Archive for November, 2013

Happy birthday, sweet Livie Lou!

There’s a song by The National I always sing to Olivia:

You know I dreamed about you
For 29 years before I saw you
You know I dreamed about you
I missed you for, for 29 years

Couldn’t be more perfect—much like this little one herself.

Happy sixth, Olivia Ann! We love you so much.

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Giving thanks

Olivia is thankful for “everything and friends and the USA and family.” We’re thankful for this sweet little girl who turns six tomorrow!

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Owen Fix

Proper dental hygiene starts early, apparently.

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Sunday night stories

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Livie Love

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Baby steps

For their first year, I carried all three of our babies up the steps from Diane’s, inhaling as I buried my head in their necks, recovering from a day apart.

By 16 months, Owen walks up independently, a milestone I noted with each growing kid. It’s a slow trip now, with little hands down on cold concrete to navigate the incline—not to mention several stops to investigate pathway lights, little bugs and fallen leaves.

On Friday, I ran a few steps ahead to grab my phone to capture this photo. The sight of my first baby walking my third up the same steps she took years and years ago was too sweet to pass up.

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Wishes

Bryan: “What is that?”

Bec: “It’s a wishbone.”

Bryan: “Why did you glitter it?”

Bec: “It’s like you don’t even know me.”

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Overheard: Naughty or nice?

Olivia: “Question: If Santa lives at the North Pole, how does he see you…?”

Good help is hard to find

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Especially when it comes to cleaning out and organizing cabinets…

All quiet on the home front

Ten days ago, I completely lost my voice. I spent nearly 72 hours only able to whisper, at a time when my house was filled with family and Halloween hubbub. For someone who talks far more than I probably should, this sent me into a bit of a tailspin. It also forced me to recognize that much of what I say is unnecessary, and more importantly, the volume of my voice had little to do with how my message was received.

Over the course of those three days, I lost what I had previous considered one of my most efficient parenting tools: yelling. Unlike my own mother, I’ve never been able to fully the master “the look” (which, by the way, still stops me in my tracks, and I’m nearly 36.) So, next to taking away screen time, I thought a loud voice was the fastest way to ensure compliance. Turns out, it’s not as effective as I’d imagined.

About the time my voice returned, there was a flurry of articles about a recent study suggesting that yelling at kids is just as harmful as physical abuse. (My favorite article on the topic: “If yelling at kids is just as bad as spanking, what the hell is left?”)

I know shouting at your kids isn’t exactly good parenting; I don’t need a study to tell me that. But then there are mornings like today . . . One is insisting her hair be parted a half inch above her ear, another is actively ingesting deodorant, and yet another’s crying because she wants to take a ham sandwich for lunch, but we’re out of bread. (“They’re serving HAMBURGERS today, and I’M A VEGETARIAN.”)

I really felt like yelling. Instead, I calmly explained the source of ham, then tried to rationalize most everything else. I don’t know if it was effective, but I felt better about how I handled it.

I keep coming back to something I read about that study, which is, essentially: If you address your kids with anger and frustration, you end up with angry and frustrated kids. And I can say, up until this morning at least, the girls have been remarkably calm and very reasonable. So much so, in fact, I asked I questioned this newfound behavior yesterday. (“Nothing’s going on! It’s not like we broke an iPad or anything…geez, Mom. “)