Monday, November 16, 2009

He Does it for the Dots

When Kate was born, I suddenly realized I couldn't MAKE Finn obey me anymore. This is due to the fact that 75% of the time I am using both hands to feed Kate or hold Kate or carry Kate in her yes-it's-awkward-to-carry-but-there's-no-other-way car seat. I was getting sick of threatening him with time in the corner and spanks and knew I needed better incentives. A couple months ago I started a "rewards" program with Finn and it has changed my life!

Here's how it works: I scored a bunch of hot wheels cars for super cheap at a garage sale. One at a time, I put cars on top of the oven that Finn can see, but he can't play with. I draw a simple dot-to-dot picture of the car that he is currenlty working towards and hang it on the fridge. Every time he obeys Aaron and I, or we notice him doing something good, he 'gets a dot' and we let him connect another dot in the picture. Once the picture is complete, he wins the car.
The first picture (the ambulance shown above) only had about 8 dots so he could quickly learn how it works, but now that he gets the idea his pictures have several more dots. He LOVES this little program and will happily say "dot!" if he knows he's done something good. It's great for me as a mom because it helps me LOOK for the good things he does, instead of just punishing the bad.
I used to fight with him to get him to come inside after and he runs into the house so he can get a dot. I used to fight with him to get him to lay still while I changed his he cooperates (most of the time:) so he can get a dot. The other day at the park, he started to freak out when it was time to leave...but I told him if he got into the stroller without throwing a fit I'd give him a dot when we got home and he climbed in without further argument.
If you have kids and do not have some kind of positive rewards system I HIGHLY reccommend it. It has seriously helped me become a better mother and turned my son into a happier toddler. Way to go on earining your crane truck today Finn! Now he's working toward a tow truck...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Halloween 2009

Finn is not really "in" to dressing up. But when he found out that was the only requirement to get candy from EVERYONE in the neighborhood, he was all too willing to participate. Earlier in the month we had a costume party with our play group. It was so fun to see all of his little friends dressed up! Getting them all to look at the camera was a different story I love the fact that Kate has no idea she looks different than any other day.

On Halloween day we took the kids to a ward party. They had a few trick or treating stations and Finn got to decorate and eat a cupcake as seen in the first picture.
He also went on a "ghost hunt" where they covered a bunch of lollipops with tissue paper to look like ghosts and spread them out over the lawn. Here he is picking up his umpteenth one:

That night we went trick or treating. Kate just chilled in her stroller and enjoyed the nice fall weather. Finn buckled under pressure and couldn't say "trick or treat" to people's faces, but every time he walked back down the driveway he said, "Hey Mom! Get...more...candy!" We could tell he was LOVING it.

He really liked seeing all the different jack-o-lanterns...especially at this house that had one on every fence post.

When we came home we introduced him to hot chocolate, which -- judging by his reaction -- elevated his day from pretty awesome to freakin amazing. We all had a really great time together as a family...and I love using Finn's candy stache to bribe him to eat his dinner!


Steve (from "Blue's Clues") : ...and those are all the things I'm thankful for. What about you? What are you thankful for?
Finn: Um...Mama! Yeah...Mama...and Daddy too yeah...and
Steve: Bye bye! See ya next time!
Finn: Wait! Steve! Talkin' to you! Thake-ful...Kate...too!

Every day I am so thankful to have such a wonderful little boy...and hearing that he is thankful for me too made me love him even more.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Videos by Dad

Aaron got some quality time with the kids a few nights ago and took a couple great videos.

The first if of Finn counting to 20. I feel like his little brain is soaking everything up so fast and I can't teach him fast enough! It is so fun to have a child that loves to learn.

The second is of Kate just chillin on the floor which she does about 80% of the day. Finn loves to get Kate to "si-ul" (smile) and we all love her cute little dimple. She is becoming such an easy, happy baby!

Hight Quality Self Portraits

As I walked out of the bathroom I saw a flash go off, and a star was born.

Turns out Finn was holding his own personal photo sesh while I was in the shower. These aren't even half of the shots he took. He was pretty proud of himself for figuring out how to turn the thing on, switch it to camera mode and take a snapshot. As evidenced by these self portraits, Finn is a natural born talent. If you'd like to book a photo session with Finn, his fee is one package of fruit snacks. His calendar is filling up quickly so act now if you want some high quality portraits of your own!