Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Oh Fuuudge"

picture from here

"Every family has a kid who won't eat. My kid brother had not eaten voluntarily in over three years."

This would be little mr. j- at dinner. He does love lunch, fyi. Breakfast is a toss up.

My mr. loves this movie.
So, when little mr. j puts on his puffy red coat or does his dinner routine, there's usually a laugh with the little guy being typecast.

But, tonight, I believe that my little mr. j might have changed his character association.  You see, tonight he said,

                                Picture from here

And he hasn't even see the movie in his nontodder/movie coherent short life.

This is what happened:
We were finished with the dinner battle of the evening.  He was in the bathtub and the doorbell rang. One of his little friends and his family were out delivering yummy treats (oh, and they were yummy). I hurried and got him out of the tub and wrapped tightly in a towel.  He said hello and "what's in the box?"
We opened the box.
He said, "Oh Fuuudge," (just like Ralphie in the movie) grabbed a piece and ate it.

He also said thank you.

And just in case you were wondering what else my children were doing to emulate this holiday film, I give you the following in reference to a certain 10 year old boy:

               picture from here

The Tree

Our very first Christmas tree was decorated with a small string of white lights and some bows I tied on the boughs.

Following years brought a popcorn string or two, some ornaments made with applesauce and cinnamon, gingerbread cookies and candy canes.  I have some apple ornaments that my mom gave me, I think she might have felt bad for our simple tree. 

Sometime when the little misses were pretty young, my mr.'s mother was working at a Hallmark store.  For a few Christmases, she gave us ornaments.  They are treasures. In fact, when she didn't work there anymore, my mr. and I continued the tradition of getting a special ornament for each of them each year.  (Thank you my mr.'s mother for starting this tradition!) This year we have a flamingo, a cookie, a football that's a jingle bell and a soccer ball. Oh, and one dog ornament.

After 19 years, our little tree is pretty full.

Yeas ago, I wanted a pretty tree.  I wanted it to look all matching & froo froo.

I don't want that anymore.  A few weeks ago, after I put the lights on the tree, the kids opened their ornament boxes.  Then they decorated the tree-by themselves.  It was such a joy to listen to them banter, to hear them talk about all the ornaments past, and to "remember when."

I wouldn't trade this tree or this time in my life for anything.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Picture from here.

Little mr. j went to his second friend birthday party this past Saturday.  It was held at a gymnastics place.  He had a ball, especially in the foam pit.  The kids were all so cute running and jumping in, throwing the foam at each other and trying to crawl around in it.

At one point the young lady running the party asked the preschool crowd to join her over on the big blue mat for some activity.  Little mr. j got out and went and sat down right by her.  He was totally into this party.

Then we heard a little voice say, "I can't get out."  The young lady said, "Use your muscles."  Little mr. j got right up, ran over to the pit, laid prone near the side, stuck his little four year old hand out in earnest and helped another little boy out of the pit.

Awwwww.  (I didn't say anything to him then, but oh how his little choice made me grateful to be his mom.)

On our way home, I said,  "Hey, mr j, I saw you help that little boy out of the foam. That sure was nice of you."
He said, "I know. I am being good.  Do you think I am being good?  I think I am being good. I think I am going to get a present."
And then it dawned on me.  He has been really good lately-he's usually good, so that's really no change.  He's just been a little extra,extra good and I believe there might be an ulterior motive.

On that note, did you know that Christmas is only four sleeps away?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Awesome Training


Hiding from the camera is a favorite pastime of mine. I have issues.
But when it is time to put together the happenings of our life to send to our dear friends and family this wonderful Christmas time, I put my brave foot forward.

I put on lip gloss.

I am not photogenic. I am ok looking in person, but oh -the lens. Yuck.
And I don't get it either, because in my much younger years, a catalog came out with a model that looked a lot, lot like me. Some friends of ours totally thought I had a side job that no one knew about. And-there is a magazine ad out there right now with a picture of a girl who could be a much younger version of me. I think I am going to get her haircut.

The little miss teenagers at my house were merciless.
"Mom, quit smiling like that."
"You look like your mad at us."
"You look like you're in pain."
"Just do this."
"Put your chin up"
"Put your chin down"
"Don't smile like that."
"Smile like this."
Those girls are posers. Those posers made me laugh and laugh.
It was harder than taking little mr. j's pic.

So, I watched those little misses. You know what they were doing? Posing in the mirror. Funny. Funny. Funny.
Do you think if I practiced, I could get more photogenic?-I highly doubt it.
I'll just enjoy catching their poses and laughing.
And maybe someday I will grow up and let someone catch a picture of me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


tounge-in-cheek, kidding
Oh, oh, oh.
I love it when something strikes me as funny. Please pardon my facetiousness.
My mr and I were just vegging in front of the picture box and we ran into some commercials.
There were two commercials during the same commercial break for a certian specific type of birth control that used a very catchy jingle. (The vegging had just begun, I profess to not be a television junkie.)
The joy I found in these commercials was compounded by the fact that we were watching the very large & growing Dugger family on TLC.
I wonder if JimBob approved that.
Post edit--It's Dec. 13th, and I've read that the dear family mentioned has given premature birth to their most recent child. Best wishes and prayers to them!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Today our afternoon blew up.
And it did not end badly.

Earlier this week, miss h told me she was babysitting for them (and then waved her arm towards a neighbor's house behind ours) on Friday at 5:30pm.
She has a standing twice a week babysitting job for a neighbor who lives on the street behind ours. So, as far as I was concerned, that's was her Friday night job. We'll call them neighbors A.

I talked to neighbor A mom. She's from another country and does speak English with a beautiful, thick accent, most of the time I understand her. I did today. I heard "miss h (really she said miss h's given name), can she babysit, tonight, & 7pm until really late."

Woohoo, since her job was starting later, she wouldn't miss piano lesson. Had miss h text said piano teacher - let her know all kids would be front and center for lessons. So glad that worked out. We have a very flexible and wonderful piano arrangement ---and teacher (the teacher is more wonderful than the arrangement).

Two minutes later, this is the conversation:
Me, "Miss H, neighbor A says you don't need to come over until 7pm."
miss h, "I'm babysitting for them (more arm flinging towards the back)."
Me, "Yeah, I know, but she doesn't need you so early. That's why I just had you text your wonderful piano teacher."
miss h, "I'm babysitting for them (more arm flinging), not them (more arm flinging)."

By now you might have guessed that we have more than one neighbor behind us.

miss h, "Mom, did you tell neighbor A I would babysit for her?"
Me, "Yes." And our wheels started turning.

(You have to know that at this time in my life, I try to see the problem fast and get to a solution quick. One of my mottos, "There is a solution for every problem." --I can't believe I'm at a point in my life where I'm quoting my own mottos. Weird. I guess I've had enough problems & have learned how to deal.)

miss h, "I'm babysitting for neighbor B."
Me, "my mr. and I are supposed to go out tonight."
Me thinking, "How are we going to handle this?"

Here's a family secret, miss h and I can often speak quite emotionally towards each other. There was no raising our voices in anger, just excited voices. --I have a teenager who is dramatic & often get drawn into the drama.--I am getting better at staying emotionally detached in the conversations, but sometimes-whew baby, she can suck me in.

Little mr. j had a friend over playing. miss s was practicing her piano loudly. Little mr. b was trying to ask me questions, like only a 10 year old can. The phone was ringing. It felt like a funny sitcom.

miss s came to the rescue and said she could help with one of the jobs, but I needed her to watch her little brothers. We called neighbor B and she kindly said it would be alright if miss s sat her little precious ones and brought the brothers. miss h was to go to neighbor A's. The phone rang again. Little mr. j's friend's mom came to pick him up.

After a few texts and a phone call, we get to see our wonderful piano teacher tomorrow afternoon.
about an half an hour later, the phone rang again. Neighbor B's friends all canceled and they didn't need a sitter anymore.

I was quite mature with miss h and told her about another one of life's lessons I love.
Many, many problems are caused by miscommunication.

I promised to have her make her own babysitting confirmations.
Except, I forgot to tell her that neighbor B asked if she could come over for a couple of hours tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Time Flies

One of my biggest lessons yet has been that time flies.

So, here is a picture of my sweet little speed racer.
We also had a very cool quiddich player at our house on Halloween.
The quiddich player's friend and brother joined the fray and we ate zombie dogs and carrots before they headed out for the evening's adventures.

This was the night my player & his zombie doctor friends ventured out into the wilds of our neighborhood. Alone. And I did not pass out from fear. Miss s and I had a nice visit & we had a lot few visitors than last year. Miss h avoided the holiday by having her own adventure in the wild.

The big boys didn't even stay out too late. And they didn't even hit all the neighborhood (it's really not that big). But they did very well treat and fun wise. And I grew up a little.

And most all of little mr. b's (I'm not going to call the boys "master b & j" anymore) candy was gone by the time I rolled out of bed on my sleeping-in-Sunday. Little mr. j was kinder and shared.

And now we're almost halfway through November, of the year 2009. Wow.
I have enjoyed the past couple weeks of focusing on my family.
I really need to get to the chores, but they will wait.
Time Flies too quickly to worry about the dust-but clean clothing is a necessity, so-
Good night.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Where did Speed Racer go?

According to my clock, there are one and an half hours before Halloween.
I have one little item left to make for a little guy's costume, but the action figure I was using as my example has gone missing. I think he may have run away.
He was in my hot little hand this morning & I remember thinking, "I should put this in a safe place so I can finish up."
I must have put him in a very safe place. Maybe he thought I was too hot.
I hope I wasn't holding trash in my other hand while I was having my safe place thoughts.
And on that note; Kristen, I hope your keys are just in a safe place and want you to know you aren't the only one who lost something today.
Lesson-put the silly action figure on top of the felt and scissors that are waiting for you at the first possible opportunity and get it done!!!

Post Publish Note:
That was written at 10:30pm. Fessed up to my mr. at 11:00pm. He said, "omph. that's my toy." (He kindly shares it with master j.) I said, "I'm so sorry. I'm sure we'll find him." 11:45pm Went to say my prayers with the little guy weighing on my mind. Began to kneel and saw a little white leg poking out under a piece of furniture in my room. Gave a quick thank you prayer & came to share the news that my eve of Halloween turned out well. I don't know about Kristen's.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tony Estlinbaum, our friend

OK, so I know that my dear best friend (who doesn't even enjoy reading) & my mr. are the only people who read this blog, but I'm hoping that maybe someday you others will come on in and visit a bit. This story is for you.

Last spring, master b was on a soccer team. My mr. was the coach.
They were a great group of kids and played hard. There were a couple of stand out players. One's name is Tony Estlinbaum. He was tough, agile, strong & smart playing soccer this spring.

As it goes when your kids have activities together, we got to know him and his family a bit. They are hardworking, "salt of the earth" kind of people. At 10 years old, Tony even had his own lawn mowing business.

So along comes the nasty flu. (We've been washing our hands extra well, have you?)
And Tony catches it--or really it caught Tony. When we found out that he was in the hospital, we added him and his family to our prayers. The video footage of him in the hospital showed a very different boy than we knew.

It was wonderful to see on our local news that he headed home yesterday. It was sad to see the toll this bug has taken on this sweet boy. I am so happy for the Estlinbaum family that they are all home together tonight. I hope that this will be their hardest trial in life and that it is over for good.

If you'd like to read CBS's national report from tonight click here. If you knew him and watch this video, it might make you cry-just to warn you!
If you'd like to help out the family with medical expenses, click here for contact info. Tell them it's for Tony.

PS-Don't really know if this is really appropriate after this post, but-woo hoo, I learned how to put in a click "here" thingy! Learning everyday. How about that.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Life Lesson

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to teach one of my precious children about something sad in our world.
My ten year old asked me what abortion was.
The looks on his face when I explained almost broke my heart.
He has compassion.

He's growing up.
He doesn't even know the "facts" yet, but I can see the questions coming soon.
It always makes me sad when I have to teach my children about some things that go on in the world.
I love their innocence.

I'm so thankful though, that when the time comes, mr & I will sit and explain and hopefully help them make sense of the world.
Thankful for that responsibility and hope we bear it well.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Knowledge and Wisdom

This little post is about knowledge and wisdom. Something I am lacking in this bloggity sphere. So, to read it, you get to have a little adventure. Please start at the bottom and scroll your way up. I hope to someday be wise in the ways of posting. Until then, enjoy.

Very, very wise.

The neighborhood had knowledge. One of the neighbors is wise.

They are picking on the old. (This one's really cool. The other side of the tree is dead & the wood is so hard, they can't get it.)

They are picking on the young. (Notice, another sign and the sticks in the water-I think it's a trap.)

Another one bites it. And now the neighborhood knows. Notice the little white sign on the middle left. Pest control. Lower far left-I think might be near the trap.

Very busy indeed. (Does this shadow make me look fat?)

There are some very busy beavers in our neighborhood.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Today is ending a happy day because

two teenage girls were happy.

One preschool joker remembered a joke big brother had taught him.
"What are you eating under there?"


Sunday, October 18, 2009


When I was a young mom, I read and read and read. I looked for mentors on how to raise my children wonderfully. I studied. I did for them.
Now I am not a young mom anymore. I am in a middle phase.

My oldest keeps cutting the apron strings thread by thread. Friends are of great importance. I can envision the day that is quickly coming where she is no longer the teen that she is. Our days of "attitude" are becoming less frequent.

My second is beginning the same. The days of "attitude" are becoming more frequent.

Third is deeply involved in his decade of life. He went into the woods with a neighborhood friend this week. Friend's father was there, but a new letting go experience for me.

The last is now an older preschooler. He still follows me around like a shadow each day. But, two days ago, a knock came at our door. A little neighbor asked if could come out to play. He went out, running down the street with his friend, by themselves. Me-following through every window of the house making sure they arrived to the designated play site, where I knew the other mom was watching. And me-feeling pieces of my heart changing, falling, moving.

I do not have a mentor for this.
I am making my own way. It is a very weird journey.

There is so much information out there about different phases of women's lives. There's getting married, creating a home, raising children, working, taking care of aging parents, getting older.
There seems to be a lack of information about the middle space that I am in. I am looking.

I did find something the other day that spoke to me. It's linked at the bottom.
Referring to that, I do believe that I have arrived at the space she describes I am still getting comfortable, but I am there.

My ability to be clever has turned itself into an ability to be wise.

I have trained my brain to assess the needs of others before my own.

My charm comes from not feeling pressure to be charming.

I prefer the simple life. The life I have now.
(taken from the blog cjanerun--see link at bottom)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oh my!

So, I was just completing my late night blog stalking & came across something that made my heart skip.

As I was checking in with wonderful mrs b and mrs s, looking at their fun, fun, fun (how I wish I could be fun like them) family and friend pictures and posts, I did my usual blog stalking technique of peeking at their "lists" of other people's blogs. I saw the coolest name for a blog & almost clicked on it. Then I was me. Wow.

My dear mrs (or should it read mrses?), hugs to you. Big ones.


The past few months, I've been big in training mode. I didn't do it on purpose, I just ended up here.

I've been weight training for over a year now.
A very independent, dominant, & excitable puppy entered our family's lives. She and I are in dog training.
An opportunity to learn a form of brain training arose, so I went to that training and I am preparing to train other people using those methods.

In my weight training (fyi-I'm not hardcore), I've learned that I have to push past my comfort zone and go heavier than I'd like sometimes. I have to struggle sometimes. I sweat-I've grown to enjoy that sweat because I know that I am tearing my muscle fibers apart and later, they will repair. I will be stronger. I am stronger.

The dog, oh the dog. We've never had a dog before. She's a whole separate post, but for now I will tell you that she's not really the one in training, I am. I've learned that I have to stand up to her, let her know that I am in charge, and be very firm. We go to class, work, go home and practice. I really have to push her. She makes a mistake, there is a quick correction and we move on. A simple "eehh" noise when I start seeing her lose focus brings her attention back to me--sometimes. We've been to 12 weeks of classes. It's been a struggle. She's improved. I've gained some confidence with her. We are improving.

A main theme in the brain training is "push to the struggling point." Some of the exercises are intense and designed to push the student to their cognitive limit. The trainer has to be firm and in charge. I had an epiphany during an example training exercises when the trainer made the same "eehh" noise I use with the dog when the student made a mistake. Right after the noise, he said, "no, start again." No talking about the problem, no analysis, just moving on. Oh, and there was no time for whining. Push, struggle, gain.

My epiphany: So I've been watching people around me deal with their own personal struggles; health, economic, social, etc. I've been watching our country going through some very strange times. I've been a bit weirded out. But I know we are in training.

Push, struggle, gain.
To get where we need to be.
Push, struggle, gain.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Did something brave last night.
Worked on my courage muscles.
Gave someone I don't know well the blog address.
Hope she visits.
Hope she enjoys.


A funny thing happened this afternoon while I was sitting on the couch, being a potato, trying to remember something I forgot, & keeping one of my people company. I saw something promising on television!!!

But first, this message:
A couple of weeks ago, I went out of town to a seminar to learn a very specific form of "brain training." It's designed to advance a person's cognitive abilities by fairly intense one hour sessions, five times a week, lasting 12 to 24 weeks depending on what is specifically needed for the learner. I went into this to become licensed and learn the program so I could use it on my children -and hopefully get some gains myself. I left the seminar very excited. In my advanced age, I have found my "thing. " Woo hoo. (Well, the program is kind of a subgroup of my larger learning "thing," but you get the picture.) Who knows, if it goes well with the family, maybe I will branch out.

Normally, we don't watch a lot of television, especially on weeknights. This afternoon, my mr. was a sickie (asleep & in and out of it on the couch), there were children present, & (oh my) we turned on the boob tube, saw something called "BrainSurge" on the schedule and took a chance.

Back to our show:
It was fun! And it makes you work (if you so choose to be engaged, focus, and play along). Master B wants to be a contestant. We just might try, after I start and finish training him. If we're going to go for it, I think we should go big and win, don't you agree?

Check it out. It's on at 4:30pm central on weekdays (right now & as far as I know). You might want to check out the Nick website which I've linked to at the bottom. I've also linked to a Wikipedia entry that gives more details.

As we were watching the exciting conclusion, the phone rang. It was master b's cub scout leader. I remembered what I forgot, grabbed my keys and the boy and took him to his meeting.
I think I need to watch the show. Maybe it will help.

I find it very funny, ironic, & interesting that this show is on before and near Spongebob (whom we love). Good medicine.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Halloween Article

I am still new to this blogging thing and don't know the traditional or appropriate way to say, "Hey, I found something cool. Maybe you'd like a peek." So here's what I'm going to do:

Hey, I found a very interesting article called "The Spiritual Origins of Halloween." It doesn't site references, but does say where he got his information. It's something to think about.

Here's the link:

Ok-how awesome it that that I just learned how to add a link in a blog entry. Woo hoo for me. (What a geek I am-wait-not geek-if I was a true geek, I would already have known how to do this-so- what a dork? Does that work? I think so. Learning something new everyday is good, don't you think? Today was a twofer, woo hoo.)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Why this blog

I have been awake since 4:00am this morning. My car was at the shop and if I wanted to make it to the gym today without huge inconvenience to my family, I needed to get there and back before their day began. I did it (woo hoo for me- it was definitely mind over mattress), but right now, at 10 something pm and no nap, I am feeling a bit tender. And open.

So, this is why I am doing "why this blog." If I tried to write this tomorrow morning or for the past few weeks, it wouldn't happen.

I am quiet. I like to get to know other people. Not many other people know much about me. If we met, you'd most likely be a quick acquaintance or friend, if you were open to it. You'd probably tell me quite a bit about your life and I would file it away & hope that someday we would meet again--like that really nice woman who shared a sandwich with me in the Denver airport. It was a really good sandwich. She was a very nice woman.

If you are a person who I might be around in social situations or more frequently, I will smile and learn about you. If you hear the line, "so tell me about you," you might be talking to me. I love learning about other people, your lives are so interesting. But, I am afraid of letting you get to know me. I am afraid that you won't like me.

That said, not many folks know too much about me. I noticed myself becoming invisible. I would like to not be invisible and this might be one of the bravest things I've done. Being "out there," as a friend refers to this, is very scary to me.

I am not looking for recognition or validation. I am not looking for attention or comments or criticism. I think I am supposed to contribute something to this world whatever that might be. I want to have a voice. I want to be an influence for good.

And know I've borne my soul, I am going to go to bed or go sit by my mr on the couch.

Good night.


I have a friend who is going through tough times.
I feel very sad for her.
I have a friend who lives in Samoa. (earthquake and tsunami this week)
I am worried for her and her family.
I have dear children who are going through their own difficult "growing times."
My heart aches for them.

I have hope.

We all need hope.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Found: Mama Bear

I've found my mama bear.

You see, that is my boy in the picture up there. He's my boy. He is playing tackle football for the first time this fall.

There would be a picture from his game yesterday, but I was gripping my camera case hard in my lap-trying to keep myself from jumping out of my seat and schooling a bunch of the kids he was "versing."

It all started at his brother's tiny tot soccer game earlier in the morning. The other team's coach didn't show, so bless some mommy's heart, she stepped in and was helping out her little son's team. That'd be great except that the officials who were scheduled to ref the little soccer game couldn't make it due to the flu and some broken body part.

Apparently, this mom didn't know all the rules like they really shouldn't be picking the ball up with their hands and there is no goal keeping in tiny tot soccer. She and our coach, my mr, did their best. During the game, I had to slap my hand over my mouth mid-sentence because of the hollering that was coming out. Why I would let something like that game get under my skin is beyond me. I was annoyed. Really, it is fun to watch those little guys and girls try to play an organized game. Developmentally they aren't to the "understanding rules" section of their little lives. It's amazing that they do what they do-and it is fun to watch the shenanigans.

So now you know where my attitude started. You also must know that I am not that competitive. They can lose. They can win. I just want them to run, exercise, and enjoy them selves. I do not know where my feelings during master b's afternoon football game came from.

You also need to know that my mr is coaching this football team, also. He was not there to talk me down.

On one of the first plays, my master b was playing offence. He had the ball. He was tackled. There was a pile of boys. Number 36 from the other team jumped on top of the pile after the action was over. That just wasn't right. Master b was on the bottom.

Another time, he had the ball and some kid from the other team grabbed his helmet (not his face mask) and took him down. It really is amazing that everyone who plays football is moving and alive.

Here's what I wanted to do: in case #1, I wanted to xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, but that would be WRONG. In case #2, I wanted to go and xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx-cartoon style.

I did not act on my feelings. Although I've been weight lifting, I don't think my physical strength is that capable-yet. I have seen a new side of myself.

My mama bear stayed hidden, but she growled. And her voice was loud.

I don't know if I'm going to make it to the end of the season.


My people keep me busy. Sometimes during the busyness, I have time to think about what I would like to write and what I might say. I've composed a lot. It's just never made it into the written language. Bummer because there were/are a lot of very clever stories swimming around in my brain. They are just hiding right now.

I did have time & thoughts one evening this week, but someone else was on the computer. I did laundry.

So, I am frustrated. I have time now, but the words won't come.

Here is what I would like to blog about-maybe having a list will help me focus.
-why this blog
-my trip
-what I learned about me
-what I learned how to do
-talking to people
-little boy football/soccer & mama bear tendencies
-people in my life: hair guy, piano teacher, friends, people on the plane, etc.
-little lessons

Ok, that should have gotten me started-there is more, but miss s is begging for some facebook time & she's been good, so it's her turn with this machine for a bit. Maybe, hopefully, I will make it back here tonight.

What I've learned: I need to get my ideas down when I have them. I need a notebook and some time. Anyone have some time they might be able to share?

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Today I am nervous.

I'm doing something this week that I've never done before.

I am leaving my family.

Not forever, just for a few days.

I am going to attend a seminar to learn a specific method of tutoring.

I'm not sure if tutoring is the correct word, but that's all I can use right now.

I am doing this because I think it will help my children.

I think it will help me,

If I don't die of a sinched up stomach and jitters before I get home.

I love to learn.

I don't love to be away from my people.

Wish me luck.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy One Year Plus master j!!!! (FYI- this one's about successful toilet training)

3. master j is free to pee! (don't focus on the red shirt man-picture is really not of him)

2. six squares

1. three squares-it begins!

I received an email from a friend that told me she implemented the potty training routine I've used with all my kiddos and she had success. Woo hoo & congrats!! So--while I am getting warmed up to share more intimate life lessons, I thought I would share this gem with you-as potty training is a truly intimate experience.

When miss h was a youngy, and the mrs. was a young mom, potty training was an adventure to be had. I read a book. I was sure I'd be able to train that girl in 24 hours. I was wrong.

She was not ready. She was independent and head strong. She had no interest in sitting on that royal throne.

Lesson I learned: pushy potty training equals trained adults monitoring toilet activities constantly. That was not the route for me. Happy is the day that a child realizes what's coming and goes in the proper place. Happy, happy, happy.

I waited and when miss h showed interest in the toilet, we began. That's when you should begin too. I did this with all four children and it works fast-if you wait for them to show interest. You might be thinking that yours will never show interest. They will, just be patient. How many kindergartners do you know who are still in diapers?

If your child is telling you when something is coming or has come, start talking up the toilet. Don't be pushy-be really positive and say something along the lines of, "you're getting so big to know that-did you know that's how bigger people know they have to use the toilet?-wow." As this progresses, go on to asking them if they are ready to use the toilet.

Put the responsibility of this job on them. It is their body. They are in control.

When they are ready to try the toilet, let them have a few practice sits. No big deal if nothing comes out. That thing is hard and cold and takes some getting used to. (Note: I think I used those little sit on the floor potties for someone, but soon found they were messy and we had to reteach a lot when it came to using the big pot. We did use one of those rings that makes the hole smaller and then found that when the child is ready, it is just as easy for them to spread their little legs and hold on to the edges. -master j got on facing backward and that made it really easy for him to aim at the water. He turned around for #2.)

When you are ready to begin. Get 'em half naked. Now, we are really modest at our house, but this next step is a great tool. No clothes on the bottom half. If modesty is an issue, get some of those thick fabric training pants that will feel eww so gross when wet. The feeling of something wet running down a leg is uncomfortable and should get their attention. With boys, that leak & stream will let them know something is going on. (We -when I say we, I mean the child, not me-that would be weird -stayed naked for a couple of weeks while at home. Wouldn't suggest taking them out and about naked. Might get some stares.)

Give the child a lot to drink. Water is the best.
When the leak comes, ask them to shut it off. Then praise them if they do and get to the toilet. If anything comes out of their body and lands in the toilet, praise & reward. We used one or two skittles or m&ms for peeing in the toilet, more (or a bigger treat-rolo-it looked like #2-I know-gross) for the darker, stinkier stuff.
If there are any accidents, the child needs to help you clean it up. It is their body. It is their responsibility. Be sure to not be negative. Accidents happen, we can deal with it.--You are teaching a huge life lesson there.

We only had 2 accidents with master j. How cool is that! We were living in an apartment with horrible carpet that was going to be replaced, so it was the perfect time for us. (Except we were in the middle of two moves and going out of town and new schools, etc.-Enough of that though, it just helped him become flexible in going in different places.)

On to "dry days." I love dry days! Make a chart like the one in the picture at the top. Have your child help. Make sure it has three empty squares. Have the child choose a small reward that they would like when they fill in all three empty squares. It could be a balloon, special story, little toy-just something small. When the child stays dry for a whole day, they get to fill in an empty square. They could color it in or use a sticker. If there's an accident during the day, it is not a dry day. They get the chance to try again tomorrow.

Once that chart is filled in, get the reward to the child as fast as possible. We would fill the chart in before bed and get the reward the next day. Make a big deal of this, it's quite an accomplishment.

Make another chart. This time with six squares. Choose another little reward. Do the same thing.

When the six square chart is filled in, if you need to, make a 10 to 12 square chart. Do the same thing.

If you need to, you can make another chart, just double the number of squares to be filled in.

You will know when you are done with this. You will probably be finished by either the 6 or 12 square chart. Be sure to celebrate. I don't mean go out to dinner or throw a big party-just do a happy dance get some new undies or something. Have them call a relative or understanding friend to tell them the news. It's a big day when a little person makes this big step in their lives.

We did run into some problems with one not wanting to #2 in the toilet or shyness in different places. If anyone has any ?s feel free to contact me-but I don't know if anyone will ever really read this, so whatever. Also, you need to know that I don't remember exactly where this method came from. I read a lot. I think it is probably a mish-mash of many things I've read about.

Remember-their body, their responsibility & no negativeness!

Happy Day, master j! You are growing up so fast!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

How To Open Clam Shell Packaging

This is good to know.

Be careful playing with sharp objects.
And today I also know know how to embed a you tube video into a blog.

This is a big day for me.
Woo Hoo!
-the mrs.

And p.s.- miss h learned how to replace a brake light in the car she's driving--and she learned from her friend. who is a girl. who is about her age. they rock. woo hoo hoo!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Garage Door Tracks Need to be Oiled

Just a little note. If you have garage doors and they make a racket (spelling?) when opening and shutting, you might want to oil those tracks. And all those hinges. Because I learned a lesson. And I wish I had a picture for you.

Those noises mean your door is wanting to jump the confines of it's existence. It wants free. And then those garage doors try to free themselves. And when they are one quarter off the track and hanging precariuosly above your vehicle, you have a problem. A big one when you need to go pick up kids and the mr. is out of town. (Not that he knew this lesson at the time, but now he does.)

Ryan is in the phone book and he fixes garages doors. He got that monster back on it's tracks and $100 & 15 minutes later, gave me this advice. Oil those tracks and those hinges. Every month. (Now, I think that's overkill, but if they sound like they are sticking, they are.) It's been two months and the door has behaved. We oiled last Saturday. Thank you, Ryan.

Lesson: oil garage door tracks and hinges & pay attention to unusual noises

Introduction Part Two

This is the dog. The first dog for our family. She came out of the woods.

This is master j. He loves the color red and wants to be a race car driver.
(Note from November 2009-I am changing this child's name to little mr. j. It's a better fit.)

This is master b. His current learning endeavor involves a helmet, mouth gaurd, and a lot of sweat.
(Note from November 2009-I am changing this boy's name to little mr. b. It is a better fit.)

This is miss s. Alas, she's cut her beautiful hair. She sings.

This is miss h. She drives now and writes.

This is a weird picture of my mr. He likes to run.

This is me. I like to learn.

This next section was supposed to be at the top of the blog, but as I'm still trying to figure this out, somehow it ended up at the end. So please pretend you read it first. Thanks.

I've learned so much from so many. There are a few that I spend quite a bit of time with and they've educated me is so many ways. They will probably be recurring characters, so I'll give you a small introduction.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


From's Thesarus:

Main Entry: learn
Part of Speech: verb
Definition: acquire information
Synonyms: apprentice, attain, be taught, be trained, become able, become versed, brush up on, burn midnight oil, commit to memory, con, crack the books, cram, determine, drink in, enroll, gain, get, get down pat, get the hang of, get the knack of, grasp, grind, imbibe, improve mind, lucubrate, major in, master, matriculate, memorize, minor in, peruse, pick up, pore over, prepare, read, receive, soak up, specialize in, study, take course, take in, train in, wade through
Notes: learn means to acquire or gain skill, knowledge or comprehension; teach means to impart skill, knowledge or comprehension to
Antonym: teach

Everyday comes with a new lesson. I can't remember a day without one. Good, bad, touching, on and on it could go. Recently I've felt like it's time to let some of those lessons out, like they are not just for me. So, against my reserved tendencies, I am going to share.

Deliver Me From Donut Day

Again, I haven't written in a while, but I don't want to forget this one. It's a doozy. I work in an elementary school. I teach ...