Decs the Builder

[ignore the copious amount of drool. i'm thinking the 2 year 
molars are thinking about pushing through] 


Keeping it Real

So I borrowed this topic of Keeping It Real after reading one of the most hilarious posts by fellow adoptive mama at Rage Against The Minivan. Seriously, if you need a laugh-out-loud moment, read her most recent entry involving rolling down spanks and wet fingernails- all women can relate. 

In the spirit of realness, I'm pretty bummed at how tonight ended up. We  were uber excited to attend our church's tailgate party tonight. I live in Hus.ker country so this tailgate was all things Hus.kers with a lot of extras for the kiddos. Plus we had good friends going, so party all around, right?!

Well as I was getting ready tonight, Declan was playing in the recyclables. Anything to keep a toddler occupied, right? I look over and he drops a straw that he was playing with and pukes. Immediately, I was sure he had stuck the straw a little too far and hit his gag reflex. Mark bathed Decs and I cleaned the puke. Lovely. Anywho, we went on with our plans and headed to the tailgate since it was just an unfortunate gag reflex thing.

Wrong-o. At the tailgate party we were chatting with a friend and he barfs again! Poor munchkin. We high tail it out of there and lets just say our drive home consisted of 4 exorcist like moments. The next hour+ was spent disassembling my car seat and vigorasouly cleaning it with soap and water (I thought the cover could be thrown in the wash but the care instructions said not to). The inside of my car ate through half a container of Clorox wipes (picture Exorcist, barf everywhere). 

Decs is currently tucked away in bed. The pukes have stopped and his belly (with some Pedia.lite) seem on the mend. Thank you, Lord.

So I know this is way too much information. I would be queasy reading this pre-kids. But, this is our life. Just keeping it real. 


Full, Fun Day

Though Declan knows no different, I tried to make his birthday today an all day celebration. We had a first- our very own Decs/Mama morning at the zoo!

on the train:

Declan was asking the turtles for a hug:
digging in the sand pit- one of his fave things at the zoo:
is he 2 or 3? looks sooo old here:
we had a little picnic lunch:
after nap and dinner, we met the grandparents at Holmes.Lake:

oh, and it was gorgeous out. mid 70s and not humid.

We finished the night off at Dairy Queen but Declan's desire for independence led to a major meltdown. He wanted to hold the ice cream container but the ice cream itself was too hard to scoop out without our helping. A picture of what's to come?! Ha!


My baby is two.
I want to bottle him up at this very moment so I can remember each and every characteristic. 

Before I knew it he was counting, talking in sentences, and having strong opinions.
He plays harder, loves deeper.
He whines and throws tantrums.
He's passionate- mostly about balls and Dora- but passionate nonetheless.
I can't go 10 minutes without laughing at his quirky humor.

Declan, two is so good on you. 
Love you more than I could ever explain.
Happy Birthday, little man.
~your proud mama


2nd Birthday Party!!

How has time flown so much that I'm sitting here blogging about Declan's 2nd birthday party??! Despite the not-so-fabulous-for-a-park-party weather (upper 90s, humid as heck), we all sweated together and had a blast!

This year's theme was balls. Declan has a crazy obsession with all balls and received some great new ones for his collection. I took it easy with decorating- a Happy Birthday sign, some balloons and cushy baseballs/basketballs/soccer balls on the tables for the little ones to take home. We set up a soccer goal and brought balls from home and the kids had fun! We had a classic summer lunch- hot dogs, chicken brats, fruit salad, pasta salad, homemade pickles and chips. Yum-o.
the spread:
cousins and friends:
time to open gifts!

the crew. we have such a fabulous family and are blessed with great friends!
cupcakes this year!
big boy blowing out his candle:
LOVE these guys!!
Here's to year #2 with the most precious gift. Love you, Deckers.



My heart is beating fast thinking of putting my photography out there as a business. I've been doing it on the down low for a year and, with more and more referrals, I felt the need to create a blog for sneak peeks, information, etc. So nervous. Yikes. It's definitely not a pro site, but still loads of work to get running. Okay- off to hide.

Wordless Wednesday


Different Strokes

This blog will definitely not become an article review source, but I did come across an article my brain will not let go. Here's what it has to say:

Coddle or let the kid cry? New research awakens the sleep-training debate.

Tralee Pearce
From Monday's Globe and Mail
“If you leave a baby crying long enough, it will go to sleep and after crying enough nights in a row it will eventually not bother,” she says. “Leaving aside the toxicity of stress hormones, it’s hard to believe that people really want to teach babies not to bother to communicate.”
Many parents, however, feel they have no other choice but to try some form of controlled crying.
First-time Ottawa father Mike Reynolds and his wife successfully used a form of sleep training – the book The Sleepeasy Solution, by Jill Spivack, a psychotherapist and pediatric sleep consultant, and Jennifer Waldburger. He wrote about it on his blog, Puzzlingposts.
“We were prepared to listen to up to an hour of crying with only sporadic check-ins at our disposal. She did cry for the first five minutes, then we checked and then she cried for a few more and went quiet,” he says in an e-mail interview.
Although the method worked for them and their daughter, now eight months old, Mr. Reynolds is reluctant to discuss it with all the parents he knows.
“With some friends, we don’t really bring it up, as there is a lot of criticism out there.”
Toronto mom Carolyn Weaver is so pleased with how sleep-training worked for her, she jumps in to support friends when they want to try cry-it-out, even offering to stay on the phone with them while their baby cries.
“It’s gotten so controversial,” she says. “People who are opposed truly believe that you are torturing and tormenting your child.”
My first reaction from this article was pretty intense. I felt very irritated that, by using CIO, I was an "emotionally unavailable" mother. I spent an hour reading all 110 comments and one encapsulated my thoughts exactly:
"As a parent who employs controlled 'crying it out', I actually find the assumptions/conclusions taken by some of these researchers quite insulting. Abandoning my child? I'm not as emotionally available? I'm damaging my kid's development? An indication of my parenting competence??? Here's what's missing from the research: What happens to these kids who are coddled when they are 2 or 3 years old? The answer: Many are still not sleeping throught the night, or only do so in their parents' beds. My wife and I hear LOTS of stories from friends/co-workers who have either themselves coddled or who have friends who coddled their infants, and many are 2 years old or more and still will not sleep through the night without being coddled at least once. So, unless there's a whole other part of the study that looked at the long-term trends generated by one method vs. the other which the Star simply didn't print, then I guess I'll just stick with my own method of shaky parenting.

I love research that only looks at one side of the coin. -SDN"
I think that parents can spend way too much time judging other's parenting choices. I think, unless it's truly harmful to the child, that it is toxic to think your way is the only way. I think the author was dramatic and made far too many assumptions. Parents that do choose CIO, do it on different levels. We never chose to leave Declan screaming for an hour in his crib. For us, 15 minutes was max. Also, for us, it's a tool we no longer need to utilize. Declan is nearly 2 (how did that happen?) and so if he cries, there is often a reason and we go ask what it is. Last night Mark went in there to further remind Declan it was bed time and Decs just wanted a hug. Mark hugged and rocked him a bit and he went back down (fully awake) and went to sleep. CIO parents aren't evil, heartless, emotionally detached people. My son still comes to me for comfort. We're bonded more than I could have ever hoped for. And, yet, he was a CIO baby. He sleeps fabulously and has for awhile. What's the issue?!
On the flip side- I have several friends that couldn't dream about letting their child cry for even a minute. Do I judge them? Hell no. It's there prerogative. I do still see a correlation with no CIO = bad sleepers, but hey, that's the parent's issue not mine.
Why the judgey judgey, author? Why the judgey, judgey fellow parents? Where is it getting us?! I think there should be more articles about parents who endanger their child or who ignore and isolate them. Parents who could care less about providing their child's basic needs. Or how about this for a thought- why not more articles about children waiting for families? Families that would love to have the opportunity to parent and talk about CIO vs no CIO? Articles about children who don't have families to decide whether they will be home schooled or not. Why not more articles about the outrageous cost of adoption or articles about the mental/physical problems kids face in orphanages, Dr. Teti?
Now, I could rant on that forever. My biggest point of all is that parents should spend less time "high horsing" about what they believe to be best and start enjoying the community of motherhood more. Open your mind- you might learn a little. And, Miss Author- I'm VERY emotionally available for my son thankyouverymuch. 


Stop the Phone

I can not handle the cuteness:


.bomb pop.

There is nothing else to do on a 99 degree evening but eat bomb pops on the porch. They melt nearly as fast as you can eat them. Gotta love this heat!


my own BLT

So I've watched quite a few BLTs get consumed around me this summer. I would partake except a small detail- I don't like bacon or tomatoes. Yeah, buzz kill. So I was excited to "create" a little go-to summer delight. I snapped a quick pic before dinner.
Okay, okay. So I know there's nothing essentially summerlicious about this, but it's my own little BLT. :)  It's not tough- I throw a piece of wheat bread in the toaster oven with a slice of co-jack. Once it's all nice and melty, add a sliced avocado and a pinch of sea salt.




Declan is in a big throwing stage. I think it's fueled by his love of balls but we certainly think it's a problem- i.e. taking a plastic maraca in the back of the head (true story). Last Friday my in-laws, mom and a stranger at the camera store (after observing Declan throwing all items contained in my wallet) told me about an article published in that morning's paper. Here's the content of it:

Living with Children
John Rosemond


Q:       Our son is a month from being two. We’re concerned about his throwing. During a recent dinner out, he threw a fork that whizzed by a lady’s head just missing her eye. I took a building block to the lip the other day and Grandma got a metal car on the forehead. The articles I’ve read just say throwing is a way of exploring cause/effect relationships. We’ve tried consistent timeouts, redirecting, ignoring, and getting down to his level and telling him “No!” His throwing just keeps getting worse. He starts school in August and I’m anticipating a lot of incident reports. Any suggestions?

A: I first have to ask why otherwise intelligent people would go into a restaurant with a not quite two-year-old who has a habit of throwing things at people? Would you take a dog that bites people to a park and let it off the leash? Can you say “common sense?”
I should not need to tell you that until the aerial assaults stop, you need, for the public good, to keep your son out of places where he can pick up solid objects and wing them at unsuspecting strangers. In that event, the cause/effect just might be the following: injury/lawyers. (To be perfectly clear, I don’t think toddlers should be allowed in restaurants that have wait staffs (meaning all but the fast food sort) even if they don’t throw things.)
Yes, two-year-olds are known for throwing things. And yes, throwing is a way of exploring cause and effect, but the most immediate and fascinating effect in this case is that everyone gets upset. That’s the payoff.
You tell me you’ve tried “consistent time outs,” but then you tell me you’ve also tried several other consequences, including ignoring. What, pray tell, is consistent about that? And even if you did use time out consistently it probably wouldn’t stop the throwing. Time out (a few minutes in a chair) is the weakest disciplinary consequence ever invented. It works with kids who are already well-behaved. Furthermore, time out does not work when the misbehavior in question is above 2 on a scale of 1 to 10, and throwing things at people is at least an 8, regardless of the thrower’s age.
When he throws something, or even acts like he’s thinking about throwing something, you need to put him in his room and gate him in there for at least fifteen minutes—thirty minutes is not too long for a child this age. If he’s too strong for a gate, then cut the door in half, re-hang it, and turn the knob around so it can be locked from the outside. If neither of you is skilled enough with tools to do that, then contribute to some handyman’s standard of living.
When you put him in his room, you must do so without the slightest show of emotion, as if you’re just following a formula. You needn’t even say “No!” He’s a smart kid, I’ll wager. He’ll get the message. If he screams for the entire fifteen minutes, so be it. The experience will not scar him, I assure you. It will, however, make an impression, however slowly.
When his time is up, just let him out. Don’t lecture him or try to make him confess/apologize. Just let him out and go your merry way, prepared to do the same thing the next time an incident occurs. Consistently done, I predict this will cure his throwing in no more than six weeks. Even then, no restaurants for another two years. Okay?

I'm going to hold back the majority of my respond to this advice but I will say that I agree throwing stuff is a problem. I do not agree that a 2 year old should be put in their room for 15-30 minutes for disciplining purposes ever. I want Declan's room to be his safe haven. I think 15-30 minutes is far too long for a time out. John Rose.mond is a supposed expert so I miss how he thinks a 2 year old even remembers what they're being punished for after 5 minutes. 

Plus I  think he's snappy and just plain rude. Some 2 year olds can eat out at a nicer-than-fast-food restaurant just fine. That's not my son, but he's an extra special dose of sky high energy. 

So, thanks but no thanks, John. I'll be trying some other tactics. Any mamas out there with a less drastic approach to addressing the 2 year old thrower?



So, I'm pretty crazy about this guy:

Today was just one of those days where you inhale all that is your little family and exhale smiling.

This summer has been uber busy with parties, hang outs, play groups, weddings, etc. Today we just enjoyed our family of three. No plans, no commitments. 

After a morning of errands, we had a lazy afternoon. When Declan got up from nap we headed out to Lost.In.Fun (indoor play center) to watch our son burn energy. Afterwards, we grocery shopped at Target, picked up Chipot.le 'to go' and played more with Decs. Once he was asleep we watched a movie from Red.Box. 

I love it. Love my hubs. Love my Deckers. Loved this day.