Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween has always been such a fun family time for me. Growing up, I lived out in the country, so we always spent Halloween at my Pappaw's who lived in town. He loved loved loved it when all the family was together. He would get a bunch of "cheap" candy and we always complained and then, he would trick us and bring out the "Good stuff" for my sister and I.... M&Ms. All the little trick or treaters thought it was so cool to see their teacher - my mom was a first grade teacher -and they thought she was a movie star or something. She just loved opening the door and seeing their surprise when they saw her. We trick or treated a little and went to visit my other grandparents too. Such fun! SO, when we started our little family, I knew Halloween would always be fun. This year did NOT disappoint. Yesterday, Mamaw and Papaw came over early and carved the pumpkin (very cool! It had a Bat-a-rang on it). Then, Grammy and Pa came and the boys got all dressed up in their Batman and Robin costumes and the fun began! We made a few stops to some very important people in the boys' lives (Ms. Mary, Ms. Maureen, Aunt Amy and Uncle Jerry and Mamaw and Papaw's). Then we came back to our neighborhood and trick or treated a little. Our neighborhood is a pretty hoppin' place on Trick or treat night... last night, we had 236 trick or treaters (and we shut the door at 6:30!). Then we went to FBC for Fall Festival and it was fabulous! Way to go FBC!!!! What a great community outreach opportunity.

Needless to say, the boys were sufficiently sugared up and had so much fun. And truthfully... SO.DID.I. Oh, how I love establishing traditions with my family that are similar to mine as a little girl. Halloween is not about scary icky stuff to me. In fact, all the commercial stuff about Halloween is a major turn off, but the fun, fantastic family time??? Can't beat it!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A preview article...

(Okay so, I'm shamelessly using my bloggy to preview this little article... I'm submitting it to a couple of newspapers and regional magazines. Seriously, let me know if ya'll have any suggestions on how to make it better!)

“Stop doing that.” “No No.” “Don’t even think about it.” “Quit it.”
Any of those negative phrases sound familiar? As a mommy of a preschooler and a toddler, I must admit, those phrases seem to roll off my tongue without even giving a second thought. And wouldn’t you know, they happen to be heard in my house probably 127 times a day? Sometimes, I feel like a broken record. There’s got to be a more effective way to get my point across, right?

Correction is an imperative part of parenting and must occur on a regular basis. No one would argue with that. However, I’ve found that changing my thoughts and the way I communicate with my children makes all the difference in the world. “Positive parenting” has transformed my approach to parenting and has enabled me be more optimistic.

The purpose of this article is not to place guilt on parents, but to empower and educate about alternatives to being caught in the tailspin of negativity. Naturally, dangerous situations and/or behaviors will require an immediate “No” response. That must not change. “Positive parenting” encourages parents to save “No” for significant instances, and rely on positive statements for all other situations.

“Positive parenting” has transformed my little family and has made being a mommy much more enjoyable. The underlying premise is to ensure that child(ren) understand what behaviors are desired or expected as opposed to only being told what not to do. Parents should communicate clearly the replacement behavior that is expected. For example, if a parents wishes that his/her child would stop screaming, rather than saying forcefully, “Stop that screaming right this instance,” try a statement such as “We use our inside voice when we are in our home. Screaming is for playing outside.” Then, demonstrating alternative behaviors such as whispering or singing will show the child the desired behaviors. The end result? No screaming… exactly what was desired in the beginning of this scenario.

“Positive parenting” is not a technique per se, but is a conscious effort by parents to choose positive words. The more it is used in daily interactions, the more it permeates an overall familial attitude.

Parents, remember… none of us is perfect! At times, we will still need to rely on trial and error and “our best guess” when dealing with our little blessings. “Positive parenting” is one tool that can help you with this tough job!

You are not alone. All parents struggle and desire solutions to help make parenting manageable. If you would appreciate support, would like to learn more about “positive parenting” and other parenting strategies, and would like to meet other parents who are fighting the good fight, Coffee Talk may be of interest to you. Coffee Talk is a parenting group offered at Square One: Specialists in Child and Adolescent Development. Square One is a unique, multidisciplinary practice which serves children and their families for developmental, behavioral, emotional, speech-language, and academic concerns in Louisville, Kentucky and the surrounding areas.
If you’d like more information about Square One or “Coffee Talk,” please contact the office at (502) 896-2606 or visit our website at

Friday, October 22, 2010

18 kiddos, lots of mommies, pumpkins, paint and tattoos...

That's what was up at the Stover house today. We did a Halloween/Birthday party today and it was!!!! We have a little group that gets together on Fridays and today was playdate in honor of my little four year old. We did some great craft projects and the kiddos were so cute! We made super hero capes (fabric paint+Halloween costumes=trouble) - I learned too late and finally got out the old t-shirts for protection! We also had batman tattoos, face painting and regular painting and of course... cupcakes. The costumes were the best part. Such cuties!!!! I'm gonna try to post all the pictures - I can't believe I didn't get a picture of sweet baby Jules.. she was so sweet and quiet in her little car seat. Next time, baby Jules, you'll be my FIRST pic! Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Today, mommy and Jonathan got to....

Since they were on fall break last week on Jacob's actual birthday, we got to celebrate today.
I took cupcakes - yellow ones of course and got to hang out with Jacob for half of preschool!

This is a shot of his class waiting to go use the restroom. They really do sit that still and listen so well. They've clearly learned a ton in the first 6 weeks of preschool. While each little friend goes to the potty, the others get to sing songs. SO CUTE!!! Jacob has shared most of these songs, so Jonathan knows them too. He sat right by his bubup and looked like "one of the gang." They sang "three little muffins" "zippideedoodah" and a little song about an owl and one about 3 speckled frogs eating bugs. SO Cute. I can't express how my heart swelled watching Jacob interact with his teacher and his new little friends. He seemed so grown up. And so obedient. He was the line leader and "king of the day" - complete with a crown and a sparkly ring and a cool gold whistle.

This is what I was probably most excited to see... Jacob has talked endlessly about getting to ride bikes inside. He loves it. and.i.can.see.why. Who wouldn't want to zoom around on one of those things? " :-) Jonathan got to take part too, but mommy had to help him some.

Oh - words can't express how much today meant to me. I am admittedly a total sap and cry at commercials some times, and as I look back on today, it is easily one of my highlights as a mommy. My heart is full of emotion. Today taught me a lot. Jacob is doing great. He is learning a lot and is PERFECTLY NORMAL AND HEALTHY. In my line of work, I see the unhealthy and abnormal behaviors so much that I need to see how well my kiddos are doing.
Jacob interacts beautifully with his peers, yet still thinks that Mommy hung the moon. You should have seen his little eyes when I showed up during recess time. He wasn't embarrassed at all. In fact, having mommy there (and the cupcakes) made him even cooler to his pals. Several of his little friends even took turns hopping in my lap during story time.

Today showed me that Jacob is healthy and well-adjusted. He listens well. He cares about others. He uses manners. EVEN WITHOUT BEING PROMPTED. He cares about his brother and wants him to be included. He was so proud to be Jonathan's big brother. Jacob is h-a-p-p-y and that, my friends, makes this momma 100% happy as a little bug.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Birthday letter

Dear Jacob,
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a letter to you – and tonight, your 4th birthday feels like the perfect time. I can’t wrap my hands around the fact that you are already turning four. Time has gone by pretty fast little buddy. Sometimes, I wish I could freeze time and keep you just the way you are right this moment. You are loads of fun and you fill this house with laughter and joy. And you absolutely “wow” me with the things that you are learning right now. Just two days ago, we were outside with our besties Walker and his mommy Rachie, and you started writing Jonathan’s name (JOANTAN) – pretty close considering I have never ever showed you how to write his name or practiced with you. And then, you proceeded to write the entire alphabet. Amazing. Simply amazing. And you kept it all in a straight line and messed up only a few times. I couldn’t believe that skill – again, something you’ve never practiced or been taught. You are learning so many cute songs at Preschool – my favorite is the “Three Little Muffins” song, but I also like the “open shut them” and the sweet little prayer you sing before our meals. You got to be the line leader last week and you beamed with pride when you told me that. We saw Mrs. Boyd at Kroger last week and you thought it was magical – it is hard for you to imagine Mrs. Boyd as just a regular person, since at preschool, she is your teacher and the object of all your affection.
You are also working so hard on your behavior and obedience and I appreciate that more than you’ll ever know. You enjoy working towards rewards and I love rewarding your great behavior. Often, I just need to remind you to make good choices and you do just that! We still put you in time out some, and send you upstairs to think about your attitude, but honestly not very often. You are a very obedient and compliant young man. Busy, but overall obedient. You are a very patient big brother and often share with him or give in even when you really want something. Jonathan adores you and really looks up to you. You are a great role model and I pray that it stays that way forever. He’s always watching you, so please remember that!
You got bunk beds a few weeks ago and LOVE them and think it’s super cool to sleep on top. Too bad you still think you need to lay down with your daddy most nights. We pray that you start to feel safe enough to sleep all night long by yourself… we believe in you!!!! You can do it! I love it when you stand up in your bed and touch the ceiling and say “I can touch Jesus.” Precious!!!!
Speaking of Jesus, you are so interested in all things about Jesus, his death on the cross and the Bible in general. I love your questions and genuine faith. You are an example for me and your daddy!!!! You remember to thank Jesus for all the great things in our lives and constantly remind us that Jesus loves us more than anything or anyone else on all the planet. Oh baby, I believe you will be saved early and I pray that God does great things in your life.
You still love Superheros, especially Batman and your Batman party was a smashing success. I didn’t know that much Batman stuff existed. Wow – we are having so much fun playing Batman. I have a lot to learn… I’m so girlie that “playing good guys vs. bad guys” is hard for me. I just want everyone to be friends. :)
You are also SO VERY independent – putting on your own clothes, putting them in the dirty clothes basket, even trying to tie your shoes. Sometimes I just want to help you so I feel needed. :[ But you always remind me that you are in fact a very big boy.
You continue to be a very picky eater. Seriously, it’s pretty bad. You ate raisins today and I felt like that was a MAJOR success. Mommy and Daddy need to fight the good fight and make you eat better, but he are dragging our feet. In a bad way. Praying about that too!
Jacob-man, we love you with all our hearts and are so proud of the young man you’ve become.
Love always,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


In keeping with our "letter of the day" process, today was "S" day. Sometimes I have good ideas, sometimes I am scrambling at the last second. Sometimes, something pretty cool pops into my head and I'd like to think today was one of those days. :-) We made School buses and talked about the Shapes that go with it (circles for wheels and rectangles for the door), we practiced writing S's on lined paper, colored Spider-man and (drum roll please...) made super silly super-hero sock puppets. I sewed buttons on for the eyes and we used markers to draw the faces and then used safety pins to put on the hair (pipe cleaners) and capes (scrapbooking paper). Oh - we had a ball. Sorry honey, you lost a pair of socks today! :-) But it was for a good cause!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da BATMAN

The boys with their Papaw and Mamaw (or poopaw and moomaw as Jonathan likes to say)

Jonathan wanted in on the action too...

Jacob, Jonathan and Grammy and Pa

Rare family shot with everyone looking at the camera. :-)

Jacob LOVED his Batman baloons. We looked everywhere for those darn things... Billy had to make a trip to Louisville on party day as we finally located some.

Yesterday, we celebrated in big time fashion at the Stover house - also now known as the Batcave. Jacob-man has been really into superheros for quite some time and Batman is his F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E. So, of course when we started planning his party, we knew it must have a Batman theme. We had a wonderful, perfect day for a party and had so much fun with our family. Jacob had a ball - all day long. He was so excited from the moment he woke up til he went to bed. He is such a blessed little boy and so many people love him so much. My prayer is that we can help him have a grateful heart and thank God for all his blessings, INCLUDING all the cool Batman toys and clothing he got yesterday... :-)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Allow me to introduce...

My new friends, the marble jars. Being a parent is a bunch of trial and error experiments and recently, we tried this technique...and at least for now, we are seeing some success and motivation. There are so many things about raising two toddlers that are challenging (can I get an amen out there???), but one thing that just makes me crazy is having to ask my children to do something over and over and over again. I'm talking about some FIRST TIME OBEDIENCE. Nothing makes me happier than saying, "okay boys, time to go in" and they come running to the back door and say, "yes mommy." We seem to struggle a little at the Stover house with first time obedience, so I introduced a little reward system known as the marble jars. The boys helped me buy the marbles and jars (got em at dollar tree, so they didn't break the bank), then we talked up the idea. We even practiced a few times to make sure they knew exactly what first time obedience means. So, we are a few days in, and honestly are having a lot of luck with obedience. Each time they are obedient (well, not every time... that's really up to the parent) they get the opportunity to earn a marble. Sometimes a simple reminder about the marble jars will turn little disobedient hearts into those that wish to do what mom and dad say. I love to be able to give marbles totally out of the blue, like I was able to do today when we were outside and they both came right in when I asked them to. They are both working to fill up their jars for a "special treat" - they don't even know what the treat is, and honestly, we don't either. But they both enjoy it very much. Here's the kicker, though... for deliberate disobedience, we can remove marbles from their jar. Often, the threat of removing marbles makes them change their tune. Of course, we still rely on other discipline techniques to punish undesirable behaviors, so removing marbles is only one tool in that tool box. So, at least for a moment, the marble jars are working for us!

What about all you other awesome mommies???? What are your "tricks of the trade" to ensure obedience.

Friday, October 01, 2010

We've been so busy...

Jumping in the Leaves - happy Fall ya'll!

Hangin out with our buds!

Weekend excursion to the Game Farm (we had a funny experience there...we got to the Dragonfly Marsh and we told the boys to be really quiet and tell us what animal noises they could hear. At the exact moment we said that, another guest burped really loudly and Jacob said, "daddy, I heard a frog!" It was hilarious!!!!! I was about to die of embarrassment.)

Hangin with our little friend Walker. Three silly musketeers. Three amigos. Three CUTE boys n the bath - how good is my photography to not get any inappropriate images. :-)

And DRUM ROLL please: Jacob got his first little award at Preschool. He was like, "mom, it's no big deal." But oh my... I was so proud. He got the Teddy Bear Award on stuffed animal day. His little build a bear frog made especially for him by his big cousins Lauren and Taylor. My proud mama instincts were sure in full swing that day! :-)
Whew, September was a blessed month. We have so much for which to be grateful.