Monday, November 30, 2009

Imagination times a Million

I know, I've heard me talk about how big Veronica's imagination is, but seriously, it's a bit out there. Of course, I don't have your kids at my house 24/7, so I don't have anything to compare it with. However, I would wager to say that she really does live in a dream world (most of the time).

According to a personality book I have, which focuses on Myers-Briggs, there's a chapter on understanding where your child falls under. For myself, I'm an ENFJ and after reading the "Idealist" child (all NF's are idealists), it further confirms that I have always been an Idealist. With this in mind, I look at Veronica and go, "Oh boy! So this is what it was like for my parents." (Veronica is definitely different from me as well--keeping in line with her unique person)

Aside from imagination is the memory capability of this nearly three year old. I'm quite impressed with some of the most random and mundane events she remembers. One thing she can remember the best is any Strawberry Shortcake DVD, which is a reason I limit her intake, because she would most likely start responding to "Strawberry," rather than Veronica. Below is a perfect example of this.

To the untrained eye, this is merely a picture of a little girl with her beloved blankie on top of her head. What you aren't seeing is the image inside her head.
She came up to me looking like this, saying, "BAAA! BAAA! I'm a wamb..." But she's not simply any old lamb. She finished that statement with, " Strawberry!" Upon watching one episode of Strawberry Shortcake, Strawberry disguised herself (along with her cat, Custard & dog, Pupcake) as a lamb, in order to find out who had been stealing Caramel Corn's barnyard animals. Veronica many times will replay the events of the previous day, week or month as she is talking for both characters. Sometimes the events never happened, but to her they actually did. In any case, if we're lacking entertainment, one thing's for sure--make myself some popcorn and watch Veronica perform.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Simple Mom

As a stay-at-home mama, it takes much diligence and self-motivation to get all the tasks done throughout the day, as I am the one setting my schedule. This is very hard for me, because I succeed in group accountability settings. I can recall two online college classes I took and I didn't do nearly as good had I actually been inside the classroom.

I remember sitting down with Ben about a year ago writing up a job description for myself, which helped me tremendously, because it gave this abstract thinker very tangible, concrete objectives to work toward. If you're like me, or maybe you're more along the concrete, objective doer, I came across the a very wonderful website about two months ago.
It's called

Here are reasons why I have loved it:
  • The author is a stay-at-home mama (reputable & trustworthy authority on the subject)
  • She's dedicated to simple living (frugality, thrifty, & resourceful)
  • Tradition & Ritual importance (values family time via yearly traditions & rituals)
  • Creative (she has great ideas on stretching a dollar, family togetherness, etc)
  • Home Management ABC's (basics on organizing my home)
  • Working towards Goals (Tsh always writes toward a bigger goal. Her family values Family Mission Statements, which help them do everything aligning with that statement. I appreciate it, because it helps my family narrow down what we value as a family and leave everything out--without feeling guilty).
  • Grace-filled (too many of these types of sights make me feel overwhelmed, but simplemom is very grace filled & realistic. As a mama & wife, I need that A LOT!)

In a world where we are defined by what we own, who we know, or how much is in our savings account, I hope this website will inspire you to be who God intended. Blessings!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mama's Ingenuity

The culprit:
Tonight during bath time, Ben said, "Mama did it again (or something to that affect)!" And you know what...I did! I would definitely say that what I accomplished to make bath time more enjoyable for not only Veronica, but us as parents is pure genius. And if you're a mama yourself, you know when you find something amazing that works (I mean over the top amazingly works), than you're going to relish in every post victory moment.

My ingenuity comes in the form of a shampoo bottle. However, it's not any ordinary bottle. Sure it's found at your local grocery store, but the marketing department of the shampoo wasn't thinking outside the box for it.
As you can see I've transformed your normal run of the mill 'Strawberry Smoothie' shampoo for kids into a dreamer child's personalized 'Strawberry Shortcake with Custard the Cat Strawberry Smoothie' shampoo. This was further marketed to our almost 3 year old dreamer by making the following suggestions, "Wow, you get to use Strawberry Shortcake Shampoo! I bet Strawberry Shortcake uses the same shampoo. What do you think?" or "Oh and Custard's on the cover too! Does Custard use Strawberry Smoothie Shampoo?" or "Oh my Veronica, you're going to smell just like Strawberry Shortcake!"

You might be thinking right about now, "Why go to all this for bath time?" Oh, yes...well, how shall I put this, "it's HORRIBLE washing Veronica's hair!!!" She screams, she cries, she wails, and let's out pleas to avoid bath time altogether. Over a year ago she began dreading bath time, where she didn't even want to get into the tub. That fear lasted about two months. Unfortunately, for her we still bathed her during that period. And although the fear dissipated, what remained was a lingering which changed like a bi-polar on & off their meds.

Recently, it's been getting worse, all the while her one year old sister delightfully and nonchalantly allows water to wash over her eyes. So my idea was to get Strawberry Shampoo, attach a picture of Strawberry Shortcake and hope that imagination would take off. And since I was a true lover of the original Strawberry Shortcake as a little girl, with similar dreamer tendencies...I remember my mom getting "special" strawberry shampoo for me, which made me feel more like I lived in Strawberryland.

The verdict: She LOVED it!!! Can I emphasize this enough? I mentioned that we should take the Strawberry Shortcake Shampoo with us to Grandma & Grandpa's house this week, ya know, if we needed a bath (as if it's an option right). Her response upon getting out of the tub was grab the bottle of shampoo and said, "Let's go to Grandma & Grandpa's (over & over)."

In other words, she wanted to take a bath again. She didn't cry at all. She didn't object to getting water on her hair. There were no screams, wails, pleas, melodrama galore (that came when we announced bedtime). It was sublime! Never underestimate the power of imagination in a child, especially when you can use it for your sanity.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monkey Business

Yesterday as I was in the kitchen, Veronica was making her way upstairs. Now, she is very open about most things in life, leaving her with little to no coy ways in her body.
I asked her, "Veronica, what are going to do."
Veronica with unabashed honesty, "I'm going to get into monkey business."

Last week I had to run to the store to get some milk before Ben left for work. When I walked in the door, Veronica hurriedly announced, "I GOT A BANANA, SQUISHED IT AND ATE SOME!"
She slurred some of her words together as the above wasn't as clear as what I wrote. I thought she was talking about breakfast. However, about 10 minutes later I noticed a banana that had been squished, as if she bit into the peel to get the fruit out, just laying on the counter. That monkey!

Today I was asking Veronica a series of questions..."Veronica, how old are you? Veronica, what's your full name? Veronica, how old is Cadence?"
Then, I asked her, "Veronica, where do you live?"
I thought she might reply with, "HERE!"
However, she surprised me with her response, but I guess not too much as she is quite imaginative.
She said with all seriousness, "In Strawberryland!"
I replied, "Yep, I believe you do!"
Like I said, she has quite the imagination and I'm sure she has imagined herself living there many times in a 24 hour period.

While we were getting the girls ready for bed the other night, Cadence crawled down the hall to our bedroom. We were originally all in the girl's room preparing for nighttime. Veronica got into monkey business earlier in the day, so when she walked into the bedroom to see what Cadence was up to, she announced quite loudly & shockingly, "OH NO, Cadence is getting into MONKEY business." **The monkey business Veronica got into was in our room by getting into mama's lotion and putting it everywhere on her body. She was going to take a nap on our bed, while Cadence was asleep in their room. I told Veronica that she was NOT to get into monkey business, but didn't heed mama's rule.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tayers turns one (with pictures)

Happy Birthday my sweet Cadence. You gave mama a run for her money to wait it out in the womb for much longer than I would have liked. We wanted to have you at home, but like most things in life, we roll with the punches.

For those of you reading, enjoy the pictures of when she was fresh out of the oven to a year later eating a birthday cake. **Disclaimer: All hair is original, no fakes here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

climbing stairs is like mt. everest

It's official that mama has to be on alert at all times with second monkey climbing the stairs. The video is a bit long, but that's how it goes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gift #2: laughter

Tayers brings so much laughtr into our home. She has different laughs, which coordinate with specific scenarios.

First, there is the squeal, which comes from any sign of affection or attention Veronica gives her. It is loud & vibrant.

Second is the courtesy/"I'm funny aren't I" sort of laugh. She has the look on her face much like the picture above, but then she snickers.

Third is the deep, guteral laugh, which is infectious. This especially appears when she is being tickled.

We love our Tayers and hope to value her many rainbows of laughter in the years to come.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gift #1: Affection

Our sweet Tayers is turning one year on Saturday. As a mama it is definitely a reflective time in recalling the series of events leading up to holding her in my arms for the very first time. She brings a special joy & playfulness to our family, which is irreplaceable. One of her special gifts is her love of affection.
Tayers & Cousin Lucas

Big sister has never been much of a cuddler or physical touch sort of kid, which is how we know when she's sick as she will cuddle. But Tay is truly our affection/physical touch child. She is physical when it comes to playing, being mad (yikes!) and showing her love. In fact, a couple weeks back she was acting out of character (fussy & whiny unless she was being held). Well, if I had really spent time thinking about what my daughter needed (I was thinking it was just teething), I would have realized how she wanted to be held, because that's who she is. She likes being in the Ergo, because it's close contact with Mama or Papa. By Saturday, I took Little with me for a morning outing, while Tayers stayed with Papa. When I called to check in, Ben said she was a bit whiny, but held her for an hour.

We noticed how happy she was after that morning with daddy. She simply needed some affection to be reassured.

It can get taxing as I'm trying to make a meal while there's a little crawler literally crawling (& clawing) up your leg to be held. But, I cannot get away from how much I love her climbing into my arms for reassurance as she scampers away from the Talking Mumble Penguin. She reminds me of a Koala cub in this way. Plus, I know I will long for these days when she will probably refuse Ben & my affection. So I pray that you Tayers would have discernment in who's arms to climb into to receive affection. That more than anything, you would climb into the arms of your Papa God in all of lifes storms & sunny days.

Giving baby doll kisses

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rule #12

On drinking out of a cup, by Veronica Storey.

"When I drink out of a cup, I put my head up. I drink down when I drink straws!"

If you know of someone desperately in need of this rule, please pass it along. This just might be what they're looking for to avoid spills. Do mention that it is best served while looking in the mirror repeating it several times.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our Halloween (and last of October)

I didn't really realize today was the first of November or that Fall is coming to a close. Isn't it funny that Fall isn't officially over until December 20th on the calendar, but really Thanksgiving is the cutoff. I find it more interesting how Starbucks seems to set the pace of the seasons for us.

Once their Pumpkin Spice Latte comes out on the menu, people get giddy for Autumn. Then, when the red cups make their way into the hands of consumers...the Holiday season is off and going. And of course, they keep the red cups going into the New Year to help us recover from our holiday longing (which won't come for another 325 days or so more). Slowly, they awaken our souls with the love of their Cafe Verona (decaf as well) during February. And eventually, comes Spring and shortly after Summer with their Frappuccino and Passion Shaken Iced Tea Lemonade. Amazing marketing, really.

On Family:

Well, we've been keeping busy in our home with making a family mission statement, reorganizing our budget, dealing with a little girl who likes to scream, and another one who is forever talking about some occurrence of the day. We didn't go to any Harvest Party or go trick or treating, because neither girl knew what they were missing (and one is too young to eat candy). Therefore, we did baths, ate dinner and prepared for daylight savings. Veronica did however dress up as Strawberry Shortcake for playgroup on Thursday.

She truly thought she was Strawberry--seriously. When she took the wig off it was Veronica, but when the red wig went on her head...Strawberry Shortcake appeared.

On Cadence:

Cadence is still a pro at crawling and I'm wondering when she'll start pulling herself up more frequently. She moves rather quickly on the floor and has been crawling for well over 3 months now, but she'll get there--right! Of course she will. She has been wanting more special attention time. On Saturday I took Veronica with me to run errand and have some special mama time. While daddy had bonding time with Tayers. He said he held her for at least an hour and she was in heaven. She's been pretty relaxed this past year, specifically in terms of sharing us with her older, more vocally assertive sister. However, in this past week, I think something went off inside this little body. It's as though she was saying, "Okay, I've been taking the back seat enough and I'm gonna let it all out with vocal prowess & pulling on some pant legs!"

She's been saying "dada" a lot this weekend and identifies Ben with the word. She laughs at her sister and thinks she's a hoot (most of the time). In fact, so much so, that during nap time it is a bit difficult to get Cadence to fall asleep; because, she's so excited to have some "alone time" with Veronica.
On Veronica:
Her amazing curls after a bath!

She is constantly talking as always. She is enjoying her sister more, but still lets out a squawk, "NO Baby Cadence, that's MY blankie!" However, she is quick to make sure Cadence is doing okay and her health is in good hands.

Cadence recently had a pretty bad rash, which blistered and split open on her bottom area. Veronica would say, "Put some cream on baby Cadence's rash to make it feel better!?" Then, as the rash was no longer, Veronica made the same above statement. I said, "No, the rash is all gone. Thank you Jesus for helping take Cadence's rash away!" Veronica repeated, "THANK YOU Jesus for taking Cadence's rash away!" (she said the same thing later that evening without hearing me say it).

Our mama/daughter morning. A stop at the Farmer's Market and she got a ladybug painted on her face.

She loves being able to pray for our meals and anything else that pops into her head while we're at the table. "Thank you Jesus for the soup! (I say, "yes, thank you for the soup") Thank you, thank you for going into the classroom with no crying! (I say, "yes, thank you for Veronica going into the Sunday School classroom without crying.")"

When she was upstairs brushing her teeth one evening she cried out:
"Oh no! Blankie's gone!"
Me: "It's okay, Mama will get blankie downstairs in the basement. I'll go get it."
(I leave, while Ben is helping Veronica upstairs)
Veronica: (while looking in the mirror) "Dear Jesus, please make blankie safe!"

When she is wanting to hear some affirmation she'll say, "Thank you Eronica for putting mama's shoes away!" Then, we'll say, "OH Veronica, did you put mama's shoes away? Thank you for being a helper!"

And they got some Halloween cards from their G&G Scellick, which Veronica scrambled down the stairs when she heard she got mail. Watch the video below: