Friday, April 7, 2017

Self Starter

Because Norm working 15+ hour days this week due to Masters Week here in Augusta and me being 3 weeks away from giving birth, and dealing with crazy brides at work is apparently not enough, Benjamin decided to take on potty training this week.

We had attempted potty training a few weeks back - his initiative. But we didn't get far, so we went back to full time diapers. This week, however, we are apparently serious about it - good thing because our diaper supply got extremely low for a day or two.

Looking into the situation, this is a rough week for all of us, but it really is the best week for potty training because Benjamin has no school and we have pretty much been in the house since last Saturday due to #1 traffic in the city and #2 the fact that managing a toddler in public is pretty much impossible for me at this point in pregnancy. I can do it and will do it, but I will avoid it if I can.

We sort of dove head first into this potty training thing, didn't get to do much reading or research about it (oh no! how are we ever going to make it without reading all the articles and posts on the internet so we know what we are getting ourselves into?). The thing is that Benjamin took the initiative pretty much over night so we just had to run with it. It is so amazing how he is so little and his self-starter, determined, personality already shows.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to his little voice in the monitor:
"pish pish.... bed - pish pish.... bed"
I quickly got up and went in his room to say good morning and see what was happening. The conversation went like this:
F: "Benji do you have to pish pish?"
B: "Yes, mami"
F: "okay, let's go!" as I pick him up from the crib
B: "Mami run! pish pish! Mami run!"

Thankfully we made it to the toilet and he went big pish pish. We sing the pish pish song - which is the Jeopardy tune but instead we say "pish pish pish pish, pish pish pishhhhhhhh, pish pish pish pish pishhhhhhhh pish pish pish pish...." and then do the happy pish pish dance once he's gone.

He doesn't care for any kind of typical reward (candy, sticker, etc), his reward is getting to flush the pish pish down the toilet and rinsing off the little bucket.

The first day we went through about 4 pairs of pants. Today we had no accidents, we even survived at a birthday party with no diaper and going pish pish in another bathroom besides our own.

So proud of this little guy for taking the initiative to get diapers out of the picture (and save us some money) and he is not even 2 years old yet! Not the best of timing, but then again, when is it ever a good time to teach a toddler how to pee in the toilet? I don't think there is one, just have to take what you get and keep it moving.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Swing Swing

When we left our house in Atlanta, one of the things we left behind was the swing set. It was such a tough decision because Benjamin loved that thing - we would spend so much time in the afternoons just swinging and sliding and playing, ever since he was an itty baby. We made the decision to leave it not only as a perk for selling the house quickly (which it did in hours) but also because at the time of the move, we didn't know the size of a yard, if any, we were going to end up with.

A few weeks ago, a friend stopped by to drop off some things, so I showed her around the house. Including the back yard... we discussed how it's an awesome yard and we have so much room for the kids to play, etc. etc. I happened to mention how I was sad we left our swing behind. She immediately tells me that she has a swing at her old house and that it's free for whoever wants to pick it up.

That weekend, Norm went by the house to check it out and we took her up on the offer. A week after that, Norm and a couple of friends from work took a Saturday to disassemble the swing and bring it to our house. The plan was to paint it and put it back together - all in the same day.

However, there was a lot of this:

And more of this:

Then the toddler woke up and made things more interesting:

It got to be night and the swing was half painted and not put together before the friends had to go home. So Norm had to put the swing back together all by himself - which he did a great job of!

Finally the swing is up and we are back to enjoying it almost every day. Benjamin calls it the "swing swing" (which sounds like sfing sfing).

We sing the Swing song that goes:

I want to be on a swing in the sky!
I want to be on a swing way up high!
swing-ing, swing-in so high, swing-ing up in the sky!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Times Like These

We are still adjusting to this new way of life that is a result of Norm's new job and me working from home. Doing things like fixing breakfast on Saturday mornings or spending time outside in the afternoons is something that Norm and I rarely had the opportunity to do before. So now that we are able to do these activities and spend quality family time, we almost have to pinch ourselves to make sure we aren't dreaming as they are taking place.

I know there are many families out there that take times like these for granted because it is "normal". I am almost thankful for all the years when we weren't able to spend times like these, because it's those many many many years that are allowing me to be grateful for today's new life.

Here are some pictures of Norm and  his little helper making breakfast this past weekend. Pretty sure Benjamin (aka Pepe, as he calls himself) was saying "I do, I do, I do" as he flipped that sausage out of the pan. Good catch Daddy Norm!

This next one he probably was saying "stop Daddy, stop Daddy, Pepe do! Pepe do!"


Here he had just finished using the pepper grinder and he was asking for the salt caddy...

Which he didn't get because breakfast sausage does not need salt... it doesn't need pepper either, but he sort of grabbed the pepper grinder in a second and before we knew it was grinding pepper over the pan. It all happened so fast that I couldn't even snap a picture!

Then we also get to play outside chasing Cali and listening to music:

We need to plant some trees...

Monday, February 13, 2017

About to Pop

I have never been one to make small talk with random strangers, unlike my mom who makes "line friends". Yes, "line friends" are exactly that, friends she makes while she is standing in line.

Because I don't care for small talk - I have developed a wall over the past 20-some years to where strangers (usually) won't even talk to me - which is great.

Except for when I am pregnant. Not only does my wall crumble and I can't keep the strangers away, but then I become a (growing) magnet for complete random people to burst out complete random things. For some reason people just cannot control the urge to talk to pregnant women.

Twice in one week, I've received the same comment: "Girl, you look like you are about to POP!". Which grant it, I do look like I am about to pop. But I am 5' 2" and have a small frame, where do people want my baby to go if it's not out in front of me?
29 weeks down - 11 more to go
But why would anyone in their right mind think/feel that is an appropriate thing to say to anyone? I do have to admit that both women have followed their magnificent conversation starter with "when are you due" and when I calmly answer "the end of April" their jaws dropped and they became speechless... which then became a double win for me as I carried on. 

Why can't folks be like the lady I encountered the other day at a restaurant (as I was getting ready to stuff my face with these burgers). She came up to me and said "Honey, when are you due?" so I answered. She then asked "do you know if you are having a boy or a girl?" so I answered. Then she smiled really big, pointed to a man across the restaurant and said "my husband told me you were having a boy by the way you are carrying your belly! You look beautiful! Best of luck, have a blessed day" and off she went. 

That I didn't mind. But if I get one more "you look like you are about to POP", I just may pop them right then and there.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Refreshing Work

Since October, Norm has been working here, which has been a breath of fresh air for us. It is amazing how this summer he was unemployed and we had been praying for the longest time to find a job that allowed more family time because for the past several years (all of our working lives) he has worked 60+ hour weeks in very taxing and draining environments. This new job was going to be our opportunity to reset so many buttons both for our family, our relationship and his role as a father to Benjamin.

Suddenly in August we found out we were expecting, which we had said a little while back that if we were ever blessed with another baby, we would need to consider relocating closer to family. That same week, he came across an instructor job at this school, in Augusta.

Everything happened quickly and before we knew it we were living with my Mom, I was working full time from home driving to Atlanta once a week because I was still able to keep my job here and we were getting to spend weekends together, something that has never happened (on a regular basis) since Norm and I have known each other - over 16 years.

Last weekend, the school inaugurated a teaching garden in partnership with a local church and with these folks. So we were there at 9:00am, in 35 degree weather, planting fruit trees, greens, blackberries, blueberries and all sorts of fun things... the best part is that we brought Benjamin with us and he had a blast, our little green thumb farmer.

It is so refreshing to be able to do things, like volunteering, as a family and to work for a cause that's much greater than making the rich boss even richer.
First set of volunteers deciding where to plant the trees

Evaluating the hole for the dwarf apple tree


Perfect helper

Like Father.. like Son...
neither can keep his eyes open

Finding ladybugs

Looking for more ladybugs on his own

Helping George plant his tree in the swampy part

Thursday, February 9, 2017

It is Genetic

I vividly remember when Juan must have been about Benjamin's age and we were out at dinner when he took off his pacie, dipped it in ketchup and put it back in his mouth. And repeated it.

Benjamin has been liking ketchup for a bit now, but the other morning he blew our socks off. Norm had finished feeding him breakfast, put him down from his high chair and went upstairs to grab the shoes so they could go to school.

When he came back downstairs, he found this:

Benjamin had reached the ketchup off the table, opened the cap, squirted a perfect squirt on his tray, closed the cap and was eating ketchup with his finger. He was as happy as ever. 

Some people will criticize that he shouldn't be eating "that junk", but belonging to the family that he belongs to, ketchup actually holds a very high place for us. I am convinced it is genetic. Ketchup is that one staple that you will always find in our house. We may be out of meat, out of pasta, out of butter, but never out of ketchup. Besides, he could be eating pop-tarts and drinking lemonade for breakfast... 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Re-decorating the House

Finally pretty much all of our home decor has found it's place, except for the stuff that needs to go up on the walls...

The other day I came home and I noticed that the little ceramic bowl I had put on the console table was missing. I texted Norm to see if he had moved it. He said no - he actually had no idea what I was talking about (great). Later that day I saw my mom and asked her if she had moved it - she said no. I immediately dismissed Cali because she would have just knocked the bowl down and broken it. So by default, the only other person that could have moved it, besides me and it wasn't me, was Benjamin, but why would he move it? and where would he have taken it?

This is where I had put the ceramic bowl:

Confused as ever, I shrugged it off to pregnancy brain and kept on with my day. A couple of hours later, I noticed that something didn't belong in the kitchen cart. It was the ceramic bowl.

Apparently Benjamin didn't think the bowl belonged with the picture frames, so he relocated it to be with the other ceramic plates and bowls. At least it makes logical sense.

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2015

Family Picture 2015

Christmas Picture 2011

Christmas Picture 2011

Family Picture 2009

Family Picture 2009
Thanks for reading! Come back Soon!