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Wednesday, January 26, 2011


This blog post is purely selfish. You see, I'm in Redmond, WA this week at a training for work.  And while I'm having a lot of fun networking and learning new stuff and enjoying the local cuisine and beverages...

I miss my kiddos SUPER DUPER bad! 

My wonderful hubby kept them up a bit later than their usual bedtime tonight so we could do a video chat.  Jord, you don't know how much you totally made my week!  Before I left, I had also snagged some videos from my camera and put them on my laptop so there was something to watch when I got homesick for my little monkeys.  So I'm sharing my favorite clips, which just so happen to kindof "illustrate" what my children are like, in a nutshell.  I must admit I've been watching these over & over while away from them.  Y'know, so I don't forget them or something?  Yah, like that would happen.

First up.  My creative and hilarious little lady, who recently made me follow her around with my video camera while she 'filmed' her Food Network Series, "Asha In The Kitchen."  Original, huh!?  Scripted by Asha.  While, well, in the kitchen.  But look out Paula & Rachael, this little character's gunnin' for ya.  Still not really sure what she was cooking up, but you get the gist of the show...

Food Network Junkie

Next we have Bammers.  It's fitting that Noah is eating throughout this entire clip, cuz that child eats nonstop from the minute he rolls out of bed in the morning ("bweaksist") 'til night ("pupper"), with a few "nacks" in between. And ketchup is the condiment of choice, he dips anything edible in it, but basically uses said item as a spoon for shoveling in the ketchup.  He has also recently become fairly obsessed with his Minnesota Vikings jersey, and insists upon wearing it.  Every.  Day.  Especially funny, because neither of his parents are Vikings fans (I think Grama K actually had picked up the jersey at a garage sale), but Daddy taught him to do a Norwegian Viking growl, which is far more adorable than intimidating coming from our little teeny Leif Eriksson. 

French Fries and Muscles

And lastly, Miss Weirdo again.  Okay, people who have spent a reasonable amount of time around me:  is this NOT my little mini-Shanna?  Good golly, it has just been a kick in the pants being around this little person who looks just like her Daddy but is very much her Mother's daughter.  She is quite the hoot.  Here, she was snacking on a cupcake and decided to go all Billy Bob with the teeth thing?  Who knows.  All I can tell you is that this clip makes me "lol" every time I watch it!


Goodnight, my babes.  I sure do miss you, but I'll see you soon.  Keep on with your weird little selves. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes...

I always feel like I should carry around a digital voice recorder at all times to capture the little gems of wisdom that my darling little nuggets come up with sometimes.  Our Miss Asha is a very articulate young lady who between her vivid imagination and her spot-on comedic timing, always seems to have some zingers at-the-ready.  She's had some real doozies lately that I thought I'd share, as they have left us rolling.  And further proof that children repeat EVERYTHING they hear whether you want them to or not. 

Case in point #1.)  Driving home from daycare one day this fall, we turned off by the park near our house and saw that there was quite a crowd gathered (there were bouncy castles and a guy dressed in an elephant costume "prompting" folks to stop in).  I saw what the sign directing party-goers to the parking lot said and grinned, knowing her 'left-leaning' father would definitely have something to say about it...

Asha noticed the commotion and pipes up: "Look Mama!!  Look!  We should go there! What is it?"

"Well, it looks like it's a Republican Party Picnic."

"Oh, no. Never mind.  We shouldn't go there!"

I get a pretty good chuckle out of that, but then decide to prod her further, "Why shouldn't we go there?"

"Because, we are... what's that thing again?"


"Yeah, Democats.  Of the United States in'Merica" she points out.

"So what does that mean, 'we're Democrats'?" I prompt.

"It means I'd rather go home and have sp'ghetti."
My dear Uncle Bob might disown me...

Such an interesting child.  I'm just glad she's a
"Creative Spirit".  Never a dull moment...
2.)  One night just before bedtime, I sent Asha back to her room to put her clothes in the hamper.  Suddenly we hear, much like a foghorn:

"Daaaaaaddy!!  Sassy left a big ol' steamer in my bedroooooom!"

It's like the words flew straight out of her father's brain and came through her little sweet angelic voice. (Mom shudders).

3) I think my favorite is when she gets a saying almost-but-not-quite-right.  She tries so hard to be grown up, it's just so darn adorable when she ends up sounding like a foreigner trying to figure out our colloquialisms. Like when little brother started throwing one of his terrible-two-style tantrums in the car last weekend, kicking and screaming and throwing any object within reach of his carseat.  Sister, ducking the flying objects, remains calm and says with a head shake,

"You guys? Noah's going 'ape chip' back here."

4)  A couple weeks ago, Jordan & I were engaged in a high-energy discussion, in which we were actually agreeing with each other about whatever it was we were discussing.  We were apparently getting a little expressive and maybe a bit carried away with our passionate debate, because Asha came in with a panicked look on her face.
"HEY!  Are you guys fighting?!"
We quickly replied, "no, honey, we're just talking."

"Well, it sounds like you're fighting!"

"Nope, we're not.  What makes you think we're fighting?"

"Because that's what you guys always sound like when Daddy's b*tchin' about the dog." 
We desperately hoped she would leave the room quickly so our tears of laughter could flow freely without her seeing them.  Gulp.  That would be her Mother's terminology she just repeated.  Note to self: try to swear less in front of Noah.  Maybe there's hope for him still.

We call this her "Grandma Debbie face". 
Now for my tangent about "naughty words":

Both my hubby and I grew up around livestock, and anyone who has grown up on a ranch knows that part of a ranchers' vocabulary generally includes some pretty salty terms.  No excuses, just explaining that some of these terms have been pretty commonplace for us our entire lives.  In fact, my best friend still attests that I taught her every cuss word she knows to this day!  Yes, I'm well aware of my potty mouth, but I swore (no pun intended) that I would try really hard to keep that in check so my children didn't pick up this nasty habit. But alas, Jord & I have both struggled with keeping to this and therefore we had to change our tactic.  We realized that while we'd certainly prefer our kids didn't say these words at all, once they get into school (heck, even daycare) we'd have little or no control over what words are introduced to them.  So we'd rather have them know what they mean and when it is / is not appropriate to use them, thereby (hopefully) taking away the power of those words.  And maybe avoiding an awkward visit to the principal's office...

Sassitude.  She says as much with her actions
as she does with her words!  Which is a lot.
Asha has never once failed us in this regard; she has test-driven new words only at home in and the privacy of her own room.  She's always been an extremely verbal kid (wonder where she gets it from...?) and is quite the sharp little cookie.  When she hears something new that piques her curiosity she asks what it means, and we make a concerted effort to explain it to her as best we can.  (I'm much less afraid of the awkward parenting conversations than I thought I'd be -- I don't think we give our kids enough credit for comprehending difficult topics.  But I digress...)

No, swearing is definitely not an attractive habit, especially for a young child, but we believe there are FAR worse things she could say. So we have concentrated instead on those words that can really hurt:  hateful, bigoted, judgmental words that can really do some damage.  And while I'm certain there will be those who judge my methods, and those who question my sanity, I'd still much rather have her drop an f-bomb than taunt a peer for being 'different'.

I truly feel that if we as parents give more credence to the words that mean something, and take away the power of those that don't (and I'm sorry, but swear words really don't mean anything...they are what you make them.  They're 'junk' words, as my HS journalism teacher used to say, actually "jibberish" was her exact term!) maybe we can make a dent in this horrible bullying phenomenon that seems to be overtaking our children at a younger and younger age.  In the wake of horrific events of late, where some extremely hateful words are being thrown around by people as dismissively as if they're chatting about the weather, I have to wonder if these people even realize what on earth they're saying? 

Raising a kind and thoughtful child is far more challenging than I'd ever imagined: they're accosted by TV shows and advertising and other children and so many external sources that try to derail your parenting advice at every turn.  So much is thrown at them that they become oblivious to the important stuff.  But it's our responsibility (not the school's, not the church's, not 'somebody else': OURS.) to make sure they do. And it's a big one. We have to teach our children to be cognizant of what they say and do and to make sound decisions about the messages they're communicating.

Sorry to go all "ape chip" on the topic of naughty words!  I'm not going so far as to condone cussin'... far from it.  I am a LONG way from being a perfect parent, but I think I have two pretty darn incredible kids to work with!  And I want others to know how incredible they are, so I sincerely hope that we are even a little bit successful in teaching them to use their words wisely.