Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Who Wipes?!*

Why do I feel like it's a personal affront whenever Sweetie has a bathroom related accident?

(And why do I continue to ask the collective "you" of the vast, anonymous internet world your opinion on what's going on with me, whom the collective "you" wouldn't know from a hole in the wall even if you ran over me with your fancy-smancy luxury SUV? Okay, so maybe you'd spot me out if my only competitition was an actual hole in the wall - especially if I dared to bleed upon your beloved automobile - but who knows. Maybe not. ANYWAY.....)

It's not like Sweetie's standing tough, her arms akimbo, snorting, Hah! Mommy! I poop in my underwear at you! I wet the floor on which you stand! Fear me now!

Hardly. In fact, she's actually doing quite well. She's had very few accidents to speak of and those she's had have been pretty minor. I'm talking a little bit of "oops" pee before she realizes she should get herself to the potty for further relief. Or being a little too quick on the tinkling uptake before she got her pants all the way down.

But yet, whenever the accidents occur, I personally feel badly about it. Like it's my fault that I'm not more on top of asking her if she has to go potty or not. Or it's my fault I didn't insist that she take a break from whatever she's doing and give it a go on the toilet.

Like tonight. We were at our weekly chiro appointment and Sweetie was playing in the toy room. I heard her grunting and she was standing strangely, so I asked her if she had to go to the bathroom. She said no - that she would wait. But her odd sounds and posture continued until Hubby and I basically insisted she try to go (we also know that she hasn't pooped since Sunday, so things were bound to be on the move at this point). But she emphatically said no, that she was too scared. Who knows what's up with that. She's used the toilet at the doctor's office before. But she said she was scared and that it was too loud in the bathroom (there is a loud-ish fan that runs when you turn the light on). So, fine. Let's just get home.

Twenty minutes later we got home and Sweetie seemed fine again. She didn't go potty - just played with her magnetic letters on the fridge. But after a good 15 minutes or so, she was at it again. More grunts and posturing. But this time it was too late. The deed was done.

Why didn't she get herself to the potty?! I've seen her, many times, so involved with whatever game she's playing, yet still able to stop and take care of business in a timely fashion. I know she can do it. So what's going on?!

Oh, and she also had a small piddle accident earlier today at Nana's house.

And yesterday she came home from school in her "emergency" underwear and shorts (yet my mom wasn't told a thing about any such accidents taking place. Hmmmm. I'll be asking the teachers tomorrow morning about that one...).

So these recent accidents all grouped so closely together.... that gets me just a tad concerned, I guess. I know she's got a little bit of a cold and/or virus. So maybe she's just feeling badly enough healthwise to throw off her bathroom routine. I don't know. Hopefully she'll get on track again soon.

But what I really wanted to write about tonight (no, I haven't even gotten to the real topic yet) is that, now that Sweetie knows all about going in the potty, I feel like she's really got to get the whole wiping thing down. As it stands, more times than not I'll still lie her down and clean her up with baby wipes. But that's me. I think my mom is helping her more with the regular toilet paper. And that's what she's got at school too.

So I don't think she's getting clean enough. Last week she was a bit red, so I was asking Sweetie about what goes on at school. Does she go potty all by herself or does the teacher help her. Who wipes?

I think Sweetie said the teacher helped. And yesterday morning I did ask Miss Kathleen if Sweetie is getting the help she still needs in the bathroom. Well, I guess Miss Kathleen only works 1/2 the morning now, but she assured me that she does help Sweetie wipe when she's there and she's sure that the replacement teacher takes over accordingly after she's left for the day. Okay then.

I just really want to get Sweetie in the practice of helping herself. And, from what I've seen, she definitely needs my assisistance in understanding more. I've seen her "wipe" herself - by taking the teeniest, tinyest speck of toilet paper she can tear off and lightly placing it against her nether regions one time only.

The girl's got some serious learning to do. And I think I found the product to teach her.

Cottonelle seems to have answered my prayers. They've come up with both a bathroom kit for kids and some training toilet paper with paw prints on it so the child can know how much toilet paper to tear off.

Yes, it sounds kind of hokey and gimicky. But I'm gonna try it. I think Sweetie will actually get a kick out of having her own toilet paper and counting the squares she needs to use.

Here's hoping, anyway. Hey - you gotta make the learning fun, right?


* Yet another reference to one of Sweetie's favorite movies, Madagascar - a quote from King Julian of the Lemurs.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Mama Monday #19

Theme: Forgive

Gee, this one is kind of tough. I mean, I'm coming into this week with an idea already in mind for Mama Monday. I just had to hope that the theme worked with what I have to say.

Well, I suppose it kind of does, in a round about sort of way. Actually, I can work with it if I take a somewhat different approach. That approach?...

Forgive - maybe. Forget - never.

You see, I want to tell you all about this amazing project I've recently become involved with. I happened upon a post from a blogger with a very exciting vision. His idea is to round up 2,995 individual bloggers to write tributes on September 11th to the 2,995 individuals who were killed in the U.S. tradegy that day.

The stipulations call for the contributing bloggers not to refer to the terrorists, their organization, or anything having to do with their hideous acts or goals. In d.c. roe's own words:

I don’t want any of us to remember the murderers. Do not refer to the terrorists. Or their organization. Or their goals. Let them fade into nothing. Let them be forgotten. Remember those worth remembering.

So that is exactly what I'm going to do.

If you'd like to participate, just click on over to d.c.'s blog and post a comment. He will get back to you with the name of the person he's assigned you to write about. Or, if you're like me, you can suggest a person you wish to tribute. In my case, I asked if I could honor a relative of my sister-in-law who died that day on the job as a NYC firefighter. I can't wait to learn more about this amazing, brave man and write a (hopefully) fitting tribute to his remarkable life.

So - yes. Maybe we can learn to forgive the actions of these madmen who rocked our world on that fateful day. Forgive, that is, in the same sort of way a victim of incest can "forgive" his or her attacker. The same way a parent could find it deep in their heart to "forgive" the criminal who took the life of their child. The same way we all can forgive, just a little, in order to "accept" what has happened, grieve as much as we need to, and move on from the tradegy enough so that we can again build up our country, build up our lives, and build up our spirits against all the evil that exists in this world.

But forget? NEVER. Never forget the tragedy, the pain, the shock or even the fear. If we forget, we lose and they win. AND THEY CAN'T WIN.

Never forget the innocent, alive, vibrant, men, women and children who were murdered that day in the midst of just living their lives. Just going about their day. And/or trying to help out once the need was there - not worried about their own wellbeing. Just concerned about saving as many lives as possible in the middle of all the chaos.

Please. Consider helping out. Consider paying tribute. Consider the possibility to perhaps forgive - a little - but never, ever forget.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I'm A Little Bit Cranky, I'm A Little Bit Out Of Sorts

tired, achy, sore abdomen, cold sore.

Those are the keywords I Googled last night to find out what's wrong with me. I should have also added "cranky".

Oh, and sometimes somewhat "dizzy". A couple weeks ago I had trouble falling asleep. I was lying in bed with my eyes closed, but I kept feeling dizzy every few minutes. And I've felt a little dizzy occasionally (albeit rarely) ever since. Weird.

And some numbness in my limbs. A little bit.

Anyway, Mono came up.

But I don't think that's what I have. The description said people between 10 - 25 years old tend to get this, and I'm more than a few years past that. Plus I haven't been kissing too many people who would potentially be exposed to Mono (refer back to the cold sore).

But I did have Mono before. When I first started going out with my now husband. Before him, I had led a pretty sedentary life. But once we started dating, we were continually going out, taking trips, playing mini golf and going on other fun adventure-type excursions. So I got sick. In the hospital sick. My GP wanted to be extra careful with me, given my spina bifida that he wasn't too up on, so he put me in the hospital to test for meningitis. Thankfully, that wasn't it. I just needed to rest. So I did.

And Hubby-to-be stuck around.

Then, around this same time (I can't remember if it was before or after my Mono), my mom had a seisure. Her first seisure ever (and her only one - knock on wood). Hubby-to-be was over at our house when this happened too.

And, still, he stuck around.

Then, years later, right before our wedding, I had a seisure.

Obviously, he still stuck around.

But that's all a separate story (or two or three). Let's get back to the yuckiness of today.

Anyway, I feel crappy. Nothing specific to point to, really. Just crappy. Maybe it's the heat that's finally hit our area. Maybe it's the pollen. Maybe it's, again, the ergodynamically incorrect manner in which I do my writing. Maybe it's a little of all this and more. I don't know, but I don't like it.

Remember when my neurologist gave me a perscription for steroids and told me to go see a headache specialist? Yeah, well... my headaches pretty much went away right after that appointment. So I never filled the perscription. But I did make the specialist appointment.

But then I continued to be headache-free for a good, long stretch. I planned to cancel my appointment with the specialist. But before I could, that office called me to reschedule the appointment for some reason or another. I told the receptionist that I'd been feeling better anyway and didn't need to come in at all. She said, Oh, bless you! So I guess she wasn't too concerned about trying to stuff me into the already overcrowded schedule. Fine.

Within that following week, though - yup - the headaches started to return. But really it's a sore neck and shoulders thing. My arms are probably tingly because something has kinked in my neck and isn't letting the right amount of blood or whatever down to my extremities. I've mentioned it to my chiropractor once, I think. I should tell her again. Maybe I'll also finally fill that steroids perscription. My follow up appointment with my neurologist is coming up soon. He'll probably be upset if I'm still feeling bad but didn't try to do anything about it.

Oh, and Sweetie! The poor thing couldn't step one foot out of line this week without me getting all uppity about it. It seems like every evening this week she's done very little to make me very mad, frustrated and stressed. I thought it all stemmed from the Monday playdate debacle. But it's gone on too long now and I have the other symptoms of yuckitude. And this morning she's been particularly whiney and cry-ey herself. Instead of yelling at her, though, I'm feeling for her. Maybe she's got the dreaded cranky bug too.

So - what's wrong with me? Any ideas? Should I go to the doctor? And don't tell me I'm pregnant, because I'm not. That, I can absolutely guarantee you.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Sweetie Saturday #13 - Daddy Edition!

Netflix movie of the day: Bewitched.

Hi Ho. Hubby Here...

(thus endeth the Kermitesque illiteration)

Amy's letting me pop in from time to time if I ever have a story to share...

Sweetie and I have hit on a new routine that seems to have ended her "Out of Bed in 60 Seconds" routine.

Nearly two weeks back I told Sweetie as I was tucking her in that if she stayed in bed I'd read her a story. We kind of fell out of this practice (right before bed, that is) when she was still sleeping in -and escaping from- her crib.

Of course she promised she'd stay, just as she'd always promised before. Yeah, right.

I scanned the shelf and immediately picked a classic. Dr. Suess, Bien Sur! I picked up Mr Brown Can Moo! Can You? partly because I new it would be quick, partly because I new it would be fun, and partly because I viewed it as a sequel to when I read to her, and eventually memorized, the ABC Book. But I really chose this book because I knew my parents used to read it to me, and I LOVED IT. - At least, my mom told me I did. I can't say I remember, so I'll have to take that as gospel. So this choice was really a nod to my own childhood.

To my delight Sweetie okayed the choice, and she LOVED IT. She watched and listened intently, didn't protest when it was over, or ask me to read it again. I then calmly reminded her that if she stayed in bed I'd read to her again tomorrow. Which book would it be, I wondered to myself. Certainly she'll learn to ask for a nice loooooong one, right?

Lo and behold, she actually stayed in bed that night! Her story of choice for the next night? She wanted me to re-read "Mr. Brown Can Moo Book". Well, okay!

After nearly 2 weeks, she has gotten out of bed only once and, as promised, I didn't read to her the next night. However,she did stay in bed that Suess-less night, earning her storytime rights once more. Hmmm. Lesson learned - so far, at least.

Now, after quite a few nights of quiet, intent listening to this same beloved book, Sweetie smiling all the while, she's pointing to certain words and reading them to me.

I told her that Grammy used to read this to me when I was a little boy. "Yes, when you were a little boy, in my bed, and Grammy was the Mommy." She even knows which page is my favorite (I'll have to ask my mom if she remembers). Sweetie's is the "fish kissing page."

Dibble dibble dibble dopp.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


My Sweetie's behavior during a playdate this past Monday absolutely appalled me.

My cousin came up for the day with her 2-year old daughter. We met at my parents' house, as it was easier for her to travel to and provided the kiddie fun pool for the girls to enjoy together.

Sweetie knew about and was excited for the play date as it approached. And when Sadie and her Mommy walked in the door, both girls were happy to see each other.

Shortly thereafter, all Hell broke loose.

For starters, Sadie dared to touch the purple rectangular McDonalds Happy Meal I-don't-know-what-it-really-is toy Sweetie's recently been using as a computer mouse (she's taken to "playing computer" by setting up two throw pillows to look like a monitor and keyboard and use whatever small toy around as the "mouse").

Don't touch my mouse!

Then Sadie had the audacity to move and ride upon the rocking horse.

Don't move that! That's not where that belongs!

Then - can you believe it?! - Sadie put various figurines on a toy truck trailer bed and transported the tiny crew around the room! A toy truck trailer bed that Sweetie has never showed any interest in whatsoever.

Don't do that! Put that back!

And, even though Sweetie had been confirming nicely all along that she'd let Sadie play in her pool and slide on her slide, when the time actually came there was - um, how should I put this? - a complete and utter breakdown of all sense, sanity and calmness on the part of one particular 3 1/2 year old little diva.

Let's just say Sweetie was not entirely living up to her moniker that day.

Oh, I threatened. I yelled. I took toys away. I insisted she play nice or sit by herself. I let her flip out until she could calm herself down. Whatever I could think of - when I could get past the shock of this behavior - I tried to do in an attempt to bring things under control.

All I can say is, thank goodness Sadie is now old enough to stand up for herself. Yes, we moms even let the two fight it out a bit on their own.

But you know what? Um... I probably made more out of the situation than was necessary. Actually - I'm sure I did. Why else would I now, days later, still feel embarrassed over it? And not just embarrassed for how Sweetie behaved but for how I chose to handle it?

Why am I embarrassed? Is it because I'm normally seen as such a quiet, "cute", unassuming type of person, yet when it comes to my daughter's behavior I expect her to know what's what and act appropriately, no questions asked? Am I embarrassed to show that tough side of me?

Yes, I'm sure that's at least part of it.

I know - I'm often too hard on her. I'm too demanding of her. I expect too much from her. I don't let her just be a typical, self-centered, greedy kid. I won't accept it. I won't have it.

Therefore I can't stop wondering if I did the right thing(s). Maybe I shouldn't have yelled and threatened so much. Maybe I should have been calmer and more accepting of the fact that that's just how toddlers are - especially on their own "turf". Because I know Sweetie plays at least reasonably well when we're at other friends' homes or she's at school. Maybe I should have followed my cousin's lead to not worry about it and let the girls work it out themselves. Maybe I was just as wrong as Sweetie was.

I keep thinking - What Would Super Nanny Do in a similar situation?

I don't know, but whatever she'd do, I'm sure she'd have my Sweetie straightened up and flying right in no time. And undoubtedly in a much calmer, more rational manner than what I personally displayed. That woman is amazing!

But that's what kids do, isn't it. That's the essence of being a toddler. They're all about that "mine" mentality.

I just have to get past my own embarrassments and accept my role (and sometimes disciplnary ineffectiveness) as a mother of a toddler. I have to feel more confident in myself that I'm making the best decisions possible in the moment. And I need to accept that, despite my best abilities, my child is sometimes going to be nothing more than a stubborn, loud, irrational brat.

She's going to be a typical child.

Anyway, if you're reading this, Sarah - I'm sorry. For Sweetie's behavior and for mine.

Next time - let's meet on neutral territory. Okay?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Momentous Occasion

Behold: my very first payment for my very first paid writing gig.

I'm so excited!

May this be just the start of many wonderful, interesting and paying writing opportunities for me.


Mama Monday #18

Theme: Saunter

I love little childrens' ability to relax, take their time, and absorb. Their awesome ability to observe. Their enviable ability to take things in, appreciating every common-yet-fascinating object around them.

Infants are great at this, of course. Not a care in the world, just an innate need to touch everything, stimulating all their senses to figure out what exactly this new toy or body part can do.

But as toddlers, there's still plenty of slow, deliberate observation to unfold. Lots of Who, What, Where, When and Why questions for parents to answer. Still lots for their little minds to not only discover but also to invent. Wild, elaborate stories to tell, tea parties to hold with the neighborhood teddies and dollies, and nighttime "stories" to excitedly relate each morning to Mommy and Daddy.

My daughter is constantly amazing us each day with all the information in her head that she's been able to process and retain.

After showing her, just once, all the pegasuses in her I Spy book, she's now able to easily find them - even after weeks of not looking at the book at all.

After a bit of trial and error, she now understands how to play matching games. No longer turning over the same two cards every time, she's now remembering where matches are and often winning the most matches per game.

And, upon hearing a classical music CD commercial on the T.V., her little ears are so in tune with the sound that she instantly recognizes it as music heard on The Little Einstein.

Yes, little children are moody and fickle. One moment sweet as pie, the next a screaming banshee. They can be stubborn - insisting that they will not get dress this morning even though Mommy and Daddy have to leave for work in two minutes. And they often insist on immediate satisfaction - I just put the Band-Aid on, why does my owie still hurt?

All this can definitely be endlessly frustrating to the parents who need to work fast, get things done and move on with their day. I know. That's been me on more occasions than I'd like to admit.

But through it all, I do try to stop, take a deep breath, and see the world through her eyes. Try to take some time with her to answer her questions and to point out even more fascinating things about the book we're reading, the game we're playing, or the many colorful objects we see on our journey.

We all would do well to do the same - with children in our lives or not. How nice it would be to breath deeper, wonder more, and saunter as purposely or aimlessly as we please through this exciting, happy, interesting life.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Reveal

Happy Father's Day! Finally, I could give the gift I've been dying to give for about six months now. And it was a big hit, as I knew it'd be.

So, do you want to know what it was?

Well, literally speaking, I gave my Hubby a simple book.

But, oh what a book! Called The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine, it is exactly the book he needs.

I also gave him this shirt from this collection .

See, my Hubby is the epitome of The Renaissance Soul. He has so many loves, so many interests, so many talents and passions. He's constantly starting projects and leaving them to pursue new ones. And he's endlessly anguished about what he truly wants to be "when he grows up". He's multi-faceted. He's Sweetie's Daddy. He's my Hubby.

I'm so excited for him to have this book now and reap the benefits of Lobenstine's words. And the corresponding website is awesome! Offering quizzes, newsletters and daily tips, as well as the opportunity to attend Renaissance Soul workshops and/or even hire Lobenstine (at a reasonable rate, I might add) as a Life Coach to help you focus your interests and goals. There is also a Renaissance Soul on-line store. That's where I got the tee shirt, but there are so many other fun things to buy, helping to keep you inspired and motivated.

So that's it. I just thought I'd follow up on that for you. Hubby dove into the book immediately and really seems to like it. He says it's "perfect" for him. Yup - I knew it.

Happy Father's Day! May we all find and follow our lives' passion(s) to the happiness and life fulfillment we all deserve.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sweetie Saturday #12

Netflix movie of the day: Cinderella.

Today I feel the need to muse on my fast-growing little Sweetie. Not just physically, but in all ways - Sweetie is growing up.

Physically: Sweetie is destined to be quite tall - both her paternal grandfather and great grandfather are well over 6 ft. tall. Sweetie is definitely on her way there too.

We got together with friends last weekend. Their daughter is about 10 months older than Sweetie, so she's always been taller than Sweetie. But this latest visit showed just how quickly Sweetie is catching up. Her friend is still taller, but not by much at all. Wow!

But I'm getting frustrated with this whole growing business, actually. A few weeks back, when we had a string of hot days, I switched out Sweetie's cooler weather clothes for the shorts and tee shirts of summer. And, having seen that some size 4 pants were too little for her around the waist, and size 4 dresses were too short for her, I figured it's time to dig out the size 5's.

Weird, but whatever. I mean, she was just in the 3's - and she's not a big kid (tall, yes. But not heavy). Regardless, she seemed to have more or less skipped over the size 4 stage. Okay, then.

But, unfortunately, I didn't have many summer hand-me-downs in the size 5 range. So I went shopping and bought her about four or five pairs of shorts (shirts still are good in size 4, which she has plenty of), capri pants and a bikini.

Long story short - size 5's are entirely too big!

What was I thinking?! She is only 3 years old, after all. She should be nowhere near size 5's yet. And, obviously, that's true. But I've already de-tagged the clothes, so they're no longer returnable. Woe is me! I'll have to go to Children's Orchard, I guess, to get some less expensive size 4's.

But, thanks again to my mom (to whom I told this tale of woe), she went out and bought Sweetie a couple size 4 shorts. However, one of them is very similar to a pair she already has (a pair that fits her appropriately, no less). So, since those tags are still in place, I'll just exchange them. Plus I noticed that I didn't take the tags off her swimsuit. So that will be exchanged as well - for more shorts or capris, since I found a swim suit in our possession that will work just fine.

Mom also shone some light on the situation by pointing out that Sweetie is no longer wearing bulky diapers. So those size 4 pants that were too tight around before may be just fine now. Plus, the size 5's will definitely be even bigger on her than I thought. Mystery solved. Too bad I just gave back all the clothes to Sweetie's sometimes babysitter for her new baby to use someday. Oh well.

Other growth signs: Sweetie is a whiz at the computer! She can play lots of games at and all by herself. She moves the mouse around, clicks and drags, and knows what words and icons to click on to get the results she wants. This is great because I don't have to sit with her for hours playing inane kiddie games now. But it's also not so good because she's now wanting lots of computer time on her own. Time that I or my hubby could be using to get some of our computer-related obligations completed.

Lastly, Sweetie has taken to calling me and my hubby "Mom" and "Dad" rather than "Mommy" and "Daddy". It's not a big thing, I guess. But it does rattle me just a bit. It sounds so grown up. Especially when she uses these names in conjunction with a rather mature expression.

Upon my doing something Sweetie's not very happy about (like pulling at her hair when I attempt to comb it):


Oh, I'm sorry, Sweetie.

That's okay, Mom.

I know. I'm being silly. But hearing such an understanding, calm, sensitive thought coming out of my baby - um, I mean my little girl - both really impresses me and really wants me to stop time forever.

So, just let me know if any of you have a time stopping machine I can borrow, okay? Thanks.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Meet & Greet Time!

I've been thinking lately how cool it would be to actually meet other bloggers.

I know - crazy, huh? People who seem so cool and with it and smart and witty in their blogs - maybe in real life they're a bit dull.

But then again, no. I doubt it. I mean, I link to some pretty awesome bloggers, I think. And I know there must be a good number of awesome bloggers who live right here in NH. I'd sure love to meet them, but how?

Well, you know what they (really never) say: simply ponder inwardly and you shall receive.

Enter: The NH Blog Con

Click the link to learn more. Go on! Click it.... but please come back, okay?.... thanks, I'll wait now....

...See?! I am so excited! I can't wait to schmooze with these bloggers, mixing and mingling with other like-minded folk.

Or maybe they're not. I mean, how many other mom bloggers are really going to be a part of this party, let alone disabled mom bloggers? I could very well find myself in the middle of a largely politically-minded, nature-loving, techno/gadget-giddy group.

But, hey, that's cool too. Whatever. We're sure to be an interesting, fun-loving bunch and there's bound to be at least one person there I click with (cuz, you know, my Hubby will be there).

Come what may, I can't wait!

Then I started thinking - wouldn't it be fun to have my very own little "Meet & Greet"? Right here, right now. Seriously!

Come on, now. I challenge all of you - and I do mean every last person - post a comment here telling me a little bit about yourself. I mean, it's only fair, right? I'm here pouring my heart out, sharing my fears and dreams with you multiple times a week. You know a lot about me. Now it's your turn! Tell me about you.

1) Where are you from?

2) How did you find me?

3) Is this your first time here or are you a "regular"?

4) How do you "relate" to me? Are you a mom/parent? Are you disabled? Do you like my writing style? Do you just think I'm cute and friendly? Or am I actually starting to annoy you? Go on, tell me - I can take it.

5) Do you plan on coming back to hang with me some more?

6) Wanna be friends?

7) Is it raining where you are. Cuz, like, it's raining here. ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME. It's June 14th, for cryin' out loud, and the weather continues to be damp, dreary and brisk. We don't have seasons anymore. Apparently, we just have weather. And it stinks. Uggghhh!

Ahem... Alright, then. I think that's all my questions for now. Feel free to elaborate. But, if you only have time for a quick, Hey, there!, that will be fine too.

Now get crackin'! I expect to see an absolute ton of comments on this one. Or else! (or else what? I don't know. Just considered yourself appropriately warned, m'kay?)


I do have to thank Amalah over at Mom's Daily Dose for the inspiration for this questionaire-style post. She's probably the coolest of all cool bloggers. So, I figured, I'd follow suit. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Mama Monday #17

Theme: Comfort

When everything's going wrong and nothing seems right

When understanding seems way out of sight

When you're off your game and you just can't get "on"

When life seems too hard to have any fun

It's such a comfort to know

Your family loves you so.

Everyone else may be angry, mean and cruel

But the warmth of your husband - your child - your family is all you need to pull you through.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Lessons Recently Learned

- NEVER go to a kids' movie on the opening weekend. Especially a rainy weekend.

- DON"T take a 3 year old to a 2 hour movie. 1 1/2 hours is good. Nothing more.

- Little girls who just learned to use the potty want to visit all potties everywhere - repeatedly. Three, count 'em - 3 - trips to the public restrooms at the theater. Twice to the ladies room, once with Daddy to the mens room (although that trip was pretty much only to fulfill Sweetie's ulterior motive of getting popcorn while they were out).

- I should not be the one to venture out alone with Sweetie in public, if at all possible.

Evidence A: A visit to Kohl's Department Store's ladies room, resulting in Sweetie getting away from me after we left said restroom and my calling loudly and frantically as I searched for her in the racks until Daddy showed up and found us.

Evidence B: Yesterday at the theater's restroom when, upon re-entering the movie, Sweetie decided that it would be much more fun to crawl back to her seat. I couldn't yell at her and my very angry words and threats to her meant nothing. All I could do was let her crawl and follow behind. Then quickly and thoroughly wipe down her hands with the baby wipes I had in my purse once we got to our seats.

I'm learning everyday here, people. Every single day.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sweetie Saturday #11

Netflix movie of the day: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Sweetie has special names for the different places we visit.

Because of the bullseye logo, she calls Target The O Store

Because I get lemonade whenever we eat there, she calls Panera Bread The Lemonade Store

Because she gets to eat popcorn whenever we go there, she calls any movie theater The Popcorn Store.

In fact, the first time she referred to the theater as The Popcorn Store was months after her first experience in one. We were going home from Nana and Papa Dave's house and she said how she wanted to go to The Popcorn Store. She had to give us a lot more information so we could figure out what she was talking about.

It's over there, Mommy. (as she's pointing in the very general direction of where she believed it to be). You go there and you eat popcorn and you watch Madagascar.

Ooooooohhhhhhh. Of course! The Popcorn Store!

And I swear she has a special name for the place I go to get my haircut. But when I just asked her what that place was called, she said The Bathroom. But that's where she goes for haircuts. Like the one Nana gave her yesterday - in Nana's bathroom.

Cutie :)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Plugging Away

Hi, All. Guess what. Give up? Well, I'll tell ya.

I've been published again! Yay!

The lovely ladies over at MommyBloggers contacted me to write a guest post for their site and I was more than happy to oblige. You can click here to read my essay. Thanks so much for the opportunity, MommyBloggers! I had a lot of fun writing for you.

Oh, and did I tell you that my Go-To Mom articles started appearing over at ClubMom? Well, they did. In fact, I'm already fixin' to send off my second batch of articles to them very soon. Click here to get to my profile page and read through my ever-growing collection of essays.

As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Mama Monday #16

Theme: Yo-Yo

What an emotional experience it is to be a mom! Likewise, the yo-yo emotions of a toddler are enough to make almost anyone go mental. And, of course, everything intertwines and she and I play off of each other in our up and down, round and round, tangled sort of dance.

One minute Sweetie is cranky, whiney, and just plain ornery. Not listening to me or her Daddy, stomping around, and breaking out in wails and sobs for no apparent reason whatsoever. This, in turn, puts me in a foul mood. Annoyed with her behavior, frustrated by her whines, and fed up with just about everything. I give up!

Then something changes. Who knows what's happened to turn her around, but here comes Sweetie, all cuddly and loving. Using her manners, being her silly, dancy self, doling out kisses and hugs for everyone. Instantly, she's set me right as well. All is right with the world and I'm loving my life again. Loving this motherhood gig 110%.

The Yo-Yo's of Motherhood

Crying because your tiny baby is crying and there's nothing you can do about it and no one around to help you; at the same time crying because you realize you're finishing up maternity leave in a couple days and you won't be the only one constantly comforting and protecting your little one anymore.

Hating going back to work, missing your little girl all throughout your day; at the same time hating that your precious little bundle won't take a decent nap during the weekend so you can get things done on your own and/or have some quiet time for yourself.

Flipping out in a holy rolling out-of-your-mind crazy nutso freak-out session because your in-laws just walked in the door but all you've wanted all day is to spend a quiet evening with your Hubby and 5- month old daughter.

Frustrated that diaper changes are such a fight and wishing the whole potty training thing would just magically take care of itself and, boy oh boy, can't she just understand that it's much nicer to go in the potty than have messy, wet accidents; at the same time realizing, hey, potty training actually did go pretty smoothly, with tears coming to your eyes when she beams at you as she pees in the pot. She's so proud of herself and you're so proud of her too. She's growing up, becoming more aware of her body, having more control of what she can do, and (gulp) gaining more independence from you.

Can't she just stay little forever?!

But, gee, I sure can't wait to meet the wonderful, intelligent, full-of-life young woman she's destined to become.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Here's the Poop

Okay, this is the last post on the potty training/bathroom habits of Sweetie. Really. Promise. For now, anyway.

So she was working on it all day yesterday, but she finally did it. She pooped in the potty!

She had been pretty grumpy and whiney all day. And she kept going back to sit on her potty even after having just peed. So I knew she was working on something. But we went about our business anyway, taking her with us as we went clothes shopping at a couple different stores (she had to visit both store's restrooms, of course. Two stores, three bathroom visits, only two of which produced anything).

We got home from shopping and fixed dinner. Sweetie wanted nothing of it. She sat with us for a few minutes at the table, had maybe one bite of food, then started squirming. She wanted a treat (after all, she had just previously peed in the pot). We said she could get two treats, but she had to eat her dinner. Nope. She got down from her chair and we told her that was fine, but no more treats for the day.

Hubby and I sat at the table, finishing our supper as Sweetie walked past us into the bathroom. Soon she walked back to the living room, carrying the little pot from her potty training chair (which had been emptied and left in the bathroom right before supper). She smiled silently at us as she passed by. It was funny to see her so matter of factly walking with the pot, on her way to making her potty chair usable again.

So, like I said, Hubby and I were finishing dinner and she's noisily playing in the living room. She'd been so whiney, cranky and tearful all day that her current carrying ons didn't even register with me as anything out of the ordinary.

Then, all of a sudden, Sweetie's announcing, Now I get two treats!

No. The only way you're getting any treats now is if you poop in the potty. I inform her as I rounded the corner to check on what she was up to.

And there she was, our mini Vanna White, proudly showing off the contents of her potty chair.

See? It's poop, Mommy.

Why, yes. It certainly is, Sweetie.


I won't go into anymore detail. Suffice it to say, Sweetie got the "pooping" treat she'd been working on all day: letter cookies. She wanted to spell out my name. So that's what she got: "M" "O" "M"

One final note: yesterday I did give her two servings of orange juice and a small spoonful of honey. Both natural laxatives. And we also found a tub of candied pineapple in our cabinets. She had some today and loved it. Looks like we found ourselves a new potty treat! Now, instead of M&M's, whenever she goes potty she'll get the candied pineapple, which will help her go potty some more.

Candied pineapple, orange juice, apple juice and other fiber-filled foods are definitely going to be much more prevalent in Sweetie's diet, at least for awhile. Anything to make her more comfortable about her new bathroom routine.

Yay for Sweetie!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Sweetie Saturday #10: Potty Edition (of course)

I've got just one funny quote from Sweetie this week, but it's a good one.

Yesterday, after drinking several servings of "sweet juice" (warm brown sugar water - helps to get the poop movin') Sweetie finally pooped in her potty at Nana's house. She also happened to be peeing a lot from all the liquids she had been plied with. So, after she pooped she stood up, looked in the pot, and said.

Oh, I didn't know it was going to be that!

We'll have to see if she's able to go again in the potty. She's been trying some more this morning, but no success yet. So I'm not terribly confident that her experience yesterday cured her of whatever "fears" she's having over the situation.

Thanks for all the good tips, advice and encouragement you've given on the subject. I'll keep you posted (I know - you just can't wait to hear more about this, right?)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Potty Training: The Rundown (The Legs)

How Things Differed From My Attempts Last October:

1) Currently: I knew days in advance that Memorial Day Weekend would be Training Weekend. As opposed to spontaneously deciding out of anger and frustration that, "That's it! No more diapers!"

2) Currently: Because I had a plan in advance, my husband also knew what to expect. As opposed to his being upset by my spontaneous, anger/frustration induced solo decision that "today is the day!". The current result: full spousal support for me and full parental support for Sweetie.

3) Currently: I've learned Sweetie's bathroom routine. That is: approximately every 2-3 hours, she pees. This, opposed to being shocked at just how much one little girl can pee! I'm talking, literally every 10 minutes when off the potty and not peeing one drop when on the potty (even after 45 minutes of waiting).

4) Currently: Sweetie more regularly wakes up with dry diapers. Most mornings, she's dry as a bone (but, for now, she's still staying in pull-ups overnight). As opposed to waking up soggy and wet everyday.

5) Currently: Sweetie is upset by accidents. It's no fun to pee down her legs and on her toes, and it doesn't make mom and dad or Nana too happy to clean up after her. Opposed to her not caring in the least or, for that matter, even noticing when an accident has occurred.

6) Currently: Sweetie is decked out in all her pretty dresses. I don't often put her in a dress, even though she has many. But Potty Training Days call for easy access, so dresses it is. Opposed to simply trying to keep her clean and dry in anything!

7) Currently: Something magical happened at Nana's house yesterday morning. After two big accidents in a 1/2 hour time period - on Nana's nice new carpet, no less - my mom had a "serious talk" with Sweetie. I have no idea what mom said to her, but the very next time Sweetie had to pee, she stopped her playing, told my mom, and made it to the potty on time! And ever since - success! Sweetie has regularly either announced that she has to pee, or she simply takes herself to the pot all on her own. In fact, at school today (her first day back since training began) I'm told she sat herself on the potty about every 10 minutes or so - not doing anything all those times - just sitting. But eventually, she did in fact pee. An accident free day! Yay! All this, opposed to my mom's role during my last training attempt when I asked her to quick buy and deliver to me some more big girl undies because, gosh darn it, Sweetie's learning today and I don't have enough underwear for her!

8) Currently: We've just completed Potty Training Day #6 and we're still going strong. Actually, I'm pretty confident in announcing: she's trained! We are still working on the pooping in the potty thing, though. I know that's a common sticking point for kids. Do any of you kind readers have some suggestions for getting kids to poop on the pot? I'd love any advice you can offer. Opposed to five hellish hours of puddles on the floor, stains on the carpet, an apathetic trainee, an upset husband, and finally running out of clean laundry (even after mom brought me new underwear), all adding to my angered and frustrated state of mind at the start of the process. Five hours of Potty Training Day and I gave up.

9) Sweetie has the cutest little "knowing" smile. When she pees on the potty, she looks up at you and just beams! Adorable. :)

Results: Success! I'm not only so proud of Sweetie, I'm also proud of myself. This dreaded "event" that I have so been fearing for about a year and a half now - done! And pretty easily at that! Thanks to the advice of friends and family, the help and support of my husband, mom and Sweetie's teachers, and Sweetie's readiness to master this exciting new part of growing up, potty training has successfully taken place.

Now - seriously - can someone please help with this whole "pooping in the potty instead of a pull-up" thing? It's our last obstacle. Thanks so much in advance!