So I got some great suggestions about Potty Training recently . I combined a few of the ideas and implemented a plan of action immediately.

I took Caleb's diaper away and put him in some of big brother’s underwear. Then I watched him like a hawk. He still ended up peeing on himself and was rather upset about the wetness dripping down his legs. So I told him if he didn’t want to feel that he was going to have to pee on the potty. He whined for his diaper but I stood firm. He told me later he had to pee, so I followed him into the bathroom where he leaned all his weight on his chicken legs against the toilet and pushed his gut out as far as possible. I waited with baited breath. Then, came the tiny stream and the little tinkling sound! You can bet I made a party out of it. Between my laughing with joy, and shouting “yes” and asking for about 7 high fives I think he realized he had just done a very wonderful thing indeed. I told him we were going right out to buy him big boy underwear. So we did. He was excited to pick out a shiny package of Cars underwear and when we came home he got to put a pair on. It’s been fairly smooth sailing ever since.

He refused to poop on the potty at first. The first time he had to go, he ran out of his bedroom, underwear around his legs shouting, “Poops!” while holding his bottom. I grabbed him beneath his armpits holding him well away from me as I rushed him to the toilet. After that, he pooped in his underwear a couple times and that’s when I decided maybe bribery would work. So I told him we would get him a Planet Hero toy if he pooped on the potty three times in one week. It worked, he got his toy and I have a near potty trained boy. He’s still wearing pull-ups at night but he wears underwear all day and I’ve even dared to take him out of the house in it. Now I just have to get him to stop mooning everyone at his first urge to go. He pulls those pants down before I notice half the time.

Hey, if you made it this far you probably have kids, and if not then you must be an extremely bored soul. Until you have kids you don’t know just how exciting talking about pee and poop can be.
Have you ever avoided posting personal content on your blog because you thought you might sound like something of a downer?

That would be me this week. I can’t pin down any exact causes, it just seems to be everything and I’ve avoided posting anything about it, because I didn’t want to scare anyone off with a doom and gloom attitude. But Kailani asked a question for her Aloha Friday meme today that really got me thinking. She asked, Why do you blog? I put down something about a means of communication with the outside world or some such. But as I gave it more thought I realized I started blogging mainly just to say what I wanted to say. To feel there was place outside of my own home where I could truly be me. And to find clarity on different things I was thinking about. You see, writing allows me to really understand myself. As I write down my ideas and feelings, I understand them more. Sometimes I don’t know what’s bothering me until I start writing and then it comes out.

Ah, so that’s why I feel like hiding from everyone. How stupid!

And then I feel better because I know what’s going on and I can fix it or change my attitude.
But lately I haven’t even been honest in my blogging or willing to use it the way I originally intended. I’ve found I’ve been hiding from myself, and just now as I’m writing this I figured out what’s going on.
If you’ve read my blog for long you know that I struggle with, oh, let’s see, depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. The OCD is the main offender and the depression and anxiety usually stem from that. OCD takes many different, ugly forms, and I won’t go into details on how mine works, but when it’s at it’s worst I really would rather lay down and die than try to live with it anymore. Yes, I said live with it.
For so long, it was so natural to try to fight it, and yet fighting seemed to make it worse. I didn’t even know just what I was fighting until I was diagnosed and then I was told that I couldn’t fight it. That it was like some invincible dragon thriving off of every attempt to kill it. The more I fought, the more I fed it. I had to learn to accept it and then put it aside as a false threat. But the threat feels so real. When it’s at it’s worst I feel like I am desperately clinging to hope, to my beliefs, to my faith that I am a child of God and a good, sound human being. Feelings, even when we know they are false, are so difficult to ignore. But I have to do it during panic attacks and when the OCD rears it’s ugly head or I find my mind spinning out of control with terror and despair.

Then of course there is my unwillingness to accept the problem in the first place. Not only do I have to agree with the devil while in the way with him, I have to admit that I’m dealing with the awful disease in the first place. I want to think that every time I get a break from it, it’s gone for good. I don’t want to accept that it is slowly making it’s way back into my head, and when I don’t, it usually culminates into a melt down. Me ignoring what’s going on until it’s so bad it all falls on me at once and I’m left sobbing and praying for relief.

I know that without this God forsaken illness I might not be able to feel the kind of empathy I do for others, I might not be as accepting or understanding of the strange things people do, I might not have such a wild and crazy imagination. I know that without this illness I wouldn’t be who I am today, and as much as I hate this illness, I sort of like, me. So no, I would never change the fact that I’ve dealt with this since I was twelve. But if I could just up and get rid of it at this point, I would. Until it retreats into the shadows for an unknown amount of time again, I’m glad I wrote this and figured out that it’s bothering me again and I’ve just been pushing it aside. Now to willingly accept it and live happily along side it. Easier said than done.
Hubby made us some nice juicy hamburgers for dinner last night. After the table was set and the food placed thereon we gathered around to bless the food. Caleb realized in excitement it was time for prayer and raised his hand shouting, “I say it! I say it!”

“Okay son, say the prayer,” said Hubby, “and don’t forget to bless the food.”


This is what followed:

“Dear Hebby Fodder, *mumble mumble mumble*…and tanka for a Daddy’s Krabby Patty, an a Mommy’s Krabby Patty, *more mumbling* AMEN!!”

Of course by that time Hubby and I were trying very hard not to snicker about the mention of Krabby Patty’s but when he said amen we started laughing.Ethan , seeing the grown ups laughing and wanting to be in on the joke began fake laughing himself and in as adult a voice as possible stated, “That’s the funniest thing I never heard!”

Cue more laughter from mom and dad.
Kids say the cutest things.
I had a birthday recently and I slept in till 8:30 a.m.! Yeah, that’s sleeping in around here. Sad, isn’t it? And when I awoke the smell of fried potatoes was drifting into my room. The boys both came in about then and yelled Happy Birthday and proceeded to ask me questions like, “When is your party?” “Are you making a cake?” and “Can you buy me a present for your birthday?”

Yes, it is true that the more birthdays I have, the less I feel like they are really about me. I’d just as soon buy the kids presents for my birthday because doing things like that makes me happy. And they’d like that too. Besides that, they don’t accept my answer to “What do you want for your birthday mom?”

I told Ethan I wanted no fighting and to be obeyed without whining for my birthday and he said, “Mo-om! That’s not a real present.”

Wanna make a bet little buddy? That’s as good as gold to me. But then I remembered my mom saying she wanted the same types of things for her birthday and me rolling my eyes over it.

Anyhow, after the scrumptious breakfast Hubby made me, I was given the most heavenly back massage ever. Followed by the house becoming miraculously tidy without my lifting a finger. And then, oh then… without me saying a word or giving a sideways glance, Hubby, amazing husband that he is, did TWO loads of laundry. Well, he didn’t fold the laundry, but he put the loads into and took them out of the washer and dryer without prompting of any sort on my part. *pause for breath*

Yes, it was truly wonderful.

Later that day, shortly before we left I heard Hubby whipping up something in the kitchen and though I was curious as of to what it might be, I didn’t peek at the recipe he was looking at. He finished whatever it was, the babysitter showed up and then he whisked me off to the big city. We walked around downtown while searching for a restaurant I had hinted I would like to try. We ended up walking past it probably 4 times because it was halfway underground and the sign was right at eye level unlike all the other signs which we were looking up at. In the end we found it after calling a friend for directions, and we sat and enjoyed some authentic Indian cuisine.

Upon coming home I was treated to an amazing English Sticky Toffee Pudding. It’s not quite the texture of bread pudding and not quite the texture of cake. But it was delicious and the Toffee sauce was to die for.
So all in all, a positively delightful birthday from my family!
Vanessa is now 5 1/2 months old. I can’t believe it.

I savored every second of her newborn age. I remember deeply inhaling her intoxicating newborn scent every time I held her close. I loved the feel of her floppy body, perfectly molded against my chest as she slept. I giggled at each grunt and squeak and toot she made as she awoke every morning, soaking her mattress in slobber as she desperately tried to latch onto her mattress.

And now all of that is gone.

Well, she still toots every morning while stretching. But the newborn smell is gone, she can push away from my chest when she doesn’t want to snuggle and she now wakes up quietly cooing to herself, amazed at each new day.

But though the newborn stage is gone, a new one has brought different joys.

I laugh whenever I see her pants on the floor, kicked off at some point while she was rolling around on the the carpet.

I beam with every attempt she makes to communicate with me. She stares intently into my eyes, slobbering as she babbles.

Her morning smile starts my day off happy every time, and I love that my attempts to tickle her are successful. There’s nothing like baby giggles.

I know soon enough she’ll be on to new things, and I’ll miss what she’s up to now.  Just the other morning as she greeted me for the day I picked her up and said, “You are heavier today!”  Though I said it with a smile, my heart felt a twinge of sadness and I found myself willing time to slow. I believe that concerning my children, I’ll be wondering for the rest of my life, “How did they grow up so fast?”
When my 5 year old son comes to me with a question, I usually give him one of three answers: “NO!”, “Go ask your father” or “I don’t know”.

He’ll usually accept either of the first two answers well enough, but the third is an answer he doesn’t like at all. It does not satisfy his plea. It says to him, you’ll have to wait a little longer to find out. And the boy does not do well with waiting, for anything. Especially when he knows I must already know what decisive answer I am going to give him. He thinks I’m just withholding it for my own tormentive pleasure.

These conversations usually end like so:

“I don’t know” I say for the fourth time, exasperated
“Yes you do,” Ethan insists, then pausing, "You know everything!” he finishes with a wink and a grin.

I can’t tell you how many times he’s used that last line and I’ve thought to myself, “If the kid really sees me as being so omniscient, why in the heck doesn’t he obey me more than 10% of the time? Or accept all of the decisive answers I give him?”

Like the time I didn’t know my own friends name.

Me: “Sweetheart, her name is just Melanie.”
Ethan: No mom, it’s Watermelanie

Seriously folks. He insisted her name was Watermelanie. He loved watermelon. A lot. Anything with the sound “melon” in it had to be prefaced by “water”, so great was his love for the fruit.

And then of course he won’t watch football with his daddy but he will watch flootball. And don’t try to tell him there is no L in there. You’re wrong. Dead wrong, okay?

Oh, and piggie back rides? There’s no such thing. They’re Monkey rides and they always have been. How that got started I really don’t know (though the term monkey ride is far more accurate), but we think it’s funny.

So, though I don’t know everything, I do know this. My little boy is one smart cookie.
If he realizes that maybe I really don’t know the answer to his question yet, a little flattery (you know everything) might be effective in helping me decide. Too bad for him it only works on his little brother.
A Birth Story – Excerpts from a journal entry about the birth of Ethan

“Yesterday became one of the most momentous days of my life. I was awakened at 10:30 a.m. by a cramping sensation. I figured if I relieved myself it would go away. It did, but 10 minutes later it returned. I began timing the return of these sensations and realized I was in the early stage of labor.

…At around 1 pm my contractions started coming no longer than 5 minutes apart. I had a doctors appointment scheduled at 2p.m. so I called them and asked if they still wanted me to come in or just go to the hospital. They told me to get to the hospital.

When we got there they found me to be 3cm dialated. They had me walk the halls a bit to see if I would progress…
….The contractions were becoming much more intense. The pain was all in my hips, lower back and thighs. I felt that maybe I would get through labor naturally because though the contractions hurt, there were breaks between them. However, they continued to worsen and I began losing my composure. I had the shakes, my face was pale and I didn’t have the patience to listen to my husband trying to direct my breathing. I decided on getting an epidural…
   …The epidural only numbed me on one side though, so I could still feel the contractions in my right hip…

Shortly after the epidural was given they found I had dialated to an 8. From there the contractions got even stronger. At 10p.m. the nurse checked me and sure enough I was dialated to a 10. So at 10:30 p.m. I began the fatiguing job of pushing. Though I could feel contractions on just one side, they became powerfully painful again. Luckily though, I was told to push through each contractions which made for good distraction….

….With just the first few pushes I brought the babies head down into view. The nurse said I was a great pusher. However for the next 2 hours there seemed to be no progress. At around 12:20 the Dr. said I would push for 25 more minutes and if nothing progressed, forceps would have to be used…
…around 12:45 when no progress had been made, forceps were inserted. And at 12:50 a.m. on January 25, our first child and son came into the world. The doctor spent the next 45 minutes sewing me up. I tore in about 4 different spots around the v*ginal wall and also tore end to end. It’s called a 4th degree tear, and I can say that recovery from that takes much longer than labor. I also broke my tailbone. Ethan's head was 37 cm around.”

I spent the next 6 months sitting on one butt cheek wherever I went, and my scar tissue stung for 9 months afterward. Percoset was my best friend in the first month of recovery. I wouldn’t wish a 4th degree tear on even my worst enemy.

Funny enough, my two additional children have both been over 10 pounds but I didn’t receive near the tearing with them that I did with my first and smallest.Ethan  was 8 pounds 8 ounces at birth. Caleb was 10 pounds even and Vanessa was 10 pounds 2 ounces.