Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Name Game

I just got finished reading a blog that I like to visit and today the topic was how she chose names for her children. It was mildly interesting, so for lack of a better topic, I thought that I would write about the same.

First I must say that I firmly believe a child should have a meaningful name. It makes me cringe when I hear a parent say, "Well I just liked that name." I know there are some lovely people out there who have no reason/purpose for giving their child a certain name, but for me personally (and this is MY blog, so if you don't want to hear MY opinion, please exit to the right) I just believe that if you have a name for ALL your life, you should at least have an interesting story about it. Secondly, I think that if children are given biblical or family names, it grounds them to some extent, it gives them a feeling of connection-I mean, there was a reason that you adored that person enough to give your child their name so it must be meaningful to you, right?

So, in the beginning, there was Sumsum ....Summer was born in July(hence, the middle of summertime). Also, when I was in college at WKU, I had a friend who's name was Summer and I always thought that was the coolest name! Now the truth comes out....toward the end of our friendship, Summer sorta "went off the deep end" and took up employment at a respectable establishment in Bowling Green called 'Tattle Tails' where she was schooled in the fine art of exotic dancing. However, I still always thought she had a really great name and so I gave it to my daughter. (I am now kicking myself in the butt for the stupid comment that I made in the above paragraph about giving your child a meaningful name!) So the joke among my sisters is that I named my child after a stripper...Ha,Ha! ANYWAYS! Summer's middle name is Mikala, she was named after my dad Michael.

In line to the throne is King James. My sweet son. He was named after the matriarchs in his family tree. JD's grandmother's (on his dad's side) maiden name was James and my maiden name was Davis, so he was given the name James Davis, ie: JD. Doesn't James Davis Taylor sound like a future president's name? Maybe a doctor of a medical foundation, or president and CEO of a large and successful corporation, ....or the name of a man who lives next door to his mother all his life and mows her yard and goes to the grocery for her at her beck and call. Doesn't it sound like the name of a gentleman who drives his mother to church every Sunday and to homemakers on Tuesday mornings? Scratch the whole president, doctor, and CEO thing. JD's never leaving his momma!

Then I gave birth to my third child which actually turned out to be a bear. From the beginning he was given the nick name 'Baby Bear' because he looks like a sweet angelic baby, but acts like a rowdy, destructive bear. Colton is unbelievably strong and constantly active. He is, by far, my most hard-headed child, which he undoubtedly gets from his father (for some reason people always roll their eyes and begin to whisper when I say that)! "Colton" is actually his middle name, his first name is Jeffrey and he was named after his dad-Jeff. Jeff is also the name of my husband so it worked out really well...JOKING people!

And bringin' up the rear is Sydney-poo. Sydney's middle name is Ellen and she was named after my mother. Some of my family calls her Little Sydel. (Sydney and Ellen combined). I have an uncle who calls her 'Ellie'. She'll probably grow up answering to anything...I can just hear Dede now, "Hopefully she won't be answering to the name *Cherry* or *Lady Diva*...didn't you have any other 'respectable' friends you could name your youngest daughter after?"

Shut up...Dede!

Friday, June 20, 2008

This very moment...

Outside my window

It is raining and I see an empty swing set, and a wet dog that wants to come inside, but I won't let her because she'll stink up my house.

I am thinking

about how nice it would be to lose 30 lbs. and fit into my summer wardrobe.

I am thankful for

allrecipes.com. Why do I keep my recipe books? I never use them! This is probably one of my most favorite websites in the whole universe.

From the kitchen

for lunch...cheeseburgers and baked potatoes. For dinner...haven't thought that far ahead. I will probably have to go to the grocery for dinner stuff. Also, I need to wash my dishes, which I detest doing!

I am wearing

my frumpy PJ's

I am going

To my mom's house this afternoon to let her dog out to potty, to the grocery store, and to clean out my vehicle because "something" stinks and it is coming from the direction of JD's seat...probably wet socks or a dead pet cicada in his cupholder.

I am reading

the book of James in the bible. It is short and uncomplicated, and it gives great advise about the danger of "words". I find that I often need to show great self-control in this area.

" The tongue is the smallest part of the body but is the most dangerous. A great forest can be set on fire by just a spark. In the same way, the mouth also can be a fire...it can corrept the whole person and destroy the course of ones life with words." James 3:5 and 6 (paraphrased)

I am hoping

that Summer is having a wounderful time at camp. I hope she is safe and is learning about God and making lots of friends, and I hope that she is looking forward to coming home because I have missed her so much.

I am hearing

the crunch of Cheetos in my ear. I feel the pecking of a cheesy finger on my shoulder and the sweet little words of my son asking me if he can have an Ale81 to go along with the chips that he is eating at 10 in the morning. Excuse me a moment while I tell him no and wipe the cheese off my shirt.

Around the house

Both the little ones are sleeping, the kittens are playing in the house, the wet dog is still outside glaring at me thru the window, JD is watching Disney channel, and there is lots to be cleaning so I need to finish this up.

One of my favorite things

my porch swing that Jeff got me for my 29th birthday last year. This year for my 29th birthday I think I'll ask for a gift certificate to my new favorite clothing store, and next year for my 29th birthday, I am planning on asking for new paint in my bedroom.

*May you see the blessing in whatever it is that you are doing this very moment.*

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Stare Down

I have this rule in my house and among my family, no adult is to EVER be the first to look away when one of my children has initiated a stare down. You may be thinking, "Why does Gina care if she loses a staring contest with the kids?" Listen closely...as a parent of a toddler, two former toddlers and a soon to be toddler this is valuable advise!

There will come a time when your child understands what the word 'NO' means, he will understand what your 'mean face' looks like (if you don't have a mean face, get one immediately). Undoubtedly, there will also come a time when your precious toddler will test his limits to see how serious you are when you say 'NO'.

The other day, my sweet baby Colton was climbing on the dining room chair. I told him NO and removed him from the chair. No sooner had I turned to walk back into the kitchen, than the little bugger started pulling himself up on the chair again. I immediately turned around, abruptly pulled him away from the chair, knelt down and said in my stern mommy voice with my 'mean face', "Mommy said NO."

And the stare down began! Colton stood there still as a statue as if he were hoping that I might forget he was there...eyes dead locked on mine. I had a bazillion things to do but I knew that I had to let him know how serious I was and that meant not moving. No grinning, winking, standing up, speaking, hugging, looking away, negotiating, NOTHING. His face was as serious as mine and I wanted so badly to just pick him up and smother him in kisses but I couldn't...a lesson was being learned, and an important lesson at that...

"I have to do what Mommy tells me, period."

Now listen carefully parents...

We cannot always use redirection as a tool. We cannot remove from our homes every single potential hazard. We cannot always discipline by spanking (although I do spank my children when it's appropriate). At some point our little ones have to learn what NO means and they have to learn who is in charge (that would be the parent by the way, in case there is any confusion). And this lesson can be taught in the form of the stare down. It's really quite simple, if he wins he's in charge and will most likely return to whatever he was doing that got him in 'trouble' to begin with...if a passive sweet "No honey" is what you consider 'trouble'. But if you win, then your in charge and this is the goal.

Teaching your child to obey you is not taking away your child's individuality or curiosity. It's not being strict or unkind or demeaning to the child. It's not teaching them to fear you or any of that bull cah-cah that the world would have you to believe. It's teaching them to understand boundaries...often for there own safety. It's teaching them to respect and appreciate the material things that you are providing for your children by not destroying them. It's teaching them to respect you and in
turn receive respect and praise for good behavior, which will make them feel good about who they are and the decisions that they make.

Will Colton test his boundaries again? Most definitely, he tried to climb on the table again last night, but to my surprise Jeff handled to beautifully, stare down and all. The important thing is that Colton learns that we are in charge. And not just because we are the parents and we're trying to be mean by asserting our authority...because God has made us responsible for our children, and in the end God will hold us responsible for the way that we raised them.

He has given us these children and expects us to not only love and cuddle and play with them, but to also teach and instruct them about what is appropriate. To teach them to be generous,kind, humble, to be helpful and respectful to others. All of these lessons are taught by example, enforced by discipline, and encouraged with lots of praise.

Parents, do not be afraid to discipline your children in public, whether that be in church, a restaurant, at a friends house, the ball park, or anywhere else. Parenting does not stop just because you are in public. Many times I have told a waitress in the middle of ordering my food to please give me a few moments to help my children calm down. If my kids start acting up while I am speaking to someone that I have run into, I have no problem stopping the conversation for a moment to quickly tell my children what I expect of them and what the consequences will be if they continue to misbehave. My children know what I mean when I say, "Do we need to go to the bathroom and discuss this?" That has never been as empty threat, but rather a place to speak sternly and most likely to have their butt busted for continuing to be disobedient. I have NEVER left a public place because my children were misbehaving, and I won't. I will deal with bad behavior on the spot no matter where I am or who is around me. And my children will be better for it.

My mom was a strict parent, she had to be. With three daughters, the first time she let something slip by without it being corrected, we would have taken her out! It never occurred to me that she was out numbered, all I knew was that I had better do what I was told and do it the first time because the consequences were crystal clear. As we got older, she didn't even have to go over all the details of her expectations of us in public. All she would say is, "Girls, you know what I expect of you."

Sometimes I feel like I am too lenient on my children, I feel like there are things that I let slip out of pure exhaustion and I wonder if they notice or if it gives them the fuel to push the envelope a little further. However, the other day my (strict-never let them get one over on you) mom admitted something to me...she lost a stare down between her and Colton.

I have been a mother for almost 9 years now and I have NEVER lost a stare down...I feel redeemed!

Monday, June 2, 2008

This is not a democracy

Well, there are the rumblings of war on Sawmill Road. The citizens are being disobedient and think they are going to over turn their dictator...they think! Someone forgot to tell my sweet children that there are no child labor laws enforced on Sawmill Road.

"There is plenty to get done today and my job is to feed you, wash your laundry, and keep Sydney from screaming her head off. So hop to it!" (Cracking the whip.) I have momentarily allowed them to rest for an hour and a half, I may even let them run thru the water hose later. I have to give them something to work towards, right? I even made Colton pick up his toys earlier...however he thought it was a game and tossed them all back on the floor within moments of me saying, "GOOD JOB, Mommy is proud of you!"

In other news, Jeff and I have decided to keep Colton indoors for about a week for fear that someone will call the police and accuse us of abuse! No, but really, he has had a horrible 24 hours! Yesterday morning he pulled a plate off the counter and one of the broken pieces nicked his big toe, then he fell down 3 porch steps (because 'someone', who's name begins with a G and rhymes with 'ina', didn't latch the porch gate while she was dutifully retrieving a sippy cup out of the yard) and he landed face first into the concrete sidewalk. Lastly, this morning JD was trying to chase a wasp out of our house -because I am petrified of wasps and JD is so very brave-, when the wasp landed on the couch, Colton just pick it up as if he were going to hand the wasp to JD. Needless to say, Colton got stung. I suppose I should get out of the bed and supervise these children....(joking)!

In otherly news (is that even a word?) Meyers in Lexington has milk on sale for $2.50 a gallon! I am making a trip over there this week and am bringing back 10 gallons of whole milk, I read somewhere on-line that whole milk freezes well. I'll let ya know.

I hope all of my blog buddies have a wonderful, superific week. And stay *Cool*! (Hee, hee...I meant that in the literal sense, but when I said it, it made me sound really hip! I'm sure when my daughter reads this she will roll her eyes in disgust and embarrassment...I think I'll say it again!)

Stay *COOL*!!!