Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Potty Time

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I am ready to potty train Penelope.

She may or may not be ready to BE potty trained.

I bought a book called "How To Potty Train Your Child In One Day" and read the first two chapters. Meh. Some of the info is great, and I may use portions of the techniques, but the author advocates a "potty party" complete with cake and presents. I don't really have the time for that - plus, while I want Penelope to know that going to the bathroom on the toilet is good, I'm not sure I want to make it a holiday. I want to normalize it, not turn it into an event.

The author also says some very inaccurate and obnoxious things about cloth diapers, so I'm just ticked off enough to not want to use her technique. This may make me silly and/or petty, but whatever. You publish a book containing inaccurate BS and I'm going to look at the rest of what you have to say with a different lens. It is what it is.

I did, however, take the potty quiz in the book to determine in Poe is ready for the whole experience. She scored a 7/10 which the author says is close, but not quite ready. So we're going to wait until the winter break and see what she scores then.

In the meantime, she and I have watched some videos of Elmo singing about potty training and I've ordered her some Sesame Street books about using the "big kid potty". If Elmo does something then Penelope wants to do it as well.

It's already made an impression on her. Last night after I stripped her down for bathtime she walked into the bathroom and asked to sit on the potty. She also wanted ME to sit on the potty, so we sat (I was fully clothed, she was naked) together for about 5 minutes. I praised her (she didn't pee, just sat naked, which is a big step) and talked about how big girls use the potty. She told me "Elmo pee-pee potty mama. Cookie poo-poo potty" and was very proud of herself.

Of course, I think half the reason she sat on the potty for so long was because she didn't want to take a bath. She used to LOVE baths, but it's become a bit of a headache recently. She hates getting her hair washed/wet and cries about the whole experience. Plus, Griffin is a splash-o-matic and while Poe sometimes finds his antics amusing, she also hates getting water splashed in her face.

Oh well, whatever the real motivation was for her potty time last night, the fact that she sat (naked) on the potty for an extended period of time is a good sign.

I would love, love, love if she was potty trained by x-mas. Love. I don't expect daytime AND nighttime training to happen that quickly. If I can get daytime training done by the holidays I will be ecstatic.

Side note: Last night G went to bed at 9-ish, woke up at 12:15 and nursed, woke up at 3-ish for a bottle, and was still asleep IN HIS CRIB when I left the house at 6:50. This is awesome.

Monday, November 29, 2010


There are quite a few differences between the kids, and while I'm thinking about them I thought I should write them all down in the blog.

The kids' sleep schedules aren't all that different at this age. Penelope was on a much more predicable schedule, but we had the time/energy to actually stick to the schedule. Not so much anymore. G's down to 2-3 wakings a night, which isn't bad for this age. If I remember correctly P was between 1-2.

The biggest difference (for me) is HOW they get to sleep. Penelope would need to be rocked. We would also occasionally lay down in our bed with her until she tossed and turned herself to sleep. Griffin is a patter, pat him and bounce and he is.out. He also nurses to sleep and can be transferred right into the crib; even when Poe was falling asleep after eating a bottle it would still take a fair amount of luck to transfer her into the crib.

Griffin puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. Everything. Penelope rarely put anything in her mouth, even when teething.

G also likes to explore his manly-bits. Poe was never big into self-exploration. (They're both going to be SO EMBARRASSED) about this post when they're older :)

At this age, Poe was sitting and that's pretty much as far as it went. She would "walk" around in her walker, but she wasn't interested in crawling or moving around too much. Griffin does.not.stop.moving. Oh holy jinkies, this child will be into EVERYTHING when he eventually crawls. He's already into almost everything... right now he's just scooting on his bottom.

There's more of course, they're very different babies. But these are the things I was thinking about this evening after putting both babies to bed.

I should probably get some actual work done - I have a lot of planning to do, I start new units in all of my classes on Monday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving in pictures

I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I had planned (not really surprising I guess) but I did get a few good ones. So here's the kids this Thanksgiving:

But these first two pictures need a bit of explanation... This was after dinner was over, so around 3:30, and Penelope had yet to take a nap. She was exhausted and in a very silly mood. So she and my brother invented a new game of peek-a-boo where they would rest their heads on the table and then bring them up at the same time and say "surprise!". It was hilarious.

So here's the first stage

And this is the second stage

They did this for awhile :)

More pictures:

At the table

Playing before dinner


Penelope hoarding the fruit tray

Riley, Penny, and I

Griffin and his great-grandpa

Bryan and I

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

So this year has been rough. We've had a lot of stress and change - some of it has been good, but a lot of it has been pretty crappy. I haven't gone into all of it on the blog simply because I don't wish to share all of our lives with the interwebs, just a portion. But even though this year has been more than a little bumpy, we still have a LOT to be thankful for.

Every day I try and remind myself of at least one thing I am thankful for, even if it's something as simple as a hot shower. On really rough days it helps get me through. As the year draws to a close, fewer days in the week are rough ones, but I'm still trying to stay in the habit of recognizing and appreciating the everyday things we generally take for granted. It helps my mood and it helps put everything into perspective. After all, we could be living in Haiti and dealing with a Cholera epidemic.

So here are some of the things that I am really thankful for...some are big and some are small, but they all make my life that much better.

Bryan and the kids
Of course they're on the top of my list! We all drive each other crazy. Really crazy. But we love each other more than we irritate each other, and really, what more can you ask for? I'm thankful for having a partner who shares all the responsibilities of parenthood with me. I'm thankful he always takes out the garbage, that he gets up with Griffin at 1am, that he only snores half the week ;) I'm thankful that Penelope has adjusted well to being a big sister, that she rarely throws tantrums, that she is polite and sweet, that she loves books as much as I do. I'm thankful that Griffin and I are still nursing a little at night, that he is so happy, and that he has the best goofy grin ever. I'm thankful that we're all healthy (and that the kids have insurance).

My parents
We really couldn't survive without my parents. I'm not exaggerating. Between childcare and emotional support, they're always there for us and we really and truly appreciate it. They've made it possible for me to finish my degree and student teaching, for Bryan to go back to school, for us to *not* lose our minds. I don't know how people raise families without my parents. Really, I don't.

My December 08 Moms
Some of you know this, but some don't... when Poe was born I "met" a group of women with similar due dates on a site called BabyCenter. When they switched formats, a small group of us broke off and started our own support board. Over 2 years later it's still going strong. We've celebrated milestones, grieved over losses, argued (well, rarely), laughed, shared... they've been absolutely wonderful and I have leaned on them so much this year. I love those ladies!

My MSN Moms
My other support group has been my IRL moms - most of whom I met through MSN. Now that MSN is gone (well, gone-ish) we've moved activities to people's houses instead of the center, but we are all still close. They're a wonderful group of women (and men!) who are always there if I need them, and vice versa. Kim watches the kids once a week, we meet on occasional weekends for playdates, we spend holidays (Halloween!) together, celebrate birthdays, bring each other meals, have girls night out, go out for ice cream, stay up late on the phone, sew diapers... next year I think we might get all of our kids on the same toddler soccer team! I love my extended family.

You may think I'm being flippant, but I really don't think I'd be sane at this point in the year without coffee. Between 5:30am wake-ups, to night nursing marathons, to stress-based insomnia, coffee has been my friend. It helps make me tolerable in the mornings, and I'm sure my 1st period class appreciates it.

Mira Loma
I'm lucky to have been placed at ML... and lucky to be working with some great teachers. All of my Mentor teachers have taught me quite a few things about teaching - I've gotten ideas on management, curriculum, planning, grading, and even life.

Our house
We have a roof over our heads. The kids sleep in their own beds. We are very lucky. I don't LOVE this house, but I am very thankful for it.

Last, but not least, is you dear blog reader. If you've taken the time to read this then I thank you. You may not always comment, but I know you read - and the fact that you care enough to take a few minutes to read the drivel I write is very much appreciated.

There are a lot more things I have to be thankful for. I could write a book - but no one would read it and I don't have time to write a book anyway.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope your holiday season is full of joy and love. And I hope next year is better than this year.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Griffin is clapping!

I almost forgot, Griffin has started clapping! It's really cute :)

He's also a scooter, as in he moves from one spot to another by scooting on his butt. No crawling yet, just scooting.

Making cookies

So Penelope is getting to the age where she really, really likes to help. And I've been encouraging this by allowing her to help me cook. Generally she just gets to stir but she occasionally gets to add in ingredients. She's always supervised, and I do let her stir things on the stove (while I hold her) always with the admonishment that the stove is hot and we have to be careful. She repeats "hot, be careful!" and gently stirs whatever is on the stove. It works for us - I don't think all kids this age could handle it, but Poe is something else :)

Last week she actually helped me make a cake (for my Dad's 50th birthday) and today while Griffin was napping she helped me make peanut butter cookies. I took a few pictures but the camera battery died so I'll upload them later. She had fun - although she tried multiple times to eat the batter even after being told that they're not ready yet. I did let her lick the spatula that I used to get the PB out of the measuring cup, so I bet that's where she got the idea that it's ok to eat what's on the spoon. Oh well, she only got a tiny uncooked batter and there was only one egg in it so I'm not worried.

Her favorite part was to squoosh the PB cookies after forming them into balls. She tried to help me with creating the balls, but she just ended up smooshing the batter in her hand. It was funny.

Cookies just came out of the oven so I'm looking forward to sharing with her.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My children are weird

Occasionally Penelope and Griffin will sit next to each other and just laugh. Penny will do something and G will laugh, then P will laugh that G is laughing, and the cycle will repeat. It's nice having kids that are so easily amused.

In just a few weeks Penelope will turn 2. TWO. Two YEARS. TWO YEARS OLD!

Holy monkeys in a jar, where did the time go????

We're still working on a location for her birthday party. At this age the party is still more for us than her (and if we're being completely honest it's mostly for me, I think Bryan would be just fine with a low-key family thing, but I *need* a party. Don't ask me why, I just do ok?).

It's been so crazy here that party planning has fallen by the wayside. But my last seminar class is Monday and then all I have are TPA 3 & 4 (TPA 3 is practically finished), a few silly hoops to jump through for the CCTC (CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing), finishing out the semester of student teaching, and writing a thesis. Haha, "only".

So I won't be sane until at least February. If then. Hold your sarcastic comments please.

Other things:
*Penelope is perhaps the sweetest, most loving, and wonderful two year old in the history of toddlers. She is constantly giving hugs and kisses, loves her brother, the dog, her dolls, and everything ever. She tells me I look "bootaful" when I wear hats (which I will now wear every day just to hear her say it). She ASKS to be tickled and loves to try and tickle you. She hugs the dog at least once a day. She kisses characters in her books, she HUGS THE GROUND. Seriously.

*Griffin is a goober. He also sounds like Chewbacca. And OH MY GOODNESS is he a mama's boy. Penny was always more of a Grandpa's girl (and still is) but sweet baby-jesus-on-a-stick Griffin LOVES his mommy. I am not complaining. One day he'll slam doors in my face so I'll take the love while I can get it. Don't get me wrong, he loves his Daddy too - but the child will leap out of Daddy's arms when I pass by.

*Bryan and I are sick. Boo. Not really big news, but it's certainly no fun. Luckily yesterday was the last day of school before Thanksgiving break so I have a chance to recuperate. I'm looking forward to spending a week with the kids. I miss the SAHM gig. I have a ton of papers to grade, but I can do that during naps and at night - during the day I will soak in as much of my munchkins as I can.

All for now - must get back to my babies!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Just a few things

Griffin has become less and less interested in nursing. He arches and gets frustrated during the day but seems fine with nursing at night. So we'll stick to nursing at night and see how long it all lasts. If we end up giving it up then I'm ok with that. 7 months is a huge milestone for us both and while in an ideal world we'd nurse until at least 12 months, we all know that this world is NOT an ideal one.

Things are getting better. For almost a week he's been down to just two wakings a night, Bryan wakes up with Griffin for the first round and I get him for the second.

I'll end with some pictures. I do have a lot more to talk about but I don't really have much time. I need to get a few things ready for work tomorrow.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Griffin's first well-baby check

Today was Griffin's 1st well baby check. It was later than normal for a few reasons, all of which revolve around insurance. Long story, won't go into it. Suffice it to say he now has insurance and we took advantage and took him in to the Ped today.

He's 29.25 inches and 21.4 pounds. Here are his charts:



He got 2 shots as well. Didn't bat an eye for the first and then screamed after the second (the pneumonia ones are apparently the worst). He did great overall though, such a trooper!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wish Lists

So Poe's birthday and the holidays are fast approaching, and a lot of people have been asking me what they should give Poe & G this year... to help gift-givers out, we created amazon wish lists for each child. Please don't feel obligated to buy from this list - or buy gifts at all this year. We know how everyone is struggling so we certainly don't expect to get everything (or really anything) on the list, but if you do have the desire then hopefully these lists can help you out. I know the kids would love anything they receive.

For Penelope:

For Griffin:


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Prep Period

Third period is my prep and I have a few minutes to blog before I need to do some planning/grading.

So lets talk about sleep, shall we? On the adivce of my midwives I gave Griffin a half of a homeopathic sleep aid two nights ago. It worked, he slept past his normal 12am wake-up time. However not being woken up actually woke up Bryan. When he went to check on G, G was cold and B couldn't tell if he was breathing, so B got a bit panicky. Griffin was fine, he had just kicked off his blankets. B woke him up and fed him and then brought him into bed.

I didn't know any of this until the next day - that night I was sound asleep. And I felt wonderful the next day... B not so much.

So last night we didn't give G the homeopathic tablet. He woke up a few times before 11pm and I was able to pat him back to sleep. Then *I* woke up at 1:30am paranoid that he wasn't awake and went in to check on him. He was fine. I recovered him and went back to bed. Griffin finally woke up at 3 and Bryan fed him and then brought him into bed at 4. G nursed until 6 when I got up for the day and he woke up for the day at 6:45 or so.

Still undecided if we're going to use the tablets again tonight. Although now we know Griffin is capable of sleeping from 8-ish until 3-ish. This is wonderful news and it hopefully means that soon he'll be down to one waking a night and I can just nurse him, cut out the bottle, and Bryan won't have to get up anymore. I can handle one waking - heck, I can handle a nurse-a-thon from 3am-6am if I get uninterrupted sleep from 9:30 (when I go to bed) and 3am.

More sleep will certainly help with the PPD, my attitude and coping skills are 1,000x better when I have adequate sleep.

But I still have a metric ton of stuff I need to accomplish in the next month and it's becoming very, very overwhelming.

There are a TON of hoops the State of CA makes potential teachers jump through before you're credentialed. I don't necessarily have a problem with the process (although some of it is redundant and unnecessary), I have a problem with the time commitment since I HAVE NO TIME. I have Touchpoint papers to grade, lessons to plan, grade checks for failing students, tutoring hours for AVID students, a paper for my seminar class, TPA 3 & 4, a computers class (I can test out of it, but I need to take the test), a credentialing appointment to make, PLUS a Dr's appt for Griffin, arranging family pictures, planning P's birthday, and so. much. more.

I barely have my head above water. I am so stressed out right now it isn't funny. It's effecting my work, school, my relationship with my kids, husband, and family.

But at least I got enough sleep last night. So there are things to celebrate.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Mama, fuck jamies!"

Penelope needs to work on her "g" sounds.

She has these footie pajamas with frogs on them. Which she loves... and she loves to tell you about them. "Mama! Fuck jamies! See fuck!"

"Penelope, say froG"



Also? I hate daylight savings time.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Haircuts & how our eldest child is hilarious

So Penelope has (had) a horribly long mullet and no, it was not cute. Mullets don't look good on anyone, I don't care how hard you rock or how butch you are. Mullets are bad, mkay?

It finally got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore, something had to be done. And so today we got around to doing something about it, Poe got her first haircut.

Now, I wanted to take her to my hairdresser, who has known my parents since High School and has cut my hair for ages. But Penelope is a little frightened of him (I don't know why, who could be scared of a 5 foot tall gay man? Really, who?) But she is. She also doesn't like new things, and getting a haircut was going to be a new experience, so we needed to a place with age appropriate distractions. So we took her to some kids-specialty places where we could pay way too much money for 5 minutes of actual hair cutting time.

But the mullet is gone (thank goodness) and there was only minimal screaming (thank you Dragon Tales). Here are some pictures:



It may not look like a whole lot but she took a good 2 inches off.

Afterward we went to Jack's Urban Eats, an overpriced restaurant that serves mostly decent American food. Bryan and the kids sat down while I ordered and Penny made a friend :) A little boy who was probably about 4, they were playing and dancing - it was super cute. He even shared a french fry with her.

After they left Poe settled down to eat a little of her salad (i.e. tomatoes and grapes, she was surprisingly uninterested in the rest of her salad, it's usually her favorite meal). Although she didn't stay settled... Jack's plays music and Penny decided that she had to dance, so she danced by the table and took breaks to come back to her plate and get a new grape or tomato. It was HILARIOUS. I cannot over emphasize how ridiculously adorable it was. I tried to get pics, this was the best I could get:

Twirling.. she would say "mama! ballerina!" as she twirled:

Being cute:

Now to be fair, here are some pics of G-funk:

This is the kids on Tuesday, their first election!

Yes, Penny has her Halloween costume on.

This pic just makes me laugh:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oh please, sweet goddess of the night, let him sleep

Griffin's lack of sleep is driving me insane. Literally. I have been diagnosed with PPD. And while I'm sure it's not solely due to sleep deprivation, the sleep dep. plays a huge role.

So we're working on getting more sleep. It's a slow process. And for those of you who are curious, no I am not on medication. My midwives and I agree that we want to try and eliminate the possible causes before they refer me for medication. I feel much better now that I've talked to them and we have a plan... and now that I've gone "public" so to speak. Keeping it all inside was really hard.

Anyway, back to G's sleep (or lack thereof). Today we bought a white noise machine. We've also increased the amount of food he gets during the day and added in fish oil - the extra calories will hopefully help him sleep longer. Bryan now gets up with him once a night and gives him a bottle (instead of me bringing him into bed and nursing him all night). He does eventually make his way into bed and I do still nurse him through the night but it's getting (slightly) better. I really hope the noise machine is the silver bullet here and we get a decent night's sleep.

He did break tooth #5 today so maybe that will help. I also gave him some Tylenol tonight since we just discovered the new tooth. Hyland teething tablets have been recalled and they were our "go-to" for teething so now we have to use Tylenol (or the off-brand from Target). His gums weren't swollen so I didn't realize he was teething! So far his teeth have come in pairs so maybe #6 is on its way.

Both Bryan and I will be happy when G is out of this stage and sleeping through the night. When he's 14 and I can't get him out of bed I will revisit this post and laugh.

Popular Posts

Penelope's Growth

6 years: 50 inches, 47 lbs
5 years: 48 inches, 42 lbs
4 years: 43.5 inches, 41.0 lbs
28 months: 39 inches, 33.1 lbs
26 months: 38.5 inches, 32.1 lbs
21 months: 37 inches, 31.8 lbs
18 months: 35 inches, 30 lbs
15 months: 34.25 inches, 28.8 lbs
12 months: 32 inches, 27.1 lbs
9 months: 30.5 inches, 25.1 lbs
6 months: 29 inches, 21.2 lbs
4 months: 28.5 inches, 17.13 lbs
2 months: 24.75 inches, 12.12 lbs
At birth: 20.75 inches, 7.15 lbs

Griffin's Growth

5 years - 3 feet 11.25 inches (47.25 inches), 51 lbs
3 years - 3 feet 5.25 inches, 40lbs
18 months - 34.5 inches, 27.13lbs
12 months - 32 inches, 26.5lbs*
10 months - 31.75 inches, 23.4 lbs
7 months - 29.25 inches, 21.4 lbs
5 months - 28.5 inches, 17.9 lbs*
4 months - 28 inches, 15.5 lbs
3 months - 27 inches, 13.10 lbs
2 months - 25.125 inches, ?? lbs
1 month - 24 inches, 10.13 lbs
At birth - 22.5 inches, 9.1 lbs
*with diaper

Izzy's Growth

2 months: 23.25 inches, 10.8 lbs
At Birth: 22 inches, 8.11 lbs

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