Back into the routine of the semester, Axel and I find ourselves alone most of the day again.
I'm always trying to teach him new things, and often forget to learn them myself. Today however, I myself learned 2 things.
#1 - Dogs to not tolerate homemade Playdoh. Upon just a tiny spilled morsel, Oscar proceeded to empty his "empty" stomach. I wasn't lucky enough for him to have eaten his breakfast. Only bile + Playdoh hit the carpet (why barf on the 90% of our flooring that is wood?) and let me tell you, dog bile isn't the clearish liquid our is...does "yellow food coloring/snot" create a clear enough picture for you?
Luckily that was the first thing I learned this morning. The second totally redeemed the first.
#2 - Having to buy Marshmallow Matees (instead of Lucky Charms...I've had to discontinue even brand name dish washer soap...designer cereal is out of the question) the plastic bag they come in has a clear window. I initially considered the window a preview, so I could purchase the bag with the MOST marshmallows. Today however, I discovered the true purpose of the window. It's so when you are reaching in to pick out just the marshmallows, you can see what you're getting into. Using the window has made a huge improvement in my choosy accuracy and thankfully I will no longer be grabbing the grain pieces. Whew...glad I figured that one out. Malt-O-Meal is genius!
An exciting morning. This afternoon, I might just decide to learn something else!
Some things you want your kids to experience because you remember them as being really spectacular! I've found however that many times as an adult these come as disapointments and tend to taint the perfectly preserved memories of childhood. When I heard that "Sesame Street Live" was coming to town, I wondered whether this would be one of those cases? Willing to take the risk, I immediately purchased 3 tickets, second row, to "123 Imagine with Elmo".
Axel is a Sesame addict and although he would retain no memory or joy from the experience (he's only 1 for goodness sake), I figured it would be a night well spent.
Yesterday was the big day and mid morning I got a call that my brother Andy was coming for a surprise visit. Perfect! He was an even bigger Sesame fan than I was! I sacrificed my ticket, sent him in my place, and couldn't have been more happy to do so!
With the bag packed, child care instructions given and camera ready, I dropped Jahred, Axel and Andy off at the door. Nearly bounding for the entrance, I thought Andy might knock some kids over!
Two things were great about this situation: Andy got the experience Sesame LIVE 20 years after our first time as kids, and I got to preserve my flawless recollection of childhood wonder.
An hour and 45 minutes later they called to say it was over. Bounding once again to the car, I heard the rave reviews. The seats were AWESOME, Axel was covered in streamers that blew off the stage, they had resisted purchasing an over-priced fiber-optic piece of crap and most of all, Axel sat motionless in complete awe for the entire performance!
No better satisfaction for a mother to know that an evening was meticulously planned and enjoyed.
On a less fabulous day like today, I have already stopped a tantrum by using 50 cents worth of tape to repair a 2 cent paper towel.
You never know what's coming down the shoot.
...Axel finally looked at the camera. He seems annoyed at having to turn from the action. Photos are courtesy of Andy who snapped 51 fabulous pictures of the show and 1 fuzzy shot of Axel.
Now that we've licked this potty business (even staying dry at night...just bragging), it's time to move on to bigger and better things. This week I'll be teaching Axel Calculus. :)
No, really...it seems the mundane has set in again. The house is back on the market, this time with a new Realty Company and a hell-of-a-lot more stains on the rugs. I have found with jute rugs however, stains seem to disappear over time, and over time as well, my house is BOUND TO SELL!
I even offered to take the photos for this go-around, creating a "virtual tour". I figure anything I can do to make it more noticeable, and gain a little good karma!
While Axel is dreaming away I sweat out some calories on the treadmill while mentally re-organizing my Etsy shop. I have determined from my 2 week Etsy vacancy that it really is "what I put into it". I haven't been updating, adding new things and what I see most critical is that I'm not BUYING. Is Etsy just one big money cycle, you spend on Etsy and others spend in your shop? Something to ponder. I have been getting lots of word of mouth customers (and they tend to be happier and less demanding anyway).
On, POTTY GIVEAWAY! I am super excited to announce that the winner (by random drawing from a Red Wing Crock) is Shelly! She is Jahreds aunt and the source of 90% of our toys! Shelly, you'll be getting a surprise in the mail (just for you and the birds...no sharing with any boys in your house).
THANK YOU so much for the many tips on coloring the toilet water and especially the tip from Jen! You provided perhaps the tip I am most likely to use. Peeing in a parking lot instead of the car seat will come in handy as we are on the road a lot. Luckily, having a boy, it will be a little less obvious...I may even start parking towards the back, or beside large trucks. Probably should wait until spring before giving it a whirl...Jahred warned me of potential frostbite.
Check out the pictures of how clean my house was for 5 minutes. What you can't see are the piles of kid crap just around the corners of each image. The 4th picture of the blue stairs is the reason I fell in love with this house. A walk up attic. The old fashioned wall paper, the blue paint alone; remnants of a better time. When I saw them for the first time on our initial tour, I spontaneously flashed back to the first book I fell in love with "Diary of Anne Frank". After that book, I looked for secret stair cases everywhere. My personal blue staircase walks up from inside my closet, almost like a private escape to possibility, dreams and my very own sauna in the summer.
Oh wow, I had no idea my week would turn out this way.
May I be so vein as to say, "my kid is soooo smart", actually smarter than I?! Ok, so on Monday, I thought perhaps we would succeed at this potty training thing; but I had no idea that just like getting pregnant, it would turn out to be that experiment in Organic Chemistry that actually worked for ONCE!
Seriously, Axel may not be the most graceful, he is known to swear like a sailor (or maybe his mother), and when it comes to sleeping in his own bed, he sucks. Going on the potty, this kid gets.
It's all business with this boy. After a rough 2 days, we now have 3 dry naps and 2 days with only 1 accident (which was actually my fault). It's like his 23 month old brain is just like "simple...what else you got Mom?"
The routine goes like this:
Axel - "potty" - does a little dance
Me - "Oh, ok, lets go." - bring him to the potty with book, shut door (upon his strict request)
Axel - "Oh wow." - leaves bathroom
Me - "Awesome. High five." - flush the evidence
5 days of homebound nudity has really paid off and we may just be over the hump. Don't get me wrong, we still need to master peeing in public toilets and leaving the house for more than an hour, but really, wow.
Today Axel and I ventured out on a solo mission in "undens" (his word for underwear). After the captivity that was this week, the fridge was looking like a forgotten land. We traveled to Cub and made it through the entire store loop. I even took a HUGE gamble, doubling back for some forgotten items. I carefully remembered to NOT place the food under where he was sitting, just in case.
When we approached the checkout however, things weren't looking so positive. On a Friday morning, let me tell you how many lanes are open at your local Cub foods, ONE. One lane and the daunting self-checkout. I KNEW I couldn't do it myself while also keeping an eye on Axels bum, I chose the 1 open lane.
Unfortunately we found ourselves behind Grandma who had NO idea we were potty training and apparently had ALL day to do her shopping. She had the clerk paging through the ad looking for a mysterious SALE on black olives. "THEY'RE LIKE 75 CENTS A CAN...MOVE ALONG." She was completely oblivious to my broken record of "keep your pants dry" growing louder with each passing minute.
After barely surviving that woman, the clerk looked at me and said, "Can you hang on a minute?"
"Um, NO, this kid is about to piss ALL OVER."
Not seeing the death look I was bestowing onto her, she turned around and proceeded to talk to a co-worker about sending a Birthday card around for Bill in the stock room. Necessary??? **
No thanks to the lane 4 clerk, Axel made it though the store dry. I lost a few years from my life, but all's well that ends well right?
Don't forget to sign up for my Potty GIVEAWAY in the previous post! You don't even need to have experience in potty training, you only need to be potty trained yourself...just sign up for goodness sake!
**Just for the record, I don't expect every citizen of this country to bow down to me and my child; I just now have a better understanding of people in a hurry. They aren't always trying to be rude, they may be on the verge of public defecation!
After showing intense readiness, we have decided to potty train Axel. Here is my situation.
He carries potty around the house saying "poopy" and "potty". He wants to put his own pants off and on. He has an extensive vocabulary and is aware when he is "going" in his pants.
This all lead me to believe that he was ready to go on the potty. What am I, nuts?
Starting on Monday, I committed to poop, pee and a little potty purchased from once-upon-a-child. I know millions of babies and mommies are going through this very same process, but really...how isolated can you get? I haven't left the house in 3 days, and I have seen few signs of improvement.
After much consideration we are using the complete nudity method, ditching the diapers entirely (except during sleepy time) and using a disappointed face when pee hits the floor.
Monday: 1 poop on potty, 1 pee on potty, rest were on the floor
Tuesday: 2 poops on potty, 4 pees on potty, rest were on the floor
Wednesday: so far, 2 pees on the potty, several pees on the floor.
Not sure if I should be encouraged with a 100% success rate for poopy? I'm grasping for any signs of encouragement.
So, in my head, I'm saying "just quit", try again later. In my heart, I know he can do it. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE to get to the point where you are having more than a 50% overall success rate? I am pretty much banking on a week of pure torture and some improvement after that?
In order to pull some insight from you all, I am offering a giveaway! Simply reply to this blog with your best potty training insight, and you'll get a chance to WIN an AWESOME Spring Nesting Box!
HELP! I'm counting on you! The giveaway will run through Sunday, January 17th.
Diligence has paid off this week. Over the course of 2 days, I have managed to create 6 yummy meals for the freezer. Really, one of my most favorite things is NOT having to cook, and furthermore, not having to come up with the IDEA of what to cook.
Creating 3 pans of Chicken with White Sauce in Jumbo shells and 3 pans of Rock-n-Roll lasagna...I am tooting my own horn just a little.
Because I think I'm so smooth in the kitchen (and with this html stuff...like the new look?) I'd like to share my " 1 hour = lasagna for 4 x 3 ".
Here's what you'll need:
3 8x8 or similar sized pans (ones you can freeze in)
2 lbs of ground beef (substitute for veggies or ground turkey to suit your dietary choices)
1 box of lasagna noodles (usually 18 come in a box...but check first)
3 small-medium blocks of your favorite cheeses (moz, parm, romano...even colby)
2.5 regular size jars of your favorite pasta sauce (or at least one your kids will eat)
*feel free to add in other ingredients or keep it simple
Brown up the 2 lbs of beef while boiling the noodles in a large pot. I like to boil the noodles to "al dente" which is just under 10 minutes.
When beef is browned, set aside. When noodles are done, poor off the water, rinse a little in cold and leave them in their pan with just a little water (so they don't stick...add a little EVOO if you like).
Grate ALL the cheese. Pour the sauce into a bowl.
Make jelly rolls! Lay noodle flat, top with sauce, meat, cheese...roll in thirds. See photos.
Arrange in pan (pack 'em tight). Top with remaining sauce and cheese.
Cover and freeze.
Seriously, thats it. 1 hour, with a little practice and NO interruptions.
If you can love yourself enough to get the process started...you will be patting yourself on the back when you pull them out of the freezer ready to go.
As far as cooking directions. You can take it out the night before and put it in the fridge (but who remembers that). I usually grab them about 3:30pm (when I remember that I'm required to feed my family EVERY night), place the frozen meal (covered with foil) in the oven and cook at 350 degrees for 1.5 - 2 hours. When the sides start bubbling, and you can stick your finger in a warm middle...GOOD TO GO!
Signing off last year, I almost couldn't wait 'til the New Year to bring you new blogs. However, with all the tears and barf around here, nearly all of my new ideas were flushed right out (literally)!
Truly though, Happy New Year to me, finally on the 4th, all three of us have had our course of stomach bug and only the laundry remains. Sorry to start the year off so nasty. Hope you partied reasonably hard and drank an extra for me!
Perhaps when one is searching for family drama to discuss in a public venue such as a blog, you jinx the possibility of some occurring. As I usually go by the rule that "no news is good news", I'll leave my x-mas synopsis at this: pleasant.
While we were on the road with kith and kin, our home yard received just shy of 2 feet of snow, all at once, and topping the nearly 12 inches already covering our sore excuse for grass. hmmm...nasty surprise. The week between the 2 coldest holidays in Minnesota was spent digging out, cursing our home state and dreaming of a better life in...say...California...Texas...really anywhere but here.
New Years brought on more than GI upset this year however, a week at 20 below zero creates cabin fever in a 2 year old like no other. I must keep the curtains closed. The new white fluff continues to taunt Axel...but there's just no playing outside this week.
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Although I am strictly against resolutions...because I can keep NONE of them, I do have a few "shop announcements" and a short list of things that may happen without "resolving to do them".
It is with a heavy heart that I am no longer advertising Crib Bedding in my Etsy shop. Jahred has made me realize that I put WAY too much time and stress into their perfection, and really, I (he) can't handle it. Word of mouth sets will no doubt trickle in, but I will no longer be advertising for linens.
As Jahred's school schedule picks up in the "sprint to the finish" (under a year remains), I may be offering less and less finished product. Get it while you can. I plan to spend more time on pattern development and publication. In that way, I feel it can offer more to the art world, and I will be continuing my "sew it and sell it" policy.
Above all, in 2010 you may see my craziest side yet. The house will be back on the market, Jahred is SUPER busy with school and Axel officially turns 2. The fact that Axel insisted on wearing "moon boots" and "Lightning McQueen" pajamas to the mall today may just be a preview of what's to come.
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I'll leave you with this piece of advice. NEVER feel guilted into making your husbands "favorite cookies - the ones he missed out on x-mas eve because we were are at YOUR FAMILIES - the ones his grandma makes from a family heirloom recipe". If something to that effect slips out of his mouth (about cookies you have NEVER heard of in your entire marriage), just let it pass or say: "You can feel free to purchase the ingredients and make those cookies any time of the year Honey."
If by some kind gesture you decide he should have them, you may end up spending HOURS making tiny dough balls from a "SUPER SIZED recipe - one that isn't written out clearly - makes no sense actually - and has you cooking a sugar mixture to a specific temperature in order to make a special ICING - in the end you may just toss out half of the dough to save yourself the torture of rolling another single ball - perhaps the cookies do taste wonderful - BUT THATS NOT THE POINT".
The cookies may just turn out like this. Although delicious, the recipe will just have to be modified to fit into your time constraints. It turns out there's a reason his grandmother only makes them ONCE A YEAR...Christmas makes people do CRAZY things!
Happy New Year from my frozen tundra to yours.
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