Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Potty Time, Excellent

Potty over here. Potty over there. Wave your hands in the air. Shake your derriere.

I'm not going to say that Crash is 100% potty trained, because he is not. He is well on his way to being rid of those nasty diapers and pullups!! Potty training is a freaking science. You have to have all of the right elements in place in order for it to happen. Being that I work with 2 and 3 year olds, I know my poop. :o) I thought I would give a little advice to anyone who has a child they are trying to potty train.

1. No two children are the same. Shoot, I've even had twins that were potty trained several months a part. What works with one child, may not work with another. So do not get defeated.

2. You cannot force a child to go potty. They've reached the big second birthday and you are ready to be rid of the diapers. Guess, what? Just because you are ready, doesn't mean little Frankie is ready.

3. A child is not "potty trained" until they are able to tell you they need to go. Crash does not tell me he needs to potty. I still have to guess at when I think he may need to go and take him. He does go nearly all of the time.

4. In most cases, getting the child to go number 2 on the potty, takes longer than number1. Don't be discouraged. It's important to know your child's habits and patterns. For instance, when Crash needs to poop, he usually goes into the bathroom and shuts the door. Why he doesn't just climb on the potty, I'll never know. Most of the time, I'm able to catch him mid-push and let him finish on the potty so he gets the concept.

5. Consistency is one of the most important things with potty training. If you feel your child is ready to start working, you have to get them on a schedule and stick to it. It is annoying, no doubt, but it helps. I was taking Crash to the potty every 30-45 minutes. We did this for 2 weeks without any result. One day he just started going. Wahoo!!

6. Start getting your child interested in the potty at an early age. This may be some what controversial, but I truly think this works. Moms: take your little girls with you into the bathroom when you have to go. Dads: do the same with your boys. We started doing this with Crash at around 18 months. He was very mobile and steady at the time, very independent. We also started putting him on the potty. This is a very simple, easy way to get your child used to the whole bathroom routine.

7. If your child is afraid of the potty, they will not go in it. I've come across kids who are TERRIFIED of the potty. They refuse to sit on it. You cannot make this a traumatic experience. Fighting with them to sit on it will just cause delays in the long run. Don't drop it all together, but once a day at least attempt to take them to the potty. Eventually, they will stop the tantrums and give it a whirl.

8. Pull ups will not make your child go to the bathroom. I actually dislike pull ups a lot. Think about it: they are the same thing as a diaper. We didn't start using pull ups with Crash until he started going on the potty. They are easier for him to pull up and down on his own. I actually prefer the Luvs brand diapers. We used them because you are able to refasten them. I didn't have to get a new diaper every time I took Crash potty.

9. Watch for the signs. There's no magic age that says your child is ready to be potty trained. The two biggest signs I pick up on with most children is their bladder control and fussing when they are wet. When a child's bladder control becomes noticeably better, this is a good key they may be ready to start working on the potty. They aren't going in their diaper as frequently while they are awake and they are staying dry while they are sleeping. Crash has actually had very good bladder control for quite awhile, but until recently he didn't mind sitting in his pee. If a child cannot tolerate being in a wet diaper long, this is another good sign. Now, I'm not saying I left my kid in the same wet diaper all darn day. I'm talking about when he would come to me fussing about his diaper. I would check it, and it would still be warm. I know that he has obviously just gone and does not want to be wet one tiny bit.

10. Don't be afraid to use bribes. Cough. I mean rewards. I've used anything from from stickers, to jelly beans, to high fives. Make it fun for the child. You will see a positive result when you use a little bit of positive reinforcement.

I just thought I would share some of my tips that have worked very well for me. They may not be perfect, and they may not work for everyone.

It's a little sad reaching this mile stone. Crash is my last baby. It makes me a little teary knowing that he is growing up. We've gotten over two major hurdles the past few months. He's sleeping in his own bed and he's going on the big boy potty 99% of the time. :o( He'll be growing a beard and driving the car before I know it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day

If you live in the STL, then you know this father's day was brutally hot. I'm pretty sure you could fry an egg on the side walk. I ran out of eggs, other wise I would have tried. Father's day was also the day Grace got to sing the National Anthem with her choir. ON THE FIELD! How freaking cool is that??? We had to drop Grace off at school in the morning. We then headed up to get Tater from his friend's house. Finally, we were on our way to the city. We met A and A at Crown Plaza. We were able to score free parking. Sweet!!

After we met A and A, we began our trek to the stadium. It was pretty much miserable. I was carrying a back pack with 5 frozen bottles of water and 4 non-frozen, clothes, sunscreen etc. I also had my camera bag. Oh and not to mention, I was carrying Crash. I didn't have to carry him the whole time, thank goodness.

We decided to head over to Kiener Plaza to take a few photos.
Crash eyeing up the fountain.

The best shot I could manage since Crash didn't want to pay attention. He was afraid of being thrown into the water. Not to mention, the stone was VERY hot. Toasted buns!!

Tater standing on the waterfall. Crash was not going to stand next to him. If you click the photo, you can take note of his death grip on A.

The tickets we purchased through the school were not the best seats in the house. We were allowed to go down near the dugouts to take photos, which was nice. I snapped a couple of shots while A and I were down there.

The choir was scheduled to sing at 12: 50, so we had a couple of minutes to wait. In the sun. With no shade. It was hot.

The choir taking the field.

As they were taking the field, the Oakland A's starting pitcher, Trevor Cahill, came out to toss the ball around. Here is is on the right with the back up catcher for the team, Landon Powell. I was being such a dork and taking photos of EVERYTHING. I'm pretty sure the catcher saw me and acknowledged me. Me being super mature, I giggled like a school girl and waved back.

I found our section where are seats were. I was even able to see the family!! They didn't notice me though.

My mom is the one standing up. My hubby is sitting to the right. Think he was on the phone. He needed to divert his attention. He's deathly afraid of heights. Not good. Our seats were at the top of the stadium. Oops.

The choir was patiently waiting for the announcements and first pitches. If you click on the photos, I think you can see where I drew a circle around Grace. I took a ton of photos because I really didn't know where she was. I got lucky and found her when I was going over them.

Right before the choir was getting ready to sing, a grumpy old man in a seat behind us got a little snippy.
Grumpy old man- Could you move?
A-Oh we will. Our daughter is getting ready to sing the National Anthem and we'd really like to get some pictures.
Me- It's not like we are going to stand here the entire game. We will move.

Apparently he made another comment about smart asses. A wasn't sure who he was talking about, but it was probably me. :o)

The choir did an o.k. job. It definitely wasn't their best performance. They hadn't practiced in a month and you could tell. I told her the parts I thought they had flubbed on and she said I was right. Their teacher had said the same thing. Oh well. Still a neat experience. I will hopefully be loading up some sound files of their best performances. Not sure on how to do that exactly.

We had to make our way back to our seats when they were finished. I had another encounter with someone else.
Me- Excuse me. Sorry. ( I always say sorry when I say excuse me. Not really sure why. I didn't even touch the woman, but I still say it.)
Woman- I'm trying to make my way through as well. (She kinda had a snotty attitude.)
Me- No you weren't. You were standing in the way looking at your phone.

And then I walked on. :o) I guess people were really cranky because of the heat, and I was obviously in a fighting mood. I'm not usually one to respond, but I just couldn't help myself.

So we finally made it to the top of the world. Ya know, the seats were really high, but we were in the shade and there was a breeze. It didn't feel all that bad up there. I took just a few shots while we were up there.

We stayed until the 5th inning which is a lot longer than we figured we were going to stay. Crash had had enough. He's not one for just sitting around and even with all the grandparents there, he couldn't be satisfied.

All in all, it was a pretty darn good day even though it was hotter than snot.

Monday, June 21, 2010

No TV for Me

I'm trying to get a post together from father's day, but Blogger is being a PIA and will not let me upload photos. I decided I would talk a little more about not having cable or satellite.

We gave up the satellite a few months ago (3 I think). Everyone looks at us with horror when we tell them, "No, we do not have satellite." "Don't you have kids?" "What do you do?"

Easy. We spend time together. We do have Netflix and a decent collection of movies. If it is too hot or rainy, then we may watch a movie. The key is we do it together. We don't use the tv as something to keep the kids busy or distract them. Even when we allow them to watch, it is VERY limited. They are not allowed to watch until they finish all of their chores. Yep, they have chores too: dishes, trash, sort laundry, etc. Two of the chores include reading for at least one hour and they have to create something, whether it be a poem, a drawing. It doesn't matter. They have to make something.

Obviously, Crash isn't quite able to do many chores. I do flash cards with him to help with his vocabulary and what not.

We typically spend a lot of time at the park playing ball or in the yard playing around. We like to listen to the Cards games on the radio. We have play dates with friends and we have season passes to Six Flags. We recently discovered a park area where you can swim in the river. It's a pretty calm area too. They charge $3 per adult, but that's not bad at all. They have picnic tables and BBQ pits. You can make a whole day of it.

We listen to a TON of music. Generally we listen to Pandora or our own music on the PC. I'm not a fan of the radio. I think the music stinks and I don't want my kids hearing most of it any way. Not to mention, some of the ads are offensive too.

So you see, we really aren't abusing our kids. :o) I am extremely proud that we are able to say we have cut some of our wires. Makes me feel free. I truly feel this has made our family much closer. This has been by far one of the best summers in my entire life. It's all thanks to getting rid of the tv.

Menu Plan Monday June 21-27

Menu Plan Monday
Scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, and hash browns

Beef stroganoff and veggie

Bourbon Chicken with Chinese veggies and rice

Cobb Salad

Grilled Island Chicken, pasta side dish and veggie

Buffalo wing pizza and salads

BBQ Pork Steaks, potato salad and veggie

Monday, June 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday June 14-20

Menu Plan Monday
Chicken Bruschetta, rice and veggie

Pasta with red sauce and Italian style turkey sausage and veggie

Chicken Lo Mein with Chinese veggies

Taco Salad

Grilled Island Chicken

Chicken Alfredo Pizza with spinach and salad

Burgers, baked beans and veggie

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Presenting to you The ...'man Clan

I decided to change my bloggity blog up. I actually have another project in the works, and I wanted to give it a similar title to my other blog name. I decided The ....'man Clan was PERFECT. I first started using this phrase when I was signing Christmas labels to nieces and nephews. I was tired of writing out all five names of our family. I decided to write just our last names: The .....mans and the ....mans. It was quicker, but just seemed dull. Then I came up with a brizilliant idea: The 'man Clan!!

Let me give you a little bit more of an explanation and introduce all of the players

A long time ago and far away I married A. His last name is

Grace's first stay of school.

We have two children together: Grace and Tater.

Grace is 10.

Tater is 7.
Happily ever after wasn't in the cards for A and me. Well, not together any way. We divorced, but that didn't really mean the end. It was actually a beginning.
This is A's sister, A and her boyfriend A. We are still pretty close. I consider her daughter my niece and she thinks of Crash as her nephew.

A's parents are known in our clan as Little Grandma and Little Papa. Grace started calling her grandparents this years ago right before Tater was born. It's stuck ever since. We are very close to Little Grandma and Papa. They consider Crash their grandson as well.

These are my parents. They are lovingly referred to as Big Grandma and Big Papa.
I met D or Big D. He is definitely the love of my life. God saved him for me. He saved the best for last. There was a reason he waited to bring him into my life and I am glad He did. Big D's last name is

Big D and I have a son together, Crash.

A remarried also. His wife is A. (I know right, how many A's could be in one family?)
She has become one of my best friends. People think it's really weird that we are so close, but it just happened.

Here is Big D's step dad, B.
Here is is with his mom, S.
And here is his dad, D.
So, you see. The Brady bunch doesn't have anything on us. Lol. We are one big, happy, unique family. And that's the story of how we became The ....'man Clan. :o)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Menu Plan Monday June 7-13

Menu Plan Monday
French toast, eggs, hash browns

Spaghetti Casserole

Bourbon Chicken with Chinese veggies and rice

Tuna salad sandwiches and dinner salad

Grilled Island Chicken

Pork chops, buttered noodles and veggie

BBQ chicken on the grill, mac n cheese and veggie