Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Venture into Potty-training!

So we ventured into potty-training a little more than a week ago. I was inspired by my neighbors who recently potty-trained their daughter who is about 6 weeks younger than Gracie using this 3-day Diaperless program.

I had to make a few alterations because following the program 100% was not realistic for us. I'm pleased with the results so far and thought I'd share my experiences and adjustments.

The basic premise of this program is that the toddler goes diaper-free for three days, during which you stay home and encourage peeing by lots of liquids.

I will admit, going diaper-free is a bit easier with a girl than it might be with a boy. I put Gracie in dresses, so she does have some coverage and doesn't feel completely naked. She learned pretty quickly to hold the dress up to pee.

The first few days we stayed home quite a bit. Gracie definately had accidents the first several hours, but also some successes. By the end of the first day she was peeing on the potty the majority of the time. The second day was almost completely accident free.

The potty chair is in the living room and when she is resistant to sitting still, we watch a little TV or read a book and almost always sing a "potty song" (usually Twinkle Twinkle Little Star) to encourage her to sit long enough to pee. There are other suggestions in the article that we use also.

The program encourages bare-bottomed outings, bringing the potty chair along in the car. I have done this some, but usually I'm out by myself with the kids--and managing an infant, a bare-bottomed toddler, potty chair and 5yr old just isn't feasible. (I know I am brave and try a lot, but that's not one thing I'll do!)

Gracie has been in diapers most of the time when we are away from home. However, we always use the potty right before and after each trip and sometimes her diaper stays dry. She has surprised us by having a dry diaper after some of her naps and even a few mornings.

At this point, Gracie is almost accident free while we are at home--even though she's in a diaper for outings. The next step is having her in knit pants or shorts (no panties or pull-ups underneath) at home and learning to stay dry. Last night she was in knit pants for about 4 hours (including at a restaurant) and she stayed dry. Whoo-hoo!!

This has been a great program for us to use and we are progressing quickly. I'm hoping that by the end of this week Gracie will be in bottoms and staying dry--even when we aren't home. She did adjust to being bare-bottomed, but it hasn't been her favorite.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a Potty-training Not Me! Monday blog and laugh at some of our funnier moments!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Working on a new layout...

Please forgive the layout of my blog currently.

I'm working on a new layout, but I am quite a novice and it's slow going!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The View From Here

We had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. Lots of family togetherness, a date night, a family birthday party, and picnicing with friends.

Bean went to a baseball game about 90 minutes away on Monday. Which meant he was gone for about 8 hours later in the day and evening.

I was glad he accepted the invitation. Bean doesn't do enough for himself. I think as a parent, especially of young children, it's important to have ocassional "me" time. Bean always supports when I want to grab coffee with a friend or go on a solo run. I always encourage Bean to do something for himself.

Bean sent me this photo to show how close their seats were to the field and how great his view was.



I of course, felt the need to respond with photos of my view at home.




Can you tell what that is? Poop on the floor. And no, we do not have a dog, or any other animals. For the record, this was just one of two pooplets and the rest of the poop DID make it in the potty!

And then there was the feverish baby I spent much of the evening holding and cooling off with a cloth.



Some nights the course of events might have driven me to the brink, but in this case I was rather calm, cool and collected. Quality family time will do that to me. I was Queen of the World!

I just found the irony rather amusing. Don't you?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Beginnings and Endings

Have you given much thought to how much of parenting consists of the balance between beginnings and endings? It struck me the other day. I think that perhaps the early years of children have more of these. It seems that nothing stays the same for long.

Right now...

Gracie is ready to begin potty-training and end diaper wearing

I am waiting for Lily to begin sleeping through the night

I hope to end swaddling Lily while she sleeps

Miss Rose is ending her first school experience and will begin actual Kindergarten in the fall.

I suppose it keeps life fresh. It truly is a never-ending cycle of starts and stops.

At times it can feel overwhelming and confusing as you, the parent, figures it all out. Sure, much of it happens naturally over time. But we also play active rolls in each process.

Being a parent is a big deal. It's a lot of work. It takes a lot of thought and effort.

And I love it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Renaming

I'm not exactly sure when I created this blog. Maybe about a year and a half ago. I didn't give too much thought to it's name, although I did want it to represent me. I just went back and checked and I began in August of 2007 and gave this explaination for my blog name. And it still holds true.

However, I've been considering a name change. Just for the fun of it.

I think something having to do with "Three Ring Circus" is my top runner right now, if I decide to go ahead with it.

That is how I explain life to many right now. Each of my daughters has their own ring. Bean could be the Ringmaster and I could be the Ringmother. We are just a bunch of clowns most of the time!

In my head I have all these creative ideas for design, but lack the talent or know-how to make it happen. And definately the money to pay someone to design for me.

Or we could be Organized Chaos. That is my life, my house, my office, my children. I AM an organized person. I AM a planner and at times a bit of a control freak. (Okay, Bean would probably say most of the time). But my organization is not always so organized.

My desk at work usually has several piles on it. Don't even go into the drawers! My home is unfortunately full of it's own piles. In 7 years of marriage, we've yet to establish a good system for keeping our mail and paperwork contained. In our defense, we've lived in 5 homes in that amount of time. Maybe after we've been in our current home for a few years we'll have a system. Don't hold your breathe though.

And yes, often there is more chaos than organization. But we try.

Or we could be the Jumping Beans. Bean, Beana, and the Sprouts. Makes me think of the show on Disney, Johnny and the Sprites! Or the Frijoles since 4/5 of us have hispanic genes and the other 1/5 actually speaks Spanish and enjoys going to Mexico.

Who knows. I may just decide to stay No Crying Mama who blogs at No Crying Over Spilled Milk. Or one day you may visit here and be redirected to a new web address!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Weekly Blog...

That seems to be what this has turned into. I do enjoy blogging, so I will take what I can get.

Life is going on...the girls are growing...every day is organized chaos. Chaos that I love and thrive on!

Miss Rose is finishing up her EAK class. Last week her class read Teddy Bear Picnic and we were invited to join them on Friday for a picnic. I brought a picnic lunch for all of us and we enjoyed a good time. My sister happened to be visiting, so it was nice to not have to wrangle all three plus lunch by myself!

Gracie is a character as usual. Last Thursday she was especially making me laugh. She was still in her jammies (a nightgown with non-matching pants underneath). I went to the car to get something and next thing I know, she's walking out to me with a bright green mesh laundry basket in one hand and an oven mitt on the other. Why? Why not of course!! She also tried to stuff the same basket in the bottom part of our armoire. I'm not sure what her plan was there.

The same day Gracie came to me in the kitchen and said "I need scissors." Really? You are barely two. It scares me that you know enough about scissors to ask for them. Of course I did not comply. I did some interrogation and she had a plastic toy that she thought looked like a sandwich and needed to be cut. Oh yeah, and I also found her pushing Lily in the swing saying "swing up higher." This one, she keeps me on my toes!

Lily has mellowed some, but she still makes her opinion known. We still swaddle for naps and nighttime, which I hope she won't need much longer. She wakes one time at night to nurse and I'm still waiting for that one night she just sleeps through.

Here are some recent photos from a family baby shower and Lily's dedication.

Warning: Photo Overload Ahead



Have you seen a cuter little girl??


Sister love



This photo is blurry...but it's a great representation of our family. Notice Miss Rose hiding her face in me because she was embarrasssed to be on the platform. Gracie is being energetic. Do notice though that Miss Rose is wearing a SKIRT!


I love this photo! I love my baby girl.



A pretty decent family photo if you ask me.



These are my two sisters. Notice how DIFFERENT we all look. I think my girls are going to be like this too. Some familial resemblances but individual looks.


Can't you just get lost in those blue eyes? I'm still hoping her eyes remain blue!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Not Me! Monday




I've enjoyed readings entries in this blog carnival and decided it's finally time for me to join in.

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

There are plenty of things I did not do this week.


I most certainly did not consider using a #1-2 diaper on my 2yr old instead of the #4 she normally wears because she was poopy and I didn't find her diaper on first pass in the diaper bag. Lucky for her (and me I'm sure) I found one on second pass.


I did not discontinue applying the antibiotic cream to Lily's eyes after just a few days simply because I forgot--and her pink eye had cleared up.


That realization did not hit this weekend because her pink eye did not return. And after re-starting the ointment, after two applications, I did not forget the next two, again. Not me.


While out shopping, and waiting in a 20min line at Nordstrom Rack, I did not just decide to nurse Lily in line.


Even though Lily had a horrendous reaction to the last dairy I had several weeks ago, I did not decide to experiment just one more time (she's three months now, so she could have outgrown the sensitivity) because a non-fat, extra hot, decaf caramel macchiato was calling my name. I did not pay the price with extra fussiness and an increase in projectile vomit.


I did not bribe my 5yr old several times with offers of treats and movies in the car this week. I certainly don't do that weekly. My children love to comply and I don't need to bribe them.


Bean did not have to restrain himself from laughter when Miss Rose was throwing a huge fit because we made her come inside from wrestling matches with the neighbor boys where she was about to wrestle a boy who was her "greatest challenge."


I did not check our online credit card statement for a work-related charge, only to see that Bean had ordered me a cake from my favorite bakery ever. I am not enjoying the last piece of cake as I blog.

And in conclusion, I definately did not get an iphone for mother's day. That would be an extravagant expense and Bean did not decide to spoil me with it anyways.


Nope, not me.


(Pretty good for my first try at this, huh?)


Crazy 8's

It's so difficult to have the brainpower to blog at the end of a day. I'm understanding why mama's with new babies don't blog as often, especially ones that work!

My IRL long-time friend at Triple Blessing tagged me, and I think I can find the brainpower to complete these lists!

8 Things I Look Forward To

1. Having our new home put together completely (I think it may take months)
2. Having my parents master suite completed and them moved in
3. Relaxing on the couch with Bean at the end of the day
4. Shopping for clothes in my normal size
5. Being able to eat dairy again
6. Date night with hubby tomorrow
7. Holding the baby and having my bigger girls clamor to be next to me
8. Seeing my sisters when they visit

8 Things I Did Yesterday

1. Took Miss Rose to school, Gracie to my mom's and Lily to work with me
2. Worked (I actually accomplished quite a bit)
3. Spent lots of money at Target stocking the girls up for summer
4. Double Shredded-I was feeling the need for more of a workout, so I did Level 3 and then Level 2.
5. Bathed all three kids (with Bean's assistance)
6. Laundry
7. Drank a non-fat milk caramel macchiato (baby was a bit fussy and more spit-up today, but I needed the splurge)
8. Watched Grey's Anatomy

8 Things I Wish I Could Do

1. Sew and be crafty!
2. Make money from home
3. Read more often
4. Run every day (or almost every day)
5. Clean my house more often (really clean, not just pick up)
6. Sleep 7 hours straight!
7. Wear my normal clothes
8. Spend more time with friends

8 "Grown Up" Shows I Watch

1. American Idol
2. The Biggest Loser
3. Amazing Race
4. Grey's Anatomy
5. The Office
6. Ellen
7. Say Yes To The Dress
8. House-hunting and home decorating shows

8 Bloggers Tagged For The Task

1. Jewels @ The Good Life

2. Julie @ The Gross Family

3. Beloved Mama

4. Morgan @ Adventures In Diapering

5. Jen @ Colorado Anderson's

6. Tricia @ Our Adventurous Life

7. The Unlikely Pastor's Wife

I only have 7 I can tag! Triple Blessing and I have too many blogger friends in common and she already tagged them :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Favorite Things: Brownies



It's been a LONG time since I blogged about one of my favorite things.
I LOVE brownies. Especially the ooey-gooey ones. Bean is a fabulous brownie-baker. He always knows the right moment to pull them out of the oven. They are slightly underdone, but continue cooking with the heat of the pan as they sit out. Duncan Hines and Ghiradelli are my favorite brands.

But right now, eating brownies is counteractive to my quest to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. Bean and I can seriously finish 1/3 of a pan of brownies in one sitting.

That's why I am SO thankful for NO PUDGE BROWNIES. When I am in need of something sweet, I can make a single serving for just 110 calories. If I have enough Weight Watchers points left, I might make 1.5 or 2 servings. And sometimes I throw a small handful of chocolate chips in to make it a bit more gooey. Even with these changes, the amount of calories I'm consuming is considerably less than eating brownies with Bean.

I purchase mine at Henry's usually. Although I'm pretty sure some grocery stores and maybe Trader Joe's carry them as well. Just make sure you pick up some fat free vanilla yogurt too as that's what the recipe calls for. Sounds weird I know, but it works.

Happy brownie eating!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dad of the Year Award

I always love to brag on Bean and what a great dad and husband he is.

He dressed the girls this morning so they could leave with me for church. They love to come early and get donuts and go to the early service Sunday school. I have to be out of the door at 7:15am, so assistance is needed!

All morning Gracie kept falling down. In fact, a few people commented on it, asking why she was falling. I had no idea. If I wasn't holding her hand, she'd fall. She took a couple good nose dives.

I was called in to change her diaper and as she was up on the changing table (which she is pretty much too big for...potty training coming soon) I noticed...

Her shoes on the wrong feet.

Bless Bean's little Mexican heart.

In the rush of the morning, he put her shoes on the wrong feet.

Which explains all the falling.

He's still dad of the year though!