Friday, July 30, 2010

Birthday Notes

Since S had her checkup this afternoon on her actual birthday and had to get a shot, AND it just happens to be national cheesecake day so The Cheesecake Factory had half-price slices, I told her if she did a good job at the doctor's office, we'd get a special treat. She did pretty well considering it was right in the middle of naptime. She still fights opening her mouth to let the dr. look inside, but other than that, she did great. She was brave for her shot, but a little surprised by how much it hurt. She sniffled until the nurse left then let out great big wailing sobs. She asked me why she had to get a shot, and I told her it was to protect her from getting really sick, and she said "I don't want to." Poor thing. Next time, she'll have remembered.

So off we went to Cheesecake Factory. (Clearly this was more a present for me than for her. They've posted a different flavor on Facebook every day for a month. I've been drooling all of July.) As we were pulling in, she asked what we were getting. I told her I was taking her to get a special treat called cheesecake, and I thought she would like it. She said, "No! I want FARMER'S cheesecake." I had to laugh. I told her it's not actually made out of cheese, it's just called that. It was too confusing to her.

As we were getting out of the car, "I Wanna Rock With You" was playing. She said she really liked this music. Good taste, baby. "Yep, you can't go wrong with Michael Jackson," I replied.

Because it was WAY past naptime, I made sure to order when we sat down, the 30th Anniversary Slice. Chocolate cake, original cheesecake and chocolate accents. Yum! She was mostly interested in the large dollop of whipped cream. I kept trying to get her to have some cake, but she'd make a face and say she didn't like it. The outside crust had a chocolate shell with sprinkles so I got her to take a few bites of that with a little cheesecake hidden on it. The third bite I said, "See, isn't that yummy? The creamy stuff is the cheesecake." Suddenly, she wanted to spit it out. Oh brother. Luckily, I was planning to get a to-go box anyway to share with DH later, so we got it to go.

"Roxanne" came on while we were sitting there and she cocked her head to the side. I told her The Police sing this song. She looked perplexed so I explained that was the name of the band who played it. "That's kind of funny, huh?" She nodded. I imagine her picturing policeman sitting behind the drums and playing guitars. :)

On the way out, she wanted to go back to the bathroom. When we'd been in the first time after we ordered before our food arrived, there were three, stair-stepped sisters dressed alike who were very cute. I think she wanted to find them again, but it was just us. Then as we were washing our hands, she was singing her ABC's like usual only a little louder. After she finished, we heard clapping and "Yea! Good job!" from one of the stalls. Too funny!

And then my little angel fell asleep on the drive home. So I'm taking a quick minute to post this, then off to do as much prep work for the big party tomorrow as possible before she gets up!

Our Baby is 3!

Happy birthday, Sunshine! I can't believe it's been three years already. You are such an amazing person. I enjoy seeing you learn and grow every day. I'm trying to work on my patience because you certainly have Daddy's and my stubborn streak and my temper (sorry!). But you bring a smile to my face every day and are such a joy for us. Love you, S!!!!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Crazy Day II

One of my best friends had to have a cyst removed from her ovary today. She is a single mom and her mother succumbed to breast cancer the year before I met her, so I knew she was more concerned about it than she let on. I offered to take her to the hospital. We got there at 5:30am, and the doctor and nurses were fantastic. The anesthesiology nurse was actually from her church, and he knew her dad, so that helped ease her worries a little bit, I think. The doctor explained that they were going to put a hole about a cm wide in her belly button and one or two other tiny holes in her abdomen. She was planning to try to remove the cyst, but would take the ovary if need be. My friend has a 16-year-old and no plans to have more children so she was fine with that possibility. After the surgery, she was in quite a bit of pain, and they did end up having to take the ovary. I think it may have bothered her more than she thought it would. Of course, she still has the other one, but this got me to thinking about a lot of things.

The first was how I take my own feminine health for granted. Sure I have monthly cramps, but they're fairly minor (worse now that I get almost zero exercise), and the only issue I've ever had was a cyst inside my ovary that broke up on its own. Though somewhat painful, not the end of the world. Second, seeing her daughter's worry reminded me of when I was 16 and my dad had triple-bypass open heart surgery. I'd never seen my dad weak. He is tall and strong, and even in his old age (he's 70 now) somewhat foreboding to those who don't know he's a giant teddy bear. To see this man who had lifted me on his shoulder just a couple of years before that and carried me across a baseball practice field after I sprained my ankle be unable to feed himself was earth-shattering. My view of the world as I knew it was cracked irreparably from that moment on. In turn, this made me think of how I need to take better care of myself. I'm an "older" mom so the girls won't be graduating til I'm almost 50.

Also, when I got to work today, I found out that our biggest client laid off their entire packaging department. Complete shocker. We are still their agency at this time, but not sure how that will impact us. They needed to clean house, so if it pans out for us to still have the work, FANTASTIC. But a little nervous it could be the beginning of the end for us, too.... Need new clients!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baby R

She's so stinkin' cute, I just don't know what to say! Last weekend she said Mama for the first time. I thought maybe it was an accident, but I got her to say it again. But of course, as soon as I tried to get her to say it for DH, it wasn't happening. :)

She's been waving goodbye and blowing kisses lately, too. So adorable! And she's STILL trying to cut those first teeth! I had thought they were through a couple of months ago, but either they slid back up or weren't quite through yet even though they felt like it.

This morning there was a fly in her bedroom, so I couldn't get her back to sleep after she woke up at 5am. Can't really blame her. Couldn't find the stinkin' thing to swat it, so I just brought her to bed with me hoping she'd sleep but knowing it wasn't going to happen. She's not big on sleeping with us. On the plus side, we don't have to worry about that becoming a bad habit! Anyway, I took her downstairs and got some toys out for her to play with. One of them is a baby doll she got for Christmas that you push the tummy on and she says "I wuv you!" and makes a kissing noise. It's shrill and annoying, but it's become her favorite thing lately. She was sitting with it and leaning over and putting her mouth on its face - giving it kisses. So cute!

Just so thankful for our precious little girls!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Crazy Day

Well, it's official, we all four having the creepin' crud, as my dad would say. It started with S on Wednesday. In the morning I thought (hoped) it might be allergies. She was sneezing a lot. By that evening, she was definitely sick. We try to keep the kids apart when they're sick, and away from my parents, because it just keeps getting passed around from the kids to the caregivers and back, so Thursday we asked my FIL to watch her for us. She had a couple of accidents so my MIL said she might have a bladder infection. So Friday, I took her to the dr. Just a cold. And now we all have it. Blech.

It's been a weird day. This morning, DH went outside to mow the lawn and a stray dog wandered over. He called her owner and they were out of town, so the housesitters came by to get her. Then a little while later, the electricity went out. S was so cute; she wanted me to turn the tv back on and I told her I couldn't, we'd have to wait for the electricity to come back on. She said, "Daddy will fix it. Daddy can fix anything!" After half an hour I called the power and light company and it came back on about thirty minutes later. Luckily they were kind enough to call me with a recorded message about another thirty minutes later saying they had received my complaint and were working hard to restore power to our area. Then I went to set Riley down on the floor, and I didn't place her well and she fell over on her face and got a bloody nose. I felt so terrible. Just got her up from her nap and she scratched herself in her sleep - looks like she's been in a fight with the scraped nose and little bit of blood on her nostril. At least, she doesn't seem to be feeling as badly as the rest of us yet. Just a little runny nose. Hoping we can get everyone well soon - glad it was this weekend and not next for S's big bday bash!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Is It Tough Having Two?

Out of the blue the other day our DD looked up at me and in a concerned voice said, "Mommy, is it tough on you having two of us?" I couldn't help but laugh. And I wondered where she must have overheard that? I said, "Oh, baby, I LOVE having two of you. I'd have ten of you if I could!" Not that there aren't times when I struggle with it. Particularly yesterday and today. S has a summer cold. Nothing serious, just the gross, snot-flying-out-of-her-nose sneezes. She's still full of pep, but she's not quite herself, so this morning when I was trying to take care of Baby R, she wanted me to hold her. Usually, she's patient and waits til I finish what I'm doing, but today she was jealous and wanted me NOW. I try to be overly understanding when she doesn't feel well. But I got so little sleep last night, I just didn't have it in me. Between her waking up three times and needing me to go to her room, and Baby R waking up a handful of times and fussing for about 10 minutes each, and then waking up an hour early, I think I may have gotten three hours of sleep. I'm having a hard time keeping my eyes open as I write this. (If there's an abrupt end to this post, know I've dozed off....) Anyway, I guess if I only had one munchkin, it might not be quite so tough. Luckily the joys of motherhood are far greater than the sacrifices, and that is even truer with more than one kiddo.

I saw a hilarious post on Mamapedia today where a woman was talking about a silly thing she did - she was unloading groceries and put her cell phone and the crackers in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard. Her friend called things like that "momnesia". Love that term! Must start using it.

One more thought about my food situation. Quotes from my friend's blog: " current struggle is that I eat exactly how I want all day, but after dinner and my snack I still want more. It isn't that I'm hungry. I just always want more... I might want more food, but that doesn't mean I have to act on it. It is just a thought... it's comforting to remember that I don't have to act on my thoughts today. I have the ability to CHOOSE." Such a powerful entry! I need to print that out and post it on my refrigerator.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Food Update and Newlywed Struggles

Since I had my epiphany regarding my need to have an open and honest discussion with myself regarding my relationship to food, I can definitely see a difference in how I approach eating. The first couple of days, I didn't even want to eat except when I was ready for a meal, and one other time for a snack. That's unusual for me. I generally have a frequent internal dialogue that involves me wanting junk food, then rationalizing why I should have it, occasionally deterred by my conscience who says I don't need it. I also felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. Admittedly, now that it's been a couple of weeks, I have found that the dialogue is back, but I'm more aware of it. I feel like it's not controlling me anymore, I'm controlling it. For now.

When I had this moment of clarity, I was reminded of a time in my spiritual life when I had turned my back on God. I could sense his presence, as though he were sitting in a chair in the corner of my room, patiently waiting for me to talk to Him. But I kept putting Him off. The wall between us from my transgressions kept building for quite some time. Once I made my return to Him, it was a huge relief, and while I haven't maintained our relationship like I should, I haven't let it get to that point again, and hope I never do. It's a lonely, stressful place trying to hide from someone who's omniscient. :) I feel like this food issue did a similar thing to me. Though it wasn't all-seeing, it was omnipresent, and I couldn't shake it. Like a bad itch you can't reach to scratch. Now I have access to it, and can face it head on. And hopefully won't let it become a monkey on my back again.

I've mentioned in a couple of posts that being a newlywed was tough for me and that I would expound on that, so here it is. There were times the first 6 months I was married that I literally considered looking into an annulment. The worst part is, you feel like you can't say anything to anyone when you're going through it because you don't want to fail so you don't have the support you really need - someone telling you it's normal to a certain extent. I felt so guilty for being a "bad wife". I think part of it was because I moved into his house, so I didn't feel like it was our home, I felt like an outsider. Plus our house was so tiny - if you stood in the hallway, you could see into all 5 rooms of the house - so DH went from living alone to feeling like I was ALWAYS there. Which I was, but usually there's a little bit of space in a home for personal alone time, and we just didn't have that. Plus I had this image in my head what kind of wife I wanted to be. My mom is an amazing wife and mother, and I tried to emulate her, and kept failing miserably. Now that we're adults, we found out that my mom was miserable the first year she was married, too. I'm sure she was thinking, what did I do? I hardly know this guy (they met on New Year's Eve and got married Apr 15th), and I moved to a different country 1000 miles away from home, and have a step-daughter who hates me. I cannot imagine!

I also had expectations of what I thought DH would be like based on how my parents worked together, and it was frustrating that he didn't take care of things I expected him to (even though I knew that was unfair). A major problem that I resolved around the six month mark was learning about the five love languages. I grew up in a home where we were hugged and told we were loved every single day, usually more than once. DH is not like that. When we were dating, I knew he wasn't a cuddly person, but I thought he'd at least tell me he loved me once a week (without prompting). It's just not his love language. Once I learned about that, it made it so much easier. Another frustration for me was that everyone talked about this great honeymoon phase, but we had known each other for 11 years when we got married. We were past the honeymoon phase before we were even home from the honeymoon! :) I felt like we were sort of robbed of that exciting new time, and jumped straight into the tough stuff. In retrospect, that's a great thing, because by the time we'd finished living together that first year, it was as if we were three or four years into the timing of most new marriages.

Three main things helped me go from feeling like this was never going to work, to we might actually make it. First was learning the differences in our love languages. Second was deciding to treat each chore as if I was single and there was no one else who could do it for me so I didn't expect any help which made all the help I got seem like a blessing. Third was focusing on his positive traits. I made a list so I could refer to it when I would get frustrated. Once we got through those first six months, though, I've never looked back. Sign after sign has reiterated to me that this is exactly who I'm supposed to be with and hanging in there was definitely the right decision.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Girls

Baby R started doing the army crawl last week. The funny thing is that she'll stop and turn back to look at you, and she's kind of on her side with one hand on her hip in a sassy bathing suit pose. Got to try to catch it on film/video.

Saturday, my DH put together a swing set for S. She played on it ALL day Sunday - we even had a picnic lunch in the fort. :) It's for her bday but it's also for the whole family plus we thought it would be nice to already have it up for the party, so we did it ahead of time. (And by we, I mean he. My sweet hubby rocks!) This weekend we have 2 bday parties and a going away party to attend. Gearing up for S's bday party. Initially when I asked her what kind of party she wanted to have, she said princesses. I said, really? (She's not that into them - thank goodness. I think she said that because she had just been to a friend’s party with that theme.) I said, ok. You don't want Curious George or Elmo or Sid the Science Kid or Clifford? And she said she wanted Elmo on her cake with Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster, etc. So I said, so you want a Sesame Street party? She said yes. Then I told DH that, and he said she told him she wanted a Dora party. I was 99% sure she would change her mind a hundred times between then and now, but I was thinking she would lean towards Dora, so I just did purple and orange invites and decided to wait on the theme. She’s been pretty consistent about saying Sesame Street, though, so that's what we're doing. Here's the invite I did. The only problem is that I like to keep the invite theme in the party theme which has been a bit of a struggle since Sesame Street is green and yellow, not orange and purple. But I've managed to do it ok, I think. I'll post some pics (eventually!) and you can be the judge.

The couple of weeks after DD's bday, we're going to Estes Park - yea!!! Really looking forward to cooler, less humid weather for a bit. And getting away for awhile. The drive will be tough with the munchkins, but it will be worth it. Hoping to get to meet up with some college friends while we're out there.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


So when S was a baby and fell off the bed onto our hardwood floors, and we both cried about it, I swore I would never do such a stupid thing again. I mean, seriously, it's not like I hadn't heard the warnings about not putting babies in such places. There were lots of things with her that I did wrong, and I would tell people and preface it as being a "first-time mom" story. Once I was talking about something I wish I'd done differently with her that I planned to handle better when Baby R arrived, and a woman in my Bunko group said, "Oh, honey. You'll just make different mistakes with the next one." I realized she was right. But I never thought I'd be so dumb as to make the SAME mistakes. Aren't we supposed to learn from them? Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to happen with me.

This morning we were getting ready to leave, and I left the girls on S's bed while I grabbed her toothbrush. I came back in and R was parallel to the edge of the bed. I gasped and she twisted to see me and rolled right off onto the carpet. Luckily, she was at a straight angle, and it was a fairly soft landing; it just startled her. I could see she was fine, so I picked her up, smiled and said something lighthearted like, "Uh-oh! Fall and go boom." Inside I was relieved she was ok and feeling like an idiot for leaving her without adult supervision. So what did I do next? Put them both on my bed so I could vacuum in there before we left. Hello, moron, R just fell off another bed, what makes you think she'll stay on this one?? So she started to reach for something on the nightstand, and my brilliant move was pull the table away so she couldn't reach it. As I was doing so, she put her little hand out to try to grab it, and toppled off the bed - again. This time, headfirst and bending her little neck in an awkward way. I snatched her up and was crying along with her. My poor baby! I don't know what I was thinking. (Clearly, I wasn't.) Sigh....

I was berating myself all morning, and then at lunch I talked to my sister. She was feeling like she deserved the Bad Person of the Year award, too, so we traded stories. She was feeling guilty about our being embarrassed about what our dad does for a living. (He's retired, and now drives prisoners to work-release jobs.) All that did was remind me that I'm not a very good daughter - I need to spend more time playing memory games with our mom and taking her to see other people and to help her find a volunteer job or something. I was able to sidetrack our discussion a bit because yesterday my dad told me that my aunt had called with bad news about mom's family's farm. It's a REALLY long story, but to sum up, my grandmother's will is still in probate 15 years after her death because my mom's sister and brother cannot agree to terms. My mom has given up on it. Anyway, the latest family drama was that my uncle had lost the family farm because he didn't pay the taxes. It's going up for auction. I about started to cry. Not because of the money (though dad thinks it's probably worth 1.5 million, and a quarter of a million should have gone to my mom), but because of family pride and sentimental reasons. My mom is from a VERY small town in Manitoba and her dad was well-respected. He's been gone for thirty years, but the name still carried some weight. We were blessed with the opportunity to take my husband and brother-in-law to visit family there about four years ago so they at least got to see where we grew up visiting. But I always hoped to be able to take our girls there when they got older, and now the farm's gone. Breaks my heart.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Weighty Issue

I've recently gotten in touch with girl I grew up dancing with through the wonderful
world of Facebook. I haven't seen her for 15 years, but I had heard that during that
time, she had developed bulimia. I didn't really know the whole story until this past
week when I discovered her blog. Reading it has made me look a little deeper into my
own relationship with food. I have no idea what it would be like to be bulimic, but I
have certainly thought about purging after binging before. I have even eaten so much
that I made myself sick without trying to. I am an emotional and "social" eater. I had
high metabolism and danced 30 hours a week when I was in high school, so I never had to
watch what I ate. I didn't think about food in a way that focused on being healthy. I didn't
think about food in a way that focused on being healthy - I saw it as being lucky I could eat
what I wanted to, when I wanted to. And in retrospect, for whatever reason I wanted to;
since it didn't make me gain weight, I could always find a reason to justify why it would be ok.
My metabolism came to a screeching halt when I turned 18, but I was still
busy dancing, and since I went to school in Colorado, I was also hiking, snowshoeing,
walking, and Rollerblading a lot. I did gain the "freshman 15" but I wasn't overly
concerned about it.

When I really started to put on weight was when I moved back to Kansas City
(statistically one of the fattest cities in the country, and I started my first full-time desk job.
I gained 45 lbs. in the first couple of years Iwas there. I worked a lot of overtime,
so I ate a lot of fast food. I was single, so I went out drinking with my friends a lot,
and on top of the fattening alcohol, we would go out to eat at 2am for post-partying
grub. I knew I was getting bigger - my clothes weren't fitting, I was out of breath
after climbing a flight of stairs - but it was when people who only knew me as bigger
saw pictures of me when I was in high school and would say it didn't even look like me
that I really got to the point that I felt I was officially "fat". They didn't say it
to be mean, but I was crushed to think I was so overweight I was unrecognizable. I
won't get into my insecurities about my looks in general (that's a whole different post!),
because I have never been classically "pretty", but I did always tell myself at least I
had a really good physique (except for being flat-chested). I felt like now I was ugly
AND fat. I entered the manic cycle of feeling depressed about being fat, then eating
because I was depressed, which just made me gain more weight, which made me even more
depressed, which made me eat...

I have always enjoyed exercising, so I used to think I could keep eating what I wanted,
I just needed to get out of that desk job and have more time to do physical activities.
And one summer they cut our hours, so I had to get a part-time job at Old Navy. I was
on my feet for the whole shift, and usually working on the floor, walking and stocking
shelves, so moving around a lot. I lost twenty pounds without even trying. That was
great motivation for me to really try to lose more. I knew I had pretty much hit the
limit for how much I was going to lose just through working retail at that point, so I
decided to join Weight Watchers with a friend. I can be very stubborn and focused, but
my staying power has always waned, so I have always done better with a partner to help
encourage, motivate and hold me accountable. We worked out and went to meetings together.
I lost another 10 lbs. Yea, me! I ignored the parts at the meetings addressing the real
reasons I ate what I did. I told myself it didn't matter; I would never let myself get
that big again.

I got engaged the next year and continued to work out but struggled with sticking to my
Points all the time with all the pre-wedding festivities - showers, bachelorette
parties, etc. (social eating) and stress (emotional eating). I had hoped to lose
another 5 or 10 lbs. but was happy to just have maintained my weight for the wedding.
And then marriage happened. I love my husband and am so thankful we are together, but I
really struggled with being married the first 6 months (again, another post for another
time). But suffice it to say that I did a lot of emotional eating that first year, and
I gained back 5 lbs. or so. And then pregnancy happened. We were so excited! I didn't
gain an unreasonable amount of weight - 30 lbs. - all of which I lost on maternity leave,
again without really trying. However, I had ended up needing a C-section and had a very
difficult recovery. Six months post-partum, I was still having pains when I did
activities that required any physical exertion. I would have to lie down after I cleaned
the bathtub, for example. So now that I was back working full-time and sleep-deprived,
I ate whatever was fast and easy and required no thought, and wasn't able to exercise to
work it off. Clearly a recipe for disaster - I gained back about 15 lbs.

Luckily, a community center was built next door to my office. Sweet!! A year after our
DD was born, I was able to start working out again on my lunch hour. "This was the
answer," I told myself. I can know admit what I was really thinking subconsciously,
"I still don't have to think about why I'm eating, I'll burn it all off at the gym."
And then a series of events happened over the next year that contributed to a downward
spiral for my weight. I got pregnant again. This was a good thing, but we put our house
on the market at the same time. We had 90 showings in 100 days, most of which were in
the evening which resulted in most of our dinners being eaten out. Then we sold our
house, and the one we bought fell through, so we moved in with my in-laws. They were
wonderful, but there wasn't a lot of room for extra food, so I ate lunch out almost
every day. Then we moved into our new house two months before our second daughter was
born. Miraculously, I only gained about 20 lbs with this pregnancy, putting me at about
the same weight I had been with the first one - which was also about the same weight I
had been at my heaviest. I lost all the baby weight in 6 weeks. But then I went back to
work full-time. And worked overtime. And got even less sleep with two small children.
And back to the poor eating/no working out cycle.

Which brings me to today. I am 8 months post-partum. I have no idea how much I weigh,
but I do know that I am too big for all of my non-maternity clothes. I feel like I'm
bigger than I've ever been, and I'm afraid to weigh myself to have that feeling verified.
Although I know I've always had emotional ties to my eating, I blew it off, attributing
it to conventional wisdom - everyone craves chocolate when they're PMS'ing, etc. But
deep down, I knew that wasn't all there was to it. I always blamed the weight gains for
external reasons (work/kids). And there have certainly been legitimate times in my life
where those factors were big contributors. But I would see friends who had been through
similar experiences, and they were never much bigger, but I would find some other reason
why it hadn't affected them the same way. There are so many reasons for me to want to
eat well and be healthy (not thin necessarily, just healthy.) Type 2 diabetes runs in my
family, I want to be able to run and play with our kids and not get too winded to keep
up, I don't want to feel self-conscious about my weight. I keep saying I want to lose
weight, and I do. But I also keep letting all those external factors get in the way
(again, some legitimately). And they are the perfect scapegoat. Because they allow me
to ignore the real reasons I eat what I do. It has little to do with dieting or exercise.
If I stopped eating for emotional and social reasons, I would resolve my fitness issues
and probably unearth some mental issues as well.

From my friend's blog: "If I've learned anything throughout my recovery journey, it's
that I can use as many tools as I want to-- going to meetings, using a food plan,
picking up the telephone, sponsorship, using a treatment team, etc.--BUT, none of them
really matter if I'm not honest with myself." Reading that was a slap in the face.
Though I certainly don't have a serious disease like bulimia, if I'm honest with myself,
truly honest, I definitely have a problem with my relationship with food. As I typed
this, thoughts started pouring into my mind that I've pushed away for so long. Too many
to recount in this already long post. There will be much more to come as I work my way
through it all. And so it's time to begin my own recovery journey to better health and
honest eating.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Was Potty Training Really Such a Great Idea?

Our toddler, like most, is a pro at stalling at bedtime. She's never been a good sleeper (see any post labeled "Sleep"), so we've really struggled with maintaining a good routine. The last year and a half were tough because we finally got it under control, had a couple of blissful months, then we sold our house and temporarily moved in with my in-laws, and we had to start over. Then we moved to our new house, so we had to start over. Then Baby R arrived, and again, we had to start over. Then she was potty trained and started to stay dry at night about two months ago, so we switched from Pull-ups to underwear. Though she averages a night or two a week with an accident, she's still dry significantly more often than she's wet, so I hesitated to return to Pull-ups. So now there's a new element to the bedtime stall - the need to potty. So, you guessed it, we need to start over.

The problem is, I'm just not sure how to go about it. Our usual process in the evening is this: bath (every other night), brush teeth, go potty, read two stories, then lights out. She has soft music we play at night, usually Enya or something, so we snuggle with her for two songs and then go. There are those who may say the routine is too long, but she has a really hard time settling down at night and turning her mind off. She go-go-goes all day long and then finally slows down and starts thinking about things that caught her attention that she didn't have time for earlier. Anyway, inevitably, after we've started to read or snuggle, she'll suddenly need to potty. Even though she just went no more than ten minutes ago. At first you think, well, maybe she really does have to go. She's still learning to listen to her body. Then after a few weeks, you tell her no, you already went, and then after much discussion and witnessing her doing the potty dance you've come to recognize, you relent, and to your surprise, she had to go more than she did earlier.

There were a few nights when she was sick when I put her in a Pull-up because I didn't want her to worry about wetting the bed (she's very disappointed in herself when she does, even though I tell her it's not a big deal). Since then, she'll occasionally ask to wear one. Or if I am unable to keep up on the laundry, I'll ask her to wear one just in case. More often than not she wakes up dry. But there are nights when she puts on a Pull-up, we go through the bedtime routine, no secondary mention is made of the potty, and then five minutes after we've said our goodnights and I'm downstairs doing dishes/laundry/tidying/making baby food, etc., I hear over the baby monitor the all too familiar singsong, "Mama! Maaaaa-maaaa! Mama Jeffff-er!" (Sidenote: I have no idea why our almost 3-year-old refers to me as "Mama Jennifer" when calling for me from bed. It's the only time she calls me by my first name.) I go upstairs to address whatever issue has presented itself (needing a drink, a tissue, a stuffed animal that has fallen off the bed) and come to find out she has a wet diaper. I will gently remind her (ok sometimes less than gently) that if she needs to go potty, she can just go or ask me to come help her, and I will, she doesn't need to go in the Pull-up.

The one consolation is knowing that in time, we'll get this ironed out, and can hopefully keep on track going forward. In the meantime, I try to avoid getting frustrated and see the humor in the moment. Like with the thing that's been throwing a wrench into the bedtime routine with respect to bathroom issues this past week is that her BM schedule has been happening around then. It used to be late afternoon, but has shifted in time a bit. So now most of the time she's in bed and then says she needs to go again, she really does, which does nothing to help eliminate the stall tactic. A few nights ago, Mama Jeffer was summoned, and I took her to the bathroom and had the following conversation as she was sitting on the throne:

S: Mama, I have to go poopie.

Me: Ok, honey.

S (scrunching up her face): And I need to grump. Sometimes you hafta grump to get the poopie out.

Me: Gru - oh, grunt? Well, yes, sometimes you do, but don't try to force it. If you can't go now, you can try again later.

S: No, I need to go now, I just have to grump. It's a big, big poopie. A MONSTER poopie. (Thank you, DH, for introducing her to the idea of monster poopie.)

Me: Ok, just be careful.

S: I ate my supper, and then it went into my tummy and down to my feet, and now I have to poopie.

Me: Yes, honey, that's right.

S: Mommy, why are we talking about poopie?

Me: I have no idea....
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