Thursday, October 25, 2007

Calling All Mommies...SOS!!!

Potty training - I feel like I have completely failed my son in this endeavor.

We started potty training Ian the beginning of June. This was actually our second attempt. The first attempt just never seemed to take off, so we gave it up until Ian seemed more ready.

The second attempt started out much more successful. A few weeks beforehand, we had Ian try to use the potty first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Then we dove right in and had our little guy running around the house naked. We reminded him to try and use the potty, and occasionally he was seen trotting off to the bathroom by himself. Accidents were few and far between. Amazingly, he woke up from naps and night time sleep dry during the first few weeks.

We took him to the mall in a pull up, not really expecting much, and he asked us to take him to the bathroom. The big toilet didn't bother him at all, just the noisy hand dryers. He came home dry and clean. Even at swim class, Ian asked to use the potty. We started letting him use the big toilet at home, he didn't flinch. Of course Ian's the size of most five year olds, so he has an advantage.

Yes, things seemed to be moving right along, my little man was having great success at this potty training business.

But, yes you knew a humongous BUT was coming, here we are, almost five months later, and it's like we never started the potty training process. Somewhere we've lost our way, and now it's a pink elephant nobody knows how to handle.

Ian runs away whenever we remind him to use the bathroom. He cries and struggles if we try to get him to sit on the toilet. I believe in letting him wear underwear so that he learns from his mistakes. After asking him to try and use the potty, or even after he's tried to sit a few minutes on it, five to ten minutes later he'll have an accident. I'm not talking one accident a day. We're talking at least three. I'm really tired of cleaning urine out of the carpet and chair cushions.

I've tried incentives in the form of Skittles, stickers, TV time, and special play time. It's become obvious none of this matters to him, the accidents continue to happen. I'm losing my patience with him, and I know it's become a power struggle between the two of us. Ian's 3 1/2 years old. Am I feeling pressure to train him because of his age? Absolutely, and I know I shouldn't. I know I need to put Ian's needs first and not care what others are saying.

I'm not sure why he's regressed. We haven't moved, there are no new siblings, there haven't been any changes that I can think of. I try to make sure he gets individualized attention throughout the day, whether we work on puzzles, play with trains or garbage trucks, share a snack, or attend a special class together. Ian just doesn't mind sitting in wet or soiled clothes. He doesn't want anything to interfere with his play time.

So what do I do? Right now, I'm giving up and putting him back into diapers. I think both he and I need a break from potty training and all it entails. I need advice on how to approach it for hopefully the last time. Does anyone have a book they would recommend I read? Does anyone have a tip they found particularly useful? If you've already written about this on your blog, please send me the link so I can learn some beneficial approaches. I need help, especially from those of you who have already experienced this wonderful time of preschooler potty training.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 5

Another week has passed, is it possible? As the holidays approach, time seems to speed up.

This week, I maintained. I actually feel pretty good about that, especially when I reflect on how awful the week went. All of us caught some version of Ian's flu. Laurel got the worst of it, but fortunately recuperated more quickly than Ian. I had some serious headaches over most of the week that wouldn't go away with Excedrin or Tylenol, or even sleep.

Paul worked late almost every night, leaving me alone with the kids (and sick at that) most days. Poor guy, he even had to work on Saturday. I'm not complaining, it's just not the usual routine, and I wasn't feeling 100% yet.

Needless to say, I didn't focus on eating habits or exercise. Maintaining, yup, it's a good thing. As for total loss, I'm still down four pounds, only six more to go to reach my goal. I realize ten pounds does not seem that much, but I want to have some fun with food over the holidays. The big picture is finding a somewhat smaller me in the mirror come January 1, 2008.

My family is healthy, there are lots of fun activities planned for the following week, it's time to focus again on good eating habits. Here are my goals:
  • Drink water!
  • Journal food and beverage intake and be aware of every little bite
  • Get moving, try to involve the kids in the process (there will be lots of walking at the farm on Sunday!!)
  • Find some low calorie alternatives for those snack attacks
Have a great week everybody!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 4

I know, I know, I'm a day behind in posting this. Ian's been sick with flu, poor fellow. Just when I think he's over it, another symptom pops up. At first he complained of pain in his ankles, then vomit reared its ugly head, then just lethargy, of course diarrhea followed, more lethargy, more pain in his ankles and he's hobbling, and we'll see how today goes. Monday night I had to ask Paul to come home early since I thought I caught whatever ails Ian. I felt nauseaus all evening, but woke up the next day absolutely fine. At any rate, our days have been a bit low key and yet I'm extremely busy trying to keep them that way.

I'm glad to report that I'm down another pound, that makes a total of four pounds lost so far. This week I haven't been journaling like I should. I seem to have internalized how much I can eat during the day, but I need to be cautious since it's still early in the game.

As for exercise, I didn't quite reach my goal of three days of activity. One day, I pushed the kids in the stroller and went for a three mile walk. Our neighborhood's hilly, so it's a good workout. Another day, I worked in the garden digging out dead shrubs and replacing them. I'm not saying this isn't exercise, just that I didn't intend to count it. Monday, I did 45 minutes of aerobics. I may have over exerted myself and ended up feeling sick. So, all in all it could be counted as three days of exercise. But if you feel the gardening doesn't count, then yes, you can send a raspberry my way.

Goals this week:
Drink more water, less diet soda
Go for walks!!!! The weather is finally down in the 80's, no more excuses.

Here's to another week where losing is a good thing!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Please, Oh Please, Just Go To Sleep

A wonderful, busy morning is spent at the railroad park. To my surprise, Ian insists that we go to the playground first. The kids play hard running between slides, climbing stairs and ladders, and getting completely dirty from head to toe in the sand. We rest a bit while riding the carousel, and then meet up with Paul to have a picnic. Lucky for us, his work is across the street from the park. After lunch, we ride the train. Paul gives us all goodbye kisses and hugs, and the three of us head home.

My two completely exhausted children scream as we leave the park. "No mommy, I don't want to go! Nooooo, wwwaaaaahhhhh!!!!!"

Trying to comfort my babes, I offer, "Say bye-bye to the park."

"NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO, wwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!"

Ugh, they're over tired. Nothing to do now but usher them into the van and head home. Within minutes, Laurel is passed out. Ian is a zombie. He tries to talk to me about the trucks he sees on the road, and manages to stay awake the entire ride home. When we enter the house, Laurel wakes up in my arms and Ian runs off to use the potty. Laurel's diaper is changed, Ian finishes in the bathroom, and we head upstairs for a much needed nap.

We read a pumpkin story, and then Ian curls right up, ready for Slumberland. Laurel, is a different story. She yells, "No, Mommy, no nap! Downstairs now!"

I quietly kiss her head and lay her down in her crib for a nap. As I walk downstairs, I hear her kick the wall and cry, "Mommy, noooooooooo!"

I'm wondering if she'll wake up Ian. She is extremely loud and her pleas don't seem to be coming to an end any time soon. I refuse to give in to her requests, so I decide to find a project to keep me busy. The neglected photo album screams for my attention as well, and wins.

Ten minutes later, Laurel is still whining and crying. I am amazed Ian is sleeping through her song and dance. But then, the magic words are said that get my total attention, "Diaper off!"

My mind races, did she really just say what I think she said? Do I dare set foot in her room to check on her? Where is the surveillance camera when I need it?

I rush up the stairs, peek in her room, and find out she has indeed taken off her diaper and is playing with it (fortunately, it only contains some urine). Drat, I did leave off her pants when I changed her, otherwise she probably wouldn't have been able to accomplish this feat.

Quietly, I walk over to her crib, remove the diaper, pick up Laurel and place a new diaper on her. I also put her in a pair of snug fitting pants that she won't be able to take off, well at least I'm hoping. No words spoken by me, I just go through these motions and gingerly place her back in her crib. "NO, MOMMY, TIME OUT!"

I walk out her room and decide to blog instead of finishing the photo album. She was really pissed off and crying and yelling at me, but as of a few minutes ago, she had calmed down and was just talking and singing. At least she still doesn't sound mad. She just finished singing, "Happy Birthday," and said, "Night-night, Daddy. Night-night, Ian. Night-night, Mommy."

I guess she's no longer mad at me. And now, what do I hear? Nothing, except the clicking of the keyboard. Sweet dreams, Laurel.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 3

Another pound lost! That makes a total of three pounds I'm saying sayonara to.

Hip, hip, hurray!
A pound was lost today!
A little change here, a little change there,
For my health, I'm showing great care.

Calculating, calculating calories all day,
Wanting a smaller number on the day I must weigh.
Making good choices, keeping the mind set,
To reach my goal of a sexy silhouette.

A poet, I'm not, but it was fun to quickly put that together. So, I'm still journaling. I didn't journal during girls' weekend, but I didn't go overboard on eating while having fun, either. I came back and started journaling again on Monday. Keeping track of foods I eat, the amounts, and calorie counting helps me keep focused. I'm still struggling with integrating exercise into everyday life. As the weather cools down, if ever, it's still in the mid to high 90's here, I will go for longer walks around the neighborhood. The zoo is also a great place to get moving. I know I'm being lazy, there should be no excuses. I'm going to set a goal of going for walks with the kids three times in the next week. If I don't reach that goal, you can all send me a great big raspberry!

Have a great week!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Breathe that Mountain Air

Escaping city life and relaxing in the mountains with some friends is just what the doctor ordered.

Friday night, we sat out on the porch, glass of wine in hand, and star gazed. It was a bit windy, so the pine trees swayed and sang to us.

Saturday morning, we headed up to Hawley Lake. We successfully got a shot of the four of us by the lake. Even our four legged friend is in the picture.

The ten second limit on the camera's timer just wasn't enough for me to sprint across the street for this shot.

We found a closer to spot to place the camera and voila, success! You can see the aspens are just now changing color.

That afternoon, we happily watched the Diamondbacks sweep the Cubs. Whoo-hoo, go Diamondbacks! After the game, we went out for dinner and then hung out a traditional spot for us gals: the Lion's Den, a local bar. Typically, they've had karaoke on Saturday nights. No, I don't typically sing, but the others do. We were a bit surprised when we walked in and found a live band. They were good and the girls danced their cares away. Sober (since I volunteered to be designated driver), I'm a wallflower, so I pretty much stayed at the table. But even sitting/standing there, my whole body was moving to the music.

Sunday morning was lazy. The four of us lounged and gossiped and giggled. The only event for the day was to have brunch at one of my friend's mom's house. She spoiled us with absolutely delicious food, the best being the chocolate chip pie. So we ate, watched football and lounged in the sunlight on the patio. Life was great!

Eventually, we had to head home. But I was ready, I was missing my family. I could hear Ian, Laurel, and Paul all yell, "Mommy!" as I was unlocking the door. Their giggles, smiles, squeals of delight, hugs and kisses said it all. I was missed, I am loved.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dieting Advice from a Three Year Old

Sometimes Ian will say something absolutely brilliant or funny, and I quickly write it down for future blog posts. In light of my new diet health changes, I thought the following scenario to be perfect:

We're sitting at the kitchen table and Ian ravenously eats his lunch. He's enjoying it so much he has seconds. But then he notices his stomach is not feeling too well and states, "Mommy, my tummy hurts."

"Oh honey, maybe you should stop eating. Maybe your tummy is telling you it's full."

Ian thinks about it, looks down at his belly and gingerly pats it. "Mommy, I can take my shirt off and all the food will come out of my tummy and I can eat more."

Don't I wish, don't I wish...


Well, dear blogging friends, I bid you adieu. Tomorrow, I'm off on a girls' weekend up in the mountains. No hubby, no kids (all of whom I love dearly and will miss oodles). It's going to be a selfish it's-all-about-me time. No diapers to change, no peeing or pooping accidents to clean up, no dressing two little darlings in the morning or at night, no feeding three hungry mouths, no whining other than the wining and dining I plan to do with friends, no breaking up fights, no laundry, no dishes, etc. I only have to take care of myself. I plan on relaxing, gossiping, reading a book, taking a walk, and above all else, laughing my a** off with friends. And yes, I'm being purely selfish, but in the end I know this will help me be a better mommy and wife. I'll be recharged and ready to tackle the endless tasks of domestic life.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Wednesday Weigh-In: Week 2


Oh yes, I hear applause, I hear cheering! Everybody get up and join me in a happy dance. Shake that booty and burn calories.

So, one may wonder what I am doing to ensure success. I definitely want to reflect and concretely write what went well so in future weeks when I find myself floundering, I have something to guide me back to the right habits.

The biggest change is in journaling every little thing I consume. It's amazing how those calories add up. By writing it down and keeping a running total, I can see where I should eat less or choose less caloric foods. I don't have a set number of calories I'm trying to keep under, although when I'm approaching 2000, I really start thinking about my choices.

Thanks to journaling, I have better control over portion size. I'm more aware of serving sizes, and am utilizing measuring cups and the food scale all the time. The internet is a dieter's dream. I can find out the number of calories for any food with just a few clicks.

While finding healthier eating habits, I don't feel like I'm depriving myself of the foods I love. On Sunday alone, I had blueberry pancakes, a chimichanga, and pizza. The key to success was knowing serving sizes, the amount of calories and recording it. Instead of the typical eight pancakes I would eat, I only had three. Instead of four or five slices of pizza, I only had two. Had I not exerted portion control, I probably would weigh more this week instead of less.

This week I plan to keep journaling. An area I need to work on is exercise. I'll be looking for ways to incorporate it into daily life.

Have a great week everybody!

Monday, October 01, 2007


Ian wakes up and I escort him directly to the toilet. As we sit through this morning ritual, he strikes up the following conversation with me.

"Mommy, is it pancake day?"

"Yes, we're making blueberry pancakes."

Ian's entire body shakes with excitement and he wobbles while trying to regain balance on the toilet. "Yes, it is!" he exclaims, letting me know I gave the correct answer to his question. "You, and me, and Daddy, and Laurel are going to make pancakes!"

"Well, I don't think Laurel will be making pancakes, she's still too little."

There's a brief pause while he ponders my statement. "That's right, Mommy. You, and me, and Daddy will make pancakes, Laurel's too little. Laurel can steal toys."

That pretty much sums up Ian's perception of his sister and the concept of sharing.