Saturday, January 30, 2010

puff balls...

As much as I absolutely love and adore my little Ruby girl, there are definitely things about her that I could live without - and that's putting it nicely. Something that I have very little tolerance for, is her seeming inability to obey. I feel like I have to ask her repeatedly to do the simplest of things, or to stop doing the most obnoxious things; but no matter how or how many times I have to requests seem to go in one ear and out the other - or maybe not even in either ear at all. I have tried to threaten her, (and believe me, I do not offer up empty threats...we have left many a playgroup, birthday party, and family-get-together early because of her lack of obedience), I have tried to bribe her, I have asked her in my kindest voice, and sadly (at times)have even resorted to raising my voice...but still she continues to do what she wants, how she wants, and for long as she wants - paying no regard to that fact that I am her mother, and therefore should always do whatever I say...haha (laughing to myself) who am I kidding?

I was starting to feel at a complete loss, until my sister-in-law, Amy, shared the simplest (but very effective) little incentive program with me. After hearing how much her boys have loved it, I decided to give it a try. I told Ruby all about the plan, and together we went to the store to pick out some colored pom poms (which she calls "puff balls"), along with a couple of different size jars. We got home and transfered all the puff balls from the packaging into the largest of the jars, and then decorated the two smaller jars - one for her, and one for Asher. I carefully explained the rules to her, which were very simple..."Every time that you are obedient and do what mommy asks, the first time I ask, you can earn a puff ball for your jar. As soon as you jar is full to the top, we can go to the store and pick out a really neat present. However, If I have to ask you more than once, or if you whine and complain about doing what I have asked, then you will not earn a puff ball." She was thrilled about our new little program, as was I, and neither of us could wait to get started. It took a few days for her to really catch on (didn't realize there would be a learning curve attached to our new incentive program), but after about a week of working together, I am happy to say that it is really working. I can get her to do things that I never thought possible, and for once, she jumps up almost immediately at the onset of my bidding...exclaiming "yay, I get a puff ball" as she rushes off to complete the task. I usually just maybe she complies for the wrong reason, but I'm hoping it's at least getting her into the habit of obeying what I say, and understanding the importance of listing and following through. If I have to get her a present here and there along the way (while she's young and still understanding the importance of these basic principles), I have no problem doing so.

Yesterday she removed her belt at her aunt Lori's house and we couldn't find it anywhere. She was having a hard time exercising her newly acquired obedience skills, so out of desperation, I said "Ruby, listen, if you help mom look for your belt, and we actually find it, I will give you THREE puff balls!" The two of us were alone upstairs searching fruitlessly, when I suggested that we offer up a prayer to Heavenly Father, asking that He help us find it, or to at least help her remember where she was when she took it off. (Prayer is another principle that we have been working on with her. I was trying to help her understand that nothing is too small or trivial for the Lord...and that if we exert our faith, and if it's in accordance with His will, He will grant unto us that which we desire.) I asked Ruby if she would exhibit her faith and offer the prayer. Together we kneeled and she humbly began "Dear Heavenly Father, please bless Heavenly father to find my belt so that I can win THREE puff balls, and fill up my jar, and get a really neat present from all the sacks in the top of mommy's closet..."

I'm telling you, there's never a dull moment with regard to Ruby and her puff balls.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

meticulously mismatched...

*this post has been in my drafts for over two weeks now...what is wrong with me???

Ruby loves to pick out her own outfits and get dressed all by herself. Generally she does a decent job on her own...sometimes though, we end up digging through her drawers together, switching and swapping until we can finally agree upon something. A tweak here or there is usually all that's ever needed to keep her from looking like we just picked her up from the orphanage. This morning, however, I almost couldn't believe my fact, a double take was definitely in order when she proudly burst out of her room wearing a colorful striped turtleneck with a short-sleeved butterfly print jacket layered over the top, paired with some kitty cat printed leggings, a checkered skirt, and plaid shoes. When she matter-of-factly declared that she was all ready for school, I almost as quickly marched her back into her bedroom...but...the more I studied her, the more I fell in love with the whole picture; and for some strange reason, I refrained from opposing. I imagined her looking through her drawers and meticulously mulling over each article of clothing. I imagined her thought process as she paired and layered each element of her mismatched ensemble. I imagined the smile forming on her face as she slipped into each individual article of clothing, and then carefully layered one on top of another...and another...and another. As I played it all out in my mind, and then was witness to the larger-than-life smile painted across her spirited little face, I decided to just smile too, and then proudly sent her off to school...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

this here blog...

I finished this post over a week ago, but for some reason, never got around to publishing it. In fact, there are countless pictures and events, thoughts and feelings, mishaps and blessings, musings and ramblings...all of which I have had every intention of posting - but haven't. I don't really know why. I'm not sure if was the hustle and bustle of the holidays that made it seem nearly impossible to blog? I know there were times I just didn't feel like getting on the computer. There were also times I would sit down, only to find that my creative juices had failed me. And then the more time that passed, the less and less motivated I became to trying to play catch up. I don't know, maybe I just needed a break from it all for a while. Regardless of the reason, I have missed my good old blog. I have missed being able to have a place where I can just be me. A place where I can share whatever. A place where I can vent. A place to opine and muse. Even a place to praise and express gratitude. It's my own place where I can brag about my kids if I want to, or my nearly perfect, angel husband. I enjoy being able to put it all out there for anyone to read...but really and truly, when it comes down to it, this is all just for me and my family. My blog is my journal. When these post are long forgotten by my readers - I can just imagine Ruby and Asher - in their teens, or with their children - going back through the archives, or flipping through the volumes of blog books chronicled by year. I can imagine them reading about the day they cut their first little tooth, or their very first birthday, their interactions with each other, funny things that they said, and heartwarming things that they did. I would give anything for my own mother's "blog" - just something, anything - that might take me back to my perfect childhood. I think that's what disturbs me the most about my recent respite from's knowing that in a few months time, possibly a year or two, maybe more - the events and happenings of the past couple of months, will most likely evanesce from my memory...maybe even fade completely. That's why right here and now, I'm recommitting myself to my journal. I'll do my best to recap some of the highlights from the past month or two, as well as resolve to never again allow such a significant lapse between entries. And really, not that any of you care all that much whether or not I blog, or for that matter, the frequency of my posts...but I care because it's my life, and it's about my family...and because, possibly - in our not so distant future - this here blog, will be a very important link to our past.

*Well after all of that, I think I'll save my original post - which now has nothing at all to do with this post - for another day and time. It just doesn't quite fit anymore.