Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ah, Potty training!

Do not let the title confuse you! I am NOT potty-training any children at the moment.

I get asked quite a bit about how we potty-trained Mason and Jack and how we intend to potty-train Will and Theo. I firmly believe in the following (at least for our family):

Pull-ups are the devil. Seriously, all they do is serve to confuse kids. You can pee in *this* underwear {because that is how they think of pull ups- underwear} but not *this* underwear. Ditch the pullups. When we potty train, we plan a week without much going on and stay home. Our potty trained boys are in underwear or naked until they master the skills.

I do not potty-train my boys until they are 3. I did not get that choice with Jack because his mom did half the work of it and she started potty training him earlier than I agreed with. Girls get it faster {because, well, we are smarter. It's common knowledge, right? Right.}. With boys, it has been my experience that 3 is the magic age. Their bodies are ready to be day potty-trained-which is the reason it only takes a week for them to fully comprehend this whole-peeing-and-pooping-in-the-toilet-gig. {yes, I did just say that on my blog}

Give them some pottying knowledge ahead of time.  Even though we do not actually start the process until age 3, we start explaining things between 18 months and 2 and continue with the explaining all the way through the potty-training experience {and yes, it IS an experience}. My children have seen the toilet being used, both by their big brothers and their dad. When they are curious {and they will be} I explain to them what the toilet is and why we use it.{obviously, i explain this in 2 year old language. }

They still use a diaper at night. While our older boys were day potty-trained at 3 or close after, both of them still needed a diaper at night at least through the first half of their 3rd year, sometimes longer. Their bodies are still developing the ability to hold their bladder all the way through the night.

Naked is best.  As I stated above, we plan a week or long weekend to be mostly at home and let our potty-trainees (ha!) be free as a jaybird, or have just underwear on. They will have accidents but they will quickly learn. I had lots of clean undies and the washing machine ready to go.

M&M's do the trick.  Our boys received one M&M for peeing and two M&M's for pooping. Our children are chocolate fanatics so it worked for them. Eventually, the appeal of M&M's as a reward for pottying wears off...but by that time, they are potty-trained.

Do not shame your children. As frustrating and annoying as teaching a child how to properly potty is, I tried my best not to get upset at accidents or messes. They are learning. We learn by making mistakes. Be patient.

Every child is different in our family, as I am sure each child is in yours. This is just what works for us.

**We will be starting more potty-training adventures in April, when Will turns 3! Even though I know the plan I intend to follow, I am terrified!**

PS The hilarious, wonderful Natalie over at Natthefatrat had her baby boy last night! So happy for this mama who waited so long to conceive to finally have her baby in her arms !! oh go on...you know you want to congratulate her!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Flowers uplift the soul!

Thank you to my mother-in-law for bringing me the last of the season's roses from her rose bushes!!! They make my heart happy!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wobbling through the Muck

My heart is heavy tonight.

Despite my six year old returning from a weekend with his dad {it is always wonderful to have him back home!}, good dinner with my three boys and a laidback evening, I cannot seem to make this smile on my face feel genuine.

My dad has re-entered my life in the past week. Despite many quiet moments pondering, I am still at a loss as to if I should be hopeful or just move on. I am afraid to fully let this person back into my life, in any form, knowing he could possibly shatter me once again.

So much of everything hurting inside me wants to scream truthful yet stinging words at him. The other parts of me want to forgive and forget. Maybe there is a necessity for a little of both?

I guess I am, for the first time in my life, actually acknowledging what growing up without a father present did to me. How it changed me. How it affected my choices.

And I am angry!

 At times I want to howl and screech and wail at the unfairness of it all! How fair is it that I  lost my mother at seventeen and also have a father who has been in and out of my life, with little to no reliability and dependability?!

I do believe there are reasons for it all. As much as all the trauma in my life has added sadness and hurt, it has also shaped the person I am, for the better. I am strong. I am absolutely a survivor.

But it doesn't stop it from hurting. This past week has been a week of  reflecting, pondering and analyzing all the hurt, all the good and all the in-between.

So, while there is beauty all around me {my children, the changing season, the way the Lord is opening my eyes} there is still much sadness right now.

 I am not really sure what to do but muck through it all to end up on the other side-so that is just what I am doing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Flashback: Before the Babies Edition

I was looking through some photos and found all of these from a trip to the pool in Summer '08. Our three oldest look like babies!! Will was brand new in my tummy and Theo wasn't even a thought yet. Crazy.

{please excuse the cleavage, it is pretty hard to hide}

Since then, we have added two more beautiful little boys to our family, been through SO much together, moved homes{twice}, and grown tremendously as a family. 
ONE thing will never change: I will love this man forever and ever and ever!


My Matty is leaving for a WEEK to go to a conference in LA!!
I HATE when he goes on business trips.
{the word hate is yucky and awful and i tell my kids to never, ever, ever say it,  alas it is the only word strong enough to show how much i detest him leaving}

I have a sleepover planned with my sister that includes:
early bedtime for the babies
a bottle of wine        *and*
chick flicks!!!!

not to mention: a million and ONE assignments due!!

So, I will not be bored, just lonely and missing my better half. :(

Friday, October 15, 2010

Just so you know...

-Sometimes I do not shower for 2 days in a row.
-Sometimes I wish I could trade places with my husband and go to work.
-Sometimes I put my two year old in timeout so I can calm myself down, not just him. {my kids know how to push my buttons more than pretty much anyone. except matt.}
-Sometimes I wait until the day an assignment is due to even begin it.
-Sometimes I lean on God when I should and other times I take back the reigns and try to be in control, even though I know better.
-Sometimes I do not do a lick of laundry for days in a row just because I do not feel like it.
-Sometimes I drink *way* too much coffee.
-Sometimes my kids stay in diapers all day and do not get dressed.
-Sometimes when driving home from the store, a playdate, the park, etc and the babies fall asleep, I change my route and drive and drive and drive. I play music and just drive.
-Sometimes I pick my nose. {ok, a LOT, don't judge}
-Sometimes I forget to brush my kids' teeth.
-Sometimes I do not appreciate Matt as much as I should.
-Sometimes I ignore my phone just because I do not feel like chatting with anyone.

I am human and I have flaws and Amen to that!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A litt-el bit obsessed

Does anyone else watch the amazingness that is this show?

I know it is silly, juvenile, etc but I ADORE it!

Maybe it is because I became a mom at 19 and can relate to these girls.
Maybe it is because sometimes you just need to not think about your own life.
Maybe it is because it is just so darn entertaining!

It has become my Wednesday afternoon routine{it airs on Tuesday nights}.When the babies go down for their nap in the afternoon,  I grab a cup of coffee, a blanket and my laptop and watch Teen Mom.

Last night's episode was the last for the season and I am sure I will now fill my Wednesday afternoons with more useful things while the babies slumber, like surfing Facebook and singing into my brush in front of the mirror organizing papers and doing schoolwork. But come next September {assuming it airs }you will find me curled up, watching it once again. After all, we all need something we enjoy that's just ours right?!

Monday, October 11, 2010


So my one of my best friends tied the knot this weekend. It was wonderful. And exhausting.
 And also a M.A.S.S.I.V.E high school reunion!!
 I wish I had more pictures{actually I DO have them, only Matt does because he was the photographer for the wedding but I can't really post them until at least the bride and groom get to see them, gah!}but I was too busy:

*drinking mimosas.
*worrying about how to fit my size H hoohahs{no, I am not kidding}into the one strap dress I let my less endowed friends convince me to buy as my bridesmaid dress.
*watching my beautiful friend exude joy and feeling so much happiness that she found her one. after all the tears and heartbreak we shared- she found her one. uh. what a wonderful thing to watch. :)
*crying because my stupid.hair. would not curl, DANGIT!! and i was emotional and frustrated and tipsy so I cried. don't judge.
*observing matty in his element- doing something he loves to do- take photos. it seriously made me fall more in love with him!
*feeling absolutely honored to not only be asked to be there, but to stand up beside her, as one of the bridesmaids and watch every moment up until, during and after the i do's. amazing.
*knowing that i truly have the bestest friends ever.

Now if I could only trade writing papers for an amazing weekend, EVERY weekend!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pretty Toenails don't hurt a bit...

Alternately titled: Feet sure are strange-looking things, don't ya think?

Alternately titled: My midget toes!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Reality and Cookies on a Plate

I could not seem to exit my haze last week. Each of my boys had the stomach bug, puking all over comforters, sheets, and blankets galore.  My school load has been amped up even further and I am lucky to get to bed by midnight.  Days like that, where the energy is low and the needs are high, are the days that I miss my mama something fierce.

I needed to feel her in this house, I needed to feel the parts of me that came from her, come out of me. So, I made oatmeal cookies with my baby like my mama did with her baby, me. I let my baby lick cookie dough off my finger, over and over again. I made ramen noodles and laughed as he tried to make sense of how to eat them{how has this child never had ramen noodles?!}. I turned on Counting Crows and danced with my Theo boy. I remembered wonderful pieces that shaped my childhood and then {hopefully}put some of those wonderful pieces into Theo's childhood. 

*That* is how my mama carries on. 

So, even though the piles of laundry{clean AND dirty} are endless and there are never enough hours in the day to get it all done or put away:

or enough hours in the day to organize the endless piles that look like this:

I feel closer to my mama and more at peace with the constant to-do's around me.
I am determined to remember that feeling as we head into the next month{H.O.W. is it October? srsly.}

I am determined to remember that life is NOT about laundry, dishes, clean counters and organized papers.

I am determined to make life less that and more this:

Look at that chub! I die....
{playing the- i took your bracelet and want you to come get it Mom-game.}