Monday, June 30, 2008

June 30, 2008 Part 2

I may be getting ready to try the impossible, but we'll see. I am sooo ready for the boys to go back into their cribs. Even though I actually do enjoy sitting with them and watching them fall asleep twice a day, I would like a little of my extra time back. I think they just were not ready and, for some reason, I thought they needed to be in a bed in order for me to start potty training them. Now I know that it is fine if they stay in cribs while they are being potty trained and we can continue to use pull ups during naps and night times.

While I am on the topic of potty training, Nick went poop in the potty two days in a row just fine. He told us he needed to go and he had no problems with going. I really believe that this child is very capable of peeing and pooping in the potty when he wants to. I am sure there are some times when he gets busy playing and forgets but I have very little remaining doubt that he is quite capable when he wants to. He even asked to be taken to the potty when he was at church, with no accidents whatsoever. Today he has had two poop accidents and one pee accident. I have a feeling it has something to do with my extra vigilance to enforcing time outs for bad behavior. To be fair, I was also trying to get the house cleaned up so they were getting extra negative attention and not enough positive interaction, which I am sure did not help. I was planning to take them to story time at the library this morning but we were running late and then Nick poop his pants just as we were trying to get out the door. Nick was disappointed that we didn't get to go but it was probably a good natural consequence. I was pretty matter of fact about it and was not angry. Ben did not seem to care one way or the other.

Back to the crib thing, they actually do pretty well at night time. Once they are asleep, they sleep through the night with no issues, although Nick often does wake up too early. If he was in his crib, he would just go back to sleep for a bit longer. At nap time, they wake up way too early and I have to take them back to their room and sit with them while they go back to sleep. They woke up from nap too early on Sunday and the dad let them stay up. They were miserable little people for quite a while, especially Nick. They did this again a few minutes ago and I took them back to their room and sat with them again until they fell asleep again. Nick was upset and crying for a few minutes, mostly because he was way too tired.

Moving them to beds too soon was definitely one of the biggest mistakes I have made. I want a do-over. I want them back in their cribs. I think I am going to run the idea up the flag pole and see how well it flies with the boys. It will be interesting to see if they want their cribs back or not. I need to think of a fun way to sell this idea.

June 30, 2008

This little car was given to us by my friend who has the twin girls. Both boys enjoy it but Ben really loves this little car. He has this thing about driving and is always pretending that he is driving. One day, he was walking around while holding his hands out in front of him. With each hand he had his thumb and a few fingers touching each other, pressed together tightly at the fingertips, almost like you would do if you were holding up some clothes or something. I asked him what he was doing and, with a big smile, he told me he was driving the car. He loves to pretend to drive and especially to back up and he pretends to do this while driving around the small big-wheel-type bike thing that we have in the house, as well as the ride-on truck and the two trikes.

We have to really keep an eye on him around the car and we can never, ever leave the car running with him around. He loves to sit in the driver seat of any vehicle and pretend to drive. It is definitely one of his favorite things to do these days. If I turn my back for a second while in the garage, he will be in the driver seat of my car and he is so disappointed when I tell him he cannot do this.

So, it is not a wonder that he loves this little car so much. Before we got this little car, he would only go outside if an adult was outside with him, much to Nick's disappointment. Now that he has this car, he wants to go outside all the time and he gets very upset if he does not get to drive it first.

The funny thing is that it seems that Nick understands when Ben gets a bee in his bonnet about a particular toy and he tends to give in to Ben in these situations. It is really very interesting to watch.

So, one of the things I am very grateful for this summer is this little car and how happy it makes our little driver.

Just so you know, in the first picture he is parking, in the second one he is driving, in the third one he is backing up, in the fourth one he is "mailing some letters" (I had to ask him what he was doing on this one:) and in the last one he is posing for a picture after he parked (they are out of order:).

Saturday, June 28, 2008

June 28, 2008

Written Saturday evening; posted Sunday afternoon:).

It seems like it has been so long since we have just had a normal day. The dad came home from the hospital on Tuesday and went back to work on Wednesday around noon. My mom and sister came to visit on Thursday, spent the night with us and left after the boys went down for their nap on Friday.

And today is Saturday already. The dad is back in the master bath, laying the rest of the tile. He had it all cut and most of it was already cemented down so it won't take long to finish the rest. Tomorrow he is planning to finish grouting at least in the small toilet room, so he can put the toilet back in after it dries. It will be nice to have our bathroom back to normal soon and the tile is looking really nice. I'll post some pictures when it is finished.

This morning it was a rainy kind of day around here and I knew the boys were probably ready to get out of the house for a change, so I told them I would take them to play in the play area of the mall. They were very excited and so we all got ready to go and I packed a couple of snack cups and an apple. We were finally headed out the door and on our way to the mall. I gave the boys their snack cups so they could eat a bit on our way over to the mall, because I knew they would want to play when we got there and it was almost time for snack. We happily drove over to the mall and I got out and got the stroller out of the trunk. I opened the door to get Ben out and saw that he had taken the top off of his snack cup, which is fine. They do that all the time because it makes the little fish crackers easier to pick up. But, he also dumped a bunch of them out all over the car. Now if this had been an accident, it would have been no big deal. But after asking him about it, it was very clear, as he happily sported his mischievous grin, that he had dump the crackers intentionally, which he knows is a no no. I scolded him and picked them up and then went ahead and put him in the stroller. I went around to get Nick, opened the door and found that he had done the same thing, only he had dumped many more. Well, that was the end of our happy little trip. I picked up the crackers and put them away and put Ben back in the car and took the boys back home, through their (loud) protest. At one point, when they had quieted down a bit, I gave them a bit of a talking to, about how to behave when someone is doing something nice for them and about my disappointment in their behavior. They were very quiet the rest of the way home. That was our hard lesson of the day.

Thankfully, the rest of the day went better. We actually had a new milestone in potty training today. Nick finally, for the very first time, went poop on the potty. Yay! I decided to keep him near me today and I explained nicely to him why, that I wanted to help him learn when to run to the bathroom to go poop. He was very good about staying with me, never complained and happily played nearby. I also told him he could have two prizes from the 'big box' if he poop in the potty today (yes, I was desperate). I watched him closely for 'the look' (which was challenging because I had never caught it before so I was not quite sure what to look for with him:) and would periodically ask him if he had gone in his pants (knowing he had not) and remind him to tell me when he needed to go. Finally, I saw a different, kind of surprised look on his face. He quickly looked at me and said 'poop!' and he took off running to the bathroom and the rest is history. I was quite surprised that he recognize it, told me and ran to the bathroom. I am hoping that now that he has done it once, he will continue to do so. We'll see. He and Ben each got a small flashlight and a digital Matchbox watch for this huge milestone. We were celebrating big around here and even called MaMa and Aunt Kathy to tell them about it.

Everything else with the potty training is going pretty well. Once in a while Nick will have a pee accident but not very often. Ben never has any kind of accident and has not since it 'clicked' with him sometime during day three or four of our potty training efforts. So they are both doing very well with it and we have not had any accidents yet while we have been out and about, away from home. 95% of the time the boys wake up from their naps dry and sometimes they wake up in the mornings dry but not as often. We are still doing pull ups for naps and night time. Overall I would say our potty training efforts have been very successful.

In other news, we are very close to closing a deal for a 2007 Toyota Sienna XLE that has about 16,000 miles on it. If all goes well, my husband will fly to Louisville KY on Wednesday evening, close the deal on Thursday, after having it inspected by the local dealership, and drive it back. My husband has to provide 60 days notice to schedule vacation time at his job. Fortunately he had already asked for Thursday off and he has Friday off for July 4th, so it seems everything is working out OK. We think we are getting a great deal on this vehicle. I found it on and it is being sold by a private owner. I hope it works out. It will be nice to have some extra space when we are out and about and I would love to be able to take some longer trips for vacations in the future. After we purchase this vehicle, we will sell my car.

Did I mention that the boys are growing up way too fast? They are talking so much now and understanding and remembering so much too. They learn so quickly, they are constantly surprising me.

I am finding more and more wonderful children's books at my favorite used book store. I got some really good ones the other day, when I took my mom over there. I have noticed that you pretty much can't go wrong if a book is either a "Children's Choice" or a "Weekly Reader" book club book. I have also learned to be a bit pickier about the books I select and make sure that I will enjoy reading them over and over again:). Some of our favorites are Little Locomotive, If I Owned A Candy Factory, Caps for Sale (we love this one), Petunia and many more that I can't recall the names of off the top of my head.

Well, it's almost bath time and then bed time for the boys and then the husband and I are going to watch a movie we rented (I'll watch it and he'll probably fall asleep:), then church tomorrow morning, then we eat out for lunch and then we'll come home and I will rest while the boys take a nap and the husband grouts the bathroom floor. Yes, we lead an exciting life around here:).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June 24, 2008

He is doing much better today. They did a cat scan on his knee last night and everything looked good. He said the redness, swelling and heat in his leg is much better this morning. They are currently making arrangements so he can continue to give himself the IV antibiotics after he leaves the hospital. He has to have it for two more weeks. They put a pick line in his arm yesterday and took his IV out, so he will be able to administer the medication through the pick line at home or at his office. He is suppose to get out of the hospital sometime today, once they arrange the medication situation. He said that he may not get out until this evening, since sometimes they move a bit slowly.

I took the boys to see him yesterday at the hospital. I planned it where they had their snack with him and we took some snack food for him too. That kept them occupied for a while and then dad read a book, to which nobody paid much attention because they were too busy checking out the room. It is quite a challenge to keep Nick from pushing buttons, so a hospital room is not the ideal environment for him, although he is doing quite well with leaving my laptop alone these days, which is nice.

The dad's leg looked better yesterday too but I was surprised at how bad it had been when he had finally gotten settled into his room and the residents/docs had examined him. They marked on his leg where the redness was and it had crept down almost to his foot. It was a good thing they admitted him when they did, as it seemed pretty aggressive.

He sounded completely like his old self today. He took a lot of stuff with him to the hospital to work on and it seemed like he was getting a lot done. He had his work laptop with him and the hospital has a wireless network that he has access to so I'm sure that helped to alleviate his boredom somewhat. Knowing him, he will come home, change into work clothes, mow the lawn and be back in his office seeing patients tomorrow.

There is just nothing like a situation like this to remind one to appreciate ones husband more:). He is such a blessing to me and the boys and we would be lost without him.

I am so looking forward to getting back to normal around here. This vacation did not quite turn out like we had expected. The next time he takes a vacation, I think we need to leave town.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

June 22, 2008 Part 2

Please be praying for my husband (see last post). Also, here are some pics I have been meaning to post:

Here are my two cuties, hamming it up and playing with Aunt Kathy.

The boys were still in their PJ's one morning and I was in the kitchen, cleaning up after breakfast, when they came in wearing these dress up outfits that they pieced together all by themselves.

June 22, 2008

Yesterday evening, the husband thought his knee was getting worse and was thinking he might have to go into the hospital for IV antibiotics. He talked to another doc and they decided that he should wait until this morning to see how it was. When he woke up this morning, it really looked better, his fever was much lower and he was feeling better. We got ready and went to church, thinking that the worst of this was over.

When we got home from church, his temp was again on the rise and he was feeling so-so again. A bit later, he called a couple of other docs and they all agreed that he needed to be admitted to the hospital for the IV antibiotics. So, off he went.

I am waiting to hear from him, that he got settled in OK and what his room number is. He said he will likely have to be there for two days at least.

All prayers are appreciated.

In other news, potty training is back on track and going well. We have had no accidents around here all day yesterday and today, with the exception of Nick's once a day poop episodes:). We came close to catching him today but we were still a little too late. Hopefully I will be able to catch him in time soon.

Neither of the boys had an accident while at church today, which I thought was pretty good. So I am very pleased with their potty training progress at this point. Our two week mark at potty training is on Tuesday. I think they are doing really well for less than two weeks at this and I am very happy not to have to buy diapers anymore. We are still using pull ups for naps and bedtimes and they also wore them to church today. Most of the time when they wake up from naps, they are both dry and N was dry when he woke up this morning, for the first time. Now I just have to teach them how to pull up their own pants so I can quit visiting the bathroom 15 million times a day:).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

June 21, 2008

The boys and I are outside and they have been playing in their little pool and trying to throw a frisbee. It is very hot here today, although sitting under the patio with the ceiling fan on is not too bad and the boys are staying pretty wet and mostly shaded so they are doing OK too.

Meanwhile, the dad is lying in bed and not feeling very well today. As it turns out, he got a small cut on his knee when he was laying the tile in our master bath the other day and it is now very infected. His whole knee is very swollen, red and hot, he is running a fever and it is very likely that he has the dreaded MRSA. He started an antibiotic yesterday and it was not helping so he got another opinion from his boss, who lives in our neighborhood, and started an additional antibiotic today. If it does not improve by tonight, I think he has to get a shot of antibiotics and if that does not help, he will need to take antibiotics through an IV. Hopefully he will improve today sometime. It is odd to see him down and out because he hardly ever gets sick enough to end up in bed. Even when he has a bad cold, he just keeps going.

It is almost time for naps and I am so ready for a rest myself today. I am really bummed that naps are so short these days. If I had it to do over again, I would have left the cribs up much much longer. At least I had a little extra time with the cribs because they would play happily for a little while before going to sleep. Also, Nick normally wakes up about one hour or one hour and a half after he goes to sleep and, when he was in his crib, he would just go back to sleep. He still does the waking up part but, now that he can get up by himself and come downstairs, he no longer does the going back to sleep part.

Yesterday was not a good potty training day. Both boys had more accidents than they have had in a long time. I think it was because the dad and I were switching off with watching them and neither of us were doing a good job of reminding them and they were too busy playing. I thought that Ben was at a point where he did not need reminders anymore but I guess I was wrong. So far today we have only seen one accident, the normal, usually once per day poop accident that Nick continues to have. He makes absolutely no effort whatsoever to let us know that he needs to go and we have yet to catch him. He is not very obvious about it. We'll have to watch him extra close to catch him but that is hard because he is always on the go.

I found a minivan that seems perfect for us and it is priced very well by a private owner. The downside is that it is in Louisville, KY:). It is such a good deal that I may fly out to see it sometime in the upcoming week, with the intention of bringing it home if all looks good. My sister has offered to watch the boys. I hope it all works out because I could use the break and I think I would enjoy the drive back. I have never been to KY either, so that would be an added bonus.

I may have mentioned this and, if so, am getting ready to mention it again. This past week of the dad's "vacation" was not a vacation for me at all. If anything, I worked longer hours than normal because I had to do more laundry and cleaning than normal, plus I was still in the middle of potty training, plus the dad was so busy with the tile in the master bath that he did not have as much to help out with the boys. I am feeling a bit burned out right now and could really use a break.

A normal Saturday for us includes the dad hanging out with the boys from around 10:00am-ish, feeding them lunch and putting them down for their nap around 1:30ish. I usually go out and run errands during that time and I come home just after the boys go down for nap. So I normally have a break on Saturday's from around 10:00am to around 3:30 or 4:00pm. It is a very nice break and usually leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to be mom again. So I am missing that today but I am thankful that I at least get a break while the boys are sleeping.

I should really probably be outside mowing the lawn, since the husband probably won't feel like it this weekend. I think I would rather do it early in the morning or late in the evening though, when it is a bit cooler. It is so hot outside right now.

I had to take a break from my writing a few paragraphs ago to come inside and put the boys down for their nap. Our new method of keeping them in their beds is to just sit in their room with them until they fall asleep. My rule is that they have to lay down, put their head down and no talking. We are all getting really good at this now and they like having one of us in there until they fall asleep. They also go to sleep much quicker because they are lying still so it does not take very much of our time, as long as we are not trying to put them down too early. Since they are taking a shorter nap and sometimes waking up a bit earlier, they usually go to sleep pretty quickly around 8:00 or 8:30pm-ish.

One evening it was taking a bit longer than normal for them to fall asleep. I had awakened very early that morning and could not go back to sleep so I was really tired. I kept falling asleep in my chair, then I would wake up again to find them both still awake. I kept thinking to myself, 'what is wrong with this picture??'. I found it quite funny. I seem to fall asleep very quickly and easily when I am sitting in their room, waiting for them to fall asleep. The dad does too though, so I guess it's not just me. It is a very peaceful place to be and we have a comfortable recliner in their room.

OK, enough of this book for today. I know I need to post some pictures soon and I will. I think I have some cute ones on the camera. Maybe next post.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

June 19, 2008

Well, we have been at this for a little over a week now (I think) and we're still chugging along. Ben has picked up this potty training business very very well. No issues at all. He tells us when he has to go, he gets there in time and he does all of his business on the potty. He sometimes has false alarms when it comes to #2 and it sometimes takes him one or two visits to the potty before he is ready but he is doing great. He is sometimes a bit too impatient with it when it takes a little longer but I convince him to let me read a book to him and then he is very happy with his success. He even forgets to ask for a prize most of the time, although that could be because the prize box is getting rather empty and the things that are left are not too exciting.

Nick, on the other hand, seems to have regressed a bit...or maybe it is that he has not progressed. He still has one pee pee accident a day and has yet to poop in the potty. Today he almost peed in his pants a second time too and he got upset when I made him go because we were in the middle of reading a book. Generally he has not been telling me when he needs to go but I see his body signs and take him. Sometimes he is OK with this and sometimes he is not OK with it. Sometimes Beb is in the bathroom going and Nick will go too on his own. But if he is playing, going to the potty is just not something he seems to think about.

So I am going to work on some retraining with him. I am going back to the basics of our three day potty training method and I will be keeping him close by my side for a while. The thing about Nick is that he is very smart and he definitely knows how to go to the potty and how to get there in time. I know he knows this because he did pretty well at the beginning of our potty training efforts. I think our problem is that he is such a busy boy and loves playing so much that going to the bathroom to do his business is just not a priority for him.

I need to get out and buy some more interesting prizes, which will probably help a little bit. He was very motivated when the prizes were still exciting. I am hoping that the incentive of having more freedom from mommy might help him too. We'll see.

In other news, the dad is installing the new tile in our master bathroom. He is using a diamond pattern and it looks really nice. He really does a wonderful job. He is trying to finish up all of the cuts today so he can return the wet saw. He plans to wait until next weekend to do the grouting because his knee was red and swollen this morning from over doing it the past few days.

My sister and nephew spent the past two nights with us. The boys love having their aunt Kathy here to play with. She is wonderful with kids and they have tons of fun with her. They were sad to see them leave today.

Naps seem to be getting shorter and shorter (she said, with tears running down her face:). We are currently outside and the boys are pretending to "clean up the pee pee". They are so funny. It's really hot here now. Not sure what the temp is right now but guessing it has to be around 90 degrees or so and it is very humid because we have had tons of rain lately.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

June 15, 2008

...I think I finally found a way to keep them in their beds! We are still in test mode so I am not yet positive that this is going to work but, so far, so good. It turned out to be pretty simple. I let them choose a small match-box sized car or truck to take with them to bed. If they get out of bed, I take their car/truck.

The interesting thing about this is that, when they get out of bed the first time, if I take the car/truck and keep it, they continue to get out of bed, regardless of the punishment. This happened during nap time a day or two ago. Tonight, I gave them a second chance. When B got out of bed, I took his truck. I waited outside of the door for a few minutes and, when he stayed in his bed, I went back in, told them both that they were doing a good job of staying in their beds and gave B back his truck. This time, they stayed in their beds! Yay!! Hopefully I have finally found the key. We'll see. I'm not convinced yet because there are just too many things where you try something and it works for the first time or two and then behavior changes again and you have to come up with another solution. So, we'll see.

I think I forgot to mention that N no longer sucks his thumb. Isn't that great? The only thing we did was keep a bandaid on his thumb for a couple of weeks and, voila!, he is no longer a thumb sucker. We ended up taking this approach because he had cut his thumb on something while playing outside and it was getting infected due to his thumb sucking. So we started out doing this because he needed it and then we just kept it up because it was keeping him from sucking his thumb. Our dentist had told us that his thumb sucking was starting to cause his front teeth to shift outward so it was best to stop it now. We stopped using the bandaids about a week ago and N has not started sucking his thumb again, so I think we are done with that now. Yay!

An interesting aside on the thumb sucking story. When N was a thumb sucker, he always fell asleep very quickly at nap and night times and B would lie awake, talking to himself and playing. Now that N is no longer a thumb sucker, he is usually the last one asleep and I hear him on the monitor, talking to himself and singing songs. And N is pretty much always the first one awake in the morning.

The other good news for today is that, again, Ben went the whole day without one accident. He always told us when he needed to go to the bathroom. Nick had two accidents, one of each kind:), so I still have a little work to do with him but, overall, I think they are both doing great. We even made a trip out of the house today to go to Home Depot and the boys made it just fine. It was very obvious to me that they were both able to go much longer between bathroom trips today, which was a relief. Today seemed almost normal, with the exception of no more diaper changes and with me still giving occasional reminders to them to tell me if they need to go to the bathroom. The other exception was that we decided not to take them to church today, as I didn't want to put them in pull ups during the day because I think it would confuse them and it is too soon to put them in that kind of environment. Hopefully next week, we will be all set. We are also very low on groceries, since I have basically stayed home since I started potty training. We definitely have to get out to the grocery store tomorrow.

If you are contemplating potty training and you are like me and have no idea on how to go about it, I highly recommend the website / ebook at My case was a bit different than the normal case, since I was training two children at the same time by myself. So I expected it to take a little longer than 3 days and I chose not to do nap and night time, since I was pretty much doing it on my own. I needed my rest during nap times and my sleep at night during this extra focused attention time of potty training. It has been exhausting but I think we are on the down hill side of things now. The money spent on the ebook at the above website was well worth it to me and you get email-mentoring to boot, which I also used and found reassuring. My friend with twin girls also used it and had good results. We both ended up feeling that it was a positive experience overall, for us and our kids. The positive part for us was that we spent so much one-on-one focused time with our kids. It was a very rewarding experience, from that perspective.

I think the kids have pretty much enjoyed the whole experience. We have a rule that they use the bathroom before going to bed and right after waking up. They sometimes don't like this rule, especially in the morning. So I get some objections on this one (especially from Ben) but then, as soon as they sit down, they start going and then they look up at me and smile and laugh through the little tears that were just getting started in their little eyes.

Well, the car/truck thing almost worked. They had gotten really quiet so I thought they were both asleep. I was in bed, typing away, and suddenly I heard "what's that?" and looked up to find Ben standing in my room pointing to the TV (I was half watching/listening to the news as I typed). I scolded him and took him back to his bed. He cried on the way up the stairs and woke up Nick who came running down the hall to see what was wrong. I put them both back in bed and it now sounds like they are both asleep (I hope!).

Nope, Ben was still not asleep. I heard the sound of a door closing over the monitor so I went up to check on the boys and saw a light going on and off under their door. I went in to find Ben standing in the doorway of their closet and turning the closet light on and off. Nick was sound asleep again. I sent Ben back to his bed again and again he cried and woke up Nick, who also started crying. It is now quiet again up there so I am hopeful that they are both asleep this time. Not sure why Ben is having so much trouble tonight because, as I mentioned above, he is normally the first one asleep these days.

The husband just finished putting down the heating system in the floor of our master bathroom. I guess he will be ready to start laying the tile tomorrow. He is really moving right along with this project, which is great because I am anxious to see how the new tile will look and I really want my bathroom back:).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

June 14, 2008

I know father's day is tomorrow and everything but I really have to give a plug for mom's today. Having never been one before we adopted our sons, I just did not realize how much mom's do. It really is amazing.

I must say, at least for this mom, that potty training ranks way up there on the list of things that mom's do that are quite challenging and not much fun (understatement of the year). Also, if you are expecting twins or two children very close in age, be prepared for a lot of work when it comes time to potty train.

Today was day 4 of our potty training efforts. I changed my tactics a bit today, since our 'three day potty training' effort was over. We still stayed home but we spent a good amount of time outside this morning and, when we were in the house, the boys went back to having freedom to be out of my sight and to ride their trikes and other riding toys around inside of the house. So, just generally, they had a lot more freedom today. It was kind of a little test, to see how well they were doing on their potty training. I would periodically ask them if their pants were still dry, which is more of a chance to offer positive praise than anything else. I would then remind them to tell me when they needed to use the potty.

Ben amazed me today. He did not have one accident all day long (even during nap time) and he used the potty for #2 for the first time ever and then went on to do it twice more. He also let us know every time that he needed to go to the bathroom. We never had to prompt him or make him go....and, he likes to use the big potty too, which is good. So, we'll see how tomorrow goes but Ben seems to have gotten the hang of this potty thing. He sometimes still likes to tell me he has to go, have me drop everything and run in to the bathroom with him, only to tell me 'not yet'. I'm OK with this though because I would rather have false alarms than clean up messes.

Nick has also done very well, although he has not tackled pooping in the potty yet. Now that the newness of potty training is wearing off, he tends to want to wait as long as possible to run to the bathroom and he ends up with partially wet pants. But he always got the vast majority of it in the potty and none of it on the floor or anywhere else, so he really did very well too.

So, overall, we are doing very well with this potty training thing but I am exhausted. I am hoping that tomorrow will see us all start to settle into a nice routine and I can stop monitoring the boys so closely. I don't have a feel for how it goes from here, since the potty training book I am using really covers potty training in three days. So I am not quite sure how long it will take before I feel we can venture out to public places without expecting an accident. I'm also not quite sure how long the boys could wait to find a public restroom, if they needed to go while we were out and about. So, for now, I am planning to continue to stick pretty close to home.

Oh well, I'm saving gas and not having to buy diapers anymore so I guess we're doing pretty well overall.

Now if I could just catch up on some rest. Yesterday I hung out with and entertained the boys all day long, while doing the potty training thing. The dad was taking up the tile in our master bath and did not finish until late. At 10:00pm, after putting the boys to bed, we had to clean our bedroom of all the disgusting, very fine, thick dust that covered every square inch of our bedroom, which came from the master bath when the tile was being removed. I was not a very happy camper but we worked together and got it done quickly. I ended up not getting to sleep until after midnight though so I was exhausted today. On that note, I am going to bed early tonight. Good night.

Friday, June 13, 2008

June 13, 2008

This is our third day of potty training and it is going very well. We only had one partial accident today and a couple of partially wet pants but everything else went where it was suppose to go. Mommy likes that:). We also didn't have any dirty pants or messes to clean up so I know they will be coming sooner or later. I have a feeling they are at work on changing the schedule for those so they will end up happening in their pull ups, just after they wake up from nap or night. Both boys are still excited about using the potty, wearing pants and being 'big boys', which is cute. They are also still very excited about the 'prizes', although they do forget to get them sometimes.

We had such a good morning today that we all laid in bed and watched a movie and ate popcorn together. They really enjoyed that, most especially the popcorn. We were watching a Thomas the Train DVD and it did not hold their attention for very long...maybe 15 minutes. I'm OK with that though. I also let them watch this other little DVD that I recently got for them, which shows a group of kids in their Sunday School class and they are singing popular kid's Christian songs and dancing and doing hand motions to the music. Now this one they will sit and watch all the way through. It is amazing to watch because it is as if they go into a trance, as they sit and stare at the TV. After that, we went back to playing again.

We have been doing lots of puzzles, playing with play dough a lot, reading, coloring and drawing and they also spend time playing with their trucks and pushing their grocery carts around. They received new little play cell phones and calculators for potty training treats so they have had a fun time with those too. I crack up listening to Nick play with his cell phone. He does a pretty good imitation of me. They both love to push buttons so I knew when I saw the $1 calculators that they would also be a big hit. What is it about boys and pushing buttons??? It is like an addiction or something. If there is a button nearby to be pushed, it is like taming wild horses to keep them away from it.

The dad started working on our master bathroom floor today. We cleaned out everything and he took out the toilet and is now taking out the tile. I don't know what the tool he is using is called but it sounds like a jack hammer. I think it is a smaller type of jack hammer-like tool. It is very loud and the amount of dust it creates is just unbelievable. Even though the master bath doors are closed, there is a thick coat of dust on everything in our room, which also means there is most likely the same thick coat of dust on everything in our closet. Yuck. And it does not smell good either. I am doubtful that we will even be able to sleep in our bedroom tonight. I will really be glad when he finishes taking out the old tile because it is not very pleasant. I'm sure he feels the same way...probably even more strongly:).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

June 12, 2008

Well, we continued to learn about using the potty today. Oh what fun we are having! :)

The boys are doing pretty well really. Nick especially is getting the hang of getting there before he wets on anything. I am learning to read Ben's signs that he has to go but he is sometimes reluctant to go, although he is quite happy once he has gone. He is proud of himself and is very excited to get a little reward.

The 'other business' is another whole different story though. I won't provide any gory details but we have not quite mastered that yet. We are getting closer though so hopefully we will make more progress tomorrow.

We are doing pull ups at nap time and night time for now. We put them on at the very last minute and take them off as soon as they wake up. Both boys were dry after nap today. They are definitely gaining more control and we are just now done with our second day of learning.

They are both still very positive about the whole potty business generally. If we ask them if they are happy they are not wearing diapers, they both say yes. We have had many very funny moments and I wish I had been writing them down because I can't remember them now. I told a few of them to my sister and she was laughing hysterically. Maybe she will remember them.

Once again, I spent the entire day focusing on them, playing with them, reading to them and keeping them within eye-shot of me. We had a fun day overall, although I am really tired. I am wondering how long it will take for us to actually be able to go out again without worrying if someone is going to have an accident. It is suppose to rain tomorrow, which is great because it will make it easier for them to be inside for the third day in a row. If it is nice on Saturday, we will spend a good portion of the day outside and see how that goes. Hopefully we will continue to make good progress tomorrow so we will be ready for a day outside on Saturday.

The dad is on vacation starting tomorrow and then all next week, which is nice. He will be quite busy though. He is going to be taking out the tile in our bathroom and putting in the new tile, along with the heating system that will go under the tile. Hopefully our bathroom will be a bit warmer next winter.

Our staying in bed issue has not improved much. The dad is handling this at night, since I am exhausted with the potty training duties. Today I delayed nap time for an hour, hoping they might go to sleep easier. Nonetheless, after putting them down, I quickly decided just to sit in their room until they fell asleep. Nick was asleep within 20 minutes. If they both fell asleep this quickly, I would do this every day. Ben took over an hour to fall asleep. I finally got tired of waiting so I gave him a calculator to play with, which made him very happy, and I left the room. He eventually woke N up so I had to go back up and found that Ben had a dirty pull-up. After changing him, I sat in their room again while they fell asleep. They were both asleep quickly that time. I'm sure this will improve over time but I think I will probably just plan to sit with them until they fall asleep at nap times for a while.

It is absolutely amazing how many natural disasters are happening these days. Between fires in CA and FL, mudslides, floods and tornadoes, you can't turn the news on these days without hearing tons of stories about natural disasters. I can't recall ever hearing about this many at once before. It's very sad.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 11, 2008

So we started learning how to use the potty today. Overall it is really going well. We had the expected couple of accidents but both boys are learning quickly. Now they take off running through the house, holding themselves, when they have to go to the bathroom. It is very cute.

Ben has successfully used the potty three or four times this morning and Nick about seven times. Nick has some pretty good control, so much so that he can empty about one third or one quarter of his bladder, hold the rest, collect his treat/reward and be ready to come back and do it all over again 2 - 5 minutes later. Clever little boy.

In fact, they both like going so much that they will say they need to go quite often, run into the bathroom while holding themselves and then decide they don't really need to go (after I come running in after them of course). They may decide they really don't need to go while standing in front of their potty chair, just before pulling down their pants, in which case they will say "not yet", with a smile. Or they may pull their pants down, sit down on the potty chair and wait two seconds before saying "done", with a big smile. It is all fun and games.

I am happy that they are seeing this as a positive experience and enjoying themselves. I have basically let the entire house go today. The breakfast, snack and lunch dishes are still in the sink. I have spent my whole time playing with them, reading to them, drinking lots of liquids with them and just having fun, while watching for signs that they need to go.

On the other hand, the NOT so fun part is getting them to STAY IN THEIR BEDS!! This one just might make me lose my mind.

They actually did very well last night and they didn't get up once so that was great. I changed things up a bit and it seemed to help the situation. I only let them each take up one stuff animal (Nick's Ya Ya and Ben's bear). They have collected a bunch and had gotten into the habit of wanting to take them all upstairs so they could play this game of throwing them, which was too much of a temptation to get out of bed, now that they are no longer in cribs. So, just one stuffed animal each. The other thing I did was that I let each of them pick out one small matchbox-type of car or truck to take to bed with them too. They love to pretend and push them all over furniture and they are usually pretty calm while they are playing this so I thought it might be a good way for them to busy themselves and not be so bored while they were trying to fall asleep. It worked like a charm last night.

Nap time, however, has not been so great. It does not seem to matter what kind of discipline I dish out, they keep getting up until they are so exhausted they finally crash. By then, I am so exhausted I am ready to crash too. Today I used the same methods that I used last night. The first thing they did was throw their matchbox vehicle across the room to each other to 'trade'. This is a no no so I confiscated the vehicles. It was downhill from there...way downhill (or maybe that should be uphill). Either way, it was not a good situation. They finally went to sleep around 3:00, after I had been in there a million times since I first left them around 1:30ish....also after Nick had a poop accident that was quite messy and I accidentally flushed his underpants down the toilet, while trying to empty them out:). That was quite a surprise. I have not gathered up the courage to flush the toilet again to see if it is stopped up. I will let the dad handle that situation when he gets home:).

I am thinking that maybe they just need a later nap these days. I have still been putting them down between 1:00 and 2:00 but I am thinking that I need to start waiting until 3:00 and then wake them up no later than 5:00. That is basically what ends up happening these days anyway, since we end up going through this battle for hours before they finally fall asleep. On the other hand, if they don't take a nap, they are not very happy campers, so I don't think we are quite ready for that yet (I certainly am not:).

If I don't take some sort of steps to fix this issue, I really just might lose my mind soon:). Anyone else's kids take a late nap at this age? (Ben will be three at the end of Sept and Nick will be three in early November).

They typically wake up between 7:00 and 7:30 am, they take about a two hour nap, sometimes three, and they normally go to bed around 8:00 pm. For nap, they had been sleeping between 1:30ish and 3:30ish but now they are not usually falling asleep until much later, after huge battles.

Any suggestions on tactics will be seriously considered and appreciated:). Much prayer needed and also appreciated.

Monday, June 09, 2008

June 9, 2008

So we have a new milestone today. The cribs are gone! I am wanting to start potty training ASAP so I decided I would really rather have them in their twin beds before we start potty training. So today I took down the cribs, moved them out and I also removed the bed rails and the box springs from their twin beds and moved them out. They are now sleeping on their twin mattresses on the floor with no rails.

In retrospect, we should have done exactly this from the very start. I think we would have been much further along had we done it this way to begin with. Oh well. You live and learn. It took me a little while to get them to stay in their beds at nap time today but it was not as bad as I thought it might be.

Their room has soooo much more space in it now that the two cribs are gone. It looks so much nicer. I even moved in a small bookcase and I am planning to pick out a number of their favorite books to move upstairs to their room for bedtime reading.

I am not sure exactly when we will start the potty training but it will be soon. I am ready. I discovered this through a friend of mine. I purchased the ebook last night and quickly read through it. It makes so much sense and sounds like a wonderful and very positive approach. I have a friend who started using this approach with her twin girls on Friday and she has been very happy with the results. So, we will be joining the potty training party soon.

I just checked on the boys and they are both still sound asleep in their twin beds. Neither of them have fallen off yet and they have been sleeping now for about two hours. Today's nap is a success. Now we just need to get through tonight. For some reason, the boys really seem to get all hyped up at bedtime, even though we follow a routine and we sit and read. It really makes me want to put them into separate rooms. We'll see how it goes now. Maybe since they are quickly approaching the three year old mark, they will start settling down a little bit. (yeah, right...wishful thinking:). At least it will be easy now to move one of them to another room without the cribs, if we decide we need to do that.

There is a part of me that thinks that bed time might be more relaxing and special if they were in separate rooms and we got to spend some quiet time with each of them before bed. But then there is the other part of me that hears how much fun they have together and I like that they have fun and love being together.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

June 4, 2008

Today we had to pick up a few things at Target and then went for a huge grocery haul. Both boys behaved perfectly. Isn't it funny how some days can seem so bad that you end up seriously questioning your parenting abilities and realizing how much you still have to learn and then there are other days when your kids behave so nicely and it makes you wonder who those other kids were (or maybe they are wondering who that other mom was:). I don't know but those bad kind of days really make me appreciate the good kind of days.

Here's something that has been cracking me up lately. Nick's new favorite saying is "how you do-nin'?". He says it at the funniest times. It always makes me think of Joey on Friends:).

After returning from the farm the other day, Nick kept repeating over and over "brother step in poop". He also reminded us of it a couple of times yesterday and once last night before going to bed.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

June 3, 2008

Yesterday we had a very fun day. My friend and her two sons went to 'the farm' yesterday. Her older son turned three yesterday and her younger one is around 8 months old. My brother has a farm, which I have mentioned before. I gave my niece a ride back to her house yesterday and invited my friend and her sons to go with us.

All of the boys got to take rides on the big green tractor. It is one of the closed-cab tractors and has a horn! They all liked that and they also got to help drive. They each also had two rides on one of the large four wheelers and got to help steer also. They played with the puppies, which were definitely a favorite of the 8 month old. They played with the baby sheep and the birthday boy got to help feed it with a bottle. They got to pet a baby kitten and they also got to sit on a horse, which they all really enjoyed. There were roosters and chickens all over and Nick had a fun time chasing a chicken all around the yard, while yelling "goose, goose, goose". It was very funny.  After all of the farm fun, we all went to eat at a local burger joint.

One thing I wanted to document is that Nick used his little potty chair TWICE yesterday afternoon/evening, for the first time ever. That was an exciting time for all of us:). It was very cute and very self-driven. When he really decides that he is ready to be potty trained, I think it will happen very quickly. I'm still a bit undecided about when to really start training them. Nick can be so resistant at times if something is not his idea that I am still up in the air about this. The last thing I want is for this to become a point of contention.

Much more prayer needed about all of this. I have a bunch of cute pictures that I need to post soon. Maybe I can do it tonight.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

June 1, 2008

We have been spending a lot of time outside. We were pretty much out there all day Friday, except for nap time. We had a very fun play date on Friday morning. My friend has two sons. One of them will be three years old tomorrow and I think the other one is about 8 months old now. Her older son and my two really get along well and enjoy playing together. They had a blast running all around the yard and back and forth through the sprinkler-ring thingy that we have. They also had fun in the sand box and our little splash pool. The baby really enjoyed the splash pool too and he was very fun to watch.

Tomorrow we are all going to my brother's farm. The boys and I were going anyway to give my niece a ride home so we invited our friends to join us so they could see the baby lamb and puppies and take a tractor ride. Hopefully it will be a beautiful day.

Another friend of mine (with the twin girls) found a great neighborhood pool really close to our house. She and I went to take a look at it on Saturday and it is very nice. The membership fee for the summer is very reasonable. There are two slides and a diving board and they have a separate kiddie pool nearby that is fenced in and they have a snack bar with very reasonable prices. So we are looking forward to having a neighborhood pool to go to. Yay! I had been hoping for something like this. The boys are going to really enjoy it.

When we left the pool, we went to the library and I checked out several books on tape for kids. They are a bit too old for my kids right now but I wanted to take a look at some of them. I am finding that there are many many kids classic books that I have not read before and so I am looking forward to reading them with my kids when they are old enough. I have decided not to listen to these books on tape just yet so that I will enjoy them more when the boys and I listen to them in the future. When my friend and I left the library, it was storming very badly and we both got drenched. It moved through pretty quickly though, thankfully.

Today started off with some pretty awesome thunderstorms though. We held our breath on the way to church, hoping and praying that God would protect our car from the hail that was predicted for our area (He did:). When we came out of church, there were branches, leaves and other debris all over the sidewalks and streets from the high winds. We had heard reports of 50 to 60 mile an hour winds and baseball size hail had been reported in an area that could be around our house so we were not quite sure what we would find when we arrived home. Turns out everything was fine. My flowers (mostly daylilies), which look wonderful this year:), are all still in tact, which means we did not have the big hail at our house. We did have lots of leaves and branches down in our front yard but that was pretty much it.

This has sure been a bad year for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. When we got home today, my husband was investigating the various options for storm shelters that can be put in a garage. We may be buying one soon. I'm thinking it is not such a bad idea.