Monday, November 28, 2011

Tuesday Tidbit: Rasing Respectful Tots and Tykes

I am reading a great book that I checked out from our church library, "Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World" by Jill Rigby. Although it is not geared for raising toddlers, she has a lot of great insights and brings up the stages of teaching respect. I have a child in each of the first two stages right now: a tot and a tyke.

According to Rigby, a child from birth to age two is considered a tot. When it comes to teaching respect, tots mainly need routines and to learn that their parents mean what they say. Those are the two best ways a child learns to trust. I think routines are fairly easy to establish. We eat at around the same time each night. Games, baths, a cartoon, and some stories always come next, and in that order...every night (except Wednesday--we have Bible class from 7pm til 8pm). We have other routines throughout the day and week. It is peaceful when everybody knows what to expect.

Meaning what we say is even more important. I don't think those routines happen if we can't follow through with what we say. That may need to be an entirely different post of its own.

Tykes are the 3 to 5 year olds. Their developmental goal is security, which is built through recognition. Ever notice how a tyke loves to say, "Are you watching me? Hey, watch this! Look at me!" When they know we are watching, they feel protected. They also are more free to care for others b/c they aren't so busy looking out for themselves. Tykes also want to know "Who do I belong to?" Adam used to ask me how long he'd be in our family. Children this age need a sense of belonging. They need to be our helpers. They need to know we can't make it without them and that they are needed. Give your tykes jobs to do and tell them what an asset they are to the family. (My friend Amy did a great post on her blog about this recently. Click here to read it.)

There is a lot more to deal with when it comes to raising tots & tykes, but the little things we do now to build trust and recognition lay the foundation for having respectful tweens and teens (and who doesn't want that?!).

So I'm thinking for next week's tidbit...dealing with little tempers? It is a topic of conversation with many of my friends, lately, and I need some suggestions for my own house. Anyone interested? Comments welcome!

Well, Thanksgiving was interesting. Our car broke down on our way to our Thanksgiving meal! Later we found out it was the tow truck driver's fault! He said he'd been praying for something to happen around 11 so he wouldn't have to go to the Thanksgiving meal his family had planned. He said his wife left him & when the family gets together, all they want to do is talk about why she left! I guess it is good that we could help him out!

We still had a great meal and visit with family. Thanks to Randy and Connie for getting us there! (That is a whole different crazy story!)

The good news is that a few months ago, I got a great Groupon deal for a AAA membership. It certainly came in handy!

Here are my sweeties on Turkey Day...
(Doesn't look like either of them were thrilled to have their picture taken here.)

That's a little better, Levi ;)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday Tidbit & Video of Levi Talking & Moving

1.) What are your hopes & dreams for yourself & your family. How can you work towards making that happen?
2.) What do you hope to achieve through your blog?
3.) What is the best thing that has happened to you because of your blog?
4.) What are some of your favorite products, and what do you like about them?
5.) Can you do something others would be interested in learning? Do a tutorial for others to learn from.
6.) 10 Things You Don't Know About Me
7.) Share some favorite books.
8.) What are your favorite blogs? Who inspires you?
9.) Share your favorite pins for the week on Pinterest.
10.) Do a post of "A Day in the Life." It will be fun to look back on your routines.

I got these ideas from the following blogs:
Jenna's Journey

A few pics:
Levi standing :)

OT session last week:

My boys are both mastering new skills very quickly. Levi is able to get around more now and can hold his sippy cup and drink from it with no help at all. He is blowing my mind with his speech. In the video below, you'll hear him say, "Boo" and "Ball." He can also say "Bible" now, which was one of Adam's first words, too.

I feel bad not posting a video of Adam today, but he has been running away from the camera when I try to get video of him playing, and I don't think any of you want to see his new skills in action...He's potty training!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What I Want People to Know

I know. I know. It has been a long time since I've posted. I have been in a blogging rut, I guess. I don't feel like I've had any deep thoughts or interesting perspectives to share. I thought maybe some of my fellow bloggers might feel that way at times, too, so my next Tuesday Tidbit will be some cool blogging prompts that I've come across.

I think at the beginning of this month, I said I'd be sharing something on Down syndrome awareness since I didn't really do that during October, which is Ds awareness month. I still haven't thought of anything profound to say (mainly because Down syndrome hasn't changed my life like I thought it would, and it isn't that big of a deal most days), but I thought I'd share my feelings on parenting a child with Down syndrome...

1.) I am not a saint. I am just a parent that loves my kid, just like anyone else.
2.) I worry most about Levi's speech and how well he will be understood when he is older.
3.) The word "retarded" sends a jolt of terror through my body, like a bully is waiting around the corner to come get me. Although it is often used without malice, it is insensitive. It is unkind. And is personal.
4.) When people tell me Levi is doing so well because I work with him, I worry that when he doesn't do well, people are going to think it's my fault.
5.) I worry that people do not fully understand that Levi's IQ will be below average.
6.) I love it when people ask questions about Levi. It gives me an opportunity to clear up any misconceptions and give people information. It doesn't make me feel uncomfortable. It makes me feel like you care and want to know things, rather than just make judgments.

If you haven't heard about the controversy over the new prenatal test for Down syndrome, click here.

Look through the pages below for some stunning photos of a young lady with Down syndrome. I am intrigued by her.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Tibit and More

I'm cheating a little, in that I am only sharing a video, but it's still a good tidbit! Something I haven't done yet, but it looks pretty cool!

On Sunday afternoon, I did a photo shoot for a family of five. Our friend from church, Abigail, came to help. These are a few I took of Levi & Abigail before we got started. I am still weeding out & editing the pics from that day but promise to share them here when they are ready.

We raked up a HUGE pile of leaves and played and played yesterday.

Levi busts a move and says, "Oh, yeah!"

We had a fun "family date night" last night & used a gift card we had for the Japanese steak house. Fun, fun, fun!
Adam was a little unsure of the fire coming from the onion volcano.
And while Daddy & Levi enjoyed the big fire burst, Adam was hiding behind this partition.

I know he LOOKS happy, but he sounds like a puppy dog barking when he coughs, and he has an ear infection.

These two had fun entertaining each other while we waited for the doctor.
The doc we saw today is quite a character. He told me this poster was made by some nurses that have too much time on their hands. I thought is was hilarious!!!

People keep telling me that Levi & Adam are starting to look alike, which reminded me that I always wanted to post these pictures together for you all to see.

Levi at one week old.
Adam at one week old.
I think they've always looked alike :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I have been dealing with plantar fasciitis for about 3 years. It got so bad that I had knots up & down my calf muscle. I have had physical therapies & multiple cortisone shots that did nothing for me. I wore a night splint. I bought expensive orthodics. I wore the shoes that were supposed to help. I did stretches and used ice. I saw an orthopedic doctor that told me if the shots didn't work, surgery wouldn't work either, but the podiatrist I've been seeing told me that I would probably need the surgery.

Although plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot, it is directly related to tightness in the calf muscles. I could not figure out why things weren't getting better for me after all the stretches I have been doing for such a long period of time.

I finally asked my chiropractor about it, and he noticed that even my tennis shoes had a little bit of a heel. He said that my calf wasn't getting stretched out enough b/c of the shoes I was wearing (Danskos have been on my feet almost nonstop for the past several years). It made sense to me. Not only was I keeping my calf from getting a full range of motion, I was wearing these orthodics that kept my foot from stretching & moving, too.

The chiropractor recommended a "barefoot shoe," with no heel at all, and I cannot believe what a difference it has made.
These are Vibram Five Finger shoes. There are other barefoot shoes that do not have toes, but I just wanted to try them and absolutely love them. I felt much better in about 3 days, and I did nothing but change my shoes! Since then, I did a few massage therapy session (painful!) to work out knots in my muscles, and I've been doing some exercises to strengthen my feet. I still have a little discomfort but no pain, and am very thankful I didn't opt for surgery!

I have read a lot about barefoot running while researching the shoes and plantar fasciitis. Very interesting stuff.

Here's what else has been going on with us...
We mixed shaving cream & a drop of food coloring to make some great bathtub paint!

I got my hair cut short.
Our electricity was out for several hours the other night. These battery operated decorations came in handy. Adam & I played hide & seek with them. Quite fun! Maybe we'll play again sometime even when we do have electricity.
We spent Saturday with Wes's brother & family. Had a wonderful time. The highlight of the day for the little ones was this great park. Lots of fun for everyone.

Levi & his cousin, Tyler

And Halloween was a blast!!

It was absolutely hilarious watching Adam try to ring the bell in a costume that wouldn't let him reach!

We were very thankful to have Grandpa along for the ride this year!

October was Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Stay aware ;) More thoughts on that later this week.