Thursday, July 28, 2011

Aloha Friday

Aloha Friday is the day that they take it easy over at An Island Life and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too.   So I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response. If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and head over to An Island Life to link up. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends.
My question:

Have you ever had to call 911, or if you are in anther country whatever the emergency number is?

I don't really know what go me thinking about this, but it is something I am curious about.  I have called it twice. 

The first time I was in college and lived in an apartment complex next to the junior high/high school.  I was heading home after class as all the high schoolers were heading home.  I heard brakes squeal and looked in my rear view mirror to see that a car in the oposing lane stopped and in front of it there was a boy splayed out on the road off of his bike.  I called 911 and they were asking me all kinds of questions that I couldn't answer from my truck so I pulled in and parked and walked back to the accident.  The boy eventually was able to get up and even talked on my phone to the dispatcher, then the ambulance arrived.  They checked him out and he was ok, but of course I'm sure the girl who was driving the car got ticketed.   

The second time I was driving down here for my job interview and it was raining pretty hard all day.  I came through a canyon on the I-70 corridor through Utah and came around the corner where I saw a big rock in the middle of my lane.  I was able to manuver around it, but it was getting later in the evening and I worried that someone might come around the corner in the dark, not see it and hit it.  As soon as I got into cellular range I called.  The dispatcher really hastled me on trying to describe the size of the rock.  I tried to tell her it was a really big rock, or a small boulder.  If a truck with high clearance went over it they might clear it, but if a car went over it, they would have severe damage.  She still wanted to know what object I could compare it to in size.  Some time later after I moved down here I saw the Utah Department of Transportation fixing that particular spot in the road where the rock slide caused damage.

Adventures in Potty Training

So it figures that the other day I proclaim that we are 90% there on potty training, then we have some regression, ugh!!  I am writing this post as a personal documentation of our experience, and because one of my followers asked for more about our story and advice.  If you are squeamish about pooping, peeing, or bathroom talk consider yourself warned to move on now.

I would first like to say about potty training, that I take 80% of the blame for failure as I am just lazy about it.  The other 20% is complete stubbornness on Austin's part.  But we learn from each other and we are getting there slowly, but surely.

I wouldn't have even started potty training when we did, but opportunity presented itself.  Since Austin was 9 months old he had gone to an in-home daycare, the only licensed daycare in our area for probably 60+ miles around.  We were lucky to get him in there.  They were always full on kids, they could have 16 at a time, and I always felt they were too busy to devote time to potty training and was afraid Austin would get frustrated if they were not attentive to his needs.  Plus he was not showing all the signs of potty training readiness.  However in June, my employer opened a licensed Learning Center for 2-5 year old's.  The only caveat was that they did not set up a diapering area, as required for licensing, so they can only take kids who are potty trained.  The original daycare was 8 miles to the north of our house in another town, and I work 14 miles to the west of our town.  So I would drive 8 miles, drop off Austin, drive 8 miles back, literally past my house, then 14 miles to work.  Then I would repeat for pickup.  The new Learning Center is 3 miles past my office, so i still drive a little out of the way, but he is so much closer overall.  I talked to the Director of the Learning Center and he agreed that since they were just starting out that they would take Austin and attempt to potty train him. I could not pass up the opportunity to lessen my drive and have more time with my favorite two year old, plus no more diapers is a great thing.

That was at the beginning of June and we started out with him going four half days, the same schedule that he went to the old daycare.  After a couple of weeks he was starting to get the idea of going potty there, but would not sit on his potty seat at home.  One day I was out of town and Dustin had a meeting so Austin stayed at the Learning Center through his nap and he slept there, unlike at the old daycare where we had me work half days so I could take him home at nap time, so we switched our schedule to three full days, Tuesday-Thursday, and I stay home with him on Mondays and Dustin stays home with him on Fridays. His PTing continued to improve to the point where he was no longer having accidents at the Learning Center.  They of course were totally focused on the two kids they had for the first month and a half they were open, so they honed in on his cues right away.

At home we really struggled at first, but are making solid progress.  At first he refused to sit on the potty, we  got him a little kiddy potty chair thinking that would be the best thing.  We tried it in the bathroom, then the living room so he could watch TV.  We read stories to him on it, and we tried putting our laptop in front of him to play games while he sat on it.  He obviously hated the thing though and it was always a cry fest to get him to sit on it.  Eventually I tried taking the seat part off and put it on one of our big toilets.  He was much more interested in that so I went and bought a seat for each of our toilets and that is where we have found success. We also bought a step for one of our toilets that he is just a bit too short to stand at, but he seems to be hesitant about using it, having a similar reaction as to the potty chair.

When the staff of the Learning Center started with him they asked him if he wanted to sit or stand to pee.  They have a super tiny and adorable toilet plumbed in at the learning center, so he did not even need a step to stand at it.  He told them he wanted to sit though so that is how they started him out and taught him to aim himself down through the legs.  We went camping for the 4th of July and I forgot to take some type of potty with us, yes I already admitted to being lazy, lol!  We improvised on that trip and taught Austin to just stand and let it go in the woods.  It was just an overnight trip and luckily he did not need to go #2.  Since that time he has been all about standing to pee, which believe me I appreciate in public restrooms!!!

I have always heard and read that you should wait to potty train until a period of time when you will be home and can get the process down without complicating maters.  Well guess what, life happens and we have been traveling and what not and continue to work on it.  I think our recent trip to Colorado is the reason for our recent regression.  We started out the road trip with the intent to stop if Austin asked to potty.  For the first two occurrences it went down as easy at that.  If there was no bathroom in sight we would just pull over in a place where we could aim him out the door and let him go on the ground, out of sight of anyone (one of the perks of having a boy, right?)  The third time he said he needed to potty and we were on the interstate in the middle of no-where Utah, with no trees or natural cover.  We stopped anyway and I was just going to position myself to block his view.  When I went to get him out of the carseat he was already wet and so was his carseat.  At that point I decided to put him in pull-ups to prevent another accident while on the road.  Of course when he is in a pull-up he knows it and then the need to pee in the potty goes out the window, well and again honestly it was easier for lazy me to say "you have a pull-up on, just go" versus trying to find a restroom, or convenient location to stop.

When we got home from the trip I have had to firmly commit to no more pull-ups and go back to underwear to get him back in potty mode.  He is doing much better, but we still have the occasional accident.  Pooping is still a hard one, that for me anyway he has never vocalized the need for.  I more so catch his poop face or hear him grunting and whisk him off to the toilet.   If you miss either cue, well you had better get another pair of underpants. 

The transition to pee standing also presented an interesting issue while we were at my Mom's house in Colorado.  I took him in to pee and I had to lift him a bit to aim his stream into the toilet.  Next thing I know pee is coming out of the front end and poop is coming out the back.  So as if this isn't bad enough, now trying to figure out how to coax him to sit if he needs to poop, the next night Dustin takes him in to pee and the SAME THING HAPPENS!  Knocking on some serious wood that it has not happened since we have been home.

Anther tricky thing we have faced with PTing is that Austin loves to wash his hands in public restrooms, and if it has an automatic soap dispenser he is all over it.  He will ask to go "pee-pee in potty"  then when we get to the restroom firmly yell "No" about going potty and try to get to the sink.  A few times we have had to call his bluff and say no to going to the potty, for the third time in the middle of dinner at a restaurant.  So far it has not back fired on us, but one of these days the boy who cried "potty" will probably teach us to tell him no to the bathroom.

And on Monday I learned that you should only ask them to pee if you intend on taking them to the bathroom.  We had just finished up lunch in the dining room and I was going to put Austin in a pull-up for nap time.  I stripped off his bottoms and then asked if he needed to potty.  He of course tells me no, like always, but it hadn't been too long (or so I thought) since the last time that he went so I let it go.  Before I could get the pull-up unfolded he sent a stream across my dining room floor. Silly mommy, rookie mistake!

And one other clarification, I should mention that all of our potty training is in the day time at this point.  I think at this age most kids aren't able to hold urine through the night, and am not at all focused on that, so we still use nighttime diapers.  I will also try to switch him to at least a pull-up for naps to prevent an accident, although most times he can nap and wake up dry. 

So in closing, in the hopes of helping along others, maybe not that you learn what to do from me, but rather what not to do, here our my potty training tips:
  • Patience, patience, patience!
  • Pullups are basically glorified diapers.  If you want to get serious about PTing go to underwear.
  • There are two types of underpants, regular ones and training ones that are made from thick cotton and have several layers in the crotch.  The training ones are nice because if they have an accident most of it is absorbed right in the crotch area.  The regular ones result in a puddle on the floor during an accident.  The kicker is the training ones only come is simplistic styles, like the one pack we bought was all white and in the other pack one was blue, one was blue and brown stripes and the third has little construction vehicles on it.  When I first thought about PTing I bought the regular undies in two of Austin's favorite characters, Go Diego Go, and Cars.  Then the Learning Center Director recommended the training underpants, but of course Austin wants to wear his Diego's all the time and gets mad when I put him in the training pants.  In hind sight I would have saved the Diego's for when he was done with accidents.
  • Instead of asking if they need to potty, say "lets go potty".  When you ask you are likely to get a firm NO!
  • Did I mention patience? 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Oh me, one of those days!

Today was another of our Mommy Monday's where Austin and I spend some quality one-on-one time.  It was overall a great day, I just had an "oh-duh" moment this morning.  So when I woke up I saw that Dustin was watering the back grass.  It is not on our irrigation system, so we have to set it manually and he will often turn it on and leave it for me to turn off when I get up.  He is up and at it an hour or two before I wake up, he's a morning person, I'm a night person.  So I go out and un-hook his hose and hook up my garden hose and turn it on.  Meanwhile I get Austin up and ready for his doctor's appointment.  I intended to turn off the garden before we left, but in all the hustle and bustle I forgot, boy was it Monday!  So we go to the doctor, get home and are sitting here spending time together and it dawns on me that I forgot the garden, oh crap, it's like two hours later!  So I go out and turn it off with a sick feeling in my stomach that I wasted a bunch of water. 

Then Austin and I went swimming and had a blast.  One of Austin's friends from the old daycare met us there and the boys had fun playing together.  We get home, have lunch and Austin goes down for his nap.  I brave the heat and go outside to stroll through my garden.  I notice the plants look limp and wilted and think "what the heck, why do they look like that after all the water this morning?"  Then I looked at the end of the drip irrigation system and realized that it's not hooked to the hose.  Oh yes, yesterday Dustin was burning some weeds around our yard and used my garden hose as his fire supression line because it's the longest one we have.  So for the two hours that I was afraid I wasted at that water I merely just charged the hose that had a trigger sprayer on the end of.  No wasted water afterall, but one wilted garden, silly me!!!

Anywho, Austin's appointment was great, he is on track and totally healthy.  He was 30lbs and an even 3' tall, which puts him in about the 50th percentile for both.  At one point during the appointment when I was talking to the doctor he crawled under the exam table.  He is just so fast, he was under there before I could stop him.  Then he turned his head up and down and couldn't get it back out until I forced his head back sideways to slide through the openning, silly boy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

7 of 12

I just finished up this piece.  I have 3 more pieces ironed, a horse, an ear of corn, and a sheep.  I have the pieces picked out for the next and it will be a pumpkin patch.  I need to dig back through my craft tubs because I have misplaced the 12th blue square.  My sewing room is also our office and second spare bedroom, so I always have to put my sewing away and apparently tucked the last piece in the wrong place.  I'm still undecided on the 12th piece, I'm think maybe a farmer, or a chicken.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Austin 2.5

Either today or tomorrow, depending on how you look at it, is Austin's half birthday.  Today is the same number as his birthday, but there is an odd number of days in a year, so to get to half it calculates out to be tomorrow.  I kind of like recognizing it on July 23rd because that is my Dad's birthday, and he would have turned 74 tomorrow.  At any rate I am here and have time for a blog, so I wanted to share what Austin 2.5 is up to these days.
  • He loves to play ball, and the kid has an arm.  I am about ready to ban all balls from inside the house as he definitely throws them hard enough to cause damage.  Doesn't really matter what kind of ball, he has them all, and he calls all of them "b-ball".  We will correct him and tell him whatever kind of ball it really is, and he will repeat it, but then goes back to calling it "b-ball".  Any time we drive by a basketball court he yells out "b-ball" too. 
  • His language development is really coming along.  He says about any word now and speaks in short sentences.  Mostly he is too busy to stop and chat, but is able to effectively communicate whatever he is thinking.  Sometimes when he doesn't know a real word for something he will spout of some made-up word, and it cracks me up.
  • Potty training is in the finishing stage...I think...I hope!  I will probably do a stand alone post about our potty training adventure, but briefly I would say we are about 90% there.
  • His eating is all or nothing, which drives me a little crazy.  I know they say you should not make your kid eat, but it just seems wrong to me on the nights where he does not eat a single bite.  Then there are nights he will eat more than Dustin and I combined. 
  • He still loves to be outdoors and I think would prefer to be outside than in.  If there is a lake or pond his job is to throw rocks in it.  He was driving my sister crazy last weekend when we were fishing and he was trying to fill in the pond.
  • He is really into books at the moment.  He loves to look at books and be read to.  
  • He loves to color and brings stacks of artwork home from The Learning Center.
  • He loves to play with playdough.  I got him a set of little cutters and presses and he takes and fills the cutters in like a mold.  
  • The kid is a fish in the pool.  He has no fear of the water at all and loves to go down water slides.  At our local pool they have a play feature for younger kids and he runs up and down that thing the whole time we are at the pool and does the slides by himself.  We took him to a pool with a big slide while in Colorado and we were taking him on our laps, but by the end of the time we were there he got grumpy and wanted to go down by himself.  I told him it's not the slide that's the issue, it's the 4' deep pool at the end that he can't swim in yet.  Of course a two and a half year old is invincible.
  • In clothes he is in a 3T top and 2T-3T bottom.  Size 7.5 shoes.  We have a doctor's checkup on Monday and will get his official height and weight there. 
Everyday is so fun to watch him learn and develop. He is such a blessing and we love him very much!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Soundgarden date night

The main reason for our recent road trip was to see Soundgarden play at Red Rock's Amphitheater.  In case you don't know, Soundgarden was one of the 90's Seattle grunge bands who broke up when their success became too much to handle.  There most famous hit is "Black Hole Sun." The lead singer Chris Cornell went on to sing in a band called Audioslave, and then did some solo work.  Last year Soundgarden got back together and are touring again. Dustin requested this as his Father's Day gift.  The concert was spectacular, Chris Cornell never sounded better, seriously his voice was amazing in all four octaves that he spans!

We went to Blackhawk and had dinner at the Ameristar Casino to start our date night.  My sister said she thought they had crab legs on the buffet there, but we found out that they only have them on the weekends, so it was a tiny bit disappointing, but once we tried the food they did have it was very good and worth going there.  The best part was they had a chocolate fountain on the dessert bar and I had dipped strawberries, pound cake, rice crispy treat, and a marshmallow, yes I was a little piggy!!! 

Recently there was a study that showed that Colorado has the least percentage of obese people of all the states, and after going to the concert I can see why.  To get to Red Rock's we had to hike in about a mile from where we parked.  Then at the amphitheater, you enter at the bottom and have to hike stairs to get to your seat.  The worse your seats, the more you hike.  We waited to make the decision to go to the concert, so by the time we committed to it the seats we got weren't great, but in all honestly I don't think I could have handled the intense sound if we were sitting any closer, I wouldn't have any hearing left today.  At any rate I feel like I worked off the calories that I gained from my chocolate fountain indulgence.

Funny things Chris said during the concert:
  • "After a few Soundgarden shows back there's become a contest to see who could smoke the strongest dope in front of us, downwind. So tonight because we have less oxygen in our blood because we are this high up, instead of it being replaced by something healthy it's being replaced with THC...smoke it all so that you don't get busted on the way home" (disclaimer: I do not do any kind of drug, I just thought it was funny)
  •  Referring to the natural rock wall of the amphitheater: "It acts like a speaker, it bounces off that wall, bounces off that wall, falls back down right to my head.  If you're really loud go." (then held up the microphone to get the crowd going)
The pictures are a bit dark since we took them with our phone, but it gives you an idea of our fun date night.

On both sides of the seating are these huge red rock pillars that hold the sound in.

Red Rock's is quite possibly the most perfect venue ever!

Red Rocks faces east and overlooks the Denver skyline.  About half way through the concert the big, brown full moon rose up.  It of course looked much better in person, and was very cool.

Here I am

I know I have been missing, yet again, but I am back.  I have several blogs I want to write, and just need to find the time to get it done.

Our Colorado trip was pretty great.  I am a big loser though and only took a few pictures at the beginning and then got distracted and never picked the camera back up.  So you will have to rely on my written accounts.

We left last Thursday and rolled out of our house by 1.  We drove to Grand Junction where we grabbed dinner and got a hotel room.  The next morning Dustin had to do a teleconference at 10 so we went ahead and drove to Riffle, CO and found a little neighborhood park where Austin and I played while Daddy took care of business.

We finished up the drive and got into Grandma's at about 3.  Aunt Cathy was going to drive down and spend the evening with us too, but she got in a minor car accident that messed up the front end of her car so she had to take care of business up there.  Since she had a second vehicle that was parked at her cabin in the mountains we offered to drive her up there Saturday and spend time while there.  We got to go fishing in the private ponds of the association she belongs to and caught some really nice rainbow trout.  I caught the first one and was pretty impressed until she pulled in one that was MUCH bigger.  Austin had a blast playing at the ponds and filled them in a little with rocks.

We headed back down to my Mom's house because my brother said he was going to drive over to see us that night.  We got all the way back and of course he called and said they weren't going to make it, but they would be over in the morning.  Morning came and they called and said they wouldn't be able to make it after all.  That would be fine, but man it was hot on Sunday and my Mom has a swamp cooler in her house; which usually in the arid west it works great because the swamp cooler blows saturated air into the house and then it evaporates and causes the room to cool.  But it has been an especially wet summer in Colorado and it doesn't do much good when the humidity is already high both in and out of the home.  It was pretty hot, too hot to be outside and muggy inside.  If we had known my brother was going to bail we could have stayed at the cabin and played all Sunday.

Monday we were determined to get out of the house so we went swimming.  We went to a rec center where they had an indoor pool figuring in would not be too crowded since most people would probably go to the outdoor pool.  It was really fun and they had a big water slide that we really enjoyed.  We could take Austin down on our laps and Dustin and I would take turns.  The best part is he had to walk up two flights of stairs to get to the top, so he definitely got his exercise.  That night Austin and Grandma got to spend some quality time while Dustin and I went on a date.  I want to do a separate post about the concert after I get the photos uploaded from our cell phone, so I'll share those details later.

Tuesday we were still crossing our fingers and hoping to find out about the job in Wyoming, but they still have not called, so we decided to take the south route home and drive Highway 50 through the mountains so we could see Canon City, Salida, Gunnison, Montrose, and Delta which are all towns we have on our list of places we would like to live.  We stopped in Montrose for the night and got a room.  All those towns were beautiful, but we confirmed that we would take Gunnison and Salida off of our list because they looked like they would get a pretty snowy and cold winter.  We finished our drive home yesterday, and the trip overall was great.

When we were almost home we did get a call with bad news that Austin's Godfather Andy passed away.  He is a co-worker of Dustin who was an incredible person.  When he was a young man he was drinking and driving and got into a bad car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.  Even so he overcame that and went on to be an upstanding person who is much loved in our community.  He always had a huge smile on his face and kind words.  He was a faithful usher at our church and only missed when he was in the hospital.  Pretty much every year in the winter he would end up in the hospital with complications from his paralysis, but always seemed to get a little better in the spring.  He had been in and out of the hospital ever since last winter and was unable to overcome his complications.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Camping and 4th fun!

We had a great weekend to celebrate our independence.  Saturday we went to a reservoir in Utah and camped for the night so we could go fishing first thing Sunday morning.  We didn’t end up catching anything, but it was beautiful and relaxing.  Austin of course was in his element and had a ball running around camp and the lake exploring and throwing rocks.








We only camped one night and came home.  On Monday we went to the town north of us for a 4th of July festival and then went swimming.  Several of the kids that Austin went to the old daycare with were at the pool and he had a ball reconnecting with those friends.


We went and saw the local fireworks display which was awesome for such a small town.  Austin wasn’t digging it at all, but he didn’t cry. You could tell he was tired and just wanted to go home. 

On my earlier post, once I got home and re-read the letter to the editor, if you look at it knowing that we are trying to move it reads the way I described, but if you didn’t know that you probably wouldn’t think that after reading it.  I hope that all made sense, I think now that they don’t know we are planning to move on, it just struck me that way since I am definitely thinking about it.  And yes, it’s the job that would be about 25 miles from Brandi!!!  Oh and I was in the paper too, there was an article about our kids camp that we did in June and I am in the picture, but it’s of my backside because we were playing the human knot game. 


I guess some people have not been able to comment on my blog so I attempted to re-adjust the settings and set up a gmail email for my blog:

Feel free to send me an email if you can't leave a comment.

I have been wanting to sit down and write out some blogs, but life has been busy.  Here are a few things going on:
  • We finally got a hit on one of the jobs we applied for.  Dustin has an interview this Friday for a job in Wyoming.  They checked his references last week and even called on random co-workers in his office for references.  We are semi keeping this on the down low around town, but today in the local paper one of the people Dustin works with put a letter-to-the-editor thanking him for all his effort and wishing him success in the future.  Well, newsflash, we haven't gotten the job yet, and how in the heck did they find out, and couldn't they have just sent him a note?  So far only one person at my work asked about it, but I guess the cat will be out of the bag now.  Oh well, it will just be awkward now if we don't get the job after all!
  • We are heading out next week for our Colorado trip, I am so ready to go and have fun!
  • We went camping this past weekend and had a blast.  I will post pictures later.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thanks Brandi!

Brandi made these super cute matching aprons for us!

Austin wasn't cooperating on taking the picture.