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November 27, 2009

What am I thankful for?

These guys...
and that they get along so beautifully.

C's thankful for the tooth fairy!

Happy Thanksgiving 2009!

November 19, 2009

TeeVee Shmeevee

Ok, so big changes coming in the Recke household. Actually, they will be minimal for outsiders but huge for us. We have made the radical decision to end our cable subscription and move away from the hypnotizing pull of TV. Tom wants to throw the TV out with the garbage, but I've manged to coerce nudge him into at least getting a converter box to keep the local stations. What led us to this radical decision you ask? Well, lots of reasons. Number one is the permeation of Hollywood influences in which traditional family values are slowly being eroded by "new normals". Those new normals are slowly de-sensitizing us to what God wants for us, and actually leads to us convincing ourselves that those things are not harmful as long as our faith is strong. What?! I speak of TV, but I have long held this policy for movies too. I never got into the frenzy of "Harry Potter" and am very leery of "Twilight"...things of the occult just scare me, even if they are "fiction". Same goes for anything with sexual or violent over (or even under) tones. I guess this all means less movies too...

The second reason is that we see C becoming less creative in his activity. If the TV is on, no matter what is on, he is literally zoned out. It's a scary thing when we can look back at 2 years ago when he hardly cared about TV. We feel guilty for having anesthetized him with cartoons for so long now. And I guess we also see that it is dividing our family. Instead of doing things as a family, we are all retreating to our separate corners and either watching TV or playing on the computer. Not very constructive and it breaks my heart that my kids might grow up seeing more of Spongebob Squarepants than of Mommy & Daddy. So, from December 1st and on, 6-9pm is family time with no technology...except for the ipod if we have to resort to dancing contests for entertainment (E loves to dance)!

The upsides to all of this? Probably too numerous to even guess, but mostly I truly believe we will be a stronger family unit. I hope that C will develop a stronger desire to learn and read, and that will trickle down to E as she matures. We will also commit to regularly using local recreation centers (this will be more than covered with the money we save in cable bills) for exercise and developmental activities. It also will get me off my butt more since daytime TV has become somewhat of an anesthetizer for me as well! Not to mention, I will get more "me time" since the rec center offers babysitting services while I work out. Why didn't I do this sooner?!

Speaking of "me time", I have been taking cake decorating classes. I finally have my creative outlet...with the only downside being we have weekly cakes to consume. This week I downsized from the 8" round to the 6" round so that hopefully it disappears faster. What I'm finding though, the taste and smell of buttercream frosting gets old really fast. I can actually frost a cake now without keeping a spoonful for myself. Progress! I will post pictures of my most successful creations when I get a chance.

Have a great Thanksigiving everyone! Hug your family and BE THANKFUL!!

November 16, 2009

Pre-holiday Lowdown

Hard to believe it's already mid-November! In just a week we will celebrate 2 YEARS of parenthood, with C's "gotcha day" rapidly approaching on the 26th, which I believe is also Thanksgiving. How fitting! What an incredible blessing he has been in our lives, we feel so honored to be parents to such a great little boy. Speaking of C, he lost his top front tooth yesterday. I'll need to post a picture, it is always funny to see little kids with a huge gap in their grille.

I also feel the need to praise C for his amazing turnaround at school! I'm not sure what finally clicked, but we are no longer having to deal with behavior issues. About two weeks ago, we started getting "good boy" reports from his teachers, and they have been consistent! Not to say he's got it all down...he did admit to me last week that he has a hard time not running in the bathroom, but as he says, "I'm working on it". He loves the praise he gets from us, as well as periodic treats like seeing a movie in the theater. He also enjoys telling me the letters he learned in school that day which, as anyone who knows him can attest, is huge. He still has trouble focusing and honestly forgets what someone told him 2 minutes prior. So, for him to remember what the letters were that day when I pick him up from school is a major accomplishment. We are still getting him professionally tested though, just to make sure he has an appropriate attention span for his maturity level.

And then there is my little E. Sigh. She is a wonderful toddler, but I am afraid we have reached an early version of the terrible two's. Even though she is almost 17 months, we are dealing with temper tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants. This includes screaming, crying, and throwing herself to the ground. Mostly this happens because big brother has what she wants or is doing what she wants to do. Example: C stands on a stool and brushes his teeth in front of the sink. E then needs to grab a stool, stand next to C, and brush her teeth too. She definitely has an independent streak a mile wide. Conversely though, she is amazingly sweet and good-natured. We have lots of cuddle times and she absolutely loves to give kisses to anything and everything...especially Argish (our dog) and stuffed animals. I love seeing her personality develop and can't wait to hear those babblings turn into actual sentences. She is also an awesome sleeper, sleeping 10 hours straight every night. We are so blessed I tell ya!

Here's some pics of E's antics:

Playing in the box. See all the nice toys surrounding her? Yeah, boxes are so much more fun. Perhaps Christmas shopping this year should be at a packaging store...

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