Our Weird Parenting Style

… aka “How We Suck As Parents”

We Hales’ are no strangers to being called “weird”. We watch weird stuff, play weird games, and sing weird songs. So I guess it should have come as no surprise when I realized that our parenting techniques are a little weird. The more and more I talk to and hang out with our parenting peers (those parents of Lauren’s friends & classmates who are close to her age), I realize there are some things we’re not doing that a lot of other folks are. What kinds of things you ask? Well for starters…

1. Lauren’s Still Not Potty-Trained.

If you’re read the blog at all you know this is a VERY sensitive subject for me, but, despite being more than 2.5 years old, she’s still not there. She also doesn’t have any real interest in getting there. And to be honest, I’ve stopped trying. On a typical day, she gets put on the potty once: when she first gets up we let her sit there with her milk. Sometimes she pees, sometimes she doesn’t. And then we go throughout the rest of the day changing wet diapers. However it wasn’t always this way. We’ve actually tried 4 different times. We’ve tried the 3-Day method. We gave candy, stickers, bubbles. We dragged her with us every time we went. We’ve worn special hats & done little dances. We’ve tried every positive method under the sun (and even a few negative ones), and I guess the truth of the matter is this: she’s just not ready.

Poor Lonely Potty…

So now we don’t push it. I don’t even make her sit on the potty. When she’s ready, she’ll let us know. Until then we’ll just have to let her lead. If there’s anything we’ve learned in this process it’s that she won’t go until she’s ready to go.

2. Lauren Still Sleeps in a Crib.

And no, I’m not talking a converted crib-type deal. Lauren’s still in a full-on crib with the elevated mattress and rails up and everything.

One reason is because I’m not buy another bed and mattress until she’s potty trained. She can do her “learning” on the one she’s got! Another reason is that Lauren doesn’t really get out of the crib. She knows how to climb in, but to date she’s only climbed out twice. The third reason is I’m still not quite sure what kind of room I want her next one to be. Her room now is working out great, and I’m not 100% sold on any of my plans for her next one. So we don’t really feel the heat. When people ask us about the transition we just smile and admit that we haven’t even started. Especially since she’s comfortable and we’re comfortable, the plan is to just keep “chillin’ in the crib”.

3. Lauren Stays Up Until At Least 10pm Every Night.

What?? Your 2 year old goes to bed at 8:30? Where they do that at??? OK no seriously, we do have rules and standards in our home, but we just don’t feel pressed to get her down that early.

Lauren & Daddy… At 9:30PM

For starters, Lauren doesn’t get up until 8AM and she gets to school by about 9-9:30AM. Meaning that by the time most of us have got up, got in, and finished our 1st meeting, Lauren’s just getting started. Plus during the day she gets a 2+ hour nap. So if you think about it her 8PM is kinda like most people’s 5PM. So we let her stay up. It’s also definitely a remnant of our working days, when we wouldn’t get home and out of work clothes until 7PM. At that time it just didn’t feel right only spending only 30 minutes with our kid when her teachers got to see her all day. So we spend our evening playing games, watching cartoons, play fighting, whatever. And then, at 10PM, when Nickjr. says Goodnight, so does Lauren. Most of the time she lays in there and talks and sings and reads until close to 11PM, but hey at least she’s not running around.

So there you have it, our most controversial parenting techniques. Sure they’re definitely not what you’ll read in a book or on a forum, but they work for us for now. In some ways we do feel the pressure to “grow her up” and hit those next developmental milestones. However, we find that we’re happy and relaxed in the place that we’re at. Just spending time loving each other and enjoying our little girl. :)

Pre-Dinner Painting with Daddy


Lauren Feels Electrical!

Have you seen the new Internet Explorer commercial? No, not the one about being a Child of the 90’s, but the one where they sing “Oh Oh Oh Oh! Feeeeel Eeeeeletrical!”? Well just in case you haven’t, here it is:

Now THIS is Lauren’s new favorite song! When we give her the ipad during her potty breaks she spends the time either watching this commercial on repeat or she watches video of someone else playing Team Umizoomi Video Games. Yep, my 2 and a half year old can spend up to an hour on the pot watching youtube of either tech videos or video games… she’s so her father’s child!!!

Speaking of her father’s child, I guess watching all those replays of the same song will get it stuck in your head. And the other night, he was able to capture this video of her singing it while coloring on her board. She’s such a ham, and as soon as she sees him she stops singing and starts playing with her shadow. Then she runs up to the camera (and you get a good look at the marker on her face!) and goes right back to coloring and singing.

So without any more ado, Lauren Feels Electrical:

Silly little girl… :)

P.S.: Lauren’s February 2013 photos are up!

Awesomely Awkward Preschool Artwork

About every week or so, Lauren’s preschool send home a stack of her artwork. Which, if you think about it, is pretty amazing considering, Lauren doesn’t like to do it. No seriously, at home, she’ll do artwork just fine, but apparently there are times at the school, when she doesn’t feel like being bothered, so she goes and does her own thing.

Case & Point: the picture above. Notice everyone else at the table doing art, and our little social butterfly off playing with a puzzle. The teachers said they tried to get her to come over to the group, but she just wanted to do her own thing.

And sometimes, I can’t say I blame her, especially given some of the art samples she brings home.

But before I go into that, a disclaimer: We absolutely LOVE our daycare! They are great people who are doing an AMAZING job with our toddler. This is just an observation of the somewhat awkward artwork they send home.

For example, about a year ago, they did a unit on the police: their clothes, their cars, and the work they do. And as a wrap up type final project, they sent my then 18 month old home with her very 1st mugshot!

Durham’s Most Wanted…

Now I, like you, was tempted to say, “No, this isn’t a mug shot, it’s a badge photo!”, especially given the “Badge #” shown at the bottom. But that was until I saw that accompanying this photo was Lauren’s first set of fingerprints!

Oh No, Ya’ll!! They done fingerprinted my BABY!! And for what?? BANGING!! What kind of banging?? Gang-banging? Hair-banging (like her mom)? Where did I go wrong?!?! :O

But I pulled myself together (and kept a closer eye on her), and they went back to sending home pictures of puppies and red circles glued on paper. Then about 3 or 4 months later, they send home a picture of “Lauren’s Furry Spider”!

Oh I get it, it’s a picture of a spider that was furry. For a minute there I thought they were talking about an, ahem, “furry spider”. OK… maybe I’m the only one who got that… sorry, I went to public school.

But OK, what is THIS supposed to be?!

(Ummmm…. OK?)

And when she came home with a picture of her “Fuzzy Triangle”…

(Are you kidding me?!?!)

… I was ready to draw the line! So one day after dropping her off, I quietly got the attention of one of her teachers and asked about their… ahem… questionable artwork titles. She died LAUGHING!! And then turned BEET-RED! I guess when you spend your days with 2 year olds it just doesn’t cross your mind. 😛

But she said in the future she’ll think twice as to what she calls the artwork, and she thanked me for having a sense of humor about it. And we both smiled and went on about our day, both thankful for kids artwork and smiles it brings. :)

V-Day 2013: The Outtakes!

So as promised, here are the outtake shots from Lauren’s Valentine’s Day 2013 photo shoot. To help refresh your memory, here’s the final photo:

But that was the one good shot of many more not so good ones. It all started one lazy afternoon in January. The light was coming in pretty well in our living room downstairs, so I threw up an old grey felt sheet I had as a backdrop and started shooting. Below are the shots I got, along with captions of Lauren’s commentary:

“Hey! Is this an apple??”

“It is an apple! I LOVE Apples!”

“No, like really, I LOVE APPLES!!!!”

“My Apple!! My Apple!! [Heck] YEEEAAAAHH!!”

“OK, I’ve got to calm down…”

“Can’t act like I’ve never had an apple before…”

[Mommy Catches the Money Shot]

“Forget This! I’m goin’ in!!”

(Lauren runs off stage…)

“Now leave me alone, so I can eat!”

Silly Girl… :)

Happy Valentine’s Day 2013!

We Hales’s are tired!!

Between Mommy’s 14 hour days at the flower shop to Daddy’s early morning dentist appointments and late night tax endeavors, we’re pooped! But we couldn’t let the day pass without wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day.

So Happy Valentine’s Day from our little sleepy…

… Bubble-Guppies-watching…

… so-over-mommy-&-her-picture-taking…

… almost-2-and-a-half(!)-year-old-love-bug…

to you. :)


P.S.: These pictures are what happens when Mommy tries to do a quick Valentine’s shoot at right before bed at 10 o’clock at night. Lauren’s School Valentine’s looked like this:

… with a cute little bag of apple chips attached. They came out so cute!

I hope the parents don’t hate me for doing too much. The out-takes were pretty funny too! I’ll post those on Friday (provided I’m not passed out from exhaustion 😉 )

P.P.S.: Since V-day is my favorite holiday (after Christmas & Easter!), I’m feeling nostalgic, so here’s a quick link to out valentine’s day posts from years past: Valentine’s 2011 (Lauren’s 1st!) & Valentine’s 2012

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