Sunday, February 28, 2010

8 months

Another month gone and wow. I can't believe how fast the one year mark is creeping upon us. Sophie has officially been in this world the same number of months she grew in my belly. And she has been just as busy growing.

She claps after doing something good like sitting up on her own and says da-da intermittently. (Still working on ma-ma). She also is a big copy cat. Our favorite game is to look at each other, I shake my head, then she smiles and shakes her head. Over and over this goes. So great to see her catching on to these things. Trying to form the words and repeat actions that we do.

She is crawling. Each day more and more. And GETTING INTO EVERYTHING! Her favorite things to find and put in her mouth are power cords, more specifically the ones to our laptops, and tissues. She manages to find these stashed away in the most obscure places because when I put her down there isn't one is sight but sure enough as soon as I turn my head she has on in her mouth and I have to go digging for the pieces. Mason also helps informing me of these events.

She finally holds the bottle on her own while I actually get to take a breather and eat a meal. This was a milestone I was anxiously awaiting and am incredibly grateful for achieving.

She is standing. With help of course. Only in the last week or two has she been perfecting this skill.
Pushing herself up using anything and everything. From the diaper caddy, to daddy, and her favorite; the leapfrog table. She LOVES this table. Even if it is possessed, going off randomly in the middle of the night. Causing me to leap out of bed, bolt down the stairs, and hurriedly find the off switch. Same with the Step 2 kitchen. One day the burner just randomly went off. It only happened once in a while but recently it decided to drive me so nuts I removed the batteries much to Mason's displeasure.

She loves the game of peek-a-boo. Even initiating it herself. The other day she was holding a diaper, unused, and putting it in front of my face. Then taking it away. I played along asking, "Where's mommy?" when my face was covered. To which she'd respond by taking it away and I'd making a funny face and she'd laugh. It truly is the simple moments, like a game of peek-a-boo, that bring some of the greatest joys to our lives.

And speaking of peek-a-b00. You like how I made that transition? Check this out.
I was feeling around in her mouth after Mason informed me she ate one of his stickers. Remember he is my enforcer and the eyes of the house, keeping us all in line. When....wait! Was that a tooth? Yes, yes it is. It's just barely peeking through but it's there. Sophie's first tooth.

Boy has this been a month of firsts. Can't wait to see what the next three months will bring. Perhaps walking?
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Potty Wars Part 4

Day one
Knowing that there would be accidents and messes to clean up I headed to Walmart the day before to buy the cheapest pairs of under ware I could find. Because if I had to throw them away it wouldn't matter. They were so cheap. This first day didn't go so well. The nastiest poop in his pants and pee on the carpet. There was accident after accident, mess after mess for me to clean up and load after load of laundry to do. I knew it was the first day so I tried not to get so down but I wasn't feeling hopeful.

Day two
A repeat of the previous day. More accidents, more messes. Even with setting the kitchen timer for 30 minute intervals. Having him sit on the potty. Hoping he'd get the concept. We practice and have to pee throughout the day not just once. We even re-instituted the reward of M&M's for peeing in the potty. Still It didn't seem to be working. But we kept with it.

Day three
We had to venture out of the house for soccer class and I was terrified but armed with a zip lock bag consisting of two pairs of pants, three pairs of under ware and one shirt. Determined that I was going to get this right somehow. Grabbed the timeout timer and put it in my sweat shirt before we headed out the door. But we didn't make it that far. Just before leaving Mason grabs himself and looks at me, eyes wide. "Do you have to pee pee?" I asked. And he stood there looking right into my eyes and lied to me. "No," he said while standing in the living room and peeing his pants. Ugh! Though we managed to get through our outing without an accident. The rest of the day was the same as before. When asked he says he doesn't care that his pants are wet or poopy and it shows in his attitude. Accident occurs, he just changes his under ware and continues on as if nothing happened. Meanwhile I'm left confused and frustrated. Unsure if he really doesn't understand the feeling of having to pee or if he does and is doing this to be defiant because he knows it gets our attention. Either way it's upsetting because how do you teach that feeling?

Day four
After three days we finally saw a glimmer of success today. Mason had a small accident this morning but managed to stay dry and clean the rest of the day. He even informed us three times that had to go potty. He even kept his pants dry during his nap. ALL THREE HOURS OF IT. It was a very exciting, proud day for all of us. Hope it can continue.

Day five
He spent the day with my Mom because it was Grandma Sunday. Despite the tiny accident he had at Wegmans, she said Mason stayed dry the whole day. Yes! Another success. She even said he told her he had to poops in the potty. And this is where I stop and think to myself. I can't believe I just wrote an entire blog about pee and poop. But this is what our lives become as parents. Conversations no longer consist of the office, motorcycle rides and out all night parties; but of timeout techniques, poop and all night feedings.

Day six
We are hitting the end of the crucial cold turkey week in this new potty training adventure. What a success today. Kept his pants dry all day. NOT ONE ACCIDENT. Even headed to the bathroom on his own. He finally gets it, I think. He gets the feeling and he goes. No waiting for mommy to tell him, no waiting for the timer to go off to sit on the potty. You get the urge, you go. And it's not just pee. It's poop as well. He is telling us each and every time. And getting his M&M's of course.

Day seven
No accidents again today. HALLELUJAH! I feel much more confident that he will be fully potty trained in time for preschool. It might be in part due to us calming down about his accidents and making a big deal about his successes. Or maybe it was the M&M's and the Disney character under pants I caved in and let him wear.

Whatever it was, he is growing up. And I am so incredibly proud of him. And I have to say that each and every time I look at him in those big boy pants I can't believe how much older he looks.

No longer my baby boy. Becoming my little man.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Potty Wars Part 3

A year later we are still on this journey. This time sucking, energy draining, emotional roller coaster called: Potty Training. To see the adventure from the beginning see my posts on it here and here. Oh how sure I was that he would be fully out of diapers/pull-ups by his third birthday and we'd be in the clear. It is never fun when you are utterly and completely wrong.

Things seemed hopeful and he was really starting to actually get it. He was so interested in being a big boy. Then the birth of Sophie loomed near, I got bigger with less energy and couldn't keep up with the schedule and maintenance it took to find full success. Sophie arrived and with her, the end of Mason's enthusiasm about the potty and being a big boy. I knew he'd regress, but getting back into the swing of things managed to be more difficult than expected.

We didn't go back to diapers, just kept him in pull-ups. Maybe I was hoping he'd miraculously just figure it out on his own. But as his third birthday arrived and he was not even close to peeing in the potty all the time or even recognizing the feeling, I felt hopeless. A failure. If I couldn't get my son to pee in the potty how could I be a successful mother? I know that statement seems a bit over the top and a bit dramatic but I'm sure I'm not the first mother to have that thought creep into her mind over the million of years we've been procreating as humans. And surely I won't be the last.

In full swing of adjusting to a family of four, Twenty Ten arrived and with it the realization that Mason will be attending preschool in the fall and we need to look at schools NOW. Open houses, online searches and talking with other parents it dawned on me that this potty training thing could be the biggest hang up of our lives. Mason cannot attend preschool at the age of 4 without being potty trained. AND WE WEREN'T EVEN CLOSE!! OMG!! Full on panic mode commences. Much to the reassurances by teachers, parents and friends that Mason will be potty trained eventually I wasn't feeling so optimistic.

Getting Mason to sit on the potty these days has become a struggle. He cries, screams, throws a fit and flat out refuses. I think it stems in part to the pressure he has been getting to be a big boy and pee in the potty, and in part to the lack of attention he has received since Sophie arrived. I'm sure it's hard to go from constant attention the only one your parents played with, to having to share their time, love and affection with someone else. It's also not easy with the pressure I have been feeling to get him potty trained. The stress to have it all done by September is overwhelming. And I'm not proud to admit it but I let all this pressure get to me and screamed, yelled and practically blew a gasket each time my son wouldn't sit on the potty. Maybe that is a slight exaggeration but you get the point. There was a lot of pressure to perform and show results fast and we were feeling it.

After many arguments, tears, concerns, frustrations and fears we let it all out and came to the tough conclusion that we would have to bite the bullet and put Mason is big boy under ware. It seemed this would be the only way for him to learn the feeling and get the point across. However after the first two days I wasn't so sure this was a great idea anymore.

Stay tuned for my post later in the week about how our first week of Potty Training turned out. Was it successful or a complete disaster?

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Sunday, February 14, 2010


"We struggle to teach others how to love us. In that struggle, we often forget how to appreciate the love they already give us as only they can give it." -- Nancy Taylor Robson

This Valentine's Day I say to you, appreciate the gifts you have instead of dwelling on the presents you wanted.

Happy Valentine's Day!
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

The best part

And as promised here is a video of the simple joys of a boy, his daddy, and 30+ inches of snow.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blizzard of 2010

This winter season has been the worst accumulation of snowfall since 1996. Amassing to over 60+ inches total since the first snowfall in December. And while I have always hoped for a White Christmas since I was a child and happy we got one this year. And even with Mason having had a blast during the first snowfall and desperately wanting to have another snowball fight since. And as beautiful as freshly fallen snow makes the world around us, I am over, get that O-V-E-R this fluffy white crap that is never ending. Honestly the snow is great for all those kids in school loving the fact that they have not had classes all week but when you are stuck at home with two kids, namely a rambunctious three year old who is having serious cabin fever and therefore developed massive behavioral problems. Not so fun. So when the outside of your house looks like this:
It's hard to not go crazy and scream your head off at the littlest things. I am not a big fan of the snow right now, can you tell, and I'm sure most residents of Northern Virginia are feeling the same. Though we are doing what we can to keep busy and not be too bored. Like shoveling the driveway (a million times).
And can I say it's not that cool when EVERYONE in your neighborhood is out with their snow blowers and you're the jackass who is breaking your back with an archaic shovel. (Side note: we do have wonderful neighbors who have pity on us and helped out with our driveway a time or two and for that I am extremely grateful).

But anyway after the two weeks of being stuck inside from the sickies and now this blizzard that seems to never end, we all have a serious case of cabin fever and needed to get out. So I stuck Sophie in her jumper jump, in which she was quite content for like 20 minutes, bundled up Mason and headed out the door. I could tell Mason NEEDED to be out just as much as me because I got outside and saw him running around and screaming and laughing as if he'd been locked up in a cage like a dog and finally let out to run free in the open.

It was great to get out, breathe some fresh air, see people I am not related or married to.
Never thought I'd be longing for the struggle of packing up the kids in the car and heading to the grocery store, Target, anywhere but home. Yet here I am hoping we get thawed out soon and can resume our normal everyday lives. Because, seriously, I'm losing it one snowflake at a time.

Video of Mason and Fred being silly in the snow to come soon.
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Thursday, February 4, 2010

remembering relationships

Supplies: my scraplift digital template of Cathy Zielske's Layered Template No.35, Ali Edwards Remember Word Art,

It's been quite a long time since I created a layout. But this picture I snapped of Fred and Mason the other day, staring out the window, needed to be documented. And before I forgot the story behind it. I took Cathy's layered template from Designer Digitals and copied it (yes i scrap lifted the design because I am too cheap to pay for something I feel I have the ability to create myself for free). In copying great design I learn from it. And hopefully one day be able to create my own style and designs. Anyway. So I made the above layout today and I love it.

Jourlaning reads: Father and son sharing a moment. Father and son admiring machinery as boys often do. This time the snow plow driving through our street after the latest snow fall. Mason recently interesting in real cars like minivans, garbage trucks, toyota prius'. Father and son exchanging glances and sharing knowledge. Father and son having a relationship. A relationship I've loved and watched grow over the last three years. January 03, 2010.

Highly inspired by both Ali and Cathy I strive to document more of the everyday moments than the big events. Because quite honestly it is these moments that I sit around the table with family and friends and reminisce.
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Monday, February 1, 2010

a hoose

There is an episode of Max and Ruby that came on recently and since we have the brilliant invention of DVR (though it's beginning to be on my list but that is a different story) we get to watch this particular episode anytime we want. In Mason's world this means just about every morning.

This particular episode is called Duck Duck Goose. A fun, energetic game. And if you had a childhood, I'm sure you played it at least once. I have a feeling this game will be seen being played at our house this spring and summer. It's just a hunch but, knowing my son loves to run and his favorite game of late is to chase him or us around the house, it gets pretty tiring fast. But hey I can log it into my chart on Wii fit so I suppose it's a win-win. Seeing as you chase someone around in a circle until either you tag the Duck or sit down, Duck Duck Goose is sure to be a hit with him and me (I admit it was one of my faves growing up).

Anyway. So why am I going on and on about a childhood game and what does this have to do with Max and Ruby? Well only that they play the game on the show and Mason LOVES to watch it. And well when asking for the episode this morning, it was so damn cute, he says, "Mommy I want to watch the hoose episode." Huh the what? And he looks at me all like, Come on Mom get with it. And says, Oh you know, the one where Max runs around and says Duck. Duck. A Hoose. Ha, ha, ha. Right. Of course. Silly me. I knew that. ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Sometimes he just spits out the funniest things and I can't help but be that Mom, the one who loves the way he mispronounces things. Though in reality I should be correcting him since he will be going to preschool in the fall. The BIG BOY he is. But for now I'm going to indulge myself in him still being my funny little baby boy.
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