Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bonnie Leach, PMP

I did it! I passed the PMP exam this morning!!! Gosh it feels great to have accomplished something significant outside of the sphere of parenting!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Terrible Twos

We thought it might not happen, but for the past month Spencer has indeed been exemplifying the frustrating behavior of a terrible two-year old. Last week was really the breaking point for both Jim and me. On Wednesday I had two honest and open conversations with some of my mommy friends who have already gone through this phase. Confirming that it is indeed a phase helped me feel better, and they offered some specific suggestions as well. That evening I also spoke with Spencer's teacher at school for strategies, and to make sure we are consistent between home and school. Even though I had already had simliar conversations two times earlier that day, suddenly I found myself getting very upset and a bit choked up when talking to her. We discused Spencer's behavior for quite a while, and I left feeling encouraged and empowered with information. I also left with a copy of Supernanny, which the school keeps on hand specifically for the purpose of lending out to parents. It is so reassuring to know that Jim and I are working as a team with the teachers and the school. We have already begun modifying our behavior, and hope to see incremental improvements in Spencer's behavior as well.

I noticed after the original post that Spencer's age today is two years, two months, two weeks and two days. Argh.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Rose-colored glasses

As a momma, like any other momma, I just can't help but think that the child we have created the most beautiful one around. Sure, other people have cute kids, but ours is exceptionally handsome. I remember when Spencer was tiny, I said to Jim with complete seriousness that we should investigate modeling options. Well, last week I was looking through some pictures of Spencer from that age I couldn't believe my eyes. He was just as strange looking as the next! Good grief! What kind of hormones pump through the body of a new mom??

Monday, February 13, 2006

Torino?

Last night while putting Spencer in his PJ's, we referred to our big world map to show him where the Olympics were being held. We looked all around Italy, but couldn't find 'Torino' on the map, and Jim and I decided that it must be 'Turin.' Tonight at dinner, Jim said he heard that NBC had decided to use 'Torino' because it sounded better. Torino, Italy. Good grief. As we discussed this a little bit more, Spencer decided he wanted to add something relevant to our conversation and piped up, "wanna go look at the world map?"

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Spencer's first concert

Well, Sesame Street Live isn't exactly a concert per se, but to me that was the feeling at home getting ready to leave for the big show. Maybe it was the fact that this was one of the few times Spencer needed an actual ticket to attend an event, or maybe just the fact that the pair of tickets themselves cost nearly $50! I was concerned that he still might be too young, but he was delighted to see everyone dancing around and singing, and thoroughly seemed to enjoy himself. This morning he told Jim about the long list of characters we saw last night, and this afternoon when we were watching Olympic ski jumping he noted, "they are flying like Grover!"

Thursday, February 09, 2006

time outs --> cooking

Yesterday after we returned home from school, Spencer approached me as I was sitting on the floor and asked "want to go to time out?" Sigh. "No, Spencer. You're a good boy. We can play together now. You don't have to go to time out." Then he repeated his request, "want to go to time out?" after which he took a few steps closer and smacked me a few times on the leg!!! What the hell, Spencer?? I just stared back in disbelief and disappointment. "Now go to time out?" he asked. Still stunned, I just pointed my finger as he marched off to designated spot, turned around, and sat down.

I can't help but feel like these issues we are experiencing with time out are completely bizaare!

So, what happened next? While he was in time out I thought back to a conversation from 24 hours earlier with my mommy friends at our monthly dinner out. I was venting that this week has been a bit more of a struggle with Jim traveling, as I have to divide time after work/school between playing and getting dinner ready. One mommy to four little ones responded quickly, "have him help you make dinner." Hmm. I love cooking, and fully planned to raise Spencer to be comfortable in the kitchen, but so far his involvment has been limited to playing with dough scraps. I just didn't think he was old enough yet. But in an effort to avoid any more time outs for the evening, I decided he had suddenly reached the proper age to assist.

When time out was over (and after an apology and a hug and a kiss) we went to the kitchen together. I asked Spencer if he could help me make dinner and he immediately seemed interested. With time being short, I decided the menu would include salmon croquettes. He was a champ at cracking the egg, mixed like a pro, and scooped matzoh meal from the canister into the bowl. And he was having a blast - grinning hugely and oh so visibly proud. Especially when it came time to shape the sticky mixture with his hands! I held him up to watch them cook in the pan, and he ate the final product with much delight (ok, so that's not a deviation from the norm!)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

the art of the deal

At the tender age of two years and two months, Spencer is becoming a masterful negotiator. And while it scares me to think about what we're in for in the coming months & years ahead, I have to confess that I am so incredibly proud!
The situation: Spencer had gotten as much YoBaby yogurt out of the cup as he could manage (the straight sides and squarish bottom do make it tricky) and now daddy had the spoon to help get that very last scoop out.

The offer: "Spencer, do you want one big bite or two little bites?"

The counter offer: "I want one big bite AND one little bite."
I think even The Donald would be proud.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

teething: the final round

The two year molars are arriving. Finally. It seems ridiculous to put in print, lest I lose any credibility as an astute mom, but I think that Spencer has been in the process of getting his final molars for the last four months! I can't believe I posted back in November thinking they were right around the corner. Last night I tried using some disposable kiddie floss thingies for the first time. When he opened wide I could see a HUGE molar about 3/4 of the way through his poor, mangled gums which had recently ripped apart. "Poor baby!" I said. "Why didn't you tell me you had more teeth in your mouth?" One down, almost, and three more to go.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Champions!!!

I just started one more load of laundry, even though we washed everything earlier today, so that Spencer can wear his (MVP!) Hines Ward " 'eelers jersey" again tomorrow, for the fourth day in a row! (Thanks, Karl!) Right now, he is sleeping soundly in his crib tucked in beneath a Terrible Towel. (Thanks, Karl!) Life is good. Life is great! I think I just saw Cowher smile.

Friday, February 03, 2006

time outs - what did we do wrong?

OK, I thought we were on the right track Wednesday putting Spencer in time out for unacceptable behavior. He cried almost the whole time, and thoroughly understood why he was there. But apparently, we screwed something up. Last night at dinner Spencer asked for it! "Want to go to time out? Want to go and sit on the floor?" Hmm. Why is he ASKING to go to time out?? We told him he was a good boy and didn't need to go to time out. This morning he asked AGAIN if he could go to time out!! I just don't understand!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

time outs have officially begun

When I picked up Spencer from school yesterday, his teacher took a little extra time to talk with me and share that Spencer had gone to the "think about it table" for time out a few times that day. The offense: shrieking inside during line time. She said last week he had been getting warnings, but his lack of adherence led to a zero tolerance policy. Good. We talked a little more about how we handle his behavior at home, and while we have recently halted any fun activities when unacceptable behavior occurs, we had not set up a designated location for time out... until last night.

I think toddlers, by nature, go around doing things that are generally unpleasant to their parents, but they can't spend every waking moment in time out. So we're taking a look at different behaviors we don't particularly care for and starting to develop some "house rules" as Super Nanny would say.
No Shrieking: Highly unpleasant, painful, inappropriate, and Jim's pet peeve. This is definitely on the list of rules that earn time out.
No Hitting: Ah, the hitting phase has returned from about a year ago. Fortunately only Jim and I are on the receiving end (he's not hitting teachers or friends.) This is definitely one of The Rules, and violations will earn a trip to time out.
No Throwing Toys: While this isn't good behavior, I don't think we will put it on The Rules.
I think we've got a good start - immediately stop whatever is happening, explain why that behavior is bad and why he has to go to time out, and when time out ends ask him to explain why he had to be there.

On a silly note, last night Jim was blowing bubbles and Spencer was naming them as planets according to their relative size! "That's a Jupiter! That's a Pluto!" It was really fun and funny, right up until he shrieked and the bubbles were put away and he went to time out. Sigh.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

phalanges

Last month Spencer was playing around and said something that sounded like "phalanges." Jim and I both looked at each other with the "what did he say?" expression. We asked him to please say it again, and again he said something that sounded like "phalanges" and went back to playing with his toy. After hearing it twice I said, “It sounds like he’s saying phalanges!” Jim said, “That’s what I thought I heard too!” Certainly we were making this stuff up in our heads. To test it out, Jim asked directly, “Spencer, what are phalanges?” And he explained, somewhat exasperated with us, “phalanges are fingers!” Duh, daddy.