another poop ball story

This morning I took the girls to the park. As we were playing Melody said with fervor, "I HAVE TO PEE!" I scooped her up and we jogged over to the public park restrooms. (Ick.) The women's was occupied. Mel said again, "I HAVE TO PEE!"

I made a split second decision and said, "Let's see if you can just pee on the grass right here by the wall." Hahahaha. She was wearing a long dress with leggings underneath. I took the leggings and panties all the way off and had her squat low. I held her dress out, to protect her from anyone's view. We stayed in that position for about 30 seconds. I said, "Did you go pee yet?" She responded with a low grunt, "I'm not peeing. I'm POOPING."

Right. Great.

Another 30 seconds went by before Melody popped up, ready to return to the playground.


"Shhh!!! Okay. Don't say it again."

I pooped, I pooped, I pooped!!"

"OKAY, SHHH! I said don't say it again."

"But mommy, I pooped on the GRRAAAAASS!"

I send her running back to the playground (under the supervision of a friend within sight) and started the lovely task of transferring the poop ball pile into the restroom with wads of toilet paper. Fun, fun.

more mel sayings

Said from the couch to Chad as he walked in the front door, "Hey kiddo."

Said as she was jumping on the bed, "Mommy, I have so much energies."

Yesterday afternoon we were all working in the front yard. Melody was picking wild flowers. After a few minutes I began to worry about snakes in the tall grass of the wild flower area. We told her it was time to stop picking flowers and to come back to where we were in the yard. She was super upset to stop her activity. She said through tears about 25 times, "Daddy, why did you take away my job?" (We talk about 'jobs' a lot around here. This my Mommy's job. This is Daddy's job. This is NOT Melody's job. ie: washing Leah's hair in the tub, etc.)

One of my favorite Mel sayings is when she calls her sister, Leah Sagey. (Leah's middle name is Sage.)


some relief!

My mom is here today. She visits every other week. Today she is helping me retain some sanity. I'm hulled up on my bedroom. iTunes is playing loudly (to drown out the noise in the rest of the house). I have a painting spot set up in front of a window with the late morning sun pouring in. Coffee and water are within reach. I'm ready to create something!!!

I hope someday I can be the type of grandma that rescue's Melody and Leah in the midst of their crazy mommy/toddler days. I'm so thankful for my mom's help.... both emotional and practical. I only wish my MIL lived so close! She is an amazing grandma as well.



Sally Jane Gowan!!! She was born today at 12:12. She weighs 7 pounds, 4 ounces and is 21 inches long. We are so proud of you Laura!!
I am feeling discouraged today. Life is suddenly overwhelming. The majority of my angst is related to Melody. We have been at odds with each other for several days in a row and it's wearing me out. My times with her are either wonderful or terrible. One second she is whining for me to hold her, "Mommy, you haven't holded me yet." The next moment she acts as if she wants me to leave her alone. I can't win. Until now my instincts have served me well. This is the first time I feel at a total loss as a mom.

In other news, one of my closest friends is in labor! Laura and Neil are expecting their first baby and she will arrive any time today! I got the call that she was in labor this morning and ever since I've felt emotional and excited and nervous.


photos and etsy

I'm changing some things on my blog. I might even go as far as to change the entire design. I'm excited to write more and finally start posting pictures. I've always held off on the picture part of blogging because I felt like this was a place for me to practice writing. Well, writing is definitely taking a back seat to everything else these days, so this is becoming more of a place to talk about my kids. I might as well show how cute they are too!

Another thing I'm working on right now is an etsy shop. I'm pretty far off from setting up shop, but I've started some projects. I need name ideas, if any of you have some.


"Mommy, I'm so worried about myself," Melody said as she laid in bed for a nap after a rough morning.

My new adjective for her is SPUNKY. I like this word because it describes her craziness without being negative. Spunky is good, right? I told one friend, it's as if I give her a gallon of sugar every hour. She is 1000% alive with energy, loudness, opinions, demands, and nonstop talking. It is hard to think straight in the midst of such a whirlwind. Today I put the peanuts in the fridge!

She says repeatedly as she walked aimlessly through each room of the house, "I don't know what I'm suppose to dooooooooah."

She is so much like me! We both do better when we're not at home. Some moms lament going to the grocery store, but for us, we get along BETTER when we're in public. This is a good thing until I try to stay home for a few days in a row! Then I begin to feel like a hostage. I do my best to keep the B-word (boredom) at bay. As a kid, I REMEMBER being sooooo bored. It was the worst feeling ever so I'm continually trying to help the girls find new things to do. Lately Mel and I have been doing more artsy stuff.

This morning our one pleasant time together was at the kitchen table. She made a necklace with multi-colored plastic beads while I painted something for her room. (Leah was napping.) We worked together for about a hour, listening to Waterdeep the whole time. Last week I downloaded one of their worship CDs (You Are So Good To Me) and we've both been enjoying it a lot. Music is one of the only things that calms her down when things are spinning out of control.

This one hour of positive time together was great, but what are we suppose to do with the REST OF THE DAY?! Tonight she went on a date with daddy. Whew.


more thoughts on the leah honeymoon

Since I wrote yesterday's post, I've been feeling uneasy about my words. I did not explain my feelings about Melody very well. I do not want to leave the impression that I favor one of my girls over the other because thankfully that is NOT the case. They are both delightful to my heart. One of the coolest things about them is how DIFFERENT they are. Anyone who knows us, exclaims about their opposite dispositions. Perhaps this makes it easy for me to love them both with everything in me?

After I wrote yesterday's entry I was thinking about it more. I think the reason I'm having a Leah Honeymoon is because right now she is in a much easier stage than Melody. Leah is 17 months today. She is barely walking, not really talking, and fun fun fun. Melody is three and a half. Every second with Mel is an opportunity for lessons on obedience and cooperation. Discipline happens as often as eating and it WEARS ME OUT. Since Chad went to back work three weeks ago, I've had to step it up in the discipline arena with Melody. Even on a good day with Melody, it is work, work, work.

During it all, Leah slowing walks around the house, her tiny hands balled into kickboxing fists in front of her face. She is SO MUCH EASIER than Melody right now. I realize that every month is a phase with them and soon they will trade places. Soon, Leah will go to Grammy's house to make s'mores with grandad and Melody and I will have the time of our lives here together.


leah honeymoon

Today my mom took Melody home with her. Grammie lives one and a half hours away. Since Melody turned two, she frequently spends one or two nights there. Tonight I called to chat with her before bedtime. She had a limited amount of time to talk to me because she was making s'mores over the stovetop with grandad!

When Melody is gone, Leah and I have a great time together. Our relationship changes. It is simple, easy and fun. Melody demands my undivided attention all day long, and Leah tends to be in the background. I struggle to give them both what they need and by the end of the day I'm exhausted and they still want more, more, more of me. In having just Leah for a day or two, it's easier. Today we played and played and played. We enjoyed the warm, windy, spring afternoon by swinging high and throwing rocks in the creek behind the house. She jabbered away at me. Her baby words are softly spoken compared to Melody's boisterous ongoing stories. It was so much fun to laugh and converse with Leah and have no toddler interruptions, tantrums, discipline, or fussing. (And at the same exact time, I'm totally thinking about Melody and missing her and wondering how she is doing.)

I know I want to have more babies. (Adopted or biological, I'm not sure.) There are days when I think I'm ready to add a third child. Then I think of Leah and her struggle to be heard, seen, held. The idea of waiting a few more months or a year or two is appealing. Perhaps we'll wait awhile and have two more who are close in age. Two boys, perhaps? (From Sudan, perhaps?) By then, I'm sure Leah will have plenty to say on the subject.


mel sayings

“Look mommy! Storm hay!”

Melody has been saying the funniest things. The above statement is referring to hail. She also says, “You’re right.” after I’ve spoken a fact such as, “It’s time to eat lunch.” Or, “You took a long nap!” Her tone carries authority as if she is teaching me something when she says it.

One time I was correcting Melody’s behavior and I said, “Melody. Are you obeying or disobeying?” She immediately responded in the exact same tone, “Mommy. Are you being nice or mean?” Her statement stopped me in my tracks and I lost all mommy momentum in teaching/correcting. How am I supposed to respond to that? Some days I feel like her little brain is sharper than mine.

She has begun to emphasize the word “so.” She’ll say, “Mommy, thank you soooooo much for my new toy.” Or, “Mommy, I’m soooooo sorry that happened to you.” She also loves to use the word disGUSTing. She’ll say, “Poop is disGUSTing!!!” She sounds like a teenager already.


warning - poop stories

Melody is finally succeeding at potty training! I am very happy about this. She is three years and three months old. She has been quick in language skills and fine motor skills, but more relaxed about physical milestones. She rolled over at 5 months, crawled at 11 months, and walked at 13 months. Each milestone was preceded with much caution. She is like her daddy in this way.

This is our third attempt at potty training. In the first two attempts she would pee on herself every single time. She would look down at her wet self with surprise and say with alarm, "Somebody peed on herself!" Pooping was even worse. One time when she was naked, so pooped all over the rug -- little balls of hard poop. Before I could get to it, Leah put a piece of it in her mouth. Yes, that's right, my second born has tasted poop. I did a good job of not freaking out until Melody let out a peel of laughter. I was digging around in Leah's mouth and scraped poop off her teeth, when Melody gleefully said, "SHE'S EATING MY POOOOOOP. HAHAHA!!!!!!!!" To that I responded loudly, "THIS IS NOT FUNNY!"

Later that day as I was telling the story to Chad, I said, "Potty training is a good time to get me flowers." He heeded the hint, and bought me some later that week.

This morning I was vacuuming the girls' room with the door closed. They both hate the loud noise. They were in the living room watching a movie (of course) and I heard Melody yell, "MOMMY!!!! I peed and pooped in my potty!!!" Her little potty is in the living room (in front of the tv, of course). I turned off the vacuum and ran into the living room to find her sitting on the little blue/white plastic toilet. Under her in the removable container was pee and a huge piece of poop!!! Hoorrray!! She immediately got ice cream and made two phone calls to daddy and grammy about the big news. "I peed and pooped on the potty and now I have ice cream. Bye."

I hope Leah is easier and younger at this potty-training game.


me again

Where to start? After months of not blogging it's time to jump back in. Melody is a spunky three year old. Leah is 16 months. They play together everyday which brings me endless joy. I'm so happy when they entertain themselves in the playroom. Several months back we changed our office to a playroom. Now my laptop resides in our master bedroom, and all the toys are in the playroom. (At least that is the idea. Every few hours the living room and hallway become littered with stuffed animals and blocks. If I attempt to move them Melody pipes up, "But my bears are watching the MOVIE.")

Chad started a new job last week. He's working at a place that builds eco-friendly homes. He is excited to learn about new technology. Evening conversations consist of topics like solar hot water heaters and spray foam insulation. At the end of his first week he said he was looking forward to work on Monday for the first time in his life! This is music to my ears.

I'm excited to fulfill my stay at home mom duties again. For five months Chad and I have both been at home. While this arrangement had it's perks, it was difficult for me to find my role. I was torn between freelance design work and housework and cooking. I'm trying to use some tips from flylady.com to keep things running more smoothly. I'm trying to have a morning and an evening routine. So far the morning one looks like this:one or two loads of laundry (including putting the clothes away!), make my bed, and one major cleaning chore. The evening routine is: clean up kitchen so it's ready for the next day, make Chad's lunch, tidy living areas. These things probably sound ultra simple to those of you who keep a clean house without pulling your hair out. For me, this stuff isn't natural or easy. I'm excited because I think the morning/evening routines have promise. If I can maintain discipline to do these routines the majority of days, I know it will make a big difference.

Happy April!