Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just what I needed

If you have read my previous post you are aware of my sweet, patient, grateful, thankful quiet children being abducted by aliens and replaced with obnoxiously whiney, fighting, disrespectful, rude, and impatient little boys. What happened to my sweet little boys? 

They aren't perfect. I am the first to admit this. We have had rough weeks before, but this week tops them all. I have been home with them for almost 2 weeks now and will be working all weekend. I feel like I am walking on eggshells when they are behaving and when they aren't I just want to run and hide. 

This morning I began my day praying that God would give me strength, peace, and EXTRA patience.  I also prayed that I could make it through the day without any outbursts or saying things I would regret later. I was on the verge of tears wondering if I could stand my ground another day. We started out having a pretty good day and I decided to squeeze in a workout, a quick trip to the grocery store and the library as a reward for good behavior.  

To really appreciate this story, you must know that I am feeling exhausted. I am getting sick from staying up late/getting up early for the week, no naps, emotionally drained from the boys, and just plain worn out.  I begged the Lord this morning to just give me a glimpse of my sweet boys and give me a little encouragement.  I also told Him that I might not make it through the day without these things!

Working out was uneventful, except that I showed up to pick them up during craft time.  That didn't go over so well, but could have been worse. The grocery store went fairly well, but right when we walked in the door Jonah accidently knocked over a cheap yard decoration and it broke.  Had I not been right next to him, and seen with my own eyes that he didn't touch it but that his arm bumped it, I wouldn't have believed it.  Thankfully we didn't have to pay for it, but the cranky clerk sure made him feel bad.  It took all I had to keep my momma bear instincts down as I was trying to nicely explain that it really was an accident and comfort Jonah. 

I held my breath until we pulled into the library parking lot. I gave the boys a little lecture, you know the "and don't think that we aren't going to leave if you misbehave or are naughty..."

Then we walked into the library.  We climbed the stairs up to the children section and I almost fell over when I saw three moms from MOPS/bible study. They greeted me with smiles and I was able to share with them how much "fun" my week as been.  They offered words of encouragement, and praised me for sticking to my guns and not backing down.  One said she was feeling the same way yesterday and said she was having a "I don't want to be a mom today kind of day" and feels my pain. She shared that she thinks times like these just keep us humble.  They help us grow, stretch, and learn more about loving our kids as Christ loves us. Great point!

The kids played. The moms talked. Then we all went our separate ways and I smiled thinking about God smiling too because that was just what I needed and He knew it. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Patience my child

  • Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
The past few weeks Satan has been attacking my heart. He has been filling it with thoughts of unworthiness, defeat, anger, and frustration. I have always struggled with my self esteem. Why is it so hard to admit failure? Why it is so hard to admit and believe we are not perfect? I have had days that I wish not even the Lord had seen. God has been working on my heart, mouth, and thoughts. He has been encouraging me to turn to Him first when I am struggling rather than someone or something of this world. He has shown me darkness, selfishness, and other ugly things inside me that need prayer and change. 

I have been, yet again, humbly moved to tears, silence, and overwhelming peace as He has helped me see the mother and wife He desires me to be.  I have felt God laying these thoughts on my heart for some time and needing to place them here to allow myself to become more transparent and accountable.  I have resisted, covered my eyes, not wanting to see who was looking back at me in the mirror. 

Today, the Lord spoke and I listened. He reminded me that I am not perfect, yet He loves me unconditionally! I rise every day and ask for His help, His desire and wisdom as I am allowed the incredible privilege of mothering these two small boys.  Yet, every day I fail and He is still there whispering, patience my child. Holding my hand, encouraging me to "try again" or praising me when I do obey and follow His instructions. Just like I am doing with my boys. I am really no different than a toddler who needs constant direction, frequent reminders, detailed instructions, and unconditional love as I learn.

I have been praying for the Lord to help transform this ugliness into beauty that is a reflection of what He does desire for my life and not what I desire on my own. You will never guess what question I came across during my quiet time today? 
  • "What qualities does God want to produce in you as a mom? Ask Him to cleanse any undesirable qualities from your life, replacing them with the fruit of the spirit" (This was from that great devotional I mentioned before, 10-minute time outs for moms by Grace Fox)
A coincidence? I think not! Motherhood is one of the most challenging, rewarding, fulfilling, difficult and beautiful thing I have done.  The beauty of it is I am never alone. God is there holding my hand. I just have to choose to take it and allow Him to lead the way. 

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control - Galations 5:22-23

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms -Deuteronomy 33:27

As I am presented with the daily challenges of motherhood, I will be listening for that sweet voice whispering in my ear, patience my child.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Not Me! Monday

It has been awhile since I have participated in this crazy denial of truth that feel so good! This has mostly been because dear MckMama's sweet son Stellan's stubborn SVT stayed sans stopping! However, hop on over to her blog to join in Praising the Lord for his discharged from the hospital after a month and 1/2!  This past week was quite crazy and I couldn't help sharing it with you all...

  • This will NOT be a long post (sorry Richard) but I have lots of ground to cover!
  • I did NOT start the week off by making not one, but two desserts for bible study because the first one fell apart after coming out of the oven. Nope, because that would be silly. I did NOT blog about it either. 
  • I did NOT have a pleasantly surprising play date with a MOPS friend who happened to come home as they boys and I walked by her house. She did NOT then invite us to stay for a playdate and make us lunch! Thanks Amber! We did NOT play outside the entire time and enjoy the unusually beautiful day!
  • I did NOT have a great time watching my little sister Laura win her first soccer game of the season! Go RIDERS!
  • I did NOT have a great time walking with my sister Nikki and the boys on campus here for Earth day. I also was NOT super excited to win a free cooking class after the walk! (I never win anything and never mind that there were only about 12 of us who participated!)

  • I did NOT put the boys down early for naps last week so I could get supper made, cleaning and laundry done, and after all this enjoy the beautiful day with a book until they woke up!
  • I did NOT get to go on a wonderful double date with my hubby, sister Nikki and her hubby Tom to a movie on campus thursday night. It was a sweet treat for a week night! I did NOT almost ruin the night after a heated discussion with Richard. He did NOT leave me a sweet note the next morning letting me know he had a great time despite our "discussion".
  • I did NOT put the boys to bed Friday night and after 45 minutes, when I thought they were asleep, find this in the bathroom...Elijah "pooping" aka stalling and using a whole roll of toilet paper while he was at it. 

  • I did NOT enjoy taking the boys to the circus for the first time! It was NOT so much fun watching their faces light up and get so excited as they took it all in. Although it really wasn't as much fun as I remembered it being as a kid, it still was a blast watching them. My parents joined us and did NOT spoil the boys with cotton candy and popcorn. 

  • Jonah did NOT gag (remember he has a sensitive gag reflex) and almost throw up as we were waiting for their turn on the pony rides when a few of the ponies dropped a few "piles" right in front of him. I did NOT get a picture of him plugging his nose for the rest of the time either, because that would be cruel...right?

The grand finale...drum roll please...the following did NOT happen to me earlier this week after I had a few rough days with the boys ending in lots of tears, yelling, time outs, spankings, and prayers to Jesus to change all our hearts:  Elijah is working on potty training and since he pooped early on wed I threw some underwear on him hoping to have a little "training" session. While I was in the shower, soaped up and trying to hurry, he ran in and told me he "peed in momma's bed" and wasn't done.  This did NOT make me want to utter a few words I can't repeat in front of the boys. I told him to pull his undies down and pee some more in the potty. I recruited Jonah to investigate and he informed me Elijah thankfully just peed on the floor and Jonah wiped it up. While Jonah was doing the detective/clean up work, I heard Elijah say he needed to poop. I poked my head out of the shower, and sure enough I could see some poop stuck to his little bum so I jumped out soaking wet and soapy, stripped off his undies and plopped him on the potty.                                                                

 (This is the NOT me part of the story) As I grabbed the undies and threw them in the sink, Jonah ran back in to see what was going on. I had not noticed a large terd in the underwear until I had already thrown them towards the sink. Only by God's grace did the terd miss Jonah's head by mere inches and land directly in the sink. He was mortified of course and ran out of the bathroom crying and gagging.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  I finished my shower, bathed the boys, and laughed about it the rest of the day!  Jonah now has a fear of flying poop which he will hopefully NOT need counseling to overcome!

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I hope the laughs at the end were worth it!!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Katy's Cake

My dear friend Katy from Iowa shared a delicious recipe with me while we were living there.  If you know me at all you know that I LOVE sweets! Chocolate happens to be one of my favorite things. The wonderful dessert is a chocolate bundt cake with chocolate chips in it.  It is homemade and amazing!  It is referred to as "Katy's cake" in our house.  Jonah somehow remembers her making it and thinks of her when I make it which is adorable.  

I don't make it very often 1) because I will eat it all and 2) because then it wouldn't be as special.  Well I made it 3 times this week!  I made it once last week when our great across-the-street-neighbors came over for dinner and it was a hit.  Last night for bible study we had a pot luck/fellowship night as we transition from one book of the bible to another.  I was responsible for making dessert.  Richard suggested Katy's cake. Now, I will be honest with you and say that I have had trouble with it sticking to the pan before this, but that has meant a few pieces sticking here and there.  The recipe does say to grease and flour the pan, which I do, but once and awhile it sticks.  

I worked all weekend, but did have some spontaneous vacation both sat and sun night from 7-11pm before working at 11pm.  So, I decided I would make the cake sun night and leave more time for myself on monday night since I would be sleeping most of the day (after working all night) and have to get the boys ready and out to bible study by myself.  So I threw it together quick before work and had pulled it out of the oven before heading to work leaving Richard to flip it over.  

At this point I will state that I claim all responsibility for the cake mishap and it was not my husband's fault at all!  And yes, I did write that!  I told him to wait a little bit and then flip it onto the cake plate.  He called me as I was pulling into the parking lot at work to let me know that it was a disaster and the cake looked awful. The whole top layer had been stuck like glue to the pan.  We laughed and I decided I would just make another one tomorrow.  He told me not to and just to bring the broken one.  I said I would just make a new one and he told me he bet it would happen again. 

Well, I rarely give into peer pressure, but I also can't turn down a challenge by my husband! 

So monday I got up a few hours earlier than planned and had the boys down for a nap and that cake ready to throw in the pan. Only I had run out of chocolate chips! Ahh! The boys were sleeping and my plan was ruined! After quickly checking with 4 neighbors I was still empty handed. Luckily my sister came to the rescue and dropped some off while she was running errands. Hurray for Nikki!  The cake did turn out beautifully and I think it was because the boys and I prayed real hard before I flipped this one over!  (Not to mention that I let it cool a little longer and floured it a little more, but they don't need to know that) 

Here are a few snapshots of the infamous cake. 
and Whole.

How silly, you might be thinking, why didn't she just bring the broken one? Why make a whole new cake? Yes, I know. I had to step up to the challenge, I am a perfectionist, and I am a little proud when it comes to cooking/baking.  I wanted to show my fellow bible study members (who I hardly know) that I could do it. Plus, we have a whole cake at home to enjoy (the broken one). Honestly, wouldn't you have done the same? Plus, know I have a great story to blog and laugh about later! 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Blessed Neighborhood

We have felt blessed in so many ways in our new home and new city.  We felt God's hand in our home purchasing process almost a year ago now!  Through an unexpected turn of events, that can not be explained any other way we are living here because God led us here.  From Richard's job, to the house, to this neighborhood. We realized when we were house hunting that you pay for your neighborhood.  Location was just as important to us as the condition of the home or the layout.  We are only less than 5 minutes from my parents, within blocks from two great parks, and our church.  The previous owners told us before we moved in how great the neighborhood was, but we were skeptical.  Not because we knew any different, but because we hadn't yet experienced this kind of community on the street our home was on.  In Iowa City we had gotten to know a few neighbors at each location, but only had a few great friendships blossom from those experiences. 

Last fall when we moved in we were able to meet a few of the neighbors and felt so welcomed and blessed by their friendly faces, invitations to get together, friendship bread, and small talk in the yard.  We have been overwhelmed by how quickly we have formed great friendships with many of the families on our street.  The kids play so well together too!

Last weekend we had an impromptu backyard neighborhood party.  Richard invited a few of the families close by to a barbecue at our place.  I was supposed to work all night, but was able to have vacation for the first 4 hours of my shift allowing me to join in the fun!  Everyone brought something to share and we grilled, laughed, and talked.  The kids had a blast and the adults were able to enjoy some great conversation as a result of the kids entertaining each other. 

We can hardly wait for summer to roll in so we can do this more often.  One of the hardest parts about our transition up here has been having to make new friends and leaving our wonderful friends behind.  We are relieved to know that our great friends in Iowa haven't forgotten us and those friendships are only becoming stronger through distance!  We are thankful that God has brought so many different people into our lives in the past 9 months we have been here.  Through our great neighbors, coworkers, fellow MOPS moms for me, and some wonderful new friends through church we are starting to feel apart of a community.  We are having people over for dinner which we LOVE and did quite often in Iowa, but haven't very much since we moved back.  We are able to spend some great quality time with my family and love watching the boys growing closer to their great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, and uncle.  

The Lord is good and we are truly blessed. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009


For the past 3 months or so, I have frequently been asked if the boys are twins.  Often it is by a complete stranger who happens to find my two rambunctious toddlers adorable.  It, of course, is not when I find them adorable, like when we are trying to safely make it through the check out line in the grocery store or Target.  By safely I mean all three of us are able to pass from the beginning of the check out to the other end without losing any body parts, gaining objects we don't need, and bothering people in more than 3 isles away!

Often they become silly and giddy and as they are giggling hysterically, when they do actually look pretty stinking cute, I am asked if they are twins.  I have never really been able to see why everyone thinks they could pass for twins until recently.  If they are sitting next to each other and giggling (as they often are) and not talking, I could see how one could mistake them for the same age.  

Working in the NICU has resulted in many conversations about how many babies I take care of while I am working, if they are boys or girls, if they pooped or peed, and if I got to feed them a bottle, etc.  Jonah is often interested in these details and has also been fascinated recently by triplets we had in the NICU and that I took care of quite a bit.  He thinks we should have two or three at a time next time.  I told him to keep dreaming.

Anyway, last week we made a grocery store run (the boys and I) and we found a great cart with a small bench in the front for kids to sit in.  It was the greatest invention and I will be praying for it to be available for future trips.  When we went through the check out, I was distracted by quickly getting everything out of the cart as quickly as possible and didn't notice the boys laughing at each other and giggling away.  The clerk asked me if they were twins and before I could answer Jonah turned to her and said, "No, we aren't twins!  We came out of my mom one at a time and took our turns!"  She and I exchanged a look of shock and I informed her that they are in fact 20 months apart, but often are mistaken for twins.  We had a good laugh and Jonah later told me he wishes he and Elijah were twins.  

So yesterday when they were getting dressed, they both picked out the same shirt to wear.  They do have quite a few "matching" outfits and even though I HATED dressing the same as my sister when I was younger and vowed not to do that to my own children, I often do.  Richard finds it dorky and I think its great!  Needless to say I was pretty proud when they decided to be "twins" all on their own. Once I documented the occasion with a picture I realized how much they look alike!  I only hope they stay such great friends as they get older.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday

A highlight of the boys' Wednesday...

Dress up fun compliments of our great neighbors!

Aren't they adorable? I am a little bias, I know, but seriously? I LOVE these boys!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Peace.  I am filled with peace.  The Lord has filled me with peace.  I almost forgot what it felt like. It is a wonderful feeling. I can take a deep breath and don't feel suffocated. I can enjoy today without worrying about tomorrow.  I can LIVE today. The Lord is mending my heart. It is beautiful. What does peace feel like to me? 

It is stepping outside on a beautiful day and feeling the sun shining down on your face, the wind gently blowing your hair, your eyes closed and hearing your children's laughter filling the air.  It is closing your eyes at night to sleep and instead of tossing and turning and feeling sick from anxiety and sleeplessness all night, it is deep beautiful sleep.  It is your body relaxing, melting into the bed and allowing your mind to stop working so hard and just rest.  It is the sweet, strong, arms of a loved one holding you up, making you feel safe, and letting you know it is going to be okay as you cry on their shoulder. It is making it through the day with hugs and kisses from three boys who I love more than anything.  It is silence at the Lord's feet. It is His hand on my shoulder just reminding me of His presence.  It is knowledge that this isn't about me, but about glorifying Him.  It is falling to my knees humbly after hearing, seeing, and finding my favorite verses this past week in EVERYTHING I have done. (Remember my control issues often blind me, so God has to work pretty hard to get my attention at times).

  • It is knowing that the "Lord gives and the Lord takes away" -Job 1:21
  • It is knowing that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" -Romans 8:28
  • It is knowing "not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" -Matt 6:34
  • It is "being still and knowing that He is God" -Psalm 46:10
  • It is knowing that "many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails" -Proverbs 19:21
  • It is knowing that "you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" -Jeremiah 29:13
  • It is knowing that "delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart" -Psalm 37:4
It is praising His name for using the darkness to bring me closer to Him. It is understanding Grace and finding Peace

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just a few random thoughts...

With a title like that I could probably write for days!  Richard and I were able to spend a much needed kidless evening together last night compliments of my parents!  The boys had a "sleepover" with grandma because she had today off from school. After Richard slaved away over our taxes (thanks honey) from an interesting year of change: living and working in two different states (IA & ND), buying a house, and having no one in school for the first time.  Satan was at work preventing from making them go smoothly (internet browser crashing when he was almost finished, printer running out of ink, stapler being stapleless, etc), but he prevailed and finished! Yahoo! He even did it a few days early! 

So, we headed out to celebrate a night together and his triumphant tax finishing. (I can make up words on here because it is my blog, in case you were wondering).  We ran into one problem, every place we wanted to eat at was CLOSED for Easter!  Whoops. We ended up branching out and trying a newer restaurant in town, L'Bistro which happens to be attached to a newer hotel, hence the reason they were open last night.  We were the only ones in the restaurant, but enjoyed a nice relaxing dinner. We had a specialty pizza, a glass of wine for Richard and a Sangria for me. Yummy!

During one of our conversations, Richard made a comment, and I assumed he meant something else, and this miscommunication led to a discussion of the difference between the way men and women think and talk.  We chatted about the magical way women can read each other's minds while having a conversation because they can read between the lines. Versus men who do not think this way and need it spelled out for them. I pointed out that Richard is able to read between the lines when it comes to literature, but not so much with myself. He begged to differ. I provided him with an example to prove my point. (The following conversation occurred between Richard and I, and although this is not a word for word dictation, it is pretty darn close!)

Me: Say I go shopping with a good girlfriend and we come across a super cute purse that I love! Although I won't ask for this purse, my girlfriend would make a mental note of my love for it and may purchase it for me for a special occasion that is coming up. I never point blank asked for the purse, she just read between the lines and bought it for me. 

Richard: It would play out differently with me, but it isn't because I can't read between the lines. Say you and I are shopping and you make the same comment about the purse. I would acknowledge that you would like this purse as a present, but I know you have a lot of other purses at home, "including two very cute bagolitas" and certainly don't need another purse. So, I wouldn't buy it for you. Not because I couldn't read between the lines, but because I am thinking practically. Unlike your girlfriend, who wouldn't consider whether you have too many pairs of shoes, purses, etc and just purchase it for you.

He does have a point here, but I still think there is a magical way that women relate to each other and can converse with each other while using mind reading techniques that men just don't possess.  Plus, I obviously NEED all my different purses and he will never understand this ;0)

Maybe we will both think differently about present purchases in the future!  Either way, we had a few great laughs and I am sure this will spark many more debates as we both love "discussing" things we disagree on just for fun. 

On a side note, we had a great time together last night and my read-between-the-lines hubby must have picked up on subliminal messages I have been sending him because he left me an encouraging note this morning when he left for work.  A simple way he shows me he cares and leaves me on cloud 9 all day!

Now, if only I could crack the code on how to communicate with a toddler boy while he is in his own little world.  I will let you know when I discover the secret. That one might be a money maker!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

We had such a wonderful day Celebrating Easter and that "Jesus woke up" per Jonah. No words can express what I felt as I heard the Easter story told by my 2 and 4 year old! I will save that for another post, but we went to the early service at church and then headed to my parents house for a wonderful brunch with my parents, sisters, brother-in-law and grandparents. It was delicious and fun! The boys did an Easter egg hunt, opened their Easter surprise basket from Grandma Teresa and then we did another Easter egg hunt with resurrection eggs. They are Easter eggs that tell the story of the week leading up to Jesus' death and the crucifixion. We headed home for naps and then the boys are spending the night at my parents and Richard and I are going on a date! Here are just a few pictures from our day!

Happy Easter To All!

(These are compliments of my VERY artistic and Extremely talented little sister Laura)

The tortorous family pictures!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Warming up?

It is 44 degrees right now! Can't believe how beautiful it has been the last few days ;0) The boys and I have been able to be outside more and are anxiously waiting for Spring to arrive. The forecast looks pretty great for the next week too.  I warned the washer and dryer that they will be putting in a little over time soon. Our boys are magnets to mud, puddles, and anything that might make their clothes wet, dirty and needing to be washed immediately.  I was able to catch a few fun pics of the boys yesterday while they were playing. It was quite difficult to get them to stay still long enough to snap a picture. The snow is quickly melting too. Spring is around the corner...maybe?

Jonah trying to kick the snow.

Elijah riding his beloved "bus" (Thanks Hogan's! You have no idea how much he loves that thing) It is too small, but loves it so much. There is no way I can take it away from him!

Is Dad #2?

Yesterday as we were leaving MOPS (mothers of preschoolers), Elijah and I had the following conversation:

Elijah: "Mom, is dad #2?"

Me: "Elijah, what are you talking about?" (I was driving so I couldn't see what he was doing)

Elijah: "Mom, I want to call dad and tell him I love he #2?"

Me: *At this point I looked back to see he had his buzz lightyear phone and his finger on the #2. In my cell phone speed dial, Richard is #2* "Yes, Elijah. Daddy is #2 on my phone."

Elijah: "Ok. I will call him. Thanks mom. "
             " Hello Dad, I love you. How your day? My day good. Ok. Goodbye. See you soon."

My heart melted. I love that little man. He is also very selective about showing affection towards Richard because he gets a reaction out of him when he doesn't.  Hence, the reason I feel the need to document this conversation. 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Richard!

Today is my wonderful husband's birthday!  He is 27 years old! I have had to miss out on helping him celebrate as I have been sleeping all day because I worked all weekend.  We did celebrate last week with my family for this reason, but I still wish I could have been awake all day to hang out. I am so blessed to have him in my life and couldn't imagine it any different.  I love that we have known each other for so long (12 years) and feel he is truly my soul mate and best friend.  I am madly in love with him, which only gets better every year!  He is an amazing father to our boys and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching him with them.  He is also a wonderful husband and I feel overwhelmed at times with the love he shows us.  He has a passion for life and for reaching others that is addicting.  He has an ability to connect with his students and show them how important they are and help them believe in himself.  I am so proud of the man God has made him and look forward to growing old with him!

(These are some fun pics of Richard's mini birthday from last week. The boys found a batman shirt for him and some new pajama pants.  He also used a gift certificate and my gift to pick out some fun new "toys" from the ski and bike shop! )

Happy Birthday Richard!  We love you so much and are thankful you are in our lives!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Our own local artist

Jonah has always been our more artistic child and has enjoyed coloring and humors me by doing "crafts" with me.  He is also a strictly color in the lines kiddo, trees are brown, grass is green, etc while he colors.  I am pretty sure he got this from me!  Until today he has preferred to color in a coloring book because he hasn't been able to draw exactly what he is imagining.  My dad's parents have moved into an assisted living apartment temporarily due to the local flooding. Today the boys and I headed over to visit them. Beforehand I had the boys color a picture for them to hang up in their new place.  While I was running around getting things together Jonah drew the picture above all by himself.  I was a little sad we gave it away as I am a very sentimental, pack rat, save every little cute thing my kids to kind of mom.  However, I decided taking a picture would suffice.  It is a picture of our family and we are holding hands "because we love each other" (I believe from left to right it is Richard, Jonah, Elijah and myself).  I am hoping this will be the beginning of more artwork. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

One Proud Momma!

This is a picture of my little man pooping on the potty!  Thanks for sharing you might be thinking. Or, kind of a weird picture to post on your blog. Not for this proud momma!  Elijah peed and pooped in the toilet ALL day today! He woke up dry (which NEVER happens), in fact he is usually so wet his pjs are a little damp.  So we raced to the bathroom and after a minor battle, I won and he peed. He left his diaper on all day, but would run in there and take it off himself, pee, need help putting it back on and resume playing.  I was holding my breath all day, but I knew the real test would be #2.  

Before I finish, let me fill you in on a few details.  First, Elijah is EXTREMELY stubborn. (I am pretty sure he gets this from his dad!) Second, he has been EXTREMELY strong willed since he was a baby.  If he does not want to do something, he won't.  His older brother, Jonah was relatively "easy" to potty train, mostly because he hated to be dirty or wet.  He picked up on it quickly and has had very few accidents since. He even wore underwear to bed and naps within a few months of mastering this skill.  He was a little over 2 1/2 years old, which is a little early for a boy.  I am not including this to brag, but to contrast our second child who is totally different!

We have trialed underwear a few other times with Elijah and it has resulted in an obvious answer that he is not ready.  He has peed in them and not noticed, or come to me after the fact, when it is obvious he had been sitting in wet undies for some time. Elijah has been having these crying/temper tantrums when he pees in his diaper and wants a new one.  I have refused to play along with this game and have called his bluff.  It has been hard on my mother, who thinks I should be changing his diaper when he says this. I, however, did not agree. If I gave in I was afraid the child would never be potty trained. Plus, diapers are too expensive to throw after only peeing in them once!  I am sure glad I stood my ground. 

Countless times Elijah would follow me around in tears with a new diaper in hand begging me to change it.  I informed him that if he did not like to pee in his diaper than he should pee in the potty, but I would not change his diaper every time he peed in it. I have to admit that I was a little frightened that this child would be in diapers forever. Or that I would have scarred him for life. 

Potty training is one of the hardest things I have had to do as a parent. Possibly because it is something I can NOT make my child do.  He has to want to do it himself. It's that darn control issue again rearing its ugly head!

Back to my story.  So I laid the boys down for naps and was sure that Elijah would poop in his diaper as soon as I left the room and the streak would be over (no pun intended).  I tucked them in and as I walked out the door heard, "Uh oh. Mom I have to poop." This statement usually is followed by screaming and refusal to do this in the toilet when I ask. However, he hopped right out of bed and ran in there. My hopes were dampened when he sat there for a good 10 minutes grunting, groaning, reading my magazines, and playing with his magna doodle. Over time the grunting was only happening when I walked by and was encouraging him. I was about to give up, but he said he wasn't done. I left him for a few more minutes and then heard him squeal with delight as he was examining his hard work. "Look at my poops mom! Look, I did that all by myself" he screamed. 

Jonah came in to congratulate him, but quickly retreated back to his room gagging.  Not because it smelled, but because Elijah managed to smear a little poop all over the seat as he was turning around to check out the final result. I was laughing so hard I almost cried, and was almost crying because I was so proud!

Needless to say, he made it the rest of the day going in the toilet too!  The best part was, when I asked him what prize he wanted for being a "big boy" he said a bowl of ice cream. That's my boy!  I was worried because yesterday I let him have pick out a spiderman movie from my secret stash after he just pooped in the potty.  I set the bar a little high, but I was ready to do anything to get him to go!

I am still on cloud nine enjoying the success of day one.  I know tomorrow is a different day and I certainly am not going to get my hopes up. I am however one proud momma!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Open Gym Playdate

The boys and I went to the local gymnastics place to open gym and met up with some of my coworkers and their kids for an hour of fun!  We have done this quite a bit this winter as it is a little harder to keep two fully energized toddlers happy in doors for so long.  The boys LOVE going and it is sure fun to watch them do their "tricks" the whole time. Afterwards we headed to McDonalds for lunch and more playing.  We were also pleasantly surprised to run into Jonah's buddy Logan (Richard's cousin's son). Those boys get along so well and have lots of fun together!
Jumping on the tramp is so much fun!

Logan and Jonah.   Jonah doing a flip (a trick he learned from Logan).

Mason, Elijah and Ethan playing in the pit. Ethan and Mason having fun!

Elijah checking out the ribbons.  Super Elijah!