Thursday, January 29, 2009

Potty Training update

Along with all of the other training going on, Canon is still working on potty training. He has actually taken himself potty a couple of times. I think this is very exciting and will hopefully increase with the warmer weather and shorts. I'm sure they will be easier to pull up and down on his own. He's been wearing pull-ups during naps and at night time. I just can't stand to change the sheets on his bunk bed. We still have the occasional accident, but I think he's just VERY efficient with the BMs and tells me as soon as he realizes, but it's too late. Like I said though, this is VERY rare! So, I think this about wraps up our potty training experience for Canon. He is pretty well trained and I am hoping we do not have a regression when the baby comes. We'll see!

Training and Transition

This title pretty much sums up my life at this point. I feel like we have been a constant state of transition since moving to Oklahoma. In Enid we were waiting for our duty station in OKC. Once we made the move, I was 20 weeks pregnant and we were waiting for our little one to arrive. Before his arrival we got Piper, our dog and adjusted to one knew being before our little human being came. The sleepless nights started a little early because of our little puppy! Shortly after Canon was born the deployments started and we have been on that wheel ever since. With deployments we are constantly adapting our family. Our days look much different when Daddy is home all day, at work and home in the evenings, or totally gone. We have been blessed to have Albert pop in for short spurts of time during deployments, but this increases the need to adjust. And thus, this wheel will continue until we move away from Oklahoma!

I'm sure every mama feels like this, but everyone in our home is also in training. I could easily say that I am training all of the little ones in my house, but let's face it I am needing a lot of training and change and training too! So, we brought Cheyenne home from Pensacola and both dogs have been in Duck Boot camp ever since. They are learning to stay on the carpet while we eat our meals, walk together with a stroller (this has not had much progress with the freezing temps and ice everywhere, but it will pick up again), interact with each other and wait to eat their food. They are also learning to control their barking..... though this will take a bit more work.

The boys are at the age where they need a lot of training through their own transitions! Canon has been in a big boy bed since he was about 16 months old. He has done pretty well with it until the last month and a half or so. He decided that he would rather get up 15 times after being tucked in just to make sure he isn't missing anything and make some silly request. This afternoon, thanks to the advice of a friend, I put him in the crib and Boaz in the pack 'n play. They both cried it out for a while and at one point I heard Canon shouting that he needed to go potty. This is his most common excuse for needing to be up. I decided that he had a pull-up on and if he really needed to go, he could just go. He was safe in the crib and I was not taking him out! Eventually they both fell asleep and Canon woke up dry. He is so tricky!

Some other areas Mr. Canon is being trained in are asking for things politely instead of making demands. If anyone has any words of wisdom on this, I'd love to hear them! He is also learning a bit more about table manners; like keeping your bottom in the chair the whole time you are at the table. We have taken LoraLynn's advice and are practicing "sit time" and "quiet time". Here's how that's working for us: During "sit time" I put two kitchen chairs side-by-side, like we are sitting in church. Canon sits to my right and Boaz sits on my lap. I turn on a sermon and set my timer for 10 minutes. We started with 5 and will probably be at 10 for a while! Then we sit there quietly and are working on our squirminess. Let's just say there is way too much talking going on at this point! But, our little bits of time have helped with sitting in church the last couple of weeks.

"Quiet time" is after naps. This afternoon I gave Canon a lollipop and asked him to sit on the couch, Boaz crawled around on the floor and mooched some cookie while I read a couple of Psalms. They are doing really well with letting me read and not being too needy. I want them to see their Mama reading her Bible and to know that I believe the things that I tell them about Jesus. 

We practice "sit time" much more frequently than "quiet time". "Sit time" is useful several times throughout the week. Of course, I do not sit beside Canon except during church and during practice, but he understands what I mean. I am trying to tame a while horse here and any time of quiet stillness is a huge achievement! 

So, those are some of the things we are working on and adjusting to these days. 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pregnancy, Estrogen and Women

Recently I have been wondering if the boys have a bet going to see who can put Mama in the nut house first. I just received this e-mail and have to share it with you. It made me laugh and nod my head several times! I hope you enjoy!

For those of us who are old enough to know about estrogen issues and young ladies who have this to look forward to.


Pregnancy,  Estrogen, and Women 

PREGNANCY Q & A & more..
 

Q: Should I have a baby after 35? 
A:  No, 35 children is enough. 

Q : I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
 
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college. 

Q : What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex? 
A: Childbirth.
 

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational. 
A: So what's your question?  

 

Q : My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right? 

A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current. 

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural? 

A: Right after you find out you're pregnant. 

Q : Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor? 
A: Not unless the word 'alimony' means anything to you. 

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth
A: Yes, pregnancy.
 

Q 
: Do I have to have a baby shower
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly  

 

Q : Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again? 
A: When the kids are in college.
 

'ESTROGEN ISSUES'
 

10 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE 'ESTROGEN ISSUES'
 

1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
 
2. You're adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.
 
3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans. 
4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
 
5. You 're using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that says: 'How's my driving-call 1- 800-'. 
6. Everyone' s head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
 
7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from 'outer space.' 
9. You're sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
 
10. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday. 

TOP TEN THINGS ONLY WOMEN UNDERSTAND 
10. Cats' facial expressions.
 
9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors. 
8. Why bean sprouts aren't just weeds. 
7. Fat clothes. 
6. Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
 
5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell. 
4. Cutting your hair to make it grow. 
3. Eyelash curlers.
 
2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.
 

AND, the Number One thing only women understand:
 

1. OTHER WOMEN 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Little Drummer Boy

I just have to share this video with you. It is a little long, but I think you'll enjoy it. Canon received this drum set in the mail yesterday. He could hardly wait for me to get it put together. He has since played it in every room of the house and thinks the couch is the best place for it so that Boaz can not reach it! We are still trying to find just the right place for it, but I assure you it is not the couch. Enjoy our silly boys!


video

Managing Little People- Cont.

So, after a good deal of thought, I have decided that you need to just read LoraLynn's blog. She is a very smart lady and has some wonderful and funny things to share. I have just started working on "sit time" with Canon. We will work on it again today and for the next couple of weeks daily, then I might spread it out a little. He did pretty well in church this morning. He actually whispered instead of speaking in his loud normal tone! 

Anyway, I can't remember what all I wrote before or where I left off, but I read this series by LoraLynn thinking, "Why didn't I think of that?" I hope she sparks some thoughts for you too!

Pensacola in a nutshell


Now that I've given your eyes some time to rest, I blast you with all of the updates from the past few weeks. 

We survived our second road trip and are back at home. I must commend my dad, any person who would willingly subject himself to 15 hours in a van with two toddlers - one potty training and one teething, a pregnant lady and two dogs - big dogs, is very brave. While at my parent's house, Albert and I determined that it would benefit Piper greatly to have a friend. With that, Cheyenne came home with us. She is a 75 lb golden retriever/lab mix. She is very sweet and very goofy. She has the same temperament as Piper, but quite a silly personality. The boys and I are really enjoying having her. (Piper is too!) As soon as we got on the road I started to question our decision. She likes to bark randomly and very loud! Barking is her way of communicating EVERYTHING, and we are having some submission issues. Also, she forgot to pack the one thing I told her to remember- her winter coat. This is where most of the barking comes into play. She does not enjoy laying outside in the cool breeze and therefore barks until I let her in. She will adjust though and we are happy to have her.


video
Our trip to Pensacola went well. I am thankful the boys were able to spend so much time with my parents and equally thankful that so much extended family traveled over to meet and visit with the boys. Cousin Kylar, my sister's baby, fits right in with the rest of the boys. He is quite a cutie and snuggler! I don't think you can ever snuggle too much with a newborn. 


I think that about wraps up our trip to Pensacola. We were able to visit with several friends but did not get to see everyone. Hopefully we will have more time with everyone in the coming year!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Surprise!

Ok friends, I was going to update you on all of the fun things that have been going on with the Ducks, but I just received a call from Albert and he is coming home tonight! Canon and I have frantically cleaned the house and are now watching "Horton Hears a Who" until Albert's arrival. He will only be here for a couple of days, so check back for a little more insanity with the Ducks!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Managing Little People

A while ago I found a blog, Vitafamilia, and just love reading it. This lady has 5 children 4 years old or younger and a full head of hair along with her sanity! I just had to ask her how she is doing it and what little tips she's found to not only survive, but live during this special time in her little one's lives. I asked her this through facebook and she is responding on her blog. She has already shared a great deal of wisdom and I hope you can glean something from her as well.

I am quite excited about our little Ducky 3's arrival and am realizing some changes that I need to make. These thoughts coupled with Lora Lynn's tips will hopefully lead to a bit of peace with Ducky3's arrival. So, I thought I'd write about my response to Lora Lynn's tips and share some of the things I am trying to do in preparation and just daily living, to help my home run smoothly. Please add any of your own sanity tips in my comments, I'd LOVE! to hear them!

One of the first tips LL mentions is having a plan. I recently read through "Managers Of Their Homes" and set up a beautiful plan for our day. We have not ever rolled through every aspect, but it does give me some direction. Canon still has more free time than he should, and this will be re-evaluated upon returning home. I do enjoy having some focus though and think a written out/loose schedule is VERY important for us! LL even talks about mental plans before attacking any endeavour. I found this to be especially mandatory when I weaned Boaz. Several times I was half way down the street before remembering that I needed formula for him! We have also managed to make it to church without a single book or snack. Poor planning can ruin a day!

Managing Your Expectations: This is something that I still struggle with and have made great strides in. Obviously I was at a very unhealthy state of daily expectations when I started this journey. I have learned and am still learning that I can not commit to very much each week. Right now I have a commitment two mornings a week along with church and it is a bit much. It is not a matter of not enjoying our activities. I think both mornings are great for both of the boys, myself and others. But, getting ready and out of the house by 8:30 two mornings in a row and staying gone until lunch time is a bit rough. Once the baby is born both of these events will end and we will only have church on Sundays. This should be more manageable. 

I have also realized that I can not commit to things that meet once a month or once a week. When Albert is at home, I want to be at home. I end up thinking about these events for a week or more in advance and dread their arrival. We socialize best with last minute plans and follow through with them more often as well. We just can't commit to very much right now.

Simplify, simplify, simplify: This chunk overlaps expectations some, but is very good. One thing that I have done is create my own menu book. Instead of daily or weekly planning what we will eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I wrote it all out at once. Over the course of a couple of days I flipped through my cookbooks that I use the most and planned 8 weeks worth of meals. This book is more fall/winter focused with casseroles and more use of the oven. One tip that I got, I think from "Managers of their Homes", is to have the same thing for lunch every Monday. Then, on Tuesday have something different, but the same thing every Tuesday. This has been wonderful for me! I don't have to think about meals all day! I make a batch of muffins on Monday morning and that lasts us half the week. We eat the same thing for lunch each weekday, and dinner is planned out for two months. I've also written every ingredient needed for each week in a list. They are either on the grocery list or the Pantry list. It has made grocery shopping a breeze as well. Several of my fall/winter meals have been large enough to freeze half or more making the next time even easier. I am hoping to have my spring/summer book complete before Ducky3 arrives.

OK, I've not been feeling well all day today, so I'm going to get some sleep. But, I'll commentate more tomorrow. Hope to hear from ya!

Crazy Days

Life has been pretty crazy in the South these last few weeks. The country song "What Was I Thinkin'" keeps coming to mind. We started out with a 15 hour car ride with an almost one year old, a 2 1/2 year old, a pregnant woman, her dad and a dog. If that wasn't crazy enough, we came into a week of over 70 degree weather with only long sleeves, pants and one pair of flip-flops. What was I thinking? Furthermore, I have managed to maintain a grain or two of sanity while being in a house with three dogs 60 lbs or bigger, one 25 lb. dog and four dogs 10 lbs or smaller. Let's just say that chaos is reigning. 

My mom and dad went away for a weekend and I ran the show.......... or kept everyone alive. Mom left again for my aunt's heart cath and I managed the home again. I have to admit that it is a bit much for me to handle. 

My sister has also been here with her new baby, but I have not had to do much for her.

I am looking forward to heading home next week and trying to establish our "normal" routine again.