T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Monday, June 29, 2009


Poor T Rex, what a week he's had. Last week he transitioned to a big kid bed and was weaned. Then, late last week he developed this horrible skin reaction. Initially I thought it was either chicken pox or shingles. There are more lesions on his buttocks and the back of his leg. It is localized only on the sacral area (small of the back) and the right leg. Hence my shingles theory.

However, his pediatrician feels it's either a virus or allergic reaction. Aunt Shelley, our family medical expert, seemed to agree with the virus theory. Looks horrible, huh? The pustules erupt and fluid comes out, a lot like chicken pox, and then they scab over. The area appear very sensitive and itchy.

We've been having him do oatmeal baths and giving Benadryl for the itching (in addition to Zyrtec which he takes for allergies) and Motrin for the swelling. He's been doing good on potty training but I've been paranoid of accidents soaking his underpants so he's only been in diapers. I purchased some chlorine-free diapers to help since the area is so sensitive.

The past few days he's been miserable. Last night he only slept 6 hours and today he only napped 45 minutes. He woke up from his nap screaming. He laid in his bed and just screamed for 45 minutes - totally inconsolable. There was a knock at the door and I was sure it was the police responding to a call from a neighbor about a non-stop crying baby. Finally he closed his eyes for 5 minutes and woke up grumpy but asking for a snack. How could I deny that sad, tearful face? And it was not the police at the door but someone wanting to spray my lawn. Whew!

Needless to say, not much studying done during that nap! However, Baby Einstein to the rescue! He watched for 1 hour (I won't allow more - we'll see how desperate I get) while I posted my assignment. At least now I'm caught up! And it totally distracted T Rex from his desire to itch non-stop.

Well, I better go. Remember, I mentioned he's learning to talk? Well, he has declared he wants "apple sauce". Send me positive thoughts for his speedy recovery from this harmless yet bothersome virus. And I'll be thanking Baby Einstein upon graduation!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Growing Up All Too Fast...

Last week I was breastfeeding my little guy and putting him into his cozy crib after a soft lullaby.

This week he is falling asleep, minus his milk, in his big kid bed.

It just all happened too fast!

Next week, college plans...

Advanced Toddlerhood

School started so I've been busy studying every free moment I've had. Although, recently I have not had many free moments. This past weekend T Rex crossed into advanced toddlerhood.

He can climb out of or onto anything! Including his crib and port-a-crib. Anything. He even managed to climb onto the top of the piano minus the piano stool.

With his new found skills I was paranoid that we would harm himself so I took the side of the crib off. I've put up a temporary barrier to prevent him from rolling out of the bed. We're hoping to pick up a twin mattress this weekend.

The first night we tried the new crib set up he would not stay in bed. We started at 8:00 pm and finally after three and a half hours of trying I threw in the towel and put him in bed with us until he fell asleep and then I transferred him to the port-a-crib stationed by our bed.

Last night was also the first night he slept in his crib minus the side but with the safety bar. He can get in and out at will but he did stay in it all night and slept until 6:30 this morning. I hardly slept last night thinking that he might be wandering the house. I think between T Rex Dad and myself we checked on him at least every hour.

And as if that is not all. I went ahead and finished weaning T Rex this past week. When I was not able to keep any food or fluids down while I was sick there was little left for producing milk. Hence, a speedy weaning. I'm kind of sad for both of us but I think almost 19 months was a pretty good run - six of which was exclusive breastfeeding.

Lastly, T Rex has never been much of a talker. Well, like I said, he crossed into advanced toddlerhood. He went from about 7 words to around 50. We have to watch everything we say because he is starting to mimic back to us (hint, hint Uncle Rich).

His favorite word right now is "duck". Anything with a beak and wings is a "duck". His little voice just melts me - especially when he whispers - so sweet!
Or when I ask if he's hungry and he says "yes". I just love it!

I better sign off - I think I hear little T Rex footsteps headed out of his bedroom which means he's awake and ready to play! Luckily for me, Grandma and Grandpa are coming over to play so I can catch up on studying!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to T Rex Dad...

T Rex left a little Father's Day dedication on his blog.

Commencement Speech - Fun and Games with Jenners

I'm running behind on postings. However, I am doing a little catch up. This is being hosted by Jenners over at "Life With A Little One and More". The game this time, to write a commencement speech.

I've actually given two commencement speeches in my life. One in high school and one in college. I tried so hard to be inspiring in high school but seriously, when you're graduating from high school how closely are you listening to those speeches? Does anyone even remember what the speech was about? Probably not. I did better for college. But what would I have said at kindergarten graduation?

Hello Fellow Graduates and Parents...

First, I'm so nervous I'm trying not to pee my pants.

Okay, don't forget to share but make sure when you share the other person shares back.

Label ALL your things - always.

Don't play with fire - it usually ends badly.

Insurance is a good thing.

Naps are good at all stages of life.

Don't do drugs.

TV and video games in moderation.

Put down the telephone.

Be flexible.

Congratulations and Good Luck!

Be sure to visit Jenners for other speeches and games!

June Giveaway Going On Now!!!
Rules: one comment per posting per blog (
T Rex Mom and Dad Tales or T Rex Tales). Entries will be doubled for followers. Giveaway runs all month and winner will be announced beginning of July.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Madre Visit

We called in the "big guns" - I'm still not feeling well and T Rex Dad is needed at work so my mom who we lovingly refer to as "Madre" will be staying for a few days to help with T Rex.

As you can see from the photos, he is loving having her!

T Rex and Madre in the tepee.

It's no wonder he cannot get enough of his "Nan" - she's standing inside one the tubes to the tepee - T Rex thought she was so funny doing this!

June Giveaway Going On Now!!!
Rules: one comment per posting per blog (
T Rex Mom and Dad Tales or T Rex Tales). Entries will be doubled for followers. Giveaway runs all month and winner will be announced beginning of July.

Monday, June 15, 2009

T Rex Toilet Training 4-1-1

First, I do this post not because I am an expert but because I've had a couple requests for more information on how I've been toilet training T-Rex.

Background - why did I choose to train early? First, I had the time. Secondly, I really do NOT like changing poopy diapers. T Rex Dad usually does those. And I hate contributing to the landfills (I did not cloth diaper T Rex - next child I probably will). Plus, all three of us (my sister, brother, and myself) were toilet trained by 14 months. (Yes, I had the super mom! She says that she also hated changing diapers, too!)

Books I've used: "The No-Cry Potty Training Solution" - this is where much of my information comes from. Initially I was inspired by the Baby Whisperer's book on problem solving.

The Baby Whisperer actually recommends early training versus later training because when kids are little they are much more compliant and receptive to praise. She recommends starting around age 9 months. I found that to be a little early to actually start sitting on the potty though.

Why start early? Well, according to the Baby Whisperer you don't give a child a spoon only after he's learned to feed himself. Rather you give him the spoon and he learns to use it gradually. At first there are lots of messes but eventually he learns. Remember when your little one was just starting to walk, you did not just decide to one day teach him to walk? No it took several weeks or months of prep work to build those muscles and coordinate that balance. Potty training is a lot like that.

According to the "No Cry" book, potty training takes on average about 3 to 12 months. Thus, I decided to start T Rex when he was 14 months with the goal of being done in 12 months. I think is this totally reasonable.

Both books refer to readiness clues:
- Obvious one - if they tell you they are wet or messy
- When child has bowel moment, it is obvious to you (i.e. goes off in a corner)
- BMs are predictable
- Child can follow simple requests (i.e. put the toy in the box)
- Helps when dressing himself
- Listens when reading books
- Likes to imitate others
- Interested when someone is using the toilet
- Consistently stays dry for 2+ hours at a time
- Can communicate needs
- Parental feelings toward changing diapers
- Parental readiness for potty training - do you have the time to commit?
- Child's level of independence
- Family stress level - do you have any life changing events coming up in 3 months?
These are just readiness clues - one should not expect the child to be able to do all of these.

Around age 12 months we started having T Rex follow us into the restroom and simply observe what we were doing. Then we started having him flush. He could have his own square of toilet paper to look at while we did our thing. This was an excellent introduction to being in the bathroom and not being afraid.

We also started reading "potty" books together - these are still some of our favorites, especially the Karen Katz one.

Generally kids do not have night time control until they are 2 years old so we are deferring even trying that until T Rex is no longer in a crib - pointless if he cannot get out of bed to go GP, right?

When T Rex was 14 months I was no longer working and had plenty of time to devote to PT. I purchased a free standing potty chair and just started having him sit - fully clothed - on it. We did this for 1-2 weeks also taking inventory of when he did "his business". Thus, we could know the predictable times when he would likely leave a deposit in the potty.

Then we moved onto sitting on the potty minus his diaper for a minute at a time. Yes, I set a timer up in the bathroom. We would read or sing songs. In fact, it started to be a time he looked forward to because he would get to choose the book or activity before hand and had our complete and undivided attention.

Activity bin for use ONLY while going GP.

Training pants: At 14 months I also started putting him in training pants to know the difference between dry and wet. Disposable diapers are way too absorbent these days. We tried pull-ups but he could not tell he was wet; they were too much like diapers. Pull-ups are great for outings.We use waterproof training pants by T L Care. I purchased a pack of six on eBay. I've also tried the Gerber training pants. These work best when you really have a grasp on things and are less likely to have accidents. You could put a vinyl cover over the Gerbers but I find that's a lot to take off in a hurry.

Left: outside, right: inside - these are our favorite training pants.

Appropriate clothing: Make life easy for both of you and avoid body suits or coveralls. We generally put T Rex in elastic waist pants and a T shirt. If he needs an undershirt I have T-shirts for that, rather than onesies. In the beginning I even turned a few onesies into T-shirts. Leg warmers work great because they don't have to come off. However, I do not put the "guard" up on the potty because T Rex has bumped himself too many times. Thus, we take his pants completely off to avoid them getting wet. Eventually I will teach him to point his unit down but for the time being we are having him simply keep his legs together.

Potty seats and chairs: We purchased the simplest potty chair off Amazon. It is plain white and the seat can be removed and put onto the toilet. I did not want anything that would be confused as a toy (i.e. played music, etc.).

The books all say you should never have them sit for more than 3-5 minutes at a time. I was doing this but T Rex would never go. I found that it takes him about 7-10 minutes of sitting to actually relax enough to GP ("go potty") #1 or #2 or both. Now we set the timer for 10 minutes. I actually don't like for him to sit longer than that - he does get bored - unless he is going #2. Sometime a BM can take a while.

The goal for us has been to get to the toilet when he needs to go, get him to relax, and then have him make a deposit. After which, we do the "potty dance" - i.e. jumping up and down, clapping, and saying "yeah" over and over. We've found that no reward works better than this. Since T Rex does not like candy, and toys were just not clicking as a reward, we went to "the dance".

Here is our GP schedule:
- First thing in the morning
- 9:00 am
- 11:00 am
- After nap
- 5:00 pm
- 6:30 pm
- 7:30 pm if did not go at 6:30
** and any time in between when he shows that me might need to go

Right now he just kind of sticks to the schedule. Hence I categorize this more as "toilet training" rather than "potty training". When he no longer needs the schedule and can tell me when he needs to go, that is "potty training". Now, I can usually predict better than he can tell. But, there are times when he does grab my hand and walk me to the bathroom. So it is transitioning.

When I take him to the toilet I tell him we're going to "GP". That is our terminology. Sometimes he will say "GP" if he needs to go. Recently, he's just been going into the bathroom and setting up his seat. We have moved onto a removable seat that rests on the toilet (I was tired of scrubbing the bin to the little potty chair every time he went).

Toilet with removable seat on it - ready for T Rex use. To the right are the flushable wipes and his stool, pardon the pun, to climb on and off the toilet.

I also like the removable seat because it transports easily. So if we are going for a playdate, the seat fits in his bag. I also pack some flushable wipes and a book for entertainment on the go.

I would say T Rex is about 75% there - consistently. We have days that are 100% and some days where we are 30% but mostly about 75%. If he is particularly enthralled by something he will happily wet his pants just to continue whatever activity that has him so enamored.

It can be a fairly tedious at times as well as exhausting but I've found when we achieve success it just helps to push us to keep going.

Remember this is training for both of parent and child, not just the little one!

(If you've had success with your little ones, please feel free to leave any comment you feel might be helpful for those, like myself, who are working on training.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Quick Update

I'm alive - I've just been under the weather the past few days, thus, I haven't felt up to posting. I promise I will be back soon. I actually am working on a potty training post. I just need to load some photos but they are not on my tiny laptop that I'm using in bed.

Yep - I did not even get out of bed today. T Rex Dad took the day off work to watch T Rex and handle the rest of the daily chores.

Well, I'm back to a "Friends" marathon and more rest and relaxation.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thought for Today...

I've been trying to get T Rex to drink something other than water and breastmilk. Someday he will be weaned and with water as his only preferred drink, I worry about nutrition. I welcome any thoughts you might have on suggestions for the kid who won't drink: apple juice or any variation which includes apple juice, orange juice, grape juice, pear juice, carrot juice, cow's milk, goat's milk, or yogurt smoothies. He'll take a couple sips and hand the cup back to me.

I even tried getting some juice boxes. Nope. No go. I finally thought maybe he might take a juice pouch. He loves apple sauce pouches. Again no go.

Today when I was drinking one of the juice pouches (yes, I'll be drinking them to avoid wasting them), I noticed a quote:

"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." ~ Oscar Wilde

I guess there's my answer!

June Giveaway Going On Now!!!
Rules: one comment per posting per blog (
T Rex Mom and Dad Tales or T Rex Tales). Entries will be doubled for followers. Giveaway runs all month and winner will be announced beginning of July.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute - T Rex Dad

We celebrated our wedding anniversary yesterday - eight wonderful years!!!

I cannot believe how quickly time passes when you're blissfully in love. So this week's tribute is for T Rex Dad. He really is the most wonderful person I know. When he and I first started to hang out he would talk about the future and what kind of life he wanted and the kind of woman he wanted to marry. I just remember saying silent prayers, "Please let it be me."

Indeed, all those prayers were answered. It's been wonderful. There have definitely been rough times but we just hang on and ride out the storm together. He is my best friend. One thing I always say is that he and I could talk non-stop the rest of our lives and we would never run out of things to talk about. We do have great conversations.

He is a wonderful husband and an amazing dad. He loves his "little guy" so much helping constantly with him. I have posted about this "man of my dreams" so I will try not to repeat myself. Rather I just want to pay tribute.

Since we already celebrated our anniversary this past weekend with a dinner outing minus a T Rex, we had another small celebration last night for the actual day. We snuggled and watched one of our favorite movies together - Charade. T Rex Dad totally reminds me of Cary Grant in this movie. And I can be as complicated as Audrey Hepburn in this sequence (and I can eat as much too). Poor guy, see what he has to deal with everyday?!?

Watch the video, you'll see what I mean. They just don't make movies like this anymore.

Happy Anniversary, My Darling...

For more Tuesday's Tributes visit:

Tuesday's Tribute

Monday, June 8, 2009

School Preparations

I'm starting nurse practitioner school in 2 weeks. I'm a little scared but mostly excited. After getting accepted there was a list of things I had to get done. And get done quickly. This is what I've been doing the past couple weeks - T Rex in tow. So, of course, it takes at least twice as long.

Update immunizations: Tdap booster - evidently the CDC recommends all adults get one at least every 10 years. Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) - with the tetanus component it does pack a punch. My arm was sore for 3 days. I was current on all others - that's pretty good actually. Are you current on yours?

Vaccine titers: for the immunizations I am current on I had to get blood titers drawn - three vials of blood later I show very good immunities, especially to varicella (chicken pox). No surprise I had quite the case of chicken pox as a kid.

TB Skin Test: no big deal except when I went back to the clinic to have it read T Rex and I waited in the lobby for 45 minutes before the MA took me back to look at it and declare me negative (which I could have told them) - reading it took a whopping 30 seconds. Let's just say my little toddler was well acquainted with every square inch of that place!

Criminal background check: we went to three separate police departments before finding the correct one that would do my finger prints and submit the paperwork to the university. T Rex was very interested in the fingerprinting machine. Now they scan your fingers and a laser printer puts the prints onto a paper. It was actually pretty cool to watch. It took a whole container of puffs for T Rex to sit through that! Good thing they are calcium fortified!

CPR certification: yes, I let mine lapse so I had to spend this past Saturday morning (minus a T Rex but also not feeling well) doing multiple sets of five. That's 2 minutes a set but it really is hard work - harder than riding the elliptical! Not exactly what I wanted to do with my free time this weekend but it had to get done. Next time I can test out should I chose to.

Renew RN licence: this was the easiest part - just mail in a check. T Rex put on the stamp and put it in the mailbox.

Now I can take a little break before online class starts in a couple weeks. I know many folks think I am a little crazy to do grad school with such a young child at home but I am only going part time and not working. When I was in nursing school I worked part-time, finished my psychology degree, and danced four days a week - I was also on a bowling league - seriously, what was I thinking?!? This should hopefully be easier than that was!

It will take three years but it will be worth it. I probably won't be able to post as often but I will keep you updated and I will also try to keep the giveaways going too!

Friday, June 5, 2009


Do you ever have things that just seem to walk off on their own? Or you remember putting something one place and when you go to retrieve said item, it's not there. Well, around here we say the gremlins took it.

We've decided we finally caught one of those gremlins...

Looks like we know why the T Rex Dad's shoes are always missing partners!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wordful Wednesday - New Barn Residents

It's spring time at the barn and that means it's baby horse time!

As luck would have it this year, all three babies are brown and white paints. Thus, it looks like the photos are of the same foal but actually they are all different. One of the mares did not make it so her baby has been hand fed since birth - she's pretty sweet.

So here you have it - the new barn residents...

Here's BlackBerry, my horse, looking on and hoping another carrot will make its way over to her. She might be used next year as a surrogate mare - meaning she would carry a foal for another mare. She's already been a mom once and she is always interested in the babies at the barn. If you or anyone you know has ever done horse surrogates, please let me know. We are in the research stage.

Happy Wordful Wednesday!!!

For more Wordful Wednesday fun visit Angie's Circus.

June Giveaway Going On Now!!!
Rules: one comment per posting per blog (
T Rex Mom and Dad Tales or T Rex Tales). Entries will be doubled for followers. Giveaway runs all month and winner will be announced beginning of July.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday's Tribute

My last couple tributes have been a little serious so I've decided to take a little break and pay tribute to something I really do love and enjoy - sewing. My sewing machine has been so good to me. Recently, it was feeling a little ill and having some tension problems. However, it is totally back on track and in good working order - it was sorely missed.

I really do love sewing. It is a recent hobby I took up. I never took a home economics class and my mom never taught me to sew. I just decided to purchase a machine and learn how. The rest is history.

Hence, my giveaways. It is my way of expanding my sewing horizons by trying new projects and having someone to share those projects with.

So, what about this month's giveaway???

This past weekend we were invited to a birthday gathering for our neighbor's one-year-old daughter. Keeping with my resolution that all gifts this year be homemade, I whipped up a quick pair of capri pants and with the remaining material made a little toddler backpack. I did not have a pattern for the backpack so I was doing it freehand and hoping for the best. I must say, I am pleasantly surprised by how it turned out. T Rex tried it on and LOVED it - he looked so cute in it, despite the girlish material.

T Rex walking across the street to the birthday party "carrying" the gift, aka toddler backpack.

A pack of this design will go to the winner of this month's giveaway. Rules: one comment per posting per blog (T Rex Mom and Dad Tales or T Rex Tales). Entries will be doubled for followers. Giveaway runs all month and winner will be announced beginning of July.

Close up of toddler backpack. I can make it larger for an older child as well. And I can probably make it even larger for an adult. I also have a variety of materials to choose from.

Here are the matching capri pants I made in which I wrapped with the backpack.

You can see T Rex's little hand "helping" with the photo.

Good luck and keep those comments coming...

For more Tuesday's Tributes, visit:

Tuesday's Tribute

Monday, June 1, 2009

May Giveaway Winner...

First, the winner of May's giveaway...

Jed Wheeler Family (aka my niece in Nevada)

I just have to share a funny story about my niece - one of the sweetest people I know.

There is only a three year age difference between us. For a short time, she and I used to attend the same pre-school where my mom was the director. At that time, I was a diabetic and on a very strict diet. I would do anything for sugary snacks. I actually turned her into my conspirator - when they would have graham cracker snack time in their class room I would have her grab me some and slide them under the door. I know, horrible huh? She was such a dear to accommodate.

Now she all grown up and has two lovely children of her own.

Congrats, Joshlyn - you are the winner of a lovely cherry apron. I will get it in the mail this week!

Stay tuned for more information on this month's giveaway...