Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Working Out the Kinks

I just wanted to post that I am having a little trouble with the formatting in this blog, because the HTML editor that comes with it is not the greatest.

So, please forgive the weirdness of the format and keep checking back for updates (I have intended on adding more photos and a new post in the next day or so). But right now, I have an 8-week-old that needs a bottle...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Potty Training Hell

Gracie is two years and two months old. Potty training her is a task that has been hanging over my head like the blade of the guillotine. Yes, I should be happy that my oldest child is nearly ready to be shedding her nasty diaper habit. But the process that it takes to make this happen is a big freakin' mystery. Why is it that there are NO free resources for a mother to use to help her understand the potty training process (except the public library and my own Mom)? You can't even get any information on how to train a child from the Internet without buying a $9.99 book and stupid potty training doll.

I feel like I am a decent Mom. I have been able to figure out (with the help of a very knowledgeable Mom of my own and a very patient God) most of the various tests and challenges that come with kids. Books have helped some. And of course a wonderful website called But the most important resource has been my own instincts and the cues of my kids. But when it comes to this potty training crap (no pun intended), I am COMPLETELY frickin' clueless. And so, Gracie and I are in what I lovingly call "Potty Training Hell".

We have been in said Potty Training Hell for 6 days now. And so far, the only accomplishment is that Gracie can pee in the potty after sitting on it for about 15 minutes. She can't recognize that she needs to go. She wakes up and says "Want to pee on the potty, Momma?" and to my delight I take her diaper off, and send her to pee. Only to find when I come back into the room, no pee in the potty, underwear on her head and the breakfast table pulled over to her potty, with half of the breakfast in the potty. And that's only one of the many catastrophes.

But just now, as I write this, we have a potty success. Happiness over 3 ounces of urine and one tiny little turd triumphs over the hours of cleaning up messes, anxious potty watch, and fighting with a 2-year-old. "Am I doing this right?" I wonder to myself. Maybe I am in some way, because any pee/poop in the potty means that she understands that the business address has moved. I just hope that I am not screwing her up further than I already have, and make her one of those weird people who can't pee if someone is within earshot, or poop unless the toilet seat is black.

And on the subject of potty training resources for clueless parents, I say that anyone who charges money for information that might keep a poor mother from crying over the agonizing process, should be ashamed of themselves. That is info that adds to the greater good of a society, and keeps the rate of alcoholism down! ;-)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Organizing Photos, Updating Website

I am attempting to get our photo website( updated. This is a LONG and arduous process.

First, I have to collect the thousands of photos taken over the last 6 months from all of our cameras. Then dump them onto my hard drive. The sorting is made a little easier by sorting the date on the folder, but the only problem is that one of the cameras that took the photos doesn't have the right date programmed on it, so some of the photos need to be hand sorted.

Second, the sorted photos need to be weeded through, adjusted, and then uploaded into the website. This process takes a LONG time because of various computer issues which crashes my computer about a million times during the upload process. Also, it is very hard to pick through the photos and say, "No one wants to see that one" or "But I don't want to leave that one out!". Each and every one of the photos (over 400 by now) have to have a caption added to it. The photo albums are then arranged, one by one, for continuity.

After uploads are complete, then I have to edit the website itself, add various facts about the kids, and finalize the look of the page. I spell check and grammar check the page about 40 times, so I don't sound like an idiot, and then save all of the changes made.

The last step is to notify all of our friends and relatives about the updated web page. This process takes at least an hour alone.

All in all, I spend approximately 20 hours on the page every time I update it, which is precisely the reason it doesn't get done very much. But the cool thing is that people who have, at one time or another, had a part in our kids lives, get added to our list of recipients and can follow their lives and see all of their photos. I have been told that people really look forward to updates and I always get a ton of emails telling me how awesome the site is. This makes me happy and validates all of the hard work. So, that's why I still do it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today is my birthday. I am 25 years old. The meaning of a birthday changed for me exactly 3 years ago, after I had my first baby.

Me, as a newborn:

Most of us think of birthdays as our day to be pampered and honored. When we are little, our parents threw parties for us and made us feel special for being such a "big kid". We wondered what toys or presents the day would bring, and looked forward to each candle we blew out; one more every year that we got older brought more responsibility and independence. One more year closer to being an adult.

Mom and Me:

Two months after my first child, Gracie, was born, I turned 23. I found that the only thing I could think of all day was my Mom. I woke up and recounted the stories she told about the day I was born. Having just gone through labor myself, I watched the clock all day and remembered her stories of my birthday, and compared them with my own experience. I felt for her, since I was her first baby, and wondered if she had been as scared as I had been. And for the first time in my life, I understood the pain that she had undergone. Well, almost. You see, my Mom was braver than I. She had nearly a nine-pound baby without an epidural. I had an epidural, thankfully. Which solidified even more in my mind that my mom is Superwoman. (My mother-in-law had my husband breach; without an epidural...which makes respect the heck out of her on February 12 every year. Yikes!)

An embarrassing one of me picking my nose on my birthday:

A birthday can also be a bittersweet thing for me now. I think about my parents and how it must feel to have an adult child, and hope for/dread the day that my children celebrate adult birthdays. I think that's why we make such a big deal out of a baby's first birthday. Its really for the parents, because the baby doesn't know what's going on. Birthdays are blessings in that they mark how many years your hard work and fretfulness have succeeded in keeping this precious, fragile little human alive. But birthdays are also reminders of how fast time moves and how quickly your little baby is turning into an adult. Its a day thats truly wonderful and truly painful all wrapped up in one. You remember the amazing joy as you met this little baby and yet, feel so sad that you only had a few moments with them in your arms before they wanted to leap out of them. I wonder if my Mom feels the same today.

So, today, and for the rest of my birthdays, I honor my parents for their sacrifices and hard work that raised me from the little helpless baby I was, to the capable adult that I am today. I admire and respect my Mom for staying home and raising us. I am sure it was tough for her, because I know that it sometimes can be the toughest, most thankless job on earth. But mostly, I thank them both for helping me still so that I can keep having birthdays, and so that my kids can too. Thank your Mom on YOUR birthday...she deserves it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Keep In Touch!

Having three kids like we do, we tend to forget that not everyone measures their day by meals eaten, bottles given, and poo diapers (and their consistency). And even though this may be the case, we often find ourselves bombarding some poor 20-something young technician, or the old lady at the grocery store with tales of children and their many idiosyncrasies. I decided that one of the ways I could stop doing this so often (and receiving the corresponding blank stares), was to use a blog as an outlet to air my stories. This way, our little silly stories and frustrations can be read, by choice, by our family and friends.

This blog also serves as a platform for me to show a few of the MANY photos and videos that I take on a daily/weekly basis, without the many hours of work it takes to update our children's website (, which I only update once a quarter.

One more reason for the blog: I am terrible about writing in a journal. I don't get to talk to anyone but my three kids and husband on a daily basis. And I am desperate to find other Moms who can relate to my experiences. Okay, so maybe that's three more reasons, but really they all have to do with communication, which is a skill that I lose every day that I don't use it.

I don't know how often I will update. I don't know who will read this (with exception of Grannie, who will read it every day, and who is the main person I am doing this for). And mostly, I don't know if I will always be diplomatic, politically correct, or even mildly interesting. But thank you for reading when you do, and thanks for caring for us and our babies. We are really proud of them!

So, I would like to tell you a little story to start us off:

There was a boy...

...who met a girl.

They fell in love...

...and had a baby girl.

And then a year later, another baby girl.

And then ANOTHER year later, a little boy.


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