Monday, May 31, 2010


So, tomorrow is day one of my official potty training bootcamp. I have read so many different articles and blogs and taken in so many different suggestions that it may be a little chaotic folks. I feel like I'll be winging a lot of it. We'll give the timer a try. We may try a bare bottom. We'll have stickers for trying, and we'll definitely have big rewards for results.

Just like last time I cried out for words of wisdom, I was again met with much encouragement after my most recent post. Even though I know so many moms have gone before me in this endeavor, it helps to hear you dreaded it, but survived. Some of you with ease and others with much weeping and gnashing of teeth. I guess the common theme I heard was the encouragement to wait until he was ready, which I have heard a lot. Even though he is resisting it a great deal, he is able to hold it, talks a lot about the potty, likes watching a musical potty video and other cues. So, I'm not sure if this is technically ready, because despite his interest he still doesn't want to actually do it!! With that being said, we're going to give my hodge podge of recommended methods a try this week. If it is a complete disaster, we'll abandon ship and give him a few more weeks to consider getting on board.

Although I welcome your suggestions, encouragement and sympathy, the main reason I chose to blog about the experience was to keep myself accountable. I know it won't be fun and I will want to give up, but if there is a group of folks wondering how it's going or at least pretending to be interested with their funny comments, I will keep on! I would really love for Jack to be mostly trained by the time preschool starts back in August.

On another note, we had a great long weekend catching up with friends. Some regulars and some longtimers that we haven't seen in a while. I look forward to filling you in on our Memorial Day gathering where the kids two and under almost out numbered the adults! It will have to wait until later this week though...I'm thinking I better get a good night's sleep in preparation for... tomorrow!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Eyes on the Prize(s)*

I'm not above bribery, at least not in small doses. So, Josh said he had read a potty training tip that included letting a kid select a few new toys and then putting them out of reach and then giving them as reward once said kid uses the potty successfully. I didn't balk; in fact, I had a few ideas for prizes. Jack loves bicycles, but probably isn't really ready for one. A tricycle on the other hand, seemed like the perfect motivation, right?

So, I saw a trike in the sales paper and we took Jack along to buy it. Josh stopped in front of it in the store, and Jack asked if he could have it. Josh said sure, but told him he had to poo-poo** in the potty first. Jack then basically repeated to me the agreement. While at the store, we even let him pick out some real underpants. Sesame Street (complete with Elmo & Super Grover) were the garments of our two-year-old's choice. Well, that was about 4 weeks ago...yes, that stinkin' trike has been sitting (in the box) in our bedroom (as a fervent reminder) for almost a month!! Not only has Jack not fulfilled the agreement; he basically refuses to even sit on the potty. How could this be? I mean just look at how happy the kid on the trike box is! (Okay, you're right...he looks a little too happy. Probably because he just peed in his pants! So, you don't have to be potty trained to get a bike I guess) Anyway, I expected potty training to be difficult and challenging, but this is going to be a LOT harder than I thought!

I don't feel like I'm approaching it haphazardly. Jack & I have been talking about it for many months, and I've been reading lots of articles, websites, etc. One common theme was basically, "don't push it, let them send you signals that they are ready." I also read some ideas about clearing your schedule for several days (basically not leaving the house) summer seemed like the perfect time to embark on our journey, right? Well, Thursday was Jack's last day of school/mother's morning out. I've been telling him all week that we are going to start using the potty next week. Each time I'm promptly met with whining and fussing.

Several weeks back (before the big prize purchase) we started a chart. Jack loves stickers. Since I felt I couldn't really give him candy every time I wanted him to sit on the potty (currently the only way he'll sit on the throne without crying and pitching a fit the entire time), we'd make it a game. Each time he sat on the potty, he'd get a sticker for his poster. Every time he washed his hands, another sticker. More stickers for each time he produced results and then more for flushing afterwards. The chart was only exciting for about an hour...

This same two-year-old LOVES sports and playing outside. He'll even settle for watching it on tv every now and then. In fact this morning, he asked to watch tennis. So, we watched the French Open while folding laundry. Another strong favorite is golf. I knew he'd love this little golf set. Hopefully, so much so that he would NOT wet himself and instead pee pee in the potty. So, here's the reward for's been around almost as long as the trike.

So, as excited as I am that summer is here, I'm also dreading the start of full-on potty training. Even though he's fighting it tooth and nail I feel like I can't wait any longer. I know he's only 2 1/2 but he's a big 2 1/2 and no one wants to be changing a kid's diaper that is as tall as them. The plan is to lay-low next week (starting Tuesday...even potty training deserves a Memorial Day reprieve) and spend a lot of time in the bathroom. Wish us luck...we are going to need it!

*I'm going to guess I'm officially considered a mommy blogger since I have just blogged about potty training!

**yes, I just typed 'poo-poo' on my blog. I hope this is not a sign of what's to come unless of course it's in the potty...then in that case, bring it on!

Remember Me?

Thinking my three-month-old looked bored and needed some entertainment, Jack & I ventured down to the basement to fish out some of his old toys. This silly (and sometimes annoying) little bear baby gym used to be one of Jack's favorite toys...and apparently it still is! He couldn't get enough of it this morning. Maybe Sam will get a chance to figure it out without big brother hovering over him soon.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

For Anyone Else

Would he accept grimy handprints, goldfish crumbs and snot on his nice white golf shirt for anyone else?
Would he gladly surrender his last bite of M&M Blizzard for anyone else?

Thanks for being such a great dad! Big thanks for taking such great care of me yesterday evening and making sure that (despite the fact mom wasn't eating) no one went hungry. Would he do all this for anyone else?

Of course...he would! Just look at me!

On the Bright Side...

Whew...yesterday was a doozie. Tuesday evening I got hit with a bout of nausea. After taking some medication I tried to settle down to sleep, but tossed and turned most of the night. I woke up Wednesday completely miserable. The doc's professional opinion was that I had been hit by the stomach bug. I was ordered to drink lots of fluids and rest, which is much easier said than done with a two-year-old and 3-month-old. The biggest drawback I've found to being a full-time mommy is that you don't get sick days. Thankfully, my little men were champs. It's as if they knew I needed them to be on their best behavior. Jack did grow bored of laying around in bed and abandon me for the basement at one point, but overall he was so good.

So, on the bright side...
  • we could have run out of milk yesterday (instead of today when I'm feeling much more like venturing to the store)
  • Jack could have decided not to nap yesterday afternoon following our very lazy morning (instead he took a 2-hour plus nap and then stayed in his room singing and entertaining himself for another hour)
  • Sam could have decided he wasn't happy with a bottle and needed mom to hold him (instead he happily took 3 bottles in a row and was content to snooze in his carrier most of the afternoon!)
  • Jack could have been suffering from the same illness at the same time (instead he most likely had a touch of it Saturday evening/Sunday morning)
  • the bug/virus could have put me out of commission for days (instead after about 36 hours, I'm feeling much better)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gonna miss this...

My sweet little sister spent the evening with us Monday. I made one of her favorite dishes for dinner and she joyfully agreed to watch the boys while I went to my bible study meeting. I know Jack had an awesome time with her, her puppy Cash and even got some screen time with his Uncle Jonathan. We will be thrilled to have my brother-in-law home in August, but unfortunately his appearance will be short-lived. He's off again in September to Mannheim, Germany, and this time he's taking his lovely bride with him. (Yah for them; Boo for us!) Somehow while caring for two nephews this evening, Em managed to download Yahoo Messenger on my laptop and then showed me how to use the video call feature. With a 3+ year assignment, I imagine I'll get pretty good at it. I know she's counting down the days until her hubby's return, and we are too...but for different reasons. Thanks again for watching the boys. Looking forward to your last day of post planning in 9 days; we're going to squeeze a lot in these next couple of months!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Plain Old Great Day

Well, Sunday started off far from "great," but it sure finished strong. Josh was showering, Sam was fed and I was pretty much completely dressed and ready for church (things were great and on schedule for me to arrive early to teach a preschool Sunday School class this week), when I went upstairs to get Jack up and dressed. I was greeted with a bit of a mess. Seems our big guy had a bit of an upset stomach during the night.

Of course, my mind immediately recalled a crying spell heard over the monitor sometime around 3:30 that I pretty much ignored thinking he'd go back to sleep...which he did. Now, I felt like a complete failure for having ignored my sweet son's pleas for help. My poor child had called for me and eventually gave up. I had disappointed him. Thankfully my husband reassured me that I had not in fact scarred our son for life and that I was a fantastic mommy. He also volunteered to stay home with the boys.

So, I drove off to church still feeling the heavy burden of mommy guilt. But, as four-year-olds arrived one after another, I was met with smiling faces and eager hearts. I sat in on the beginning of the service to watch the graduate recognition and the sweet slideshow that preceded. I cried for the second time that morning. After a dash to Ingles for Gatorade, I arrived home to find three happy boys. Jack had even had a bit to eat with no incident.

I fixed a quick lunch and then everyone took a nap. Mine was interrupted by a hungry three-month-old, but I quickly got him satisfied and back to dream land. Naps are so much more satisfying when the whole house is indulging! Jack awoke still feeling good. So after a bath, we headed to church for his end-of-the-year preschool celebration and program. As you can see his part was very minor, but fun nonetheless.

What better way to celebrate the end of the year than a trip to McDonald's, right? We finished our night out with a stop at the park. I have the incredible opportunity to spend many days with Jack and Sam at the park, usually with good friends alongside us. It is a rare opportunity to get to enjoy the park with daddy too. Jack took advantage by taking his first ever pass on the monkey bars...and it wasn't his last.

A Visit From the West Coast

We had some visitors from the West coast join us for part of the weekend. The Pucketts have been living in San Diego for several months now and are slated to return to Georgia in just a couple more months. We were grateful that they found time to visit us during their trip last week to begin finalizing plans for their return. We weren't sure if Jack would really remember Ben, Wendy & BJ, but it didn't really matter. He was thrilled to have a friend to play with.

He had some trouble with BJ's name and kept saying PJ. We tried to teach him by saying "ba, ba, ba BJ," but that only resulted in him calling him "ba, ba, ba PJ!" Thankfully BJ didn't seem to mind too much. He showed Jack how they jam on the West coast. We are looking forward to the Pucketts being closer to home in a few months. For now, enjoy that ocean air!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We Got the Beat

One of the perks of small town life are the many fesitvals and community gatherings. I grew up attending the Marigold Festival every year and still remember the thrills and surprises that day held each year. Each spring, Clarkesville holds the Mountain Laurel Festival, and we've been attending the parade for a couple of years now. I think this was the first year Jack was really into the festivities. In this mom's opinion, he was unbearable cute as he sat on the curb seated with friends waiting for the fun to begin. The action started early as the high school marching band was one of the first to pass by. Jack, of course, couldn't help but join in with the beat.


Last week we had a wonderful reunion with some special friends who have been away for almost a year now. Thankfully for us they paid a visit to Georgia and even more awesome is the fact that they will be back for good in just a couple of months. Anyway, what better place to plan a reunion with the kiddos than the park? The weather was a little muggy, but that didn't interfere with the fun, food and catching up we all had planned.

So glad to have these sweet friends back in my frames again...

Enjoy your last few weeks and live it up there on the beach, Hill family and then hurry home! See you soon!

Three months ago...

...we had a brand new baby less than 24 hours old. That's right yesterday was the 3 month mark for sweet little Sam. Although he's not so little anymore. Obviously he's still got a ways to go before filling up the big leather chair, but he's certainly gaining on Curious George.

"George, can you believe she's making me do this?"

"Maybe if I smile she'll call it quits?"

Sam is smiling a lot these days and loves looking around at everything. Thankfully, he's still a big fan of sleep too. We are so very grateful to have been blessed with such a content infant. He certainly seems to know when big brother is in need of attention and happily hangs around in the background. As a friend pointed out sarcastically at a recent gathering, "I bet you wish Sam wasn't so obtrusive!"

Monday, May 10, 2010

I've Got A Secret

What a great weekend. It began with dinner right off the grill on Friday night and continued with big tires and loud horns at the Touch-A-Truck event on Saturday. Jack is just a tad obsessed with fire trucks, ambulances and the like. Although he was a little less excited and bit nervous to see them so up close and personal, he had such a good time seeing the trucks, a rare Russian spy boat and a helicopter.

On Sunday, we participated in the parent-child dedication at church. Our families came to support Sam on his special day. It was so wonderful to spend the day just hanging out with everyone. Take a look at some of the fun.

Another of Jack's recent obsessions...whispering and secrets. Last Saturday during a long car ride he just kept whispering "I say doughnuts..." and then waiting for us to laugh. This weekend it was whispering in your ear this heart-melting secret: "I love you!"

look who's smiling...

So I finally caught the perfect shot of our sweet little man grinning ear to ear. He saves most of these smiles for his mommy, but shares them with others too, like daddy, big brother, aunt Lisa and grandmothers. We enjoyed a wonderful weekend as a family and a beautiful mother's day with extended family. I'll fill you in on more of that later...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Growing like a weed?

So, a friend of mine (who I think reads the blog) was holding Sam the other night and said, "Oh, I didn't know he was cooing now!" I then realized I hadn't really given much update on Sam except for how it applies to big brother's adjustment. Eleven weeks today, Sam had his 2-month check-up last week and weighed in at 12 pounds 12 ounces, which is about 75th percentile. His height was 23 inches, which is 50th percentile. Not sure if it's quite as fast as a weed, but he's grown 3 1/2 inches in the last 10 weeks. Not bad, huh?

In the last 3-4 weeks, he has started to smile all the time...although I'm never ready with the camera (go figure!) He usually smiles when you are interacting with him and smiles all the time when his big brother is playing with him and giving him kisses. Also, "baby sam talking" as Jack says. He makes lots of coos, aahhs and other adorable baby sounds.

He's been sleeping through the night pretty reliably for the last 3 weeks, thanks to my strict Baby Wise regimen. We followed it pretty closely with both of the boys, but I think it worked even more quickly with Sam. He really has accepted his role as the second-born, just being pretty laid back and going with the flow. He doesn't care that big brother is loud and tries to monopolize all of daddy's time and a lot of mommy's too! Granted a few short weeks ago, Sam was hogging all of mommy. I hope we've found a good balance for a little while.

Just Call Me Girl

We bumped into some friends this morning and another classic car ride convo followed:

Jack: "Maui Mommy?"
Me: "Yes that was Mallory's Mommy. Her name is Sarah."
J: "Name Sarah."
M: "Yes, what is your name?"
J: "Naaame Jack."
M: "That's right! What is your brother's name?"
J: "Sam."
M: "That's right. What is daddy's name?"
J: "Naaame Josh!"
M: "You got it. What is mommy's name?"
J: "Mommy's naaaame...girl!"
M: "Girl? Is that my name?"
J: "Yep!"

So, just call me girl folks!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Remember when you were a kid and you could just fall asleep anywhere? Okay, some of you probably still have that ability. I just happened upon an interesting sight a few moments ago. Reliably for the last couple of weeks after we put Jack to bed, he gets out of bed and just stands at the gate at the top of the stairs outside his room. After one of us goes up and spanks him and puts him back to bed, he typically goes right to sleep. I guess it's just a routine he's developed. But as long as he's not getting up more than that one time or in the middle of the night, I think I'll take it.

So, Josh is working his typical Monday night shift in the ER. So, I tucked Jack in with the usual emphasis on not getting out of bed, etc. Not long after I tucked him in I began feeding Sam. I heard a few rumblings, but hoped it was just Jack getting comfortable in bed. After I finished with Sam, I turned on some lights to see if I would hear a scurry of little feet upstairs. I didn't hear anything, but did notice something at the top of the stairs that looked out of place. I climbed the stairs to see Jack stretched out on the hardwoods right in front of his bedroom door with his lovie in hand fast asleep. So, I guess during the period of waiting for someone to come out and punish him and send him back to bed he decided to take a cat nap. I helped him back into his bed and hopefully won't hear another peep from him tonight.

"I Say Dangerous!"

It is so much fun to hear the things that Jack says these days. And one of the cuter encounters took place the other day when even he took notice of his developing vocabulary. Yesterday in the car he asked for "daddy's knife" so he could cut his security tag from church off his leg. When I told him it was dangerous, he repeated it..."daddy's knife...daddy's knife...daddy's knife dangerous." You see, instead of "um, um" he repeats the beginning of the sentence when he's gearing up for a big word. Then the cutest was afterward when he yelled, "I say dangerous! I say dangerous!" Yep, the little sweet heart had realized he had managed to conquer a big word and he was pretty darn proud of himself. Not a moment later he added, "Jack talking!" I guess he wanted to make sure his speaking accomplishments didn't go, of course it was followed by lots of cheers and acclaim from mom and dad!