JUST when you think you have failed.

I have really felt like a complete failure when it came to potty training. Seriously! It was causing me ridiculous stress. Mostly, out of expectation I was placing on my self and Renn. Months ago we had him trained on one of those plastic little potties (it was a frog) and he got it - no problem! But, the skill wasn't translating to the real looking potty at school. Our pediatrician urged me to toss the plastic potty and START OVER on our BIG people potty. 
WOW! Was that painful. He cried over the froggie being gone, he cried over the BIG potty, he DIDN'T want to use it, try to use it, he wanted nothing to do with it. I tried everything. Cheerios in the potty, treats if he would just TRY and I sadly one day tried yelling (DOES NOT WORK - DO NOT TRY) It was a serious battle and I felt like I was losing. I internally battled with if we would even work on it over Christmas break because I didn't want the two of us miserable the whole time. So... I resolved to LET IT GO! He would get it, eventually. It would be okay if he was three and not potty trained. The world would NOT end over it. And darned if that didn't do the trick!!!! I truly don't know when or how but he got it. AT HOME! Moving that to school has been another story. First couple of days at school involved accidents. I had to hold my breath and stay strong. "This is normal, don't panic, he will get there!" Then we went into a week of no accidents BUT he also wasn't using the potty. HE WAS HOLDING IT!!! Basically, he would wait till nap when they use a pull up and then do his thing. UG! Stubborn little man. Then last week who knows what came over me but I said "Renn, if you use the potty at school today you will get a candy cane on the ride home." Sure enough bribery worked. The teachers said it took till 4:30 in the afternoon but he was determined to get that candy cane. I am excited to report that as of today he went THREE times at school! I am now greeted at pick him up with "Mommy, I went potty! I WANT my candy cane!" 
What am I going to do when I run out of my Christmas stock pile of candy canes? You can mail any candy canes you have to me! I will pay...BIG money!
In all seriousness this has been one of my greatest feelings of failure as a mom. It was awful. Was I doing something wrong? Were we being inconsistent? Was something wrong with him? Is it because I am not a stay at home mom that could invest the time working with him? It was a ugly season of questioning, worrying, fearing. All over the skill of....using the potty? Seems ridiculous as I type it but I wanted to record it as I KNOW this was simple compared to the challenges that life can and will bring. I know in my heart I will need to be reminded that I need to resolve to LET IT GO! more often. 


Happy 2011

Renn rang in the new year in California! Visiting Grandpa Bill and Grandma Angie, Lady and Jack! AND he was actually awake when midnight rolled around. Wide awake! Watching Nick Jr. and playing a puzzle game on his passed down iphone. Crazy kid! He also got to feed ducks, play basketball, enjoy tormenting the dogs and best of all be a wild man with Grandpa Bill. Hello 2011!



I am always amazed by how many "firsts" a child experiences and the wonder and awe on their face when it happens. Renn's 2010 firsts were:

1st trip to Disneyland
1st time spending the night with a friend when sissy was born.
1st sibiling
1st movie experience: Toy Story 3
1st ice cream cone
1st bath with a sibling
1st time going to a live show: Sesame Street Live
1st time playing with a caterpillar
1st time with headphones
1st time turning 2
1st time to the beach
1st time playing with trains
1st time in underwear
May life be filled with so many adventures that there continue to be many FIRSTS!


Embrace the Camera Favs

Sometime in the Spring I discovered the Anderson Crew blog. She is a photographer that hosts a weekly "linky" party called Embrace the Camera. You are encouraged to be in front of your camera WITH your kids so that they actually have pictures of themselves WITH you. The goal is for it to not be perfect pictures but simply pictures that capture life. It has been a fun weekly challenge. Here are a few of my favs from the year.



Conversations with Renn.

Most days I still find it odd that I can carry on a full fledge conversation with Renn. This helpless baby that just two years ago could only cry as a means of communicating now converses. I stand amazed. I wish I could just have a recorder on at all times to capture all his quirks. But, not possible. Instead a I recorded the things he said as a part of a 1/2 hour drive to the zoo.

I am starving!
There are LOTS of stores.
That's not good.
What's daddy gonna pick?
What's that noise?
Where's daddy? I can't see him. He went in that door over there? That glass one? The glass one on that building? I am going to take my buckles off to go find daddy. There he is!
Now go!
I wanna go down. I really wanna go.
Hey look! Your football game.
I need a tissue mommy.
What do you have in your mouth daddy? Oh. Food? Oh food.
I wanna pick something out of my stocking.
Cars are under there. Cars are up there. Why?
Whoa. That's a huge tunnel.
What's up ahead?
Look daddy. Look up in the sky. There is a flying car in the air. Look up ahead there is a big tunnel. Look there are drums.
That is a really huge drum. Wow! Look at that? Oh. What's that?
Are we ready? Here we go.  Whoa.
Sissy, what are you looking at? Sissy, what are you doing?
Look at those big tires, mommy.
Where is cita? I can't see her. Oh, there she is.
I wanna go to the zoo. Look a big building. Where's the zoo? Over there. Holy cow! Where are snakies?


Renn in December!

According to Facebook

Renn asked me if I was a princess this morning. What prompted said question? I am wearing a skirt. Rare. J December 23Top of Form
My two year old has called me Babe three times today. How do I explain that his daddy can call me that but it's not on the list for him? December 20
Renn HAD ;) to throw a party for his friends tonight. Pizza and brownie bar. He is napping and I am licking the bowl of the brownie batter. SCORE! LOVE the "excuse" of kids. December 17
Renn just lifted up his shirt and said "mommy, I don't see Jesus in my heart?” December 4
Renn is is telling me he NEEDS to go to the zoo because he needs to get all the animals out of their cages. L J December 3
I believe we just found Renn's Christmas present as he is sobbing on the floor of Target over a car ramp thing. NEVER done that so I am having a hard time not laughing. November 27Bottom of Form


Renn's First Performance

There are times that my heart aches that Renn is being taught by someone other than myself but most of the time I am very thankful for his preschool experience and the opportunities he has at his age. This year he got to perform in his first Christmas "show". It was a very exciting moment from a former stage girl turned mama. In my humble opinion there is a potential future for this man. But, what mama doesn't think that?