Thursday, July 29, 2010



I took this picture after getting all dolled up for my boy friend, Anthony James. We had been dating for about a week (for the second time). I went to one of his games, we went out for pizza with some friends. Then we broke up in the car on the way home. For the record, I broke up with him. It was a test. I wanted to see if he would fight for me, argue his way out of it. He didn't. He just let me break up with him. Can you believe it? My hair was curled!

So, one week later I went on a date with a really pretty boy. We saw Anthony at Denny's. I was hoping he was super jealous. Two days later we saw each other at church. I curled my hair again, put on my best Sunday dress, and some killer high heels.

He couldn't resist. He asked me to marry him that night. I laughed and said no.

Then he asked again. I couldn't believe he was serious. Again, I said no.

Then he took me to his momma's house. He pulled her out of bed (it was almost midnight). He told her he asked me to marry him.

She smiled, and exclaimed, "Oh, that's great!"

Then Anthony said, "But she said no."


We talked. And talked. And talked. During this conversation, I had a feeling come over me; a feeling I had before but tried to ignore. It excited me. It terrified me. So, I pushed it away. But that night, once again, a little, but powerful voice whispered to my soul "This is right. This is your family." It pierced my heart to the very depths. And I said yes.

I love you, Anthony James!
This is the life.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

To Spank or Not to Spank

Before Anthony and I got married, as any smart couple would do, we sat down to discuss money, who cleans the toilet, religion, discipline, etc. We grew up in the same church, with a similar family structure, and I was pleased to find out we were on the same page, except when it came to discipline. As a child development major (and know-it-all), I was strongly opposed to spanking. In fact, when he said he wanted to use spanking to discipline, I took off my ring and chucked it at him (okay, I didn't chuck it, I placed it carefully in his hand). It's a nice ring, 'kay. That was enough to sway him, and I had my ring back in no time, with wedding plans in full swing.

Almost four years later, here we are with our "terrible" two year old, Landon. He's sweet, polite, charming, and most of the time pretty stellar, but he's also The Tantrum King. If I take his crayons away after coloring my freshly painted white coffee table (what was I thinking?), he throws himself on the ground, bashing his head, flailing his arms, and kicking his legs. This behavior is unacceptable, and not only that; it's dangerous. So is running through the parking lot, jumping on the bed, and standing on the kitchen table with a fork. As a parent, I feel it is my responsibility to make sure that rules are clearly set, and that I consistently use consequences to reinforce our rules.

So, guess what folks. Kali Matthews became a spanker. I have spanked Landon probably nine or ten times in the last few weeks. Now let me clarify, he has never even shed a tear because, let's face it, I'm still a little bit of a softy. But I can tell you, it's been more effective than all the redirecting, positive discipline techniques, empathy talks, and time-outs combined. Let me also say, spanking is not for every parent or every child. Some children just need a stern look to obey, but my Landon does not fall into that category. He's rambunctious, independent, determined, and stubborn. These can all be wonderful qualities when channeled correctly. So, I spank my two year old. Anthony does not.

P.S. Landon is wearing big boy underpants today!

P.P.S. Every time Landon gets hurt, he wants me to kiss it better, because in his mind, Mommy kisses have magical powers. Today when he got a spanking, he bent over and asked me to kiss it, which reminded me of the time he bit his tongue and asked me to kiss that. Here's the truth, my kisses cannot make everything better. Sorry, Lando, you're just going to have to shake that one off.

Landon and his buddy, Max, on our trip to San Diego last week.

Aren't they soooo stinkin' cute?