"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh the Irony!

My blog has been a little dreary lately so it's high time for a little levity, don't you think?

And since my world currently revolves around the use of the potty, I'm going for a little bathroom humor. Literally. Keep in mind, this was *not* humorous when it happened but when relating this story to others, it's gotten funnier.

Yesterday, I had the Boy sit on the potty. Nothing new, he does that all the time (with no results). This time, I knew he needed to go to the bathroom so I told him to stay on the potty until he peed. Surely that would happen within moments, right? Nope. He went nearly two hours! (Insert visions of that woman who stayed on the toilet for two years...)

Just before the two hour mark, he starts screaming for his sister to come help him. I'm thinking maybe his foot fell asleep so I wasn't concerned. She runs to the rescue and reports back to me: he peed on the floor. Lovely. He must have gotten off the potty.

I grab the cleaning supplies and head into the bathroom. But the Boy is still on the potty, looking slightly freaked out. Apparently, he was still seated when he peed, he just wasn't...aiming.

The Boy just used the potty for the first time! Dancing for joy!

Nothing actually made it into the toilet bowl, so he did pee on the floor. But the irony of this situation was that sitting on the floor, directly in his, uh, target zone, was the basket of prizes that he could win every time he used the potty. Those were now soaking in a warm pee bath.

Really, I couldn't reward him because he hadn't made the shot correctly, so to speak. I did give him a tootsie roll for actually peeing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My House Smells Like Pee

Kill me now. Please. Someone. Anyone. End this misery.

Do you see my tally over there? Do you see the utter failure that we are all experiencing?

The swearing fest took place just as we were heading out the door...the Boy poops his pants. And if it weren't for every potty training guru I've read saying that you don't punish for accidents...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This Is Kinda Fun!

My mom sent me this...I thought it was interesting.

Youniverse Personality TestYouniverse Personality Test

Go to this website. For every category, they give you fifteen pictures to choose from, including a blank one, in case you don't see something that fits you. You don't have to register to get your results (but you do need to enter your birthday). Let me know what you think!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Oh The Horrors!

Alternate Titles: Soaking Wet - Let's Play 'Find the Puddle!' - What They Don't Tell You Before You Have Kids

Today is the day. I got the Boy all excited that today he was going to start using the potty! Hooray! So very exciting! Aren't we all so thrilled?

After taking nearly a year for da Boo to get the hang of the whole potty business and trying every single method I could find, I thought the Boy wouldn't be nearly as hard. After all, he had a solid role model in his big sister. He's been practicing sitting on the potty for months (we won't mention the screaming fits that took place whenever something actually came out into the potty) and he waking up from naps still dry. No biggie, right?


Here's what I am doing:
  • Potty seat on the big potty and little kid training potty right there. He gets a choice! Lucky kid!
  • Took him to the dollar store where he picked out some cool prizes and such. They are in their own special basket in the bathroom, just waiting for him to have success, then he can pick one.
  • Before, I would give him a chocolate chip any time he sat on the potty. Then he found my stash. We're not doing that anymore.
  • I hid all the pull-ups in another room. Now, he cannot insist on those instead because look! They're gone!
  • Every 20 minutes, we stop what we're doing and sit on the potty. I've even got a timer going.
  • He would barely press his cheeks to the seat before insisting that he was done and it was time to get off the potty. So I got some of the magic growing capsules - the kind with little sponge things inside that you have to dissolve in warm water. Now, when he sits down, he gets to pick a capsule. He sits on the potty, happily flicking the capsule around until it opens fully. Then he can get off and can play with his new little sponge thingy.
  • He gets to choose his underwear for today. He was rather disappointed to find that when he put on his Lightning McQueen underwear, his favorite race car was on his bum and he couldn't see it. So he's been wearing the backwards. Fine with me! It's not like little boys use the "trap door" all that well anyway!
  • After the first week of potty training, whenever he has an accident, he will have only plain white underwear. This was the big moment for da Boo...after peeing on Dora a few times and having to wear plain panties, she finally got the concept. We'll let the Boy get the basics going before we throw this one at him.
  • When he has an accident, he puts his wet clothes in the washing machine and then uses a kid wipe to clean himself off. I'm the one scrubbing the carpet but depending on how this goes, he may have to help me.
  • He gets a pull-up during naps and sleeping through the night. He gets changed out of them almost immediately and eventually, we'll phase these out.
So far...it's not going well.

What worked for your kids?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Five is the Loneliest Number

Sorry, no posts for Soap Opera Sunday. Maybe next week...gotta think of a good one, one where a relative (or spouse) of the boy involved does not read my blog...and that ain't easy.

So it's the end of the Spring Term at the "Lord's University." That means the Co-ed went back home. No more interesting dinners...no more taunting her male friends...no more vicariously living through her college days...at least not until the Fall semester starts. Until then, we have a basement full of her stuff to entertain us. And she left her contact lens solution so when I miss her, I can hug that, right?

Goodbye, Co-ed! We'll miss you (and all your free babysitting)!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Q & A: The Baby

Okay, okay! Enough with the harassing comments, emails and carrier pigeons! I will give you all the details on the Baby.

Q: When are you due?
A: December 17th. It will be a very merry Christmas, Charlie Brown. And I get to have a c-section so hooray for not being able to move during the busiest holiday! I'm sure the kids won't mind opening my gifts for me.

Q: How far along are you?
A: I think I am 14 weeks. My doctors says I am 14 weeks but the little pregnancy tracker-thingy I have says 15 weeks. You pick.

Q: How are you feeling?
A: Well, I just had some chocolate, so I'm feeling pretty good! Oh wait, that's probably not what you meant...I did get some morning sickness but not as bad as with the Boy and it was mostly in the evenings, just in time for dinner. Mmmmm...nothing like Sprite and saltine crackers to fill you up! I am crushingly exhausted by the afternoon but we could chalk that one up to the fact that I already have two monsters - I mean...sweet, precious little angel babies. I get headaches almost every day and I am very, very cranky. Seriously. You may not want to talk to me unless you want to hear my plethora of negative opinions.

Q: Do you want a boy or a girl?
A: All I ask for is a healthy baby.
As long as it's a girl.

Q: Are you craving anything weird?
A: Nope. Mainly I want to eat cheeseburgers for every meal but that's it. I knew a girl a few years ago the craved chalk. Chalk! Like the white stuff you use to write on blackboards! Her doctor told her that it's normal and if she couldn't resist the craving, then one or two pieces of the white, dust-less chalk was fine. CHALK, people!

Did you crave anything weird?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mailbox Madness

My mailbox has been gorging itself with all the goodness I've been getting lately. It started before I left for my trip(s) and hasn't seemed to let up, which is great! It's so nice to get something else in the mail besides bills, political fund-raisers and collection notices for people who aren't related to you.

The first to arrive was my box for the swap hosted by Tausha. It was my first swap and I was very excited about sending stuff. Then I got this cool collection in return:

The theme for this swap was the first letter of your first name. Everything in my box was "J" and since my swapee also had a J name, it just goes to show that great minds think alike as we had some of the some items (although they were different colors/styles). Jana sent me jewelry (those pretty white bracelets in front there), a journal (which I suspect is handmade and so lovely), jellybeans (pretend that the bag isn't already opened, okay?), jar candle (love those!), and jasmine scented lotion (such a subtle, feminine smell).

Next, I got this little cutie left on my doorstep:

Jessica H from Family of Four is doing a pay-it-forward with crafts and I was lucky enough to comment in time. I will be doing this soon, so be looking if you want to get a craft from me!

And finally, I won a contest a little bit ago. I got this as my prize:

Never heard of soap nuts? Yeah, me, neither. They are basically the dried nuts from a certain type of tree that can be used in the place of laundry detergent. I plan on doing a product review on these guys so you'll get to see more of them.

Anyone else wanna send me something cool? Please? I'll post it on my blog! :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Checking in!

We got back last night and boy! Am I sick of riding in the car! Also? We went from chilly and rainy in South Dakota to face-melting heat in California. Not as fun as you'd think.

So here are some random thoughts to tide you over until I can get a real post up:
  • At what age does a child grasp the concept of a juice box and the whole "don't squeeze it!" thing? I thought the Boy had this down months ago...apparently not.
  • South Dakota smells good. Not as nice as Hawaii but still, the whole state just smells nice.
  • I've come to realize that the people working on the Crazy Horse monument are, in fact, crazy themselves.
  • The desert is boring. And hot. And really, really boring.
  • Even the waterproof mascara is not really waterproof.
  • I completely underestimated my kids on the whole issue of death. They were wonderful (except the Boy during the eulogy but thinking about it still makes my eye twitch so let's not think about it right now, okay?).
  • It's amazing how excited kids get over cheap little toys and treats.
  • I really hate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Also, I wanted to thank everyone for the thoughtful, comforting comments and emails. You people are the best! Smooches all around!

Friday, June 13, 2008

We Have Gnomes

The Man knows all about the gnomes but every time I mention them, I get his famous eye-rolling. He doesn't believe me. That's because they don't bother him, just me. See, the gnomes like to take stuff, important stuff, stuff that I need and will tear the house apart trying to find. They take this stuff, hide it for a little while, waiting until I am near tears or the Man has joined in the hunt, then they put the stuff right there in plain sight. I could have checked that exact spot four times already, doesn't matter. The gnomes just love to torture me.

The first time the gnomes struck was shortly before our first child came along. I had some favorite pieces of jewelry: a necklace from Hawaii and a pair of blue rhinestone earrings. I wouldn't necessarily wear these items together but I cherished them both. Then the earrings disappeared from my jewelry box. Gone. I hadn't worn them in a while and when I went to put them on, they were no where to be found. I thought it odd but just picked another pair. Soon after, the necklace was gone. Now, I wore this necklace nearly everyday so it had it's own little designated spot in my jewelry box...but that space was empty.

I looked everywhere: in purses, pockets, random drawers, nightstand...anywhere that I might have taken off my necklace and tucked it away. Nothing. That's when I remembered the earrings were gone, too. And I knew: the gnomes had taken them! They were watching me search from their secret hideouts, tittering away into their long white beards as they draped my beloved necklace around themselves. Those little punks...are they wannabe cross dressers and steal my jewelry to dress up in?

Finally, the Man, joins the hunt. But he looks in man places, like on the entertainment center, by the computer and in the couch cushions. And guess what? He found them! The necklace and the earrings - which I didn't wear together - both wedged into the bottom couch cushions. I sputtered about stupid gnomes. The Man listened for a bit before rolling his eyes and resuming his position on the couch. Maybe it's because he doesn't believe in the gnomes that they don't pester him. But the gnomes have struck again! I had a necklace that was really colorful and long. I liked to wrap it around my wrist as a bracelet when wearing certain shirts. It disappeared. I chalked it up to my usual airheadedness, figuring it would reappear eventually. But months went by...I sorted and organized my wads of necklaces several times trying to find it. I even cleaned out the closet but no necklace (although I did find a missing pair of shoes and $27). Dang it!

Fast forward to last Thursday morning...I was getting dressed and picked out a shirt that I usually wore that necklace/bracelet with but alas, no jewelry. I was about to turn out the light in the bathroom, my wrist feeling far too exposed, when I saw it...no, not my lost jewelry, but a bone bead bracelet I bought at a craft fair last year. It was sitting in an old shoe box that had somehow made it's way to the top of my bathroom organizer-thingy. I picked up the bracelet, trying to remember the last time I'd seen it when there it was - my necklace! And about four other bracelets and necklaces, all slumped in a pile in the corner of this dusty box. Seeing that odd collection of mismatched jewelry, I knew...the gnomes! Seemed that they had gotten tired of waiting for me to freak out over those missing pieces and just dumped them all together. So maybe I'm not that big an airhead after all!

What do the gnomes hide in your house?
Anyone know where I can find gnomes traps?
I am actually in California, using a previously-written post. Before that, I was on vacation in South Dakota and the Co-ed was posting my stuff for me. Unfortunately, we received some terrible news while touring Mount Rushmore. The Man's grandfather passed away Sunday evening. We left our chilly vacation and headed to sunny California for the funeral. I will try and post (and respond to questions!) when I get back. This is a difficult funeral as my little family loved Grampa very much. And my mascara is sooooo not waterproof.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What Chocolate Taught Me

Here's a quote from the Chocolate Calendar:

"I taught my kids to count using little chocolate candies. They could make it to 20 before either fo them started school, but I gained 5 pounds."

Some other things I've learned from chocolate:

Nothing says "I love you" like getting your favorite treat (it means they've paid attention enough to know what you'd like).
When in doubt, bake brownies. Everyone loves brownies! Need it fancier? Add a scoop of ice cream, chocolate syrup, whipped cream and a cherry. Anyone who refuses that ought to be asked to leave immediately.
It's perfectly acceptable to have chocolate for breakfast. In fact, it may just be recommended, as it will start you day off on a sweeter foot.
Children can be bribed with chocolate. Even the promise of one single M&M will bring out the unexpected in your little ones (like making their bed, being quiet for 10 minutes, or using the potty).

What has chocolate taught you?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

SOS: First Date, Part Two

Alas, what would your Sunday be like without all the soapy goodness we got going on around here?

And we continue the story of my first date with Dream Boy. I don't need to remind you that he wasn't scoring any big points with me and my Sprite-soaked hair. Shall we continue on?

After the dollar movies, I received the Royal Treatment. Yes, folks, we went to Dairy Queen. I love DQ! Some of my favorite childhood moments involved their fine establishment. And besides, I was with Dream Boy! Anything was perfectly acceptable.

After getting our treats (and since Dream Boy still wasn't really talking much), I attempted to get to know the other two girls in the group. And this is where I start to notice that something is up (because I am super-quick, people).

Maybe I didn't help the situation by taking one look at the other girls and immediately confirming to myself that I was way hotter than both. Probably shouldn't have started off with such smug confidence. But these girls...well, they were sweet spirits, I'm sure. One girl - a small little waif of a figure - just stared at me. Stared. The whole evening. She didn't have much to say to her date...just stared at me. Well, I was cute but this was just awkward.

The other girl was quite different. She seemed to resent my very presence and took every opportunity to make snide remarks directed at me. Hey, if sarcasm was her main weapon, then I say bring it on, sista! So we didn't exactly see eye-to-eye, either.

In hindsight, I noticed one other thing: I was chasing my date. He'd scoot his chair over - away from me - and then I'd scoot my chair over closer to him. No subtlety there, folks. I was the hunter and Dream Boy was my prey. And he wasn't giving in.

By the time we left Dairy Queen, I was starting to feel a little pouty. What was it with this guy? He knew I liked him (yeah, everyone knew that) and he had asked me out. So why the cold, awkward shoulder? Didn't make sense. And what was up with those girls? Time for some answers!

Me: So, ummm...I know you knew those others girls from before but how do you know Staring Freak (not her real name...all about protecting the innocent, here).

Dream Boy: Oh, her?

Me: Yeah.

Dream Boy: I guess you could say she's my ex-girlfriend.

Me: Oh...

"Oh" indeed. Ex-girlfriend! He'd asked me out on a date with his ex-girlfriend! I was completely floored. But at least now I understood why she seemed to study me the whole evening...probably trying to find one thing about me that would be considered a flaw to Dream Boy. Yeah, that would be the fact that I was chasing someone who really wasn't looking to get caught.

And Sarcasm Girl? Apparently, she'd had a crush on him for the last year but he had been dating Staring Freak...until a few months ago when they'd broken up and he'd moved into my apartment complex. Oh, the intricacies of a little background information!

Now deflated, I was starting to think maybe Dream Boy wouldn't be won over like all the other guys I stalked - I mean, pursued with interest. Running on auto-pilot, I invited him in to watch a video my roommate was watching with her "just friends" guy friend. And absolutely nothing happened. No accidental bumping of hands in the dark room, no yawning and stretching so he could put his arm around me, and no goodnight kiss.

I was defeated.

So imagine my surprise when he called a week later to ask me out again. And then my utter amazement when he started flirting back. And then my stark bewilderment at our first kiss, and a little while later, the "I love you." Followed by the complete awe when he went down on one knee...Yes, dear readers, Dream Boy is the Man. Our first date was one for the record books but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Welcome to Jessica Land!

I took the kiddos to see "Horton Hears a Who" because I am the Best Mom evah! And also because it was at the dollar movies. It was a cute show and the kids were surprisingly well-behaved (apparently saving up all the whining, tears and mischief for the lunch after the movie...).

My favorite part?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Big Reveal

Remember how I have a secret? I have decided to tell you...but you really gotta want to know so I am going to make you work for it. Because I like to torture people.
  1. Read this post.
  2. Stop at #19.
  3. Take out the "not."
  4. That's my secret!
Oh...um...would you please not tell the Man that I told you? There will be excessive eye rolling, heavy sighs and shaking of heads if he knows I spilled the beans (again). Thanks!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I Just Love Contests!

Okay, so I entered another contest. Contests are great! Especially when I win one. Or two.

This new contest is hosted at the Secret is in the Sauce. I would win lots of really cool prizes (can we all agree that I could really use a blog makeover?) and the t-shirt is too funny.

And if you have a blog, you can enter, too! It's easy!
  1. Click here.
  2. Leave a comment with your blog address and then describe your blog in three words (really hard for me...).
  3. Copy the code for their cute button and stick it somewhere on your blog (you can't win without it).
  4. Email your three favorite posts.
  5. To earn extra entries, post about the contest (like this!).
Here is where I need your help...I don't really know which of my posts are the best. I know which ones *I* like, but I have weird tastes (like eating neopolitan ice cream topped with Fritos). Help me, please! I was thinking I'd do the Man Jobs post (since I got the most response from it) and then the first installment of the Date from Hell saga. But what next? Letter to Me? Home Security? Answering Fan Mail? I Miss My Mom? Or do I go retro, really dig into the archives and go with My Failure As A Mother? Totally at a loss here, people.

What are you favorite posts here on duckduckcow?

Monday, June 2, 2008

FHE: The Joys of Travel

Alternate titles - FHE: Stock Up on the Valium, FHE: "We'll Get There When We Get There!"

At the end of the week, we are leaving on a long car trip. It's a joint vacation with our family, my husband's family and a famous American landmark. I am very much looking forward to the trip! Vacations are fun! What isn't fun are the long drives required to reach our destinations.

Da Boo is great on car trips. She looks through books, colors, watches movies, naps, plays for hours with just a couple Littlest Pet Shops. All in all, she's not an issue.

The Boy, however, is. He whips through books once and is done, doesn't like to color very much, might watch one movie, refuses to nap (tries to wake up his sister) and whines constantly to get out of his carseat. In short, he makes us all miserable. We even resorted to Benedryll last trip...yeah, that didn't work.

To keep the whining to a minimum, we decided to better prepare the kids for the trip.

Opening Song: Twinkle Little Star - but you already knew that.

Opening Prayer: The kids were starting to argue about how it wasn't their turn, so I said it.

Lesson: I started by asking both of the kids about some the things they liked to do at home. The answers were play with LPS, watch shows on tv, color pictures, play with cars. (I was crossing my fingers that "throwing balls" and "wrestling" would not be mentioned...I lucked out.) Then I told the kids about the trip. I said we were going on a special vacation but it would mean being in the car for a looooong time. But HEY! Once we were done driving, we got to see Grandma and Grandpa Cow! Yipppeeee! Aren't we so very excited to see them? Yes! So we just had to stay in the car long enough to drive to where they were, okay?

After getting them excited about the trip, I told them they could do all those things they liked while in the car. I had special coloring books and NEW crayons (because nothing is better than NEW crayons) for them to use. They picked treats they wanted and movies to bring.

Then the hard part...I explained that they would not be able to get out of their seats very much. We would stop to eat where they could run and play but we couldn't stop driving very much if they wanted to see the Cow grandparents. The kids were still excited about the prospect of New! Stuff! so they didn't seem to care all that much about not stopping. Let's hope this doesn't become a harsh reality for them later...

Closing Song: Rock a Bye Baby (the Boy's current favorite at bedtime)

Closing Prayer: Daddy.

Treats: Costco Churros. Those things are cinnamon-coated bribery whenever I have to make a trip to Costco so getting them outside the store was a big deal.

Okay, help me, ladies (and men...if there are any who read this blog)! What are your road trip secrets? Here's what we have: DVD player with dual screens so they don't have to share, Boo has a Leapster (sometimes the Boy steals it and plays it), new coloring books with spiffy crayons, special treats (sugar-laden, of course), plenty of non-sugary snacks and drinks, mini pillows and soft blankets, each will have a backpack to bring their favorite toys from home (and keep the new stuff within reach), and surprise toys to give at the point where I am at the end of my rope (mini etch-a-sketch for the Boy and new I-spy book for da Boo). They are only five and three so the endless hilarity of Mad Libs is somewhat lost on them... we will be in the car for TEN HOURS and I'd like to arrive without having to face murder charges.

What else can I do?
Anyone have any of those noise-canceling headphones I can borrow?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

SOS: First Date, Part One

Welcome to another installment of Soap Opera Sunday!

First Dates are always a source for soapy goodness. You never run out of the stories, both good and bad. You thought Date from Hell was bad? Well, at least that guy was trying to impress me! The first date I'm going to tell you about...well, he was somewhat less than interested.

I had a crush. Not anything new. I always had at least one crush. One at church, one in class (or more), maybe one at work and then some random one thrown in there just for fun. This guy was my church and apartment building crush so I saw him all the time. Well, really I made sure that I saw him and that he saw me. Remember how I was a kinda stalker? Yeah.

After a few weeks of finding different reasons to talk to him, he finally asks me out. I waited until I was in another room before I jumped up and down, squealing. Finally! A date with Dream Boy. Even though a part of me knew he wasn't really interested, I was still excited and determined to win him over.

He picks me up and we head to the movie theater to meet his friends. It's a triple date with two of his roommates. I knew both the other guys and they were fun so I had high hopes for the evening. The movie theater featured dollar shows. No big deal. Splashing the cash wasn't all that important. I had not really heard about the movie we were seeing, knew only that it had one of my favorite actors. And besides, I was with Dream Boy! How bad could it be? Well, I was about to find out.

So there we are, sitting in a semi-dark theater, waiting for the movie to start. No popcorn, no drinks. Once again, not a big deal. The popcorn at this theater was notorious for being non-edible anyway. So I am sitting in all my cuteness - nearly waist-length hair perfectly coiffed in a mass of curls and my oh-so-trendy dark red lipstick - but we're not really talking. I don't think he was nervous but he wasn't really chatty and if you know me...well, you know I can't shut up.

Then there's a scuffle in the seats behind me. Two young boys were sitting there, obviously brothers. The younger one had just returned from the snack bar, popcorn and drink in hand, when the older one decided it would be really funny to smash him into the back of the seat - my seat - instead of letting him pass. So guess what happens? Oh, come on! Guess! Did you say the boy accidentally dumps his drink directly into my mounds of hair? Well, you would be right!
There I am, wringing my dripping locks out into the aisle and Dream Boy? He looks at me and says "That's gotta suck" and then goes back to staring at the screen. No bonus points there, my friends. None.

Then the movie starts. Oh boy. Remember how I said "The Mirror Has Two Faces" barely won out as the worst date movie experience? Well, this one was a very close second: "Six Days Seven Nights," staring Harrison Ford, David Schwimmer and the newly-gay Anne Heche. Not a good movie. Not even an marginally entertaining movie. So glad I didn't have to pay to watch it, even if it was just a dollar.

When it's finally over, we all stumble out of the theater, feeling like two hours of our lives had been held hostage and tortured. Once we regained our feet, we headed to the next destination.

Once again...I can't keep it short. I will finish this another time. Unfortunately, I won't be around next weekend so it might not be right away. But stay tuned and see what happens when I get the Royal Treatment.

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