Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Husband

Growing up I remember seeing how on television people met their boyfriend or husband, and it seemed like it was in the most unlikable situations (like a bar or a party). I thought, "Oh no, how will I find a husband if you can only find them in those places?" Luckily, I was naive and soon realized I serve a much bigger God (and I could use the brain the good Lord gave me too). My hometown, Yuma, AZ, is a military town, so there are tons of marines living there and I think that influenced that young, impressionable mindset in me. My experience of many marines was not like what you see in those ads on T.V. of these stellar, hardworking, high integrity men. It was many things opposite (please don't assume I'm speaking on behalf of all men in the military--that was my perception back in junior high & high school).

The beginning of our weekend away & the only pictures we took.

However, I was blessed with Ben. I call him Benny (caught on my his dad doing the same) at times, or Papa, or daddy (weird how you change names once you have kids). He is a diligent, loyal, & caring individual. If you were on the island in LOST, you would want him on your side. Heck, even if you weren't on that island, you'd want him on your side. He's never given me any reason to distrust him. He makes it easy to fulfill my end of the covenant in our marriage, by showering me with selfless, sacrificial love. There are people where you have to see their actions, before you believe their word. Ben's words are his actions. I've always admired & appreciated this about him.

We have our share of spouts or disagreements, but I wouldn't say any of them lead us to a place where we cannot ask for forgiveness and work to move forward. We dated for four years and this June will have been married for eight years, which makes a total of 11 years come July of how long we've been in a relationship. I would say our dating relationship was probably the hardest (and at times I have no idea why we kept persevering it), but I'm thankful that Ben saw something in me worth loving. In the midst of my immaturity, over reactive tendencies and brokenness, he chose to love me. He put love into action and prized me (still does) as Jesus does his bride.

I think one of our strengths in our marriage is wanting to see the other succeed. I know I want to see Ben live to the potential God has for him. I want to support him in his dreams, encourage him to dream bigger and walk (or run) alongside him in our journey. He does the same for me.

I have been having headaches everyday for the past week and they've been reoccurring the past couple months with more frequency & intensity. I'm not sure the cause of them, but I do know that Ben showered me with love by going to work a bit later today, because I woke up with one all across my head. And another thing I know is when I went to bed last night, the kitchen looked like this,

because I was busily making this (for small group),

while taking care of them (because they took opposite naps),

and then waking up to this.

One way I try really hard in loving Ben is by keeping the kitchen clean without a pile of dishes after I do a baking marathon. It's one of his pet peeves. There are times when life doesn't work they way you want it to or expect it to turn out. And we have choice on how we respond. This morning I was given a bad headache, knowing full well that I would need to tackle the mess in the kitchen (I normally clean it up before bed); however, it didn't work out like that. Ben took it upon himself to clean my mess and it blessed me SO very much.

P.S. When I was uploading the pictures from the camera, this is when I saw these pictures. Ben was probably just making a joke, but I think he deserves his own post.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Naked Girl

Whether you're a parent or a kid observer, you've probably noticed some of the words seeping out of their mouths. There are on occasion those hilarious statements, which you can only do one thing with them...share it with as many people as possible. And with advent of turning three, Veronica's vocabulary & phrases have grown like a fat boy's gut at an all you can eat pizza buffet.
It must be said, that i always,always wear pajamas at night. So when Veronica came into our room Saturday morning, I was a bit taken back by what she said. She muttered something while patting my back (me in bed). Then, in typical Veronica morning fashion, she asked to get snuggly in our bed. I pulled her up and then she focused her attention on me again, but this time with audibility. She said while tugging at my shirt, "Mama take shirt off! Mama put her naked girl on?!"

What proceeded was pure laughter from Ben & me. I chose to sway from her morning input, but this statement is definitely record worthy.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Types of Food Blogs 2

Well, Ben said that he wouldn't be able to start any food blog until after he takes the CFA test in June. Sorry! But, if he does, then stay tuned.

I was thinking about the different food blogs there are out there and I wanted to classify some of them, because it's real daunting when you've perused the 200th version of chocolate meat sauce enhancing the umami taste. What? You mean you don't know what umami even is? Well, aren't you lucky to have stumbled here. Actually, you're not lucky, because I'm not going to digress into what the "fifth taste" sensation is, nor will I be discussing the first taste sensation. Okay, I'll tell you...briefly... a Japanese food scientist, Kikunae Ikeda described asparagus as having a taste unlike the basic four (sweet, sour, bitter, salty), but said it was 'umami,' which is best described as savory. Okay, so now onto the blogs.

Food Porn: These are those blogs where you salivate, lust after, but you know you can never really be in a true relationship with. The photographs are perfectly aligned, the food has been primped and powdered, and the lighting is ethereal. These are the unattainable foods, which makes me wonder two things. One--is the food even real? The blogger/photographer has captured us with the visual aesthetics, but lacks in the taste sensation. It's the people who review on Amazon about cookbooks to complain about how the cookbook stinks, because there weren't enough pictures. Now, I understand why we would want pictures in a cookbook; however, if the food tastes like a soiled diaper but looks wonderful--you're still spitting it out.
Two--does the blogger/photographer suffer from a bit of Type A syndrome? I know, I'm being harsh, but to think of how much these people go through to photograph their food for a blog, who don't have a book contract seems a bit asinine.

(a picture cannot capture the writing adequately)

Sitting on the steps of the Met: Okay, I'm about to share one of my more shameless moments as a person with you, in order to explain this heading. I have watched more than a couple episodes of Gossip Girl, which is a show about the upper east siders in Manhatten, all well to do's and only the top dogs sit on the steps of the Met for lunch at the private high school. This translates in food blogosphere to the pretentious, snooty food blogs. It makes me feel like I'm back in high school trying to convince the "cool kids" that they're system is irrevocably like the queen and anarchy will soon break out, while we real "cool" kids will be ruling the system and they can take their fancy schmancy tushies to the lettuce fields to see what life is really like.

These might be confused with the Food Porn blogs, but really they're not just wanting to take immaculate photographs. Instead, they're the Ivy Leaguers letting you know how you're NOT an Ivy Leaguer, so please don't try to live on the other side of the tracks. Don't get me wrong--although these blogs are snooty, they typically know what they're talking about--and that's the problem. They aren't completely talking nonsense. It's more of their tone, which ruffles my feathers. They lack approachability and I would welcome you to read their comments section. You will see a line of followers who are either like-minded or kissing up trying to sing to the choir.

Health-Nut, Raw-eatin' & drinkin', raising everything from the ground up: These blogs are fun to read, but it makes me wonder how these women (seriously, 99.9%) have any time for anything else in their lives. Okay, I'm giving them a hard time. But one things for sure. They take their nutrition seriously, research it and want to provide the most wholesome food for their family. That's not a bad thing. In fact, it makes it easy for you as the reader to skim through what works for you. My main qualm with these bloggers is it seems they only read the research which corresponds with their beliefs and backs them up. I have a hard time believing something when I only see one side of the issue.

Down-to-Earth, loves food & loves people too: Okay, so I LOVE these types of food blogs. I think the only blog I will link is In Praise of Leftovers on here. Sarah does a wonderful job of taking life, taking food, & putting it in writing & photos and creating this beautiful snapshot of hopefulness. I like these blogs, because they have taken pretentiousness out of the equation. They know a thing or two about food (or at least what they blog about), but they respect the food & community it comes from. They take the food as something to be loved, cherished, savored & enjoyed, but wrap it up with respect to the people who will be sitting around the table. You walk away feeling intact as a human. These would be those blogs where they are not just foodies, but food poets.

Rendered Pork Fat
Food Journalist & loving it: These blogs describe food so well. They make comfort food, but also tackle some uncommon flavor profiles. They play with recipes. They create recipes. They know their stuff by doing and make you fall in love with food simply by reading what they've gone through to get to the final result. Some are seasonalists, vegetarians, carnivores, farmer's market participants, caterers, professionals, or best yet---true foodies who have taught themselves what they know (self-taught pops). You keep going back to see what they've created and you want to be invited over to their house.

Going to be efficient in what I do food blog: These are the people who've decided to narrow their interest and do it well. It might be simply culinary, no pastry or vice-versa. But better is when they take a certain arena within the pastry or culinary and expand. These people are brilliant, because they are reaching a specific demographic with their marketing. These are the gluten-only people, vegan only people, french cooking, etc. Or more narrow would be, "I only make cupcakes," or "I only make breads." This might seem like the nutrition group, which in part is true. However, I think this one is tackling a specific food item. Cupcake Bakeshop is an example of this.

Want to be a food blogger, but my photos look like I took them in a dark cave: Now, as I've talked down about the food blogs with photos, which have an unattainable factor, there is an element of providing good photos. I know we cannot all afford expensive cameras plus equipment plus Alaska summer sunshine. However, there is an element of picture needed dependent upon what the food blog is trying to achieve. If the food blog is primarily essay, then photos don't need to be much. However, most are showing people why the food they are making is SO worth it. And unless you can sketch really well (Joy of Cooking inspired), you need some visual capturing tool. I know I have been guilty of this, but I wasn't trying to only make a food blog. So if you're thinking, "well thanks Kamille, I've posted pictures of food on my blog and they aren't too great." Don't fret--unless it's full on food blog--this doesn't apply to you. If you have a full on food blog, then it's okay, just stop making this mistake and start taking your pictures with natural light on them. It makes the biggest difference.

Evangitality: Well, then you have those food blogs that aren't really food blogs, but they're SO much more. They combine food, with stories, with simplistic photos, with I'm not trying to hard, with hospitality anecdotes and thoughts about mothering, wifering, and life's journey. Doesn't that sound like one heck of a food blog? You'd be right! And as far as I know--there's only one in existence that fits the bill. Hmmm...

Well, don't take my word for it. Just go look at the zillion of food blogs out there and report back here with your findings.

Just in case you don't know how to find the blogs. Go to my foodie links and click on one and then go to their links, which will take you to more links, and the list is endless from there on down the rabbit hole.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Types of Food Blogs 1

Ben asked me before the new year if I minded if he started a blog. However, not just any ole' blog...a food blog. "Well, what would you write about?" I asked. "Oh, food, " he replied. "yes, I know food, but what kind of food? Because you know you don't really cook too often to contribute to a food blog," I said. "I make food," he responded. "What do you make? I mean, your food blog would really only consist of like three different recipes, slightly varied and it doesn't count if the food is ham & cheese sandwiches & canned soup," I replied back.

Then, I realized by the glimmer in his eye (which I typically see after I've gotten a bit sidetracked by his first question), which means he's a bit serious, but really making a joke. So I inquired a bit more, "So do you REALLY want to start a food blog? Or would it be making fun of food blogs?" I think it was a bit of both, but really the second part. Then I thought about it and told him he might be making fun of something I've posted about at Evangitality, which is why he asked me in the first place (in order to spare unnecessary spousal dismay). But Ben brings up a good point. Have you ever looked at the infinite amount of food blogs on the internet? I think Ben's would most likely be a smashing success, because he is a witty writer and conversationalist and could create an Onion equivalent to the foodie world.

Stay tuned as I will highlight types of food blogs and how Ben has spiced up your average ham & cheese on whole wheat to an Asian-Fusion meets Hungarian style.

P.S. Take the Poll on Ben's Food Blog in the right hand sidebar.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Habit 1: Be Proactive

I know that I mentioned about two weeks ago that I would be posting the following week, which would mean last Friday, about the next chapter in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. However, life comes and goes and I wasn't about to put more unnecessary pressure upon myself (I can do that without a looming post on the blog). As I should be posting on the second chapter, which is on Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind; however, I am a bit behind and I'll start here and maybe if you're lucky...I'll have the other post done by the end of the weekend.

On to the book. Can I say that I can understand why Stephen Covey is one of the most influential men and why Ben loves the 7 Habits? Well, I do understand. It's because his writing is easy to follow. He takes the theoretical and makes it into meat & potatoes. Plus, I feel like it's not overwhelming to become a person who is more thoughtful and less over reactive.

Habit 1: Be Proactive

This is the basis for everything else in our lives. It draws upon the ability to know self, have the will power to change, a moral compass/conscience to drive, and imagination or hope for a better future. Being proactive is knowing that I am the only individual who can change my response to various stimulus. I have previously mentioned this in the about the introduction.
However, we see it being further expanded here in Chapter 1.

It goes like this:

Stimulus ----------------------> Freedom to Choose ------------------------> Response

Examples of Stimulus:
  1. Child having a temper tantrum
  2. Spouse being inconsiderate
  3. Driver cutting me off
  4. Friend forgetting to call on my birthday
Freedom to Choose:

  1. I could yell at my child, spank my child, remove my child from my presence, remove myself
  2. I could withhold affection, be inconsiderate back, be nasty with my words, love anyway
  3. I could cuss at them, wish ill will upon them, flip them off, breathe deeply and move on
  4. I could play passive aggressive next time we spoke, not call them on their birthday, or give them the benefit of the doubt.
My Response:

This is what response I have chosen from my 'Freedom to Choose.' Here Covey writes about what he read in a book prior to writing the original 7 Habits book.

Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our happiness.
However, we have to rely on our Four Unique Human Gifts in order to become aware of that space and the "pause button" to stop ourselves in that space. Currently, I am thinking of a physical reminder to serve as a pause button. Some have suggested saying a prayer, meditating, raising your arms, clasping your hands, counting to 10.

The pause button is teaching oneself how to "cultivate a spirit of acting based on principle-centered values instead of reacting based on feelings or circumstances." After reading this over and over, it made me realize how deficit I have been due to reacting to events or situations solely on my feelings or emotions. And it's not undermining emotions or feelings, which I appreciate as a more emotional person. Rather, it's saying that when I react to circumstances, situations, or events in my life based on how I feel or what my emotions say, than I find myself in a downward spiral of chaos. So I need to act upon my feelings and emotions, but not react because of them. I need to let principles drive me in life, not my emotional state, because if it was the latter--my kids & husband would be in a world of hurt.

Each of us has Four Unique Human Gifts, but we don't always use them or exercise them. It is during the "Freedom to Choose," where we begin to utilize these four gifts.

1. Self-Awareness: being able to stand apart from the situation and evaluate
2. Conscience: the moral & ethical questions being asked and followed through
3. Imagination: The ability to see the possibility for change or hope for a brighter future
4. Independent Will: the drive, self-control or motivation to make it all happen

All four of these are pivotal in making Habit 1 actually happen. If we are missing one of these gifts, then we cannot fully utilize our potential. For instance, Adolf Hitler had three of these gifts, but lacked a conscience. I might have self-awareness, a conscience & imagination, but lack independent will, which would inhibit me from actually doing anything. When we're faced with any obstacle or stimulus, we have a choice on how we're going to respond and as we strengthen our "four unique gift" muscles, we will be able to "act" upon our response; rather, than react with a response.

----------------------------------A Fifth Gift------------------------------------------------------------------

Covey speaks of having a sense of humor as being integral, which I wholeheartedly agree with. If we cannot laugh at ourselves or circumstances in life (ones that are really worth laughing about), then we lose sight at what's truly important. I can recall in my dating years with Ben how I would become overly sensitive about certain remarks, or things he said. Looking back, it wasn't Ben--it was me. I had become so uptight that I couldn't laugh at myself and take a joke. Humor is different from being crass or vulgar. It is being lighthearted, not lightminded. I appreciate the fun, the laughter and the humor we have in our home. In fact, just yesterday I busted up laughing in the kitchen recalling Ben making fun of me and my "compost" pile at our old home. I would defend it then, but now I know I was silly for thinking throwing some veggie scraps into a bush of thorns was composting.

---------------------------------------Love is a Verb---------------------------------------------------

I really enjoyed this section, which was woven throughout the chapter. He spoke of a guy coming up to him at a seminar saying how he just didn't "feel" anything for his wife anymore and that he guessed he didn't love her. Covey replied, "Sounds like you don't have feelings for her anymore."
The man answered back, "Yeah, so what do I do."
Covey told the man, "love her."
But the man responded to Covey that he wasn't listening and didn't understand, because the feeling wasn't there. However, Covey continued with, "love her."
Then the man said, "But how do you love when you don't love?"
And Covey answered, "My friend, love is a verb. Love--the feeling--is a fruit of love the verb. So love her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her."

If we haven't come from families where love is a verb, but a feeling, than we have more than likely bought into what Hollywood would have us believe it to be...nothing more than feeling. The reason why understanding love is a verb is so profoundly important is because Habit 1: Being Proactive starts with self. If I know that all of this starts with me and how I choose to respond, then it is essential to know that how I choose to love Ben, my girls, my extended family, my friends, and strangers is not based on how I feel, but based on actions. It's not about how Ben treats me, how my girls respond (because we know they're pretty temperamental) or someone else. It's my choice in how I respond. This is especially true within my marriage. Granted we have never been through "major" life-altering problems in our marriage. However, we did date for quite some time and I didn't always love as a verb, but we made a choice to continue to weather the storms (more of my emotional distress) and fought for what we wanted.

Circle of Influence & Circle of Concern:

This hit me really hard. When we live in the Circle of Concern, rather than the Circle of Influence, we find ourselves more critical, judgmental and fearful. The Circle of Influence is the circle in your life you can actually control or influence. While the Circle of Concern is the circle you cannot control or influence. When life goes upside down with my extended family, I allow the Circle of Concern to influence my life. And through understanding these circles, I can see how as I let the wrong circle influence my behavior...I react to the problem or person, instead of act. By living in the Circle of Concern, it caused me to treat the person (or persons) I was concerned about more like a punching bag. However, when I focus my energies on my own Circle of Influence, then it creates a rippling effect and my Circle of Concern gets touched by the ripple. Does this make sense? Basically, it's knowing what is my business and what is not my business, what I am responsible for and what I am not.

I am not responsible for anyone's marriage aside from my own. Can I love and support a failing marriage? Yes, but it's not my responsibility to get them to love one another. I can love Ben and be an example. I am not responsible for the way Ben treats me. Can I love him and serve him to make it easier for him? Can I choose to keep my covenant even when I don't feel like it? Yes. Likewise for him to me. I am not responsible for how Veronica responds in the grocery store if she falls on the floor having a tantrum. Can I provide consequences due to her behavior not aligning with our family principles? Yes.

You know if you're in the Circle of Influence or Circle of Concern based on your language. If you're defensive, reactive, accusing, or blaming, then you're in the Circle of Concern (typically because it's when we are trying to control a situation that is so far out of our grips). However, your language in the Circle of Concern is proactive and reflective on what you can do about it.

Emotional Bank Account: I think I mentioned in the previous post on the 7 Habits about this. In case I didn't...this is key to growing your family and being proactive. Basically, write down your family members names on a piece of paper. Then, by each one, write down the ways in which you show love & care towards them. It's kind of like the Five Love Languages.

For instance, Veronica needs constant verbal affirmation. So as I fill her emotional piggy bank with words of praises, she in return trusts mama & respects who I am as her mama. I am letting her know that I am her for her and think she's worth it. However, if I were to use critical words or lacked any affirming words, she disregard me and grow to distrust who I am in her life. You'll find that each family member has more than one, but ask yourself how you daily fill these emotional piggy banks. And maybe you can write down what your emotional piggy bank needs are as well. This is how the 'love is a verb' applies. It is through doing that our loved ones feel love.

Deposit Ideas

  1. Being Kind: I can show kindness to Ben by clearing off the vertical surfaces to have clutter free zones. I can show kindness to Veronica by rubbing her back at naptime. I can show kindness to Cadence picking her up when I'm busy making dinner. What are ways you can show kindness to the people in your life?
  2. Apologizing: I can think of how amazing it is to see humility through saying sorry or having someone say it to me. It's taking ownership and breaks down walls. It also adds deposits to the emotional piggy bank.
  3. Being Loyal to those not Present: This is especially true within family circles. It's being a person who speaks well of everyone. Not being a gossip. Using your words to speak praises, rather than tearing down. Regardless, if the family member or person is lazy, a loser, or whatever fill in the's being loyal to them by speaking of only their good traits or better yet (how God sees them as his child).
  4. Making and Keeping Promises: Being a person who keeps their covenant or commitment. Don't be fleeting with your "I do's." I know I have to be careful when I tell Veronica that I will tell her a story later or do something else later...I have to be willing to actually do it, so she knows my word is my bond.
  5. Forgiving: Not only do we need to ask for forgiveness, but we need to extend forgiveness. I know of people who go through a huge chunk of their life clinging to forgiveness lost. And they are the worst for it. You grow bitter, disgruntled and lonely. But the worst is thinking about myself standing before God on judgment day and him saying, "I forgave you the hugest debt and you weren't willing to forgive this person of their small debt?"
I want to close with this:

The Primary Laws of Love, which "reflect the reality that love in its purest form is unconditional." It is, "acceptance rather than rejection," "understanding rather than judgment," and "participation rather than manipulation." Living out these laws is based upon my choice, not on someone's behavior or choice.

Covey says it best,
Sometimes when people are struggling with a loved one and doing everything they can to lead that person toward what they feel is a responsible course, it's very easy to fall into the trap of living the "secondary" or counterfeit laws of love--judgment, rejection, and manipulation. They love the end in mind more than the person. They love conditionally....they use love to manipulate and control...and others feel rejected and fight to stay the same.
However, when you deeply accept and love people as they are, you actually encourage them to become better. By accepting people you're not condoning their weakness or agreeing with their opinion; you're simply affirming their intrinsic worth. You're freeing them of the need to defend, protect, and preserve themselves.

I like that line about not condoning a person's weakness or agreeing with their opinion, but affirming their intrinsic worth. Because isn't that what we all want as human beings. We want to be treated with dignity & respect, because I think it's how we were created.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I seem to have been focusing more attention to my non-family blog, Evangitality. It's my hospitality meets evangelism, which is all about the two along with intertwining food & stories. I wanted to draw attention to the button you might see in my sidebar. My friend Emily told me that I needed to make a button. Funny thing about it is I was thinking about deleting this blog the day before I got her email, but it was due to her email that encouraged me in my endeavors, evaluate my motives behind starting Evangitality and got me back on track.

If you would like to add this button to your blog (I would be grateful & who knows maybe something fresh from my oven shipped to your door--bribery isn't beneath me), then simply copy the Html link and create an Html widget for your blog. Paste the evangitality Html on your said Html widget, press save and there you have it. The button is basically for publicizing the blog. When you click on the button (as you can see from clicking on mine in the sidebar) it will take you to the blog. Thanks Emily for your encouragement and thanks to those of you who visit it. I cherish your comments & thoughts (it's part of what makes it worthwhile).

2/16/10 UPDATE:

For those of you who aren't computer savvy, here's a step by step to add it to your sidebar:

1. Go to your Dashboard
2. Click Layout
3. On the Layout page you will see on either your right or left hand column (depending which side is you have for your blog) at the very top, "Add a Gadget"
4. Click the "Add a Gadget" button.
5. Scroll down to find the Html/JavaScript and click the "+" sign.
6. Copy & Paste the Html link found on my Blog's sidebar.
7. Press save and it should appear on the sidebar.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Look

When Tayers is sitting in her highchair eating, she will occasionally give us a look, which a stranger would interpret as the evil eye. However, it's really just her being funny. She'll give the look waiting for us to give the eye back and then she throws her head back laughing.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Acting out the Story

Ben asked Veronica, "do you want to put some clothes on?"
Veronica: "No I want to stay naked and watch Strawberry forever!"

Cadence is on the verge of becoming a walking girl. She has been taking steps here and there and we have a feeling that it is coming soon to a theater near you (actually that would be a little creepy if strangers were watching our one year old on the big screen).

Before nap time today Veronica wanted a book read, so I said okay. We finished reading 'Five Little Monkeys with Nothing To Do,' and she went off to find another book. Now, her Grandpa Scellick gave her a harmonica book which came with a harmonica. The reason being is because he wrote a story (retold orally on CD, because he's cool like that) about Veronica getting a harmonica from Grandpa. The story ends with Veronica asking mama, then daddy, and eventually Cadence if they'd seen her harmonica, where we find out Cadence put it in the fridge when mama was getting milk out. So, the book Veronica wants me to read is the harmonica book, except I tell her it's not like a story book, but more of an instruction book. Nonetheless, I go over it with her. Then, I ask her, "where is your harmonica anyway? Is it in the toy bin? (it was a serious inquiry)"
Her response: "No, it's in the fridgerator."
Me: "Oh (recalling the story)," then I repeat some of the story back. Well, after the girls woke up from their nap I went to get milk out of the fridge and to my surprise

I will get a move on giving a recap of 7 Habits tomorrow, but until then...goodnight.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sisterly Love

Laughing Time:
The two monkeys that preside in the smaller room upstairs have this little nightly routine. Daddy announces, "Would you two girls like to have some laughing time?" It started a couple weeks back when Tayers climbed up into V's bed rolling around laughing and giggling. Then, V jumped in not wanting to miss out on some free fun and the two rolled around, giggled and laughed. What's great about this is when Tayers arrived on the scene, V was the least bit interested in her. As I've previously mentioned, she has never been mean or vicious toward her little sister, it's more that--she just didn't really care to interact with her. In the past two - three months, we've seen V turn a new leaf and a new heart cultivating toward Tayers. Of course, this makes TayTay happy as she's finally getting some attention from this older yet little person whom she adores. We're very glad to see the warmth between the two.

The Guile and the non:
I was just talking about Tayers with two friends today telling them how it's hard to fully communicate/convey who she is in blogland. Mainly, it's due to the way she carries herself and the facial expressions she gives us, which makes that cliche, "a picture is worth a thousand words," completely applicable in this instance. While V has always been dead honest with an immense tendency to allow even the smallest child to push her over...I would wage to say that Tayers at five years and V at seven years on a playground while another kid is bullying them--it would be Tayers to defend. She's like that! When V gets into monkey business, melts down, or communicates, she does it with everything hanging out. She is who she is and I figure she's not into playing the guessing game.

On the other hand, you have Tayers who although is just shy of 15 months, has great tactical/espionage prowess. I see it in her eye. There's the twinkle of, "I'm cute, you don't want to discipline me (Jedi mind tricks happening)." There's the taking away her older sisters beloved soft blankie (and that twinkle again) with a mischievous look at her sister wondering what her reaction will be. She's that kid who you say "no" to and continues to press the issue to see if you were REALLY serious about it (ya know, she's just checking). She's also the type of kid who continues to make smooching noises to her sister when a complete stranger might think, "Oh how sweet," but she's really just trying to get under her sister's skin. So, I have this feeling we're going to have to watch out for this one & her coy tendencies.

My Broken Record:
We went to the Children's Museum in Burlington with our friends. After we were done we ate our lunch at a table in the Mall (where the Museum is). As we were packing up getting ready to head home, V started walking toward a shop. The shop had these colorful hula hoops right outside, which were asking to be taken down; however, I wasn't intending for my child to be the culprit. Apparently, she didn't get the memo, or should I say didn't listen very well to verbal memo, "STOP, V STOREY STOP!" (repeated more than once). And as anyone knows, a good parent is one who provides consequences for actions and follows through. Consequence: No watching Strawberry Shortcake DVD on the 25 minute car ride home. Effect: Monumental. Needless to say, I had to stop the van twice and everyone had to wait for someone to have an attitude adjustment.

After nap time, V began saying like the broken record she tends to be at times, "OH NO (and yes it must be in all caps, because this is how she talks), MAMA SAID STOP V. V DIDN'T STOP (and she's saying this 10 times fast) MAMA SAID THERE'S CONSEQUENCES, NO WATCHING STRAWBERRY DVD IN THE VAN...hohooohooo (her fake sigh)." She continued saying this over and over with minor variations, "Oh no Mama, V not stop! (waiting for me to ask why)." Me: "yeah, V didn't stop." Veronica: "Mama said there's CONSEQUENCES!!"

Line Please:
In the theater world there is a saying, "Line!," which means the actor is asking for their next line because they've forgotten. In our house it's a bit similar, except it's more like a "line with a twist of lemon." V will say a line, when what she's intending is to tell us what she is wanting us to repeat. For example, this morning I buckled her up in the car telling her that the seat belt must stay across her chest. When we reached our destination the first words out of her mouth were, "Thank you V for keeping the seat belt across my chest!" Translation: "Mama, you need to affirm me in my efforts of resisting the temptation to take the seat belt off my chest and let me know how proud you are that I overcame the miry pit."

Here are some of her "line" moments:

"Thank you V for putting my boots away!"
"Thank you V for opening up the shower curtain (even though you weren't really wanting it open)!"
What I love about these "lines" is how she helps and in her mind it really is helping. Sure she neglected to do the other two things that she was suppose to do; but, really when I think about it, I would rather focus on the things being done right than be type A mama who is picky out the what she DIDN'T do. And sure, does it go a little overboard at times--yes, without a doubt. And I think that's okay too, because it reminds me how we are here to teach her when we don't need to reward her with words while knowing that affirmation is HUGE to her and our words fill her emotional piggybank.

Our girls make our world more crazy, tiresome, mind boggling, a bit mental, and bewildered. Yet, they also make our world fun, fresh, exciting, and worth waking up to, especially when your three year old comes into our room announcing, "G'morning! I'm so proud V for waiting to get up till the light turns on (their lamp is set to a timer and she is giving us a line)."