Friday, January 30, 2009

What's Wrong with this Picture?

It's hard to see, but Beanie Baby rabbit is tucked into the bed and Aliza tucked herself in the cradle. Complete with blanket, pacifier and teddy.

Potty Training update: I knew I had to have a breakthrough eventually. Yesterday I was accident free! I got her to the potty on time and she went twice. And then tonight she actually told Jeremy right before bed that she wanted to sit on the potty and she actually went. That is her first initiation of a successful trip to the bathroom. I only pray that it continues with increased frequency and accuracy!

Random story: Since I've been a stay at home Mom I make it a point to talk to any Mom that is hanging out in a kid area. Like the children's section at Barnes and Noble, the zoo/park, or the mall play area. I've met lots of people and almost without fail Moms want to talk. I made a great friend by doing this and tonight I made another invaluable contact. By asking if her two youngest boys were twins, in about 1 minute flat, I learned that this Mom has a family similar to what we dream about, that she home schools her children and that she is Chrisian. Better yet she tells me that there is a homeschool group in Salisbury based out of Harvest Baptist Church. Exactly what I've wanted to find!!! They do field trips and community service projects together. They also file legal papers as a group and have a regular support group meetings for home schooling Moms. I didn't let her leave with getting her email address.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Josiah--11Months

Well, here's my boy at 11 months. Next month at this time we'll be celebrating a birthday. Fun times! This month Josiah started waving. He chatters away and says "boom" when he falls or something else falls. He eats all table food now and gets closer to walking every day. His latest obsession is climbing up on things. Like the trampoline, the wagon and the bay window sills at my parents house. So far he leaves the stairs alone.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

20 Random Things

It's the fad right now on Facebook to write 20 random things about yourself and then tag other people to do it. This reminded me of the list of 100 things I love that I wrote a couple years ago.

So hopefully no major surprises here...

1. I almost always have a candle burning on the stove.

2. The children and I go to the post office and bank at least three times a week.

3. I attended three different high schools.

4. I was the sole member of my senior class--and I was not home schooled.

5. I am not a random person. I like structure and organization.

6. I take a nap with my children.

7. I stay up later than I should doing fun things because I know I'll be able to take a nap the next day.

8. I sing really loud (not obnoxiously so) at church during worship just because I can (given that half of my vocal cords are paralyzed).

9. I'm in the mood to throw away anything in our house that I consider useless.

10. I always follow a recipe when I cook.

11. Ten years ago I never would have dreamed that I would spend my life on the Eastern Shore.

12. I did keep my promise to myself that I would not marry a waterman or a chicken farmer.

13. I cannot quote movie lines or talk about celebrities because I have no knowledge and little interest in that area. After I read a book I usually forget the details. However, I can still sing the songs and talk knowledgeably about my ultimate high school movie...Dirty Dancing.

14. The only requirement I had for my wedding dress was that it had to have buttons all the way down the back. (My poor Mother thought we would never find THE dress!!)

15. So far I've learned that there are 3 things I can't make my children do--eat, sleep, and use the potty.

16. The only reason I have any technological skills are because they are necessary to survive in my house.

17. I have a love/hate relationship with OmniTechPro. The best thing about Jeremy owning his own business is that he can set his own schedule. Like today he put a coat and boots over his dress shirt and slacks and played in the snow with Aliza.

18. When I want to use a pot or tupperware container I look around for it on the kitchen floor first.

19. New favorite drink--Starbucks Apple Chai

20. I need a sweet snack at least once a day. Tonight it's a Rice Krispy treat with chocolate topping.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Toddler Bowling

I had no idea that toddlers could bowl until someone mentioned that some bowling alleys have ramps. I found out that one of the local bowling alleys had them and off we went. Aliza had a blast and it was a good learning experience about taking turns.

Now here's the back story. My parents are in a bowling league and last week we were in their town and stopped by to say hi. Aliza had never seen anyone bowl and she was mesmerized. Mom or Dad must have told her that she could bowl when she got bigger and every day she talked about how when she got bigger she could bowl. Of course I threw in that if she was big enough to bowl she was big enough to use the potty!! It sounded like a fun winter activity to me so I started checking out the possibilities.




Saturday, January 24, 2009

Warm Floor

**I have Jeremy's permission to share this story.**

Since we bought our house 7. 5 years ago we have not had insulation under the floor. Our floor has always been cold and since we pulled up the carpet and refinished the original hardwood the floor has been really really cold. You can literally feel air coming up through the slats of wood.

So we've had two outrageously expensive heating oil bills in 6 weeks and I guess that spurred Jeremy to action. Out of the blue this week he suggested a field trip to Lowe's to price out insulation. He figured the square footage of the house and measured the distance between the floor joists and counted how many floor joists there were under the house. And off we went. We stood in the Lowe's aisle and figured that we needed 75 bales of insulation at $26 a bale. The label made it appear that each bale contained one 7 foot strip of insulation. We were astounded to think it would cost $2000 to insulate the floor of our house. I turned the heat down and settled in for a long cold winter feeling sorry for the continued cold hands of my children.

Later in the week I was talking to my brother about insulation and how expensive it was. I told him that we figured it must be one of the more expensive parts of building. He looked at me like I'd lost my mind. I told him we figured it would cost $2000 and so forth. Then he started laughing. He informed me that there are six 7 foot strips of insulation in each bale. We would only need 10 bales. He called Lowe's right then to confirm it!

Today Jeremy, Jeff and one of Jeff's friends put the insulation under the house. It only took them 3 hours and that includes breaks for lunch and breathing. And we have 3 bales of insulation to return. To prove that indeed air was coming through the floor....I have a layer of dust on the floor now that came up while they were working under the house. We turned the heat down again too. Now if our next oil bill is a little lower we will feel very successful.

Potty Training--Week 2

I've spent my week thinking about what I can possibly do to make this "click" for Aliza. We went out more so I felt like I had a more "normal" week and Aliza has become a pro at holding it. The problem is I don't see that defiant light in her eyes. She's just carefree...not the least bit worried about running to the potty. The new tactic hasn't worked. She just laughs. =) She usually uses the potty once a day. Generally after supper and at least one day this week she hadn't used the potty or had an accident since 9:45am then then used the potty after supper. She sits on the potty almost half an hour before going. So it's not that I'm having that many accidents. It is her apathy that is driving me crazy. If she was really trying and we were having accidents I would feel like we were getting somewhere. The last couple days she has only wanted to sit on the potty for about 2 minutes and then tells me "I tried. Poopy won't come out." And, of course, less than half an hour later we have an accident. I'm out of ideas. I have no clue what to do next.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thoughts

On Potty Training:

Well, progress is still slow going. We've had one success every day since last Thursday and, in fact, Sunday and today we had two successes in one day. If I get her to the potty on time and she can watch Sesame Street on the iphone we're good. She shows no initiation in running to the potty. So here's my new tactic: I've told her that as soon as she feels wet coming out (point to body part) she needs to put her hands there and yell STOP and run to the potty! When we went through this she laughed almost hysterically. (I think it was the Mommy yelling STOP part!) But maybe it will work. And maybe not...I'll let you know. My logic was to give her something active to do when she feels herself going so that she'll learn to stop and get to the potty. This is becoming an intellectual process.

On Marriage:

This is going to be cryptic. Sometimes marriage goes through periods that are tougher than others. Where it is easier to see negative things in your spouse than positive things. So I've been talking to God about how A, B, and C make me feel X, Y and Z. And do you know that yesterday Jeremy did one thing and today he did another that really surprised me and both times I heard that little whisper from the Holy Spirit, "I heard you. I've got it taken care of." Now if only I wouldn't have to be so hard to live with while I'm in the process of waiting.

On Inauguration:

Watching Obama getting sworn in gave me chills. Whether you like the guy or not, watching such a monumental occasion is amazing. What other nation could have a justice swear in a president who voted against him and who are on polar opposite ends of the political spectrum? I've never been so interested in the process. Maybe my dull life makes everything else look so much more interesting. I naturally think of the psychological aspect of people. So I wonder what the day was like for his girls and how can he possibly think he (or anyone) can bear of the weight of being the most powerful leader in the world? And then as I watched George Bush get into the helicopter and fly away I wondered what it much be like for him. Does he have counseling lined up? Or is his ego big enough to handle all of the negative things that have been said about him. Does he feel like he's leaving with a job well done? And how will he feel tomorrow when he wakes up with an empty calendar?

Monday, January 19, 2009

First Haircut

Before...

During...

After...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Video--Waving and Peek a Boo

video

Potty Training--Week 1

Aliza turns three in early March. I know that she is developmentally capable of using the potty. So I picked a week, planned to stay home and went for it. There's no turning back now...

Monday: Armed with a basket of Dollar Store prizes, a pile of panties and a pile of pants. I'm ready for accidents and success, whatever comes. The accidents were far less frequent that when I attempted this in August (4 a day instead of 10 in a morning!) so I'm feeling pretty optimistic. No success today.


Tuesday: This morning Aliza had an accident in the kitchen and while it was happening she looked at me and knew to run to the bathroom. A spark of hope? And then she woke up from nap with a dry Pull-up. Surprised me. But still no success.

Wednesday: Aliza woke up this morning with a dry diaper! Her last accident had been right after supper yesterday. I'm a little worried. How long can she hold it? She had an accident at 10am. My idea in the picture below was to have her play in warm water while sitting on the potty hoping to get her to "release" bladder muscles. It worked, but she wasn't on the potty! She had a blast playing with her kitchen toys in that water. That was ok with me since we've been in the house for 3 days now and I've had no success and who knows when I will have success!
Still Wednesday....the day went from bad to worse. She had an accident at 10am, woke up dry from her nap again and by supper time still had not had an accident or used the potty. I'm pretty convinced we are entering a battle of the wills that I will not lose. We aren't turning back now. I don't know what to do, maybe my daughter will be the one who graduates from high school in a diaper (lol) and I will be a parental failure. It was a bad day.

Jeremy came home with lots of energy and enthusiasm for the potty. So after supper he sat Aliza on the potty with his iphone and lots of cool movies to watch. I went grocery shopping and I got a text, "Aliza went in the potty!" I was mad that it happened while I was away. But, hooray, one success! A little hope to start the next day with.

Thursday: No success.

Friday: No success all day. In fact by supper time Aliza threw a temper tantrum about having to sit on the potty before supper. She was mad because we had to put some boundaries on her use of the iphone. In fact, I even told her that because she was choosing not to sit on the potty that if her panties got wet she was going to have time out. Lo and behold after supper she agreed to sit on the potty and in 10 mintues we had success! Oh boy! This time I was excited. We cheered and she got a prize (a puzzle that she got to put together right away). Grandma called at the right moment and then we called Grandad and tried to call Grandma and Grandpa. This time she knew what she did.

Saturday (today): At 6am Jeremy went downstairs to figure out why our house was cold. It was 10 degrees outside and our boiler wasn't lighting. No heat! It was 58 degrees in the house by the time the children woke up. The bathroom downstairs was the warmest room since it was electric baseboard heat. When Aliza woke up she was dry and pretty soon she asked for the ipod touch and wanted to sit on the potty. I agreed. She sat there while I gathered up what we needed to take to my Mom's for the morning. A few minutes later I heard, "Mommy, come look. I did it!" I really could hardly believe it. We cheered again and she got a prize that she got to show everyone today....chapstick! Was I ever feeling optimistic after that! But we had accidents the rest of the day and a wet Pull-Up after nap.

The picture below is this evening. Jeremy and Aliza sat in the bathroom for a half hour each playing on an ipod. It's great that Jeremy doesn't mind sitting there. But she didn't go.


So in a week I've only had 3 successes. I really thought it would be easier than this. Maybe one day next week I'll have 2 successes in one day or at least one success every day. We'll see, but it looks like this is going to be a long process. I'm not staying home all week this week. I will go crazy!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Road Trip

On Jan. 2 we set out on a road trip to see my Grandma in Ohio and attend a cousin's wedding in Michigan. This was a huge undertaking, but with my Mom in the back seat with the children we thought it was possible. We all survived so, indeed, it was possible and memorable.

Day 1: We made it to Ohio in 11 hours and 45 minutes. We made great time considering we were traveling with 2 children. They were both great travelers. I was armed with lots of toys and snacks and we didn't pull out the DVD player until 4pm. That was a hit and we didn't hear much from Aliza after that!



Day 2: It was much harder to think of packing up in the car again for the 1.5 hour drive to Michigan for the wedding. Grandma made breakfast for us and the other family member that were in town. The menu is important to the rest of the story....french toast stuffed with cream cheese and a brown sugar bottom, sausage, cinnamon rolls, fruit, assorted cookies and coffee cake. Aliza had a great time running down the halls of Grandma's apartment (attached to an assisted living facility. It is a great building and place for her to live!)

We headed back to where we were staying and got ready for the wedding. I got lunch for the children and thought I should maybe eat something myself, but I didn't. I was still feeling full from our sugary breakfast. About 1:00 we packed up and headed for the turnpike. I fell asleep on the turnpike and when we got off at the exit, I woke up and felt HORRIBLE. My fingers tingled, I felt shaky, nauseous, and faint. I had no idea how I was going to make it to the church. My aunt (mother of the groom) looked at me when we arrived, heard what I had for breakfast and got her sugar tablets out of her purse. She gave me 3 (30 calories straight sugar). She also found some cheese and crackers and in about 10 minutes I wasn't as shaky, faint or tingly feeling. But still nauseous. Ultimately I essentially missed the wedding and spent a couple hours on my aunt's couch before catching the last hour of the reception. I had done so much planning for this trip and at the climax I got sick. Hadn't planned on that! At that point I felt a little stupid for making the trip in the first place.
But a 4 generation picture is priceless and it was really nice to see Grandma and where she lives now. We got to spend a little time with her on Day 3 before we started home. The weather was pretty bad so we thought we should get a head start.

Running in the halls!

video
Josiah had ice cream for the first time. He enjoyed it as you can tell in the video above.

Day 4: Finished driving home. Josiah and Aliza both slept for about 3 hours in the afternoon. We were all exhausted. I didn't realize how much attention they soaked up from having Grandma in the back seat until the next day when Josiah cried every time I took more than 2 steps away from him. But I have to say Mom was the best! The trip was much more enjoyable with her help.

Smile

This picture just makes me smile. The first time I saw it I thought, "I AM his Mommy." I thought he looked a bit like me.

Back in the Game

I never thought I could miss a computer so much! It was good to take a technology break. I read more, but I sure missed this journaling outlet and my virtual social life. I think the social part may not be virtual given how much I missed it!

So if you purchase a Mac computer I recommend also purchasing the AppleCare plan. We ended up having to send my computer by mail to get it fixed since Apple stores do not keep hard drives in stock. Jeremy called last Saturday (Jan. 11) we received a box to send the computer on Monday. We put my computer in the mail on Tuesday (Jan. 13) and I got it back yesterday (Jan. 15)! I was impressed and we didn't pay a penny...even for shipping. And Jeremy downloaded all my data...well....pictures from Mozy and so that didn't cost us anyhing either. Which is such a good thing considering that our heating oil bill is more than our mortgage and it is getting filled every 6 weeks in the winter! I'm in a NO spending mode.

No more time now. But I'm guessing there will be a flurry of activity here later tonight!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Technical Malfunction

I guess it is inevitable, but it stinks when it happens. My hard drive crashed. After a long trip to the Midwest this past weekend I laid awake last night worried about the status of the pictures stored on my computer.

I had a feeling this was coming so I started a backup last Thursday via Mozy before we left. Jeremy confirmed this morning that the backup was successful. That was the best news I'd heard in awhile. And for the price of $89 we can get DVDs made of all my data. No pictures lost!!!

A break from technology is good once in a while. I was getting pretty attached to my little computer. We have to make a trip to an Apple store (2 hours away) to get a new hard drive. I'm not sure when that trip will occur. But when I get it back I have great stories (and pictures) of our trip to Michigan.

Just a little insight into my world at the moment....My New Year's resoultions are 1. potty train Aliza and 2. train Josiah to hold still while I change his diaper!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

57 Years

Happy 57th Anniversary Grandad and Gramma!

They took this picture a couple weeks ago. Gramma is wearing her wedding dress and carrying an orchid from my sister Janell's wedding on a Bible. I think we have a lot to learn from couples married so many years. It is not popular in our culture to stick to our wedding vows when the road gets rough and the struggles of life intensify.

I think they have some more years together. My Grandad is 81 years old and today he was loading a wheelbarrow of tree trunk logs and pushing it to the burn pile. He and my Dad cut down fallen and dead trees in our yard today.