Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Husband is Amazing!

I kind of feel bad for my husband ... only kind of ... because my birthday is the day after Valentine's Day and he has NEVER short changed me and planned a birthday/Valentine's celebration. My husband loves to spoil and surprise me!

The weekend before Valentine's Day he got a sitter and we drove up to Santa Barbara with a printed off google map (because we are a little behind the times when it comes to GPS and smart phones) and had an adventure finding the Riviera Theatre to watch "Troubadours" (a film documentary about musicians in the 1960s and 70s like James Taylor and Carole King) as a part of the Santa Barbara film festival. It was a free night to see it and we almost didn't get in, but luckily my pregnant bladder kept us there for an extra 5 minutes and we were able to sneak in at the last minute due to a few extra seats becoming available. It was so fun to watch a movie with 400 other people in the audience.

Then we went to Pacucci's in downtown Santa Barbara for a nice Italian dinner.

One of the things I love to do is go to new restaurants that have a very different and unique cuisine and Colin knows this about me. For me it's all about quality vs. quantity and I'd rather have a little bit of something tasty and unique than a lot of something that I could just make myself at home.

Colin usually gets great recommendations from his co-workers, but he also has found a website that he's found very handy called Open Table. You can look for restaurants all over the country and they break it down into different cuisines and price ranges and give links the restaurant website where you can look at the menu ahead of time.

For my birthday we went to Luna Red in San Luis Obispo and because we wanted to see a 7 o'clock showing of "The King's Speech" we looked at the menu on the way and already picked out what we wanted to order before we even got there. We had the strawberry basil spritzer, lamb koft kebabs and crab lasagna by the way ... very tasty.

Almost every date we go on we usually end by going to a coffee shop or some place to just sit and "be." I love it!

Did I mention that I think my husband is amazing!!!? (BIG SMILE)

P.S. Of course I love to brag about my husband, but my main goal in posting this was to share the resources he uses to plan date nights so that you and your loved ones can utilize and enjoy them too!

Happy date nights to you and yours!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lifeguarding Skills Applied to Parenting

No we did not have an incident at the pool that needed lifeguarding skills.

When I was in high school I worked as a lifeguard at the YMCA. One of their policies was to enforce rules with positive redirection. Instead of saying, "No running!" they encourage you to say, "Walk please!" Instead of "No diving!" say, "Feet first only!"

It took a little bit of getting used to, but it made complete sense, after all, "No running!" left open a variety of other options (skipping, sliding, dancing, jumping) and "Walk please!" was clear and to the point.

Positive redirection stayed with me and frankly kept me quite sane when I worked 40+ hours at my daycare job and now as a parent. I think it may have saved me from having 15 2 -3 year olds screaming "NO!" at me all day long because they were mimicking me. Here are a few phrases I've learned to switch in my daily interaction with my kids:

"No whining!" - "Happy heart please!"
"No hitting!" - "Be loving please!"
"No yelling!" - "Inside voice please!"

Even saying "No thank you" instead of "No!" I think has helped my kids minimize their "NO!" stage in life (notice I said "minimize").

I've been surprised by this lifeguarding skill's most recent application. As my boys get to the age where they are playing together instead of just next to each other I often hear:


There have been many opportunities to teach both my four year old and two year old the old lesson "you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar." They're still learning, but everyday it seems to get better as they realize that yelling at each other is extremely unproductive.

Jackson is learning to tell Micah what he wants instead of yelling about what he doesn't want him to do. Instead of, "Micah, don't do that!" I'm hearing "Micah how about you play with this toy instead of taking mine away?"