Tuesday, January 27, 2009

chatty kathy

After a really long night of Rachel being apparently scared to be upstairs by herself (we assume because of the monkey dream she keeps talking about), she is very chatty this morning. Here are some snippets of her ramblings:


Who maked the banana? God did?

God made it!

And God made my miiiilk.

God made the monitoooor, and God made me and you and Caaaarly and Daddy too!

And God made everysting! Everypeople!

And I say, "Stank you for my toooooys, stank you for my fooooood."

Made Jesus too!

It's the same person. God and Jesus. It's one person.

God is upstairs.

He stays with me in my beeeed.

And God can say the monkey not come.

God won't let the monkey come. He won't do dat.

God can keep me safe.


More on the sleep-disturbing monkey dream later...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

old news

We got snow last week! Rachel LOVED it [of course]. She even learned how to make a snow angel...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

not exactly

Rachel: Mommy, hey Mommy. Mommy. Mommy.

Mommy (trying to have a conversation with Laurie): Rachel, if you have something to say, you should say, 'Excuse me,' and then wait.

Mommy continues conversation with Laurie.

Rachel: Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me.

Mommy: Yes, Rachel, what is it?

Rachel: Not anything.

Mommy: Honey, you should only say 'excuse me' when you need something.

Mommy continues conversation with Laurie.

Rachel: Excuse me. Excuse me.

Mommy: Yes, Rachel?

Rachel: I need something.

Mommy: And what do you need?

Rachel: Not anything.

Monday, January 12, 2009

new baby, new chart

Saturday night, I started re-reading a lot of articles and testimonials about Elimination Communication. I have a renewed interest now, and I feel encouraged and, well, not as silly, after having read what other mothers have done. I even found one story that sounded just like my experience with Rachel! Anyway, I also felt emboldened to go diaper-free with Carly. But, since that sounds potentially messy, I've decided to just go waterproofless. So, during the day today, she has worn just a cloth diaper with no waterproof cover. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, we have had much fewer misses today! So, for old time's sake, here's the potty chart for today, as of 3:00pm:

Potty Report

peepee 74
poop 31

Wow, babies go a lot. I knew she went often, but not that often! Going cloth, and especially going without the waterproof cover has been very enlightening on that end. Knowing that she wasn't waterproof made me much more attentive to her cues. When she fussed, and I knew she was neither hungry nor sleepy, I took her potty. And she's gone almost every time, even though there was a time or two when she had just gone 10 minutes before. Herein lies my biggest consideration when debating about whether to continue with this EC thing: now that I've seen it, how could I not assume that might be the reason behind any efforts to communicate with me? I am learning her hunger cues, and her sleepy cues, and now her "elimination" cues, and I just don't think I could ignore any of the three at this point. After all, what else does a baby do?? Of course, I'm not right every time, but sometimes I also think she's hungry when she's not, and sometimes I think she's tired when she's not (or, conversely, I don't think she's hungry when she actually is, or that she's tired when she actually is), so it stands to reason that I would miss some of her elimination cues just as easily.

With Rachel, I had a definitive goal to be done with diapers by the time she reached 12 months. I moved the goal to 18 months when we "failed" the first goal, and then I gave up on having a goal at all when she wasn't completely done at 18 months. I felt frustrated as she got older and still had accidents. But, after reading a lot of the accounts from other moms, and now being on the other side of it with Rachel (she's been fully trained by day and night for about 5 months now), I know to consider this a process, and I know that it will just "click" with Carly whenever she is mature enough. I know that I am laying the groundwork for future potty learning, and whether we have more catches or more misses is neither here nor there. It is about learning to communicate with my baby about her basic needs, and setting forth clear expectations so I won't have to re-train her from using a diaper when she's older.

I am totally in love with this concept, in case you can't tell, and there is nothing sweeter than the times I have with just her, holding her little dimpled bottom over the potty and seeing her grin up at me after she's gone. She seems to realize what's happening, but, at the least, I can just assume she likes being bare-bottomed. I'm happy for those gummy grins, whatever the reason.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

who goes there?

Since Carly was born, one thing that has never ceased to make us giggle, even, at times, in spite of ourselves, is walking by one of Carly's contraptions to see it already occupied by one of Rachel's friends.

Monday, January 5, 2009


I did some intentional photography while we were outside this afternoon. When I was writing the last entry, I realized that we didn't have any pictures of the entire swing set, and, worse, we had no after pictures of our back yard! So, here they are (I also added the "after" picture to the post below, for comparison)...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

worth every penny

When the weather was so nice during the fall, I really was wishing we had a decent swingset for Rachel. She had been happily playing on a dinky little toddler slide for a while, but she was really into playgrounds--the slides, the swings...everything about them. Two years ago, I remember how much I wanted a backyard. We own a little over one acre of relatively level land, and it was all woods. I used to rock baby Rachel right by the window in her nursery and gaze out, dreaming of the nice backyard we could have if we could manage to clear the land and have it readied for grass. I must have mentioned it often, because my dear husband, who usually does not pick up on my more subtle hints, got our land-clearing company-owning neighbor to bring over a crew one Saturday, at cost. The trees were gone the same day, and I was SO EXCITED. A couple of months later, we hired a landscape guy to do the minimum--a couple of bare natural areas, some new topsoil, and SEED. Within a few weeks, we had a green, grassy, beautiful YARD! I still can't believe the transition, and I was so happy...until I decided we needed the next thing, I guess--the swingset. Of course, I knew full well that we didn't need it. I managed to even talk myself down from needing the big fancy wood set, knowing that a simple metal set like I had growing up would be all we'd ever need. I was also satisfied to have a used one, but my endless craigslist searches always came up empty. The best deals go gone immediately, while others looked great in the picture, but were no good in person.

But about three months ago, it happened. I found the perfect listing. Priced at $75, we could easily fit it into the budget, and it was a simple wood set that appeared to be in good condition. I suppose since winter was upon us, the set was still available. And we got it!

HOWEVER, it has been sitting, in pieces, ever since. Jarrad has a bathroom remodel ongoing in the house, and I just couldn't ask him to take the time to set up the swingset--I didn't want him to, since I want that bathroom DONE.

But last week, we had some unusually nice weather, and I was so sad it wasn't up for Rachel. So I made a call, and Rachel's Pop came to the rescue. It took him less than a day to get it up and running, and Rachel kept saying, "OHHHHH good STOB, Pop! Stank you!" (Translation: Oh good job, Pop. Thank you.)

Of course, ever since he got it up, it's been either really cold and windy, or raining. This afternoon, though, it seemed to be dry enough and not quite as cold, so Rachel got to play, for the first time, on her very own "playground."

As she was playing, I heard Rachel utter, "Good stoooob, Pop! It's so much fuuuun playing on dis sting!" (Translation: Good job, Pop. It's so much fun playing on this thing.)