Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dispatches from the Potty Train to Underpantsville

So, Eleri has been out of diapers during the day since Saturday morning. Not bad! We wanted to take advantage of the Presidents' Day holiday weekend to give the whole "three day potty training boot camp" thing a try. I know, people do claim it works. Lots of people (supposedly) successfully potty train their kids - that's day and night training - in 72 hours or whatever, but I've got my doubts. Still, we have made impressive progress in the past five days. Accidents still do happen, but they are hardly a frequent occurrence. Granted, most of that comes from frequent reminders and cajoling; still, at least some of that is her figuring this whole thing out.

Yesterday, this would have been a very different blog post. We took our first diaper-free trip out of the house (for Eleri...Soren and I have been going without diapers for quite some time now). It was, perhaps, the most stressful, anxiety-inducing outing to the library and grocery store in recent memory.

We left the house at 2:00. I had packed something like 6 pairs of underpants, 3 pairs of pants, 2 absorbent pads, 1 bag for wet items, plus the froggy potty (as a backup). I set a "potty alarm" on my iPod, and we made it all the way through our time at the library before it beeped. I took the kids into the bathroom, where despite the fact that Soren peed first to show Eleri it was all good, she refused. Started getting upset over having to sit on the toilet, very adamantly insisted she did not have to go, etc. So, I spent a few more minutes trying to convince her before giving in and packing us all off for destination number two. (Not a euphemism.)

By this point it was nearly 3:00. She'd gone an hour between potty trips in the past, but not much more than that. We ducked into Buy Buy Baby (which is basically exactly what you'd get if you crossed Babies R Us with Bed, Bath & Beyond, right next to the grocery store, to try again. They had one of the little short toilets, which I thought maybe would be more comfortable for El. Nothing doing. Out of desperation, I lugged us all back out to the car, fetched the froggy potty, returned to Buy Buy Baby and plunked the potty and Eleri down in the big bathroom stall. STILL no luck. So far we'd wasted probably a good half hour in total trying to get her to pee; I'd likely have been better off just racing through our errands and hoping she would last til we got home. I was stressed and envisioning a catastrophic accident all over the shopping cart right in the middle of Trader Joe's.

BUT. Miracle of miracles. We made it. We got through the store (probably in record time) and got home, right at 4:00, accident-free. Whew. It was a bit of a gut-wrenching 2-hour excursion, but ultimately successful.

And today? Today was so much better I hardly have the words to express it.

I was a little smarter today. I packed the potty seat (the little insert one that goes on a regular toilet seat), and a bag of M&Ms (her reward for successful potty-related endeavors). She peed at the rec center, after we dropped Soren off for school. She peed twice at the mall, where we made it all the way through our weekly walk. The second time, we were down at the play area already, and she actually went and climbed into the stroller, asked for her shoes, and answered in the affirmative when I asked if she needed to go potty. Then she peed again at the rec center just before we picked up Soren. And again at the nature center, where we went to play with A after school. We were at the nature center for quite a while, and eventually she did have an accident. But here's the crazy part. It was a very tiny accident. She was able to stop herself, make it to the bathroom, and finish there. I'm unspeakably impressed by this. We headed back home; she took an accident-free nap in the car on the way, and then did a great job for the rest of the evening.

(Future Eleri, I'm really sorry about the whole play-by-play record of your urination habits. I'm just really, really proud of 2 year-old you right now.)

I'm happy to say that I can now envision a time, in the not so distant future, when we will experience life without diapers. And that? That is going to be awesome.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Very Brief Guest Post

Found this in my saved drafts. Not sure who wrote it.

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AsssssssssssSSSSSSSSGHTTHYZzSOOOOOOOsO rEQM MGH.MH````````````MMMMMMMM,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Cute things the kids say/do (that I haven't already put on Twitter)

Soren calls pretzels "prentzels" (see the N in there?). He also says "reg-lee-yer" instead of "regular," which I find amusing because it's basically a mirror version of the nuclear/nukyular nonsense.

The kids play this game that basically involves them (pretend) cold-calling people to ask if they need any construction done. About half the time they're pretending to call 911, inquiring of the dispatchers, "Hello? Anybody need any construction? Please leave a message. Okay, thanks, bye!"

Sometimes in the mornings, if the kids have been particularly good about staying in their beds all night, we'll ask them, "Did you sleep and sleep and sleep?" Eleri has sort of mixed this up a bit, because lately she's been asking us in the morning, "Hey! Did you wake up and wake up?!"

On the "equally cute and irritating" list, we have Soren with his endless Fireman Sam games. There's a little theme that plays whenever the characters on the show are going to a rescue, and Soren hums this CONSTANTLY. Anytime you ask him to do anything, it becomes a dramatic rescue situation. "Hey buddy, can you go put those pajamas on your bed and get some socks out of the closet?" "Duh, duh-duuuuuuh! Na nanana-na, na nanana-na!" (42 seconds into the video) Eleri, by the way, usually calls the show "Fire-Sam" but sometimes says "Fireman Sammy" instead. (As in Grandpa Sammy.)

Soren used to say munch instead of lunch. Eleri's never done that, but for some reason she does refer to the "Monkey Preschool Lunchbox" iPod app as Monkey Preschool Munchbox.

That's all I've got for now. More soon.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

If our belly buttons fall off, what?

For several weeks now, Soren has been asking what feels like hundreds of hypothetical questions per day. These questions usually take the form of, "If [hypothetical situation x], what will happen?" For example, if we're driving somewhere in the car, he might ask, "If another car crashes into our car, what will happen?" About half the time he'll just drop the last two words, ending his question with "what?" Sometimes I really struggle to come up with an answer for him. And half the time, there's a follow-up "Why?" waiting in the wings. I love that he's curious, but some of his hypotheticals are completely random.

Tonight when we were snuggling after story time, he asked, "Mommy, if our belly buttons fall off, what?" Uhh, they won't. "Why?" They can't, they're attached to us quite firmly. "But if they did fall off, what?" Little goof.

Unrelated but also funny, he was helping me with dinner tonight. We were making pasta with garlic shrimp & veggies, and I was letting him help me season the shrimp & peas. He'd already added the minced garlic, and I had the salt, pepper & paprika out on the counter. Eleri chose this moment to need some attention, so I told Soren to hold on a sec while I tended to her. My back was turned to him just long enough for him to get the top off the paprika, and I turned back around just in time to see him finish emptying the entire (very small) jar into the bowl. It was startling, but I managed to remove a fair bit of the paprika mound and adjust the seasonings so it wasn't completely overwhelming. Still quite a tasty dinner in the end. Afterward, he told Tom "I did lots of 'prika!" Yes buddy, you sure did.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Emailing it in

I keep wanting to write about some fun stuff from the past few days, but I keep not getting around to it and then remembering after I'm done with the computer for the night. And previous attempts to post from my iPod have not been super successful, so I've given up on that. But. Tom reminded me about the capability to publish via email, which in theory shouldn't be victim to all the glitches I've encountered when trying to use Blogger in my iPod browser. So I'm going to try that. Which means I'll have to add photos later. And probably links too. But hey, better than nothing.

So, Friday was a pretty exciting day for Soren. After El and I picked him up from school, the three of us drove into the city and met Tom for lunch. After lunch, Soren got to go back to work with Tom for the rest of the afternoon. He'd been begging to go to work with Tom for weeks, possibly even months, so this was extremely thrilling for him. He insisted on wearing his "work clothes" (his suit and tie, though I did talk him into corduroys instead of slacks), which was pretty damned adorable.

So that was fun.

Saturday morning I went to a Zumba class. You wouldn't think this was such a clever idea for a self-confessed clod such as myself, but Zumba classes, it turns out, are surprisingly clod-rich environments. And the general lack of coordination and grace of most participants is a non-issue because everyone's having a good time. It's not like a real dance class wherein the clods stick out and are abashed into quitting. So yay! It was quite a good workout, and it beat the hell out of running on the treadmill.

This weekend Tom & I got to take our turn on the date night rotation schedule thingamajig we've got set up with A's parents. So they watched our kids, and we got to go out. I persuaded Tom to check out this TopGolf place with me. It's a driving range, but there are targets set up on the range for you to aim at. And the balls are all microchipped, so they can tell (most of the time) whether you've hit a target, and a little video screen keeps track of your points, etc. The claim, per the website, is that the driving bays, though outdoors, are heated, leading one to believe going to a driving range on a 36-degree evening in February wouldn't be a completely insane idea. This claim, we quickly discovered, was exaggerated, but we had fun anyway. Cold fun, but a nice diversion. And once we'd played a couple of games, we retired indoors for some beers and rather outstanding burgers.

Sunday morning, holy crap was it cold. In the 20s, I'm pretty sure. I went out to the barn to exercise Vanya, and despite wearing 4 layers above the waist, I never broke a sweat. Brr. Pretty good ride though. Not as much fun as a trail ride, of course, but N wasn't there and the ground was frozen anyway. Thank goodness for indoor arenas on days like that.

Sunday afternoon I helped Soren make Valentine's cards for his classmates. It's...not one of my greatest strengths, trying to keep him from goofing around so much that he doesn't actually accomplish anything, but without micromanaging all of the fun away. I do try. It's definitely not easy for me. But in the end he had valentines that he'd made almost entirely on his own - they were very simple, construction paper hearts, cut out & glued to unruled index cards, and then he wrote his name on the backs - and I had at least some of my sanity still intact. I'm willing to stick that one in the "win" column.

All right. I'm tired. Good night!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Morning Coversation with Soren

S: Mommy, I only like to play with C (at preschool). So I'm married to him!
M: I thought you were already married to A.
S: I am. I'm married to both of them.
M: Well you can't do that. It's not legal to be married to two people at the same time.
S: Well, I am, because...that's what my life tells me. I decided a long time ago that I would be married to two people.
M: Why?
S: Because it's fun!

From the mouths of (not quite) babes, my friends.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Only a few months late

Here are Soren's little preschool music performances from Thanksgiving & Christmas.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Year in Review - 2011

Here we go again! Time to review another year.


January
  • Eleri turned one! (Oh good lord, look how tiny she was!)
  • I did quite a bit of griping about butting heads with Soren (lordy, has it really been going on that long?)
  • We got our new computer, which I used to make some videos (yeah, remember when I used to do that?).
  • We were sick off & on throughout the month. Oh yeah, and I fell on my face. Again.



February
  • I didn't do much blogging in February. I did recap 2010. Ooh, meta.
  • Soren started getting really good at sounding out words.
  • We made it out to the zoo and several parks, despite battling rivers of snot through much of the month.



March
  • In March I was a bit more industrious about blogging regularly. Let's see. Soren stopped wearing diapers overnight. And I posted one of my favorite videos.
  • Here's a fun post wherein I compared monthly photos of Soren and Eleri as babies. D'awwwww.
  • I started the 30 Days of Blogging thing. (I should really go back and finish that, eventually.)
  • Also this month, Eleri got weaned, and I did battle with the local Social Security office. Twice.



April
  • Yeesh, was I ever not sick last year? Well, at least in April we had some fun outings, and Soren & I got to have some one-on-one time in his "Magic Kitchen" rec center class.
  • Soren turned three!
  • We went on several fun playschool field trips.



May
  • Bwa-ha-ha. I forgot that I'd started the Hundred Pushups/Two Hundred Situps Challenge again this month. Will I never learn?
  • The little weasels had their first trip to the dentist.
  • Our balcony garden was off to a very promising start. (Too bad about the insect infestations of the late summer/early fall.)
  • Eleri made a very early first use of the froggy potty.
  • We continued our many, many playschool outings, and at the end of the month, we took our first family trip to The Big Apple.



June
  • Holy cow. We moved Eleri into Soren's room way back in June? I didn't remember that. We must have moved her back to the little crib soon after because...
  • ...my mom came to visit this month. (And I don't remember Eleri sleeping in Soren's room when Mom was here.) I wrote this super long post about her visit, and my summer haircut, and Soren getting to take a pony ride (which made him the happiest boy ever).
  • And what would June be without my birthday? (Answer: Boring!) Last year I turned thirty.



July
  • Eleri had her half-birthday, and the boys got to take a (very, very speedy) father-son trip out west for Tom's brother's wedding. Here is another looooooooooong post about some of the fun we had this month.
  • I made a list of all the words and phrases our little 18 month-old chatterbox was saying regularly.



August
  • Man, skimming through this past year's worth of posts, I'm realizing that I never really got my act together. All year long. (Except for November, maybe? I guess I'll see when I get there.) Lots of insanely long photo posts, very little actual text on record. Sorry about that.
  • But hey, August! We rediscovered Stevenson Square Park, which has since become one of our very favorite places to go play. Also, Tom built a nifty little gate for the kitchen.
  • A few weeks later, we had our very exciting stove-splosion.
  • And let us not forget about the earthquake!



September
  • Busy month. Eleri decided to adopt a once-a-week nap schedule. I made oxtail stew for the first time (yuuuuum). We discovered Signing Time. The kids had the best time EVER playing in the rain. Oh, did I say busy month? That all happened in the first week.
  • Soren started school! And we were late on the very first day! D'oh. Also, Eleri introduced us to Johnson. And she started speaking in full sentences. (Yet another wicked long post here
  • And here is a very cute video of Eleri helping me read a couple of her very favorite books.



October
  • We went to Arizona and Oregon. Soren was a pilot (with beautiful epaulets) for Halloween. I posted all of five times this month. I am so lame.



November
  • British Jenny came to stay with us for most of November. The kids still periodically ask me when she's coming back. It was a ton of fun having her here, which is not the most expected outcome of having someone you barely know come and crash on your floor for 3 weeks. Seriously though, it was great.
  • I let Soren take over the blog. Thrice. (Okay, that last one was in December. But, you know, continuity.)
  • Eleri had a very bad day. Oh, those terrible twos.
  • See that picture up there? The one for this month? You probably don't recognize it, since it is one of many, MANY photos from November that I have not yet processed or posted. So hey, you've got that to look forward to. (All those other November photos, I mean.) You know, eventually.



December
  • Seriously, you guys? I posted TWICE in December? How do you even put up with me? Gah.
  • In my defense, we were pretty busy. Really, really busy, in fact. Marcy came to visit for a week, which resulted in an impressive tourist-style...er...tour...of DC. Seriously, we saw so much stuff. It was great.
  • I was also working tirelessly to finish Eleri's Christmas stocking (which turned out awesome), and we took our second trip to New York. We drove. And it was cold there! (In December? You're kidding...) Colder than we anticipated, anyway. But boy howdy did we have a great time.
  • We celebrated Christmas a day early, in order to accommodate said New York trip (when we went in May, we took the train; this time, we drove, and we headed up there on Christmas morning).
  • We lost poor Johnson (Eleri's stuffed bear). :( He got left at the hotel in New York, and - due to a very stupid mix-up about which I am still very irritated both at myself and the hotel staff - he got thrown away. I can only hope he was not actually tossed in a dumpster but gifted to some other kid who will love him. Eleri, miraculously, has taken to Johnson's "replacement" (a giant pink bunny she has named "Da-bunny") just fine.



So, I guess that about wraps up 2011. Will 2012 be the year I kick my blogging back into gear? (If January is any indication, it's not looking good...) I'll certainly try. And I'll try to apologize less about not posting often, because I do know that gets old. (How do I know? I just read through an entire year of myself apologizing. Eugh.) I can, at the very least, promise to periodically put photos up on Flickr and to frequently update both Soren's and Eleri's Twitter feeds. :)