Ohio Vacation

In the fall we had the opportunity to take a road trip to Grandma’s farm in Ohio. We have always loved visiting there, but it’s even so much more fun when we can bring A along. Actually, this trip was his idea! He remembered when we took him the year before and asked if we could go back again soon. How could we resist that request? We always love a reason to go see Grandma again!


A did great on the long driving days, so much better than I expected. He was such a trooper! He had himself situated in the back seat with his pillow, stuffed animals, and his toys piled all around him. I would have felt claustrophobic, but he wanted everything within his reach.

When I was little my mom used to wrap up little entertainment items to surprise us with throughout the trip. I decided to give it a try… and it was a huge hit! He was beyond excited to unwrap his dollar store items each day. And they provided at least a few moments of quiet time.


A loved the freedom he felt at the farm. He was able to run far enough to tire himself out over and over without us needing to be right near him like we do on our busy streets at home. It was the best!


Another of A’s favorite activities was picking and eating apples. I lost count of how many he ate while we were there. The first one he picked I don’t think he really believed that I was going to let him eat food that he found… outside… on the ground. Once he realized it was okay there was no stopping him after that. Even on the night we made s’mores over the fire I had to get him to stop eating apples and come to eat marshmallows. He ate his “required” marshmallows and then asked to return to the apples. Crazy kid!


Another highlight of our trip was going to the zoo with Jesse’s cousin and her girls. The Halloween – Boo at the Zoo event was extra fun when we got to pick candy at each exhibit. A loved that day! The girls were so sweet helping A to find the animals to look at every time we stepped up to a new window.


But for A probably the very best part of the trip was the combine ride. We were just driving home one afternoon and came across two combines clearing a field and we stopped to watch for a few minutes. Then the owner of the farm saw us, and came over and offered to give A a ride! He thought it was the coolest thing ever!


We also really enjoyed our hotel nights on our way driving up and back home. It was fun to have that special time with nothing to do except for hanging out with A. He thought the hotel’s free breakfast with so many choices was the best thing ever… he ate so much on those mornings!


I can’t wait for our next vacation!

Life at Four Years Old

We’ve discovered that A loves to take pictures! We have an old digital camera that we no longer use. Some days taking pictures around the house will keep him busy for quite a while. He has seen us taking pictures often enough and he’s caught on pretty well. Enjoy a few of his recent photos!


Perhaps we have a future photographer?!

A Parenting Win

We’ve been in the midst of an extremely challenging parenting cycle with A. He goes through these phases, I assume it goes with the parenting territory. We happen to think some of our hard times are trickier than the average child dishes out. Maybe that’s true as A has experienced so much in his life already… or maybe we only have one example to pull from so we have no idea what we’re talking about. Either way, it has been a tough couple of weeks!

Yesterday, after my most recent “worst day ever,” I called my mom for the miracle answer to fix our angry, defiant, and destructive child. I thought maybe there would be the best consequence ever that would finally motivate him to behave and follow the rules. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite get the answer I was looking for. Instead she said to take away some of the rules that were creating the battles. At first thought it seems like taking away a rule we’ve been trying to teach would be a step in the wrong direction. On second thought, why not give it a try?

Case study:

We sat down to a lunch of leftover pork and peas. A tried all of his usual meal time misbehavior, but we were determined not to be bothered by them. It helped that Jesse and I were both starving and couldn’t think about much else other than eating our own food anyways.

After he finished repeating for ten minutes that he only wanted to eat pizza for lunch, he decided that the only way he was going to eat what he was given was dumping his plate of food and spreading it all over the table and slurping his food directly off the table. He was slurping extra loud to be sure we were hearing and seeing what he was up to. And we successfully ignored it!

Then he decided all of his food should be smashed before slurping it. He smashed each piece several times with each finger and both elbows. I asked him to smash food a little more gently so as to not spill our drinks. And other than that we successfully ignored it!

He created a huge mess at his end of the table, but Jesse and I finished our whole meal without trying to correct him to eat nicely, as we normally would. AND A was concentrating so hard on his food smashing project that we even got to sit and relax for a good ten minutes after we finished our lunch. After A finished slurping up all his smashed food off the table, I handed him a napkin and asked him to wipe up his mess and take his plate to the kitchen. He did… and I’m pretty sure that threw him for a loop!

Although not exactly how I would like our meals to go, it wasn’t all that bad. Now we’ll see if we can keep it up and keep him guessing. Baby steps…