Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A little girl and her potty.

It's a chilly, sunny day here in Utah and I have a throbbing headache... but I thought a good old fashioned (not really old fashioned, kind of high tech, really) blog post aught to get my brain sauce flowing quickly... or quickER.

So I thought I'd spread the news:
I'm potty training Ruby.
After the airplane episode (see post below), I'm sure you can't blame me. And her bum and thighs look so cute in underwear how could I resist? She has the #1 thing DOWN. I mean completely mastered. I take her to her little potty, and she goes. Almost every time. No coaxing, no reading 6 books waiting for that little tinkle sound, no making up stories about how the pee needs to go back to her family in the toilet (a family theory). Ruby watched Grace so much that she found it more normal for a little girl to pee NOT in a diaper, but into a recepticle (varies between the plastic potty from Walmart, the nursery toilet and the big toilet in Ikea).-- And yes, Ikea has opened here in Utah and I've been twice. It's only been open a week.

Anyway, Ruby has been struggling with #2 just like Grace has. Maybe kids feel less of a cue, or the cue just doesn't come as often as #1... who knows. I see the signs, which consist of 1)a long space of time since the last time she went and 2)stinky "toolies" (her version of "tooties"). I sit her on the potty and much coaxing happens. Lots of conversations with that little 2 year old girl about life, liberty and bowel movements. We get to know eachother better, but nothing that I want to have happen, happens.

While cleaning her today after the deed had been done in the wrong place AGAIN (in her pullup at the library), I say, "Ruby, I'm glad you got your poos out, you should do them in the toilet next time, that's the GOOD thing to do!" (while forcing a VERY positive attitude-voice when not really feeling very positive). She says, "NO, I do poos in mine PULLL-UP", (or "mine UNDIES", or "in mine DIAPER"). Her brow is very furrowed by now and mine is too. I'm confused and baffled, but not resigned to spending a whole year at this like I did with Grace.
Suggestions are encouraged, if not required. Please help.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My brothers

Came across this photo and HAD to post it. These are my brothers. Brothers are like hanging out with your dad when he was closer to your age. They absolutely parallel my sense of humor like no one else on earth. Jared is 24 and in Alaska for the summer working as a tour guide, and my bro Gideon is on the right, he is on a mission in Atlanta.
They are doing the world so much good. Just wish they were doing it CLOSER TO WHERE I AM!!!

A work in progress...


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Florida and Wedding

Finally a clear day at Clearwater Beach, Florida.

"SHESHELLS!!", or "SEASELLS!!" It's a hard word, ok?

A family picture at Sea World. I only posted this because I think the inner thigh of the man sitting behind me is disgusting and very funny at the same time.

Ruby at Sea World.

Chocolate on the face and a fancy dress on. A wedding dinner with great food and nothing to do...

From left to right: Ben (married to Ali, Jake's sister), Jessie (Jake's sister), Ali, Aliza (Jake's sister) and Jake (my husband).

From left to right: Levi the very talented, Rebecca my amazing and hilarious sis in law, Sarah the bride, and Darrell the groom.

These pictures are great and all, but the highlight of the trip has got to be the flight home.
So it's me, Grace and Ruby. We fly together a lot. "Together", but alone if you know what I mean. Alone meaning no other adults to help out.
So we're halfway between Tampa and Denver... probably over Mississippi or something. And Ruby starts complaining of a stomach ache. I take her out of her seat and help her stand up right in front of me, and she thanks me by promptly filling her diaper and "getting her poos out", as she likes to happily proclaim to us. The stink finds its way up and out so fast that the people in front of us are turning on their air blowers. I realize I need to change this diaper pretty quick.

So Grace and Ruby and I shuffle forward and awkwardly make our way to the front of the plane and into the bathroom. Gracie says she has to go pee. Now unless you've been in an airplane bathroom with a 4 year old and a 2 year old, you can't quite get this, but I will explain. If you help your 4 year old pull her drawers down, your face is literally inches from the toilet, because there is no room for you to back up while pulling them down. Inches from a toilet that's been used by several passengers. A not-so-sanitary toilet. So that, coupled with the stink that has been made in the diaper of said 2 year old and we are having fun already! So I ask Grace to go back to her seat and she seems to be heading down the aisle that way.

I close the door again and take a deep breath to prepare for my next adventure. Changing a 30 inch tall little girl on a 12 inch long toilet lid. Ruby's head, shoulders, back and tailbone are being supported. And that's where it ends. So with one hand, I grab her ankles. With the other hand I attempt to take her diaper off. Now attempt is a big word. It's a word that often leaves me disappointed. In this instance, attempt is what happened first and disaster is what happened next. The poo (a rather large, warm, mass) that was once nestled safely inside the diaper somehow topples out of the diaper and lands right on my big toe and onto the edge of my flip flop.. lingering.. for a moment... until I jerk my foot away in pit-of-my-stomach disgust and "it" goes flopping onto the floor.

This cleanup would have been all too easy except for the fact that between my smeared toe and me was a bum that needed cleaning and I couldn't do the toe before the bum. Not possible. Not enough room in the bathroom. Just when I formulate my next move, I hear Gracie start to bang on the bathroom door yelling at the top of her lungs, "Mommy come out! Sit down Mommy!!" I mean, you have GOT TO BE KIDDING. Everyone on the plane is literally watching the whole thing (or listening to the whole thing) because we are in the front bathroom. I crack open the door (trying not to let anyone see the mess that is happening inside), and do my most intense, quiet, mad, furious mom voice and tell her to "go sit down or else". I close the door and just hope that she does what I tell her.

So I turn back around and I clean Ruby up, trying to push the warm feeling on my toe out of my mind so I can finish the task (of course, trying to avoid the culprit which is still on the floor). I stand her up on the toilet lid, clean and diapered. Great. phew. Not phew, really.

By this time, the turbulence has gotten worse and Ruby is pitching side to side in the small bathroom atop the toilet lid. I hold onto her with one hand, and with the last three wipes left in my bag, I give myself a footbath. It kind of works. Then I have to go out of the bathroom and put Ruby back in her seat with Grace complaining for me to come sit down already. I go back to the bathroom and scrub all moisture out of my hands about 10 times, and really really really hope the flight ends soon.

It's good to be back.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day.

i am in florida, so no pictures of moms... but...
My Mom.
She is
has the strongest spirit I've seen in anyone. she has a will to survive and the audacity to look life in the eye and teach her children to do the same.
she has absolutely given up everything to be a Mom and i love her for that.
she has created children that respect, value each other, make mature decisions, and love life. most of all, she emphatically, emotionally, and passionately created people with character.
thanks Mom. more than i can say.

Monday, May 07, 2007

My Dad.

Lots of bloggers do birthday posts for their family, and I can't guarantee that I'll keep this up, but I really wanted to at least do a post on my parents' birthdays.
My Dad turned 51 on Sunday. If people in the world could be more like my dad, there would be no need for non profit organizations, Earth First Groups, and Women's Rights Advocates. That's right. Nix them. My dad is that great. He's a peacemaker.

He grew up in Southern California in the 60s and 70s and was raised by parents equally as great. Sparks flew when he moved to Humboldt County to attend HSU and met my mom. She was a convert on a motivated path of self-improvement, and my dad was a laid-back, earth-loving liberal (sorry, Dad, but you were). With little education and a lot of love, Dad and Mom started our family. 9 kids later, my dad is still the best guy around. He's patient, loving, friendly, charitable. Family "vacations" were no less than a 20 mile hike through, on average, 8-10,000 foot high mountain ranges. We camped, he cooked, and we always learned a lot.
I was twelve when Dad took us on my first backpacking trip. It rained every day. My sleeping bag was soaking wet, there were pervasive mosquitos, and I don't think mom much liked doing all of our laundry when we got home, but I learned optimism through the simple things in life. Like no running water, freezing temperatures, and dealing with bears. A typical conversation with Dad went something like this,
"Dad, I'm tired, it's 11:30 at night, do we really have to hike to the top of Mt. Macglaughlin?"
Dad: "Ya, dude, we'll make it, it's only about 5 miles up, 5 miles back, we'll be back before sunrise!!!" (insert jerking of arms and fists to pump up the group of kids).
You get the idea...

Coming from such a large family, I didn't get much alone time with Dad. When I did get him, he was always, above all, a great listener. He would ask me so many questions I would get sick of answering. He got up early and went to bed late, but always had time for me if I was upset.

My fondest memory with my dad was the 17 day backpacking trip we did through the high sierras of California. I had graduated from high school a few months earlier, and my best friend and I talked Dad into hiking the John Muir Trail with us, a 211 mile hike that he hiked by himself when he was 18. Spending 17 days with him was a dream. He cooked for us, made up songs, told stories, kept us motivated, and we always laughed.
He is the kindest and most optimistic man I know. Thanks for everything Dad. And Happy Birthday.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

She sells sea shells by the sea shore

These are my little neighbor girls. I have problems posting without a picture. It just feels wrong.

-My hands are exceptionally wrinkly today.
-We are going to Florida on Wednesday for a week. Jake's sister is getting married.
-The best sound in the world is Grace and Ruby talking to each other when I'm not around. I'm raising two REAL PEOPLE.
-Gracie's lips are like pillows.
-What did I talk about before I had my baby girls?
-Jake and I now officially have an L.L.C.
-Jake and I text message all day.
-It snowed today in Park City.
-Surprise! I have nothing interesting to say!
-There are lots of deep things I feel like I should be thinking about. Like when I read other people's blogs or books, I feel like, why don't I think those things? Does anyone else feel this same way? I try to reach deeper, to the recesses of my brain, and then... nope. nothin'. Just a grocery list and a sigh. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow.
Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

And yes, it was so great.

Wow wow wow. The trip was "wundebar!", as my 11th grade German teacher, Frau Bird, would have put it. A weekend in the desert with the best music around and 100,000 sweaty people. At one point, I was listening to Stephen and Damien Marley renditioning, "Jamaica Jamaica" and "Buffalo Soldier" and people were literally puffing on a joint on a stick being passed through the crowd. Suddenly all these strangers loved eachother very much. Aside from the blatent use of drugs, the music was so real and so deep. Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek belted "Somebody More Like You", and Chris Thile was the best mandolinist that ever lived, like he always is. Into the evening we listened to Amy Winehouse and her very talented band and back up dancers.. who I wanted to meet more than Amy herself. Of Montreal, Satellite Party, and Rufus Wainright were among other performers that night.

We spent the next day napping on the sand at Oceanside Beach. Very crowded, cloudy, but the beach nonetheless. I thought about my kids, hm, every 10-20 minutes but found that I was very comfortable without them for a few days. Coming back was an anticipation that I haven't felt in a long time. Anticipation to hug and kiss my girls and squeeze their little bods, anticipation to kiss Jake to death and the yearning to be home again. I loved that feeling. I got in touch with my inner hippie for a weekend. Little Katie (Katie is my brother Gideon's girlfriend, Gid is on a mission in Atlanta) and I sang so loud in the car on the way home that my voice has gone hoarse today. We did stop off in Vegas for some Cheesecake Factory indulgence and Louis Vitton window shopping. Very, very, saucy.