Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I was sitting in my living room with a friend, and she asked if I knew a certain woman who lives in our community. I told her I did know her, and she then proceeded to explain that she saw this woman the other day and tried to make small talk...you know...to be friendly. It's not that these two knew each other extensively, but as in most small towns, it's hard to go places without seeing someone you know, even if it's just because your kid went to the same preschool or something small like that.
My friend said that this woman did not seem interested in small talk, and at the earliest convenience, she turned and walked in the other direction. This interaction led me to three conclusions:
1. This woman is rude.
2. This woman had too much on her mind and wasn't in the small talk frame-of-mind.
3. This woman is bad at impromptu speaking.
Which led me to think about myself and how I would speak in a similar situation. I would like to think that I can handle this kind of situation and wouldn't dodge someone because we notice each other. Generally I can come up with something. Sometimes it's specific, "How's that new baby?!" and sometimes it's broad, "Wow, it was a hot one today!" If the person continues on, I will, too. I can keep it short or go with whatever seems to fit the situation.
Maybe I'm just good at impromptu speaking in those circumstances?
If I'm in a hurry, scatterbrained, or don't feel like talking, I will usually still try to say something general enough to let the person know that I saw them and at least say, "Hey, have a good day!"
What about you? Do you find these situations awkward? Do you think it matters? Do you like making small talk, or would you rather turn the other way?
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
There were 48 comments on the blog and 9 comments on the Blog Frog for a total of 57 - just wanted to clarify so when you see 57 on the number generator you'll know why!
The winner is #22...
And that just happens to be...
Natalie from Blonde at Heart! Congrats to you!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
As I was looking through a few of my picture folders on my computer, I saw this one, and it is definitely one of my absolute favorites.
This was the day before Caleb turned three. He was a ring bearer for Josh's cousin's wedding. I love the look in his face, halfway saying, "Cheese." I love that it captures me helping him with his tux. I love his big eyes, and I love the shine on his auburn hair.
An absolute favorite.
Caleb as ring bearer. August 4, 2007.
The one of Josh's senior homecoming basketball game, he escorted a queen candidate.
The one of my first college softball game, in the snow.
The Christmas where my parents framed my high school softball jersey, and I cried like a baby.
The one of Josh receiving his medal for "all-tournament" team at the Owensville tournament in 1999.
Then I started thinking about Caleb and his soccer games. Those were cute, too.
But alas, it was this picture I decided to use. It's our family's favorite team you know!
Caleb and Fredbird, January 16, 2010.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Driving home from an outing this morning, I heard Caleb sing the above lyrics to "What Faith Can Do" as he sat in the back of the van. He kept singing that part over and over, and I smiled as I looked up in my rear-view mirror and watched him.
"Where did you hear that song?" I decided to ask.
"On the radio, Mom! You know that!" he replied in his silly, why did you ask me that voice.
It's true. I should have known that. I guess it just didn't dawn on me that he actually listens to the words of the songs he hears. But the truth is, kids DO hear everything that's around them. They hear the words we use. They hear the words on TV. They hear the words of songs. Are we always particular about these things? I honestly hope so. I hope each parent takes it very seriously that we are forming these little minds into the people they will become.
In reality, not every parent cares. Or maybe that's too harsh. Maybe it's that they don't realize that their children absorb their surroundings like a sponge.
I remember reading an article on Baby Center once, and the mother asked, "How do I get my child to stop using curse words?" My calm self turn into a not calm self, and I wanted to jump through the computer screen. But I took a deep breath and decided to just read the article in hopes that it said something enlightening. Would you believe, it actually said, "Don't use those words around your children."
Ok, calm down, Chrissy. No sarcasm, remember?
Anyway, bad words in our house include stupid, hate, shut up, dumb, etc. I consider those unacceptable at their ages. Caleb will be six next month, and I have never heard him say a "real" curse word. Has he ever heard them? Yes. We watch comedies sometimes that have some words that are probably considered no so bad, but they are not ok in my book. I actually stopped watching Everybody Loves Raymond because of it, and I also don't watch Dr. Phil at all anymore because the kids would walk by right when someone would say B!#$%. Ugh.
Do I need to hear it anyway? Not really. Am I old enough to filter my own language? Yes. But what goes in must come out. And if I read or hear certain words all the time, they are bound to start effecting the way I think and my general vocab.
I feel the same way about the shows grown ups decide to watch, but that's another blog entry.
I pray that more parents will take this seriously. After all...
"Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Luke 6:45 & Matthew 12:34
Saturday, July 24, 2010
When I was about six months pregnant with Gabriel, I decided to search for bunk beds for Caleb and Sarah (who were then 4 and 2). Luckily, a sweet friend of my sister gave me a nice set, and it worked out perfectly in what was then Caleb's room. That room became a shared room between Caleb and Sarah, and the crib remained in what is now Gabriel's room.
Almost two years has passed, and now Gabriel sleeps best on the bottom bunk with Sarah (it's a full-sized bed on bottom). The three of them have been sleeping in that room for a few months now (which prompted the take down the crib post I wrote two weeks ago).
But I have always wanted a girl room and a boy room. I would love to turn the bunk bed room into a boy room and make the other room into a girl room. I think it would be great for one room to look like this...
...and the other room to look like this...
Great idea, right? Yeah, I thought so, too.
But Josh would prefer to leave the current, bunk bed room as a sleeping/get ready room (bed and dressers only) and turn the other room into a play room. This has created a little bit of debate among us - well, not bad enough to make him sleep on the couch or anything! We both like our own idea, though.
I can totally see where he's coming from. The fact of the matter is, even if we did create a girl room for Sarah, the likelihood of her sleeping there is probably slim to none. The three of them love being together, especially at bed time. Josh thinks it would create only one messy room if one of them was the play room. Good idea in theory. I wonder if this is possible?
Still...I just would love for Sarah to finally have something girly. It's always been pretty neutral around here.
It's certainly not that she's asking for her own room.
So I don't know.
I wonder what to do.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Last week I had a Scentsy party at my house, and it was such a fun time. I loved looking at all the different warmers that the consultant brought for display, and it was nice to be able to smell the different scents before deciding on which one to order. Because I was the host, I was able to obtain a few free items, and this is where you come in.
I want to giveaway to one of my readers one Scentsy plug-in burner and one Scentsy bar!
The one shown is Weave Green...but I'm actually giving away this one, and it's really cute in real life!
These are so perfect around the house. The plug-in burners are great for the kitchen, but I prefer to put them in bathrooms. They also make wonderful night lights! And even around children they are safe.
To enter giveaway, please leave a comment on this post.
For additional entries (one additional entry each):
1. Follow Traveling Light, leave a comment to let me know!
2. Like Traveling Light on Facebook, again leave a comment so I know!
3. Join Traveling Light on Twitter, yep...come back and leave a comment so I know you did!
4. Leave a comment on this BlogFrog forum - click here - telling me where you'll plug in your plug-in! :o)
I will select a winner on Wednesday, July 28th at 8:00 am CST using Random.org. Good luck!
The products in this giveaway were obtained by me, and I was not compensated by Scentsy.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
But what I thought was the most intriguing was a picture they shared of a group of visitors back in the 1930's (if I remember correctly).
The women were wearing nice dresses. The men were in suits and ties. The children followed this pattern, looking very classy as well. Everyone topped off the ensemble with a hat to match. The narrator commented that the people would wear their Sunday best for a day out like this.
Classy. All of them. Just for a trip to the zoo.
This got me to thinking deeper about something that has been on my mind for a while now. Why has our culture fallen away from classy attire, even for trips to the zoo...or to the theater...or even to the store?
Have you ever looked at pictures from the 50's or 60's of a group of people walking along a sidewalk? Or footage from those years of just something simple like a fair parade?
Or this picture I found from 1956...
...notice the women, who are just visiting what I think is Disney Land, wearing dresses. The men are wearing nice shirts and pants, most are wearing hats.
Do you know what my family would look like if I went to Disney Land?
Pretty much like this. This was the day we went to the zoo in the spring.
Is it a good or bad thing that we have drifted away from classy? Over the course of the last 40 years or so, women have gone from always wearing skirts and dresses to hardly wearing them at all. In fact, if I see a woman wearing a skirt at Wal-Mart, I assume it has to do with her religious beliefs, not because she just wants to look feminine or likes skirts.
And what does this mean for me? I am a self-proclaimed, t-shirt and jeans girl. When it comes to comfort, I'm all about it. I'm frumpy, I know. But I wonder what it would be like if I began to think and dress like the authors of Feelin' Feminine? "To encourage, inspire, and challenge ladies to rediscover the treasure of dressing in a feminine manner."
It's not just women, though. I don't see men wear ties all that often. No suits. No shined shoes. Maybe you see a man in a suit and tie if he's going to work in a nice, business office. But you wouldn't see this if you went to a Harvest Festival in the fall.
Are we better off now? Or have we lost something that made us a classy culture?
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
We realized that when the kids woke up, they would have a big surprise waiting for them on the couch! They love seeing their Aunt Sonnie. I knew it would be fun for them to discover her as they walked into the living room.
Sure enough, at 6:15 am, I heard the pitter-patter of little feet race across the floor. If you're a mom, you know that each one of your children have distinct pitter-pats! I knew it was Gabriel. As he walked into the room, I heard him push the button on the TV, and then I heard what I knew was his crawling on top of Sonja to cuddle.
A few moments later, I heard Sonja softly say, "Chrissy...I think he thinks I'm you!"
I was still laying in bed, and hearing her say that made me smile.
I got up from bed, and walked into the living room. I truly wish I had this on video. As I approached the couch, Gabriel had the funniest look on his face. He looked at me, and then he looked up at Sonja. He went back and forth a few times, and I realized that he really did think she was me! It didn't hurt my feelings, though. It was dark, he just woke up, and truth be told...
...we do look a bit alike! (Picture is Sarah and Sonja on July 4, 2008.)
It made him giggle to go back and forth between the two of us.
But in the end, it was my lap that he preferred.
Monday, July 19, 2010
My sweet Sarah on the left, and her new friend Elena on the right. They had such a fun time together today, and I loved chatting with Elena's mommy, too!
Thank you, Lord, for new friends. They often arrive at just the right time, for both kids and grown ups.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I now have a facebook page for Traveling Light. So if you're a facebook junkie like me, or even if you're only on there once in a while, hop on over there and "like" Traveling Light. Just click on the little facebook icon on the upper right.
Twitter is another new thing. Not sure how much I'll utilize it, but we'll see! Follow me on there, too, and I'll update my posts (hopefully) and mention how I'm doing as well.
There is one more new thing coming, and I'm hoping to add it this week. I'll also have a giveaway sometime soon, but I want to add the "one more new thing" first before I write the giveaway post!
So stay tuned...
Saturday, July 17, 2010
After I found what I needed online and finished printing, I couldn't help but head over to my own blog just to see if any of my friends had posted new entries. I didn't sign in, I just typed my blog's address. Then from my own page, I clicked on another's blog. What I noticed is that even though it should have recognized that it was Kim on this blog - since I was on her computer and not logged into my own blog - it knew I came from Traveling Light. Technically it WAS me, but really, it should have been Kim.
There have also been many times when I've used the laptop we have here at the house this summer to see if anyone has updated - same process, just typing my blog address, not logging in - and it shows me on the Blog Frog.
What I've realized is that it's saying it's me, but it's only because I came from my own blog. Does that make sense? I started putting this together when I used to get hits from MckMama, and I thought there was no way she was actually coming to my blog that often. So a few times I have commented on her blog, and from her blog I clicked on my name associated with the comment. Poof...a hit from MckMama.
There have been hits on my blog from friends or even my sister, and when I've mentioned something about a blog entry on a certain day, and when they respond, "I haven't been on your blog in a few days," I know that the hit is coming from someone who found me through their blog, not them actually stopping by themselves.
The same thing (sort of) happens with FeedJit. If you are a registered user for FeedJit, it will always be correct. But if people are not registered, there is no telling where it will say you're coming from. On the laptop in our house, it says I'm from another state. Before I registered, our home computer would show up as St. Clair, Missouri (which is about 30 miles or so from here).
I do love tracking-type thingy-majiers. But don't count on them being 100% accurate. It's possible that if you see me show up on yours, it wasn't me.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Dreams are usually representative of things your mind is trying to process in real life. Since we don't really know each other at all, this could go horribly wrong...but here goes!
The car would symbolize you striving for your goal, on a path, heading in the right direction? You most likely have some sort of change coming up. I would venture to say it has to do with your children. Your oldest is Kindergarten age, right? But, it is more than just [a child being school aged]...you have more of a feeling of being solely responsible for the change. Interesting that you are in the back seat of the vehicle...meaning you feel slightly out of control.
Women in your dream could point to the emotional side of you or since women are better at communication, you are needing to talk about this change. I would think the latter is more true, since you say that the conversation was idle, of no importance. You really need the deep conversation.
The first scene, could be before the change, you see the "simplicity" (with 3 kids...hmmm), of your life. The flood scene does not really need to mean death, more just a feeling of being overwhelmed. You make it out of the car, you do this calmly. Interesting also that you focused on the roots! Could mean looking at what really matters, what is solid, foundational. You grabbed hold and were saved. I think at this point, you made a decision and felt at peace.
The following scenes are just different scenarios of the same loop of thought. Feeling at peace with a decision, but then being overwhelmed by the thought of it or second guessing yourself.
Thank you, Lajoie. The few friends who know what's coming up for me are now sitting with their mouths open, too!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
It was a beautiful, sunny day as I traveled in a car with two other women. They were in the front seats and I rode in the back, driver's side. We enjoyed the scenery as we journeyed along on a country road, no homes in sight, just the occasional field of hay bales. I remember having idle conversation, nothing too important. The view outside my window was what kept my attention, I just kept staring at the simplicity of it all.
Then we noticed that the field on the left side was beginning to fill quickly with rushing water, and somehow we knew that a dam had busted near by, which is where all the water was coming from. The driver kept going, and as we crested a hill, we noticed that our car was heading right for the water.
The sky instantly changed from sunny to gray.
Suddenly the car hit the water, and our car began to fill up. I remember thinking that I had seen ways to escape this kind of situation, so I did not panic. I calmly made my way out of the car, but I still had to get out of the raging water. It was moving so quickly, but some how I was able to keep my head above water and could see that the river bank was in reach. As I got closer I could see the thick roots of the trees poking out of the bank, and for whatever reason it was those roots that I focused on. I knew if I could just grab one, I could pull myself to safety.
I grabbed one.
Then the scene shifted to an empty, wooden shack. The sky was sunny again.
The two other women had also found their way to this shack. I remember looking at it, quite simple in design of course. The boards that made the shack were thick, but the space between them allowed sunlight to beam inside.
I began to feel at peace about what had just happened with the flooding waters...until I was overwhelmed with panic when I realized that the whole point of my trip out to the countryside was to see my children. I felt as if I couldn't breathe I was so sick with worry. At that point, the waters began to fill the wooden shack, and I made my way out of the structure, running away from the water.
Again, the sky turned to gray, and I kept running in an open field, frantically wanting to find my children. I had no idea where to go. I just kept running away from the water.
Then I woke up.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
It's getting better. I still wish he could say words more clearly, but at least he's attempting to repeat me, which is a huge step forward for him. At 0:08, it sounds like he says, "Ugh, Josh."
Then there's my oldest child. He is almost six - kindergarten age for this fall - and we've been working with him for several months on letters and reading. You may recall this post where I explained that we use Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with him. I still like that book and think it's a great way for kids to learn how letters work together to make sounds and words.
I would consider myself a phonics girl. One who believes in the use of phonics in teaching reading rather than the whole language approach. But as Caleb has been making lists or writing letters to friends on his own, I'm begging to wonder what direction to go with him.
For example, some of the words he has spelled recently are:
He has correctly spelled words, too. Don't get me wrong. He wrote Rex, Ship, Boat on a list this afternoon. He can also spell almost all of the 20 words I've been given for the kindergarten word list.
Today he wanted to spell General Grievous (from Star Wars) and he was adamant on starting general with a J because of how it sounds.
So if anyone is out there who has advice on this, let me know. Did I start him on phonics too soon? Is that possible? Or should I be thrilled that he's doing this? I don't want to encourage poor spelling, though!
I'm sorry if this post sounds boastful. I try not to do that. Maybe Caleb's spelling balances out Gabriel's inability to talk?! :o)
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Sarah on July 4, 2008.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
It gets worse with the third.
I do my best not to compare, but sometimes it's very hard. We had a friend come visit us last month sometime, and her sweet little boy is just two months older than Gabriel. The difference: Brody (my friend's child) is a first born. I heard him talk to his mommy, and he even talked to me. He could repeat any word she said. The little guy said, "Hi, Chrissy. Hi, Josh. Hi, Gabriel. Hi, Caleb. Hi, Sarah." ALL OF US! It was sweet, but then I thought to myself, "Gabriel can't even just say hi on command!"
So I've been patient. I've just worked with him the best I can, using small words with him at every opportunity.
If he's playing with a ball, I'll say, "Ball!"
If it's a cup, I'll say, "Cup!"
And so on.
The doc told me that by the age of two he needs to have a vocab of 50 words and be able to put two words together. Boy, we sure have a long way to go.
But today, I heard him say his first phrase. It is so funny that this is what he's picked up. I'm not joking when I say that he really says NOTHING on a regular basis. Even words that a one-year-old can say, he doesn't say. He babbles and communicates through pointing, but really no words. We noticed recently that he was trying to say this phrase, and it made me realize that I must say it A LOT!
Can you recognize it? He says it right at the beginning 0:04, again at 0:11 (most clearly), and once more at 0:30.
Please don't think I'm horrible for giggling when he was visibly upset :o)
Saturday, July 10, 2010
I didn't think it would be a big deal.
But evidently it is.
Because now I don't want to do it.
It's an inevitability in every mother's life.
Just has to be done.
And now is the time.
It's been standing for six years next month.
It's held three children.
Yet...the need for it in our house has come to an end.
So sometime tomorrow...
...we will take down the crib.
And I'll probably cry.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Best friend has child.
Her: Exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc.
Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today?
Her: Park, play group . . .
Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy -- not a bad thing at all -- but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions.
Dear Tacoma: Relax and enjoy. You're funny.
Or you're lying about having friends with kids.
Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.
I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.
So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.
It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.
It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.
It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.
It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.
It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep your snit to yourself.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I am a little sentimental about this place. There are days when I'd love something bigger - more bedrooms, a basement, a fireplace, vaulted ceilings...all kinds of upgrades so-to-speak! But I know in my heart of hearts that it will be hard to leave when the day comes.
We brought Sarah and Gabriel home from the hospital to this house (which means I was ridiculously sick being pregnant twice in this house).
All three of them learned to walk here.
All three of them had their first birthdays here.
We built their first play set here.
Caleb and Sarah learned how to ride a bike on the street in front of our house.
Caleb had his first loose tooth here. He learned to write his name here, learned to read here.
We had our first ER experience with a child as a result of something that happened in this house.
Caleb and Sarah potty trained here. (I hope Gabriel does, too!)
So many things...the list could go on...
But most of all...we just spent time making it our own.
Whether it was painting...or time spent together with each other...
I know it's just a house. There's bound to be another house in my future, because who knows what the future holds. But I know someday, many years from now, I will drive by this place and smile. It holds so many memories for me. I get choked up just thinking about it.
How do you feel about your first house?
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Who says smoking is bad for you? (This doesn't surprise me.)
I'm in the chubbies club. (Can you even imagine this terminology being ok?)
For more vintage ads, click here.
Which one caught your eye?
Monday, July 5, 2010
My heart leapt with joy. Really.
She is almost four, but this was the first time she had ever shown interest in painting her nails. I have offered many, many times. I've tried to show her pretty pink colors (because she LOVES pink) with no success. I chalk it up to her having a big brother...he encourages her to play with dinosaurs and Batman you know.
But for whatever reason, she initiated the painting process yesterday. And it was so fun. After I finished her fingernails, she asked me to do her toenails, too!
What a fun "first" yesterday. I was giddy about it all evening. And as we took a walk together as a family, she just had to stop by Miss Kim's house to show her. Of course, Miss Kim was as sweet as can be and told her how beautiful she looked.
She does look beautiful. Every day.
So perhaps my little girl will be a little girly after all. With two brothers, there's no telling!
As I wrote the last line of this blog entry, Sarah came walking into our room and said, "Mommy, will you help me put on this Batman costume?" I just had to laugh!