Thursday, September 30, 2010

Parenting 101

Hi Friends,
Over the past few days I have been blessed with some helpful hints on child-rearing and just felt obliged to share. As a mom of two small kids, I feel like I can use all the help I can get! Our sermon on Sunday was called Parenting 101 and was such a great message. You can watch or listen to it by clicking here: I HIGHLY recommend watching it if you have kids. Watch it with your spouse, if possible. Jared and I should probably watch it at least once a week just to be reminded of everything.

During the message, our pastor recommended two books.

1. The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman

2. Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp.
I look forward to reading both of them and will be happy to report back when I'm done:)
My next lesson came on Tuesday night at our bimonthly Firewheel Mom's Club meeting. A family/child therapist was our guest speaker and had so many helpful things to share. The topic she chose to cover was "Limit Setting," which is something I deal with quite frequently, as I'm sure most moms do. I get so tired of always threatening or counting to 3 that by the end of the day I am emotionally exhausted. She prefaced all of it by saying that in order for any behavior modification to work, the parent must remain calm but firm. Much easier said than done, but it is possible! I am a work in progress on this, but feel that I am making strides in the right directon. Sometimes they are babysteps, but most of the times they are strides.

She uses the A-C-T Method of Limit Setting.

Here's the low-down on it:
A - Acknowledge your child's feelings
C - Communicate the limit
T - Target the alternatives

Here's an example of how this might work:

A - "I know it feels good to you to be barefoot..."

C - "but you need to wear shoes when we go to the store."

T - "You can wear sandals or shoes. Which do you choose?"

She really emphasized the importance of at least acknowledging your child's feelings first, because it doesn't put them on the defensive. She also really stressed being concise with your ACT so that they understand. The last big point is to use the word "choose" as much as possible, so that they feel empowered. It makes them stop their bad behavior (hopefully!) think about what they want and then make the choice. Just don't give them a choice that you can't live without, like not going to grandma's for the night if you already had family plans to do so.

She also really liked the Gary Chapman book and recommended more as well.

Her favorite ones are:

1. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

2. Sibling Rivalry by the same peeps

I am going to really try and learn something from these resources and hopefully create a more harmonious homelife. I will say that Jackson has responded wonderfully to the ACT I know we're headed in the right direction.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Family Ties

"We are fam-i-ly." No idea who sings it, but that song just popped in my head when thinking about this past weekend. We had lots of family events. We began by celebrating Meme's 80th birthday on Friday at the Cheesecake Factory.

Since Jackson and Maddie were in school during the day, Miss Lila had to represent for the great grandkids. She did a very good job and was so well behaved. She even let us get through all of lunch AND order cheesecake AND eat it. A must when you are at Cheesecake Factory.

Meme was so appreciative!

When you look at her, 80 doesn't seem so old--I just hope I got the same genes. Friday evening we had Lila's dedication in Rockwall, followed by dinner with the whole fam. Then Sunday we did her dedication at our church and then went to Fort Worth for Jared's cousin's birthday.

After enjoying some yummy chocolate birthday cake, Jackson learned a new trick.

Poppy saw how much fun J was having, so he decided to join in too!

After lunch Pa Hays got to spend some quality time with his two great grandkids.

Jackson still calls him Pa Grape. We have yet to figure that one out. Pa doesn't seem to mind one bit, though.

He read Squishy Turtle to Lila...

and played ball with Jackson. The smiles on their faces say it all. Good times, good times.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lila's Church Dedication

This past weekend we celebrated Lila's dedication to our church with all of our family. We did the big ceremony at Lakepointe Rockwall on Friday night and then had dinner at Carino's afterwards.

Then this morning we got all dressed up again...

snapped a few pics of the kids...

and then a few more...

and just one more because my sweet baby girl decided to sit up for the first time!

and went to church at Lakepointe Firewheel for the dedication during our regular church service.

It was a very special day for all of us. Lila was especially thrilled with being onstage!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ahhh yes, first day of fall!

The first day of fall has arrived, so my three year old told me today. We decided to get outdoors and just see if we could feel the difference. While it was still kind of hot and sticky, it was better than it's been, so we went for a trip around the neighborhood.

Jackson drove his John Deere tractor and Miss Lila joined him in the umbrella stroller. It was a big afternoon for Lila--first time in this stroller (the view is so much better!) and first time wearing sun glasses! As far as we could tell, she was thrilled with both.

My little longhorn made a pit-stop in a neighbor's yard to put his horns up. Gotta love the enthusiasm. Go Horns!!

After a while it got cloudy, so we took off Lila's shades. By the look on her face, maybe I should have left them on! She did look pretty darn cute in those hot pink shades.

When we got home we weren't ready to go inside, so we hung out in our backyard. I asked my personal photographer if he could snap a pic of me and my little munchkin. It took a few shots to get her in the picture...

and he cut off some of my head trying to do so, but overall I was impressed with his skills!

He could only take a few pics, though. Afterall, pool work was calling his name.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bye Bye Summer and Sotogrande

We hosted an end of summer swim party this past weekend. We have been wanting to have one all summer and had almost run out of time! So, when we signed a contract on a new house and have a move date set in a couple of weeks, we just had to make it happen. I'm so glad we did.

Lots of our friends were able to join us and we had such a good time. Lila was ready to party with her new friends.
Chilling in the spa with Taylor and Sarah and all our kids. Lila lasted about half an hour and then had to go take a nap--socializing is hard work, ya know.

When we asked Jackson his favorite part about our party, he did not hesitate and said, "Baby Abby." So glad that Abby and her parents, Ryan & Julie, could make it!

There was plenty of hanging in the pool...

and of course Jackson did some cleaning. Guess he wanted to make sure Teagan and JP had a nice place to play over by the yard:)

The big boys really enjoyed their bean bag game...

and I'm pretty sure the hubdog and his buddy Dusty were the grand champions.

After the sun went down we headed inside to watch UT beat Tech. Hook 'Em!! Jackson hung out some more with his new BFF...Price Pointer! These boys are two peas in a pod. Price taught him many jokes and Jackson just ate it up. Then Jackson started trying to make up jokes of his own. Even though the punch lines were out of order he would laugh so hard at himself, which made us laugh at him, too. Thanks again to all of you who came to visit Saturday night. We all had so much fun!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lady Love

Friday, September 17 was a big day for our little girl. She had two dates, yes 2! Albeit both were supervised by her mom. The first one was a meet and greet - very informal - with Sawyer Rachavong. His stats: 16 days old, 7 lbs. 2 oz., 19 3/4 in. tall. Light brown hair styled quite nicely, very laid back personality, major hottie AND has awesome parents! What more could a girl ask for?

She played it cool at first and let Sawyer gaze at her for a bit.
Her excitement was pretty obvious. She tested the waters just a little bit by playing footsies...

when he didn't holler or run away, she moved in for the all-important PDA...holding hands!

Great success!!

"Hey Mom, I think Sawyer is so sweet!"

A girl's gotta keep her options open, though, so Lila was ready to meet boy #2.
Henry Duncan's stats: 9 weeks old, dark brown hair, super adorable, way easy-going and also has excellent parents. Another great guy!

Now that she's had a little practice she wasn't nearly as nervous the second time around.
Lila went right for the hand hold.

" Oh dear, too much, too soon?"
Stay tuned for Lila's future dating adventures. Rest assured, big brother will have final say on any boy she wishes to date:)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lila Lou

Lila is now a little over 5 months old! I know, I know, where does the time go? She has really started changing a lot these past few weeks. For starters, she loves to sit up.

"Who needs to recline, the view is way better if I sit up straight!"

She's also been growing quite a bit. By my estimations, she grew a whole inch in only 1 month. Pretty sure it was all in leg length.

She is developing the cutest personality. She always has a smile on her face and is very flattering to her mom and brother--we feel like the best comedians around. Maybe not Wanda Sykes funny, but pretty darn close.

It's a good thing she's so cute. Just tonight I thought she was giving me kisses, (something else she has learned to do) so I was giving them back. At the last second I turned my head and she spit up all over me...down my shirt, on the front of my shirt, etc. I still saw this as a victory, though, because had I not just turned my head, that spit up would have gone straight into my mouth! Jared thought it did and was trying so hard not to laugh at me. Guess it would have been a little funny. Gross. But funny.

Waving to all her fans. We love you, baby girl. Spit up and all.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Whole New World

So long bouncer, hello exersaucer!! Lila turned 5 months old a week ago and has been relishing her new toys. She began sitting in the bumbo a few weeks ago and just today got to try out her big brother's exersaucer.

I think she's a fan!

Seeing her in this aparatus reminded me of another little cutie patutie. Their resemblance really is uncanny sometimes.

Lila loved having all of these great toys right on her level.

Greatness, mom!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day at the lake

We spent Labor Day weekend up a the lake and had a fantastic time. Mike, Stephanie and Sam Sierra all came, as well as Andrew, Scott and Lyndsie. The weather could not have been nicer, the kids were all well behaved, we had lots of really great food and all the big kids had honestly, what more could you ask for?

We found this right before we left for the lake. It's a sun hat that we bought back in January during our trip to San Diego. She loved it!

The boys began the weekend by testing out the kiddie pools.

They played soccer with Uncle Andrew and loved chasing after him.

That evening we all went for a boat ride. The two little ones fell asleep almost immediately.

After we got back, Uncle Scott got to work on the grill. We all dined on ribs and cheeseburgers and they were delicious. About halfway thru the meal Jackson declared, "I want to be like my Uncle Andrew," and took off his shirt. Andrew thought it was pretty funny, so he decided to join him.

The next morning Jackson and Sam were so glad to see each other:)

Miss Lila had fun chatting with Uncle Scott...

Jackson got ready to hit the beach...

and Lyndsie entertained Miss Lila.

Our fam on the back of the boat. Lila got to wear a bikini for the first time. Love it.

Once again, the boat ride put her right to sleep. No prob! All the guys had already been over to the beach and set up our tent. Sweet girl took a little siesta and then was ready to enjoy the day.

While Lila was napping, Sam found the beach toys and played in the sand with his mama.

Jackson hung out with his new girlfriend, Lyndsie. Sorry Uncle Scott, you may be replaced soon!She was a very good sport about doing anything Jackson asked of her. He had her tying ropes all over the boat and doing various tasks. The kid just has to work, work, work.

We did manage to get him out of the water for this dual family pic. Thanks again Sierras for coming to visit us. We had such a great time!

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