A blog for my writerly ramblings, my rambly writings, and all things in between.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Potty Training Boot Camp: I See the Light!

Well, I've been hesitant to post on here just because it seems that whenever I get positive, things go down the toilet- or rather, don't go down the toilet? But anyway, I thought I'd at least give you an update.

Two weeks ago I was feeling pretty down about the whole potty training experience, but then Chad came home with an idea from one of his customers (I feel so touched that he shares our potty training woes with clients) that sounded like it just might work for our little princess. He said we put her in underwear, and when she has an accident, we don't change her- we let her sit in it and she is exiled to the kitchen where she can't soil anything. This idea appealed to me for several reasons:

1. The potty training had turned into a game for her where she was reveling in the attention she got from her accidents, and she held all the cards. This way, the accidents got her very little attention- the opposite, really, as she would be placed apart from everyone and there would be no immediate reward of one-on-one time spent changing and lecturing her.

2. No more shelling out the big bucks for Pull-Ups that were constantly getting soiled.

3. I don't have to constantly keep changing her and washing dirty clothes- saves me some time and energy.

4. We are employing natural consequences, which I tend to utilize and support in most of my other disciplinary techniques- if she chooses to have an accident, then she cannot enjoy the comforts that the rest of us potty-trained people enjoy. Simple.

Well, I continued to remind her to use the restroom, but I didn't make her. Her first accident came right before we were going to sit down on the couch in the living room and read stories. I told her I was sorry, but she was wet so she was going to have to sit in the kitchen by herself while we read stories. It felt harsh, but I knew it was the only chance for her to get it. Boy was she mad! My son and I didn't hear the end of it during the entire half hour we read- she screamed, she cried, she had a fit, but she stayed in the kitchen. It was naptime shortly thereafter, at which point I changed her into a diaper to sleep, but when she woke up and I reminded her to go potty, you'd better believe she didn't whine or complain about it.

Last week she also went #2 on the potty without me trying to talk her into it. She was sitting there and said she needed to, and she did! She's been doing fantastic with that part. We've had a few more wetting accidents, and every time she's miserable at her kitchen-bound fate. Whenever I ask her if she needs to go and she says no, I say, "Okay, it's your choice. Just remember that if you get your panties wet then you will have to sit in the kitchen all by yourself." She'll usually at least reconsider.

My most joyful moment was this afternoon. I had asked her several times if she needed to go and she had said no, so I was steeling myself for another kitchen scene. But then, as she was sitting watching tv right by me, she suddenly put her hand down and said, "Oh! Mommy, I need to go potty!" I said, "Well GO!" So she jumped right up and ran into the bathroom and went. It was a first, and I gave her an extra treat for saying it herself instead of me reminding her.

So that is the status for now. I am happy because it is all beginning to lose its sense of drama, and it's becoming somewhat more mundane. One good thing about doing this now is that with me being pregnant and her being 3, our bladders are about the same size so I don't mind the frequent bathroom breaks when we're out, and I usually know about the right time to remind her to go. I think she's also finally recognizing the pleasure of not having yucky diapers- we put her in a diaper to go to bed at night and she's come in a couple of times an hour or two after we put her down to tell us that her diaper is wet and she needs a new one. Would be better if she actually realized before she went in the diaper and used the potty, but at least we're making progress.

Let's keep our fingers crossed for more positive progress!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Aaaand....10 steps back.

I'm starting to want to give up again, people! The last time I wrote, we were trying the big-girl underwear. That lasted about 4 hours, until I forgot to remind her to go and she went in her pants while we were playing hide-and-seek. So I decided we had jumped the gun on the big-girl undies and put her in a pull-up. Which was stinky about an hour after that. Seriously.

So I kept up with the pull-ups and the constant reminding to use the potty (amid lots of "I don't want to!") and it's been hit and miss. Today rather than making her go I've just been saying, "Do you have to go potty?" and she has said no every time (even though it's a time I'm sure she does) and so I've been letting her wet in her pull-up (because she has every time) and we've been taking stickers off the chart.

By the way, she doesn't seem to care much about the chart either. She doesn't care about any of it. I really feel like I'm back at square one here! Any advice for a bedraggled mommy??

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Potty Training Boot Camp: Day 8

There is the sweet smell of success in the air, people! (just so you know, that's the smell of anything that doesn't smell like human excrement) We had a great breakthrough on Sunday that I needed to share for anyone else who might be struggling with the um, "Number Two" problem.

I had been really frustrated b/c as long as I was reminding Princess to go, she was staying pretty dry. However, when it came to number 2, she would not go on the potty, no matter how much I threatened/bribed/begged her to. She would use the potty, then 5 minutes later I'd smell something.

So anyway, on Sunday she was going #1 on the potty when I heard her "toot." Suddenly, I had an idea. "That was a great toot!" I said. "Can you toot like that again?" She grinned and scrunched up her face and did it again. We proceeded to have a grand time as she continued her little one-girl symphony, but then....well, let's just say it led to more substantial results. We celebrated her accomplishment with great triumph and she was very proud of herself. I did the same thing with her last night and it worked just perfectly.

Princess stayed dry and clean all day Sunday and all day yesterday, so today she is in- gulp!- big girl underwear! I was especially impressed with her yesterday because we were on the road for 7 hours on the way to my mom's house. We only stopped 3 times for potty breaks.

The other little incentive I decided to do for Princess was a "Stay-Dry Chart". I created a sticker chart shaped like an ice cream cone, and whenever she goes potty and is still dry, I let her put a sticker on the chart. If she's not dry, then we take a sticker off. When the chart is filled, then I take her out for ice cream- just the two of us. She is very excited by the idea, and she loves stickers.

Anyway, we seem to be making progress. The only thing I'd like to see is her telling me she has to go, but maybe I'm just reminding her too often. I guess I'm afraid to not remind her- I think maybe I'll give it a few more days and then try a day of letting her tell me and see how it goes.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that today will be a success with her wearing underwear- we'll see! I'll keep you posted.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Potty Training Boot Camp: Day 5

This is for you, Richelle! 

Here's what's going well so far this week:

1. Only about 1 wet pull-up per day- she has managed to stay pretty dry as long as I'm vigilant about reminding her to go

2. We have stayed positive about it

3. She is getting the hang of the steps involved- removing her clothes, wiping, flushing, etc.

We still need to work on:

1. Going #2 in the potty. She seems to be saving this for when we put her down for bed at night and she has on a diaper. But the current bribe is that as soon as she does go in the potty, I will take her out for ice cream- just her and Mommy. Whenever I have to change a stinker, I just say, "Oh, bummer. Looks like we won't get to go out for ice cream this time. But I just know that you'll remember to go on the potty tomorrow so we can go get ice cream!"

2. Her initiating using the potty. So far it's all me, but at least she's aware enough not to go in her pull-up.

The saga continues... 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Commercials That Irritate Me

First is the KFC commercial, in which the cute little lady states, "How do I know all this? Because I'm the chef here" (donning a cute little chef hat as she opens the door to KFC) "- there's one of us in every KFC." 

Okay, 2 issues:

1. Are we supposed to be impressed that there's a chef in every KFC? Let me rephrase that. Are we supposed to be impressed that there is a chef in a restaurant? What is the world coming to?

2. There's only one chef in every KFC? What's everybody else doing? It must take forever to get food there if there's only one person back there doing all the cooking.

Next commercial: the one with the strange people traveling through the cartoon world "singing" a "song" in a robotic monotone voice. I have never even bothered to listen long enough to figure out what they're trying to sell. More than 3 seconds of that is too long. Whenever I see it I frantically grab at the remote and change the channel to anything- ANYTHING- to make it stop. If I didn't I fear I may just bash in my tv. It's the only time that watching QVC is a relief.

Finally, the Dunkin Donuts commercial with the tv brainwashing the zombie children with its blue magnetic beam. Luckily, Father comes to save the day with doughnuts. That's right- can't get your lazy couch potato children away from the tv? Bribe them with doughnuts. Lots and lots of doughnuts. There's a great plan.

Done! Expect more commercial bashing on here in the future- I love advertising assassination. ;-)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


It is Day 2 of my I-Can't-Take-It-Anymore-I'm-Going-To-Potty-Train-You-If-It-Kills-Me adventure with my daughter who is 3 years old and knows perfectly well how to go potty and has the bodily control to go potty but who simply doesn't give a hoot about going potty. 

You put her in underwear, she goes in her pants. 

"Oops," she says. "Can I go watch tv now?"

You see what I'm dealing with.

Trust me, I've tried rewards, bribes, cold turkey, positive reinforcement, yelling, etc. She JUST DOESN'T CARE. But the fact of the matter is, we're going on vacation this summer, and there is a kids program at the resort, and I would love to be able to take both the kids to it so my husband and I can have some one-on-one time together, but they only accept kids who are potty trained. Therefore, I don't care what it takes or if she cares or not- she WILL be potty trained. My strategy this week is to just be consistent and do NOT, under ANY circumstances, give up. I don't care if I have to take her every hour on the hour, I will be vigilant and just make her do it. Maybe after a few weeks of it it'll be enough of a habit that she'll get it. Let's pray.

Anyway, so this morning I was checking my e-mail and Princess was in Big Brother's room playing, when she came in to see me. I smelled something funky. I felt her bottom. Definitely a lump. 

"Are you stinky?" 


And off we marched to the bathroom to remove the soiled pull-up (I know, I know, so many of you are against pull-ups, but I've tried straight underwear and the results are the same- wet and poopy accidents whether I like it or not- so I use the pull-ups. I'm pregnant and I'm tired, and I just don't have the patience for the underwear. We're taking this in steps, people.). I got it off of her and used some flushable wipes to clean up the, uh, "residue". And so Princess promptly lost her balance (I'm pretty sure she was trying to reach for my contacts lens case on the bathroom counter- she's fascinated by my contacts) and knocked the package of wipes into the toilet (which, by the way, contained the soiled wipes and most of the contents of that pull-up). 

Luckily, the wipes package landed bottom-down in the toilet, and, being that it is encased in plastic, it floated. I quickly pulled it out and tossed it into the sink, where I washed it with soap and water. I (through gritted teeth) told Princess to sit on the potty until I was done. She did, feeling slightly ashamed about causing such a ruckus (at last! Remorse!!) and did so.

Well, I got her all cleaned up and on her way, then decided to take out the trash, since I had to remove the stinky pull-up anyway. I got a large garbage bag from downstairs and started in the master bathroom, then moved to the kids' bathroom and Princess's bedroom. As I was dumping the contents of her trash can- very heavy wet diapers- the side of the bag dropped down and everything tumbled out onto the floor. I sighed heavily, and reached down to start putting it all back in. I Lysol-ed the trash can (and my hands) and started to lift the bag back toward the door to go to the next room, when the weight of the bag was more than I expected and it got caught on part of Princess's dresser, tearing a large hole in the bottom.

I put the bag down, threw my hands up in the air and said, "SERIOUSLY? ARE YOU SERIOUS? CAN ANYTHING ELSE HAPPEN RIGHT NOW?? SERIOUSLY!!!!!!"

I finagled the bag into a position such that everything would not come spilling out and managed to wrangle it out to the trash can by the garage. Then I came in and washed my hands about 10 times.

It's just gonna be one of those days.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What's the Deal With Kids Getting Off the Bus?

Schools in our county had an early release yesterday, around 11:30am, and so in my runnings-around I nearly ran over a few spacey "children" wandering the streets. Why is that?Specifically, why is it that when children get off a school bus, they think that they own the road and don't have to follow any pedestrian safety laws? 

I kid you not, I nearly ran over at least 5 teens or pre-teens yesterday. Two of them were skateboarding in the middle of the street, and looked quite surprised to see that there was actually a CAR on the road behind them. A car? On the street? That's absurd! The other three were strolling down the right lane of a two-lane road with a double yellow line down the middle where the speed limit was 40mph. They glanced up as my car approached (as I was slamming on the brakes so as not to turn them into roadkill) and simply stared as I tried to decide if I should cross over into the oncoming traffic lane to avoid them or simply park until they'd meandered around my car. Heaven forbid they actually walk on the shoulder to let me pass.

Sorry, I just needed to get that rant out. I see it all the time out my window when the bus drops kids off too- they just stroll down the middle of the road without a care in the world, and cars follow behind them traveling 3mph waiting for them to get a clue and move to the shoulder. I just don't get it. Maybe we need more sidewalks. Or maybe they should teach kids this stuff in school. I don't know! I just hate dangerous stupidity!

K, done.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An Angel With a Limp

Last night I happened to stay up late to watch the ABC news hidden camera experiment, "What Would You Do?" where they set up candid camera situations to see how (or if) people would react to various scenes played out by actors. For last night's episode, they had an actress portray a nicely dressed woman walking down the street in a busy part of New Jersey, then suddenly collapsing onto the sidewalk. Every single time she did it, people stopped to check on her and call 911, usually within 6 seconds. 

Next, they decided to change the scene by having an actor play a homeless-looking man who did the same thing- stumbled and collapsed, then lay there not moving. Decidedly fewer people took action, and even when they did, the average response time was 3 minutes. 

Next, they changed it up by having the homeless man have a beer can in his hand when he collapsed. 88 people go by without stopping. Then a small, bent over black woman comes hobbling up on her cane and sees the man. She stops, and is unable to help except to politely say to passersby, "Excuse me, excuse me, could you please call an ambulance for this man?" She leans over and gently takes the beer can out of his can and throws it into the trash can. Over and over, she asks the people passing by to get help for the man, and twenty-six people go by, ignoring her. While she waits, she gives the man a name, she says, "I don't know your name so I'm just gonna call you Billy. Come on, Billy. Open your eyes." Finally, a woman passing by hears Linda's pleas and stops to dial 911 on her cell phone to call for help for the man. More people eventually stop to offer assistance.

After the cameras were revealed and the follow-up interviews were concluded, Linda Hamilton just quietly shuffled her way back down the street, away from the spotlight. What a kind, brave, wonderful soul she is. Watching her standing there, like a guardian angel over the man brought tears to my eyes. Even thinking about it today I get choked up. To see the story for yourself, along with other "social experiments" done on the show, click here.

May we all be a little bit more like Linda Hamilton, and see those around us as our brothers and sisters, children of the same God, and treat each other accordingly. May God bless you, Linda Hamilton.

Some Good Counsel for LDS

I just read this article, and I thought I'd pass it on. Read it, ponder it, pray about it, and decide how you will handle these things- The Publicity Dilemma

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Eight Arms and Counting?

So I was watching tv last night and yet again they had more exciting tidbits about the woman who recently had octuplets, bringing her grand total of children up to 14. 

I will choose not to comment on her decision to do so.

However, what is the deal with the media calling her, "Octo-Mom?" Seriously, everytime they say it I envision this strange creature with eight arms and little babies crawling all about her. Okay, so maybe the babies part is true, but really- "Octo-Mom?" 

Maybe she could be like a superhero- Who is it? Could it be? Dah dah-dah-daaaah! It's OCTO-MOM!!

Okay, that's all. See, I told you this blog would be totally random.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Entertain Me

I have a confession to make. I like to be entertained. And because of that, I am generally not a good person to ask for recommendations for good movies or books, because I am notoriously non-critical. I think there are perhaps less than 10 movies I have ever seen in my lifetime that I didn't like. Off the top of my head I can think of two- Crazy/Beautiful (I remember I wrote in my journal after seeing this one that I thought it was Stupid/Dumb) and Beverly Hills Ninja. So, as you can see, my taste is expansive.

I am pretty much the same way with books- take the Twilight series, for instance. I had a lot of friends who said it was too juvenile for them, and that they got all rolly-eyed at the mushy smooshy stuff. I will admit, there was mushy smooshiness. But you know what? It was fun! I never picked up the book expecting to be reading a Pulitzer prize winner- I picked it up because I like to read and it looked like a good story. I was not disappointed- it was a good story. And I was entertained.

I think that a big part of it is that I am an empathetic person, especially to authors and movie makers, because they put their hard work and creativity into something for the sole purpose of entertaining their audience. Therefore, I want to be entertained, because I genuinely want them to succeed. Who cares if the science doesn't match up (trust me, you have no idea how annoying it was watching the movie Armageddon with a guy who works for NASA! Sorry John) and if there are a few inconsistencies in the story? As long as it's not completely inane (see first paragraph) or vulgar then I'm game. Because really, it's all just about entertainment.

You may think that I am contradicting myself because of my post about The Bachelor, but I disagree. You see, The Bachelor is a reality show. If it was strictly for entertainment, I would be all for it, however, this is actually how the guy is going to pick out his wife. And I just really think it's a dumb way to do it, so I'm going to bash it a little bit. (But I'm still going to watch it because it is, primarily, entertaining).

Don't get me wrong, I can be critical if I have to be. I once tore apart a book in a critical evaluation paper for school without knowing that my professor helped write it (luckily, he agreed with my crticisms). But it's just no fun. If something is put out there for my enjoyment, then gosh darn it, I want to enjoy it. Don't rain on my parade by picking apart my latest read or last night's date movie. Just entertain me.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Losing My Best Friends

I know I'm about 10 years behind the rest of the Mormon community, but I just finished the final book in the Work and the Glory series, and I have to say- I'm SAD! I feel like the Steeds have become a part of my extended family, and I am really going to miss them. I mean, it's been 9 loooong books since the beginning back in Palmyra, and I've come a long way with them! And now I'll never see them again! Not even once I die and go to heaven because they're not real! *sigh* Yes, it's pathetic.

I often feel that way when I finish a book, or especially a series of books. The books that really speak to me the most are the ones with strong characters, because I start to think of it not merely as a book or a story, but as a person, and I start to relate to them and have almost a sense of a relationship with them. Sometimes they irritate me and I get annoyed (I have been known to verbalize my emotions out loud at times) and other times I am so touched and moved by their story that I cry. I cried for Lydia and Melissa in the Work and the Glory when their babies died. I cried for Jessie several times. And I cried for all the Saints for the many trials they endured. But just like any of life's trials, they made me feel closer to them. And I'm just really going to miss them.

I have moved on now (really, I've left the Steeds for less than 24 hours and already moved on- for some reason I feel a little bit dirty about that...) to a book called Wild Swans. It is a nonfiction biographical story of 3 women of 3 generations (grandmother, mother, and daughter) in China starting in the early 1900s. I have always found the Chinese culture fascinating, so I am intrigued by this book. So far we have foot binding, war lords, and concubines. I think it will take me some time to get to know these women, but I look forward to taking this journey with them and expanding my world view in the process.

By the way, my son read his first 4 words all by himself today. He's been learning his letters and sounds in preschool and so I decided to just see if he could sound out a few simple words- cat, dog, pig, and rat. He did it!! He got a little frustrated on some of them, so I explained to him why it was so cool to read. I told him that when he learns to read he'll be able to learn about anything he wants to whenever he wants- he doesn't have to wait for someone else to read it to him, or wait to watch it on tv. I told him a little bit about the book I started reading and his eyes got all wide. Then he said, "Mommy, I'll be able to read DINOSAUR books!!" I smiled and said, "Yeah, any dinosaur book you want!!" He was pretty excited about that. Maybe someday soon he'll open a book and make a friend, just like his mom. ;-)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Why I Love to Hate The Bachelor

1. How desperate do you have to be in the first place to even go on that show? I mean, if desperation is on your list of qualities in a future mate, great, but really- there's a reason they're all still single.

2. Everyone is "in love" with him before they even meet him. I would just love- just once- to see a chick walk up to him on like the third episode and say, "I'm sorry, this has been fun but I just don't have feelings for you. I think you should send me home." Why does that never happen?

3. Because when there are 20 women and one guy the primal mating instinct kicks in, and they couldn't care less who he is or what he looks like. It's all about the competition. Trust me, I was once at an all-girls' camp that had a single solitary guy as the lifeguard. It was like a feeding frenzy.

4. And the bachelor actually thinks this is a good way to find his wife.

5. Limo confessionals- "Why can't he just LOVE me? Am I not smart enough? Am I not PRETTY enough?! I'm GORGEOUS for crying out loud! He must be BLIND! It's his loss. He doesn't know what he's missing." They should really make "He's Just Not That Into You" required reading for these girls before they go on the show.

6. My favorite was Stephanie last night- "Someday I'll go to heaven and be with my Steven again." That's right, Steph. At least someday you'll be dead. Seriously??

7. Kissing. Soooo much kissing. I really hope no one catches the flu because the whole show would tank. Just watching it makes me feel like I have the flu.

8. I love how they always make it look like the out-of-this-world dates are the bachelor's idea. Do they not notice that he's just as surprised as they are to see where they're going?

9. One word: connection. "Well, the date was horrible and nothing went right, but we really have a connection." "I liked you and all, but there was just no connection." It's all about the connection.

10. Crying. Soooo much crying.

11. At least I have a harmless outlet for all of my pent-up sarcasm that builds up during the week. Mocking. Sooooo much mocking!! Love it!

Friday, January 30, 2009

A New Blog for My Random Thoughts

Hello, and welcome to my new blog! Why do I need another blog, you ask? Well, to be perfectly honest I get a little jealous when I read some of my friends' blogs because they just seem to post about whatever random thing that crosses their minds, and heck- I want to do that! I try to keep my other blog, The Beautiful Thrifty Life, on topic with all things beautiful and thrifty. But you have no idea the number and extent of random thoughts that I have in any given week that have absolutely nothing to do with anything either beautiful or thrifty. I am thrilled to finally have a place to ramble on about nothing. 

So for this blog, I'll just be making it up as I go. Enjoy the ride, share a comment, argue, I don't care! We'll just make it up as we go!