Joshua is still not using the potty at home, but uses it at school "oh, all the time", according to his teacher. I decided to try something last night. After I took off his messy diaper I left him in boxer shorts without a diaper. My rationale was that we'd talk about the potty and offer for him to go and maybe he'd feel the urge to go there instead of pee on himself. Uh no. He peed on the sofa. Right in front of us. Back to the drawing board...

Later in the evening I inspired him to brush his own teeth without a tantrum. Usually he resists teeth brushing by running around, running away, changing the subject or whining. I got out my brush with a pee size amount of paste on it and asked him to help me brush my teeth. He was delighted at the opportunity although he made a mess. I got paste on my cheeks, chin, nose- all over. Afterwards he happily opened up to brush his teeth and let me help him.

Joshua - 1 | Mom - 1

Here's a bit of silly trivia- we counted our clocks last night. All time keeping devices in the home amounted to 19.

  • five in the kitchen
  • the satellite in the living room
  • two computers
  • two cell phones
  • three clocks in our room
  • two bathroom clocks
  • one clock in each boy's room
  • one in the game room
  • one on my desk
  • one Palm pilot
If I included our cars parked in the garage, we'd have 21. It's no wonder we dread time changes twice a year.

Something oddly domestic in me said I should make banana nut bread from scratch. So I did. Josh "helped" by putting in the walnuts and telling me repeatedly how good the batter smelled. I used this recipe from with minor tweaks to the ingredients. How did it turn out? Fabulous of course! :-)

Today I bought stuff to send to troops in Iraq. A care package sent to a fellow mom's husband will be put together tomorrow afternoon by several moms. I'm not able to attend the formal gathering so I dropped off my donations today: razors, mouth wash, Tylenol, beef jerky, flavored drink packets, and gum. I don't personally know anyone deployed to Iraq, and thank goodness for that. I would constantly what they were doing, how they were and if they would make it home.

Josh is officially ready to use the potty. His teacher at school said he told them he needed to poop, then proceeded to use the toilet. They said he took off his pants and diaper, laying that dow on the floor next to the toilet. When he was done he had to call for help b/c he didn't know what to do afterwards. We have a kiddie seat at home on the upstairs toilet but I need to find a taller step stool before he can really start doing this on his own. To be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely ready to work with him on using the potty, not now while Elliot is so young, but I need to get over that and go with the flow. The yellow flow.

yeah ok... moving on.

My special diet starts tomorrow in preparation for the last medical research appointment. To prepare, I'm junking out on all things forbidden: soda, chocolate, fruit, sweetened iced tea... And just like all the other times, I'll moan and whine my way through it. All two days.

Woe be to the person who has to work on my next pedicure. I have a gift card to get one and it's time. I'll leave a good tip as a sign of thanks and for karma points.

We're trying to teach Josh to use sentences. Here's his latest attempt...

"eh eh eh eh!!"
"Josh, if you want me to pick you up say 'pick me up please'."
whining "eh eh eh uuuup!!"
"No, say 'pick me up please'."
pouting, "Pick it up, up please."
"Almost. say 'pick me up please'."
"Please, pick it up, up please."
sigh "Close enough for now."

josh has a nasty cold this weekend- poor guy has snot everywhere!

after a week long strike against poop elliot finally filled his diaper yesterday. he's also been working on his leg muscles. he can support his weight on his legs for several seconds. when i hold him vertically in front of me with one arm supporting his bottom, he likes to kick off my belly, hip, or other arm if its down there.

It's been unusually quiet today. Elliot had his two month pediatrician appointment yesterday. He's 13 lbs., 23.5 inches tall, both in the 95th percentile. He also got 5 vaccine shots including his first DTaP. Since then, he's been sleepy.

With my extra time today, I've cleaned the kitchen, swept the floors, tidied the living area, put away laundry and gotten dinner started. I also ran a couple errands. While I've enjoyed this freeing day, I'm a little nervous that he'll be up all night or early morning.

This week we invested in humidifiers. One for the boys' rooms (a cute frog shape) and one for our room/other rooms. The purchase was initially motivated by Elliot's stuffy nose. But then Rusty felt a humidifier would help him breathe better, thus snore less. The verdict's still out on that one.

The plan is to have Josh home with me two week days starting February. By then I hope Elliot will be on a more predictable sleeping pattern. I know some of Josh's play buddies miss him so I look forward to taking him out to play dates and play places. Most likely he'll be home Mondays and Fridays.

I hear baby noises- I guess Elliot's waking up.

I treated myself to a movie today- my first with Elliot. I saw "There Will Be Blood" at Angelika's Cry Baby Matinee. There's not much redeeming about the film in that the bad guy stays a bad guy to the end. True to the film description, the movie is about "family, greed, religion, and oil, centered around a turn-of-the-century [oil] prospector in the early days of the business." [imdb] The cinematography is striking, the acting is superb, the story is well timed- but what struck me as the film's best attribute was the score. Jonny Greenwood, the musician who scored the film, used music to hold suspense in scenes that conventionally would have had sleepy music or none at all. It was a cross between Kronos and Radio Head and a typical thriller score. The music keep me thinking something exciting or tragic was about to happen, even during mundane moments. Unfortunately, Daniel Day-Lewis has now type-casted himself in my mind as a mean bastard thanks to this film and "Gangs of New York". I can see why critics loved this film.

Funny moment yesterday- We took josh to the play area at the Galleria to run off some energy. He insisted that Rusty needed to chase him. Rusty obliged being careful not to bump into any of the few dozen kids there. At one round behind a giant camel Rusty caught to Josh who was maneuvering past a small crowd. He let out a playful roar to let Josh know he was on his heels. At home, this usually signals to Josh to run faster and results in a squeal. Here, it caused several kids in unison to scream and scatter in all directions. We laughed at this for a good minute then made up a temporary rule: no roaring public around small children.


My inner zombie was giggling this morning at the beginning of a brain development class called Parents with Purpose. Instructor Donna Bateman, super-mom of eight, learned everything a parent needs to know about brain development and how to squeeze every bit of opportunity from a normal healthy child and how to improve an injured brain through simple sensory exposure and therapy. It was very enlightening though Elliot distracted me through a decent portion of it. I was fortunate to attend pro bono as a baby gift (Thanks!!) and to bring Elliot with me. I expected to leave half way though but somehow managed to feed, burp, change and nap him while still plugging into what Donna was saying. The only thing I issed was something about autism and a leaking gut?? Anyway, the class right now is a bit of a blur to me because I'm totally exhausted (my cerebral hurts!) but the jist is that the brain is an upside-down funnel where functionality from one region leads to functionality in another which eventually leads to good good decision making, critical thinking, retention of brain cells and, what every parent covets, a well rounded, intelligent healthy child. So what will I get out of this? Nothing if I don't get sleep and then review the notes. Not really. This will help me appreciate what Joshua and Elliot are going through at various stages and to enhance their skills where possible. For example, I can begin now to teach Josh to read by making a few changes to how the print and pictures are laid out. I can applaud his accomplishments in finger painting, counting, singing and story telling. (Well, he's not telling us stories yet so we gotta work on that.) The only thing I would change about the class today would be to have Rusty present with me. At least I have notes and can email Donna with questions later on.

I really need to sleep. Night y'all!

I think I'm just about ready to have a "mom's night out". Rusty went to a UNIX users group meeting tonight. Luckily Joshua was easy this evening (no tantrums or meltdowns) and Elliot wasn't crying the whole time. In fact, I got Elliot to nap after dinner just long enough for me to get Josh clean in the shower and ready for bed. I did get to read a whole book due to Elliot's protest, but it seems Josh is finally asleep- or at least quiet enough to fool me. Now to get Elliot asleep so I can rest too. Hopefully Rusty will be home before I crash.

I manage to make a short video of Elliot for the grandparents using

Click to view
My Montage 1/8/08

Gripe water worked to soothe Elliot this afternoon. He's been fussy all day. :-(

Elliot had a rough day. Scratch that, I had a rough day! Elliot cried a lot today. He might have been gassy or something. I have some peace of mind, I spent the majority of his nap times either driving or bracing for the next round. By the evening, his voice was horse and he was exhausted. I finally go him to nurse well. Here's hoping he'll stay asleep for more than three hours. Lord knows I need the rest too.

In the way of nicknames, we're calling him 'Ek'. For Elliot Kai. It rhymes with Beck, Joshua's middle name.

The NICHD has been studying SIDS since 1974 and started its "Back to Sleep" campaign in 1991. Although this has reduced the incidence of SIDS, there is still no confirmed cause of it. The NICHD's speculation, among other organizations and researchers, is that it's caused by one of three things: lack of oxygen, overheating, or a defect in the brain. Since most people can control how their baby sleeps (tummy or back), it makes sense to advocate that change in an effort to reduce infant death. The rationale is- "If a baby is re-breathing exhaled air and not getting enough oxygen, the brain usually triggers the baby to wake up and cry. This action changes the baby's breathing and heart rate, making up for the lack of oxygen. But, a baby with a flaw in the brainstem might lack this method of protection and may be at greater risk for SIDS." [NICHD]

Back to that flawed brainstem. It suggests that babies with no brain defect (and assuming good health) can sleep on their tummy without problem. That these babies will move their heads or wake up when the body reaches a dangerous, low oxygen level. However, because we don't know which baby may or may not have a brain defect, as this idea purports, then ALL babies should be laid on their backs.

Being the rogue mother that I am, I must confess to often laying Elliot on his tummy to sleep. And have been doing so since almost birth. Usually it's while he's sleeping on my chest or stomach at night. But other times, like right now, he's sleeping soundly on his tummy. And he's still alive. I'm making the assumption that he's not defective. After talking to several mothers, both this generation and the previous, who have also laid their babies on the tummy to sleep, I'm less paranoid that I am putting him at serious risk. So we shall see.

Josh has a fascination w/ shadows lately. He finds them no matter how faint and loves to show everyone else. "I find it! A shadow!!" He's not usually afraid of them except for the first time tonight when he discovered a particularly dark shadow upstairs and at the same moment Elliot cried. I think he thought the sound was coming from the shadow itself.

At the pulmonologist they measured Josh to be 37 inches tall and 31 pounds. He's healthy.

I am sooooo tired this evening. I didn't nap when I could have and spent lots of energy managing Josh & Elliot. If you have never met Joshua, then you don't know how much energy he has and takes.

Tomorrow is a busy day for me. I have my last midwife appointment, the 6 week postpartum check up in the morning. Then I'll take Josh (w/ Elliot) to his pulmonologist appointment in the afternoon. I'll run a couple of quick errands in between and try to nap some time.

Saturday should be a warm 76 degrees. I've made plans to stroll Elliot at a nearby park during Josh's nap time. I almost feel guilty enjoying the warm weather while people in Iowa and Illinois have freezing highs and gobs of snow. But I don't. In the summer we'll be broiled while the northern and midwest enjoys a tepid 80 degrees.

I wish I had two hands and more time to devote to my blog. Heck, while I'm wishing...

I'd like a few extra hands I could use in the day then take off at night
I'd like 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night
A clean car would be nice
Weekly pedicures
How about a refrigerator that restocks itself

For right now, more time to do everything is top of the list.



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