Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I have the opportunity to attend a "Blogger Nite Out" hosted by BurbMom this Saturday, October 3rd. Anyone interested in coming with me? It is a great chance to meet fellow bloggers, get some publicity from your blog and hear about exciting opportunities in our area for bloggers and writers alike.
Leave a comment or drop me an email (savethephillipsfamily_at_hotmail.com) and let me know if you want to tag along.
Monday, September 28, 2009
If you aren't, you really need to.
Head on over and hear what I have to say about Mending Broken Fences...Toddler-style
(By the way, that is not my family in the picture. BurbMom does have some great illustrations to go with their stories though!)
However it happened, excessive praising of children is big business in today's world, potentially creating a generation of "praise junkies"...(to read more, please go here)
- I love secrets...especially when food is involved!
- Isaac had great fun counting the house last week. I think he had even more fun when he tried to make Miss E. do it as well....
- The next cool snap we have, I am making these ASAP
- I *heart* a good smokey eye when going out with the husband. Here are some tips to achieve "smokey" as opposed to "trashy."
- I made journals for the kids about a month ago, mainly as something for them to do at the table when Mommy needs to write. Also, I think one can never start writing too early (I wrote my first "novel" in elementary school. I fervently hope it has gotten lost in one of my parents' moves.). Here are some great journaling tips for kids. We have not started writing in our journals yet, but I hope to soon.
- I really, really, really want to like oatmeal. It is supposed to be so healthy. However, the smell of instant oatmeal turns my stomach. My pal Jordan posted this recipe for oatmeal recently and I am considering attempting it.
- What are your kids going to be for Halloween this year? It is still a debate here at casa de phillips. Katherine Marie Photography recently posted some ADORABLE pictures of her kids' past costumes.
Friday, September 25, 2009
The sentiment of "Born to Shop" has remained true, as I love to shop. Miss E. is showing such a passion as well in her early years. The husband better hold tight to those credit cards when she hits her tween years because I have a feeling she and I will be participating in several mommy/daughter shopping sprees.
Even though I do heart shopping, I have the tendency to buy the same outfit over and over and over again.
Remember my trouser jean affair of last Fall and Winter? I am not even going to reveal how many pairs of these jeans I own.
I tend to find something I like and stick with it for awhile. For example, when I find a pair of boots or sandals that get my attention I purchase them in a variety of colors. When I find a t-shirt that holds up to my SAHM role, I stock up.
Lately my newest wardrobe craze has been the pairing of the long cardigan, the fitted t-shirt, jeans (really wanting these boyfriend jeans for ATL), funky necklace, and sandals.
I have worn this uniform of sorts four out of the five days this week. I would be wearing it today, but I am out of clean cardigans.
Do you have a go-to outfit or suffer from the tendency to purchase the same item repeatedly? Is your closet over-flowing with seven different "perfect" little black dresses? Am I the only person who gets excited when Target clearances out basic necessities and grabs one in each shade of the rainbow?
Share amongst yourselves...
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
We returned going down the escalator 45 seconds later and he gave a courtesy nod.
The fifth time we made our ascent on the escalator, the piano player shot us a curious look.
On our tenth trek down the escalator, the piano man narrowed his eyes at us and exchanged a look to a fellow employee working the shoe department.
By the time we had completed our twentieth ride on the escalator, the piano player was obviously over our antics and was completely ignoring the mother and son duo who had chosen to spend a portion of their weekday morning enjoying the escalator of a large department store.
As our preschool school year began a few weeks ago, I slightly lamented the fact that the children would not be attending school on the same days. Because of this unique schedule, there would never be a day or time when both children would be safely tucked away inside the walls of their school, leaving me to frolic child-free around town for a few hours.
It is now week three of school and I am enjoying these moments each week of being a parent of only one child for a few hours. Yesterday Evelyn and I wondered the aisles of Target, sighing over precious hot pink patent leather mary janes and carefully examining the baby doll section of the toy department. We hauled out every girl toy that child owns and hosted a grand tea party that would make even the Queen of England a bit jealous.
Today Isaac and I headed out to the mall, in search of a mall play area. The boy ran, jumped, ran some more and made a few new friends. After discovering a sippy cup that had emptied its contents into the bottom of my purse and attempting to clean said mess out of my purse, we called it a morning and started the retreat to our car. On the way we passed a fish tank and stopped to examine each fish, speculating about their fish personalities. As we were about to leave the mall, Isaac spied the escalator. When I asked if he wanted to go ride it just for fun, his little blue eyes glowed with excitement.
So we rode it.
About 23 times.
Sure, I needed to get home. The breakfast dishes were still piled in the sink, there was a bed unmade, I had an article to write and Isaac and I had a reading lesson to complete before we picked up his sister from school.
But I figured when Isaac is 15, there will likely still be some sort-of breakfast dishes in the sink, there will be an bed left unmade in the house, I will likely still have something to write (I hope), and most likely Isaac will have moved on from learning how to read and will have some sort of complicated homework to finish.
However, when he is 15 he probably will not want to ride the escalator at Nordstrom's 23 times.
So today we rode. And rode some more. And I was so thankful to be that boy's mama.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I am discussing diaper bag essentials over at BurbMom...
I am on the look-out for area pumpkin patches at Examiner...
I am sure the hot temperatures will return at least a few more times before cool weather actually settles into our region to stay for a few months, however today I am embracing our lower temps and welcoming autumn.
Hello, September 22nd. I have been waiting on you.
In celebration of this first day of fall, I wanted to share some recent "firsts" that have occurred around casa de phillips.
Isaac had his first jail experience... Then he had his first jailer experience, when he quickly placed his sister behind bars...
Finally he had his first conductor experience...
Another first that occurred at casa de phillips was E.'s first time to wear for-real, genuine, little girl pigtails. I know I have discussed E.'s hair in length on this blog, but it has been such a process attempting to grow her mane of hair. Although the sides have yet to come in (still baby hair) and it is all sorts of uneven, I was able to get all of it in pigtails yesterday morning. Being the smart girl that she is, Miss E. understood the significance of such an occasion.
Another first that happened was Isaac's first successful time riding a big boy bike.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Photographing children can be a frustrating experience, especially when parents are attempting to snap a picture of a child who tends to be more interested in eating the leaves rather than sitting in them for a festive fall picture. Paige Pearson, mother of three and creative force behind Paige Pearson Photography, has a few tips (to read more, go here)
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Sometimes the conversations are lively, sometimes they are mumbled as we veg in front of the television, and sometimes a certain little boy and little girl join in on the chatter.
Because we have known each other for so long now and because we talk A LOT, there are quite a few stories or antics that we have told the other person repeatedly. In fact, Tobe can likely tell some of my high school stories better than I can at this point and I can relay a plethora of music trivia unknown to me before we married.
Occasionally we come across a random piece of information that we have yet to share with each other, a tidbit of life that has yet to have been discussed. These times are rare, but also prove to be comical and enlightening.
For example, last night the husband and I were sitting together on the couch watching some football and chatting. It was during this conversation that it somehow came to my attention that Tobe was not quite sure how to call the Hogs.
I about choked on my drink when I heard such a proclamation, especially when he attempted to engage in this behavior of my homestate, beginning it with a "Whoa" rather than a "Woo." After a brief lesson and a promise never to use the word "whoa" again when referring to the Razorbacks, our conversation resumed and we had a lovely evening.
Next Saturday I plan on teaching him the fight song.
What is something you recently learned about a longtime friend or spouse?
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Research is discovering that sleep is also essential for children. Many parents will enthusiastically verify that sentiment, siting how their child can be a grouchy terror on days when naps are skipped or after nights of poor rest....(to read more, go here)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Keeping these five staple items on hand...(to read more, please go here).
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
As for the little girl watching Strawberry Shortcake, she did really well with staying quiet in the living room. She only came into my bedroom once to give me an update on Strawberry and her pals and was easily silenced with a package of fruit snacks.
Monday, September 14, 2009
See how excited the children were to attend MOPS?
(Yes, they wore jeans. The temperatures were in the 70's...something we haven't experienced since April. I jumped at the chance to make their outfits look a bit more "fall-ish")
Actually, they were thrilled because they love them some Moppets (the children's equivalent to MOPS...and they should love it considering I am now in charge of Moppets). They especially love when Fruit Loops are served for snack and they get to play in the church gym...both of which occurred today. Although they could only vaguely recall that the Bible story was about David and Johnathan, they both could give a play-by-play of who rode which Little Tikes car and for how long.
Ah, the wonders of childhood.
Today's MOPS meeting was great. One of our fabulous mentor moms spoke about how a healthy homelife is created by an intentional mom. There are days when I really focus on being a perky mom or a disciplined mom or a slightly sane mom...but often times I simply scurry about my day without much intention. I get lost in the routine, in the struggle to feed two children and a husband, in the quest to read random people's Facebook updates, and in life in general. Being intentional needs to be more of a focus for me.
Our main speaker was a local counselor who spoke to us about Parenting with Love and Logic. Being a former special education teacher, I have gone through several Love and Logic trainings and have read several of the books. Although there are a few aspects of Love and Logic I am not 100% on board with, I think it is an excellent resource for anyone dealing with children. It was great to have a reminder of how to empathize with one's children rather than constantly expressing frustration. I found myself utilizing a few of the tactics before the children and I even pulled out of the parking lot on our way home.
Two years ago when I joined MOPS I did not know what to expect. I did not know anyone in the group, had never walked through the doors of that particular church, and had an infant and a clinging toddler to pass off to strange childcare workers. It was one of the smartest moves I have made as a stay-at-home mom. I found a place where I could connect with fellow moms, eat a tasty breakfast, have a break from my children, hear some great speakers (She was the first speaker I ever heard at MOPS...how right up my alley, huh?), and make friends.
Are you involved in a MOPS group? If so, how has it changed your experience as a mom?
Fast-forward a few years and these same parents find themselves standing in a living room that resembles a war scene from a movie. There are plastic Legos scattered about...(to read more, please go here)
Sunday, September 13, 2009
In honor of Grandparents Day, I am re-running an article/speech about my Grandmother that I presented when she was placed into my hometown's Hall of Fame a few years ago. My Grandmother is one special lady who I love deeply. Enjoy these words about her life as a teacher!
In my former life before I was a Stay-at-home Mommy, I was a teacher. Although I believe the field of education to be an excellent career choice, I actually happened to fall into this profession accidentally. Weeks before I was set to graduate with my Masters degree in Child Psychology, my graduate class was part of a round-table discussion with several professionals from our field. Many of these speakers urged us to have a back-up plan, citing that money-making opportunities in the therapy field were few and far between at that time. Fabulous. I was weeks away from graduating, about to be married, my soon-to-be husband was in school full-time working on a PhD, and we had massive school loans from a private university. And now I needed a back-up plan.
My back-up plan turned into my career when I was presented with the job of teaching special education at an elementary school. I quickly discovered that I loved being in the classroom. As a young girl, who changed her lofty career aspirations on a weekly basis, I would have scoffed at anyone who might have predicted I would become a teacher. My mother was a teacher. My grandmother was a teacher. I was definitely not going to become a teacher. Funny how some things change.
At the young age of twenty, my grandmother, Marjorie M***, was assigned to teach the 11th grade Science class at in a small rural town. Despite the fact her students were only a few years younger than she, my grandmother met the challenge with a determination to successfully manage and teach her classroom. This was the beginning of 31 years spent teaching.
Twenty eight of those years were spent in the *** Public School system, teaching second grade. My grandmother originally began working at McRae Elementary School, then transferred over to Sidney Deener upon its opening, where she taught the remainder of her career. On opening day of Deener Elementary, Grandmother loaded the school bus along with her children and their text books and traveled across town to their new school.
The principal who my grandmother served under for many years once wrote the following sentiment in a birthday card to her, “Learning was easy in your room because you taught people how to learn. You knew just how they were to do this and when you closed your classroom door every morning you wanted no outside interference from anyone. Period.”
Before my elementary school days began, I can remember visiting Grandmother’s class on several occasions, feeling quite envious of the fun had by her students. Grandmother often said during her years of teaching, “You never know what kind of morning a child has had in getting off to school. “ Because it was inevitable that some child in her class had experienced a rough start on any particular morning, Grandmother always began each school day by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, marching the class around the room to a patriotic song, and then participating in a group sing-a-long. Years from now, I know I will still be able to close my eyes tightly and envision my Grandmother dancing around her classroom, cheered on by adoring eight year olds, to the Oakridge Boys “Elvira.” A fellow teacher once said, “We always knew we could depend on Mrs. Martin to be our song leader every morning. The rest of us barely got through the Pleadge and “My Country Tis of Thee” but Marjorie’s kids did that and show tunes.”
After the singing of “Oklahoma” and “Hello Dolly!” had come to an end and the old brown record player was stashed away for another morning, Grandmother stood before a class of smiling second graders who were now ready to learn for the day. Countless children walked through the doors of my Grandmother’s classroom. They not only developed a love for learning—from reading to grammar to mathematics--- they also learned they were a person of value and at the very least they were loved deeply by their teacher, Mrs. M.
Long after her retirement, Grandmother is still approached by former students. These people typically recognize the familiar red hair and inquire if Grandmother happens to be Mrs. M, their beloved second grade teacher from Sidney Deener. Stories then flow from these former students’ mouths about afternoons spent on the floor by the old brown recliner, listening to Grandmother read the story of Little Lost BoBo. They reminisce about her trademark plaid coat she sported on the playground during the winter months and recite her well-known phrases of “Why the Very Idea” and “I ought to snatch you bald-headed.” Regardless of the memory shared, the sentiment remains the same: The time spent inside the walls of that second grade classroom deeply touched the lives of many individuals, creating experiences and lessons they will never forget.
My grandmother was married to my grandfather for 59 years. Together they had one beautiful daughter, who happens to be my mom. Grandmother is now a great-grandmother to four great-grandchildren. She lovingly refers to these four as “my babies.” Last Christmas she presented me with my own copy of Little Lost Bobo so the story can remain alive in our family. Grandomother retired from teaching in 1985, yet continued to substitute teach for many years afterwards because she missed the classroom. She was often requested by students upon hearing of their teacher’s upcoming absence.
Years after my Grandmother left teaching, I found myself in the classroom, singing crazy songs and able to get students in line with a simple look. One particular afternoon, my mother happened to be in town and had come to visit my classroom. As she was helping me prepare things for the next day, she asked how I knew to do the things I was doing in my classroom.
My response was simple.
“It’s in my blood.” I told her. I had spent years watching both my grandmother and my mother teach, eagerly soaking in their natural ability to cultivate learning and command respect. Grandmother was a teacher in every sense of the word, from her professional attire, to her ability to instruct, to her unyielding love for even the rowdiest of students. I was extremely blessed to sit at her feet and attain such an informal education.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I have a secret suspicion that he had concocted a few lesson plans in that little head of his as well. I hope the child did not feel the need to share said plans with his teacher. (The other day he offered a suggestion to the children's librarian about a potential activity for storytime. She was not very amused by such a suggestion). As in years past, Isaac was allowed to bring a special friend to join him on the first day of school. This year the honors fell to Tiger, leaving poor Ike at home to wonder why he was not attending preschool.
Isaac had no reservations about going to class and sitting down to get right to work. Having graduated into the "experienced student" status, he was the designated line leader for the day. That boy loves being line leader (go figure), enjoying any opportunity to lead others around and possibly direct them in what to do/say/act/feel.
While Isaac was at school, Evelyn and I enjoyed our annual girl's lunch at a local eatery. I *heart* a good girl's lunch complete with flavored ice tea and chicken salad sandwiches so I am thankful that I have a daughter to accompany me on such outings. While dining, I asked Evelyn if she will still want to eat with me when she is a big girl. After getting over her initial anger because she thought my statement implied she currently was not a big girl ("I am a big girl, Mommy!"), she agreed that she would always lunch with me. I figure such an agreement might dissolve a bit during the teenage years, but for now I am thankful for quiet moments with my favorite little girl.
Because the children attend a particular type of preschool, their classes do not meet on the same days. Isaac currently attends two days a week, while Evelyn just goes one. Therefore after Isaac's first day of school at the beginning of the week we turned around and had Evelyn's first day of preschool the following day.
Isaac led the way into school, Evelyn attempting to toddle behind him while holding up a backpack that weighs more than she.
Evelyn's first day was a success. There were some tears, but they did not last long. When I picked her up, she perkily jumped in the car and exclaimed, "I didn't eat my lunch today!". Seems that one of the crying episodes happened during lunch time and she did not want to eat lunch without her mommy.
I personally think she might have been crying because there was no ice tea or cute little sandwiches served...
School is off to a good start. Both children have been especially cranky in the afternoon as we adjust to this new/old schedule (one day they were both laying in the floor crying, clad only in t-shirts and underwear while I attempted to cook supper), but I figure that phase will pass quickly. I have heard snippets of little conversations between the two as they compare activities participated in and choice of recess equipment played on while at school on their separate days.
Hopefully the two will still be this eager about school in seven years when I have to drag them out of bed and shove them out the door.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
Summer 2009 was good times, my friends. Good times.
Friday, September 04, 2009
I am also over at Burb Mom, discussing the ins and outs of E.'s hair (once again). Check it out and give Burb Mom some love!
By the time Evelyn came along, Isaac and I were in a pretty good rhythm with our walking. We had people we routinely greeted, we knew the best malls to hit up on colder days and I knew exactly how long it took to prepare for and then complete the walk, thus fitting it in perfectly with our schedule.
We tweaked things some to fit Miss E. into our walking (such as "winning" a beaut of a stroller on EBay) routine. Soon the three of us were out on the streets of our little suburb, soaking up some sun and having a grand ol time (except for when being chased by local rabid ducks**. No grand time was ever had then.)
I still have two kids who love to go on walks. Now we have to walk a bit further to discourage anyone from thinking they can leave the stroller and walk by themselves. I pack a lot more snacks and we usually hit up a few more playgrounds than we did in the past. There are some days when the phrase "Keep your hands to yourself" is repeated countless times, leaving me to wonder why the creators of the side-by-side stroller did not have an optional retaining wall to place between the two passengers of the stroller on difficult days.
**I know I have failed to mention said ducks in a long time. After calling the local dog catcher and attempting to have the city protect me from these mean creatures, I eventually decided to never. walk. that. way. again. Yeah, I am a dork. Anyway, about three months ago the owners of these ducks built a fence around the "pond" (think child's swimming pool) where the ducks live. Guess who is outside of the fence everytime I drive by? Mr. Duck and his crew of duck hooligans. So in case you were curious, yes the ducks are still there. No, I never, ever walk past them. Ever.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
"No, you cannot eat three packages of fruit snacks and call that a breakfast."
"No, you cannot attempt to cut your sister's hair using the scissors from the play doctor's kit."
"No, you cannot dump water out of the bathtub by the bucketfuls in hopes of creating a your own personal water feature in the tub."
Despite the continuous round of "No's!" escaping from parents' mouths,...(to read more, please go here)
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
It has been remotely productive. I managed to drag myself from the warm comforts of my bed to join the other 11 people crazy enough in my town to partake in boot camp at 5:30am in the morning. Seriously, we pay someone to tell us to squat like a frog while doing repeated laps around a room. My thighs might thank the teacher, but my sanity is likely in question.
It was a normal kid day. A few squabbles here, a computer desk accidentally broken there (big tears over that one...and I wonder if the space bar on our keyboard will ever recover), a sock inadvertently drawn on with hot pink marker causing more bouts of tears. I managed to completely overhaul Isaac's closet as well as go through a portion of our children's book collection (if our local library ever closes, the citizens of our town need not worry. They can simply swing by casa de phillips for a few books.).
I beat Isaac at Candy Land and worked a few puzzles. I helped Evelyn doctor her Baby Kate. Breakfast, Lunch, and Supper were all consumed. But for whatever reason is was just a blah day.
Anyone else out there with a bit of the blahs?
In non-blah news, you can check out a former Savethephillipsfamily blog post over at BurbMom today. Enjoy!
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
The winner is...Summer!
Summer, can you email me your address at savethephillipsfamily at hotmail.com?
Thanks to everyone for participating!
As of today both new and experienced parents are having to step back and consider the type of child safety restraint used in their car. The Texas Child Restraint Law has recently been changed, with such changes going into effect on September 1, 2009...(to continue reading, please go here).
If you clicked over to finish reading the above article (Thank You! by the way), you likely noted that I am a HUGE advocate for outlawing the use of all mobile devices while driving. We never talk on the phone while driving in a car with our children and ask anyone else carting our children around to refrain as well (Yes, we are obnoxious.). I know this is a touchy subject and many people believe they can properly drive a vehicle and talk on the phone/update their Facebook status/text their spouse at the same time. Perhaps you can. However, if you happen to fall into this category, I strongly encourage you to research the implications of such behavior. Unfortunately we live in a society that makes us all feel like we are extremely important, thus needing to "tweet" or make a phone call whenever the urge strikes...even while driving (I openly admit I fall right into this "self-importance" category...I pen a blog about the ins and outs of my day under the assumption that hundreds of people care what I have recently purchased at Target.).
I am now jumping down from my soapbox. Thanks again for taking the time to not only read this blog but my Examiner articles as well. I am sure I will be back soon with a less-sensitive post, such as a recount of Isaac's telling of the story of Jonah last night at supper that involved Jonah, Jesus, and some big spiders....