Saturday, February 27, 2010

Since We're on the Topic of Hockey. . .

. . . This is what Jim does when he goes to "hockey practice." Haha!! Enjoy.

Team Canada

When you marry a Canadian, these are the kinds of clothes he'll dress your kids in during the Olympics:
Especially when Canada is playing hockey. . . against USA!

Tomorrow is a big day people.
A big day indeed.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Speech Therapy

We took Tralee to the speech therapist on Wednesday for her assessment. She did really well working with Danielle, the nice therapist. Tralee usually does really well when all the attention is on her. The first thing Danielle noticed was Tralee's tongue, and that she pushes it forward a lot. We've noticed that too, but never thought much of it. Turns out, there's a term for that (I can't remember it right now) and it needs to be worked on. That means, no more sippy cups for Tralee! Only big girl cups. That's the first step to help Tralee's tongue with speech. It was time to say goodbye to the sippy cups anyways. I was the one hanging on to them because I didn't want to have to deal with the messes real cups can produce when knocked over. Next, Tralee was asked to say different words from a story book about a dog for the speech portion, and point to pictures to answer questions for the language portion of the assessment. We didn't make it all the way through the language portion, as Tralee's enthusiasm with the process wore off, and she just wanted to play. There was a page with a duck on it, and instead of answer the question about the duck, Tralee pretended to take the duck off the page and play with it. We skipped that page and went to the next page that had food on it. Instead of answer which food is cold, Tralee took each food item off the page and pretended to eat it. Danielle said, "She has a VERY good imagination." Yes, our child will not need imagination therapy, but she WILL need speech therapy and probably language therapy (after we complete the assessment) two times a week for at least six months. Each session is half an hour and I'm excited about it. I think Tralee will really enjoy it, and-- added bonus-- her speech and language will improve! Hooray!

Maybe I'm supposed to feel sad or worried that my child needs some extra help developing her language skills, but I don't. I know my child. I know she's smart, I know what she's capable of, and I know with time -- and a little extra help -- her speech will improve. So. . . from here on out don't ask us to come for play dates on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, cause we'll be rockin' our language skills in therapy baby!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Always On Our Toes

Tralee is going to be our child that always keeps us on our toes. But, before I get into that let me tell you about the first part of our day.

This morning we woke up, got ready, and headed to the doctor's office for Tralee's three year appointment and Hunter's nine month appointment. Both kids are doing well. We prepped Tralee by telling her what was going to happen, and mimicked all the places the doctor was going to look. When it came time for Dr. B to look in her ears, eyes, mouth, and listen to her heart Tralee was a pro! We were so proud! We talked to the doctor about Tralee's speech still being behind. We all decided a visit to a speech therapist for an assessment might not be a bad idea. Her talking is coming along and improving everyday, but to be on the safe side, we're going to have a specialist meet with her. I'm not too worried about it, if she needs some help with her speech, so be it. I know she's as smart as a whistle, but her mouth is still trying to catch-up and learn all the sounds it needs to say. Now, for records sake:

Tralee is in the 97th percentile for weight and height. Dr. B said she's about the height of a four-and-a-half year old. So. . .she's about a year and a half ahead in growth. We also found it interesting that Tralee weighs as much as how long she is. 41 lbs and 41 inches.

As for Hunter. He was a little joy through our appointment. Everything is going well with him. The doctor was surprised to hear that he's already cruising around while holding onto our furniture. Hunter's stats are 75 percentile for weight and 90th for height. He's going to be tall just like his big sister!

So. . . that's what happened at the doctor's office. Then Jim and I decided to take Tralee to a play place as her treat for behaving so well at the doctor's office. This is the part about Tralee keeping us on our toes.

Let me sigh before I continue typing.


Kay. . . so, Tralee is playing in the play place for a while. She's doing well. We're having fun watching her run around. She's proud of herself for figuring out how to climb up to the BIG TALL slide and go down it. She's never done that before. The slide is on the very top part of the play place. . . four levels up. You have to start climbing on level two (over a rock wall, under some tube things, and around a few more obstacles) to get to it. The bottom of the slide is back on level two, and every time Tralee exits the slide she comes to push her nose against the fencing and tell us, "I did it! I went down big slide!" We, of course give her praise. All is going well. Then I hear something that doesn't sound quite right. It's the sound of friction, like there's bare skin going down a slide. Well, the next thing Jim and I see is Tralee exit the slide and run by on level two with her bottom half BUCK NAKED!!

"Go get her! Go get her!" I yell to Jim as he's already halfway up the play place. I could feel my face turn bright red as a myriad of thoughts run through my head, Oh no! I hope she didn't pee. . . or poop! I hope there isn't a sex predator around! I hope Jim can find her clothes. I hope the other parents don't get mad. I hope they don't think we're awful parents. I hope Jim can catch Tralee quick. . . I get up with Hunter and try to help direct Jim. Meanwhile, I see Tralee dash by a few more times (out of reach of course) showing everyone her birthday suit. There's a group of parents and grandparents sitting at a table near me. Luckily, they think the whole situation is hilarious and make light of it. They ask me if Tralee strips down often. I answer, "Yes, but this is the first time she's done it in public!" Then they laugh and tell me how funny it is. I reply by saying, "Funny for everyone except her parents!! We're just mortified!" Then the mom says, "You know, there are colonies she can go live when she's older if she keeps making this behavior a habit!" I give a half-hearted laugh, but still wonder what's going on inside the play place.

Eventually Jim makes his way out holding a fully dressed Tralee. Whew! Jim tells me he checked around the play place and didn't find any pee or poo for us to deal with. Another big whew! So with that, we decide to leave right then and there.

On the way home Jim tells me he found Tralee's clothes in the hardest possible place to reach. A place where no adult is meant to go. . . of course. The next task, after finding her clothes, was finding Tralee who was on her way back up for another ride down the Bare Bum Express slide. Also on the ride home was a conversation Jim and I had with Tralee about keeping your clothes on in public. I hope it sunk in.

Goodness gracious this girl!! We're always on our toes with this one. I'm afraid to ask what she's going to do next.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Few Park Pictures

We went to the park twice this week. Here are a few pictures from trip numeral uno. After my rather wordy previous post, I'm just sticking to some pics for this one.
I will say it was an uneventful park experience. No tantrum. No tears. Just lots of fun burning off some energy.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Challenging Day in Parenthood

Before I had children I thought I knew everything about parenting. I watched a handful of Nanny 911 and Super Nanny shows. I took a few mental notes, and thought I was ready to go. When I saw other kids misbehaving at the store I thought to myself, "If that were MY kid, that wouldn't happen! I would do X Y and Z before I let my child behave like that!"

Then I became a mom.

I realized how little I actually knew about parenting. I realized yes, it IS important to stick to your guns, be consistent, and follow through. I've also learned that, on the other hand, sometimes it's okay to let things slide, pick your battles, and give in every now and again. Most importantly, sometimes you have to ignore the rule book and get creative when you're a parent.

For instance, yesterday I took Tralee to McDonald's. Something I swore I would never do when I became a perfect parent, because I didn't want Tralee to ever taste processed food. We don't make it a regular habit, but I'll admit, we've been through a Happy Meal or two. We mostly like to go to McDonald's, or any fast food eatery for that matter, for the the play place. Play places are especially nice on rainy or cold days when the park isn't as inviting. So, yesterday we traveled to our favorite McDonald's play place. Tralee got an order of hotcakes, orange juice, and fruit and yogurt parfait. As my mental Mommy Book of Rules stated, I made Tralee eat before entering the play place area.

Tralee played for over an hour, and then it was time to go. I gave her a five-minute warning (thank you Mommy Book of Rules for that tip). After five minutes I announced we had to leave. The answer I got back was a resounding "No! I don't want to!" I flipped through my mental notes of "what to do in this situation?" I settled on something I read in a parenting magazine. I got down to Tralee's level and let her know I understood her.

"Tralee, I know you don't want to leave. It's hard to leave when you're having so much fun, but we still have to go."

Again I received an adamant "No!" So I went back to my mental Book of Rules and moved onto another tactic. Counting to three.

Counting to three actually works remarkably well when we're at home. It only took a few times of putting Tralee in time-out after reaching the dreaded third number before she understood the concept. This is how it went down at the play place:

"Tralee, Mommy is going to count to three, and if you don't come here and put on your shoes and coat Mommy's going to come in and get you. . . One. Tralee looked up and studied my face to see how serious I was. Two. At least the little girl standing next to Tralee looked scarred, but Tralee just starred me down as if to say, 'I'm calling your bluff Mom!' Three!" Tralee then waited to see what I would do.

In all honesty, I wasn't sure what to do. Tralee was in a tiny little part of the play place not meant for adults, and I had Hunter in his car seat, so I couldn't really take him into the play place or leave him unattended. After a few seconds of staring at each other, Tralee turned away and kept playing.

"Crap!" I thought. "This is exactly what I shouldn't do. I need to follow through." Next, I riffled through my mental checklist and decided to count to three again, but this time I was going in to get her. . . even with Hunter in tow if I had to. We revisited number three. It went much the same as the first time. The same little girl looked at me with fear again. . . but not Tralee. Nope. Tralee just backed up further into the lair of the play place. Testing me. I was bound and determined not to fail this time. I set Hunter's car seat right outside the play place, and I crawled in to get my stubborn girl.

I grabbed Tralee's hand. She pulled it away. I reached for something else, and caught her shirt. I ended up pulling her out of the play place by her shirt, the whole while listening to Tralee's protests. I'm sure I looked like Mother of the Year. The good news is, we made it out, and Hunter was still waiting patiently in his car seat. However, I still had the nearly impossible task of getting both kids out to the car by myself. Keep in mind, Tralee is contorting in every possible position to get me to unleash my grip. At this point I riffled through my mental Mommy Checklist and drew a blank. Time Out wasn't an option. There was no place to put Tralee where she wouldn't ruin everyone elses' fun time. I thought, "Maybe Supernanny's idea of a portable naughty mat isn't such a bad idea. I could pull it out right here and sit Tralee on it." Then I realized there's nothing worse than having to sit through someone's child throw a tantrum when you're eating out. . . even if it is just Mickey-D's.

I kept thinking how in the world I would get both kids out to car, as I couldn't very well leave one of them unattended while I strapped the other in. I also couldn't hold Tralee and the car seat at the same time. This is where an extra set of arms would come in handy. I knew if I let go of Tralee, she would take off. I tried one more time to do as Nanny 911 taught me: Get down to Tralee's level, and give her a warning. She was too upset to even listen. I still tried. I was actually tempted to pin her down and sit on her, but thought we were already making a big enough scene, so there was no need to get child protective services involved as well. In the end, Tralee exited on my shoulders, where she's too scarred to move. Move, she didn't, but yell "No! I don't want to go!" she did. I held onto one of her legs with one arm, and Hunter's car seat with the other.

We finally made it to the car. I set Tralee in her car seat, and she immediately popped out and climbed to the front of the car before I could buckle her. I told her to get back in her seat and I got another "No!" I told her she better be back in the seat by the time I put Hunter in his. She refused. I counted to three again and threatened time-out. I got to three and put her in the back of our VUE. I held onto her so she couldn't climb around again. All the while people where exiting and entering McDonald's. Wouldn't you know it. . . I parked right in front so this spectacle was for all to see. After time-0ut, and showing an increase of love (that parenting skill came straight from the scriptures), Tralee still refused to sit in her seat. If you're thinking "So, what! Just force her in!" Then, you've never tried to strap in a 40-pounder who's doing everything in her power to NOT let you strap her in. I was tempted to yell. . . to be THAT mom. The crazy one you see yelling hysterically at her child in the parking lot. It was getting close to that. I stopped and thought, "What would Supernanny do?" I know she would probably keep giving time-outs until the child eventually complied. Well. . . I just didn't want to spend the rest of the day in the parking lot, and Hunter was starting to fuss, so I finally chucked my Mommy Book of Rules to a corner of my mind, and tried a new tactic. I prayed it would work.

I took Tralee out of the car, sat her on the sidewalk by the entrance to McDonald's and said, "Fine. You can stay here and play all you want, but Mommy said it was time to leave, so I'm leaving." I then got in the car and started the engine. I knew my new tactic worked when I saw the look of horror on Tralee's face. She was so scarred that I might leave her, that she ran right up to me, and let me buckle her right in her car seat. I felt a little bad about using a scare tactic on her, but it worked . . . thank heavens!!!

On the way home I picked up, and dusted off my mental Book of Rules, and decided to give some positive feedback. I remember reading somwhere, "even if your child only does ONE thing right, make sure to give praise for that one thing so they want to keep it up and do more good things. Children thrive on positive reinforcement" I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw my little three-year-old, with tears running down her face, sitting quietly in her car-seat. She was defeated, but at least she was sitting still and being quiet. I said, "Tralee, you're such a good girl for sitting so well in your car seat! I know it's not always easy to leave a place when you're having fun, but we can always go back and play another time. Thank you again for sitting in your seat." I thought now might be a good time to ask her if she had fun playing. The sniffled answer I got was, "No. . . Tralee sad! Tralee not want to leave." I let her know I was sorry she felt sad. I let her know I loved her, and I hoped that Tralee wouldn't forget all the fun she had, just because it had to come to an end. I was relieved when Jim came home. He asked her "What did you do today?" Tralee's eyes lit up as she remembered, "Go to play place. Play piano. Play violin. Play basketball game." (These are all things at the play place.) There was never once a mention of how mean Mommy was. Thankfully my parenting skills (or lack thereof) didn't completely damage her.

All I know for sure is, whatever I THOUGHT I knew about being a parent is so different when I'm in the midst of it. I know I was blessed with a stubborn child. Tralee's stubbornness makes me want to rip my hair out some days, but when I'm not doing that, I know her strong will is what makes Tralee who she is. She NEVER gives up on ANYTHING, and I don't think she ever will. That's a pretty great trait to have. I also remember how easily I used to cast judgment on other's parenting skills. Maybe I jinxed myself by doing this, but I now know, until you're the one dealing with a child throwing a tantrum in public, you don't realize how hard it can be. I know the tried and true rules work well. . . but on some occasions they don't work. These are the occasions when you write your own rules. The rest of the time you just gotta pray and keep your fingers crossed that your child turns out okay.

Journaling about My Babies

A constant topic of conversation between Jim and me is our kids. What did we ever talk about before we entered parenthood? I have no clue. We often compare Tralee and Hunter's personalities, because they are just so different. They were different right from the get-go. Let's compare, shall we?

Pregnancies and Births
I was sick the first twenty weeks or so when I was pregnant with Tralee. I couldn't stand the thought of mayo or lettuce, I hated the smell of grocery stores, and food in general was not my friend. After morning sickness subsided hearburn kicked in. I had such bad heart burn with Stinks that I had to get on some meds. I also swelled to an uncomfortable size. My hands and feet were huge. My feet looked like Fred Flintstone's. Seriously, they belonged in bedrock. I couldn't even fit them into crocks some days. I also had to be tested for gestational diabetes (not fun) with my little stinkbug. So, to sum it up, my pregnancy with Tralee wasn't the most relaxing thing I've ever done.

Her birth, though not bad as far as some birth stories go, wasn't easy either. When I gave birth to Tralee it took some time and Tralee made it as difficult as she could. First, she was a sunny-side-up baby, and the doctor wouldn't let me keep pushing until she flipped herself back around. Then we found out the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. We often say that was just Tralee's way of hanging on until she was ready to come out on her terms. Finally, after forty-five minutes of pushing Tralee made her debut. She got a nearly perfect APGAR score of nine (we were told the doctor never gives 10s anyways), because with everything she does, it has to be perfect. . . for her. Tralee wants things just-so.

My pregnancy with Hunter was easy. I was really tired the first few weeks, but after that no complications at all. I didn't throw up once. In fact, I never felt sick. I craved red meat and cheese with my boy. I did get some night-time heartburn, but nothing a few tums couldn't cure. As far as Hunter's birth goes, it was text-book. I was induced, I labored most of the day, and then I was ready to push. It took two pushes with the same contraction to bring Hunter into the world. We say he heard that we were ready for him to make his debut, so he just came right out. We imagine him thinking, "Oh, you're ready? All right. Here I come." His APGAR score was an eight. No big worries, he was just right.

In the Hospital
My stay in the hospital with Tralee was tiring. Tralee was up every hour to eat and eat and eat and eat. She refused to take a binki, and was pretty much already calling the shots.

I was geared up for another tiring few days in the hospital after I had Hunter, and was pleasantly surprised that my baby boy was content to just sleep. I had to coax him into eating, and honestly probably wouldn't have even noticed he was around if I didn't feel the motherly urge to sit and stare at him.

As Babies. . . in General

Tralee was a difficult baby. She only wanted me. She was fussy. She wanted to nurse round the clock. I had to time my activities out around her feeding schedule, because I knew I would only have so much time to get things done.

Much like my hospital stay, I was geared and ready to have sleepless nights with Hunter.  I remembered being exhausted with Tralee, but I never was with Hunter. Yes I was tired, but not cry-myself-silly exhausted as I was the first time around. Hunter was always content to just be with his family, and he only needed to nurse every three hours or so. He slept well. Ate well. Cuddled well. He was an easy baby.

Eating Habits

Tralee is my picky eater. When introduced to a new food, she eyes it down, and if it passes the first glance, she'll stick her tongue out to taste it. If her tongue approves, she'll actually take a bite. If not, well. . . let's just say it takes a lot of coaxing to try and get her to eat something she's doesn't want to. Most of the time, once I get her to try something, she'll have more. And actually, latley she's been open to try more and more things. I hope it's a sign of things to come! Tralee's favorites are: bananas, graham crackers and milk, broccoli, strawberries, chocolate milk, pizza, yogart, pancakes, oranges, carrots, blueberry waffels, and her favorite treat at the moment is brownies. I only bake a treat on Sunday. The treat is usually gone by Monday or Tuesday. That leaves the rest of the week for Tralee to ask for more "grownies."

Hunter will eat just about anything. The only thing Hunter has ever turned his nose up to is baby rice ceral. . . actually all baby food. He likes the good stuff, and will eat whatever we're having. He'll try it all! Sometimes he'll eat in his high chair, and once he's done there, he'll prowl around for more food. If Jim and I are snacking on something, Hunter sniffs it out in a matter of seconds.


I remember people commenting on how softly Tralee cried as a baby. I didn't think her cry was all that soft until Hunter came around.

Hunter has some LUNGS! The boy can scream if he's not happy. Screaming is usually caused by being tired or hungry. Typical man. He's a bear if his stomach is empty or he's short on his beauty sleep.

Around People

As a baby Tralee only wanted me. It was nice that she loved me so much, but difficult when others tried to help hold her for me. She wouldn't tolerate other's company for quite some time -- not even Jim! Finally, around 18-months it all changed and she loved to play with others. She also realized how much fun her daddy could be, and loved to play, snuggle, and have fun with him. Tralee is still quiet when strangers try to talk to her, and often looks up at me for some help. However, once she gets to know someone, she's ready to be their friend.

Hunter has and will go to pretty much anyone. He's happy to have a new face to look at. He prefers familiar faces, but is happy to try out a new one every once in awhile.


Tralee has a great imagination. Since she was just a little stink she could entertain herself. It's so fun to listen to her jabber to her favorite stuffies. Although she can play by herself, she LOVES to be around other children. When we go to the park she'll gravitate towards one or two kids, and just follow them around or start up a game of chase.

Hunter does NOT like to be left alone. He'll let you know right away that he's upset if he's left alone in a room. The really fun thing is that now that Hunter is a bit older, Tralee and him are becoming great playmates. I can't wait to see them run around together.


Tralee didn't say her first word until around 18 months. It was ball. She was a late bloomer in the talking department.

Hunter said his first word at nine months. His first word was "uh-oh." He also tries to mimick all other sounds we say.


As different as Tralee and Hunter are, there are a few similarities. Firstly, they look like siblings -- that's a given. Also, right around 11-months Tralee and Hunter both took on the "mogli pose." They also learned to climb up the stairs around 9 or ten months, and it became their favorite past time. Asserting their independence is a natural for both of my kids. Hunter has started to push my hand away when I try to feed him, and steal the utensil away to feed himself. Tralee did the same thing at Hunter's age, so I'm sure Hunter's right on track to be a little stuborn thing like his big sister.

A Few More Mentionables

So to sum it up, Tralee is our little diva. She's stubborn, head-strong, and wants to do things her way or no way. She just started using the phrase, "No! I want to do it BY. MY. SELF!" Followed by crossing her arms, and stomping her foot. The upside to Tralee's big emotions is how sensitive she is. If I stub my toe, Tralee runs right over and asks, "You okay Mommy?" When I answer, "Yeah Baby, I'll be okay. I just hurt my toe." She'll respond, "Oh. You hurt your toe. I'll tiss it better." Then she gives me the softest little kiss. It melts my heart. If Jim and I even pretend to get mad at each other Tralee comes to our aid and says, "No! Don't talk like that!" She knows how things should be, and wants to make sure it stays that way.

Tralee is also creative. She loves to paint, color, sidewalk chalk -- you name it! She loves to play at the park, swinging and sliding are her favorites. Although building a mountain of woodchips is high on the list of park priorities as well. She just recently went down the big slide that she's always been too afraid to go down. Tralee loves to pretend she's an animal, mostly a kitty or doggy. She loves to play with her animals, and prefers them over baby dolls. Tralee has really been into reading books latley, which is a lot of fun. She used to only sit still for a page or two before taking off to get to the next activity. Now she brings a large pile of books to me several times a day wanting to read with me. She's growing up. She's talking more and more. She's pushing the limitis more and more. I wouldn't have her any other way.

Hunter is my laid back little dude. There have been times when he started fussing, and a few seconds later Tralee started fussing as well. When this happens, usually Hunter stops, and looks at his sister as if to say, "Ok, FINE! You go ahead first, and I'll deal with my problem later." Hunter is a lot less demanding than his big sister. I know I can count on him to be patient if I need him to be. That is of course, unless he's tired or hungry. Espeically if he's tired. He's a CRANKYSNORT when he needs to go to sleep.

Hunter is fasinated with the world around him. Now that he's found mobilities with crawling, he just wants to go and go and go. We usually have to take him out of sacrament meeting at church, because he wants out of the pew. Everytime we pick him up, and put him back in the pew with us, he chews us out. Hunter is a good little pointer. If you ask him, "What do you see?" He'll point his chubby little finger at something and say, "Goo." Take him somewhere he's never been before and his pointer finger gets a work out.

This parenting thing sure is a riot. I love my children. They are my biggest sorce of joy, and also my biggest sorce of frustration. Between the two of them I always have a mess to clean up. My house is never perfectly clean, and I imagine it won't be for a while.  But I wouldn't have it any other way.  The joys outnumber the frustrations everyday.  I'm blessed.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Made $10 Shopping Today!

I would have made closer to $15, but I got some clearance deals for .50 each. I like to keep my eye out for clearance deals after holidays. Since Valentines just ended the Target dollar bins had all their red dot items half off. I like to get little gifts for Tralee and Hunter on clearance, and save them for the next holiday coming up. So, some of the items pictured will find their way into Easter baskets.
Michaels Crafts also usually has good clearance deals after holidays. I went in after Halloween and got Tralee a few sets of black and orange play dough for .29 (originally $2.99) each. I saved them for stocking stuffers and birthday presents. Tralee doesn't care that it's Halloween play dough, she's just happy to have something new to play with. I went in the other day and got some cute frog, turtle, and bird foam crafts for .39 each plus, I had a 20% off your entire purchase coupon. The items were red and pink for Valentines, but again, Tralee won't care. . . all she sees is a fun craft we can do together. So I spent a couple dollars, and got some cute things I'll save for upcoming birthdays and holidays. If you sign up for Michaels e-mail newsletters they'll send you good coupons now and again.
Anywho. . . back to today's purchases.
Without coupons and deals all of this would have come to $104.08. I spent $24.92 out of pocket, but I also got back $20 in Target gift cards, and I'm going to submit for a $15 Olay rebate. . . so I actually made money. . . $10.08 to be exact.
Not too shabby!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tralee's Attention Tactics

I think sometimes Tralee needs a little more attention than I'm giving her. I try to have a little alone time with her during the day, but once in a while her behavior lets me know she might need a bit more one-on-one. Her attention behavior usually comes out when I'm doing something with Hunter -- feeding him, rocking him, kissing him.
For instance, yesterday Hunter fell asleep on the couch while I was nursing him. I was quite comfortable, and really enjoying just holding and staring at my baby. It was at this serene moment that Tralee announced that she went potty, and needed my help. I didn't want to get up, but Tralee kept yelling for my help, so I laid Hunter down, and went to take care of Tralee. When I got to her potty there was no evidence of her using it. I came to the conclusion that Tralee just wanted some attention, and since she always gets positive feedback for using the potty, she thought she might as well take advantage it. We ended up reading books after this while Hunter continued his nap.
In another instance, I put Hunter in the stroller to go for a walk. I told Tralee she could walk too and help with Corky. Our double stroller needs new tires, so we were just using the single. Tralee was adamant about riding in the stroller too, so she came up with a new system. It worked, and everyone was happy.

Tralee also knows she gets attention when she's cold or tired. She's been coming up to me and saying, "Mommy, I'm cold." Then she starts fake shivering until I get her all wrapped up in a blanket and give her lots of kisses. It works every time, so she's cold or tired A LOT everyday.
Lastly, I think Tralee sees all the attention Hunter gets while he's in the high chair. She doesn't get such one-on-one attention anymore while she eats. So, the other day I walked into the dinning room and this sight met my eyes:
She was all bibbed up and ready to go. I laughed, then took this picture. And p.s. keeping this one in clothes is an impossible task. We're working on it everyday.
After she was done eating, we found another activity we could do together.
Sometimes Tralee's attention tactics don't work. Like, if I'm doing something that can't wait. However, when I can oblige Tralee, I do.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Standing Man

Hunter has mastered the art of standing, and now that's all he wants to do. He pulled himself up to stand for the first time two Sundays ago. He's even cruising a bit too. Oh. . . and climbing the stairs. We're heading into dangerous waters people. Before long this boy will be walking. Then what will I do?

As for crawling, some progress is being made, but for the most part Hunter is partial to the army crawl/the worm for his main source of transport. We're fine with that. In fact an older lady at church came up to me and said, "Your son crawls the same way ours did. Don't you let ANYBODY tell you he won't be a bright boy if he doesn't learn to crawl the real way. Our son never did, and now he's 25 and getting top scores in all his college courses!" I thanked the nice church lady for her words of wisdom, but I already knew Hunter is a bright boy. The brightest nine-month-old I know.

Monday, February 8, 2010

More Potty Talk

Yes, I'm doing another potty training post. Skip this one of you're sick of all the potty talk. However, this will be the last post on this topic. . . for a while at least.

After I did my post asking for help with potty training, I got a lot of great advice (thank you to those who came to my aid). The BEST thing that happened was Jim's cousin, Amberly, told me about the Three Day Potty Training method. Jim's Aunt Michelle had the book on hand so she let me borrow it. I followed this method and it totally worked!!! Tralee is potty trained!!!! YIPPEE! Thank you Amberly for the suggestion. Thank you Aunt Michelle for running the book over, and thank you Three Day Potty Training!

We started the new method last Monday. The basic concept is to put the child in underwear, stay by their side for three days, and constantly remind them to use the potty when they need to go. If they start to go, run them to the potty. By day two Tralee was still having accidents, and I was getting frustrated. I had been peed on a lot, for two days in a row, while running Tralee to the bathroom. I never got frustrated with Tralee, as the three day method is strictly about guiding with love. I was just worried and upset inwardly. I'll admit I ate a lot of brownies on day two, and some tears were shed (mine this time), as I wondered if Tralee would ever get it. Then by the end of day two, The Miracle happened. Tralee looked at me and said, "Tralee go potty." Then she ran to the bathroom, and took care of business like a pro. I was shocked, amazed, happy, and proud. Isn't it amazing that something so small, like your child using the bathroom for the first time, brings you so much joy. Tralee was super proud of herself too. It just all came together. Tralee has had no accidents with pee since then, it took another day or two for her to master code brown alerts.

As of Thursday evening we've been completely accident free -- even through the night! Tralee also hasn't been requesting potty treats after she goes. All she wants is lots of praise, and believe me, she gets it.

Hooray for only having one child in diapers!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


--To answer Audie and Necha's question, Kimchi is ferminted cabbage leaves mixed with other spices, I believe it's a Korean food staple. I've always wanted to try cooking with it, so when I saw it at Winco, I bought a can.

I'm trying to integrate more vegetarian meals into the meal plan lately. So, I recently purchased tofu for the first time in many many years. I've eaten tofu before, but never really cooked with it. So, in an effort to test it out, I just made this soup for lunch. DELISH!!! If you like Asian cuisine, try this soup, you won't be disappointed. Plus, it's good for you.

Kimchi Soup with Tofu and Spinach

- serves 4 -


3 tablespoons sesame oil
6 scallions, chopped
1 1/2 cups kimchi, chopped
8 ounces tofu, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces *
1 tablespoon Korean red pepper paste (go chu jang)
6 cups water or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup short grain white rice
Couple handfuls of spinach
Black pepper



1. Pour 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil into a pot over medium-high heat. Toss in the scallions and cook for about a minute. Then dump in the kimchi, tofu, and red pepper paste. Stir and cook for 30 seconds or so.

2. Pour in the water or stock, vinegar, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the rice, stir, and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender. With about 10 minutes in, add the spinach. At the last second, add the last tablespoon of sesame oil and a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper.

*The recipe doesn't specify, but I would use firm to extra-firm tofu otherwise it breaks up into little pieces. . . like mine did. It was still good though.

** You can also add a teaspoon or two of flax seed meal. I add this to almost everything I cook to get my omega threes. You can't even tell it's there.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Callister Sled and Swim Party 2010

Saturday, January 30th we headed to Garden Valley for the Annual Callister Sledding and Swimming Party hosted by Jake and JoAnn. As always, we had a blast. Here are a few (or a lot) of pictures from our day in the snow.

Hunter Owen, not too sure how much he likes the cold, white, wet stuff

Yeah, Hunter definitely wasn't a fan of the snow. . .maybe next year. Tralee sure had fun.

Family shot

Cousins in the snow

Hunter and Mommy

These two Callister cousins sure had fun

I like the stink-eye she's giving me.

Another little ice princess

Tralee and Makayla went up and down the hill in this tube a billion times. Whichever strong man was around, toted them up to the top, gave them a push, and then these two little three-year-olds giggled all the way down.

At another time Tralee was standing right at the bottom of the hill, in the very middle. Not the brightest place to be at a sledding party. Three other cousins were sledding down the hill in this purple tube. They were headed right towards Tralee. Her back was turned, so she didn't see what was coming. I was sitting down with Hunter and wasn't able to go rescue Tralee. Not even sure I would have got there in time if I tried. So, instead I watched as this tube bashed into Tralee, then I watched Tralee's body do a flip mid-air (think Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon slow-motion kung-fu type stuff), and then I watched Tralee land on top of her cousins. I made sure she was okay, then I laughed. Okay, I might have been laughing the whole time. Tralee was a little shell shocked, but otherwise fine.


Tralee and Makayla again

Mike, Dallin, and Kade

A boy (Kade) and his sled

Kelly and Dallin

I wanna say. . . Cecilia. . . If not, it's one of the Callister cousins

Dallin resting in a tube

Cary and JoAnn

Jim took Hunter down half the hill. He wasn't a fan. Man, it's hard to impress this little guy

I took my turn. It was fun.

Jim and Hunter. Notice how Jim is in a t-shirt, while everyone else is in their winter get-up. You would think he was born in Canada or something!

Small group shot

Everyone lining up for one last race down the hill

Everyone racing

Laura and Cary

Tralee at the hotsprings pool

Hunter and Dallin

The kiddos and me

Jim and Hunter

There are two pools here. This one is a little cooler than the other one.

Posing for a picture. This shot is a little better than the stink-eye she gave me above.

Hunter swimming

After swimming we all went back to Jake and JoAnn's for chili, salad, chips, and cupcakes. Yummy!

We had a great time. Thanks Jake and JoAnn. We can't wait to do it again next year!