Saturday, May 31, 2014

31 Things I’m Thankful for in May

  1. A holiday = 1.5 vacation days for me. Yes, this the #1 item I’m thankful for in May. You can scold me later for being shallow. I’m very thankful for those who have given their life to serving our country too. But I’m fairly certain that most of them are more than happy for everyone to celebrate and extra day off from work too.
  2. Time spent with Lance’s mom’s family celebrating the life of his Grandma G.
  3. Time spent celebrating family member’s birthdays
  4. Me time at the Aveda Institute
  5. God’s provision with my brother-in-law’s farming accident
  6. Warm weather
  7. Kind people at who refunded our money after our trip to Kansas City ended up being the same time as Lance’s grandma’s funeral.
  8. God providing basic ways to try and explain Grandma G’s death to Lucan.
  9. Friend emails
  10. My mom, who is kind, generous, unassuming and always teaching me how to be gracious.
  11. Naps
  12. The May Day basket tradition carried on by a good friend.
  13. The start of the newest Bachelorette. (I never said I wasn’t silly)
  14. A fun 3 year photo shoot with our talented friend, Katie.
  15. Wednesday jeans days at work
  16. A FANTASTIC Citrus Lane box this month. After last month’s box, which was a complete FLOP, this was a nice surprise.
  17. Masterpiece Theater
  18. Garage sale time has begun!
  19. Re-reading the Harry Potter series. Sometimes it’s really comforting to re-read something you know that you’ve enjoyed previously. It’s like talking with a friend.
  20. Lucan has appeared to have temporarily stopped sneaking into our room in the wee hours of daylight to stand at the foot of our bed and peer creepily at us. I, for one, appreciate not being stared at while I’m sleeping.
  21. Cinco de Mayo celebration at work. On May 1. We called it Mexican May Day :)
  22. First Saturday Farmers Market (even if the crowds were AWFUL and jam packed)!!
  23. Yoga. I know it makes the list most month, but I swear it makes me nicer and calmer.
  24. I’ve started this TERRIBLE tradition with Lucan that I set a treat out for him on the console of our SUV when I go to pick him up from daycare. Everyday Lu is “mommy remembered treat for me! Mommy loves me!” So the one time I complete forgot to get him something I got hear this little woebegone voice saying “mommy forgot treat?” Bad mommy. But it’s pretty adorable hearing how excited he gets about a little cookie or some Smarties.
  25. A friend’s pregnancy announcement that she’s due with IDENTICAL twin girls!
  26. The book “Delicious” by Ruth Riechl. It was fun. I was a little dubious at first, but I ended up really enjoying the foodie book by Editor in Chief of Gourmet magazine and former food critic for the New York Times. That’s cool stuff right there.
  27. Duck Derby, free food and inflatables and a tiny pink rubber ducky that Lucan adores.
  28. Delectable strawberries
  29. Our new senior pastor starting (even if we have yet to hear him preach …)
  30. The first blooms of spring: lilacs and peonies. Some of my favorites.
  31. Generous friends who loan me things for Lucan’s upcoming birthday party. 

Pretzel monocle.

Look! Glasses! I see you!

Mommy son selfies.

Real glasses from Lucan's May Day basket.
Garden plants we started indoors. Fortunately, they're all out in the garden now. Fingers crossed, they'll actually not die mid-July like most years ...

This is the great Citrus Lane box we got this month. It included: a watering can for Lucan, a snake magnifying glass, a bento style lunch box, foot wipes (which I've used on Lucan a couple of times already and they smell really lovely - grapefruit) and some "healthy" cheddar cheese crackers that Lucan told us he didn't like. So Lance happily ate them and told me they were really tasty. Overall, our May box was a definite win! Good job Citrus Lane.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tips on Potty Training.

I have vast knowledge on how to potty train your child. Said The things I know don’t know are vast and immense. One of them is how to potty train your child. But I do have a few observations on things that we did right.

  1. Don’t be in a rush. There’s no magic age to potty training. If you have this idea that your child has to be potty trained by 18 months old, all you are going to end being is disappointed and washing a lot of soiled laundry. You can’t force potty training. I know this to be true.
  2. Children, to some extent, will be able to communicate to you they’re ready to phase out diapers and start using the toilet. They’ll be able to recognize the cues their body is giving them about needing to go to the bathroom and be able to go before they have an accident. I won’t lie; most kids will need some coaching before they are able to catch on. Which leads me to my next point: consistency is key.
  3. When potty training begins, all adults and caregivers have to be on board. You need to be a team and work together. So if you’re going to consistently start making your kiddo try using the toilet every hour, this needs to happen not only at home but at daycare and also when you are out and about. #teampottytraining
  4. I think this is where pull-ups get in the way of consistency and the point where I tell my pull-up story. At one of our daycares I was fairly firm and adamant and NOT putting Lucan in pull-ups. I had heard from several other moms and sources that they just confuse and impede the potty-training process. Then we switched daycares and one day I came to pick up Lucan and bam! she had put Lucan in a pull-up without our discussion. I was annoyed and believe this hindered getting Lucan full potty trained.
  5. Positive reinforcement only. If you make your child feel sad, ashamed or anxious when they have an “accident” it’s going to make them even more nervous about going on the big toilet. Praise your child when they do well, comfort your child when they have an “opps” moment (actually that piece of advice is suitable for most occasions).
  6. Set an example. One of the best things that got Lucan interested in potty training was seeing all the other daycare kids line up and go to the bathroom. We carried on this example at home and let Lucan see us use the toilet. Side effect: always having a bathroom buddy.  There is no peeing in peace. And Lucan will cheer you on if you poop. I suppose he picks that up from us in #5. :)
  7. Get underwear they’re excited about wearing. Lucan has some with fish on them that he would wear every single day if he could. Fortunately I’ve convinced him that washing them is a necessity.
  8. If you are in the early throes of potty training, hunker down and don’t leave home. Park a kid’s training toilet in the living room. Push juice and other beverages. Go pantless (for the potty trainee – not for the potty trainer). Expect to live at home for a few days and to be mopping up puddles.
  9. Set a timer and make them try peeing every 30 minutes. Then 45 minutes. Then move the time to every hour. And so on and so on. Expect some accidents at the 60 minute mark. But they’ll get the hang of it in due course.
  10. In the early days, we used to give treats when Lucan would try going to the bathroom. Then we moved it to just getting treats when he successfully peed in the toilet. Then when he would poop, we gave him a pony. No, just kidding. But we successfully phased out rewards for the most part. Sometimes when Lucan has a huge poop he still gets a gummy worm. But I never suggest it like some parents (ahem, cough: LANCE) do. Lucan gets plenty of sugar from his own conniving ways. I don’t need to add another occasion. One funny side story: I overheard Lucan tell Lance the other day he was going to try and go poop because he wanted a treat and we had already told him “no more treats.” Poop=candy. Silly boy.
Those are my ten potty training tips. Good luck parents. Don’t worry; someday they’ll get the hang of it. We all did, right? No one goes to kindergarten still in diapers, even though some days it might feel like it! 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Lucan Laughter

Lucan Laughter
Me: Lucan we’re going to have our picture taken tonight.
Lucan: Oh. Can we wear clothes?
Me: Yes … we can wear clothes.
Lucan: Oh YAY!

The song “Let It Go” is playing on the radio from the “Frozen” soundtrack
Lucan: Mom! I lu-ve this song!
Me: Oh really?
Lucan: Yeah, we sing it all the time at James’ house. Let it go, let it go!
Note: Lu's never seen "Frozen" at James' house. He's actually only seen the movie once ...

Saturday morning, 6:10 AM, I hear Lucan’s door open and shut. Lucan comes into our room and stands at the foot of our bed and stares at us.
Me: Lucan, what are you doing?
Lucan: MOM! It’s wake up time! The sun is up!
Lance: stupid east facing bedroom. We’re switching bedrooms with him.
Lucan: Okay daddy.

Lucan and Lance after a trip to the park where it was 91 degrees outside
Lucan: Mom! I pooped at the park! It was SMELLY.
Lance: I took him to poop in a port-a-pot. It was horrible smelling. But then Lucan wanted to see his poop and tried to stick his head in the hole.
Me: (aghast) it’s bath time. Right NOW.

Lucan after pooping and getting ready to flush.
Lucan: It’s a brown one. Bye poop!

Lance and Lucan walking out the door for daycare and Lucan turns around and sticks his head back inside.
Lucan: Mom! I need one more cookie! Just one!
Me: okay, fine. (I had foolishly thought he had turned back so he could tell me that he loved me)

Lance and Lucan in the morning
Lance: bye hun! Have a good day!
Lucan (mimicking Lance): bye hun! Have a good day!

 And these are your laughs for today :)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

30 Things I'm Grateful for in April

  1. Lance’s birthday!
  2. Easter Sunday! Christ the Lord has risen today –alleluiaha …
  3. My parents provided us with the opportunity to go to the circus with Lucan. While I was nervous about taking him, it turned out to be a really fun experience and Lucan did so well. He loved the motorcycles, the “crabby” white tiger and his new star light-up toy
  4. Winning: I won a $100 gift card from Des Moines Moms blog and a $40 credit from the Oakland Avenue blog to the “Fancy that Loved” etsy shop. I know it’s been a lucky month for me.
  5. Fun Saturday at Lance’s family farm: feeding cows, petting kitties, tractor rides, watching an excavator move dirt and playing with cousins. Lucan’s idea of time well-spent!
  6. Finding a spiral ham for Easter lunch, the night before after going to five different grocery stores. Lance was not entertained. I think it’s a funny story.
  7. Justin Timberlake’s song “Not a Bad Thing.” I really like it. You can stop thinking less of me.
  8. Work email exchanges with my gal pal Rachael.
  9. Funny conversations with Lucan:
  10. Me: look Lucan, a worm! Lu: a worm, a worm! He come home!Me: what? Further explanation from Lance: he had also pointed out a worm to Lu at daycare and Lucan thought it was the same worm that had finally made its way back to our house :)
  11. The joy of our friends’ baby adoption being finalized.
  12. A much needed haircut.
  13. Mother-son date “knight” at Chik-fil-a. Lucan is still talking about the magic show.
  14. Curious George. It provides me 24 minutes every night of a distracted Lucan.
  15. Date night with our friends, Jon and Katie. They are fun people!
  16. Seeing the first signs of spring outside on blossoming trees and flowers. Lucan likes to point out our neighbor’s tree “purple! pink!”
  17. Playing at the park
  18. Sunday night television: “Call the Midwife” and “Mr. Selfridge”
  19. Finally getting to watch the movie “Saving Mr. Banks.” I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t as happy as I thought it might be. That’s no one’s fault but my own.
  20. Reading and loving the book “Eleanor and Park.” It’s a little slow-going to begin with but I really thought the author channeled what it was like to be 16, in love and have a crap life.
  21. Afternoon naps for Lucan, but more so for me!
  22. Yoga with Erika
  23. Coupon for a free 3-wick lavender candle from Bath and Body Works. It was worth $22!
  24. Delicious strawberries!
  25. Being able to help my mom with a friend’s bridal shower. It’s nice to feel useful for something other than getting a toddler a snack.
  26. Officially potty trained. Except for bedtime. But that doesn’t really count, does it? Lucan was able to make the entire three hour car ride back to Des Moines without stopping once. (It should also be noted that on the way to my parents we had to stop no less than three times.)
  27. Making hotel reservations and plans for our weekend trip to Kansas City. Yay for Lance and Kara time!
  28. Seeing Lance’s seeds turn into plants. Garden time is almost here
  29. Girlfriend time at cooking club. We are rather an eclectic group when it’s all said and done, but each woman there is fun.
  30. April showers. I’m totally ready now for my May flowers. Can you swing that God?
    Circus and Lu's beloved star light toy.

    Mother Son Date Knight at Chik-Fil-A. Lu's inside the magician's hat!