Monday, June 30, 2008


The life of an 8 month old is quite demanding.

Playing with toys is such hard work.

A woke up from his morning nap, played for about 15 minutes, and crashed again.

His body must be going through another growth spurt; he needs his rest.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dry bum!

WOOHOO! We've had our first full day of success. This is huge. My little J woke up with a dry diaper this morning. She went tee tee all day long, several times. (I think she's in it for the candy now.) And she's back down for the night, dry as can be, for now. Through previous experience, I recognize one day of success is not the grand finale. In all actuality, she'll probably be successful for a couple days, then retreat to tee teeing all over the house for another couple of days. (That's the stage that really pushes my anger button.) Then she'll be good to go until she's paying for her own Depends.
Way to go JL. You're working super hard, and I'm so proud of you.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Potty Training Success

Skittles? Really? Yes, Skittles.

We had to get creative with J, and Skittles were the answer -- Skittles with the added benefit of positive peer pressure.

I've learned just how stubborn my precious 2 yr old is. She can hold her tee tee for days, if necessary. She just wasn't thrilled about putting it in the potty like her sisters were. She wasn't afraid. She actually loved crawling up on the potty and sitting there - her little throne. But she would grunt and grunt like she was trying to push something out, all the while smiling from the attention she was getting from her sisters. So we changed strategies. It's amazing what one Skittle can do for a 2 yr old. Whenever J tee tee's in the potty, she gets one Skittle, and she gets to give one Skittle to each of her sisters. How cool is that?! Now she loves going tee tee in the potty because she gets to share the exciting moment with her sisters. And of course, they are continually reminding and encouraging her to go so they can get a piece of candy.

So far, so good. Now J gets upset when she can't make something come out. I love helping my children excel in life. It's so much fun experiencing success with them.

I'm a little concerned with using the candy. This is new for me. My Mom used M&M's to help my brother conquer putting #2 in the potty. It was a wonderful success, until they went to the grocery store where he saw a bag of M&M's. Of course in his mind they were "Poo Poo Candy" which he yelled up and down the aisles. I'm scared of enduring the same type of embarrassment, but if that's the price for pushing our children to the next level, embarrass the mess out of me. I'm good for it.

Update: J just came to the office crying. I asked her what was wrong to which she whined, "My tee tee won't come out." I said, "Oh no! What can I do to help you?" Her response, "I need you to spank it. It's making a bad choice." So apparently now I'm off to spank some tee tee. Just another day in my life of Toddlerdome.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

So close ... yet so far

So close ... yet so far.

J was running around bottomless this morning. The urge to go comes to her so quickly, she doesn't quite have time to pull down panties. So naked we have been. I hear, "Oh Mommy! Oh Mommy!" as I see J running to the bathroom. She doesn't really like an audience, so I stayed back watching from a distance. A cry of "Oh No" leads to a pile of mess (defined as #1 and #2) on the floor at the base of the potty.

Hey, we're getting pretty close! The bathroom floor is a hundred times better than the carpet, especially for this excretion.

And to be honest, success for my precious, stubborn, hard-nosed little J, is her complying to the societal norms of putting human waste into a toilet. She tends to fight everything. I love her independent spunk! But for her doing this (in essence giving up the comfort of all she's ever known - diapers) is a huge step in the right direction.

Way to go J! It won't be long babe!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

a white kangaroo

Beware: I'm complicated. No really. I tend to make things much harder than they really are. Like take today's example. The girls got a new game in the mail. (Thanks Grandma for the preschool magazine!) It takes the story "Brown Bear Brown Bear" and makes a cute little game using colors and animals. While I was cutting out the game, I noticed the kangaroo was not colored. I first thought, well maybe the girls could color that one. Then the picture of three girls fighting to color one kangaroo was too much for me to handle. I immediately begin to think of other options. How in the world was I going to explain to a 2, 3, and 4 year old the colorless kangaroo?! My mind was racing as I continued to cut out the game pieces. Before I let the girls loose with the game, I wanted to go over the colors and animals to make sure we were all on the same page. (I have to be careful of this. C and M have naturally taken over the task of teaching J. I have to watch real close, or we'll have a pretty screwed up 2 yr old on our hands.) So we're going through the cards -- yellow turtle, orange duck, blue cow, purple goat, etc... until we get to the colorless kangaroo. My heart skips a beat because I still have not discovered a creative solution. Being the mother of 4, I've quickly learned the key is preventing sticky situations that could lead to meltdowns. A colorless kangaroo is certain to cause a meltdown unless I can spin it quite creatively. So here we go, it's in my face. The moment has arrived, and my precious girls don't skip a beat. C and M continue "a white kangaroo." Oh my goodness!! YES! You are so right. A white kangaroo.

See what I mean? I'm complicated, but aware and working on it. :o)

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's official ... we're preggo!

No the shirts are not a joke. It's true. For those of you who had to miss church yesterday, you missed out on the big announcement.
We're preggo ... again!
I'm about 12 weeks along, and feeling great. Once again, God in His graciousness has blessed me with an uneventful, morning sickness free first trimester.
I have been extremely exhausted, but that's that's to be expected. Hello. I have a human being growing inside of me! God is using my body to do some pretty amazing, labor extensive work. How fun!

I did it!

Yeah! She did it!

J spent last week in her swim suit on the back patio. She was able to get up close and personal with the body's function of releasing waste. Then I could easily hose her down and wait for the next intimate encounter. It was great success. She learned a lot.

So this week J has been wearing panties, but she has yet to tee tee in the potty. Until today, she would "hold it" until naptime when I would put a diaper on her. Then she would go (naturally, after holding it all morning), get back in panties after nap and do the same routine until bedtime. Crazy huh?! Not really. M did the same thing.

Well this morning, J and I had a deep 2 year old discussion. It went something like this:

Me: "J, why won't your tee tee come out when you sit on the potty."

J: "Well, Ma. It jus' don' wanna come out."

Me: "Well then. You need to tell your tee tee to come out. I want you to go sit on the potty, and tell your tee tee, come out right now!"

J: "Okay Ma." as she crawls down from my lap and runs eagerly to the potty.

I sit and listen and hear J climb on the potty and yell, "Tee tee, you come out right now!"

Then what do I hear?! A little trickle! I run to the bathroom cheering, and J is sitting there on the potty with arms raised high saying, "I did it!"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'm an aunt!

Welcome Jim Jim, born June 12 weighing in at 9lb 3oz! What a precious little (strike that, big) boy he is! Isn't he beautiful?!

I had so much fun going to visit him and his new proud parents. It was so worth the puke episode on the plane ride over. (Yes, I deal with extreme motion sickness. It doesn't take much to push me over the edge.)

My Mom and I flew over early Friday morning and spent two days loving on Jim Jim. He is an absolute doll. I can't wait to watch my little buddy grow and develop. How much fun!!

Congrats Jim and Kara! I'm so proud of you guys, and my new nephew.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No posts

No posts this week, and I'm so sorry. Not only are we in the midst of potty training, but I'm also preparing the house, hubby and kids for survival without me for two days.

My sister in law goes in this afternoon for a C-section. My Mom and are are making a quick trip to welcome the arrival of Jim the 4th!

So I've been busy finishing laundry, organizing meals (precooking some things), cleaning house (since I'll miss my cleaning day), and making plans for Father's Day. It's this Sunday, you know! Time is flying by too quickly.

I forget how much I do until I am passing the torch to someone else. And how do you communicate it all?! Like I said, survival is the goal - nothing more.

Daily posts should resume next week when life calms down to its normal level of hecticness. So until then ...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Yum Yum Yummy

Oh no. I'm in the baking mood. It's lots of fun, but not so great on the waistline. Today we made oatmeal raisin cookies, and are they ever so yummy. I used a new recipe - the one from the lid of Quaker oats. I must admit. They are so much tastier than our usual low sugar, wheat ones. Sometimes running out of wheat flour has its advantages. Oops, but oh so yum yum yummy!

C had a fun learning experience. She chose to lick the measuring spoons. The largest one I used for dropping the dough on the cookie sheets, and I intentionally left a little extra for her to lick. Of course the other sizes were used as well for things like vanilla, baking soda, Cinnamon. After licking the dough off, she started to examine the other spoons. She asked if she could lick the Cinnamon. I said, "Sure babe, but I'm not sure that you will like it. Cinnamon doesn't taste too good by itself." Her response, "Oh I'm sure I'll like it Mom. It smells so good." She licked and immediately learned (surprise, surprise) that Cinnamon doesn't taste too good by itself. She said, "Ooh Mom. Not good. And now I don't know how to get this yucky taste out of my mouth."

The scenario reminded me a little too much about my relationship with Christ. I see something, and it looks great. It smells great. I know I will love it. But in the back of my mind I hear God speaking, "Lydia, babe. It looks great, it smells wonderful, but you know it's going to leave a bad taste in your mouth."

How many times do I jump into activities, situations, sinful behaviours knowing it will leave me unfulfilled, depressed and frustrated? Unfortunately, Satan is quite talented in limiting my focus to the excitement of the moment. Lord, help me to remember the after taste of daily decisions.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Best of buds

Ever since A was born, J has been by his side. She was fascinated with him during infancy, and now that he's beginning to really play, she's having the time of her life. She likes to take care of him, mainly getting him toys to play with. She frequently talks to him, and is always the first to run to him if he is crying. Seeing them side by side today helped me remember a funny moment from A's short life.

A, J and I were in the playroom doing our thing - rolling around loving on each other. C and M were playing Candy Land in the living room. A squabble began. I can't quite remember the specifics of the fight, but I'm pretty certain it had to do with someone eating someone else's imaginary candy.

Anyway, I leave A and J for just a minute to help resolve the candy issue. I couldn't have been gone for more than a couple minutes. But when I return, I find A completely naked. No, he was not naked when I left him. He had on a diaper, a onesie, and 2 socks. But here my son was, lying on the floor naked, with his big sister J hovering over him. What was she doing and what is all that white stuff? Yes, she was wiping his unmentionables with cream. I captured the event with photos, but with the nudity and all, I decided to keep it in the family.
J and A - inseparable, best of buds.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Experiment success!

What a beautiful sight! For some reason, I decided today was a good day to begin transitioning baby A to his big sisters' schedule. The girls all go down for nap right after lunch. Currently, A takes a long morning nap and wakes up shortly after I get the girls down for their nap. This has allowed me to have special time with him - just him. But those days are over. He's getting older, ready to move on to bigger things, and I'm ready to have my nap time back.

So this means I have to adjust his morning nap, making sure he's up with enough time to play, eat lunch with the girls, and go back down after lunch. So today is the first day of experimenting.

I just walked into their bedroom to check on them. It was completely quiet which can be good or bad. I've learned, if young children are awake and completely quiet, BEWARE. This means a nasty mess has been created, dangerous activities are taking place, and someone could quite possibly be close to death. I was delighted to find the opposite. My four precious babies, all sound asleep. Seeing them sleep so peacefully - such little angels - makes me think I can't wait until they get up and I get to play with them again. Wait a minute - what am I thinking?! :o)

Just by making the sacrifice to stay home with my children, I have so many opportunities to love on them. Remembering that encourages me to rest and enjoy any "alone" moment that comes my way. And I don't sense any hint of selfishness with doing that.
Just FYI - we have yet to have a naptime when all three girls choose to sleep in the bed. In their little minds, there is something daring and adventuresome about sleeping on the floor. Go ahead child. It's just another battle I choose to not fight.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rotten bananas!

We love rotten bananas! Actually, they're not quite rotten -- just too ripe to enjoy in a smoothie or by themselves. If a banana is a little too far beyond its prime, you can imagine the mess it becomes in little hands. Baby food anyone?

We rarely get to experience rotten bananas at our house. I tend to hear more grumbling at the lack of bananas. Yes, I buy at least 3 bunches when grocery shopping, but we just tend to eat them quicker than the next scheduled trip to WalMart. (And heaven forbid I make an extra trip to the store between scheduled trips. Not only would that be the end of me, but our budget also.)

But this morning I noticed we had 6 bananas quickly approaching their finale. I just had to swipe two of them for my favorite banana nut muffins. I'm so excited! I love banana nut muffins! And I'm afraid I've passed my love for them on to my girls. They are so giddy, just waiting for them to cool a bit. (I've already snagged a bite. Shh... I can handle a burned tongue much better than them.) So thanks again Mom for your banana nut muffin recipe. It has once again brought much joy into an otherwise ordinary middle of the morning.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Fun in the heat

Today we tackled cleaning the outside toy box. YUCK! After a few months it begins to collect dead flowers (weeds) and bugs, dirt, and random broken toys along with small pieces of trash. Sometimes I have no clue where all this stuff comes from!

Of course my little ladies had to take advantage of an empty toy box. Today it's a school bus. Poor J squished in the back. I didn't even know she was in there until I got on the ground to take the picture! Can we say hot?! I can't imagine how they can have fun doing this. Notice the sweat in the hair. It's already hot outside, but then to crawl into a cramped, enclosed area with other little hot bodies would be major trauma for me! Thank goodness I was too big for this adventure.