Saturday, January 31, 2009

Adventures in potty training

Little hugs is 2 1/2. We haven't pushed potty training, our parenting style is strict (manners, behavior) but laid back (milestones, learning). We believe that each kid does their own things in their own time. The shmoo started potty training about 2 1/2 but wasn't completely done until almost 3 1/2 - there were a lot of issues and hang-ups with #2, and clogging the potty seemed to be (and still is) a big concern of his.

For about the past 3-4 months, when little hugs asks to use the potty, we encourage her and heap on the praise. Some days, she tries a lot and is usually successful (always #1) and then she may go days, maybe weeks, without asking. But, we never ask her to try. This is mostly because we don't want to push and also because we are lazy - the closer she is to being really ready and in control of her body, the quicker and easier the whole process will be. Another reason is - she is still in a crib, which means, she can't get up from a nap or in the morning, on her own, to use the potty if she needs to and I think that would add to her frustration.

I've had pull-ups for months and today, I decided since we were having a quiet day at home, it would be the perfect time to try them - she would have a lot of opportunities to be successful. I started by explaining that they were "princess diaper underwear" and before I could go any further, she lit up and exclaimed "those are pull-ups, just like [friend at daycare] has! I'm gonna be a big girl!". I guess she is ready. Then, I pointed out the flowers that disappear when they get wet and we put them on.

A short while later, I asked if she would like to try the potty and she responded, "no, I workin' on a poopie". Ok, maybe she's not quite ready. When she was done (workin' on it), I changed her diaper and showed her that the flowers were gone.

After we worked on a craft project (I'll post more about that later), she asked to use the potty. She had already gone a little in her pull-up and we looked at how the flowers had started to disappear, but she was successful. Maybe she really is ready.

At nap time, she went to bed with a dry pull-up. Fifteen minutes later, it had a poopie in it. After changing it and giving her the diaper or pull-up option (she chose pull-up), she laid down and began humming. This usually means she's ready to sleep so I headed off to take my shower, finally.

When I stepped out of the shower, I heard, "mommy, I need help to put my pull-up on". I'm thinking - ON? I enter her room to find a little girl with 1. no more ponytails, 2. no more socks, 3. no more pants, and 4. a pull-up in her hand. I spy a large wet spot in the middle of the crib and ask, "why did you take off your pull-up?" Answer: "I didn't want the flowers to disappear." She really is ready.

And I need to get moving (fast) on the big girl room transformation (much more on that in a future post) because her next comment was "I'm going to be a big girl tomorrow and sleep in a grown up bed".

Here's a picture of her resting on my bed, with Chester, while I changed her sheets.
Not the best picture but I only got one shot - Chester didn't want to be bothered by the paparazzi so he left immediately following this picture. Although, my next shot did catch him leaving.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A little ice skating ...

... maybe more like ice sliding.

Tuesday evening, it started to sleet. We already had a couple of inches of snow so this was adding a nice, hard, crusty top to everything. By Wednesday morning, we had close to a half inch of ice and all the schools in the area were closed. I really needed to be in the office for a 10am meeting so, we headed out, as usual, in the minivan. Our neighborhood streets were a mess. I would never have believed anyone had even tried to plow them if I hadn't seen the snowplow myself.

I took it slow and got to the main streets without incident. The roads looked clear and I even called the hubby to let him know that, regardless of the fact the news was begging people to stay home, it was safe to travel to work, should he chose to go into the office.

I was pretty surprised when I got to daycare and saw that like our neighborhood, no one had made a dent in the parking lot ice. There was a small path from the parking lot to the front door that had been shoveled but, of course, no parking spaces anywhere nearby. I parked as close as I could - in the handicap spot - which is completely not like me but, I wanted to limit the amount of ice I would have to cross with both the shmoo and little hugs.

I got both kids out of same side of the van, holding little hugs, and squeezing the shmoo's hand. We managed to get to the sidewalk pretty easily but that is where the problem began. I asked the shmoo to carefully step up onto the sidewalk, which he did, and instantly slid off. Luckily, I was holding him tightly enough that neither knees nor bottom hit the ground. This is about the time another mother came out and decided to help by telling me, "be careful, its really slippery", "yes, I know", I responded, all while trying to get the shmoo up onto the sidewalk and keep from slipping and dropping little hugs.

Finally, the shmoo gets on the sidewalk. Success, but short lived. Every step, he slips and, while not falling, isn't going anywhere, he just slides back to where he started.

Helpful mom says "its really slippery", "yes, I know", "but, its really, really slippery, be careful". Again, "yes, I know". So, now she tries to provide some useful information, "but its really slippery and you are holding a baby". After a deep breath, I finally look at her and calmly respond, "yes, I know". Helpful mom finally realizes, she's not really being helpful and states, "yea, I guess you know its slippery and you know you're holding a baby, that was really dumb of me", "yes, I know" - only this time, my response was in my head and she finally stops watching us and gets in her car.

I suddenly realize that our current strategy is getting us nowhere and I have a brilliant idea. I tell the shmoo to carefully put his hands on the ground and start trying to crawl towards the grass (between the building and the sidewalk). This new idea seems promising as he gains a couple of centimeters so, I give him a push to slide him the rest of the way. And, even though I tell him (almost daily) "Do NOT walk in the garden", I say "today, you need to walk in the garden, stomp through the ice and snow until you get to the part of the sidewalk that is shoveled". He followed my directions exactly - making sure to stomp hard and enjoyed every moment. Best thing all week. I know this because he told every single person he saw - parent, teacher, director, fellow children - that his mom never lets him walk in the garden but today he got to stomp the ice all the way through it. Yea mom.

When I couldn't step up onto the sidewalk (and I was not about to crawl), I decided to take a different route - I walked through the parking lot, making sure to step only on the broken ice, where I could break through, until I got as close as possible to the shoveled walk. Now, why didn't I think of that earlier?

I really like snow. I think if its going to be cold, everything should be covered in snow but, I could do without the ice.

Stay warm.

Monday, January 26, 2009


(still catching up - started Monday, posted Thursday)

Saturday night, we went to the birthday party of my college roommate's three year old son. They live an hour away so its a long drive but worth it to see a bunch of friends. Neither kid took a nap that day, not at home, and, unbelievably, not in the car, because neither one of them would stop talking.

The party was fun - lots of kids, good friends, and a ton of fantastic food, as always. The kids were loud and crazy and they had a blast, which is all that really matters when you're talking about a kid's party. It was nice to see our friends and visit. All in all, a fun but uneventful trip.

Until the ride home.

I wouldn't really say it was eventful, maybe just amusing.

By the time we left the party, both kids were in their pjs and it was 8:30pm - past little hugs bedtime and about the time we try to head upstairs with the shmoo. Without a nap and all the running around, both kids were exhausted. Or so you would think. The shmoo started fading as soon as the car started moving but, little hugs wouldn't stop talking - again. We watched as shmoo's eyes closed, then popped open, again and again.

Finally, dad says, very nicely, I might add, "you need to hush" to which little hugs responds, "don't make me an-gee, guys (pause) don't make me an-gee (pause, then accentuating each word) don't tell me to be quiet!". We do everything we can to contain our giggles and say nothing.

At this point, shmoo is asleep and all is quiet. About 5 minutes pass and I hear "mommy" to which I, of course, answer "yes, sweetie?". "You be quiet, mom, hush!". This only makes me giggle more while dad snickers.

Only 1 or 2 minutes later I hear "mommy, I soooo tired" to which I respond "then close your eyes [thinking - and your trap]", "ok".

When we got home, both kids were so deep asleep, neither one of them stirred as we carried them to bed, took off coats and shoes, and tucked them in.

Everyone was fresh and ready to go again Sunday morning, just a few minutes later than usual.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Three Reviews

(OK, I'm already slacking. My second post was started 4 days ago and I'm just finishing it and sharing it today, January 29th.)

This past Thursday was a rare occasion for us - we watched a movie, on a weekday night, because, somehow, the kids were in bed and asleep(!) earlier than usual. The movie was one of my choices - "Someone Like You . . ." starring Hugh Jackman and Ashley Judd. I had recently finished reading Piece of Work by Laura Zigman and noticed on the inside, back cover that one of her other books, Animal Husbandry, had been made into a movie (in 2001, I'm a little out of touch). Small tangent - I've read all four of her books and would rate them in the following order: 1. Dating Big Bird, 2. Animal Husbandry, 3. Piece of Work, and 4. Her - which interestingly, is almost the order I read them in, just switch the last two. The movie was cute but it lacked that spark necessary for a really good romantic comedy. I'm still not sure if it was the script or the casting, maybe a little of both. I like Ashley Judd and Hugh Jackman but I think they lacked chemistry together.

Friday, I had my yearly review with my manager - he's not a project manager on my current project, so he's not familiar with what I do on a day to day basis, he's more of a personnel manager for me. I was actually pretty nervous going into it since last year's review went so terribly wrong. Long story short, I ended up yelling at my manager (yes, I actually raised my voice, and I can say that is the one and only time I've yelled at someone at work) and I slammed the conference room door on him (and right in the face of the next employee waiting for their review). Whoops. Anyway, this year went MUCH better - hard not to. I got the rating I feel I deserve and he said a lot of very nice things about me. We also had a nice conversation about our families (we have kids that are similar ages) and what I was planning on doing with my career in the next year. All in all, a great review and a much more pleasant experience, probably for both of us.

One more movie review. Friday night, we watch "Definitely, Maybe" with Ryan Reynolds and Abigail Breslin. A young girl convinces her divorcing dad to tell her the story of how he met and fell in love with her mother - only he combines multiple romances and changes names - and she has to figure out which one he ended up with. I thought it was pretty cute - I think we both enjoyed it. Although, sometimes I do get tired of the predictable endings in these romantic comedy movies.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So, I decided to start a blog

I've been thinking about starting a blog for some time now. I've heard about them, I even know several people who have one, and I browse multiple "craft" and "quilting" blogs. So, of course, I thought - why not me? I have plenty to share, things to comment on, and even some crafting and quilting of my own to write about. I may even throw in the occasional book or movie review to mix things up a bit.

If you follow along, I'm sure you'll read plenty of anecdotes about my kids - little hugs and the shmoo - along with the occasional picture of a completed project, comments about a lot of unfinished ones, and you'll probably read about a few planned projects, but most likely, the planned and unfinished will outnumber the completed. Hopefully, this blog will provide some inspiration to keep the completed numbers up.

I don't intend to publish on a regular daily or even weekly schedule so don't be disappointed if you come for a visit and no one's been here for a while. I envision this as more of an irregular blog, one to share experiences and thoughts, however random they may be, as the material becomes available and the mood strikes.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back. =)