Counting Calories?
Thursday, August 30, 2007

"Mommy, can I please have a snack?"

"Dylan, it's only 8:30, and you've already had breakfast, some peanut butter crackers, and some goldfish. You need to wait a few hours and then you can have a snack."

"But! Mommy! My tummy is growling!"

"That's because you've eaten so much already this morning! Your tummy is digesting your food."

[insert a long confusing discussion of me trying to answer the obvious next question, "What digestion?"]

"But Mommy....remember yesterday, when I went to school?"

"You didn't go to school yesterday."

"Yeah, but remember that one time? That other day? When I went to school? Well, I didn't eat my sandwich that time."

"You didn't? Well, you need to eat your lunch next time."

"BUT MOMMY! I didn't eat my sandwich at school that other time. So I'm still hungry. I didn't eat it I need a snack right now. Today."

This reasoning completely cracked me up! He hasn't been to school in three days, but to Dylan it's perfectly logical that because he didn't eat his lunch on Monday, I owe him extra food on Thursday. I love that kid.

Add to list of life goals: Take a photography class
Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I am really interested in photography, and in becoming a better photographer. I would really like to take a photography workshop someday. (My mom has the same interest, so maybe one day we'll take a class together!) I've checked out a few books from the library on the subject, read articles online, and I've read through the manual on my camera to try and figure out the settings, etc. But so far my increased knowledge has not led to better pictures! (I think one problem is that I need a better flash on my camera, but I'm not quite willing to shell out the big bucks yet.)

All the books suggest taking tons and tons of pictures, and figuring out what you like and what you dislike about the images you get. Of the nearly 50 pictures I snapped of Lauryn this morning in the front yard, I like these two images in black and white the best.

At least I couldn't ask for more adorable subjects!

He's so adorable
Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Today Dylan asked me, "Mommy, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

First Day of School
Monday, August 27, 2007

You know that scene in Finding Nemo, at the very beginning, when Nemo is waking up his Dad because it's "Time for school, time for school, time for school!"? Just imagine Ryan as Nemo, and you have an idea what our day has been like.

Ryan loved his first day of Kindergarten. I picked him up at 3:15 today, and he has not stopped thinking of new things to tell me about his day. His Papaw called this afternoon to ask him how his day went, and I think Ryan may have talked a solid five minutes before taking a breath. Then when his Mo (grandma) called later on, he had already thought of completely new and different stories to tell her. When he talked to his Granny, she really got an earful because he had already rehearsed it twice. He was especially impressed with the book, "Watch Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!", which apparently "totally cracked him up."

It was an emotional day for me, but I feel confident that we have Ryan in the place God designed for him to be for this year. He just seemed so big and grown up marching into that school with such purpose!

Ryan has to wear a uniform to school. So no comments
regarding why I dressed him like a little business man on his first day of Kindergarten!

Dylan also had a great first day back to Parent's Day Out. I was so proud of him for walking right into class without so much as a small whimper or complaint! (Maybe one little teeny pout, but barely worth mentioning!)

Lauryn pretty much thinks she's the queen of any room she enters, and that was the case this morning at Parent's Day Out as well. She didn't have a backpack to put on when we were taking pictures at home, so she went and got her lunch sack and told me "My backpack!" so I would take her picture.

I am anxious to see how tomorrow goes....I'm taking Dylan and Lauryn with me to go visit a friend. Ryan will be at school, and I'm curious to see how Dylan does without Ryan acting as his buffer! Dylan rarely speaks to adults, because anytime we are around an adult Ryan says "Hi, I'm Ryan and I'm five years old, and this is my brother Dylan, and he's four years old, this is my sister....etc", before Dylan even has a chance to get his foot in the door. This will be a growing time for my precious middle child!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dylan and Lauryn will be attending "Parent's Day Out" one day a week at the church. Thursday we went to meet their teachers and see their classrooms, and were given a small list of supplies to bring on Monday. Just two little items for Lauryn and five things for Dylan. I thought, "No biggie...I can just pick this stuff up sometime this weekend."


I have been home from Wal-Mart for a couple hours now, and I still feel irritated. School starts on Monday, and the school supply area was crazy! I have never seen such chaos in the aisles of any store. I've been one of the loonies who line up at 4:30am for the day after Thanksgiving sales and fight over the last item on special; that was a peaceful stroll compared to today.

And I still have to buy watercolors, because after fighting the crowds (what's UP with the woman who parks herself in the middle of the aisle with her basket turned sideways?!? and lets her kids sit in the floor around her opening packages of crayons?!?) there were no watercolors of any brand to be found. Hopefully Dylan won't need them his first day, because I will be waiting until after Monday to resume the search. My blood pressure may be back to normal by then. And hopefully this tightness in my chest will be gone.

By the way...if a box of makers is not labeled, "washable", does that necessarily mean they're not? Have washable markers been around long enough that the "washable" characteristic is understood? His list specified they should be Washable Markers, but I just grabbed the first box I saw and hightailed it out of there.

Generally I'm pretty good at dealing with crowds and people and frustrations in general. But occasionally I realize that if I really want that precious fruit of the spirit "patience", it's going to have to come from somewhere outside of my own resolve!

Count Down: 4 days
Thursday, August 23, 2007

The last school supply item has been checked off our list. A new thermos and lunch box have been bought. We are going to meet the Kindergarten teacher this afternoon. And four days later...Ryan starts school!

Wasn't it just yesterday we were bringing this little guy home from the hospital?

A pocket full of sunshine
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lauryn was given a couple of new skirts, and she is beyond thrilled that they have pockets. There is a big production of standing perfectly still and concentrating on getting each hand placed just right. She had to work on getting her hands wedged in before she would show her Daddy her new clothes. Then she got tripped up and she fell down on her rump rather than removing her hands from her pockets. Funny girl. I can't believe she'll be two next month...I guess if I get her any new clothes I'll know what to look for.

Little Woodworkers
Saturday, August 18, 2007

We found fun little wooden model kits for $1.00 today at Michael's.

Ryan chose a tank, and to no one's surprise Dylan chose a helicopter. (Dylan's current response when he's asked what he wants to be when he grows up is "a helicopter man", and he's always the first to spot a helicopter in flight.)

With some help, they first sanded and painted the pieces.

Next came assembly time.

Ryan is giving maximum effort to make sure the glue holds!


Book Suggestions?

I met with two new friends for coffee on Tuesday night, and we started a book club. We were having coffee at a Barnes and Noble, so maybe the environment seduced us.

So far our club consists of the three of us with ambitions to read and discuss
Sense and Sensibility. Two of us are already Jane Austen lovers, with plans to quickly indoctrinate the third member.

Any suggestions for great books that we should put on our list?

More Barbie Talk
Thursday, August 16, 2007

Conversation with my husband:

"A couple of my friends made a good point; now that we know we might turn into Barbie dolls if we step on cracks, we'll step on all the cracks we can find! Great body, great hair, great wardrobe...."

"Nah... If you were a Barbie Doll you would never have any clothes on and you would constantly have messed up ratty hair."

It's true that this is the general condition of most Barbie dolls. But I think he just fears losing me to Ken.

I'm so incredibly photogenic
Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My friend was snapping pictures when we were out in Tulsa a couple weeks ago. I said, "Wait don't take my picture yet...I think I have something in my teeth." She didn't listen. This was high comedy after she took the picture then passed around the digital camera. Glad I could bring so much enjoyment to the table!

Oh the horror of little girls' toys!

Conversation between the boys this morning at Wal-Mart:

Ryan: Dylan, don't step on the cracks!

Dylan: Why? What will happen?

Ryan: Umm....well....You'll turn into a....a.....BARBIE DOLL!

Ryan and Dylan simultaneously: AHHHHH!!!!

Great pains were taken to avoid all cracks the rest of the morning.

Bloody Tuesday
Tuesday, August 14, 2007

When I was in the shower today, Dylan came tearing into the bathroom, crying hysterically. So I'm sticking my head out around the shower curtain, trying to get him to tell me what's wrong. "Use words Dylan! I know you're upset, but I don't know what's wrong, baby! You need to try and stop screaming and use words so you can tell Mommy what's wrong. Are you hurt? Are you mad? What's the matter?" After about a minute of peering around the curtain with suds in my hair trying to get Dylan to talk, he's still doing nothing but screaming. Then all of a sudden blood started flowing out of his nose. Just one nostril, in a steady stream. So the three year old scream machine is still screaming...I still have suds in my hair...blood has dripped all over the side of the tub...I have filled up the nearby washcloth with blood...and still have no idea what caused this injury.

I finally managed to talked Dylan into sitting outside the door and holding the washcloth to his nose while I hurried out of the shower.

Ryan finally explained (as Dylan continued to sob) that Lauryn had thrown a metal kaleidoscope at Dylan and hit him square in the face. I'm not sure what sparked this outburst from her, but I doubt Dylan was completely innocent. Dylan concurred with a nod of the head and a particularly pathetic sniffle that Lauryn was indeed the perpetrator. Ryan was my number one suspect until the truth finally came out.

Putting her teeth to good use

This was her first corn on the cob.
She gnawed it clean!

Putting back on the Speech-Pathologist Hat
Monday, August 13, 2007

I started back to work part-time today. I'll be working every Monday and Friday from 8:00am to 3:00pm. (My kids will be at Kindergarten/Parent's Day Out on Monday's, and Kindergarten/home with their dad on his off day on Fridays.)

Early indications are that my job is going to be great! I'm working for an early intervention program (I had a job with a similar agency in Dallas before Ryan was born and LOVED it), doing speech evaluations and therapy with children from birth through age three. It is a home based program, so I'll travel to homes all over Lubbock and the surrounding towns.

I am often asked, "Why would you do speech therapy with babies? They don't talk!"

The short answer is that SLP's (speech-language pathologist's) evaluate and treat much more than just speech sounds. We work with speech, language, feeding, voice, cognition, and sensory disorder issues, as well as children with facial or oral anomalies such as cleft palate.

The long answer is that even the smallest babies can communicate (with their eyes, mouths, reactions, reflexes, etc), and when they do not demonstrate any kind of communication there is usually a reason for concern. Also, I will likely have little ones on my caseload who have been on feeding tubes and need to learn to eat by mouth. I may also have babies who were born severely premature and spent significant time in the NICU. These families often need support regarding how to best stimulate their baby toward language development, in spite of the likely medical challenges they will be facing with their child. When a child is dependent on several machines to breathe and eat, parents use an incredible amount of mental energy keeping them healthy and alive. Sometimes these parents need help to establish normal routines and interactions with their child. My job is incredibly rewarding! I love working in the home environment, because I get to work with the entire family. I also enjoy the other professionals I work with, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, pediatric nurses, social workers, dietitians, and early intervention specialists.

I haven't worked for almost four months, and the SLP section of my brain feels a bit rusty. So even if no one reads to the end of this post, maybe it at least helped me "grease up" that part of my brain and get it going again!


Those Who Need Love the Most, Deserve it the Least
Saturday, August 11, 2007

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that."

Matthew 5:43-47

Am I daily loving anyone other than people who already love me? I am daily being kind to anyone other than people who are already my friends?


Forgive me Lord. Soften my heart to those people around me who need compassion. Help me offer love and kindness out of obedience, even when I feel it is not deserved.


Ask an honest question
Thursday, August 9, 2007

Ryan is generally really good about cleaning up his toys and picking up after himself. But today was a bit of an off day. In a moment of mild frustration I asked:

"Ryan, do you think my only job is to clean up after you?"

[with complete seriousness] "Yes."

"What's in a name?"

What's in a name?
That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet.

-William Shakespeare

Dylan, my three year old, has always called me "Mommy", but is now occasionally calling me "Mom." Not all the time, but at least a few times daily.

"Thanks Mom!"
"Here ya go Mom."

"Love ya Mom."

"No, Mom!"
"MOM! Lauryn won't leave me alone! Get her Mom! Make her take a nap Mom!"

To those of you who have not made this transition from being a "Mommy" to "Mom", you might be wondering what the big deal is. I assure you, it is quite an adjustment. (Or maybe not, and I'm just strange.)

He's always called me Mommy, and the loss of that one little syllable is a bit shocking. Somehow when he calls me "Mom" it makes him seem much more grown up.

I suppose in the end, no matter how much older it makes him seem, he's still just a three year old who needs his Mommy. (Proven yesterday by the crazy situation he found himself in. Click here for story.)

There are clues that he may be phasing out "Daddy" as well. Last night as Jonathan was helping him out of the van, he said, "Thanks Dad!"

I hope Lauryn doesn't pick up on this trend. I need her to call us Mommy and Daddy a bit longer. Ryan is five and still happily calls us Mommy and Daddy, so hopefully she'll follow his lead!

Hair Bow Mania
Wednesday, August 8, 2007

If you look at many of the pictures on my blog, you may notice that Lauryn is never without a hair bow. This is because a friend of the family has lovingly made her one million of them. (Almost a million - and we're so grateful for every single one of them! Lauryn loves her bows and has been known to wear upwards of 10 at a time when she's playing at home.)

I had been keeping the bows in a basket under the bathroom sink, but as our collection increased that wasn't working out so well. Her beloved bows were getting squished, and I was forgetting what they all looked like, given the vast selection.

So, in spite of my un-craftiness, I set about creating a bow storage solution today. I am quite proud of myself; it turned out super cute, and cost less than 10 bucks to make. I'm disappointed in the pictures because the colors look muted, but you get the general idea:

Hanging in the corner between the closet and the armoire.

Wal-Mart sells these little flower hooks in the craft section for less than $2.
I painted them pink, white, and green; the color is much brighter than in the photo.

I painted a dowel rod purple and cut it to length with a handi-saw. Yay for little power tools!
I used sticky velcro coins on the purple ribbon to create a loop at the top so it could slide onto the rod.
Gotta love a no-sew project!

A bow for every season.


Tea Time
Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Lauryn's great-grandmother just gave her a new tea set and a cute little princess tablecloth sewn to match.

It took some convincing for the boys to "have tea" with Lauryn today, but once I talked them into it they were quite lovely guests at her table. Daddy joined the tea time when he got home from work.

Such accommodating men in my house!

Lauryn wanted her "poofy dress" (Ryan's term) for tea time, but the boys were graciously allowed to keep on their pre-school play clothes.


Trips back to Oklahoma never disappoint. We saw old friends...spent time with our families...took the boat out for two days on the lake....I'm sure it will take us a few days to recuperate now that we're home. And it will probably take longer than that for Papaw and Mo to recover from hosting us for almost a week!

If only I could have a video of myself trying to get on the inner tube with Jonathan, I would have laughs to last a lifetime. I'm sure it was a spectacle to behold. The first day out I had no trouble at all...but by the second day on the lake it took me four tries to get on the blasted inner tube without throwing both of us off. I probably should have taken that as a clue not to ride it. I did not heed the warning.

Sushi and Smiles
Saturday, August 4, 2007

Last night I met up with four friends from my hometown (crazy that we'll all be 30 years old within a year!) and we had an incredible time catching up. My sentimental friend Lisa made us play "High/Low", and we had to share our High Point and Low Point of the last year. I highly recommend this game when you get together with friends you don't get to see very often. We laughed...we cried...good times were had by all.

We had to wait over 2 hours to get our food at the restaurant
. (To their credit, they did give us two free appetizers before finally bringing out our sushi.) We were irritated about it at the time, but the wait turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It gave us plenty of time to talk and catch up, with no pressure to do anything or go anywhere. Some of our "highs" were very high, and some of the "lows" were very low indeed, so we needed the time to talk. Our stories confirmed we have ample reason to rejoice at God's faithfulness.

Be at rest once more, O my soul,

for the Lord has been good to you.
Psalm 116:7


On The Road Again
Thursday, August 2, 2007

We're in Oklahoma for a few days. It's an eight hour trip from Lubbock to Sand Springs, but thankfully all three kids were awesome during the drive. They are becoming quite seasoned road warriors.

We've already seen Cousin Connor perform his new tricks of crawling and pulling up. What a doll! I had to remind the boys that just because he can crawl, it doesn't mean he's quite ready to wrestle.

The boys want so badly to "hold" Connor, but the poor little guy looks so uncomfortable. Still grinning though!

Lauryn is mildly interested in Connor, but she did not appreciate her Daddy holding him. Did not appreciate it at all.

Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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