11 months!

Dear Lucy,

Almost a year old. I can't believe it. Last month you started gaining speed with communicating but this month you took off! You now sign "all done." But more than that, you have started extrapolating. We did "all done" after diaper changes and at the end of meals but you will do it now when you are tired of playing a game or when you you want to get down. You also started signing "milk" when you are thirsty for water at the table even though we have tried to keep table food and drink separate from nursings. This actually makes things more complicated but I don't mind that much since I can normally use context clues to figure out what you want and it is just one more piece of evidence pointing to your obvious brilliance :-)

You've added dada to your vocabulary. I will admit I'm a little jealous. The only times you say mama are when you are mad, like when you hurt yourself or when dad goes to comfort you in the evening and you push him away and scream mama. But when you say "dada" you point to him and get all excited and proud of yourself and smile and laugh. You love to look at the family pictures of us on the wall and have us say "mama, dada and lucy" over and over again.

But the best communication tool you have now is pointing. You love to point and say "da" (that?) until we name it. And you are really good at getting us to understand what you want. Sometimes it takes me a minute but once I catch on to what you want, I am amazed at how you figured out how to tell us.

Yesterday I was picking up your toys and asked you to help so we could vacuum. You immediately took off down the hall to the coat closet, pointed at the door and when I opened it, pointed at the vacuum. I couldn't believe it, I had to call your dad right then to tell him. And a couple days ago, you even asked to take a nap! We always start your lullaby cd before we got to take a nap and you kept pointing at the cd player. At first I thought you wanted the remote (a favorite "toy" of yours) but you kept pointing even after I gave it to you. But then I wondered if you were tired so even though it was about 30 minutes before we normally lay down, I turned on the cd and sure enough, you fell asleep one minute after we laid down.

 I love knowing more about what is going on in your brain. All this pointing has thankfully lessened the screaming. You still scream a little bit but not like the last month or two.

You also love to point to the door and go outside. All last week you kept pointing but it was rainy and cold so I kept saying no.

You love going outside, to look at the flowers and play with bubbles. You get so excited about bubbles you start shaking when I bring out the bottle although when one gets close enough for you to touch it and then it pops, you look confused and sad so I have to blow a new batch right away.

You love to stand now and walk around the house holding our hand. You have even walked around me just holding my shirt bottom or sleeve so I'm pretty sure you don't need any help with balance but you aren't confident enough to try. If we let go and you want to move forward, you just fall. I don't want you to face plant so I always catch you but if you would just move your feet, I think you would find you can do it just fine.

You have 5 teeth now and the 6th is sooo close to popping through. You are about 28 inches tall and around 18-19 lbs. You are long and lean, just like I was at your age. I miss your baby chubbiness and wish it would stay forever but as long as you have a chubby belly to blow kisses on, I can survive. Your hair is finally getting longer but not in the back. And in the front, you sometimes get what I call the "Mr. Lunt look"

but it also means I can have fun styling it after baths.

We are just about to move you into 18 month clothes but you don't particularly like to wear clothes. In fact, you will try very hard to get them off of you even though that sometimes means you get stuck in funny situations.

But you like to put other people's clothes on when you "help" me with the laundry. You put your dad's t-shirt on last week and got your head stuck in the sleeve. I thought you would be mad but you must have known you looked funny because you laughed and laughed until you fell over. I love seeing your sense of humor emerge. You know when you have done something funny and that cracks me up.

You love to look at books with real pictures, especially babies and animals. You also love book that inspire sounds from us, like animal noises, truck noises, and llama llama red pajama or knuffle bunny is lost boo-hooing sounds.

 You enjoy putting things in things, like blocks in a box or cheerios in a jar. And you enjoy playing with zeeba.

 You try so hard to be gently when we ask, you pat her nicely just like we have been showing you. Of course, then you turn around and kick her in the head as you crawl away but you gave good intentions. You are my sweetheart and I can't wait to see what the rest of your first year brings!


Easter Sunday!

It's amazing how "early" is so relative. I used to think church was early. But since Lucy won't let us sleep in anymore, we had time before the 10:30 service for a leisurely breakfast and a nap before getting dressed and ready for pictures before church. We had to show off our cute matching outfits (that I finished 10pm the night before - ha!).

Not feeling the bow.

That's better!

And there's the whole family. 

We are taking a middle of the road approach to Easter, much like Christmas. We will focus on what is important and won't really be "doing" Santa or the Easter bunny but she will still get presents, she'll just know they are from us. 

This year though, I was a little slow and her main present, the Jesus Storybook Bible, hadn't arrived yet so she only got a stuffed bunny.  

At first, she wasn't sure what was going on but she quickly realized it was a good thing.

All the chocolate you see there was her to hand out but for us to eat. I might feel guilty giving her a basket of candy for myself but she didn't know what she was missing out on and enjoyed the process of emptying the basket.

Even though she had a nap before church, the excitement must have worn her out since she fell asleep just a few minutes after church began and didn't wake up until we were walking back from communion. (Yes, just call me super mom. My special powers include carrying 18lbs of dead weight baby in heels, kneeling at the alter with her and not even spilling a drop of wine.) We finished the day with a big meal and an afternoon of hanging out around the house - the best way to spend a holiday if you ask me.


Easter weekend - Part 2

After Thursday, the fun just intensified. Friday, Craig's sister Steph came to visit. We picked her up from the airport in the early afternoon and headed home just beating a bad storm. Since we are a bit more relaxed about things when people are visiting, we watched a movie and ate lots of not at all healthy but really yummy chocolate oatmeal cookies. 

We did have to pause the movie and had to head down to the basement for a little while because of tornado warnings. I'll admit it - I was a little annoyed that I had to wake up a sleeping baby (who was already having a rough night due to teething) to seek shelter but the next morning when we heard about how much damage was done not to far from us, I was glad we did. Next time I get annoyed when Craig brings out the weather radio, he has permission to bring up this post. 

 We had several fun things planned for Steph's visit but they were all outside activities. Instead we did a bit of shopping, ate lunch out and visited a local park. We couldn't play on the playground because of the weather but we could look at the animals there. I thought Lucy would enjoy it since she loves to read about animals but she mostly just clung to us. She hated the horses so we walked quickly by those. I think they were too loud. We spent more time by the chickens. She kept pointed at them but everytime they made any noise her little fists would grab tighter and her smile would disappear. I guess it is a good thing we are waiting until next year to get chickens. I don't want her to be afraid to go outside. She was even afraid of the rabbits but she did seemed to like the cows. I think it is because the didn't make any noise or even move much. They were in stalls and seemed pretty calm and/or sleepy. 

As we were leaving though, we noticed two miniature horses weren't in their stalls. They were just off the path a bit eating grass. We didn't see any workers but it didn't seem like they were supposed to be there. All of a sudden, they took off out of the park. It was like they realized they were free. I kept searching for a park worker or a sign with a phone number but another man in the park had the number and called someone to come get them and put them back in their stalls. Ironically, Lucy seemed to enjoy watching the horses from a distance. Maybe they seemed smaller that way. It was a fun way to end our petting zoo adventure but I don't think we will be visiting the animals until Lucy is a bit older.

Easter weekend - Part 1

We've had a busy couple of days. We started out our holiday weekend Thursday with some passover preparations. Lucy and I cleaned up the house and then made some matza (unleavened bread). After I had Lucy help me with the matza, I realized I chose the wrong order and we should have cleaned afterwards but she had fun so it was worth it.

 Just that morning Lucy got a package from Grandma L full of Easter goodies including some cookie cutters so after we made a sheet of boring square matza we branched out and made some tulip shaped ones. It's not very traditional but it was easier than wrestling the knife away from her she liked helping me push it down.

Even more than that though, she liked eating the dough. She is her mother's daughter after all. 

That evening we had a family seder. Here is our table half way set. I wanted it to look out of the ordinary but I didn't want to ruin a brand new tablecloth either.

I love having this be a part of our family traditions but I'm pretty sure we will have to make adjustments as the years go by. This year we tried doing a Christ centered seder script/haggadah but I think next year we will just read through that section of Exodus and discuss what the food represents. The seder is really focused on passing down the passover message to our children (both the original story of the exodus and the "new" addition of Christ's fulfillment as our permanent passover lamb) so I want it to be child friendly. Lucy didn't make it through so we just kept giving her food to eat and then she joined me on my lap for the rest of the dinner. It was a fun way to start off the weekend but the fun wasn't over yet...


Driving Soundtrack

MacKenzie's been manning the book review department of this blog, but I will be filling in for her today.

My reading interests usually tend toward non-fiction, often of the historical kind. But I started listening to audio books when going on long drives. Music puts me to sleep when I drive, so I need something engaging to listen to. I'd listen to talk radio, but you can't always be sure something good will be on (unless, of course, it's Rush Limbaugh time) or that reception will be adequate. So I turned to audio books. I prefer lighter fare when I drive, something more engrossing and easier to follow (since I can't easily go back and re-read something). I first listened to a couple of John Grisham books, but I exhausted the library's limited supply of Grisham books on CD (they had some books-on-tape options, but, like many people, I don't have a car cassette player).

While skimming the library shelves prior to one trip, I found the book One Shot by Lee Child. This was my introduction to the Jack Reacher series, of which there are 15 books, the first of which was published in 1997. Reacher is a former military police investigator who now wanders the country by bus or hitchhiking and invariably ends up, sometimes accidentally, in the middle of a situation where his investigative and butt-kicking skills come in handy.

I have now finished my 3rd Reacher novel. I joined the party late, as I have read the 9th (One Shot), 11th (Bad Luck and Trouble), and 15th (and latest) offerings (Worth Dying For) in the series. As far as I can tell,  there's not much carryover between books. Each one can stand alone. In fact, there are some aspects of Jack Reacher that only appear in individual books. Examples include his skill with numbers and doing calculations in his head, his money issues (or lack thereof), and his penchant for traveling very light (usually carrying just a toothbrush). In researching this post, I learned that Worth Dying For is apparently a continuation of the previous book, which I have not read, and I had no idea until now.

I like the descriptive detail of the books. Whether describing the landscape of Nebraska, how you can kill someone by punching them in the chest at a certain precise phase of the heartbeat, or the cross-country travels of a truck full of contraband, Child (and the audio narrators) bring the subject to life in a way that is not always necessary to the story but is interesting and enriching nonetheless.

Jack Reacher is not one to leave it to the justice system to sort out guilt and punishment. Often, he is involved in a case because law enforcement, through corruption or lack of skill, is not doing its job. Reacher, through a thorough investigation assisted by his knowledge of human nature and top-notch interviewing skills, figures out who is guilty and how they should be punished. He then delivers the punishment clinically, without a pause or regret. As opposed to Jack Bauer of 24 fame, who was a pretty brutal guy who, in the end, deferred to the authority of the President, Reacher defers to nobody. Whereas Bauer was clearly tortured emotionally over the things he had to do, Reacher apparently feels no such remorse. Of course, Bauer had to hurt a lot of innocent people, something Reacher hasn't had to do in the books I have read. What Bauer and Reacher have in common is that they both know how to cause pain and how to debilitate a foe, and they do it regularly.

The Reacher books (again, as far as I know) end in a meticulous, elaborate assault on the bad guy's compound, in which Reacher is assisted by locals he meets on the case. Reacher is always the underdog and always outmanned, but his victories are complete and guaranteed, almost like a movie plot. Worth Dying For even includes a James Bond/Austin Powers-like ridiculously elaborate, foolish plan to off the good guy that inevitably fails and allows the hero to live another day. In fact, Paramount is apparently working on a production of One Shot.

For me, these novels serve their purpose well. They are enthralling driving fare that entertains me and keeps me alert. I plan to continue to check them out of the library as audio books on future trips. But I don't plan to start reading them the old fashioned way. I think I'll stick to nonfiction.


Easter present for the grandparents

Here are a couple fun videos. This first one is from last week and she is already standing much better than it shows.

This one is from today. She's been babbling dada for a little while but today was the first day it was very obvious that she knew what she was saying. Now she looks right at Craig and says dada, then looks around at all of us, obviously very pleased with herself.


Mean Mama

What kind of mean mother takes pictures of their baby while she is crying for her


In my defense, the first pictures I took was this

She only got upset because she likes to look at the results right away and I was making her wait :-)


Coming along

Lucy's room is coming along. I don't know why I'm in such a hurry with it, it's not like she is actually sleeping there yet or even knows its her room. Perhaps its because its fun to design kid rooms :-) The theme is sublte vintage farm. I know that sounds like I just stuck three artsy fartsy words together but its my vision and you can't argue with the way my brain works (just ask Craig :-)

I want to get a few more things finished before I have a full reveal but I do have another project to share. Lucy has to share her space with the office and I wanted in/out boxes but I still wanted them to work with the theme. I bounced around from idea (galvanized metal magazine racks - only available at pottery barn so way outta my budget) to idea (build white shelf to put regular bins on - boring and too much work) before I saw this post - perfect!

That tutorial is pretty good so I won't replicate it but I will say I made mine baskets smaller than hers and used wider "holed" hardware cloth so it looked a little more farmy. I thought about using chicken wire but decided that would make it tricker than I wanted to deal with.

Instead of using fabric labels I found a $0.99 pack of four wooden labels and used some leftover chalkboard paint to make mini chalkboard labels. If you don't have chalkboard paint, you might be able to get away with using black or dark grey paint since you probably won't actually need to alter the labels. Then Craig drilled teeny tiny holes and I attached them using the same wire I built the basket with. Here is one of the three:

And here is what they look like above the desk. And yes, this is what they normally look like. The "in" has a couple things, "out" is empty but "act" is overflowing. I'd say its because we've had a busy week and that is true, but it pretty much always is that full.

I'll try to finish up the last few projects in there so I can show you the whole room. I'm really starting to love it!


Colds and Cukes

I have a confession. Last week's posts were all set to autopost. I always feel sneaky when do autoposting like that but I was busy fighting for my life against the worst cold known to man. Maybe I am being a bit melodramatic but that cold kicked my butt.

It started last Sunday and everyday I would go to bed thinking that surely I would feel a little better in the morning but it just didn't happen. Finally by Friday I started to feel slightly non-dead and by Sunday all that remained was the cough is my chest. Sunday was Craig's day off . We were supposed to have some friends over but they have an itty bitty baby and we didn't want to risk exposing her so that fun was postponed. Instead I blew off cleaning up after a weeks' worth of undone chores and we went to outside to work/play before trying out our new grill for the first time.

We have planted all the blackberries and strawberries now. It's a bit depressing that we have to wait until next summer to taste the results but I try to consol myself with thoughts of fresh vegetables like the cukes, beets and onions we just planted being ready for harvest in a few months.

Speaking of veggies, we've been getting our fresh produce through a co-op lately. Every two weeks we get a big basket. It's only $23 but we don't know what we will be getting . So far, I've enjoyed the challenge. I have to be a bit more flexible with my meal planning to account for the unknowns but its allowed me to be a bit more adventurous. And I even made a meal with mushrooms that I liked! Of course, I didn't actually eat the mushrooms but Craig and Lucy enjoyed them while I picked out the chicken.

One thing I am trying to do with our meals introduce more variety. Lucy is the impetus because I want to expose her while she is young and doesn't automatically think things will be yucky but it will be good for Craig and I too. With the exception of mushrooms and eggplant, there are not very many foods I don't enjoy and Craig and Lucy are pretty similar in their non-pickiness, I'm just don't think about new foods. But my current goal is to incorporate a wider variety of not just vegetables but fruits, grains, beans and nuts into our normal menus.

Am I the only one with this problem? How do you get yourself to think outside of the box when it comes to meal planning? Feel free to share any crazy or unusual recipes that your family likes?


Sleep is for sissies

I haven't talked too much about Lucy's sleep patterns here on the old blog. Partly because I don't want this blog to become a endless rant on how I haven't had more than 4 hours sleep  in a row even one single time for over 10 months now. Thinking about it drives me crazy. Partly because I don't really want advice about how to fix her problem. I don't actually think she has a problem, she seems very similar to a lot of babies her age (and even older) that I know. She just doesn't sleep through the night in a culture that values sleeping through the night. (FYI - She goes down around 7pm and stays in bed until about 7am but she wakes up multiple times to eat. As soon as I feed her, she falls right back to sleep unless something else is wrong.)

I too, used to value sleeping through the night. I am a huge sleep person. B.L. (that's Before Lucy) I needed at least 8 hours of sleep to function the next day. And I normally took a nap. Yes, even when I worked full time. I would use my lunch hour to take a cat nap probably 2-3 times a week as well as napping on the weekends. I love to sleep. And now, I don't sleep that much.

I function because we co-sleep and I typically nap during at least one of her naps. It works out well because she naps better snuggled next to me. That isn't to say that it has always been easy. It hasn't. There have been two rough patches, one at 4 months and another at 8. Her sleep got worse due to teething and developmental stuff and the more I thought/worried/tried to fix it, the worse it got so that even when th problems were over and done with, I was still frustrated with her sleep (or lack of). Finally another mom who is also committed to not crying it out told me to turn the clock around and let it go. It worked. I gave that time to Lucy gladly and I can honestly say that right now, I don't feel sleep deprived. I don't worry about when she is going to "finally" sleep through the night. I don't worry about what I am or am not "doing right." I'm fine with our current arrangement. It works for us.

Last week was a bit hard because we were at my parents and she doesn't like to lay down with me and nap (the room we are in is too new and exciting and fun to explore that even if her eyes are barely open when we go in there, she manages to muster the energy to get into everything once we enter) so I have to hold her for her to nap well. But we make it through. Anyway, a few nights ago I was lying in bed before my typical bedtime trying to fall asleep since I knew I needed the sleep but I just couldn't fall asleep. It got me thinking about a time a few years back when I had trouble sleeping through the night.

It was back when I was in college when I was having nightmares. At first I thought I was going insane but as little research showed me it was a fairly UNcommon side effect to a medication I was on. But since I couldn't go off it for a while so I just had to deal with them. And they were bad, we're not talking about naked public speaking but vivid dreams of family members killing themselves or me, violent images and scenes, things I don't even know how I got into my head. I would wake up shaking and crying. And the more I had them, the more I worried about going to sleep and having them which just made it harder to fall asleep and more likely that I would have them.

But luckily for me, my boyfriend was there for me. He would talk me to sleep on the phone every night. I would leave my cell on speaker phone next to my pillow and he would read random things like the newspaper (happy columns only ) or blog posts until I stopped responding and he knew I was asleep. If I had a bad dream, he would answer his phone at 3am and repeat the process. And not just once or twice. Almost every night for several months. He never complained about how it effected him. And it did effect him, it was more than a minor inconvenience and I know he had better things to do with that time (like sleep!). It wasn't even a big glamourous display of love that I could show off to my friends. There were no accolades. Nobody except me even knew he was doing it. But he did it because he knew I needed it and he cared more about my needs than his. It was one of the ways he showed me that he was husband material. And even now, I think back on that time and instead of thinking about the hard time I had, I think of the love he showed me by his actions and devotion. But until that night, I hadn't ever thought about it in relation to my nights with Lucy.

This isn't a post about the "evils of c.i.o." I have pretty strong opinions about that practice (and I'm sure you could guess what they are :-) but I also know several mothers who I respect that have do it because they believe it is the best thing for their child and I'm not here to argue that point. It's just a reminder to me for the next time when I am tired and frustrated. Because there will be another night that seems to short, another time when I wonder if I should just give in. But next time, I'll have this story to remember, the memories of the man who spent his time helping me sleep because now I'm paying that love forward by spending my time, my nights, with his little girl. She needs me. She needs my time, my presence, my love. Craig thought I was worth it, and I think she is too.


And halfway through April, we go back to March

I'm a little behind in my reading challenge update but I did get two books done in March so I'm making fairly steady progress.

The Kitchen Help by Kathleen Grissom

The story of Lavinia, a 7 year old Irish immigrant, who ends up working at a southern plantation and her struggles to find a family in a world that doesn't have a place for her. This book was interesting and could have been really good but something was missing. The relationships were the central part of this book and I enjoyed getting to know Lavinia and several of the people who took her in but there were too many characters and you had better not get attached because they drop like flies in this story. The plot was intriguing but a little melodramatic and some parts felt like the author was just killing time (and characters) but then the ending felt rushed. It was the type of book that I enjoyed reading and couldn't put down but when I finished, I realized I didn't really like it that much.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

I loved this book but that shouldn't be a surprise because it was a chinaberry recommendation and I almost always enjoy their selections. It tells the story of a little girl who appears on a pier in 1913 with no name or knowledge of where she came from, Actually this book is actually three intertwined stories: there is Nell, the girl who was taken in and given a loving home but as an adult feels lost without her history to lean on, the story of the people who make up her unknown past, and the granddaughter who continues the search Nell began once she passes away. Since there are three plots, there are also a lot of characters in this one, but unlike The Kitchen Help, Morton manages to make it work. Even those minor characters that only make a short appearance seem to come alive. The mystery of Nell's past is slowly revealed and even though I was able to guess most of the answers before the end, the ending did not disappoint me. In fact, since we know how Nell's story ends much earlier than we know how it started, understanding what physically happened ends up not being as important as realizing how the people involved felt about it and handled those emotions. I highly recommend this story!

Check out Historical Tapestry for more interesting reads.


That's everyone so we are done, right?

Two weeks before we went to my mom's, Craig got sick. Then the week before we went to my mom's, I got sick. This week, Lucy was sick. That's everyone now so hopefully we are done being sick. Lucy had the quickest recovery, but it was still probably the worse case.

Wednesday we ran errands and on the way home, Lucy fell asleep. Even though it was only 12:30 which is early for her nap, especially considering she had a good nap in the morning, I chalked it up to the excitment of the errands and the car ride so I opened up the windows to the car, left the garage door open and sat there and made a phone call to catch up with a friend. And hour and a half later, she was still sleeping - this is unusual. Eventually she did get up but 30 minutes after she got up, she was cranky and rubbing her eyes so I helped her take another nap - and she just kept napping until 5pm when I had to wake her up. By then I knew something was wrong but I had to go pick up Craig from work. She fell asleep once she was back in the car but woke up enough for us to take her temperature when we got home - 101.

We borrowed our neighbors awesome quick thermometer (as compared to our lame thermometer which takes over a minute of baby wrestling before it gives us an error message because she wasn't holding still enough) and some ibuprofen but since the fever wasn't dangerous and she was able to sleep and nurse, we held off and let the fever do its job and just monitored the situation. She was like that - cranky, sleepy and hot from Wednesday to Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately, she would only sleep on my chest, with me sitting upright. She wouldn't even let Craig hold her while I ate dinner. So we slept on the couch. And by "we slept" I mean she slept and I tried to sleep.

Thursday afternoon she had a bit more energy and around 4pm her fever finally broke and her crankiness disappated slightly. I had barely put her down since Wednesday since she would scream mamamama as soon as I did so I was grateful for the break but that night she still only wanted to sleep upright while being held. Luckily she let Craig hold her, either she was feeling better that he was good enough or she was so tired it didn't matter but so he was able to take the early morning shift while I got a teeny tiny bit of sleep. Today, she seems fine which hopefully means we will all get some rest tonight. It's only 5pm but Craig and I could both probably go to bed right now - if only Lucy was willing.

This was the first time she was really uncomfortable sick. It was also the first time it was hard to do what I felt was right. I didn't want to rush to drugs because I didn't think in the long run it was the best for her, but I hate to see her feel sick. I'm glad I could "practice" on a quick illness because after 24 hours, I'm exhausted and I think if it had gone on any longer, my resolve would have weakened. But hopefully this will be the bout of illness in our family for a little while.


Adventures in Early Potty Training - It begins

We started about two weeks ago, when she was about 9.5 months old. Diaper Free Before Three says to start the intro between 6-9 months, or whenever they can sit independently well but I didn't start researching until 9 months.

The intro phase is pretty easy. We introduce the potty and start changing our routine to reflect the new addition to our lives. So we went out and bought a teeny tiny potty. Then we started sitting her on it before her bath (if she had one) or pajamas (if she didn't). I'm not going to post any pictures of her one it (she will thank me later for that) but suffice it to say that she looks pretty adorable sitting there.

The first time, she didn't like it. She wasn't upset about being there, just kept standing up and looking at us like "what is this and why is it underneath me?" I let her get up as soon as she wanted. Same thing the next night. The third night I grabbed a toy and as soon as she sat down I started distracting her. (Actually, I grabbed a bath toy whale and started mimicking Dory's whale talk as I described the wonderfulness of the potty) It worked. She sat there entertained for several minutes. Then I helped her stand up and get her diaper on and went through a "this is how we wash our hands" time with her.

Now she likes it. She can sit as short of a time as she wants. Sometimes she wants to get up after 30 seconds and that is fine. Other times she will happily sit for 3-4 minutes and I have to declare potty time over. She doesn't need a toy anymore but I sit with her and talk to her. I think she likes the face time with me. In fact, she used to fuss and fight me during diaper changes but she doesn't after she sits. The little break between having to be still while I take off her diaper and having to be still again while I put it on is just what she needs apparently.

After a few days of happy evening potty sitting, I added a morning time before she gets dressed. Now I also try after her naps because I know that is a prime time for her. The point of the intro phase isn't to get her to actually go in the potty, its just to incorporate the potty into her routine. It's pretty similar to baby led weaning in that regard. I started with one meal and let her eat or not eat as she desired and slowly worked up to her eating and enjoying 3 meals and a snack daily. Its just what we do. We eat breakfast after we wake up and have a snack at 3:30. We potty before we get dressed in the morning and after we have a nap. I praise her for sitting, whether or not she "goes" - not a song and dance or stickers, just a simply "you sat on the potty, good job!" The first week, she just sat there but she has actually gone at least once a day for the last six days.  When she does, I add another praise of "You're peeing in the potty!"

The other changes in our routine are pretty simple as well. We moved all diapering into the bathroom. Its supposed to help her mentally make the connection but its actually easier that way anyway since the sprayer is there. Montessori also recommends starting to change their (wet not poopy) diapers while they are standing up but I can only do that when she wears a pocket so basically only before bed.

And that is all there is to Phase 1. No mess, no stress. We will keep going with this, adding in "sits" one at a time, for a little while and see how it goes. Until next time, wish us lots of potty luck!


My internal calender is confused.

Lucy and I spent last week at my parent's where Lucy had fun playing with grandpa

  testing out Kip the puppy's dog bed,

exploring Uncle Ben's video games and

and showing Bubbie how well she can pat the bunny, look in the mirror, play peek-a-boo with Paul, and feel daddy's scratchy face.

This was our first visit since Lucy became really mobile but she did pretty well considering how much stuff there is that is new, exciting, and not at all babyproof. It was so cold that we didn't do much during the week but luckily it warmed up on Saturday just in time for one of Ben's baseball games.

Unfortunately they played a horrible team so it wasn't a very exciting double header (they called the first game after three innings since the score was 17-0 then the coach put in more freshman for the next game but they still won 17-1!) but it was nice to see Ben play and enjoy the sunny weather.

Sunday morning we took the train home and spent the afternoon catching up with Craig. He is working a weird schedule right now - he has to be in the office on the weekends but has Monday and Friday off. So even though Saturday felt like Saturday, knowing that he left work and was now free for a day made it feel like Friday. And yesterday was family time so it felt like a Sunday. It was nice to spend the day with him after being gone all week but we really had a hard time finding a way to spend it.

First we had great plans to go to a nearby park and explore the petting zoo and swings there but rain interfered. Then we decided to go visit a local hardware and livestock store that we have been meaning to check out but when we drove there - it was closed! I was a bit discouraged but then I realized that although it felt like Sunday, it was actually Monday and Hobby Lobby was open. Hurrah! I'm glad I remembered that since it meant Craig was around to help with the easter clothes fabric pick out. I hate picking out fabric by myself, I always second guess myself but I found some cute stuff and can't wait to get sewing.

I know my internal calender is going to be confused until I get used to this odd day off schedule but sometimes it works out in my favor! Of course, now the weekend is really over and I have to get back to business, but after a nice break, I'm ready.