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!

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 ...