"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Not me, I hate snakes

>> Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ever think you have a bad job....this guy has you beat.

I really, really don't like snakes. Something about having to sleep on the ground in Georgia, Texas, and Kansas (don't forget the Mohave, the Arabian Desert and the Coronado National Forest in Arizona). Before setting up camp, we used to drive around the site and bang on the door and make as much noise as we could get away with. One of the Sergeant's Major jobs is to make sure we don't break light and noise discipline, so it was great when the new smaj started helping us. All it took was him seeing us do it and watching the wiggles in the grass. You are focused on the strangest things when you know that you have to sleep on the ground. Odd.

It was several years after I left the Army before I started camping again. Even now, it's hard to break old habits. Though, it is completely different when you can sit around a fire, eat cooked food, and don't have to keep all of your supplies with you at all times. And no one shoots at you, very important that.


Daddy Time

>> Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mommy is helping Merit with BabyGirls's sweet 16 celebration tonight. It's just me and two very tired little girls. And Toby, the 100lbs runt of a Saint Bernard....mustn't forget him. I might hurt his feelings. He would try to hide it, but I know he would be huring deep down inside. The four of us are hanging out on the couch watching a movie.

We just got back from the in-laws where the C-Monster was properly swooned over and B-Bear got to run and run, hop and hop, and play dress-up with her cousins.

Speaking of B-Bear, she was ready today. Mommy and Daddy weren't though. She got up dry; which happens with some frequency, especially when we need to go somewhere. We spent some uneventful time on the potty before showering. Nutten. B-Bear really wanted to wear her big-girl panties and even put them on (twice) correctly, by herself. Since it is an hour and a half drive to the in-laws we put her in her pull-ups and took off.

Big mistake.


Bigger than big.

We are such lousy parents.

No, not putting her in the Dora. That's not it, our big mistake is that we didn't pack a potty seat; not the easy carry version that can be placed over any commode, and not the self-contained unit that we could pull over and have her use it in the privacy and luxury of a highway ditch. This is important, remember that thought.

Bad parents.

Thirty minutes from our destination brings cries of "Poopy Mommy...poopy!" "Pee-pee Daddy!" Cries and tears follow. Whining and tears are so infrequent from her that we know she is serious. I finally find a place to pull over. Silly me, I thought it was to change her...but NOOOOOOO, she was still dry and still letting us know about the impending disaster.

We drive - destination gas-station potty room. This particular small-town Iowa watering hole had a very clean restroom. Several people milling about got to listen to B-Bear's screams as I held her over the commode. She was not happy - NOT HAPPY. She was still dry and did not want to use that particular potty. I packed her up after five minutes because I was afraid that someone would call the cops. She was screaming, crying, pleading and holding on to me for dear life. But she wasn't using the seat for its intended purpose. Bad Daddy, no potty seat means no potty. B-Bear was prepared on the exact day that we need to drive long distances. Bad parents.

This does follow the pattern she has set for herself. She just started eating solid foods one day, out of the blue and on her terms. She didn't spend long in the teeter-totter stumble phase, just seemed to go from crawl to walk (run) one day, just not when we tried to get her to do it. Now this, she is ready for the big girl panties on her terms.

Well, only if we haven't set it back by saying that it was alright that she went in her Dora today. She couldn't hold it all the way there. She was so brave and strong trying though.

We just weren't ready.


Not Diggin' This

>> Friday, December 29, 2006

New Blogger, that is. I switched over and to make changes on the page I had to also upgrade my template. Which is now completely f'ed up. All the nice headings Doug had disappeared. I was able to pull all my faves into a category- but now they don't open in a new window. And the widgets have me completely confused. How can I make changes to the damn linklist? I thought this was supposed to be easier. It's not.

I have to visit the recycling center today. I tried to return an Explorer full of cans and bottles on Wednesday but the parking lot was full of cars and trucks waiting their turn. Waiting was not an option with the girls.

Tomorrow is our final family gathering. I need to buy my dad a gift; probably one that he can share with his wife. I know my sister got him a restaurant gift certificate; I'll probably take the same route.

Tomorrow night I'll be helping with Baby Girl's Sweet 16 party. I know that it's tomorrow and I know where- kind of. I still haven't been informed of the time. In preparation for that, and since Caelan is still refusing a bottle I thought we would try baby cereal mixed with breast milk and served on a spoon. Strike two. Or strike 3 if you count that she refuses a pacifier- even if I put sugar on it. No foolin' her. I'm out. Game called for limited participation.


Mommy Time

>> Thursday, December 28, 2006

Caelan is napping and Brenna is in her room probably not napping. I should have an hour in which to do things that A) I want to do or B) I need to do without "help" from Brenna. I have no idea how much will actually get accomplished.

So, has anyone else almost chucked Blogger over for another blog provider during the change-over? I almost went to Type Pad. Unfortunately Type Pad is not free. And I'm pretty frugal when it comes to this blogging stuff. I really don't want to pay for what I can get for free. Ya hear that, Type Pad... Why buy the milk, ya know?

I want to make changes to the template but am not sure how to go about it. I want to have the blog set up on one side for my stuff and the other side for Doug's. I'm not seeing any templates that have two sides so I suppose I will have to make one. If Meritt Can do it I suppose I can figure it out. Right? (I hear crickets chirping.) Yeah, I'm not sure I can do it either. So if things look really bad or if we completely disappear over the next few weeks you know that I really screwed something up.


I'm In!

>> Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Getting myself switched to new Blogger sucked. Oh, I got Doug switched OK, it was my account that was getting blocked at every turn. I was ready to tell Blogger where to put their "new" stuff and take myself over to Typepad. Still not sure that I won't.

For all of you DOug fans out there I did notice that he is working on a couple of posts. Not that I am promising anything but there are a couple of drafts with highly political overtones- just in case you've been missing what this blog was built on.


The Day After

>> Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ahhh... The day after Christmas. So much to clean. So many boxes to crush, so much garbage to go out. Although comparing our garbage to our neighbors it would seem that we had a far more humble Christmas. We all received plenty of goodies but some people just do so much more than we do. But, as I've said many times (and you can probably say it with me), we're not gifty people.

Caelan is napping and I put Brenna in her bed to do the same thing. I know she isn't napping as I heard the CD change but she is being quiet and staying in her room which is all I really require. Just a bit of mommy time.

Blogger keeps telling me to change to Beta, which isn't Beta anymore but "New Blogger". As Doug set up this account I need to have him change it and make me the head honcho of these parts. I could probably do it- I think I know his password. *hehe*

I'll put up Christmas photos later. So much to do now... I'm just procrastinating because I'm not really sure where to begin!


Merry Christmas! Don't Sell Your Pampers Stock

>> Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas to everyone who has the time or inclination to be out in cyber land!

It is 4:38am and I am hoping that I am just taking a little break from sleeping and am not up for the day. Presents probably won't be opened for another 4 1/2 hours as Brenna doesn't "get" Christmas yet and won't be clamoring for daddy to get out of bed at some ungodly hour.

I remember when I was young; my parents had a hard and fast rule that we could wake them until 6 am. I can remember my siblings and I sitting, waiting as the clock ticked (tick, tock, tick, tock) toward that magical hour. It moved so slowly. And then, once 6 o'clock had arrived, we had to wait for them to get coffee and tea, wait for my mom to put the homemade cinnamon rolls in the oven. I think that must be one of the great joys of parenthood- the slow torture of your children on Christmas morning.

And now for something completely different.

Yesterday's potty training was not so messy. In fact, there was only one accident all day. The morning went off without a hitch. Well, without anything actually. Brenna has control. Oh, yeah, does she have control. No accidents but no action on the potty, either. Nothing, in fact, until we put her in a Easy Up for naptime. She was wet within 5 minutes. So we changed the "Dora" (we call it a Dora because the Easy Up has Dora the Explorer on it) and put her down to nap. Which is a whole nother story as there was no napping taking place. Let's call it quiet time, shall we, as Brenna plays, quietly, in her room because she knows that if she is too loud I will come up and try to make her sleep.

Anyway, after quiet time she is put back into her big girl panties. We have a timer set for 20 minutes- wheter she needs to go or not we make a trip to the potty. Shortly after one of our potty times Doug sees Brenna squat- and rushes her to the potty. She is not too messy, surely there is more to come... But, no, there's that control again. Nothing else escapes. Until we prepare to leave for Christmas Eve church service and put a Dora on again. Oh, she knows when she's safe, my friends, she knows.

We will try some more today as I am a glutton for punishment but I may have to concede this battle. Brenna is a formidable opponent, one I will have to outwit and outlast. Think of it like Survivor: Potty Edition.


Day 1

>> Saturday, December 23, 2006

I know that everyone- OK just TKW, but she's an important chickie- is interested in how day 1 of operation "Big Girl Panties" progressed.

Well, I can tell you that it didn't really go quite as I planned. When I made the big potty plans I completely forgot that we had family portraits scheduled this morning. Here is my beautiful family:

Here's how Caelan felt about all the picture-taking:
Adorable, isn't she?

Here's Brenna posing:

And here is my bestest present:

So we had a great photo session and yummy ice cream while we waited for our photos to print. Mmmmm....

Then back home we came. Of course it was nap time when we got here so everyone headed off to bed. After naps Doug took Brenna and headed out to do his Christmas shopping (the first chance he's had in 20 days).

Our first chance for big girl panties didn't come until 5:30 this evening. Just getting Brenna into the panties was a production. No matter how fun they are to play with putting them on is something else all together.

We've had one wet pair of drawers so far. And now, since it's bedtime, I guess we're done for today. I'm pretty sure Brenna didn't learn anything today as Doug grabbed her as soon as she wet herself. Me, I want her to be uncomfortable.

Ahh, tomorrow is another day.

Update: So, the stairs we trekked to get the girls to bed. Brenna & I are in the bathroom cleaning a humidifier; Doug is cuddling Caelan. Water is running. Need I say more? Now answer me this: I sit the girl on the potty with water running & get no results. She stands beside me with water running and pees through her drawers. **sigh**


Let The Games Begin!

>> Thursday, December 21, 2006

Three Days. I figure that's enough time.

Yep, Famous Last Words. I know. I am knocking on the wooden table, pounding on it, actually, as I type them.

Last night whilst shopping for dog food, packing tape and gifts for the girls from their grandparents (and other assorted items that weren't on my list but ended up in my cart) I decided that this weekend was THE WEEKEND. Doug will be home. We have no place to be for the majority of the weekend. It Is TIME!


Tweleve pair of Big Girl Panties. The games begin Saturday morning. Bets are being taken in the comments section. Who will prevail? How long will it take for one team to break? Choose your day (1, 2 or 3) and time by the hour. Whoever guesses the closest "first potty time" (meaning Brenna says she has to potty and makes it) or "mommy's breaking point" gets an amazing prize! Bet early, bet often!


Classic Liberalism vs. Today's

>> Wednesday, December 20, 2006



Jolly Old St. Nicholas

This morning I loaded the girls into the truck and trekked to the mall with the bestest Santa. Real hair, real beard, real belly. Probably really diabetic, but what can you expect with all those cookies he eats?

We picked up Doug at work and enjoyed a nice family outing. Which included the family getting in the picture. Brenna wasn't getting too close to the Jolly Fat Man this year. No how, no way. In fact she wasn't too keen on having her picture taken. Which is why my mouth is wide open as I am talking to the guy behind the camera who played peek-a-boo to get Brenna to smile.

Santa tried to get Brenna to warm up to him. He had a lot of time as the camera people were busy with a previous customer- something about getting more pictures from a previous setting. The Big Guy tried everything- reading, showing her reindeer, asking her what she wanted for Christmas. Nothing worked. She clung to Daddy like her life depended on it. Caelan, on the opposite end of the spectrum, didn't fuss a bit.

As we were leaving Santa asked me what I wanted this year. Before the words stainless steel Kitchen Aid mixer could come out of my mouth I said "I have everything I want." Yeah, I know, gack. But I meant every word.

Since we were at the bestest mall in the area (despite what my sister and SIL say) I stopped in Godiva for a couple of bribery chocolates for Brenna (Chocolate Santas- 2 for $1.65) so we could run through a couple of shops. And I saw the loveliest treat for me. A large macaroon half-dipped in chocolate. Bliss! It was like sin dipped in chocolate and coated in more sin. Joyous goodness. Thankfully they only had one- I could have easily overdosed if they had more.

Still thinking about that coconut goodness when I got home I did the only logical thing: I emailed Meritt to see if she had a killer macaroon recipe. I. MUST. MAKE. THESE! Ohhh, I shudder to think of them resting helplessly on waxed paper... The cookies cooling... The chocolate hardening... Completely unaware that I am going to dine on their delectable goodness... Ahhhh...


And All I Got Was This Lousy T Shirt

As I mentioned in Monday's post Doug has been working fro 2 1/2 weeks straight without a day off. He found out yesterday that he will be out the door of his office on Friday no later than 5 pm and won't go back until Tuesday. We are, understandably, very excited that we get him here at home for three whole days.

But back to all those billable hours...

Yesterday Doug's boss brought him this:

Hmmm... So he worked 2 1/2 weeks straight and all he got was a lousy bunny. Too funny! (Brenna has claimed the bunny.)

In all seriousness he was glad they recognized his work.


One Week Left

>> Monday, December 18, 2006

OK, all you procrastinators, you have one week to find the perfect gift. One week to live up to all the expectations your loved one has. Or, in my case, one week to make some sort of gift list. Yes, I know what you're thinking, "Jody always says that they aren't gifty people." Well, we're not. But there are a couple of things under the tree for Doug from the girls and he wants me to have something to open. I suppose I should get on that...

As for my shopping... Other than a gift card to round out a present I am done. Unless you count the presents I need to buy for the girls from Doug's dad & his wife. They sent stockings and a check. My first reaction is to just put the money in the bank... Lord knows the girls don't need anything. But I am sure that is not what the grandparents had in mind... So I am going to use half the money for gifts and put the other half in their savings accounts.

Other stuff... Hmmm... Like Meritt I had a lot of baking planned. Unlike Meritt I haven't purchased all the supplies. Which is a very good thing as I have no time to bake. I'm just gonna go to her house and beg for cookies.

Wednesday the girls get to visit Santa. Ahhh, good times. I'm sure at least one local school will be out. Maybe I can see the mall police bust someone again.

Brenna will get to visit her favorite babysitter Thursday. Yep, she's off to see Nature Girl- Meritt's daughter- so I can finish that tiny bit of shopping I have left. Caelan, of course, will go with me as handing her over lately has caused her to display her prominent pout:

And she's still not taking a bottle. Luckily the mall I need to visit has nursing rooms.

Doug is brain dead right now. How do I know? He's watching How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. TiVo recorded it and I guess it is just mind-numbing enough for him. Tomorrow will be his 16th straight day of work. He put in 66 billable hours last week. At his hourly rate that's nothing to sneeze at but we miss him here at home. It's looking like Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be his only days off until the 31st. I forsee a lot of vegging and movie watching.


Up Before The Sun

>> Friday, December 15, 2006

It's shortly after 6am and I am on my second cup of tea. I am considering making my usual breakfast of a fried egg with cheese on whole grain bread as I am beginning to feel hungry. Caelan was up at 5 which isn't too bad when you consider that she went to sleep shortly ater 9pm.

I actually enjoy being up early. I like to see the sun creep around the edges of the landscape before it makes it's grand entrance. I like the calm peacefulness that you only get before everyone has begun to move. I like the fresh feeling a new day brings when you see it come in.

And then the coffeemaker begins grinding, the dog wants out and the baby needs changing. The idyllic charm my day was taking on is shattered. Ah, you can't stop the day once it has begun.

Be sure to check out the post below- lots of pictures for those in need of a Brenna or Caelan fix!


Just Another Day

>> Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ah, here we are again, in the basement watching Cars, Brenna cheering at "the big race" and Caelan asleep in her swing.

I was lucky enough to shower today while Brenna was in her room not napping. I changed out of a tank top and flannel pj bottoms into a clean tank top and linen pj bottoms. My daily uniform unless I have to appear in public.

I really don't have anything worth talking about. Well, other than getting the "guilt" Christmas card from the grandma mentioned in the post below. Ugh. I would really like to just let this go.

I've been taking lots of pictures of the girls lately. Brenna is doing some funny stuff and Caelan is growing like a weed. So I will bribe you with precious photos and you will leave me a nice comment. C'mon, we get about 70 different people through here daily. And I rarely get more than 3-4 comments. So let's just call it your Christmas present to me- leave a comment.

Here we see Brenna modeling the latest in winter wear. The Christmas Tree hat. Actually it's a crocheted decoration my grandmother gave me a few years ago. It has a cone shaped base, which Brenna removed.

Yep, I can just see it; she will be the one with the lampshade on her head at college parties. I should send her to TKW for hints on photo ops to avoid...
We are still having bottle issues. Meritt can back me up on that as she tried yesterday. Here we have Caelan content and making faces at mommy.
And here she is moments later after mommy attempted to give her a bottle. How dare I attempt such a heinous act!
Here is Brenna helping Daddy put up decorations. I had hoped to catch her unaware but she turned at the last minute, caught me in the act and said, "Cheese, mommy, cheese!"
Caelan has learned that pulling the fish makes the lights and music work on her swing.
We have upgraded to the exersaucer. Caelan needs a bit of propping but she seems to enjoy it.
OK, you're here at the bottom of the post. Leave me a nice comment. :)


Traditions and Such

>> Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Today is one of those days that I wish I had a private blog so I could just bitch. Thing is I have so little time I have trouble maintaining this blog I can't even think of adding another. So I will take my bitching down a notch to complaining.

Every family has their traditions. Yours may be "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" or gathering on Christmas Eve. Your traditions may have changed as you got married and began your own family.

Right now we are experiencing "Traditional" growing pains. Both Doug & I still have grandparents on both sides of our family; two grandmothers for him, one grandmother and one complete set for me. We do our best to see everyone during the year and try really hard for the holidays. For the most part it works. Most festivities are not held on the actual holiday. Except one. One grandmother has the Christmas gathering on Christmas Day.

This has caused a problem as we spend Christmas Day at home. I made the mistake of pointing out that it isn't "always on Christmas Day"- last year it was on Friday the 23rd- and got the reply of, "It IS always on Christmas Day and it works for everyone. We aren't going to change it for you." Ouch. I didn't ask that it be changed; I only said that Christmas Day doesn't work for us as we are building our own traditions. (Plus we have two small children and live 2 hours away. Hmmm, leave by 3- interrupting nap time- to be there at 5, leave at 8 - to be home at a "decent" time-, have kids fall asleep in car to be awakened at 10 when we get home and then fight to get them back to sleep. I don't think so.)

Anyway, now we are the "bad guys" who are ruining Christmas. That bothers me as I truly want to please people. But my "bite my ass" side is coming out. Next year we will skip the drawing of names and I will just announce, to everyone at the same time, that Christmas Day is for our family, at home, safe from snowy roads and holiday drivers.

Then I can get the cut direct- the cut by phone annoys me.


Connection Issues

>> Monday, December 11, 2006

And for once it's not Blogger!

Our router seems to be having problems and our connection times out. Often. I am having to load each page three times, on average, which makes it nearly impossible to check or reply to email or to comment on any blogs.

We spent almost an hour on the phone with tech support. Of course English was this person's second language and her accent was very thick. And we could tell that she was following a script; she didn't seem to have any real knowledge. And our problem remains unresolved.

Our router is a DSL router provided by the company so we can't just replace it- which is what needs to happen. Even I can tell that. Unfortunately our "techie" placed blame on our computer. Ummm, that means that all the computers are the problem... I doubt that 5 computers, all different makes and types developed the same problem at the same time. It's not like they are female and their cycles all coincide after a while.

Ugh. So, you will probably notice me lurking about until this problem is resolved. Don't take it personally. It's not you... it's me.


Third Ring of Hell... Or Something Like It

>> Friday, December 08, 2006

I have been awake since about 4:30 surfing the net for anything that will help me to get Caelan to take a bottle.

You would assume that by now- 6am- I would have lots of info. Not so much. For some reason the wireless connection is spotty and keeps dropping every time I try to load a page. Every. Time.

So I have only a few bits of useful info. Well, info, anyway. Not sure how much is useful.

**Warm the nipple. OK, logical, we'll give that a go.
**Nipple X, Y, or Z works best. Ummm, got 'em all. I don't think it's the nipple; I think it's that it's not mommy's nipple.
**Hold baby in a different position. Again, logical, I'll try it.
**Don't wait until baby is hungry. Been there, done that.
**If baby refuses milk- and it's breast milk, not nasty formula, just so you know- try apple juice. Hmmm, ok. I'm willing to do about anything.
**One site even recommended a sippy cup.

So, "why the worry now?", you wonder. Well, here's the deal. We have been working to get Caelan to take a bottle for about two months now. Granted, we haven't been working at it all that hard because I am readily available and, honestly, it is just easier to nurse than to listen to her scream.

And for those of you ask such a silly question (and I can only assume that you are childless) let me just say that last night I was showering (with Brenna because A) she needed to bathe and B) showering doesn't happen alone if she can hear the water running) and left Caelan with Daddy. When we exited the shower I could hear the screaming. Clearly. She was two rooms away. When I finally got Brenna dried, lotioned and dressed for bed and got myself to her, Caelan was lobster-red, shaking and so thoroughly pissed off that she would stop nursing so she could vent her frustrations.

But back to the "why". Tomorrow is scrapping night- the one night a month that I get away and don't have to wipe messy hands and faces, change poopy diapers, deal with tragedies or any other kid-related stuff for about 7 hours. Plus I get to hang with other adults. You don't know how precious it is.

Doug found out yesterday that he will be on call this weekend. The last time that happened he put in almost 12 hours on Saturday and 9 on Sunday. Not that I am complaining- the money would be quite handy right now. But I am hesitant to inflict Caelan on anyone else.

My mom, bless her, has offered to sit with the girls. And maybe if I am not here Caelan will take a bottle. But I would like to try and make it easier on everyone.

Any suggestions?



>> Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Brenna is currently taking all spoons out of the silverware drawer and very carefully placing them on the coffee table. I'm not really sure of the rhyme or reason of how they are laid out but she is being very meticulous about it.

Now the spoons have migrated to the floor. Oooohh, wait, if you look closely you can find a cheese knife.


Got 'Em!

>> Monday, December 04, 2006


Christmas Joy Begins

>> Sunday, December 03, 2006

Yesterday we pulled all the Christmas decor from the attic above the garage and began the December ritual of decorating. Doug put out the yard ornaments with only two breaks to thaw himself.

Tonight's plans were included a fireplace photo op for the girls and tree decorating. Ahhh, the best laid plans...

We had the girls dressed and ready. We prepared the beanbag prop for Caelan, Brenna jumped on it and didn't want to get off. We removed Brenna, got Caelan situated.... And Brenna refused to sit down again. After trying for a short time with tears, kicking and screaming we decided that we will try again tomorrow. If there is no cooperation I suppose Caelan will appear solo. Look at that smirk.

Tree trimming had to be rethought this year. Breakable ornaments up, kid friendly ornaments down. No glass balls. The tree looks a little bare. Brenna did have fun rearranging "her" ornaments, finding the perfect place.

As for decorating the house... Not so much. The banisters can't be wrapped in evergreen- Brenna uses them when she walks downstairs. Table decorations- if you must ask you have never had a two-year-old.

So I have a half decorated house. I suppose it will be that way for a few years. Maybe when I can decorate fully again I can morph into Meritt.


She May Not Sing the Alphabet Song...

>> Friday, December 01, 2006

In fact Brenna really doesn' t like the alphabet song all that much. BUT she can identify all but 5 letters by sight and make their sounds. I would take credit for that, being as she is just two, but I know that her Learning Leap (HA! Retails for $35. I got it at Target on clearance when Brenna was 6 months old for $9!) and Fridge Phonics deserve most of the credit. I, as the mommy, am just the "helper".

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