Friday, August 29, 2008

Chomp Chomp

You can all give Zeke a hearty congratulations.

Today he cut his fourth tooth. It's the lower left, second from the center.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Scream

Yesterday I observed Zeke's best defense against too much brotherly love.

When Victor got too near to Zeke, Zeke let out a piercing shriek/scream.

That child has some great diaphragm support. Between the intense shreiks and the razzing, he'll be a great brass player.

And here's a bad story: Victor, to my horror, gargled his sacarament water on Sunday. It was horrible. I plugged his nose immediately so he'd have to swallow, but our friends who sit in front of us had a hard time keeping straight faces. And these are pious, mature people, mind you.

It was very embarassing.

Madame Speaker

I'm not a Nancy Pelosi fan, but I have got to say that she looked beautiful at the convention yesterday. That blue was gorgeous on her, and I think I've grown to covet those multi-colored pearls she wears so often.

I guess she's a role model after all.

A Bad Trip to Target

This morning was foggy and misty and damp. We skipped our usual outing to the playground and headed to Target.

"But didn't you go to Target yesterday?", you may ask.

Yes, we did. But we only spent $22.51. What kind of a trip to Target is that?

Plus, the kitchen rugs I bought weren't the right kind and didn't look right, and the eyeshadow I wanted wasn't there.

Today we went to the other Target near our house to see if we could find rugs and eyeshadow. We found some better rugs and we found the eyeshadow. So far, so good.

We found some diapers on sale and some stacking drawers that I sincerely hope will help tidy my closet floor.

But we had some problems.

One: the toddler/multi-child carts at this store are different from the kind at the other store. The other ones sit two toddlers next to each other and still let you buckle a baby into the cart seat. They are a little creaky to steer, you constantly kick the toddler part, and a toddler can kick the baby, but they work just fine.

These carts, however, buckle two toddlers facing (more or less) each other. They are much less creaky, but they drift when you walk. Those are mere cosmetic issues. The real defect is that you can't buckle the baby into the seat in the acutal cart. The leg holes are blocked and there is no belt.

So even if you put the baby in the cart seat (facing sideways), baby is free to pull up on the cart handle or seat, creating a real hazard and causing you to hold the baby as you push the drifting cart holding the toddler who keeps yelling, "Go this way. No! Go this way! No! This way! Not this way--this way!"

And then, when you finally get to the one checkout line that is open (and full of shoppers), the diapers ring up to cost $2.50 more than they were marked. And when you ask why, they send a person to look, which holds up the poor people behind you. And the clerk shouts your issue into the walkie-talkie and another clerk takes for-ev-er to figure out whether you bought Baby Dry Pampers or Huggies (I hate Huggies), and finally tell you that you bought the wrong size for the lower price.

No, I didn't. I bought the diapers that were labled with the lower price.

Arrrrrrrrrrrg. So I tell them to take the diapers off my order. And the lady behind me is sympathetic when I apologize because the same thing has happened to her at Target.

I always check my receipt at Target because this kind of thing frequently happens to me there. Once, I found $30 of errors in the store's favor, due mostly to mis-labled items.

Do you ever sing the "Ooo Ooo Ooo, I'm really, really mad" song from Barney? (It's the only Barney song I can stand.) I did today. Well, not out loud--just in my head. But when I took a few deep breaths, the mad still didn't go away. It relaxed some, though, and that's good enough.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Holy Cow Is It Raining!

It seems that Faye's residual precipitation has reached the Piedmont.

It is POURING outside. Yesterday we had medium to light rain all day. But it's been raining harder and harder all morning today.

Good points about rain:
--It helps the drought
--It waters the lawn
--The sound is pleasant
--Zeke takes longer naps

Bad points about rain:
--Jeremy may have to mow the lawn this weekend
--We can't go to the park
--Victor broke my umbrella, so if we go anywhere, I'm going to get wet
--Going anywhere is a major production
--We get a little nuts by the late afternoon
--It can make our satellite TV go out

I like the rain, but we'll see how I feel when it's still raining on Friday.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mr. Victor the Mailman

Victor started a new game.

He comes us to me with his hand out and says, "Brought some mail for you."

Then I take the (imaginary) mail and look through it saying, "Here's a bill. Here's a magazine. Here's a letter from grandma."

Then I open and read to him a piece or two of the mail.

It's a fun game.

Walking Backwards

When an ostrich wishes to avoid detection, so I'm told, it buries its head in the sand.

When Victor wishes to avoid detection, he walks backwards.

For example: Victor comes into the living room with some food in his hand. I tell him to take his food into the kitchen. He returns to the kitchen.

He then edges back into the living room, taking backwards baby steps.

I tell him to return to the kitchen. He pretends not to hear me. He seems to believe that he cannot, in fact, hear me as long as his back is turned.

We go through this routine whenever Victor knows that he is doing something naughty.


Of all the household tasks, I like laundry best. Sorting clothes? Easy. Putting them in the washer? No problem. Adding soap? Child's play. I even like folding clothes. They always look so neat and orderly when I'm done.

Ironing, however, has always left me cold. I'm not much of a feminist, but ironing invokes all of my visceral reactions to the injustice of things I don't even believe in, like the idea that doing a man's laundry is a form of submission.

But a few months ago, I decided to contribute to the family budget by ironing the shirts and pants that Jeremy wears to work. (Non-iron church shirts never really needed ironing because they looked good enough right out of the dryer to go under a suit jacket.)

(Jeremy's schedule leaves him with a limited number of hours at home. It's better that he play with the boys and mow the lawn during those hours.)

To make my task more palatable, I decided that I could watch TV while I ironed. Thank you, TNT, for Law & Order reruns!

I want to report that my ironing skill has gone from dismal to passable. Also, I find that ironing feeds my appetite for order. Since I've added the boys' super-wrinkly items (which were purchased by mistake) to my ironing pile, I have derived great satisfaction from seeing all of the plaid patterns lined up neatly with the seams.

And to top it all off, when Victor picked up his freshly-ironed shorts this morning he said, "Ooooo. Pretty."

And so I will continue to iron.

For now.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ward Split

We had a monster sacrament meeting today. Our ward and the ward to the west were invited, and the building was packed from the pulpit to the stage.

It led the Stake President to ask where on earth all of us were at the last stake conference.

The two wards were divided into three wards. The dividing line is a couple of miles from our house, and we lost about eleven families to the new ward. Jeremy lost his second counselor to our bishopbric, and I lost one of my VT ladies.

I won't say I lost my friends, because they are not lost. They're right there.

Our building will now house three wards. Our ward will meet at 11:00 AM (instead of 11:30), and the new ward will meet at 1:00 PM.

So the million dollar question--to me, not to anyone else in the ward, I am literally the only person who cares--is whether sunday school will now be held in the gym instead of in the chapel.

I believe that if sacrament meeting goes until 12:10 and the next ward needs the chapel at 1:00, then there is no way we can continue to have sunday school in the chapel.

And that makes me--the sunday school teacher--very happy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Men's What?

One fun thing about the Olympics is that I learn about sports I have never heard of.

For example, right now, I am watching a 0-0 match between the Netherlands and Germany of men's field hockey.

Men's what?

Since the only field hockey I have ever actually seen was in the Jodi Foster version of Freaky Friday, I assumed it was an exclusively female sport.

I am happy to know that men are also able to play competitive field hockey. The world seems a little more just.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My Holy Grail

At the grocery store tonight I found what I had only dreamed existed: Size 7 diapers.

Sure, they are Pampers Cruisers and are therefore more expensive. Sure, there aren't very many in a pack. And sure, I have never actually seen them before which makes me wonder where to get them in a pinch.

But they exist. They exist!

It's one less thing to worry about.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Geico . . .

Victor just said to me:

"Geico. 'Teen minutes, save car insurance."

Wow. That's some advertising slogan they have going.

We're Done

Potty Training Is Over

We will try again in three months.

Last Try

Today I started my Last Try with potty training: brownies.

Victor loooooooooves brownies. He calls them "cake."

He gets a bite of brownie for going in the potty. Two bites for #2.

This morning he wore a diaper while we made the brownies. After they were done I asked him if he needed to go potty.

He said no.

I said, "If you go to the potty, you get to have some cake."

Would you believe it, he went right in, sat right down, and went. Ha!

Then he had a messy accident. Sigh!

We'll see how this goes. If it doesn't work, we'll wait three months and try again. And we'll hope he doesn't grow out of the size 6 diapers.

Zeke's Big Day

Zeke is having a big day.

This morning, after three weeks of trying, he crawled! The inducement? A hard plastic, green and yellow stegosaurus.

He really wanted it.

Zeke seemed to pick up on the mechanics of crawling after his first few little trips across the rug. I think he might realize that it is a form of locomotion.

Victor took about three weeks to go from first crawl to crawling everywhere, but he was only six months old. We'll see how it goes for Zeke, who's almost eight months.

I sincerely hope this alleviates whatever problem is causing poor Zeke to cry unless he's sitting on my lap.

Go, Zeke, Go!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 46 Report

Today I gave up.

Not permanently, perhaps.

But Victor wore a pull-up to the park, and I just kept him in diapers for the rest of the day.

I didn't have the strength.

Official Tally:
1 pair of underwear, which stayed dry
1 sticker
1 pull-up
several diapers

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 45 Report

Official Tally:
4 stickers
3 pairs of underwear
1 pull-up at Costco (wet)
1 diaper during naptime (wet)
2 wet accidents
1 BM on the potty

There was significantly less resistance to using the toilet today. When he was successful, the prize he requested was a call to Dad. Dad was, of course, wonderfully enthusiastic.

It's amazing that in two and a half years Victor has grown from a newborn who can't do anything into a person who can greet his dad on the telephone and then tell him that he just used the potty.

These numbers (especially the number of pairs of underwear) seem encouraging, but I am leary of a pattern I observed during our first month: a couple of days that seem really good followed by a couple of days when it all comes out.

Also, Victor shows no initiative to go to the toilet on his own. I just observe what time it is and how he's walking.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 44 Report, through 4:30 PM

Official Tally:
3 stickers
3 pairs of underwear
1 wet and messy accident
2 wet accidents
1 pull-up during nap (wet)
1 pull-up with the babysitter
1 successful BM on the potty

The BM on the potty happened when I was nursing the baby. I noticed that Victor was wet, and I sent him to finish on the potty and to change his underwear.

Well, when I was done feeding the baby, I got a big surprise. Victor had gone on the potty! Now, the evidence of his success was in other places in addition to in the potty, but it was a great moment nonetheless, and worthy of much praise.

Our potty training day ended at 4:30 PM when I had to go up to Girls Camp. I was the evening speaker.

The camp is very nice. On my drive I saw tobacco fields and had to stop for a flock of wild turkeys. I thought, "If Liz is scared of deer, what would she make of this?"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day 43 Report

Official Tally:
7 stickers
8 pairs of underwear
2 half accidents
4 wet accidents, including one at the park and one wet bed
1 messy accident

Compared to yesterday (1 sticker), this is an improvement. I was discouraged today, but looking at the numbers, we are improving.

I was surprised that Victor had an accident at the park today. He has always stayed dry before.

It's also surprising that he is no longer dry after his nap. Perhaps that is because his naps are still on Utah time, but his meals are on NC time.

Also of note, Victor has developed the ability to tell which cereals are good, and which have no sugar. He actually refused his unfrosted shredded wheat the other day because "there's no sugar." I have no idea how he came up with that.

And when he spied a box of Lucky Charms in a grocery bag on Saturday, he said, "Ooooooo," ran over to it, pulled it out, and kept saying, "that's great. That's great." I guess those people in the packaging department at General Mills are doing their job.

Funny--he wants Lucky Charms but not Kashi shredded wheat.

Zeke likes to chew on cords.

Day 42 Report

We wore pull-ups to church. It was a good choice.

Official Tally:
1 sticker
1 pair of underwear
3 pull-ups

Yes, you read that correctly. One sticker.

I am pretending that this is just a really long, overdue extinction burst.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 41 Report

Saturday, August 9 was Day 41.

Official Tally:
2 stickers
5 pairs of underwear
5 wet accidents
1 messy accident

Of note, in late afternoon I realized that Victor had disappeared into the back bedroom and was being very quiet. I said to Jeremy, "Excuse me. Victor is having a messy accident."

I was right.

Also of note, there were no half accidents. All accidents were full.

I had been waffling on whether to continue or wait three months and try again. We're going to press forward. Since Victor wears size 6 diapers and size 3T-4T pull-ups, I think going forward might be our only option.

To avoid as much frustration as possible, I have decided to only make positive comments. When Victor had an accident on the bathroom floor, Jeremy thought I was nuts, but I praised him for going in the bathroom instead of in the dining room or kitchen. How's that for positive reinforcement?

Days 24 - 40 Summary

I took about 20 pairs of Victor underwear to Utah and Idaho.

He wore two pairs, on Day 29, I think.

We had a great moment on Day 25. Victor was filthy after a day of vigorous reunion-ing. During his bath, Victor stood up with an intense need. Jeremy quickly perceived his trouble, plucked him out of the bath, and plunked him down on the toilet. And then, success!

I was very proud of Victor. And now I know that he can feel #2 coming and hold it in (at least for a little while) until he's on the toilet.

But then Victor got sick and we had to drive all over creation and the suggestion of a toilet resulted in meltdown.

We stuck to pull-ups and diapers for the rest of the trip, and didn't go back to training when we got home because Zeke and I were sick.

On Saturday morning, though, Victor put on his underwear. So we're back on the crazy train.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Zeke is sick, I am sick, and Victor is sick of the potty.

So we're on hiatus for a while, moving slowly and doing one thing at a time.

Once we're feeling better we'll resume the potty training. But I'm not sure where to go now. Vacation derailed everything and I am encountering massive resistance most of the time.

I've been reading a lot about the power of being positive, but I'm not sure I belive it. Maybe I'll give it a try, just for kicks.

Monday, August 4, 2008

We're Home

After a wonderful trip, we're home again.

Both boys were overjoyed to see their own beds again. There's just no place like home.