We're home! NJ is doing well. I hope to get back in the swing of things ASAP.

Right now, I'm trying to get my household back in order. Is it just mine, or are all men "stuffers"? I mean, instead of putting things away where they belong, my hubby STUFFS it where ever it's convenient for him. Out of sight, out of mind I guess? I'll find things stuffed behind the flour canister, under the bed, in the couch cushion etc. I HATE IT!!!!! I'm running around clearing, putting things away and just generally trying to regain order. He looked me straight in the eye and said... "When are you going back to Chicago again??"

ARGH!!!!!




I'm probably not going to be posting as much here in the next week. NJ's surgery is fast approaching. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers!
















If you're interested, stop by his Caringbridge page.
I'll be posting frequent updates on his progress over there.



Thanks to this neat tool , 2 winners were randomly selected for our Gymboree Activity Kit Contest



Drumroll please!
THE WINNERS ARE....




Michelle and Brenda!!

*If you're into the details, everyone was assigned a number (or integer as they call it) I requested 2 random integers and viola, we have 2 winners.


Congratulations to both of you!! Please contact me with your mailing address and we'll get those prizes right out to you. You can find my contact info in the upper right side of the blog. ---->



I SEE you....








So, how does the world look like upside down anyway?














(She's ornery can you tell!? You can see it in her grin. :-))



____________________________________

Don't forget, today is the last day to enter the contest!! To read the details click here.

Have you ever been to a Soda Pop Ranch? ....Okay, maybe I should take a step back. Let's try this again.

Have you ever HEARD of a Soda Pop Ranch??






Hmmm, just as I thought. I am not alone.

We recently visited POPS, a new landmark on Route 66

"It's the effervescent essence of Route 66: colorful, free-wheeling, fun. POPS answers the call of the road: our unquenchable thirst for adventure."

What is it?
A Gas Station, Diner, Shake Shop, Soda Pop Ranch

... or all of the above! Whatever you want to call it, it's a fun unique stop to the day.

The boys had a BLAST mulling over the some 500 different bottles of soda pop to choose from.

How does Jolly Rancher Watermelon sound?

Perhaps Zen Master Honey Ginger is more your style?

Kickapoo Joy Juice sounds... well um maybe next time.

My jokester hubby suggested Love Potion #69, of course I just rolled my eyes at that one.










We all managed to pick out a new drink (or 2) to try.
















Before leaving, we had the kids pose for a picture in front of the iconic SODA BOTTLE out front. The sculpture stands 66ft high towering over the kids. We'll have to revisit Pops at night sometime soon as we hear the sculpture lights up and displays a dazzling light show of colors.

















Next time you're in Central Oklahoma, stop by it's a very unique place!

Visit POPS

We took Princess to her very first movie this weekend! Thanks to Grandma, we got the opportunity to attend the screening of Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who.

Princess was pretty good. She could be been better, but she could have been much, much worse. I managed to watch most of the movie, let's just put it that way!

The movie was adorable!! The amazing graphics are a far cry from the sketchy illustrations in the Dr. Seuss Books. The movie also has quite a bit of Adult Humor, stuff that flies over the kids heads, but makes it enjoyable for all. I highly recommend it when it comes out in Theatres near you on March 14th.


I got a WONDERFUL surprise in the mail yesterday. Something that I wasn't expecting. (Well, I *was* expecting it, but I wasn't really on the lookout for it you know?)

What was it you ask???

Princess's brand NEW BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!!!!!!!!

With ME as her Mother and Hubby as her Father. I stared at the certificate for a long time just taking it all in. Kind of like the Final Decree of Adoption that we'd got within 2 days of the Adoption being finalized.

It was so exciting to open the envelope and realize what it was I held in my hand. The very last piece is now in place. We can now get her a new Social Security Number. We can officially enroll her in school, (just an example, she's got a few years before that yet) or in Soccer or Dance etc.

I'm so giddy over a funny little piece of paper! :-)


I took my oldest son A to the Orthodontist yesterday. Um, wow. I left speechless. His mouth is going to cost us an arm and a leg!!! (and no, I'm not talking about his attitude) He needs over $5,000 in Orthodontic work. Hmmm, let's do the math on this one....





$5,000 Kid 1
$5,000 Kid 2 (his teeth are worse than kid 1's)
$5,000 Kid 3 (his teeth are wose than kid 2's!!)
$5,000 Kid 4 (To Be Determined... but let's just assume she needs Orthodontic work too)

= $20,000 so that my children can have nice teeth.

for TEETH!!!!!!!

Why oh why didn't we just stop at 1???

lol Naw, just kidding. I love all 4 of my kids. I honestly can't imagine life without any of them, but geeeeeez they are expensive.

Well, I'm off to buy some lottery tickets. (How else you think I'm gonna come up with $20,000???)

I thought it would be fun to do something different. Instead of me writting to you... you write to me!

Leave me a *comment somewhere on my site telling me what you like most about my blog.

I'll then put your name in a drawing for a FREE Gymboree Activity Kit!!






The contest will run through Wednesday March 13th. I'll announce the winners(2) here on Thursday March 14th.
Good luck!

(*Only comments left 3/7- 3/13 will be entered in the drawing)

Not only do I love Gymboree's clothes, but the Princess also took some classes at our local Gymboree Play and Music Center including Baby Signs. We really enjoyed ourselves.

But it gets better...
Today I got a few new books. Did you know Gymboree has Books???


"Key Porter Books announces 2008 Spring Collection"


Gymboree’s PLAY & LEARN: 1001 FUN ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR BABY AND CHILD by Gymboree child development experts, is a must-have resource for parents and anyone who spends time with babies and young kids. Kid-tested, parent-friendly activities are ideal for spontaneous fun with no complicated preparation necessary, while chapter introductions highlight developmental milestones for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.


It's super easy to flip through with the ages clearly displayed on the edge of each page. Different colors also help separate the age groups. I can find the chapter for 3o+ month olds, within seconds. (There's nothing worse than a big book that is loaded information but you have a hard time FINDING any of it!)

Here's an example of what you'll find in the book...

#631 Test the Taste Buds
Try this sensory-exploration game when you're in the kitchen. Have your little one close his eyes tightly and open his mouth. Pop something yummy in, then see if he can guess what it is. A piece of banana? A chocolate chip? Now ask him to hold his nose and try again- what differences does he notice?

How fun!


We also got 2 of the new board books.


Parents, Caregivers and Children alike will enjoy counting from one friendly frog to ten buzzing bees, seeing letters in action, exploring the world of color, and discovering shapes in common objects with four new Gymboree board books: NUMBERS, ALPHABET, COLORS and SHAPES. Translations with pronunciation guides make it easy to name key shapes, colors and numbers in French, German, Italian and Spanish for budding linguists.


Yes, that's right they even have different languages. Did you know a triangle was a dreieck (DRY-eck) in German? I sure didn't! I LOVE these books, even I might learn something.

Keep your eye out for these brand new books, I highly recommend them.



PLAY & LEARN: 1001 FUN ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR BABY AND CHILD ISBN: 978-155470-033-2; 240 pages; $24.95, paper; pub. date: March, 2008


NUMBERS ISBN: 978-155470-032-9; SHAPES ISBN: 978-155470-040-X
COLORS ISBN: 978-155470-039-6; ALPHABET ISBN: 978-155470-031-0

$7.95 each; board book; 6 ½ x 5 ¼”; ages 1 and up; pub. date: February, 2008

** I'm making some changes, so please ignore the mess. Thanks!**

PARENT CHILD INTERACTION THERAPY

We're slowly moving along. I'll share with you what we've been working on so far.

Every day, we each need to have "Special Time" with the Princess.(I'm going to call it ST)

We must set out 2 interactive toys (such as Blocks, Coloring, Playdoh etc) at the table. We tell her: "We're going to have Special Time. You can play anything on the table and I will play with you."

Sounds simple enough right? Well, surprisingly it's not as easy as it sounds!!

During ST we must avoid...

Giving Commands

For example: "Will you hand me that paper?" or "Look at this!"
Those kind of commands are so innocent sounding and things that we all often say while playing with our children. It's TOUGH to not say them.

Asking Questions

For example: "What color is this crayon?" or "Do you want to play blocks?"
See what I mean!?!? It's hard not to ask questions while playing with your child.

Avoid Criticism

For example: "Don't scribble on your paper" or "I don't like it when you talk back"
Now this one is easier than the others, but it's also hard when the Princess doesn't want to sit at the table with me and play. When she wants to throw the toys on the floor (or across the room) and scream it's REAL HARD to ignore the behavior and stay positive!

Okay, by now you're probably asking what we CAN do right?? Well, I'm getting there! lol

We must do these things while playing with the Princess during ST:

PRIDE SKILLS

PRAISE appropriate behavior. For example: "I like the way you're playing quietly"

REFLECT appropriate talk.
Child: "I made a star"
Parent: "Yes, you made a star"

IMITATE behavior and speech.
Child: "I'm drawing a circle"
Parent: "I'll draw one too"

DESCRIBE appropriate behavior. For example: "You're making a tower!"

Always use ENTHUSIASM. Voice is playful with lots of inflection

We must avoid the words NO, NOT, STOP, QUIT and DON'T
_________________________________________________
So, everyday for just 5 minutes we have to practice ST. Once a week we go to the Child Study Center and meet with the PCIT Team. They take us (one at a time) and put us in a playroom with the Princess. With a bug in our ear, they are sitting behind a one way mirror observing us. (It's quite creepy if you ask me!!!) If you accidentally do or say something you're not supposed to, they let you know! They also give you specific things to say to the child.

My first experience in the observation room was kind of.... well QUIET. There's just so much you CAN'T say, I couldn't think of any of the things we were SUPPOSED to say. lol Thankfully the team realized I was struggling and kind of pushed me along by telling me what to say and when to say it. Gosh I felt like such a dork.

It's very interesting. I'm curious to see where this leads us and what the NEXT step is.

Article on PCIT


 

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