell on the positive and give him a chance for some praise right away.

I used to babysit a three year old who would do something naughty right away to see if I'd put her in the naughty chair for 3 minutes. Totally just testing the waters and then it was smooth sailing the rest of the time. Kids need to feel like you are the one in control. Otherwise, they feel like it's left to them and that freaks their little minds out because they don't know HOW to be the one in control. Limits = Safety for them. Don't assume that just because you taught this behavior before, it has "StuCk". Yes, as a parent you are forever teaching children behaviors and practicing them.

In generally, most people who get pats on the back from you don't go throwing you overboard. This methodology really feels more positive for the kids and for you. Instead of looking for the bad and "nos" you have to really train your mind and attitude to look for the good. ANYthing good. As a teacher I was paid to NOT hit kids. I was not paid to be positive. It was illegal to hit kids. It was not illegal to shoot them dirty looks or say things that could put them in their place/embarrass them, or make them feel small. It CAN be done. It's a question of trying and working at it. (And by the way, it works for spouses too. Try 4 to 1 with them. Amazing.haha.) It's kind of like how you'd answer the telephone when you're totally in the middle of an argument with someone else:

(before picking up, ah hem, breathe,: "Hello?" all sweet and nice)

Our greatest gift is the power to choose.

Yes, I get tired. Yes, as a teacher I could go home to a quiet space and get a full night's sleep. Now I do not. I can still choose. Yes, I mess up. Yes, when Lukas smacks me in the face I want to scream, but I can choose to take his little hand and stroke my cheek (in a sometimes overly sarcastic nice voice if I'm actually frustrated with him) and say "Soft on mommy's face. Soft, loving hands. See?" and then feel some sense of victory if he does it back on his own.

Small victory. BIG messy spillout avoided. Happy Lukas. Happy mommy. Still sore cheek, but sometimes we take one for the team.

Extreme cases mean 'extremer' parenting. Go to a parenting class for crying in the sink! Love & Logic, or "Tough Kids". Check with your county's foster care system. THEY offer free classes, and trust me, THEY know about tough kids! It's okay to complain about things that you are making an effort to fix, in my opinion.

Remember what about Bob? Baby Steps. Your child will not sprout a golden halo in one day. (But you can!!)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rise and Shout

As I clicked the door shut he's calling, 'Ich liebe dich mama!' 'Ich liebe dich mama!' Then he's still talking to himself... and then I hear..

"Rise all loyal cougars, hurl mhghskh to the foe,
We..fight, day..night
Rain...or snow"

Rise and shout the cougars are out...
ra ra ra ra
GOoooooooo Cougars!"

Gotta throw in the laundry. Which is both monumental and symbolic since today I THREW IN THE TOWEL.

Yup. Seein' more brain space and time on my hands in the future.
It's over OP.

Anyone in Orchard Park wanna apply to be the new RA? I'll give you the lowdown on the good, the bad, and the ugly... unless you'd prefer the blissful state of ignorance, in which case I'll tell you nothing and just smile :)