Friday, October 30, 2009

Flashback Friday.. Happy Halloween

Newborn Baby D.. 1 1/2 months old.

Baby D last year as the Lion.. just over a year old..

This year 2 years old..

Firefighter visits local firestation

Yesterday was Darrian's first Halloween party at school, he got to dress up in costume. Grandma had arranged for him to go see the firetrucks after school. Since the Bay Bridge has been closed I got to work from home :) and drop Darrian off at school and pick him up. It was fun seeing him run in and sit down, and not phased by me leaving. I worried since Keith is usually the one to drop him off, all the little kids in costume were so cute. He had a great time at school, made treat bags and other crafts.
After we picked him up we headed to the fire station. I have to say the guy who was there was not so friendly. He was not the one who approved it, and seemed kind of put off by showing a 2 year old his fire truck. Whatever. He let us in, and eventually warmed up and gave D some stickers.
The best part was D's reaction when he saw the firetruck, he said "wooooooowwwwww" in a way that only a 2 year old can.

Welcome to the World Uriah Jackson

On October 9th Keith became a great-uncle, crazy isn't it? Our Nephew Devan welcomed to the world a baby boy Uriah Nasir . Keith has had several conversations with the new Dad and he seems to be adjusting well to the sleepless nights. We have been waiting for some pictures and his Aunt posted some, that I shameless-ly stole for this blog posting. Welcome to the world Uriah, we can not wait to meet you!
Hard to think of Devan as a Dad, especially since I have known him since he was 9! Even harder for Keith was there from the day he was born, and to him that doesn't seem that long ago!
Congrats Devan and Tan!

A fun weekend

This past weekend we did not do anything special, but we found some time to have some fun. We carved pumpkins, and we went to the park. It was fun to see Darrian and Daddy playing catch in the park. All of a sudden though Darrian is very aware of what is "his", he never really cared before and I wonder if it had to do with school. We brought his ball to the park, we had them laying around while play on the slides. He noticed another child had started playing with it and took off after them yelling "No. Miiinnee". We had to remind him to share, but it was the first time I have ever seen him react like that.

Here are some pictures of our pumpkins, Chris and Julie got Darrian this kit where you pound light tees into the pumpkin and they light up. They came with designs and we choose the Cat one, Keith created his own :).

A new obsession

Darrian is REALLY into his letters lately. When we are out he points out letters on signs, in the store, numbers too. I actually am amazed he knows so many, and how often he gets them right. It's like he got them all of a sudden. I put up a Happy Halloween sign and he went over to it and started pointing out all the letters. He loves these foam letters he got from Nicole on his birthday, I took a few pictures of him enjoying them the other day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fun times with D..

During the week, I try to do things with Darrian after work on the weekdays. Make the most of my time. This is hard sometimes since I usually am trying to get dinner going, and get bedtime started on time. We still squeeze in some time for fun :)

Darrian is really into helping to cook now, he likes to sit on the counter. While I am cooking I say "ok NOW we need to put the lid on it". So now when he is cooking with me he will say "ok nowww". SO cute. The other day while helping I gave him an apple to snack on. It was really cute him trying to hold it with his little hands. I just picture him someday in the future coming home from school, backpack over a shoulder, grabbing a snack one hand. He won't have the excitement in his eyes that he got a WHOLE apple to himself, like a big kid. It is the little things that make me smile.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Flashback Friday...

In honor of pumpkin patch days.. Last year at the Clayton Valley pumpkin patch

A year later same pumpkin patch

Blog Challenge #3 ..Halloween Costumes..

What was your (or your child's) "best" Halloween costume ever?

I have never really loved costumes, I know I know. I love the holiday, but the dressing up part not as much. I think I was a "dead" cheerleader for about 3 years. Which was really just my cheerleader outfit and some fake blood. The one I remember most is when Niki and I went as crayon's. That was fun, but hot. I liked being a witch to, and a pumpkin with all the newspaper stuffed inside. I don't have any pictures handy, although I ran across one the other day.

Darrian's best costume, hard one. I love the lion from last year, and I love the firefighter this year. I don't think I could choose :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

American Idiot GNO

*GNO= Girl's night out

Last night Devyn and I went to go see American Idiot at the Berkeley Rep. It is a new musical based on Green Day's album American Idiot . I thought it was really good, it is short 90 minutes with no break. The music was good and sounded really good, which I was worried about since it is not Green Day singing it. They described it as..
American Idiot follows working-class characters from the suburbs to the city to the Middle East, as they seek redemption in a world filled with frustration.
I kept hoping Green Day would show up since they live here, but I guess they are on tour. Darn. However I heard they are very involved in the rehearsals and seeing how this comes together, and had lots of input. I recommend watching it, if your under 30 the price is 1/2 off :).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The 40 Assets...

I took another parenting class with a Friend last night, this one I knew nothing about. It was pretty interesting, and pretty entailed... and I think it's going to take me a while to get my head around it and put it into place.

The class description was this:

Young Children and the 40 assets: Helping them succeed
Come and explore a practical and proven way to raise successful children based on groundbreaking research by Search Institute, developer of the 40 assets. This class is designed for parents of young children birth to 9 years old. Parents will learn to build a solid foundation in child's early years, and discover tools and techniques to help them build assets to support and strengthen their children as they grow into happy, healthy, and responsible adults.

Sounds like hitting the lotto right? Especially for $6.50 (cost of the class)!

This class was two hours long, and I really did like what I heard. Essentially the Search Institute did a study and showed that children who are more equipped with more of the 40 assets the less likely they are to engage in high risk behaviors (alcohol use, violence, school problems) and the more likely they are to thrive. Getting to 40 assets is pretty hard, but having between 21-30 is pretty successful as well.

Still wondering what the 40 Developmental assets are? This is where it got tricky. The assets are split into two categories, External Assets and Internal Assets . There are sub-categories in each of those that break it down further. For External Assets it is support, empowerment, boundaries and expectations, constructive use of time. For Internal Assets it is commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, positive identity.

So confusing right. I feared I would never get it.

The link that breaks this all down can be found here for young children, and then there are others for older age groups.
The teacher then explained it to us, and finally I got it. I will show you a couple of examples I liked so you get an idea. Basically it takes a village to raise a child, to raise a well rounded successful child. It is about building the family to support this, choosing a school to support this, a community to support this, letting them make choices, teaching them in a positive way.. the more of this they have the more they thrive (and stay away from those bad behaviours). It also is about being involved, a role model, and positive discipline.

Here are a couple of the assets and how you can teach them to a child;

Support Asset:
Family Support Parents and/or primary caregivers provide the child with high levels of consistent and predictable love, physical care, and positive attention in ways that are responsive to the child’s individuality.

Start meal traditions like a make your own pizza night, or pancakes on Sunday
Set aside time every day to focus completely on your children, let them lead on what to do talking, playing, singing or something else.

Positive Identity Asset:
Personal Power The child can make choices that give a sense of having some influence over things that happen in her or his life.

*Let children do things on their own sometimes, even if it does not make sense to you. If they enjoy reading a book upside down or backwards, do not interfere.
*Let children play with the toys they like. This helps them find their internal motivation; they are having fun to please themselves, not pleasing others.
*Encourage children to draw their own pictures, or color outside the lines.

A lot of it was about building self esteem in a child, something I think is very important. Some things I took away from that part of the class:

*Remind your child what you appreciate about them. Not just that you love them, but what you appreciate. "I appreciate how you make me laugh", things like that. For the simple things.

*Learn their love language and find what works best to show them you love them.

*A Mom talked about how she would reward her children by putting a bean in a jar for good things they did. Not just cleaning the room, or saying thank you.. but things they did on their own without thinking your watching. Like sharing a toy with another child. They got a bean, and when the jar is full that child got to choose what the family has for dinner. They love this because it is letting them make a choice and feeling empowered.

*Give your child a choice, within reason. Only give choices when there is one (so don't offer a choice you don't want them to choose). Never offer more than 2 choices. So letting them pick a book at bedtime or what shirt they wear (of the two choices you present). This also gives them empowerment and confidence in making decisions over time.

*Cheerleader them along even if they don't win. We are such a winner society, it is important to remind kids they are good enough and have the potential, even if they did not get a trophy for the efforts.

For Discipline

*During discipline think "what are they learning right now?" , use it as a teachable moment.

*Also give attention to the behaviour you want repeated. So if a tantrum happens, disengage and let them have it. Then when it is done thank them for stopping. So not at the start, and not during. She gave an example that she will tell her grandson "Thank you for stopping, my ears feel so much better now". They are more likely to repeat the behaviour they get attention for so give your attention to the behaviour you want to see.

*Whale Done a book she recommended reading about positive relationships.

We were given a print out of the 40 assets and asked to fill it out based on how we felt when we were about 15, and then talk about two that are still really important to us/affected our life. Also how we could do something small once a week/day to build an asset in our child, we wrote it down on a post-it and were asked to follow through.

So I am sure it will take a minute to get all this into action :). I am glad I went to the class and learned so much in 2 hours.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkin Patch...

Over the weekend we went to the pumpkin patch with Chris, Julie, Ivy and Lily. It was a lot of fun, and lots of laughs. They were nice enough to come to us, so we left to go to the pumpkin patch from there. Darrian was REALLY disappointed when we loaded him into the car with us, and he saw them getting in another car. He kept asking to go bye-bye with Ju-Ju, and crying. Geesh. Chris and Julie were fine with him riding with them so we moved the car seat. I don't think he missed us a bit, and enjoyed riding with them to the pumpkin patch (and home). He loves his godparents, good thing we do too :)
We had a lot of fun at the pumpkin patch, even though none of us left with pumpkins :). They were $25.00 for some of them, and well other stores have them for about $3.00 each. We had fun looking though. They had a train, and Llama that Lily really liked, a mini corn maze tunnel, and best of all kettle corn. Oh and these fun carve out picture things you stick your face in, it is really fun trying to get a group picture with three kids. I managed to take a BUNCH of pictures though. We then went back to our house and ordered pizza, and let the kids run around. Darrian loves to give Ivy a bad time, I am not sure Ivy loves it but to him that is the best part. Lily was super cute with "Dee" and picked up on his favorite face at the moment :). She is so full of personality, super cute and she is really funny. Ok now for total picture overload.

She is the cutest right?!

Awh so cute, 8 months apart, love pictures of them together.

This picture cracks me up. Julie is trying to get a picture of everyone. Chris had juice in one hand, trying to hold Lily up in the other, don't let the popcorn fall, and Julie is going "take a picture, take a picture" SO Chris is saying "cheese!"
Kettle Corn is the best..

D telling Lily all about the cars and trains.

D scouting out the pumpkins..

Love this picture of Lily, shows her in full motion, when they still sort of run at a tilt and so full of happiness.

And not so long ago I remember this lovely girl being so small.
LOL this is the face :)

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