Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Sound Out

hey, is your picture from your twitter profile anywhere on the blog? it should be! it is g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s!
Thanks and nah, it's not here. I'm impatiently anxiously awaiting pictures I had taken while I was in Sonoma. You can get a sneak peek HERE.

I have a question for next week's SSO: What do you think about Chicago possibly nabbing the 2016 Olympics? Is that exciting/would be a huge hassle or do you think your city could pull it off well?
Well, in all honesty, I don't live downtown and don't think it would personally affect me too much so I don't have any strong opinions.

I think it could be good for the city in that it would bring in tourism revenue. I'm sure a lot of improvements would be done to the CTA over the next several years to accommodate traffic. The city and private investors would likely enjoy a profit. And it should create some new jobs over the next few years.

I don't know what the effects will be long-term. Of course, there will be the increased traffic and congestion. Some people have suggested it puts Chicago at an increased risk of terrorist attacks. I imagine our taxes may rise which is stinky since we have the highest sales tax of all US cities and everything is taxed here.

I think it would be kinda cool to have the Olympics here, but I'm not really knowledgeable on the details of the plan, so I guess I can't really say. Daley has a way of getting whatever he wants though.

I swear this is the hardest part about parenting. How do you get a kid to understand the whole trust thing?
I don't know! I don't think it can just be taught. I think it's probably one of those things that has to be learned the hard way through making mistakes.

I can tolerate just about anything from my daughter, but when she lies to me, I completely come undone. I don't care WHAT the situation, DO NOT lie to me and we'll be cool. I love that you sort of suspected all along... your Mom Radar is pretty in tune!
Exactly! I have a real problem with lying. Had Austin told me that he'd messed up and blown off his homework, I would have been much more sympathetic. I don't tolerate lying though. Period.

Actually I think you were a little harsh on him.
I don't agree. I think it's important that he learn the effects of lying now when his punishment is simply a couple weeks without TV than to learn it when he's an adult and his wife leaves him because she's sick to death of his lies.

Wow, 2 weeks--are you going to be able to enforce that? I guess I'm used to 4- and 7-minute time-outs!
Well, it's been a week and so far, so good. I told him I'd consider shortening his punishment a bit if he turned in an excellent essay on the evils of lying. So far, he hasn't written a word, so it looks like it'll be another week.

Which child was the one who forgot to mention pizza? I'm guessing Brooklyn only because she's the youngest and it's possible that pizza has yet to fully permeate her consciousness.
Um, nope, Clayton was the only one to mention pizza. Repeatedly. He kept saying "pizza" mainly because it's his favorite word right now.
"Clay, what did you do at school today?"
"Pizza."
"What do you want for dinner?"
"Pizza."
"Get in bed if you want me to tuck you in."
"Pizza."
Yep, "pizza" and "plumpy" are the words of the month around here.

I love the Thankful for list...the pink comments have got to be from Brooklyn, yes? Too cute =)
But of course!

Austin's not too bad at drawing. I am a little concerned though why Brooklyn looks so evil in all the pictures.
She is kinda is evil. Austin was just being realistic.

Methinks Austin has a wee bit of hostility bottled up toward a certain Brooklyn, eh? Very common. My big bro (oldest of 6) did also. Oh the things he did to us...!
He's got a lot of talent though. =)

Ya think?
Actually, Austin is very good at drawing. Those pictures don't reflect his talent. He was just goofing off with those. He can look at a picture and duplicate it just like that. And he starts drawing from one end of the paper and works his way to the other end, details and all; whereas most people would sketch in the larger parts and make sure it was spaced out correctly and then they'd add the smaller details. He's a weird kid.

Do Jackson or Savannah draw?
Sure, all the kids like drawing. Especially on walls and furniture and skin.

This is what I did today.



I put up the tree and decorated the house. It always looks so festive right after Thanksgiving. I love sitting in the family room, just looking at the lights twinkle. I gaze at the assortment of ornaments hanging from the branches and remember a story behind each one.

There's the little dog with a helmet and a shield with the words "Genie Hahmer" painted on it. Austin got that when he was 3 and he was into this play castle with knights in shining armor. He couldn't say "knight in shining armor" and he pronounced it "genie hahmer". There's the little pair of pink shoes given to me by my friend Julie because I lived in my pink Converse hightops in high school. There are personalized ornaments representing our family for each year and each year those ornaments have gotten just a little bit bigger. There are wreaths made from paper plates, macaroni, glue and glitter. There are ornaments that have pictures of the kids from that year. There are even more ornaments that still have the factory-installed picture of the model in them because I never took the time to replace them with pictures of my kids. There are ornaments my grandmother has made us from plastic canvas and yarn. She's been making those for over 20 years and each year she comes up with a different design. And of course, there are the branches that look like this:



I don't know why this is, but every year the kids flock to the same three branches and hang all their ornaments on those.

Then comes December 26 and suddenly my house no longer looks festive. It just looks cluttered. I can't wait to take down the tree and gain a little more space in my family room. I'm sick and tired of rehanging the ornaments that the littlest kids pull off again and again. The twinkly lights, the stockings, the wreaths and candles all lose their luster and look like tacky garage sale items that I just want out of my house, soon after Christmas.

But for now, in this season of Advent, I'll bask in the glow of the tree and anticipate the celebration of Christmas.

28 comments:

Amy W said...

Dawn, My sons (6th & 7th graders) just lost all electronic stuff for a month since they had bad grades (we're talking Ds & Fs) on their progress reports so your punishment of 2 weeks for Austin is right on in my book. Lying is also a huge offense here in my house and I tell my 4 boys that if they lie their punishment will be way worse than if they tell the truth. And I assure them I will always find out. On another note, I love reading your blog and especially all the FRIENDS references since I have seen every episode like 4 times. Thanks for the laughs and the camaraderie I feel from you as a fellow mom with many children.
Amy W.

Kelly said...

The one person who thought you were harsh on your son, probably wouldn't like my most used punishment.... Dawson unplugged. Nothing can be used that requires a plug (except a hair dryer). My oldest daughter thought that was fine because her ipod could work unplugged, as well as her DS, until they needed to be recharged which required the plug. After the first day they start feeling it.

Michelle said...

I'd like to be the first (or one of the first anyway) to say that the professional taken photo of you does NOT look like you could be a mom. Wayyy too put together and cute and calm. And you do look gorgeous in it, before I forget to mention that part.

I love the tree ornaments that are special. I started off with only ONE kind of ornament and my tree totally had to match. Then the wee ones came, and we've started to get a few personalized ones for them, but no one is quite old enough to make ornaments. Someday I'll have a tree like that. IF I put up a tree ;)

KAT said...

My son loves the word Pizza too - In fact he decided the new baby's name will be Pizza, won't he be surprised when it isn't named Pizza

BoufMom9 said...

Great answers, as always. Funny someone asked you about punishment as someone just asked me something similar as well. I totally agree with giving a punishment that fits the "crime" and sticking to it :)

PS I am decorating tomorrow. Sounds like we're on the same schedule, as I do the same thing RIGHT after Christmas.

Anonymous said...

First of all, do you leave the cluttered branches that way? I am the one who sits in the chair and unwraps the ornaments and gives each child his ornaments to hang. I would say that 98.9% of the ornaments on my tree are hand made by my kids over the past 10 yrs and I LOVE IT! It's so much fun opening the ornament box and unwrapping them and remembering them again each year but after the kids have hung them on the tree, I have to go back and rehang them because it absolutely drives me insane to have them cluttered on one branch like that. LOL I also hate for them to all be hanging on the outside of the tree. We try to tell the kids to look at the tree in 3D and to hang some inside the tree but it just doesn't work. LOL OH...and I am still flabbergasted as to why my kids hang the ornaments BACKWARDS. You know, facing INSIDE the tree and not outside where everyone can see them. So after my kids hang ornaments, everyone can then walk up to my tree and read who made the ornament and what year (on the back of the ornmanent). lol

Secondly, I am with you...Come December 26th, I am DONE with the decorations and you know why I think this is. Because they are no longer fresh newly looking twinkling lights and pretty decorations. They are now DUST COLLECTED lights (therefore causing a slight haze and no longer bright) and vacumming the pine needles (even off the artificial tree) is OLD!!! LOL

Amy Flippin Blankenship

Brenda said...

I went to the site for the photographer. I saw the girl in the grass skirt and thought "Its great she can knock a few years off but that is a little too much" Then I realized it wasn't you. Great photo of you though! : )

Cayce said...

Okay ... whoever thought you were a little harsh with your punishment must be raising a juvenile delinquent ... that, or not raising kids at all. If he/she thought that was tough, I wish he/she could read what I did to my son when he lied recently. Check it out here:
http://aglimpseintomycrazylife.blogspot.com/2008/11/i-will-not-lie.html

ClistyB said...

is it just MY kids that like to perch all of their GIJoes in the tree's branches the second its up?

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

"We" using that term lightly, did our tree today too! Happy HELLIDAYS! Hahah, actually, church today gave me a new outlook so I'm not feeling so Scroogey! : )

VanDerHoekArt said...

Your tree looks so pretty!

Its the same in my house with the ornament branch but I can only imagine that branch x6 kids! Does it break off before Dec. 26th?

Urban Mom said...

Hey there! My humble opinion? I hope that Chicago does NOT get the Olympics. China had 1 million volunteers... we seem to already have 1 million people with their hands out. And we're already so far in the red -- and taxing our brains out always seems to be the city's solution -- that I'm thinking that the Olympics would just sink us even more.

But on a lighter note, U-Kid 1 always heads towards the same branches over and over too. When she isn't looking, we "finesse" things.

Love your blog!

Dawn said...

I smiled at the 'Genie Hahmer'. My eldest daughter was really into Winnie the Pooh when she was 2. Pooh was poober, Piglet was pigget, and of course, Christopher Robin was Kayber Ahber!

Dawn in michigan

Cheryl said...

Sorry-I'm confused about the Chicago olympics SSO queston...do you live in Chicago? I thought you lived in TX-I thought I remembered flooding during a hurricane? Am I completely off my rocker?

RefreshMom said...

My first step toward decorating for Christmas was to buy a tube of E6000 so I can repair all the ornaments (that I thought were semi-unbreakable) that my 2 year old managed to break last Christmas.

Tomorrow we start our Advent NativiTree so we get off to a good start with what the season is really about. Somewhere around the 15th I'll pull out the tree and the kids will get into full "I want" mode. But for a couple weeks at least, it won't be about what's under the tree.

Dawn said...

Yep, you're off your rocker, Cheryl. I'm in Chicago. We did have flooding late this summer, however, so maybe that's what you're thinking of.

Round Belly said...

We gave up on trees years ago and just hang a garland off our 8 foot high shelf that runs along the top of our living room. We have lights and hang the ornaments on the garland too.


of course, after the great ornament stomping fest of 2006, it took me a few years before I even wanted to decorate at all for Christmas.

Cheri-Beri said...

I think it's important that he learn the effects of lying now when his punishment is simply a couple weeks without TV than to learn it when he's an adult and his wife leaves him because she's sick to death of his lies.

As the wife of a police officer, trust me, it's much better he learns NOW that lying will get him nowhere but in trouble.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about doing the whole xmas tree thing lol... it is fun to put it up this year we are having to spend xmas at my sisters as Hurricane Ike took our house and well pretty much everything in it and just like that my sister had a vision this weekend she wanted to decorate 3 freaking trees lol... and she did luckily i do not have to clean up that mess at the end of the month but for now we have a big tree and two smaller ones on teh side of it looking mighty festive mmmmm... i love the smell of the trees thank god nobody is allergic right?? -sasha in bridge city texas

Ilene said...

my sons (2 & 4 years old) hung 37 ornaments on 2 sq. ft. of tree. It is one of the things I have learned to let go control of. I am glad to see I'm not the only one!

The Bertone's said...

Love the tree! I hear ya on the lying thing.. My 5 yr old daughter, who has middle child syndrome... always blames everything on someone else. Even if you catch her in the act. But being so young, I have no idea how to break her of doing it. Since she can't understand the meaning of Lying yet. I keep trying to drill it in her head though! UGH! I am so not looking forward to the teenage years, but man I can't wait for them to get pass the whiny stage either! :) UGH!

Anonymous said...

Dawn - you did FINE with Austin, not too harsh at all. Good for you, now stick to your guns, girl, and do NOT give in to him or lighten the punishment.

Each of my kids - now all grown - tried to lie to me about something. Each of them only did it ONCE! Well, once that I knew about!! First they got punished for the infraction, then they got double that for lying.
from Sparkle

ElleBee said...

Oh my, I'm so torn about our fair city getting the Olympics (although I agree with you that Richie seems to have a way of getting what he wants!). We live about 35 miles southwest of Chicago (the "Southwest Suburbs" for you non-Chicagoans) and we're pretty sure that it would affect us significantly. Remember that even though a particular city is "host", events take place throughout the region, as no city has facilities for EVERY event. I know in the initial bid, there were proposals for venues up into southern Wisconsin and over into northwest Indiana. My husband is firmly against it and says that if we get them, we'll be camping out with my brother in TX for two weeks!

Chris said...

Dawn, I totally agree with you about lying! I grounded my daughter (10) from her tv and computer for a month for lying to me. I wouldn't let her dvr them to watch when she was off grounding, because that wouldn't be a punishment. At times I felt like the meanest mother on the planet. However, the severity of the punishment caused her to stop and think on whether lying was worth the consequences....too many people don't teach consequences to actions, and I feel that is partly to blame for alot of what goes on in our world today. Atleast I will know that I'm raising my kids to know that they can't get away with negative behavior and I'm proud of you for raising yours that way too!

Anonymous said...

Dawn as a teacher for 30 years--I follow Bill Cosby's example. I have used it with my 2 children and It Worked?!

I lie to my child...Do you want some Icecream? Let's go get some! I act all excited! I get everyone in the car after everyone is buckeled in I look at the child who lied to me and say Oops? I was Lied--- No Icecream. I'm sorry :( I only had to do this once when My kiddos were little. They learned their lesson.

I know that as teenagers they sometimes fudge the truth but I know when they do this. We have a talk.

Your pictures are great :)

marythemom said...

Trust Jars!

Someone asked how you teach trust. The lady who invented the Trust jar has a special needs adopted daughter like I do. I'm not sure she'd want me to share her blog, but I'll share mine. Our trust jars are loosely based on hers, although we've made some changes in how they're used. I love having a visual example of how their actions effect our level of trust. http://marythemom-mayhem.blogspot.com/2008/10/trust-jar.html

We also use something called the FAIR Club for discipline. It usually involves writing assignments and extra chores to help my children understand consequences of their behavior and restitution. I wrote a series of articles about it - here's a link to the first one if you're interested. http://www.ehow.com/how_2172871_discipline-difficult-child-awithout-spanking.html

My kids think I'm the meanest mom in the world - so it can't be you! *grin*

Mary in TX
http://marythemom-mayhem.blogspot.com

Mom to biokids Ponito(9) and his sister Bob(12)
Sibling pair adoptive placement from NE 11/06
Finally finalized on Kitty(13) on 3/08 - 2 weeks before her 13th birthday!
Finalized on her brother Bear 7/08. He turned 15 the next day.

" Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."

mommeeof9 said...

Artificial trees are the way to go. I have to venture into the attic this week and find the trees, lights and ornaments. Once I get them down, the kids will assemble them and hang the ornaments. I don't care if we put up a tree or not. We'll be at Mom and Dad's house for Christmas, so why do we need to decorate? Plus, every year hubby and the kids tell me they will clean up from Christams and put everything away again. By the middle of January, I get fed up waiting and take it all down myself.

Rebecca N. said...

All those ornaments on that one branch cracked me up. I'm so glad I'm not alone.

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