Friday, March 21, 2008


Chapter 2 of The Strong Willed Child tells the stories of some mothers and their very strong willed children. (Yes, I checked the book out about a month ago and am now on Chapter 3.) Anywho, the book left me traveling down memory lane, revisiting all the strong willed kids I've had the pleasure of knowing from teaching, working with in child care, and parenting. These memories include children who have done everything from killing baby birds found on the playground, to sneaking out of the house via doggy door to avoid time out, death threats, the sly middle finger used to scratch the forehead move, and making signs to alert a class full of children that their teacher "sucks." While some of these children have been difficult to get through to, each is wonderful, and I love and miss them dearly. I do think some of my wrinkles can be attributed to them, though! And even though she's the sweetest thing I've ever met, I'm pretty sure Livy may be one of these strong willed wonders.

She has this very distinct look on her face that alerts me that a power struggle very well may go down. One afternoon, we were in the middle of one of these mini-struggles. She wanted to stand in her seat at the table, and I wanted her to sit. She would stand up, look at me with that look, hear my request for her to sit, sit, then stand again. We went through this a couple of times, and my voice was beginning to get very stern, warning her that some kind of action would be taken. (Usually removal from the situation until she's ready to say, "Sah," her version of "sorry.") But this time when I said, "Sit down," she just looked at me with that little smirk, made eye contact, and spanked herself on the bottom instead of sitting back down. It was almost as if she were telling me, "Momma, I will not do what it is you're asking me to, so I'll go ahead and get the spanking out of the way." I had to hide my face so she couldn't tell that I was cracking up! When I reappeared she decided to sit and that was the end of it. But I'll always treasure that memory!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Got Milk?

Olivia is a milk-aholic! She loves it so much and even has a special name for it...milk-a. When we're at a restaurant, we have to ask the server for M-I-L-K or else there will be trouble. The other day, Aaron was loving on Livy while she was guzzling a cup of her favorite beverage, and he told her, "I love you, Olivia." She moved the cup away only long enough to gasp for air and reply, "I love milk." She is 19 months old and does not often speak in understandable sentences, but this was one of her firsts.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Snow Day!

We had such a blast Thursday. It was Olivia’s first snow day. There was a bit of snow last year, but she was too little to go out and enjoy it. She enjoyed the snow for about two minutes this time around! “Buw, cold!” she said. And we went in. Livy found plenty of things indoors to be amused with instead. We sang 100 verses of “The Wheels on the Bus” during our two hour drive home (usually on 25-30 minutes), shared some caramel apple cider – she LOVED it, filled the sink with water and played with toys in it, and munched on one of her favorite snacks, olives. Here are a few more special moments we shared:

Our doll takes care of her dolls. She never lets them sit in a wet diaper. Pictured above is 'Baby' in her new diaper. Interesting technique, Livy.

Yoga workout with Mommy

Looking for ideas of trouble to get in to!

Special Daddy-Daughter time before bed!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Poor, Poor Gracie

Our beloved family dog could not be fully captured by a mere description. Pictures help, but to really learn about Gracie, you simply have to know her. That said, this story may not be very funny to anyone other than me, but here it is anyhow. (Warning: The following subject matter may not be suitable for the tender-hearted.)

Grace-dog is a big oaf of a dog. She believes she requires more time and attention than our toddler. She barks loud enough to wake the neighborhood when she believes there is an intruder (which happens, oh, every few hours). She has a confused look about her most of the time. She is precious and more than patient with Olivia and any other children she has been around. She relentlessly sneaks up on the couch, no matter what consequences come her way. She likes to chase small animals and tries to bring them inside once they stop playing back with her. Most importantly for this story, she is petrified. Period. It doesn't have to be anything major - boxes are the worst of her enemies, but water, bath time, garage doors, any obstacles in the room, laundry baskets, moving cars, growly voices, and many other things are also quite scary. Oh, the rug in the living room is pretty bad, too. Mostly because it slides around a bit when she darts across the room.

I took Gracie for a spin after Olivia's bedtime the other night and left the back window down a little more than halfway because she loves hanging her head out. We were going 20mph and slower the entire time, and we were not driving near any traffic. Gracie was having a blast. So much fun that she wanted to ride with her front paws on the outside of the window. I slowed down and called her to come inside. She did not. She is very stubborn, too. I rolled my window down to further plead with her to get down. She did. I turned around to praise her for being a good girl. Gracie was not in the back seat. I stopped the car as fast as I could and got out. My poor, crazy dog was prancing in a big circle with a look on her face that was even more confused than usual. She thought she was in trouble when she saw me, so I had to convince her to come back with me to the car. Gracie had some scrapes around her nose and on her legs, but only one was bad enough to bleed a little. She was very shaken up about it all, but it did lead to much tlc and a midnight snack burger for her, so all in all, I don't think she minded much. Needless to say, she does not get to hang her head out the window anymore, but she does still enjoy a fun ride. I have since been accused of being a bad "dog mom," but I have changed my wicked ways.

Gracie looking confused

Gracie looking confused

Gracie afraid of a box