Sunday, February 21, 2010

Poop to Vegas

it's been a week and two days since my last poop-related incident. so here's our newest one.

we left for vegas on friday morning. the whole fam- chris, lily, topher and myself in our minivan, jeehon, james, and sungu in theirs. we were on our way to vegas for our 3rd annual family trip in vegas. YES. three years straight of being in las vegas. which is surprisingly a lot family-friendlier than you think. BUT, we are putting an end to these trips to vegas cause, well, it's been three years. we just don't need to come here anymore! seen it all, done it all. (at least, especially after chris and i go to see the lion king tonight!)

so, we left at about 10:30am. the van was packed, the portable dvd players were in position, snacks, drinks, and portable potty were all readily available. yes, chris brings the potty with him whenever he goes out with the kids now. it's really eased his mind with longer drives, especially with topher. he continues to wow us with his potty training abilities. but truth be told, the kid stil can't go more than two days without an accident. oh well. he'll probably really smarten up when he turns two next month.

i give my hubby some serious props for being a hard-core potty-training dad! topher is always in undies when he is with his dad. and so he was in undies on our way up to vegas. this was ok with me cause i had just ordered waterproof car seat covers by Nomie Baby (i will write a real review later. heads up: did NOT like em.) it did it's job, protecting topher's car seat from his pee, but otherwise, i am not fond of my purchase.

on to the poop- we had already pulled over once to let everyone pee on the potty. except only topher peed- even though he had already peed in his pants. it was kinda too cold for lily, with the wind tunneling through the van as she tried to relax enough to let the urine flow. it didn't happen, but she also didn't have an accident for the whole ride, so whatev. needless to say, we had to stop again about an hour later though. something was starting to really smell foul, and we suspected our littlest watson. fortunately after the whole soiling-his-car-seat-undies-and-pants incident from the previous hour, i put a Pull-Up on him. Great move. GREAT move.

we pulled over to the side of the road. chris focused his attention on the lilster, and i had my sights set on mr. poopy pants. how convenient for you chris! topher had a turd in his trousers (that just sounds like a great sentence. but the turd was really in his diaper.) and so i cleaned that up. lily had a seriously monstrous pee. and then topher said he still had to poo. so he sat on the potty and dropped a steamer. good job son! chris is usually really good about how he disposes of the kids' waste product. when he is out with them, he usually tries to stop in a neighborhood, and then dump the potty remnants into thos waste buckets for when you are getting rid of your dog's poops that you have scooped. but we were in a hurry, so 'someone' actually dumped the dump on the road beside our car. 'someone else' was not very happy about the decision, but the deed had already been done, so what could you do?

we strapped the kids back into their seats. gave everyone high fives for a job well-done, and proceeded to drive away. as we started driving merrily along the highway, chris said he was pretty sure we had rolled over topher's poop. and that's what you get for not listening to your wife, or 'someone else', who had originally advised to throw the turd out on the passenger side of the car, not the drivers' side. and that's our poopy tale on our way up to our wonderful family vacation.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


we went to the zoo again today, and it was so perfect! for those in toronto- you might not want to read this part- but it was about 24 degrees celsius (75ish for you americans) and we were out in t-shirts, flip flops, and shorts. sometimes i want it to be colder, and most of the time i try to keep my mouth shut and enjoy the amazingness that is 'winter' in arizona!

all the animals were out and about, saying 'hi' to the kids, eating their food, etc. only the cheetahs didn't get the memo that my kids were going to be at the zoo today, so they slept through the whole thing. punks. but these chimps were sitting right by the glass, loving each other, staring into each other's eyes, and eating the bugs off of each other's heads. that's true love. so sweet and pure. and kinda gross. but still beautiful.

a terrible family shot- but a family shot nonetheless! some guy actually grabbed my camera and told us to say cheese. it was shockingly quite nice of him as he saw me trying to get a bunch of random shots of the kids and the chimps, chris and the chimps, chris and the kids and the chimps. here we have us, and i don't think you can see the chimps. but my hair looks like crap, so whatev.

is lily a daddy's girl? or is chris lily's slave/putty in her hands?

our kids LOVE the carousel.

topher on the carousel. this may be gross to you- for his face to be smooshed on a bar that lots of dirty kids' hands have been on. but it doesn't phaze me cause earlier he was licking the fence where the flamingos were at. yikes.

lily, excited to be on the carousel, but even more excited to have daddy's hand to hold. and yes, chris is putty in lily's hands.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy, and Cheap Valentine

chris and i had our cheapest, and greatest valentines weekend!

we had relatively cheap babysitting for our date on saturday night. the high school fundraiser would have allowed us to pay $10 for 4 hours of baby sitting for the two kids. fortunately for the high school kids, chris was in a generous mood so he gave more than that.

we proceeded to black angus for our 'romantic dinner'. of course, it was all-star weekend, so we actually sat next to each other in a booth, and watched steve nash win the skills competition (yeah steve!), channing frye make a strong attempt in the 3-pointer competition (paul pierce was a little too awesome though), and we left in time for the boring dunk competition (which used to be my favorite part of all-star weekend. i will not watch this event EVER AGAIN if nate robinson is in it. you're short, and you can dunk. great. let's move on!!!!!) dinner was only cheap cause 1.we had an awesome coupon 2.we had an even more awesome gift card wasn't actually valentines day!

when we left the restaurant it was already 9ish. we dropped the kids off at 6:45, and we had to get them by 10:30. it was too late to watch a movie, but it was WAY too early to go get the kids. so we went to target! i had already gotten the kids a card with a chocolate lip stuck to the front. $.99 each. but we ended up getting them some Dora & Diego chocolates too. (dora and diego are the kids bestest friends right now. look for them to show up on some birthday cupcakes next month!!!) we still spent a ton less money this year on the kids than we did last year, and last year they REALLY didn't have any idea what valentines day was.

even though chris hate shopping, he was a GREAT sport about walking around target. we ended up getting him a running 'belt' that holds water, his mp3 player (oh yeah, we also got him new ear phones that are more 'runner friendly'), and has a pocket for his 'Gu'. he is becoming a seriously hard core runner. it's gross and amazing all at the same time. i got a pair of clearance slippers for the house. and we bought some batteries. cause you can NEVER have too many/enough batteries when you have two toddlers.

we ended up picking the kids up at about 10, which was good cause they were still awake and running around! they love hanging out at church, which is great news for us, cause they are there a lot. we had a great date and were happy with our new purchases and low-key 'sexy-for-people-with-kids' date.

the next day, valentines day, i made blintzes- chris' favorite breakfast meal. topher stole every single berry off of my plate, and his dad's too. then we went to church. took naps when we got home. then went to barb's house to hang out with some of her friends who had come for a visit from oregon. when we got home we had some chocolate-dipped strawberries and relaxed after a weekend full of activity. we are all about having valentines day being a day that is super-family friendly, so that the kids don't ever feel sad or ostracized from this made-up holiday.

i have been 'alone' for about 24 out of my 29 valentines days (yeah, that guy i 'on and off' dated for 7 years managed to never spend a valentines day together!), and though being 'alone' never actually depressed me, valentines day just wasn't really something that i ever looked forward to. we want the kids to look forward to the day as another time to get showered with love, family-fun times, and some treats too!

one of the 'treats' that chris and i are constantly working on is having the healthiest marriage we can! we don't date as often as we would like, but valentines day does give us an extra excuse to carve out some time for one another and to get a cheap date in, either the day before or after the 14th. though never on! it doesn't matter if cards or presents are involved, it really is the thought and effort that goes into the whole thing. and chris' effort went into hanging out at target for over an hour, and having a great time all the while!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

wowed by a four year old

today the high school kids at church put on a fundraiser to allow parents to drop off their kids so they could go on a day date, or a night date. they had tons of people sign up and needed help watching the kids. so i signed up to get a date, and to give dates. i just got home a little while ago so i need to make this fast, before 1. my kids wake up from their naps 2. i forget the amazing conversation i had with a 4 year old while i waited to wipe her butt.

so i hung out in the nursery today, but the 4 year olds classroom needed an extra helper for 5 minutes. so i volunteered. i wasn't in that classroom for more than 3 minutes when a little girl was talking about how she wasn't able to wipe her own bum and that she needed her mom to help her, and so she was wondering out loud when her mom might come back. not for another hour and a half, at least. but i told her i could help her and she was delighted. as were the other volunteers who were too young to take kids to the bathroom. super.

so i go to the bathroom with this little girl. she plops on the toilet and begins to talk:
"i cannot wipe my own bum. my mom always has to help me. except when she is taking a nap. maybe i will be able to wipe my own bum when i am five. or ten. you know when i am sick with a cold, or a feber (fever, i think she meant), or a stomach ache, i have really icky poos. but do you know what helps you get better when you are sick?"

"what?" i ask her. and am amazed that she is allowing me to speak. also please note that this little girl is german and has the faintest little german accent. it's so cute i want to throw up on her. and her poop is starting to get stinky so i really want to throw up on her. fortunately i am a professional mom, and poops don't get me the way they get guys when they have to deal with other people's 9read: their own off-spring's)poos, even though they (the dads) have the dirtiest poos of all. look i have diahrea mouth just like the 4 year old!

back to her question, which was 'do you know what can fix you if you are sick?'
"God can fix you." she says proudly. wow! that's awesome. this girl really knows what's going on.

"do you know what else can fix you? soup." again- wow!...

she continues: "my mom has a book of soup. it tells her what to put in it. there are other things in there. recipes. i don't like them. except for the one for pizza, and spagedi, and french fries. i have a friend, heather, and he (yes, she said 'he') and he just eats them up! he loves french fries. they are really good, ya? (think german people!)

"did you know I have 4 panty hose and 1 pair of stockings at home?"

"no." i honestly answer her, i really did not know that.

"i come to church every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday." (this is probably how she knows God and soup heals all ailments at such a young age.)

i ask her if she is part of the mom's group that meets on Tuesdays.

"no. i am not allowed to be a part of that my mum says. i have to go to the classrooms. that's a pretty bush," she says, noticing the fake TREE that is in the corner of the bathroom. (let's keep this pure people!)

we get interrupted by another little kid who needs to use the bathroom, and i did not lock the door.

"you should have locked the door," she tells me. not at all embarrassed that someone walked in on her on the can. i apologize.

"like, you should lock the door now." i've just been scolded by a 4 year old who has her skirt around her ankles.

"so, how do they have a bush growing inside? wow. i am noticing some glitter on your shoes. (there's no glitter on my running shoes, but i thank her all the same.) i love glitter. (she is wearing VERY glittery shoes) but i am missing some glitter right here (she points to the toes of the shoes that truly have no glitter left on em.) i had tennis shoes when i was 3 years old (she puts up 3 fingers for emphasis), but i grew out of them you know. i have some leotards at home. wow, i really like that bush."

finally she stops to breathe.

"are you all done with your poops?" i finally manage to ask. we've been in there for almost five minutes.

"yes!" i didn't know she was capable of one word answers.

"do you want to try to wipe your own bum?" i ask her. hopeful.

"no, you do it. you know, always always always sometimes my mum has to wipe my bum. and sometimes my dad does it. i can't wipe my bum by myself. i can't wait till my hair grows and is not in my face any more. i am tired of my hair in my face all the time."

wow. i have now wiped her tush. and i have looked in the toilet to see the biggest bowel movement come out of a child. seriously, there is the largest family of deuces sunk to the bottom of the toilet. (of course there were skid marks at the bottom of the toilet after we flushed.)this kid really had a lot of stuff to unload! physcially and verbally.

we wash our hands and exit.

wow. that is the most information i have ever received in a five minute period.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Small Business: Chris Fleck, Plumber Extraordinaire

i feel kinda bad cause i have tons of pics of my other small business friends that i am plugging today. i unfortunately do not have any pics of chris fleck. the man who saved us million$$$$$... ok. thousand$$$.

two weeks ago we had an issue with one of our rental houses. apparently the cold water wasn't really working. so chris (mine) got to calling some plumbers. he called a company that he had heard advertised on the radio. they said it would cost $40 for someone to come out and look at the issue. just to LOOK. 'ok' we said.

so the guy comes out and Looks. then he calls us and tells us something happened with our water softner, and it blew pellets through the pipes and we had to replace everything. for $2,800. yikes. and then the guy said we owed him $70. we said 'no'. his company quoted us $40, so we paid them $40. don't know what the extra $30 was about. still don't. and now i don't care.

then barb suggested we call this guy- chris fleck. he used to be the superintendant of plumbing for Pulte Homes, one of the major housing developers in arizona. but of course they lost a ton of money, and chris (the plumber) lost his job with them. but he has since been doing his own thing. which was great for us.

chris (the plumber) came, assessed, and fixed everything. for $800. the other guys said it would cost an extra $2,000. i don't know what that's about. still don't. and i don't care. maybe it was for the advertising that chris (mine) heard on the radio. the only advertising for chris fleck you ever hear may be here on my blog. he doesn't have a website. but you can find him on

i never met the guy. but i know he is a hard working, honest man, trying to raise his daughters. if you need a plumber, call chris (the plumber. not my chris. he can't help you. unless you want your sink to get tazered or something.)

Small Business: Jenny Bishop Photography

meet Jenny Bishop. she is 3 weeks away from being a 100% full-time photographer!!!!
for now she is doing her due-diligence wrapping up her job at ASU. i don't remember what she does there, mostly cause it doesn't matter because that was not her calling! photography is!

Jenny is a severely talented photographer. her photos are all very crisp, clean, professional, yet occasionally whimsical, and always tons of fun. she does senior shoots, families, weddings, maternity, newborn, you name it, she will shoot it. (with her camera.) my personal faves are probably her wedding pics and her newborn shoots. whenever i see a cute bucket or basket, i want to put a baby in it and have Jenny photograph it. the thing i love most about her wedding shots are the unexpected pics that she takes. she often hangs the bride's gown and takes a picture of it hanging in a tree, or window. or she'll take pictures of shoes, whether the bride's or the ring bearer's. just little things that make a wedding album truly special to the bride and groom.

here are some of my favorite shots from her website (which you can find a link on the side of my blog):

one of my many faves of jenny's newborn pics!

a great wedding pic!

this is a great shot jenny got from the serious men, in what seemed to be a pretty fun and beautiful wedding.

anyway, i encourage you to give her a shout. she is now up in scottsdale, but is not afraid to drive. especially since this photography thing is her full-time gig :)

Small Business: Robert Watson Wedding Officiant

this is Robert Watson getting ready to perform YOUR WEDDING. that's his beautiful, supportive wife standing next to him.

this is Robert Watson performing a wedding I went to. Look how happy the groom is. he is happy he hired Robert Watson. who happens to now be his brother-in-law.

this is Robert Watson's website:

call him. send him a message. hire him. he is good at what he does. i have another post here somewhere... i already talked about him. but i am on this new kick right now where i am plugging small businesses/entrepeneurs that i know and love and want you to know and love and hire. they're all good, family oriented folks who are just trying to do the things that God has blessed them with the ability to do, and which they in turn love to do, and in turn give praise to God for allowing them to do what they do.

Small Business: Erin Dezago Photography

this is my friend erin.
she's a stunner. and she takes stunning pictures.
when i look at her pictures this word pops to mind:

e⋅the⋅re⋅al  /ɪˈθɪəriəl/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [i-theer-ee-uhl]
–adjective 1. light, airy, or tenuous: an ethereal world created through the poetic imagination.
2. extremely delicate or refined: ethereal beauty.

erin's pictures are very delicate, and very refined. every photoshoot looks like it is taken on the perfect sunday afternoon. (although, i guess a lot of her pictures really are taken on sunday afternoons since she works part-time, and is a full-time mom.)

erin takes amazing pictures, and i would say her forte is (are, actually, she's got more than one!) family pics and senior pics. she is so great at capturing people's personalities- from little babies, to big kids, to parents. she also does weddings, and maternity, and newborn pics, which are all really creative and beautiful. and ethereal.

anyhoo, there is a link to erin's website on the side of my blog. (note: i CANNOT get a link within the body of my post. what is up with that?!?!? someone who is smarter than me- help me out!!!)

this should be what you see:

give her a call if you need some amazing pictures taken of yourself, or your loved ones. she also made my birth announcements for topher, and i have been to her house while she was putting together wedding invitations that she ordered/designed for a couple. i probably should check with her if she actually still does that stuff, but she is a creative genius, and God was real heavy-handed when He threw artistic abilities her way.

here are a few pics that i love that she has taken:

this is one of my favorite pics from erin's website. it's just a fun family having a fun time and erin having a quick trigger-finger to capture a pretty awesome moment.

yes i love this pic! yes, it's of my sister and her family. it's a double-whammy of love!

senior shots! so so so so so fun and awesome!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sleeping Time

here are some ridiculous pictures of our kids sleeping.
the one of lily is her sleeping in our bed when my girlfriend was out here for a visit, and therefore everyone's sleeping arrangements were altered. lily tucks her babies in herself. her photo was not doctored in any way.

and then topher like to sleep width-wise in his crib. why? cause he's crazy. though i have heard that kids like being in tight little spaces. maybe cause it reminds them of the womb? i don't know. don't judge me cause of all the stuff that's in topher's crib while he sleeps. part of my job when i check on him before i go to bed is to take about 50 toys out of his crib, cover him with a blanket, and stick his feet back into his bed.

chris actually took pictures of me while i was sleeping a few nights ago cause he thought it was funny, and it was like 5am, and he's a jerk. i think he meant to get a video of me sleeping, cause just seeing me sleep is one thing, but HEARING me sleep is another. anyhoo, you will not find those pictures here in this post, nor will you find them anywhere, ever, cause i am deleting them from our camera as we speak...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Dark Side of Potty Training

Much of the things I feared about potty training occured over the last few days.

It started with a trip to Chandler Mall on Saturday. I love Chandler Mall. It's not the best mall I have ever been to by any stretch of the imagination, but we often go to Supersition Springs Mall, which is about 2 minutes away from our house, and any mall is better than SS Mall. Except that SS MAll now has TWO play areas for kids, and that is awesome. And there are hardly any stores in SS Mall, so my debit card is pretty much always safe when I am there. Except they have a carousel in the food court. Anyhoo, I digress.

So the kids and I picked up our wonderful friend Grace on our way to the mall. As we were driving along Guadalupe, Topher announces he has to pee. Of course he does. And he is wearing undies, so of course I have to pull over. So I get to a Walgreens, and run to the bathroom. Thank the good LOrd that grace was with me so that she could stay in the car with Lily, who was taking her much belated nap at 5 in the evening. Topher peed and then we were good to go. We get to the mall and things are great. We go to Pottery Barn Kids, which is where Grace needs to purchase some items, and fortunately they have public restrooms that are pretty clean in the back of the store. Lily now has to pee. So we go pee. I ask Topher if he has to pee again, and he says no. He lied.

After shopping a bit, Grace needs some tea. And she gets me a drink while she gets her drink, because that's how Generous Grace rolls. And Generous Grace is also Thoughtful Grace Imo (aunt) cause she has asked for two sippy cups so I can share my special drink with my kids. My kids love Grace. I love Grace. It's a lovefest when we are together. So we are having a great time, walking around the mall, getting towards the play area, drinking our drinks, having a great time. We get to the play area and Lily gets to running into the play area. I pick Topher up from his seat in the stroller, and he is SOAKED. he has peed so much you would think he hasn't peed in weeks. The stroller is literally dripping. GROSS. i know. So I take Topher to the bathroom while Grace hangs out with Lily. MOTHERS: do not leave the house while you are potty training your kids for a month, OR go out in a group where there is an extra adult accompanying you, especially if you have more than 1 kid.

So Topher gets dried up and I put a Pull Up on him and quit worrying about him for the rest of our night out. This Pull Up was an extra life saver because Topher ended up dropping the dirtiest poop in it on our way home from dinner later on. This kid is not ready to be in undies 24/7. And that's ok.

Then yesterday Topher was acting like a giant baby and soiled 3 undies by 10 am. One of the soiling moments happened while he was trying to pee on the potty, only 1. he still had his undies on. and 2. it happened while he was trying to pee on lily's toy potty for her baby doll. as pictured above. you might have thought that picture was a remodel of the bathroom. it looks like it could be... but to get a full picture of how 'big' the toy bathroom is- here is a pic of lily sitting on said toy potty:

After the morning's many mishaps, I was ready for a fresh start in the afternoon. I asked Topher if he had to pee in the potty and he said "Yes!" So I picked up the potty that was hanging out near the dining table (what? that's a good, sanitary place for it...) and as I picked it up real quick to put it in front of Toph, I noticed there was already a lot of pee in it. I noticed because now there was pee on my arm, jeans, foot, and of course- the carpet. I kinda screamed in terror/shock. Lily looked at me and said: "I did pee pee in potty!" Yeah you did Lils. Yeah you did.

So I hobbled over to the bathroom (again, so thankful for our SMALL apartment right now!) with potty in hand, pee on arm and foot. i tried to get cleaned up as quickly as possible to avoid topher ruining his 4th pair of undies. fortunately, i got back to him in just the knick of time. Later on as I was making dinner, I opened some ricotta cheese, and a yellow-water poured on me once again, causing me to change my outfit again. That had nothing to do with potty training but it did contribute to my already massive pile of laundry. After I made dinner, I attacked the carpet with my Lil'Green Machine so that even if I am constantly wreaking of urine and littered with pee pee stains, my home doesn't need to be.

And in other potty news, Lily has dropped two of the largest and longest poops in the universe in the toilet this week. She has been happily receiving her cookies, and I have been happily handing them out to her. And that's all from potty central. Over and out!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Gabriel

dear gabriel,
my sweet little nephew. do you know how special you are? sure, your family loves you. you're hilarious! you're tons of fun to be around! everything makes you laugh, and that makes everyone else laugh. you are ridiculously smart- you can remember EVERYONE'S name! a gift i haven't seen since the likes of a young jenna gagnon. you love thomas the train right now, hence the birthday cupcakes i got to decorate for you (thanks! i loved doing it!), which is a step up from dj the dinosaur.
but gabe, do you know how special you are- to Jesus? did you know that when your mama was pregnant with you, we thought we might have lost you? do you know how many people petitioned for your life that weekend? do you know that God answers prayers? i hope you know that because you are a HUGE answer to prayer!
gabe, today you are two, which i cannot even believe! you are a joy to everyone around you, but most importantly you are a joy to our Lord, and that is why you are here. cause He really wants you to be who you are, where you are.
gabe, you are a pastor's son. and that kinda sucks- cause people are watching you. but that just means you have an incredible opportunity to show everyone around you how special you are, and how special Jesus is.
gabers, my wonderful nephew, i wish you a very happy birthday and i pray for you and your future, cause it is bound to be a bright one.
i love you.
aunt jihae

Thursday, February 4, 2010

28 great moments

i went out for dinner for my birthday a few weeks ago with chris, jeehon, james, and our wonderful friend grace. chris asked 'what was the best moment of your life?' and i answered him #10. which isn't really number 10. i guess it's number one since that's what i said to him. but then we all went around and answered the question, which i loved. answers varied from waking up to a pile of cash, to meeting my sister and i.
so i've decided to compile a list of 28 great moments to commemorate the 28 years that i have lived. they are absolutely in no particular order, so don't be thinking i am building up to something great for #28, cause it's actually kinda lame. but enjoy my list anyway.

1. super cheesey- but hanging out as our little family of four is pretty awesome. the kids are always doing and saying funny things now, and i just love love love our little family to pieces.
2. giving birth to lily. that was a doozey. but holding her and knowing that chris and i actually made this little (GIGANTIC) thing was beyond insane.
3. having topher fall out of the birth canal. that was also insane. and the recovery from that was the best. but again, meeting my son was pretty fantastic.
4. getting to drive my 'dream car'- jeep grand cherokee. even if it was short lived, and only to be followed by driving a mini van. my anti-dream car.
5. not having sex with my boyfriend in high school/university. i dated this one fella for 7 years on and off. more off than on. but i thought i was in love and that i might end up marrying him eventually. so we really almost had sex one day. like for real. condom was there and everything. but above all- the Holy Spirit was there and did NOT allow it to happen. thank you thank you Jesus!
6. finding out topher was a boy. chris loves Lily. LOVES her. but he really needed to have a boy. if topher had been a girl, i feel like i would be pregnant again already, just so chris could have his boy. thankfully he wasn't and i'm not.
7. going to japan to hang out with my sister for 3 weeks. it was my first time away from home without my parents. i gained about 5-10 pounds eating japanese ramen (which is THE BEST ramen out there!) and other wonderful goodies.
8. watching my dad walk my sister down the aisle when she got married. lots of prayers and fights and so on occured to make that happen. but they were so happy and everything was just as it was supposed to be.
9. almost four years ago, chris and i found a small group comprised of 7 couples, including chris and i. and having those couples still in our lives is a pretty wonderful thing.
10. getting engaged to chris. he went above and beyond the call of duty on that one. it think i wrote about it in my 'ode to chris' section a few months ago...
11. the day i went to a youth revival and DIDN'T feel like i needed to 'rededicate my life' to the Lord. i was dedicated and i knew it! i think that was better than the day i 'received Christ', cause maybe i didn't do it right back then anyway... i think i received Jesus and rededicated myself to Him at about 5 or 6 different camps and revivals.
12. the moment a bug fell out of my eye, after it had been trapped in there for HOURS. i thought i was going to be blind. i thought it was punishment for something i had done. i prayed and prayed for forgiveness and for that danged bug to come out. and it did! i'm not blind. but i knew that prayer- and excessive blinking, were going to play major roles in my life. i was 7 at the time.
13. watching the 'Mask of Zorro' with all of my siblings. this was maybe 10 years ago. my youngest brother had already seen it and said it wasn't funny. then it ended up being one of the funniest movies we had ever seen. but when the five of us are together, things are always more ridiculous and funny than at any other time.
14. being at Sun Valley and watching people get baptized. every time i see it, it's amazing. new life. so fresh and so beautiful. i love it.
15. one night my sister and i went for a drive. she parked across the street for this gigantic house and told me that it was ours. i was in shock. It was the first house that my parents had bought and that we had lived in. It was an extra half hour away from my already-one-hour-away high school. but since i was about to be a senior, and public transportation in toronto is phenomenal, i was pretty excited about the whole thing.
16. leaving above-mentioned house at 2am to go pick up my brothers from the clubbing district downtown (to dance. not hit people, or seals.) my brothers are 2 years younger than me, and they were calling me cause 1. they didn't have a drivers license (even though they were of driving age), and 2. they didn't want to get in the car with any of their drunk friends. i was really happy to do it.
17. every time i am back in toronto, eating or walking around with my friends and family. it's always nice to be back home. and it is always very nice to eat great food with great people. that's acutally probably my favorite thing in the world to do.
18. the day i picked up one of my writing assignments and my professor wrote as a comment that i should look for a publisher for my piece. i still haven't. that was almost 7 years ago. but it was a great moment.
19. meeting barb and jerry in oregon while chris and i were 'on a break.' so great to meet the woman who would soon become my mother-in-law and one of my closest friends. though the circumstances were as strange as could be. but i was also with jeehon and we were about to do some more west coast traveling and that was good clean fun.
20. chris and i had just had an 'issue' about this one girl he knows. then we went to the suns game with his dad and robert and it came up again, and it was hilarious. seeing chris with his dad and brother always cracks me up. these men are never afraid to say 'i love you', especially to each other. they are three of the funniest and most ridiculous human beings i know.
21. living in korea in a small apartment with my older brother, sister, and our crazy friend sooha. we were rarely all home at the same time, but when we were, it was all jokes and laughter.
22. when jeehon worked for us airways. my parents came down to see us all the time. i went to boston, san francisco, toronto, and los angeles for free, or almost free. that was a pretty great traveling year!
23. two weeks ago when i finally got to see Lily really pee on the toilet. i really felt like i would never see that day!
24. when i was in 2nd grade or so, one of my buddies went to India with his family. he was gone for almost a month. which is the equivalent of 2 years when you're a little kid. he came back to school, and everyone wanted to talk to him, and sit near him at lunch. i figured he had forgotten about me and our friendship from way back when, and then as we were getting packed up to go home, he came over to me and told me he bought something for me- a beautiful silk wallet with flowers on it. i still remember it. it was amazing. he bought one for me, and one for another friend, and that was it. i felt really special that day.
25. our rehearsal dinner. all of our friends and family were there. even the friends who weren't involved in the wedding, but had come from out of town. i really could feel the love. it was a joyous occassion. and an opportunity to hang out with my friends in a way that i couldn't at the wedding. cause your wedding is crazy, but the rehearsal dinner shouldn't be. and of course, it was the day before i got to marry chris. that made the occassion all the greater.
26. road trips with chris. el paso was a good one. all the times we've gone to vegas together have been pretty great. even the moving caravan from oregon to here in 24 hours was pretty great too. they are just extrended dates for chris and i to enjoy each other's company and conversation and not get distracted by dishes, tv, or anything else.
27. working at Global Christian School for 3 years. i really met some people who changed my life, my outlook on missions, and helped me have a better relationship with Jesus and His Word.
28. one birthday while i was in university (or maybe high school... and i was just studying at the university...) was really quiet and kinda depressing. january birthdays in canada aren't that fun cause there are exams to be studied for, and it is COLD! i remember being at the library, studying/sleeping. then my mom called me and said she wanted to go out for dinner. so she came to the library, picked me up, then we went to china town and had lobster. oh to have a wonderful mother and lobster in black bean sauce!

Monday, February 1, 2010

secrets to OUR potty training 'success'

we are definitely not 100% potty trained in the watson household yet. well, i am. we are working on chris and the kids ;) lily is 100% in undies all the livelong day, but wears a Pull-Up at night to sleep. she has not woken up even close to dry yet. according to lots of parents i know- this is ok to do. i have heard of other parents who had their kids in undies at night and just did a ton of laundry every day. i am not those 'other parents'. topher is getting so great at telling us when he has to go, even if he is wearing a Pull-Up, which he does when we are out and about. he has occasional accidents in his undies still, but that's ok! we are so proud of both of our kids we could throw up.

here are some of the things that we did that worked for us. now, please remember that we tried potty training about 3-4 months ago and that was a DISASTER. if you are potty training and it's not going well- just STOP. read my posts from before about potty training, give thanks you are not me, and take a breather. for everyone's sake. i have heard and read that potty training shouldn't be hard, and that when your kid is ready it will be easy and painless. i never ever thought i would be able to say this- especially with potty training lily, but it's so true! it was pretty easy!

step 1- fail and move on.
we tried. we failed. we stopped. we moved on.

step 2- prepare ye the way.
after some time had passed from our failure, chris and i started warning/telling/prophesying that one day there would be no diapers in the house and that she would HAVE to pee on the potty. we told her this starting in novemeber. we did our potty training camp in january. lily likes to know what's going on, and i think she really appreciated the warning. topher on the other hand, doesn't really care what's going on or when, he just wants to be a part of the fun. we did not prepare him at all i don't think. at least not verbally the way we HAD TO with lily. all kids are different. even if they have the same genetic make-up.

step 3- comfort, not chaos
they say to make sure things are not chaotic. 'they' being 'profesional potty trainers/pediatricians/moms, etc... i will give them some kuddos for this advice as well. we did not have anything going on in january. we had been in the apartment long enough. we were in our daily schedules. everything was good to go. the kids had been hanging out on their potties for quite a while. topher even peed a few times. lily- not so much. but she didn't mind sitting on it again which was great. we talked about pottying more and more as the day approached. we watched videos and read books about it. again- more for and with lily than with topher. and lily was pretty excited about undies this time cause she knew some of her friends were wearing them. we bought some that she and topher got to pick out themselves, and this made the process more fun, and more real for both of them too.

step 4- pray!
actually, for me, this was step 2. post-failure. i don't think i prayed all that hard about potty training the first time i did it. and failed. after that i prayed and prayed and prayed. i prayed for lily to be ready and for us to know when that might be. i prayed for myself to be ready for anything- failure part 2, or success. i was a mess. like seriously scared. i was scared that lily would legitamitely never want to be potty trained. i was scared that we would fight again like we did before. i was afraid that i would lose my mind again like i did before. i needed peace, to be calm and courageous to proceed with our plan. therefore i needed to pray. and i thank Jesus for having helped us out as much as He did!

step 5- stock up.
during our first attempt to potty train, we bought some 'big items' to 'entice/bribe' the children to pee in the potty. it did NOT work then. so we still had these toys, and brought them out this time around. the kids were happy to receive their prizes, but did not necessarily pee to receive them. or at least topher didn't. he peed 3 times and we gave him his toy. he was happy. this made lily want her toy a little more, so she peed 3 times that first day and received her toy. and was happy. but then the next day when the kids both had accidents on the floor, chris took the toys away. toys may or may not work for you. they were not really a deal maker or breaker for us.
but i did stock up on juice boxes, yogurt drinks, candy, and stickers. these were the real tools we needed for potty training. the kids drank A LOT the first two days of potty training. just to make them need to go. and they got a reward for even just sitting on the potty. this made the day fun, and very sugary. lots of teeth brushing occured those days.
i thought the stickers might be more fun for the kids to put on their charts, but they didn't care as much as i did. the chart was a good reminder for chris and i as to how many pees made it into the potty, and we could see their progress every day. progress is always good.
we also 'stocked up' on Pull-Ups, but hid them. we used to have a drawer with diapers in it in the living room. if the kids needed/wanted to be changed, they opened the drawer and brought us a diaper. both of our kids, at some point, checked to see if there were diapers in the drawer, and there wasn't a single one. they knew we were serious!

step 6- set the timer and go go go.
one of my girlfriend's who has successfully potty trained her two girls told me that she set her microwave timer for every 20 minutes, and whenever that timer rang, her kids sat on the toilet. and they did this all day, for a few days. except when they were napping. cause everyone needs a break. so we did this, and it worked out well for us.
one thing that tripped me up a bit with lily was that she would say she had to go and then either not go, or take 20 minutes to go. i had visions of us being at target for hours, in the dirty bathroom, waiting and waiting for lily to pee. the first day and a half was spent WAITING for the pee to flow. but when it started flowing- it's like the flood gates were opened and there was no more waiting. lily knew when she had to pee, and when she peed she did it as soon as she sat down. it was awesome.

step 7- keep on keepin on.
every time your kid says they have to pee- get up and put them on the pot. they won't always go, but if you don't listen to them, they will have an accident sooner than later, and you will probably both feel discouraged because of it. this happened with topher once or twice... (learn from my mistakes people! i make tons of them!)
and like lily, even though things may start slowly, they will pick up eventually.
the whole thing is pretty exhausting for everyone, cause there is so much getting up and down. setting the timer. turning it off. getting the carpet cleaner. going to the bathroom. getting more juice. going to the bathroom to empty the potty. etc, etc. but in the end it all pays off! just be prepared to work for your reward though.

this is what worked for US. if you are about to embark on the potty training journey-i bid thee good luck! if you should happen to stumble, or fall off of your horse completely- that's ok. give it a couple weeks or months and try try again. know your kids, what they like, what they need. for some kids this thing takes 3 days, and for others it takes a LOT MORE. and all of that is OK. your kid WILL pee pee in the potty!