Monthly Archives: February 2011

poo update

zero success. that’s the progress we were making on the “poo on the potty” situation. davey has actually told me, “i LIKE to go poo in my pull up and underwear.” yes folks, he really has said that. multiple times.

and we tried every incentive we could think of. good things like marshmallows or jelly belly jelly beans (those were the treats HE chose). and not-so-good things like spankings, cold showers, no use of electronics, no juice to drink…. you name it, we tried it. nothing was working. not positive reinforcement and not negative reinforcement. sigh.

but then, something clicked. for ALL of us. the kids received all three Toy Story DVDs for Christmas. inside at least one of the DVD boxes there was a flyer showing some toys of the main characters from Toy Story. davey started talking about Buzz Lightyear. a LOT. and he played with one at will & sam’s house. and then he started talking about getting a Buzz Lightyear for Christmas next year. dave and i talked and agreed that davey was old enough to EARN his Buzz Lightyear… by going poo on the potty!

i found a sesame street pre-made chart (a Target dollar spot item from a year or more ago) and i found some CARS stickers and we had a little chat with davey. we got him excited about the CARS stickers. and the chart. and the REALITY that if he would simply go POO on the POTTY (21 times) instead of in his pull up or underwear, he would EARN his desired Buzz Lightyear.

and it worked. his very next poo was on the potty. here he is choosing his FIRST sticker to add to the chart:

and adhering the sticker….

the day after this photo was taken he used the potty AGAIN. i was downstairs and i heard him upstairs telling samantha, “no, get out… i HAVE to get a buzz lightyear!”

he had three successes. then two fails. then one success and one fail. as of today, he has 6 stickers on his chart. 15 to go and we’ll take a special trip to the store to get his hard-earned buzz lightyear. as a mom, i’m hoping that 21 potty poos are enough to make it regular. habit. and that he will NOT revert back to using his underwear or pull ups as a potty!

from 7 to 12 to 19

on february 7, amity blythe culbertson was born. today she is 19 days old. that means that one week ago (last saturday, 2/19), she was 12 days old. and we FINALLY got to meet our sweet little niece.

she has her days and nights confused, so she slept the whole time we were there. we did get a brief peek at her eyes:

isn’t she a doll? i can’t wait to see her again…. probably not until next month, though. hopefully she’ll have adjusted her days and nights by then!  :)

uncle dave holding his first niece on his side of the family! i’ve been an aunt since i was in high school. dave became an uncle when we got married but even wendy, my youngest niece, was already 3 years old (the age davey is now).

(i would like to take this moment to let Jeff & Taryn and Tom know that we’re still waiting for our first nephew so there’s still the possibility of one of you providing a “first” for us! but i digress….)

the kids were all pretty enamored with their cousin, Baby Amity:

davey and samantha are pretty accustomed to having a baby around. samantha is currently obsessed with holding babies (which usually makes alexandra her “victim”)! but for alex, this was her first exposure to a baby.

but even sweet newborns lose their appeal after awhile (she WAS sleeping most of the time, after all), so it’s a good thing that both daddy AND mommy have iPhones with kid games installed:

(and yes, those are napoleon dynamite themed wrist sweatbands that samantha is using to hold her long sleeves “up” on her shirt. at another point during the day she had them around her knees:

(‘cuz we all know how versatile sweatbands can be…)

it was a long day with a lot of driving/riding in the car and no naps. but it was worth it to meet little Amity and to see Rachel & Sterling as a family of THREE:

but now for some humor: many of you know we’re planning a 3 week road trip this summer. it will involve at least 10 days of driving (we’re heading all the way east). this little trip to seattle was our chance to “test the waters,” to see how well the DVD player Dave installed in the Pathfinder works and how well the kids would travel. the results weren’t all that spectacular. the DVD player worked just fine. perhaps a bit too well. the kids were too entertained to nap. well, mostly. sam fell asleep 5 minutes before we arrived at R&S’s place. the drive home was long, as well. we were still on the freeway but had finally reached bellingham when samantha was F.I.N.I.S.H.E.D. she even said “I’m all done sitting!” we pulled over to change her diaper and when dave tried to put her back in her car seat, she LOST it. she started crying and pitching a fit. “i’m all done in the car!” it was pitiful. and she cried the WHOLE. WAY. HOME. and she continued to cry while dave got her into her jammies and into bed.

it took 2-3 days for the kids to readjust to “normal.” but despite that, i still say it was a worthwhile adventure. we are, however, praying for a BIG change in samantha and her ability and willingness to sit for long periods of time before our adventure this summer!

my husband can cook!

i’m one of those women who does okay in the kitchen. i can follow a recipe. i have some success stories. i have far more failures. but my husband? he is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. in the kitchen. he reads several recipes and then makes up his own for a new menu item. he can make his own taco seasoning by simply tasting his mix of ingredients. he’s got serious skills. and it makes my heart happy. i only wish (for ALL our sakes) that he could cook more. he prefers to cook when he has TIME (aka: NOT on a week night) and desire. it all started a number of years ago with meat. made almost entirely on the grill. his other specialties included chili and spaghetti sauce. somewhere over the past few years, he’s added a LARGE variety of scrumptious meals or dishes to his repertoire.

with dave’s gluten free diet a necessity now, we’ve had to remove some items from our menu. additionally, he doesn’t eat much grain (so rice and corn, mostly). we’ve added sweet potatoes to our list of “staples.” dave can do some pretty tasty things with a sweet potato.

earlier this week, we had homemade sweet potato fries to go with our steak and salad:

and yes, our kids eat what we eat. samantha usually eats the most. she and davey tend to like COMPLETELY OPPOSITE foods. this night, she PACKED AWAY the steak (i could barely cut it fast enough!) but she had no interest in the fries. davey, on the other hand, ate several servings of the fries but it was a battle to get him to eat his steak or salad.

for us, it’s worth it to expose our children to good food. to our food. we don’t want to make separate meals for them. we insist on several bites of each item on their plate. they only earn dessert (or a “treat”) if they eat ALL of their food. it’s not easy. it’s often frustrating. but i’m glad we’re doing it.

and a few days later, we had homemade sweet potato chips:

they were a touch overdone, but still oh-so-yummy!

i could eat these all day, every day. they’re the perfect blend of sweet and salty and such a yumm-o-licious snack!

he also makes some mmm-mmmm-good sweet potato hash browns (WITH BACON, julie!).

don’t you wish your husband could cook?

seven short months

it’s kind of hard to believe that this little girl:

is already 7 months old. seven months!

*still wearing size 3-6 month clothing

*still wearing size 1-2 Huggies diapers (ready to use these up and move on to “2s”)

*weighs approximately 13 pounds

*loves to spit

*no teeth

*not yet sleeping through the night on a regular basis (oh how i wish this were different!)

*likes baby oatmeal but not rice cereal

*loves to hang out in the doorway jumper or her exersaucer

*still enjoys tummy time

*likes hanging out in her “tent” (as davey calls it)

*has eyes only for her siblings (when they’re around)

*is well loved

*still nursing at least 70% of the time but losing interest quickly

*needs “gentle” formula (otherwise she gets really gassy)

*has strong little legs

*got her first hair cut (we HAD to cut off those long hairs she had in the back… she had some kind of wonky mullet-thing happening and it was NOT cool) – i only chopped those two chunks of hair (and yes, i saved them in a baggie)

*looks ADORABLE with her little shrek-tails (two pigtails)

*does NOT look nearly as cute with a Pebbles style-ponytail

*still looks VERY serious much of the time

*LOVES to watch other children play (her siblings or others)

*is getting a bit more “free” with her smiles – and we LOVE this about her!

*is still the sweetest, most laid-back little baby we’ve ever had

*still has a HUGE flat spot on her head. HUGE!

the girls

davey’s in this “i-don’t-usually-like-to-have-my-picture-taken-mood” these days. so i have very few photos of him. samantha’s getting to that stage. but every once in awhile, i can snap a “non-frowning” shot of her:

(wearing my new rainboots that i, unfortunately, have to return b/c they’re too big).

(pushing the “copping shart,” as she still calls it, while wearing some 3D glasses from long, long ago…)

alex is finally settling into her “stuff.” she loves the doorway jumper we borrowed (ours got lost somewhere in storage-land). she enjoys the exersaucer more and more each day. and she’s becoming quite content in the bumbo for longer and longer periods of time (10-15 minutes is her max).

[the title of this post was stolen from dave's cousin's wife....]

when there’s no snow….

while the rest of you across the country have been getting snow DUMPED on you this winter (even Texas!), sadly, we’ve been without the white stuff since Thanksgiving. I would love ONE, GIANT, snowstorm. where we’re snowed in for a day or two. where we teach our kids how to make snow forts and snow angels and fun things like that. but at this rate, it won’t happen this year. and even though i have snow pants and snow coats AND snow boots and hats and mittens for each of the kids, i guess i’ll be okay without the snow. as long as we get a big dump next year (though i think this is what i said LAST year!)!

we have, however, had our usual more-than-fair-share of rain and grey skies. but not this week. this week we’ve had BEAUTIFUL, SUNNY, BLUE skies. we’ve had some COLD days including some wind, but it’s been worth it to enjoy the sunshine. in an attempt to get OUT of the house on Monday, the kids and i went for a walk around the block. which turned into a “return-home-to-get-the-stroller-so-we-can-go-for-a-longer-walk” walk. it was cold, but it was WONDERFUL to be outside, breathing the fresh (and germ-free!) cold air!

we were all a bit cold when we got home, but it was worth it! though this crocodile tear on alex’s cheek makes me wonder if she agrees:

*super cute hooded sweater worn by alex was made for her by my former roommate, Christy. she wanted alex to have something that wasn’t a hand-me-down (Christy is the 2nd of two girls)! i LOVE this little sweater!

sibling love

alex DOES smile….

…it’s just not easy to capture it on film!

davey wasn’t interested in smiling “nicely” on this day:

samantha, on the other hand, shared some decent smiles even though they’re forced for the camera:

i do LOVE that the twins ADORE their baby sister. samantha can frequently be found climbing anywhere necessary to hug, kiss, hold, love and see her baby sister. she loves to say “alex, [s]mile at me!” and davey still adores his baby sister. they both (usually) take good care of her. and she has eyes ONLY for them when they’re running around and having fun.

blast from the past

is there any candy that reminds you of your childhood? anything that evokes strong memories (either good or bad)? currently, davey and samantha love PEZ. love it. i think the stuff is vile. i think i ate too much one time as a kid and i’ve never liked it since. but there are plenty of other candies i loved. including candy necklaces. who wouldn’t love little rings of pure sugar on a stretchy string?! it’s candy AND it’s jewelry…. DOUBLE BONUS (guys, this is TOTALLY what your wife wants for Valentine’s Day this year. i promise. you can’t go wrong!)!!

i think it was about a year ago when aunt mary (dave’s mom’s sister) moved to Lynden (temporarily) from Denmark due to renewed visa issues. i think one of auntie mary’s love languages is “gifts.” giving them, for sure. [i KNEW there was a reason i love(d) her so much!]  she brought the kids some candy bags which contained mostly gummy candies… but there was also a candy necklace in each baggie.

earlier this week i FINALLY pulled out those necklaces (yes, almost a year later… don’t ask!). they were EXACTLY the distraction the kiddos needed. they both ate ALL of their dinner (with prompting, of course) and had EARNED a special treat. i taught them how to use their back teeth to bite the candies in half (my fingers were bitten quite a few times in the process). it was worth it… they LOVED the treat!

[and if you're wondering, they got to eat 1/2 one night and 1/2 the next night.]

(and yes, i know my son needs a haircut. DESPERATELY. we had one scheduled last weekend but with our family’s flu symptoms, we had to cancel…)