Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordy & Wordless Wednesday

Is it Wednesday already?

1. (marching around the house) "FE FI FO FUM! I a GIANT! ROOOOAAAR" (Mother Goose is scary.)

2. "I a BIG BOY!! Big boy not need take a nap!" (count down from 10...he's out.)

3. (Praying) "And thank you fo Daddy's work."

4. Me: Who are you coloring that for? Caleb: Jesus.

5. (Me witnessing Caleb counting things on a picture, surprised.) "Wow! You are SO smart, Caleb!" (Caleb even more high-pitched and excited than normal) "YEAH! Tanks!"

6. (Looking around his room for his book. Now digging into my eye...) "Nope. Not in ye eye." (Digging in my chin) "Nope. Not in ye chinny chin chin." "Open ye MOUF. Nope! Not in ye mouf!"

7. (Pointing to eye lashes) "No! Dose not EYE BLASHES! Dose EYE BWOWS!"

8. Having me lay down on the floor, covering me with blankets, and bringing me a pot full of his play food. "Dwink da soup, Mama. You sick. And way down and sweep. You feel better." (I love his pretend games.)


Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Little Bit of Ava Jayne

Although much of my time and energy is spent chasing my 2 1/2 year old, I must stop and take a minute to talk about our little sweetheart...Ava Jayne.

When I say sweetheart, I mean it.

Ava is the most relaxed, happy, smiling, joyful, beautiful, funny, make-someone's-day little four month old girl I have ever met. I have a lump in my throat just thinking of her right now. We just love her so much...

She's at a fun stage of life. She constantly smiles. Sometimes she just looks at us and begins to smile ear to ear when we're not even looking at her. She rolls over and tries to scoot across the floor. She plays and gnaws on toys. She tries to sit up almost all the time. She already has abs of steel and has super strength like her brother. She holds our fingers and stands straight up. When she's really happy, she gets a huge grin, her eyes light up and get wide, and she takes a deep breath in as if she can hardly stand how happy she is. Her giggle is subtle and as sweet as can be. She seems to have a fun personality and can already be kind of a goofball.

She adores her big brother. He absolutely loves her too (whew). If he walks by her, even without looking at her, she gets so unbelievably excited and sort of flaps her arms and smiles with giddy excitement. When I say he loves her, he REALLY does (sometimes so much she can't breathe). He introduces her to everyone he meets and always says how "CeeEe-UTE" she is. She lets him do just about anything to her...with a smile too. He "boops" her with his finger pokes, he "hugs" her until she turns color, and he drums on her tummy with some serious beats. But she looks at him and admires him as if he is the best thing she has ever seen. Here are some wonderful classic brother/sister moments caught:

She is a very special girl, and we love her so much.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordy & Wordless Wednesday

1. "My name Cay-ub. Dis sit-ster, Ava. Dat Mama. (pointing to Daddy) Dis BESS FWEND, DADDY!" (hearts stolen.)

2. "Yeah! Wet's go wimming! (thoughtful look) Noo...wimming too wet for me."

3. In the car as I was eating a tortilla chip, Caleb asked for one. "Sorry, Buddy, they're too sharp." Caleb (desperately): "No it NOT too sharp! It Dee-YISH-is!"

4. "Instinints" (Instruments...EVERYthing is an instrument in our house.)

5. He's beginning to say sorry the way I say sorry to him. "Sorry, you can't play right now. It's nap time." Or "You can't have that, Buddy, Sorry."
He says: "I not take a nap wight now. Sorry, Mama."


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The frugal Haircut

Sure he got a mouthful of hair, he was sneezing out hairs all night, his lungs were full of it, I cut my finger, we made a mess, and it's not a perfect haircut...but I saved 20 BUCKS!
And now...he can see.


At first he said it tickled...but soon he got sick of holding still.

I was laughing hysterically (quietly to myself) at the first few cuts I made...I pictured him going out in public looking like...well like his mom cut his hair.
What was I thinking?
I guess I was thinking that my big brother and his wife are both hair stylists, and maybe the talent would run in the family!
Maybe not, but...whatever-I saved 20 bucks.

The Back:

Ava during all the Edward Scissorhands madness:

The Top:

What a sweet little guy.

I better save money on these things while I can because before I know it he's going to turn into a "cool" teenager...and never be caught in public with a "mom" haircut!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Public Potty Parade!

This is not the type of parade that involves beautiful floats riding down the street or dressed up characters dancing. The only thing in common this parade has with a real parade is the public dirt...and perhaps a candy or two.

Once the kid gets the idea of potty training, "Potty Boot Camp" says it's necessary to practice going potty in public so they get used to other potties. (Once my gag reflex stopped, we faced the public restrooms...It wasn't pretty.) Here are a few examples of our public potty parade.

#1. Dr.'s office. Ava's in the bjorn. Caleb is on the table waiting for the doctor. He gets the know what look I'm talking about. While his face color begins to change, my mind races: "Should we leave the room to find the bathroom? With Ava? And no potty seat? What if he falls in? What if I fall in? What if Ava falls in?? Okay...stop...just GO!" Caleb's now saying "Hoo-ey! Hoo-ey!"

So we hurry. With Ava strapped to me, I throw him on my hip, swing the door open, and start running down the hall as if we're being chased by the poop monster.

We find the restroom...No time to think about all of the diseases we will all surely catch from this experience. I cover the toilet with at least 3 inches of toilet paper as Caleb waits desperately.

As I hold the sweet boy on the potty, I find my mind thinking very seriously about the Bjorn company. I look down at Ava, and because I am completely leaned over, her sleeping body is horizontal to the ground. She is literally being dangled over a public toilet... Whew. Thank you, Bjorn. You make stong material.

SUCCESS! We clean up, nearly overflow the toilet with the layers of toilet paper, and run back to the room. For the first time ever, I am thankful the doctor is late.

#2. Campground. Just picture camping people...dirt and stink are the two words that come to my mind because that is how I describe myself while camping. Now picture the public campground bathrooms. Granted, they're not horrendous, but they're not perfect either.

Again, I see the look on Caleb's face. It's time to go. As we begin the jaunt down the road and through some campsites, I hear Tim's desperate words of advice (he's just as grossed out by the idea of his delicate toddler boy sitting on the nasty germs): "Make sure you COVER it with toilet paper!!" "Don't worry, Babe. I got it covered."

We make it to the stall. "Don't touch anything, Caleb." "Okay, Mama." (Drumming on the stall door.) "Yucky! Everything is YUCKY in here, OKAY??! Please don't touch!" "Okay, Mama." (Now drumming on the toilet paper dispenser.) "Caleb! Don't touch!" (Drumming on the grossest item in the stall: The trash bag holder thing...EWW!) I have GOT to hurry up and get him on this potty!

As I attempt to hold in my jittery, grossed-out emotions, I lay down the first piece of toilet paper. I go to tear off some more from the dispenser when I look down and immediately hear Tim's voice in my head. As if in slow motion, I witness Caleb pick up the piece of toilet paper from the middle secion of the toilet seat, BLOW his NOSE with it, and throw it in the toilet. "NOOOOOOO!"

I was horrified. Great- now I have to re-cover the seat...ah forget it! He just blew his nose with toilet seat. Just get him on the potty and get out of there!!

#3. The Zoo. No need to go into detail about the disgust I felt from head to toe as I glanced around the crowded restroom.

Since Caleb now "holds it" most of the time, I have to be on my "A Game" with taking him to go. This time, I was prepared with special potty seat covers, wipes and sticker rewards (like he really cared).

We go into the stall. I have a flashback of the camping episode as I watch him begin the drumming again. I quickly tell him to hold on to my leg with both hands. (This works for exactly 30 seconds until he begins to unroll the toilet paper.) I'm trying to get the darn potty seat cover ready (that I PAID for). The "handy" adhesive that will prevent him from sliding around is about to give me a small panick attack because the wrapper won't come off.

I am now standing in 6 inches of toilet paper. My feet are buried. I can only see the top of Caleb's head. Not really, but you get the idea.

I'm sweating, but I finally get the expensive seat cover ready and sit him on the potty. I was out of pull-ups and not brave enough to put on his real underwear, so he was in a diaper. He took care of his business (albeit ON the seat cover), and I began to get his diaper back on, with him standing up.

Suddenly I felt creeped out. My bag full of goodies (seat covers, wipes, stickers,etc.) had just fallen to the ground. I'm nearly giggling hysterically like a crazy lady at all of the potty drama when I look down and see what seems to be moving floor tiles.

"Wook, Mama! Ants!" I look over at the huge ant trail marching from the ground to the trash holder. I had just thrown away the over-priced seat cover and had messed up their formation. They were angry ants.

"Let's get OUTTA here, Caleb!"

No wonder everyone was staring at us as we came running out of the stall.

I'm done with parades...and public potties for a while.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Potty Training...It Continues

"Potty training ain't for sissies," she said to herself as she swung her legs out of bed and planted her feet firmly on the floor. (Cue old Western movie whistling sound effects) With a stern look of determination, a pull-up in each holster, and a gleam in her eye, Mrs. Potato Head jumped back in the saddle again. This time...she'd be ready.

(Again, I've never claimed to be normal...don't mind my glitch in social normalcy.)

I was determined to keep trying. If I had to temporarily quit again in the midst of a breakdown, then fine, but for now I was going to jump right in.

And it worked!

Or something worked.

Actually, I have no idea what really "worked", but something clicked inside his mind, and on Day 3 he began to simply go on the potty. (Looking back, I realize that I had actually quit on Day 2, not Day 3...I didn't even make it 2 full days.)

He must have woken up that morning with the same western music whistling in his ears. No more sitting on the cold floor waiting as he would finally look at me concerned and say "IT NOT WORKING."
He would simply get on, "listen for da tinkle", and get off.

Perhaps it was all of my encouraging "happy" smiles.
Or maybe it was the celebration dance I would perform with him when he "did it".
Maybe it was all of the stickers and "Veggie Tay-ol candies" he would receive.

Or maybe he was just plain sick of my tinkle train and tinkle cha-cha dance.
I can just hear him thinking about how ridiculous they were.

Or maybe he took one look at my new look of cowboy-like determination and ran straight to the potty in fear.

Frankly, I don't really care what made him begin to start "putting his tinkle in the potty". I'm just glad we're on the path to diaper freedom.

Does he tell me that he has to go? No.
Does he always make it to the potty on time? No.
Does he care? No.

But when it comes to potty training...we ain't no SISSIES!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Babies

My favorite part about this precious photo is that it was not posed. They sit together this way...
I sat Ava down next to Caleb so I could run to grab something in the other room. I came back to this.
My heart melts and my cup runs over.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wordy Wednesday

1. "Tick-ott" As in, "You tick-ott Ava, Mama." "No Buddy, I didn't forget her. I'm getting her right now!" (my worst fear)

2. "Ban-Bain" As in, "Wook, Daddy! I have Ban-Bain on my knee to Ti-teck my Boo-Boo." (a Band-aid to protect my boo-boo)

3. "Monkey Kittens" As in, Meerkats. (He made this name up after a trip to the zoo when he couldn't remember what they were called.)

4. "Woooore!!" As in, "I woooored at da kids at church!" (He roared at them! Great...)

5. "Dench Fwy" As in, "Pweeze can I have a dench fwy wit my cheese sandwich?" (french fry. Again...great.)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Potty Training: Interruptions

The first 3 days were about the same, with only some minor interruptions...
Did I say minor?

Day 1: Doorbell...loud knocking.
Caleb runs to open the door in his unnawear pants. I suddenly find myself in my favorite TV show: "The Mentalist"! Two DETECTIVES are at my door! (with guns, a notepad, cool sunglasses and badges) I walk outside to answer their questions about some lame-o stealing social security numbers from people I don't know. Suddenly, while still talking to the super cool detectives (and pretending I am on TV), the front door slams shut.
"Oh- that's just my sweet 2 year old. No- it's fine. No- really...don't mind him. He's just potty training today, so he's a"

Then the sound we were all somehow anticipating happened:

Again, me playing it cool (Hey- this was my chance to be the actress I always wanted to be): (Smoothly) "Umm...Okay...well...I'll just tell him to open the door." (Sweetly) "Caleb, honey? Can you please open the door for mama?" (no answer)
The detectives each give a look of both sympathy and relief that they were not responsible for this potty-training-two-year-old.

Super Cool Detective Lady: "Well, we've got all the information we need...You sure you'll be able to get back in?"

Super Cool Me: "Ohh- yeah! Pshh- No big deal! I can just go around back"

Both detectives thank me and leave. I hear the guy whisper..."Wow...KIDS."

Are they gone? Okay good!
(crying from inside) "I hoot my bah-yum, Mama! Kiss it!!"
"I cannot get inside! Caleb, you have to UNLOCK the DOOR!!"
(running feet)

I go around back to find all doors securely locked. (Well, at least I know we're safe inside!) Now if only I could get back inside...

I go back around front, knock and hear sweet running feet again...This time in the direction towards the door.



Needless to say, we didn't make it to the potty on time.

Day 2: Caleb gets a black eye. (No, not from me...Potty training's tough, but not worth fighting about!)

He was simply running to show me a cool new drumming move, he tripped and the end of his "rocking guitar" jammed right into his eye...his first black eye. (Didn't make it to the potty this time either.)

Day 3: He simply refuses.
He runs as far from the potty as possible.
I'm tired and don't choose this battle.
His unnawear pants are wet.
He doesn't care.
He's a boy.

I temporarily quit Potty Training, strap the kids in the car and turn the radio up.

Potty Training: Day 1

This season of my life is simply hilarious. I often find my mind wandering back to my honeymoon days...on the beach...truly careless without any tiny lives that I was responsible for. I was well-rested, clean, and had plenty of time for...ANYthing!
Did I mention I was clean?

When I was about 13, I distinctly remember one of my parents asking me what my favorite age had been so far. I answered that I liked something about every age. Although I was looking forward to lots of upcoming birthdays, I knew that I would not be in the current moment for long. So, I committed myself to enjoying every life stage as much as I possibly could. I try to do the same with my kids' ages as well. There is SO much to enjoy...

...including potty training?? Okay, maybe I'm using the word "enjoy" a little lightly.

Last Thursday, I declared it "Potty Day". After months of Caleb showing me sign after sign of readiness, I finally got MYself ready. I read some tips online (I liked the "Potty Training Boot Camp" site: ). Then I hung up a big picture from a coloring book so that he could put his sticker reward up and see it every time he sat on the potty. I had the soap and towel ready and footstool in place.

He woke up that morning, and we put on his "big boy unna-wear pants" (as he calls them). That day his outfit consisted of "unnawear pants" and a little wifebeater tank top. Besides him looking unbearably cute, this would be nice and potty-friendly.

The first two times were flawless! It was so exciting.

By the third time, he was over it.
I guess if someone was making me sit on the potty every 45 minutes, I'd be over it too.

By mid-day, I was doing things I never expected. The sticker reward was now secondary to the "candy" (fruitsnack) reward that I finally forfeited to. I was giving shoulder rides, horsey rides, crawling, and racing to the potty.

"Potty Boot Camp" said to make it fun and not negative. So I smiled.
And I smiled.
And I gritted my teeth and smiled.
My eyebrows frowned, my eyes glared, my fists clenched...
but I smiled.

By the end of the day, I had actually come up with a song and dance (picture a conga line kind of dance) "Ah-Tinkle-in-the-Pott-ay! Ah-Tinkle-in-the-Pott-ay!". If that didn't work, he would at least jump on the "Tinkle Train". "Tinkle, Tinkle, Tinkle, Tinkle..Choo Choo!!" He couldn't resist that.

I wasn't thinking of Potty Trains on my honeymoon...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

They say being a mom is one of the hardest jobs. I doubt it (as I think of those crazy crab catcher people on the scary ships in the treacherous ocean), but anyways.
One of the reasons they say this is because of the thousands of decisions you have to make on a daily basis...

I am writing as I hear Caleb yelling in his bed for me to get him out. ("Cay-ub want you, Mama!" "Cay-ub can't sweep, Mama!" "Cay-ub want see Ava!" "Cay-ub want dwink cold water, Mama!") Do I go in there? I know what you're thinking...why the heck wouldn't you?

Well, the problem is that he fell asleep in the car while on the way back from my "escape" (dun. dun. dun...)

I was having one of those mornings when I could feel every hair sticking up on my arms...I was a ticking time bomb waiting to go off...I'm talking very little patience from someone who is normally pretty darn patient. So- I packed the kiddos up. No more whining about not being able to find this or that. No more "Wah (hold me) Wah! (pick me up) Whah! (I'm hungry)" cries from Ava...a break- even if it was tiny...they would be STRAPPED down in the back seat, and I could just pretend that everything was under control. Oh and I could then get my junk food (Chick-fil-a) and caffeine fix...

So back to the problem. He usually naps for THREE hours (ahh...nice.) at around 1:30 or 2. But it was noon, and he fell asleep in the car. This usually means his nap for the day will be as long as the car ride (in this case 5 minutes)...unless I could successfully get him into his bed without waking him up. We pulled into the garage and it was do or die. Transfer to the crib without waking him up or he would be awake until BEDtime...Please, Lord, PLEASE let him transfer to his bed.

I successfully got Ava out, put her inside, got Caleb's bed ready, took off his shoes, lifted him out of the carseat...and...Suddenly...he picks up his head, looks at the open car door, and shuts it for me (as if that was his duty and he couldn't possibly sleep through it).

Oh noooooo! So here I am...with my decision. Leave him in there crying and hope he falls asleep. Or save him from his misery and get him up, sacrificing his nap for the day...

I guess there are worse things than spending a little extra time with my growing little man today...wait a second...have I gone deaf? It's quiet in there. Did he finally surrender to peaceful slumber?

Absolutely not. Silence, in this situation, only means trouble... In fact, I just heard him say something about getting on a rocket ship to da moon. Not sure what that means, so I think I'll go and rescue him.