30 November 2011

Koo Koo?

Monday, as soon as I got home from the pharmacy I pounded down some cough medicine in an effort to get drowsy so I could rest. But it wasn't until a few hours later with the second dosing that I got some sleep (we can blame the calendar crafting). I felt better after that nap, able to get up and clean the kitchen and cook dinner - a hearty chick pea, kale and ham soup.

Later, when it was time for bed I wanted to be sure I didn't cough myself awake again so I dosed myself up with my cough meds, finished gluing the letters onto that advent calendar and slipped into my warm bed. I was just off to Slumber Land when I thought I heard a rumbling noise and felt the bed shake. I immediately asked Scott if that was an earthquake (at least I thought I asked him). He just snored in his sleep. I wasn't sure if I was dreaming or not so I hopped on FaceBook to get a quick pulse of the news and after a few minutes of no earthshaking news (har) I thought I heard Emi say "Mommy?". I turned to Scott to ask him if that was Emi but he was still asleep so using my phone as a flashlight, I crept out into the hallway to investigate.

I opened the door to the Little Ones' room and they were fast asleep. I walked quietly to the other side of the house to Emi's room and crept up her stairs to find 2 sleeping doggies on the floor and Emi asleep on her bed. I could actually hear Emi snoring before I got up her stairs...

So, am I ready for the Funny Farm? Is my house haunted? Or maybe is that cough syrup a little too good?

29 November 2011

Thanks x2

I thought I got The Crud that the Little Ones had so I lost a couple of days. My head was feeling like it was about to explode due to sinus pressure (this just after I was bragging to my sister that my deviated septum has never given me any problems before) and my coughing was hurting my lower back. I begged off from work Monday and went to see the same doctor that I took the Little Ones to see on Friday. He thought I might have the flu from my symptoms (egad!) but it turned out not to be the flu or strep (yea me!?). He suspected a sinus infection and prescribed antibiotics, but the stuff that got me back to middling was the cough medicine with codeine. I am not taking the antibiotics but I filled that script in case of zombie invasion...

During the course of my sick day I was able to complete our advent calendar and while I posted about that late last night, I forgot to recap the second food fest we had on Saturday.

Basically there was:

Guava and Cream Cheese on Cracker
Guava with Cream Cheese on Crackers (so good!)

Gannon and David
Cousin Love

Slicing the Turkey
Turkey Carving (and sampling)

Yummy Corn
Pioneer Woman's Corn (also, so good!)

Emi and I watched a DVR'd episode of The Pioneer Woman Friday night and Ree served a wonderful corn dish with brisket and other delights so we decided to bring her Fresh Corn Casserole along with our Mashed Potatoes for the second feast of Thanksgiving. It was delish!!!

Kids Table
Kid's Table

And so much more...I'm so thankful for this:
Christmas Card Candidate
Merry Christmas from the Morgans!

28 November 2011


I finally got that Advent Calendar done and I can't believe how much effort it took.  I had an old linen tablecloth and the green felt squares ready to go, but I couldn't decide on a good size for the calendar. Also, I kept thinking I could just bleach the tablecloth and still use it for its intended purpose instead of hacking it apart. I even took my materials with me to my parents' house Saturday so I could work on it and I ended up only gluing down one corner of each square (totally unnecessary in hindsight) and bringing the bag of supplies back home unassembled.

Sunday I was determined to make some headway on the project when I came across a package of cloth napkins that I'd never used. Perfect size for my 25 felt pockets. To make it hangable, I ripped the seams on the edge and forced a wire hanger through it.

Advent Calendar Finished
Now I just need to insert the activities and maybe add an elf?

Then for the next 2 days I rounded up items from my jewelry box, the craft supplies in the basement, wine glass charms, etc to adorn the pockets. Most of the time was actually spent in sewing the pockets onto the napkin. The only supplies bought were the red wooden letters. Half off from Hobby Lobby. I am truly pleased with the result and I believe that my family will enjoy it for years to come. Scott and I already have some of the activities decided, but we are going to let the kids decide on some activities too (they have already voiced movie night and picnic in the Living Room too). The Little Ones' great grandparents sent all 3 kiddos their own personal countdown to Christmas calendars filled with chocolate candies. They are definitely going to love those!

Speaking of elves (I was ^^ up there in the caption)....when did Elf on the Shelf become a thing? I saw this at Hobby Lobby last week and also DVR'd the show for the kiddos. We watched the show and I get the concept, but it seems like yet another way to commercialize Christmas.....or a genius way to make the kids behave?

Not sure that the shelf elf would work in our house. Emi has been asking us if we are Santa and while I've been able to deftly avoid the question because I have never dressed up as Santa (Scott did one year when Emi was 2 and she busted him when "Santa" left and Daddy came back home - smart girlie!). Finally tonight Scott decided to come clean with her. So now we finally get the credit for those cool gifts that "Santa" brought her all these years. She said it was weird that we are Santa and Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy and I told her what was weird is how it went from celebrating Jesus' birthday to a fat guy in a suit bringing presents and celebrating Jesus rising from the dead to a Bunny bringing chocolate and eggs. Mind you, I am not against presents, chocolate and eggs, we do it all in this house...

This Advent calendar has been the best and most meaningful Christmas craft I've ever done. I am excited about us having daily activities - 25 days of Christmas!

26 November 2011

Giving Thanks

For our first Thanksgiving gathering, we headed Northeast to Tahlequah for dinner with Scott's grandparents.
Sugared Pumpkins
Sugared Pumpkins
I finished the sugared pumpkins but decided against bringing them for table decor because I didn't want my name cursed every time they had to vaccuum up glitter again.
It was a very relaxing time (except for when I had to remind David to follow the rules over and over). So thankful to be able to spend time with them. I didn't snap a lot of pictures but much of the time looked like this:

5 Minutes Later
Crashed Out

25 November 2011

Table Envy

Well, sort of..more like table makeover envy. After Melissa posted that she might refinish a table recently, and then went ahead and did it, I felt like a bit of a slacker with my coffee table.

Tag Sale Table
Emi and I got this table for $15 at a yard sale up the street....SIX years ago!
I actually like the table as-is and occasionally will pass an oiled rag over it to polish out the imperfections, I mean character...but I think it needs a little oomph! I want the treatment to be sturdy enough to survive the Sun Room (which is often used at the Play Room). I googled for "painted wooden table" images and got a few good options then I added "turquoise" (because I love that color and all variations of it) and I got a few more options that appealed to me (like below found here).

Actually, I got inspiration overload and had to walk away from my laptop for a minute and recalibrate myself. Good thing I am not on Pinterest!

I don't think I need to look further for my options....
We have some reorganization needs to take care of around the house in the next couple of weeks (musical beds for the kiddos) but I would like to paint the table legs before my mom gets here for Christmas....we'll see!

23 November 2011


My Yaupon Holly baby didn't make it. ;.( I transplanted it back at the end of August to replace another plant that had died and the heat killed it (I think). Previously that location didn't receive full sun as a neighbor's carport blocked the sun, but they ripped the carport down earlier this summer. It was old and dilapidated so I'm glad it's gone but my poor plants suffered a little. Scott thought we should plant a Crape Myrtle in that spot because our other one was such a champ through all the heat, but I'm really thinking of evergreen, conical even.

Yaupon Baby
Poor baby Yaupon Holly, R.I.P.

I had a candiate shrub around the corner - it hasn't exactly thrived since I planted it there a few years ago but now I am thinking I should leave her there. My transplant track record this year has not been  very good...although I do still have live Butterfly Ginger plants that I got from my mom this past July.

The candidate plant is a Foster Holly that I looked high and low for and I found that poor baby at The Greenhouse with a lot of trumpet vine choking it slowly to death.  They were even unaware that they had it in stock because the vine was hiding it. I got a discount due to their neglect (always good) and I thought I could save it and make it grow fuller, but it  seems to lack fullness.

Until recently, I thought maybe it wasn't healthy, but when Emi and I went to the Fred Jones Museum of Art recently in an effort to meet the Phineas & Ferb co-creator, we passed by the OU President's house and noted that all of this holly bushes looked similar to mine and he has a team of people taking care of his plants. [Note: Jeff “Swampy” Marsh was there to do character drawings and autographs but he wasn't doing that until after the screening and we had to leave to go to Emi's basketball games. Wish we could've stayed!]

After we got home from Emi's games and picnicked on some really unhealthy fast food in the front yard I was able to get a good look at Holly and determined that she's fine and she's staying put.

Foster Holly

Maybe she needs a mate around the corner?  I'm thinking a taller, fuller more conical Foster Holly would be nice in that empty corner....I would like some color when all of the leaves are gone and it's snowy and cold out...plus a little sound dampener too and some vertical interest. I know, I don't want much, do I?

22 November 2011

Not Martha

Ok, I've decided to not "reinvent the wheel" here with the Thanksgiving Blessing Board. I took a quick look in the basement when I was changing laundry loads and my eyes happened upon our Christmas Card holder. It's a cute French message board that we use to display our cards. See?

We don't ride our bikes in the house, Emi!

I decided that it will also be used as our blessing board too. We may get fancy and paint the clothespins and use cute colored cards (or not).  The main thing we want to do is to write down the things we are thankful for so we can all see how much we truly are blessed (and to illustrate (drive home) that point to the children).

That board might happen in another project though. I was thinking it might be a great idea on a bigger scale for the Little Ones to display their little trinkets and mementos -- their inspiration boards.

Thanksgiving Blessings

Scott and I have been looking at the December schedule and brainstorming to come up with daily Advent activities to teach the kids the reason for the season and to make memories and a difference. The activities will be a nice way for us to take a break from the stress that the holiday season can bring. It's been easier than I thought with access to so many kind people and institutions.

One thing I can totally recommend for anyone who is local to Norman is the Downs Family Christmas Light Show - it's a fantastic show and they accept food donations to give to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. The shows run from 6-midnight every day from 11.24.11 to 1.1.12.

Also, the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History is having a Holiday Happening on Dec 1st from 6-9pm and they will have holiday-themed crafts, story times, entertainment, etc. Admission is free.

We also want to teach our children to have an Attitude of Gratitude and I think we're on the right path there too (although with Emi having been an only child for 7 years, she might need more opportunities to learn gratitude), I am always open to ideas on how to teach gratitude. And we've been working a lot with flash cards and common words with the Little Ones in an effort to try to get them into full-blown reading so I have been constructing an A to Z listing of things we are thankful for....

i.e. A is for ANIMALS, C is for CARS, F is for FAMILY and FRIENDS, H is for HOODIE, etc

I was researching more ideas on Thankfulness projects and came across a Thanksgiving Blessing Board that looks cute and fairly easy to make. And it will help us to teach the kids (and us) about being grateful and can be a Thanksgiving Tradition (and decoration) for years to come.

How cute is that?

Source: http://whipperberry.com/

It sort of reminds me of another project we completed back in early summer.

I can totally see the cards going into a scrapbook along with pictures to capture the memory of Thanksgiving and what we were all thankful for that year. I have the eye screws, twine and clothespin and I MAY have a frame in the - you guessed it! - basement.

I better get on it!

Have a blessed day!

21 November 2011

Weekend Progress

First off I wanted to show a little contrasting Peace Wreath pictures so you can fully appreciate how much Emi has grown in 6 years. Granted she was only a wee 3 years old when we got the Peace Wreath and she's a big girl at 9 now. Aubri is 6 months younger now than Emi was back then...whoa! They grow up so fast...

My Girls
Saturday afternoon was gorgeous! After Emi's basketball games we got outside and played, let the chickens out to free range, tended to the pool and I took trimmings from the pine tree and crafted our wreath. I am happy with it at current but might need to replace the pine in a couple of weeks if it poses too serious a fire hazard.

Swinging in the Sunshine
Enjoying the sunshine...
I put out a minimal amount of decorations inside the house because I got distracted by a cookie bar recipe I wanted to try out. Oh man! I do not recommend making these because it's impossible to stay away from this wonderful treat. They are so good. If you do decide to try this tasty treat out, be sure to box up at least half to offload to your office breakroom or kid's classroom or unsuspecting neighbor because these are irresistible.

Spreading the Cookie Dough
Emi spreading the cookie dough on top of that salty pretzel crust..

Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bar with Pretzel Base
Gooey, sweet and salty...

We used chocolate chunks and buttery pretzels and the result was yum! Tasted a bit caramelly too so that was a bonus!

While Emi was doing her thing with the cookie bars, I was doing my thing preparing home made chicken noodle soup packed with veggies. I make a lot so we can eat it for days.

Making Soup
Bok choy, yellow squash, asparagus and broccoli (not pictured) - carrots, onions and celery already in the pot!

While I didn't finish the Advent Calendar, I did come up with quite a few activities to put into the calendar once it's complete. I also hand sewed (do not recommend) a dog bed/pillow cover from an old Old Navy dog blanket that's been on the list for some time. I thought Kirby would use it up in Emi's room, but he prefers to be on her bed.

Kirby Snuggling up to Emi
Sweet Kirbs

I am sooo ready for Thanksgiving feasts and the long weekend with family....

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

20 November 2011

Christmas Crafts

I'm not very crafty, but I am driven and I can be resourceful (on occasion). For example, I redid my Christmas Peace wreath finally:

My Girls
My pretty daughters modeling the new wreath...

Peace Pine Wreath
Closer view - I just used pine tree bits from our tree - hope it lasts...
Last year I wanted to make new stockings for the family but I ran out of time. I can live with the hodge podge of stockings we have, but I really would like something classic and cohesive, rather that whatever is popular at the time (High School Musical and SpongeBob are so 2009!) So this year I really want to create stockings out of burlap or linen and include our initials and maybe some cute embellishments.

I'm thinking maybe a simple stocking like many of the ones on this page, but with a trim of either faux sheepskin or Minky Cuddle Dimple Dot Tiffany Fabric. Aubri has a purple pillow case made of this material and it's so luxurious feeling....not that we'd be rubbing our stockings on our faces or anything but you never know (we just might be that happy with our stocking contents Christmas morning...)

I would LOVE some footed pajamas in this material--- so scrumptious and sumptuous!

I have a few of the faux sheepskin pillow covers for the pillows in the living room and I really love them. I could see that material on our stockings....

I could also see a new tree skirt made up of Minky Cuddle Dimple Dot Tiffany Fabric... I just want to wrap myself in that material!

I also want to create an advent calendar because I don't like the countdown calendar that we have. It's a wooden misspelled (haha, jokes on us as it was Made in China) gawdy thing that the kids might like but doesn't put me into the Holiday Spirit one bit. The only activity is replacing the wooden numbers each day. I like the idea of adding activities to our advent calendar.

The Pottery Barn burlap calendar from last year is adorable (shown below) but I couldn't see myself spending $99 for it and it's not even available. I do love me some PB items but something like this seems like a crafting challenge that I might be able to handle.

Pottery Barn Burlap Advent Calendar (2010)

I found a cool knockoff tutorial that I might have to utilize and I think I still have a cool linen tablecloth that I can use as well. I bet I have all I need already in my possession. I have a bag of green felt squares that I could use to make the pockets and I was thinking it might be cute to add birdies like this along with numbers to the pockets.

Have you ever used an Advent Calendar? Do you do different activies every day leading up to Christmas or do you just use it to count down? Any suggestions for activities?

Inquiring minds want to know...

19 November 2011

Kids Make You Cry

I am not talking about the "barricade yourself in the bathroom" type of crying this time...

I'm talking about the pride and happiness tears.

Thursday the Little Ones were having their Thanksgiving Dinner at school and I was unable to make it. Scott hadn't planned on going but he decided to swing by for a brief visit and I am so glad he did. He said he almost cried when he got there because they were so happy he was there.  Apparently a lot of parents were there and they wanted to show off their parents to their friends (who see us every day but that's a different scene altogether). David kept looking at the door asking about me and if I was coming even after Daddy said I wasn't going to make it. {Guilt pangs!!}

Also, Wednesday was the 4th grade program at Emi's school and she had a solo part to sing.  I'll be honest, these programs sometimes are not fun for me because there's always the inevitable dance participation part and I don't care to square dance...at all...ever...since the 6th grade when I was forced to partake as part of my P.E. requirement.  That night had its challenges (2 hobos on our laps 30 minutes before show time) but we got through the program and we got to hear our precious baby girl sing in public again (we hear her sing at home all the time).

When the audience participation part came around, Emi planned to dance with David (actually rehearsed with him earlier) but he hesitated and Aubri wanted to go so you can imagine what happened then:
Sad Faces
Uh-oh *sad faces*
Happy Faces
Mommy and Breezy were happy though...
David evenutally got over his sadness at not dancing and hopefully next time he'll go with the flow instead of freeze up and miss out...

And Friday morning as we were arriving to school, David pointed out his friend in the parking lot and by the time we got inside the building, he was smiling at him and holding his hand. It was just too sweet to see this kind gesture from my sweet little boy. It was a nice way to head into work that morning...

Love my kiddos!

18 November 2011

Peace Be With You

Well, I haven't done a thing with my old peace wreath frame since I removed the lights and faux pine last month. I almost painted it but then I backed out. I'm so fickle about what I should do with it.
Wreath backstory in pictures:

From the OrganicBouquet.com website in 2005

And on our door with a precious baby girl in 2005

Snowman Peace Wreath
What it looked like in 2008

Peace Wreath to Upcycle
Latest incarnation

I have decided to use natural materials (I have a pine tree out back) and perhaps just follow this tradition each year. I had originally thought about making a cool yarn wreath or maybe even a living wreath, but I think I'll opt for the simple, fragrant option...

I'm also planning to make a couple of the wreaths we made last year to be gifted and we'll keep one for us to hang up indoors.

So pretty and festive...

I'm thinking RED this time! Or maybe a Sooner version with crimson and cream. We have a few other crafty ideas for gifts too --- I hope they turn out as well as I'm imagining..

What do you think? Are you being crafty this Christmas?

16 November 2011

Creating Space and Living List

This past weekend was a 3 day weekend for me and Emi and we had some quality time, made some progress on creating space, reducing clutter and crossing off items from my Living List (and adding some too, it IS a living document after all).

Friday morning after we got the Little Ones safely to school, Emi and I met with her teacher for parent-teacher conference. That went smoothly and then we were off to return books/movies to the library, ship an old unused laptop bag to someone who will use it, meet with her Girl Scout troop leader and search for VW Beetle cars for Aubri's birthday gifts.  We also checked out Michael's for some crafting supplies...

We hit 3 stores with no go on finding MatchBox or HotWheel VW Beetles. We did end up getting her a "slug bug" toy though, with a play toll booth but it's not what I had envisioned for her. Maybe for Christmas. The reason behind this search is because while David has probably 100+ cars, he's fairly stingy with them when it comes to sharing. Couple that with the latest obsession of playing "Punch Buggy" in the car and it would seem to be a winning decision to get Aubri a set of her own cars - a few VW Beetles and a VW Bus - so they can correctly ID slug bugs (currently they count mini-Coopers too).

After we ran those errands, we hit El Chico for an early lunch (we were doorbusters) and that was delish as usual. With our bellies full of Mexican fare we headed home to do a little gardening and crafting. I got to dig up all of those day lilies that I transferred into the front yard earlier this year.  I planted maybe 40 tulip bulbs along the driveway and several along the south side of the chicken coop.

I don't know what I'm doing but it's neat to think about a pop of color early in the Spring here, right?

Moved Borders
This is from 2 1/2 months ago - pretty & fragrant crape myrtle blooms

15 November 2011

Ushering in the Christmas Spirit...

...or maybe I'm rushering in the Christmas Spirit since it's before Thanksgiving...I'm not being respectful of the turkey...so sorry.

Oh Yeah!
Lovely Ornament

I will honor the turkey next week for sure (Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, FYI!) but this week I am in the Christmas spirit! Or in the Christmas music spirit anyway.

Another Lovely Ornament

No we haven't put up our tree yet, but soon!

I just wanted to share my Christmas playlist to help get you in the mood and also to see if there are more songs I should add.

Songs I Already Have *:

Pretty Paper - Willie Nelson
Please Come Home for Christmas - The Eagles or Bon Jovi's version
Greensleeves (A Charlie Brown Christmas) - Vince Guaraldi
Blue Christmas - Elvis (Nicole Atkins does a nice version on The Hotel Cafe presents Winter Songs)
Up on the House Top - Jackson 5
A Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl & Ives
Christmas Wrapping - The Waitresses
Feliz Navidad - Jose Feliciano
Wonderful Christmastime - Paul McCartney
Mele Kalikimaka - Jimmy Buffett
Happy Christmas - Jimmy Buffett
All I Want for Christmas is You - Vince Vance and the Valiants
Louisiana Christmas Day - Aaron Neville
No Christmas for Me - Zee Avi
Frosty the Snowman - Fiona Apple
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Jack Johnson
Donde Esta Santa Claus - Straight No Chaser
White Christmas - Michael Buble
Mistletoe - Colbie Caillat
All My Bells Are Ringing - Lenka
I'll Be Home for Christmas - Holly Conlan
Last Christmas - Glee Cast (I loved Wham!'s version back in the day)
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause - John Mellencamp
* Plus a slew of the kidlet Christmas songs.
Songs I'll Be Adding:

Shake Up Christmas - Train
Christmas Lights - Coldplay
In the Morning - Jack Johnson also on This Warm December (A Brushfire Holiday Vol 2)
Christmas Must Be Tonight - Bahamas  also on This Warm December (A Brushfire Holiday Vol 2)
Let It Ride - ALO
The Christmas Song - (which version?)
Do They Know It's Christmas? - Glee

For those of you local to Oklahoma: B.C. Clark Jingle is part of our Christmas experience.  Check out Megan Mullally singing it:

I am sure I missed some goodies so please let me know if your favorite Christmas song is not listed... I would love to add more good music to our library, especially since I started off so freaking early.

Christmas Corn
Pretty and Tasty

What is(are) your favorite Christmas song(s)?

14 November 2011

Spirited Narcissist (Narcissistic Spirit?)


So, I think we've got young David figured out. The answer has been within grasp for a while though I've checked out a lot of possibilities and read through many books and blogs and articles to come to this point. Even up to late last week I thought he might have Asperger's Syndrome. I don't think that now but I am fairly certain I know one or two adults with undiagnosed AS.

I still believe he's spirited but I believe that many of the problems that we have been dealing with over the past year are due to narcissism. He's a Narcissistic Child. *

Narcissism is defined as an excessive preoccupation with the self, a constant need for attention and an inability to recognize the feelings and emotions of others. 

Behavior that focuses primarily negative ways of getting the needs of the self met without regard to others is called narcissistic.

The child with narcissistic behavior may not have had his basic needs met when he was young. The mother may not have had the capacity to support the ego-emerging aspects of the child. She may not have been available either emotionally or physically during this important developmental period of his life. Around the age of two, children learn to separate from their mother and develop an independent sense of self. Deprivation of the child's needs during the period of his life can result in ego fixation and developmental arrest.

Spoiled and overindulged children sometimes are at risk for the narcissistic behavior pattern of wanting to control others.

Oh boy...this is definitely our boy! He is not being spoiled or overindulged currently but I am fairly certain that he was overindulged in his previous life.

I know I've joked in the past about him possibly having NPD  (he's a little young for that diagnosis) but if he had continued on that path he was on, I am certain he'd have ended up with full blown NPD. And he may have a touch of anal-retentiveness or a smidge of OCD, but we can work these things to our advantage. He's a smart boy (very cunning as a matter of fact) and very cute and that probably got him a lot of attention when he moved from place to place for the first 2.5 years of his life.  Short stays in places just until the welcome was worn out and learning much of his behavior along the way.


There are several symptoms that characterize a narcissistic child.
  1. Grandiosity. The narcissistic child believes he possesses exceptional talents or intellect and believes the world revolves around him because of his uniqueness.  This is SO David.
  2. Social Dysfunction.  The child refuses to take responsibility for his actions and shows no remorse when he hurts someone's feelings. He insists on going first in games and bends the rules to suit his needs. His temper will flare if someone tries to beat him at a game and he will quit if he realizes he won't be the winner. He blames others for his mistakes. He lacks empathy for others.  David wants to win at all costs and has resorted to pushing down classmates who are gaining on him in running races. He also makes everything a race with his sister, never mind that she might be unaware that the "race" has already started. One of her favorite sayings these days is "It's not a race, David."
  3. Anti-social behavior. A narcissist child will stretch the truth or tell an outright lie to get out of trouble. He will not admit he has made a mistake and will even blame others for his shortcomings. Due to his sense of entitlement, he has no qualms about stealing and justifies his action if caught. A narcissistic child believes rules don't apply to him and refuses to adhere to limits placed on him. David will blame Aubri for something he did when she is not even in the same room as him.... hmmmmm
Over the past 1.5 years I've noticed that he strives to get that attention from new teachers, our friends, Emi's friends, family members and perfect strangers. A new setting is rife with opportunities for him to manipulate to get that attention that he craves. The problem is that the newness is temporary and that charm wears off and reality sets in - "the world does not revolve around you". This is very upsetting for David as you can imagine.

TIPS/WARNINGS : Beware of idealization. Narcissistic children might praise you to the stars and make you feel like you're the most important thing in their lives. They're apt to devalue you on a dime and turn on you quickly. Don't fall for flattery, but exercise patience and fairness in dealing with the child's behavior.

I see this with David quite a bit. Feels a bit like talking to a used car salesman. "Mom, this is so yummy" before he's even tasted the food. I don't give it much attention and it certainly doesn't get him anywhere. I do point out the silliness of saying something like that when he hasn't yet tasted the food and then we move on. Of course when he gives a genuine compliment I am sure to thank him.


Give praise judiciously. While it is important to recognize accomplishments in your child, making every good deed or action into a reason for a party only causes children to have an unrealistically positive view of their worth. Check! We've always done this. It's ridiculous to praise your kid for every little thing because life is not like that...except maybe on the Martha Stewart show.  

Don't enable the child. While sympathy and understanding are necessary, that doesn't excuse the child from conforming to the same standards applied to the other children. If you make exceptions or excuse the child, it only feeds his sense of entitlement. When handing down a punishment, make sure the child understands why he is being punished and how his actions have consequences. Children develop best in an environment where they have clear and consistent rules, which will foster independence and healthy self-worth. Check!

Speak to the child after appropriate punishment has been meted out. Show him that acting out doesn't get him the things he wants and encourage him to find other ways of seeking his goals.

Teach the child to detach from his emotions and observe himself from an objective perspective. Work towards getting him to take responsibility for his outbursts and accept the consequences, rather than letting him blame it all on other people.

Work on social lessons designed to improve the child's perceptions. Focus on tasks that involve delayed rewards that he must work for rather than instant rewards he thinks he's owed. Use lessons that differentiate between real crises and small ones and lessons that help him identify and understand the emotional states of others.

Encourage the child for exhibiting genuinely good behavior; it helps him to develop a healthier sense of ego.

We've been on the right path all along - meeting his needs and being consistent but old habits die hard. We'll love him through this metamorphosis. The journey IS the reward. (Right?)

* I'm not a doctor and I don't even play one on TV or the Internets...I am just a sometimes exasperated mom who's done much research on how to help my kids become successful, responsible members of society...

13 November 2011


What a nice weekend we had! The weather was perfectly delicious and confusing to the plants and animals in our yard. (I still have tadpoles in my pond! It's like they are never going to become bullfrogs...) Emi and I planted 100 tulip bulbs and we're crossing our fingers that we did this correctly...guess we'll see in February?

Some of us pretended to be super heroes.

SuperWhy Girl and Bobbie
"Wyatt" and Bobbie
It was so gorgeous outside today...my redbuds seem to think it's Spring again...

Confused Redbud
We celebrated Aubri's birthday today after church. That was a nice time with the family. Sweet Aubri had a good time and got some fun gifts. When she opened up her Cabbage Patch Kid from Grandma Babe she shouted "My baby!". She carried her McKenzie around all afternoon...after Daddy was done playing with her:


Birfday Flurry

After the birthday party, the kids took over my bed...for a little movie watching.
They Took Over My Bed
Hobo Invasion...
Emi went on a bike ride with a friend and we "watched" Robots (Aubri and I napped and it was lovely).
"Here Momma"
Sweet Boy
Not ready for the weekend to end just yet...

11 November 2011

Reading Out Loud, Taking Stock & Do-Overs

Normally we read to the Little Ones before bed from a mix of books they have and some we've borrowed from the library. Currently we're reading a mix of The Sneetches (I think this is the only Dr. Suess book we don't own and it's a good one too!), Rainbow Fish, and The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein). I can't get through The Giving Tree with dry eyes. I have conflicted feelings about the story and about how the "boy" treats the tree. Is it a beautiful story about a selfless mom giving everything for her child or does the "boy" actually need some tough love?  I actually feel sorry for the boy and the tree and by the time I get to say "The End" I can barely speak. This batch of book goes back to the library ASAP!

After the Little Ones go to sleep, I've been reading a book to Emi and it's been a challenge (reading out loud for that long sometimes stinks out loud for me but it's good practice). Currently we are reading a sci-fi classic, Madeleine L'engle's A Wrinkle In Time and we are both enjoying it. It's been on our list to read for a while and we are shoehorning in that time now. So much about the main character (Meg Murry) relates to Emi even though Meg is a bit older. I can see the wheels turning in Emi's eyes when I read to her. Especially the part about how the house shook on that stormy night.

I bought this book for Emi a while back (before the Little Ones) and am happy that we are getting to read it now. It fits in with the vibe we have going on which is "taking stock" of our possessions and getting rid of what we don't/can't/won't use and appreciate the items that we do have. We've been taking stock in many of the rooms and it's a slow process but it's resulted in finding many hidden treasures, shifted purposes and upcycling. I am looking forward to finding more goodies for us or to share with others along the way.

Speaking of, yesterday I took 6 bags to Salvation Army to donate and then I procured 3 pairs of pants, some SpongeBob PJ bottoms, and a The Annoying Thing red vest (had never heard of this before but it sorta fits) for David; and a pair of Keen-ish sandals for Aubri - all for $10.24!

Lately I've been very aware of how having children in my life is forcing me to grow and also allowing me to have do-overs (do-finallys in some cases). Sometimes it's in reading a long forgotten story together (Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing) or stories I'd never read before (Sneetches and A Wrinkle In Time) or hearing the curious questions from David about how I cooked the fish last night.

Never a dull moment around here...

09 November 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

A couple of weeks ago at lunch I was at our Natural Grocers checking out my hummus options. I was careful to avoid the Teva brand because the avocado hummus I bought last time was so grody. I ate it all because I didn't want to be wasteful, but man that taste was not hummus and avocado like I expected. We've had that mix before and the whole family loves it, but this was not that. I noticed that they had a whole lot of dips and spreads by my favorite hummus brand - Blue Moose of Boulder - but no BMB hummus. My favorite is their chipotle hummus! Their hummus tastes fresh (closest to our home made) and has a thicker consistency that I like.

Anyway, I grabbed a tub of roasted red pepper dip to try with my pita chips. Back at the office I was pleasantly surprised. It's so good! It's made with neufchatel cheese, roasted red peppers, garlic and spices. I had to make myself not eat the whole tub in one sitting. I split it over 2 days of lunches. This was definitely something I needed to make at home.

I typically keep roasted peppers at home as well as garlic and when I saw that Homeland had neufchatel cheese on sale for 88 cents a brick tonight, I decided that tonight was the night (I also grabbed 4 bricks of the stuff!). While dinner was cooking (baked flounder marinated with Annie's Shiitake and Sesame dressing and steamed rice), I quickly blended a brick of neufchatel, a bulb of garlic (pressed) and a few pieces of roasted sweet pepper (red and yellow). I wasn't sure what "the spices" were so I didn't bother adding any...

The result was yummy! My whole family loved this dip with pita chips. I had to shoo the kids away so we'd have some leftover for lunch tomorrow. Something tells me we'll have to make this in bigger batches next time...

Roasted Red (& Yellow) Pepper Dip
Good Stuff, Maynard!
Also, here's a simple sauce that my mom taught me to make when I was little. It's a sauce to put over rice. Simply cut up tomatoes and onions and put into a small bowl and then cover with soy sauce. Let the ingredients get friendly while dinner is cooking and then spoon some over rice.

Tomatoes, Onions and Soy Sauce
Simple, Pretty & Tasty

Have you created anything simple and yummy lately, friends?

08 November 2011

My Work in Progress Closet

In case you didn't already know it, I live in an old house. Recently I noticed that many clothing items that I pulled out of my closet smelled musty.  Our closet is not huge by any stretch of the imagination and it should be able to function optimally for us as we have 2 closets in the basement where we can swap out clothes for seasonal use.  But our closet and dressers were packed full of clothes that we weren't wearing and those clothes were smelling a bit musty. We weren't sure what all was packed in there and we were really only wearing the clothes closest to the door. Something needed to be done and soon!

Musty Old Closet
Blah...needs a fresh coat of paint...

Anyhoo, I have been wanting to paint my closet since forever and I happened to have some Baby Aqua paint left over from when I painted our office a few years ago.  I was happy to use up the rest of this can of paint (I had just enough) to seal up my closet and motivate me to only put back in that pretty closet only the clothes that deserved to be in there. My thinking is that with the entire closet painted - ceiling, walls and shelves - it would be sealed to prevent that musty smell from happening. Also, with careful editing down of the items put back into the closet, I think the airflow might help as well.

While the paint was drying, Scott and I got busy sorting through the massive piles of clothes on the bed. We bagged up 6 bags of clothes to donate and we put the keeper clothes down in the basement to be laundered and put back into the closet again. We also cleaned out our dressers. We found loads of clothes that Emi can wear now so that was a bonus. She inherited many longsleeve Life is Good shirts and OU fleece tops, etc. I think I gave her my Harolds yoga pants too. (I miss Harolds!) I love the way this project turned out for us. Reduce-Reuse-Recycle.

New Order
Our shoes, edited down...
Baby Aqua Closet
Love the new color
I am still in the process of laundering some of the clothes that will go back into that closet and I still need to get some Dryel to get to the dry cleaning portion of the clothes. I think I may actually drop some of the items off at the dry cleaners also.  We are moving in the right direction. For the past week I've been able to wear clothes that I forgot I had and I also scored a cool orange Calvin Klein sweater that Scott was going to donate. I think I will time my donation drop for when I hit Salvation Army up to get a few pairs of pants for David (50% off Wednesdays - can't go wrong there!).

My Apron
My new to me orange sweater (covered up by my cool owl apron)

Part of my motivation has come from reading on The Working Closet .... and seeing her posts regarding editing down her fall closet. I was happy to find some items that we've had for a while that are back in style again...yea us! Of course, I still think I need more shoes...

[Note: We had another earthquake last night! Another 4.7 and we must be getting used to this because none of us freaked out.]