“When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.” ~ET Sullivan

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fairy again

Mommy is proud of her work and of Leah for not destroying her costume today. Leah even liked to wear the headband, which was a surprise!

Interestingly enough, we got more compliments on last year's monkey costume that a neighbor kid was wearing than on the delicate and frilly costume Leah was wearing. I personally think Leah had the best costume and was the cutest two year old and should have won the costume contest--for what it's worth.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Leah doesn't really understand the concept of consequences. In the two hotels we stayed in last week, her favorite amenity in each was the closet door, which she could close on herself and which provided a terrific bite-sized place to hide. However, just every about closet door provides a method for pinching fingers somehow. We experienced pinched fingers over and over and over again. You'd think that sliding the door on fingers or getting them pinched in the hinges would compel her to no longer play with the closet door, but in reality this consequence did not in the least deter our little one from continuing said activity. It is obviously an immediate and guaranteed consequence for a specific activity, and she continually brings it upon herself. Aren't kids supposed to learn that if they touch the hot stove and get burned they never try it again? I really do believe that if my little Leah were to ever touch the hot stove, she would probably still do it again! (I hope never to find out.)

Here's another example. The time out. When I ask her to do something and she simply ignores me, I warn her of a coming time out. I count (very slowly, too) one, two, three. On occasion, she jumps into action at two and does what I've asked her to do or cease doing (stop throwing things in the toilet, come here, don't hit, etc). But more often than not, she earns herself a timeout, which right now consists of being strong-armed on my lap for about a minute and a half. She thinks this activity is miserable, but continues to earn herself time-outs on a regular basis.

Other behaviors such as touching the computer or stereo or putting things in a socket earn her a slap on the hand, which makes her cry. So why does she continue to do it again and again and again? Didn't she learn?

When the misbehavior is a dangerous one, such as running out into the street, there is no grace period and I run after her and give her an on-the-spot spanking. Yes, I spank my child. (She wears a diaper, okay!) Sometimes she cries, but sometimes she laughs! Then I put her back down and she pulls free of my tight hand-hold and runs straight back into the street. I don't understand.

Lately she's been really clumsy, standing on things and falling off of them and biting her lip on the way down. This has happened twice in two days. Once she gets over the trauma aspect of an actual blood injury, she is usually really cuddly and pouty, which is really sweet. But it still doesn't explain why she continues to do the very same activities that get her hurt or in trouble!

Cuddly, pouty Leah after she bit her lip:

So this makes me wonder: If she doesn't understand the consequences of misbehaving or getting hurt, does she understand the consequences of positive behavior? She gets candy when she tells me she went poopy and when she sits on the potty. Does she get it? She gets cheering and a round of applause and attention when she succeeds at an activity or does something cute. Does she get it? Am I to conclude that since she does cute things more often than mischeivous things she already recognizes the value of positive attention and prefers it to the negative consequences of bad behavior?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fairy Leah

Fairy Leah all decked out:

Attacking the Frankenstein pinata:

Mother and Daughter together:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Latest Adventures

While we've been on vacation in the exotic and far-away land of northern Utah, we had the opportunity to go on several exciting adventures. (Click on any picture to see it enlarged)
She liked the huge pillowy beds in our hotel room. That's the right way to watch Nemo.

Thursday, we visited the Dinosaur Park in Ogden. It was very cold. Once we went inside, Leah was frightened by the realistic mechanical dinosaurs that kept growling at her. I just told her to growl back.

On Friday, we visited the Aerospace Museum at Hill Air Force Base. It was free! Leah occasionally noticed the airplanes and was temporarily amazed, then continued to play with the exhibit ropes and look at her reflection in the floor.

On Saturday, we visited the Treehouse Museum in Ogden with the Lewises and the Rowberrys. There, kids can dress up like knights and put on a show, make noise on drums and marimbas, play with trains, dive into all of the greatest story-book scenes, and much more. Of course, we forgot the camera, but it was a blast for young and old!

Leah got to experience what it's like to be a guitar hero!

Gramma sent a new dress which Leah wore to church on Sunday. She likes that her new Mary Janes are so tappy on hard floors, so she doesn't want to take them off!

Monday we took Leah to the Hogle Zoo for the first time. She especially liked the monkeys, the elephants, the "teddy" bears, the penguins, chasing turkeys, growling at the growling tiger, the drinking fountains that look like lions, the slide that's shaped like a snake, the stray sparrows that aren't really part of the zoo, the train, and the waterfall inside the aligator house. It was really funny to hear her try to repeat "Rhinocerous" and "Alligator." Here are some highlights:

Chasing a turkey.

She was so awestruck at the sight of a real elephant that she wouldn't look at the camera. I guess that's the whole point.

Climbing on the Tiger statue. We couldn't exactly let her cuddle with a real tiger, could we?

Riding the Zoofari Express.

Sitting on the statue elephant's trunk.

At the wrong end of a gorilla.

All tuckered out at the end of the day. Whew! Mission: Accomplished.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fun times with Lola

Lola and Russ came through this past week for a few days, and I've since sorted through over 300 pictures to bring you a select few. Enjoy!


Showing off tricks for Lola and Russ

At Thanksgiving Point's Scarecrow Festival. She had to hug each and every pumpkin.

Yes, there was a certain amount of climbing before she could come down! She was fearless even though the other kids could have easily trampled her.

Playing in the water and sand at the Dinosaur Museum. I think she looks like Mommy when she was a little girl.

Check out my giant dinosaur that Lola got me!

Story time with Lola

Favorite activities

Leah's favorite activity is jumping. Here she is playing in a pool full of balls at the Scarecrow festival (we mostly stayed in the toddler tent). We were so inspired that we came home and recreated the ball pit in our very own basement. She loves it!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Why kids are so stinkin' expensive

First of all, they cost a lot to get here. From the initial pregnancy test (I get mine from the dollar store) to months of maternity clothes and outrageous pregnancy cravings, it is an expensive process, not to mention the hospital and doctor's bills. Then there's the nursery to outfit and stock, including a crib, a rocking chair, other furniture for baby's room, clothes and diapers for a newborn, all the accessories needed for nursing and travelling with convenience and safety-the carseat, stroller, diaper bag, etc.

Once the baby is born, you have to constantly supply diapers for a minimum of 2-3 years. Right now, Leah wears 5 or 6 diapers a day, and at approximately $.25 each, that's over a dollar a day! You have to provide food and clothing for the child, who is constantly growing and therefore requiring a progressively increasing amount of food and continually needing new clothes and shoes each season.

Then of course are the developmental expenses that creep in along the way: she's crawling, so you need to buy a gate to keep her from tumbling down the stairs. She's teething, so you need to buy teething gel, tylenol, and cough syrup. She's imitating everything you do, so you buy her a play camera, a play phone, a play set of keys, and of course you have to document it with a real camera for the grandparents to see. She's graduated from a bottle and you need to outfit the cupboards with sippy cups, but it takes 10 tries to find the right kind. She needs age-appropriate toys to help her development, so you buy new toys every six months, and all manner of devices to provide entertainment for the child so you can do something else. She wants to feed herself, so you need to buy kid forks and spoons and bibs. She's old enough to start sitting on the potty, so you buy a training potty and start buying more expensive, less effective diapers (we haven't gotten here yet). Then there's the painful expense of replacing things that your dear little one has broken, something we have yet to experience the joy of, but that I know is coming.

We haven't even gotten to the school-age stage of music lessons and sports teams, school fees, field trips, 11pm sugar-cube igloos. I don't even know what I'm missing!

Granted, it is not as expensive to have a second kid as it is to have the first, since you can use the same nursery furniture, clothes, carseat, toys, teething gel, etc. But it's dang expensive! First of all, why would anyone have children at all, and secondly, why wouldn't you have a second based on the decreasing relative price!?!?
But, oh the joy!