Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Don't Make Me Turn This Car Around!

I did it!!

I ran my first 5K!

I finished with a time of 38:47 and sixth overall in my division...the 50-59 females!

Ugh! I still can't believe that I am 50 years old.

Not really sure how I got here or how I survived passed my early 20's.

I was so stupid, headstrong, and willful. I knew everything and you couldn't tell me a thing.

In short, I  was pretty much a jerk.

Then I stopped drinking became well, a sober, stupid, headstrong, willful, know-it-all!

It's taken many years of trials and tribulations and failures to get to where I am today.

I am smarter but still headstrong although much less stubborn and I know that I don't know much but I can learn anything as long as I am willing to admit what I don't know.

Most importantly, I am a mom.

I am a mom of twin four-year-old boys who are learning to be independent, but can be headstrong, defiant and willful.

Just like...well, me.

Yup!

In fact, the twins turned four today.

The boys' T-Rex birthday cake
Where did four years go?

I find myself asking that question each year as time flies by in what appears to be a blur.

Another mom reminded me of a great expression yesterday, "The days are long but the years are short."

How true it is.

Yesterday wasn't just long, it was hellaciously long.

The kids were whiny and cranky all day. I'm reasonably sure it was the stupid time change from daylight savings.

David was the worst. We endured a 20 minute fit over my putting his sippy cup in the diaper bag,  something I've been doing for four years (I use it for sippy cups and food now). Evidently, he wanted to carry it. So I took it out of said bag and put it on the counter so that he could carry it and the tantrum got worse because he wanted to take it out of the bag, something he's never done.

It was hell.

No amount of distraction tactics would work to calm him or divert his attention to something else. He was just determined to scream.

I managed to get him in the car but then actually had to turn around and go back to the house and sit in the driveway with the threat of shutting off the car and going inside to get him to stop.

I was fully prepared to do this but I didn't really want to.

They are learning that mommy doesn't make empty threats. But that doesn't stop them from pushing the limits!

I follow through. It's tough and really, really difficult at times, but I feel it's important for teaching them where the boundaries are, how to follow instructions and to play by the rules!

It doesn't mean that they are not headstrong or defiant at times, yesterday being one of them, but they are learning when to push and when not to.

Sometimes my refusals are based on my fears not their abilities. It's tough to remember that when I'm frustrated.

The boys making silly faces
I'm hoping that their headstrong, defiant behaviors will make them successful and unwilling to quit when life gets rough.

They try so hard to be independent but still need me to zip their jackets, tie their shoes and wipe their butts.

Independence will come but it will take time.

They are only four and I am not in a rush for them to grow up.

Although having them wipe their own butts would be nice.

I love being a mom. The boys complete me in ways I never knew I was deficient. I had to become a mom to truly understand my shortcomings and know love.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

God's Plan

It was sophomore year in high school I distinctly recall going into the girls bathroom down the hall from the cafeteria with my best friend and having her explain to make myself throw up and get rid of all of the (high calorie/fattening) pasta that I'd consumed at the annual high school spaghetti supper fundraising dinner.

And so began a lifetime battle against the insidious eating disorder: Bulimia.

I spent all of my teenage and most of my adult years obsessing about my weight and torturing myself.

I stopped growing at the towering height of 5'3 & 3/4" and am fairly big boned for someone of my height. According the evil height and weight chart at 157 lbs I am roughly 27 lbs overweight.

Yeah, well, that chart has had me puking my guts up for years.

Not everyone is built the same.

I am not tall, lanky, skinny, slender. I do not have a tiny frame. I am big boned and years of athletics has given me a fantastic muscle base.

I have dieted, exercised, starved myself and body shamed myself for years because designers, the media, mean girls in high school and society in general have lead me to believe that a size 8 or (gasp) a 10 is much too large and that if I am not a size 2 or less then I am not worthy...of anything.

Guess what? They were wrong.

And so was I.

Jeremiah 1:5 says, ""Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

God created me and loves me as I am. 

Why then, do I pressure myself to be something other than what I was meant to be? 

Because I have been pressured by "societal norms" for so long that I have allowed them to dictate my worth.  And most importantly, because I did not have the faith to trust in God's plan. 

I could be a size 4 or 6 if I wanted to starve myself and live on protein bars but, quite honestly, I love food too much. 


I have needlessly battled the same 15 pounds for the past two years. I can take it off but it slowly creeps back on until I get to where I am now. 

So here I am.

At 157 lbs I can eat whatever I want and my blood pressure is 112/72. 

I go to the gym a couple of times a week, run around with my twin three-year-old boys and can garden all day without feeling as if I am going to keel over. 

My body is where it wants to be. 

I'm done torturing the beautiful creature that the Lord saw fit to bring into this world. I will no longer treat myself as a lesser person because my weight doesn't fall into the right block on that stupid chart. My worth is no longer going to be dictated by a number on the inside of my jeans or the number on the scale.

God loves me, my husband loves me and my children love me. 

I am choosing to trust God.

The body shaming ends now! 

Friday, July 8, 2016

What The Hell...

The other day David walked up to Daniel, lifted his shirt and licked his back. Daniel screamed and then yelled, "Mommy David slimed me." In a moment of infinite parental wisdom I yelled, "David, keep your tongue to yourself!"

Yeah...sometimes I feel like my life is one big carousel of stupid parenting moments which, from what I've been told, is normal.

I like feeling normal...whatever normal is.

Really what I like feeing is that I am not alone.

Knowing that what I thought was one of the worst "parent fail" moments of the decade isn't really that bad or is nothing new to any other parent makes me feel so much better!

There are tons of parenting books out there but I'm not sure how many deal with sibling lickings.

I try so hard to be a good and righteous mom but there are days that I fail miserably.

The biggest issue I have, and always have had, is my mouth!

Recently Daniel was standing in front of the TV with a toy car poised to roll across the screen. From across the room I yelled, "No!" Followed by, "Daniel put the car down."

He started to lower his arm but raised it back up and held it in front of the screen and I hollered, "Don't you dare."

With that he "vroomed" the car across the flat screen as I screamed, "Nooooo!"

Before I could move David looked at me and said, "That's a dammit mommy."


Face palm!

Oops!

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Parental Oxymoron: Not funny yet hysterical at the same time.

I laughed. Oh relax, I know better but seriously who wouldn't laugh at that one!

A few days after the "Dammit" Daniel walked up to me looked at something that was next to me on the sofa and asked, "What the hell is that?"

Um...

Yeah...all me!

On the grand scale of things this is not the worst. Neither of the kids are running around dropping F-bombs in public but it is a great reminder that these two little people will learn what I teach them and the biggest lessons come from my actions.

I pray on a regular basis to keep myself under control and be a better example.

I'm working on it I really am but dammit it's tough!

Oops!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Saying Goodbye

I cannot believe that we are almost in July! Between work, the children's programs of Karate and Tumbling and endless loads of laundry, this year is flying by. 

Not all of it has been the chaos that we encounter on a daily basis. 

There has been deep, cutting sadness that I am still attempting to deal with. 

The day after Easter I received a text message from a friend on mine asking if I had seen Facebook. I hadn't as I had been attempting to snooze on the sofa trying to recover from hosting a huge gathering for the Holiday. 

After receiving the text I jumped up and ran to my computer to see what was going on and was horrified to read that our friend had passed away at the age of 31. 

Tears sprang from my eyes and cascaded down my cheeks. 

How? How does this happen? 

I sat and prayed for understanding and acceptance but the pain was deep. 

Knowing that I would never talk to Jessie again nearly crippled me. 

Weeks passed and I found myself unable to move on. Not that I thought I should just be able to accept this, toss it aside and go on with my life but that there was an emptiness or hole that I couldn't seem to fill. 

I reached out on the very page that delivered the bad news and asked if there was a way to hold a service for her in Virginia. The pastor of the church that she had attended contacted me and her father and together we picked a date and got to work. 

Phone calls, emails and writing gave my life purpose and direction. I was no longer struggling through a quagmire of numbness that seemed to anchor my feet to the floor. 

I still miss her. I always will but that day I was able to release some of my sadness and say goodbye. 

I wanted to share my eulogy with you to have you know her the way I did.  


I met Jessie in the spring of 2008 at the NRA Annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. This sweet, shy, quiet (little did I know) young lady had my heart from the beginning. Always ready with a smile and a funny story she could turn almost any situation into one filled with laughter.

After we began working together I quickly learned that Jessie was neither shy nor quiet and, aside from saying things like Sir, Ma’am, y’all and “Bless her heart” she blew just about every stereotype of a southern girl out of the water. Being from NH I had mistakenly believed that all southern girls were born knowing how to two-step and spent their Saturday nights in bars listening to country music and learning to line dance. 

That was not the case with Jessie…At all. She was a free spirit who was moved by the things that she loved which could include anything from competitive shooting to knitting and if she could combine the two while listening to Ludacris she would! 

Jessie had a wicked sense of humor that ranged from silly to completely sarcastic and had the ability to make me laugh to the point that I’d have tears streaming down my face and my stomach muscles would hurt for days. She was a fierce competitor who gave it her all whether she was competing with a rifle or in the annual Spoons Tournament at the NRA. 

Jess was just amazing! She truly never met a stranger. Her love of others transcended age, race, religion, marital status and politics. She never let her personal opinions get in the way of being a friend. No matter what, she saw the good in people and there was no gap too wide to bridge. 

She had a deep and abiding love of Christ. Jessie was a living example of unconditional love and was always available to help others regardless of their need. Her devotion helped lead me back to church. She never said, “You should go.” Or “you’re going to rot in hell.” She simply lived her life in a way that made me want to emulate her love of others, as Christ loves us. 

So what is this love? Merriam-Webster defines love as: 

·     a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person

·     attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship
 a person you love in a romantic way 

How’s that for not even coming close?! 

When thinking about Jess, the impact she had on me and on those around her the one passage that keeps coming to mind was First Corinthians, Chapter 13: 4-8 The gift of love. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. 

My father’s side of the family is Quaker. In a Quaker funeral everyone sits in silent prayer and then, if they feel moved to do so, can stand and talk about the deceased. At my grandmother’s funeral back in the 90s some people read bible verses and others shared stories. 

As the service neared the end a gentleman, that no one recognized stood up, introduced himself and said that he’d been having breakfast with my grandmother every Sunday after church for the past three years. He went on to say that he was sorry that he’d only known my grandmother for three years but after listening to everyone that day he felt blessed to have known her for three years. 

This is how I feel about my friendship with Jessie. I’d only known Jessie for 8 years but am blessed to have known her for that long. I am very proud to call her friend but I do not believe that our friendship happened by chance. CS Lewis summed up friendship the best in The Four Loves:  “In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.” 

Jessie’s beauty was Love. 

To know Jessie was simply to know love.  

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bee Hives, Pneumonia And Lobsters, Oh My!

Over the winter my hubby assembled two new bee hives and we are now awaiting the call to go pick up the colonies and their queens any day now.

Once the hives were assembled hubby took the boys to the hardware store to let them pick out their own colors so that they could help him paint the "bee houses."

In preparation of the arrival of the bees the boys (all three) have been learning about the colony, the workers and the queen.

It's been a very fun process that involves books and videos and even some TV shows. I now know more about bees than I ever thought possible...especially because I am allergic to the little buggers!

The roller coaster of life continues to astound me. One day up, the next down. Last week was a low one.

In fact last week was pretty much a nightmare.

In true three-year-old fashion David stuffed a raisin up his nose Wednesday night.

He was not able to blow it out and the pediatrician was unable to locate it the next day. He assures me that he can still feel it up there.

I truly hope not.

The following morning Daniel woke up with a fever of 102.6. It dropped below 100 after a dose of Tylenol but I still called the doctor to check to see if they wanted to see him. I was advised to keep an eye on him but that if the fever spiked to 105 to go to the ER.

Just after 8pm that night we arrived in the local ER because Daniel's fever had spiked to 105.5!

Within one hour they had him through triage, in a bed, flu tested, given Tylenol and x-rayed to check his lungs for pneumonia.

He tested positive for the flu and for pneumonia. I immediately felt like the worst mom on the face of the earth.

How could I have missed this? What did I do wrong? What should I have done? How did this happen? He was in the pool the day before for over an hour until I physically removed him so we could eat lunch!

How can you be swimming one day and have pneumonia the next?!

Seriously...how does that even happen?!

We were in the ER just under three hours. In that time they ran a flu test, blood tests, took x-rays, hooked up an IV and administered both fluids and antibiotics.

The following day David and I headed to the grocery store to stock up on fruit and a few other staples to get through the weekend/Holiday.

This was the first time that I'd had only one child with me in the grocery store and we had a pretty good time picking things out together.

David is a really smart kid. His verbal skills are above average and his memory is astounding. He picks up on things that most adults don't and even conjugates verbs properly!

The level of his intelligence became very obvious while looking at the lobster tank in our local grocery store. I pointed out that most of the lobsters were pretty small with the exception of one that was considerably larger than all the rest.

"Maybe that's the queen," David replied.

Um...maybe.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Graph Paper

A couple of years ago, after acquiring my mom's old garden tiller, my hubby decided to grow some corn. This was awesome!

Nothing like corn fresh from the garden with a hamburger in the summer time!

Nom, nom, nom!

Well that one garden has expanded into four and hubby has become obsessed with the layout of them.

So much so that last night he spent 2.5 hours graphing them.

Yes...he used graph paper.

Really, he did!

He measured three of the gardens (one is all blueberry bushes) and then used a calculator to figure out how many rows of each vegetable he could plant based on how far apart they have to be.

I watched season 4 of Suits.

After we got into bed, he said to me, "How do your feel about herbs?"

"Um...Herbs? What do you mean herbs?"

"You know" he said, "Thyme, basil, oregano..." This from the man who didn't know how to boil water six years ago.

"Yeah sweetie," I replied, "I know what herbs are."

He then went on to explain that he wanted to grow them to cook with.

Whew!

For a second there, I was a little concerned that he was suddenly into something kinky that involved bedtime and a weird desire to use basil oil!

I told him that in all the years I'd had gardens and tried growing the herbs I'd yet followed through with anything. I've used them in some of the cooking but never dried them before. I just let them go to seed or just die in the garden.

Apparently, he's got his heart set on growing the herbs to use in his canning adventures. How I 'feel' about them doesn't really matter...he'd already added them to is graph paper.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Hiatus Is Over

After a four year hiatus, I once again have become a gym rat. 

For years and years I was a gym goer. Either at the office, if my employer had a good gym, or after work at a local health club. 

Many of those years were spent with one of my best friends sweating and griping together. 

The value of a workout partner cannot be overlooked. 

Whether it was just having someone to kibbutz with about the day, our significant others or whine about our jobs, knowing that she was going to be there and not wanting to blow her off was a great motivator. 

I miss my workout partner. 

More than just her company I miss her sense of humor the most. 

At least 12 years ago we were doing our ab workout on the mats against the wall that backed the aerobic room where there was a class going on. 

The music was the same techno crap that all lazy aerobic instructors use but what was even more annoying was the instructor's voice. She was yelling counts into her mic with a voice that sounded like she was attempting to motivate a class of four year olds! Ugh! Can't stand being spoken to like that to begin with never mind when I'm trying to exercise! 

I made a comment to my friend about the instructor's voice and, pretending to be in the class, she quipped, "I'm not stupid, I'm just fat!" 

Ha! 

I miss her! 

I am crazy judgmental when it comes to my exercise instructors. If I'm weight training they need to have muscles...bulging muscles. 

If I'm doing anything aerobic my instructor needs to be thinner than I am. Seriously! How the hell am I supposed to be motivated to sweat if the girl at the front of the class looks like she lives on Big Macs?! 

This is an important motivational factor for me! 

And DON'T talk to me like I'm a child. 

Since I am only on my third week of "getting back into shape" I've decided that the recumbent bike and circuit weight training are the best thing for me, for now. Once I can do the circuit without feeling like I'm dying I'll get into the free weights again. 

I'm trying to be smart about this and acknowledge that I am not 20-something anymore and my body just doesn't recover like it used to. 

Yeah, getting older really does suck! 

My biggest regret is that I allowed myself to get out of shape at all. Yeah I had twins and yeah I was busy but lots of people have twins and lots of people are busy. Lots of people also know when to stop eating and actually say "No thank you" when offered dessert.

I've been lazy with my food and therefore lazy about my health.  

So here I am less than a year shy of the big 5-0 and I'm starting over in the gym. 

The club we joined has tons of programs for us and for the kids as well as a free indoor play place that the boys can play on for hours...if I had that kind of time. The pools, all four of them, are spotless and the kids's pool is a zero entry pool that only goes to 3'6" deep. They have and adult only locker room as well as family locker rooms and a cafe. Our membership includes monthly cafe bucks that I can use for a cup of coffee before heading out and if we want to, we can bring our own food and eat in the cafe without a problem. 

It's an amazing place but you know what the best part is? 

I get two hours a day of childcare a day! 

Two. Hours. A. Day!!! Woot!! 

I can ride the bike and read a book at the same time. 

I can do the weight circuit without someone bugging me. 

I can have a conversation with another adult without interruption...well except for the moaner. 

The moaner. 

There's one in every gym. 

This guy gets on the elliptical bike thing and rides like he's being chanced by a pack of rabid raccoons. 

Despite the fact that he rides this thing every day, he gets pissed off at the machine, sometimes even yells at it but every day, without fail, he moans. 

Not a stressful grunt from time to time but full on, orgasmic moaning. 

It's a little uncomfortable to be around. 

The little old ladies that also workout while he's there spend their time alternately shaking their heads and blushing. 

I try to get there before he arrives but my schedule doesn't always allow for that. I've sort of gotten used to him and to be honest the discomfort that he causes those of us around him has become a great conversation starter. 

Who knows maybe I'll find a new workout partner. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

He Is My Rock

I have this terrible habit of romanticizing the dumbest things.
    The Brady Bunch.
The ultimate "Everything is
fixed in 30 minutes" sitcom. 

I blame Disney and TV sitcoms!

Seriously, I have spent my life thinking that, "When I have kids..." Fill in the blank.

Well my idiotic imagination and reality don't jive well; in fact they often clash!

My children were not going to be the little bastards that ran willy-nilly all over the grocery story, or scream at the top of their lungs. My boys would be properly dressed when we left the house.

My children would not throw temper tantrums.

Ha!

I was recently slapped so hard in the face by reality that I was left crying and wondering what I had done wrong.

The short answer is nothing. I really had done nothing wrong. And the boys are really wonderful.

Most of the time.

We endured months of David controlling nearly every situation with his incessant tantrums to the point that we'd changed plans to go out just to spare another human being from the experience.

Initially it began because David didn't want to change out of his pajamas...ever.

I had this rule: Pajamas are ok at home but if we go out they had to be changed into real clothes.

The morning I arrived at my MoPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) group with a bottle of lavender oil in my pocket, I knew things were out of control. After discussing the situation with the moms I decided to let the pajama issue go. (See My How Life Has Changed.)

I thought we were out of the woods.

I had another thought coming.

Next was the dirty clothes. David only wanted to wear dirty clothes. If I changed him he'd strip down and then throw his tantrum.

One day in particular I'd had enough and called my husband for moral support.

I left David flailing naked on the playroom floor and headed up to the bedroom, closed and locked the door and plunked myself in the recliner to share my misery and hear that everything was going to be ok.

As soon as my butt hit the leather the bedroom door burst open with Hell Boy Tantrum Child screaming that he wanted his dirty clothes. I calmly walked across the master bedroom and locked myself in the bathroom. (Double checked the latch on the door!) sat on the edge of the tub and cried into the phone, "I can't take this anymore."

Suddenly, there was this insanely loud banging noise coming from the bathroom door. Hubby asked what the noise was so I described the scene to him: David was now lying on his back on the floor on the other side of the bathroom door screaming at the top of his lungs while simultaneously kicking the bathroom door.

"Naked."

"What?" I asked

"He's lying on the floor kicking the bathroom door completely naked."

The absurdity of it all hit me and I began to laugh!

There are so many reasons that I love my husband but his sense of humor is one of the big ones.

Over the years he has been able to make me laugh more than anyone else.

Oh sure, we have our stress moments, what couple doesn't? But his ability to calm me and find humor in a situation is a gift.

Some of my parenting thoughts are still true to this day. My children do not run like crazy through stores. I will not tolerate it..that's what playgrounds are for. The day David decided to start screaming while in the shopping cart, as we were walking into the store I steered past the entrance and sat on the sidewalk until he was ready to settle down and I could go shopping without inconveniencing everyone in the store.

They've been to the store in their pajamas and people loved them. I was not criticized.

I'm learning to let experiences happen without expectations. Having expectations about behavior is one thing but why not let things play out they way they were meant to? I don't need to have everything scripted or planned.

A dear friend always said, "If you want to make God laugh, make plans."

Ha!

I'm learning to go with the flow.

The tantrums lasted nearly three months. For a while it was daily sometimes twice a day. At it's worst I felt so lost but talking to other moms about it was super helpful. Many even offered suggestions that truly made a difference.

They are over now.

We survived.

Knowing that my hubby always had my back and was willing to jump in and deal with David when I was at the end of my rope was my saving grace.

He is my rock. 

I am blessed. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sharing

I married a man whose idea of cooking was to buy prepackaged food at Wegmans and heat it up in the microwave.

Not that there is really anything wrong with that. But it's not cooking...it's reheating.

Two years ago I started a part-time job as a Dyson Demonstrator working weekends to help make ends meet.

It was a great gig. Not really hard, sometimes boring, but for the most part it was fun and I really enjoyed doing the job. I also had one of the best managers a person could ask for. She's no longer my manager, but I do get to call her friend.

While I was working that job I often did not get home before 7 o'clock in the evening on Saturdays and Sundays.

The guy who couldn't cook would wait for me to get home to cook dinner.

Needless to say, evenings with the children were a nightmare as they were hangry (hungry+angry) and I would become increasingly cranky at having to work on my feet all day and then have to cook dinner when I walked through the door.

I finally told him that it wasn't fair that I was put in this position and initially remedied it by bringing Costco pizza home with me.

He finally relented and started to learn to cook. Initially we ate a lot of grilled food. I seriously don't understand how someone can say they can't cook but can handle preparing food over an open flame but I digress... Hubby grows sweet corn in the summer and grilled corn with chicken or burgers and hot dogs were a staple.

Eventually his confidence increased and he began to get more creative. He even used Italian dressing and breadcrumbs on the chicken before grilling it and I have to say it was delicious!

As the summer came to a close he had to move his weekend cooking operation indoors.

We ate burned chicken.

Our kids are not very picky but even they wouldn't eat it.

I did not criticize but offered a couple of suggestions which he took like a man.

While all of this "learning to cook" stuff was going hubby also decided to teach himself how to bake bread. No one, least of all hubby, knows why he was suddenly obsessed with this idea.

He could barely cook chicken without making it black so please, by all means, take up one of the most difficult culinary skills of all!

What's next croissants? Oy vey!

If you've known me for anytime you'd know how much pride I take in both my kitchen and my cooking skills. I've invested countless hours in reading recipes and testing out techniques. I used to watch the cooking channel as if I were in school cramming for the final!

I turned my love of cakes into a full-time successful business that was bringing in pretty good money.

MY Kitchen was my empire! I was ruler.

The fact that I wasn't in it on Saturdays and Sundays made it no less mine!

I had lost all control.

He was putting things where they didn't belong.

I couldn't find the strainer.

Tools were not in the proper drawers.

I COULDN'T FIND MY STUFF!!!

I was pissed!

While lecturing the boys on sharing I was having a hissy fit because he hadn't put my measuring cups back in the right spot!

Hmmmmm.

Crap!

Now who needs to share?

I won't say that hubby has mastered the bread making but we no longer eat store-bought bread. All sandwich bread is home-made. He made a Challah at Christmas that was beyond amazing.

Christmas was just downright weird. It's the first time in my life I've ever given a man kitchen stuff. Pot holders, rolling pins and a peeler attachment for the Kitchen Aid.

It was like being in some alternate universe!

Seriously though, he's become an incredible cook who isn't afraid to try new things.

He has taught himself the art of canning. We have jars of applesauce, vegetable soup, turkey vegetable soup, pumpkin (home grown thank you very much), sauerkraut and the most amazing apple butter I've ever tasted.

As a result of his increased skill level (and his unwillingness to commit to memory the location of where things have been in the four years that we've lived in this house) we rearranged the kitchen...together!

I'm happy to report that we are still happily married :)

Having closed the cake business I no longer needed to have a number of items at my fingertips.

So we spent a weekend cleaning out and reorganizing the kitchen. He now has access to the mixers, the canning stuff and the measuring cups. I moved stuff that I hadn't used in a while and the cake stuff has been moved to the basement rather than upstairs where it was taking up precious cabinet space.

We even rearranged the furniture in the kitchen to open up the floor plan and the tops of the cabinets are now adorned with the fruits of hubby's canning efforts.

It's not just my kitchen anymore but I'm ok with that.

Hubby and I have always made a great team and balance each other out in fantastic ways: he is calm where I am haywire; he is quiet and I am well, not; I am an extrovert and he is an introvert. He is the yin to my yang but it works. It's us.

I have learned to share my kitchen and my stuff. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. In fact it's been a lot of fun.

Now if I could just get him obsessed with the laundry...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Little Help Here

I truly thought that when I decided to begin potty training the boys that they'd learn at the same time.

I had another thought coming. 

Once I decided it was time, I did lots of reading. 

The most useful of all of the information that I read was written by fellow blogger Shannon at Stickers & Glitter about The Potty Watch
After reading her post I literally ran to my computer and ordered two! 

Once they arrived I explained to the boys how the watches worked and told them that we'd start going in the potty tomorrow. I got them all excited about the idea and we prepped for it all day and into the evening. 

After they got up, I had them each pee in the potty and then put on real underwear and pants and we strapped on the watches. 

David was totally into it and when the watch played the music and the lights blinked he yell, "Potty time!" and run into the bathroom. 

Daniel would run behind the sofa. 

The initial reward was a sticker but that was only good for a couple of days before they both lost interest in the stickers and, quite frankly, I got tired of scraping them off the floor, windows, furniture, cabinets...you get the picture.

I finally decided that pee would be rewarded with two jelly beans but a poop would earn the Holy Grail: Chocolate. 

This was no incentive for Daniel at all. In fact Daniel was totally non-plussed about the whole thing.  

Meanwhile, David was so into it that he figured out that he could squeeze out one turd at a time and get a piece of chocolate for each one! Clever little bugger! 

By day four David was out of diapers completely even at night. 

In fact, the night I decided to put him to bed without a diaper was after I found him crying in the hallway because he couldn't figure out how to put his diaper back on after going to the bathroom. 

That day we made a trip to the store for nightlights. 

I even had him practice getting up and going to the potty with only the nightlight on so it wouldn't be totally foreign territory for him. 

Daniel was showing no improvement...at all. 

I stuck with it. Everything I read said that you train for a week and if there is no progress you stop and try again in a couple of weeks. 

After Daniel ran behind the sofa for the seventh day in a row I gave up and put him back in a diaper and continued to reward David. 

By the end of the week David was trained...completely. 

He was telling everyone that he, "was a big boy because he poops in the potty but Daniel was still wearing a baby diaper." 

REALLY?! 

Where the heck did that come from?! 

We've tried again and again with Daniel with no success. 

Before Christmas I asked Daniel if he knew what mommy wanted 'the most of all' for Christmas. He replied with, "What?" I said, "Mommy really wants you to poop in the potty." He gave me the most pathetic, 'You're really not going to like this answer' look followed by, "No." Then reached up and put his arm around my neck, leaned in and said, "How about a necklace?"

I laughed so hard that I almost wet his bed!

We tried again a couple of weeks ago...spent the weekend cleaning urine off the floor - Allow me to recommend hardwood floors people - It's worth the extra money in the long run! 

I've all but given up. 

However, On three different occasions I have discovered him coming out of the bathroom with his diaper undone and when asked he says that he went pee-pee in the potty. 

There is hope. 

The last time was a couple of days ago when I walked into my bathroom to find him in front of my potty, pants down to his knees, diaper open on one side. 

He looked at me and said, "Little help here" and looked down at his diaper. 

Yes sweetie I will give you a little help! 

Now...can you please poop in the potty?!