Beware the little mouth…

Every day I am surprised by the continuing development of the kids around my house.

I know I should never be surprised by it, but I am.

Bam Bam has been testing the boundaries lately. Something so very normal for a child of two and a half.

It’s a bit of humor that I get to share with his parents when I give them the daily report.

The other day, I had to correct Bam Bam. He likes to play in the doorways, but with pinched fingers…well, I try to discourage playing with the doors.

So I first told him not to play in the doors. He proceeded to play in the doors.

I told him a second time not to play in the doors. He continued playing in the doors.

Finally, I used my stern voice and made myself undeniably clear in what my expectation was regarding him playing in the doors.

“Nana,” said Bam Bam, “you don’t tell me ‘no’. You say ‘yes’ to me.”

At that moment, we enjoyed a very up-close and personal “eye to eye” conversation about who says yes, no and makes the rules and who listens and obeys.

We settled the issue of the doors…and have now moved on to the next one…sharing. Sort of a revolving door around these parts, if you will pardon the cheesy play on words.

Don’t you love it when a child instructs you, the adult, to share?

Yes. I share all my toys with everyone. But when the turn taking gets out of control and the midgets forget who OWNS the toys…well, they shouldn’t tell ME to share MY toys.

Cookie has come into her own in terms of fighting, and I truly mean fighting, for what she decides is hers. She and Bam Bam had a number of issues sharing the toys today.

I frequently had to remind the kiddos that I share all of my toys. They always look at me the same way.

“These are YOUR toys, Nana?” Why they say it so incredulously still amazes me. We have this same discussion each and every day.

“Yes. They are MY toys, and I SHARE.”

“You share with me, Nana?” asked Bam Bam.

“I share with ALL of you.”

“You share with ALL of US, Nana?”

“Yes. I share with ALL of you. But when you aren’t nice and don’t share My toys, then I have to put the toys away.”

“That’s not nice, Nana. You have to SHARE. Sharing is nice.”

Ummmmm, that sort of was the point. All that repeating our conversation to each other a gazillion times…

“Nana, if you put the toys away and don’t share, you will need a time out.”

Sigh. Will someone PLEASE give me a time out?

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It’s All About the Attitude

I am finding myself too often consumed by the daily distractions of my life to sit and ruminate on something, much less write about it. I thought about taking a hiatus from my blog just because I cannot keep up with my personal expectations for myself.

Do any of you suffer from that? Are you constantly failing in your own opinion of yourself? Well, I often suffer from that virus.

So I told Superman that maybe I would not write for awhile. He, of course, was all about encouraging me to not give up on writing completely but just give myself the right to not post every. single. day.

Those of you who have faithfully been following me know that I am not keeping up with my original goal. I just can’t.

So I thought, why not write just once a week? He said not to commit to that often or limit myself too much either. He is a smart man. I am blessed to have him for my confidant and best friend.

When you care for children all day and have grandchildren living with you, there isn’t a lot of time to just BE. That time to have peace and quiet and do the things that only you can do. And so often that makes me feel like a failure.

I don’t have the same energy I had when I was raising my own children. There is a very strong argument that could be made regarding having your children while you are still young and fit enough to run and play.

But I still play. And never could really run…asthma went undiagnosed for too many years and I always had so much pain in my chest when I did try to run. Anyway, I digress.

I like to be silly with my little friends. We dance to silly songs and run in circles and play follow the leader. Doesn’t that sound all nice and rosy?

But as is the case so often with humans, there are times when little people get selfish or temperamental and need a little course correction. An attitude adjustment.

I try to make the corrections relevant and easy to understand. Apparently, that can be annoying.

Curly Top used to be this angelic child. Sweet and innocent and compliant. Whoever stole that from her, please return it. Immediately.

This week, on two subsequent days, that little Diva shared her attitude with me. I feel called to share it with all of you. Just a wee bit of insight into the developing personality of my only granddaughter.

That child who is so sweet can really spark a fire with her little mouth and attitudes.

She was sitting on the couch being annoying. Not really being naughty, just whiny and complaining and uncooperative. I suggested that maybe she needed a nap.

And without dropping a beat, she said, “I don’t think so!” With all the attitude you can imagine. Her mother and I looked at each other and it made us raise our eyebrows.

The following day, she and the other cherubs were running back and forth through the house, stopping and starting at the front door. (Apparently there is a code that determines who gets to be in which spot at the front door. And the spot by the door knob is prime real estate.)

Curly Top believed that prime real estate was her designated space. And pushed the others out of it. Hmmm, that seemed to be a great opportunity to discuss kind treatment and gentle hands and nice words.

“Curly Top, you need to gentle with your hands and say kind words to your friends. It isn’t nice to be selfish and mean to your friends,” I said, looking her in the eyes.

No response. She turned her face away. I turned her face back to look at me and held her chin in my hand.

“Do you understand?” I asked.

“Okay!” she replied, with a great deal of sass and completely devoid of sincerity.

I tried again.

“Say it with a nice voice,” I said, still holding onto her chin.

“Okay!” she growled, still with a great bit of sass, but less vehemence.

A third time. “You need to have a gentle mouth. Say it with a nice voice,” I said as I continued to look her in the eyes and hold onto her chin.

“Okay,” she responded. It wasn’t very sweet, but the sass at least seemed to be gone.

I turned from her and as I walked away, she muttered, “Finally!” with the sassiness of a thirteen year old. I couldn’t believe it.

She sounded just like a certain child of mine did…it brought back a lot of memories.

But that child, who can be so full of joy and laughter, is a little sinner, just like me. And her stinky attitude is exactly like mine when my attitude needs some readjusting.

I find that when my attitude stinks, it is because I am just not thinking about the things I should be thinking about. There are so many things that generate a right attitude, it shouldn’t be that difficult to have the right attitude, but we allow things to sour us.

That is when it feels like God takes hold of my chin, looks me in the eyes, and says to me:

Philippians 4:8

…whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—
if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.

If I am dwelling on the truth, the honorable, the just and pure…If I am thinking about the lovely and those things that deserve commendation…If I make certain that there is moral excellence and praiseworthiness, won’t I have a right attitude?

I find that as I get older, I just don’t have time to dwell on the negative. I can’t afford the cost. I fail. I fall short.

But God daily pours out His love, His grace, His mercies over me. No matter how I fall short, He is there, faithfully forgiving me and demonstrating to me, over and over and over, how much He really loves me.

Even if I don’t write in my blog every day.

Philippians 2

So if there is any encouragement in Christ,
any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit,
any affection and sympathy, complete my joy
by being of the same mind, having the same love,
being in full accord and of one mind.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but
in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 
Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others.

Have this mind yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men. 
And being found in human form, he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.  

Therefore God has highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Do you need to adjust your attitude? Where do your thoughts dwell?

Can I Give You My Number?

I have three very beautiful kids. They are gorgeous. And that isn’t just me talking. OK, right now it is, but I am not the only one who says it.

my sweet daughter and her baby

my sweet daughter and her baby

My oldest child…isn’t she beautiful? Holding Little Boy Blue, my sweet little love with the blonde hair and big blue peepers! She brings happiness and comfort in her own special way to everyone around her, whether it is her pediatric patients or her friends and family…and let’s just say she has a great big joy that emanates from her, no matter who you are.

Then there is my second child…

Andrew, Stephanie and Paul at Paul's high school graduation, May 25, 2012

Andrew, Stephanie and Paul at Paul’s high school graduation, May 25, 2012

She is striking…and let me tell you it is awful going to Wal-Mart or Target with her…strangers whistling at her…men who just don’t know how to behave when they are confronted by her beauty…Some of them get an instant education from her on the appropriate way to voice their appreciation…let’s just say that she is able to make herself clearly understood. And if her children are with her…watch what you say and how you say it! Just because she is only 4′ 11″ on her tallest day…she is one tough cookie.

IMG_1450

Lastly, there is mi hijo…my only son…the one everyone loves, whose nickname is Paulie…as if he were an Italian…ha ha! He always has a smile on his face, knows no strangers, he loves his niece and nephews and is fiercely protective. He has threatened to “deal with” more than one guy who got out of line with his sister…and he is just a teddy bear.

But, to be honest, daughter number two gets a lot more time in my life because she still lives with us…and so do her kiddos, remember? Froglegs, Dancing Eyes and Curly Top? They are instant inspiration.

Today she had a new experience…and the cashier at a local Panera is probably still wiping egg off his face. She went through a drive through, but had forgotten her Panera card at home. When she arrived at the window, she asked the cashier (young male) if he could take her number…He said sure, and hurried off to get a piece of paper…

I am imagining his heart just racing…so excited, the improbability of it all…

That poor guy…he misunderstood and thought she was giving him her TELEPHONE NUMBER! Can you imagine how he felt when he realized she was using her frequent buyer number???

I am still just shaking my head…

And the nominees are…

blog of year award

It’s that time of year, you know? Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Tony…and Blog of the Year awards!

Unlike some awards, the Blog of 2012 award is not accompanied by musicians or orchestras or TV broadcasts filled with lots of commercials.

No, these Blog awards are much more special. They focus on the written word…or word pictures…

If you are a blogger, you probably truly appreciate just being nominated…I know I sure do! There is something special about being recognized by fellow bloggers, most of whom you don’t probably even know!

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:
1. Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award.
2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.
3. Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award –http://https://momtoldmetowriteabook.wordpress.com/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.
5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.
6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…
(Thank you so much, Lori! http://lorischulz.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/)
7. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

Drum Roll, Please:

I nominate the following blogs for this award:

http://chicenvelopements.wordpress.com/ (aka The Renegade Seamstress)
This blog is down to earth, totally creative and makes me think I can do all the same renovations with thrift store clothing. Looking awesome on the cheap gets high marks for innovative approaches to sewing!

http://www.thistlewoodfarms.com/
I feel like Karianne is my long lost sister. She writes and creates from a very warm and tender place in her heart. Humor is woven liberally throughout each and every post, and dollops of highly creative and doable decor ideas abound with amazing photographs.

http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/
This blog is probably the one that has generated more tears of joy for me. Not only are the posts REAL and UPLIFTING, but they truly motivate a lot of soul-searching. Make sure you follow this one…Family, God, Adoption, Photography, Faith at Work…

http://revelationsinwriting.wordpress.com/
For daily inspiration and encouraging words…

http://ladydeidre.com/
A kindred spirit who takes you to new heights…

There are so many wonderful bloggers who share their thoughts and ideas so freely, it is not possible to include everyone, but check out my blog roll for additional blogs to inspire you!

Conversations with Froglegs and Superman

Today is the last day of 2012. I would love to share something poignant. Awe-inspiring. Even memorable. I apologize in advance. You see, I am being regaled by gross sounds that obstruct my thinking process.

Froglegs is the only grandchild awake, so far. And we have been conversing.

(Yeah, that is a bit of an overstatement.)

“I had the best dream ever, last night,” said my gangly-legged Froglegs.

“Really? What was it about?” I asked with excitement. Hoping it would be blog-worthy.

“I don’t remember. But it was the best dream ever.”

Uh huh…and then when I laughed, he erupted with an assortment of increasingly disgusting imitations of boy-noises punctuated with a personalized version of a  Mario and Luigi soundtrack.

I pressed him, trying to pry the dream out of him.

More grunts and grossness. He is, after all, going to be seven.

Further attempts at picking through the recesses of his memory were met with even greater success at grossing out Nana.

So…I walked over to the front door and stared.

“A snowflake,” I noted.

Superman made an indiscernible reply.

“Ohhh, another snowflake!” now stated with a bit more enthusiasm and inflection.

At this point, Superman became almost eloquent. “If you keep counting, pretty soon you’ll say it’s snowing.”

(I married him for his brains and stellar communication skills.)

And now, it’s snowing. And those of you who know me well, know how happy this makes me!