toddler training research

We have a one of the best two-year-old boys any parents could ask for. About 90% of the time, he obeys and follows the rules. Up until the past few months, he had been good as gold and hardly ever got into trouble. Now, we’re a few months into the twos and I’m starting to see obedience issues. I’ve decided to take action!

Last Friday night, I lost my temper when my husband, son and I went out to eat. I guess my pregnancy hormones are in full swing now, too (28 weeks along). We’d had a good day together and decided to spend the evening out and about. My son has started this thing we’re as soon as we leave the house it’s, “Home. Go back home.” We spend a lot of our time at home, so I don’t feel guilty for taking occasional family outings. Anyway, we assured him we’d be back home in a bit, but there were some things we wanted to do.

Our first stop was a rug store since we’re looking to fill in some decorating gaps in our new home. Of course, a toddler could care less about the rugs, he just wants to hide in the rugs and run from mom and dad (“Chase” as he calls it). We were only in the store about 15 minutes when my husband decided to follow him outside; that’s when my son fell down and ended up in tears. We got him all buckled in the car and almost left the one rug we did buy in all the chaos.

Second stop was the Goodwill store, where our son did pretty well. He likes riding in the “buggy” as we call it and he was pretty content for most of the time. When we went to leave, he wanted the car keys, so I gave him all but the one we needed to drive the car. He threw a terrible fit over that one key and cried like a maniac, even though I explained we couldn’t drive the car without it.

At that point, I told my husband that we didn’t need to go to the restaurant at which we’d originally planned to eat. This place was a little more expensive and more suited for adults on date night…not a toddler who wasn’t going to behave. We decided to go to something quicker, less expensive, and more kid friendly.

We ended up at our favorite Mexican restaurant where the son made a meal out of chips and cheese dip. I was happy because he was sitting still and eating. Then, he was full and we hadn’t even gotten our food yet. Of course, he didn’t think he needed to sit still since he was done with his food. So, the game began of going from one side of the table to the other. I finally told him he needed to sit still or he was going to sit in the high chair with the lap belt on. Did that deter him? No. We got the high chair and attempted to put him into it and he stiffened up straight as a board. At that point, I smashed my toe under the high chair (I was wearing flip flops) and that sent me over the edge.

I knew our son needed a diaper, so I grabbed one up and grabbed him, throwing my purse on the table and exclaiming a word I will not repeat and was so disappointed in myself for saying. On the way to the bathroom, my son saw suckers at the checkout counter and asked for one. I told him when we got into the bathroom that he needed to “behave” and he would get a sucker when we left. Then, it dawned on me…did he know what “behave” meant? I asked him and he told me “no”.  I had to explain that it meant to “obey” mom and dad and listen to what they say.

We got back to the table and our food arrived shortly thereafter. I was so ashamed of the way I acted. Thankfully, I think my husband was the only one who witnessed it – him and God. I handed our son over to my husband who had ordered french fries (one of my kiddo’s favorites) and they began eating. All I could do was sit there and hold back tears over my plate of food. I finally pulled it together and started eating, then I apologized to my husband.

In the end, it all worked out and we laughed about it going down the road. Thankfully, my husband was understanding and forgiving. I prayed hard about what I’d done and said and asked my son for forgiveness. It was so cute because he said “no” when I asked him if he forgave me. I think to a toddler, everything is “no” unless it’s “Do you want candy/Popsicles/to go outside…”

I had the privilege of teaching Sunday school this week since the regular teacher was out of town. I found myself expressing my frustration with my parenting skills and the preacher’s wife suggested I read the book “Dare to Discipline” by Dr. James Dobson. She raised 3 kids that turned out really well, now who are all in their 20’s. I remembered hearing Dr. Dobson on the radio years ago and I always respected what he had to say. Also, he’s a Christian and uses Biblical principles, not just his own opinions and ideas.


So, today I went to the library, checked out that book and three others that I found right around it. I’m ready to read and study! I’ve read a little already and have laughed out loud a few times. Here are some of the points that have stuck out to me thus far:

  • “Developing respect for parents is the critical factor in child management.” Dr. Dobson points out that this has to start at a very young age…in infancy, pretty much.
  • There’s a story he tells to help very young children understand the importance of listening to mom and dad. It’s about a mommy bird who tells her baby to stay in the nest while she’s out to get food. The baby doesn’t listen, jumps out of the nest and is gobbled up by a cat. He goes onto to point out that you need to tell your kids that you tell them to do/no do things because you love them and know what’s best for them. And, if they don’t obey, they’ll have consequences (that was one of my mom’s favorite words when we were growing up).
  • Raising your kids in a loving environment goes a long way.

There’s the funniest description of how bad toddlers can be, but our son isn’t nearly what is described in the book. Thankfully, he doesn’t refuse to take naps or go to bed at night. I really learned a lot about getting him in a routine from the book “Becoming Babywise” before he was born. I love that book and have already started referencing it again for baby #2 who is on the way.

I’m going to take notes from my reads and blog about them in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, I’m open to questions/suggestions you have about parenting toddlers!


17 pounds in 27 weeks

As far as I can tell, I’ve gained about 17 pounds in my 27 weeks of pregnancy (soon to be 28 weeks). I’m pretty happy with that. My goal was to keep it 25 or less for the entire pregnancy, but I’m going to allow myself up to 30 pounds. Last time, I gained 40-45, which pushed me over 200 pounds and I think that was a little too much. My goal is to keep it under 185 this time around and hopefully I can get back to 150 or less by the end of the year.

But, I’m not hung up on the weight part…I’m eating well and working out hard (but not too hard). A friend sent me a link to a story about folks giving this woman (a personal trainer) a hard time about working out during pregnancy. I’ve had so many people say, “I thought you weren’t supposed to exercise during pregnancy.” which is a total misconception. If you’ve been working out before you got pregnant, most doctor’s say to keep going with what you were doing, unless you just can’t keep a conversation while you’re doing it. Disclaimer: pregnant ladies, consult your doctors! Thankfully, most folks I’ve come in contact with are very encouraging and make me feel like Wonder Woman. They say things like, “I can’t believe your teaching this class as pregnant as you are! You kick my butt!” It makes me feel really good. I’ve had people tell me the baby is going to come out holding a barbell and that makes me laugh.

I’m still teaching spin class on Tuesday morning, then my morning mix class on Wednesday morning, and BodyPump on Thursday morning. That leaves me Friday to swim and I normally take it easy on the weekends, just chasing the 2 year old around. I like to get outside and take walks when I can, so I’m active most days of the week. I really need to start integrating more yoga now that my belly is growing. I have two great DVDs that allow me to do that at home in just 30 minutes, which really helps. One thing I am missing is riding my bike…normally by now, I’d be riding a lot on the local trail and on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but I don’t trust myself not to wreck. So, I guess that will wait until September/October if all goes well.

During my first pregnancy, I found that I really liked yoga. Before that, I thought it was for sissies. But, it really helped me become more flexible and I feel it helped me prepare for natural child birth (I decided not to have an epidural).

I had my one hour glucose test for gestational diabetes on Monday and they said they would only call if it came back abnormal – it’s now Wednesday and I’ve not heard anything, so I hope I’m in the clear. I had the condition during my first pregnancy, but was able to control it with diet and exercise, but monitoring blood sugar levels is not convenient or fun. I’m hoping all this working out and eating better make a positive difference!

Speaking of weight, I’m hungry! Won’t be long before I can dig into my lunch – a good, healthy salad.  My biggest weakness has been sweets, which is a constant battle for me. So, I’ve given in to having ice cream/gelato almost on a daily basis. But, I keep the servings small and enjoy them instead of wolfing them down.

easter and earth day in photos

Thought you might enjoy some Easter and Earth Day photos I captured…they kind of went hand in hand this year.

resurrection rolls

I heard the neatest thing on the Christian radio station this morning and thought I would share it. They are called Resurrection Rolls and you’re supposed to make them with your kids to tell them the Easter story. Here’s a picture and recipe:


12 Rhodes Texas™ Rolls, thawed but still cold
12 jumbo marshmallows
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon


In a small bowl combine cinnamon and sugar. Roll out each roll into a 5 inch circle. Dip a marshmallow in butter and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place one marshmallow in the center of each 5 inch circle. Fold each side of the circle over the marshmallow, and pinch together to close. Place on a sprayed baking sheet, with the seam facing down. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap, and allow to double in size. Remove wrap and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Notes: *For those of you who are interested in the symbolism of Resurrection Rolls…

Marshmallow – the body of Jesus
Melted Butter – the oils for embalming
Cinnamon/Sugar mixture – spices used to anoint the body
Roll- the wrapping of Jesus’ body
Oven – the tomb
Cavity in roll – the empty tomb after Jesus has risen

Here’s another version using crescent rolls:


resurrected savior

I had set my alarm for for 5:15 am, but the cat woke me up at 4:15, so I thought I would get up and start the day. Maybe it was God that woke me up so I could read in my Sunday School lesson and not feel rushed.

Easter is this Sunday…in a way, it’s bigger than Christmas to Christians. It was great that Jesus was born, but if He never came back from the dead, then what would be our testimony? Part of this morning’s reading helped describe it really well to me:

“The establishment and spread of Christianity makes sense only on the basis of Jesus’ resurrection. Other self-proclaimed messiahs had their fledgling movements dry up with their deaths. Why did the Christian movement flourish following Jesus’ death? N.T. Wright, a scholar who has written extensively about the resurrection, contended:

If nothing happened to the body of Jesus,…I cannot see why anyone would have continued to belong to his movement and to regard him as its Messiah. There were several other Messianic or quasi-Messianic movements within a hundred years either side of Jesus. They ended with the leader’s being killed by the authorities or by a rival group. If your Messiah is killed, you conclude he was not the Messiah. Some of those movements continued to exist; where they did, they took a new leader from the same family. (But note: Nobody ever said James, the brother of Jesus, was the Messiah.) Such groups did not go around saying their Messiah had been raised from the dead.”

No one ever found the body of Jesus after He rose on the third day. What does that say?

This week, remember that “Jesus is the reason for the season” just like at Christmas. It’s just like Santa is the focus of Christmas and the Easter bunny is the focus of Easter. Focus on God, and reflect on what He did for us.

By the way, don’t be a CEO Christian…a “Christmas and Easter Only” churchgoer. I heard a preacher say something about that the other day and it was amusing to me.

spring in charlotte, nc

My husband and I spent the weekend in Charlotte, NC for a charity flag football tournament he plays in every year (for several years). It was a beautiful, hot weekend – a nice little getaway.

We traveled with my husband’s friend and his girlfriend. While the boys played golf, we girls shopped a bit. I got a clock for our new house (finally) and plan to hang it today. That night, I got to sneak away and watch “The Grand Budapest Hotel” at this small theater all by myself. I love going to the movies and used to do it a lot before our son came along. The movie was good – I won’t say great, but I’m glad I saw it. Adrian Brodey’s performance surprised me – he was the villain and I’m not used to that.

Saturday, all 4 of us got pedicures, even the boys! I honestly about got sick when the pedicurists had to break out the cheese grater things for the boys’ heels…it was disgusting. But, it felt great and my toes are a pretty teal color now. We had sushi Uptown and then headed over to watch the games. Our guys played their first of three games in Panther stadium, then the last two games were on the practice fields. It was sunny and hot, so I bummed some shade off the medic tent. I don’t mind the heat, but being 6 months preggo in the blazing sun was a little risky. They ended up winning 1 of 3, which was good but not good enough to let them move onto the finals on Sunday.

My husband's flag football team - The Highlanders

My husband’s flag football team – The Highlanders

That night, we had dinner at McCormick and Schmicks Uptown and it was very good. They were having this cool road bike race which was right up my alley…made me miss being on my bike, but hopefully I’ll get to ride this fall after baby #2 arrives and I’m recuperated.

After a short trip to Trader Joe’s yesterday morning, we headed back home and were so glad to see our son whom we’d left with the grandparents for the weekend. It’s crazy how much you miss your kids when you’re away from them. I mean, I had the one with me (and he/she’s really moving so I was reminded that I was never alone), but I missed our 2 year old. It’s nice to have a little break from chasing a toddler non-stop, but it was really nice to see his little blond head and have him chattering all afternoon. We just love him so much.

I was tickled to see the Bradford pear trees have really blossomed and the grass is starting to grow in our dirt yard. AND, my tomato seeds have all popped up now, too! I’m waiting on the eggplant seeds to sprout and I’ve asked my husband to till our garden space beside the house sometime soon. I plan to plan around May 10 after the annual cold snap.



If you’ve never visited Charlotte, NC I do recommend it. I love the Uptown part which is what I’m most familiar with. We normally stay at the Double Tree on West Trade Street and it’s my favorite hotel there. We stayed at the Omni last year and it was just too loud. The Double Tree is a little removed and they give you cookies…yummy cookies!

Well, let’s get ready for a busy, full week at work…and cooler temps this week. Spring is here, thankfully, but this weekend was spoilingly beautiful!

two year old sayings

My two year (26 month) old is really talking a lot now. No surprise, since his mom doesn’t know how to be quiet! I’m constantly amused and amazed by some of the things he comes up with, so I thought I would share some of my favorites.

  • “How about…” – He’s saying this now and he’ll repeat it. Normally, it goes something like this… “How about, how about, how about…green?” It’s so very cute.
  • “Purty please.” I taught him that one to build on “please” and he uses it when he’s desperate for a Popsicle or to go outside and we are saying no. What he doesn’t understand is that just because he says that doesn’t mean he’s going to get his way that time.
  • “Can’t see nuffin.” When he’s playing in the “tent” under our bed covers, he’ll say that.
  • “Daddy go?” and “Monkey go?” and “Paci go?”. Anytime he wonders where something went, it’s the simple phrase that asks.
  • “Look, ganny!” There for a while, everytime he wanted you to look at something, it was “Look, ganny!” which is “granny”. I had to explain that I will look, but I’m not granny, I’m mommy.

Yesterday, we were riding down the road and he said “It’s foggy outside. Daddy fick (fix) it.” My husband and I had to explain that daddy can’t fix the fog. I asked him who made the fog and he said “Daddy.” Then we explained to him that everyone’s Daddy made the fog – God.

This morning, I sang Zacchaeus to him while I was brushing his teeth. I’ve sang it before and he hears it at church, but this morning, he actually said the part “Zacchaeus, come down!” and it was delightful. I called my husband and we sang it to his voicemail.

Aren’t children amazing? I have felt in awe of this kid since he was born. You always think the next age won’t be as good as the one you’re in, but each age has it’s own unique traits. Granted, two year old fits aren’t my favorite, but I just love seeing how much he’s learning and how he verbalizes everything. It always leaves me thinking, “What is he going to say or do next?”