Friday, May 27, 2011

Patient Parenting

I didn't think I'd be talking about potty training in public. Heck, I never thought I'd talk about potty training. I figured by this point in my life I'd have a nanny to take care of every difficult parenting task (because I would have won the lottery) OR the Potty Fairy would come and take care of it over night.

I've been anxious to start potty training, simply because as my belly expands I want to take care of this skill before it becomes nearly impossible to haul Hannah around. If I don't potty train before the baby comes I'll have two kids in diapers. Forget about it! That is super expensive for a family living on a teacher's salary. It's not about the mess or the incontinence of changing a diaper. It is the cost. If I wasn't worried about money I would have her in diapers until she was 7 out of the sheer convince of being able to do whatever you want without worrying about dropping everything.

We've been talking up "potty" for a couple of weeks. When Hannah's own potty arrived in the mail we had a potty party. The first night Adam let her sit down and she actually used the potty, we were so ecstatic.

That was a few days ago. Today we started "the training." I shouldn't have gone to bed every night this week at 11:30. Bad first move. The day was extremely stressful. As the day wore on, each time we dashed her to the bathroom she became increasingly wary of the potty. She didn't want to sit on it. I think she likes the comfort of something wrapped around her tummy as she goes. She has been wearing undies all fact, we've gone through about 15 pairs today.

Of all the things I learned, the hardest one came in the afternoon when after an accident and a rush to the potty Hannah had a break down. I'm very much a believer in making it a positive experience and I've never scolded her or told her she's done anything bad, I've just told her going potty on the floor is "yucky" and being wet is "yucky." After this particularly bad accident I could see the defeat in her little face. "What is going on Mommy," it seemed to say. "I don't understand what I'm supposed to be doing." She stood there sobbing, frustrated. I did something that my former self, the one that wasn't a mother, would never have done.

I picked up my daughter, dripping wet, and laid her across my lap like a baby. I rocked her and sang to her. She melted into my arms, holding on to me tight. As frustrated as I was I couldn't comprehend how she must be feeling, making mistake after mistake all day long, spending the whole day talking about potty, being wet, being rushed to the bathroom, going through the cleanup process....she was tired of it. I kept reassuring her that it is hard to learn new things. That being a big girl was hard. That everything takes time. I asked her if she wanted to say a prayer so we prayed for patience and help and understanding. I wonder if God hears as many potty training prayers as he hears prayers for ailments because I've been praying for her all day. After one of my prayers, Hannah folded her arms and said "Heaven Father, Please help Hannah Potty, Amen." I'm sure he heard that one.

I'm giving it three days. If by the end of the three days, she is obviously not ready to continue forward then I will pull the plug and we can try again another time. Maybe in another month and a half...maybe in another five...who knows. If I can't do it by mid July I know I'll have to wait until the baby comes. It already put a huge strain on my body today lugging her around I was sure I would go into labor.

Tonight I'll look back and be grateful for the 25 years I spent not potty training another human.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pure imagination

This is my first attempt at a cheesy video montage :) I did it yesterday afternoon.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jane Eyre

I have always loved this story. I remember checking out the video (VHS) from the Library with Orson Wells as Rochester and thinking it was so romantic. I always said I'd read it one day. Then last summer I watched the 2006 Masterpiece Theater version (thanks Megan Long) and I had to watch it again six months later. I loved it more than I remembered.

Last month, some friends got together and went to see the 2011 version. It was really good but unlike the 2006 version it left something to be desired so I finally committed myself to read the book. It was beautiful. I just want to share one of the last quotes in the book. Usually books end with that faint hope of happily ever after but Jane tells the reader about what happens ten years down the road. I know I feel this way about Adam five years into our marriage, a perfectly eloquent way to express how I feel about my husband. I only hope in another five years (and a few more kids) down the road I will feel the same way :)

"I have now been married ten years. I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest - blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband's life as fully as he is mine. No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. I know no weariness of my Edward's society: he knows none of mine, any more than we each do the pulsation of the heart that beats in our separate bosoms; consequently, we are ever together. To be together is for us to be at once free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in character - perfect concord is the result."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Am a Child of God

I have a testimony in this song. Hannah has watched this particular movie about 12 times. When she is done with it, she says "again." Yesterday we watched it five times in a row. after each time she looked up at me, put her arm around my neck and pulled me in for a kiss saying "Wuv you Mommy." Each time she sat with a cute smile on her face, sometimes she would join in singing "Chil a God, ead me ide me walk eside me." When she was done, she handed my Ipod back to me and said "happy." I told her that happy feeling was the Holy Ghost telling her that she was a child of God too and that the words were true. Watch it and feel the words testify to you that you too are a child of God.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mother's day gift

For Mother's Day, Adam gave me a night stay at the Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson. It came right after camping and we had a blast together as a family spending a night away from home. Adam wanted to give me a night away from cleaning, cooking, and working as the homemaker so all of our meals were taken care of and I didn't worry about our hotel :)

Hannah's favorite part was swimming. Although it was a little chilly, she didn't mind spending her time in the cold water as long as she got to play and have fun. I enjoyed it too as my pregnant body got to feel weightless for a little while :) Do you like my maternity swim suit? That was another Mother's day gift from Adam :)

Ward Campout

This weekend we went on a ward camping trip and it was a blast! Hannah loved camping with her friends and explored all over the camp ground with them. Having never prepared for a camping trip (and being placed completely in charge of packing--thanks Adam;) I forgot several essential items like long pants for me, a jacket for Hannah, a flashlight etc. but luckily my friends helped out and picked up my slack. I now know what we need for camping.

The first thing Hannah said when she woke up was "OUT!" She was so anxious to get out and play with her friends. She loved every minute of camping! Then, having spent most of the night in my sleeping bag with me and her baby sister she said "get out pocket!" She thought she was sleeping in a pocket I guess. It was a tight sleeping bag.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The BEST Mother's day gift in the world.

I love reading with my little goofy.

Tonight I read her "Goodnight Moon" as I do most nights before bed. When I was done, we said prayers, kissed and hugged, then I laid her down.

"Hannah turn read?" She asked. So I gave her the book in her crib and she opened it then read:

"Night moon. Night chairs. Bears. Night toy house. Night mouse. Comb Brush Mush, shhhhhhh."

Then she said "Ok, Mommy, you go." I took that to mean that she would read in her crib a little but I was free to go. So I kissed her again and said "I love you." She nodded her head. "Daddy loves you." She nodded again.

I turned to leave and she said "Mommy, precious."

I often call her "presh" short for precious and I tell her every day how precious she is to me. Today she told me I was precious to her.

Made. My. Life.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tattling on my hubby

Adam has been working his tail off. Last semester he had 12 graduate level credits, this semester he has had 18. This is on top of his 50 hour work week and his calling in the Young Men Presidency. I've mentioned all this before.

Adam gets up each morning at 6am to be ready for work and to be able to spend time together as a family because we have to squeeze in the time while we can. Each night he goes to bed between 11pm and 1am in order to meet all his obligations. Last night he was so exhausted but swore he was going to stay up until he got this one last assignment done. I woke up at 1:20 am, alone in bed so I went downstairs to check on his progress.

He was watching House.

He was only about three minutes in and he'd just finished his assignment. He had gotten his second wind and decided that he needed a little alone time for himself. Of course that was cut short by his flabbergasted wife who couldn't understand why he would stay up ANOTHER HOUR just to have some alone time. He is working all day Saturday but I will try to give him some alone time at some point during the weekend because you don't stay up until 2:30 am to watch House. Not when you already stretch yourself too thin!

He came to bed :)

Dear Hannah

Dear Hannah,

I feel like you are growing up too fast before my eyes and I can't capture it adequately. It has been such a long time since I wrote about your milestones and growth that I feel like I've missed years of your life. You are ever the joy of my life and I am so proud to be your mother! I have felt so connected to my Heavenly Father each day as I try to raise you as He would want me to.

You have such a joy for life. You are very passionate! Every reaction of shock or wonder makes me giggle. You love to discover things, then with wide eyes and a mouth forming a circle you turn to me and say "Wow," or "ah MAN!" or "AWESOME!" Some of your favorite things include the park, (especially the swings, which used to terrify you, and the water)watching Disney movies, (especially Toy Story 3 with "Buzzyear and Woody" Tangled, and Bambi)riding bikes with Daddy, and reading books with Mommy.

Each Sunday is a struggle to get you to sit down with us. It is a battle we never win. Last week I meticulously picked your very favorite toys, snacks, and activities to bring with us to Sacrament meeting. It worked for about a minute, but then you saw your friends snacks, your friends toys, their books, and you fought tooth and nail to escape to Debbie McDonald's row so you could eat all the things that she packed for your friend Ian. When the sacrament is passed you quietly point to each tray and whisper "Jesus," because you know that we are supposed to be thinking about our Savior. You love nursery and have never been sad or afraid to go. You have lots of friends in nursery and your teachers tell me that you like to walk around with a phone on your ear, pushing the toy vacuum. I wonder where you get that from.

You play very well independently but you prefer if Mommy or Daddy is with you. Your favorite toys are Buzzyear and Woody, your shopping cart, your "tea party" set, any type of phone, and your car. You love to hear books, especially the "Push and Pop" books, and Where's Spot. Recently, you've enjoyed puppets and dumping all the toys out so you can sit in the "boat" (basket) where we keep the toys.

Daddy and I can't believe how sweet and tender you are. You always say "please" and "thank you" and "welcome" if you and a friend are getting in a fight, before it gets too escalated you take them in a hug and usually they are so surprised the fight is over and you go back to being friends. You love to play the game "Who Loves?" and it is so cute to hear who you are going to say. Yesterday I said "Who loves Daddy?" You said "Me! Who wuv Mommy, ME!" It made me feel so good. You love to talk to your family members on the phone (especially Grandma) and you frequently as for "kype" (skype) so you can see your family.

Every morning you wake up happy and wait in your crib until you are ready to get out. Then you say "MOOOOMMY!" Usually it is Daddy who comes to get you because he is already up and showered and then he brings you into bed with me. When I get you out of bed, the first thing that you request is a "diaper change?" and I happily oblige. You shower about every other day with either Mommy or Daddy and you love breakfast time. I do your hair each morning which can sometimes be a struggle if you aren't distracted by something. You struggle with your long hair and sometimes cry softly "hair" with the saddest expression in your voice that I struggle not to laugh when I turn to see the wind blowing your long strands in your eyes as you look so inconsolable to your fate. Such drama.

Night time is such a special time for the three of us. We all eat dinner together, then have family time. You are washed, your teeth are brushed and you get into jammies. Then we play in your room, read you books, sing songs, and crack up at your personality. At night our little ritual is for the three of us to hold each other while we say a prayer. You are so good to fold your arms and say "amen" at the end. Then Daddy lays you down and says goodnight beautiful. You say "Wheres my hug?" and Daddy bends down and gives you a tight hug and you say "Kiss?" so he gives you a big kiss. Then you say "Mommy's turn hug," and me and my big belly struggle to lean over and give you a tight hug and you ask "Mommy kiss?" Then as we leave we hear your very exaggerated snores pouring over the sides of your crib and Daddy and I hold each other outside your door because we cannot express the joy we feel at being your parent.

Some of my favorite things that you say include "top it" (stop it, it's fairly recent and it is pretty funny) "hands?" (the request you give after you have decided to be done with your food and you want clean hands. "Mommy, are you?" (when you ask where I am right after I tell you where I'm going) "Mommy/Daddy/Hannah turn" (you are big into taking turns). When you count to 13 I always crack up. Your ABC's are perfect. When you ask to watch a TV show on Netflix you ask for "Dooow" (Dora the Explorer) "Wurder Pets" (Wonder pets) and "Super Why" (Super Why, it is by far the clearest thing that you can say lol). Recently instead of saying just no you say "NO! Not!" You also vary between Thanks and Thank you and Yes and Yeah. Yesterday Daddy said something was dumb and you walked around saying "dumb dumb dumb dumb..." I guess we better watch out what we say.

We love you baby girl. We can't wait to see what else you have in store for us, and what antics you and your sister get up to :)


Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Letters to my Representatives

Today in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week I wrote to 63 representatives of my state (senators, legislators, etc) imploring them to provide proper funding for Nevada education. As I have written here before, Nevada is in dire need of proper funding as Education is taking the brunt of the economic crisis. Here is the letter I wrote:

Dear Representative,

I am writing you today to discuss my concerns with the way Governor Sandoval and the Nevada State Legislator have proposed funding education in Nevada. I have been educated in Nevada, employed in the Clark County school district along with my husband, and my daughters will shortly be entering the Nevada public school system.

I understand that in our difficult economic times, raising taxes is a difficult, unsavory decision; however, these dramatic cuts will have a far reaching effect on Nevada’s economy. By eliminating funding for education to levels that will increase class sizes, eliminate critical programs, and lay off between 1,500 and 5,000 employees in Southern Nevada alone, you are compromising the future of Nevada. You should be finding ways to increase funding for education in Nevada, not drastically slash the budget.

As a former educator, I believe that education is the foundation for a well rounded life. In 2010 Nevada ranked 50th in education. We should be focusing on improving education, rather than placing limits on it. To take away educational opportunities we are gambling on the future of our state socially, and economically as well.
It is vital in these times to build an educated work force and create well rounded citizens who can think critically in order to make vital decisions which will impact our state. I implore you to find a way to properly fund education in Nevada.


Melissa Turney

Ok so my daughters entering CCSD "soon" is a little bit of a stretch...especially since one of them hasn't even entered earth properly...but the drastic budget cuts will affect the state for years to come so I thought it was ok :) I feel proud to have made my voice heard.