T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, To Our Little Guy...

It only took 42 week, 1 day of gestation and 57 hours of labor to get you here, but we are so glad you joined our family and blessed us with more happiness than words can express.

You're turning into a little kid, no longer the toddler. You are a handsome young man and just the best big brother. And in general, just a wonderful kid.

Yes, you've had your toddler moments, but all kids do. It keeps us on our to toes. And the asthma, peanut allergy, and stabismus just keeps us really on our toes but also grateful for modern medicine and grateful that you are as patient and adaptive as you are.

We were impressed when at 10 months, 2 days you started walking, then just shy of age 2 you knew all your numbers and letters. And then, just shy of age 3 you started to read on your own and speak Spanish better than all of us. (It must be all that fish oil Mom took while she was pregnant and all that breast milk you had, or the extra 2 weeks you baked!). Parents have to brag a little!

Now, if you could just expand your variety of foods, we'd be so happy but we're not asking for perfection and we're just glad that you are you!

So today we say, thank you for blessing our lives. Thank you for being you...

Mom & Dad

Thanksgiving and Birthday Celebrations...

We emphasize celebrations because although they were held on the same day at the same place, they were definitely separated. We went over to my sister's house. Before we left, T Rex helped me make the pumpkin pies. We used the pumpkins we picked at the pumpkin patch back in October. Made two perfect pumpkin pies and a TON of cream cheese pumpkin bars.

Here was our menu:

- Organic free range turkey - best turkey we've ever had!
- Sweet potatoes/yams with melted marshmallows
- Traditional stuffing with and without pine nuts
- Pomegranate salad
- J-E-L-L-O layer salad
-Potato rolls
- Beef tamales
- Cranberry sauce with pomegranates
- Gravy

This will be the year that we will always remember that we forgot the mashed potatoes. Oh well, less carbs and we actually felt better for it. But T Rex thought it was hysterical and kept saying, "We forgot the mashed 'tatoes..."

This was our place setting...

All the food was so delicious, T Rex Princess kept clapping throughout the meal - especially for more sweet potatoes/yams with melted marshmallows! Actually, the clapping is her way of saying "more". 

After a sufficient time for food settling, we moved onto T Rex's birthday celebration. This was the birthday table set up for celebrating...

This was the "cake with eyes" requested by T Rex - thank you Auntie JAZ for making this for him and for all your hard work on his birthday preparations.

Happy Birthday Song...

Present opening...

Even Bebe Sister enjoyed present opening...

Later we played some other games like TURKEY Bingo and various word scrambles as well as a turkey toss and a turkey hunt. All very fun. The kids had so much fun. In fact, they slept until almost 8:00 this morning!

We hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Four Questions...

Thanks, Septembermom, for this fun tag. Answer the four questions you were given and then ask four new questions before you pass it along. Seems simple enough.

Actually, this is just me stalling the inevitable - I should be studying for my big upcoming health assessment final or alternatively compiling my final rural health nursing project, but instead, I need a little pick me up. So, here goes...

1. What is your favorite toy from childhood? My collection of "My Little Ponies" - I was obsessed with them for the longest time and I actually still have a large group of them displayed on a high shelf in our daughter's bedroom. Someday, she will get to play with them. But not just yet - she needs to get past the everything in your mouth or banging it on the floor stage. I used to get down right giddy waking up on a Saturday morning and knowing I had the entire day to hold horse shows and dance parties. I never got that "Pony Paradise" but I still had the best time.

2. Do you have one of those embarrassing candid camera moments as a child? I feel like my entire childhood was one embarrassing candid camera moment. Come to think of it, I think I have those on a daily basis. I have horrible foot in mouth disease. I struggle with speaking with my "outside of the brain" voice when really it is supposed to be my "inside the brain" voice speaking.

3. Do you like dancing those silly songs (Chicken Dance, etc.) at weddings? I did this on a regular basis as a cheerleader in high school. I have to say, it was pretty darn fun at the time. And in the privacy of my home with only T Rex Dad and the kids around, I can be pretty silly. I will pretty much dance any kind of jig if it makes my kids laugh. But I'm a pretty reserved person so I struggle with me doing these kinds of things.

4. What is your favorite food to cook? Spaghetti. It's also my favorite meal to eat! When it comes to good spaghetti, I have two hollow legs!

Tag: Caitlin, JKMommy, JedWheeler Family, and Nina

I'm picking four mom-related questions since I know all of you are parents to a small child or small children. Here are your questions...

1. What is one of your most embarrassing mom-moments? For me, I once went to work with spit-up on my shoulder and that liquid breastmilk poop on my shirt and I had no clue until I came home to change into more comfortable clothing and looked in the mirror. These were the days when I used to wear a suit to work and meet with customers all day. The sad thing, no one said anything to me. I can only imagine how many people saw this and said nothing. I cringe every time I think of this.

2. What is the weirdest advice anyone has ever given you regarding parenting or regarding your child? What was your response? My son has asthma and is deathly allergic to peanuts. My dad, who offers advice very freely and all too often, told me the best way to "cure" my son's ailments was to expose him to those items more frequently and thus desensitize him. While this works under very controlled conditions for allergies to dogs, cats, or pollen, it does NOT work for food allergies. I just thanked my dad for his advice and I would mention this to his pediatric allergy specialist before revisiting anaphylaxis. 

3. While you were pregnant, did you ever have the random stranger stop and tell you the most intimate details of the birth of her child? How did this make you feel and did you say anything in response? This happened to me all the time. It was like I wore a sign that said, "Please, share your birth story and don't leave out any tiniest detail." These stories would get quite unnerving when I was pregnant the first time and did not know what to expect. Round two - I just knodded and said, "As long as it's not 57 hours of labor like the last time, I'll be just fine. Thanks for sharing."

4. What do you do to maintain your sanity when you've had a long day and/or night with the kids? Ice cream goes a long way to sooth my nerves. Then a ride on the elliptical during nap time because I ate that ice cream!But also blogging with good friends and a nice chat with T Rex Dad help a lot, too. However, I do need a break away every once in a while or I really do go a little crazy. I think every mom needs some alone time.

Please join in and answer any of the above questions either the mom-related ones or the one's from September mom. I'd love to hear your experiences.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

'Tis the Season...

For Birthdays...

Yes, we are starting the birthday circuit around here. T Rex will have his shortly, followed by T Rex Dad, and then myself. Luckily, Bebe Sister is not until January but it's far enough from the holidays that I think she's set.

December birthdays...when I have friends who tell me they are expecting a child during the month of December I instantly offer advice. I am not one to just give advice unless solicited. However, this is the one exception. I am an expert at having a December birthday.

So, my advice when shopping for those with December birthdays...

1. Never wrap birthday gifts in Christmas paper. Use paper bags, comic, or tin foil if you're out of birthday paper, but NEVER showmen, Christmas tree, Santas, etc.

2. Never tell them to "just pick one out from under the Christmas tree".

3. Don't combine gifts (unless specifically asked to do so) as birthday/Christmas gifts.

4. Never decline to purchase a birthday ice cream cake or hold a birthday at the park just because it's December and cold outside.

5. Don't get a Christmas decorated cake as a birthday cake. I cannot tell you how many poinsettia cakes I've had.

6. Refrain as much as possible from getting birthday gifts that can be used during the holiday season. I have a closet full of Christmas socks and Christmas turtle necks. I can pretty much wear a different Christmas themed outfit during the month of December. I wish I could wear them the rest of the year - oh what a wardrobe I'd have!

7. NEVER under any circumstances give a Christmas ornament as a gift. And a Christmas card that has "Happy Birthday" added to it - MAJOR taboo!

8. If possible, it's really nice to wait to put up the Christmas tree and all the decorations until after the birthday has passed. Unless that's what the person requests to do so. The year T Rex was born, I asked my friends and family to help us put up our tree because we were not getting any rest and we could not put him down long enough to even hang a stocking.

9. No Christmas carols at the birthday party and especially not in place of the Happy Birthday song.

10. Red and green decorations are still considered Christmas decorations even if a "Happy Birthday" banner is hanging along side them! Same goes for plates and napkins. 

With all this being said, and in jest - mostly, I am always touched when someone does remember my birthday - even if it is a pair of Christmas earrings wrapped in Santa wrapping paper pulled out from the bottom of the Christmas tree.

Hence, we've decided to decorate the house for birthday season. We'll leave the decorations up until we've celebrated our birthdays and then we can take them down and move into Christmas. And if you're one of those people that has to put up you decorations as soon as Thanksgiving is past (or sooner) then consider this. Having these decorations up does not actually impinge on Christmas because after all, Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Plus, it's just a lot of fun for the kids to decorate!

When do you usually put up your Christmas decorations? Alternatively, if you have a December birthday, is there anything you can add to the list or can you share a December birthday memory?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


The other day, T Rex and I were looking for a lost toy in the playroom. We left Bebe Sister in the living room surrounded by her toys. She seemed happy enough to be playing and did not mind our absence.

About 1 minute into our search, we heard someone playing the piano. It was not melodic by any means but there was a definite rhythm to the notes being played. We both decided to inspect. This is what we saw...

Not quite
10 months old, on her tip toes, playing the piano!

Then T Rex decided to join in. So here they are debuting in their very first duet...

Next stop...
Mozart's piano concerto No. 10 in E flat major for two pianos!!! (Mozart wrote this for he and his sister to play together.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Taking a Minute to Admire My Work...

So cute...

So soft...

Warm and cuddly, too...

Homemade by me with a little help from T Rex Dad...
And the pants qualify for this description, too!

Yes, this is me taking a moment to admire my work. Proud this mama is - proud, grateful, and humbled by the blessing it is that I can say these things.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ten Years...

To my Huckleberry Friend and Lover...

Where ever you're going, I'm going your way

Two drifters off to see the world

It's such a lot of world to see. We're after the same rainbow's end

Waiting 'round the bend...

Thank you for asking me to marry you 10 years ago on this exact weekend in this exact spot. You've given me the happiest life ever...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Walk on the Oregon Trail...

On a beautiful fall day... This is what you do when you live along the Oregon Trail...

Walk some more...this time tugging the dog along.
Then ask to be carried because you feel tired.

But no melt downs. And no melt downs on a walk when you're almost 3 years old...that's what we call a perfect walk!

Do you have a favorite walking spot???

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lost Play Dough Privileges...

All morning, T Rex kept asking to do play dough. Not just asking once or twice, but over and over and over - repeating himself endlessly. If you've ever been around a child of his age, I'm sure you can relate.

And my response was always the same, "When Bebe Sister takes her nap, we can do play dough." But he just kept asking and asking. So I thought I could at least get him started with the play dough while I finished up morning chores in relative quiet without the endless repetition.

First, I had to interject play dough time because T Rex thought it great fun to feed it to Bebe Sister. Then T Rex decided to use his elbow to mash the play dough. Unfortunately, it was stuck to his shirt sleeve which my very fastidious son would not tolerate. So I had to take the shirt off and get another one.

I left T Rex to put Bebe Sister in her crib and fetch a new shirt. Then the phone rang. It was T Rex Dad. We chatted while I was putting down the baby and grabbed the shirt. I left T Rex for 30-60 seconds. He seemed to be quite happily playing with his play dough.

Then I returned to T Rex, still on the phone with T Rex Dad. This is what I saw...

All that yellow stuff ground into the carpet is play dough. And the rest is the play dough accessories. T Rex is trying to get the ground in play dough out of his moccasins - he loves those.

I was speechless. T Rex Dad just kept asking "What's going on?" I really was speechless so I just grabbed the camera and took some photos and said, "I gotta go". Then T Rex looked at me and said, "Mommy has her grumpy eyes...T Rex big trouble...time out?" I didn't make him go to time out. But I did make him pick up every last piece of it (Maybe that was more punishment for me than him). And because he was so distressed about his moccasins, I did not pursue any other punishment except to say his play dough privileges were gone and our play time was over.

Fast forward to the afternoon. While we were driving in the car, T Rex just stated out of the blue, "Pick up Daddy. Tell him Mommy was grumpy with T Rex. I made a BIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGG mess. Lost play dough privileges." I just cracked up. And then just before dinner, we did some more play dough. And none of it touched the floor. Then when he saw his dad he told him all about it and we all laughed together.

So, what's the worst mess the little ones in your life have ever made? Or the worst mess you ever made as a kid?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What to Do with the Left Over Candy Corn...

Halloween has come and gone but the candy still lingers...

Well, at least in this house it still does. Particularly the candy corn. T Rex does not like candy - not for lack of offering on our part. And T Rex Dad and I are still going strong on our New Year's resolutions to get and stay healthy and fit. We're getting a bit concerned about the upcoming birthday and holiday season, though. We are really trying to resist temptation.

So what to do with the left over candy corn???

We dumped it all into a bin, filled the bin with some of T Rex's small toys, and while Bebe Sister was napping, we let him go excavating in the candy looking for his toys. He had to use a spoon as his tool only tool.
This occupied him for at least 30-45 minutes. In toddler time - that's like 3-4 hours. It was awesome! Now this doesn't work if your child likes candy corn. But if you happen to have one like we do who refuses, then put that candy to use and take a break while your little one has a great time.

What happened to your left over candy???

(P.S. Thank you to everyone who left a comment on my last posting on Elimination Communication - I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to have so many kind comments. I have the best followers. Thanks again!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Elimination Communication

I've had a few folks ask me about potty training. Yes, our almost three-year-old is potty trained. He knows when he has to eliminate and he tells us when he needs to do so. He does still require assistance using the facilities but for the most part, he is potty trained and wearing underwear except for night time when we do put him in a cloth diaper. In fact, he can wear the same diapers his tiny sister wears but that's a blog posting for another time!

I started potty training him when he was
14 months old and he was out of diapers by 18 months. However, retrospectively, I think it was more a matter of us being trained. We had him on a schedule of when to put him on the toilet and he would go. Rarely did he actually say he needed to go. Generally, we watched for signs that he needed to go or we would put him on the toilet in anticipation of him needing to go. At the time I did not realize that what we were doing was elimination communication.

This type of toilet training worked well for us. At the time of starting this I was home with our son so it was not difficult for me to take some time to watch his patterns and then take the extra time to put him on the toilet and sit with him during the day. There was never any stress or pressure. My intent was just to integrate time on the toilet into our routine and make it seem to our young son that it was a normal part of his day.

I know sometimes people thought it was wrong that I was putting such a small child on the toilet because after all, kids really don't get control over their bowel and bladder function until age 2 years. However, I was not asking that he have control. It was more a matter of us just watching and acting or preemptively acting. And there were not too few people who just thought I was a little odd or "pushing the issue." But let me tell you - training our son in this method was so much easier than if we would have waited until he was "ready" - 14 month old children are a whole lot less opinionated and fearful than 3 year olds. These are the folks that would probably really disapprove of me starting our daughter at age 4 months on the same method.

So, how did we begin with her at such a young age? It was easy because we already had the potty training gear on hand. I put the potty seat directly on the toilet and began sitting her on the seat. At first I started by just putting her on the toilet when her diaper was dry. I also started humming a simple tune to her to keep her occupied while we waited together. I'd have her sit for only a couple of minutes. Amazingly, she would actually go about 25% of the time.

Then I started adding in more trips to the bathroom during times when I thought she might need to go - after meals, before naps, immediately upon waking. This increased our success rate immensely. Still, I continued the same tune at each trip to the restroom. Additionally, at about the 7 month mark, she started understanding to relax her sphincter muscles when sitting on the seat. Thus, if she needed to go, she would. Sometimes she would urinate, sometimes defecate, sometimes both, or sometimes it was only the passing of gas. But I could see that she was understanding the procedure.
At times our tiny little girl will only use a few diapers a day and at other times we use 8 or 10 in a day. But generally, she will now go at least once per day in the toilet. Often I will go days without changing a poopy diaper. And let me tell you - I really like this. I do NOT like poopy diapers. Thus, there is a lot of motivation on my part to time things just right as often as possible.

T Rex Dad has been 100% on board with this since the beginning. My mom was pretty skeptical and thought it was kind of funny but she didn't say much. Mostly, she'd say, "You're going put that little girl on the toilet? Isn't she a bit too young?" And I'd just say, "Oh, Mom, you had all of us potty trained by age one." Then one day while she was watching, she heard our little daughter go pee. After that, she realized it was not distressful to our daughter - quite the contrary.
Aside from a few individuals, mostly family, I'm pretty certain every one else things I'm nuts. But, that's fine. I'm starting to get used to it. First, from potty training T Rex, then when I said I was going to be cloth diapering, and now when I excuse myself with our bare-bottomed daughter and ask for the restroom.

Oh, well. It's this girl smiling when we're putting away the diapers ahead of everyone else. Until then, we'll continue using our cloth diapers and enjoying seeing our sweet little girl smile during her potty break because her brother is doing the potty dance for her!

So have you ever tried elimination communication? What do you think of it?

Alternatively, have you ever been the person who did something outside the norm, and how did it make you feel?