Go ahead, laugh at the irony

Today was boy day. Dad and Logan took a trip to the lighthouse for their hike. That meant it was also girl's day. Megan and Mommy went shopping at the outlets about a half-hour Northwest of here. In the Carter's outlet - one of us patiently waiting on line, one of us not - I took Megan from her stroller to calm her incessant whines over, I'm assuming, how stinky long, slow, lines are. I held her facing me and she did her darndest to continue her shopping. She gazed at every baby girl outfit she could feast her eyes on. A women two shoppers ahead of us smiled and admired.

"How old is she?" she cooed at Megan.

"She's 3 and half months," I said and smiled my appreciation at her adoration of what is obviously the cutest baby girl around.

"Oh, she has such remarkably good head control for her age! Look at her moving that head around so well. Nice strong neck!" the lady said.

And I just smiled and thought - oh if you only knew how wonderful that is to hear.


Oh look! Another gray. "Pluck!"

Miss Thing's head is now on straight. . .again. It remains to be seen how long this phenomon lasts since we had the excitment of a non-tippy baby for a week previously. She still has this uncanny ability to twist her head farther to the right than I had thought humanly possible. However, when she's sitting up supported around the hips or being held upright the head is straight between her shoulders.

As an aside - I did some googling on "Wry Neck" to see if I could find anything on why the condition would correct itself only to reappear. I just skimmed because I searched way too close to my bedtime to actually read. What I did find was a whole lot of articles on Wry Necked Rabbits. Hmmm, perhaps a vet would be more useful than that no-personality, cardboard cut out of a specialist we saw.


A quick update on bedtime Houdini

I was replying to a comment in my tirade about Logan's antics last night and figured I should post the rest of the story here as well:

Tonight was a non-issue. He and I had a long talk. He also had a long talk with Grandma. And he had no nap. All these things helped for at least tonight - although I'm sure last night wasn't the last time he decided to make a game out of not staying in bed.

He got up this morning and found his four trains high on a shelf. He asked why they were up there - I reminded him that they were in a time-out and why. Then he cried. I made a deal with him - if he behaved for the next hour and promised to listen tonight he could have them back. Normally not something I'd do but since I was leaving for the day and Grandma would need to deal with the tantrum I figured I'd be nice to her - especially since she'd be house bound in the crap weather.

When he went to bed tonight I simply said - "Here's the deal. I will leave the door open a little bit now, but if you get out of bed I'm putting you back in and then closing the door all the way which is how it stays no matter how much you complain." And he said "I stay in bed. I promise." Which, an hour and half later, he's done exactly that. We'll see what happens each night from here out. Last night wasn't the first time he pulled that little trick - just the worst time. He does it then he doesn't. I do think there is a connection between naps and his disappearing act. So bye bye naps for now at least.

When Grandma asked him earlier today, "Why did you keep getting of bed last night?"

He said "I wanted Mommy. I get out to get Mommy."

Grandma - Logan, that's not good. Mommy isn't happy when you do that.

Logan - No, she get mad. I get in trouble. I wanted Mommy. I call her but Daddy come.

Grandma - What did Daddy say?

Logan - Daddy said stay in bed.

Grandma - Well Daddy was right.

Logan - I just want my Mommy time.

Grandma - Ok, but next time ask for it before bed time. Mommy works hard taking care of you and Megan all day long. She's tired and needs her sleep too.

Logan - I fun.

He also told Bruce tonight that he wanted Mommy to give him his bath yesterday but Daddy came and he was sad but didn't want Daddy feel bad. Sometimes its heartbreaking having a kid that can clearly communicate and show early signs of budding empathy. ugh.

Its like looking in a mirror

I'm sitting here at my desk ignoring the stack of work I need to be doing and staring at a picture of my daughter taken roughly a month and a half ago. In it she has the biggest smile - so big it makes her squint a bit and show off those big pinchable cheeks of hers. The light catches her little bits of baby hair making it obvious that she's a redhead. Replace the lavender and pale green plaid dress she's wearing with something more in vogue during the early '70s and this is a picture of me. There are times I look at Meg and I see traits from other people - when she stares in wonder her eyes get large and round, looking more like her father's brother's eyes than either of ours. There are times when you could swap out her pink outfits for blue and think you were looking at her brother at that age. In this photo, wow, in this one she's my twin. When this particular roll of film came back I found myself studying Meg's features more closely. I still see bits and pieces of other people, but more and more often I get that deja vu feeling.

Its eery to look at someone else and see yourself. Not just pieces of yourself, but your whole entire being. And not just someone else, but someone 31 years younger than you are. She's an entirely different person. Her little independent will and personality already evident at a mere 3 months of age. We're different people but we're also already so much the same. More importantly though, we've bonded and that's the one thing I love most about being a mother to an infant. There is nothing like seeing a child's entire two-foot body light up with pure joy the moment you enter her line of sight. The way she kicks her feet and flaps her arms in happiness, while she coos and smiles at me just melts my heart, especially because I feel the same way.

Warning Warning. . .

To anyone with a 2004 Toyota Sienna All-Wheel-Drive -- when the stability control kicks in a panic-inducing, nerve-rattling, incessant, high beep goes off. . .and persists until the stability control feature does its job leaving you and your van back on the straight and narrow.

Don't ask me how I know this.

By the way - I hate driving in snow and ice.


Because they think I'll look good in grey

My children are conspiring to give me grey hair early - or is gray?

The little one keeps teasing us with a straight neck. Today she did a nice game of "on again, off again tippy head." Sometimes you'd catch her with a perfectly straight head as she sat on a lap or was being held upright. Other times she'd sit there staring at you with that head leaning to the side as it always does. You start thinking she's past the whole "wry" thing and then she regresses. I'm starting to think she's my little troublemaker and she's doing it now to mess with my head. Ok, I don't really think that, but when she starts laughing at me as I do her neck stretches you have to wonder a bit.

The big one apparently can no longer nap because every time he does take a nap during the day lately he screws with bed time. Case in point - tonight. Nice bed time routine and then boom...five minutes after I plant a good night kiss on his head and leave his room he's standing next to me and my laptop laughing. This went on for approximately two hours. During the course of the increasingly aggravating 'game' of his, four of his beloved Friends of Thomas were sent to 24-hour time-out. They now sit on a book shelf where they will stay all day tomorrow not being played with. I know I am setting myself up for tantrums. Although actually, if the snow stops and the roads aren't bad I've set Grandma up for diaster.

The little wise guy did his darndest to make me laugh - and although he doesn't know it he succeeded. I mean really, try not to laugh at the stuff he was tossing out:

Me - Logan that's enough. Now Lady is up on the shelf with Diesel 10. No Lady tomorrow.

Him - Why? I behaving now. See, Mommy. I fine. I sitting in bed now.

Me (probably with a touch too much sarcasm for the mature adult I'm supposed to be) - Yeah, that's great Logan, but you were not sitting here nicely in bed behaving two minutes ago.

Him - I know, but I sit here now. Lady sleep on shelf tonight. I see her in morning.

Me - No, Logan, Lady can't play tomorrow and neither can Diesel 10. They are off limits tomorrow because you're not listening tonight.

Him - I listen. I just come visit you.

Example two, as I escort him to his room for the Nth time:
Mommy, you should be working. You work very important.

Example three, after I tell him that I have to get work done tonight because its starting to snow so I may work from home and if I can get some work done tonight we can play outside tomorrow he says:
Oh! It snowing? I need my snow pants now.

Example four, as he stands in the living room watching me put yet another toy on the shelf banned from his use tomorrow:

Him - No! Mommy I like Jack!

Me - Yes I know Logan, that's the point.

Him - No put Jack in time-out, pick someone else. I want to play with him tomorrow.

Me - Ahhh, no, don't think so.

Example five as he sits on his bed having just made such a rukus he's awoken the baby:

Him - Mommy you need get a crayon and paper.

Me - No, you need to go to bed.

Him - No Mommy, you need to make a list for the supermarket.

Me - I need to what?

Him - Make a list for shopping. You have to buy Chap Stick for my baby (Editor's Note: baby being his stuffed green hippo.) She have yucky lips. She needs Chap Stick.

Me - Logan, your baby does not need anything for her lips. Stay here I will get you the stuff we already have for you.

He gets it. He pretends to put it on his toy. He puts it on his own lips, then says "There all done. Ok, Mommy, you can cross it off your shopping list."

For what its worth, we finally just pulled the door to his room completely shut and ignored his protests and banging around. Its something we had done a few times tonight but naively went in to see if the thud we had heard was him slamming the lid to his step stool repeatedly or cracking his skull open on the hardwood floor. (It was the lid, don't report me to Children's Services for neglect thank you very much.) We also went in once or twice to point out that his loud prouncements that his door was shut and he wanted out were waking his sister. We decided it was easier to get her back to sleep than to chase him up and down the hall. Since that final "this door ain't opening" we've not seen him or heard him. One can only hope he's not figured out how to climb out a window. . .


A slice of Christmas in our house

On Christmas Eve
Mommy - Logan, are you going to leave Santa something to eat?

Logan - Yup.

Mommy - What kind of cookies are you going to leave him?

Logan - One cookie.

Mommy - Just one? Why not a few cookies? He's got a long night of work, I bet he could use a good plate full.

Logan - Nope. Just one.

Mommy - Ok, how about one from you and one from Megan.

Logan - Nope, he just needs one.

As the children presenting the pageant at last night's Family Service filed in

Look! There Mary and Joseph. Come on Mommy! Let's go. I want to see the manager!

For the record, he was persuaded to remain in the pew with the promise of a visit up to the manager on the chancel after service was over.

During a prayer in the middle of the Christmas Eve Family service

Clearly deciding Pastor David had prayed long enough, Logan began softly and built to a crescendo so loud, even the praying minister must have heard it by the end:

God, Thank you, AMEN!

When walking around the Sunday School wing with Papa after leaving service 2/3rds of the way through and finding the lights off his Sunday School classroom

Its ok Papa. We find Miss Shannon, she turn the lights on for us.

At 6:30 am on Christmas morning
Logan certainly remembered the the last thing Mommy had said to him as she tucked him in on Christmas Eve -- He had to stay in bed until morning light because if he got out of bed before he might scare Santa away before he got to leave any presents. Or something like that anyway. At 5:30am we heard Logan mutter to himself and flop around in his bed. Again at 6am he saw it was still dark and he tried hard to sleep. At 6:30 am he slammed on his fish tank music. Mommy went in to his room and he lay there with his eyes closed.

Mommy - Logan honey, its ok. You can get up now. Its morning.

Logan (squeezing his eyes shut tight)- No! It not morning. It still dark!

Mommy - Honey, you're right, it is dark, but the sun is starting to come up now. Its ok. Santa was here and left already I think. You can get up. Just stay with me.

Logan with eyes flying wide open - Really? I get up now and get presents?!

Standing in the entry way to the sunroom, staring at the tree and the loot left behind

Wow look at all those presents! And they all for me!

Luckily he graciously accepted the clarification that only the packages to the right side of the tree were his.

Opening the box of new Thomas tracks Santa gave him

Wow! Just like I asked for! Its what I always wanted!

As he helped baby sister Megan sort through her stocking
And using his best "high-pitched" talking to baby voice:

Oh Megan! Its your first Christmas! Mine too!

When Mommy said to him "Logan silly, its not your first Christmas," he smiled and said "I know."

Upon summarizing his thoughts of Christmas morning at about 10am

Oh, this is my best Christmas ever!

As he settled down for the night, getting ready to start his bed time routine

Hmmm, maybe Santa come again tomorrow.


Merry Christmas to all

. . .and to all a good night. - Clement Clarke Moore

Santa Claus has left the building folks.

- Cookie left out mostly eaten and crumbs left upon the plate. CHECK!
- Carrot for reindeer properly disposed of. CHECK!
- Letter to child left in place of last minute letter to Santa. CHECK!
- Presents for all scattered beneath the tree. CHECK!
- Stockings stuffed and hung on doors of sleeping children. CHECK!
- Thomas tracks set up with new-to-Logan items incorporated. CHECK! (And as a note, "Mrs. Claus" has decided she must play Thomas and Friends more often when the boy is asleep. I like laying out those tracks!)
- Bows atop aforementioned handed-down Thomas items. CHECK!
- Letter explaining that Santa borrowed Logan's tracks to play and left behind his favorite pieces as a thank you. CHECK!
- Coffee pot set with auto timer. CHECK!
- Camera in place where even Daddy can find it in the morning. CHECK!
- Tree lights left up higher than gifts so Daddy can plug them in in the wee morning hours. CHECK!
- Half-asleep Mommy Elf ready to stumble down to bed.....CHECK!

May whatever holiday you celebrate, however you choose to do so, bring you much peace, love and joy.


A little info = bad thing.

Blogging is addicting. It just is. You find yourself marching around through life and thinking "Drat, gotta get to a PC and blog about this!" I, who always meant to keep a diary but never could discipline myself to do so, am a blogfiend now. With the addiction to the blog writing itself, comes this gnawing need to be read. So you up and enlist with places like BlogExplosion to generate some traffic. You work into adding links to your blog and commenting on other blogs - which in turn means other people link to yours which just means even more traffic.

And then, once you get some notion people other your best friends are reading, you get the urge to know how many and how they found you. You sign yourself for something like BlogPatrol so that you can track your hits and where they originate from. At least I did.

This tracking ability has been worse than traffic generation for my obession. I know now how many people read my blabble each day. I can see how many of you have arrived via links off other blogs and many have googled the term "I am a loser" and undoubtedly landed on the photo of my new bathroom I posted moons ago under the title "Because I am a loser" because really, who else would post pictures of their bathroom (redecorated or not) in their blog? (Ok, so you're not a loser then, just me.) Anyway, I digress.

Seeing what search terms lead to my front door has made me very aware of what I post sometimes. Not in a bad way - I mean honestly, what you put on the web is really out there and public for lord knows who to read. I wouldn't publish it if it was going to embarrass me. What I mean is that when I post, for example, about Megan's Wry Neck diagnosis and treatment I feel obligated to keep a running tab on her progress. Why? Well what if someday there is a parent out there that Googles "Wry Neck" (Or its much harder to remember or spell medical term) and they fall into this blog. I don't want them to see just the day Meg's pediatrician told us she had it. I want them to know what we did to help her and what worked. I want to know that if someone is going to peek into my life it humors them or helps them -- even if it just helps them to know that they're not alone.

Lately it seems a lot of Search Engine hits come from various queries on infertility, pregnancy, or the joys (ha) of toddlers. These are topics buried through-out the archives. I wonder if those rambles really help. I wonder if those people come back and read on. I wonder a lot...Apparently I should stop checking into my stats if I ever plan on accomplishing anything ever again!


Oh I can't wait!

Its happened. I've regressed. But, not really.

I have always loved Christmas. I love the decorating. I love the good cheer, the music, the treats to eat, the presents - both those I get and those I give. I love Christmas Eve church services and the various family traditions that have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I always look forward to this time of year.

But. . . yes always a but. . .but its been a long time since I had "butterflies in my belly" as the big day approaches. Its been ages since I felt giddy with anticipation. I don't think I've peered at a calender counting down the waning days to "the" day since I had hair down to my waist that often found itself in pigtails. I just simply grew up. Christmas was still wondeful but the childlike awe it used to inspire in me had matured itself out of my system.

Three years ago as we prepared for Logan's first Christmas I started to get excited. I knew at a mere 6 months old he'd be too young to really get any of it. He'd have no real clue what those packages were under our tree and yet I went ahead and piled up a bunch of toys anyway. I knew I'd do more unwrapping that he would - his biggest contribution to the day being nothing more than chewing on his gifts and drooling on his new clothes. Yet still, his mere presence made Christmas a bit more exciting than it had been in recent years.

Last year he dove into his new gifts but didn't quite get the idea that the big jolly elf clad in red dropped some of them off while we slept. He didn't unwrap them himself - he pulled at paper and then handed the box to us to open for him. He played with his new toys but he didn't completely 'get it' all. It was fun for us to watch his joy. It was special. I looked forward to seeing his face on Christmas morning but it was more "adult waiting" than childlike glee.

This year is different. This year I sit here writing this nearly trembling with anticipation. I look at my calender and I see just three days left to 'the' moment when my little guy lays his eyes on his bounty and it starts to feel like those are three longest days of my life. That's a Christmas feeling I haven't felt in nearly two decades. The feeling that Christmas will simply just never arrive - that even a day is just too long to wait.

Logan is clearly excited. We talk now about Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I map out the basic schedule for him so he knows what to expect - we go to church in the afternoon and you get to sit where the big people go on Sunday's instead of your classroom. Then we go to Grandma's house for dinner and you might even get a present to open there! When we come home you can have one present that Mommy and Daddy got you - at which point his eyes get wide and his face smiles from ear to ear. Then its bathtime...and then we put out cookies and milk for Santa, read our stories and go to sleep.

He intrupts me then saying happily "Santa will come into my house while I sleep and leave me presents. I get up in morning and I carry my stocking to the big bed then Daddy go see if Santa gone and we get to go open presents under the tree."

We talk about how presents will come from Mom and Dad also, and Megan, Grandma & Papa, aunts and uncles. We talk about how even Logan has bought presents to give the people he loves. He smiles and hugs me tight saying "I even picked you out pretty slippers Mommy." And I laugh as I kiss him back and say "Oh honey, its supposed to be a surprise, but thank you."

He then talks about how Santa will bring him lots of trains to play with and maybe Megan buy him a train too. He tells me how he's going to play until Grandma and Papa come over with more presents to open and then we'll play some more. He breathes in deeply and says in childlike wonderment "It Christmastime and soon it be Christmas. Today Tooday, then it Whenday, then it Thurday, then it Friday and Santa come when I sleep, then it CHRISTMAS!"

And I smile back at him with the same wonderment filling me up inside. I sigh and I tell him truthfully that today, being just Tuesday, makes Christmas morning seem so far away. I giggle with him - our foreheads pressed together - and say honestly that I really just can not wait to see what Santa will bring. We look over at his sister happily tugging on the rings of a toy she now adores. He says that Megan has been a good baby and will get presents too and I agree - she has and she will. Then I think to myself that in two years from now when Megan 'gets it' I wonder if I will burst in those final countdown days. I wonder if I will be able to handle the anticipation when there are two children gleefully awaiting their special morning. I wonder and I think that suddenly two years seems so very far away - but not quite as far away as three days seems.


When Mom is friends with Santa. . .

Last week a co-worker and I were talking kids and Christmas. I've worked with this guy for about 6 years now - both at my current employer and the place we both worked at prior. His kids are older than mine, although still fairly young enough that he remembers rather clearly those 2 year old days.

In the course of conversation it came up that my boy is longing for nothing but trains for Christmas - and most especially stuff for his Thomas and Friends collection. In that split moment of confession, my friend smiled knowingly and said "We had all that stuff but my son's outgrown it now. Hey, I'd love to clear out the basement! Do you want any of that stuff?"

Well hell yeah! Bring it on. And so he did. A box full.

Of course being that I only work two days a week I just got the box today. And, being that its Christmas week and it is a Very "Tommy" Christmas in our house (Tommy being the loving nickname my child has bestowed upon this particular genre of toy.), I figured now was not the time to break out the box of hand-me downs. But when did we hand them over. Was it on Christmas day? Was it the day after? The day after that?How long did these awesome gems go waiting?

Before we could answer that we had to check out the goods. All in pristine shape and all mostly intact save for two missing slabs of coal for the one giant coal loading building. Since this was something Logan wouldn't know was missing, it's no big deal. Essential parts were there. But did we wrap it and hand it out as a gift? Well no. The boy is too clever you see. He knows Thomas comes in blue striped boxes and seeing no blue stripped boxes to unwrap could be an issue.

We are doing the next best thing - perhaps even a BETTER thing. Santa, you see, also likes Thomas and Friends. Santa likes him so much, in fact, that when he's dropping off presents on Christmas Eve he's going to set up Logan's tracks and play while munching on cookies. He'll be so emersed in play, that he'll pull out a few new pieces and add them to his track layout then decide to leave them - with a note explaining it all. Perhaps he'll be thoughtful enough to add a ribbon to each new piece if Mom isn't too lazy to locate ribbon that night. When Mr Boy comes down the hall Saturday to survery the loot he'll likely head straight for the tree in the sunroom - heading through the kitchen and therefore missing his track set up where it always ends up in the living room. This just means the surprises keep showing up longer as we later direct him to the new pieces waiting for him.

I'm so excited I can't wait. I almost think it'd be fun to go ahead and unwrap the other pieces Santa is leaving so we can set them up too! ;)

Wry again

So my little one had gone a whole week or more with a perfect straight neck - holding her head up high...and now she tips again. I am concerned now because this is now a step backward and if we can't move forward by her next OT appointment we move into "real" treatments. It would start with actual Physical Therapy. If that didn't work she could have to wear a special harness for a time...and if that didn't work we're looking at surgery.

We're back to stretching her head and working on getting her to move herself around. I'm hopeful its only a minor setback because she will turn her head various ways and doesn't always fall back to the extremem right view (with left ear to left shoulder) or staring to the left...or tipped over to the left when upright.) I do hope this helps. I'm so frightened by the more 'serious' treatments if this or PT doesn't do it. My poor kid.

As a side note: please kindly over look all gross spelling and grammar-related errors. I am attempting to type this with a half-asleep infant on my shoulder. Yes the joys of mommyhood include taking "your" time with 15 or so pounds of infant laying across you.


Musical Memories

I got to drive the Big Red Car to work Tuesday and as such, I got to listen to satellite radio for 2 hours out of my day. Its a first for me as Bruce tends to be possessive of his new Accord even on my work days when I don't need the "Mommy van."
I didn't think I'd care whether I had satellite radio or not. I had my stations and I was fine. But now I do care because satellite has variety and it has no commericals. AND it has the nothing but 80s station.

Yeah, I know, 80s music isn't as 'cool' per se as some of the other eras, but it was mine. I was born in 1973 and so by the time I was old enough to be listening to "today's" music we had hit the 80s - decade of big hair and bright colors. Its not the songs on that station will necessicarily be revered as classic any time soon. Sure, a few may make the cut but over all? Well, let's just say I'm not convinced it'll be hailed any time soon as the "great era of (insert genre here)." No, its not the quality of the music perse, its that these songs were *my* songs.

It was weird, actually, to hear song after song that I might not be able to identify by title or performer name...but I could sing along with it. I could hum the next notes before we got to them. I knew them because in some weird way they knew me. They were there in my puberty. They were there when I started High School. They were there when I left for college. So much of those corny songs were woven into my life in such a way that just hearing them brought memories to the service. The open chords suddenly evoked memories so clear I could smell them again. I could taste them. See them in such overwhelming clarity.

On the way home it was "Stand" by REM. Those first notes hit the airwaves and suddenly I was there again. It was September 1991 and I was wearing my 'hottest' jeans and shirt. I was squashed in what seemed to be the world's smallest dorm room. The smell of sweat and spilled alcohol almost nasueating. I had a drink in my hand - the first one I'd ever had at a real, honest-to-goodness, college party. I felt awkward. I felt out of place. This wasn't me. This wasn't what I did. I didn't know these people. I didn't really drink. I didn't 'party.' But the music started and suddenly these weren't loud, obnoxious drunks vs me. This was us. This was us standing with our hands to our sides jumping up in down in place -- standing in the place where we lived.

Song after song that played from the 80s station sparked the same in me. More memory. More reliving. More vivid recollection. I know smells can trigger memories. Specific images can send your brain for a 'this is your life' ride. And now I know music can to. I don't like to live in the past any more than I like to obsess over the future, but sometimes, as I live in the here and now, I think I'd enjoy dancing to my version of yesteryear.


More on Wry Neck

In regards to Saturday's update on Megan's neck Mandy asked: Did they think that spending so much time in the carseat was a factor?

In a word - Yes. The car seat was a factor. Here's the gist of what came out of her specialist appointment:

1. She likely had a left preference in utero.

2. She likely had some degree of birth trama that impacted her neck. The first thing I noticed about her as they held her up - seconds old - was that the left side of her mouth was puffy and swollen, as was the left side of her nose. This leads us to believe that some of the Wry Neck issue could be associated with her trip down the birth canal and out. The specialist also seemed to think that the left side swelling and bruising also supports the "in utero" theory - I'm assuming his thoughts are she got banged up on her way out because she was holding her head tipped to the side a wee bit.

3. She did not show signs of a preference in her earliest days. Its something that seemed to show up between one and two months of age. This is thought to indicate a problem caused, or at least exerbated to the point of a noticable preference,by the car seat sleeping. Basically an infant's head is very heavy in relation to the rest of the body. Sleeping in a semi-upright position causes the head to pull to a side as weight pulls it over. (And frankly, don't we all do this when we fall asleep sitting or more inclined than our normal 'in bed' sleeping.) Sleeping consistantly in this position all night and for naps (which means the head was always leaning to a side) could have caused the neck muscles to build more on one side than the other -- which would have caused or contributed to the problem.

By shifting her out of her habit of sleeping semi-upright, we gave her the chance to sleep with her neck straight - her head placed down in the crib centered or even, in the first few nights, with her chin pressed towards her left shoulder. This helped to loosen and lengthen the mucsles which had built up too much on the left side. The combination of her new sleep habit and the excercise of placing her so she had to look to the upper left stretched her muscles and eliminated the "great tip."

Today if she sits on your lap facing you, you'll see the reminance of the Wry Neck. You'll see the way her right side looks a bit swollen in comparison to her left - although the truth is, the left side is just a bit flat. This isn't something that most people notice unless you point it out and its gotten much better than it had been a month ago when the Ped first diagnosed her. What really stands out to me though can only be viewed from the back of her almost bald head. One ear sits on her head a bit higher than the other. Its not noticable from the front. In fact Bruce and my parents didn't even realize it until I pointed it out -and then they had to stand behind her to see it. Its not a major difference, but its there. The way her face is starting to fill out though, I'm sure her higher ear will level off too. If not, its something that won't be obvious once her hair grows in.


Call me a sap

I cried yesterday - or at least I almost did. My eyes started to get that burning feeling when tears threaten to fall from the ducts. I managed to keep the water works from breaking loose, but it was hard. Honestly the whole "my kid growing up" thing has never really bugged me all that much. Yes, sure, they get bigger but the 'next' stage always seems so much fun and exciting that I don't miss the past one that much. I relish each new development my child (now children) has broached without mourning the ones they move beyond. But yesterday afternoon I almost cried over it.

Our church begins its 'formal' Sunday School classes at 2 years old. The toddler/preschool class of 2-3 year olds are supposed to eat snacks, read a story together and do associated craft projects. Mostly its play time with some art work tossed in. Sometimes they read a story. Sometimes they bring their stories home.

The last four weeks they've been learning a song. Logan had learned the words but he refused to sing it for us. I knew he knew the lyrics because after he told you he couldn't sing it, he'd whisper it quietly to himself - too softly for me to pick up what he was saying, but loud enough that I knew it was a song. He'd get in the car each Sunday morning and announce that the man played the piano and the red lady sang. His job, he'd say, was to sit still and be quiet.

Yesterday was his chance to do "his job" - which really did entail him looking adorable, singing and doing a few hand motions and gestures with a paper candle someone had made for the little ones to hold. Yesterday was the Church School Christmas program. We gathered in the sanctuary at 4pm - Miss Megan perched upon my lap thinking she could actually read the music and lyrics in the hymnal. We had left Logan playing in a classroom with his classmates and teacher - clad in his brand new, bit-too-big-for-him, green t-shirt that all program participants were to wear.

Megan, being her usual "can't stand not be up and swaying" self, demanded I move to the side wall and dance with her as the program got underway. This just meant I had a great vantage point to see my boy coming down the hall with his classmates. He, who has come to look so big to me of late, looked so small when lined up next to the five year-olds (all classes 2yr old through K were entering at the end of the program for the "grand finale.") They marched up the center aisle to the music. Logan spied his father and grandfather with the cameras and paused proudly to say "CHEESE!" and as such, held up the line for a moment. He followed his teacher's direction and got himself lined up on the risers in just the right spot.

It took me a moment to find him up there in his place. I'd have thought the red-hair would be akin to those balls people put upon car antenae to aid location - but no. When you're 3 feet tall its easy to get lost amongst the bigger folk. When I did spy him, however, I felt that burning eye thing. There he was, my first born, my baby, sort of all-grown-up. Well ok, not all, but he certainly wasn't just my toddler any more. Here he was, a 'big' kid doing big kid things. He did remain true to his oath to not sing. He smiled instead - looking out at the crowd with his happy little face. He did move his candle back and forth as he was supposed to - taking his cue from the bigger kids around him. And, the little ham that he is, he did clap proudly for himself and his peers as the audience erupted into applause.

He stepped down the risers as he was supposed to and fell inline with the other kids. He once again held up the flow of traffic to pose for another photo and then he waved his goodbye as he followed Miss Shannon back to his classroom.

Just one year ago this child of mine refused to stay for a mere moment anywhere an adult belonging to him (aka parent or grandparent) was not. I spent countless Sunday's listening to the sermon via an earpiece in the nursery. Just one year ago he'd cling to my leg or ask to be held as he buried his head in my shoulder instead of facing a crowd of strange faces. Yet there he was walking away with a wave and a smile. There he was waggling around his toilet paper roll and tissue paper candle proudly. My little boy acting the role of little man suddenly.

He'd tell me later that he had fun. He'd retell how he pulled on his teachers arm and said "Please, Please, can we go?"

"Go where?" I asked him, wondering if I had seen him walking in holding her hand because he hadn't want to come in to the program.

"Go into the big people church. I wanted to come sing but Miss Shannon said it wasn't time yet." replied my ham.

Apparently he's moved a bit beyond the shy phase too. . .


Wry no more

Two months ago Megan was diagnosed with Muscular Torcollis, also known as Wry Neck. Its more or less just a cosmetic condition that is correctable if caught early enough. Basically the muscles on one side of the neck are shorter and tighter causing the head to lean to that side or be turned primarly to that direction. Being in this one position most of time means a flat spot often forms. In Meg's case it was the left side and her left jaw line (chins included...yes chins) are not nearly as round as the right side. She tended to look left more often than not. If she looked in another direction it was often with her left ear down close to her left shoulder.

We were sent to a specialist for evaulation and treatment. That appointment was last week - at which time Megan had given up on the left view and had focused squarely on the right side of herself. Of course she did so with her ear pressed to her shoulder. We were sent home with a few very basic instructions - hold her, play with her, position her in ways that make her pull her right ear closer to her right shoulder and her chin to her left shoulder. Most imporantly though - get her out of her car seat for night sleeping and into the crib.

We did all of that and here we sit - just a week later - and the girl has no left lean left in her. We noticed it yesterday. She went the entire day sitting up on a lap or holding her body up away from my shoulder as I carried her - head set perfectly centered upon her neck. She even tends to nap in her assorted list of "acceptable places to sleep during the day without screaming bloody murder" without the head tilt sneaking in. Days leading up to this major shift, Megan would go for a spell with a staight neck/head only to start to lean over as she tired. No more though. Now she's all sorts of upright and happy.

The 'slimer' side of her face is a bit more apparent now - now that you can see her face. It does seem to already have rounded a bit more than what it had been. . . leading us to believe it won't be long before the only tell tale signs of her once 'wry neck' are the photos I've yet to get into a scrapbook.

In other Megan news, the child is now a whopping 3 months old and roughly 2 feet tall. She's a talker, a squirmer and a lively soul. She is dying to sit on her own - straining against the restraints of her car seat whenever she's in it trying to sit up for a better view. She gets her head and shoulders up those times. She even tries to sit up in her bouncey seat - again head and shoulders lifted. She's been known to end up slightly more to one side in that seat than she started as a result of her desire to sit upright. She loves her big brother and studies his every move either out of that adoration or fear for her life. We're not sure which sometimes. He's equally smitten with her - he just shows it a bit smotheringly sometimes. :)


Oh why!

She meant to be nice. It's a Christmas gift. Its meant to spread cheer. And it would. Heck it will. Lots of chocolate dipped cheer. . .right up until I get on the scale at Weight Watchers.

Today the UPS man brought a basket of high calorie delights from one of the vendors both Bruce and I work with at our repective companies. (She's the one we get all our promotional items festooned with corporate logo from - stuff like t-shirts, pens, mugs, backpacks, etc) We're talking chocolate and pistachio dipped graham crackers, pretzel bits dipped in white chocolate fudge and some brightly colored chocolate covered sunflower seeds - to which I scream "SUNFLOWER SEEDS COME DROWNING IN CHOCOLATE?! What has the world come to?!"

I almost did not open the celophane package but the sweet-toothed toddler by my side was pleading to see the present and truth be told, I wanted to know what it hid inside. Then he begged for "just one juicy" (also known as gummy bears) and so he had one handful. I'm really here typing about it to keep myself from lunging into the whole thing, leaving just one piece behind so I could at least say to Bruce "Oh, here, they sent a bag of popcorn." (Yup, a small bag of white chocolate covered popcorn!!)


Note to the con man

If you're going to send me a spam mail trying to weasel my bank account info from me in attempt to bleed me dry - please be smart enough to send it from a place I actually bank at AND to the email address I'd actually register with said bank.

Today in my work account I get one of those actually very offical looking, complete with logo and copyright line emails from a major banking institution. Said bank is theorically updating some system or files or something according to the email. It then goes on to implore me to PLEASE click the link and confirm my account info to make sure their records are correct. First of all, please tell me people don't fall for this crap. Second of all, the bank this is supposed to be from doesn't even have a branch near enough to me to make it worth my while to bank there. Third, I'd never register at a bank with my work email.

I mean really, you're trying to make a quick buck by stealing from idiots, at least do a little more homework than just stealing the logo off the bank's web site.


Today's Toddler Logic

Does your neighborhood have those giant inflatable Christmas decorations scattered about? Mine does. My town seems to have this knack of gorging itself on the latest holiday house fad. A few years ago everyone that hung lights had those damn icicles. They were nice on the first few houses but after a bit I wanted to start strangling folks with them to make it all just stop. But I digress. . . Well first let me say that I LOVE Christmas and I LOVE decorated houses. I just like variety and the fad lovers take that from me. :)

So anyway, there are these giant inflated holiday sculptures all over the place now. Huge Santas, snowmen, Winnie the Pooh in hat and scarf, you get the picture. They each have this internal eery lighting that makes them glow at night and a small air compressor that jacks up your electric bill so you can boost a mini-Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on your lawn. There is one house near us that boosts a train - a steam engine named North Pole Express that has Santa hanging out its window waving. Logan is enamored with this train. Every day he asks to see it, yet its only up after dusk because the home owners only run the generator when the sun goes down. As a result, Logan tries to get out in the car (or even on a walk) after the sun goes down.

Tonight as we sat at the dinner table we talked about how if he finished up his dinner in something akin to "real time" Daddy would take him for a quick ride to see the lights, including the train.

"Trains not blowed up yet." he said.

"No, it wasn't up when Grandma and Papa brought you home was it. It wasn't dark then," I explained, "But I'm sure it'll be up when Daddy goes out with you."

"If it not up, I get out of car and I put my mouth and it and I blow it up!" Logan decided.

"Ummm, honey, that's a great idea, but I'm not sure even *you* have enough hot air to puff that up!" I teased him.

"Oh, I just take more wind in my mouth and then I blowed it up." he said.


Migranes, Mood swings, Muscles and Millions

When it comes to the apparent four "M's" of Clomid, Barry Bonds got the better end of the deal. Me, on the other hand, got nothing worthwhile. Yes, both Barry Bonds, baseball's elite homerun hitter, and I both took Clomid.

I, you see, took it in hopes that it'd help me get pregnant. Barry, apparently thinks its a special vitamin to help his flaxseed oil go down better. Clomid gave me horrible migranes, hot flashes, messed up metabolism and wild mood swings. Bonds got bigger muscles, millions of dollars, and his already fairly certain ticket to the Hall of Fame fast tracked.

According to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle today the San Francisco Giant's outfielder and Major League Baseball's single season homerun record holder admitted to unknowingly taking illegal steriods during last year's Grand Jury testimony about BALCO. The article states:

During the three-hour proceeding, two prosecutors presented Bonds with documents that allegedly detailed his use of a long list of drugs: human growth hormone, Depo-Testosterone, undetectable steroids known as "the cream" and "the clear," insulin and Clomid, a drug for female infertility sometimes used to enhance the effect of testosterone.

Yes, see, Barry Bonds took Clomid. Well, yes, and a whole slew of other stuff. I have to say, the man is either the biggest gullible idiot around or he thinks we are. "Bonds testified he had never discussed steroids with his trainer -- not even after federal agents kicked in Anderson's door to serve their search warrant. That was out of respect for Anderson's privacy, Bonds said." says the SF Chronicle article.

Ummm, sure. The cynic in me says Barry quickly adopted a "don't ask don't tell" policy when it came to his supplements. If I don't ask Gary if they're illegal, I can play dumb when asked. He didn't ask Anderson because he didn't want to know - I highly doubt respect had much to do it with. Maybe its me but if someone had been passing me pills and oils suddenly got busted for having illegal pills and oils I think I'd be demanding some answers about what I'd been given. But hey, that's me.

And for what its worth, for those baseball fans amongst you, Barry's records need the *. If Maris' 61 homers needed an asterik merely because he played more games than the Babe, then I think Barry needs one because he had a little extra help in reaching his record.


The Challenge

Its dawned on me recently that as hard as I work to raise my children they will invariably meet other people someday and all my hard work is going to go right out the window. Or at least it will be challenged in such a way that I can merely pray I laid a strong enough foundation to keep the whole darn building from falling to the ground.

At first its the little things - stuff like lollipops and reckless running. Yes. I know, I am mean and overprotective. I do not let my son run through Gymboree with a Dum-Dum lollipop dangling precariously from his jaw. But apparently, you see, I'm wrong because at the same moment I was making my child cry in one of those "but I want my way!" tantrums as I took his lollipop away from him, other children were preparing to ride on the parachute with white sticks dangling out.

We have a simple rule in our house about "pops." One can not have a lollipop unless one's butt is planted firmly in a chair or a lap. Simple. The moment that little butt wants to start moving the pop must be handed over to the nearest adult. We also don't let the boy slobber away on a lollipop for long because I have this fear of him breaking off large chunks and choking. He has some then it magically disappears into the trash.

So here we were yesterday in "Gym class" and the lollipops came out of hiding. Logan sat nicely with me to have his until he realized it was bubble time. At that point he dutifully turned to me and said "Ok, you take this now." I wrapped it up tight in its wrapper and followed him to the main mat - now parachute covered. Logan then saw the others with their pops and he wanted to hold his. He grabbed it back and argued his case strongly - "I not eat it. I just hold it. See," he said as he held it up still wrapper covered. "I just sit on parachute and hold it."

But I am bigger than him and so the lollipop ended up in my pocket and he in my arms as we worked through his tears and protests. "Honey, I don't want you to get hurt. If you run while you have your pop and fall, well that just wouldn't be good. I just want you to be safe. Ok." And it was ok. Tears stopped, boy went and chased bubbles.

Then he sat because it was time to ride the "chute." He asked once for his pop back and I once reminded him that it wasn't going to happen. And that's when it hit me - this whole thing about other people screwing with my life lessons. Just as I finish telling my child no to the lollipop another child goes tearing across the floor -- mouth blue with candy dye and stick dangling from his lips. Logan just looked at the kid and then at me. I then counted them. There were five kids running or riding the parachute with a lollipop in the mough. At one point the blue mouthed child tore across the moving parachute - a no-no on a nonfood day - and nearly fell as he hit the incline. The mother to my left and I snapped the fabric quickly in an effort to right the tripping child before one of us had the chance to snag his arm and hold him up. He never fell but the mere through of what could have happened had he pitched head first into the mat below with that thing in his mouth - scary.

And there rode my child. . . actually not even blinking at what could have seemed totally unfair. He just went with it. Yet he's two. He just goes with it now because he's two and I'm mom and so that's all that we need to know. What is scary is the future. . .but we won't focus on that just yet. For now I'll sit and marvel at how its ok for other two year olds to run with hard candy and sticks in their mouths.


Question of the Day

Why is it the most mundane of statements or the simplest of questions can reduce me to giggles when they fall out of the mouth of my two and half year old?

Tonight while the baby was still protesting her removal from the bathtub (I think the child would lay peacefully in the bottom of that basin all night if we let her!) young Mr. Logan located me in the kitchen. I was bobbing and swaying hoping the motion would soothe Megan into peace. Logan, still slightly dripping from his bath and naked as can be, stared at us for a moment and then said:

"Cuse me Mommy. Are you available to read?"

"Ummm. . ." I said, fighting back my giggles. Available to read? tee hee! "Well, if Daddy can take Megan I am."

Logan smiled back in response and said "Great!" Then he ran to his Dad and declared "Daddy take Megan, Mommy gotta read me. Let's go Mommy!"


Oh Please

As the red-headed mother to two red-headed children I have but one thing to say to this article recently appearing on CNN's website: Give me a break.

Says the article:
Redheads face challenges from the sun as well as society, according to some Redheads Society members. Easily spotted in crowds and classrooms, redheads are sometimes the objects of "carrot top" jokes and other teasing.

"You get some attention and hopefully you learn to use it for the better," co-founder Rosenthal said. "For one thing, I think it's one of the reasons a lot of redheads develop a good [and often somewhat sarcastic] sense of humor."

Whine, whine, whine, whine. Someone want to tell Mr. Rosenthal that if he got to college with the worst teasing being the nickname carrot top he was lucky.

Having grown-up a strawberry blonde I can honestly say that I have never ever felt 'discriminated' against by my hair color as implied by these kids and the Princeton professor writing her red-headed book. In fact I've always loved my hair color because it was different. I have sat in countless salons getting a trim next to women that point to my mane and say to their stylist, "That's it! Make my hair THAT color."

And for the record, not all redheads burn at the thought of the sun. I personally get nice and pink the first day I spent time outside for a prolonged period. The pink fades back to pale, pasty white by the time I get to bed that night and then the next exposure I tan nicely - that is, of course, back when I was into tanning. Now we're all so slathered up in suntan lotion I'm lucky I get rosy pink cheeks by days end. I have no idea what my kids would do as Logan has never been out in the sun for long without heavy amounts of thick white high SPF sunblock on his tender tot skin.

Geez, I clicked to this article link thinking it was something fun and interesting. Instead I find something that could be fun but seems somewhat 'woe is me.' I do hope my red-headed children don't grow up looking to blame all their ills on their locks.


Damn them and their coupons

So I'm so very much NOT a Black Friday shopper. In fact, in my former life as a non-crazed, stress-laden, childless gal, I used to pride myself on the fact that the 98% of my holiday shopping was completed PRIOR to Thanksgiving leaving me plenty of time to enjoy the pending yuletide cheer without the panic of finding the right gift at the right price.

But folks, they have coupons. Damn them. Damn them all and their fancy sales.

Wednesday night when my head hit my pillow I was laughing softly to myself at the thought of all those fools who would set their alarms early and rub sleep from their eyes just to make it to a store before the sun rose while the sales were at their hottest on Friday. And then Thursday Mom lowered the axe on my smug neck. . . she had the newspaper and in it *they* had 60% off coupons. SIXTY people! Sixty percent off! Of courre in order to get this deal I had to shop between 6-8am.

*They*, by the way, would be Michaels and that means that I could have myself a Thomas and Friends item under my Christmas tree for 60% less than it retails for. That is unheard of. That is something you don't mess with no matter how smug you were the day prior, nor no matter how long your non-Black Friday streak had been. That is so haul-yer-butt-out-of-bed-and-go-shopping. And so I did. Yes.

I hang my head in shame. I was one of those insane Mothers throwing on jeans and praying the sweatshirt she dug out of the closet had no spit up stains on it. I was one of those fools driving my minivan to the store just after 7am (See, I'm not be there when they unlock the door insane.)

But I got my bargain. Granted it wasn't *THE* item I had hoped for. Santa is bringing the Roundhouse - $80 of train housing fun for a 2 year old. Nope. Craft stores aren't stocking that one, at least not the ones around here. That will come from the sleazy train shop near the office that will give me 20% off because it cost so damn much. I did, however, get an expansion kit so that when boy has his giant Roundhouse he can actually connect his existing track to it without leaving a loop out of wack. All this track-building joy 60% less than the $40 it normally would have cost.

And then I got just a wee bit wackier. Its addictive, friends. These bargains will make you do things you swore you never would. See not only did they offer up this 60% gem, they also had a 50% coupon hanging out there for the gluttons amongst us. This one needed to be used between 8 and 10am. I plopped my worn out self back in my van and zipped across the street to Target -- the sales there so not deserving the overflowing carts stuffing each aisle. That, however, did not stop me from picking up a few things, but hey, as long as I was there why not.

I checked out and climbed back into the pilot's seat at 8:05 exactly. Back across the street to Michaels and up the aisle to the half-empty shelves of Thomas stuff. I pondered. I shared notes and tips with a father clutching an engine in one hand and his third coupon in the other. I debated myself some more. Then I selected my prize -Gordon, the fastest engine on the Island of Sodor for 50% less than I'd find him anywhere else.

My day was complete, but alas, should the craving strike me again they have yet another 50% off coupon for tomorrow. God save me.


Thankful for. . .

I am thankful for. . .

. . .my family - both the one I was born into and the one I gave birth to. These people touch my heart, my soul and my every inch of being in so many glorious ways, how can I not be thankful?

. . .my faith - it sustained me through the hard times and given me extra reason to celebrate during the good times.

. . .my friends - so many of them are mere extentions to the aforementioned family. How wonderful is it to have people love you and to love by choice, not by blood.

. . .our good health - need I say more?

. . .the freedom to disagree - coming off such a hot political season its good to remember that as much as we may vehemently despise the other view point, we are blessed to have the freedom to say as much. Its a God-given right so many young men and women have fought for us to keep access to. I'm thankful for those fighters too.

. . .the beauty of nature - being a Jersey Shore girl I always feel at such peace near the ocean. The sounds and smells of the Atlantic can soothe life's rough edges.

. . .technology that allows reach beyond borders - so many beautiful people have entered my life through the border busting Internet. Friends that I'd never have known if it hadn't been for technology.

. . .food on my table - even its too tempting to eat in light of pound dropping dreams or something icky like brussel sprouts because at least its food and its mine to access.

. . .my job - as much as it can drive me insane, its work I do enjoy to do and it allows me to earn my income and have my time with children.

. . .the ability to dream and do despite gender, race, creed and so on - regardless of your politics, you must admit that its pretty damn great an African American woman can take the important, high-powered mantel of Secretary of State. It wasn't all that long ago such an appointment would have been a pipe dream. I am a moderate that leans right. I like Condalezza Rice. I dislike Hillary Clinton. Regardless, I hope someday my daughter will look to these women and others like them and realize that she can be anything in the world she wants to be.

. . .for my struggles - Its said the best quilts are like life. They balance dark fabrics with light just as life balances hard times with happy. Its only with the dark fabric included that we can truly appreciate the beauty of the the light ones. When the quilts that fail to include both the light fabrics look washed out and blah. The hard times in my life make me realize how blessed and lucky I really am. They make the good things/times that much more spectacular.


I am a snob

I admit it.

I am a snob.

I am.

Its simple really. I hate Walmart. It makes me feel dirty. I go in that place every now and then after listening to the umpteenth person tell me what a great place it is and I leave there feeling like I need to find one of those emergency "wash the nasty chemicals off you" showers.

I'm sure its a terrific place if you're looking for home supplies or other "how can you screw it up" products. I'm sure its got great prices on brand name toys or other brand name products. I just can't get past the first few 'departments' to really look hard enough at that stuff to know.

Today I went in looking for little girl outfits. My women's group at the church is sponsoring a family for Christmas. The gals in my group were raving about the deals they could get at Walmart on kids clothes. "The way kids grow! Geez, I buy all my son's outfits there!" one woman bragged. Great prices. Good clothes. Why not?

I pass a Walmart on my way into the office. It opens at 7am and so I went to look for one outfit and a toy for a little girl. First, let me say this - you can find nicer clothes cheaper at other places. The first outfit I picked up looked to me like its be dust rags after the first washing. The second outfit just looked beyond tacky. I found something finally that was decent and tossed in my cart. I decided maybe the baby clothes would be more promising. Nope. In the small (and I do mean small) department I found only three outfits in Meggie's size. Cute enough on the outside....rough and uncomfy feeling to the hand on the inside. No way.

I finally just left the store. My little girl outfit still in the cart left in some miscellaneous aisle. Instead I will use my lunch hour to search out great deals at Target. See, Target I love. Target I adore. I buy my kid's clothes at Target...and well the Children's Place because they sell sweaters that don't fall apart when you wash them...and Old Navy because their kid clothes are just so darn cute. Oh, and the Carter's outlet because I really do adore their clothes. But, I digress. Target I love. Target has a way of making me spend 3x the money I intended to spend when I walked in the door. Target is dangerous.

And, if you're keeping track (which I'm sure you're not), I may also buy my little girl outfit at the cheesey kid's clothes store NEXT to the Target up here. They have whole outfits for $7. Cute outfits at that! My cheapest option at Walmart was $17.

Yes, I know.






Say it Ain't So. . .

This week I have seen at least FOUR houses within say five blocks or less of my house with Christmas lights not only up, but on. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS PEOPLE!!! A week prior to Thanksgiving.

There's a gal in my local mom's group bragging that all her decorations are up already.

What the hell?

Can someone tell me when Thanksgiving became nothing more than a speed bump between Halloween and Christmas?


Things that matter most

I had a lot of things swirling in my head that I was going to blog about. Yup, there's actually too much cluttering my brain right now and I figured I'd take the sanity break to spit it all out on the screen. Then my children got in the way and they did something that touched me so much I had to just write about that.

Its been going on for quite some time now actually. I mean really, the big one is inching towards 2 and half so really this 'thing' they do has been out there for nearly that long. The little one has been doing it for the better part of her two months...really almost instantly...but others have been noticing it lately and pointing it out to me. I don't know why, but it never sinks in until that happens. I mean I notice...but it doesn't really "hit" me until then. At least it doesn't hit me as something uniquely mine until someone else points it out.

Yes, I am fully aware that I'm being vague and annoying by doing so, so let me clear up the fuzziness for you. I'm talking about the look these two give me. Its easier to describe in terms of the non-verbal one - the look is anyway. Its like this:

This morning Meg and I got up at 5am. My plan was to wake her at the point if she wasn't already up. (Yes, I know...enjoy the sleep, but folks, she had slept 9 hours at that point and I KNEW she'd start making noise the moment I got in the shower and since today is my first day back in the office, I knew that was trouble.) I went in to get her and she was just hanging out all sorts of awake and content.

We settled into the recliner and she, the one that can't even roll herself over yet, wiggled her way towards me, leaning to the side as it were before I could arrange her myself, so she could eat. Her meal complete, I moved her back into my right arm and laid her so that she faced me - her left side being pushed gently up so that her head was straight...sometimes we're to do to help those tight muscles work themselves out. Her big wide eyes were roaming the dimmly lit room as she searched for something to study. She settled on my face and when she did so every inch of her glowed. She smiled. She cooed. She kicked her feet and flapped her arms. She was so incredibly happy and content that her body vibrated with the pleasure. This little squirmy creature that can melt my heart when I merely look at her uses this full body response to tell me the feeling is mutual and man, does that just put me on Cloud 9.

What's even more wonderful about it though is that this look - this transparent gaze of adoration, the full body response of pure, unadulterated love - is just mine. This is what doesn't hit me until others notice. She loves others. She coos at her Daddy and her grandparents. She obviously adores her big brother. But that response is reserved for Mommy. She has her own special response to her other people, but that one is mine, all mine.

The big one has his own thing too. There is nothing he says as wonderful as "I love my mommy." Even bigger then the loving part are those two little words "My Mommy." Who knew being owned would ever feel so darn good. When I have a bad day there is nothing that fixes my soul better then feeling those two strong thing arms warp themselves around my neck as the that red mass of hair tickles my nose when Logan buries his head on my shoulder. There is nothing that soothes a restless spirit more than hearing his 2 year-old voice say "Mommy, want to snuggle with me?"

And even when he's hurting or sad, there is nothing that makes me feel more needed, more important, more heroic almost, then to hear him say "No, I want my Mommy." Its again this affirmation that the total and complete sense of adoration and admiration I feel for him is sent back my way as well.

These two beautiful, perfect beings - they are mine. I am theirs. Is there anything that makes a person feel more valued than that?


Kick in the pants please

Once upon a time I wrote a few articles for a magazine and got paid to do it. This is what allows me to say "I'm a full-time mom, a part-time marketing consultant AND a freelance writer" when folks ask me about my day job. I wrote, but then I got lazy about pitching because I was looking to avoid deadlines around Meggie's arrival and those subsusquent sleep deprived nights.

Yet now she sleeps decently and I'm still not pitching. Why? Its easy:

a) I'm lazy and don't take the time it takes to research, compose and draft a good pitch because I'd rather use my precious moments of "me" time doing something silly like blog surfing, email responding or yes, I admit it, watching sometime like The Apprentice and (don't think less of me) Charmed.

b) The time I *do* get on the PC recently has been dedicated to the other half of my income and trust me when I say, it sucks up a lot of my energy and time.

c) I'm feeling chicken.

Yes, chicken. You know, I felt great when I got those assignments. I felt paranoid when I finally submitted them and then elated when the editor didn't write me back saying "Geez, you call yourself a writer? What's this drivel?!" I was ecstatic when the magazine showed up in my mailbox with my article mentioned on its cover - both times!

But (yes always a but) that was then and this is now. I've not pitched anything in months and I feel that old lack of confidence riding high. I don't take the time to pitch because I am just too chicken to do it.

Someone just find my cyber butt and kick it hard. Please and Thank you.


Real-parenting Part Two

Recently I had this great mushy pseudo-ephinany about parenting a two year old. (Yeah, go ahead, if you missed it, click the link and read it. Honestly, I can be quite profound when I have no caffiene and no sleep.) It dawned on me, however, that I left some important things out.

Real parenting begins at two because that's about the time the hard questions start popping up - at least in our household. No, we're not into birds and bees quite yet, but real meaty issues are starting to poke their ugly little heads in my peaceful existance. Its the curse that comes with verbality and awareness - something that comes as your child leaves infancy and early toddlerhood and starts to take on the mantle of real-live-little-person.

For example, as a two-year old, Logan goes to a 'real' Sunday School class - as opposed to just playing trucks in the nursery. Now granted, there are days the teenaged teacher for the 2-3 set fails to do much more than let them play and eat animal crackers, but more often than not they read a story. This means that more often than not on a Sunday night we re-read the story or we read something from his 5-minute Bible Story book. One such night Logan looked to his father and said "Where is God?" IF you want to know what he said, you'll have to ask Daddy. ;)

Ahh, just kidding. The answer was something about God being all around us and in things like nature. IT was not an answer that satisfied inquiring young minds. "But where is he?" Logan asked. Mommy finally settled it by saying "God is in Heaven. Up there. (pointing above our heads) He's up there in Heaven." In turn Logan said simply "Oh. Ok."

Another example? I came out of the shower one morning to find Logan sitting on my bathroom floor with his shirt pulled up to his chin and a finger poked into his belly button. He looked up at me with a puzzled little face and said "Mommy, what my belly button do?"

Being the kind of Mom that thinks honesty is the safest policy I tried to explain the simplest way I knew how that when babies are inside their Mommy's bellies they are connected by a long cord to the Mommy. The cord connects to the baby at his/her belly button and the baby gets food through said cord. I then explained that when the doctor helps the baby come out of the Mommy, the baby doesn't need the cord anymore so it falls off and leaves behind the belly button. Then we talked about Megan's button since Logan had noticed her cord stump and how it one day fell off.

"What's a cord?" he asked me. So, stumped for a good response, I explained it was sort of like a rope.

"Where the rope go?" he said. And so again, we talked about when the baby was born...blah blah blah.

He thought about it some and then, with a soft "Humphf" sound eminating from his satisfied little head, he got up and started marching down the hall. . .still holding his shirt up to his chin. "Where are you going?" I asked him.

"I'm going to get some food to put in my belly button," he said back apparently determined to make that button useful.

And these are nothing compared to the day he wanted to know why the people that go to the Synagogue we have Gymboree at each week don't believe in Baby Jesus. I just stared a moment and said "I don't know Logan. They just don't. There are many ways in this world to pray to God and worship him. We have our ways and the people that go to that Synagogue have theirs. We just have to respect everyone else's way to pray and ask them to respect ours."

"What's respect mean?" he asked, so I tried to explain in terms he might understand - concepts we delve into often - be nice. "Respect means share?" he said.

"Well, sort of," I said. "Sharing is one way to respect other people." And again, we did the be nice thing.

He was quite a moment and then said back to me. "Hmm, God's up there," and he pointed to our ceiling. I'm hoping he's referring to the aforementioned "heaven" discussion and not my attic.


The Christmas Story According to Logan

Sure it early, but why not settle yourself into a comfy position and listen closely to the Christmas Story:

Once upon a time the Mailcarrier left a book of joy in our mailbox. This book, also known as the Fisher Price Holiday Catalog, fascinated young Mr. Logan Daniel. He flipped through pages, made a list and checked it twice. On the back page he found a Little People Nativity and he gleefully requested it make an appearance in his toy collection.

"But Logan," said his Mommy patiently, "you already have that toy."

Logan said "I no have it. I want it."

And Mommy smiled back at him. "Logan come here, let me show you." She opened up the old blanket chest now working as a toy box and she dug beneath stuffed dogs and behind plastic trucks until she found a small plastic stable, squat little people, a handful of barn animals, one small angel and a tiny baby wrapped in swaddling clothes molded into a manager.

"See, here it is," she said, somewhat wishing she could say "See, I told you so!"

Well despite the fact that it was only November 5th, young Mr. Logan decided to put out his Little People Nativity for display - and why not, the same day Santa Claus showed up at the mall on a fire engine and now sits in his big plush chair amongst fake snow, teenage elves and a big old train at Centercourt.

"Mommy, what's this called?" he asked as he held up the stable. So Mommy told him its name and then added "See, that's where Baby Jesus was born."

"No," said Logan with complete sincerity. "Babies no born in stable. This Baby Jesus hob-it-bull." (also know as hospital because after all that's where baby sister Megan came from...its where all babies come from.)

"Ummm, well, ok Logan, but its really a stable...a barn."

"No," he said "Its a hobitbull barn." Then he held up a wiseman and asked "Who that?"

"That's one of the three kings that came to visit Baby Jesus," explained his Mommy.

"No Mommy! That silly. That not a king. That a queen," said Logan

"Well, ok, but its really a king or a wiseman." said Mommy. "Why do you think its a queen?"

"She wear a dress!" said Logan as if Mommy should know this. He held out the squat figure in his hand to prove his point.

"That's a robe Logan. When Baby Jesus was born long, long ago men didn't wear pants, they all wore robes."

"No," said Logan, "She's a queen. She bring Baby Jesus milk," he added as he pointed to the gold colored vessel in the figure's hand.

Satisfied he had won the debate, he turned back to his "Baby Jesus set" as he referred to the entire scene. He placed the golden haired angel on the top of the "hospital" and pressed down - an action that starts the music playing and lights up the star on the front facade of the little building.

"Ohhh," said Logan as if he finally got it all. He pointed to the glowing star and said, "That Baby Jesus nightlight."

The Fun is Over

I go back to work in a week from tomorrow. Not that I haven't been working, actually, but I've not worked in the office since mid-August when the OB agreed standing on my feet for 12 hours at a trade show the following day wasn't the best use of my then 8 months pregnant body. Instead I worked from home and as such have taken just a single week off from doing anything money earning.

For those new to the game here, I am technically self-employed. I quit my day job after my son was born 2.5 years ago and returned as a contracted consultant working two days a week in the office of my now "client." Any projects that require more time than those two days allow I get to do from home. Occasionally I pick up work for other clients or some freelance writing work.

Just prior to starting my leave that never was I had ranted on this blog about the job. I had started to think of alternatives and yet here I am 8 days away from going back to it. I have looked a bit around & I have found nothing yet that meets my needs - scratch that - that meets my wants.

Instead I have spoken with my immediate boss who basically says he doesn't want to loose me to another place and is now looking for ways to increase my work load through more at home hours on various projects. He wants to keep me happy and employed there. I'm coming up with various options to go over with him - all of which would make me happy. SO we'll see.

As I pondered all this though, I got to thinking about bosses in general. It was a walk down memory lane that had me laughing again over the worst boss I ever had and then missing the two best bosses I ever had - the ones that helped me grow professoinally in ways I can't ever repay them for.

I'll share those stories at another time, right now my big boss (the baby) is yelling for me to get to work so I must wrap this up. Share a story in the comments field about your best/worst boss ever.


Want traffic?

Who but a crazy, attention starved web addict would say yes to that? I mean normally I'm not into traffic - I like my driving unimpeded by other people who slow me down. But when it comes to a blog, its sort of neat to know that your ramblings don't always exist in a vaccum.

If your online ego needs stroking, check out this traffic building tool:

Blog Explosion

No personal input on whether or not it works yet as I just surfed over there myself, but hey.


Pet Peeve Redux

Mandy recently wrote a list of some of her pet peeves and invited folks to join in. (Its fun, really head over and give it a whirl!) Well today I have one more to add and instead of just whining in her comment fields, I figured I'd whine here.

So here's my newest peeve. Idiots at work that make mistakes and then use the word "we" to describe WHO made the error. As in "Oh, I just looked at the invite/agenda again and we misspelled this guy's name." Ummm, no. WE did not because ME merely used the spelling THEE provided ME in the original email listing speaker content for the invite. (Yes I know, not grammatically correct but I'm ticked and I'm on a nice little rhyming kick. This is what happens when your child wants to learn to read and you find yourself immersed in books like the Cat in the Hat Wants to Cook. "Look, Look, a Book. The Cat has a Cookbook.")


Real Parenting Begins at Two

Now honestly, if someone had told me that a year ago I'd have smacked them upside the head. I was a parent the day they handed me my son all bundled up in bloodied hosptial receiving blankets. I was a mother the day I felt him kicking in the womb. I may have even qualified, depending on your point of view, the day I saw him on an ultrasound. Yes, I was a parent long before he hit two.

But did I parent? Sure I was his caretaker. I taught him. I guided him. I kept him safe and well nourished - both body, brain and soul. I comforted him. I humored him. But did I parent him. I used to think so...then came two.

Now I don't want to dimish the work parents do prior to the 2nd birthday. Its all incredibly important and wonderful stuff. Its all part of being a parent. . . all the stuff we do to help our children find their way to milestones, all the sickness we cuddle them through, all the boo-boos we kiss and the wobbly steps we help support - its all important work of a parent.

Two years old, however, is all they say it is and more. Now honestly, for the most part I love two. I love watching my son learn because when a toddler learns its so very clear what's happening - you can all but see the connections meeting up in those little heads. The Aha! moments are written all over their faces. I love listening to his throught process because when Logan works his way through a problem he often does outloud. I love having conversations with him. I love having to figure out ways to stiffle my laughter when he expresses his deeply profound two year old logic. I love hearing the little misprounciations that disappear quickly. (Although he's had trouble saying Yogurt for the longest time. It always comes out Yodurk) I love when he really gets a concept and shows he understands it by expressing it through his words later. I love when he hugs my legs and says "Mommy, I love you so very much." or "You're my best friend."

What I don't love is the other side of two. The testing of limits. I don't love when I tell him not to "Cook" with the dog's food only to watch him reach back into the bowl saying to me as he smiles "No Mommy, its good. Its funny." I don't love the incessant paging for me for no real reason:
"Yes Logan?"
"Logan, what do you want?"
"Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy"
"What Logan?"
"Mommmmyyyyyyyy, mommy! MOMMYYYY!"
"That's it, I'm ignoring you."

I don't love the mischief even though I know its part of a necessary evil - a part of learning his limits, learning what is acceptable and learning there are consquences. I don't love feeing like a kid that can't even tie his own shoes can push my buttons worse than anyone else. I don't love having to be the heavy that sends him to his room. I don't love knowing that part of it all stems from a physical inability to control impluses that all two year olds struggle with.

Parenting begins at two. The part of the job that means setting boundries and enforcing them comes at this age. Yes, this age ushers in the serious issuing of consquences when the borders are breeched. I've sent Logan to his room to 'ponder' his actions more times in the last week than I think I've ever had to do anything to correct his behavior in the last two years. Sure, part of it stems from adapting to a new family member...but most of it is just that he's two.

I find myself doing those things I used to just read about in parenting type magazines as I thought "Gosh, how hooky. Do I really need to sit down and bear hug my child at a playdate?" Yet just last week at the Mom's Group Halloween party I found myself in someone's den sitting on an overstuffed couch and holding a hysterical Logan on my lap hugging him tight and whispering in his ear "Hush now, you're ok. Just relax. That's not your toy. Its Billy's toy. Its not yours. You weren't even playing with it when Michael took it. Logan, honey, I know its hard, but we have to take turns." Of course when you're two everything IS yours and sharing just sucks rocks.

That's when parenting comes in. Its when you hold your child tightly knowing that a small part of you just wants to go tackle Michael to get the toy for your son and yet you tell your kid that he just has to let it go and share.

Parenting is when your kid is standing in the center of Toys R Us on the verge of a tantrum because he really, really, really does NOT want to leave the train table and you manage to pick him up and distract him with carrying your bags from another store. Parenting is when he's about to smack some other kid upside the head with a friend of Thomas the Tank Engine and you whisper in his ear with some bite to your tone "We do NOT hit other people. Put that down right now, I mean it Logan Daniel!"

Parenting is when you have a "discussion" with your child over the merits of not sticking dog food in his infant sister's mouth and manage to control yourself long enough to keep from raising your voice too loudly or using words the FCC forbids use of in broadcasting. Its when you tell him not to climb up on his stool that close to the countertop and then resist sticking out your tongue or saying "I told you so!" when he smacks his head on the edge of it (which is what you have done in the past to your kid brother when he did similar things.)

Parenting is also the good stuff though and perhaps, as I let this fall from my finger tips, the truth is only "I have to displine parenting" starts at two. Real parenting is also when your child succeeds at a task and you puff up with pride. Its when he tells you he loves you and you manage to hug him tight saying "I love you too!" without melting into a ball of tears. Its when you get excited about a holiday you've not been excited over in more than 20 years because its his first (and this would refer to Trick or Treating on Halloween...) Its when you're more excited about seeing him open his gifts at Christmas than getting yours.

Parenting is knowing you can only drift off to sleep tonight when your children are tucked in snug and you've looked in to make sure they're breathing and safe. Its when the thing you miss the most about not being home are the little arms that wait to wrap themselves around your neck - the soft breathe that falls on your cheeck as they nuzzle into you. Parenting is about loving enough to know that its more about being Mom than being that best friend. Parenting is knowing that sometimes scolding makes you feel worse than it actually does him - but you do it anyway. Its knowing that there is nothing that little person can ever do to make you stop loving him. Its knowing that a piece of your heart walks around on its own two legs outside your body with its own little mind.


Happy Halloween! Posted by Hello

Time Changes

No, I'm not referring to Daylight Savings time. I'm talking about the gift of sleep Megan gave us last night. I'm not going to get too excited yet because hey, she did a 7 hour stint once before just to tease us, (insert drumroll here) Miss Thing went 8 hours last night.


Yes that's right.

Ok, so sure, she wasn't the best napper yesterday. Poor kid would drift off and cat nap for maybe 20 minutes. Her longest nap was the hour or so I took her out for a walk. But, she slept 8 hours at night.

She was fussy - ok, she was cranky - as it got later in the day. She'd cat nap and wake up happier for a bit. But she slept 8 hours at night.

After eating and fussing, Miss Meg finally drifted off to sleep at 9:30, laying belly down on my lap. I have no idea but she LOVES this position. Her head resting one leg, an arm hanging down over the side, her hips resting on the other leg and her legs dangling over the edge. 90% of the time laying her like this either calms her or outright puts her to sleep.

We were watching a movie so I didn't even bother budging from the recliner to put her down for about an hour. I headed into bed at that point and I woke up 4:30...but that is after factoring in the change in time. This means, if you're not following the logic, that if we hadn't had to change the clocks back an hour (gosh I hate Daylight Savings time sometimes!) it would have been 5:30 am. I heard Megan start to squeak. Not yell. Not cry. Not even fuss. Just squeak and grunt. I looked in at her - she was moving but still sleeping. I debated whether to climb back in my bed to see if she'd just settle down or just face reality that it was time to leave my comforter behind. I finally decided to get up.

Megan ate half-asleep. I changed her, then changed her PJs because apparently the diaper didn't get back on fast enough - again, anyone ever tell you only boys can pee ON you is lying. If you move fast you can save yourself as I did today, but you have to be quick! She finished eating with her eyes half open and then drifted off to sleep, waking just as I sat down at the PC with restless her on my shoulder to finish some work I had to do this weekend. She's now back to sleep - on my lap, belly down. I'm starting to think she's not going to sleep IN her crib till we can put her down on her stomach safely at night. Hope the car seat works that long!


Because I am a loser

Because I am a loser with nothing better to do than take photographs of my bathroom....here are two views of the brand new room. Yes, the bowl *is* that close to the tub. I said it was a small room, remember.

And to continue our tour of my tiny little room - yes, that is the unused potty sitting in the space between toliet and tub. And yes, what you see on top of the medicine cabinet is the aforementioned bounty of potty prizes - sitting dormant...waiting...just waiting for the child that keeps telling me "Someday I'll use the potty" to decide that someday is now.

 Posted by Hello

Political Pit Stop

I don't talk politics around these parts because its just wiser not to. When it comes to politics, my inner debate team breaks loose and things get ugly. I like studying the issues, listening to the candidates, digging for the fact behind the rhetoric. It gets my blood moving. Its a thrill.

Little known fact about me - I minored in PoliSci. Yes I did. I have a degree in print communications with a minor in political science. When I discovered my High School AP classes not only left me with enough credits to equal a full semester worth of college but credits that meant actual requirements towards my degree I mulled over several possible scenarios. One of those was actually moving my minor to a 2nd major. Yes, that'd mean I'd have a degree in it as well. Instead I opted for the "get out of college early" card.

So I could delve into the why I minored/nearly majored in this area. I could pontificate on my thoughts of political issues in general. Instead I want to rail against the general publics naivete. One thing I hate about this political season is listening to the fear mongering. Both sides do it. They won't admit it, but they do it. And the reason it works is because the general voter has not a clue how the government operates.

Case in point, this year you hear that one candidate will raise taxes the moment he's sworn in and the other will shut down Social Security leaving poor old ladies with no checks, oh and he's also going to institute the draft. The news is quick to interview voters leaning either way who will confess that they're vote swings on such statements. "I like George Bush, but I don't want my sons drafted. I know he says he won't do it, but I can't take that chance."

Oh, please people find a civics book and study it. The President can't do any of those things. No. He. Can. Not. No. The President can propose those things. He can advocate those things. He can campaign for them. He can negoiate for support of them. But he can't just up and do them. Nope, the beauty of the American system is a series of checks and balances. For taxes to be raised, Congress must pass a bill. For Social Security reform to actually get underway after years of talk from either side of the aisle, Congress must get off its butt and put something to a vote. Congress, being a group of career politicians often hellbent on keeping their constituents happy even at the risk of keeping to their own beliefs, aren't about to do anything overly radical any time soon.

Can Kerry get tax increase through - sure, if Congress cooperates and doesn't cease being what it is today (split down the middle). He can also refuse to sign any bills that include tax cuts or continuation of the previously past cuts Bush advocated (which, if you really care to know, I agree with those cuts and the idea of having them vanish ticks me off. Its my money damn it and I want it. I'm sick of paying for bridges with Robert C. Byrd's (thanks Mandy!) name on them. There are Federal programs worth supporting with my income and then there is porkbarreling. I can spend my dollars on better things than the pork rinds that get through. Balance the budget by cutting wasteful spending leaving the dollars we do raise through payroll taxes for worthy programs.)

Yet the voter. Your typical, average, make my choice off the sound bites and ads voter, does not know this. No, your typical voter only hears "Kerry will raise taxes the first chance he gets," and "Bush will privatize Social Security leaving you, blue-haired old lady, checkless." Because of that, the lunacy continues.

To veer totally in a different direction, something that continues to amaze me time and time again is how two intelligent people can view the same set of facts and arrive at totally different places. I'd keep rambling in that direction but the littlest one is squawking. Ahhh, must be near feeding time at our zoo.

By the way, I've been debating on whether or not to take Logan into the booth with me next week. Our voting location is close enough that the kids and I will walk (well, they'll ride, I'll walk.) I can leave the stroller parked just next to the booth where the sweet old man that is always there will keep his eye ball on them and entertain Logan with blank labels masquerading as stickers. OR, I can bring Logan in with me and let him witness the process. We already talked about why we're going to walk down to "his school" (the elementary he'll attend in 3 years is where we vote.) We talk about the signs he sees on lawns (which I am fighting the urge to go out on Mischief night altering the Kerry signs. Umm..did I just give my leanings away?!) So maybe seeing the booth would be neat. Heck I'd even let him push that little green "vote" button once I was done. My fear is that he'll want to push other buttons and I'll end up voting for Column B.


News Flash - Insane lady found wandering streets

He's going to make me nuts. I'm telling you, insane. I will be found walking the streets babbling to myself with a long stream of toilet paper attached to my heel.

Trust me when I say that I K-N-O-W Logan knows how to use the potty. He's used it on occasion in the past. He KNOWS when to use it. He KNOWS when to go and today he proved that he has the ability to hold it if he so chooses. Yes. He. Can.

He got up this morning and his overnight diaper was essentially dry. This is two nights in a row he's done that. I took him into the bathroom and talked excitedly about using the potty. He said no. I talked about all the great prizes that awaited him if he used it. I talked about all the people he knew (including his buddies that are a wee bit older and the one trained 2 year old we know.) He finally agreed to give the potty a try. We stripped him down and he sat on the big potty on his seat attachment. Then he stood in front of it. Then he sat on his little potty. . .then we got a yogurt and his milk and we had breakfast sitting on the potty. All the while he sat and sat and sat and did not pee. . .and trust me, he had to.

We did this for about a half hour. 30 minutes, folks. Then he was getting antsy and I had to get in the shower before Megan got up if we hoped to make it to Gymboree in time. I put his diaper back on him so I could shower in semi-peace. He came in to the bathroom as I was in there and announced that he had pooped. I said to him "Ok, give me a minute and I'll be there to change you.

"No, that's ok, I do it," He said. When I stepped out of the shower there it was - his diaper FULL (and I do mean FULL) of pee and yes, pooped in. And my naked bottomed boy was off running through the house laughing his head off.

HE HELD IT FOR 30 freakin' minutes until he got his diaper back on his butt. I asked him why he didn't do that on this potty and he said to me "I just like my diaper. Someday I'll use the potty."

Really. Shoot me. Just shoot me.


Leap of Faith

SO I picked a bad time to do it, but we're making a step towards real potty training. Bad time because its a busy week in which we won't be home half of each day at least - but hey, when do I have a week that isn't like that lately?! I'm just so sick and tired of changing big diapers. The little ones aren't bugging me yet - and its not because they don't smell because miss megan can not only challenge any regular old healthy adult mle with the gas, she can stink up a room in a heartbeat. At least with her I know she has no choice so we do the baby diaper thing. Logan, on the other hand, knows damn well what to do with a potty -- he just doens't feel like doing it. We've been talking a lot lately about what we'll do when he uses it. He found this Coal Loader that goes with the Thomas and friends stuff that he wanted. I told him almost daily that when he uses the potty all the time and we don't need diapers during the day anymore he can have that darn coal loader. it got to the point when he'd look through his train catalog (don't ask) he'd point to that loader and say (I do not make this up!) "Someday when I decide use potty all the time, I get that coal loader. Someday, but not today."

Well today I decided we were stepping up the inspiration/bribe (pick whichever you think fits best.) Today after lunch we strapped Megan into her car seat/carrier. We piled in the van. We went to Toys R Us and we spent more money than I had planned on spending getting what we're calling "Potty Prizes." I let Logan pick them out and placed a dollar limit on the big ticket item. He fell asleep in the van on our short ride home (really, the store is less than 5 miles from the house.) I closed us in the garage, shut the motor, and hussled the baby and the bag upstairs while Logan remained zonked out in his car seat. I then displayed the prizes - arranged so each was viewable but not reachable high up on the top of the new medicine cabinet.

Logan woke up as we got upstairs - normally I can get him out of the car and into bed. bummer! That's ok though, we went in and looked at the prize shelf. We talked about what he had to do to get each prize (listed below) and then we did the big brave step of removing the diaper and putting on the underwear. He tried a few times just sitting half naked on the potty and hanging out together in the bathroom waiting. Nothing. Megan even sat with us and "clapped" for her big brother. He even told her how to use the potty (a la Dr. Phil's approach). Nothing.

No, we did not go in the potty today - but he did ask for his prizes and so I repeated myself with this outline -

If you use the potty today even just once you can get the Wiggles slides for your ViewMaster.

If you use the potty everytime you have to go while we're at home for a day you can get one of the Matchbox trucks. There are 10 trucks, you can get one each day for 10 days if you use the potty everytime you have to go that day. (For those with Hot Wheels/Matchbox fans at home, Toys R Us had the five packs on sale buy one-get one free.)

If you go 10 straight days (and therefore get 10 cars) using the potty all the time you have to, on Day 11 - if you use the potty all the time, you get Spencer (one of the newer trains from Thomas and Friends.)

When you are using the potty all the time during the day and we can stop buying diapers for you, you get the coal loader.

He knows this. In fact he told a lady in Toys R Us that he was getting a Coal Loader if he peed on the potty. He ran to Daddy as soon as he walked in the door tonight and dragged him down to the bathroom to show off the prize shelf. He knows. Damn it, he knows WHAT to do. He knows what happens when he does it. He just doesn't want to.

I do have this fear of mothering the only 16 year old in diapers. Yeah, I know. It'll happen...when he's ready. He'll do it when he's ready -but hey, at least I have something up on that shelf now and its not just an empty ledge.