Monday, November 21, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

I sent a bunch of pictures to my blog and never got around to publishing them... until now.  So here they come, a trickling...........

Yes, that is bacon on Nutella on a crepe.  Courtesy of Rhys.  And no, he didn't like it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Boing

As Rhys only has a tentative grasp on his "Big Boy" status (i.e. always going potty in the potty), I have been calling him out whenever he does the peepee dance and insisting that he go to the bathroom.  I try to point out to him that his body is telling him that it needs to go potty and it is very important to listen to his body so that he doesn't have an accident.  He often tries to hide or deny the fact that he is quite clearly "dancy in his pants," as we call it.  The other day we were at the table and he was kneeling on his chair.  I saw him bouncing up and down on his knees with the characteristic rhythm of the need to go, so I told him, "Rhys, you are getting dancy in your pants.  Your body is telling you that it needs to go potty."  He emphatically stated, "No, I am boinging." As if this made a difference.  I made him go any way.

A day or so later I saw him cross his legs and then hold his crotch.  I told him that when  he wants to hold his crotch it is because his body it telling him that he needs to go potty.  He told me, "No.  When I hold it, it feels like a boing."  I think he was hearkening back to his recent most favorite explanation for why what he was doing didn't mean he needs to go potty.  Never mind that it didn't work the first time, and it didn't work this time.

But the funniest was yesterday when he had wet his pants and I noticed as we were on our way to bed.  I said, "Rhys, your pants are wet.  You went peepee in your pants."  To which he replied, "No!  It is just a wet boing."

Maybe I  need to start telling him, "Boings go in the Potty."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Don't You Know a Wild Animal When You See One?

Rhys just came upstairs from quiet time.  Downstairs somewhere, there is one naked little teddy bear.  Suprised that he could have gotten the dress and bloomers off the bear and onto himself so well (albeit inside out and backward), I asked if he did it himself or if Willow helped him.  I asked him a couple of times, trying to get him to admit that Willow helped, but finally he said, "I put it on me, Mommy, because I want to be a wild amimal."  And then he did this soft, cougar-like "Aaaach" and lunged at me.  I'm still laughing so hard I can hardly type.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Look! I did a Decorate!

Sometime a couple of months ago, I finally got to painting the rest of the bunkbeds dark brown.  When I purchased them at a garage sale for $15, they were red, blue, and yellow.  I got a great idea to change that last Christmas and Kevin painted one of the beds that we then made into a castle in the kid's room.  I also made them each a new blanket with stripes of blue, green and purple flannel on teh front and dark brown furriness on the back.  The kids shared the one bed until just recently when they started getting too big and too annoying to eachother.  Kevin kept being out of town so I finally just did it myself.  I even went to the hardware store and got new bolts to replace the ones that were stripped so I could screw the side rails and the ladder in place, all by myself!  (It only took 3 trips to get the right ones, but thankfully, Home Depot takes back open baggies of bolts.)  I got the beds put together, and Neoma eventually bought a new mattress so we could have our second one back, and the kids got their own beds.  It makes my heart melt of satisfaction (I hope it's not pride, because then I will have to try to give it up) to see their beds made with their matching blankets.  They seem to like it, too.
Notice also the matching dark wood furniture.  I even secured the shelves to the bed so they can't be knocked down (anymore).  Ignore the askew ceiling panels.  One of my favorite things about this bunk bed is that it is relatively short.  I can see over the rail while standing on the floor and it fits on the step in the kids room (Half of their floor is raised about 1.5 feet) and still leaves Willow room to maneuver.  Yay!  I did it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tomatoes Galore

I came home from the last cleanup day at the community garden with 5 boxes of tomatoes in varying stages of green.  After putting it off for 2 weeks, I finally tackled the 5 boxes of tomatoes now in varying stages of decay.    I milled the ripe ones and froze the puree to make into tomato sauce later.  The quandry I had was how to store the still unripe ones so that they get sunlight so they will ripen.  Neoma offered the garden window in her kitchen (if I cleaned out and cleaned up all the dead houseplants), but that still left the question of what to put them in that I could sort and keep track of what was how close.  Then I remembered this gigantic vase that Kevin's mom gave us.  That sent me on a hunt throughout the house for all the large glass vases and the result:
Tomato Aranging

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Yesterday's Lunch

The kitchen has exploded.  Neoma ran away upstairs because she couldn't handle it and I am trying to do the dishes (it is my day, after all).  I'm trying to find where all the plates and silverware has hidden itself.

Today as I was setting the table for dinner the cupboard was bare of the dishes we normally use.  I opened the dishwasher, and it, too, was bare.  I peered around the kitchen, behind boxes of tomatoes in various stages of green and decay that I am trying desperately to sort so I can be done with, behind dirty mixing bowls and frying pans, and I come to the conclusion that they have been abducted.  We eat on paper plates, with plastic forks and paper cups--I want no new dishes added to this mess tonight.

As I am now herding the various utensils and vessels out of their hiding places, seeking the ninety and nine (I wish it were only one who had strayed) I find, behind the stacked griddles and crusty pancake bowl of this mornings' breakfast, a small stack of plates, the top one overflowing with chips--delicious Tostito's baked scoops.  A few are smeared with the sour cream, that, together with those chips, constituted my 2-year-old's entire meal, but most of them are crisp and clean.

My first thought is, "Yesterday's lunch!  This is yesterday's lunch!"  As I gather the chips and carry the plates to the sink, the back of my mind it contemplating: the chicken bowl, or my mouth?  The front of my mind is still thinking, "How could I not have caught these dishes sooner?  Yesterday's lunch?!  Cummon, Carol, you Sloven!"  As the back of my mind quickly determines that these clean chips are much too good for the chicken bowl in their entirety, the front of my mind suddenly realizes, "Oh, wait, I think this was actually today's lunch.  Oh, yeah.  We had taco salad today, I remember."  And then I also realized that I was crunching away on chips without even knowing how many days they had been sitting on the counter bedaubed with sour cream.

Um, yeah.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Parental Discernment (i.e. tickling your gums)

I am so grateful that Heavenly Father wants us to be good parents, and that he helps us.

For the last several months, Rhys has been complaining whenever I brushed his teeth, saying, "Ow, ow, ow," whenever the brush touched his gums.  I usually promised to go softer and he would let me try again, but it got to the point that I was brushing so softly I don't think it was really having any effect.  At one point when he was really complaining, I looked in his mouth and realized it was entirely covered in canker sores.  I was fairly certain that this had not always been the case, but I did go really easy on him at that time.

This was driving me crazy.  His gums should not hurt like this, especially with no visible sign of injury or inflammation or anything.  At our last dental checkup, I asked the hygienist for advice.  She recommended using baby Oragel on his gums before brushing.  We had some adult, overnight Oragel (a topical medication for toothache relief), and, being the cheap-o that I am, I used a small portion of that.  Rhys was generally OK with me brushing his teeth after putting that on, but I just could not accept this as a long-term solution, as it didn't give me an answer as to what was wrong or offer a physiological solution.  What I was doing simply should not be hurting normal, healthy gums.

I was still frustrated with this predicament when, one evening during teeth brushing time, it hit me--maybe it doesn't actually hurt.  Maybe the sensation of the brush on his gums is just triggering the idea of pain, for some reason.  I decided the best I could do was try and see if it worked, trusting that my mother's intuition (i.e. special powers of discernment) were not leading me to lie to my child.  So before I started brushing his teeth I said, "Rhys, you know the feeling of when I am brushing your teeth?  That is not a hurting feeling.  It is a tickle.  So when I am brushing your teeth, don't say 'Ow.'  Laugh.  Can I try tickling your teeth now?"  He let me, and he didn't make a single "Ow" the entire time.  Since then I have asked him "May I tickle your teeth?" instead of "May I brush your teeth?" and he has let me without interruption (except to tell me all the different animals that are on his teeth that he needs me to tickle with the brush).

I am so grateful for the little whisper of an idea that led to the solution for Rhys and toothbrushing.  I don't think anything but inspiration would have led me to seek a psychological rather than physiological cause to the problem.  Heavenly Father surely loves parents.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Recycling Food--It's Not Just for Monkeys?

Rhys is so close to being independently potty trained.  Right now I would consider him semi-dependently potty trained.  For the last couple of days he has been deciding on his own to go potty instead of only waiting for me to take him or having an accident.  And he can take care of business in the bathroom pretty much by himself, except that when he decides himself that he needs to go, it's so close that I often follow him to hurry him along to avoid a puddle on the bathroom rug.  I have taught him to take his pants all the way off and sit backwards on the potty (Thanks for the idea, Mom V!)--it's easier for him to keep himself from falling in and it's the only way I've found to make sure he gets #1 down in instead of on the back of his pants (he hasn't figured out holding it down yet).  I also don't trust him to wipe himself after #2 yet.

This was just preface so you will know where we are at when today's poopisode occurred.

I had just left Rhys in the bathroom after wiping him so he could climb off, clean his hands, and get dressed by himself.  After a few minutes, I hear distressed cries coming from the bathroom.  I went back to where I could see him and he is still sitting on the potty, looking down into it, fussing something that I can't quite understand.  I went in to him and finally deciphered what he was saying: "My food!  I dropped it in there!  I need my food!  Get it out!"  I looked in where he was looking (being backwards, he had a good view down into the bowl) and saw that some of the #2 had what was obviously poorly digested remnants of last nights dinner and this mornings breakfast in it.  Thinking I must be missing something, I asked him again, and again he pointed toward the poo and cried (literally--tears running down his cheeks), "I need my food!  I want to eat it!"  I tried to explain to him.  I tried really hard, but I could only get a few words into it before I started laughing so hard I had to cover my face and turn away--he was seriously in distress!  Finally I told him that it wasn't food anymore.  It was poopoo.  I explained where poopoo came from, that sometimes it still looks like the food we ate, but it is not food any more, it is yuck, poo, garbage, and we flush it away.  He said, "Oh," and "OK," but when I got him off the toilet and flushed it, he started crying again, mourning for his lost food and mortified that I had callously refused to rescue it for him and in stead savagely plunged it into the oblivion of the sewer pipes.  I reassured him that as soon as he came upstairs he could finish the lunch that was interrupted by the potty break, so he would have plenty of food.  Finally his tears stopped and he was able to get dressed again.  He's now playing happily with the other kids, and I doubt he will ever remember the Poopisode of the Flushed Food, but I will.  Oh, boy, will I.

No wonder gorillas eat their own poo.  If my two-year-old thinks his looks like food, they're probably just thinking, "Hey!  Who left all this food sitting here? Can't let it go to waste!"

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Meaningless Dreams?

I dreamt two nights ago that we got the children we have been desiring to foster. The person we've been working with to become licensed came to the door unexpectedly with all three children and told us, "You got them! Here they are!" I took the baby in my arms and I couldn't keep myself from crying. My already children and my new children started playing while I held the baby and cried, trying to listen to the rest of what the social worker was telling me.
I have had some crazy dreams at times. I have had dreams that we're undeniably messages--visions, if you will. I have had dreams from which I learned something or experienced something I could never have done in real life. And then I have had dreams that are very comforting and I wish I were dreaming truely, but I just cannot say that I am, because I don't know.
I have had meaningless dreams before. I have had dreams I really hope are meaningless ( no, I don't actually want to be Spiderman punching hybrid supervillians in the face). And then there are dreams like this one. I hope and I want so badly for it to be true. But is it meaningless? Does it really have no reflection in reality? If nothing else, I recognize the peace and comfort that came through it as the peace of faith and trust in the Lord. Whatever is or is not in store for the future of our family, I know that He is in charge of it, and in the end all will be right , whole, and perfect. (If it isn't, it isn't the end yet, right?)

Snow Man Snack

Willow was so sad that Sam started going to preschool this year while she stayed home that I told her we could have home preschool.  Part of this, twice a week, we have a special snack.  Every once in a while I have a good idea.  So I took pictures.
This is the example one I made:

Here is Willow and the ones she made:

The rounds are bananas, chocolate chips for the eyes and buttons, pretzel sticks for arms, and a strip of apple peel for the scarf.  They are all stuck on a peanut-butter covered graham cracker.  In future, I think I would use a full graham cracker.  Other than that, I thought they turned out well and had lots of little learning benefits in the kids making them--fine motor skills in placing things, fractions in breaking the pretzels in half and trying to get them even, dividing in making sure they have the right number of chocolate chips for each of the two that they made.  And they were fun, and they were yummy!  What more could you want?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pictures at the Temple

Just before Kevin left this last time, we took the kids to walk around the temple grounds.  

It had been raining, so we brought a towel to cover the bench before we sat down.  If you notice--I'm sitting with the towel over my lap.  That's because I preferred the bench's wet to Rhys'.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bustin' out the Big Breads

I let myself slack off in making bread.  I used to do it every week and a half or so--8 loaves at a time, so I didn't have to make it more often than that.  But I got out of the habit over the summer as I was inundated with vegetables from the garden and every spare moment in the kitchen went into preserving.  Neoma would buy bread at Costco that we liked a lot, and always kept a couple of loaves in the freezer for back-up in case we ran out of bread and I couldn't make more for a couple of days.  So, we ran out of bread and I didn't make more for a couple of months.  So we started buying "emergency bread" at Costco 6 or 8 loaves at a time.  But I volunteered to bring bread to FAT to force myself to make it again.
I was already making 8 loaves at a time for just our family.  I didn't want to have to make bread again sooner because I was sharing it, so I decided to make a 12-loaf batch.  See that bucket next to me?  That's what I mixed it in.  At least, that's what I started to mix it in.  Then I had to do the rest by hand.

Good thing I have such skilled bread machines.