Saturday, June 26, 2010

Look Who's Walking!

Cadence woke up this morning and decided walking was much more fun than crawling - and so she's been walking all over the place today. Every once in a while if she's going a long way she'll get down and crawl, but the rest of the time...
She get's up from wherever she's sitting or playing (she's been doing this about two months now)...

And then runs (that's right... she goes as fast as her little legs will carry her, because she is so excited about getting there) shrieking and grinning the whole way to whever she wants to go!

"I'm coming to get you Mama!"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Carrying on the Family Tradition

We love Robertson's Beef Jerky. I always have - and when I got married, I introduced Tony to it, and now he loves it too. Growing up, we bought Robertson's every chance we got. Josh even teethed on it. And when he was in Iraq, that's what we sent him to snack on.

Several months back, when Cadence was about 6 months old, we stopped and got some beef jerky. She kept trying to take it from me, so I gave her a piece - and she loved it! Now, we cannot eat Robertson's without sharing with her.
She's a theif! We'll give her a little piece, and she'll grab our big piece too. She also has to have one for each hand. For now, tearing her piece in half works just fine, but I have a feeling she won't be fooled long!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Love Summer - And I Love My Husband

Ahhh Summer. The time when I can put my baby to sleep, leave her in the diligent care of her father, and go *ahem* *cough cough* "Grocery Shopping" all by myself.

Ok, I really did go grocery shopping, but hey, I also had to go the post office, and well, Sonic is right in between the two, and it was Happy Hour...

But it really easy nice to just be able to take off and grocery shop alone! I have a very short attention span, so paying attention to a list is hard enough without also trying to entertain Cadence, so grocery shopping during the school year is not really fun for me.

Thanks Tony!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

June Photo Shoot

We had a fun time taking these pictures. They are partly just 15 month pictures, and partly an experiment with taking pictures with a mirror. I learned a lot! The mirror pictures need some more practice (and a more still subject!) but they were fun and they are getting better. Enjoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Momopoly: Parenting the Easy Child

Momopoly: Parenting the Easy Child

This was an excellent and touching tribute to parenting the easy child.

Cadence is an easy child. She is sweet, laid-back, fun to be around, and she likes to play by herself. She is willing to share (usually), she likes to clean up her toys, and she is easy to put off or distract. It's wonderful. But I have to be careful not to abuse it. Some days I find myself always saying, "Just a minute baby doll, let Mama do this.. or finish this.. or take care of that.." and never actually spending any time with her. Afterwards I feel guilty, and she feels left out. Neither of those are good for our relationship!

Anyway, I really appreciated this lady's thoughts on parenting the easy child. I try to make sure to dedicate time to just playing with Cadence, and I am learning to be sensitive to her small cues and needs.

Now, take a deep breath or just stop reading, because I'm stepping up onto my soapbox!

People tell me all the time how lucky I am to have such an easy baby. I totally agree! I think God must have given us an easy one first because He knew we would be terrified of another one if she was difficult!

But then they say - "Wow! You must get a ton of stuff done, or get to shop as long as you want, or talk to your friends or whatever since she doesn't cry very often!" "If she were my baby, I would totally let her be on her own all the time until she started crying!"

Wait... what?! You want me to ignore my baby's needs just because she's not throwing a tantrum?! You want me to punish my child for being good?! You want me to expect more of her than most people do of their school age children, just because she's quiet?!

1. That's cruel. No child's sweet nature should be taken advantage of like that.
2. If I did that, she probably wouldn't be an easy child anymore. If you ignore a child until they start crying, what are they going to do? Start crying. Throw tantrums. Do everything in their power to get your attention. And if little cues don't work, then they escelate.

I have actually seen this happen. Parents assume that since their baby isn't crying, it doesn't need them. And that baby grows a little and becomes an absolute terror, impossible to work with and not fun to be around. So I will not be ignoring Cadence just because she's nice!

Ok, I'm done. Sorry.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Getting Paid to Shop

I love getting paid to shop! Today I got some great deals at CVS. I could have probably done even better at Walgreens, but I don't like working with their rewards system. They have a lot more rules and details you have to follow - much more complicated.

So these were my good deals today. The soaps were on sale for $4 each. The razors were $9 and $10. So my total was $27. I had a "Spend $25 get $5 off" coupon CVS had emailed me (sign up for their email notifications - it's worth it!). I also had a buy one get one free coupon for the soaps, a $1 coupon for the soaps, as well as $4 and $5 coupons for the razors. This saved me $19, bringing my total down to $8.

So I spent $8 to buy all these things. Good deal, right? Gets better!

I got $4 back for each of the soaps, $5 for one razor, and $4 for the other razor. That's $17 I can spend on anything in CVS next time I go in. Which means...

I got paid nine dollars to shop at CVS today!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Liberty... or Tyranny?

First a little background -


So when I get a new package of pens, I have to try them all out. I write the alphabet (in cursive, in print, in caps, in lower case...), then I write some names to see how the pen flows (OCD, I know).

Anyway, I was trying out a new pen, fiddling with names I might like for any future kids. I really love the name "Liberty" so I was writing it different ways. It's Kristina's middle name, but I really wouldn't mind stealing it. So I looked over at Tony and said, "What do you think of the name Liberty?" His response? Something to the effect of -

"At this rate, you'd better name her Tyranny"

I cracked up.

I asked him what prompted that, and he said he'd been listening to a debate on the radio about liberty and tyranny. I guess we'll just have wait and see if she winds up as Liberty or Tyranny. Maybe we'll hedge our bets and name her Liberty Tyranny.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sign Language

Signing with our baby has saved our sanity.

It was easy for us to get started. Mommy was an interpreter while I was growing up. Papa could sign quite a bit; Kristina and I a little. Now my cousin in an interpreter, and Josh is working on his certification. So we had lots of encouragements and resources, as well as a little background knowledge to help us out. I already knew several signs that were handy for babies, and we could always call and ask Mommy if we needed to know another.

When Cadence was born we decided we really wanted to teach her sign language while she was learning to talk. We signed off and on, but weren't very consistent. Then, the incident happened. She had crawled over the stereo, which she knows she is not allowed to touch, and started pushing buttons. Repeatedly. Even after she'd gotton in trouble twenty million times. This is not like Cadence. She hates to be in trouble. She punishes herself (its really funny to watch - cracks me up).
I finally figured out - she doesn't want to push the buttons - she want to listen to music - and she doesn't know how to tell me!! I turned on the music, and everything was instantly better. She clapped and grinned and crawled off to play.

So I taught her the sign for music. She picked it up on the first try. And she didn't get in trouble again over the stereo for long time - because any time she wanted to listen to music, she just signed music and I would turn it on for her.

The next sign she learned was just as sanity saving. All Done. It is wonderful to not have to guess when she is finished eating. She puts her food down, signs all done, says done, and reaches out to have her hands cleaned. It's great. Of course, she also frantically signs all done starting about half way through church, but just because she's all done doesn't mean we are.

Her funniest sign is bless you. She fake sneezes while she signs it and chuckles the whole time.

Since then she has learned several signs. She can sign:
"all done"
"change" (for diaper change)
"bless you"
"play" and of course,
"bye bye".
Thats all I can think of right now. She is learning dog, but she's not very good at it at all. Her very clearest sign is "more". She actually puts her hands in the right shape, puts them all the way together and pulls them apart, just like you're supposed to. It's great.

Along the way we discovered several resources I would highly recommend. In general, look for sources that are current - sign language, just like any other language, is fluid. Also look for things that are ASL (American Sign Language). That is the language most deaf people use. A very few use Signed English, but it is not very popular, and you also have to learn more signs to communicate the same concept.

If you are signing with a baby, I really like the "Signing Smart" board book series. They are fun even if you don't do sign language - they have tabs, textures, photographs of real babies and people, and fun illustrations. There are lots of board books and videos for baby signs these days. My personal opinion is this: If you're going to teach your baby to sign, you might as well teach them the real sign, not a made up baby one. That way, when they are older they can still use the skill to communicate with deaf people. Of course, simplifying the more complicated signs is probably a good idea.

Tony and I enjoy the "Say It With Sign" DVD series. They are kind of corny, but they subtly teach syntax and style along with the basic signs neccessary to have a conversation. They are a great way to get started if you don't know any signs at all or need a refresher course - or if you just want to expand your basics.

I found a pretty good website called Signing Savvy. It has a free video dictionary with a very easy to use search tool. So far it has had every word I've wanted to look up.

We still have an entire language stretching out in front of us to learn. We want to eventually be able to carry on a conversation with someone who only signs. But it's really fun - and what we do know is enough to save our sanity - for now :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mother's Day

Tony made me a wonderful surprise for Mother's Day. We had talked about making a sign post for in the front flower bed, with a "Chancellor Manor" sign, a lantern, and maybe room for a flag and hanging flower pot. So the day before Mother's Day, Cadence and I went out to see what he was doing in the garage, and Wow! There was our sign post!

Then the duties were passed off to me to finish - my job? Paint the sign. I finally got around to working on it this week, and finished it yesterday. Thank you Tony!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Zoo!

We had so much fun at the zoo Tuesday! It was only Cadence's second trip, and last time she was only six months old, so it was neat to see her reactions.

Waiting on Mama to get out of the bathroom.

I love this picture, and it was completely an accident. I was just kind of pointing the camera in her general direction to try to get her reaction to the Children's Zoo, and this was the result. I'll take it.

Petting the goats in the Children's Zoo.

Monkeys! Cadence was really more interested in watching all the other little kids running around than seeing the monkeys at this point, but I liked them.

Pink flamingos! Cadence did like these. She would point to all the animals and say "oh!" "oh!" and get her cute little pursed lips.

Like this... except usually with more pursed lips :)

She LOVED the Herpatorium. Mama? Not so hep on the snakes, but they don't bother me too much.

See the snake Mama?

Here we are looking at fish and sea lions. Cadence loves all things swimming, so these were a big hit. (Notice how Mama and Daddy are totally willing to linger in the air conditioning?)
What's that big stinky thing over there?! (It was a rhino!)

This was great - the lions were right up against the glass, so it was almost like petting them. Except without the big scary teeth. And claws. And six hundred pounds of viciousness. But other than that, exactly the same!

Hee-Hee. I love prairie dogs.


So... you might think, 'Wow, Cadence really loves those alligators!' ... She's grinning at the sprinkler.

Well, that was our super fun day!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Practical Jokers

I come from a long line of practical jokers (a.k.a. - Papa). So it was no surprise when I fell in love with a practical joker. It certainly makes life interesting. Flying rubber ducks, little ha-ha-got-you notes tucked in drawers, getting tossed in the shower unexpectedly. It's great. Occasionally these jokes turn on other people. The secretary at work. One of the other teachers. Most recently, the groom at a bacholor party.
I helped with this one. The bride had been in the habit of calling all men cows, until she finally met her match. She declared him to be the official uncowish man, Super Cameron. While we were visiting his family, it came up and we said, "Hey, we should make you a cape!" He thought we were joking.
Boy was he surprised.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Nonnie was my grandmother, my friend, and my hero.

She was always there to confort, cheer, bring a smile.

Her laundry always smelled wonderful.

We would sit on her lap while she read to us forever.

We would play Scrabble, Bobble, Materpiece, while we ate popcorn and drank Pepsi.

We would have graham crackers and milk at bedtime.

Then, we would slide into the softest sheets in the whole wide world, knowing in Nonnie's house we were safe and loved.

I have this image of Nonnie in my mind: The house was always clean, dinner was always ready, the dishes were always done, the laundry was always hung out to dry... and she never did any work.

I'm serious - in all my childhood, I only vaguely remembe seeing Nonnie work, yet everything all seemed to be done. She always had time to read to us, or talk, or come watch us do some neat new trick we'd discovered outside. If someone needed something done, she could go do it, because all her responsibilities at home were long ago taken care of.

Recently I was talking to Mommy about this phenominon, and she was telling me some of the ways Nonnie accomplished this. Apperently routine and efficiency were high on the list. I've tried implementing some of these things in our household, and they same to be working out really well. We still have a long ways to go, but hey, I knew Nonnie after she'd had thirty or forty years practice. Surely only having had three years practice gives me some wiggle room in the excuse department.

My goal in life is to be like Nonnie - sweet, loving, spiritually strong, and with my housework already done so I have time for other, more meaningful things.
P.S. The picture above was of us the day I graduated high school. She had already been sick for a while, and wasn't really able to leave the house, so I went over to show her my gown before heading to graduation. She was always so full of vibrance, it was difficult to see her so sick and worn down, but she never stopped smiling or loving us.

Memorial Day

What a fun day!

Cadence loves to swing! She likes to sit forward though, no relaxing against the back of the swing for her - can we say control freak?
Getting in some early practice golfing with Daddy.

She is our water baby! She loves water in any shape, size or form. She likes to drink it, splash it, wade in it, and have it sprayed in her face. So... playing in the Slip 'n Slide was right down her alley.