Monday, August 31, 2009

With Love,

Happy Birthday Mom! You're the greatest. I can only hope I'm as good at being a mother as you.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What? What's that you Say?

First Read this Article about "The Third Man" phenomenon.

Why was there almost no mention of a possibility of the "God" factor?? I mean, COME ON! Do we really need to talk about who is there with is when we are at our lowest, our loneliest, our darkest hours? Do you really have to ask who that "third man" is? You can believe it's biochemistry, or some sort of brain thing making you "feel as though" you're not alone.

Some of us know the Truth -- that we are not alone. He is with us wherever we are, to provide comfort and guidance, especially in the circumstances they're describing in the article.

"Imagine the impact on our lives if we could learn to access this feeling at
will," he says. "There could be no loneliness with so constant a companion.
There could be no stress in life that we would ever again have to ­confront

Imagine. I think I may have heard something about this somewhere before?

Deuteronomy 31:6
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified
because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you
nor forsake you."

Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be
terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you
wherever you go."

Today I'm grateful that we're not alone. I know my mom was a few days ago. She was driving down the road when her Check Engine light came on. She stopped at my Dad's shop on the way home. He ran all of the checks, but the light never came on for him. Her car was fine. She left the shop and proceeded home. There was a huge accident at the major intersection near her house. The intersection she would have proceeded through at about the time the accident occurred -- had her Check Engine light not come on. We're not alone people.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


right? It has to be impossible that thinking it is funny to MOON people is something that is bred into little boys, right?

please, please, please.

This morning, Little Monster walked into my office while I was working. I had asked him to put his underwear and shorts back on after he used the toilet. It appeared as if he had done neither. He showed me his underwear and then said:

"there's a car in my underwear"

"There's a car in your underwear?"

"No Mommy. See!" (He turns to show me the thing who is on the butt of his underwear. Then he bent over and pulled down his underwear, revealing his round little bottom. He giggled and ran away.

Where do they learn this stuff? We're pretty protective about what he watches on TV. PBS, Sprout, Noggin... I can't imagine Little Bill running around mooning people. I'd bet it was Calliou. Or that Moose guy who hangs out with Zee. He's always been a little suspicious to me, never letting Zee get a word in. Yeah, I'd bet it was Mortimer Moose.

Friday, August 28, 2009

And now it's our turn.

Do you remember when you didn't have kids? Do you remember when you used to know everything about raising kids? When you knew what rules your kids were going to follow, how they were going to behave outside of the house?

Isn't it funny how that all changes when you actually have kids? You become that parent that lets their child sass just a little bit, because it isn't worth the argument. The sticky chocolate fingers and vanilla bean frappucinno because they've been good all day seem a little less indulgent.

I used to know it all. My kid was never going to be that kid. The one with a holey pair of jeans, dirty fingernails, pajama shirt and messy hair running around the store making obnoxious airplane noises. Sometimes the Lord teaches us a lesson in humility by putting us in the place of those we have judged. I know I judged one too many parents in my single, child-free days. I apologize to all of those well-meaning, tired parents who just didn't have it in them. I apologize to those parents who really didn't think it mattered if their kid looked like a dork in sandals three sizes too big, a pair of jeans with a hole in the knee, T-shirt tucked into their spiderman underwear, Batman pajama shirt with cape and goofy sunglasses on if he was happy.

Yeah, I really sincerely do. And it has nothing to do with the fact that recently we left the house in sandals several sizes too big because they are his rocket boots. The fact that he wore those "rocket boots" to Costco with upside down, red goggle sunglasses meant for babies --his "race car goggles" -- has not influenced the decision to write such an apology. Neither has the fact that maybe we have left the house in pajamas, because it was too much of a fight to convince the kid that he wasn't superman or batman or whatever caped crusader he went to bed as the night before. None of those things have led me to publicly apologize to all of those I have secretly judged before.

Isn't it amazing how much you learn about other parents when you become one?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ninety Eight Percent Complete

After days and days of cleaning poop from walls, toilets, legs, feet, hands, arms, trash cans, sinks, carpets, and potty chairs, we're almost done.

Little Monster has successfully gone in the potty with only a couple of accidents. During this training period, we've put him to the test too. We've disrupted our schedules, traveled long distances and given him full strength apple juice (creator of one of the accidents).

He's gone through more nights than not without using his pull-up and refuses to soil himself if possible. (It wasn't possible to avoid the accident after the apple juice).

So, I guess it's time I take him to the potty train. When he started yelling at me to change his diapers saying "I need a diaper change!" I told him it was time to be potty trained. He misunderstood and believed that there is an actual potty train. I tried passing off the caboose at the KOA we recently stayed at, but it didn't cut it.

So, the potty train trip is planned. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How can you say no...

to this face??

We can't. We're in trouble. Big Trouble.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's coming!

I grew up in a small-ish town. A town where when you went out to shop or eat, you were likely to run into someone you knew. It was annoying sometimes, but usually it just makes you feel like you're home.

Each time we move, I wait for the place to feel like home. Our house usually feels like home pretty quickly. I am quick to unpack and arrange, slower to decorate, but we know that "home" is where the family is. It can be in an apartment, a detached home, or between duty stations, our fifth wheel.

To get the area to feel like home, often takes quite a bit longer. Often, I have to find out where we 'fit in' to the community. We need to get to know how to get around the area without consulting maps, find our favorite restaurants, shopping centers, etc. I love it when I finally find that sense of community -- when wherever we live becomes like that small town I grew up in. I am always amazed when I start running into people I know when we're out and about.

I do get a bit sad, though, at the same time. Each time a place has become home, every time I start finding friends at Target, the grocery store and the take-and-bake pizza place, it means our time at that location is drawing to a close. It happened in Virginia Beach, and it's now happening here. Twice in one week I've been out and run into people I know. Are we really that close to a PCS? Where did the time go? Didn't we just get here? No. The area just became home -- I know my way around and friends are everywhere. The time to move is fast approaching. And although I'm excited about a new coast, a new climate and a new home, I'm saddened to leave another area that has become home.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Reasons for Laughter

Daddy takes LM to the potty -- in a public restroom. Potty training is working!

He helps LM to use the toilet. Then tells LM to wait patiently while he uses the bathroom himself.

As Daddy is washing his hands, LM asks:

"Daddy, did you get all your pee pee out?"

Yes, Little Monster.

"Good Job Daddy!!!!"

Saturday, August 22, 2009



Me: LM, Go bug Daddy now.

LM: No, I budding woo white now.

Me: I think it's Daddy's turn.

LM: No, It still yours turn.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I'd like to tell you a story...

But I think it's cuter coming from Little Monster...
Wast Night Dwami and Dwampa tum in airpwane. Dey tum in bwoo airpwane. And when Dwampa dwives eveebuddy say "aaaah, we all die! We twash!" And wast night we go wif twaiwer to mountains. In da mountains we went on dadenture for tweasure. Tweasure wike sticks and tine tones. And we see dween birds. And I hold one. Den we go twimming in da pull. I pwash and pwash and dwampa a shark! AAAH! Dwampa det me!! And me get apple boose and i need doop in mine pullup. I no want doop in mine pullup, but apple boose hurt in mine tummy. Me go on potty twain. Den we brock off Dwami and Dwampa in da airpork. Dey fwy home to eh-eh-ehbwasta. And I doop in da potty. and I get one deterdem (M&M). But me want big chalk-it. Big chocate me big wike YOOOOOOU!!! Dat a me talkin' bout.
Did you catch any of that? He speaks pretty fast. Here's the translation:
We've been busy the past week. We picked up Grami and Grampa from the airport and headed East to Yosemite. Mommy and Daddy tried to teach me that when Grampa was driving I was supposed to say "AAH! We're all gonna Die! We're gonna Crash!" But instead I just ratted them out and told Grampa I was supposed to say that when he drove.
We spent our first day in Yosemite without Not the Momma, but it was fun anyway. We went on a "treasure adventure!" Mommy made up a "treasure map" so that I would know to look for some things. At the end of the map, when we got home, he'd find real treasure -- Daddy!! On our adventure we saw an avalanche,
A waterfall:

BIG ROCKS!!! They were THIS big!scrambling with Papa

We climbed on even more rocks!
scrambling with Papa
Look how much fun I'm having on my adventure! Don't you love my "jungle hat?" Grampa loves the new one we bought him. They FLOAT!

Butterball wasn't sure about the heat. She's never felt anything this hot in her whole life. Mommy almost went insane because she cried about the heat so much. This is what she thought about the cold nights and hot afternoons:
More fun with Faces

One day during the trip, Grami, Grampa and Daddy went on their own Adventure! Mommy said it was too long and too scary for me and Butterball so we had to stay back at the trailer. I think they all had a good time though.

I can't believe Daddy climbed up this despite the Danger! He's a superhero!

Here's Grampa right before they climbed up the scary, scary cables at the top of Half Dome:

Here's Daddy on the cables. Grami stayed behind for this stuff because it was extra scary! Daddy has a jungle hat just like mine. I think he wants to be cool like me.

Grami had fun though, and they saw lots of pretty scenery:Yosemite - Half Dome

Yosemite - Half Dome

Yosemite - Half Dome Hike

Yosemite - Half Dome

Yosemite - Half Dome



I was really good and didn't use my pull ups the whole time. I was a big boy and used the potty. Everyone was proud of me. Butterball cried a lot, but Grampa was the cure for all of her tears. She loves him very much and stopped crying every time he held her. See, here's Grampa holding her. Isn't she cute? I like that outfit on her. Grampa is wearing his new floaty hat too. I'm glad he likes it. It took me forever to pick it out. Mommy got tired of standing in the store while I dug through the racks.
Baby and Papa

When we got back from our adventure in the mountains we found my friend George at Fisherman's Wharf. He let me hold his bird. I was scared, but I didn't let on too much.
Holding the Bird

We went swimming twice while they were here. Once at the campground, and once at home. I had a ton of fun both times. Grampa swims like a shark, but I'm a shark hunter, so that's okay. I was scared at first, but he helped me get past it and he helped me jump into the pool a bazillion times. I even got to spend some time with just Grampa in the pool here at home. That was the best!

After we went swimming, we had to take Grami and Grampa back to the airport so they could go home to Nebraska. It was sad, but Grampa shared his snickers, so it was a little better. It was a lot of fun having Grami and Grampa here. I hope they'll visit us again so that we can have even more fun adventures together!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Apologies. And then, the rest.

First, I need to take care of some business. Little Monster has taken to saying "Stupid Woman!" in a rather rude and hilarious tone. I blamed Not the Momma, because he has been known to say those words, with that inflection when he is driving and a woman cuts him off, etc. (You don't want to know what he says to guys. Praise the Lord that Little Monster hasn't repeated that!) So, I blamed him. We are not allowed to say the "long S word" in our house anymore, because each time LM hears it "Stupid Woman!" or "Stupid Dog!" or stupid something comes out of his mouth.

This morning as we were getting ready to leave the house, Little Monster was watching one of his favorite shows -- Calliou. I used to hate the show, but because it grants me 30 minutes of peace, I've made peace with it. Yes, the kid is whiny and the parents are perfect and never lose their patience (even when it is freezing, snowing, you lose your keys, the car won't start and you were already running late). BUT, there are generally lessons learned. This mornings lesson: Stupid isn't a nice word. It all starts when a skateboarding kid nearly crashes because of some birds and says "Stupid Birds!" with the same inflection that NtM and LM say Stupid Woman! So, perhaps Little Monster learned that word from somewhere other than NtM. I apologize sweetie. But you still can't say that, or any other fun words around the kid.

That kid of ours. What can I say? He's a parrot. But if you tell him he's a parrot, he'll probably say. "No, I too loud." And then go on to tell you about how he's a "duper-hero" and how he has to "ressssue teeple." If you're really lucky he'll tell you about how he and his blue hands are taking a rocket ship to the moon with Mickey Mouse. No joke. He really thinks he's going to the moon with Mickey. I hate to spoil his fun, though. At least we're getting past the whole "poop" everywhere thing. We've not had an accident or wet pants or pull-ups (during the day) for a week now. Progress! Of course, we have had to discuss the texture and shape that the, um, fecal matter takes once it lands in the potty. Isn't that a fun discussion? So, while I'm not cleaning up the poop so much, my life is still heavily saturated with discussions about it.

Even though I won't miss the potty-training clean ups, I'm going to miss the 2 1/2 year old version of this child. This child whose imagination knows no bounds. The child who makes up stories daily, pretends to be a dog, cat, Buzz Lightyear and Boo-bot Monsters or Dinosaurs. I'm going to miss his giggle and the dance and song he preforms when goes poop in the potty. I'm definitely going to miss hearing his demands for the cowboy song at nighttime, and his know-it-all attitude. Especially when I tell him he's cute, and he says "No, I'm LM."

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Poop. Poop. Poop.

Have you ever potty trained a boy who refused to poop? The other day Little Monster told me that he had a lid on his butt and that was why the poop wouldn't come out. After a few hours of whining, crying and yelling, James finally listened to me and took the "lid" off and threw it away so he could sit on his frog potty and get his poop out. I have to give it to the kid. He's smart. He knows that if he goes a little bit, he'll get his M&M for using the potty. Then he'll wait a few more minutes and go a little more to get another M&M. But the poop, the poop is killing me.

This being a mother of a potty-training pre-schooler and an infant, it is hard. Probably, no definitely the hardest job I've ever had. My days of making Blizzards and shooting whipped cream at my friends, or playing with my preschool class, or working on ID Card templates, heck even listening to people yell at me because they were too stupid to know the difference between the power button on their monitor and their computer were easier. What did I do with all of those free Saturday afternoons when I wasn't cleaning poop off of walls, toilets, trash cans, floors, and carpets? I don't know, but I'm sure it was time wasted. Well, maybe not. My apartment was usually generally clean. By "generally clean" I mean it didn't look like a toy tornado came tearing through the place dropping stuff off as it went.

Life was definitely easier when I wasn't trying to potty train a child. That in and of itself is hard enough, without trying to keep an infant happy. Butterball is a generally happy baby, but it seems that the second Little Monster does something that requires my full attention, she has a fit and won't stop until I'm holding her. And nursing her. Have you ever tried to nurse an infant while cleaning poop off of every surface of your home? It isn't fun.

But then there are days like yesterday. When there was no whining, no accidents. Days when my child behaved as though he were an angel who knew how to use a potty (even if it is shaped like a frog, sitting in my living room and requires being cleaned after each use). Days when my little girl is all smiles and coos and giggles. And suddenly cleaning up all of that poop isn't such a bad deal. After all, even if the job requires biohazard removal, at least I get to come to work in my pajamas.