Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Don't worry, it will just happen

Most days, it seems like just yesterday that we brought Natalie home from the hospital, some days I feel every one of the days and nights in the two-and-a-half years since we brought her home. She has always done things on her own time and we have learned that we shouldn't force her when she isn't ready for something.

One thing that we had been thinking about starting for a long time is potty training. It is the "next thing" that parents start asking about, you know, "Oh, she isn't potty trained, yet?" with that somewhat disapproving look, but we decided that we didn't want to force her to do anything she wasn't ready for. Also, we were worried that once Philip was born she might want to go back to being a "baby" and we would have to fight the battle all over again. SO, we figured we would start gradually and go slow. Plus, my mom had said that no matter when you start, girls will most likely be day trained by 2 and a half and boys will be by three, so we had some time.

When Natalie was about 18 months old, we bought her a potty seat because our nanny said she would start working with her, which she did, which was great. So by about 20 months old Natalie was pretty much day trained, during the week-days. Evening and days? That was another matter. I think Phil and I were too lazy or didn't want to deal with accidents. Who knows, whatever the reason, we just kept her in diapers in the evenings and on the weekends. Then I decided one day that she was ready to make the jump to pull ups - so I bought a big box of them at Costco and brought them home to a very excited Natalie. She wanted to wear them RIGHT NOW and immediately took off her diaper, then immediately peed in the pull ups. I explained that these were big girl panties and she can't pee in them. But basically, she can, because pull ups are just more expensive, less absorbent diapers. So I put the pull ups away and decided that for Easter, the Easter bunny would bring her some big girl panties and a potty book. But then she was showing some major interest in using the potty, so we decided to give her the panties and book before Easter and it pretty much worked for a while...until she decided that she could pee in the panties and not worry about it. Such a struggle, so we decided to give up...so we did for a few weeks. Then we started again and whenever she wasn't wearing a diaper we would say "do you need to potty" or "be a big girl and remember to potty" about 500 times an hour. Which then resulted in Natalie responding to the "do you have to pee" question with "NEVER", so again we decided to stop, stop with panties, asking and prodding her to potty.

Flash forward to last month, when again we decided to start (gluttons for punishment) again. And something seemed different, she seemed ready, in some way. She was day trained in no time and then one evening while Philip, Natalie and I were playing and waiting for Phil to get home she had an accident and by accident I mean, she knew she had to use the potty and rather than going to the bathroom, she hid in the closet and peed on the floor. I grabbed her and raced to the bathroom and something in me snapped. Mean mommy made an appearance. We don't like mean mommy and I try to keep her hidden...but sometimes she is stronger than me. I told Natalie that clearly she was a baby and she would now have to wear diapers because she wasn't a big girl. Well, that sparked something in Natalie and through her tears (see, mean mommy) she told me that she was a big girl ("I big girl, not baby" - breaks my heart that I made her cry!) and she wouldn't wear the diaper. Well, clearly mean mommy gets results that calm rational mommy doesn't get because since then we have had (knock on wood) no accidents, and no need for diapers, except for night time.

Night time...ugg...the next diaper/potty training battle. I guess it is a good thing that she is so skinny, she can wear diapers for a while if needed!

So, long story short, she is basically potty trained and she has made one step farther away from being my little baby, because she is now a big girl.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011


Natalie loves the farm, and my parents took her for a little outing the other day.

She loves telling me all about the animals she got to see and she thinks it is hilarious when I ask her if she saw animals that I know aren't there - like a turtle or elephant. Her response after I ask her? "Noooo mommy"

One Year Later

Last year while my mom and I were in Paris & London, Natalie and Phil spent a lot of time at my parents house and while they there my dad took this photo.

June 2010

The other day, my dad took this photo, just a little over a year later

June 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

5 months

Alright, I'll admit it...I forgot to take the chair picture on Philip's 5 month birthday. I remembered when we were about one hour into our trip south. Too late to turn around, so I figure that taking this photo at 5 months and one week is good enough.

Pre chair shot

Natalie trying to get the camera

These are the best photos I can get...
He is so intent on getting the chair arm in his mouth he can't sit up straight for mama

You get the general idea, right? He is growing.

This is the actual 5-month-day

Things to remember about this past month
  • You giggle more
  • Your sister loves you and kisses you all the time
  • Your sister still likes/insists on calling you "Baby Brother"
  • You seem to have grown, but I haven't called to make a shot appointment, and therefore don't have your exact measurements
  • You still want to sleep while being held and will generally only sleep for the night while in my arms. Although, over the past weekend I was able to get you to sleep alone for about 20 minutes at a time!
  • You are a great eater! You love oatmeal cereal, bananas, pears, mango's and tomorrow we will start prunes. I think if I gave you steak you would be happier, but soon enough...
  • You are sitting up more and more and have almost mastered the back to belly roll over.
  • You are constantly moving, kicking your legs, waving your arms, and you talk all the time!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We were home, then we left and now we are back

Philip, Grandma and I returned from Minnesota on Friday (two weeks ago) and enjoyed a nice relaxing weekend, followed by a very full week of work, cleaning, unpacking and then some re packing...


Yes, repacking for the trip to southern Utah.

My parents recently purchased a vacation home down there and we have been anxiously awaiting a trip to see it. So, we decided to use some vacation and left last Friday afternoon. I got the car packed full of all the stuff that we might possibly need for the two day adventure, loaded the kids and Phil into the car and set out. We left a little before Natalie’s nap time, so we were hoping she would sleep in the car, and lucky for us, Philip was asleep when we left the house. We had to make a stop at Target to grab organic milk and some OJ and then stop by and pick up the Godfather so we could car pool. Natalie fell asleep as soon as we left Target and slept until we picked up Godfather, a total of about 7 minutes. Philip also woke up as soon as we stopped to pick up Godfather. So we left for St. George with two wide awake kids, three adults and a car load of stuff.

after one blue m&m

We hadn’t made this trip in a long time – the St. George trek – not since Natalie was a baby in fact, so we were all a little nervous about taking not one but two kids in the car for the 4+ hour drive. Natalie didn’t concern us as much as Philip. She doesn’t really mind being in the car and has always been very good about long drives, but she is now old enough to ask "Are we there yet" the entire way down and we all know or can imagine how annoying that can be. But, Philip, man oh man does he ever NOT like the car, not even a little bit, not for long drives, not for short drives, not for any drive at all. So, it was bound to be an adventure.

In an effort to keep Natalie entertained, Phil picked up a few DVDs from the library for Natalie to watch. So, we popped in Dora and crossed our fingers. She put on her headphones and happily ate some goldfish crackers and drank some orange juice for about the first hour of the drive. Philip is another animal all together. Luckily I was sitting in the back seat and for the most part was able to "shssh" him to sleep, so after playing for the first 45 minutes of the drive, I got him to sleep for about another 30-45 minutes, then he woke up and played a little more. That awake, asleep plan got us to the small town of Fillmore (about two hours away) where we decided to stop and grab food for everyone one and a diaper change for some. Once everyone was fed and appropriately changed, we loaded back in the car and set out again. Again, Dora was keeping Natalie pretty entertained and I was able to get Philip to sleep and play on and off…until we were about an hour away from the final destination and all hell started to brake loose.

Now, Natalie, to her credit had been wonderful. Played with a few toys, drank some drink, spilled some gold fish, watched some Dora, but she hadn't had a nap – except for those 7 minutes – and she was tired of being in the car, so she started asking, "mommy are we to ‘George yet?" I would say, "not yet, but soon" and she would reply, "Why Mommy?" so I would explain that it was a very long trip and that if she would just take a nap that we would be there when she woke up and it would make the last hour of the drive go very very quickly, to which she would reply, "No nap mommy, it sunny outside not dark." You can try and argue with that logic, but you won’t win.Now, Philip, again, is a different animal. At the hour-to-destination mark he started to let us all know, loudly, that he was done being in the car. D.O.N.E. He wasn't going to sit by and just let us drive on our merry way; no, he was going to cry. And cry he did, until I couldn't take it any more and told Phil to pull off the side of the freeway. I promptly pulled him out of his chair and tried to calm him down; but, it wasn't until we got out of the car that he finally stopped crying and calmed down. We all took a few deep breaths, Phil volunteered to get into the back seat and I took over driving.

That last 45 minutes of the drive were the longest of the entire five-and-a-half- hour trip. But it was all worth it once we got to the house.

The house is great and surpassed our expectations. When they first started looking, my mom wanted to buy a double wide trailer, so when we pulled up and saw a brand new three bedroom house in a new development community, we were very surprised. In fact, when my mom sent us the photos we didn't exactly believe our eyes. Now we believe.

View from the patio

We spent Friday night hanging out at the house, Natalie played in the blow up pool out back, and after dinner Phil, Godfather and Natalie walked to the local Walmart, which happens to be just down the street. They came back with a bunch of little purchases and a movie to watch. We were finally able to get the kids to sleep, on their own...which meant that I was able to pee and brush my teeth before bed, with the lights on and while not holding Philip. I was also able to sit with the other adults at the house and chat before Philip woke up and needed me to hold him so he could sleep.

We don't have a TV hook up, so here I am trying to get the antenna to work so Phil could watch the hockey game. It didn't work...

This is Natalie after no nap on the ride down

Saturday the boys went golfing and the rest of us stayed home. There was coffee drinking, pool playing, donut eating, and all around good fun. The boys came home and we drove to Costco for lunch and to buy Godfather a bed, then home to eat and try and get Natalie to take a nap. She, Phil and Godfather all ended up taking naps while Philip, Grandma and I went to Walmart. We browsed the aisles and eventually made our way back to the house just in time to welcome guests for cocktail hour. We spent a few hours with friends, then snacked on left-overs for dinner.

After dinner, we decided we should add a bunch of hot water to the blow up pool in the back yard, which was full of cold water, so we could all get in and relax a little. Our make shift hot tub... After filling up many, many, many, buckets of hot water and pouring it into the pool, it was still pretty cold, but we had gone to so much work we decided to get in any way. Grandpa and Godfather were the first in, followed by Natalie. By the time I had passed off Philip and changed into my swim suit, Natalie was shivering, but was game to stay in the pool a little longer. We sat in the water about 15 minutes before getting out. Once we were out and changed into bed clothes, we got everyone down for an early night.

Sunday the boys golfed again and Natalie and I made waffles. Then we packed our stuff up and decided to leave shortly after the boys got home. The trip home was pretty similar to the ride down, except that Philip only cried a few times and slept more. We made two stops along the way to feed and change Philip and get snacks for everyone else. We stopped to drop of Godfather and stayed and played for a while before going home. Got home, watered the plants and ate pizza and salad for dinner, followed promptly by bed!

It was a wonderful trip and the experience taught us a few things. One, don’t try to add hot water to an ice cold pool of water expecting it to be warm after the addition. First empty the cold water out COMPLETELY and then add the warm water. Two, we need to either bring the extra bed in our basement or not expect the best night of sleep on air mattresses. And three, taking Philip in the car for over 4 hours is not the best plan one can have, so we will be flying down for our next trip…

Cute Philip

Natalie built a "nest" on the couch for her and "baby brother"