Monday, August 31, 2009

Sitting Outside on a Monday

Sitting outside on an 80 degree, sunny, breezy Monday = +2
Eating a HUGE chocolate cupcake = +4
Forgetting to bring out a drink = -3
Hearing the wind rustling the leaves = +2
Still being able to hear road noise = -4
Being outside by myself while the kids nap= +2
Going back inside to do the things I don't want to do = -1

= +2

So far so good, for a Monday.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The rest of the story

So there was more to that last post... the nurse at the pediatrician's office recommended a glycerin suppository, so off we went to CVS to get some. Caleb had no idea what to expect, and he was quite shocked at what I did to him! Not even 15 minutes later, he went. Today started a new routine of multiple "tries" on the potty every day, straight juice, lots of fruit and veggies, and an extra special fiber gummy to go with his normal gummy vitamins. Hopefully a routine of sitting there at the same time every day will start his little body into a habit and he'll go.

He also said "thank you" several times today without a fight. Well, there was that one time when Daddy had to pull over on the side of the road.

We are working on training this child in the way he should go, so that when he is old he won't depart from it! But it is WORK!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I'm about ready to tear my hair out today... this potty training thing is making me crazy! Some of you know our issues with getting Caleb to go #2 on the potty... well it is just getting ridiculous at this point. He is 3 1/2 years old and KNOWS what he needs to be doing. This stubborn streak is a tough one to break. I wouldn't have SUCH a problem with him not going on the potty if he would go AT ALL, but since he knows he's not supposed to go in a pullup or in his underwear, he just holds it for days. Like 5 or more days. That is NOT a good thing for his little insides. I have tried everything, except giving him laxatives, but that is next on my list. I've already got a call in to the pediatrician for some advice.

So this is just the last thing on my list of his behaviors lately. Yesterday we had a sort of throw-down over a cup of orange juice. Well, really, it was over him and using manners to get what he wants. He is normally a very polite little guy, asking instead of telling, saying please, but for some reason, Caleb has NEVER said "thank you". In fact, I'm not sure I've ever heard the words come out of his mouth. I know that 3 is still young, but I also realized that is his 19-month-old little sister can and does say thank you in the appropriate situation WITHOUT being prompted, then he is perfectly capable of saying it too. We talk about it all the time. When his friends help him or share, I always ask, "Did you tell them thank you?" and he either ignores my questions are says no. When I hand him a refilled sippy, I ask him "What do you say?" And he says nothing, grabs the cup and turns and walks away.. so he KNOWS. Yesterday, I was done. He gave me a sassy look and turned his back without saying "Thank You" for the last time. I calmly (I do always TRY to stay calm with him, but it doesn't always happen. I was calm this time though) reached over, took back his cup, and told him he could not have it until he told me "Thank you." I explained that it's what polite little boys say, and it goes along with saying "please" and "may I" and ht is old enough to say it from now on. It's not a new concept. At first he kinda shrugged and decided he didn't want his juice that bad, so I let it go for a few minutes. I needed to run to the post office, and the juice cup came with us in the car and rode in between the fron seats where he could see it but couldn't reach it. By the time we got to the PO, he was starting to whine that he wanted his juice, so I repeated for the 40th time that all he needed to do was say "Thank you mommy" and he could have it. We went in, did our PO business, came back out, and as I strapped him in his carseat he started crying that he wanted his juice. Same deal, all he has to say is Thank You. Not too hard, just say the words. Still wouldn't do it. Back home we went, with him crying loudly into his blanket, all the way home (all 0.8 miles haha). When we got home I sent him to his room to cry until he was finished and wanted to come out and say Thank You. It only took 5 more minutes until he came out and whispered it. The total time here MIGHT have been pushing 20 minutes, so it's not like I withheld liquid from him all day or anything (in case it sounds insane of me). After he said it, he got a big hug, and lot of praise and a reminder that from now on, we say Thank you when someone gives us something or helps us. He was good about it for the rest of the day. But today is a new day, and we're working on that poop thing.

I feel like I am such a mean mom when I have to resort to things like this with him, but we have found that nothing else works for him. I'm not hurting him physically, and I'm trying to teach him to be a polite and disciplined young man. He just has a stubborn streak that I've never seen the likes of before (It feels like two stubborn people's genes mixed and made a super-stubborn gene that not only doubled the amount of stubbornness, but made it grow exponentially). We have to stay two steps ahead ofhim, and it's hard! We are surprised every day at how smart he is!

...And I don't even want to THINK about how hard Carly will be...!! (Start praying for us now!)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Do you ever look up?

I accidently took this picture today... I was photographing some outfits -which will be up on AlexiaJeanDesigns in a day or two- fiddling with the outfits with the camera in my hand and pressed the button unintentionally. Usually those come out blurry and fuzzy and with big black and red spots of nothing, but this was what I found when I was sifting through the pics tonight....

To me, it's refreshing. I don't look up very often and notice what's up there. Trees are cool! So are clouds and birds and stuff. Try it sometime-- look up!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Update on my Gluten Diet

The more research I have done and the more people I talk to, the more I am realizing that in order to get a "positive" blood test on September 23 is to have lots of gluten (or antibodies or whatever it is) in my blood. This means I have to keep up with a "normal" diet for now. So basically, the next 5 or 6 weeks is going to be in limbo for me.. I want to avoid it, but I need to eat it if I want to really know if I'm allergic (or intolerant). There is still a good chance that a blood test can come back negative and a person can still have Celiac, or gluten intolerance. After that the only way to know is to do a biopsy of the intestine. No Thanks!!

I'm not sure what I'll do after the test - If it comes back negative, I might still lay off gluten-containing foods anyway. I did notice I felt better for the two weeks I was on the diet. It was really more of an I-didn't-realize-I-felt-better-until-I-felt-bad-again feeling, but I did notice a difference.

And any excuse to bake homemade bread will work for me! For now, I'm still "avoiding bread" like the doctor suggested. There are thousands of food items that contain gluten, so cutting out the pb&j sandwich that the kids are eating doesn't make a difference to me. It just makes my brain feel better that "Whew, I avoided the gluten in that one..." You know, mental justification that makes no sense but makes you feel better nonetheless. I still ate a hamburger and a cookie for dinner.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Playing outside

What a great weekend we had.. doing nothing but bumming around, no scheduled anything. Tonight we played outside a bit on a rare low-humidity evening with a bit of a breeze (a hot breeze, but a breeze nonetheless)

few pics of our evening:

"washing his car" in the sprinklerhead by the back door:

mom's NOT helping, just hovering:

And a few new pictures of the garden:

The only herb that survived: sweet basil

green bell peppers!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cookie Mix!

So.... I had heard from a couple of people that Betty Crocker has just started selling Gluten Free dessert mixes. Chocolate chip cookies, yellow cake, devil's food cake, and brownies to be exact. We picked up a box of chocolate chip cookies at Brookshire's yesterday and of course it's like my pantry was burning down... I couldn't even wait a whole day to make them! (That was a bad analogy. I realize it, and I accept it, but I can't change the fact that I'm a dork!)

They were super easy to make, and they turned out SO good! They even look normal! Greg tasted them and said they tasted "different," which of course they do since the mix uses rice flour and potato flour (or potato starch, can't remember) instead of "enriched whole wheat flour." The main difference is the texture, which is something a person gets used to. All in all, a good batch of cookies!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Does your garden grow?

ok, let me re-emphasize that... Does your garden grow? Anything? At all??

We attempted a new adventure this year. This house has a cute raised-bed garden already built in the back yard, with tall garden stakes and dark, rich dirt, so this April we planted a few (16 to be exact) tomato vines, a bell pepper plant, and two yellow squash plants. Carly and Caleb helped me plant the tiny seedlings. Ok, helped is bit of a strong description, but they were present during the planting.

The plants started about 6-8 inches high, and grew slowly for the first two months.

Early on, one of the yellow squash plants took off nicely... then it produced....

a nice, curly, pricklyish, green CUCUMBER! Oops! Guess that one got mixed up with the squash seeds. Too bad we don't eat cucumbers! But hey, something grew!

That was all for a while.. the stalks and vines kept growing, growing, growing, making flowers, growing some more, but no fruits. I was beginning to get frustrated, and then, one day I found...

A tomato!! I teeny tiny green tomato (This was July 3)! Caleb and I watched and waited patiently for our tiny tomato to turn red so we could pick it. For five weeks we have waited for that silly tomato!

In fact, I believe tomorrow is the day we will pick that big guy, before the birds get him! Our one and only firstborn tomato!

The garden today:

This week I have also found a few new ones finally growing on the vines.. a few cherry tomatoes and one or two that should be big boys. I planted 16 plants, but only 10 survived, 2 of those cherry sized, and the rest big boys.

(the little blurry green dots are the maters)

I also spied two tiny green bell peppers peeping out from behind their flowers. Yay!

Now, don't say I never grew anything besides babies!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Gluten Free Bread

So this morning I attempted my first loaf of gluten-free bread. I used a mix, because that seems so much easier than the list of 18 ingredients it takes to make a loaf from scratch.. and I've heard that baking from scratch is HARD to get right, and a lot of times turns out badly anyway.

I decided to pull out the old bread machine, since the package had instructions for breadmakers. I followed the directions exactly, even letting my eggs come to room temperature before starting, which I think is silly, but whatever.

All was going well, and starting to smell wonderfully until it started to smell burnt!! I ran into the kitchen to discover the mix had overflowed the small bread pan and was gooping out onto the burners inside the machine, thus making that nasty burned-bread smell. It still had 45 minutes to go on baking, so it was just a sticky dough-y mess. After I cleaned the junk off of the burners and scooped a little off the top I left it alone to go air out the house and hoped it wasn't ruined. 45 minutes later:


Funny-looking, but BREAD!!!

Nothing like fresh baked bread!!!

And here's the mess I have to clean up now.. never again will I use that mix in this machine! I lost probably the equivalent to a whole slice because the mix made more than the maching could hold.. next time I will bake it in the oven!

My review of Bob's Red Mill gluten-free homemade bread mix: YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BREAD!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!

Saturday, August 01, 2009


This morning Caleb, Carly and I were driving along to run a few errands, and I remarked that is was getting cloudy, and "bring on the rain!" Caleb says, "Is it starting to rain?"

me: "Yes, maybe."

Caleb: "Cuz that's the weather."

me: "Yeah. God made all kinds of weather, the rain and the clouds..."

Caleb: "Who is God?"

me wondering how in the world do I explain who God is to a three-year-old: "God is our creator. He made everything you can see. He made you, and me."

Caleb: "and Baby, and Daddy."

me: "That's right. What else do you think God made?"

Caleb: "the trees.... the grass..... that gate..... a sign, a yellow one and a white one..... "

Isn't that a sweet conversation?

Fast forward two hours....

"Caleb, it's time to go nite-nite. "

"But I have four minutes to watch my show."

"Yes, you do, but I don't think there are any more cartoons on right now. I'll start the DVD player and you can watch whatever is in there for your four minutes."


"That's fine, then you can just go to bed without watching TV."

"NO!!!! I'M GOING TO PUT SOMETHING ELSE IN THAT I LIKE!!!" At this point his face is contorting in rage.

I go and pick him up off the couch, and tell him softly in his ear that he has just lost his privilege and is now going to bed with no books. "NO NO NO!!!!!!" This is the beginning of a devilish-sounding screaming fit that makes me teeth hurt. He got put into his bed and the light turned out, door closed all the while screaming like I was choking him (which I did not). As the door closed the screaming increased in volume and pitch.. and lasted about 5 minutes until he figured out that I was not coming back in his room. Then it gradually died down to a whimper. I went about my business of cleaning up lunch and Carly, put her to bed as normal, and by that time he was quiet. When I stuck my head in to see if he was asleep he was lying in his bed like an angel, awake, and looking very remorseful. So I went in and we had a little talk.. he understood why he was sent to bed with no books, I kissed him on the forehead, and said nite nite. Seriously. Two extremes in one day. Whew.

Makes me wonder if our small learning discovery about who God is and what God has made was counteracted by the father of lies (John 8:42) to discourage me and make him forget altogether. What a world. But I love this! The Message Bible paraphrases Romans 8:38-39 like this:

I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

That's right.