Thursday, May 28, 2009

Do you hear angels singing?

Anna has something she wants to show everyone.

All clean 

Yep, that's underwear. Underwear that she wore today. All day. Do you see where I'm going with this?

After months of slowly teaching Anna what to do with that lovely porcelain device in our bathrooms, we finally have some results. Our first, very first, accident free day.

You have to understand that this is a miracle. Less than a week ago, Anna started screaming any time we tried to sit her on the potty and was asking for a diaper. In fact, the whole time we've been trying to potty train her, it has been a struggle. However, after this last Sunday, I was about ready to put her in diapers until she was 20. But I didn't. Instead, I was forced to recognize that Anna and I were having major power struggle issues and if anyone was going to change, it was going to have to be me.

So, I discussed things with Hubby, and Aunt Ebis who happened to be in town, decided on somethings that I needed to change and hashed out a new plan for this whole potty training torture.

What we decided to do was a bit contrary to just about any advice I had been given. Instead of having her sit on the potty every hour or so, like everyone says that you should do, we stopped having her sit on the potty at all, except for right before naps and any time we left the house. I wouldn't mention it. Then, each time her underwear was wet, I would calmly respond and have her remove her underwear all by herself (not a fun task). Putting all the responsibility on her helped me to let go of the anger I felt each time Anna had an accident. Suddenly it wasn't my fault any more and she wasn't doing it to thwart my efforts to get her on the potty.

Of course, the first couple of days were messy, to say the least, but then she stopped pooping in her underwear, but would sit on her little potty when she felt it coming. And today she chose to sit on the potty several times, all on her own, and managed to keep her underwear clean and dry.

Yes, I know it isn't going to be perfect from now on, but at least I've been given a glimpse of what it is going to be like when this is all over. So, thanks to everyone who kept me sane. The end is in sight.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spring Cleaning: Finally, some results

Yeah, I know. Spring cleaning started, what, three weeks ago? And I still have yet to report on my progress? Shame, shame on me.

Unfortunately, I'm still not done with everything. The bedrooms have yet to be touched because of the overwhelming amount of work that needs to be done there. But they will be done. The kitchen I did do, but the problem is I use it, regularly. So what was once clean and nicely organized is now slightly cluttered. I'll get "after" pictures soon.

So what do I have to report on? The hall closet. Yep, the linen/food storage/wheat grinder/games/guest pillows closet. I've wanted to better organize that 4 square foot section of my apartment for months, if not years. And I sure am proud of it.



Doesn't it just make you want to weep with joy? It is amazing how organizing such a small space makes such a difference in my life. Everything there has a place.

Now, on to the bedrooms...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cloth Diaper Anniversary

Six months ago this week I started washing my first batch of cloth diapers. Ah, what a great change that was! Other than a brief hiatus when the prefolds we had were far to small, we've hardly used any disposables at all. And I have loved just about every minute of it.

Even when Mathias started solid foods, it still wasn't so bad. Yes, I didn't like the toilet swishing, but we found a solution for that.


Thanks to the internet, and this site, we managed to find instructions on making our own diaper sprayer. All it took was a kitchen spray hose and some brass fittings, and we were ready to get spraying.


We did make a change to the original instructions. Hubby got a needle valve (per the Lowe's salesperson's recommendation) and installed it after the filter connector splicer. With that, we didn't have to get the compression connector. However, I would recommend getting a ball valve instead of a needle valve as you don't have to turn it as much to get maximum pressure.

Oh, and asking for help at the hardware store? Priceless. (Just make sure you and they know what you are talking about. Home Depot didn't, but then neither did I.)

Next in the cloth diaper scene? Visuals of some of the amazing diapers my sister-in-law made for us.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Crusty, Warm and Tasty

This past week I had Moussaka on the menu. Every time I've made this lovely recipe, I've wanted some nice crusty bread to go with it, but I always forget to get something together until it is too late. Well, this week, I moved around my menu so that I could make Pain a l'ancienne from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I don't think I've ever made a better choice.

Are you drooling yet? This bread fit every one of my ideals for a "nice, crusty bread" and it went perfectly with dinner.

And even better than that? It was actually easy. And I mean easy. Usually, I have a lot of trouble shaping my breads before baking them. But this bread requires no shaping. You cut a strip of dough and then stretch it out. No rolling. No pinching. No perfect shape required. All you have to do is follow Peter's detailed instructions (read them a few times before you begin to make sure you understand them) and the result is fabulous.

Side note: I did end up letting my dough "wake up" for about 5 hours, rather than the suggested 2-3, after taking it out of the refrigerator. Because of the way that my mixer works, I think I ended up putting a little too much water in the dough, and I think that may have affected my raising time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring Cleaning Update

So, like I mentioned before, I'm following the spring cleaning schedule of simple mom and I feel like I have been rather successful so far.

Day one was easy, just a "clean sweep" for trash and other clutter. Day two and three have been the living room and, well, my living room is roughly the size of the bed of a pick-up truck. That, and I had recently dusted and de-cluttered my bookshelf. However, I did do some pretty thorough cleaning, of which I am very proud. In fact, the only place I didn't clean was behind the piano because I couldn't move it by myself. I wonder if it is too late to get Hubby to move it...

While everything has gone well so far, I'm a little worried about the bedrooms. Now there's a headache waiting to happen. But this whole cleaning thing is making me feel pretty good about myself. I just hope I can keep it up all the way to the end!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Inspired by Spring

Yesterday I got to wondering why I try to make resolutions to change around New Years. Sure, the beginning of the year is a great time to rethink our life and try to make changes, but you can get all excited to exercise and then look out at the cold, grey sky and continue on with your life unchanged. Surely there is a better time to make life changes, and what better time than Spring?

Lately, I have been getting the urge to do exactly that: change my life. I don't know how we can look at the flowers blooming, smell the fresh scent of spring rain, and feel the warm sun on our faces and not want to change, to start over fresh just like the world outside. Here are some of the things that I have been inspired to do lately:

Clean: Thanks to simple mom, I'm going to be doing Spring Cleaning for the first time in my life (I'm just following her daily tasks as outlined on her blog, not buying her e-book). I'm not particularly fond of cleaning, but I've been thinking the last few days that if I want to have the life that I want (ie large garden, fresh bread often, etc) and be organized, I need to start working on liking work now. And I do love having a clean, organized home.

Organize: I need to get rid of stuff. Just like pulling weeds to clear the ground for spring planting, I need to dump a lot of stuff that has accumulated over that last three years. I'll just have to be careful not to make Hubby cry when I tell him to get rid of his "special treasures". It has happened before.

Records: For some reason, while sitting at church yesterday, I was inspired to write more in my journal.

I'm sure there will be more things that come to mind, especially as I start planting our "garden". Oh, how I love Spring!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Piggyback Squared

It really is cute how our kids mimic the things we do (as long as what we do is cute). Lately, I've noticed Anna trying to copy another motherly aspect of my life. Everytime I strap Mathias to my back, Anna runs and gets her little leash/backpack (only used once for it's actual purpose) and snaps it on.


And yes, Jeanerbee, that is a Ergo I'm wearing. Oh, how I love that carrier! If I could recommend just one carrier, it would be an Ergo. It doesn't hurt my back like other carriers I have used. Also, it is nice to be able to use it in so many different positions (front, back, and hip). I'd like to wax eloquent here, but I'm just not that talented of a writer to do so. Just take my word for it that this is the best carrier I've ever used.

Friday, May 1, 2009

As if there were any question...

I'm sure there are people out there who doubt Mathias' paternity. In this day and age, who wouldn't? Well, the facts are in and Hubby has nothing to worry about: Mathias like avacado.

I don't like avacado. Period. And don't tell me I haven't given them a chance. Every year or so, I'll sample some avacado or guacamole and every year or so it is the same: My life is much more pleasant without it.

Go ahead and roll your eyes, muttering under your breath "What a genetic freak!" because that is exactly my point. I, being genetically disposed to dislike avacado, could never have a child who likes avacado unless the father likes avacado, which Hubby definitely does. Proof for all you doubters out there.

Anna, by the way, does not like avacado. I, being the forbearing, loving, generous woman that I am, tried to introduce it to her at about the same age and she gagged on her first mouthful and didn't let me give her any more. Even now, she only eats it for the salt Hubby sprinkles on it for her. In fact, most of the time, she licks the salt off and asks for more. And it just goes to prove that she is my daughter, no matter how much she would like to deny it.

Hubby should now be happy, not only because he can be absolutely sure that Mathias is his son, but because now there is more reason for us to buy avacados.