Apr 29, 2011

An Ella Daddy Adventure!

I'm sorry, but the kid is a natural. It just runs in her blood. She can't help it.

Jason has been feeling a little burnt out these days after his stint in San Diego and overtime every week. So he decided to take a 4 day weekend this weekend. He kick it off this a.m. with a little Adventure for Ella and himself (read: YAY mommy gets to sleep in!!!). He planned it completely on his own. He got up with Ella and right after breakfast whisked her away to Cabela's. She got to see all the big fish and all the animals. And THEN she got to pick out her very own fishing pole! Of course...she picked the Barbie one...FABulous...but I digress. They went to the playground on the way home and then after har nap we all went fishing together and I snapped all these priceless photos! (Oh, and just a potty training P.S. she stayed dry all day...outings and all!) Oh, and if you're thinking this was kind of a self serving daddy date for Jason, you're wrong. This kid LOVES fishing. She's been on a spastic fishing high all day! She can't get enough! And she certainly isn't 'fraid a no worms either! Thatagirl!!!

T minus 9 days.

We're T minus 9 days from my first 5k of the season. I've kept my 3 days a week training up through long days where Jason's worked a lot of overtime, rain or sun, and one very difficult potty training experience...THAT is an accomplishment in and of itself for me!

Today I ran my full 3.2 miles. I was slower than death. I think I'll blame that on a very hot day, very hilly route and a strong wind that obviously hated me. Yes, yes that's what I shall blame.

Here's hoping that today's time is not indicative of what I'll acomplish on race day! :)

Apr 27, 2011

Potty Talk Continued

I'm sure this is getting old. But I'm a SAHM and this is my life right now.

I hate to speak too soon but I think I've solved our potty training woes. Ella tried holding it in FOREVER and realized it didn't work.

Then she tried just going in her underwear ALL DAY LONG so she didn't have to have the unfavorable sensation of going on the potty. This, however, DID work for her. Because as much as she hates the feeling of being wet...it only last a few seconds because she'd be dripping all over the place and I'd quickly change it. Then my two year old would stand there and point and tell me where I needed to wipe the floor. Yes I had her do it, but the girl loves to clean so another win for her there.

Today I busted out my cloth diapering supplies and slapped a waterproof outer layer around that undie. I told her she had two choices: go in the potty, or go in her underwear, which would be held in by the "undie cover" and she would have to sit in wet for a while (5-10 minutes I determined). She understood. Didn't even want to test it out. She's been dry all morning and peed in the potty twice.

Now, it's still not a stellar experience. It takes her a looooong time of sitting, and whining and tapping her feet trying to hold it in, or trying to go (which one I'm not sure) but she does it. So it consumes pretty much my WHOLE day...I'm hoping it will continue to get easier!

Apr 26, 2011

Potty Talk

Just a little updatydoo.

(And thank-you to those who have encouraged me and told me that every child is ready at a different time. I don't feel pressure from others. I do have a desire to get her trained. But we started up again because SHE was showing interest in the potty and wanting to wear her big girl underwear etc. etc.)

Yesterday Ella was in undies all day and dry ALL day. She peed ONCE. At 11:15am. And not again until this morning. Seriously. How DOES she do it?

But Today? Today she's been in undies all day and peed in them 4 times and it's only 12:30pm. Can you say Jekell and Hyde? Can you say confused mommy!?

I've done nothing different. Pump the liquids. Set the timer. Try every 30 minutes and ask if she has to pee in between. Sticker for trying. Candy and Prize for going. I'm as consistant as clockwork and Ella's all over the map.

Again, advice welcome from those following the saga. Is she not ready? Or is today just a test of a different kind?

Apr 25, 2011

Adventures In Potty Training a Smart, Stubborn, Unique Girl

WHO KNEW that potty training would test me to just within the bounds of my sanity!!! (Please any parent with experience, read this whole post and give me some advice! Or at least encouragement!)

Quick backstory: We started potty training Ella at 22 months. She was interested and excited by it. Because mommy and daddy's observations and good timing, we had a few successes. But other than that it was clear that she really couldn't tell when she needed to pee. She did however know exactly when she needed to poop. And the one time she pooped on the potty it really traumatized her. She had a belly ache, it hurt when she went, she was crying after she did it. No good. She was petrified of the potty after that. So we took a break.

6 months later makes a WORLD of difference. We've been at it for 7 days. She's in underwear all the time. We have a chart. She gets to put a sticker on the chart for every try. After 10 tries she gets a piece of candy. For every success in the potty she gets candy and a prize! She 100% understands the system. She TOTALLY understands wet and dry. She TOTALLY understands that she's supposed to go in the potty. She COMPLETELY knows when she has to pee. And she has control over it. OH BOY DOES SHE HAVE CONTROL OVER IT!

There's the rub. Ella's very particular about MANY THINGS. And she's averse to new sensations. She HATES change. This being said. She does not like the feeling of going pee in the potty. However, she also does not like the feeling of being wet. Lucky for her (not so much for me) the girl can hold liquid inside of her like a camel in the driest season of the desert!

She's also ridiculously smart. She knows that she gets to wear a pull-up while sleeping or when we go out of the house. She knows our weekly routine so she knows when any of these two things are going to happen. So she will HOLD her pee (We're talking up to 5 HOURS) until she gets a pull-up on and then immediately go in her pull-up. OOOHHHH so frustrating!!!! We've been at this for 7 days. She's gone in the potty 3 times (only because I'm sure she was on the verge of her bladder bursting) and been wet in her underwear only once. Camel. I'm telling you.

So this morning I switched it up! We'd been at this since 8am. It was now 11:15am. The child was crossing her legs, holding her crotch and doing the potty dance like I have never seen before, in her desperate attempt to hold it in. Then I knew she was getting close to her breaking point because she started asking to go down for a nap!

"It's not time for a nap. Why do you want to take a nap?" I lovingly inquired.

My 28 month old replied, "I put big girl pull-up on on go nigh-nigh. I pee in pull-up." (At least she doesn't know how to lie yet!)

Impressed with her communication, forethought and sheer determination, but livid at the same time, I made up my mind and upped the ante "Sure," I said, "You can take a nap, but NO PULL-UP FOR NAP."

Whadaya know? 30 seconds later, she'd trotted herself to her potty, pulled her pants down and peed a lake.

Oh man. I'm really up against it here folks. Give me anything you've got!

Apr 22, 2011

Easter. My Favorite Holy Day.

As you can see by the previous post, I have nothing against celebrating Easter and spring in a fun, kid-friendly fashion. I've got nothing against eggs, chicks, bunnies, and baby plants. They are cute, beautiful, fun signs of new life. And Lord knows I have nothing against candy! My child will never be deprived of any of these things.

But she will also never believe in the Easter Bunny. She will always know the REAL, wonderful, glorious, miraculous, life-changing and POWERFUL meaning of Easter.

We've been doing the Resurrection Eggs that my mom got for Ella before she was born I think ;). You can buy them here, or make your own here or here. It is a simple and fun way to tell the Easter story. After dinner we read a passage from the Bible, tell her a breif story and then it's reinforced by her opening an egg and finding an object that corresponds with story. She LOVES it. She asks to "open 'nother egg." I mean, she loves it so much we can use it as her reward for eating enough dinner!

I had no idea how much she'd understand or retain at this age, but she never ceases to amaze me. We review from time to time and so far she'll tell you that:

Jesus road into town on a donkey.

The men paid Judas money to tell them where Jesus was.

He ate dinner with his friends and they all drank from a cup.

Jesus was praying in the Garden.

They hit him with a whip and it was mean.

They put a crown on his head and it hurt him.

Jesus died on a cross for you and me.

The men played a game to see who got his clothes.

They poked his side.

I am not boasting about these things. I am just a simple momma, who loves the Lord, who is trying my best to teach my child about Him. Any success and results are His doing. But it sure does this momma good too! I cannot tell you what renewed joy I find as I discover again, my Savior's story through the eyes of my child who is hearing it for the first time.

Oh how I can't wait to get to the part where He rose again! To tell her that He is not dead, but that He lives! I plan to use this fun little resurrection roll recipe to share this with her!

And that folks is why Easter is the most important Holiday in my book. Because it celebrates the work accomplished on the cross. Jesus did live. He was an amazing man. He did many amazing things. But if he died on the cross and stayed dead. He's not my Savior. And I'm in the wrong boat!Oh but He did not stay dead! The evidence abounds! And only because He lives, only because He died and YET conquered the grave, can we have new life in Him, if we so choose.

Happy Good Friday to all. Bless you as you ponder the glorious atrocities He suffered for you. And Happy Easter. Bless you as you celebrate that HE IS RISEN INDEED.

Apr 20, 2011

Bunnies and other thoughts.

I found these two cute little bunnies hopping around my house today :)And althought it's a bit dreary, there's so much to be done and life is a little overwhelming right now...I am happy and I am grateful.

One thing I am grateful for is that ALL of the seeds I started are up! They are up and green and hearty and growing and it has me excited about my garden to come!!!

Apr 18, 2011


Ella's new favortie past time is JUMPING. Anytime, anywhere, off of anything. I scored some more balls from a secondhand shop while I was on my girls weekend. Last night we filled her ball pit up very full and she couldn't get enough jumping into it!

Apr 14, 2011

Running the Boston Marathon!

Okay not me. My sister-in-law. But I'm back at that pavement pounding too and I'm gearing up for my second 5k. Thanks to my friend Noelle who suggested the Mother's day 5k on May 8th to get us off an running (pun intended). It's exactly the motivation I needed to get back into the swing of things. It benefits Maine Breast Cancer Research. The course record for women in something like 16:59. I plan on crushing that! (Insert uncontrollable laughter here!)

But really I've impressed myself. After taking a good 3 months off, I picked back up and on only my fourth run I trotted out two miles like it was nothing! I feel great. My goal is simply to improve on my first 5k time and if I stick with my training program I think I'll knock that out of the park!

Enough about my little trots though. Let's talk about this lady right here. My sister-in-law, Erin, is running the Boston Marathon on Monday!!! Her first marathon to celebrate her 30th birthday! (Now I could think of a WHOLE lotta other ways to celebrate that momentous occasion that do not include self-torture bu that's just me;) More power to her! She also hopes to run it in a qualifying time...ya know, just in case she decides she wants to torture herself some more somewhere down the line. So send some good vibes, thoughts, prayers her way Monday morning because that means she needs to run sub 8 minute miles for 26.2 miles straight. The woman has trained like a rockstar and raised money like a celebrity apprentice contestant for the charity she is running for. She has three days left and still has something like $200 left to raise if you want to help her out go HERE!!!

Run Erin Run!!!


P.S. Also a shout out to the woman running south on Rt. 4 in South Berwick today. She was truckin' right along like nobody's business...up a hill...pushing a TRIPLE stroller...with three toddlers! You're my hero!

Apr 12, 2011

In Process

Our yard is...how shall I say this...hmmm....In Process. (read:looks like a flaming pile of poo). And it's hard for me. It's really, really hard for me. But I must keep the big picture in mind and remember what I am SO thankful for!

You see. We have a big house on three acres...not because we're rich (well we ARE rich compared to 95% of the world but I digress) but because God saw fit to bless us with a STUPENDOUS deal. Stupendous deals usually come with a lot of work. And ours did. But we knew that.

The yard used to look like this:

BIG house feeling clustrophobic squeezed in tight by woods THICK with crazy underbrush.

Now it looks like this:

Underbrush gone, small and dead trees thinned, two sweet little trails recleared for family romps and will eventually be stumped and grated and be a more expansive lawn that fades into some prettier woods.But for now, it looks like this:

Flaming pile of poo. And don't even get me started on that there moat...I might cry. But don't worry, that's going this summer too (if all goes as planned).Everything is brown. All the brush and stumps are just lying around in chaos, they need to be cleared and chipped and chopped and what not. We need heavy machinery and fill and earthwork and grass seed. We're far away from the beautiful yard it will be. IT WILL BE. I must keep my vision!

P.S.Do you think that's how God looks at us when we're in process? Which is always. He's sees the mess that we are, He's not blind. But He chooses to focus on what we WILL be. Because he KNOWS his plans for us. He knows His vision for us and He knows how beautiful it will be. I think so.

Here are the thing I'm thankful for. A big beautiful home set far back off of a dirt road. Land. Those goreous birch trees that are going to be seen in all their splendor now. Friends who helped clear. Friends who lend us awesome clearing equipment. Family that's lending us a woodchipper that will eat up to a 12" thick log (WHOAH BUDDY!). A husband that works his cute little behind off ALL THE TIME. Life is good. Piles of brush and all :)

Apr 11, 2011

Pet Net!

Remember these?I have no idea who created them or how long they've been around. I know my sister and I both had one when we were little. Man, oh man, do I love them! The gajillion stuffed animals that were once scattered all over the house now have a tidy little home that takes up NO floor space! Ella's quite intrigued by it too. She loved putting it up and going on an "animal hunt" to find all of her stuffed animals around the house and put them in their new "hamock". Now she gets to pick out two or three each day and night to play with/sleep with and we're both happy campers!

Apr 8, 2011

GOVERNMENT - What are you good for!?

In case you've had your head stuck in the sand and don't know about this....the congress and the senate have not been able to agree upon a budget for the 2011 fiscal year.

Why not? Basically in the congress, the republicans want to cut a bunch of spending and the democrats want to keep spending where it is and neither is willing to budge.

So what does that mean? That means that they've argued and dragged their feet and remained pig headed for so long that if a budget is not passed by midnight tonight, the government will shut down.

Oh wait, let me re-phrase that, the "non-essential" parts of government will shut down, which largely boils down to the hard-working, working class people who actually get crap done. WHICH, by the way, INCLUDES MY HUSBAND. So hundreds of thousands of people will be on vacation....UNPAID vacation....for an undetermined amount of time. I say undetermined because it will be as long as it takes for the JACKASSES is the congress and senate to do their jobs and pass a budget. But don't worry, the jackasses still get paid.

Oh that's right....I straight up swore....in all caps...on my blog.

I just cannot even handle the craziness right now. I have no words for this. It is downright unaccepatble! My brain cannot even wrap around how ludicrous this is! THIS IS THEIR JOB. The result of them not doing their job is that hundreds of thousands of people will be on UNPAID LEAVE. Do our senators and congress men and women have any idea how many people are living paycheck to paycheck these days and have mouths to feed and simply cannot afford to be UNPAID!? I really don't think they do. I really don't think they care an iota about their constituants and the average Joe. Because if they did, they would have gotten a budget passed LONG before this so that a government shutdown wouldn't have even been in question. But now it looms on the horizon.

So in this lovely nation we now have the people who work hard every day getting shut down and not paid...while the people who have NOT DONE THEIR JOB shall continue to get paid while they try to muddle through their gridlock that is devastating others. I say we don't pay THEM until they DO IT!

P.S. fortunately we live within our means, have put money into emergency savings and household savings and have been plowing ourselves out of debt with vigor so we'll be okay. We'll be tight, but we'll be okay for a bit. But if it takes them any length of time, we'll be up a creek like many others!

Apr 5, 2011

The Cutest Little Hostess!

I have THE cutest, sweetest daughter EVER. Argue that yours is the cutest and sweetest all you want...I know I'm right. And here's the picture story proof ;) On Friday morning when we were waiting for Daddy to get home in the snow storm (Ya know, banner hung, balloons flyin', table set, coffee brewed) and it was taking forever...I decided to unload the dishwasher. Ella always helps me do this. She put away the silverware, took out some plastic dishes and off she went.
I turned around to see this. She had set her own little table and placed her baby in the seat!Then she poured tea and drank it and helped baby drink some.Then she sat baby in her lap and looked adorable...like this. Then she got even more adorable and gently fed the baby some "cupcakes". THEN...she neatly stacked every dish and cup and put them away in their own little places in her little kitchen.Then she put baby in the stroller, looked up at me and said, "I'm taking her to the zoo." And off they strolled!This was ALL completely on her own. I said not a word to her! Just stood back, observed and snapped away. Oh melt my heart!

Apr 2, 2011

Daddy's Home!

The submarine was finished slightly ahead of schedule and they ran into no problems with J's systems when they put it out for tests. So he took the redeye home Thursday night. I actually think he had the harder time traveling out of the two of us. He was wedged in a middle seat between two large men on the non-stop flight home. Even thought it left at 11pm, he didn't sleep a wink. The plane arrived an hour late. The bus from Boston to Dover was running another hour late (remember this is in the middle of our foot of snow April fools snowstorm). The guy who gave him a ride home got stuck 1/2 way down our unplowed dirt road. He spent 1/2 hour pushing the guy out and then had to trudge througha foot of snow, hauling all his luggage, down our road and then down our long driveway. He walked through the doorway at 11:45am (a mere 12 1/2 hours since he had arrived at the San Diego airport to depart) and weary, weary man. He was greeted by a banner, balloons, yummy monkey bread with strawberries, fresh coffee (yes as you can see by the picture, we ate without him because we expected him hours earlier :) and two very happy ladies...but I'm not sure he even knew which way was up by then! We are ELATED to have him home! It has been grand!