Thursday, March 22, 2007

Arbuckle Wilderness

This past Saturday we ventured on a spontaneous journey to the Arbuckle Wilderness, located in Oklahoma, about 2 hours from our house. We decided it might be the only time we could go with all the other moving things coming up.

The Arbuckle Wilderness is a drive through safari where you get to feed animals from your car. I definitely recommend it if you are looking for some adventure and an adrenaline rush.
We packed up the kids and got in the car and left around 10:30. We stopped in Gainesville to get Subway for Jon and I and some chips for the kids. We packed a lunch for them with other healthy choices but thought since it was a fun and special we'd let them pick out some chips. Chips are not a regular part of our diet so it is a real treat to pick some out. Of course they both picked out Cheetos. I wanted to post a picture of how Isaac eats his in the car.

His way: Dump them in your seat, move your legs out of the way, and play fish for Cheetos! It was a pretty big mess as you can imagine.

Ewan, as you can see is as happy as a lark eating his Cheetos. No complaints from him at all!

The camels were the most exciting to feed. They were definitely the most aggressive and had no problem invading our car and surrounding us until we surrendered our food. I was taking this picture of Jon feeding the camels and when Jon turned his head two camels were sticking their heads in the car on my side making their way into my lap to get the food cups I had left there while taking the picture. Jon motioned for me to look at my window and there were 2 camels in my face heading for an area that I don't want any camel teeth near! I yelled out, "Drive! Drive!" and Jon started rolling up the window. One of the camels hit its head on the top of the door as it was pulling its head out. At the same time I was yelling, "Don't chop its head off!!!!". It was very exciting to say the least and we all had a good laugh about it. Ewan got a little nervous and told Jon to roll up his window because he didn't want the camels to poke his eye out. Another good laugh. We fed emus, sheep, rams, geese, giraffes, and camels. They tell you not to feed the zebras because they can bite--you didn't have to tell us twice. The ostriches were hanging out with the zebras so we didn't feed them. I get really nervous around ostriches. They look so menacing and their necks and beaks look freakishly strong. Talk about poking out your eyes!

Here are some other highlights:

It was a long day. We drove straight from Oklahoma to small group and finally got home around 8:30. We don't skip naps and delay bedtimes very often but this was worth it. There is just something special about building family memories full of laughter, isn't there?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pregnancy Hormones

I enjoy being pregnant but the costs that come with it are undeniable. Today I had a sobbing meltdown at church and 90% of my tears were from the hormones.

I went to check on him after our Sunday School class to hee how Isaac was doing and get the potty report. Isaac had a poopie accident in his class this morning. Of course that is never fun to clean up for anyone and as the mom of the pooper I feel especially bad for the nursery worker. I was talking to one of the nursery supervisors about what happened when one of his teachers came out to fill us in. She said that we should start putting a diaper on him during church because she can't handle it and it grosses her out. I said that I would just keep him home for a few weeks to work more on the poop factor because I am not going to put him back in a diaper. Norma, the nursery supervisor, who is very sweet and helpful, said not to do that and they maybe we can move Isaac back to his other room where Georgia can keep an eye on him. He had been in Georgia's class for several months and she knows him really well. Norma thinks that maybe Georgia can watch for Isaac's signals better since she knows him so well.

As we are having this conversation I can feel my face getting hot and my eyes starting to burn. Logically, I know that the nursery teacher's request for him to wear a diaper is fine and she said that the gag factor is her but that she just can't handle it. Emotionally, however, I feel embarrassed for my son and afraid that they think I am a bad mom because I can't get my kid to poop in the potty at church. I feel ashamed and afraid that somehow the teachers won't like Isaac (or me) anymore. And part of me feels hurt (even though I know it is dumb) that she would get "grossed out" by my child who I think is wonderful and one of the most special creations around.

As we were walking away from the conversation the tears started coming and Jon and I went to his office at the church where I cried my eyes out for a while. As I was crying I was thinking about how I was having such an over-emotional reaction to this whole situation, that it wasn't personal, that I didn't need to feel ashamed or embarrassed, and yet the tears and sobs kept coming. Jon prayed for me and I heard God say, "Don't feel embarrassed or ashamed. It is okay. Just rest in me". Hearing from God always helps my heart but it still took a while before the tears would stop coming.

I doubt this will be the last emotional over-reaction I have during the pregnancy and perhaps I should learn to accept them as they come rather than loathe myself for having them--and trust the words that I hear from God. I guess I am surprised at how internally I realize I am over-reacting and yet the tears come anyway. Pregnancy Hormones--sigh.

Anyone else have any pregnancy hormone stories?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Potty Progress!

Isaac had an accident this morning. Sigh. I had just asked him if he needed to go and he said, "Nooo". Okay, I thought I would give him 10 more minutes while I finished cleaning his bathroom. When I went back to take him he had totally peed in his jammies and underwear. So, for the next 2 hours--yes, that is 2 hours--we had a verbal discussion. All I was trying to do was get him to answer this question: "Isaac, where do we go pee-pee?". His response, which he totally knows by the way, is supposed to be, "In the potty!" but instead all he said was, "I don't want to say it.". Arrrrggghhhhhh!

I don't know how he can be so stubborn! Oh, wait--he is my child. Drat! Sorry for all the hell I put you through mom and dad!

Anyway, I was feeling totally discouraged and sad that Isaac didn't WANT to want to pee in the potty--know what I mean? His little heart was hardened and he decided in his little 2 year old mind that he didn't want to say that he knows he is to pee in the potty and not in his underwear.

But alas--this afternoon we turned a corner. We had a house showing today (woo-h00) and took the kids to the park. I was thinking as soon as we pulled in the driveway that it was time to get Isaac on the toilet so we wouldn't have another accident. We got in the house and he came out of my room holding his crotch saying, "Uh-oh, uh-oh". Jon said, "Hurry, get to the potty!" So he got to the potty and I took his pants down and he promptly sat and peed. This would be one of the first times where he took the initiative and realized--I gotta go now, help me before I have an accident. In the past couple of weeks he ran to me saying, "I gotta go potty"--but only after he already has gone everywhere.

I was so proud of him for taking the initiative. Then, a while later we were playing outside and he started looking at me grabbing his crotch again. He was telling me he needed to go. Let me tell you--one of the great things about having a boy is being able to pull their pants down outside and let them water the grass! I was so thankful for his initiative--especially since I have been praying for him about that specifically. So, thank you Lord for getting things to click in his head.

Funny story about boys vs. girls. One of my friends in the neighborhood has a little girl a few months older than Isaac. She is potty training too and is doing a great job. We play together frequently and she has seen Ewan pull his pants down and pee outside plenty of times. The other day she went outside and my friend turned around and her daughter had her pants down around her ankles. Friend asked, "what are you doing?". Her response: "I'm going pee-pee like Ewan!" Of course as a girl you have no aim outward so her pee ran all down her legs in into her pants. I get a phone call saying (jokingly yet seriously), "Um...Ewan can't pee outside in front of Melody anymore". We had a good laugh about it.

Ewan really likes peeing outside though and so does Isaac for that matter--I think it is a natural instinct or something for men/boys to enjoy "marking their territory". It will be hard to explain to him next time we are playing around our friend that he can't just pee outside whenever he pleases. I suppose he has to learn it sometime though.

If this next baby is a girl then I don't know what I am going to do! I guess I will carry around the inflatable potty wherever I go.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Peeing During Pregnancy

I wish that peeing in your pants was not part of pregnancy.

I have had more problems with this pregnancy with incontinence! Today we were playing outside with the "big as Ewan" bouncy ball. Of course it got tossed in the street and proceeded to travel down hill slowly --but fast enough for me to have to run 2 houses down to get it. With every step I am feeling my underwear get a little more damp with every step. Dang it!@@!

I do my Kegel exercises but it seems to do no good (even though I know it is). I really wanted to go inside and pee but that would require taking both boys inside and I never want to disturb outside mojo when both boys are having a blast. Note to self: Remember to pee before we go outside next time!


So, I have had an idea for posting for a while now. I love to cook and even more I love trying new recipes. I thought I would post some of my favorites and some of the new ones I try--only if I think they are keepers. Last night I tried a new one from my Whole Foods Cookbook. This cookbook has lots of keepers in it. I'll post one of Jon's favorites sometime soon.

Southwest King Ranch Casserole
The Mexican Chicken Filling
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp coarsley ground pepper (I just used regular black pepper and it was fine)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups shredded cooked boneless chicken (tip: you can used leftover baked or rotisserie chicken for this dish. I boiled 3 medium/smallish skinless, boneless chicken breasts until they were cooked and then shredded it in the food processor. You can even cook the chicken breasts early in the day to save you time putting dinner together.)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

The Casserole
2 cups grated Monterrey Jack Cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (tip: we always have a bag of shredded MJ and Cheddar cheese on hand so I just used that)
2 cups bottled tomatillo sauce (I used Herdez brand bottled sauce--it was the perfect amount)
8 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup chopped green chilies, drained

To Prepare the Mecixan Chicken Filling:
Preheat oven to 350.
Heat the canola oil over med-high in a large saute pan. Add the onions, and cook them until they are translucent, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the garlic, paprika, cumin, black pepper, and salt. Add the chicken, and heat through. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in cilantro.
To Prepare the Casserole:
In a small bowl, combine the cheeses. On the bottom of an 8X8 1/2 inch pan at least 2 inches deep (I used a square brownie pan) spread 1 cup of the tomatillo sauce. Top with 4 tortillas, overlapping as necessary. Spread half the sour cream evenly over the tortillas. Add 1/2 cup of the remaining tomatillo sauce, 1 1/2 cups of the chicken filling, 1 cup of the cheese mixture, and one half of the green chilies.
Top with 4 more tortillas, the remainder of the sour cream, tomatillo sauce, and chicken filling, 1 cup of the cheese mixture, and the remaining green chilies. End with 1 cup of the cheese sprinkled on top. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly on the surface.


Serve with a nice green or spinach salad and you have a tasty meal! It tastes even better the 2nd day. I am eating some now for lunch! I don't think it is too spicy for kids but mine wouldn't touch it last night. They were missing out!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Potty Training Update

Well, Isaac is doing very well at potty training. Monday went very well. He had a pee pee accident before he had a success in the potty which I was hoping wouldn't happen. I think I gave the first day a B. He did better in the afternoon and was getting the idea of how it all works. He does a great job emptying his potty bucket--he already knew how to do that from watching Ewan learn how to do it over a year ago.

I was very discouraged on Tuesday when he had accident after accident all morning after the big training day. I thought for sure I had failed as a trainer but the afternoon went much better. I think on Tuesday and Wednesday he was learning that he could hold his pee and how to start it and stop it better. Thursday and Friday he only had one accident and actually made some poop in the potty. Today he has not had any accidents at all but had a poop right in his diaper right after his nap. I am still putting him in diapers when he sleeps. We have had a couple outings and he has done very well at keeping dry pants. He loves wearing underwear. The biggest improvement that needs to happen is for him to go straight to the potty when he needs to pee and just go. Right now we are in the phase where we watch him and the clock and take him to the potty when we think he needs to go. He will grab himself and say I need to go when he needs to go but if we weren't there to help then I think he would have more accidents. In the book we use, we aren't supposed to guide the kid at all and let them handle their toileting all on their own (going to the toilet when they have the urge, pulling down their pants, sitting down, peeing/pooing, wiping (although helping with the poo wipe), pulling up their pants, emptying the potty bucket in the big toilet, replacing the potty bucket). The book trains kids to be self sufficient but I don't think I am that great at the training and the way we have adjusted it seems to work fine.

I like going from diapers to underwear and not turning back. We have never used pull ups with either of the boys--mainly because I don't want to pay for them and I can wash clothes very easily and I think they don't do the job of toilet training. Also, a lot of my friends that have used them have said that when their kids are using them they will pee/poo in them because they know they can. I think that makes the toilet training take longer.

Ewan is pretty self sufficient at toileting himself. He still needs help pulling up his pants sometimes and wiping but he goes straight to the big potty when he needs to go and doesn't need my help. He even uses the stool to turn on the fan when he needs to poop. He is very particular that the fan is on. I never remind him about having to go and he does a great job. He has been a big help in celebrating Isaac at all his successes at potty training. He is proud of his little brother too.


A few weeks ago when Jon was out of town my mother came up to help put the kids to bed while I taught my birth class. We were sitting at dinner at Ewan looked at my mom, then looked at me, then looked at my mom, then looked at me and said the following:

Ewan: (Poking my mother's breasts) Are those your nursies?

Mom: Yes.

Ewan: My mom has nursies. Okay, but you don't have anything to drink out of your nursies. My mom is going to feed the baby with hers.

Mom: That is right Ewan.

My mother and I were containing ourselves from laughter because it was such a funny thing for him to observe and suddenly be aware of at dinner. He is a smart kid and is figuring out the world.

Now, some of you may be wondering why I don't discourage him from this conversation. Let me tell you why. Because breastfeeding is NORMAL and NATURAL. Breastfeeding isn't sexual in nature and for sure Ewan's poking and prodding isn't either. He is learning about babies and body parts. That is normal. I want him to grow up with a healthy idea of what breasts are for. I would hope that he would grow up to be a man who supports his wife and encourages her to give their baby the best food available. Sure, when he gets older he will enjoy the sexual nature of breasts but that isn't all they are for. Breasts were made to feed babies and it is a pity to me that so many people try to make breastfeeding something "gross" or sexual. I think it is ludicrous when people say nursing women should hide themselves and/or go sit in a bathroom somewhere to feed their babies "in case someone sees something". Um, have you seen the way women dress these days? Have ya ever walked by Victoria's Secret in the mall? Have you ever seen their commercials? Have you ever seen the covers of Maxim magazine? Have you ever seen the suggestive poses that Brittany Spears and Christina Aguilara have done in their music magazine spreads? Have you ever seen beer ads? I see more cleavage and boob walking around the mall than I see from women nursing their babies! Anyway, I am sure you get my point although I know that most of you who read my blog aren't naysayers of breastfeeding but I thought I would go ahead and let you know why we consider this normal conversation around our house.

(The picture above is of a woman who has a video series out on breastfeeding that is really good. It covers the how to's, the benefits, personal testimony etc.)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

What's Going On...

1. The pregnancy is going well. Morning sickness is almost behind me. I get nauseated occasionally and am throwing up about 1 or 2 times a week now. It has been several days since I vomited. Whew! My belly is beginning to poke out a little. It is more obvious to me than others. I am officially in the in between stage of normal clothes and maternity clothes. My clothes still fit but they are getting a little uncomfortable and are starting to look funny around my belly. In other words I feel more fat than pregnant. Blech! Maternity shirts look unflattering since my belly is little to show for. Thankfully this stage only lasts a few weeks. It turns out I have really only gained about 2 lbs. I am not complaining! I am almost 16 weeks along now. I think that by the time I was 20 weeks with Isaac I had gained 8 lbs. We will see what happens with this pregnancy. I know the weight gain will come.

2. The house is on the market but we still have not had anyone come and look. It makes keeping the house clean seem like a futile attempt but you never know when look-i-loos will start coming. There are about 10 houses in our subdivision up for sale now (about 10% of our subdivision). I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Perhaps if buyers come to look at a house in the neighborhood and see ours they will want to take a peek. Lord, send that buyer soon!

3. I got to go to San Antonio last week to visit my best friend, Jenny. She had a baby at the end of January and I went to go and help out for a few days. What gift my family gave me to be able to go for 5 days! Thank you husband! My in-laws helped out too and for that I am very thankful as well. I got to hold my little "nieta" (niece in Spanish) and play with my "nieto" (nephew). I cooked meals and let Jenny take some naps while I hung out with Joaquin. I had such a good time with the Castros. Thanks for letting me come and visit! There is nothing better than spending time with your dearest friends over meals and casual afternoons sitting on the porch. Being in San Antonio made me wish we lived there again. I love that city. I probably love it more because I have such good friends that live there. If they all moved away I would still love the city but it wouldn't be the same.

4. We are moving in 3 months! Can you believe it? Holy bleep! It is coming around the corner soon and we have a LOT to do. I don't even know what all we need to do but the list is just lingering out there. I don't feel worried or stressed about it yet.

5. The big potty training day for Isaac is next Monday. I am excited for him and this important milestone in his life. I am praying he will learn quickly and take it all in stride. I'll let you know how it turns out.