Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Guilt Trip

So, my sister guilt-tripped me today ... complaining that I hadn't posted in *gasp* three days! But then I went and looked at her blog, and she hasn't posted recently either. So ...

Anyhoo ... we've been very busy down here. Nana, Papa, and "Gamma" arrived Monday evening. Doug and Heidi arrived last night ... it's been family central here in Peanut-land. So I have no pictures to share at the moment, but I'll pass on a few little gems ...
  • Allen decided that his meeting entertainment last night (during the CO's visit, no less) would be to choke Mommy with her necklace. He sat in the seat next to me, and pulled as hard as he could on it. And then looked at the sister behind us and grinned (this was done repeatedly).
  • After the closing prayer last night, yelled, "Amen. It's over!"
  • He looked at me this morning, and said, "Nana, Papa, Gigi, Gamma, peese!" indicating that he wanted to go see them at Nana's house (mind you, we were all still in bed at this point).
  • Allen decided that it would be fun to kick Zoe's legs out from under her, and then laugh as she collapsed onto the ground (for those of you who don't know, Zoe is Nana's 14-year-old dog who is deaf, blind, and has a spinal cord injury). Now, to prevent hate-comments from animal activists, please know that Zoe is a small dog, and that my son is not kicking hard ... more like a gentle tap with his foot. Also, please know that Zoe's legs give out numerous times in a day, and she collapses frequently. Apparently, my son finds this humorous and decided to help her along. Obviously, he didn't realize that this was mean. We did tell him that it wasn't nice, and he stopped, though.
  • He said "Uncle Doug" all by himself (he never says Uncle or Aunt, so this was pretty amazing).
  • Allen and Doug were playing with his blocks, and then Doug started talking with the adults. Allen didn't like this too much, so he started tapping Doug on the leg, and said, "Doug. DO IT!" OK then ...

More stories to come, I'm sure. Including pictures of Allen's rearranged room (which he absolutely adores).


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Owen, More Cuteness

First things first ... the promised cookie photos:

So I thought that Allen couldn't get much cuter than his comment about eating cookies "all all day," but it turns out that he can -- and he did.

This afternoon Allen talked to Nana and Papa for a long time, and cried the first time they tried to get off the phone. So they continued to talk to him about how they were going to take him to the park to swing on the swings and ride the see-saw, and play in the house that's there. Finally, they got off the phone, and he called Mom-mom's house to talk to Owen (more on that shortly). A short while later, Allen just started walking around the house crying. We asked him what was wrong, and he said "Park! Park!" The he said, "Nana and Papa!" I asked him if he wanted to call them, and he shook his head, and said, "No, see Nana and Papa!" I guess he thought they were coming right away to take him to the park, and he was very upset that they had not arrived yet. Poor little guy :(

Back to talking with Owen. Allen gets an absolute kick out of talking to Owen (and if you recall from an earlier post, it is hilarious because he communicates primarily in screams and grunts). So today, I decided to videotape it for your enjoyment. Because there is little that brings more joy than hearing a child laugh.

Allen has been broadening his horizons lately, as far as toys go, so instead of just cars to clean up each night, we have cars, blocks, books, markers, etc. Usually he's pretty good about cleaning up before bed, but last night we had a little issue with it, so he wasn't allowed to read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom before bed. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do -- he was so upset, that he almost became inconsolable -- but with the difficulties we've been having lately, we decided to stand our ground.

Well, tonight, I felt so good about our decision. Because when it was time to clean up his toys, he hopped right off my lap and started helping. Not one complaint out of his mouth. Not only that, but he went right up the stairs, and asked to have a bath! Finally, we saw some positive results out of all this disciplining we're doing.

So we read our stories, and were saying our goodnights, when Allen decided he needed to add six more stuffed animals to his brood (they usually sit in a little shelf in his room). So we tossed them into the crib to join the others. We laid him in bed and started to cover him with his blankets, when he decided that each stuffed animal needed a kiss. He had to sit up, grab the animal, lay down, kiss it, and then repeat ... for each of the dozen or so animals in the bed! He even had to kiss "extra blanket" (the extra blanket we put on him when it got really cold here).

We finally got through it all, and turned off the lights. As we closed the door, Brian said, "And you thought you were done blogging today ...." It's true -- the kid gives me so much fodder for this blog that I'm never struck with writer's block.

Goodnight to you all!


It doesn't take much

We weren't feeling too well today, so we stayed home from the meeting. Eventually, Daddy got up, got he and Allen ready, and they went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things (dog food, juice treats, etc). Well, Dad made the mistake of going down the cookie aisle, and was persuaded to purchase some Oreo cookies (with a football design, of course).

Anyway, they came home, we ate lunch, and Allen finally got his cookies. He could not have been more pleased.

"Mmmmm" he said.
"Are they good?" Mommy asked
"Eat cookies all all day," Allen replied, with chocolate all over his face.

It doesn't take much to make our little guy happy, does it? And, he even figured out how to open the cookie and lick the icing out from the middle (which is the only way to eat an Oreo, really).

That's all for now ... I'll try to snap a picture of the cookie-eating-face later and post it.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Relaxing day at home

Since our weekend plans fell through, we got to enjoy a relaxing day at home with nothing to do. I don't know the last time that has happened (not to say that there haven't been other days in which I've done nothing ... but usually there's a horrible guilty feeling in my gut because I should be doing something).

Here's Allen -- sporting his new Elmo slippers -- totally relaxing and watching Sesame Street.

Nothing to exciting today. We chilled in our jammies most of the day, and then had dinner with Gigi, Big Dude, and Shell. Dinner was fabulous. Allen no longer wants to be called Little Dude. Every time Big Dude called him that, he said emphatically, "No! Allen!" (pointing to himself). I guess that's that.

Well, I'm off to post on my other blog and then enjoy a movie with my man.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

The sweet, the hilarious, and the naughty

My own version of the good, the bad, and the ugly ...

It's been an interesting couple days ... and a really rough night. It's after 11:30, I'm on my second glass of wine, and I'm still stressed out ... but more on that later.

Since I'm so exhausted, I'm just going to post a list of the "gems" we've heard or seen from Allen over the past couple days:

The Sweet

  • Called all his loved ones this morning and talked with each of them (except for Kissen who was having her brunch today). Told Papa "yuv ou" unprompted. That's the first time he's done that with anyone other than Mommy or Daddy. Also told everyone else "yuv ou" I think.
  • Talked to "baby" Owen, and laughed each time Owen said something. Then said, "again" every time he said anything. Also loved talking to "Aubey." Having no cousins myself, I'm thrilled to see that he already loves Owen and Aubrey so dearly.
  • Finally said "No thank you" instead of just "NO."
  • Talked to the people sitting in front us at the movies before it started (also talked to them during the movies, but that falls somewhere between sweet and naughty). Introduced Mommy and Daddy and told them about the "chocate cookie" he was eating.
  • Said, unprompted, "Mommy pretty. Mommy sweet."
  • Says, "Awwww, Mimi."
  • Told us that "Hovah" made the moon.

The HilariousBulleted List

  • "Mommy, pinch hiney peese!" This is what I heard last night while Daddy was getting him ready for bed. And at other times since (particularly when changing his diaper).
  • "Nana in the potty," he informed the people sitting in front of us at the movies today.
  • Pretended to take mommy's temperature by sticking the thermometer on my butt (thank goodness I was wearing pants).

The Naughty

  • Slammed his head into the chairs along the row we were sitting in at the meeting (knocking a couple off their back legs).
  • Walked down the row to talk to the people sitting at the other end.
  • Ran away from me (after being disciplined), taking off for the other side of the kingdom hall (during the meeting) which forced me to run after him trying to grab him and resulting in me tripping him and causing him to fall on the floor.
  • Screamed "NO" several times during the meeting.

Thus, the two glasses of wine needed after the meeting.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mommy ...

Allen told me today that:
  • Mommy cute
  • Mommy sweet
  • Mommy sexy (thanks to Dad)

Well, he should add, "Mommy writes" to his repertoire because Mommy has a new blog she'd like to share with you. Please join Kristen and I over at Book(s) I Read -- a new blog devoted to children's books. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we love watching Allen devour his books.

Enjoy, and spread the word, please (Mommy's looking for her five minutes of blog fame with this one).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Be Happy

First of all, thanks to everyone (all six of you) who participated in the poll. We tied for Stellaluna and Goodnight Moon. Hopefully Kristen and I will have an exciting announcement along the lines of this poll soon, so stay tuned.

We haven't had too much excitement around the Craig household this weekend. I fell in love with a Ben Folds song, but other than that and the normal cuteness of "the kid" I don't think there's been too much that is "blog-worthy."

We had a low-key day today. We were going to go in service, but the temperature dropped, ohhh about 40 degrees, between yesterday and today, and since Allen didn't yet have a winter coat (it arrived today), we decided to stay inside. We played and read books and watched the Noah DVD and did laundry and went to meeting ... it was pretty uneventful. But here are a couple highlights (sorry, no pictures).

Allen loves to help me with the laundry. When he hears the dryer door open, he calls out, "I'm comin' " and runs to help push the laundry into it. Then he likes to close the door "tight" for me. He also helps put the dried laundry into the basket for me to fold. It's very sweet.

We bought a spray bottle to use to train Mia not to sit up on the back-cushions of our sofa anymore (it's working beautifully by the way). Well, Allen enjoys getting sprayed in the face with it. At one point today, he was soaked from Daddy spraying him with it. He also likes it when Daddy sprays the water into his mouth (strange child, isn't he?).

I was impressed by his listening capability today. After having a time-out for not listening to Daddy about something, he changed his tune completely and obeyed each time we asked him to clean up one toy before bringing out another. Very impressive, considering his recent behavior.

Allen ate lunch before Mommy and Daddy, and was onto his dessert of Gummy Bears (because he sat at the table at ate his lunch so well) by the time we were eating. But he came over while Daddy prayed before our lunch. He closed his eyes right away and held my hand. During the prayer -- with his eyes still closed -- he reached into his little bowl and snagged a gummy bear. Brian and I lost it.

We watched the Noah video this afternoon as our "meeting practice." He did really well with it. He was mesmerized by all the animals and the ark. We were impressed and thought that it was a good sign for book study tonight. So we practiced an answer.

Dinner was good. We got in the car OK. He was excited for "meeting" when we arrived at the Kingdom Hall. And then it all just fell apart. He was pretty much awful for the entire meeting. Except for when he answered. He went right over to Daddy and sat on his lap while the paragraph was being read. He raised his hand before "Coni" asked the question. Fortunately, "Coni" saw that and called on him right away. He gave his answer (to paragraph 16, for those of you who want to know): "Be happy." He said it loudly (but not too loud) and clearly. And then he went back to being terrible. So terrible that he did not get any gummy bears tonight.

I think that's all for now. Goodnight my loves. Oh, and to answer your question, Kissy, rest assured that you are always among the list that he rattles off to us.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Allenisms, Part IV

Well, the kid is at it again, so I decided to devote this post to the latest and greatest "Allenisms."

We heard these little gems last night at dinner:
  • It's mees (I guess that's like, "It's mine")
  • Told you (he said this to Daddy after Daddy gave in and let him eat a piece of candy cane before dinner, even though we had told him he had to wait until after dinner)
  • Juuuiice teeeattts (said while squeezing my face with his little hands ... think "Hi, my name's Chubby" kind of squeezing my face)

Here are some other random things he's been saying/doing lately:

  • "Yeah, me too." (Mind you, he says this whenever he wants, and not usually when it's actually the appropriate response)
  • "Kanagoo" (kangaroo)
  • He's begun introducing himself and his family to others ... "Hi, it's Allen. It's Mommy. It's Daddy."
  • "Shake it" (he got this from a cell phone commercial).
  • This might be a repeat, but he always checks on us. "I check Daddy now. I check Mommy now."
  • The other day he called out to a stray dog (from the car), and said, "Puppy (kissing noises), come here, sit on my yap!" When we told him the dog was too big to sit on his lap, he yelled, "Come here, sit on Mommy's yap!" This went on for some time. Then, when the dog refused to move at all, Allen said, "Puppy, MOVE!" It was great.
  • He randomly tells us the names of all the people he loves, in no particular order, but is careful not to leave anyone out (including baby Cai).
  • Says, "I'm scared" at random times (usually he's not actually scared).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hey Bob

Daddy was sick tonight. So Allen and I went to the meeting by ourselves. I'll admit, that with the issues we've been having lately, I almost bailed out. But I decided that wasn't what I wanted to teach Allen.

Even though he was feeling pretty darn bad, Brian helped out by getting Allen dinner (and praying that Allen would be good for Mommy), suggesting that we "chase" Allen around the house (to wear him out), and getting him dressed for the meeting.

We drove separately from "Nana" just in case it was a really awful evening. We got there just before the meeting started, and got seats in the second row from the back. The meeting started and Allen decided to lay down on the floor and "sleep." He did this for the entire first half of the meeting. He was disconcertingly quiet.

When we got up to sing the song at the half, he started to get a little fidgety. I took him outside to reassure him that he was doing a great job, and that if he was good for the second half he'd get a reward. "GUMMY BEARS," he yelled. I whispered back to him, that yes, if he was good for the rest of the meeting he would get them. He proceeded to tell me a story of which I only understood certain words, including "Hovah," "sing," and "prayer." At least he knows what happens at meeting, right?

He was OK for the rest of the meeting, and was very quiet during the prayer. He yelled, "AMEN" at the end, and the entire congregation ( I swear) laughed. It was so sweet. I would call it a successful meeting.

Daddy was armed with GUMMY BEARS when we got home, and we got right to the bedtime ritual. We read our "Bible book" story about Rahab and the spies. For our review, we tried to teach him to say Rahab. Here's how it went:

Parents: Can you say Rahab?
Allen: Heybob
Parents: (laughing) Ray hab
Allen: Hey bob
Parents: Ray
Allen: Ray
Parents: hab
Allen: bab
Parents: Ray-hab
Allen: Hey-bab

Then he got too embarrassed to say it anymore. What a cutie.


Our house is a very (very very) fine house

While we don't have two cats in the yard, we do have three new light fixtures!!!

Here's the blessing/curse of owning a retail business. Sometimes you have customers who really really want something that you have to special-order, but you don't have anything else you need to order from the company to meet the minimum (for those unfamiliar with this, wholesalers usually have a dollar minimum you have to meet. So in order to obtain products from them, you have to spent $X.Get it?). Well, unless you count the gorgeous lighting they have that you would love to have in your house ...

Aren't they fabulous?!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Boys will be boys

For those of you who don't know, I am a girl's girl. I'm prissy. I don't like to be dirty or messy. I like pretty clothes. I like to do my hair and wear makeup. I don't (and have never) play sports. I don't like to climb trees. I don't really like to sweat either.

So when I found out that I was having a boy, I was genuinely terrified. I thought, "What am I supposed to do with a boy? I can't catch a ball. I don't like to run around. I don't like to get dirty. What am I going to do when my little boy brings me bugs or hugs me with muddy hands or tracks dirt through the house?"
Shortly after that internal dialogue (and with help from my therapist), I basically said, "Get over yourself, Allegra. You'll take it as it comes, and you'll make sure he's a well-rounded little boy. Anything you can't handle is when you call in the Daddy."
Flash forward to the past year of my life. In some ways, Allen is all boy. He's full of energy and loves to run. He loves cars and trucks. He likes blue and green (they're his favorite colors). But in other ways, he's more like me. He doesn't really like to be dirty. He doesn't climb on things or jump off of things. He loves books. He likes music. He's definitely not girly, but he hasn't really gotten out there and acted like a BOY ... until today.
My mom needed Brian to do some things for her, so Allen was at the shop with us. As you know, usually he's content to help us in the shop ... professional candle sniffer one day, sticker affixer another day. But today, he really wanted to be outside, and kept making a run for it.
I quickly gave in, and he ran around in the grass next door to the shop for awhile. He yelled to the UPS man and the other delivery guy. And he yelled to Miss L and Finley (a cute little Beagle)across the street.

Then B (his parents own the pizzeria across the street, where he works) lent Allen his soccer ball. And he had a blast throwing it around.

After falling on the ball a few times, he noticed the leaves. So he starting digging into them and throwing them over his head (sadly I was unable to capture this on camera). It was fantastic. And his hands and legs and face got dirty, and he was OK with it. Not only that, but he looked so happy.

Then Daddy came back, and he was even happier!

All in all, it was a great day for Allen. And Mommy is very proud of him for being all boy today (and she's proud of herself for encouraging him to do so. She even kicked the ball around with him).


Monday, December 15, 2008

You Gotta Have Faif

You saw my posts on bribery/positive reinforcement and how well it worked for me. And you know that I am desperate for suggestions to help Allen behave at the meetings. I have done some research and a lot of praying, and Brian and I decided that we would "play" meeting today while we studied for book study, and that we would not mention the potential reward until after he exhibited the good behavior.

So we studied for the meeting together. We had some disruptions, but eventually he sat on Mommy's lap and was pretty quiet. During the preparation, I asked him if he wanted to answer, but he declined to do so.

However, after a reward, a hearty dinner, and a bath, he decided that he did want to raise his hand at the meeting. We had discussed two possible answers, and he decided that he wanted to say "faith" (or, as Allen says it, faif). We said OK, and then we didn't push it too much, because we don't want to put more pressure than necessary on him.

We got to the book study, and while he was not angelic, it was a drastic improvement from last Monday. When we got to the appropriate paragraph, I asked him if he was ready to raise his hand. He didn't really respond, but when he heard the brother read the word "faith" he whispered it (twice). So as we neared the end of the paragraph, we sat him on Daddy's lap, and told him to get ready (this also provided some distraction for him from the inappropriate behavior he was starting to display).

When "Coni" asked the question, Daddy helped him raise his hand, and Allen waved his little fingers. Right away, "Coni" said, "Allen" and Allen whispered, "faif." We whispered, "Say it out loud." So he whisper-yelled, "Faaaif." Then we told him again to say it loud, and he said (kind of yelled), "FAIF."

I have never been so proud in my entire life. It was heart-warming. He was proud of himself. The book study group was proud of him. We were proud of him. And I know Jehovah was proud of him.

I've learned a lesson in all of this, (or rather, been reminded of something). If you have faith, Jehovah can help you with anything. Allen may not have been perfect tonight, but he was much better than usual, and he answered!!!!

On that fabulous note, I bid you goodnight.


I love meatballs!

The video pretty much says it all. Thanks Gigi ... this is the most he's eaten in months!


100th Post

Wow! My 100th post already! I can't believe it. Anyway, this is a good one. Here is a great video of Allen "reading" Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise. Please ignore me in the background, and note how amused his Daddy is.


Why I love my husband ...

I asked Brian to make me egg-in-a-hole, and this is what he presented to me. How sweet is that?!?! What a good guy.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Murphy Hendricks, Strange Pants, Cute Face

So here are the three boys from the litter! Which one will be our little Murphy Hendricks? I cannot wait to meet them to see their little personalities, and to see which one Allen bonds with most. He is very excited. He looked at all the pictures tonight, and pointed at them all, saying "Look!" (And yes, everyone, I ignored your advice against me getting one. Look at those faces! How can I resist??)

Moving on ... so Allen got these adorable pants from Mini Boden (thank you Nana). And I love them, but I think the back pockets are a little big, don't you?

As Brian pointed out, his little butt is already big enough with the diaper. Do we need the huge pockets to further accentuate it? Oh well, maybe they won't seem so huge once he is diaper-less.

Finally, here are a couple cute pictures of my kid's adorable little face. Every time I want to rip my hair out over his terrible-two-antics, I think of, or look at, this adorable face and my heart melts.

xoxo my friends,
P.S. Thank you, Clark Family, for the great photos of the puppies!

I hate Gummy Bears

So remember my Bribery post from a couple days ago? How excited I was by my brilliant plan to use bribery (or positive reinforcement) to help train Allen to behave at meetings? Well, we tried it today at the meeting. It didn't work so well. In fact, the whole plan kinda blew up in my face.

We spent the entire first half of the meeting sobbing. Daddy tried to calm him down. Mommy tried to calm him down. Nothing worked. Finally Allen decided that he could go to the seat and sing the song. So I gave him a few gummy bears since he calmed himself down. Then he lost it again because he wanted the rest of the gummy bears. It took me another 15 minutes to calm him down from that episode. When we finally got back to the seat, he had missed his opportunity to raise his hand to answer "Noah." Though when someone else did, his eyes lit up, and he look at me and whispered "Noah!" At least he was listening.

For the remainder of the Watchtower he did pretty well. But then during the final song, he started messing around in Nana's purse. Therefore, during he prayer, he was not behaving (and was making noise opening and closing her eye glass case). As soon as we tried to pull him away, he screamed. I had to practically run out of the auditorium into the bathroom.

Needless to say, I was exhausted after the meeting. Utterly exhausted. So, loyal readers (all four or five of you), do you have any suggestions for how we can help Allen behave during the meetings? I welcome -- even plead for -- your suggestions.


P.S. I apologize for the lack of photos. I tried to post them, but Blogger is not letting me.

Allen's "Book Club" Installment Two

We have moved on, at least temporarily, from Walter the Farting Dog. Right now, we are enthusiastically reading Stellaluna (again, thanks to Aunt Kissen).

While it's definitely an "older" children's book (ages 4 and up), Allen absolutely loves it. He is riveted by the illustrations (I can't blame him). He loves it so much, he wanted me to read it to him twice tonight. This is the second time he's been smitten with this book. I was very surprised to see that he was intrigued by it (and sat still through the entire reading of it) several months ago as well. A definite must read!
We went to Target yesterday, and stopped in the Leap Frog aisle to check out additional books for Allen's Tag. I was thrilled to pick up Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise.
Since I just downloaded the audio tonight, Allen has not had the pleasure of "reading" this book, But I did. It is absolutely hilarious. However, if you are not a fan of bathroom humor, I do not recommend it. Because Walter farts ... a lot. And each time you point the Tag reader at him, he farts. Quite amusing though :)
That's all for this edition of Allen's "Book Club." Stay tuned for more reviews and recommendations.


Stellaluna picture courtesy of
Walter picture courtesy of

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Peanuts, Stories

Allen has been eating peanuts today. I don't know why. He's a strange kid, and every once-in-a-while he breaks away from his tried-and-true snacks and asks for something random in the pantry. Today it was a tin of mixed nuts that only had peanuts in it.

In part, he enjoyed covering and uncovering the tin with the lid. It provided him with a great deal of entertainment. But he also ate a few.

At this point, you are probably thinking, "This is the most boring post Allegra has ever written." And you'd be right, except that it leads to possibly the funniest thing our child has ever said.

So, we are upstairs reading to him tonight (he got to read two stories before the "Bible Book" because he did a really good job changing his attitude about bedtime), and all of a sudden, he sits up straight, reaches down to his thigh/butt, and says,

"Uh-Oh.There's a peanut in my butt."

We don't know what prompted this statement, or what he felt in his diaper, but it was not a peanut. Nor was it poopy, like he then said it was. Perhaps it was a wrinkle in his diaper or his pajama pants; perhaps it was an itch. I don't care what it was because it was just freakin' hilarious!

Allen is really into telling us "stories." Basically it's a lot of gibberish with some familiar names, words, and phrases thrown in. Occasionally, we can actually decipher what he's attempting to tell us. It's fabulously entertaining because in addition to the inflections in his voice, he gestures ... a lot. We're hoping to get this on video for you shortly, but we seem to be getting the camera a few seconds too late so far.

To share some examples, today he and Daddy stopped to visit Mommy and Nana at the shop. Nana was pricing some items, and she asked Allen to help her. He did indeed help, and he was quite good about it, so the praise was heaped upon him. A few minutes later, he was sitting next to me playing with the phone, and he decided he wanted to call Papa. We did, and he told him that, "I hepped Nana!" Obviously he was very proud of himself.

And this evening during our bedtime ritual, he was in my arms gesturing "round an round an round" and telling me some really amazing story, and then clear as day he said, "Hovah lives in heaven" and pointed up. Sometimes, I am so proud of him my heart hurts.

He also has started telling family "yuv you." So sweet I want to cry.

On that note, I am tired, I don't feel well, and the power is flickering (bad weather here). So, yuv you, and I'll share more with you tomorrow!



The kid has actually been pretty darn delightful for the past few days. We kinda hit rock bottom on Monday, as far as the Terrible Twos go. Book study was a nightmare. Daddy ended up missing the last 10 or 15 minutes of it because Allen was so naughty. He screamed randomly; ran away from Nana -- and when she caught him screamed (during book study) "LET GO!"; and blatantly tested both Daddy and me. This was in spite of numerous rounds of discipline (by both parents). I was utterly exhausted and distraught by Tuesday morning. I really just didn't know what to do. I prayed about it, and did some research, and came up with a new idea ...

Bribery. OK, well maybe not blatant, outright bribery. To be proper, I should probably call it positive reinforcement or something like that. But basically, for those times when we know he could be challenging (diaper changing, tubby time, meetings, dinner) we tell him that if he is a good boy and does such and such, he will get a surprise. The surprise is a combination of candy gummy bears and these:

Allen calls them teddy bears, and he LOVES them. It's actually been working so far this week. Unfortunately, since we were under the weather tonight, we didn't get to try it for meeting tonight. But we will definitely be trying it out on Sunday.

Call it what you will ... but this approach really seems to be working. He's been changing his attitude much more quickly, and we're having fewer actual meltdowns. Of course, we're also trying to talk him through his frustrations and to comfort him as much as we can as well. Maybe I'm naive, but I think it could be working.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hot 'Lanta

We're going to Atlanta next month. Mom and I are going for AmericasMart, but Brian, Allen, and Mom-Mom are going to sight-see while there. Any tips for what they should do???

Photo from Wikipedia

Zebra Says ... Cai Sleeping

Last Tuesday night the Easleys/Stokes came over. Fun was had by all. I actually cooked. I picked a couple Giada recipes in honor of Tisha, because she loves her and I love Tisha :)

But I digress ... anyway we all sat around talking, and that cutie Cai fell fast asleep. Of course I had to snap some pictures. Look how cute he is!!

As you may know, Allen is very good at telling us what various animals "say." We take turns calling out names of animals, and telling each other what they say. Well, the other day, Allen called out "zebra." I was momentarily stumped. But now I've decided this is what a zebra says.

It's a little-known fact that zebras say, "This place is cacka-cackin" (or cracka-lackin). Also notice the lovely terrible-two-scream :)


Red Head ... Kinda

So, the picture doesn't do it justice (nor does my chubby face), but my hair is now blonde with red lowlights. I also cut my bangs cut again. It looks really really cute in real life. I love the red so much. What do ya'll think??