Sunday, February 28, 2010

Picture of the Day, Week 8

The first sign of spring! :)

What a full day of shopping with Mom will do! (If you didn't catch on, he's totally sleeping behind those glasses.)

Blonde hair. Blue eyes. Killer smiles. Watch out girls.

This was pretty cute. Reed pushed Drew all the way through the kitchen, down the hallway, and back into the living room. Playing nice together. Loving this.

Standing up ALL.BY.HIMSELF!!

I had to take Luci into the vet today (and walked out with a $120 bill and an antibiotic for a UTI). She's not a big fan of the doctor. She pants and shakes, and in this picture, she's hiding underneath the bench in the exam room, staring at the door, willing it to open!

I L.O.V.E. hot cocoa, and up until recently, was pretty satisfied with good 'ol Swiss Miss. Then, while on vacation in San Francisco, I picked up this gem. Its deliciousness cannot be overstated. Soooo good. Mmmm... But alas, tonight was my last steamy, creamy, soul-warming cup. Looks like another trip to San Fran is in order.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Picture of the Day, Week 7

Before I get to my POTDs, I wanted to share my title page for this album. I've had this idea for a while, but I finally took the time to put it together. It's a really simple idea, but this is where my perfectionism gets the best of me. I would like to say it took just a few minutes to put this together (and for a normal person, it would have), but even with this very simple, no-thinking-required kit, I still find myself making it more difficult than necessary. I finally threw my hands in the air and thought "who cares?" when I remembered that it's not about the perfectionism or balance or excess or beauty (because when it comes to beauty, this kit requires nothing; it's beautiful all on its own) on the pages, it's about the memories that are being preserved within the pages.

So, here's the title page.

The quote in the lower left pocket reads "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big." (Robert Brault) I found this to be a fitting mantra for the theme of this book.

On to this week's POTDs...

Tonight Brad and I had our first date in over a year (if you don't count our vacation to San Francisco back in November). We went out for dinner at Applebees and then went to see "Valentine's Day" at the theater. (Fitting, huh?) Yep, Brad let me pick. And yep, I am that hoaky.

Good-bye waves to Grandma.

I don't have a picture for today...yet. I am a frequent reader of many scrapbooking blogs, and many of them do giveaways every now and then. I entered one such giveaway (leaving a comment automatically makes you eligible to win) on Allison Davis' blog (she's a beautiful scrapper; one of my favorites, of course). I opened her blog today to read the most recent post and saw that I WON! I'll take a picture of my prize when it arrives in the mail and use it as today's POTD. I may also print the post and use an 8 1/2 x 11 page protector to include it in my album. (If you'd like to see for yourself, go here. Side note: I am equal parts excited and embarrassed to have won. This was a very rare occasion in which I didn't go back and proofread my comment before publishing. It's ugly. Really ugly. I blame it on sleep-deprivation, lack of caffeine, and tried potty-training patience!)

This is one of those moments when I see how sweet my toddler can be. Teddy is Drew's must-have f.a.v.o.r.i.t.e snuggly. For him to let Luci cuddle with him, is a pretty big deal. When I discovered this, it made me smile.

Just another perfectly normal Thursday night. :)

The bigger the mess = the better the day. And it wasn't even 10am yet!

These guys have become a staple in our house. Drew's favorite toy, by far, and an ever-growing collection thanks in part to potty training (and my desire that Drew should have A bit over the top...believe me, I know!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Potty Pride

I am pleased to report that we are knee-deep into potty training.

And I have a four-year-old girl to thank for it.

But first, let me back up a few steps. When Drew turned two, I began to develop severe anxiety on the issue of potty training. I have no idea where my thinking was coming from, or why I had this impression, but I thought that at some point in the following six months, Drew would need to be potty trained. But as I looked at him at two years old, there was no way. As smart as I thought he was :) I knew there was no way this kid was going to be able to learn the complicated processes involved in peeing in a potty. So couple that with the self-induced "competition" all mothers have with each other: "My son is two months younger than yours and he was potty trained at 22 months" or "My son was potty trained in one day" and my anxiety had turned into downright fear (severe anxiety + unreal expectations = F.E.A.R.).

Add on to this my belief that I was in no way capable of being a potty trainer. How do you do it? How often? What's the process? When do you start? How do I encourage instead of scar my kid so I'm not stuck home-schooling a nine year old who still wears diapers?!?!

See what I mean? A little bit on the side of crazy here.

So for the past year, I have not been looking forward to this particular toddler milestone. Am I tired of buying diapers for two kids? YEP. It would be great to have a few extra dollars in our pockets instead of having it pooped on (literally) and thrown out, but in no way, shape, or form was I looking forward to this task. I would have paid big money to have someone do it for me.

Instead, I spent big money on bribes.

When, at two years, Drew first expressed some kind of curiosity with the potty, I had run off to the Dollar Store to purchase prizes for positive potty results. For a very short time, he did occasionally use his potty, resulting in being able to pick one of these prizes. This, very quickly, became not as exciting for Drew as originally hoped, and any kind of potty talk ceased.

Anxiety, fear, distress...commence.

So I pulled out the big guns.

(Do you see what irrational fear does to me?!?!)

For probably the last year, I've been collecting these Cars cars. It first started on the notion that I'd tuck them away for future holidays and birthdays (as I became pretty convinced that I, er, I mean Drew, would want the entire collection). But then Drew fell in love with these cars. And I knew, just knew, they would be a great incentive for potty training.

But alas, at every mention of "Do you want to use the potty Drew? You can have a car...", the answer was always "No."

Dang it.

So we stashed the cars away, constantly hoping that someday they'd make it out of their bag and into Drew's hands.

And then, I started learning. Thanks to the encouragement of many great friends who have boys themselves, I became educated. I learned that Drew will know when he's ready, and when he knows, he'll let me know. I learned that he will be potty trained before homeschooling becomes my only alternative. Most importantly, I learned that the average age for boys to be potty trained is 39 months. Three years and three months. They take longer, for whatever reason, than girls do. Because hearing of all my girlfriends' daughters being trained at 2-2 1/2 years had me on edge, this helped immensely to know that Drew was, so far, on track. (I, of course, preferred Drew to be on this side of average, but this fact alone calmed me incredibly.) And so I relaxed. Some. And waited for Drew to tell me when he was ready.

And be still my heart, Drew said the sweetest words on Super Bowl Sunday:

"Mom, I want to use the potty."

Uh, excuse me? What? You do?

"I want to use the potty. I'll be a big boy and won't have to wear these [pointing to his diaper] anymore."

Well, you're right, son! You go right on ahead and sit down!

We had some friends and youth kids over for the game that night, among them Drew's friend Bekah (the one that is going to marry Drew some day). She used the bathroom a couple times while she was here, and each time Drew would patiently wait for her outside the door. Bekah's example must have made something click in Drew's brain. After everyone left, and Drew and I were on our way to the stairs to head up to bed, he stops by the bathroom door and declares his intention to pee in the potty.

Music to a mother's ears!

He ended up not using the potty that night (after 45 minutes of sitting and book reading) but I had renewed hope in my beloved first born son. We could do this, him and me. We could get our potty training on!

So Monday morning came, and thus began Drew's journey toward big boyhood.

We got off to a rocky start, however. Drew said he wanted to wear his underwear, but what I didn't know at that time is that he had to poop, and he wasn't about to do it in either his underwear or the potty. So he held it, and consequently, held his pee, until 1:30 that afternoon. Let's just say...not a pleasant experience for mother or son (although I did learn he had the ability to hold it!). But after that had subsided, we were off. I kept him in his diaper throughout the week (not wanting to relive that Monday trauma) and we were back and forth from the bathroom a lot. And once he realized his prize for using his potty was a new Cars car, he was back in the bathroom five minutes after having peed! But hey, it worked. He received three cars on Monday, five on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, and two each on Thursday and Friday. (I had a lot of cars stashed away!)

This has been the constant state of our bathroom for the past week. Books to read, card games to play, Cars cars, and a pillow for mom to sit on!

Brad's parents were here for the weekend, and knowing I'd have their help with Reed while I was in the bathroom with Drew (it's a bit difficult to help and encourage Drew in the bathroom when I have a Monkey crawling all over me!), Saturday was Day #1 in big boy underwear. And he's been in them ever since. Two accidents on Saturday, but none since. And he refuses to wear pull-ups. Kid's got guts.

Drew received his last Cars car prize this morning, so our friend Piggy Bank is the new incentive. Drew receives 25 cents for pee and 50 cents for both, and at whatever time we feel he's done "training" (at least with this intensive stuff), he'll be able to go to the store to pick out his own car.

So here we are. Well on our way. I know we're just beginning and have a ways to go, but we've made so much progress. Drew's made so much progress. And all that anxiety, fear, and turmoil I was self-inflicting has been washed away by pride. I couldn't be more proud of my little guy. I've realized this past week that learning how to use the potty is a huge accomplishment, and, as odd as this might sound, hearing the excitement in Drew's voice when he exclaims, "Mama, I peed!" fills me with overwhelming joy.

"Mama, I'm a BIG BOY!"

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Picture of the Day, Week 6

We have a yearly tradition of inviting our church youth kids and our adult volunteers over for the Super Bowl. This is this years group.

I'll be sure to post the full story soon, but Drew has (finally!) expressed interest in using the potty. YAY! Today began our first week of training.

Brad and I have had an on-again/off-again viewing relationship with American Idol. We're back on-again this season, due in large part to the addition of Ellen on the judges panel. We love her!

11 months old!

I put together Valentines today for the boys to give to their friends and mail to their cousins. The best part? Practically free. I printed a downloadable freebie here, used paper scraps from my scrapbook supplies, and adhered together with some brads. Wah-la!

I'm not totally sure I should have attempted this...but Reed got his first haircut today. I cut while Grandma distracted with snacks. It turned out OK. But definitely better than how it looked on Wednesday!

Brad and three others co-hosted a Sweetheart Dinner tonight at church as a fundraiser for the group's mission trip to Malawi. We snagged our own's been awhile since we've had a picture of just the two of us.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

11 Months Old

He's growing up fast, isn't he??? One month away from ONE...seems kinda crazy, but really, I'm okay with that. Time has passed quickly, although not in the usual way, it doesn't seem. With so much going on with Reed, we've been through a lot. But to think that's it's almost been a year already? That's wild.

Reed's come a long way. He's no longer on any medication, for either reflux or his bowels. Spitting up has almost completely disappeared, and he no longer requires bibs and only on a rare occasion does he need a burp cloth. He eats two bottles each day, one for breakfast and the other for bedtime snack, although soon his breakfast bottle will be replaced with table food. We still mix cereal in with his formula for no other reason than that it's routine. I'm not totally sure if he'd still need it, but we're okay giving it to him and he's okay eating it. :) He l-o-v-e-s to eat, and prefers table food over baby food (although he'll eat almost anything). He's growing like a weed, and my back feels it everyday.

Although the reflux has subsided, the attachment/separation anxiety phase is in full gear. He's especially attached to me (who isn't, really??) :) which makes things especially difficult around the house. Let's just say that the laundry piles get really really big and the bathrooms get really really dirty. And when he's angry, Reed cries like a teenage girl getting tortured in a horror flick.

Make that seven teenage girls.

And let me tell ya, that just brings out a mother's joy.

So here we are, one month away from ONE. Wow.

It really doesn't get much cuter than this (because he can't cry when he's sleeping!!).

Drew went through a two-day phase of wanting me to take pictures of everything. "Here mom, take a picture of this." Obviously very proud.

Getting crazy with the bouncy ball (all Dad's idea).

"Hmm, I haven't tried that yet..."

Dancing fools.


Future engineer. Note the concentration.

Getting more crazy with the bouncy ball (another one of Dad's ideas).



Laugh. Dance. Drew.

Watch out he comes.

Mr. Popularity. He gets more phone calls than I do!

I'm starting to wonder if I should be concerned about Drew's Lightening McQueen obsession, er, I mean affection.

This lasted about two seconds. It was a nice thought, though.