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Of time outs and surprises.

25 August 2010
We're still trying to piece together a plan of attack for Sparrow's misbehavior. He's lost a few privileges lately - last week after he refused to help me pick up his toys, he lost the chance to go swimming (which was tragic since we were already in our swim-suits.) Sunday he lost a cookie after he ran away from Hawk and I and wouldn't come to us.

In these cases we say: "Sparrow, you need to help pick up your toys. Please help me pick up. Can you get that one there? How fast can you put it away?" We are pleasant about it and try to make it a game. Normally it works. Sometimes he gets a hair up his butt and backs away, smiling this devil smile and just watching us - you can just tell he's waiting to see what will happen, he's testing us. It's a little frustrating. I have to bite back the urge to smack the smile off his cute little mischievous face.

"Sparrow, if you don't help pick up, we can't go swimming today. I'm going to count to three and if you don't help Mommy/Daddy, we are not going swimming. One.............. two.................................................-"

He looks at me. "Three!"

"Yes, three. Okay, no swimming today."

Then we have a meltdown, and I explain to him 3 times that since he did not obey, we can't go swimming. After that if he keeps screaming he goes to time-out for 2 minutes. Then I distract him with something else. If he keeps asking about swimming I will say something like "We can't go swimming today because you didn't obey Mommy. When you obey Mommy, we can do fun things. Maybe we will swim tomorrow if you are a nice boy."

It's working okay. I am still reading lots of parenting books and getting advice from people. He had 5 time outs in his music class 2 weeks ago (he gets worked up and screams, which scares the kids, so I take him out. Or he climbs in things he shouldn't) and last week he only had 3 time outs, so it's working a little. It also helps, when he screams, to tell him "we can't scream because it scares the kitties/the baby/our friend" etc. That REALLY works and makes me want to start carrying a baby doll around with me!

I did have a chance to watch a 9 month old on Saturday and a 5 year old yesterday. The 9 month old cried the entire time I watched him. I was reminded of why I don't like babies. Not being able to solve the problem drives me crazy. In this case I knew why he was crying (wanted his mommy) but I couldn't do anything about it, and it was maddening. I remember not knowing what Sparrow wanted. I am glad to be done with the infant stage.

On the other hand, watching the 5 year old gave me such hope. He was so sweet and helpful and good. He even went to the bathroom by himself! WOW!!! If I can hang on till Sparrow is 5, we're gonna be good.

In other news, I have a huge surprise for Hawk as a very early anniversary present. I am giving it to him today, after I figure out a clever way to present it. I'll let you know how it goes!
17 August 2010
Sparrow has had a death wish the last couple of weeks. He's pushing and pushing and pushing and testing his limits and boundaries as hard as he can. It has not gone well for either of us.

I mean, it's been constant. The screaming, the whining, crying, hitting, throwing things, disobeying in a defiant snotty little way. Ooh that is what gets me the most - "Sparrow, we don't throw our toys. Please pick it up." He smiles and backs away, watching me.

Yesterday all the way to the library we repeated the Library Rule together: The rule in the library is quiet in the library! No screaming, no yelling, no throwing. The rule in the library is quiet in the library..." Of course two seconds after we get into the library he starts to scream and throw things. We checked out as fast as possible and he didn't get the train book he had thrown across the room. And that night he looked at me and said "The rule in the library is quiet in the library."

He also constantly repeats "no screaming, no yelling, makes Mommy sad."

After a meltdown in the store today, I am seriously considering never leaving the house again. I am so sick of parenting. This has been going on for two weeks and I am ready to give up and move to Alaska. Or put him in a box and mail HIM there.
14 August 2010
I was eating a burger from Burger King and I bit down on something hard.

It was a rock.

There was a rock in my food.

Never eat at Burger King. They put rocks in their food.

Riding TRAX and Frontrunner

06 August 2010
Sparrow and I decided to spend the night at my grandma's house. She lives in Ogden, which is about an hour from where we are. We usually drive, but since my mom was also going to be staying with grandma, we decided to ride public transportation up to Ogden and then drive home with my mom the next day.

The first leg of our journey was on TRAX, which is a lightrail system. Kinda like the Metro in Paris, or some sections of the Tube in England.

Here we are on the way to the station.

In front of the TRAX train.

Our train left at 12:30, so we brought Wendy's with us. Apparently you're not supposed to eat or drink on the TRAX trains. Whoever made that rule up has never had a hungry two year old.

After no small amount of nervousness, we made it to the Salt Lake Central station and transferred to the Frontrunner train. Our TRAX driver almost hit a moron who decided to walk on the TRAX rails, but we stopped in time. Earlier that day, a two year old fell in front of the TRAX train and was caught between the train and the platform. He was miraculously just fine. I was worried that Hawk would think it was Sparrow because no names were released and the news just said it was a two year old boy and his mother, but Hawk had no idea. Nice to know he's up to date on current events. Or something.

Ignore my shiny face. Have I mentioned it's been in the high 90s here lately? And that I was carrying a two year old and his backpack and fleece blanket and my backpack? And it was 1:30? Bleh.

Finally we arrived at the Ogden Station. These horses are everywhere in Ogden, I am not sure why. Ogdenites are weird. I can say that, because I was one. Anyway, the horses are everywhere and they are each decorated with a different scene. We just happened to get the ugly baseball horse.

My mom and grandma picked us up at this sign and we were off to play.

We'll definitely ride the TRAX/Frontrunner again soon! We had a blast and it was really cheap. Kids under 5 ride free, and it was $2.50 for a 2 hour TRAX pass and $2 for a ticket on the Frontrunner from Salt Lake Central to Ogden stations.

Pie! Peach and plum pie!

01 August 2010
Today I made an experimental pie.

We had 5 lbs of peaches and plums in our fridge leftover from last week's co-op. I can't eat raw fruit because my body thinks I am allergic to the pollen. (Grr.) And we had Hawk's sister and her hubby over for dinner. So I decided to make pie. Unfortunately, there are very few recipes for peach and plum pie on the Internet. And the only ones I could find called for ingredients I didn't have on hand, and I didn't want to go to the store today.

So I improvised. It was terrifying. You should not improvise when baking, it can turn out very nasty. But surprisingly, my pie was delicious! It was very liquid-y, but verra yummy.

Basically, this is how it went:

2.5 cups peaches, pitted and chopped into little pieces
2.5 cups plums, pitted and chopped
3/4ths cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
.5 Tbsp orange extract (ish)
2 tsp ginger (ish)
1 tsp cinnamon (ish)
1/4th cup oats

Mix the ingredients well. If it doesn't smell ginger-y enough, add more. If you think you might like more cinnamon, add more. Definitely add more oats, because they will soak up the juices. Next time I am going to put in 3/4ths a cup and see how that tastes. Stick the mixture in a pie crust and top with another pie crust. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Put a baking sheet under your pie because it will leak into your oven. Pull it out and sprinkle 2 tsp of sugar on the top crust. Let cool completely. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

I wish I had gotten a picture, because it was kind of pretty! But it was too good, and we sucked it down. Yum!!