Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Happy 3rd birthday!

I can't believe it - my baby's 3!!!! Yesterday was Emma's 3rd birthday. I tried to make her day special by letting her pick the places to eat. She chose to eat lunch at Chick-fil-A and supper at Red Robin (her original choice was McDonald's until we mentioned Red Robin). At supper, they had someone dressed up in a big red robin costume that came around to each table. At first, the kids weren't too sure about it, but before we left I think they each had given her a hug at least 2-3 times. I'm hoping the 3s prove to be the terrific three's and not just a continuation (or worse) of the terrible two's. Here are her stats and a few of her favorite things:

39 inches, 32 pounds

1. ride the train and Duck ride at Stone Mountain
2. eat at Chick-fil-A
3. scrambled eggs for breakfast, and sometimes sausage
4 . play at the "playpark" (this is just her word for any playground)
5. run and jump (anywhere and off of just about anything)
6. eat "ice crame" (we don't know where she ever heard ice cream pronounced this way)
7. whine, scream and/or pitch a fit (this probably should've been #1 on the list)
8. never go to sleep (for a nap or at bedtime) - this makes for wonderful afternoons and evenings when she's so tired and cranky and makes sure everyone else is at least as miserable as she is
9. wear her "cute, pink" flip flops, if any shoes at all
10. color - crayons, pencils, markers, chalk

We're celebrating both kids' birthdays this weekend with a party at My Gym (another one of Emma's favorites). I'll post pictures after the party.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Any Suggestions!?!?!?

Do they have obedience school for preschoolers? I'd love to hear from anyone out there that can give me some ideas on how to get children to behave (especially strong-willed red-heads). Emma still simply refuses to go to sleep - at naptime or at bedtime. I understand that some kids don't require as much sleep as others, but she gets so cranky and whiny when she doesn't take a nap. We go through the same routine each night for bed and each night she cries whenever she's left in her room. Her excuse is that she "really, really don't want to be in my room by myself." I knelt by her bed the other night to talk to her and try to figure out exactly why she doesn't want to be alone in her room at night. She said she's afraid of the monsters outside her window. I pulled back the shade to show her that there are no monsters and assured her that Daddy makes sure that no monsters are allowed anywhere near our house. The only thing I can think of is that since her room is on the front of the house, she hears all kinds of noises outside - like people talking, cars coming and going, etc. She will get up and go to the bathroom 3-4 times after we've put her to bed - not because she needs to use the potty, but simply to do something to stay awake. She will lay in her bed and "read" books to her babies and animals but that will last forever if we let it. She also lays in the bed and cries/screams and yells downstairs at us about how she really doesn't want to be there. Finally, she will come downstairs check to see if we're there, then go back upstairs (or just stay by the steps for awhile before going upstairs) - this happens at least 3 or 4 times each night as well.

That's just one child . . . Daniel, on the other hand, will take a nap every afternoon. All you have to do is get him to sit still for 5 minutes or so. Then, at bedtime, we go through the same routine as with Emma. Once we say prayers and leave him in his bed, he will usually roll over and go to sleep within 5-10 minutes. Sometimes he reverts back to his crying/whining a little and coming downstairs, laying on the floor and falling asleep but this happens less often than it used to.

Now for the behavior issues, both kids have the idea that whenever Mommy & Daddy are talking to each other at the end of the day (or one is on the phone), that's their time to do whatever they want, be as loud as they want, pick at each other, or constantly interrupt with whatever question they can think come up with at the time. Emma's thing is that she likes to boss Daniel around. The trouble comes from the fact that if Emma tells Daniel 'no' about something, he will start crying and will not be comforted by anyone until Emma tells him 'yes' instead (it doesn't matter if Mommy or Daddy tell him 'yes', since Emma told him 'no' she has to be the one to tell him 'yes').

Here's my plan - I'm going to make a chart for each child and put a few items on it like takes a nap, goes to bed, behaves at meals, plays well, etc. Each child will get a sticker for each item they successfully complete each day. After they get 3 stickers in a row, they will get some small prize and a gold star for the day. If they get 3 gold stars in a row, they will get a special prize (like ride the train, go on the Duck ride, or some toy they like). I'm still trying to figure out all the details. One of the hardest things is coming up with the special prizes; especially things that won't cost much money. Things to do at Stone Mountain are easy because we have a Mountain Membership; the trouble will be having to deal with 3 kids instead of just my 2 if we go during a weekday.

I'm interested to see if anyone has any better suggestions . . . let me know.