Sunday, February 14, 2010

Welcome to toddlerhood...

In the last two weeks Andy and I have seen a drastic change in our little man. He's still our little man but he's as independent as ever and testing the boundaries with every day that passes. He gets frustrated if you tell him no, when you try and remove him from a situation he's been known to throw his arms in the air and slide to the floor like a snake, and if we close an appliance (the dishwasher, the fridge, etc.) before he is "finished" with it then you might hear a defiant squawk erupt from his pint sized mouth.

I've pondered this, AG's behavior, for about a week or so now and what our game plan should be to handle this new stage. Here are a few of my thoughts...

Most toddlers begin exhibiting signs of "the terrible twos" around 15 months and it hits the full blown stage around 18 months till they are about 3 years of age. And most toddlers begin walking around their first birthday or within the next few months of their birthday. Once they begin walking it takes them a couple of months to really walk confidently and at a more natural pace/stride. This new found confidence opens up a world of independence. Usually around the time they have mastered walking they begin exhibiting signs of the terrible twos. Well in our case AG began walking shortly after he was 10 months. Since then he has become a confident walker and has mastered walking over objects, carrying multiple things at once, etc. In my opinion his early found independence has led us in to early toddlerhood. Not a bad thing--just means that Andy and I have spent a lot of time discussing behavior and discipline in the last week. :)

In the beginning I think it caught me off guard because he's only 13 months old. And then I was reminded about all those EDU classes and that every child is different. Each having a unique learning style and abilities. And that led me to my theory of AG hitting toddlerhood a little earlier. Now granted he is not completely in full blown toddlerhood, yet, because his vocabulary is still developing (and his retaliation methods are still simple) but we have definitely crossed over the great divide and no longer have a "baby". He's beginning to flex his muscles and test the waters to see what is acceptable. We are in the middle of a learning curve no doubt about it.

This week I started reading Dare to Discipline. Now this is not my first book on disciplining children because I did read several for my undergrad but it is my first with my own child. When Andy and I talked about our future family and our roles within our household when we were first married I would draw upon my teaching experience. Managing a household is quite similar to managing a classroom. And I've seen that first hand over the last few years and even more so in this last year with having a child. So why read another book? Why, because while I appreciate the theories taught in my college texts (and I do pull from that knowledge in our daily routine) I desire to read texts on rearing children from a biblical perspective too. I am sure this is the first of many that I will read over the years.

My very wise father once told me something that has always stuck with me...they raised us to be adults. When people would ask him (or my mom) about how to raise kids my dad would smile and say, "we aren't raising them to be kids. We are raising them to be adults." Adults who when they leave the nest have all the tools necessary to be successful all they have to do is apply them. We no longer have a baby. We have a child who we are starting to lay the foundation within for him to one day be an adult with all the tools necessary to be successful. It will have its ups and downs from this point on. Andy and I don't have it all figured out but as a team we will be able to figure it out together. And in the end I'm confident that we'll have given our children all the tools they need to be successful.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Can you top me off pal? Be a friend.

So growing up my sister, Caroline, could quote a movie verbatim after only watching it once. (One of her many fantastic qualities...) Some movies were considered a quoting jackpot...The Emperor's New Groove was one. I can't watch the movie without busting out laughing and thinking of her. One of her favorite quotes was Kuzco asking Krunk for a refill. "Hey Krunk. Can you top me off pal? Be a friend." We still use this one to this day. So a few weeks ago AG and I were eating leftovers while Andy was working late. I went to go grab my phone to call Andy to see when he'd be home and when I came back AG had pulled my drink off the table without spilling it. I busted out laughing and then went to grab my camera.

Here's to AG's moment of asking for someone to be a pal and top him off.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week 4 of 52 in 2010...

So here's our fourth new recipe for 2010...Chicken Tortilla Soup! The original came from Food Network's website and is another Rachel Ray. For the original click here.


  • Vegetable or corn oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons -- 2 turns of the pot in a slow stream
  • Couple of handfuls of frozen corn
  • 1 red bell pepper, split and seeded
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breast tenders
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/3 palm full
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/3 palm full (I love cumin so I used a tad more...)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 small to medium zucchini, small dice
  • 1 large yellow skinned onion, chopped (I use a food processor and chopped half and then saved the other half to do with the chipotle in adobo peppers. This gives the spice and heat without overwhelming my small child!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 to 2 chipotle in adobo peppers (I used one for the first time making it and it was plenty...if you like super heat add another one!)
  • 3 cans fire roasted tomatoes,
  • 1 can tomato sauce, 8 ounces
  • 3 cups chicken stock, available in re-sealable paper containers on soup aisle
  • 4 cups blue corn tortilla chips, broken up into large pieces
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


Cut the bell pepper in to large pieces and place on a rimmed baking tray. Put under the broiler on low...check every so often till it's roasted to your liking. I did skin side up. Pull out and let cool. Chop all other veggies. I used a food processor for the onion, garlic, and chipotle.

Dice chicken. Add 2 tablespoons oil to hot soup pot. Add chicken to pot. Season with poultry seasoning, cumin, salt and pepper. Lightly brown chicken on each side...till it has good color to it. Add zucchini, onions and garlic and chipotle peppers. Cook vegetables with chicken 5 to 7 minutes to soften. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock. Bring soup to a bubble, reduce heat to medium low.

Add frozen corn kernels and chopped roasted red bell pepper. Serve soup with scatter of shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend), blue corn chips, and a dollop of sour cream. You can also add avocado, raw onion, cilantro, or any other garnish of your choice.

**The original calls for grilled corn on the cob and red bell pepper. However, I'm in the market for a new grill pan and so I changed it to fit my needs. I plan to do this one again later the original way.

**Also, this made a ton of soup! It fed all three of us plus gave me left overs for two more meals...which I froze for a later date.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Life these last few weeks...

The last few weeks have been a blur and I've slacked in my blogging. We wrapped up the holidays and then geared up for AG's first birthday. So I feel like I'm finally catching my breath and bracing for the next few's what we've been up to:

--AG has mastered walking and is quite pleased with himself...he's now a pro at creating mischief and mayhem. :) Samson has adjusted to this latest milestone well. When he's had enough he retreats to the guest bedroom and hops up to nap on the middle of the bed...perfectly out of AG's reach.

--AG is quite taken with Andy's guitar hero drum set. I need to upload the video we've captured of AG playing it and watching himself on the tv. Quite amusing. Also, he seems to be walking in his Daddy's footsteps when it comes to soccer. He's started kicking the ball around the den. We have video of that too. (See how far behind I am?!) Needless to say Andy is pleased on both accounts. They practice soccer at night when Andy gets home from work. Won't be long before he's on the sidelines while Andy coaches.

--Samson had conjunctivitis in both eyes and had a trip to the vet. He seems to be on the mend but is not a fan of the ointment we have to smear into his eyes...can't say that I blame him.

--The weekend following AG's birthday I went away with a group of my college friends. We were all in the same freshman class in WinShape and we've decided to take an annual trip together. This was the first year and it was wonderful to hang out and fellowship. April couldn't join us this year (she's over seas doing missions) BUT we were able to video chat with her and that was fabulous! I'm sure the locals at the coffeehouse were amused at 5 ladies gathered around Laura's laptop speaking loudly for everyone to hear. But we didn't care. Andy gets major points for handling AG all weekend while he cut his 8th tooth.

--Yes, we are now up to 8 teeth...I feel like we are in the calm before the storm and I'm preparing to batten down the hatches as we gear up for molars and incisors. His incisors we can already see moving down and see where the gums are swollen.

--We've transitioned to whole milk and cups only now. Last week was hard (another reason why I'm behind) because AG was learning a new sleep routine. Up till then he'd been taking a bottle before naps and bedtime...we've replaced that with a story in his rocking chair and then putting on his lullaby cd. AG has adjusted and seems to now enjoy our new routine now that he's familiar with it.

--Thursday nights continue to be one of the highlights of my week every week...due to the cold, nasty weather we've been having Jess has declared our weekly tv time a pajama party. So we do dinner and then later everyone shows up in the sweats/pjs to watch Grey's and Private Practice. Jess wins the award for most original with her glow in the dark footie zip up pjs.

--Things at church are great...our church has teamed up with several other local churches to launch Project 127 Rome to address the foster care needs of our community. I find this refreshing. It's about time that churches took a stand to shoulder the responsibilities that they are called to do. On average there are 10,000 kids in the GA foster care system on any given day. 200 of those live in Floyd county. We have a 140 churches in our county...that is the highest per capita in the country. I'm looking forward to seeing God work in our community as we band together to do his will.

--Andy is not coaching this spring. This is a nice change of pace for us since he's been coaching since we got married. He's planning to get his next coaching license later in the spring. Due to this next license being on the national level it requires more time to obtain it...this is hard to juggle when you are in the middle of a season. So Andy is looking forward to moving on to the national level and we are enjoying having him home during the week and weekends.

--I'm planning and dreaming out the laundry room...our next and final major project on the inside of our house. In reality it's not major in comparison to the master bathroom and the kitchen overhauls that we did. But it will be the last big thing we do inside the house. I'm looking forward to it. I have an idea of what I want but I haven't picked anything out, yet. I'm waiting till we get back from our travels...

--At the end of the month we are leaving on a jet plane and bound for the west coast. Wahoo! I'm excited. We are doing a week long vacation with Andy's family in San Diego. We are looking forward to taking AG to the zoo, Sea World, and Disneyland just to name a few. Andy's looking forward to taking a Ducks game in...too bad the Thrashers won't be in town but Andy did see them last week when they played in ATL. We are also thrilled to be able to drive up to LA to see Michael. (Our dear friend who is in the Masters program for Directing out at USC.) We can't wait to see him and let him show us around. He keeps telling us that he's going to get AG a tshirt that says "My big brother goes to USC" I guess we will investigate that while we are out there. I told him as long as it had nothing to do with football. :)

--Last week after much pressure from multiple people I decided that I'd pick up the Twilight saga. I started the first book Monday evening after AG went to bed. I finished the fourth book Thursday night. Needless to say I couldn't put it down and I read fast. I consumed something like 2500 pages in four days. I haven't gotten a chance to read like that in a long time...I throughly enjoyed myself. And I'm not going to lie I could hardly keep myself from busting out laughing as Bella went cliff jumping in New Moon...I know it's a serious moment BUT one of our students happened to get rescued off the same cliff this summer by the coast guard and they reported it as a crazed Twilight fan trying to reenact the books! Which is completely bogus because he'd never even heard about Twilight till he was on the cliff and the coast guard was asking him if he liked vampires! Ha. If you need a good laugh and haven't heard this story remind me next time I see you and I'll tell it in never ceases to make me laugh...

--I need to post about AG's birthday but I'm waiting for the pictures from the photographer...I promise I'll post it ASAP.

--This weekend we are headed to ATL to spend the weekend celebrating Andy's birthday. My parents are coming up to take care of AG and visit with Caro. We are looking forward to seeing the Hawks on Friday and the Thrashers on Saturday night. Should be a great weekend.

I'm sure there are plenty of things that I left out but this is a start. Hope everyone is having a great week...