Friday, March 28, 2008

Boys vs Girls

Maybe I should title this ME with Emma vs. ME with Tyler. I don't really know. What I do know is that I hate potty training. And I say this after having trained Emma in two days (two years ago). She got it pretty well, and I still hated it. Yesterday, Tyler told me he wanted to be potty trained (he's 2 1/2). I have long been thinking about when to potty train him; I've heard boys are hard, so I wanted to wait until closer to 3 years old, but hey, if he's ready he's ready - right? I figured I'd give it a try, but being the type that hates potty training, I wasn't in the mood to do a full-on boot camp. He got to put on his Diego underwear, which he thought were a for-sure fashion statement. He ran around for a while, strutting his stuff and his newfound freedom. I took him in to the potty every 15 minutes, where he would attempt to "push," then would smile at me and say "It isn't working!" I would let him get up, just waiting for an accident.

Sure enough, he ran outside and watered the entire patio. Thankfully he was outside. But I was done and got a diaper. Like I said, NOT IN THE MOOD. However, he enjoyed himself, wet underwear and all, and decided he needed to try on a pair of Lightning McQueen ones. As soon as he watered our carpet (as well as Lightning McQueen), I threw him in the shower and we were back to diapers. Maybe in a few weeks I'll get motivated to really push it, but right now just isn't the time (especially with an upcoming move).

So my question for those with potty trained boys: Is there something I need to do differently this time because he's a boy? To me it is NOT WORTH it to "potty train" him if he's going to have lots of accidents and be halfway trained. I want him to be like Emma was! I know that's asking a lot, but should I wait a few months, do a serious boot camp, wait for him to do it himself (likely at 4 years old - gross)? I just want this to be as painless as possible for all involved, including the carpet. I need advice; I'm ready to throw in the towel and we haven't even started yet. Bad sign.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The beach in March

Don't be deceived--it wasn't as warm as it looked (probably 65 degrees). My kids are insane and had to put on their swimsuits and get in the water. Behind the camera was pants and a sweatshirt, shivering.

We headed to Rio del Mar yesterday with some friends from church and it was great fun. While Tyler and his friend ran from waves, I watched from a safe distance. As Tyler got more and more brave, and went further into the water, I took off my sandals and put them aside, and also put my camera aside, ready to run and fish him out at the first sign of a knockover. Sure enough, a huge wave (well, huge to a 2-year old) knocked him flat on his back. I ran and grabbed him quickly, but not before he screamed at the terror and at the temperature of that frigid water! I wasn't thrilled with my pants getting wet, but that's life. I only wished I could have somehow taken a picture before rescuing him. (Is that terrible? It's all about a good picture!) Back on the dry sand, Emma was hysterically BAWLING, thinking Tyler was in some kind of real danger. It's sweet to see her motherliness and protectiveness for her little brother. After that incident, both of them gladly played in the sand for a couple of hours, and I happily took my eyes off the ocean.
Do I need to say how much I love where we live? We spent Easter in Utah, which was a lot of fun. But it's still brown (and white!) there. As we flew home and I saw the bright, vibrant green colors as we prepared to land, I was so glad to be home. Spencer and I talked about how Utah isn't "home" to him anymore (I don't know if it was ever "home" to me; I was only there 4 years). Now, if we can find a way to afford to buy something more than a 1-room shack here, we'll call this home forever!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

THE HUNT, and then some...

I'm kinda getting sick of the computer (does that ever happen to you?). So I'm going to post a bunch of stuff at once and then be done for a few days. First, we've had a few people interested in what we did for Youth Conference. Our topic was "Your roadmap to the temple, starting with today." So...that involves pretty much everything these kids experience. We took the roadmap aspect literally, and used roadsigns as the analogies. For example, NO HITCH HIKING represents choosing friends (don't "pick up" someone who is dangerous or who will be a bad influence). Lots of them were pretty easy; others were a little harder. I think it went well and we had a great time. Spencer was totally in his element; me...not so much. But I did do all the work. Here's a picture of our visual:

I got the kids' Spring pictures back. I love getting their pictures taken in their Easter clothes. They both did so great and knew if they smiled really nicely they would get a prize. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. I wanted to consolidate all 5 pictures so I made a quick layout. I'm obviously biased but I sure think they're cute.

Lastly, we had Easter Egg Hunt #1 last night, on St. Patrick's Day, funny enough (was it just me, or was St. P's day totally overlooked this year?). Some friends had us over; Tyler was, as always, the only boy, so there were a few sports-themed eggs. Emma made sure he got all of those; I don't know if he picked one egg up himself. And of course it's hard to get good pictures since the kids are so preoccupied with the eggs - yeah right they want to smile for a picture! (these were taken when all eggs were claimed). Happy Easter!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Looking Up

Can I say how nice it is to have a camera after over three weeks of going without?? There were several times over the last few weeks when my kids (mostly Emma) would say "Take a picture of me!" as they were doing something silly, or doing something they considered picture-worthy. I got a "new" camera today (same model; my last one was un-fixable, so they just sent a new one) and I had to take a few pictures of some things I really felt my camera had missed out on. This is one:

Update: It turns out Tyler had hives (?) last weekend and the only thing I can think of that caused his rash/bumps was some strawberries he ate. I've heard that people can often become "temporarily allergic" to strawberries; the "temporary" part makes sense because he's eaten them a ton before. I'm tempted to give them to him again and see what happens, but I'm not quite willing to go there. He was cute about it; he called the red bumps his "spots" and emphatically declared, quite often, "My spots are going away!" Such a positive little bugger, as they totally didn't go away for a few days.

Update: Spencer's car has been fixed already and we think Geico is great (the lady who hit him has Geico, not us, but they sure were prompt). He picks it up tomorrow. Every time we're in a parking lot now, Emma asks if we're going to get hit. Poor girl.

Other than our cala lilies outside, we have lots of other things blooming. Our cherry blossoms bloomed at the end of February (I find that so funny, because Washington DC's cherry blossoms bloom about a month from now), and there are lots of colorful things popping out of my dead-looking plants. Spring is such a wonderful, refreshing, colorful time of year - I just love it.

I'd better hit the sack. Spencer and I are speaking at Youth Conference tomorrow and I've been working on our presentation all week. We're really excited about it, but I'm also a little nervous!! I think a bunch of teenagers can be pretty intimidating.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Bad things come in 3's (?)

Man, we've had rotten luck the last two days. The good news is hopefully the "bad" is done! Ever since I've been married to Spencer, he's frequently told me that bad things come in three's, and so when we hit our third bad thing, everything seems to get better, even if it actually doesn't.

We got some bad news about our house. So, we get to move again! Sure, why not? Why would we ever get to live somewhere for more than a year? I mean, why change our record now? This will be move #9 in the exactly 5 1/2 years of marriage. Thankfully (and hopefully), this will be a pretty "easy" move - at least we're not moving across the country again. Anything is easier than doing that again.

Tyler woke up today with a mysterious bumpy rash. Boy, wouldn't it be nice to have a camera to post his terrible redness, so I could get some advice on here? Yeah, that really would be convenient. But alas, our camera has been in the repair shop for two weeks with STILL no word on it. Lovely. Here's to hoping his bumpy rash is nothing and goes away soon.

Last, Spencer's beloved car got hit today. And of course we were all in it (we took it to Costco since we needed to get gas...can you believe gas is $3.60 here???). It was a minor hit (someone backed into us) with minor damage, but poor sweet Emma was traumatized and through her tears was so worried about the actual car. "Daddy's car is RUINED!" I told her we can get it fixed and it will be just fine soon. We're lucky it wasn't too bad. At least not this time. After about 3 near-hits a week (ALWAYS the other people's fault), it was about time someone finally did it.

So, we're now of the mindset that things will look up. I mean, no one ever says that bad things come in four's, do they? I sure hope not - I don't know much else we can take this weekend. And here's to hoping we get our camera back this next week!

*After this entry, I changed my blog title to reflect the positivity I'm trying to achieve! Hope it works! :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I made this layout for Tyler yesterday. These are pictures of Tyler on our visit to Disneyland/CA Adventure last fall; I took him over to that park for just a few minutes so he could see the "real-life" Lightning McQueen and Mater. The look on his face that day was priceless to me. And the thrill he got from having the honor of "washing" both cars was beyond his wildest dreams!

The whole time I was working on this layout, he kept checking in to see the pictures/images. I'd look over and see him standing there smiling. I think I'll print out a large size and put it up in his room as a sort of pretty much sums up almost everything about sweet Tyler at this fun age.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Rat Race

When we moved here, we heard horror stories about getting kids into kindergarten. We live very close to one of the best Elementary schools in the area, so a lot of people try to move to this area for that reason alone. I guess there were 46 people on the waiting list last year. For kindergarten!! Those unfortunate kids who ultimately don't get in get bussed to another school, sometimes 10+ miles away. I didn't really worry; it was (and is) still a couple years away for me.

So...there's this amazing preschool here that gets rave reviews. All of my friends send their kids there and love it, and supposedly it's a pretty good price ($200/mo). I never went to preschool, and most adults I know didn't go when they were children. Yet, it seems pretty standard nowadays. Anyway, I got the heads up that today was open enrollment day and I should get there a little early because there's always a line of people. I got there about a half hour early and was 7th in line. The whole time I'm thinking, "This is PRESCHOOL, people!" - yet there I was right there with them. Well, it turns out the very first lady in line (who had gotten there at 5:30 a.m.) got put as 1st on the waiting list...somehow the class was already full! By the time I got to the front of the line, Emma was 6th on the waiting list, which they told me means she has a "pretty good shot." Of course my kids weren't keen on waiting in a long line with nothing to do, so by the time we got to the front both of them were in tears, wailing and fighting with each other. This seems to be my life lately. The teacher said, "Do you need a valium?" My response: "Every day of my life." Wow, we sure managed to make a good impression...

When did preschool enrollment turn into such a competition!? I didn't send her this year for that reason. But I see Emma thriving in such a fun, friendly setting. I sure hope she gets in, partly so we get priority enrollment next year for Tyler, and so I can avoid what happened today.