Thursday, July 26, 2012

Boot camp and house broken


I just plopped down in my desk chair to blog a bit while the bathroom marinades in disinfectant. I'm certain if I don't write about this week, at present, I will soon shift it to a part of my mind that I call the "selective" memory storage. Actually, it's not a necessarily a voluntary action...it seems everything goes there by default these days anyway!


It's boot camp around here! The kind that I always kind of dread, but am so relieved when we push through. There is a hundred different theories and tactics out there on how & when is the best way to enter into this "refining" process! The When for me is no magic age, but more so whenever I get plain fed up with the horribly foul diapers! The How is based on the "train in a day method", but realistically more like a week!


I blocked this week out on my calendar, and Monday we started in! 2 things I found very necessary to make it a success are: Making sure it's One on One training session (older siblings not around to distract) and The Diapers must GO! (only for nighttime, but hopefully only temporarily)


That's probably why I dread it so much, because it's a huge commitment, and even bigger MESS...but as I stated before, when we push through, its so worth it!

So to sum the week up in a short paragraph, I will just say, it's like a continuous roller coaster ride of emotions. One minute I'm clapping and dancing exuberant with the progress, the next minute I'm mopping up a mess frustrated with lack of progress.


 Day 1, was spent training the bare basics. We spent all day at the kitchen table, 6 feet from the toilet, playing playdough, cars, blocks, books & coloring. The goal was to simply learn the sensation of the "urge" & associate it with getting to the toilet as soon as possible. By mid afternoon, he was doing great and even told me twice he had to go "bobby". (his word for potty :) I was thinking we'd already had a breakthrough and this wasn't going to be as bad as I thought!

Day 2, we we're moving along great, and even got a "bonus" in the bowl before 9:00! Then some time around mid morning, it dawned on him this wasn't just all for fun & games. This was something that was expected of him and now a mandatory part of his life! He hit the skids and called off the whole operation. Except, he forgot to take a poll of all the other occupants of the house and he was outvoted. So we spent the rest of the day in a very heated power play, and the war wasn't over just "bobby" anymore!

Day 3, He decided the war wasn't worth it and today came the real breakthrough! He was sitting on the counter helping me bake muffins and he told me he wanted down. Suspecting he might be needing to go potty, I watched to see where he went. (on Day 2, he routinely would run and hide in closet/pantry/or other small dark room, and try to go in there!) He trotted straight for the bathroom, I heard his seat lid flip up and the sweet sound of a trickle in the plastic bowl! Throughout the morning he did this 4 more times before his nap! I wanted to climb on my roof & sing Hallelujah at the top of my lungs! This does not mean the training is over...but it's a major move in the right direction.


Day 4, this morning was much more relaxed. We even ventured out to the library, and back with no accidents! For the most part we just re-enforce everything we've learned all week, but we're not out of the woods with the messes yet. I know we still have lots of work to do...and eventually I have to leave my house for more than an hour! We'll see how our first trip to Target or Church goes...you won't catch me without a change of clothes, I know that for a fact! :) 

Here's a couple links that I found helpful.

These Are the Days: Potty Training in a Day,

Baby Center: Parents guide to Potty Training.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Taqueria Style Tacos


Just checking in to assure you all, I'm back from the depths of the "itch" and life carries on here in the Nest! Still no clues to what the offending factor was, but lets hope we never cross paths again!

And since recently admitting that I don't typically blog about food, because there are so many great food blogs out there, I've felt completely guilty for not sharing this amazing recipe with all you good people! It is one from the faves of all faves! Do yourself a favor, and try it at least once! :)


Taqueria Style Tacos

3 lbs of flank steak. (I've used Rib eye, but fat removed and pounded to 1/4 in. thick)

Marinade: ( for 1 to 8 hours)
1/3 c. white vinegar
1/2 c. soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 limes, juiced    (don't try to get by with refrigerated lime juice, purchase fresh, you won't regret it)
1/2 c. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried oregano (or use your fresh herbs, but triple the amount)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. paprika

Throw the steaks on a medium-high heat BBQ for about 5 mins per side, or until middle is still just slightly pink! Flank steaks are typically long & flat, so they don't take long to cook. I take them straight off the BBQ and cut them up into bite size cubes to make taco assembly easier.

Top with my favorite summer salsa, and a quick squeeze of fresh lime juice!

Could eat them every. day. of. the week. Period.

Just as a side note, don't expect me to stop every five minutes and photograph the steps of my cooking. Never gonna happen. Bon Appetite'



Thursday, July 19, 2012

The rise and fall of Mr.Plague


I stand corrected! Remember what I said here about doing some good ole' soul searching? Turns out camping isn't the only thing that can remove you from the comforts of everyday living and cause you to dig from within!


And no, it's not a day at the beach either! Although spending some good quality time with the sand between your toes, watching the majestic motion of the waves crashing is a perfect place to ponder life! Let it be known that I now declare the mystery of what modern medicine calls HIVES, the thing that has taken me from a level of comfort to that which I do not care to experience again anytime soon!


We spent a blissful weekend, away from the valley heat, at the coast with some dear friends and came home to what I shall call the "plague of unbearable itch"! I woke up Monday morning with just a few patches of red itchy bumps on the inside crease of my elbows and the backs of my knees! By evening I had a full blown breakout from head to toe. It was not pretty.



I Googled hives, faster than you can say it, looking for some relief from the misery! First I tried the warm oatmeal bath, which didn't seem to appease the Plague, but rather left me a bit queasy at the site of my favorite breakfast food floating around me! Next was a good dose of Benadryl, which either took the edge off, or relaxed me enough to fall asleep!


But then morning came. And the Plague was back, but this time he was really mad!! Hubby quickly went to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription that our Dr. had so kindly called in! I wish I could say after the first dose took affect, that this was the fateful end of Mr.Plague....but it was not.


This morning was day 4 of our little escapade. The good news is, I think I'm slowly winning! I've found that a warm bath with baking soda, followed by a lathering of lotion containing colloidal oatmeal, mixed with hydro- cortisone cream can bring relief in the unbearable moments. Between the prescription pills & Benadryl tablets I've been able to keep the worst of the outbreaks down to a near minimum!

I know your asking what I reacted to in the first place, but the answer to that question is still out with the jury. I've went through the last few days before the onset, and cannot come up with any clear cut "thing" that would cause it!

If you've every experienced hives, I would be SO grateful to hear the cause & any good advice in dealing with them!!

{p.s...your days are numbered, Mr. Plague!}

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A thrill and a parade.


I have yet to do much blogging on food related topics, but I couldn't help myself today! This delicious arrangement of the seasons finest + some, was the thrill of my day thus far. I know, it's crazy getting thrills from food, but I'm willing to settle for that! To be a little more clear, it was actually a reward, but I must explain....


After avoiding the grocery & Costco all week last week because of the holiday, I decided this morning was the end of our consecutive running days of peanut butter and jelly, and the time had come to re-stock the fridge! I used to enjoy grocery shopping, but now it's a race to see how fast I can get it done before one of the three of us has a melt down. Yes, I included myself in that category. And that's where the reward system came about!


Just make it through the cart maneuvering, product comparing, toddler entertaining, unloading & putting away process...and then I put the boys down for naps while I enjoy my "reward" in the silence of the afternoon hours! I won't lie...sometimes it's coffee or ice cream...but it happens to be summer, and today I couldn't stop the crave for garden fresh veggies all the way home from town!! It was blissful, as I got to enjoy every last crumb.


So, now that we've got that all out there...we'll move on to a little Independence day excitement! Actually we had a very low-key holiday this year, and it was kind of nice! The city of Turlock has a parade every year, which we had never been to before, but had special interest in this year because of certain family members participating in the festivities! Yep, that's him giving a welcoming speech!


And they were the opening act as Grand Marshal of the lovely parade!


There's something cliche about a 4th of July parade...sweltering summer sun beating down, flags flying, lawn chairs scattered along the street & the national anthem playing. But its All-American and it's a celebration that makes you feel blessed to call this country home!



We don't need a parade to entertain us, with this clan together! (There is a hundred ways I could caption this photo, but I will just leave it at that!)



There's no better way to end the day than with sparklers! Everyday should end with sparklers!
In a round about way, it feels like they do, but in a more figurative way. With him, every day starts with sparklers too. Oh, life would be so boring without the colors & the commotion! :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Soul searching


I've come to a conclusion! If you've secretly been wanting to dig within yourself and see what your really made of...folks, I'm here to tell you there's just one way to find out!

Go camping.


Or maybe I should re-phrase that. 
Spend all week packing, drive 2 hours to the mountains to send your kids out to live in the dirt for 3 days, and sleep on army cots intended for people without feelings in their muscles! And just to be a little more dramatic, there's always the possibility of coming face to face with a bear during your stay!  



Actually, the reality of it is...those we're just all the bad parts...the rest of the time we rather enjoyed ourselves. The mountain air is hard to beat & we did get to spend some time with our feet kicked up in a camp chair while taking in the beauty around us!



Yeah, the dirt was impossible to avoid...but even that didn't really bother me that much! You would think there couldn't be much else that would make a little boy happier, but after day 1, baby blue eyes decided he was done and spent the rest of his time waffling between clingy & irritable! 



The rest of the kids seemed to be enjoying every minute! There was something for everyone! If you weren't into playing in the dirty creek, there was arts & crafts. If you were more the adventure type, they had a scavenger hunt. If you really wanted some excitement, there was volleyball for those who dared...but it wasn't pretty! Speaking from experience, there was a lot of rust to be knocked loose before it got good!



We ended our days with s'mores around the campfire, and hot chocolate & popcorn to top it off! Exhaustion would soon take over, and we'd hear our unforgiving cots calling our names. We'd wipe off enough dirt to get on our pj's and let sleep take over. Except that it didn't. At least for some of us. So we'd lay there and feel the temperatures dropping & listen to the forest noises, while silently pleading with the spiders to stay in their well-spun webs in the corners of the cabin rather than venture out to crawl on me our my babies. 


Eventually morning would come. The sun would peak up over the mountains and the slightest rays of light would shine in through our little window, and I'd be ready to meet the day! Simply because it seemed like a better alternative to the sleepless, cot cramping, spider pleading night! 



As I stepped out into the crisp morning air, hand in hand with the only other awake occupant of our cabin, to make the trek up to the bathroom...he said..."MOM!! Isn't this SOOO exciting!!!".

This is where the digging comes in. I rubbed the grit from my sleep deprived eyes, gazed out over the mountains and sighed...."YES, my dear...It doesn't get much better than this!"





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