Tag Archives: Parenting

One in Diapers

October 15, 2012 · 6:00 pm

Nati is potty trained. We’ve been working on it for over a year, but never fully committed.  That is, never fully committed.  I didn’t want the hassle of an accident in the middle of the grocery store or church. Nati’s been ready for a while, but every time we left the house or at bedtime, I diapered him up…and also any other time either of us didn’t want the hassle of the potty.  I decided it was time to rip off the bandaid, and on his third birthday I insisted that he wear underwear all day.  He had zero accidents.  I was high on this success so we decided to try underwear to bed.  He was dry in the morning.  We are going on 72 hours diaper-free and accident-free. I am so happy I could cry.  (Actually I did get a little misty-eyed as he voluntarily pooped in the potty yesterday.  Motherhood makes you do weird stuff.)

Sitting on the potty like a pro.

The following conversation took place while he was sitting on the potty shortly after I took this picture.

Nati: “Is that a picture of me pooping?”

Me: “Yes.”

Nati: “Thank you! It’s beautiful!” (Sees my deodorant.) “Where’s my shaver?”

Me: “You don’t have one, but when you get big, you can shave your face like Dada.”

Nati: “Oh.  Do you shave your face like me and Dada?”

Me: “No.”

Nati: “Look, big-boy-diapers! I don’t need a diaper right now.  Do you need a diaper?”

Me: “No.”

Nati: (Looks at his wrist.) *gasp* “Do I have a watch? I don’t know what times it is!”

Me: “You don’t have a–”

Nati: “Shhhhh! I think I hear a car on the road.”

*pause while airplane drones in the background*

Nati: “Okay you can talk now.”

(This conversation has been shortened to fit the allotted space.  Other funny things were said.)

Washing hands all by himself.

Thankfully, turning three has in no way diminished his hurricane superpower. This took less than 60 seconds:

Unfortunately, I wasn’t born with a corresponding cleaning superpower.

Meanwhile, little miss Lily has been growing by leaps and bounds. She says Mama and Dada*. (*This has yet to be verified by a third party.)  She tries to say Nati, but it comes out more like “Aaaa-Eeee.”  She is also cruising around holding on to furniture, and occasionally lets go for a second and stands on her own.

Still rocking the diaper.

Accordingly, she is also sporting her first fat lip.

Poor baby.

Onward, ho, to the land of just one in diapers!

A Fire Truck, a Bamboo Stick, and a Snake

October 13, 2012 · 7:30 am

What do the following objects have in common?

Fire Truck

Bamboo Stick

Toy Snake

These are all essential props in the magic shows performed by Nati.  Did I say props? I meant accessories.  Nati informed me that he needed a hat, a magic wand, and a cape to do his magic show.  I was busy thinking about what I could easily get my hands on that would make the cut when he announced that he was ready — costume and all.

Hat, Magic Wand, and Cape.

The magic show commenced shortly thereafter.

“Mom, put the camera down and come here so I can disappear you and Lily!”

This child is the most creative and entertaining person I have ever known.  A few days ago, I had just (finally) gotten Lily off to sleep for her nap when Nati started pounding on the bedroom door and woke her up.  As she lay there crying and (now) fully awake, he said in a loud whispered, “Mama?”

What,” I asked, in my most irritated voice.

“Can I sing Lily a song?”

“Okay,” I said, feeling a bit guilty.

He started singing: “Rock-a-bye Lily, go to sleep.  Rock-a-bye Lily, you have to go to sleep.  Rock-a-bye Lily, can’t go to sleep. Rock-a-bye Lily, can’t go to sleep.”

Happy Birthday to the sweetest little 3-year-old I have ever laid eyes on.

Nati Quote:

Nati: “Mama, where did the pumpkin go?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Nati: “But where did it go, Mama?”

Me: “I don’t know, Honey.”

Nati: “But where did it go?”

*I go and find the pumpkin.*

Me: “Here it is.”

Nati: “But where did it — oh.  Um…Where did the pumpkin come from, Mama?”


August 15, 2012 · 5:46 pm

There comes a time in every persons life when you find yourself camped out on your parents basement floor with two kids.  Well…maybe not every person, but I think it’s quite common.  Our house is being sanded and painted.  Carpet is being pulled up and ceiling tiles are being taken down.  Overall, it’s just not a very kid-friendly environment, so here we are.

A luxurious take on nomadic life.

Grandma and Pop Pop’s house agrees with him.

It’s mostly the same as being home.  Except for Sophie.

“All I want is some people food!”

I had to lock her downstairs with the baby gate because Nati can’t eat his supper while she’s looking at him. I’m guessing it won’t be long before Nati’s having that very same fight with Lily. “Mom, she’s looking at me!”   Since I don’t plan on locking Lily downstairs at meal times maybe I should have made him suffer through it, but it’s so rare that he eats voluntarily and I didn’t want to squander it.

Sad face.

Other Sophie moments have included using her as a step master and riding her like a horsey.  This dog has more patience than Job.

While we’ve enjoyed our stay, we’re looking forward to heading home this evening to see the final product (and start the clean up.)

Nati quote of the day:

Nati to Grandma: “Thank you!”

Grandma: “You’re welcome, darlin’ boy.”

Nati: “Mama, I said ‘Thank you,’ and Grandma said, ‘You’re welcome, darlin’ boy.’  I’m a Darlin’ Boy!”

Chocolate Milk

July 17, 2012 · 4:08 pm


I have a confession.  I lied. To my 2 year old son.  It started with his introduction to chocolate milk.  He loved it, and refused to drink regular milk again.  Concerned about his health with an addiction to refined sugars at such a young age, I tried everything to get him to drink plain milk, but to no avail.  Then one day it just happened.  I gave him plain white milk in his cuppy, and told him it was chocolate milk.  He drank it.

So every single day since then, I have been telling him that his milk is chocolate milk: a blatant lie.  As you well know, we went on vacation with my family a couple weeks ago.  Somehow, in his foray into the real world, (interacting with a handful of people other than myself,) Nati figured out that I had not been completely straight with him.  But not only did he figure out that plain milk is not chocolate milk.  He also decided that chocolate syrup is chocolate milk.  And he does not want chocolate milk and milk.  He only wants chocolate milk (aka syrup).

This has resulted in many tantrums as he asks several times daily for chocolate milk, and is each time disappointed with the product, whether it is white milk or real-live chocolate milk.  Today I had had way more than enough of this when he brought me his cuppy and asked for chocolate milk.  I said, “Do you want to know how we make chocolate milk?” (He said no, but I forged ahead).

So I sat him down in front of the fridge and got out the chocolate syrup and the milk.  I pointed to the chocolate syrup.  I said, “This is chocolate.” I poured a small amount in the cup.  I said, “This is yucky. Do you want to drink this?”  (This could have gone badly, but thankfully, he said no.)  Then I opened the milk.  He started to whine, but I continued. I poured the milk into the cuppy and mixed it up.  I said, “See?  We put in the chocolate and we put in the milk.  Now we have chocolate milk!”

There was a pause.  I held my breath in anticipation. Was this the quiet before the storm? Would he hurl the cup out of my hands and throw himself to the ground screaming?

Suddenly, he broke out in a huge grin, and said, “Mama!  Chocolate milk is like chocolate milk!”  He took the cup and drank it all happily down.

Now if I can just figure out how to get him to drink it without the chocolate again.

Basket as marching drum? Why not!


July 3, 2012 · 5:55 pm

We are on vacation.  So far, this has been the most relaxing part:

I love vacation with my family, especially since we don’t all get together that often.  Unfortunately, this year Hannah and Pierce can’t make it, half of my family was at a conference until Sunday, and Yohannes and Andrew can’t come till Tuesday night.   We needed to get the keys on Saturday, so Naomi and I planned to leave on Saturday morning. I was up late Friday packing and by Saturday morning, felt I had things under control.  That is, until Yohannes informed me that when I got the oil changed in the van, they put in the wrong oil.  Naturally, I never noticed, but Yohannes was kind enough to offer to run the van over and get the oil changed again.  We still had an hour till I needed to leave, so crisis averted…or so I thought.

Fast-forward 2.5 hours and Yohannes was just getting back.  After loading up the van and driving to pick up Naomi and her friend Keri, I was 2 hours behind schedule.  When I arrive, Naomi said, “You know we have to get there before the office closes or we forfeit the house, right?”

Say what?!

No problem. It was just after 1pm, and this trip was supposed to take 3.5 hours.  If the office closed at 5, we would be okay.  So we drove for about an hour, and I look at my GPS, to see it saying 4 more hours to reach destination.  With nothing to do but drive I pray, I prayed that the GPS was wrong.  In my head, I was running over scenarios of telling my family that I had single-handedly ruined our vacation.

Luckily, the GPS was wrong.  The office closes at 5.  We arrived at 4:57. Crises averted.

Did I mention we are in the middle of a heat wave?  We went most of the trip without the A/C working properly, but managed to survive.  When we arrived at what we thought was the beach house, we were greeted instead by a sauna.  The house is made mostly of pine, and it actually, truly smelled like a sauna.  We panicked for a moment when we thought there was no A/C, until we found the thermostat with the cooling turned off.  Catastrophe averted. Internal temp read 97 degree.  Outside temp was 87.  Also included, was an adorable note saying not to set the thermostat to more than 10 degrees lower than the outside temp.  How sweet.  But no thanks, considering Sunday was a high of 93.

We went to the beach Saturday night.  I was by myself with two kids, so It’s not like I expected to just go frolicking into the ocean, but I expected to still have some measure of fun.  It was promising at first.  When we walked on to the beach for the first time on Saturday evening, Nati was excited.  “Mama, where did all this sand come from?” he asked.  Then, after taking in the notes of an orchestral performance being broadcast from the boardwalk, mingled uniquely with the pop music blasting from a boom box on the beach, Nati said, “Mama, the beach is like a giant song!”

But then there was the ocean.  Nati screamed any time we got within a few feet of it.  I managed to get his feet wet a little, to which he loudly protested.  I finally consigned myself to playing in the sand, but still he wasn’t satisfied.  “Mama, turn off the waves!” he whined over and over, until we left, a full 5 minutes later.

On Sunday, I decided to brave the beach again.  I could drive, but I didn’t have our parking passes yet or I could take the trolley, but I didn’t have any quarters.  So I decided to walk with the kids in the stroller.  It took 40 minutes. 30 to get to the beach, and 10 to get the stroller across the sand.  We played for 30 minutes, during which time, Nati continued to ask me to “turn off the waves.”  Then we walked 40 minutes back.  I was wearing flip flops and get a large blister.

When we pulled up to the house, I got Nati out of the stroller and he went and stood in front of the glass sliding door.  I was still unloading Lily when he said, “Mama, there’s something going on in there.”  Are the girls back from the beach? I wondered, and kept unloading our stuff.  Nati wasn’t deterred.  “Mama, there’s really something going on in there.”  I grabbed an armful of water bottles and towels and walked over to the door.

That’s when I saw it. Water was raining down from the ceiling.  Not dripping.  Streams of water raining down.  I unlocked the door and rushed inside as fast as I could.  I ran up the stairs where I found that the tank of the upstairs toilet had water pouring out of the top of it. I managed to get the water turned off and began throwing all of the sheets and towels I could find into the puddles of water.  Nati refused to come in because it was raining.  I gave Nati a bowl of ice-cream (and then a second bowl of ice-cream) to keep him occupied while I made panicked phone calls and cleaned up the mess for the next two hours.  In the end, not much damage was done, but I think I’ve used up my quota of adrenaline for a month.

Finally, on Sunday evening the rest of the family arrived.  I realized the night before the room I was in wasn’t going to work for me.  It had one double bed, which both children shared with me.  That wasn’t going to leave room for Yohannes when he arrived on Tuesday.  So we did some shuffling and I moved into the room next door.   The next thing we knew, the electricity wasn’t working in my parents bedroom. My dad, Mr. Fixit, couldn’t sleep until he had located the problem, (Never mind that  they had already moved to another room with lights.) In the process of moving rooms, I apparently bumped an electrical outlet with a loose wire.  I was laying in bed, trying to get the kids to sleep, when my dad said casually on his way out of the room, “That could be a fire hazard, so if you smell anything tonight…”

Um. Okay.

So I spent the better part of the night plotting my escape in the case of a fire and dreaming about electrical outlets bursting into flames.    Luckily, we all woke up Monday morning, if a little more bleary eyed for the bad dreams.  The homeowner popped by to fix the toilet and tightened up the wires.

On Monday afternoon, I decided to brave the beach again, since the family was here for moral support (and to chase Nati while I held Lily and made myself look busy.)  Now having parking permits in our possession, we drove to the beach (thank God.)  Nati again refused to touch the ocean, but we had a lot of fun in the sand making sand castles while Uncle Derrick threw buckets of water at Nati and Lia.  Rebekah, my very pregnant sister, decided to take Lia out in the water.   I was sitting in the sand, watching as she walked out.  She hadn’t gone far when I saw a bigger wave coming up.  She saw it too, and promptly turned around, since she wouldn’t make it past the wave before it crashed.  She only got a couple of feet before it hit them.  She held Lia up to avoid the brunt of the wave, but got knocked down to her knees, luckily keeping both of their heads above water.  Derrick rushed in to take Lia, but Bekah got some ouchy scrapes on her knee from the fall.  Not a great first experience this vacation to teach the toddlers that the water is fun.  Also not great to have scrapes all over your leg.

Despite the many catastrophes and almost catastrophes, it’s nice to have some quality time with family.  Love, love, love my family.  Can’t wait to have everyone together at Hannah and Peirce’s wedding.

Unless a Kernel of Wheat Falls to the Ground and Dies

May 15, 2012 · 6:45 pm

I watched Marley and Me a couple of nights ago. I cried.  Not at the end. (Okay, I cried then too.)  I cried in the middle, at the part when they have two kids and Jennifer (the wife) has quit her job, and they are fighting.  John (her husband) suggests that she might have postpartum depression and she says she’s not depressed, she’s exhausted. Read More →

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