Friday, January 29, 2010

1st Potty Training Lesson

The other day, Luke had his very first potty training lesson.... on accident.

For the past few weeks I have been telling him that I am changing his poo-poo or potty when I change his diaper. Then, the other day, when I was going to go use the restroom, I informed him that I would be going poo-poo on the toilet (as opposed to in my diaper of course). He got very excited and pointed to his diaper, saying poo-poo.

Yep, that is where his poo-poo was. He really needed to have his diaper changed.

Luke is not really "ready" to be potty trained yet (in my opinion). But, he is beginning to show signs that he will be ready sometime soon. He is becoming more aware of his body and can now express himself well enough. However, other important benchmarks are still to come- like being able to stay dry through the night though (since he still wakes up!), but the thought of no more diapers does get me excited!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Diaper Link

It is embedded in "this out" of my previous post, but here it is more plainly:

Let me know if that doesn't work!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Housekeeping and Diapers

Well, the cleaning has been going well... though not according to the Simple Mom schedule. I decided to tackle the kitchen first- mainly because that was where Luke wanted to be. I let him play with some measuring spoons and a tiny bit of water in the sink. It kept him busy for a WHOLE HOUR! In that time, I was able to organize the countertops, clean the counters and the sink with bleach, clean my stovetop and oven front, and wipe down the fronts of most of my cabinets (eww-there were still some stains from the previous owners!) At nap time, I sweeped and mopped the floors. Whew! I felt SO accomplished- like a cleaning high!

Today was a busier day due to more errands and library hour, but I still manage to get a few things done. Tomorrow the living room and dining room are going down!

Also, for all of those moms who need diapers, check this out! I got $50 of diapers for $25 and had it delivered to my home for free in 2 days!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Challenge

I have looked over the articles at SimpleMom.Net often, and now I have decided to take on one of her challenges. I am going to try to Spring Clean my house in 10 days. The website provides a great organization tool that breaks up the work into 10 steps, and by the end you have a deep-cleaned house.

Here is the link for any of you who might be interested.

Cleaning has never been easy for me. Often I just don't know what I am not doing. My mind kind of filters out some areas as not important. I vaccum all the time. I keep up with the dishes and laundry, and wiping down counter tops. Luke's room is usually fairly neat. I don't clean the bathrooms as often as I should (the shower/bath especially) and I don't dust very often. Partly, I just don't think about doing some items. With this challenge, I hope to hit everything. Then, once the house has had a good once over, I can begin to put some unfamiliar tasks to work on a regular basis.

Well, we will see how this goes!

Who's feeding Who?

Luke lets us know that he is done with his dinner by trying to feed us instead:

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Luke's favorite treat is a good fruit smoothie. I like them too and usually I just put a bunch of fruit, yogurt, honey, etc... in the blender and let it whirl. Sometimes though, it is too sweet, sometimes not sweet enough, sometime its too thick, to thin, etc...

Here is the recipe that we like best:

In a blender add:

one banana
1 1/2 c. frozen strawberries
3/4 c. milk
2T frozen orange concentrate
2T agave nectar (or honey)

Blend until smooth.

Notes: I used the frozen orange concentrate since I buy it anyways for economical orange juice. Agave nectar is the best sweetener I have found and I use it because it doesn't raise my blood sugar as much as other sweeteners. (I can't have Jamba Juice anymore because the overload of sugar gives me a headache). I use milk instead of plain yogurt because it seems to be less sour.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Ahh.. Dear, Neglected Blog.....

This past month has been a whirlwind!

We finally said goodbye to our CA vacation (sort of- Nathan worked a bit while we were there) last Saturday. Luke spent he morning getting in some last minute snuggles with Grammy ("nammy") and Papa ("papa"- he can say this one, though it is usually whispered), before we headed home to Houston. Luke was great on the completely full, 3 hour flight.

To our relief, our home was much as we had left it. Thanks to all our friends who helped watch it for us. Some even wrapped out pipes before the freeze-amazing. We were all exhausted so that night we unloaded all of our goods, ordered a pizza, and watched Father Knows Best.

It was good that we had that little break because this first week at home was crazy.

Sunday, I went shopping so that we would have something to eat. I also kept working on unloading suitcases, did some laundry, and tried to be emotionally supportive of Luke as he came down from weeks of the extra special attention that he received in CA.

Monday: We sorted through all of our mail (30 days worth!!) and cleaned.
Tuesday: Bible Study and some more shopping.
Wednesday: Library hour and picked up our new and amazing elliptical (paid for with Christmas money). Also, I began work on cleaning up all the of the leaves that had fallen while we were gone. Began is the key word- this will take some time!
Thursday: MOPS group and a trip down to Gymboree with Bethany and Clara to use our gymbucks.
Friday: Spent the morning playing with friends, then prepared for a birthday party in the evening.

Luke news:

Luke loved his time in CA. He loved all the attention from his relatives and misses everyone terribly. I have to be careful not to mention people's names or he looks around for them, and gets sad when he realizes that they are not around. He learned many new words while we were gone too. He loves to say: car, chair, up-sie (to be picked up), down, nigh-nigh, bee-bo (belly button) no-no, and make all sorts of animal and vehicle sounds. He also learned how to understand more questions. I can ask him where his head, eyes, nose, ears and mouth are, and he will point to the body part and say the word. It is amazing!

Here is Luke playing with Daddy's radio:

And watching Father Knows Best:

Friday, January 8, 2010

Needed: Child Development/ Children's Play Book Recommendations

Does anyone have any favorite books on the subject? I want to know more about what activities/play I should be doing with Luke right now and in the future. He seems to be wanting to learn more and more each day and I want to keep it interesting. I am kind of looking for either something comprehensive, or something that gives me particular ideas.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Epiphany/Theophany- 5 years

"The heavens were opened to show us that our baptism will open the heavens for us. God is made accessible to us. We can know the Unknowable. We can be changed. A good work is done in us, and we have the means to have the promise fulfilled in us."
~St. John Chrysostom on the feast of Theophany

Yesterday, we celebrated the feast of Theophany, also called Epiphany. This feast day s especially near and dear to me as I was chrismated into the Orthodox Church on this feast five years ago.

I began my journey into Orthodoxy filled with lots of enthusiasm and determination. I loved the whole experience- participating in the sacraments and the church year, diving deeper and deeper into my questions about God, struggling against myself through prayer and fasting, telling everyone of the great jewel I had found.

Looking back now, I see that time as a honeymoon of sorts. It was like when Nathan and I were first dating- everything was wonderful, fresh and new- I was completely preoccupied and in love. My relationship with God was exciting and fulfilling and I felt like I was growing towards Him in leaps and bounds. I wish that this particular time of my journey had lasted longer, or that the same wonderful feelings could be something that I could experience again any time I wanted.

After my initial entrance into Orthodoxy, the real work began. Fasting was no longer new and glorious, but was tedious and ordinary. The beautifully scripted prayers stopped fascinating me and began to feel repetitive. I began to feel like a bit of a failure. Why was I not as motivated or disciplined as at the first? Why was this so hard?

Discouraged, I confessed all of this to a priest at a women's retreat a few years ago. He was very understanding and helpful. He reminded me that in all serious, long term relationships, there is an initial exciting period. But then, just as in marriage, the hyped emotions die and the day-to-day routines set in. Our struggle towards Christ (or towards our spouse) becomes less glamorous and more about being faithful and finding joy in the rhythm of daily life. This was encouraging to me.

I still struggle with being discouraged in the day-to-day Christian life, and in my many failings. 5 years out, I wish I was in a better place. However, one important thing that I have learned from Orthodoxy is that salvation is a process. We are not instantly victorious Christian people (as I often wish were the case).

When I feel discouraged these two things give me particular hope:

1) The words of St. John Chrysostom that I quoted above: "We can be changed. A good work is done in us, and we have the means to have the promise fulfilled in us." We can change- God became man that he might enable us to become like Him and participate in His divine life.

2) A well known Orthodox story: A monk comes to his priest distraught and confesses that he continually falls into sin, and askes what to do. The priest tells him to get up when he falls, and to keep getting up each time he falls until the day he dies. We are to do the same

So, five years in, I am fallen and humbled. But, tomorrow is a new day, and God willing, I will get up and begin again.