Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Potty Training

Disclaimer: If you aren't a parent, you'll probably be grossed out so quit reading!

Adam has been stonewalling us on potty training. We KNOW he can control it and knows when it does it, but he's CHOOSING not to. What is comes down to is modern diapers are actually TOO good - seriously! He doesn't notice, so why should he bother to learn something that will cut into his playing time? Adam, overall, isn't a big misbehaver. Sure, he has his moments, but overall, he listens and tries to do his best. But not on potty training. If you ask him and he has to go, he'll hide versus tell you/try to go. He knows the diaper is wet and either lies (which he gets punished for) or hides or just refuses to answer (again, he gets punished). We aren't punishing him for GOING in his diaper, just for lying/not answering a question presented to him. But he's getting confused and generally stressed (as are we).

So new tactic. I just put him in big boy underpants - when he goes in them (and thus far that's all he's done), he KNOWS it. "Pee, Pee, Pee!" he immediately runs to me as he does NOT like it. But that's what we want - we want him NOT to want to go in his pants. So hopefully this will help. He's definitely got the picture he doesn't like this, now we just need him to start going on the potty. Because today (only second day of this), he'll be on the potty, say he doesn't have to go and then once he's dressed again, go. He was doing this before (again he was holding it FOR his diaper - so not cool!), but now he really KNOWS he did something wrong and doesn't like it. We aren't punshing him for this, just telling its wrong, that we're disappointed and cleaning him up. But we are hoping that he'll realize he can't continue to go in his pants and quit stonewalling us on this subject.

Part of it IS regression - he wants to be a baby like Andrew. But he's mostly over that now, so we're trying this for awhile and HOPING it will help. He definitely CAN be potty trained, but he's stubborn enough not to want to and hold out on us. We just have to not let him, hence this method.

Everyone's always telling me "It'll happen...he won't graduate with diapers," but seriously - I'm sick of that! I need real solutions, not platitudes. I get that he has to be on board, but I also know at this point he's AVOIDING it and that has to stop. Anyway, its been a long two days, but hopefully it will pay off. He's not sleeping well right now, but that was going on beforehand. I think we're going to buy him a twin bed versus the toddler bed he's currently in.

Adam's New Favorite Spot


So Adam's new trick - get into the playpen (which set high for Andrew) and then pull up the mattress and get UNDER it. The mattress (where Andrew would normally be if sleeping - I'm not a fan of just sticking kids in playpens as a "holding" pen except for necessary times) is above his head.

Camo Boy!


Grandpa says he's ready for hunting season!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Boys

Just having fun comparing the boys!
Andrew
Adam

Monday, September 27, 2010

Adam Biking

He got up here himself!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Can we stay healthy?

We've had a rough month. The first weeks of school are always hectic for us, but they have been especially bad this year. Add in a new baby and various other things and it makes for a crazy month. But to top it off we've been sick continously! Andrew got over chicken pox and then got pink eye (we aren't sure it really was, but that's what the DR diagnoized it as). We then all got the flu and now I've had eye issues. I'm putting off a DR trip as I'm doing better and I think it will heal on its own and I so DO NOT want to go to the DR again. Last time it took 4 hours! I only went as I felt HORRIBLE and was afraid it was strep...nope, just the flu. So its been a bad month. I am really hoping for a better one coming up! Ray has one more week of work craziness and then he's gone for a week, but hopefully after that we can have some normal!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bam Bam Goes My Hammer!

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Adam's New Game

This is Adam's new favorite game!

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Getting into the box

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Who is in the box?

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Who is in the box?

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Getting out

Can you see me?

Camo makes me invisible!

Working on Sitting Up Skills

Andrew

Adam Coloring


I showed him where all great artwork goes!

Andrew Discovering Toys

Andrew discovering what toys are for! Adam also helped him!
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ginger Beef

This was yesterday's dinner.

Ginger Beef

Modified from Fix, Freeze and Feast by Neville and Tkacsik

2 lbs sirloin beef (or other cheap beef)
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp beef bouillion [2 cubes smashed]
2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic

Trim beef. Cut into thick strips by 2 by 5 inches. Put everything into crock pot. Cook for 5-6 hours. I served with white rice. I think this need veggies.

They have this set up so you can buy 6 lbs (a package at a warehouse store) and triple this and freeze each separately. Then you thaw it or throw it frozen into the crock pot for a meal. With something so easy (throw in CP and let go), it doesn't really matter to me to freeze ahead.

Serves 6.

I think I'd like to try some of the harder recipes as I like this idea - make meals and freeze them for the future - I already do this to a certain extent. I think this would also be good to do in "parties" - so you make 3 dishes and each take one serving and then get 3 different dishes each.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chocolate Sour Cream Muffins

These are my experiment for this month for my overseas baking. They turned out pretty good - I honestly could live without the extra chocolate chips in them (and I'm a chocolate nut) as I don't think they add that much. I think mine were a little overbaked (since they were smaller...see notes at end), but definitely good - I'd make these again.

Chocolate Sour Cream Muffins
Modified from The Jasmine Moon Murder by Laura Childs

5 oz semi-sweet chocolate [I used 5 pieces of the baking squares as each are 1 oz, so I had to chop a bit first...you could also weight out chocolate chips, but I don't keep a scale in my kitchen...or just guess! They probably used higher quality chocolate than me...I used what was cheap and convenient!]
2 oz (2 squares) baking chocolate [okay, so I used unsweetened here as I have several types....again they probably used fancier stuff above - I just used all baking chocolate, but varied the type]
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sour cream
2/3 cup brown sugar [pack it]
1/4 cup corn syrup [Aside: why is this so blasted hard to find...it should be with baking, not pancake syrup!]
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips [I used semi-sweet as they didn't specifcy...I could honestly leave these out]

Melt chocolates and butter [I used the microwave, you could also do the double boiler.]

Cool to lukewarm, then mix in sour cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, egg and vanilla. Blend flour, soda and salt together in a larger bowl, then add chocolate mixture and blend [I did this all in the mixer].

Add chocolate chips. Pour batter into greased or paper lined muffin tins and bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. [I did paper lined - cupcake liners]

Remove from muffin tins and cool.

Makes 1-2 dozen. It says 12, I got 24, but I used my regular muffin tins, which are cupcake pans...they probably used the larger muffin tins. Larger muffins, less come out. Timing worked fine for me, though. Bottoms seem a little well done, so I might go a little shorter if I redo these, knowing that mine are smaller.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Adjustments

We have definitely been having some adjustment issues as we get back into the school/work groove. For Adam, he all of sudden has to share parental attention most of the time and is definitely taking time to get used to that. I think once Andrew can really "play," it will help, but right now Adam doesn't really see him as a buddy yet (that will come). He knows who brother is and he's good around him, he just doesn't get him as "fun" yet. Adam has NOT been sleeping well at night. I actually have him in the guest bed tonight and if that works for a day or two we'll buy him a twin bed. He might need a "real" bed. We are all also sick - just virus stuff, not no fun. I went to the doctor's today to make sure it wasn't strep and had to wait there like three hours - AGH! No fun at all. Andrew is pretty much over pink eye, so hopefully we can all get and stay healthy!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Update

Andrew is doing much better, but I'm losing my voice. No fun! This has been a couple of weeks of adjustments with Ray back to work full time and Adam adjusting to being home with just Mommy - and a Mommy with divided attention. But I think its getting better.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Adam in Mommy's Sweater


Who does Andrew look like?

I did this with Adam - what do all think on Andrew?
Ray at 3 months

Jennie at 6 months

Accomplished Roller!

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He's practicing his skills!

Andrew Update

Andrew is now 18 lbs, 14 oz and 25.5 inches. Adam at the same age was 16 lbs, 14 oz and 25.5 inches. So same height, but Andrew outweighs Adam by 2 pounds! Andrew also had pink eye -that kid is definitely going through the diseases! Otherwise, he's the picture of health.:)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Self Portrait of an Arist!

Adam playing with my camera!

The Boys

Andrew

Look what I did!
Hmm...
I'm wearing 9 month clothes!
Hanging out at PaPas

Mowing with Daddy


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Playing in the Yard


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Andrew Rolling!

This took about 20 takes but I got it! He's an accomplished roller now!

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Riding My Tricycle


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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Outside at PaPa's

Vegging out the lawn - Andrew just had to be out the guys, but fell alseep on the lawn
Adam checking out PaPa's Olds

Notice that little white lump behind Brian - that's Andrew taking a nap on the grass1

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Chasing Daddy down...."ready!"


Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Day

Ray was gone all day today (work stuff), so I planned on doing kitchen work as I can do that with the boys. Well, today started off pretty good. I got the main floor picked up, the cucumbers soaking for pickles. Then the boys and I went outside for awhile (it was gorgeous here this morning!). I got the jars into the dishwasher santizing. So I was doing good. I put Adam down for a nap and Andrew fell asleep so I got some work done. Then Andrew woke up and I fed him, did a little bit of work downstairs. Then I started on pickles with Andrew...and then the day blew up. So turns out I didn't have some things I had to have....well, Adam was asleep so I couldn't go to the store then. So I did a few things, started getting Adam up at 5:30 (normal time), but he was not cooperating. He was not happy, was whiny, etc. Then Andrew got upset (he was getting hungry again). I finally get Adam moreorless up (like an hour later) and start feeding Andrew (so still no store). Luckily Ray got home about then, so after he ate and got settled I could run to the store (he was exhausted, poor guy). I got home, fed myself and Adam and then FINALLY started the pickles. I did get them done though! Andrew is getting a lot of mucus in one eye - we are HOPING it not pink eye.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Andrew Rolled Over!

Andrew can now roll over! Three times so far!:) Go, little boy!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

First Sink Tubbie

Andrew had his first sink tubbie tonight in PaPa's sink!

Hanging Out

Andrew and Aunt Brittany

Andrew and Uncle Brian

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Corn Fettucine

I made this last week. I tried it because it was different and I like corn. It was decent, but rather odd. I'm not sure I'll make it again, but it was a fun, different, recipe, and overall pretty easy.

Corn Fettucine Modified from Rachael Ray via Cassie Craves

Salt1 pound fettuccine [I used regular spaghetti as Ray doesn't like fettucine noodles - too thick]6 slices bacon, chopped [okay, so I put this in meatless, but just leave this out if you actually want meatless]
1 bad (16 oz) frozen whole kernel corn [they cut corn off corn cobs....that's so way too much work....I get that its fresh, but frozen corn is so good and much less work]
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup chicken stock [again use veggie stock if you want vegetarian....I used bouillion cubes here]
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped [I used 2 tsp of dried]
[they put in a dash of hot sauce - I didn't]
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup sweet basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade [I used dried]

Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium heat. Salt the water, add the pasta and cook to to desired doneness.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook for a few minutes until rendered and crisp.

Add three-quarters of the corn to the pan with the bacon. Add the onions and red pepper and liberally season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the remaining corn and half-and-half to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour the stock into the corn and vegetables and simmer over low heat for a minute to reduce. Stir in the thyme and corn-cream mixture and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the pasta and add it to a large serving bowl. Pour in the sauce, add about 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, and toss. Top with basil and pass the remaining cheese at the table.

Serves 4 [I'd say more like 8...typical RR recipe]

What growing boys!

This is our "little" stroller. I had it out to use for Andrew when it was just him going somewhere and Adam still fits (he's so skinny!). Anyway, some fun comparions!
Andrew - about 3.5 months
Adam - 2.5 months
Adam - 5.5 months - honestly I think Andrew is this size now. Adam was a TALL baby, but Andrew is just a BIG baby.
Adam - 2.5 years - Adam is still all height!

Daddy and Andrew Hanging Out

Adam and PaPa on the John Deere!

Andrew

Andrew at PaPa's
This is our "old" bouncer - we left it at Dave's last time. Yep, Andrew is too big for i! He was practically horizontal in it! Good thing we bought a new one for home with this big boy (he's at least 20 lbs already!). We'll be upgrading him to 9 month clothes when we get home. We just upgraded him to size 3 diapers!
Isn't he cute?

Friday, September 03, 2010

Andrew and PaPa

New Quilt

Paula made this for Adam - Andrew was testing it out! He stays still for pictures is the reality!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

My Rant on Online Classes

As you all know I teach online classes, hence I think I have a good grasp of the subject matter. I also have taken them as a student. What I will NEVER get is some professor's OBSESSION with teaching an online class as if it were a regular class. Then what's the point? Don't just think your in person call will automatically transfer to online! It won't without some modifications! That's REALITY. You'll have to actually do some work!

I HATE online chat sessions. I find them completely useless as when you get 20 people in a chat room its chaos. You don't learn anything. Small group chats (5 or less) are fine as are office hours/meetings which are usually just one student and a teacher. But the entire class - that is what discussion boards are for! So you can have a logical conversation! Plus its online - that means the person taking it is looking for some flexibility and having to be somewhere (even a chat room) the same time each week - I'd rather go to class! Now if distance students are involved, okay if you are dead set you need a chat (you DO NOT), at least then you have a reason to do a chat. But if you don't have distance students....again what's the point? Hold the regular class you are married to! You obviously can't teach an online class and so don't try!

Can you tell that professors who think they are so important you HAVE to listen to them lecture bother me? I think what really bothers me is that they think they can make an online class easily - you can't. It takes work to make an online class good!

I get that online can't take the place of an actual classroom and that there is something important in that contact - especially if you are struggling (hence why I hand out my phone numbers and encourage students to call, so they can get some real contact). But it isn't always possible and with current technology we can do almost as good. Having "class" in the traditional sense isn't always necessary and often when professors try to turn an online course into that they just make a miserable experience.

AGHH!!!!

Good and Bad of Customer Service

So I have a good story and a bad one. First, we made a big order online this weekend. Well, Ray didn't think it went through so he redid it. They actually CALLED us to tell us we had two orders in and did we really want both (we didn't)! I was so impressed that an Internet order CALLED and confirmed!

Now I like Sears, I really do (I also like Kmart), but their customer service is poor. Their clerks only know their department, which I get on the surface, but on simple questions...come on people try a little! So I had to go look for t-shirts for Mom for Billy (I had saw them, called her to look in Wasilla, Wasilla didn't have them so I had to go back (I would have just done it at the first, but Adam was so done that day). Anyway, I wanted a particular one and they didn't have an XL, so I wanted them to call another store that is close to home and ask if they had it. Should be simple, right? Well, first the guy in tools didn't even want to try to call on a t-shirt...so I had to go to men's (which I had avoided as the person in line was obviously doing something weird that would take awhile). They were gone and so up I went. I asked...she did look it up first to see if they had one (which I had checked, but you never know), but then turns out she can't call from the register so she has to go in back to call...I mean, seriously? You can't check online or call another store from the register? Tools can't call a store to ask them to look up a shirt? AGH!!!

Showing interest!

Adam is showing some interest in potty training finally - hopefully he's over his regression because of Andrew and will quit stonewalling us!