No, not at the new house.  That's happening on Saturday.  I mean we have arrived .

Sunday night we went out.  By ourselves.  And our babysitter was free and IN- HOUSE!!!!!!  Woo hoo!  We were ¼ mile away from home, but it was the best darn cheeseburger and Corona I had ever had.  And it made me smile after I was feeling blue.  And we had a very good laugh together.  And did I mention that our eldest was the babysitter and she is FREE?

 Notice to all ye parents in the trenches:

 (That means you if you meet one of the following criteria:
You have all little kids and you still stress out about how you’re going to attend gynecological appointments with your children, or wonder how you’re going to find someone to watch your kids during the day when healthy/normal/responsible people usually are working or watching their own kids.)


BE ENCOURAGED.  I have waited a dang long time for this, but the light at the end of the tunnel really, really is there.  It really is.  And it’s just as pretty as it looked when you first saw it the first time your oldest child saved your fanny (while still a toddler) by getting you some baby wipes while you stood there with newborn poop all over you.


As I sit here at 7:20am on a summer morning, I am reminded why it is that I haven’t been very prolific lately.  Those boys are the loudest, most energetic pair you’ve ever met post sunrise.  They are just bursting forth with the joy of living [cue choirs of angels singing] … and I’m supplementing my meager existence this morning with a strong cup of the Good Stuff.  Yesterday, I tried to read … I barely made it through 3 pages.  I just gave up after Jonny interrupted me for the 256th time.  But how can I complain?  (Well, I’ll tell you how … I simply open my mouth up and it all comes pouring out.)  My little boy is talking, and he’s getting better and better every day.  Even Mia notices when he can say a word more clearly than he used to.


OK.  I’m warning you now.  I will be rambling a bit here.  If I have to think about what I’m going to say and organize it so that it comes out beautifully I won’t write at all.


So potty training is moving along very well.  Basically it goes like this:  if they have “Daddy Underwear” on, they potty in the potty bowl 95% of the time.  If they have diapers or pullups on, they potty in the potty bowl about 10% of the time.  That adds up to more than a 100% right?  I’m fine with those statistics, because they are improving all the time, and our schedule simply doesn’t make cold turkey possible.  Owen is farther along than Jonny, because he has so much more opportunity to go due to his small bladder.  But Jonny is really working hard!  Now if we could just make the jump to No. 2 on the potty before I completely lose it over No. 2 in the Daddy Underwear.  Worst.  Part. Of.  Motherhood.  Ever.  But we’ll keep plugging along.  We stay home most of today, so hopefully we’ll make some progress there.


As for other updates … the house situation is going at a snail’s pace.  We ordered carpet, and Matt wants to wait to have that done before we put it on the market.  Until that happens, I should just stop looking at houses because it’s torture.  Either I’m doing contortions trying to make a bad house on good property work, or there’s a BEAUTIFUL foreclosure – super good deal – on land that’s too far away and possibly not great for horses.  Whatever.  It feels like if I stop looking for a while then it will be all new again when I come back to it.  Trouble is … I’m addicted.  J




So today was Day 2 in the Potty Training Saga.  Now I didn't say that the days were consecutive.  I just said it was the second day.  My schedule, life, and obligations lately are making it tough to do my usual Cold Turkey routine, but nevertheless we have been very successful.

Picture the scene. One cute little blonde boy with a Swim Trunks Tan (but minus the trunks) -- 2 feet tall and the roundest buns you’ve ever seen --walking around my back patio and deck.  Also with him is the bigger boy, totally simple and naive in his own lovable way, also walking around naked out back.  Lettin' it all hang out!  (If you're scandalized by this, see the note below.)  We gave them bubbles, water guns, WHATEVER it takes to keep them busy, and we gave them anything at all that they might want to drink no matter how much sugar it might have in it.  We want them to DRINK!  Each time we did it, there was quite a bit of waiting involved, but once the floodgates opened, there was pee from Owen every 10 minutes!  When it came out, I caught it in the Potty Bowl and viola! – there’s no such thing as an accident!

On Day One, Owen had 6 successes, and Jonny two.  Today they each had five!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Jonny had a harder time with both the concept and the adjustment, but little Owen’s success surely has helped.   Jonny seems to be having a harder time physically making it, but (bless his heart) he grunts and pushes until he gets some in that bowl.  Today they each also had a success on the actual potty.  Step 2 is to get Jonny relaxed enough to just empty his bladder, but for now I’m just thrilled with our little success.  This is way beyond anything we’ve ever gotten out of him!  J

Only a parent would understand what I’m about to say, but here it is.  (If you don’t have kids, you’ll just have to wait till you do to understand.)  There is nothing cuter than a little pudgy two-year-old standing there making pee come out of its little body.  NOTHING.  And the pride on his little face is undescribable.

Now for the naked issue … Because Jonny is so child-like, and because he’s in diapers/Pull-ups still, it’s very common for the girls to see him naked.  They don’t bat an eye at it, just as they don’t when they see their two-year-old brother.  It’s just a matter-of-fact way of life around here, and the whole clan is VERY involved and supportive of this potty-training endeavor.  So lest you think we’ve horrified our girls or Jonny, for that matter, let me assure you that it’s nothing out of the ordinary and has followed from having Jonny’s special needs in our family.  I like to think that because they see boy parts all the time in such an innocent, healthy way they will not be so curious later!  J




Here is a funny email I got from a friend.  I just want to say that these might seem like an exaggeration ...  I assure you they are not.  Mostly they are accurate, with only a few things being avoided due to good training.   Lessons 3 (every part) 4, 6 (every part!), 10, 11, and 12 -- NO EXAGGERATION.  None.  I have lived that many times over to a T.  I'm not kidding.  Come look at our cars.

Can I get a shout out from other parents that this is real?

Thinking of Having Kids? Do this 12 step program first!
 Lesson 1

 1. Go to the grocery store.
 2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
 3. Go home.
 4. Pick up the paper.
 5. Read it for the last time.

 Lesson 2

 Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already
 are parents and berate them about their...
 1. Methods of discipline.
 2. Lack of patience.
 3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
 4. Allowing their children to run wild.
 5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding,
sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.Enjoy
 it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the

 Lesson 3

 A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...
 1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living
 room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12
 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound)
 playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
 2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go
 to sleep.
 3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag,
 until 1AM.
 4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
 5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and
 watch an infomercial.
 6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
 7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
 8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard
 and be productive)

 Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful
 and together.

 Lesson 4

 Can you stand the mess children make? T o find out...
 1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
 2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all
 3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
 4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
 5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
 6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

 Lesson 5

 Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
 1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
 2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang

 Time allowed for this - all morning.

 Lesson 6

 Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it
 out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like
 1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.
 Leave it there.
 2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
 3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the
 back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with
 your foot.
 4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

 Lesson 7

 Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can
 find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice).
 If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more
 than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out
 of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

 Lesson 8

 1. Hollow out a melon.
 2. Make a small hole in the side.
 3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
 4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the
 swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.

 5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
 6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.

 You are now ready to feed a nine- month-old baby.

 Lesson 9

 Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney,
 the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the
 Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're
 thinking What's 'Noggin'?) Exactly the point.

 Lesson 10

 Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important:
 no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional
 crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape
 in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready
 to take a long trip with a toddler.

 Lesson 11

 Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually
 tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy'
 tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

 Lesson 12

 Learn how to type on a computer while balancing a 10 lb bowling ball.
 If you attempt hands-free typing the ball will certainly fall so type
 with one hand.
 Master that.
 Now try breastfeeding the bowling ball while you type...

 You are now ready to conduct "business" while taking care of your baby.