Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Confessions of a Cookie Addict

1.  If there are chocolate chip or sugar cookies in the house in the morning, I will have at least one for breakfast, dunked in my coffee of course.

2.  I have eaten an entire package of cookies before anyone in the house knows they existed.

3.  If I don't eat them all, I will save my kids and husband a couple.


4.  Daycare toddler's mom brought in potty treats for successful bathroom moments.  They were little frosted animal cookies with sprinkles.  Before you think I ate her cookies, I'll stop you now. I didn't eat her cookies.  Not really anyway.  Let me explain.

In an attempt to get Little Man more excited about the potty chair, I told him he could have a cookie if went pee or poop in the potty chair.  Not long after that he had some success and I ended up giving him 3 or 4 of daycare girl's potty treat cookies, figuring I'd go to the store long before they were gone, she still had several left and wasn't going through them much at all so I knew I'd be ok.

I went to the store and picked up a package of frosted animal cookies to re-stock daycare girl's supply, and keep on hand for Little Man.

I then ate the entire package... before remembering to restock daycare girl's supply.  

So I of course went back to Target yesterday and bought a new box of cookies, and when I found myself snacking on them today, I immediately grabbed a handful of them and put them in daycare girl's potty treat bag before I accidentally eat the whole box again.

Yes I have a problem, but my problem really only hurts myself, and I could totally stop at any time.

Ah, who am I kidding.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mom Hair?

When I was a young girl, I wished my mom had long hair.  Long hair that I could braid, curl, barret, ponytail, the works.  My mom had a short hair cut though that made these games difficult (though not impossible).  Now that I'm a mom I totally get the short haircut, and have been tempted on a number of occasions to chop my own.

She was smart having that short hair! Not only is it easier to manage, and cooler in the summer... when the kids "do" my hair - ouch!

Sweet Pea did my hair a couple weeks ago, and even though she's nearing nine years old now she doesn't quite have the finess of fixing someone elses hair gently.  I spent much of my livingroom hair appointment cringing and hoping most of my hair would still be connected to my scalp by the end of it!

After plenty of pain, and a whole lot of fun on Sweet Pea's behalf... and  I think 17 barrets later...





Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Post Storm Fun

We had a pretty big storm come through Tuesday morning at about 5AM.  I woke up to what sounded like a tornado right outside the window.  I woke up Spencer in case we'd have to grab the kids and run to the basement, and went and checked the tv for weather alerts.  The storm was just a severe thunderstorm with crazy winds but no tornados.  It did, however, wake up our girls for the next hour and a half.  It was a rough morning let me tell you.

Thankfully we didn't have any damage other than a large dead tree limb that fell in our driveway (others in our area had actual damage) and a whole lot of little branches and leaves scattered across the yard.

Using preschooler creativity Babydoll and my daycare boy got to work building a nest out of the branches and leaves.
 Babydoll's plan was that a bird in the tree above the "nest" would drop an egg down to their nest and she would sit on it until the baby bird hatched.

I'll let you know when that happens...
   

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Battle Play

Like a majority of daycares (I think) I do not allow gun play during daycare, because it makes some kids really uncomfortable and it makes lots of parents even more uncomfortable.  When they inevitably turn any toy into a gun (which every boy I've had has done) and start shooting people I remind them, "no playing guns in daycare".

Off-hours though, I don't care.  I don't think that because my preschool children shoot their lego guns at each other they will grow up and shoot people for real.  Because we have the daycare rule though, my kids don't really play guns anyways, except for squirt guns.

Recently some of the kids wanted to have a water gun day where they could bring their squirt guns from home if they had them and run around the backyard squirting each other.  The rare squirt-gun days are the only times I allow them to play shooting games during daycare hours.

This past Saturday my kids were outside squirting each other with their squirt guns (let me just say... I can't wait until they can all re-fill their own squirt guns!) and having a great time.  Sweet Pea and Babydoll were both still in their pajamas, and Little Man? Well.... this is what he was wearing -



Most kids are still drawn to playing good-guy/bad-guy games though and want to use a weapon of some sort.  Since guns aren't allowed, they would be happy to duel each other with swords - except with toy swords in the hands of determined and uncoordinated preschoolers, someone is most definitely going to get hurt!  Need to stay away from close-range combat! 

Harry Potter has provided a helpful alternative - magic wands!  They have plenty of fun shooting spells at each other!  Just the other day we had a boisterous game of magic-fight going.  We were mostly shooting sleeping spells and wake-up spells at each other and trying to get eachother's wands, it was fun for everyone, and not one imaginary bullet was fired off.

This game was made all the more fun by the fact that Little Man isn't shy about dressing up in his sisters' accessories.  For all he knows it's completely appropriate attire for battle!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

No Small Feat

We seem to have hit another milestone in our family.  All three of our children are now old enough to play a cooperative game together.  This is unusual because generally speaking, 2-year-olds do not play games like this with other kids very well.  Typically they would just grab those fish and do what they wanted with them rather than play properly.  We've been working on taking turns a lot around here though, and that helped him be willing to hand off the beloved fishing pole and wait his turn to go fishing.

 This is our Fisher Price Go Fish game.  The object is to use the fishing pole with the suction cup on the end to catch a fish from the pond.  The bottom of the fish is either one of the 4 colors, or an item of litter.  If they catch a fish of their color they get to keep it and put it in their boat. If they catch the wrong color they have to throw it back. First player to fill their boat wins.  There are other ways to play, there are numbers on the bottoms too, but we really only do the color one.
 Babydoll kicked butt at this game that night! 

 Poor Little Man kept finding everyone elses colors, but it didn't phase him at all.  he wasn't discouraged by the fact he was losing, he just had fun playing with his big sisters!

And my oldest just can't help make faces and pose when there's a camera in front of her.

Sitting around the "fish pond" with my 3 little punkinheads and realizing that they were all, even my toddler, playing cooperatively together a game that was not ring-around-the-rosie moved me - I had to capture the moment!

So when they are all in their 20's and talking about the drinking games or whatever they played the weekend before, I'll be able look back on when they all happily played Go Fish together on the living room carpet and smile.

Bloody Knuckles and Making Soap

A while back I made homemade liquid laundry detergent using borax, arm and hammer washing soda, and fels-naptha soap.  It was a bit of a process but SO cheap it was worth it.  It worked well and I liked the smell, but it was almost too messy to handle.  I had decided the next time I make my own I'd try the powder version.

Yesterday we desperately needed to get some laundry done but were out of laundry detergent so after doing my grocery shopping at Target I grabbed a dollar and change and ran into Cub for a bar of Fels-naptha soap.  And yes, you read that right. I bought my food at Target and my soap at Cub... it had to be done.

I already had a big box of Borax and Arm and Hammer so I went to work grating up the bar of Fels-Naptha with the cheese grater, but I made the mistake of using the side that would have grated it up into a fine powder (allowing me to skip the next step) and my hand slipped and I shredded up 2 of my knuckles. 

Bad words were said. I think I said the F-word. And the A-word. And the SH-word. It hurt like H-word.


So after running my mutilated fingers under water and getting my husband to help me with the bandaids, I went back to my project. Because there was no time for being a wimp... laundry needed to be done!

this was right after the bandaids were put on. a few minutes later I had bled through and needed a new one.

I switched to the regular cheese side of my cheese grater and finished shredding up my soap. 

This next step is not needed when you make the liquid stuff.  Use a food processor or a blender to turn your shredded soap into a powder.  Takes like 30 seconds I think.

Mix:
1 Cup of Borax
1 Cup of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (NOT Baking Soda)
1 powdered up bar of Fels Naptha soap

Store in tightly fitting container, like Tupperware.  1 large load in my regular top-loader washing machine only needed 2 Tablespoons of detergent.  When I read this in the directions I was skeptical that it would be enough, but went with it.

Verdict?

It is awesome!  It is easy to make, cheap as dirt, not messy to use, and smells SO good!

My first test load was a mix of things that we've worn recently, dirty socks, and a couple shirts that were at the bottom of the laundry pile in the basement and were a bit smelly from the dampness. 

I smelled every single piece of clothing (yep, even my husband's socks) and it all came out smelling fresh and clean!  I didn't think that just 2T of detergent would be enough, especially since I wash most of our clothes in cold water, but it was! 

I highly recommend making it this way!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Well, That Explains It

When I pulled my camera out the other day to take a few pics of the kids playing outside, I was surprised to see that my "low battery" symbol was blinking.  I hadn't used it much since my last charge, and my battery usually lasts longer than that.

After uploading my pictures that night I discovered a few surprises.  Apparently, Little Man has been sneaking my camera, has figured out how to work it, and has been having a grand old time taking pictures and videos of himself!

Here's some of his handiwork...






video

video
video
video

So that explains my low battery.  And the fingerprint smudges on the lense. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

He Pooped! He Pooped!

A monumental event occurred at our house today, our youngest child used the potty chair for the first time!!!  He pooped!!

Way back 153 years ago when Sweet Pea was just barely 2 years old we started potty training her.  We tried just putting her in underwear, taking her to the potty several times per hour, and she was staying dry for a couple days.  We thought we were amazing at this whole potty training thing and wondered why people complained that it was so hard!  She was on a role for about 2 weeks when her attention span for the whole deal diverted and she stopped going in the potty and started having lots of accidents.  While we were anxious to be done buying so many diapers for a while we felt like it would be nonconstructive to put much pressure on her as a young two-year-old.  We tried several times during her twos, until a couple months before she turned three when she just got it.  All of a sudden she was telling us she had to go before she went, willingly went on the potty chair, stayed dry (during waking hours), and all was good.  We waited.... and she potty trained herself. 

Now, if we had never exposed her to the process she wouldn't have been able to train herself, but she understood what it was about, she had small food rewards (we used skittles with her) for successful potty trips, and she just decided one day she was ready!

Fast forward to Babydoll.  We knew this time around we weren't going to worry about it much, we would just show her the ropes and be really easy-going about it all.  When she was 26 months old she was already really into the whole deal and was peeing in the potty chair often, but not necessarily staying dry.  We asked her every 15 minutes if she had to go potty, but if it had been 30 minutes since she last sat we would go sit on the potty no matter what.  This method worked really well for her, along with food rewards for successes.  I think we usually used skittles for her, or whatever skittle-sized candy we had around.  We didn't even put her in undwear until she was about 27 months old though, because she was pretty successful while wearing a diaper.  Also I was several months pregnant with Little Man and wanted to make things easy on myself!  As soon as she was in underwear though she did stay drier and had fewer accidents, but she was already well on her way before we switched to undies.  At 28 months old she was totally day trained (though still has little leaks because going potty is "boring" and she'd rather just hold it until she can't hold it any more)! 

Night training for Sweet Pea didn't happen until a year after she was day-trained, for Babydoll it was 2 years of being day trained before she stayed dry at night. 

My personal opinion on pull-ups?  For me, they are a waste of money until they are mostly staying dry all day.  If they are mostly dry, then using pull-ups is really nice because of how much easier it is to get them on and off the potty chair.  I like to use them in that transition period between needing several diapers per day and staying dry enough to wear underwear.  I also prefer them over diapers at bedtime before they are night-trained.  It makes middle of the night bathroom runs much easier!  They also don't seem so expensive when you're only going through a few of them over a whole 24 hour period.

Now fast forward to Little Man.  He is currently 28.5 months old.  We are taking things, again, really easy going.  We bought a new potty chair (my old one was big and awkward) several months ago and he first just used it as a chair for reading books in the living room.  Once he was used to sitting on something that had a whole in it (while wearing pants), I showed him what it was for!  I had Babydoll show him how to sit and pee in it and then he tried it.  Until just recently he has mostly been disinterested in sitting on it at all, and if he did it was only for a second before he'd pop up and say "Done!" 

Yesterday he was willing to sit longer than a second, so I had him sit on the potty for as long as he wanted to,  get up, put his diaper back on, wash his hands, and then 15 minutes after standing we'd go back.  The only reason I was taking him so often was because he was enjoying it.  He's a stubborn kid (takes after his old man) and if I try to push him when he doesn't want to he'll dig in his heels and potty training would be over.  Actually pretty typical behavior for most toddlers!  All that sitting and he didn't go one drop in the potty.

Today, this afternoon, he woke up from his nap dry.  This never happens so I praised him for having a dry diaper and said in a very excited voice, "Lets go pee in the potty!" and he happily sat for a few seconds.  After snacktime we went outside, potty chair with us, and tried one more time to go potty, no luck.  So I did something drastic - I let him run around outside with no diaper/undies/shorts/anything! I wanted him to notice his peeing.  Every couple minutes I'd ask him if he had to go potty, he'd say no and I'd cheerfully reply "Ok!" and then I'd continue to watch him for signs of peeing (also to make sure if he peed on something I could clean it up!).  After about 10-15 minutes he was nearby and looked at me quite seriously and said, "Poop!".  I jumped up and cheerfully exclaimed, "lets go poop on the potty chair and you can have a cookie!" 

He sat, and 30 seconds later there was the most glorious turd sitting in the potty chair!  We cheered and clapped and high-fived and danced and sang a spur-of-the-moment poop song!

Then we went inside to clean up, eat a cookie, call everyone we knew, and announce it on facebook!

Now although I am SO tempted to run out and buy little boy underwear (mostly because his tiny little naked butt is the cutest damn thing on the planet) I am trying to remember not to push him too fast.  If I push, he will push back.  And he is the one who really has control over his bodily functions, so that's not a fight I want to have.  I'll keep taking him to the potty to give it a try, and wait for him to routinely pee in it before I through him in underwear.  If I put him in underwear before he's really ready for it we'd all end up stressed out and exhausted.  And if there's one sure thing I've learned, it's that if you keep trying without the pressure, when they are truly ready, they will practically train themselves, and instead of it taking months or years it will take a matter of weeks or days!

But that first anything in the potty is a huge milestone and we are all thrilled for our BIG boy!
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