Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sleep time with Tyler

Tyler loves books. He loves the library too. He likes to get his own craft supplies in the little area there. 
Ivy and Tyler take turns bossing one another and sharing with each other. We read some and pick out books. 
At nap time, he does not want to nap. He fights it, sometimes pretending he will nap next to somebody, but he ends up giggling and running out. He will fall asleep in his car seat. So that is his usual napping spot. I tried the stroller in vain
so went to Publix hoping he would wait until the way home but this was his only nap. Actually the stroller was after.
On Monday he said he wanted to read books instead of going to sleep. Look what happened.
Oh yeah, he is extremely particular about his clothes. He prefers one of two 'triped shirts (the S is silent) and PJ pants or shorts that he picks out. His blue pirate shirt was his choice. He wore it 2 uninterrupted days. 
At bed time, he perches himself up on the boys' dresser and reads aloud. His bed time is later than the boys' so he keeps them up until I intervene.
And he picks where he wants to sleep. I thought my bed was pushing it, but since it has been cold, I have loved holding his hand and re-covering his "feetsies" at night. He senses the covers instantly and, annoyed, he kicks them off instantly usually. 
I keep snuggling and covering him anyway. Last night, however, he wanted to sleep on the couch. He was quiet so why not. 
I took him up to his bed but he awoke in protest. He wanted the couch and only the couch. So there he stayed. I covered him and put a soft landing pad for his next fall. (He had fallen off of the couch earlier.) Silly stubborn boy! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


My cousin Grant came to surprise us about a year ago. He was stationed close enough that he could drive down for the weekend. He introduced us to treasure hunting by geocaching. I had heard about it and my step-brother had talked about it. The boys loved it. I had not taken them since. But today, instead of going to school, we picked out Isaac's birthday cake, cleaned their room, went geocaching,
The next one was called Tiger Woods. It was on Andre and Barbie's golf course, had a tiger toy, and was in a clump of palm trees, a sort of wooded area. Isaac found it. 
and went to the Treasure Island Fun Center.
We will still do piano and tae kwon do, but no car line!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Flea Market Finds

Last sunny Saturday, we spontaneously popped into the flea market. My brother and Katy took Dylan and Isaac after their photo shoot over Christmas break. I have only been one other time in my life even though it is practically in my neighborhood. We bought a hand sweeper thingy. My parents bought a red and a beige one at the fair when I was a kid. And maybe a black one too. Same thing. It's a handheld thing like the sweepers we use in the church nursery. It was $5. There were children's books for cheap - too bad I was not in the market. We priced out pet birds, hopefully without the intent to ever buy them. We saw a fantastic mullet hair cut. Then spotted some gems. Litterally, there were crystals and gems and fossils and rocks. Corrie's kids (and therefore our kids) are into buried treasures like precious rocks. We paid for the kids to sift through and discover fool's gold, amber, emeralds, garnet, fluorite, amethyst, citrite, quartz, etc.
We will go back with the Crew kids for Dylan's and Isaac's birthdays. 
We bought some mangos, yummy other fruit, and our first pound of Jack Fruit. Oh. My. Goodness. It is delicious! 
Ugly but yummy. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Isaac's primary talk

Turn your volume up! At least he was not nervous at all in primary. He's just quiet - even with the microphone.
  When he says "I forgot the "A," it's b/c I drew photos as prompts instead of writing anything out for him. I did an A inside of a heart for the atonement. It kept tripping him up. He knows it without looking at the paper, but with the paper he actually left some things out. Oh well. He's cute!

He requested a "big cake" as his treat. So we made a 4 layer cake.

His talk went something like this:
We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. That was the 3rd Article of Faith and it says that to get to heaven, we all have to be obedient. But people are not always obedient all of the time. The first part says that it is through the Atonement that we can still get to heaven. So we have to repent.
Once I threw a crystal at Dylan. That was not being obedient. I can't get to heaven if I keep throwing crystals at my brother. So I need to repent.
My mom has us hold hands, look at each other's eyes, and sing "Kindness Begins With Me." "I want to be kind to everyone for that is right you see. So I say to myself, remember this, kindness begins with me." Then we laugh and I say I'm sorry. I can still get to heaven because of Christ and the Atonement.
I know that we can all get to heaven if we choose the right and are obedient. But if we're not, then we can still get to heaven and be happy through the Atonement of Christ. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


My friend blogged about feeling "resolutionary." I like that. I'm feeling it too and feel like rambling more about it. Sorry in advance to everyone besides "future Tiffany" reading this.

My sister just read my "The Entitlement Trap" book by the Eyres. She had the same reaction that I had, that we like it and the ideas but mostly b/c it's the way our parents raised us. There were differences of course, but the core of the book was the same. It seems so smart. Our parents are smart. My mom told my sister that she had read books by that family when raising us. They did Joy School with me, which was founded by that family. I'm going to re-read that book. I had planned on starting some of the things when Dylan turned 8, which is in about a month!! So I need to refresh. Reading it over a year ago when it first came out (I think I was on a waiting list b/c I followed one of their daughters' blog), I was a little frustrated that my kids were not old enough for me to implement the ideas. They recommend middle school age for many of them. But I think it's time for my kids to have real chores and/or Saturday jobs. They help with things now, and even occasionally do things without asking like putting the silverware away. Anyway, it's time to get a solid plan. My sister bought the book for my brother for his birthday today, and he bought it for her for her birthday last week. :) The next generation will be blessed.

I just posted the first sentence of this to Facebook and realized that the rest should go on my blog. Too much for a status update!
I'd like to "read" books on tape while editing/procrastinating at night. Do you suggest I buy on iTunes or is there a free way that's not all spammy? I don't need new books, mostly self-help oldies. I have been thinking about the "sharpen the saw" part of the 7 Habits book right now, for example.
There are a lot of new articles that catch my attention, but for example, the whole "process is more important than focusing on the goal" thing isn't doing it for me. It's debatable alright, but I think goals are still important b/c if we always do what we've always done, even if it's good, we'll always get what we've always gotten, and nothing amazingly awesome like a family trip to Hawaii. (Yeah, that's my 20th anniversary goal.)

I was talking about an article that mentioned that if we focus on the process of working out daily instead of a goal of lifting so many reps, for example, we could save our knee if it starts to hurt b/c it's okay if we do not get to that total, what matters is that we're getting stronger. And that's really what matters. The author also mentioned that he could have had a goal to write 2 books, but since he already writes two articles/week, he just so happened to have written the equivalent of two books just by the number of published words he has written in the articles. Um, so he's successful with the articles and happy about it, that's great, but it's still not two books. And he won't ever write a single book unless he plans it! So good for him for the articles and the word count, but for me, I think one SHOULD have goals. He pointed out that once a person achieves his goal, he immediately hits a low after that high b/c now what. A marathoner will run a marathon and the training is great, the achievement is amazing, but then what. Will he take a break? Why would he ever run again? He should just run a lot every day and not go for the marathon goal. Um, I think that the achievement makes the running have purpose, and in the process - yes there has to be a process - the person develops good habits, is healthy, etc. So I do see how the "process over goals" mentality is a good one. It's absolutely debatable, but it's just not for me. I like having the accountability and quantifiable achievements. I also agree that people should be generally good and have daily healthy processes with or without goals in mind. Like helping a neighbor does not need to be because one has the goal of helping 3 people a week or something.

Along those lines, I have a patient who sees me once/month. He must pay a lot for dental insurance b/c there's no frequency limit. We have good talks, partly b/c there's not much for me to clean of course! He has his own businesses and likes new technology and new ideas and knows that I do Dr. Brayer's marketing and we talk about Dr. Brayer's new lasers and medicaments and branding and social media and post card mailings but also about other things. He went to church to hear me give a talk last year. Or maybe the year before, I don't know. He since joined a church, or at least attends one, I don't know if there's a joining process or what. It's the church Corrie and Darren go to. I have a lot of friends there actually. We play soccer with that church's youth sports ministry and the kids went to their Vacation Bible School. I think he goes partly for the networking potential there - it's a huge church! But he talked to me yesterday about how he felt the Christmas Spirit and was truly loving Christmas time. Then we talked about our New Year's Resolutions. He always does "PMS" goals which stands for Physical, Mental, and Spiritual. I am similar in that I do goals in various categories too. Later that day, I read an article on the "Normans" blog about resolutions naturally springing forth after people catch the Christ-like Christmas Spirit. It had a talk by Uchdorf, a member of the Frist Presidency of our church. I sent the article to that patient. He said he liked the talk.

So I can seem to talk the talk, but am not as able to walk the walk. I do some, but feel like I have writer's block. No, it's more of a procrastination thing, dancing around in "almost there" land. Like I have started editing a couple sessions, have 3 to-do lists started, washed the dishes but didn't clean the floors, etc. I can easily listen to conference sessions but instead turned on the TV today and started watching some dumb old movie with the older Men In Black guy, I don't know his name, maybe Tommy something??? Anyway. My patient and I talked about needing an accountability partner. I know that writing down goals makes them way more achievable, but that having a person to whom I can report my progress is way more effective. Especially for me. That's why I stay up late editing photos instead of cleaning. Nobody is coming over to check my floors but clients are waiting up for photos.

I want to be better with blogging sessions on my photography blog. I just realized that I hadn't even verified my Google listing. That's crazy since I am so on top of blogging, newsletters, facebook games, promoting posts, in-office games, post card mailings etc with my dental office. But that's b/c I have a boss. In my business, I don't report to anyone so I don't get excited about posting to Scribed or youTube or getting reviews or SEO. I need to figure out goals b/c my process is steady yet lacking. I already blogged about that.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Should I call an ambulance?

Tyler ran to notify me that "Somebody is lying in the grass! Come!" 
His urgency got me out of the computer chair. He wanted me to open the front door. I was almost too scared, assuming a homeless person would be passed out in someone's lawn. But instead of to a window, Tyler lead me immediately to the front door. We opened it to see nobody. It was a regular warm Monday evening. What was he seeing?
His urgency got stronger. He pointed out to me a blowup lawn snowman across the street. It had toppled backwards. Sheesh. We uprighted him. All is well on our street now. Tyler could not stop talking about it. He is a talker! 
We took the neighbors a plate of cookies. They didn't answer though. :(

We often go barefooted to admire the new neighbors' lights. 
Tyler's favorite
He loves the snowmen accross the street. 
This calms his unreasonable terrible twoness. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014


This is a nice start to a new year - nothing on the calendar! 

We woke up slowly and the boys burned fallen branches in the fire pit while I started putting Christmas away. Then we all helped nakedify/de-ornament the tree. 

Steven started wrapping himself in the lights until he got noticed/attention. Then he did it to Dylan per request. 
My mom called to tell me she and my step-sister Julie etc. were going to eat lunch at the Tampa Salad Company, visit with Rob the owner, then go to the Glazer Children's Museum. I did not know if we would join them. We decided to eat a cheap lunch of sandwiches at home while the boys played outside. We put more nativities in boxes then flipped a coin to decide if we should go to the museum or not. Best out of one! Well, the coin kept ending up on the floor so it still took 3 flips. We obeyed the coin's ruling and buckled up in Steven's car. We get a discount with our armed forces membership. Steven had never been. He had fun too! 
We could have stayed in the water area the whole time!

The next room was a dinosaur expedition. Isaac was excited to use the safety goggles and explorer vest.
Upstairs, some kids climbed in the leaves. Isaac was way too scared. He opted for the rock wall instead. Steven bribed Isaac with the promise of a Sprite if he would go up in the net area. Isaac really wanted a Sprite but not that badly. I convinced him to get a closer look at its safety and solidness. In fact, I climbed in. He put his hands in, then eventually got on all fours inside. But he was not comfortable at all. Steven judged his attempt not good enough. Sad.
 Legos and paper airplanes were next. Things we do at home.
Then Tyler woke up. That's right-- he missed the fun again.
But wait, there's more! 
He got out of the stroller at the little Publix where we sorted food with my parents. I saw two families I know. Dental patients then photo clients. Such good families, both of them. 
We stayed in the next area until we left. We practiced colors then played on the kaleidoscopes. 
I wish my kids had played with their cousins more, but I was happy they were participating and being happy.
Until it was time to go and we started threading the pool hoses back together, undoing Tyler's own unthreadding. 
Steven gave Isaac another chance to win a Sprite. Isaac did it! He took the shortest route, but eventually did it over and over again with a smile!
We left.
Then, to get the boys' Sprites, we ate at the California Pizza Kitchen. Tyler, once nestled into his high chair, was noticeably so good! The older lady who was staring at him told us so. He ate 3 slices of pizza. And not just cheeze, the works! Peppers, mushrooms, onions and all! Then we did homework and went to bed. Well, I filled the Christmas boxes and edited photos.
A good Saturday. :)